Valentines? Schmalentines!

Valentine's Day is really not my favorite holiday, and it all started in third grade.  Every year in elementary school, I worked tirelessly on my valentine bag constructed from a paper lunch sack, construction paper, glitter, and copious amounts of Elmer's glue. That year I was particularly proud of my creation, and couldn't wait for our class valentine exchange and the opportunity to finally open up my cards and treats. We distributed our notes during lunch, and then had our class party planned for right after recess.

I still vividly remember walking into the classroom after recess. Multiple kids instantly ran up to inform me that Andrew, a boy in my class who was overly friendly with the girls, had ripped and completely destroyed my mail sack trying to place a gigantic heart-shaped box of chocolates, especially for me, discretely in my sack. Please remember that this was still one of those years when boys had MAJOR cooties. Red as a tomato, I returned quietly to my desk trying to avoid my not-so-secret admirer. The icing on the cake, was that when I went back to my table, Shane, the other very annoying kid in my class, notorious for aggressive games of footsie, threw a gold bracelet on my desk and said, "Here! I stole this from my mom's dresser."  I politely informed him that he should give it back to her, and I couldn't accept stolen presents. I was 0 for 2. That afternoon I stuffed the box of chocolates deep under my bed and never told a soul. Days later, Jen and my mom discovered the box and teased the living daylights out of me, though they completely deny it now. I'm still traumatized, and avoid heart shaped boxes at all costs.

Needless to say, I've enjoyed finding ways to celebrate Valentine's Day with a slightly non-traditional spin. One of my favorite Valentine's Day adventures from college was spent with my friend Hillary and involved skipping a mandatory meeting, going to a slasher movie, and conquering a really big bucket of popcorn.

This year, Jen sent me the details on Aunt Peaches' 2015 Valentine Swap and I thought it would be the perfect way to celebrate this overrated holiday! You're given three names and addresses of complete strangers, and have about four days to make hand-made valentines for your assigned swap recipients. Last year over 500 people participated from all over the world. I decided to make three "You're the Bee's Knees" banners.

I cut out my hearts with my heart punch, then used my Silhouette Cameo to print the lettering.

I used my 1/8 inch circle punch and pink baker's twine to string the banner.

I also made thumbprint bees for ends of the banner.

I wrapped the banner around a handwritten note, and enclosed a family recipe for Red Velvet Cake.

My assigned Valentine Swap recipients are from Portland, Oregon, South Carolina, and Florida.

I can't wait to see where my valentines arrive from this week!