our picks for vday

February 11, 2015
By

Valentine’s Day is right around the corner and our team has their eye some sweet finds for friends, family and more…

valentine gift for grandma

Both grandmas are getting a little love from Lolo this February. This sweet photo block is a perfect place to showcase the latest pic of their most adorable granddaughter  $14.95

sweet valentine gift

As a person who often gets lost and has no sense of direction, this item is charming for people like me. I love that it is small enough to fit in a pocket or purse. Pewter is such a pretty material and I love the carved words.

If someone never uses it for traveling, it can always double as a cute little paperweight!  $17.95

funny valentine gift

Who doesn’t like cute kissing frogs?!?! This is a perfect gift because since they are salt and pepper shakers you can look at it in the kitchen all year long!  $13.95

valentine gift idea

I get really bad headaches and this has worked really well for me. I love that I can just throw it in my bag and take it everywhere I go. I’m going to get one for my mom because what says “I love you” more than something that makes someone feel better.  $10.95

fun valentine gift

These super cute egg presses are perfect for the morning of Valentine’s Day! Just pop a hard-boiled egg into the mold and let it chill in cold water for ten minutes. The result is a unique breakfast treat for your valentine. I can’t wait to surprise mine!  $6.95

valentine candy charm bracelet

I am addicted to these! They are a perfect throw back to my childhood! I love them for myself to snack on as well an embellishment on gifts to friends! They are especially great to tie with ribbon on to wedding or shower gifts! Random fact, they are also vegan! .50 cents

valentine gift for grandma

This will make a perfect gift for Grandma for Valentine’s Day. You can just pop a picture of her favorite grandkids in there to show her how much she is loved. Plus the design makes it super easy for her to change out the photo as often as she likes.  $14.95

sweet valentine postcard

Who isn’t surprised and delighted to find a personal piece of mail – a gem amongst all the junk – sent directly to them these days? Not only is this a sweet card, it’s durable, something your special someone can put up in the home, on a desk at work, or in a school locker as an added reminder how much they mean to you. $4.95

handmade valentine gift

I absolutely adore this shadow box quote! The saying couldn’t be more true, the only thing that really matters in this world is who you have beside you! This would be a great gift for anyone that you truly love and appreciate.  $85.50

sweet valentine gift

This book would make a great Valentine’s Day gift for anyone in your life. Whether its your significant other or even a friend, it’s a cute way to show them just how awesome you think they are! $10.95

cute valentine gift for gilrls

Pink hot chocolate seems like a good thing to have on hand for Valentine’s Day. These single serve packets are great for little gifts!  $1.95

little girl valentine gift

My granddaughter loves owls and loves filling her purse with all of her treasurers and carrying them around. She feels like such a big girl with her purse like her mommy.  $18.95

valentine gift for friends

I love this sign because our family is all about hugs. A perfect little reminder of how actions can speak louder than words. So give someone you love a big hug AND this sign!  $12.95

Do you like seeing what team catching fireflies is loving? We’re happy to share some of our favorite finds.  Simply sign up to receive these blog posts in your email and you’ll be in the loop & get our latest scoop.

8 pretty punny valentines

February 10, 2015
By

You think you’re pretty punny, huh? Well, these resourceful bloggers sure are! With just a little play on words, they’ve come up with some pretty punny (and funny) valentines that you can make this year.

punny valentines

 

We bet they’ll be well received by your sweetie (and may even give rise to a grin or giggle)…

ruler

Really love this idea for classmates–find out how to turn a ruler into a cute valentine on the Relocated Living Blog.

Who makes your heart pop? Let them know this Valentine’s Day by treating them to a bag of microwave popcorn.  You’ll find the free printable for this cute project on Crazy Little Projects.

Your valentine will be seeing stars and enjoying a sweet snack when you hand out this DIY Valentine’s Day Card. You will find all the how-to’s for this fun project on It’s Always Autumn.

Make your point this Valentine’s Day by letting someone know that they are the “Write One”.  Get the printable for this to make your own over on The Cottage Market.

The free labels courtesy of I Heart Naptime make everything easy. Just put on of these on a loaf of home-baked banana bread or a single banana and you’re good to go!

Just look at all the clever sayings that Love, Jessica Anne came up with for her DIY Valentine Snack Jars–they all provide a clue to the treat inside!

Go for glam this year and hand out  mani/pedi supplies to all your girlfriends.  Head over to Simply Living to get the whole scoop on how to assemble this valentine that’s all about the pampering…it’s the perfect little pick-me-up.

One more valentine treat to please the tummy…if you’re gifting juice or cheese sticks this year you’ll want to take a look at Melissa’s ideas on Bless This Mess. She’s got some great alternatives if you choose to go the non-traditional candy route.

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sweets for your sweet

February 9, 2015
By

homemade caramels for valentine's day

I always like to send some surprise goodies to my girlfriends for Valentine’s Day and this year I’m throwing in some homemade caramels to the mix.  I made caramels for the first time this past Christmas to give to neighbors and our catching fireflies team and was tickled with how they turned out.

It is a fairly simple process but does involve babysitting the pot of sweetness for about 45 minutes so if patience does not come easy to you, I would not recommend making this sweet treat.

Here is what you need:

  • 3/4 cup butter (1 1/2 sticks)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup light corn syrup
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream, divided (meaning, you’ll add half at the beginning and half later)
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • candy thermometer

homemade caramel recipe Put all the ingredients besides the vanilla and cup of cream in a large pot.  Stir and melt them all together on low heat.  Once they are melted, turn the heat to medium-low heat creating a simmer. Place thermometer in the pan.  The recipe I followed says you don’t have to stir the mixture if you have a heavy bottomed pan but I don’t own one so I continue to stir as it simmers to avoid any burning on the bottom of the pan.  Over time the mixture will darken in color and once the temp reaches 236 degrees ad the second cup of cream.

homemade caramel recipe Be patient, it takes about 45 minutes for it to reach 245 degrees.  This is where it gets tricky.  I believe caramels are the goldilocks of candy making.  There are just a few degrees between it being too soft or too hard which makes it tricky to get it just right and I have a zip lock bag full of hard toffee to confirm that ;-)

I use the water drop method in addition to watching the thermometer.  Once the caramel gets close to the 245 mark, have a small dish of cold water nearby and drip the caramel in it.  You will be able to tell how soft or hard it will be when it cools off in the water.  I’ve found maintaining the 245-47 degrees for a few minutes does make them the desired chewiness.  BUT be careful or you too will have a bag of hard toffee.

Mix in the vanilla right before you plan to pour your caramels into a 8×8 buttered dish.  Parchment paper lining the dish works even better… but I didn’t have any at the time.

I place mine in the freezer for a bit to cool down, then peel the large caramel slab onto a cutting board.  I then place it in the fridge to cool more thoroughly before cutting.

homemade caramel recipe

I butter my knife and ‘saw’ through the slab to create my pieces.  This recipe yields 3-5 dozen caramels depending on big you cut them.

valentine caramels

You can wrap them in waxed paper, but it’s much easier to order sized candy wrappers.  I like to add a piece of washi tape to secure the wrapper and make them look more festive.  And ta-da… you can call yourself an official candy maker.  You might become one after all your friends start clamoring for more of your mouth watering caramels!

Like finding sweet ways to celebrate special holidays?  We love finding & sharing fun treats. Don’t miss out on our future finds… simply sign up to receive these blog posts in your email in box 

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April McCrumb

I'm April McCrumb ~ a creative gal from Michigan that loves to share clever gift ideas, simple recipes, my favorite tunes & all things crafty. Thanks for stopping by my whimsical world. I hope you enjoy your visit.

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