Updated: Nov 25, 2019
Hill and Valley Design - a design and lifestyle blog
Valentine's Day isn't usually a date I intentionally celebrate, but this year I thought it would be fun to invite a few friends over for a Valentine's Day dessert and wine party! Above is part of the spread!
Like many of you, because I am busy with kids, I kept the desserts pretty simple - things I could easily bake ahead or pick up at Trader Joe's. Throw in a couple bottles of wine, fresh cut strawberries, and some lemonade and I was set!
Using the red paper cups (from Ikea) made the Trader Joe'st truffle brownies and blondie bars easy to serve. I baked the mixes in the afternoon, cut them up and placed them on serving trays and cake plates. It was easy, but it is so delicious to have freshly baked goods to serve the same day!
I admit it, I had a little too much fun in the Target dollar spot and picked up this little gold "love" sign (among many other items) and placed it among the flowers and candles. Can I just warn you that you could very easily spend A LOT of money in the "dollar spot" if you are not very careful in editing your shopping cart before checkout?!
The pretty white plates are from my mother. Actually, I prefer to use white dishes in general because they work for any occasion. White plates and serve ware won't compete with your food - in fact, they show off the colors and beauty of your food.
When you want to brighten things up you can always use fun, patterned napkins, flowers, table cloths and place mats. These items are less expensive to change out as opposed to buying multiple sets of dishes for different occasions.
The beauty of using white dishes is that you can frequently find them at second-hand thrift stores for next to nothing! Mix and match what you already may have with what you can find!
Another way to amp up your baking mix treats or pre-made bakery items is to add small, but important finishing touches like a little whipped cream and fresh raspberries.
I also selected a few bunches of fresh flower and put together a few flower arrangements in mason jars. Here is my sink full of fresh cut flowers - roses, chrysanthemums, carnations. The photo above is the mass of flowers in my kitchen sink, waiting for arrangement in old olive, jelly, and Mason jars. You don't have to spend a bunch of money on fancy vases when the gorgeous flowers fill them!
I have a thing for mercury glass and little objects that look like stars and jacks or other three-dimensional forms. So, naturally, whenever I can mix and match these little items, for variety, I will throw something fun into the mix. I am always stealing things from other parts of the house to fit something I am currently working on.
One trick I use to stretch my flowers and foliage is to go out into the yard and look for interesting colored or textured leaves and/or branches to blend with the flowers. Although I purchased all of the cut flowers, most of the greenery came from bushes in my yard. The selection is a little more sparse in the winter, but sometimes you get a more interesting variety as some of the plants have berries or dried parts of flowers remaining in the colder season.
Thanks for reading my blog! I love the encouragement and welcome your comments and experiences that you would like to share.