Pretty In Pink
This year for Valentine's Day, why not invite friends over for a romantic “getaway” by turning your home into a luxury vacation for a couple of hours. The only catch is guests must come “pretty in pink.”
Plan on inviting couples and single friends – maybe a match will be made! Using your computer, print out invitations on white paper using pink ink. Include the party details as well as instructions for coming dressed in pink. You may want to give a prize for the guest dressed in the most pink. This request will probably be most answered by the women invited, but hey, some guys like pink. (After all, Donald Trump wears a pink tie.) After printing the invitation, cut each one into the shape of a big heart. Ask your invitees to decorate the back of their heart invitation so that it resembles a valentine, and bring it with them to the party. Display the entries somewhere prominent and give an award for the best one. Be sure when you mail your invitations to use a “love” stamp on the envelope.
To turn your house into a luxurious dwelling, think comfort, pampering and delicious food. To begin, set the mood by lighting aromatherapy candles throughout your home. There are candles promising everything from relaxation to sweet dreams and each has a scent that will surely put your guests in the right mood. Buy as many heart shaped items that you can find – vases, bowls, plates, tin wall hangings – and put them around the house. Fill the vases with pink, white and/or red flowers. In fact, fill your entire home with flowers. Flowers are an important element in creating bliss. They smell good and give a romantic feel. The wall hangings can be filled with flowers or greenery. Ivy cascading down from the holder looks especially good. In the bowls, put foil wrapped chocolate hearts or Hershey kisses.
You can also purchase Cupid and angel statuettes from craft stores and hang them on walls or doors. Buy pink tulle from a fabric store and swag it around window and door frames. Tie pink ribbons around chairs, lamps, door handles and stairways. Put white doilies under everything. Cloth ones add just the right warmth, but paper ones will do. And be sure to have plenty of small heart boxes filled with chocolates at guest's fingertips.
For entertainment, convert your patio or family room floor into a dance area for playing romantic music and dancing. Push back any furniture, string up tiny white lights, add some pink helium balloons, and play music that requires close body contact. Songs from Marvin Gaye, Nat King Cole, The Supremes, The Contours and Shirelles, to name a few, will get guests in the right groove. You can give prizes to the best slow dancers at the party. Those prizes can include edible body paint and panties, massage oil, a bottle of wine, or a pink gift bag filled with heart shaped lollipops.
Away from the dance floor, play “going to the chapel.” Have a friend act as a wedding officiate, wear a preacher's outfit, and perform quickie-wedding vows. Grab people at the party – couples, friends, even strangers – and bring them over to the chapel. Put a bridal veil on the “bride” and take a Polaroid picture of the “groom” kissing his bride. Play “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face” by Roberta Flack, for strangers, and “Crazy Little Thing Called Love” by Queen, for friends and lovers, while the “service” is quickly being performed.
I promised some luxury and here it is: Hire a manicurist to come over and give pedicures. Set up an area in your home designated the “salon.” Bring in a lounge chair (or two) from your backyard and cover it with a soft blanket and pillows for guests to recline on while having their feet and legs massaged and their toes cleaned and polished (pink for the ladies, clear or nothing for the men, unless of course they're feeling a little daring.) If you don't have lounge chairs, a rocking chair or other comfortable seat will do. Play soft music from a boom box or supply headphones for easy listening while guests enjoy a little pampering. Have a tray of fresh fruit available and a pitcher of water with lemon and orange wedges inside. Throw a couple of blankets or large towels in your dryer and keep it going. Offer one to guests while they are relaxing at the salon. It is so comfortable to be covered with something warm. When finished, tell guests to keep their shoes off and stay awhile.
By now your visitors are probably getting hungry. Think pink – shrimp and cocktail sauce, strawberries, raspberries, small ham and cream cheese heart sandwiches (use a heart cookie cutter on the bread), salmon and anything else you would like to include. The one must is dessert. For a delicious and wonderfully gooey final course, serve chocolate fondue with fruits and cookies or cakes. Encourage guests to feed each other and relish in the shared eating experience. They will surely want to continue the pleasantries when they get home.
As guests leave, play the song “Pretty in Pink” by the Psychedelic Furs, and give each a valentine from you, thanking them for coming and wishing them a year of splendid romance.