Valentine Cupcake Decor

Being on a budget, when it comes time to decorate for a holiday or change up our everyday home decor, I often find myself using things that I already have in new ways.
This year for Valentine’s Day I created this cute display for the kitchen counter.

The display includes 2 Valentine’s Day mugs and 2 wine glass, both filled with pink and green Christmas balls.  And in the center I have my Valentine cupcake plate that my husband got me at Hobby Lobby a couple of years ago.  In front of that I have three cupcake ornaments that I got this Christmas.  And in the very front, I just used some Valentine’s Day napkins to add a border and some extra color to the display.

Got any cheap decor ideas for Valentine’s Day? 

Do you like to use old things in new ways for your decor? 

I’m linking this post up to these linky parties.


Spotlight on Nicole’s Homemade Treats

My newest sponsor will definitely leave you licking your lips! So “Go Ahead and Indulge!”

Nicole’s Homemade Treats is a fabulous etsy shop offering yummy, delectable, sweet treats! 
Nicole is a stay at home mom of two boys and a military spouse. She uses candy-making as a stress reliever and creative outlet! She also enjoys baking, cooking, golf, playing with her kids, reading, socializing & working out. “Candy making, it is a great stress reliever and creative outlet for me! Selling my products locally and online is a fun and rewarding endeavor! I have spent many hours trying to get my treats ‘just right!’ It is safe to say that some of my first attempts were very interesting!”
Nicole’s Homemade Treats is an LLC operating out of New York State. All the products are prepared in a fully licensed kitchen. NYS Dept. of Agriculture #31AAAA

The treats are prepared in small batches, to preserve the taste and quality of the product, and to ensure that there is no waste. It takes about 5-7 days to produce your order. But Nicole PROMISES – they will be worth the wait!

And if you’re interested in only the highest quality sweets (and who isn’t?), you’ll be very impressed with Nicole’s menu of products: “I make only all natural, preservative free products, and use as many organic ingredients as possible. My products may not have the shelf life of store bought products, no worries! They won’t last very long!”

Nicole’s Homemade Treats is also a very environmentally conscious company:  “The packaging products I use are considered ‘green’ because they are made using recycled products, or come from ecologically conscious companies. I am really conscious about who I purchase my products from – the majority come from local companies, farms, and shops, however if that is not possible I buy from companies that are known to be eco-friendly/green themselves.”

“I hope you enjoy eating my treats as much as I like making them!”

Be sure to check out Nicole’s Homemade Treats for all your Valentine’s Day (and everyday) goodies!  You can also connect with Nicole at her blog and on twitter @Nikid70.

Go ahead and indulge!


Disclosure:  Nicole’s Homemade Treats is a paid sponsor.  If you’d like to advertise on Simply Sweet Home, please see my PR Page. Rates start as low as $5.

Lovely Valentine Gifts from Dayspring. Save 20% This Week.

DaySpring is the latest company I’ve become affiliated with. They are a Christian Company that sells an array of lovely gifts.

It’s a great place to shop for cards and stationary, as well as Christian art, Home Decor, Music, Jewelry, Books, Coffee Cups, Picture Frames, and More!

Today I’m featuring just a couple of items that you might be interested in for Valentine’s Day. And I’m happy to say that this week through February 14, all Simply Sweet Home readers will get 20% off your entire DaySpring purchase. To take advantage of this offer, just enter the coupon code VALNTN20 at check out!

Take Hope to Heart

Christian Love Charm Necklace

Be Still and Know – Sweet Bird – Christian Coffee Mug

By Grace Alone Necklace

Creative Decor and Jewelry by Show Offs Art

Christian Inspirational Jewelry – Necklaces, Bangles & Pendants

For these gifts and more, visit DaySpring. And don’t forget to use the coupon code VALNTN20 at check out to recieve 20% off.


Crafts Made With Love

I realized it’s been a while since I rounded up some craft ideas to share, so I went over to BHG to take a look around. As usual I was very excited about what I found. Here are just a few Valentine Crafts that will brighten up your home and help you say I love you.
Here’s a cute and very simple idea. Have your children write the reasons they love someone, and put them all together with a cute tag to make this I Love You Jar.

Everyone gets chocolate at Valentine’s Day, but how about giving some Candy Bars with a twist? This craft combines your regular everday candy bar with paper crafting fun!

This work of art is made with chipboard. I love all the colors and patterns that have been brought together here. Just imagine making your own for Valentine’s Day or doing a similar project to coordinate with your home decor.

If you’re tired of giving flowers that just die a few days later, try this flower craft made with buttons and wire.

As someone who loves pictures, I’d love to try this Heart Picture Frame idea. All it takes is a little paint, some wooden hearts, and a little wire. Very cute! And just imagine all the other embellishments that you could use for projects like this!

Here’s something for all of our scrapbooking friends. This Scrapbook Wall Art measures 4 feet by 4 feet. I’ve heard of using your scrapbooking materials to create personalized wall art, but I’ve never seen it done quite like this. Very impressive!


WAHW: Hot Chocolate Gift Sets

My mom gave me this chocolate set a little while back. She won it at a charity event. Isn’t it cute? I love going through store aisles and seeing all the gift sets available at Christmas and Valentine’s, but when you stop and think about it, they sell a lot of these not because it’s a great value for the money but because it’s convenient.

But if we all just took a little time, we could make our own gift sets and make something that’s a lot more personal, and we could save money along the way. So I decided I would use the items out of this gift set and put together a couple of tutorials so that you guys can make your gift sets for Valentine’s Day or even for next Christmas (if you’re thinking that far ahead).

Gift Option One: Option one would make a great couples gift. Or give it to that special friend who just adores chocolate.

What You Need:

1 or 2 coffee cups (You can usually find something cute at the dollar store.)
bottles or jars (Buy new at wal-mart. Or rinse out and reuse a sauce jar.)
hot chocolate packets
sugar or sprinkles (optional)
labels (make these with scrapbook supplies or create them using your photo/print shop programs)
1 basket
tissue or paper shreds to line the basket
funnel (if using bottles)

Instructions: Empty a few hot chocolate packets into a jar or bottle. (I like Swiss Miss.) If you desire, do the same with marshmallows and/or granulated sugar (or sprinkles–pink or red would be really cute for Valentine’s!)

Use scrapbook supplies or your photoshop software to create your own custom labels. Print these out on sticker paper for easy application. If you don’t have sticker paper, use regular paper and attach with glue or mod podge. If you desire you can also make a tag with heating instructions (get these off your hot chocolate packets.)

Line a gift basket with tissue paper, paper shreds, Valentine “grass,” or other material. Arrange your jars/bottles and mugs in the basket as desired. For a little extra pizazz, decorate the basket with bow, or wrap with cellophane and bow.

Here’s the example I made: This one just contains the two coffee cups and one bottle of hot chocolate mix. And I really do like the bottle because it seems very romantic…sorta reminds me of wine or champagne set. But I know the jars would be just as cute!

Gift Option 2: If you want an even less expensive and quick gift. Or if you’re looking for something that you can make in bulk for coworkers, teachers, or church friends, try this option. (Sorry, I have no pics for this.)

What You Need:

1 Coffee Cup

2 or 3 packs hot chocolate mix

Clear plastic treat bags


Tags (design these with photoshop)

cellophane (optional)

Instructions: Empty your hot chocolate mix into a treat bag, and tie the bag up with ribbon. Place the baggie inside your coffee cup. Then create a tag with heating instructions for the hot chocolate. Print out your tag. Punch a hole in the corner of the tag, and use a ribbon to tie it to your cup handle or attach it to the baggie. (You could also wrap up the cup with cellophane. Tie it with a ribbon, and attach your tag to the outside.)

Above is another basket. It’s a little bigger than the first one. And of course, you could always add some candies to the basket or anything else you deem appropriate (perhaps a book), if you need something to make the basket seem more full.

If you like gift baskets, be sure to come back next week, as I’ll be sharing several that I’ve made.



I’m posting a link to this post for next week’s editions of:

It’s So Very Creative hosted by
It’s So Very Cheri

Make it for Monday hosted by
Cottage Instincts

Made it Mondays hosted by
The Persimmon Perch

Making the World Cuter Monday hosted by
Making the World Cuter

Make Your Monday hosted by
Twice Remembered

Metamorphosis Monday hosted by
Between Naps on the Porch

DIY Day at
A Soft Place to Land

WFMW at We Are That Family

Valentine Party hosted by Hoosier Homemade

WAHW: Quick Valentine Decor

Today I’m sharing a few Valentine decor items. This is nothing too elaborate…just some things I had on hand that I could put out. I find that after the Christmas decor is put away, everything looks so bare. In the future when we’re not on such I tight budget I’d love to buy some things to really make it festive. Till then, these items add a lot color and festiveness to the room. Perhaps you have similar items in your that you could use in this way too.

By the way, in the next couple of weeks, I plan on sharing some Valentine Gift Baskets that I’ve put together, so be sure to come back for that. I’m also planning to feature some Valentine craft ideas in a few weeks, so if anyone has a craft they’d like to have featured here, just send me your link in an email. Thanks!

Last year I helped my mom with the annual chocolate festival, and we had this cute heart garland that we didn’t use. So I weaved it over the tops of the cabinets. (There was such a void to fill after the Christmas garland and balls went down.)

Next I took some of the pink & purple Christmas balls and placed them inside of some glassware:

And can anyone think of any better (or simple) Valentine decor than a candy dish or jar? (Disclaimer: Candy tends to disappear after a few days…it may be necessary to buy extra “decor.”)

My hubby bought me these cute little lovebird salt shakers last year. Most of the time, they are in China cabinet, but I put them out just for Valentine’s Day.

Hubby also bought this cute cupcake plate last year at Hobby Lobby. (Isn’t he the sweetest?)

And here’s my snowman of the month for February. I guess if I thought about it, I have all kinds of figurines like this in my cabinet that are Valentine or Heart themed items. Maybe you do too. (And if not, you can get all kinds of things similar to this at the dollar store.) I find that little things like this can add a lot.

I love seasonal dish towels. I have a few of these heart towels in and around the kitchen.

And finally, here’s another great example of using what you have. I got these four Valentine glasses. Most people would probably just pour a little coffee or hot chocolate in them. But I prefer to just sit them out and look at them.


Sweetheart Hats from Lulu & Charlie: Feature & Review

Today I’m happy to tell you about a fantastic etsy shop that I found. Lulu & Charlie features blankets, hats, and nursery items for babies and toddlers. Everything is handmade by Jennifer in California, and all of her items are just fantastic! You’re sure to find something here for your little one.

I had the honor of receiving a Sweetheart Hat from Lulu & Charlie to review. Let me start by saying that these are just plain adorable! The hats are crocheted and have earflaps and braids. They are made with 100% acrylic yarn, and there are two color combinations to choose from.

The hat I recieved is pink, red, and white. When I took it out of the package, I immediately fell in love! The colors are so warm and bright, and they go very well together. The hat was obviously created by an expert crafter. It was brilliantly designed and carefully crafted together with quality in mind. And the material is very soft and sure to be comfortable to your child.

The look of the hat is very cute and sweet. Actually if the hat was simply pink without any embellishments at all it would still be adorable, but the red heart crocheted on the front just seals the deal, making it cute as a button. And the white border around the edges, and cute little red, white, and pink braids are proof of the quality and attention to detail work that goes into the products at Lulu & Charlie.

Jennifer also has this hat available in silver blue, white, and espresso brown. This one was designed with your little boy sweetheart in mind (but I know the little girls would love it too).

There are several sizes available ranging from 0-3 months (14″ around) up to 2-4 years (19-20″ around). The hat size I chose was the 2 to 4 years size because I have a niece or cousin that falls into that age range, and if all else failed, I could save it for our baby. Now, this will probably make you laugh, but oddly enough when I got the hat I thought to myself, “I think I can wear this!” So I tried it on, and it actually fit me. So if you have a child older than 4 years old, they may still be able to wear one of these hats. Just measure around their heads before ordering.

Obviously I loved this hat and would absolutely recommend it to all you mothers out there. It would be a perfect Valentine gift for your little Sweetheart, keeping him or her cute and warm all winter long!


Celebrate Valentine’s Day with See’s Candies

Still shopping for Valentine’s Day gifts? Consider buying a delicious box of chocolates from See’s Famous Old-Time Candies for that special someone.

I recently tried an assortment of milk chocolates from See’s Candies, and I was very impressed.

See’s Candies was founded in 1921 and is wildly popular in the West. The company is known for its friendly, old-fashioned service and its tradition of using only the finest ingredients to make their delicious chocolates.

Being a Southern girl, I had never had the opportunity to try See’s Candies until recently. When my package arrived in the mail I was thrilled, and I was even more excited when I looked at the contents.
As you know, when you open a box of chocolates you never know what you are going to find. I carefully chose my first piece and was very pleased. It was a Milk Chocolate Butter, a milk chocolate coated confection filled with a sweet, smooth chocolate buttercream. I could have eaten an entire box of these!

Next I tried a Milk Pattie, which was filled with yummy vanilla caramel. (The caramel ones are always my favorite!) And I was more than pleasantly surprised to find another caramel treat, a Milk Butterchew, filled with vanilla, brown sugar caramel. I can’t even describe how good these were! From here, I went on to try the Milk Peanut (yum!), and a Milk Molasses chip.
Then, in order to prevent myself from eating the entire box, I had to offer some to my husband. Hubby heard me rave about this array of yummy sweets, and I suspect he was a little skeptical, thinking they can’t be THAT good. Judging by his reaction, I think his skepticism instantly disappeared. “MMM!” he said biting into his candy. “That IS good. And I don’t usually eat chocolates. Wow!”
I absolutely concur with his quick assessment. And I must confess, while I eat my fair share of cookies and cakes, I don’t usually eat a lot of candy. Most of the time if someone gives me a box of candy, I pick through it and find about two or three pieces that I like and the rest is given away to a friend or thrown away.


This was definitely an exceptional box of candy! For the first time I was actually eager to try each and every piece. After trying just a piece or two, I was convinced that each treat would be delicious, including flavors that don’t generally appeal to me, or to put it another away, flavors that I didn’t even know I liked. The candies were perfectly fresh, sweet, and smoothly textured. They weren’t overly rich and heavy like so many other chocolates I’ve tried. And the taste was simply unbeatable!


What makes this company even better in my book is that you can go to their website and purchase your own custom mix. You can choose up to ten of your favorites from their list of 102 candies to be included in your custom mix and even adjust the proportions. This is a great option whether you are buying for yourself or a friend.
In the future when I choose to order chocolates I’ll definitely shop See’s Candies. And I strongly recommend them to everyone.


Recipe of the Week: Chocolate Cookies

Dieters, look away! (Just kidding!) Since Valentine’s Day is this week, I just had to post something sweet and chocolately. Over the weekend I tried out this new recipe for Chocolate Cookies, which definitely fits the bill! Bet you can’t eat just a dozen!

Recipe for Chocolate Cookies:

1/2 cup (1 stick) of butter or margarine, softened
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup cocoa
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup milk

Directions: Beat butter, sugar, egg, and vanilla in large bowl until well blended. Add flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt alternately with milk, beating until well blended. Cover and chill for an hour or until dough is firm. Shape into 1-inch balls and place on ungreased baking sheet. Bake at 375 for 8 to 10 minutes


Please visit the following sites for more great recipes & other ideas:
Tempt My Tummy Tuesday is hosted by Blessed With Grace.
Homemaker Mondays is hosted by
11th Heaven’s Homemade Haven.
Making A Happy Home Monday is hosted by
As For Me and My House….
Kitchen Tip Tuesdays is hosted by Tammy’s Recipes
Make Something Monday is hosted by
Go Graham Go! and Jolly Mom
Tasty Tuesday is hosted by Forever Wherever.
Life as a Mom is hosting a cookie exchange on April 16.


Happy Valentine Crafts

As Valentine’s Day is approaching, I figured it was time to post some crafts for the occasion. I love posting craft ideas, because I know that we have a lot of readers who are moms and like to do projects with their kids, and we also have a lot of teachers and home school moms as well. Plus, it’s just fun!

I’m trying to post these kind of early so that people can use the ideas. And normally I would post on something I have on hand at my house or else use craft projects from around the internet, but this time I have only one source: Oriental Trading

When I got my catalog a few weeks ago I was thrilled at all the post worthy ideas they had. Sometimes I purchase beads and craft kits from their catalog, but I also look at it as a good source for ideas. In most cases, you can look at the photos of their crafts and pretty much tell what materials you need to complete the project, allowing you to skip the step of ordering the kit, and just get the materials from your local craft store (or your own stock).

Here are just a few of the ideas that I liked. Enjoy!

Quilled Heart Valentine Decoration