An Excuse to Let Love Go Viral
Valentine’s Day is upon us and many of us are thinking of that special way to celebrate our love for one another. Maybe it’s our love for a significant other, a parent, a child, a family member, or just a close friend. With so many types of relationships, love can be expressed in an infinite number of ways. How we choose to celebrate that unique and special feeling is the real challenge, and even more so, to do it in a creative and even fashionable way.
I realize there’s a certain amount of pressure associated with this day. Expectations can run high, and so can the expense. So let’s step back and take a deep breath. There’s nothing set in stone that says that you must declare your love only on February 14th. I know many people who choose to celebrate this holiday on another day, and in ways that come naturally to them. Do you celebrate Valentine’s Day? What creative ways do you find for spending time together?
When my husband and I were dating, we always tried to make this a very special day. But if I were to be totally honest, as the years passed, my expectations about this “day of love” grew less and less. However, hearing the experiences of other couples, I began to understand the deeper meaning of having a day to celebrate love for one another. I started to realize the importance of feeling that extra oomph of love that stirs the heart... if you know what I mean. Don't get me wrong... I love getting dolled up and going out on the town. However, among my favorite things to do is ordering in our favorite food and renting a movie that we both have an interest in seeing, and calling it a day! - that is my moment. Yes, Valentine’s Day can be simple, and meaningful.
Often times, life and it’s daily demands take an unforeseen toll on all of us. It can cause us to lose touch with our inner passion for life, and one another. We get carried away with our to-do lists and self-imposed expectations. In the midst of our routines, it becomes easy to take one another for granted. We just get lazy, struggling to break free from that routine. Some relationships hit a rough patch (or two) in their lives and sometimes through neglect, even if unintentional, those bonds slowly deteriorate. Those relationships are in need of some love, and Valentine’s day can present the perfect opportunity to put all excuses aside and rekindle those feelings.
This year I saw Valentine’s Day in a different light. It was no longer an excuse to just celebrate ourselves, but more importantly, those we hold dear. We decided that we will spend some time with both of our families before coming home and spending some quality time with each other. I plan to reach out to my loved ones and have a quick chat or exchange of texts, expressing just how important they are to me.
Galentine’s day is also here and is gaining popularity. It’s a time to celebrate, not only the partners in our lives, but the ladies, as well. Who are the special ladies in your life? There are so many women in my life for whom I am thankful. The amazing women who push me, pull me, lift me up, encourage me, extend kindness, love me despite my flaws (which are many), and give me grace. Then there are other women in my life, as well, who let me push, pull, lift, and encourage them. They have the courage and self-confidence to be raw, and the grace to accept their own flaws. They find ways to give to their community, family, friends, and yes, even total strangers. And to all those women still making a difference, even if ever so slightly, through even the smallest acts of kindness and grace, know that I see you.
While my husband and I are planning on carrying the Valentine's celebration into the weekend, I wanted to do something for my girlfriend and her other half, to add the extra oomph of love. I hosted a candlelit dinner for two - and not just the normal kitchen setting, but more of a "sweetheart table" - with fresh floral centerpiece, pops of color, and candles, creating the perfect romantic ambiance! I called up my friend’s husband, shared my thoughts, and asked if he would like to be my "partner in crime." He would bring the dinner dish while I would provide the dessert and drinks. This is the perfect opportunity to demonstrate your own culinary skills - "plus points" if you know your partner's favorite dish! Nothing shows your love like a home-cooked meal (even if it’s not served in your own home!) It can even be as simple as making and serving a cup of tea. Yes, it can be either the female or the male or both to serve and prepare food. In 21st century, we have housewives, we have house husbands, we have two working couple, we all have two hands and a heart or a card in our wallet. Choose what works for you and your partner.
For my setup, I did not want to go all in with traditional hearts. Instead, I added splashes, in tasteful moderation, of bright red color and roses, representing the color of love. For a coordinating background, I used drapes in multiple shades, letting them gently flow to the side. To bring balance to the backdrop, I hung two glass globes using red silk ribbons. Inside the bowl, I placed two roses over a layer of stones. A black side table complemented the use of the black on the draping. For the two lovebird to share, I placed on the table assorted nuts and dried fruits, a chocolate donut "Sprinkled with love!"
To round out the scene, I placed cake, desserts, beverages, and even included some girls scout cookies (go girls!) on a bar cart. I dressed up the cart by adding some decor pieces I have collected over the years, and an art piece by MyDearestCo enclosed in a brushed nickel textured frame. I covered up the table with a plain white tablecloth, over which I placed a rose printed overlay - rose print by Kate Spade seemed perfect for Valentine's Day!
To accentuate the intricate details of the light blue and white china set, I used gold luster rimmed charger plates with sky blue napkins and gilded gem stone napkin rings. The white pearl rim on the napkins added a classy touch, and the variant height of the birch log tea-light holders counterbalanced the height of the long-stem candles. While candles added to that romantic ambiance, baby rose buds confetti created the final brushstrokes on the canvas.
Thank you for sharing some time with me. I hope I have brought a little sunshine into your day. Please share your thoughts, ideas, and feedback with me (in the comment section below). Remember, you’re the other half of my blog! Here’s wishing you and your loved ones a very Happy Valentine’s Day.
Concept, Styling & Design: Nusfolio
Chairs and Table: Gaithersburg Party Rental
Bar cart Art: Carol Chan
White flower vase, Birch Log Tea light Holders: Michaels
Blue Drape, Porcelain Flower Wall Decor, and Art Frame: Target
Valentine Donut Sign: Eighteen25
Rose Petal Linen Table Cloth: Kate Spade
Napkin, Napkin Rings, Charger: Pier1 Shop the look here