Summer Plans

Got a nice surprise in the mail today …


Oh yes. Yes we are.

In July.

For two days.

(We’re thinking Epcot and Hollywood Studios)

Or are we?

We may, or may not, be doing something else the rest of that week in July.

Friday Fun

Friday Craft: New Valentine Ideas from Family Fun

I noticed that quite a few people have been visiting my Homemade Valentine Gifts’ page. You can also find many more interesting and fun Valentine gift ideas at Family Fun, too.

I noticed the Family Fun site added some new items … here are my favorites:

Brush up on Love

Start the day with an early morning valentine — and reward good hygiene with the kind of sweetness even a dentist could love.


* Card stock
* Paper hearts or stickers
* Tape


1. Jot your message on a strip of card stock, embellish it with glued-on paper hearts or stickers.
2. Wrap the strip just below the toothbrush’s head.
3. We attached the strip by cutting a pair of corresponding slits, but tape works, too.


Frosty Greeting

Celebrate a warm friendship this Valentine’s Day with these clever ice-pop minis made from drinking straws and uncooked pasta.


* drinking straws
* uncooked pasta
* card stock
* glue
* heart cutouts
* stickers
* decorative scissors


1. Cut short lengths from the straws and attach them in pairs to a piece of card stock (we used Crafter’s Pick The Ultimate glue).
2. Adhere small segments of spaghetti for the sticks, then add the message and some heart cutouts or stickers.
3. Use decorative scissors to give the card a pretty edge, and glue it to a folded sheet of card stock.


LOVE this one!

Love Boat

Put romance into writing with this Valentine’s mailbox made from a half-gallon carton.


* Half-gallon carton
* Tape
* Cereal box
* Glue stick
* Paper


1. Start with a clean carton. Cut off the plastic spout or tape the cardboard spout shut.
2. For the bow, cut a 3¾- by 10-inch strip from a cereal box, fold it in half, and tape it in place as shown.
3. Use tape and a glue stick to cover the carton with paper. (For a smooth look, we taped paper over the top and bottom of the ship before covering the sides.) Cut a mail slot in the ship’s top.
4. Use a glue stick to add circles, hearts, and stripes to the sides.
5. For smokestacks, roll three 2½- by 5-inch pieces of black paper into cylinders and apply glue to the overlap. Add thin paper stripes. Glue the stacks to the deck.

We created the ship’s paper waves by using a large, round paper punch to cut half circles from strips of card stock.

Whoopie Pies

No one is certain who invented the whoopie pie; folks in both Pennsylvania Amish country and Maine have claimed it. As for the name, one theory is that it comes from children saying “whoopie!” upon finding the moist, chocolaty sweets in their lunch pails. Your kids can experience the same glee after baking their own — and with pink-tinted filling, the pies will elicit cries of joy on Valentine’s Day.


* 2 cups flour
* ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
* 1 teaspoon baking soda
* ½ teaspoon salt
* 1 cup buttermilk
* 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
* ½ cup softened butter
* 1 cup sugar
* 1 egg

* ½ cup softened butter
* 1½ cups confectioners’ sugar
* 1 cup marshmallow crème
* 1 teaspoon vanilla
* Red food coloring (optional)

You can find the instructions, along with step-by-step pictures, here.