Valentine Heart Cookies with Splenda #Moms4JNJConsumer

This post is part of the HEALTHY ESSENTIALS® 2014 program by Johnson & Johnson Consumer Companies, Inc. and The Motherhood, who sent me a box of products and compensated me for my time. Opinions, experiences and photos shared here are all my own, and I hope you enjoy them.

Valentine Heart Cookies

Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day and we’ll be spending the day at home.  That’s not as bad as it sounds.  You see, we have a brand new baby at our home and that is reason enough to stay in and skip the crowded restaurants but we’re also in the middle of a snowstorm.  Up north this snowstorm wouldn’t be worth mentioning but here in this part of North Carolina, this is an epic storm.  The roads are icy, neighbors who’ve never spoken are out playing in the snow and getting to know one another, and kids are sledding and building snowmen.  Check out the one my daughter and husband built. {By the way, pictures of our new member of the family are coming soon!…and I don’t mean the snowman.}

Georgia Snowman

Since we’re going to be cooped up in the house for Valentine’s Day I think I’m going to make my husband something sweet to celebrate.  Maybe I’ll bake cinnamon rolls, a pie, or my husband’s favorite, cookies.  I made the Valentine Heart Cookies {pictured above} for him before and he really liked those.

No matter what treat I make I know two things, 1.) my daughter will “help” me bake them, 2.) I’ll substitute sugar in the recipe for Splenda.  My daughter always enjoys baking and helping mom and dad cook and this is an opportunity to help give Daddy a gift of her own.  I’ve substituted Splenda in recipes in the past and could never tell a difference but overtime I got out of the habit.  Now that I’m ready to shed a little post-baby weight I’m choosing to take small steps here and there to help live healthier.

If you’ve never used Splenda before it’s simple.  1 cup of Splenda is equal to 1 cup of sugar.  Anywhere you use sugar in cooking or baking you can use Splenda.  If you plan on baking a heartwarming treat for someone you love this Valentine’s Day try substituting Splenda for a sweet treat without all the added calories.

Use cookie cutters on baked cookies

To make the cookies pictured at the top of this post I used my favorite strawberry white chocolate cookie recipe and baked them as directed.  Then I look a heart shaped cookie cutter to make them look extra sweet.  I had no problem eating the scraps but the heart cookie makes a much nicer looking gift.

Raspberry Heart Cookies

Learn how to make delicious Raspberry Heart Cookies (made with Spelnda No Calorie Sweetener) that taste as good as they look by visiting

Get a printable coupon for $1 off any SPLENDA® No Calorie Sweetener product at  To sweeten the savings, you could get a free 30 minute nutrition consultation with a Registered Dietitian when you buy $10 of SPLENDA® Sweetener Products between now and February 17, 2014 – up to $75 value!  More details on this special offer at

How are you celebrating Valentine’s Day this year?

Inexpensive, Unique, & Homemade Valentine Gift Ideas!

Inexpensive, Unique, & Homemade Valentine Gift Ideas!


Chocolate, flowers, and diamonds are all great gifts.  Not many people will disagree with that.  Showing your love how much you care doesn’t have to be expensive with a little thought, time, and creativity.  Here are 5 inexpensive unique homemade valentine gift ideas to help get your creative juices flowing.


Before we get started, I just want to throw out a quick reminder to everyone to think about what your significant other’s love language is. For help with figuring that out see the book, The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts or take the online Love Language quiz.  If you know how they “hear” you say I love you then you’ll be able to find the perfect gift for them!  For instance, if your husband loves to hear words of affirmation you could do #3 the Celtic Heart Knot and frame it with a backdrop of a list of the reasons you love him. {You like the way he smiles, the way he cooks pancakes perfectly, etc.}.  If your wife’s love language is gifts of service then you could plan a relaxing evening for her with say #1’s Homemade Bath Bombs, a soothing CD, and a few hours to herself while you and the kids straighten up and clean the house for her.  Once you know you’re loved one’s love language you can find the perfect gift for them!  Now for our 5 gift ideas…



Homemade Bath Bombs

  •  Homemade Bath Bombs – These fizzy bombs delight kids and adults alike and leave your skin silky smooth.  They often are a rare luxury in our house because they cost a pretty penny however, I have found a DIY bath bomb recipe on and you can check out that recipe here.  I can’t wait to try this out myself!



Paper Fortune Cookie Pattern

  •  Paper Fortune Cookies – These fortune cookies are adorable and perfect for the last minute gifter.  These are so simple to make!  Visit Design. Wash. Rinse. Repeat. for all the details.



Celtic Heart Knot

  • Celtic Heart KnotFusion Knots has a video to guide you step by step to help you make your own Celtic heart knot.  You could use a number of different types of string or rope to make a beautiful necklace or bracelet with this beautiful heart design.  I think my favorite would be to have a thick white rope, like the one shown above, and have it framed with a dark colored backing.  Maybe a hunter green or deep red.  I think that would be lovely!   



Love Letters

  • Love Letters – These “love letters” aren’t a stack of handwritten notes where you’ve poured out your heart and soul and undying devotion to the one you love.  Although, I highly recommend those as a homemade Valentine gift too!  These are the beautifully designed letters from a fellow blogger, Liz from Hoosier Homemade.  Aren’t they darling?  While I adore over the top pink, frilly, and girlieness you could also make these in colors that coordinate with your home decor so that you could keep them up and enjoy them year-round.    



Free Love Coupons


  • Free Love CouponsI Heart Nap Time has free printable love coupons for you to print and assemble your own love coupon book.  This is a simple gift but a thoughtful one too!  If you do this don’t forget to choose coupons that are perfect for your sweetheart’s love language.


Whatever you give this Valentine’s Day make sure it’s from the heart and that the recipient is 100% confident of your love.  If you do that, you can’t go wrong!


Happy Valentine’s Day!


Blue Heart Nail Art – For Valentine’s Day!

Blue Heart Nail Art


I wanted to do a little nail art for Valentine’s Day but I didn’t want it to be too girly.  I know that everyone doesn’t live in the pink, frilly, lacy, sparkly world that I do.  These nails have a beautiful subdued blue polish with a small shimmery heart — It’s like a mini Valentine to yourself!

I applied Julep Nail Polish in Julianne and painted the heart off to the side with Revlon in Silver Dollar.  I’m sure you could recreate this look using any polish in your stash and it would look just as good.  I love how the heart isn’t perfectly even; I think it adds to the charm and makes this nail art less intimidating to copy.

Would you do an easy heart manicure like this?  If so, what colors do you think you’d use?

15 Sweet Valentine’s Day Treats

15 Sweet Valentine's Day Treats



Valentine Confetti Source: Valentine Confetti from Nest of



Valentine CookiesSource: Valentine Cookies from



Heart cakeSource: Heart Cake from





 Heart CookiesSource: Heart Cookies from





Perfect Pair CookiesSource: Perfect Pair Cookies on




Pink Heart CookiesSource: Pink Heart Cookies from



Fudge HeartsSource: Creamy Fudge Hearts from



Strawberry CocoaSource: Sweetheart’s Strawberry Cocoa from The Family Kitchen.



Rainbow Heart CookiesSource: Rainbow Heart Cookies from Ali Bee’s Bake Shop.



Raspberry Cream BitesSource: Raspberry Cream Bites from



Lace CrepeSource: Lace Crepe from

Don’t forget to check out our Free Valentine’s Day Subway Art Printable too!

Free Valentine Subway Art Printable

Free Valentine Subway Art Printable

I love Valentine’s Day, the color pink, my dear readers {that’s you!} and freebies. That’s why, this year, in honor of Valentine’s Day, I would like to give you a Free Valentine Subway Art Printable!

This is the first time I’ve linked to an image before so please tell me if you’re not able to access it. It should print out and fit nicely in an 8 x 10 frame. I hope that you enjoy it and have a very Happy Valentine’s Day!!!

Valentine’s Day Freebies 2012

Happy Valentines Day

Happy Valentine’s Day from Embracing Beauty!


Here is a freebie round up of the best Valentine’s Day freebies around.  Treat yourself or a loved one to a freebie today!


Free Cookie from Quiznos with printable coupon (2/14)

Ben And Jerry’s Free Americone Ice Cream (2/14 From 5-8 pm)

Free Dessert at Boston Market when you buy a meal & drink (2/14)

25 Free 4×6 Photo Prints at Walmart

Free Valentine’s Day Desserts Recipe eBook

Free 8×10 Canvas Portrait – Just pay $14 shipping ($55 value)

Free Redbox Movie Rental (2/14)

Free Travel Size Signature Collection Item At Bath & Body Works with Printable Coupon -No purchase necessary (2/14-2/20)

Buy 1 Get 1 Free Hallmark Cards with Coupon (2/14)

Buy 1 Get 1 Free Beverages at The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf (2/14)

Buy 1 Get 1 Free Entree at Qdoba -When You Share A Kiss with someone at checkout (2/14)

Krispy Kreme – Buy 1 Dozen Donuts, Get 12 Free Valentine’s Day Cards + 12 Free Donut Coupons(2/14)

Free Valentine’s Day Cards– customize, print and color

Free Donut at Thorntons (2/14  6am-9am)

Denny’s Free Skillet Cookie ala Mode dessert with any entree purchase- Send a greeting through Facebook to get your coupon (coupon expires on March. 19, 2012)

Free Chuck E Cheese printable Valentine’s Day Cards– each card is worth 10 free tokens!

Free On The Border Dessert with purchase of two entrees (2/10-2/14)

Free 12 Pack of K-Cups from Cafe Escapes (2/14)


Did I miss a Valentine’s Day Freebie?  If so, leave it in the comments section blow.


Getting the best freebies has never been easier!  Follow me on FacebookTwitter, and Subscribe to Embracing Beauty via email to get daily updates on of the latest free samples, coupons, and hottest deals available!

Free Cookie at Quiznos on Valentine’s Day!



Right now you can grab this printable Quiznos Coupon for a free cookie on Valentines Day!


What a fun way to brighten your day!  No purchase is necessary but there are a few exclusions so make sure you read the fine print and call ahead to your local store to make sure they are participating.


Thanks, Passion for Savings!

Free Redbox DVD Rental for You and Your Valentine!

Redbox Free Rental Valentine

Do you have plans for Valentine’s Day yet?  If not, I have a frugal option for you.  You can rent a DVD from Redbox for free! Just send a Valentine to your Facebook friends through Redbox’s Facebook page and you will receive a free one-night rental code to be used on Valentine’s Day!  Enjoy!

Qdoba Mexican Grill: BOGO For a Kiss!

Qdoba BOGO Kiss


Qdoba Mexican Grill has a BOGO free entree promotion for the customers that don’t mind a little PDA.  You may remember this promotion from last year that tens of thousands of customers took advantage of!


Anyone who buys an entree can get another for half off—once they kiss a fellow customer at the cash register.  It doesn’t matter who it is {to Qdoba at least!}.  As the promotion says, “It could be a significant other, family member, friend, or understanding stranger.”


This deal is only available on February 14, 2012 and there is no coupon necessary. Even though the promotion is happening nationwide, I would check with your local Qdoba to make sure they are participating.  Enjoy!


Will you be kissing at Qdoba on Valentine’s Day?

Eversave: Valentine’s Day Deals!


As always, Eversave is a great place to find great deals both online and locally but lately they’ve stepped up their game.   Eversave has a shopping page dedicated to bringing you the best deals on Valentine’s gifts!  They’ve got everything from decadent fudge, to spinning photo cubes, to beautiful umbrellas in a wine bottle carrying case.  I enjoy unique gifts and I LOVE chocolate – Eversave has both on sale.  If you’re still undecided on what to get your loved one, you’ll want to check this out!


Don’t forget that once you sign up you can refer your friends and get paid for it!


{Note: The link in this post is my referral link. Read my disclosure policy here.}