Celebrating More Than Just Valentine’s Day This Week

If you think limiting your Valentine’s Day candy to a piece or two of healthier dark chocolate is hard, imagine if you lived in my family.

This week we have our anniversary, my oldest son’s birthday, and my fourth son’s birthday. Plus, it’s Valentine’s Day this week, which just happens to be my favorite holiday. I like it because it’s a simple, one-day event. A pretty card, a bit of dark chocolate, and you are done. Unlike Christmas, which takes a month of preparation and more cash than I dare to think about.

What I have a hard time with this week out of every year is the absolute over abundance of sweets. I can’t just tell the birthday boys, “Well, I’m trying to stay on track with my weight management right now – so no cake for you!” I might have a mini-rebellion on my hands if I tried that one.

So I make cakes for each boy this week.

My oldest son turned 15. You may remember him from my post “I Lost Him!” where I talked about losing as much as he currently weighs. He wanted a Lamborghini cake, because he really believes he will have one some day. I hope he’s right, because if he can afford that, I’m totally moving in with him when I get old.This cake was my first attempt at fondant, and it wasn’t as hard to make or work with as I would have thought.

My fourth son turned 7. He wanted a Star Wars Lego Cake, which I made on Saturday. I think it turned out pretty well, and he was thrilled.

With this much cake in the house, and Valentine’s Day on my doorstep, I found that I almost have to think of the cakes and excess candy as poison for my system. I take a taste at the birthday party table, and then leave it alone. Whenever I’m tempted to just slice a sliver off the cake, I remember that one sliver almost always adds up to two, and two seems to multiply to four.

I find that stopping at one works best for me. With the candy coming up, I told John I’d like a package of Ghiradelli dark chocolate squares that I can portion out and eat just one a day. That works well for me. He’s trying to lose weight and wants no candy. I’m going to do as he asks and hope he’s not disappointed.

If you have any tips for handling the candy, cakes, and treats floating around this week, I would love to add them to my arsenal! Diane


34 thoughts on “Celebrating More Than Just Valentine’s Day This Week

  1. Miz says:

    for me—and through this post it seems for you too—so often it is more about the people and the experience and the LOVE than the food.
    I like diandras tip and just focusing on the decadence of the family time over the foodstuffs.

  2. Susan says:

    After eating clean for over 6 weeks in a row now I find the taste of candy or cake too sweet!! I too think of that kind of sugar as poision for my system. In spite of that I had two small pieces of candy last night my husband was the food pusher and now I don’t want anymore its not all that to me anymore I prefer to get my “sugar” from fruit. This is the first time I can remember not being triggered to want more so this is big progress for me!

    You might put the phrase “its not new food” in your arsenal you know what it taste like so you can pass it up or limit what you do eat.

    • Diane Carbonell says:

      That’s a great tip “it’s not new food.” I like that because it is a tangible way to remind yourself that you already have had the experience of eating it, and you are not missing out on anything. By the way – isn’t it interesting how adaptable our taste buds are? I find the same thing happens to me as I continue to monitor my sodium intake.

  3. Sharon says:

    Another thing we share….Valentine’s Day is also my favorite holiday. For me, it’s just a great excuse to gift gifts to people I love. I’ll spend today getting those gifts ready and tomorrow delivering them. Something I look forward to every year. But the fun for me is choosing creative gifts that have NOTHING to do with food. It’s kind of a joke around here. Everyone knows they’ll get something for Valentine’s Day, but everyone also knows it won’t be candy.

    Loved the cakes – you are so talented!

    • Diane Carbonell says:

      I am excited to see my kid’s faces when they get up this morning. It’s all red, pink and so cute!! I too like to find creative, non-food gifts for everyone. So much fun and it sets a good example.

  4. Alissa says:

    I’m impressed with your cakes- very creative!
    I try to portion out my candy too. I don’t like to completely ban it- but just practice self control.

    • Diane Carbonell says:

      Practicing self-control is important in the journey, because even if you have a willpower of steel at some points in your journey, there will be other times where you have to rely on that self-control that you have developed over the years.

  5. Sonya says:

    Cake is my kryptonite! I did however order an ice cream cake ( a very small one) for my family to have tomorrow on Valentines day. One piece for everyone with a few toppings and it will be gone and done ( no leftovers). Having no leftovers is key for me. Stay strong!!

    • Diane Carbonell says:

      Chocolate is mine. I can leave the cake alone most of the time, but having a lot of chocolate around is not good for me. I agree with the no leftovers. Small single-sized servings work best for me too!

  6. Emergefit says:

    Quite the baker, you are! I’m impressed. My argument is, and will always be the same when it comes to sweets; the 2nd, 3rd, 4th bites and so-on, never taste as good as the 1st. One and done. Move on. Live well.

  7. Jody - Fit at 54 says:

    YIKES Diane – so much going on for you! You know how to handle it so I am not worried about you! 😉

    I really don’t want anything but my weekend cookies so I am good. I am not a craver of chocolate like most. But just as any other day of the year, I don’t make other people’s special occasions my won otherwise I would be eating all year round!

  8. Marie@feedingfive says:

    I am with you, I like the no fuss Holidays that require no effort and are done in a day. I am telling Glenn not to get me anything, but if he has to a few pieces of See’s will be great, I know how to make those last. I always like to taste cake but try and stick to yogurt and fruit for dessert. It fills me up and ending the night with a bunch of sugar really does make me feel sick. I don’t sleep well.

  9. E. Jane says:

    Cake is my biggest nemesis. One piece is never enough. I actually do better with a small piece of chocolate, but am sticking to fruit these days. Great idea for your hubby for valentine’s day.

  10. liz says:

    I am going to use your method. One leads to 2, 2 leads to 4.

    I like the victory feeling of not giving into temptation!! I feel like I should get a trophy for not giving into temptation!!

  11. Kristi McMurry says:

    I love the Star Wars cake!! I have absolutely no talent when it comes to making cakes look like anything more than blobs, so props to you for being able to build that. With candy, I usually just have to give it away or toss it. If I have it in the house, and I think about it while I’m just sitting around watching a movie or something, I am greatly tempted to mindlessly munch. If it’s some I really like and hate to throw out (most candy, I could live without…but some of it is just too good), I’ll bring it up to the office and put it in the drawer. I usually forget all about it, but it’s a nice surprise when I go looking for something on a bad day. And I guess my willpower is stronger when I’m at the office during the day, so I can usually stick to just one. I did read that your willpower wanes as the day goes on, so I guess it makes sense.

  12. Stacy Jameson says:

    You are going to have a great time partying this week.
    Happy wishes on your anniversary, and the birthdays of your two sons.
    Don’t look at your arsenal this week. Just go and grab those candy, cakes, and treats that are waiting for you.

    Enjoy your lovely week.


  13. Siobhan says:

    Love the cakes. 🙂 I have a big birthday coming up, but all the kids and grandkids will be there so there will be no left-over anything. Mac and I made chocolates and sent them out last week to all the grandkids for Valentine’s and gave all the grown-ups certificates for dinner out. (Although I’m sure the grown-ups ate some of the candy also). That way we got to celebrate with chocolate without eating it

  14. Lisa says:

    If I don’t SEE the treats, I’m much stronger at resisting them. But in all honesty, knowing that baked goods are in my house means they are on my mind a lot and it takes a lot of hard work to resist.

    You are really gifted at cake decorating! Those are so cute!

  15. Carrilu says:

    Hi Diane,
    Oh we have a “birthday/holiday” month too and meeting everyone’w request and making them feel special while trying to stay on track is a challenge for sure. Cute cakes! I swear the sliver is for me, always worse than a piece or bite. Good for John! Since I’m not a huge fan of chocolate, I try to take my Valentine gift in the form of a massage or bubble bath with candles. I used to be better at this and there are so many fun things for pampering that are not edible around this time. Hang in there, it does pass…….until next year! lol.

  16. Jill says:

    What cool cakes you made! Awesome!

    For me- if its in the house it is a temptation. Whatever comes in on Valentines Day- goes to my husband workplace on the 15th. (most of the time) 🙂

  17. Maureen says:

    You are soooo talented! I doubt I could ever create a cake even half that beautiful!
    If there is candy in front of me, I will eat it, so I ask my husband to NOT get me candy for V-day!

  18. Roz@weightingfor50 says:

    Good looking cakes Diane, but GREAT looking boys!!! Wow…you must be so proud, and in return, they must be so proud of their mom!!! You are an amazing healthy role model for all of your kids. Have a great week…and happy anniversary, valentines day and birthday to your sons.

  19. Pam @ The Meltaways says:

    I’m totally with you – between Valentine’s and my son’s birthday, we have too much sugar in the house right now, too! I packed up half of the cake and sent it home with my family when they were here for his party, put the rest of the pizza from the party in the freezer for quick reheats and am allowing myself a piece or two of candy a day, with plenty of water to combat (sugar makes me swell up).

    Your cakes are gorgeous! I’m talentless when it comes to decorating! Happy Anniversary, too!

  20. Katie says:

    I love the cakes!!
    We have our anniversary (Feb 6), 4th son’s birthday (Feb 13-just turned 9) and Valentine’s Day all in a row, too! When the boys were younger I would make one box of cake mix and put into two circle cake pans.. then I would frost and serve them separately. That worked really well! Now that I have 8 boys, we could never make one half of a cake stretch far enough. 🙂 Stashing things in the freezer doesn’t help me.. I LOVE frozen chocolate more than non-frozen! But, I do tend to let my kids finish off the sweets so that they are GONE.
    Thanks again for your blog!

  21. Taryl says:

    What handsome men you’ve raised! I have a week like this one in our house, too, with three birthdays in the family and two in the immediate family, plus the week of my birthday, anniversary, and Mother’s day follows the next month. So big week in April, big week in May. I used to try to do the moderation thing, you remember, but these days I’m more in line with you – a taste (off someone else’s plate or the knife) and I’m done. More just equals a LOT more, in most cases. I can do a treat at a restaurant, but the baked stuff at home? When it is a whole week of it like you listed I’m better off either waiting until the last event to have a small piece or just abstaining.

  22. Michelle says:

    The cakes turned out really nicely. My 8 and 9 year-old daughters will love to see the Lego Star Wars cake.
    Cake is probably one of my biggest weaknesses, but I’m pretty picky about it and sometimes that works in my favor. For instance, I don’t care for the taste of many frostings (or fondant) so those cakes wouldn’t even be a temptation. But a cake from Publix with whipped cream icing or homemade cupcakes with fluffy white frosting and I’m in trouble! However, I have found that freezing the leftovers doesn’t keep my family from enjoying them but keeps me from cutting those multiplying slivers!

    Valentine’s isn’t a problem–we don’t celebrate it at all. Sometimes I will make a special dinner for my family, but we don’t specifically acknowledge the holiday and feel no need to buy chocolates.

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