I can’t believe I’m even saying this. Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day, and I’m pretty excited. And I would say before last 2016, I always felt the complete opposite about Valentine’s Day.
Rewind that paragraph. Chris and I are high school sweethearts. We’ve been together a whopping 16 years this year. That’s officially more than half my life (holy crap!) But, while I love love, until last year I was never in love with Valentine’s Day. A day that’s supposed to be the best day of the year to celebrate love was a day that often felt fake. The giant balloons, overpriced cards, overcrowded restaurants, and overabundance of pink and red were not my favorites. But suddenly, I had a change of heart (har har).
So, what happened? Um, yeah–I had a baby. Like with many things, motherhood completely shifted my mindset and now I’m pretty pumped for Valentine’s Day.
I know I’m not alone in saying Valentine’s Day always felt like a hallmark holiday. Maybe you still think it does. Along with the list above, it seemed trite to celebrate love on a day everyone else does. But then, last year, for Isla’s first Valentine’s Day my mindset shifted. I was suddenly so excited to have a day to shine a spotlight on the best emotion in the world: love!
I realized I needed to shift my attitude about Valentine’s Day and change how we celebrate the holiday. When I think about the traditions we’re starting in our family surrounding this holiday, it’s less cookie cutter and more about teaching our children what love means in our family.
Yes, our babies love balloons so I’m sure we’ll have some of those. And they will inevitably get excited about the silly tchotchkes for years to come too, but more than anything Valentine’s Day is a special day to highlight how we show each other how we love.
Isla’s personality has really bloomed as she’s grown in her short 19 months of life and I always tell her, “I love how much love is in your heart.” Love is a emotion she has been inherently gifted and she shares it so freely everywhere we go. She loves to blow kisses and give hugs. To help her put words to not only how she feels when she loves, but to many of the other feelings she’s experiencing (terrible 2’s are around the corner, right?) we have been reading this fun book about called In My Heart: A Book of Feelings by Jo Witek.
I’m excited to see how Josie’s personality grows and how she displays her love. This week we are of course doing lots of Valentine’s Day themed arts and crafts and cooking and baking special treats.
Like painting and tracing hearts. Coloring and pom pom crafts. Making chocolate covered strawberries. And making muffins!
Last week I gave you a heads up about a Valentine’s Day inspired muffin recipe I’ve been crafting and I’m happy to share it with you today! This is a recipe inspired by a treat everyone in our house loves: chocolate covered strawberries. Oh em gee. Yum!
While we’ll be making actual chocolate covered strawberries tomorrow as a fun and festive activity (and dessert for after dinner), I wanted to make a muffin recipe using my favorite protein pancake mix too. Seriously, you would think Kodiak Cakes sponsors my blog, but no. I just love their product and am constantly coming up with new recipes. I have to keep sharing them with you. Sorry, not sorry.
Muffins are one of the easiest breakfasts. I can plop one on a plate for our toddler. Chris can toast one and pair it with a fried egg and fruit. And I can grab one on my way out the door or while sprinting around the house.
This recipe uses strawberries and chocolate chips and just a few other simple ingredients. And if anyone wants to attempt this recipe with some regular flour and baking powder, you should let me know how it goes. Tomorrow I think we might all sit down and take a few moments together to enjoy one of these topped in whipped cream and sprinkles.
Chocolate Covered Strawberry Protein Muffins
- 2 cups Kodiak Cake Power Cakes pancake mix
- 3/4 cup milk
- 1 egg
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 1/3 cup plain whole milk yogurt
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
- 1 cup slightly thawed and chopped frozen strawberries (or fresh)
- Preheat oven to 350° Fahrenheit. Prepare your muffin tins like normal. Combine all ingredients except strawberries and chocolate chips in a large bowl. Stir to combine.
- Gently fold in strawberries and chocolate chips.
- Pour into muffin tins*.
- Bake at 350° for 18-22 minutes, or until the edges of the muffins are golden brown. Let cool for 10 minutes and then remove from the pan. Let finish cooling and enoy!
*I love to use a 1/3 cup measuring cup to make the perfect sized muffins.
How do you feel about Valentine’s Day? What are your traditions? Share in the comments below.