Warning: Valentine Fabulousity

I have got so much going on for you guys in this post that I might just explode with excitement!!

First off, let me tell you that I am not your average valentine.

I don’t like flowers.

I don’t do expensive jewelry.

I don’t even like to go out to dinner.

Weird? I know. But in our house, we like to make each other something to celebrate Valentine’s Day.

(Supposedly the hubster is secretly working on a glowing Doctor Who sign for me…SQUEEE!! What else could a girl possibly want?!)

So I have made you guys something fabulous to show how much you are loved!

Lovey Mantels


This year I noticed several blogs out there decorating their mantels for the day of L-O-V-E. Amanda Jane Brown was probably my favorite and she gave me a ton of ideas and inspiration for my own mantle. I plan to fill the red picture frame with a valentine print from the awesome Becky Higgins.


I adored Amanda’s idea of valentine M&M’s in mason jars and I added a junky striped straw to mine to give them a bit more whimsy.

I also love the mustache epidemic that is spreading across the nation. Anybody else? I especially love my hanging heart in the background with its little black handlebar mustache. I think it ties in nicely with the black feather boa that is draped across the mantle.


I used my apothecary jar to hold the leftover pink and white marshmallows I had after I topped my triple chocolate brownies with them.

For the wreath, I cut a heart out of Styrofoam and hot glued artificial carnations in various shades of red, pink, purple, and white. I also secured some pretty ribbon in the back, so I could hang it up.


This heart banner was so quick and simple to put together. I found the hearts, twine, and mini-clothes pins at my local craft store. For the background, I just ripped out pages from an old book, trimmed them up, and round the corners. Then I just glued the hearts in the center of the book page and hung them up.

Chocolate Covered Peep Hearts


You heard me right….I found heart shaped, vanilla Peeps, dipped them in milk chocolate, and sprinkled them with love.

From me. Just for you.


Don’t you LOVE my new Mickey coffee mug?!?!?! Ahhhhh… I die.

Triple Chocolate Marshmallow Brownies


Chocolate is the only tradition I keep when it comes to Valentine’s Day…and these brownies are diabolical…choco-magical if you will…and I am totally quoting someone who recently ate these when I say this.

Triple Chocolate Marshmallow Brownies

Recipe by Carrie


  • 3 ounces semisweet chocolate
  • 2 ounces bittersweet chocolate
  • 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate
  • 3 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1 stick butter, softened, cut into quarters
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup all purpose flour


  1. 1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray an 8 in. pan with nonstick cooking spray and line with 2 sheets parchment paper perpendicular to one another. Push paper down into the corners, but allow it to hang over the sides.
  2. 2. In a double boiler, melt all chocolates and butter until smooth. Whisk in the cocoa until blended. Set aside to cool.
  3. 3. Combine the eggs, sugar, vanilla, and salt in your free standing mixer for 30 seconds. Add the chocolate mixture into the egg mixture until incorporated.
  4. 4. Add the flour in two batches until just blended.
  5. 5. Pour the mixture into the prepare pan and spread evenly into the corners.
  6. 6. Bake until slightly puffed and when a toothpick inserted comes out with a few sticky crumbs, about 35-40 minutes.
  7. 7. If adding marshmallows, take out at 30 minutes, add marshmallows, and bake for an additional 5 minutes or until marshmallows have puffed up.
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As a teacher, it is my academic duty to be totally up to date on all the latest toys, dolls, and video games(at least, that is what I tell myself when I am perusing the toy department)…..soooo my mini lalaloopsy doll just had to make an appearance on the blog.

Red Velvet Espresso Brownies

Whenever the forecast calls for a little bit of snow in the Piedmont region of North Carolina everything stops…

People race to the grocery store to stand in a ridiculously long line for milk and bread. The gas stations are lined with cars waiting to fill up their tanks. The local schools call for a snow day. And all the busyness just stops until the snow melts away.

That is exactly what happened today. I had hoped and prayed the night before for a snow day. Not because I didn’t want to go to school and teach, but because it had been about 2 years since the last snow day. And I love my snow days. I have this tradition when it comes to snow days. First, I sleep in. I mean really sleep in… Let the sun wake you up and not feel guilty about it sleep in. Second, I stay in my pajamas all day. I mean why wouldn’t you. There is no where to go…not with my mountain of a driveway anyway. Third, I bake. I try to bake something chocolatey, warm, and gooey that would be perfect for a snowy day. And I think I these brownies are perfect.

Red Velvet Espresso Brownies


  • 5 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, cut into quarters
  • 3 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon espresso powder
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons red food coloring
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup flour


  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and adjust your oven rack to the middle position. Spray an 8-inch glass or metal square pan with nonstick cooking spray. Line pan with foil or parchment paper.
  2. In a double boiler, melt the semisweet and unsweetened chocolates and butter, stirring occasionally until smooth. Set aside to cool.
  3. In a small bowl, combine cocoa powder, red food coloring, and vinegar until it makes a thick paste.
  4. In your stand mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugar, vanilla, and salt until combined. Whisk the warm chocolate mixture into the egg mixture, then add the cocoa paste. Once blended, add in the flour a little at a time until just combined.
  5. Pour mixture into the prepared pan, spread into the corners, and level with a spatula. Bake for 35-40 minutes until an inserted toothpick comes out with a small amount of sticky crumbs. Cool on a wire rack or eat warm on a snowy day.


Recipe by Carrie, inspired by No. 2 Pencil's recipe found on TatertotsandJello

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