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valentines day or mardi gras

It is always such a dilemma for me when this time of year when Fat Tuesday comes so early. I am torn between Valentine’s Day decorating and Mardi Gras decorating. Let’s face it the two couldn’t be more opposite when trying to combine the them.

Mardi Gras ideas

Valentine’s Day is frilly pink, hearts and roses and Mardi Gras is crazy party it up with beads, purples, greens and golds. I have yet to figure out how to combine the two and not look like Cupid got into a fight with a member of the Krewe of Krazo!

Mardi Gras Krew

Speaking of the Krewe of Krazo, I don’t know if you are aware of the Mardi Gras festivities going on in Eureka Springs, Arkansas or not, but it looks to be a really great time and we’re planning to go this year. Ok, ok, back to the matter at hand….the dilemma. Here’s how I choose, whichever one comes first, I decorate for and then as soon as it’s over I’ll put up the next one and leave up for a week or so after. I know, genius, right?! Admittedly, if my back were against the wall, I would have to choose Mardi Gras for a couple of reasons. The first being that’s where my heart is. We lived in Pensacola, Florida for several years and I had a flower shop/wedding business in Orange Beach, Alabama and let me tell you down South knows how to do Mardi Gras. There are so many fun and awesome events like balls and parades. The schools are dismissed and businesses close. It’s fabulous and once that’s in your blood, it never leaves you. The second reason sort of goes back to the first, I mentioned I used to have a flower shop and if any of you have ever worked or known someone in the flower business, their take on Valentine’s Day is quite the contrary to frilly hearts and bows. It’s absolute madness that simply can’t be put into words. It was not uncommon to work for 24 hours without leaving the shop. Upside, I do attribute my ability to not meltdown in front of customers and my employees to working all those Valentine’s Day. I can’t tell you the number of times I was crying and praying on the inside and smiling on the outside. There were many times that I know only Jesus got us through it, but that’s for another day. I could literally go on for days about flower shop tales, maybe I’ll write a book someday.

I went waaaay off track, so let’s get back to it. Both of these holidays are awesome reasons to throw a party! We’ll start with Valentine’s Day, because my seventeen-year-old just mentioned the other day how much she missed exchanging the little Valentine cards like she did in grade school.

Printable Cards for Valentines
Photo credit: Frugal Fritzie

In my normal fashion, speaking before I think, I said, “Then why don’t you have a party and go old-school and exchange Valentines?” She, of course, was thrilled and started planning right away! Fortunately, planning a Valentine’s Day party can be very simple or very extravagant, I feel like we will be somewhere in the middle.

Table Ideas
Photo credit: http://acoastalbride.com/valentines-styled-shoot/

Decorations are a snap when you stick with reds, whites, and a hint of pink. To give it a more glammed, grown-up look use a hot pink rather than a light pink. One of my favorite wedding bouquets I’ve ever created was a mix of red and hot pink roses similar to this red rose and pink peony bouquet by Tomobi Floral Art.

Pink and Red bouquet

The various hues were beautiful and sophisticated looking. Next, you need, what else? Flowers! Everyone thinks of red roses at Valentine’s Day, but don’t dismiss the carnation. They make fantastic “roundy-moundy” arrangements and there are beautiful hues of carnations available In addition, scatter vases filled with red hots and candles for fun.

Red Hot Centerpieces
Photo cerdit: http://www.diyspins.com/30-amazing-diy-valentines-day-flower-decorations-ideas-one-love/

Red paper lanterns and fans are a nice addition to any style of party.

Paper Fan Ideas

Last but not least, hearts. You need hearts to decorate for Valentine’s Day.

The food is even easier than the decorations, because Valentine’s Day is all about chocolates and sweets.

Calling All Chocolate Lovers

Do something fun like a chocolate bar like this one from Catch My Party. You can also serve chocolate fondue with things like cubed pound cake, strawberries, and graham crackers, anything you can think that would be great dipped in chocolate. I like to add fun little Valentine’s Day-themed picks to food to add a little extra detail without too much trouble.

 

Food Picks for Valentines Day
Photo credit: http://party-wagon.com/childrens-party-blog/2012/1/29/valentines-day-brownie-points-and-a-giveaway.html

It appears, I have been a bit long winded in this blog, so I’ll continue this blog next week to focus on Mardi Gras!

 

 

 

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