My prince announced Sunday that he was far enough along on his RCIA presentation that we could have our date the next day (Valentine’s Day). It was my turn to plan the date. Think fast :)!
Fortunately I had a few things up my sleeve for future reference. I just didn’t know I’d need them quite so soon ;)! I’d been keeping my eye open for Valentine do-dads for a while, but hadn’t found much ’till the previous Friday.
One find was a cute pair of stuffed kitties on a heart pillow at St. Vincent de Paul. I wasn’t planning to buy them, but my prince just had to see them–paired kitties have been one of our symbols since before we were married:
We couldn’t have kitties when we were first married (no pets allowed in the apartment), so for years we had a running call & response: “I want a kitty!” “Two kitties.” It degenerated into “M-ow!” “M-ow m-ow!”
Anyway, when I did show my prince the stuffed kitties, he asked “How much are they?” & looked at the tag:$2. “Get them.” So we did.
My prince can’t have the m&ms that came in the heart container, so I replaced them with roasted almonds–his favorite treat :). I printed the Valentine (free) from here: vintage Valentines.
Then I found instructions for folding a napkin into a heart and got busy in the kitchen.
I put a red tablecloth on the table, folded the napkins and turned our place mats to the “hearts” side. For a centerpiece, I got out the pair of kitties from St. Vincent de Paul, added a little doily I’d netted (needlework technique), a kitty candle holder with a red votive, paper rose petals I cut from scrap paper & a red paper rose I printed & constructed (free–this site is amazing!).
With the table ready, I made more of my prince’s wheat-free bread (shaping it as rolls this time) & margarine, raisin cakes, applesauce (dried apples & apple juice through the blender) & mashed potatoes. I dished out corn (his favorite vegetable) & got steak ready to broil (nothing says “special occasion” to my prince better than steak & I found these on sale a few weeks ago!).
While I waited for my various cooking projects to rise/bake/etc., I put the finishing touches on another project I had underway–a “romance box,” in which I put candles, couple’s games, sidewalk chalk & various other things I thought might be nice for a romantic occasion (the paper rose petals will go there when I change the table decorations). I’d seen the idea a while ago (maybe from the Generous Wife?) & finally made my own. I considered decorating the outside of the box, but the supplies I had didn’t lend themselves to it…and it is a nice color…
When my prince actually arrived, I put the mashed potatoes into a sparkly red heart-shaped bowl (one of my “finds” at Target!), added a heart pick & turned on the broiler. You can see the “conversation cubes” at his place–they read (feelings cubes): “satisfied, tired, in pain (headache),” (needs cubes): “rest, companionship”.
My prince had eaten his lunch on the way home (students came in for tutoring at lunch time, so he didn’t eat then–that’s pretty common), so he wasn’t all that hungry when he arrived. He did justice to the steak ;), but didn’t really have room yet for the rolls or raisin cakes.
After supper I led my prince to our room to show him the romance box. Since we were both pretty tired by then, we simply retired to the bed to flop & cuddle a bit, making happy, sleepy little noises to each other (mrphs & such). It was icy in there (happens when I have the oven on & the furnace doesn’t kick in for a while), so I closed all the other registers & turned up the furnace. When it got warm, I got up to turn it down & bring in the raisin cakes & applesauce on little heart-shaped plates (also from Target). That’s a kitty-handled hors d’oeuvres spreader in the applesauce. My prince ended up eating his raisin cake & applesauce using the little heart pick like a spoon! By then he had room for a roll, so he tried one of those too. Then we went back to lounging.
It was a good way to enjoy a special occasion with little to no energy!