KISS... one for Valentine's Day and another for Keep It Simple Sister. This has become my mantra for the holidays as it seems that as soon as one birthday winds up, another celebration looms. To avoid burnout, apathy and scroogism from seeping in (I love to love the holidays!), I have to keep it simple. This is easy with a four year old, as talk of making a chocolate cake (above) can keep her in the most jovial of holiday mood for weeks. And the 9 month old--well, I'll post a video of her eating banana sometime soon and you can see how it really doesn't take a circus to entertain that one! So we cash in on these days of simple pleasures and try to keep it that way.

Pictured here--a valentine goody bag which doubles as a purse (anything that can be packed and unpacked is coveted and adored) and Winona's Jolly Jar-- a jar filled with laminated Knock Knock Jokes and riddles... also a fav these days. The hilarious one right now: Knock Knock. Who's There? Dwayne. Dwayne who? DWAYNE THE BATHTUB, I'M DWOWNING! (Like I said: Easily Amused). Also included: fruit stick, Panda's red licorice (yum) and a fruit juice sweetened lollipop and a glow stick. She's in heaven.

In an effort to make future yearly cycles of the holidays just that much easier--and inspired by some insanely creative women in bloglandia--I'm trying to make reusable decorations this year--LOVE banner seen here behind Winona the Explorer.

I must say, if you would have told the 23 year old me that within a decade I'd be making Love banners with O's in heart fashion, I would have been amused at how outlandish the thought. Well, here we are. Happy Valentine's...I'm off to figure out how to make Four Leaf Clover crowns out of recycled leprachauns.