Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Project Date Night '16: February

For Valentine's Day, we typically prefer to skip the crowds, stay in and spend some quiet time together in the comfort of our own home. We introverts are like two peas in a pod.

This year, we had the added "blessing" of a gut-healing special diet program on top of my usual food allergies, so eating out wasn't an option for us anyway (as well as chocolate, dessert and candy of any type being off limits).

Have you ever heard of doing a "heart attack" on Valentine's day? Apparently it's similar to a "Ding Dong Ditch" except for Valentine's Day. In a "heart attack" you secretly put heart shapes somewhere near or on the unsuspecting victim's house/car/office/door/etc. I'd never heard of it before, but it sounded like fun.  I "heart attacked" our bedroom door with these heart shaped "I love you because..." tags (they're supposed to be attached to balloons, but I used them in my own way) and also made some paper "conversation hearts" with colored cardstock and a sharpie marker.

So cute! Man, I miss those little candy hearts...

I also pulled out our little helium tank and blew up the rest of my balloon stash. Which wasn't much... I thought I still had a bag of balloons leftover from Ry's birthday, but then I remembered that I used most of them for our Water Balloon Toss last August. All I had left was 7 black balloons... not too festive for Valentine's Day, but I blew them up, tied them with red curling ribbon and used my silver sharpie to draw hearts and love-dovey words on them. Ry LOVED playing with the balloons. Even now, a few days later, he's still batting them around the house.

We opted to skip the gifts this year and just did cards. I found these super cute "man approved" Valentine's cards (free printable!) and just printed out the one I wanted. Check it out for future reference... SO cute. They have Star Wars, Star Trek, Superhero, etc. themed cards. M got a kick out of the Star Trek card I chose. Fun stuff!

For fun, we snuggled up on the couch and played the "Not So Newlywed Game". I decided to ignore the instructions and we used the entire list of question between the two of us instead of just picking 10 as recommended. We just took turns reading the question and then marked on the score sheet if our answers matched. It's harder than I thought it would be! And, it was a great conversation starter. Lots of memories.

We kept it simple with a few munchies.

  • Strawberry Roses (Aren't these adorable?!) And they really weren't hard to do. I just used bamboo skewers as stems, but the result is really eye catching.
  • Sweet Cinnamon Roasted Walnuts (Sweetened with liquid stevia, so sugar free, which is what my diet requires right now. Super yummy and munchy. In a few months when I can have sweeteners again, I'll work on another version for those who aren't familiar with or don't keep stevia on hand.).
P.S. I forgot to take a picture of the walnuts! Sorry! Will post a picture next time I make a batch. :)

Sweet Cinnamon Roasted Walnuts
by Raye
Prep Time: 3 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Ingredients (3 cups)
  • 3 c. walnut pieces
  • 1 Tbsp coconut oil, melted
  • 1-1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • Scant 3/4 tsp fine sea salt
  • 25 drops dark liquid stevia (I like to use vanilla stevia)
  • Preheat oven to 250°F.
  • In a mixing bowl, combine melted coconut oil, cinnamon, salt and stevia. Stir in walnuts; keep stirring until walnuts are completely coated.
  • Spread in a single layer on a parchment lined cookie sheet. Bake for 1 hour. Cool before serving. Store in an airtight container. (I store in the refrigerator.)
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