Valentine’s Day Julie & Julia Style-part 2

I have been looking forward to writing this post all day. Thanks to all of you who called and emailed me with encouraging words about last night’s Julie and Julia Valentine’s Day dinner. That’s the great thing about blogging. You can host a dinner gathering for 10 people and a few hundred of your closest friends who are there in spirit.

Believe it or not, these were the only images I could salvage. Most of them were so dark, it looked like I hosted a Valentine’s Day dinner in a smoky bar underground. It is sad that the best camera that we have in the house is on one of our Iphones. So, I am hereby putting a new camera on my wish list. Nothing fancy. I’m not picky. However, if a Cannon EOS 7D happened to end up on my doorstep, I would not refuse it. I’m just saying…

Even if the photos had turned out picture perfectly, they could never fully capture the magic around my dinner table last night. Don’t get me wrong, the Boeuf Bourguignon was life changing (those are Clark’s words, not mine), but the celebration of love and friendship represented remains unrivaled to date. The last time I can remember enjoying an electric chemistry like that among a group of people was at my wedding if that tells you anything. Did you ever read the book Chocolat? In one of the final scenes Vianne Rocher and the townspeople of Lansquenet-sous-Tanne throw a confectioner’s soiree like nobody’s business. After reading it years ago, I was so captured by the intensity with which they celebrated, that I swore I would one day host a party like the one I imagined took place in Chocolat. Last night, I was Vianne Rocher. Ok, no one went into a diabetic coma as a result of the festivities, but you get the idea. The French music, the candlelight, the canopy of red paper chain links, the pomegranate wine, the FOOD…. good heavens the food. I don’t want to toot my own horn or anything, but…


I don’t remember from whom I inherited the gold silverware. I’ve never used it, but I dug it up from the back of a cupboard yesterday and not only was it a conversation piece, but it went perfectly with the whole retro them of the evening. Everyone sported the pin-on hearts made out of red felt, and you can’t imagine the suggestive material they provided for a few comedians in the bunch.

Clark’s best impression of Paul Child. He even nailed the toast…

“You are the bread to my butter and the breath to my life”. I am smitten.

Ranaye brought over some decadent party favors for everyone. Little did she know that the love poetry inside was enough to make the whole table blush. But the raspberry dark chocolate was delicious.

My red velvet cake… sans red

(it was already half-baked before I realized that I forgotten the red food coloring).

We were halfway around the table with hilarious stories of how each couple met when there it was… the big moment of the entire event…

A marriage proposal… in my house…. at my Julie & Julia-inspired Valentine’s Day dinner! To say it was the high point was an understatement. I don’t think any of us have ever witnessed a proposal up close like that before (besides our own of course). What can I say? It was magical.

This afternoon I am sitting at my dining room table relishing in our divine evening. I’ve run the dishwasher twice already and still cannot seem to dig out from under the mountain of dishes, nor can I bring myself to do much of anything else today, but I don’t care. I can’t bring myself to take down the decor, so I make leave these few momentos out for a couple of days just to let it linger a little longer.

I made myself a rosette hair clip last minute to go with my retro do, and I still can’t seem to get the red lipstick completely off! We drank a red wine very appropriately called “Cheap Date“, and I will be saving the label.

Thanks again to everyone that contributed ideas to this evening. A friend showed me this adorable Julie & Julia inspired photo shoot that I just had to share. Enjoy!


and she said “Yes”!

Congratulations Hunter and Ranaye!


  1. jen scott said,

    February 15, 2011 at 8:19 pm


  2. masha said,

    February 15, 2011 at 8:43 pm

    am hoping i can attend this next year, even if it means i have to carve “him” out of marble. =)

  3. Camberly said,

    February 15, 2011 at 11:48 pm

    YES! I made the blog… well kinda 🙂

  4. February 16, 2011 at 1:08 am

    It sounds like a wonderful night. I love your life, you do the coolest things!

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