My family has turned February into quite a festive month! We’ll celebrate our version of Fat Tuesday and Mardi Gras tomorrow and next weekend is Valentine’s Day. Over the past few years our mid-winter holidays have gotten an extra boost of attention and fun, mostly because I think we needed a mid-winter happiness boost. February is such a cold, dark month. Since we can’t play outside as much, we’re making inside as fun as possible!
Here are some really easy, fun and inexpensive ways to brighten up the month…
Fat Tuesday and Mardi Gras
For only a few dollars, we stock up on bead necklaces and Mardi Gras decorations at the local party supply store (or on Amazon). It makes the house feel like a party, even though it’s only our family. Plus, the colors are so cheerful.
As we head into Lent and the season of fasting, Fat Tuesday is the day to splurge!
Dinner: I try to stick with New Orleans cuisine, so I usually make Jambalaya.
Dessert: I make King cupcakes, which is my take on King cake. When I was an intern, I worked with a man from New Orleans and he had a King cake shipped from New Orleans to the office for Fat Tuesday. He had to have it. It’s a traditional cake served on Fat Tuesday. A little baby figurine is hidden in the cake somewhere (after it’s cooked, of course!) and whoever gets that piece of cake with the baby in it has good luck all year. There are different versions of the story and tradition. Since we don’t have enough people in our family to eat through an entire cake to get to the baby, I make cupcakes and set aside enough for dessert that evening. I put a plastic baby figurine in one of the cupcakes. So far, my son has gotten the baby every year. He’s one lucky kid!
The kids created paper “mailbox” envelopes (super easy: a paper folded in half, taped on the sides, and decorated) and hung them on the door. We’ve been putting notes in the mailboxes for one another.
They’ve also been leaving us random notes around the house. We’ve found notes in our shoes, pans, drawers, books, etc. It’s been so fun!
Meanwhile, I’ve been taping a heart with a sweet note written on it onto their bedroom door each night. They’ve been enjoying waking up to a sweet note each day.
For the kids: These pretzel snacks would be so fun for Valentine’s Day parties at school.
For the adults: Heart-shaped brownies using this delicious recipe.
Do you have any fun traditions or festivities for Valentine’s Day, Mardi Gras or another celebration in February? Please share in the comments.