Sweet Rexie’s

so much more than a candy store

Okay – you asked for some adult ideas so here goes!

Let’s start with the decorations. Use your favorite glass containers or vases and fill them with a variety of Valentine themed candies or you can even layer them. Red and silver chocolate kisses, gummy hearts, gummy x’s and o’s, red and white gummy bears, layered red, pink and white Jelly Belly’s or m&m’s, conversation hearts. Pick your favorites and be creative!

I group them on tables in various heights and you can also put some candles around them as well. I used a smaller container within a larger container and filled the inside one with red and pink chocolate roses (Madelaine makes very real looking ones) and then filled the outer container with candy (any of above will work). This can be a centerpiece that turns into a favor. When your guests are leaving, pull out the roses from the centerpiece and hand one to each. It’s also fun for them to take something home to the kids if they have little ones! If it’s in your budget, you can also use fresh roses in the center of the candy vase.

A few balloons in heart shapes or in your color theme will make it festive or purchase fun heart garlands and string across a mantle or above a doorway.

Okay now for the food. Use your favorite recipes for appetizers and hors d’oeuvres and just substitute heart, lip or arrow shapes where you can. I like to cut heart shapes out of sliced bread or a baguette and toast them. Then top with tomato bruschetta and shredded mozzarella and melt cheese in oven.

Use heart platters, cake stands with hearts painted on them and heart shaped mini bowls for dips or cheeses to make your tried and true recipes have a valentine flair. If you have a great chili recipe, serve it in heart shaped bowls.

You can make cookies using all various cookie cutter shapes. Bissingers Chocolate makes wonderful heart shaped dessert shells and you can fill these with any type of filling and use heart deocrations. I also love doing a candy bar and I use an assortment of glass candy jars and various sizes of Martini glasses with silver scoops. Buy your favorites and fill the glasses and then arrange on your dessert table with your other selections. One favorite I like to use is these adorable sour gummy lips that look so great in glass containers. I have baked mini chocolate cakes with warm chocolate centers in heart shaped molds and then dusted them with powdered sugar and placed raspberries and large heart shaped sprinkles around edge of platter.

Now for the fun part – drinks! Definitely cosmos or any red or pink drink you like in a martini glass. I just found some great red martini glasses and these look great with anything in them – even water. Glasses can also double as fun dessert dishes for mousses and fresh berries with whipped cream!

I also like to put strawberry slices or raspberries in drinks, both alcoholic and non. You can also crush pink, red and white rock candy and rim your glasses with it.

Conversation starters – Ask if guests have a favorite childhood tradition they did with their parents on Valentine’s Day or one they may have started with their own children; a favorite story that took place on Valentine’s Day; how they met their spouse or ask around for the funniest Valentine’s Day disaster. You can also make the felt fortune cookie craft outlined in my recent blog post and insert funny sayings or fortunes inside or find “love” quotes you like and put those in. Hand them out to guests during the party and ask each person to open theirs and share their “fortune”.

These are a few ideas but if you have questions or need more ideas, let me know. I’m sure I can come up with more!

Now go plan your party!

After planning and conducting close to 800 parties, I have a few ideas for different party themes. Someone just asked me the other day for ideas for Valentine’s Day parties for kids so here are some suggestions.

A favorite for the younger crowd is the Valentine’s Day Teddy Bear Tea. For a quick invite idea – get precut heart shapes at a craft supply store and use a bear shaped cookie cutter to cut bear shapes out of colored paper. Glue the bear shape on the heart and then write your party info on the bear. Of course, suggest each guest bring their favorite stuffed bear to the party! You can also find very large hearts at the craft store or your local party shop and use these or large lace doilies for placemats.

Okay – now for the activities. Get some heart shaped temporary tattoos for when guests first arrive to keep them occupied until everyone arrives. You can also put white paper over your table covering and let the kids do heart and bear shaped stamps on the paper. (The white paper will protect your tablecloth and after you finish all crafts you can just roll up and throw out with all the mess.)

Buy store bought sugar cookie dough and roll out, then cut out bear shapes and bake ahead of time. Then let them frost and decorate the cookies with all types of theme sprinkles and heart shapes. Place them in cello bags and seal for them to take home as part of their favor.

I have also found those bear kits at craft stores where you stuff the bear shape with the kids and these kits usually come with an outfit to dress the finished bear in. Then each guest gets to take home a new friend.

Some menu suggestions: Use the bear cookie cutter to cut out bear shaped tea sandwiches with the fillings of your choice. Use a heart shaped cookie cutter to make watermelon hearts. Do veggie plates and have a small heart shaped bowl in center with ranch, or other dip. Dessert can include any of the following: a variety of different sized heart cookies displayed on a heart shaped platter, heart shaped dessert shells filled with chocolate pudding and a dallop of whipped cream with a teddy graham inserted into whipped cream, chocolate cupcakes with vanilla frosting and candy x’s and o’s (made by Jelly Belly) placed on top and pink/white spinkles around the edges, frosted cupcakes with teddy grahams pushed into top of frosting. (You can place chocolate chips in a baggie, melt them and snip the corner of bag to make faces on the teddy grahams before you place on the cupcakes.) Of course, pink lemonade can be the “tea” or a fruit flavored herbal tea can work and serve it in kids’ play tea sets.

Goody Bags – include the craft you made and maybe mini bags of teddy grahams, and any other novelty items you find at your local party store that fit with your theme. You can make name tags with the bear cookie cutter out of colored paper, hole punch them and tie on bags.

You can take this same “tea” theme and not do the teddy bear theme and just have a Valentine’s Day Tea for older children. You would adjust the bear crafts for other crafts – maybe ones I mentioned in a prior post – or get heart shaped containers at a craft store that can be decorated with rhinestone stickers, glitter gel pens and stickers. These containers can be used as the goody bag for end of party. If you want to put items inside for the take home gift, just make up individual cellophane bags before the party with the items you want to include and once the containers are dry, put one bag in each. You can also buy heart shaped beads and let each guest make a necklace.

You can make the menu sandwiches using a heart shaped cookie cutter or use assorted sizes and rest of menu still works. Precut hearts work well as place cards or name cards for goody bags.

Happy Planning!