For the next party in our Year of Feasting, where we decided to host 12 parties in 12 months in an effort to up the fun factor around here, I’m thinking cozy party for 2.
Part of our purpose in setting out this little Year of Feasting challenge, was to be more intentional about creating occasions were we could build authentic connections with the people we love. As I thought about that and ideas for Valentine’s Day I was struck by how perfect it seemed to use one of these 12 feasts as a chance to do something lovely, and intentional, and special for my most favourite love of all, my husband. We realized this past summer how easy it is at this stage of life -with school aged children, to get stuck in the rut of the business of family life. Our routines -work, cleaning the house, groceries, laundry, movie night, they work great for us. They help us get everything done that needs to get done. They help keep us all on track and happy. We’re pretty good at the business of being the parents. But, sometimes we forget to do more than get from A to B and the old cliché that someday these little people we’ve spent our lives on will be grown and have their own lives and we will be left with each other, well it’s true. And it makes me want to be a little more intentional about loving my husband, and enjoying the journey. So, what could be more appropriate in this Year of Feasting, than to prepare one special feast just for two.
I’ve been inspired by the Scandinavian notion of “Koselig” -it’s hard to translate into english, it’s something like cozy, but more. It’s the idea that winter isn’t something to be endured, but celebrated. It’s a time to light candles, enjoy sheepskin rugs, and wool socks, and wine, and hot tea, and sitting fireside. For Norwegians it’s also a time to get outside, to dress warmly and enjoy the snow and beauty of winter. I like that. I’ve never been one to love winter…in fact I’ve fallen more on the enduring side, but I’m feeling more inspired to try and love it, to get cozy and enjoy.
So our Valentine’s Feast for two will be cozy, I’m picturing a picnic or table in front of the fireplace, and an afternoon spent cooking something warm and hearty together, while we sip wine and listen to good music. My husband’s been thinking about the menu, and I’ve been thinking about the decor. He’s thinking something like steak and garlic mashed potatoes, or duck, or chicken with 40 cloves of garlic. Yum to any of them. I’m thinking fur pillows, and lots and lots of candles, neutrals with a touch of pretty pink.
1. I’d like to decorate in mainly neutrals, with a touch of soft pink this year. I loved the scandi feel this Christmas, it’s inspired me for Valentine’s day too. I’m planning to make a little heart garland with some old book pages, similar to this pretty one.
2. Since it’s Valentine’s Day, I thought some fresh flowers would be nice. I love these pretty hanging flowers, and I think I’ll try and do something similar over the table.
3. The Mason Jar Oil Lamps that I made a few weeks ago should add a touch of romance.
4. To create the cozy feel, I’m inspired by this picture of pretty fur and candles, so I’ll try and add lots of warm fur and candles to our space for the night.
5. What could be more romantic than cozy fireside dining and perfect for a cold February night.
6. A romantic spot by the fireplace will need lots of soft pillows, and I love Craftberry Bush’s pretty Arrow Cushion -so perfect for Valentine’s Day.
7. And to add some softness, I’ve already picked up some of these pretty and inexpensive Ikea Pink Velvet Cushions.
8. We’re planning a fun afternoon of cooking together, and while we cook we’ll enjoy a Kir Royal -a real favourite of mine, and perfectly sparkling and pink for Valentine’s Day.
9. While we’re cooking, how about the perfect Adele 25 Album playing in the background.
10. What to wear for a cozy night in, how about a warm and pretty Cable Knit Sweater in the perfect shade of soft pink.
11. We haven’t decided on our menu yet, but Barefoot Countessa’s Chicken with Forty Cloves of Garlic is a real favourite, and perfect comfort food.
12. So many options for dessert… since I’m not really a chocolate girl, I’m thinking maybe Dessert Crepes. They’re so, so yummy and I love that you can mix and match toppings. All things French are romantic, right?
13. At the end of the night how about curling up with a hot cup of tea to finish the night in the prettiest Valentine’s Day teacups?
14. And perhaps, a classic old movie while snuggled up on the sofa. How about “Breakfast At Tiffany’s” before heading up to bed…?
With restaurants crowded this time of year, a cozy night at home together sounds like the perfect Valentine to me.
Don’t forget you can play along too in any way that works for you. Perhaps 12 feasts in 12 months like us, or maybe 6? Potluck parties, take-out, or cooking together, what ever works for you and yours. Our hope is to inspire you to enjoy entertaining again. We’d love to see your feasts, post a pic on our Facebook page, or play along on Instagram with #ayearoffeasting hashtag.
With a romantic night in for two, life really is a party!