Pixelated Valentine’s Box

Just in the nick of time for our kids’ classroom Valentine’s Day parties! Valentine’s boxes are tricky for boys, so here’s a colorful and cool option that avoids all that yucky love stuff. Their words, not ours.

You’ll need colorful squares in a small color palette:
Pixelated Valentine's BoxGlue or glue stick and a cardboard box. Cut your envelope hole and then start glueing on the squares.Pixelated Valentine's BoxCover the box overlapping only slightly and trimming squares when you hit corners and slots. (Card via Paper Bandit Press)Pixelated Valentine's BoxBest of all, the boys could do it basically from start to finish (except for cutting the slot) and they love being able to be involved, so this one wins!Pixelated Valentine's BoxWould it be the week of Valentine’s Day if we didn’t dust this baby off? It’s our pride and joy and it never gets old!

valentine’s gifts

Two more gift guides for your man, and for your man to give to you! We tried to source most things from Amazon (Prime! Still plenty of time) so if you’re looking for a last minute gift, look no further!

For HIM

Love Day for DadThe Rail Splitter Henley is incredibly attractive on every guy we’ve seen it on. The description alone of the shirt has us sold! Via Rhone. Get 20% off their line with “SMALLFRY” at check out all month long! // We have all recently fallen in love with our BlueTooth capable speakers, so much so that we don’t really care to share. This waterproof, shock proof 360 degree sound Turtle Shell speaker will do the trick and then some! // This Patagonia Micro Puffer is a huge hit over here, great for transitioning back into the warmer months and as tough and durable as they come. Patagonia for the whole family here. // It might be a sort of cop-out gift on its own but when you purchase a few movies you know he loves, albums he’s been raving about, books on tape or podcasts he’s interested in, load them on his phone — that’s a good lady love right there! // We’ve already stressed the importance of this Saffron Jo Malone Cologne, but one more time with feeling: buy this for him and thank us later. // We’re always a little bit surprised when we saw ALL of guys’ gear out at once. With the lap tops, phones, iPads, and other devices this Calamari 3-in-1 cord keeps them all in working order on a trip, at his bedside and on the go. // Kiehl’s is long trusted and the branding is perfectly manly. This starter kit is a steal and all your man needs to take care of that moneymaker of his. // A new pair of sneakers is always in order! The Sk8-HI is a favorite for sure, definitely comes in lots of other colors if red isn’t your thing.// We know Go-Pro is the industry favorite but this tiny Polaroid Cube looks incredible! Put it virtually anywhere an d capture film footage of all his favorite adventures. // If they are already on the Go-Pro train this Selfie Monopod will extend his reach (for selfies on his phone too, although he’d NEVER admit to doing that.)

For our Valentine’s Day gift guide for HER after getting a influx of questions and requests from our male supporters (maybe acknowledgers is a more fitting term) we decided this year we wouldn’t tell you what items to buy but how to give them. So, here’s 5 ways to win this Valentine’s Day!5 Ways to Win on Valentine's Day

1. Every girl agrees that if they were to come home to a big box with a pretty dress in it and instructions to put it on and the rest is taken care of (it doesn’t matter if you go Wendy’s) the excitement will never be forgotten. Plan a special night that represents favorite moments in your relationship and watch her eyes light up. Dress 1, Dress 2, Dress 3.

2. There is not one thing wrong with flowers, but put it over the top by putting the flowers in a face, basket, laid on a tray that suits her style and will use forever after. Every time she uses it again she’ll think of you. Bud VaseCopper BasketGold Tray.

3. We have a few items we’ve come to love and use daily and finding her next favorite thing could be as easy as the Flip 2 BlueTooth Speaker (awesome sound and so easy to carry around), the Shuttr Remote for her phone so she can get that perfect shot every time. Or the Instax Smartphone Printer which will turn her favorite phone pictures into Instax! S’cute.

4. Buying presents with good causes always feels good to give and receive. Let her know that those soft pajamas are helping create pathways to freedom from sex slavery in India. [INTERNATIONAL PRINCESS PROJECT] or this Heart Snapshot Mix donates 2% of proceeds to ending preventable deaths in pregnancy and childbirth in 3rd World Countries. [EVERY MOM COUNTS]

5. Lastly, give her the gift that keeps on giving, the last month we’ve tried out two local services that have made our lives so much easier and they’d make the best gifts! Washed: a delivery service for your laundry and dry-cleaning, or Your Life Revamped is a company who will come into your home and organize it for you! We’re certain these services are available all around, but for you Utahans our stamp of approval goes to both of these!

Ladies, what gifts or experiences have you been given that you won’t soon forget? Let’s help our brothers out.

together counts recap

We can’t believe we’ve already completed a year as ambassadors for Together Counts! Together Counts is all about achieving an Energy Balance with you families, spending quality time together while staying active and eating as healthily as we can. We love that their initiative is all about moderation and being thoughtful about what we put into our bodies and how we exert them to keep that balance. We wanted to share all our articles from throughout the year with you and each give a small recap of what we learned while having this initiative as a focus in 2014. (How is it already February?!)

EMILY:

The warmer months are all too easy to keep that balance when my kids spend the majority of their days outside.When the world is our backyard and the backyard is our world. Riding bikes, swimming, trips up to the mountains, afternoons at the park. The options are endless and I don’t have to persuade them, they’re usually dragging me outside. Fresh produce is in abundance and nothing makes me happier than seeing my boys come inside from playing with blackberry juice staining their cheeks or munching a bell pepper. Nothing is easier than a mid-play snack from your own back yard! This year I knew our efforts would need to be placed on those cold Winter months. This Winter we found indoor options like gymnasiums, indoor pools and giant warehouses full of trampolines (hoping this isn’t just a Utah thing!) The truth is we’re all happier when we’re active especially in the Winter, so implementing this activities when I’d really rather stay in my pajamas on the couch is a no brainer!

Together Counts

NICOLE:

Eating outdoors is something we have discovered over this last year that brings us together, makes mealtime more enjoyable for the kiddos, and it seems they don’t care what we are eating, because everything tastes good outside! Bring on the broccoli!
We picnic outside, we dine outside and we snack outside. We love restaurants with outdoor dining! Why eat indoors when you can eat al fresco?
Living in Utah makes this hard during the winter months, but we improvise! Picnic indoors, or dress up warm and picnic on the snow on a sunny winter day, pick restaurants with lots of natural light, ect!
In Spring, Summer and Fall we like to pack up and take a walk to a park for dinner which works up an extra-sized appetite and uses up all the extra kid energy before bed (thats the bonus!)
Eating together has because so important in our little family. It brings fun conversation, and sometimes very important conversation. It is a time like no other that brings us together as a family, and with friends.
nic-together-counts
JENNA:
I feel like it’s a constant battle for me as a Mom to embrace outside time with my kids! Sadly the more children we have the more pull I feel to be inside doing  household tasks like laundry, cooking, cleaning etc.This year I’ve really tried to embrace outdoor activities and accept that my children are MUCH happier when we do something active daily. Sure my house might suffer and I may feel behind but overall our days are just happier! Something I’ve adjusted my thinking with this year too is this idea that my oldest Quinn should come home from school have a snack and sit down for homework. I’ve realized that even though he is technically with friends and having recess at school, he is in a very structured setting and it’s good to get active play time out RIGHT after school and the rest of the evening goes much smoother! I’ve been a huge advocate of my kids eating healthy. Sure we have snacks, candy, soda occasionally but for the most part they eat well. My biggest tip for getting your kids to eat healthy and what has worked for us is to establish an understanding that there won’t be two separate meals! So whatever I make for the family is what the family will eat! I like to be sure to have something that I KNOW they will eat so they don’t starve :) But for the most part they understand that this is the meal they’re getting and they should take advantage now! I have very wonderful memories of sitting around the dinner table with my family, so meals at home together have been a huge focus for our family. I also believe that in general no matter what you might cook, eating at home is far healthier than eating out! So when we eat in more than out I always chalk that up to a healthy success! Together Counts
Here’s a list of our articles for Together Counts!
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valentine’s day cards

We’ve gone just about every route for Valentine’s Day cards for our boys. Designing our own, you can see last year’s card here, buying the cheesy grocery store kind that our kids die over but we cringe at. But this year, (just like our Christmas cards, ha!) we really just wanted someone to take care of business for us. We used Pear Tree Greetings and once again feeling pretty good about ourselves for taking this shortcut! Here’s what we picked for our kids Valentine’s day cards:

This darling fish themed Valentine is perfect for Dash’s classmates! Pack it up with Swedish Fish and Bubble-gum (get it?) and you’re ready to go! Nicole loved that this one was more understated in color and theme.

Valentine's Day Cards

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For Hayes, Emily loves sending Valentines not just to classmates, but to to neighbors,  and family members near and far. The Valentine’s Day photo cards options are so vast, but she chose the Photo Booth strip design and added two of Hayes’ happiest photos.

Valentine's Day CardsThe card is about the same width as an Airhead so that was an easy sweet treat to add.Valentine's Day CardsQuinn picked the super hero themed card and got a kick out of sticking his head on this buff guy body! What are you guys whipping up for your Valentine’s cards this year? We have some mailboxes coming your way that we think you’re going to love! Stay tuned.

Thank you to Pear Tree Greetings for hooking us up with these darling cards!