We finally took down our Christmas tree yesterday, so I’ve been doing a little decorating for Valentine’s Day. I don’t usually do much, but I like to have a few things on the mantle and the kitchen window sill for each season. I needed a little inspiration and started thinking back to what I’ve done in the past when I remembered our Valentine party two years ago.
For our first ever Valentine’s Day party, Pete and I invited a few couples over, hired a babysitter for the wee ones, and had a Valentine’s party in Paris. Well, Paris in northern Minnesota. We used our imaginations.
I made a few decorative pieces to hang from the ceiling that were made completely of cupcake papers. I tend to have a lot of those around. You can find the tutorial and a whole lot of other fun ideas on my Pinterest Valentine board.
I also made a raspberry rose cake, though we ended up sending it home with our friends in to-go boxes since we were so filled with fondue!
I keep this mannequin in the corner of our dinning room, changing it every couple months. I often have a cute pink, half apron my great grandma made. For the party, I decorated it with old jewelry from my grandma and vintage postcards. Here’s the secret for finding perfect postcards for decorating: make your own! If I get a chance, I’ll whip up a little tutorial of how to make them. They are very easy and add a great touch for parties or simple seasonal decorations.
Looking back, I see I didn’t do much to the mantle. I tend to have the mantel as a center piece now, and change it about once a month just by rotating decorations like picture frames and candles from the nearby bookshelves. I did make a small sort of bunting using a piece of twine and miniature clothespins.
Around both the dining room and living room, I hung strings of paper doilies, which I still have hanging in the dining room. These are incredibly simple and inexpensive to make. Cut a string the length of your window or hanging space and fold various sizes of paper doilies in half over the string. Use a little glue to secure the two halves together, and you’re finished! I’ve hung the bunting for Valentine’s Day, Ella’s birthday parties, my sister-in-law’s wedding shower, and at Christmas. (Paper doilies can be found at craft stores in the baking section.)
For beverages, we served champagne and sparkling cider with a strawberry. The sparkling cider was quite necessary as I believe four of the five of us women were either pregnant or nursing. I was pregnant with Sam at the time! While we were sipping and dipping our fondue, we read the story of how Valentine’s Day first came about. I had never heard the actual story! (find it here – the first section)
Unfortunately, I don’t have any pictures of the actual fondue since I was so involved with conversation and eating as soon as the fondue was ready. But here’s the bread. I’ll let you just imagine the cheese fondue. While looking for recipes, I came across a fun fondue tradition, or so that’s what the story said. Apparently, if someone drops their bread or fruit or dessert into the fondue pot, they have to kiss the person next to them. Of course, we just stuck with significant others, which added a little fun to the party.
We followed the cheese with an incredible dark chocolate fondue. Yum. Yum. Yum.
Basically the entire party centered around eating at the dining room table. It was wonderful. We had hoped to make it an annual event, but so far it doesn’t look like that will be happening. Not yet, at least. Last year we celebrated the holiday with all of our new missionary friends and a big pot luck on a basketball court outside the hospital in Kenya. This year, I’ll be in Arizona with my mom for the week. Kinda sad I’ll be missing Valentine’s Day with my little lovies…and the man of the house…but I’m looking forward to a short getaway. We’ll make this party happen again, eventually, even if we’re in Africa when we do!
Do you have any Valentine traditions? I think I should start one or two this year since Ella is at a good age for that now. I’d love to hear your ideas in the comment section below!