We have both made it our tradition to spend Valentine’s Day at home and take this as our opportunity to set the table beautifully while making a special meal for our hubbys. We have had fun in the past coming up with a menu consisting of food items that we do not regularly serve and fun themes that will keep things exciting. As a mom, Lauren has continued this tradition in a more kid-friendly fashion, and this year will once again plan something special for her husband and all three of her girls. As a new mom, Tami is excited to incorporate her daughter into her plan as well. Here’s a look back on how we each celebrated Valentine’s Day last year.

T Side: My relationship with Phil started out with a cheesy pick up line about pizza, I am sure that throughout our over four years together we have shared numerous slices, and it just so happened that one of the few things that actually tasted good to me all throughout my pregnancy is pizza as well! Good enough reason for a theme? I think so! Last year’s Valentine’s Day was weeks away from my due date, and I had a few things on my mind … I wanted to keep things simple and eat whatever sounded good! So, I decided to throw an impromptu pizza party for me and my love.

They say that the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, and my man also happens to be a fan of cheesy sayings, so I created a card that I knew he would love. Here’s one more lame (but fun) line I included … You still take my breath away … even though I get winded just walking up the stairs. Not bad for a little pregnancy humor, huh?

He knows that the way to my heart is through fresh flowers and peanut M&M’s, so he surprised me with what I love too!

I set our table with just a few simple touches … No need to do extra dishes or spend lots of time cleaning up.

This apron (a family member brought me back one year from Italy) could not have been more perfect for our theme. I loved getting the chance to cook together with my husband last Valentine’s Day!

We made a simple yet delicious salad that consisted of arugula, heirloom tomato, feta cheese, and shallots.

I bought our favorite wheat pizza dough from Trader Joe’s and we made our own homemade pizzas. Toppings included: marinated artichokes, pepperoni, mushrooms, mozzarella cheese, and fresh basil.

Who doesn’t love root beer floats for dessert?

L Side: With three little girls at home, I decided to do something last year that they would get excited about and molded my whole concept around the theme of an “ice cream parlor”. I used some of their cute Melissa and Doug parlor toys as decor and set the table with adorable place mats and personalized valentine’s for each of my favorite people.

I put out fun toppings and cute little signs to decorate the table with and to give the whole look a sort of retro / pastel / “Saved by the Bell” type parlor feel.

I made a conscious effort to make my dining table look different than our standard every day meal and covered the table in a silver mesh fabric I had lying around topped with festive foam place mats with glittery hearts.

We used the center box as a holder for all of our fun valentine’s. Ava made some, and Scott even got creative with his computer at work.

We keep it simple in our house. No fancy dinners out or expensive gifts, but we add special touches and create an experience at home that is different than our day to day.


Simple parlor food included burgers, chicken fingers, shakes (Ours were spiked!) …

… and ice cream sundaes with every type of toppings! The kids had so much fun decorating their own!

Of course we had to end the night in matching PJ’s … Cuz why not!?

We each plan to have an equally special Valentine’s Day this year! Lauren, Scott, and the girls are continuing to keep things simple and keep their at-home tradition alive while Tami and Phil will enjoy spending this day with their daughter Joie in on the plans. Whatever you plan to do with your Valentine this year, remember that what is really important is that you make the day special and show them how much you really love them! Happy Valentine’s Day from Side by Side Design!

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