I have such a love/hate relationship with Valentine’s Day. It’s embarrassing to admit, really, because I’ve been with the man of my dreams for over ten years and happily married to him for five-ish.
There is a part of me that loves to get caught up in all the pink hearts, chocolate and surprise gifting. My first job ever was at Mark’s Hallmark, and I’ll never forget the day-after-Christmas transition where we’d start making room for all of the Valentine’s Day cards. Sappy ones, funny ones, raunchy ones, generic ones. Whenever it was slow I would peruse that card section, reading cards I wish my make-believe boyfriend would give to me. Or my real boyfriend, if I was dating someone at the time. I’ve always been a bit of a hopeless romantic and that was especially true in high school (because hormones and growing up and, all that stuff). I love the idea of Valentine’s Day and how it gives us an opportunity to shower those we love with, well, love.
As I’ve grown older, I have grown to hate how easily it is to get caught up in the material traps of Valentine’s Day. I remember there would always be one or two guys coming in twenty minutes before we closed on the day of, and they would buy the biggest card they could possibly find. I would be sitting by the counter like…
But really. If you know me personally you’ll know that I love surprises if I have no idea they are coming. If there is even the slightest hint of a surprise potentially happening I HAVE. TO. KNOW. IMMEDIATELY. My sisters will tell you stories of how when we were younger, I would pressure them into giving up information about Christmas gifts. My own dear husband knows that if he wants to surprise me he cannot even try to hint at it because I’ll go bonkers. I think that is why I have so much trouble with Valentine’s Day, because somewhere in my mind I have convinced myself that it is a special day for surprising those we love and I have the tendency to build it up in my mind…which isn’t fair to anyone in any way, shape or form.
I have been doing a serious examination of conscience leading up to this year’s Valentine’s Day, primarily because B is now at the age where she understands when there are holidays. I don’t want to pass on my frustrations with the day but rather help her create happy memories. We’ll have to deal with the whole growing up/boy crazy stage eventually but I’d like us to have some fun times while we can.
And so, I have declared that Sunday is going to be a special family day for the four of us. Honestly, Sunday’s are usually family days anyway, but I want to do some small things to make the day special. Maybe I’ll make a special breakfast for Mass, or we’ll go on a family walk. Word on the street is Paige is making her famous lofthouse style cookies for the weekend, so we’ll probably try to steal some of those. :) For dinner we’re going to make homemade pizza, which is a newfound favorite activity. Whatever we end up doing, it will be simple and meaningful, just the way we like it.
Chances are, you have some sort of relationship with Valentine’s Day. Maybe you go all out and treat your significant other like a king/queen. Maybe you’re single and you’re celebrating it by watching rom com’s and drinking champagne. Perhaps you’re going out for friends (apparently “Galentine’s Day” is a thing?). Whatever you are thinking of doing, I say go for it. Treat yo’self and don’t feel guilty. Buy yourself flowers. Eat the chocolate. Watch P.S. I Love You. Yes, Valentine’s Day has been played up to be a pretty materialistic holiday if you think about it but, similar to Christmas, if you focus on the underlying meaning behind what we’re celebrating and why, I think you’ll be able to keep it in check. :)
If you’re looking to make a little treat for your special Valentine, or for yourself, this weekend, I have the perfect recipe. You probably could guess that the favorite candy in our house is Reese’s Peanut Butter cups and a year or so ago, I came across a recipe for homemade PB cups. I decided to try these out the other day and have to share them with you because they are just too good.
A couple of notes: I originally found this recipe from Pure Ella. Her recipes are all clean and if you go back to her original post you’ll see she recommends organic dark chocolate, clean peanut butter and organic coconut oil. While I can see how these would all be great ingredients, I’m a firm believer of creating recipes with ingredients that we use on a regular basis and someone in my house has an affinity for Jiffy peanut butter, so I didn’t feel like spending money on peanut butter that would only be used a couple of times.
While we do love Reese’s I have to say, there is something awesome about eating a treat that you made yourself and know you can list off the ingredients on one hand.
The only bummer about these is that you have to keep them in the freezer, so whenever you want one you have to let it thaw for a few minutes before digging in. I suppose this is much better for portion control…
- 1 cup chocolate chips (choose your type: semi-sweet, dark chocolate, white chocolate)
- ¾ cup peanut butter
- 4 TB coconut oil (divided)
- cupcake liners
- Melt the chocolate and two TB of coconut oil in a saucepan. While the chocolate is melting, line a cupcake pan with the liners (recipe makes 10-12).
- Once the chocolate is melted, pour one spoonful into each liner. There should just be enough to cover the bottom of the liner, not much more than that! Otherwise, you're going to have a huge amount of chocolate to bit into and that isn't as great as it sounds. You should still have chocolate in the saucepan once this step is complete.
- Put the tin in the freezer for 2-3 minutes, so the chocolate will set.
- In the meantime, combine the peanut butter and remaining coconut oil (melted).
- Once the chocolate has set, pull the tin out and spoon the peanut butter mixture into each liner. Make sure that the peanut butter does not reach the edge of the liner! In other words, the peanut butter should be a smaller circle inside of the chocolate base.
- Pour the remaining chocolate over each liner, ensuring that the chocolate covers all the peanut butter (thus 'sealing' the peanut butter in).
- Freeze for 15-30 minutes.
- When you are ready to eat them, pull them out and let them sit at room temperature for 2 minutes. Then, dig in!
- To store, peel off the cupcake liner and store in an airtight container in the freezer until you're ready to eat them.
You can see the original recipe HERE.
How do you feel about St. Valentine’s Day this year? We’d love to hear…leave a comment or shoot us an email! Whatever your plans are, know that we are very grateful for each and every one of you and hope you have a very lovely weekend. <3