Instagram Message: Fat Tuesday 2014. Got your Valentine's.

Instagram Message: Fat Tuesday 2014. Got your Valentine's.

Today is Fat Tuesday! My kids really like this holiday and I think it’s because it is the only time they are allowed to say the F word. Saying “fat” in our house is just as bad as dropping an F bomb. Perfectly captured in the photo above is Fat Tuesday 2014 and it makes me smile. We had a big dinner and so much fun that night. Plans for this year’s Fat Tuesday are in the works. I bought a King cake, some jambalaya (I’m cheating - its a mix!) with sausage and shrimp. I was fortunate enough to experience an outstanding Mardi Gras themed dinner last Friday and so I will attempt to spread some of this comforting food to my family.  

I know I am supposed to live in the moment and savor today but I really must jump ahead. One of the most Thoughtful Pinch holidays, Valentine’s Day, is only days away!  So pardon the glorified Pintrest entry but I wanted to share some ideas.  Non-food items can still resemble sweet thoughtfulness without having to add calories or cavities. 

When I was in an Asian grocery store/restaurant called United Noodle, I picked up some soaps for $1 each.  Even though they were rose scented, they smelled sort of masculine and since both of my kids had male teachers, I thought it was still a sweet (rose) non-food item to give as a Valentine’s Day pinch.  Then I found rose petal soaps for the female school faculty at The Dollar Tree. It was an overall sudsy theme for the teachers last year. 

Valentine sticker labels were from Tiny Prints at 50% off. Saved the step of wrapping by putting the labels right on.

Valentine sticker labels were from Tiny Prints at 50% off. Saved the step of wrapping by putting the labels right on.

Again, just used the labels to avoid wrapping.

Again, just used the labels to avoid wrapping.

This year, we are giving socks to everyone.  I found all these socks at The Dollar Tree for the female faculty and since I didn’t spend very much on those, I used the rest of my budget on some fun socks from Up Attire for the male teachers.   

All the feminine socks are from The Dollar Tree and the Toe Up socks are for the male teachers. 

All the feminine socks are from The Dollar Tree and the Toe Up socks are for the male teachers. 

Scored these black take out containers with chalk at Target during the After Christmas sale. Five containers for $2.50.  They had red ties and since we live in MN, it's not a seasonal faux pas to have a snow flake on the gift tag for Valentine's Day. So we'll turn them into the gift containers for the socks for the teachers with chalk written messages from the kids. 

Scored these black take out containers with chalk at Target during the After Christmas sale. Five containers for $2.50.  They had red ties and since we live in MN, it's not a seasonal faux pas to have a snow flake on the gift tag for Valentine's Day. So we'll turn them into the gift containers for the socks for the teachers with chalk written messages from the kids. 

I also wanted my kids to give some little pinches to their classmates. For the boys in my son’s class we are giving Teeny Mates which cost more than I wanted to spend per pinch but worth it and we are giving the girls (you guessed it) socks.  My daughter made all of her Valentines.  They are cupcake-shaped cards with darling personal messages for each classmate.  I wanted her to give something to go along with the cupcake theme but when I mentioned putting the valentines in “cups”, she looked at me as if I was insane. Although I try to avoid giving sweets, candy or food for Valentine’s Day because I’m mindful that there are plenty of treats that are associated with the holiday, I decided to make an exception. We will give gift certificates for cupcakes from a wonderful bakery called Sweet Retreat to all of my daughter’s classmates.  Again, it is not my usual budget-type pinch but I am going to count it as a two for one. More on that later…

For my sons classmates - Teeny Mates (Target) for $3.99 a pack - two figures come in a pack and socks $1 each from The Dollar Tree. We put each item in a treat bag with a Star Wars Rebel valentine. The treat bags and cards are from The Dollar Tree. 

For my sons classmates - Teeny Mates (Target) for $3.99 a pack - two figures come in a pack and socks $1 each from The Dollar Tree. We put each item in a treat bag with a Star Wars Rebel valentine. The treat bags and cards are from The Dollar Tree. 

And these hankies are for the Grandmothers and the Godmothers.  I love the vintage vibe. 

There are several styles. You can write a message under the flap. This one says: A gift. A thought. A remembrance from me to you. A Valentine hanky that's lovely + useful too. Happy Valentine's Day.  Sale price last year after Valentine's Day was $6 at Creative Kidstuff.

There are several styles. You can write a message under the flap. This one says: A gift. A thought. A remembrance from me to you. A Valentine hanky that's lovely + useful too. Happy Valentine's Day.  Sale price last year after Valentine's Day was $6 at Creative Kidstuff.

Before I go, I can’t send you off thinking that I’m all “Bah humbug about sweets treats for Valentine’s Day.”  Pa-leeze!  I LOVE giving sweets!!  For the past two years I have shared this with the teachers and faculty right before Valentine’s day. It is one of my favorites because I got this recipe from one of my favorites.  Thank you Hailey! Layer Marscapone (in any shape), sprinkle pomegranate and then drizzle lots of honey over all of it. Serve with Wheat Thins and/or Glutinos for your GF friends. Yum. 

Here’s to eating. Cheers! Here’s to hearts. Cheers! 

 

Pinches,

Barb

Burnt Sugar

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