It’s funny because I sat down to write this blog post, and my intent was to write about my tablescape for the Valentine’s Day dinner I hosted last night with my college roommates… But after watching the video from our gathering two years ago, all I can think about is how much I love these girls and how special their friendship is to me. I’m going to hold back from getting too emo for now, ha! I’ll tell you guys all about our Valentine’s Day tradition, but I know a lot of you have asked to see more home inspiration posts, so here goes.
This was my first year hosting what we call the 1137 Panty Exchange. (1137 was the address to our house in college.) We have an 1137 Thanksgiving, 1137 Christmas, and, of course, our annual Valentine’s Day celebration. We get together and have dinner, catch up on each others’ lives, and bring a cute pair of panties to exchange with someone else. (New panties, in case there was any confusion.) We normally have our panty exchange before V-Day, but this year, due to scheduling, we had it a few days after the 14th.
I really wanted to create a classic, romantic tablespace for this dinner. Nothing too crazy, just a traditional centerpiece and pretty place settings! For the flowers, I went into my local Ralph’s and bought a bunch of white roses and hydrangeas, and since it was Valentine’s Day, I grabbed a bunch of pink baby carnations to weave through the centerpiece. For that large centerpiece, I spent less than $100! You guys might remember my post about the DIY rose bouquet… And you might also remember that one bunch of roses is $9.99 at Ralph’s! I also went to Michael’s and bought the wire thing that you make wreaths out of, and I arranged the flowers on it but instead of a wreath, I laid it flat on the table and placed a vase in the center filled with more flowers.
I also grabbed a burlap table runner from Michael’s; very simple and rustic, nothing fancy! I guess the ‘fancy’ elements on the table were the water glasses from Anthropologie, which come in two sizes: A tall skinny glass, and a short fat glass. Instead of picking between the two, (because I loved both!) I decided to get half of each and alternate them on the table. I actually love when place settings aren’t 100% matching, so this was the perfect subtle difference. I also bought new flatware from West Elm, I fell in love with these silver forks and knives with the hammered detail on the handles. Before I bought these I was sure I was going to settle on brushed gold/brass flatware, but these were so stunning I had to have them!
For the napkins, I went with a charcoal color because it matches my dining room decor, and it’s nice not to see lipstick or food stains on a napkin! These were also very simple and I picked them up (as well as the plates) from West Elm.
This tradition is one that I look forward to every single year. Each of us goes through something different in life, some joyous and some challenging… But to get together with these girls honestly makes me feel complete. Life was beautiful in college! Not that it isn’t now, but back then life was care free and everything we did was about making memories together. Now, life is a little more complex, but every time we get together it reminds us of how lucky we are to have each other and to be able to make the memories that we’ve made together. It’s one of the most comforting feelings I’ve ever felt. This year has been particularly challenging for us as a group; we’ve had to deal with a serious health issue with one of our girls and it’s the first time we’ve faced something like this. And I’m sure this isn’t the only challenge life will throw at us… But the point is that we go through these together. We could just as easily have gathered at a coffee shop, it wouldn’t matter, just as long as we’re together and supporting one another. This is a gift I couldn’t possibly replace with anything in the world.
I didn’t document this year’s dinner because I wanted to focus on catching up with everyone. I just took some photos of the table before everyone arrived, but here’s a video of our panty exchange two years ago! It’s all about life, laughs, and, most of all… LOVE.