A Little Romance on Valentine’s Day

I have been a cheesy, hopeless romantic for as long as I can remember. This began when I was young and was fostered by the books I read, classic movies I watched, and creative writing in journals long gone. I adored the writings of the Bronte sisters, and the often tragic love stories of Shakespeare. I soaked up Lucy Maude Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables wishing for my own Gilbert Blythe, and dreamed of being Christy traveling to the Appalachian Mountains to teach school. Twenty-fours years with Audley and I’m still that same romantic.

Tulips from Mr. Jones … just because

It’s easy to keep romance in our relationship as I am married to a man who, while not as hopeless as I, romances me in his own sweet ways. During the years we’ve been together he has planned special dinners, brought home little gifts or flowers when I least expected it, and refused to take gift ideas from me or the kids because he wants to pick out that perfect birthday or Christmas present himself. Whatever it is, it’s always special because Audley thought of me. To be truthful though, it’s the little things that mean so much. He loves the cheesy dates I pull together, including the ones where we just stay in.

These are some of my favorite moments. There is nothing more cozy that being in your own space without the world and its crazy distractions closing in around you.

With Valentine’s Day just a couple of days away (and on a week day), we took the time over the weekend while Audley was off from work, for a little relaxation, quiet time, and “cheesy” romance. With a fire in the fireplace and a nontraditional snack, it was the perfect time for conversation and reconnecting. Being romantic is a way to savor each and every moment you and your spouse have together; enjoying the unique journey you are taking together. Romance is such a simple way to show affection, and is not as difficult as people would like for you to think it is.

For our romantic evening in, Audley built a cozy fire in the fireplace, we found a fabulous country station on Spotify playing a little George Strait, Alan Jackson, Shenandoah, Reba, and Randy Travis, and I put together a wine and fruit board that we could snack on while talking.

While simple, this is such a wonderful way to spend time together. In a time where we are always on the move, disconnecting from the world is very needed for every marriage. You never realize how much the world infringes on your time, space and mind until you unplug!

Baker’s Dark chocolate and white chocolate melts; I just used sprinkles, pecans & mini chocolate chips on hand for decorating.  

Evenings in like this are also wonderful when finding a babysitter is difficult. Find something to occupy your kiddos or send them to bed, then enjoy each other’s company. Schedule simple couple time regularly, just as if you were scheduling a meeting at work. Be mindful in keeping romance in your relationships, and unplug from the world!

Aldi’s special cheese collection for Valentine’s Day.  BTW, Aldi has a great assortment of flavorful cheeses on a regular basis.  Its worth checking out!

My favorite part about this simple night in is that it didn’t cost much at all! Since it is close to Valentine’s Day, Aldi had these fantastic heart shaped cheeses along with some unique flavors (Wensleydale cheese with raspberries and white chocolate, aged cheddar, & cranberries with Wensleydale) in the store. I just paired them with crackers and made my own chocolate dipped strawberries for 1/8 of the cost of Godiva. Paired with non-alcoholic sparkling grape juice (Aldi had a Rosé grape juice cocktail) and crackers, this was the perfect platter to relax with and enjoy.

By the way, the cost of our evening in was around $23. That’s it.

When you look back over your years together, these are the simple moments you will remember and treasure. Take some time and plan your own “cheesy,” romantic evening in. You won’t regret it!

A Few Minutes with Shaq & National Oreo Day

Despite a time change, a very rainy and windy Atlanta on Tuesday, National Oreo Day with retired NBA superstar Shaquille O’Neal went off quite nicely!

img_5715

Shaquille O’Neal was in Atlanta with a pop-up “Snack Shaq” giving away the new Oreo candy bar with mint while celebrating both Oreo’s 106th birthday and his own 46th! There were several media and social media influencers on site as well as many Atlantans out in the heavy drizzle and wind waiting for a candy bar from Shaq!

img_5701

img_5726

I was given a few minutes to talk with him and I asked about his partnership with Oreo as he has long been a spokesman for this yummy snack.

img_5777

Like so many of us, Shaq said he was introduced to Oreo as a kid by his momma with old fashioned cookies and milk, so this iconic snack has been a favorite his entire life!  He has actually been in a “fabulous relationship” with Oreo for the last 10 years and tries to stay involved with them on many levels.  Shaq mentioned that it was “important to him to be involved and have a personal connection with a product that he was familiar.”  Over the years Oreo has expanded from the original cookie, lemon and birthday cake being two of his favorites, as well as ventured out into candy bars.

facetune_08-03-2018-13-22-52

img_5708

I had intended to ask about upcoming March Madness, as my own university (Lipscomb U) has made the dance for the first time EVER, and am I ever the fan of an undrdog! But, someone beat me to it.  Shaq said he wasn’t really keeping up with it, so I left that on the table!

{Maybe we’ll have the opportunity to talk basketball another day.}

img_5729

I have always heard stories about how kind Shaquille O’Neal is and y’all he was so sweet despite this inexperienced interviewer asking questions.  I had let Bradley skip school to go with me as my photographer and upon introducing them Shaq asked what his plans were.  With the mention of boot camp and the Marine Corp, his whole professional demeanor changed and he thanked Bradley and told him to stay safe.  He was very kindhearted and so sincere.  It totally explains why he has such a loyal fanbase!

During our interview Shaq was talking about all of the candy bars they were giving away and said, “If you’re having a party, I’ll send you a hundred!”

img_5779

Well, he sent two boxes of bars to my Madeline’s Point University Lacrosse team which they were able to enjoy and celebrate National Oreo Day after a victory over Berry College in Rome that afternoon!

img_5719

For National Oreo Day,  Shaquille O’Neal was giving out over 1,000,000 Oreo candy bars both in person and online through OreoBirthdayGiveaway.com .  You can register online for a coupon through March 12, or until all of the coupons are given away.

img_5683

img_5691

Cinnamon Valentine’s Day Bark

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Yesterday evening my girlfriend Tammie and I spent time in the kitchen making a few last minute treats to share for Valentine’s Day.

 {Treasure time with your girlfriends y’all, even if it is nothing more than baking!}

Not only were our treats super easy to make, but we really had a wonderful time catching up with each other as our schedules have been rather full lately.

We whipped up two recipes I have shared earlier on the blog: Cupid’s Crunch and Valentine’s themed Rice Krispies Treats, then proceeded to make Valentine’s Day Bark.

Valentines-Day-Gifts | Fiddle Dee Dee

One thing I love about recipes like this is they are super versatile and ingredients are always easy to find!  Tammie and I each made our bark a little differently as she isn’t a fan of cinnamon, and it worked out wonderfully!

Valentine Bark Pinterest Image

1 pkg pink colored candy melts (from Michaels or Hobby Lobby)

1 pkg white candy melts

Sprinkles

M&M’s

Red Hots

Melt the pink candy melts and spread evenly on a piece of parchment paper. Allow to set firm (about an hour). Melt the white candy melts and spread evenly over the top of the pink. Top with M&Ms, red hots and sprinkles. Allow to set an hour before breaking a part.

Cinnamon-Bark | Fiddle Dee Dee

Tammie used almonds to replace the red hots which added a little salty flavor to the sweetness of the bark.

Valentines-Bark | fiddle dee dee

Either way it just delicious!

You-and-Me-Valentine | Fiddle Dee Dee

With all of our sweet treats ready, our kiddos will enjoy a little extra something this Valentine’s Day totally made with love.

If you want to ship goodies these three recipes I shared over the last few days work perfectly because they don’t crumble as easy.

valentines-Gifts | Fiddle Dee Dee

I’m a firm  believer that it’s the little thing we do for those we love that make Valentine’s Day special, and not the greeting card company! Make today special and enjoy it with those around you!  A small act of kindness from love in your heart can go a long way to making someone’s dreary day brighter!

 

Signature

SaveSaveSaveSave

Valentine’s Day Rice Krispies Treats

Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day and children across the country will be filling boxes with sweet cards, some carefully picked out for their best friend or that sweet little girl or boy they might be crushing on.

{Don’t you remember treasure the innocence of those days?}

It’s also a day the classroom becomes a party zone with sugary snacks galore.  If you are fortunate enough to be in a school system that allows homemade snacks, have I got a treat for you!

heart-shaped-treats | fiddle dee dee

 

{This is also a treat your husband, teenagers, & college kids will love, too!}

In fact, this little treat is so simple, I’m not even going to do a printable recipe because it’s a waste of printer paper.

Rice Krispies Treats for Valentines Day

All you need is one recipe of Rice Krispies treats, 2 colors of melty candy, Valentine’s Day sprinkles and a 2-inch heart shaped cookie cutter (preferably metal).

rice-krispy-treat | fiddle dee dee

**If you can’t find large pre-made Krispies Treats (they are a wonderful seasonal item at Cracker Barrel), use the three ingredient recipe on back of the Rice Krispy’s box (that’s the original and can’t be beat).  It takes 10 minutes to make; a couple of hours to set so they can be made a day or two ahead of time.  You want the treats to be about an inch thick, no more.  You can find the colored melty candy at Hobby Lobby or Michaels; or color your own using white melts  from your local grocery store.

heart-krispies | fiddle dee dee

Once you have your items together, cut out the Rice Krispies treats using the heart-shaped cutter; place on a cookie cooling rack.  This is the hardest part of making these treats, because they are rather sticky.

candy-dipped-krispies | fiddle dee dee

Melt your candy, and then decorate the Krispies Treats.  I tried two methods: first I dipped one side in the melted candy, and secondly I used bottles (candy bottles can be found at any craft store) and drizzled the candy over the top, or filled in a solid heart shape.  Honestly I liked the bottles better.  If you don’t have these, you can use a plastic bag and cut a little of the corner off.

No matter how you cover the treat in melted candy, add sprinkles and let sit until hardened.

sprinkles-treats | fiddle dee dee

That’s it.

So very simple and in fact, your children would love to help you makes these, I am sure.

Audley had fun helping me.

(wink-wink)

Valentines-Krispies-Treats | Fiddle Dee Dee

These treats are also really, really delicious!

Just ask the grown-ups at the Super Bowl party we attended where I served these; they ate as many as the kids!

Rice-Krispies-Valentines | Fiddle Dee Dee

Serve these up all pretty or put into individual treat bags and let everyone think you spent forever in the kitchen working on them!

Happy-Valentines-Krispies-Treat | Fiddle Dee Dee

What are some of your favorite Valentine’s Day treats?

Signature

 

SaveSave