My husband is a special man. One of those guys that instead of wondering how long the trays of homemade marshmallows are going to be covering the kitchen counters, he asks if he can make me a cup of hot chocolate. I wanted to do something special for him this Valentine’s Day as I would be traveling on the actual day. So, I set out to have the hot chocolate and cookie party of all parties…in the woods…with a lot of drama…and a camera crew.
His invitation read: Wear a tux and meet me where I drop you a pin.
This is what happened…
Paper hearts with written messages on some of them (not all, I kept him looking) marked the path. Then, he went through a paper heart curtain (learn how to make it HERE)
Then, I had to get him to a bigger area, so it was decorated with pink paper lanterns to lead the way.
Then, the tree. Imagine being a forrest and coming upon this tree. I love the unexpected. He Arrived!!! With the help of friends, I sat the sweetest little table in the woods. A quiet place
to reflect and let him know how appreciated he is.
The most gorgeous and homespun chic chandelier hung over the table. I let Audrey Wagner work her flower magic. She turned to Carlstedt’s Florist in Savannah for the perfect shades of pink and green florals…
It turned out even more beautiful than I could have imagined. Audrey had been to this rodeo a few times, so she knew to keep it as light as it could be for hanging. We ended up hanging it on a tight rope between two trees. It was perfect.
And these cookies! Stop it already. I asked Sugar Whisk Confections to make me a few “woodsy” heart cookies and “One that is gingham”. They were almost too adorable to eat…but we did. I made a thermos of Le Chocolat Chaud and poured us each a cup. As the sun started setting and the candle light was flickering, I looked across the table and knew the effort was all worth it. Everyday it’s worth it. Because I love this man and he looks great in a tux.
By Libbie Summers
Photography by Chia Chong
Assisted by David Dempsey
Production Assistants Candace Brower, Anthony Lunsmann
Throwing a Valentine’s Day party in the woods, I needed to create a moment as soon as my guest (yes, only one) arrived. Check out these two super affordable and absolutely stunning party decorations!
With a big space and a small budget paper lanterns from a Chinese New Year installation were repurposed to set the scene! TWO: My entire team was OBSESSED with this heart curtain that was the entryway to the party. What you need:
String (I used butcher’s twine)
Glue stick (not hot glue)
A tall ladder to hang
What to do:
1. Cut (3 to 4-inch) hearts out of white paper doilies (you can cut a bunch at once). The curtain pictured took approximately 600 paper hearts.
2. Working one piece at a time, cut a piece of twine and lay on a long table.
3. Place one heart on one side of a length of sting, glue another heart on top sandwiching the string in between. Keep moving up the string not worrying about distance between. The less perfect the more perfect. Continue until you do enough strings to create a curtain (I used 20 lengths for this installation).
To Install: Tie a string between two trees and tie your lengths of heart string from them.
I look forward to the first day of the year that’s JUST chilly enough to have an excuse to make Le Chocolat Chaud. In Savannah, I’m typically waiting 2 months past the rest of the country. But yet, I wait.
If you are chocolate shy, this hot chocolate is probably not for you. Not because it’s too sweet or too rich, because French drinking chocolate is neither. It’s typically made with whole milk (not cream) and the best chocolate your francs can buy. So it’s real chocolate you are drinking/sipping, and it’s heaven. I’m not going to lie, I like to drop a store bought marshmallow in at the end and a sprinkle of flake sea salt. Because no matter how much Le Chocolat Chaud I drink…I’m still from Missouri. Le Chocolate Chaud via Missouri serves 4 (France) 2 (Missouri)
What you need:
2 cups whole milk
5 ounces best quality possible bittersweet chocolate, chopped
Pinch of sugar (optional)
Pinch of flaked sea salt
Homemade marshmallows (optional)
What to do: Add milk to a medium heavy bottom sauce pan and bring to a low simmer. Whisk in chocolate and stir until melted. Add sugar and continue cooking and whisking for another 2-3 minutes.
To Serve: Divid mixture between two cups and sprinkle each with a bit of sea salt. Float a marshmallow on each if desired.