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8 Valentine’s Day gift ideas to make for your kids

On Monday we had a snow day here in Boston (so much for being grateful for the lack of snow this year!). Among the many things we did to fill our day, I decided to have Eve make Valentine’s Day cards (and by make Valentine’s I mean I painted her hand in red paint to stamp on pieces of paper — thanks, Pinterest!).

While we often think of Valentine’s Day as a time for our kids to make homemade cards and gifts for their parents, it’s also a great opportunity as moms to get creative and make something for our children. I’m over at Build-a-Bear sharing special Valentine’s Day gift ideas that you can make for or with your children to build memories to last a lifetime!

Tired of generic cards that are sure to be tossed the next day? These 8 special Valentine's Day gift ideas that you can make for or with your children are not only way more fun to give and receive, but they are sure to create memories for your child to last a lifetime!

4 unique kids’ subscription services

Whether it’s a handwritten envelope or a box full of surprises, there is something incredibly exciting about receiving something in the mail, especially from a child’s eyes. In this digital era where so many things aret instantaneous, it’s also nice to be able to teach our children that there are things worth waiting for. Bring your child the excitement that comes with receiving something in the mail with one of these four unique subscription services. Whether it’s for a birthday or a holiday, they make a special and educational gift idea that are sure to spark your child’s imagination and love of learning!

These unique subscription services for kids make a special and educational gift idea and are sure to spark your child's imagination and love of learning!Petit Mail

Designed by mom and creative entrepreneur Alison Butler, Petit Mail sparks young children’s imagination and encourages creative play. Each month your child receives a letter in the mail and reads about the adventures of Oliver and Olivia. The letters are designed for young children and are packaged in fun, bright envelopes featuring stamps, embossing & tape. Some months, the letters will also include little extras, like stickers & other goodies. These kits are available in the U.S., Canada, and Internationally.

Ideal age: 3+ (preschooler)

Available Subscriptions: 3, 6, 12

Price: $13.50-$54.00 (U.S. & Canada)

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Kids’ Candor

This bilingual Spanish-English kits encourages dual-language learning for infants through preschoolers. Each kit comes with games and activities, an original music cd, books, toys, and guide cards. Everything is in both English and Spanish. Kids’ Candor kits are available in different themes, such as travel, counting, feelings, and colors.

Ideal age: 0-5

Available Subscriptions: Monthly

Price: $25.00-$45.00

Image courtesy of Kids' Candor

Read the full review of Kids’ Candor

Green Kid Crafts

Green Kid Crafts is an eco-friendly “arts, crafts, and STEM science activities that spark creativity, build confidence, and cultivate respect and love for the environment” (as described on their website). It was founded by a mom and environmental scientist with learning, creativity, and sustainability in mind. Each themed box includes eco-friendly art materials and 5-8 STEAM projects around topics such as space, music, and volcanoes. They give back by donating to environmental charities, a partnership to Boys and Girls Club, and mentoring women entrepreneurs.

Ideal age: 3-8

Available Subscriptions: 1, 3, 6, 12

Price: $19.95-$215.40

By the way, now through February 13 you can enter their giveaway for a chance to win a one-year subscription to Green Kid Crafts, as well as $250 Barbara’s Bakery gift card, $50 Dolphins Organics gift card, and $50 Expect Naturals Boutique Gift Card!

Junior Explorers

Junior Explorers sends you on an adventure each month with characters Kia & Kyle to learn about wildlife and nature to better understand our planet. Each kit includes both tangible items as well as sends them on a virtual adventure to a new ecosystem to learn about the animals that live there. As they explain on their website, “We believe in teaching kids about wildlife and nature so that they will spread their love for our planet and its species to their friends and live mindfully, understanding the challenges facing our environment and the actions they can take to help!” Junior Explorers also donate a portion of its proceeds to conservation projects.

Ideal age: 5-12

Available Subscriptions: 1, 3, 6, 12

Price: $19.00-$185.00

For the month of February, save $10 and receive a free eco-calendar. 

Which kids’ subscription service would you choose?

This post contains affiliate links, which means if you click on a link and make a purchase I may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. 

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10 kinds of grateful

Most mornings as part of my morning routine I journal. At the end of most posts I write down three things I’m grateful for. I feel like no matter what is going on my life or what my mood may be, there is always something to be grateful for.

What are you thankful for this week?

Thank you, Mother Nature, for sparing Boston from that big ole snowstorm that hit the Northeast a few weeks ago. After the infamous, record-breaking Winter of 2015, I really appreciated that you left us with just enough to remind us about the fun parts of snow without wreaking havoc. (Though I hear we’re supposed to get a bit dumped us during the morning commute today.) Also, thank you for the unseasonable warm temperatures for most of this week. It was nice to have a little bit of spring in the usual bleakness of February.

Baby playing in the snow in a pink snowsuit and eating snow
From winter 2015

Thank you, Adriene, for motivating me to do yoga everyday in the morning. I just completed day 19 of her 30-day yoga challenge after starting up a new morning routine at the end of last year. Every morning I feel just a tiny bit calmer!

Thank you, coop, for magically having one spot left for Eve last year. We’re having such a blast being a part of it. It’s fun to get to see her among her peers and learn to assert herself more and to hear her talk about what she did at “school” that day. (I’m also grateful for those two mornings a week I have to do work.)

Thank you, City of Somerville, for having such a fantastic array of coffee shops in which I can do work. I find the buzz of energy of students studying, moms meeting up with friends, and fellow entrepreneurs doing work to be invigorating and motivating.

2016 Edited Year Business Goals

Thank you, parents and in-laws, for being such amazing, wonderful, loving grandparents. Eve is so in love with each and every one of you! Special shout-out to my mother-in-law, Irina, for helping to watch Eve during some weekdays so I can really plow through my work.

Thank you, Eve, for being you. Being a parent is a ton of work and exhausting at times, but most days you make it so much fun. Hearing you talk, watching you play, and seeing your sense of humor emerge is the most magical thing I have ever experienced.

Thank you, friends, for being you. I cherish our time together and that we all make a point of hanging out, even though expanding families sometimes makes the logistics of that more challenging.

Thank you, readers, for your amazing feedback on the new book cover for The Busy Mom’s Guide to Creativity. I will be revealing the new one soon!

Thank you, Sam, for surprising me with a Cadbury Cream egg (my favorite!) the other morning and for bringing me an ice cream sandwich that night when I was cranky about our dinner turning out poorly the other night.

Thank you, work space, for keeping me motivated. I can’t tell you how much happier I am to spend my many hours each day here! (Though it’s a good thing it’s Friday and my clean-up day, because it’s starting to get a bit

What are you thankful for this week?

This week I’m linking up with my friend, Dean, at Mrs. AOK, for her weekly Thank You Notes, and Finish the Sentence Friday. This week is hosted by Kristi of Finding Ninnee and Lizzi of Considerings. The theme for this week is “I’m thankful for…”

{Recipe} Lentil & rice salad bowl with poached eggs

I don’t know where I’ve been living (under a rock, apparently!) but in the past year I have become mildly obsessed with lentils in my cooking. They’re hearty, are full of fiber, and packed with protein. Even though we’re not vegetarians in my house, we don’t eat a ton of meat and I probably cook with meat about once every two weeks, so we end up eating a fair amount of legumes instead. They also have the added benefit of being way cheaper than meat!

Recently I started adding lentils to salad bowls. I’m not generally a fan of tossed salads for a meal because I’m basically hungry about a half hour after I finish eating, which means I end up snacking on junk. (Kind of defeats the purpose of eating a salad in the first place!) However, adding in lentils and other sources of proteins make them much more filling, plus I find the different flavors to be much more satisfying.

Want a salad that satisfies both your palette and your stomach? These rice and lentil salad bowls with tahini dressing and poached eggs are healthy while also being hearty and delicious!

What’s great about this recipe is you can make a bunch of rice and lentils at once and add them to your salad bowl, or even use them in soups or as sides for other dishes.

For this salad bowl, you will need:

  • 1/2 cup cooked rice
  • 1/2 cup cooked green lentils
  • salad greens
  • any other salad mix-ins
  • 1-2 eggs
  • 3 Tbsp tahini
  • 2 Tbsp canola oil
  • 4 tsp lemon juice
  • salt & pepper for tasting

Mix together the salad items with the rice and lentils.

In a separate bowl, mix together the tahini, oil, and lemon juice to make the salad dressing. Add in salt and paper to taste. (Alternatively, I highly recommend Trader Joe’s goddess dressing. So delicious!)

Want a salad that satisfies both your palette and your stomach? These vegetarian rice and lentil salad bowls with tahini dressing and poached eggs are healthy while also being hearty and delicious!

Meanwhile, poach your eggs. If the idea of poaching an egg intimidates you, silocone egg poachers make it incredibly easy to poach eggs. Heat a pan with about 1/2 inch of water until boiling. Gently rub the silicone cup with a tiny bit of olive oil, crack an egg into it (one per cup), place it in the pan and cover. It takes a few minutes to cook, just check periodically to make sure you don’t overcook.

Want a salad that satisfies both your palette and your stomach? These vegetarian rice and lentil salad bowls with tahini dressing and poached eggs are healthy while also being hearty and delicious!

Once the eggs are cooked, gently place them on top of the salad and sprinkle with fresh cracked pepper and salt, and enjoy! The warm egg and yolk adds a nice touch to the salad.

Want a salad that satisfies both your palette and your stomach? These vegetarian rice and lentil salad bowls with tahini dressing and poached eggs are healthy while also being hearty and delicious!

What do you like to eat in your salad?

Want a salad that satisfies both your palette and your stomach? These vegetarian rice and lentil salad bowls with tahini dressing and poached eggs are healthy while also being hearty and delicious!

If you liked this post, you might also want to check out:

This hearty and delicious one pot lentil stew is incredibly easy to make and makes the perfect go-to dinner recipe. It’s also a great option when you are looking for some food that is gluten free and vegetarian!

Don’t forget, I have a giveaway for a one month subscription to Kids’ Candor going on now and ending on Tuesday, February 1 at 8:00 pm EST! 

This post contains affiliate links, which means if you click on the link and make a purchase I earn a small commission at no extra cost to you.

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