Monday, February 20, 2012

 Hi there! Happy Monday? Ok, for some this has not been a good day. So, hopefully, we can add a little sunshine with the blog ideas today! Valentine's Day this past week was a prime reason for us to have a Dinner Party! One of the fun things about having our own parties is that I get to try out some of the crafts or ideas that I may want to use for future client parties! Sometimes it doesn't work out well and I learn, either how to work around the problems, or to just ditch the whole idea. I'm happy to say that everything new I tried out this time worked perfectly! Now I get to share with you our Pink, Red and White color palette!
 First thing to remember when decorating for a Dinner Party is that it's not just your dining room that will get noticed but the areas around it as well. For us that means the fireplace and mantle. So I had to figure out what to do with that space. Above is the final result.
 While perusing the many postings on Pinterest (yup, total Pinteraddict here) I found a few crafts that I wanted to try out. Banners are not original but seeing a birthday banner on the site brought to mind that a banner from some of the heart shaped doilies I had would really make for a great finishing touch. As you can see from the big picture, I used the same idea in vertical lines as well, bending the top heart towards the middle to make a 3D effect.
 The craft I was the most nervous about were the coffee filter flowers. I was so scared that they would look cheap but in reality they look really great! And they were truly easy to do. You can find out, step by step, here at . I was able to easily recycle a painted bottle vase from a previous party and make it work with the Valentine's decor just by adding the red curly ribbon to it. These bottles are really easy to make. Just find a clear bottle that you like, I found mine at the dollar store, and then squirt some acrylic paint into it, turning so that all sides are covered, and then let the excess drip out into a container that you can use to pour the excess paint back into its container. Let dry overnight and it's ready to use!
 I made one more of the flowers, used a smaller clear vase that I filled with clear marbles and red curly ribbon for another detail to the mantle. By the way, the flowers are still on my mantle. I removed the red ribbon and added green ribbon so now they are all dressed up for St. Patrick's Day!
Now onto the dining room. We started off with a huge bunch of balloons. Once again, a dollar store find, we used about 6 of the pink and 8 of the red balloons along with curly ribbon and tied them all into one bunch to drape down over the table from the ceiling! It was such an easy, inexpensive and cute effect we WILL be using this one in the future. Just regular balloons, no helium needed. 
 The favors were cute and easy to do as well. The "flowers" are simply made like the coffee filter flowers but you don't need two sizes of cupcake liners. Just the one size works great! The candy jars I found at my local grocery store. I just filled them with pink Hershey Hugs and covered the lids with Valentines Day paper. Tied it off with more curly ribbon and I was done! These sat in the middle of each plate.
 Here is the table once I had added the dessert plate and the drinks. Notice that I used an old crystal decanter as our pitcher for the pink lemonade! SO pretty and elegant! We used tea lights to actually light the table. We used the tapers purely for decoration, as were the candles in the center of the table. One of the last details was using mini jars for the salt and pepper.
 The dessert plates were actually plaques I bought, also at the dollar store, and then I used Valentines Day lunch bags and white glue to cover the original design. While the lunch bag and white glue are both food safe I still made sure that there was a barrier between each dessert and the plate. Going from left to right I made a S'mores Tart, a White Chocolate Covered Strawberry topped with Gold Sugar crystals and, finally, a Strawberry Cupcake topped with vanilla buttercream and a red fondant heart "arrow". You can see each and how they were made on this weeks Cat's Cakes Blog at  .
 We started out dinner out with chilled shrimp cocktail that I put into a gold stemmed martini glass. Because of their shape they were easy to make into hearts for presentation and, of course, the pink color of the shrimp and red of the sauce made them fit right into the color scheme!
 Dinner was pieces of London Broil topped off with grilled heart shaped shrimp skewers, twice baked potatoes, rolls and salad.
 As mentioned before, our drink was pink lemonade. Not only did we dress up our pitcher by using a decanter, we also dressed up our drinks with champagne flutes that had dark pink sugared rims. All you have to do is dip the rim into lemon juice (or lime juice) and then dip that into the colored sugar before pouring your drink. The kids who attended were really thrilled by this touch. Not only did they feel grown up by using the champagne flute but it was rimmed in SUGAR! LOL!
 As you can see, by this full photo of the place setting, the pink lemonade really added to the look of an elegant Valentine's Day dinner. Our guests were delighted so, of course, were we!

I was not the only one having a dinner party that night. My partner was also having a family dinner party! Above is the big picture of her place settings. From the sparkly punch in the wine glasses to the ornate menu cards to the gorgeous flower centerpiece to the black table cloth with red place mats, every detail ties her Red, Black and White color palette together making for a very elegant table. Check out the little carrot cups decorated for Valentine's Day! SO cute...gonna have to use a version of that one for Easter!

She finished up her dinner with these adorable Hugs, Kisses and Hearts sugar cookies. Such an easy dessert but such a cute way to end her dinner! And perfect for the little kids attending to hold and eat.

Yes, another Valentine's Day has passed but there are many birthdays and Anniversaries and perhaps a shower or two that you can use several of our ideas to punch up your party!

See you next week with even more party ideas! And if you want to see our Easter Planning daily ideas just check us out on Facebook at !


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