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February 2017

free conversation heart i love you because printable attached to heart shaped balloons for valentines day

Valentine’s Day 2017 with my Sweethearts

One of the things I promised I would do with this blog was keep it real and honest. Of course, part of me would love to pretend like I am perfect (especially in the sea of instagram moms who seem to be professional photographers, bakers, party planners, organizers and models), but I am far from having my life together (as evidenced by this post being finished a week after Valentine’s Day) and I’m slowly becoming ok with that. So here is our Valentine’s Day, the real deal. 😉

I made an adorable breakfast of heart waffles, that Hudson begged for and then decided he didn’t like after all, and heart-shaped cinnamon rolls.

valentine breakfast - heart shaped cinnamon rolls and pink heart shaped waffles

valentine breakfast - heart shaped cinnamon rolls were a hit

The kids were much happier with their McDonald’s Happy Meal lunches.

valentines day lunch - mcdonalds

We made two trips to the Dollar Store to get balloons to tape our I love you hearts to. After waiting in two huge lines I realized I didn’t have my wallet so we had to drive home to grab it, drive back and wait in another line to buy the balloons. (You can check out this post for all the details on our I love you because… hearts tradition.)

free conversation heart i love you because printable attached to heart shaped balloons for valentines day

I set up a cute Valentine themed sensory bin.

valentines day sensory bin

The kids had way more fun playing in the muddy water from the rain.

valentines day fun - water, mud and leaves

I didn’t have time to get the rest of my plans together so we had to have a Valentine’s Day Part 2 the next day (luckily the kids were more than happy to have Valentine’s Day twice)

conversation heart cupcakes

Luc and I made conversation heart cupcakes and although the kids can’t read (and would have been happy regardless of how they looked), the cupcakes were a big hit! Yay! They also came in handy when I had to bribe the kids to take a few photos in the backyard. 😉

be mine conversation heart cupcake

That night, we all sat around the table and I read each of our I love you because hearts out loud. Being together, sharing why we love each other, laughing and smiling was the best part of our Valentine’s celebrations. Even if I discovered Luc only loves me for my milk. 😉

I love you because conversation heart free printable.

And even after realizing the kids like McDonald’s better than themed breakfasts and playing in mud and water better than, well almost anything, I will probably go through all the trouble again next year because I enjoy it, but also because I hope some day my kids look back on these holidays and see how much love and effort I put into trying to make special memories together.

valentine's day dinner with conversation heart cupcakes and conversation heart i love you free printable

Here is the printable I created for our family this year. Feel free to pin it now so you can use these next Valentine’s Day. 🙂

free printable conversation hearts I love you because...

red velvet cupid cupcakes with peppermint cream cheese frosting recipe and link to Bakerella cupid cupcake printable

Red Velvet Cupcakes with Peppermint Cream Cheese Frosting

These are my all-time favorite cupcakes. My best friend shared the recipe with me years ago and I have been making them ever since. I make them every year for Christmas, but we love them so much I decided they should be part of our Valentine baking too. At Christmastime, I sprinkle them with crushed candy cane, but for Valentine’s Day, I used little heart sprinkles and an adorable printable from Bakerella to make them cupid cupcakes. They turned out so cute and now we have an excuse to make these more than once a year. 😉

Red Velvet Cupcakes with Peppermint Cream Cheese Frosting

  • Servings: 18-24 cupcakes
  • Print

Our favorite cupcakes that are perfect for Christmas, Valentine's Day or any time you feel like treating yourself

Copycatable Rating:????? Credit:The Cake Mix Doctor


  • 24 paper liners for cupcake pans
  • 1 package plain German chocolate cake mix
  • 1 package vanilla instant pudding mix
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 bottle (1 ounce) red food coloring *I only use enough to make it red, about 1/4-1/2 the bottle*
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips
  • For White Chocolate Peppermint Cream Cheese Frosting
  • 6 ounces white chocolate, coarsely chopped *I use Ghiradelli chips*
  • 4 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon peppermint extract
  • 2 to 2 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted


  1. Pre-heat oven to 350F. Line 24 cupcakes with paper liners.
  2. Blend cake mix, pudding mix, sour cream, water, oil, food coloring and eggs in large mixing bowl for 30 seconds using an electric mixer on low-speed. Increase mixer speed and beat 2 minutes more, scraping down the sides as needed. Fold in the chocolate chips. Scoop into lined cupcake cups, filling each three-quarters of the way full. Place in oven.
  3. Bake 18 to 20 minutes, until cupcakes spring back when lightly pressed with your finger. Remove from oven and set on wire rack to cool for 5 minutes.
  4. To make frosting, place the white chocolate chips in a small glass bowl in the microwave oven. *Original recipe says to cook on high power for 1 minute, but my chocolate burns if I do this. Instead I cook it at 50% power for 30 seconds then add 15 seconds more if needed* Stir until smooth
  5. Beat cream cheese and butter in large mixing bowl on low-speed until well combined, about 30 seconds. Add melted white chocolate and blend until just combined, about 30 seconds. Add the peppermint extract and 2 cups of confectioners’ sugar and blend on low until the sugar is incorporated, 30 seconds more. Increase the mixer and beat until the frosting is fluffy, about 1 minute more, adding up to 1/2 cup more sugar if needed to make a spreadable consistency.
  6. Place a heaping tablespoon of frosting on each cupcake and swirl to spread using a short metal spatula.
  7. Store the cupcakes in the refrigerator.

free printable shark valentines day cards

Shark Valentine’s Day Cards

Every year I ask Hudson what kind of Valentine cards he wants and then I look on Pinterest for a free printable or I make them myself. This year he asked for shark valentines (sharks are one of his favorite animals). I filled my Amazon cart with a few shark toy options: shark squirters and shark figurines and let Hudson pick what he wanted to gift to his classmates. Hudson ended up picking a fun 12-pack of small shark figurines by Wild Republic. With the figurines in mind, I searched Pinterest for a free shark printable, and while I did find a few cute ones, none of them were exactly what I had envisioned, so I made some myself.

free printable shark valentines day cards supplies

I purchased the graphics from Prettygrafik Design, I bought some Wilton pops favor bags (any similar sized plastic bags wil work), blue paper shred and blue m&m’s. We experimented with the shredded paper, m&ms and combining both before deciding that we liked how the tissue paper looked best.

free printable shark valentines day cards

Hudson helped put everything into each bag, I folded the bag once, placed the card on and Hudson helped me staple each card to the bag. Hudson and I both loved how they turned out and Hudson can’t wait to give these to all of his friends for Valentine’s Day.

free printable shark valentines day cards


If you would like to make these, you can grab the free printable here.

free printable shark valentines day cards

(Btw, how cute would these be with shark gummies in the bag for a candy version?)

free printable shark valentines

If you love this printable, please share on Pinterest and don’t forget to follow me on instagram and tag thecreativecopycat if you use any of our printables . Thanks! 🙂

valentine craft ideas - keepsake handprint crafts and fun crafts for kids

Valentine’s Day Crafts

I kind of have an obsession with hand print (and footprint) art. There is just something so special about capturing those tiny little hands and feet that has me hooked. Throughout Hudson’s first year, I was constantly making prints of his hands. I had plans to turn each hand print into a cute animal or holiday themed pinterest project, but sadly, didn’t finish most of them. Once Luc came along, the hand print captures became even more infrequent (those two kicked my butt the first two years!). One thing I did, that I will suggest is to at least capture the prints occasionally in those first few years because you can always go back and finish a project, but you can’t go back and capture those tiny hands and feet again. I’ve actually had “finish Valentine’s Day artwork” on my to-do list for over a year now, so thank you to this blog for pushing me to finally finish them. 🙂

On Hudson’s first Valentine’s Day, we did a family hand print. We put heart stickers on our hands to make the prints extra festive. I love seeing how small his hand looks next to ours.

valentine craft idea-put heart stickers on hands before stamping onto paper

I totally dropped the ball the next year (I’m going to have to blame the first trimester of pregnancy for that one) and apparently didn’t do any Valentine themed art projects. I was creating a baby though, so I’ll cut myself some slack. 😉

In 2015, I used a printable I found on Pinterest to make an adorable Valentine decoration capturing Luc’s baby feet. Click here to check out the original post and grab your own free printable.

love footprints with cute poem and link to free printable

That same year, I used another fun Pinterest idea to make a cute heart hand print keepsake of Hudson’s hand prints. Check out the original post here.

handprint art in the shape of a heart with a cute poem

In addition to the hand print crafts, which are obviously more for me, we also enjoy doing regular crafts together. Last year, the boys made a stained glass heart with our Mom’s Club group that was a lot of fun for the kids. You can check out all the details in this post.

stained glass heart craft

stained glass heart craft for valentines day

This year, I threw this craft together to give the kids something to do while we were locked up in the house with hand, foot mouth. You can check out the original post here. I am terrible at drawing (yes, even things as simple as hearts) and I hate my writing, so I quickly made a printable to use instead. You can grab one for free here. 🙂 The kids really enjoyed this one – I cut the squares for Luc and he glued them on, while Hudson did all the cutting and gluing for his himself.

i heart you to pieces valentine craft with free printable




I Love You Heart Printable

One of my favorite traditions that we started two years ago are I love you because… hearts. The first year I found a printable on-line, printed them out and wrote a bunch of reasons why I love my hubby on them. Then I taped them to heart-shaped balloons from the dollar store and displayed them on Valentine’s Day. Last year, I couldn’t find the printable I had previously used, so I made my own. Instead of the love notes just being from me though, I got the kids involved. Hudson told me that he loves his dada because he plays with him. Luc wasn’t really talking much, but I knew how much he loved kissing Nic through our stair rails before bed so I put that on the one from him. Hudson loved helping me pick out the balloons from the store and taping our hearts to them and I just love having these hearts to look back on every year, especially since the kids have more and more to say as they get older and they say such cute (or sometimes funny) things. This year, instead of just writing why we love daddy, we are each going to write one for each member of the family. 🙂

free printable valentines day I love you because hearts attached to dollar store balloons

If you would like to start this fun Valentine tradition with your family, you can click here to get your own I Love You Hearts printable.

free printable valentines day I love you because hearts attached to dollar store balloons

Also, here are a few other ideas for you using these hearts: you could tape a new heart on your child’s door each night so by Valentine’s Day their door is covered with reasons why you love them, or you could stick them in your kid’s lunchbox, or leave one on the mirror for your hubby or string them up and make a banner. The possibilities are endless. However you choose to use these, they are just a fun and easy way to spread a little love.

free printable valentines day I love you because... hearts. Spread a little love by attaching them to dollar store balloons, hanging them on kid's doors, putting them in a lunchbox, etc.