A Birthday Dinner at Our Place : Valentine Edition 2018

valentine birthday banner

It was our dear friend Andrea's birthday recently, so we celebrated with a little dinner at our place last weekend. Our mutual friend Isabel came too.

We were introduced to Andrea by Isabel, whom we've known for going on 20 years now, nearly five years ago, and we immediately clicked. This was a delightful time spent with friends who are like family.

Since Andrea's birthday is so close to Valentine's Day, you'll see that the place was decorated for the holiday.

Here's how the evening unfolded, mostly told through pictures ...

The gift was wrapped and the table set before our guests arrived.


↑ The carnation/rose topper was made by stacking six layers of tissue paper, cut to 3 x 3 inches. They were folded together, back and forth like a fan and then tied in the centre. Then each layer was carefully lifted to form the flower. ↑

set table valentine dinner with friends

table setting valentine dinner thrifted tablecloth

↑ A newly thrifted cotton tablecloth, and some older thrift-store napkins. (I've gotten behind on my thrifting posts, but am planning to get up-to-date soon -- I have some great things to show you!) ↑

Let the party begin ...

us selfie stick

↑ This was our second time busting out the new selfie-stick that Nick got me for Christmas. I hadn't realized how tricky focusing with it would be, but I got one nearly clear shot. ↑

i and a

Nick made Beef Wellington for dinner and I made a chocolate cake layered with strawberries and cream for dessert. As an appetizer, we had this Olive and Cream Cheese spread, modified with the addition of chopped sun-dried tomatoes, but for some odd reason I completely forgot to take a picture of it.

nick cooking

↑ The chef and his creation! He was letting the Beef Wellington rest before cutting. Unfortunately, I didn't get a better shot of it but it turned out beautifully. This is a new dish in Nick's repertoire, making it once before for his parents when we visited them in October. He follows Jamie Oliver's method, as described here. ↑

dinner taken by a

↑ Andrea sent over this shot she took of her plate. ↑

i a and n

↑ A toast after dinner! ↑


me 1

opening gift

↑ Gift time! (Isabel gave A. a bottle of wine which I forgot to photograph.)


↑ We got her a silver and amethyst ring (February's birthstone). I was nervous about the fit but it was just right. I got it at Shanti Baba on Queen Street West. ↑

cutting cake

↑ Cake! ↑

After dinner we talked and danced a bit. It was a good night, spent honouring a very good person!

lava lamp

birthday valentine banner

The next day I took a few more shots of our home and Valentine decorations in the light of day, if you'd like a little look around ...

I've mentioned before that I love the heart shapes and the colours of Valentine's Day, so, over the years, I've made quite a few decorations. I'll include links to the "How To" posts where relevant, so you can make them yourself next year, if the urge strikes you.

living room

↑ There's the cat pillow (that looks so much like our dearly missed Eddie), that Nick got me for Christmas. ( Details are in this post.) The tutorial for the big heart hanging under the print can be found here. ↑

handmade valentine decorations for hanging

↑ A tutorial for the heart hanging on the mirror can be found here, and for the hanging cotton and embroidered heart wall-hanging here. The vintage ceramic head was thrifted, and can be seen in detail in this post. ↑

handmade valentine decorations

↑ A tutorial for the crocheted heart garland can be found here, and the cotton heart on a stick here. ↑

lava lamp valentine decor

↑ A tutorial for the stand with the heart on it can be found here, and there's another hanging heart from this post. ↑


↑ Another "heart on a stick" from this post, and one of my most used DIYs I've made, the Wall Hanging Greeting Card display thing, demonstrated in this post. ↑

african violet in bloom

↑ This glorious African violet was in flower at just the right time! ↑

african violet with painting by jeff szuc

↑ The painting is by Jeff Szuc. ↑


↑ The heart-pick was quickly make with a skewer, a sticker and a piece of plain paper as a backing.

Bonus : Our VDay

With two previous posts plus this one, relating to Valentine's Day, I think that's enough on the subject, so I'll skip a dedicated post describing our dinner for two at home. Instead, I'll just tack on some photos here, if I may.

Small gifts included a mini blow torch for making Crème Brûlée (that he founds at Blue Banana in Kensington Market), and some ramekins for me, and some English bone china mugs, made in England, for Nick.

There was also chocolate from Soma, and dessert from Dufflet.

valentine gift ribbon and handmade tag

↑ Nick has no idea that this was the fifth time I reused that gift-tag and heart printed ribbon! Now I'll just tuck it away for next year. ↑


↑ I've always wanted to try making a woven heart, called a "julehjerter" or a "Danish Heart". It's actually supposed to be a double layer which forms a basket, but I went with a single layer to decorate my card. ↑

bone china mugs

↑ Will come in handy for our newfound tea obsession. ↑

petite maison brule torch and ramekins valentines day gift

↑ Looks like Crème Brûlée is in our future! ↑

valentine chocolate from soma king street w toronto

pascual toso malbec 2015 red wine

↑ The wine was a birthday gift from Andrea to Nick, back in December, which he'd saved for a special occasion. It's a limited edition gold prize winner from Argentina, called Pascual Toso Malbec 2015. (It was delicious!) ↑

wine and tableware

↑ Tableware included black and white checkered Corelle plates I thrifted (shown in this post), and some vintage Hazel Atlas Pink and Black Milkglass plates. ↑

valentine dessert from dufflet queen street west toronto

dufflet valentine dessert queen street west toronto


Thank you very much for taking a look. Your online company is always appreciated.
xo loulou
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2 Responses to A Birthday Dinner at Our Place : Valentine Edition 2018

  1. Beef Wellington, holy smokes!! Nick is a kitchen wizard. And I love your Valentines gifts for each other, so sweet. Selfie sticks ARE hard, unless you are outside in bright light. the shake factor is really tricky, and at that point, it’s probably easier to prop it up somewhere and use the camera timer.

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