Gotta Love Love

 

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy. It does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.”

1 Corinthians 13:4-8

Valentine’s Day is one of my favorite holidays and it is just around the corner! It’s perfect…not only do I get to create fun valentines, but I get to bake yummy treats to go with them! In this post you will find some fun little valentine printables along with our favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe. I hope you can find time to treat your family or yourself to some of them!

 

Here are two of my favorite couples…
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My oldest got engaged over the holidays. We are soooo excited! These two have quite the love story. Stay tuned for wedding updates! Gotta love LOVE.

 

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This young girl has stolen the heart of my baby. She is quiet, sweet and a good match for his fiery personality. It is fun to watch how they interact with each other as they dive into the dating phase of their lives. Now on to the freebies!

 

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Valentines

Here are the fun little valentines that I created. One set features a coffee lovers theme, while the other is quirky little animals. There are eight different designs in each set. They come in two different sizes (each)…3 x 3 or 5 x 5. The 3 x 3 sets have four on a page and the 5 x 5 sets come with two on a page. Feel free to download as many or as few as you desire. I hope you find someone who will love them! Please post pics and tag me so I can see how you used them.

 

 

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Here are the links to the valentines.

 

I also made a valentine bag topper that fits perfectly over a standard zip top sandwich or snack bag. I used a snack sized bag in the picture below.

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The topper is printed identically on both sides. I had red and white gumballs on hand, but multi colored gumballs work well also. If you follow me on Instagram you may have noticed a similar topper from last year. This is the new improved version! I made last year’s in a BIG hurry one afternoon. Here is the link to the bag topper.

Something sweet

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Chocolate chip cookies seem to be the way to my boys hearts! This is their favorite recipe:

 

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients:

  1. 3/4 cup butter, room temperature (1 1/2 sticks)
  2. 3/4 cup brown sugar
  3. 1/4 cup white granulated sugar
  4. 1 large egg
  5. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  6. 2 cups all purpose flour
  7. one 3.4 ounce Jell-O Instant Vanilla Pudding Mix (NOT sugar free or cook and serve)
  8. 1 teaspoon baking soda
  9. 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  10. 1 bag (12 ounce) semi-sweet chocolate chips

Directions:

  • Cream the butter, sugars, egg and vanilla in the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment until light and fluffy.
  • Scrape down the sides of the bowl and then mix again.
  • In a separate bowl, combine the flour, pudding mix, baking soda and kosher salt. Mix well.
  • Slowly add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients. Scrape down the bowl and mix again. Don’t over mix the dough.
  • Add the chocolate chips and just mix until distributed.
  • Using a cookie scoop, place the dough balls onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment. I usually get about 26-27 cookies per batch.
  • For soft, chewy cookies refrigerate for 2 hours to overnight. For crispier cookies, cook immediately at 350 degrees F for 6-8 minutes.  For the soft, chewy version, cook the same way after refrigerating.
  • Let cool on the cookie sheet. The softer version will be too soft to transfer to a rack.

I hope you enjoy all the goodies that I  posted today. I sure enjoy cooking for those boys…MEN (ugh) in my life! When did they grow up?! Oh well, gotta love ’em! They are the reason why I do what I do. XOXO

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Moving….

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Well, we all have that one friend that we grew up with. I’m not talking about a childhood friend. No, this is the friend that you grow up with as adults. We raised kids together, cried together, fought and made up together, got crazy together (more times than not), learned how to be responsible adults together. You know what I mean. That ONE friend… Well, mine is MOVING away. Granted, she is only moving an hour and a half away, but that seems like 500 miles when you are used to walking over to her house at any time of the day or night.

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Our babies grew up together.

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They are like brothers and sisters. We watched them go off to school together. Graduate from high school together…We traveled with them. Celebrated special times together.

IMG_0295Watched our kids get their hearts broken. We were always there for each other, good times and bad. We celebrated holidays together. Halloween seemed to be our favorite.

We helped at a golf tournament in honor of our good friend who passed away from colon cancer. We had the privilege of praying with, and for that friend during her suffering.

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Even when I am upset with her and want to ring her neck (usually because she is too worried about everyone else and not herself)I can’t help but smile form ear to ear when she walks in the room. We have celebrated 17 years of birthdays together.

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We spent summers at the lake together. We have done LIFE together. Even our hubby’s like each other! You KNOW how hard the “spouse” situation can be. We are like one big family. Our kids fought like cats and dogs as they grew up. Especially Tristan and Kayla, the two oldest of each family. They both wanted to be “top dog.” UGH.

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We were there when Kayla married her prince charming. What a blessing he has been to the family. It was a joy seeing Kayla grow to become such an amazing young woman.

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What a treat to be a part of Kayla’s big day.

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And now Kayla and Lance have done the unthinkable…they had a baby. A beautiful grand baby for my best friend. She is PRECIOUS! I can’t imagine being an hour and half away from a grand child.

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This would be the reason my Tammie is moving. Although my heart is breaking it also is overflowing with joy for my friend. I look forward to the day that I get to experience not just the joy of a grandchild, but the joy of being a mother-in-law. I hope and pray that I can be a blessing, not a curse, to my future daughters-in-law.

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I am so excited for this next stage in life for my sweet friend. I only (for selfish reasons) wish it could be closer to me. Tammie, I love you with all my heart. I plan on wearing out the turnpike between us. Please know how much joy you have brought to my life and how big the hole will be after that moving van pulls out of town tomorrow. Hugs and kisses!

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Ecclesiastes 4:9-10

9 Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor. 10 If either of them FALLS DOWN, ONE CAN HELP THE OTHER UP. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up.

Thank you for always being there to help me up. I will always be here to do the same for you. =)

 

Valentine’s Day

img_9498-3Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day! What a great opportunity to show someone how much they mean to you and how much you love them.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

I Corinthians 13:4-7

fullsizerender-104Do something special for those you love. Make them a valentine. Send a care package to those who are far away. Make some cookies to share with family and friends.img_9439-2

Even the smallest gesture is appreciated when it is done in love. I am a lucky girl. My sweet hubby is fixing us dinner tomorrow night. I love my family and am blessed to have the opportunity to spend special times with them. Spread a little love to someone tomorrow. You never when a kind word, card, cookie or simple act could be just what they need to make their day.

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

1 Corinthians 13:13

img_9231-2HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY friends!