Sunday, February 19, 2012

Valentines 2012

Why have I gotten so incredibly bad at blogging???
This makes two posts in one evening, simply because I had assumed I had already done this post, but looking back, I 'remembered' doing 3 other posts since the last one I actually wrote!!
Well, Valentines Day has now come and gone, and this year we were intending to keep it fairly low key. If you've read my last post you know that I had Matt's surprise party this weekend, so in order to keep my budget as big as possible for that event, I planned for my Valentine's budget to be as small as possible.
While I wanted my spending to be small, I still wanted to make a big deal about the day. So, I went all-out on my crafty expressions of love that day and made sure Matt knew that he was my Valentine :)
I actually started prep for this roughly a month ago. While purging my scrapbooking materials (let's face it, I'm not a scrapbooker), there was some paper that was too pretty to do nothing with. I started cutting out hearts and made about 15 little valentines for Matt. Closer to the day I started making crepe-paper rose kissing balls. (I told Matt I needed them for my upcoming fundraiser, when really, it was all about him!)

On the actual day of I got up bright and early to make breakfast and pack a lunch for Matt. Oh, and I began to hide the valentines! Wallet, lunch bag, medicine cabinet, breakfast plate, door, work binder and work van... check. He found 4 before he even kissed me good morning as I served him pancakes! I also set an alarm in his phone (an 'I love you' alarm) and turned on the calendar notification for Valentines Day in his phone as well. While he was at work I really started going! I made paper-heart chains, hung streamers, made more kissing balls and hid even more valentines! Gabriel made him a valentine and did a couple fun things himself ('Mommy! My milk is pink!'). As a final touch, I made a gigantic banner that read, "The World's Best Husband Lives HERE" and hung it across our front window!
I made a yummy dessert for Matt (are you surprised?). I was planning on making a full chocolate cake with a blackberry buttercream, but I didn't want that much cake kicking around all week, so instead I decided to use up some chocolate wafers I had in my cupboard. I heated some blackberry jam slightly and strained it, then used it to flavor some whipping cream. I also made a red wine ganache (1/3 c. cream, 1/2 c. chocolate and a double-shot of red wine), and then I layered the chocolate wafers with both the cream and the ganache. After a few hours in the fridge, the wafers softened up into a wonderful cake! And by the way, blackberry whipping cream? FABULOUS!

Matt came home to Indian food (ordered in - I've yet to try making tikka masala) and a load more valentines (glasses case, cup cupboard, shower, pockets, pillow...) We counted 24 valentines at the end of the day (not including virtual ones).
And just when he thought he had found them all, he pulled back the blankets to climb into bed and found 2 dozen paper hearts of all sizes strewn across his side of the bed!
So while it might have seemed a low-key Valentines if you looked at our bank statement, if you looked at the paper explosion in our house, you would have been able to tell otherwise.

Mrs. VanderLeek ;)

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