In my years of entertaining, I’ve sometimes had dinner parties around Valentine’s Day, and some years we just celebrated with the kids, or my husband and I went out to dinner.

If you’re planning on guests this year, don’t forget to make it simple and don’t stress over going “over the top” in making it too Valentine-ish. If you know what I mean …

1. Use a red Christmas tablecloth. No need to run out and spend extra money on a new one!

2. Bring out the white dishes … white goes perfectly with red for Valentine’s Day.

3. Use small vases with white flowers. Grab some fresh rosemary (or other flowering herb) from your yard, if you have it.

4. Add low-line tea lights (lots of them, if you have them). Keep your basket of “extra” candles nearby, just in case you have a late night.

5. Any napkins will do – in my case I wanted bright and cheery so I grabbed some flowery polka-dotted ones.

6. And don’t forget a Valentine’s dessert – if you can pull it off like this one. Easy brownies made from scratch with vanilla ice cream. Sprinkle a few peppermint candies on top! Wah-Lah!

Often when we consider “themed” or “holiday” dinner parties, I think we stop the minute we think it might be fun, because we don’t have all the “stuff” or “supplies.”

Learn to take it a step further and use what you have, or think of what you can borrow from your friends!

Remember, your friends are coming to your home to celebrate life and get to know you more – not to judge your table setting, meal preparation, or if you have the theme just right.

That’s what I love about planning a dinner party. Once I learned to rid myself of perfection, I could let myself feel the beauty of planning and enjoying our friends!

Will you be planning a Valentine’s gathering this month?

(Come back tomorrow for an amazing GIVEAWAY here at RE! 3 books and 1 apron – it’s going to be FABULOUS!)

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