Valentine’s Day is an interesting holiday in my mind. Most holidays are universally loved, at least by those who celebrate them. Many of my single Facebook friends have been complaining about the impending day for weeks now. When I was in college, we not-so-lovingly referred to Valentine’s Day as “Singles Awareness Day.” On the other hand, many of my not-single-friends similarly hate the day, too, because it always seems like a disappointment. This year, instead of worrying about my own personal Valentine’s Day, I wanted to find a way to make the day special for others through our projects.
I have been looking for something special to do for Valentine’s Day for quite a while, but I really felt like I was at the bottom of the barrel for ideas. Lucky for me, I went to the Women’s Division Luncheon for the Plano Chamber of Commerce last week. While there, I connected with someone who works at a local shelter for victims of domestic violence – Hope’s Door. I shared with her what Abby and I are doing, and we brainstormed project ideas for ways we could help. We ultimately decided that bringing treats for Valentine’s Day for both the staff and those staying at the shelter would be the perfect idea.
You may not be a fan of Valentine’s Day – whether you fall on the single side of the spectrum or the coupled-up side of the spectrum – but I am pretty sure that the victims of domestic violence are even less fond of it (at least this year). The one person they thought they loved turned out to be their worst nightmare. Hopefully our sweet treats can help make the day a little brighter for them this year.
Once we found the perfect beneficiary for our treats, the next step was coming up with the perfect treats. I recently discovered Pinterest. If you’re not on Pinterest, you are missing out! I found the cutest ideas for Valentine’s Day treats (not to mention cute ideas for decorating, good-looking recipes, etc. etc. etc.) Abby and I picked out two fun looking treats and went to town making them!
Our first project was to make marshmallow pops. Step 1: Insert a lollipop stick into a jumbo marshmallow and stick them in the freezer to chill. (Although the directions said to chill, I’m not too sure it was necessary.)
Step 2: Melt white chocolate chips in the microwave. (Note, we also tried doing this with milk chocolate chips and they did NOT look good! Therefore, we were forced to eat all the milk chocolate ones.) Dip the marshmallows in the chocolate and cover with sprinkles.
Step 3: Show off your creations for the camera. (And yes, I realize Abby is wearing a Halloween pajama shirt.)
Step 4: Stick them on wax paper on their tops to dry. (Note, I stuck them on a plate rather than wax paper, and they stuck.)
Step 5: Taste test – you’d hate to give away treats that aren’t any good!
We also made chocolate covered / sprinkled pretzels via another Pinterest find. The process was pretty much the same. Again, we found white chocolate to be much prettier for Valentine’s Day treats!
The original plan was to just do the twist pretzels, but of course, we ran out and I had to revert to the stick pretzels. I think both turned out great!
A couple of tips if you choose to try either of these projects: (1) the chocolate goes fast (we went through 3 full bags of white chips; (2) the wax paper is the way to go for drying; and (3) melt the chocolate in a disposible dish (I have no idea how I will ever get the chocolate off my dishes!).
Today when I picked the kids up from school, we went straight to the outreach center for Hope’s Door to deliver the treats. (You can’t go to the actual shelter – it’s a secret location.) We met up with the woman I met at the Plano Chamber, who was so sweet with Abby in thanking her for the treats and talking with her about our projects. Instead of writing “Happy Valentine’s Day” on the card – since I’m pretty sure it really isn’t going to be a “happy” Valentine’s Day for anyone there – I wrote simply “Thinking of you and hoping to sweeten your day.” Hopefully we will accomplish that tomorrow when they get to enjoy the treats.