Are you looking for a little something festive for Valentine’s Day?  In year’s past I would plan little to nothing and then at the last minute regret it and scrounge around my house for heart doilies and glue!  I’m better about being prepared for Valentines these days, but I try to keep it really simple.  I keep a big bag of dollar store craft materials stashed away and I plan to do some kind of simple tea party on Valentines Day or one afternoon that week.  (Last year we did these lovely watercolor hearts and hung them!)

If you’re needing a last-minute Valentines idea, look no further than your pantry.  Chances are, you have things for scones and some tea!

Scones are ridiculously versatile and simple to make.  I left a link to a recipe here for you.  Mix in any kind of fruit or chocolate chips (we used dried cranberries…left from Thanksgiving), and then top with some jam (whipped cream is a plus!)  Make them heart-shaped with a cookie cutter, or just leave them like little biscuits.  Credit for idea of scones goes to my friend Amy, who is the queen of enjoying life and making things simple with her Valentines tea parties.

Valentine’s week is notoriously busy for us, as Liberty’s birthday is the 13th.  Instead of trying to cram school in, we just go all out and make it a celebratory week.  This year I decided to make one day a Valentine’s Luncheon Tea.  In other words, we made some scones and then took regular lunch things that we would already be eating anyways (like sandwiches and fruit) and piled them on pretty platters and serving dishes.

Of course, cutting the crusts off the sandwiches is a requirement! I had greens in my garden and the makings for a quiche that I tossed in a leftover frozen pie crust from Thanksgiving.  (I admit, it was rather idealistic and romantic to harvest garden greens for our luncheon.)

Granted, this was a little fancier than we usually do, but as the girls get older, they really appreciate all the details.  I have done several of these little teas before, so with a little bit of planning I picked up some flowers from the grocery store and a table cloth from my sister-in-law.  (I normally use store-bought cookies, an old floral sheet and flowers from the yard!)

So do I actually have fancy silver serving dishes lying around?  The truth is, yes.  And that’s because I’ve been on the hunt for a real china tea set in invest in for several months now.  (That’s a Sally Clarkson idea.)

I almost gave into buying a full-priced “meh” set on Amazon, when lucked upon a gorgeous (mostly full) Bavarian china set at the thrift store this weekend.  With a 20% off coupon I had enough in my budget to pick up some extra mis-matched tea cups, silver serving dishes and some luncheon plates. The tea set pieces were spread out all over the dish ware section, but I found them all and gathered them snugly into my little cart.

We weren’t able to have friends due to a fresh cold going around our house, but the girls’ Grammy took time to come over.  They raided the dress-up bin for outfits and asked me to curl their hair.  Bubba woke up from his nap just in time to join us. (He was annexed to the kitchen in his high chair for being The Messiest Baby and The Grabby-est, but Cutest Baby.)

We spent the whole morning preparing everything and talking about deep questions, like morality, God and having families.  We have the best conversations when we are creating something together. We looked up how to properly set a luncheon table and practiced manners as we had our tea.  Then we spent a quiet afternoon listening to music and audio books just enjoying the day. We watched the Kiera Knightly version of Pride and Prejudice, just because we could!

I hope you’ll take a moment this week to set the table, bake up some scones, and enjoy a “just because” time.  Happy Valentine’s Day!

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