Creative Places to Hide an “I Love You” Note

There is no rule that says you are only allowed to celebrate being in love on February 14th.  In fact, I think it is a good thing to do every day! But having Valentine’s day come around every year does give us a little reminder to put forth some extra effort and do something a little special. I thought I’d share something I have been doing for my husband for years.  I LOVE to leave little notes for him to find.  Nothing big or spectacular, but just a tiny note that shows I was thinking about him and wanted to tell him I loved him. He always loves finding them when he least expects it. Sometimes he finds them right away, or at least on the same day I hid the note. Sometimes it may be awhile before they are found and then it is a pleasant surprise to both of us!  Here are some of my favorite places to leave a note:

Dealing with the trash is definitely one of my least favorite chores.  Especially taking it out to the stinky, smelly big garbage can outside. Whenever my man takes it out (which he almost always does) then I feel he definitely deserves a big “I Love You!”

In the mood for a yummy PB&J?  How about a happy surprise with your sandwich?  This is easily done by using a toothpick on a new jar of peanut butter.

If you have children then chances are you have multiple toys lying around with the alphabet on them. Put those magnets/puzzle pieces/blocks etc. to good use and spell out a message on the kitchen counter or table!

Where do men spend a lot of their time? At least give them something to smile about while they are…taking care of business.  :)

Any fruit with a peel you won’t eat is perfect for this! Throw it into their lunchbox or simply leave it in the fruit bowl for them to find when they reach for a healthy snack.

Leave a note so that when they are getting dressed they’ll see a note from you helping them get their day off to a great start!

Fighting over who has control of the TV? Stop the fight before it even begins with this peace-offering.

Get off on the right foot (sorry, I couldn’t resist) by tucking a love note into a favorite pair of shoes!

Let them know you are thinking of them even when they are out on the road. Whether just a quick drive around the corner to the store or away on a business trip, they’ll know they are on your mind!

These are just a few places to get you started!  Look around your house and think about drawers, doors, and cabinets that are used frequently.  Hide them in other pieces of clothing, under their pillow, taped onto food in the fridge, etc. There is no wrong way or place! And don’t forget, if you are on a budget this Valentine’s Day (or for an anniversary!) then this is a fantastic way to still make the day sweet and memorable! Have fun!


Printable Valentine’s Day Lunchbox Notes

When I first started this little blog years ago one of the first things I made were some lunchbox jokes and notes for each holiday.  Since that was so long ago I thought it would be really fun to create some new notes in all new designs! These are such simple little notes to slip into your child’s lunch, you will be on your way to “Mom of the Year” in no time!  And with very little effort.  :)

Valentine's cards on wood backgroundAren’t these little woodland creatures just adorable?  They make me smile.  They’re sure to put a smile on your child’s face as well.

Valentine's Day Cards on Wood BackgroundValentines Day notesI will probably be using these for my daughter’s preschool as well, I’ll just attach them to a small piece of chocolate and we will be good to go! Perfect valentine’s for all her little friends.

Valentines Day Cards on Wood BackgroundThis is a free printable so all you have to do is download, print, and cut! Enjoy!

DOWNLOAD THE PDF: Valentines Lunch Box Notes



Valentine’s Day Decor with FREE Printable Banner!

Would you all believe me if I told you that Valentine’s Day was less than a month away?  Isn’t that crazy!  I always feel kind of silly busting out the Valentine’s Day decor and crafts in the middle of January (it feels too soon after Christmas) but if we wait until February we’ll practically miss the holiday! I have lots of fun posts planned for the next couple of weeks all centered around this day of love! To start with I am setting the tone in my own home with a pretty pink and teal Valentines display, highlighted by a few glints of gold.

Valentines DecorI like that these aren’t the traditional Valentines colors but they still give a sweet and romantic feel. The addition of little hearts sprinkled throughout and the word love bring it all together.

I found this gorgeous gold tray at a thrift store, score!!!  It is really, really heavy and I love the texture it has.  I think I will be using this one in several displays as a fantastic background piece.  I love finding items like this that can be used over and over for many different holidays.  Versatile pieces help cut down on all the decor I have to store as well!

Valentines Day DecorConfession:  I stole the “Do Small Things With Great Love” plaque off the bedroom wall of my three year old. When she came down the stairs and noticed it on the piano…let’s just say she wasn’t happy.  I guess there is one person in the house who isn’t a fan of my display.  :)

Valentines Day DecorThe dollar spot at Target is currently filled with items in these colors!  I went by there after I had already put up my display and it is a pretty good thing, otherwise I would have spent way too much money.  But I couldn’t resist making one purchase, this tiny little “love” piece.  And for only $3, I think it was a necessity.  :)

Valentines Day DecorI made the banner by creating the flowered pennants and using clothespins to hang them onto some twine along with pink heart doilies from the Dollar Tree.  I tied some lace and ribbon in between each pennant to give it even more flair and dimension.

Valentines Day Decor

And the best part is?  I’m sharing the pennant banner with you for free!  Simply download and print and you’ll have an easy and cute Valentine’s Day decoration ready to go!


Valentines Day DecorIf you use this banner in your own home (or any of my printables) I’d love to see!  Simply share it on Instagram and use the hashtag #darlingdoodlesdesign so we can see your displays!

Turning a Breadbox into a Charging Station

I am sure that most of you are like me in the fact that you have various cords and chargers around your house for your cell phones, ipads, kindles, camera battery, etc.  Lovely cords everywhere! Sitting on our counters or nightstand and hanging out on the end table by the couch. They add so much to the decor, right?  (*sarcasm.) Our “spot” for charging has always been a corner in our kitchen.  It keeps the devices handy and yet out of reach from little hands.  But it isn’t the most attractive.

Kitchen Counter with Cell PhonesTwo things really stand out to me in this picture. One, man do we need a backsplash!  I’d love to put in a pretty tile backsplace….and paint the cabinets….and add hardware….but ya know, $$$.  Second thing is that ugly tangle of electronics!  No one wants to be looking at that mess all day!  Our solution:

Process showing a breadbox turned into a charging stationA few years ago I picked up an old breadbox for a couple of dollars at a yard sale.  It has been sitting in our garage (aka: my husband’s workshop) as a place to store his rags.  I could have sworn I took before pictures but now I can’t find them anywhere! So just picture a worn, unpainted breadbox full of greasy rags. Got that image in your head?  Good.

Our first step was to sand the down the breadbox really well and add in a shelf.  Then my husband cut a hole in the back of the box to allow for a power strip.  The power strip is simply attached with some hot glue.

Power strip in the bottom of a bread boxA  coat of white paint and a new handle really freshen up the whole piece and make it beautiful and functional!  It is the perfect place to store all our electronics when we aren’t using them, for me to charge my camera battery, and it hides all the mess.

White breadbox on kitchen counterI love projects like this that only take a couple of hours on a weekend, are easy on the budget, and yet really make my home a better place to be.  I think this could easily be replicated in lots of different ways as well!  It doesn’t have to be a breadbox.  If you have any sort of pretty container that you can cut a small hole in the back for a power strip than you can create your own charging station.  Be creative and think outside the (bread)box!


Printable Monthly Budget Worksheets – Set of 12 Floral Worksheets

At the start of each year I like to buy a new planner.  In fact, I LOVE to buy a new planner.  Finding something that is cute and fun is incredibly helpful and motivating for me.  I have a pretty calendar and menu planner on my wall that I use daily.  When I am getting ready to tackle a big project I’ll print up a nice, colorful checklist that I can hang up. I do better and stay more focused when my tools are not only functional but also beautiful. It is just a quirk of my personality, but I like to surround myself with beautiful things, even when they seem like the most utilitarian objects. And I know I am far from the only one out there, otherwise we wouldn’t have colored duct tape and patterned toliet paper, am I right?  :)

So when it comes time to sit down and make a budget I like to look at a worksheet that is attractive. It makes the task of putting together a budget less intimidating and more enjoyable.  Figuring out how to make and stick to a budget can be a hard task, so the least we can do is have pretty worksheets to look at! I have created a new set of 12 Budget Worksheets, one for each month.  They are delightful and floral and all things lovely as well as incredibly useful!

January Budget WorksheetA Budget Worksheet on a deskThese worksheets come with spaces to track your monthly expenses, income, and compare the difference of your budgeted totals and actual totals spent.  With a new worksheet for each month you can easily track your finances for the entire year. And once you purchase the files you will own them and can print them over and over, year after year.

A June Budget Worksheet on a deskA November Budget Worksheet on a deskI know it is crazy to think about, but wedding season is going to be coming up on us soon. And lots of people give cash as gifts.  Wouldn’t this be fun and helpful to include in your cash gift as well? Or how about for your high school graduate that is soon going to be heading out on their own? A tool like this would absolutely come in handy for a person who is learning to manage their finances on their own for the first time.

4 Montly Budget Worksheets 4 Montly Budget Worksheets 4 Montly Budget WorksheetsThe best part of these worksheets (besides the pretty floral designs) is the price.  The entire 12 month set is only $7.99 and is available in my Etsy store.  That is about $0.67 a sheet!  And even less when you remember that you can print as many times as you’d like.  As we start the new year I hope you see the value in an item that can help you start the new year off financially smart and prepared.  And as always, thank you for the support you give my family through this blog!  You don’t know how much it means to me!

Budget Worksheets on an office desk




Apple Cinnamon Roll Overnight Breakfast Bake

There is nothing like waking up at 5:00 in the morning on Christmas, tearing open presents, sharing in the joy and the excitement of all the new toys, lounging around in your pajamas and new slippers from Santa…. and then realizing that you have a whole crowd of people waiting for you to serve them with a spectacular and special holiday breakfast.  Cereal just ‘aint cutting it on Christmas morning.

Growing up we always had Belgian waffles.  It was our Christmas morning tradition, and quite delicious I might add!  Now that I have my own family and we are figuring out what traditions we like I am falling in love with overnight breakfast bakes.  They are perfect for busy mornings and yet still feel like a special treat.  Especially when you make one that also could easily double as dessert.  Seriously, I don’t know how cinnamon rolls slipped through as a breakfast food but somehow it is socially acceptable to eat frosted cake for breakfast.  And I decided to add in some apple pie filling, because why not?  It’s the holidays!

Frosted Cinnamon Rolls in white baking dish

This meal really couldn’t be any easier to put together.  It is all prepared the night before and then in the morning all you have to do is place it in the oven to bake.  The result is one tasty, warm and gooey breakfast that the entire family is sure to love.  It is good enough to serve to company when family and friends come to visit and takes away any stress you might feel in hosting breakfast!

You probably already have the basic ingredients in your kitchen, and the two main ingredients are found in pretty much every grocery store. Frozen cinnamon rolls and apple pie filling.

Ingredients and baking dish on kitchen counterI really love Rhodes Rolls, so of course I had to use their cinnamon rolls in this recipe.  And I chose to use sugar-free apple pie filling because there is already a lot of sweetness in the recipe (and I had it in my pantry. :) )

The night before, cut the frozen rolls into fourths and spread evenly among the bottom of a greased baking dish. Spoon the apple pie filling over the cinnamon roll pieces.

Cinnamon Roll pieces on cutting board with knifeApple Pie filling poured over Cinnamon Rolls in baking dishIn a mixing bowl combine milk, vanilla, eggs, sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg and mix thoroughly.  Pour the mixture over the cinnamon rolls and apple filling and then cover with plastic wrap. You can put the frosting that comes with the rolls in the fridge to be used later. Place the baking dish in the fridge as well to sit overnight where the rolls will begin to thaw and rise. Your prep work is now done!

In the morning remove the plastic wrap and bake in an oven heated to 350 degrees for 50-55 minutes.  When done the top of the rolls will have the slightest little crisp while the bottom is fluffy and gooey.  And I know you may be looking at this picture and think that it looks burnt, but don’t worry.  It isn’t.  When you cut the rolls into pieces you expose the  “inside” of the rolls with all the cinnamon and it carmelizes into a super yummy topping with a deep, rich color.  It isn’t crunchy or burnt or anything except tasty.

Baked Cinnamon Rolls in white baking dishWhile the breakfast bake is still warm drizzle with the cream cheese frosting or your favorite maple syrup.  Or both!  Remember, it is the holidays!

Frosted Cinnamon Rolls in white baking dishServe with a big glass of cold milk and some tasty berries on the side.  This breakfast is perfect for Christmas morning, New Year’s Day, or just when you want to serve your family a special treat.  I hope you enjoy it as much we all do!

Close up of apple cinnamon roll breakfast bake


Recipe for Overnight Apple Cinnamon Roll Breakfast Bake




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