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I'm always dreaming up fun ways to appreciate our pastors and staff.  For Valentine's Day we created a little heart garland or 'love line' to hang in their offices.  Take a look.

Paper heart garland

Supplies Needed:
Paper Sacks
Paper Hearts
Hot Glue

Paper heart garland

Using our church's die cut machine, I cut out lots of paper hearts.  I asked the Bible Study Ladies to write little 'love and appreciation' notes to our pastors and staff on the paper hearts.
When completed they placed their hearts in each of the labeled sacks.
Heart garland

It was fun having a few different colors to break up all the red...unless you're going for that 'red look'.  
Remember our REDiculously Awesome Pastor Appreciation?

Click here for that idea.

Heart garland for the pastors

I took the completed paper hearts home and heated up my glue gun.

Heart garland for the pastors

One small drop of hot glue held the string into place.  I measured about 2 inches in between the hearts.

Heart garland

I then took them back to the church and hung them in each person's office.

Heart garland for Valentine's Day

Such a simple way to show some love.  

More pastor appreciation ideas for you:

Bags of Love for our Pastors

Delightful Pastor Appreciation
 Pastor Appreciation

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Well, it look me a little while, but I'm finally posting our Valentine/LOVE party. 

Chocolate chip cookie dough dark chocolate brownie cake!

Can we first just take a minute and talk about that cake?
Oh, WOW!
Love party cake

I actually ended up making this cake two week-ends in a row because my family didn't think they got enough of it the first time! It was really that good!

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Brownie Cake to die for!

Three layers of dark chocolate brownie, sandwiched together with a rich and fluffy chocolate chip cookie dough icing.  (The icing was incredible!)

The recipe came from here.
Instead of pouring chocolate ganache over the entire cake, (like the recipe said) I frosted the top and then poured the chocolate over each piece as it was sliced and served. It was so delicious!
(The LOVE lettering was made with melted dark chocolate piped on wax paper.)

Chocolate chip cookie dough brownie cake!

This party was a Sunday lunch gathering.  AH chose to grill up his favorite ribs for everyone.  Click here for that recipe.  We also served green salad, fresh fruit and vegetables...but really the ribs and cake were the stars of the show!
Love Party decor

OK, moving onto the decor.  Red was the color of the day.
Affiliate links are included to help you locate products.
I pushed my two tables together to make seating for 12 guests.
Solid red wrapping paper lined the tables as a runner.  Grapevine branches were found on Christmas clearance at Joanns.

Wired ribbon for the center of the table.

Red mini stands and pillar candles were found at Michaels
and this wide wired ribbon was looped down the table runner.

Fancy paper plate party for Valentine's Day.

Red chargers, red paper napkins and heart paper plates were used. Guests ate on glass plates that set atop the paper plates and chargers.

Individual flower arrangements at each place setting.

These square bud vases were filled with red and white carnations and a few mini roses and greenery.  I absolutely LOVE these vases and I use them all the time.  I've had friends borrow them for showers, parties, weddings and I even used them at this memorial. 

Paper runner, curled ribbon, paper plates to decorate for Valentine's Day

I tied on little paper hearts to the drinking glasses for name markers.

Inexpensive tablescape at our Valentine Party.

The pops of red in our home were eye catching!

Red Love Party

Here's a look at the kid's table.
Felt hearts scattered over table.

Melamine heart plates (found at Target years ago) and lots of felt hearts decorated this table.  Mini red pails held candy for each guest and a red mailbox became the centerpiece.

Love party kid's table.

And of course I made a photo booth.
Photobooth at our Valentine Party

This photo backdrop actually covered the messy desk area in our kitchen...perfect coverage!
LOVE photobackground

The love balloon came from here.  The striped fabric is actually a shower curtain from Target.  I love using fabric shower curtains for back drops because you can hang them so easily with Command hooks.  The shower curtains already have built-in holes.

Love photobooth for Valentine's Day!

My daughter took lots of photos with her Instamax camera. (It's so fun to have one of these cameras at a party.  Guests can go home with an actual photo!)  I took lots of digital pictures, too.
Photobooth shots at our Love Party

This was such a fun party, that we re-created it the next week-end when my parents came to town.  I was amazed how easy it was to pull this party together the 2nd time around.  The thought did cross my mind (just for a second) that every party should be done twice.
No, that's just too exhausting, but my family would argue that the desserts should be made twice.

 Click here to see my party page. An A to Z list of every party I've posted on
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Celebrating a friend and her USA Citizenship

When a friend from China received her USA citizenship, we just had to celebrate, right?!  You know me well.

A Chinese friend in our Ladies Small Group at church has had us praying for her citizenship for months and it has finally happened! Answered prayers!  We're so excited for her!

Simple ways to decorate using red, white and blue.

My friend also shared some of the struggles she's having with becoming a US citizen. Although she's happy to be an American, she feels sad that she can't have dual citizenship.  She feels like she's turning her back on her homeland--China, by becoming an American.  The minute she was told she was an US citizen, she cried with sadness of saying goodbye to her country.  I'm guessing that this struggle of loving 2 countries will always tug at her heart.

Honoring a USA citizen from China.

I put together this little celebration to honor her and the decision she made.  It doesn't take much to celebrate.  A few patriotic plates, napkins and printables does the trick.  Curling ribbon, beads and carnations in milk bottles finished everything off.

Patriotic brownies with red strawberries and blueberries.

I frosted a plate of brownies with whipped topping and added some fresh strawberries and blueberries on top.

Decorate in red, white and blue.

Even though it was the day after Valentine's Day, I found some blue and white star (Hanukkah) cookies in our local bakery, to add to our spread.
We sang America the Beautiful and put all the beads around our friend's neck as we listened to her tell about the ceremony.

I had a little story, too.
When I dashed into the party store (on Valentine's Day) to pick up the USA plates and napkins. The store was packed with people buying heart balloons and candy, but behind me in line was a woman buying 2 US flags.  I turned to her, pointing to my flag plates and said, "You're buying flags, too?"  She smiled and told me she was from the Ukraine, heading to her USA citizenship ceremony and wanted some flags to wave.  Don't you love that?  We bonded as we talked and waited in the very long line.  (Note to self: never go to the party store on Valentine's Day!)

Simple ways to celebrate a new US citizen.

Click here to print your own USA Citizenship Printables.

Happy President's Day to you!
May we never take our freedom and citizenship for granted!

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It's Valentine's Day and I'm finally on the Letter Z!  Yay!
Z is for zebras and other zoo animals.

Attach these valentines to a package of animal 'crack'ers.
That's it.  Easy peasy!

Bonus: No colored ink needed for this one!

Click here to print your own.

More zoo animal valentines for you.

Well, we've reached the end of my A to Z Valentine Printables.
This has been such a fun challenge to come up with 26 Valentine Printables for each letter of the alphabet.  Thanks to all of you who followed along and encouraged me.  I'm not going to lie, some letters were definitely harder than others!  Not only that, but I don't think I've ever posted for 26 days in a row!  Whew!  I should also point out that I've gained some weight sitting at the computer blogging and eating Valentine candy every day!  How do those 'everyday' bloggers do it?  Yikes!

Have a wonderful Valentine's Day!

If you've enjoyed this post, please follow me on Facebook and Instagram for even more fun.

Letter A
Letter B
Letter C
Letter D
Letter E
Letter F
Letter G
Letter H
Letter I

Letter J
Letter K
Letter L
Letter M
Letter N
Letter O
Letter P
Letter Q
Letter R

Letter S
Letter T
Letter U
Letter V
Letter W
Letter X
Letter Y
Letter Z 

Want even more ideas?  See my Valentine Vault of all valentines on michellepaigeblogs.

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