Sometimes you just have to go with the flow. Despite my tendencies to keep our day-to-day activities organized, menu’s planned, and everything just so-so, life happens. With a family of six you know there is always something going on.
Take for instance all of my grand plans for a fabulously romantic Valentine’s Day. Audley had to go out of town for work yesterday; ten days of work. So, my five star dinner became something for the children, but only three of them. With Samantha engaged now, she spent her evening with her sweetheart.
I picked a new menu for our Valentine’s dinner; one that thrilled Kenzie-Grace, Madeline, & Bradley:
shrimp & Parmesan stuffed shells topped with marinara
crisp green salad with basil vinaigrette (Kenzie-Grace made this)
chocolate dipped strawberries
white chocolate cupcakes with cream cheese icing…. it’s Valentine’s Day, extra sugar is OK.
|the recipe will be up on Wednesday!|
I will admit, it took a little push to get me motivated for this evening. But, as my oldest, Samantha, pointed out …. “we make fun of you for going overboard, but would totally miss it and be really disappointed if you didn’t do it.”
Not one to disappoint, I went overboard for the four of us at dinner.
With an “Italian” influenced dinner in the works, Williams-Sonoma’s music library provided the perfect mood music. Believe it or not, not one complaint was heard from my “modern” children.
Rose petals, tulips, candles, presents …. the works. I put it out for a classy evening with the loves of my life.
Creating my table wasn’t too expensive. I had the vases and clear stones within them left over from my class reunion last summer. The tulips were the most expensive part of my table; forty stems for $30. That’s about the best you can do this time of year. I found these beauties (and the red ones you’ll see in a minute) at the Fresh Market in Chattanooga. I bought two single roses without the frills of baby’s breath & greenery to use for the petals. They were a dollar each.
The best part is that I can enjoy the fresh flowers all week long! Do fresh flowers make you happy?
The little vintage salt & pepper shakers belonged to my grandparents. I love to use these when setting a special dinner table.
The votive holders were .99 at Target last spring. You can find some really great deals as the seasons are changing in the retail market. The candles themselves came from the dollar store.
When picking candles, make sure they don’t have scent. Scented candles influence the flavor of your meal, and not always in a good way.
The little red plates came from Home Goods. They came in a set of six with a little black stand for storage for $5.99. These are the perfect size for appetizers, bread, and desserts. These can be used for so many other occasions from Christmas hors d’oeuvres to fresh blackberry cobbler in the summer.
Pink lemonade served in simple goblets really completed my romantic theme.
|I told you the red tulips were beautiful!|
The kids were in sugar heaven today (as I was recovering from cupcake hell). The white chocolate cupcakes with cream cheese frosting seemed to make their day, but the chocolate dipped strawberries made their eyes dance!
I waited for the joking at my expense to start with the music this evening, but after making it all through dinner with not one remark at how “crazy” I am, I realized that my children really appreciated and loved their special night.
Maybe it was because they knew I was a bit disappointed at the change of plans, or maybe they are getting old enough to enjoy my obsession with going all out for every holiday. Whatever the reason, I hope tonight was a night to treasure for them. I hope they will carry these moments with them as they grow up and will want to share them with their families one day.
I know I treasure these moments.
Happy Valentine’s Day!