Tuesday, February 11, 2014


I really love Valentine’s Day. Beside the fact that I can’t get enough of the heart symbol (favorite), in bright, splashy red, smattered across everything, there are also mountains of chocolate everywhere. How can you go wrong? I have great fun celebrating the love of family and friends, in fun, silly, delicious, and homemade ways.  I also appreciate the freedom of Valentine’s Day to be as big or little event as you would like to make it (unlike other occasions that are often filled with many obligations). 

I pulled out the paints, glue, scraps of paper, etc. and started to play on the canvas. A few funky pieces of Valentine art emerged...

SIMPLY CREATIVE: Valentine Making Party!

I decided it would be great fun to invite some friends over to make Valentines. I gathered all of my supplies, set up a few tables where moms and elementary age kids could sit and be crafty together. Glue, paint, stamps, printed papers, glitter, pens, scissors, ribbons, etc. were available for making cards. In addition, there were rocks, canvas, burlap boards, and wooden picture frames that could be decorated as well. It was a fun time of creating, while we happily munched on coffee cake, fruit, and tea. There are a few days left; invite a few friends over and make some valentines together!

Proud artists!

Kids homemade cards drying on the stairs

RECIPE: Sour Cream Coffee Cake

My mother has made this recipe for as long as I remember. It is typically made in a bundt pan and the batter is layered with cinnamon sugar and walnuts. For Valentines Day, I wanted to make it in my heart shaped mold. Molded pans are very easy to use if you brush every crevice with crisco and then coat with Wondra flour. This method works well in a bundt pan, as well. My photo shows this cake as I made it in the heart pan, but the recipe below is for a bundt (baking times may vary for other pans). This cake is a great addition to a brunch, afternoon tea, or a shower. 


1 cup butter
1 1/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 cup sour cream
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups sifted flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda

Mix separately:
4 TBS sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 cup walnuts or pecans

Mix on high, butter and sugar. Reduce speed to medium, and add eggs one at a time. Add sour cream and vanilla, beat well. Gradually add dry ingredients. 
Add 1/2 batter to greased/floured bundt pan. Sprinkle 1/2 of separate cinnamon/sugar/nut mixture over batter. Add the rest of the batter, spread evenly. Sprinkle with remaining mixture. 
Bake at 350 in preheated oven for 45 minutes. Cool for several minutes before releasing cake from pan. Cool, then sprinkle with powdered sugar. Cool completely before cutting. 


Some beautiful words on LOVE from I Corinthians 13:
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.