Ladies Valentine's Day Tea 2014

Last weekend I hosted my annual Ladies Valentine's Day Tea.  It is always a fun event to invite over my sweet friends and shower them with yummy food and pretty crafts.  

As the years go by I continue to create a better routine for reoccurring events.  For this Valentine's party I have found that putting our dining room table next to a folding table creates a nice large square table for plenty of room for decorations, eating and crafting.  Plus it seems to fit better this way with the size of our room.

The table gets more layered than any other party I host.  Lots of color and feminine touches are created with table linens, doilies, and patterned dishes.  Since this is the only large all female party I usually host, I like to go all out in the girliness.  

I am currently debating whether or not to keep my tea cups.  I already have everyday tea/coffee mugs, cute patterned ones for tea dates with friends or women's group, all white mugs for our Christmas party, and then this set.  It's a little excessive!  But they look so pretty in these yearly pictures.  I just cannot make up my mind!  

For the centerpiece, I pick up some flowers from my mom's flower shop which make for simple but pretty decor.

A few heart doilies and conversation hearts on the table and I have an easy Valentine's day themed tablescape.  Each year my holiday bins get smaller and smaller as I am able to purge and embrace more simplified living.  I am down to one bin (I think at some point I had four!) and I am quite happy with how decorated our home feels with less stuff.  Someone once told me I make beautiful parties out of simple everyday things.  That is the greatest compliment I could get.

The tissue paper flower fans in the background worked well at adding a little festivity to the walls.  

I have just a few decorative place mats so for the other place settings I used sheet music paper instead.

For the menu I went with a few breakfast items that were a hit last year and added a few more easy brunch type staples.  I will go into more detail about all the food later this week.

There was plenty of variety of both healthy but decadent.  I want my guests to go home with a full tummy but not necessarily sick to their stomach.  I make portions small but with plenty of food so that guests can try everything and then come back for what they enjoyed the most.

The weather was pretty dark that day.  It was the first weekend of rain showers that we have had in awhile (that we were in much need of!) but it made for less than ideal lighting for photos.  I live for natural light and the sun just wasn't on my side that day.  Here are a few more shots with the lights on.  Because I am obsessed with photos of pretty things.

Besides tea and coffee I also had out water and a cranberry-orange spritzer.

When all the ladies arrived, we took a group shot as always.  Feeling incredibly blessed to have a full house this year.  

For the crafting portion of the afternoon, I set up a bunch of supplies for everyone to create their own Valentine's banners.  Not coming up with a specific craft and tutorial this year was a little weight off my shoulders for a busy last few weeks.  

It is always fun for me to give a suggested direction but then let everyone rely on their own creative inspiration.  It must be my inner teacher.  I get so proud to see all their creations!

My sister in law and my little baby nephew in her tummy with her be mine banner.  I die.

My friend Kristine chose to make Valentine's tags to tie around glass jars as Valentine gifts!  Such a cute idea!  I think I might need to make a few for my canning jar candles!

And my friend Bethany chose to make a little wreath for her door since we already made banners together earlier in the month!

Though I am a hopeless romantic at heart, having girl time during Valentine's Day has easily become the highlight of my February.  We don't always have the chance to get together over warm drinks and crafting so I am incredibly thankful for this yearly tradition!