As most of you know we’re getting ready to move shortly and my blog posts have been scanty these days because there’s so much going on. But last night we hosted our annual Valentine dinner party and I thought I’d share some pretty pictures with you.
I think this Valentine dinner is such a fabulous idea; each year we celebrate the occasion with our long-time friends Mary and Dave, Kirsten and John and Tracey and Andy. We rotate homes and alternate cooks. One year the wives cook the meal for the guys and the next year the guys cook for us and we dress up and basically have a blast.
The first year we bought the husbands matching heart covered ties
(“Mom did the guys wear those dorky ties again?” “Yes, Michael they sure did.” )
and we wear lots of red and have so much fun cooking our gourmet dishes together.
This year I was happy to host it at our house because every gathering we have here….now takes on such special meaning. I even decided to add an old-fashioned vibe to the decorations because these days I’m in a downright sappy mood.
I started with the place cards…
Do you remember those simple, brown paper sacks we decorated in grade school for our class Valentine parties?
Remember how excited we were to have these be our ‘mailboxes’ for all those store bought Valentines from our classmates?
Well…when I saw these miniature bags at Hobby Lobby I thought they’d make adorable place cards so I decorated them with white doilies and slipped a box of candy hearts into each one.
I used red chargers and my Christmas napkins trimmed with white stitching.
I bought a piece of red fabric and folded it down the center of a white tablecloth.
For drama I stuck to a monochromatic theme and used red tulips down the center with red rose petals tossed on the table for texture.
I tied five red tissue balls with fishing wire and hung them from the ceiling.
And I added little mason jars sprayed with a can of gold paint and dipped in glitter. I wish I had a picture of these at night, they actually sparkle.
Oh-and I did spend a ridiculous amount of time on these Valentine Cootie Catchers for the husbands. (But it was worth it).
Because I thought that any old fashioned Valentine party had to have a Cootie Catcher, so I made this version. Only instead of using colors and numbers, I chose images from romantic movies. The opening line is, Which Leading Man Are You? And in place of a fortune at the end, I had a trivia question having to do with Valentines Day and romantic movies.
Honestly, the funniest thing was watching the husbands try to open and close their Cootie Catchers. I never realized how much coordination it took.
Do you want to know how I made these? I promise to show you in another post.
For the dinner I was in charge of making a cheese board, the salad, and these home-made sugar cookies.
The dinner was wonderful. Kirsten made a wild mushroom Risotto, Mary made the main course, a Macadamia-crusted Halibut with a Blood Orange Beurre Blanc Sauce and Tracey made the green beans and the Chocolate Molten Lava Cakes.
And like all cozy dinners we drank good wine, reminisced about old times and don’t ask me how, but at one point we even sang the theme songs to the Beverly Hillbillies and Gilligan’s Island.…TV shows from our childhood.
It was simply magical, one of those evenings where you sit back and relish the joy of being together with the same friends that once stood outside the kindergarten classroom with you. And waited for those baby-faced six year olds that are now an amazing twenty-one years old.
It was also a night with gratitude in the air.
Tracey had been at the hospital that day while her Dad underwent a successful surgery and I was so relieved to find out that morning that Patrick didn’t have to have surgery for his broken foot. Oh yes…Patrick’s broken foot. That’s a story for another post.
In the meantime, I just keep counting my blessings.
linking up to these parties: