A Valentine for you with love from Maine: easy heart decor, a floral mantel display, local chocolates, my favorite chocolate cake, and, of course lobster!
It is almost Valentine’s Day!
And while I don’t do it up in a big way, any holiday which involves hearts, flowers, chocolate, and telling those you love how you feel about them is good in my book.
Today I am sharing some simple Valentine’s decor I added to the house — a painted wooden heart garland, a lacy floral mantel display, and a fabric hearts centerpiece.
Plus, some yummy local Maine chocolates, my favorite chocolate cake recipe, and, since I am Molly in Maine, a lobster dinner delivered right to your door!
From Maine to you with love!
Easy Heart Garland
You can always count on me for tips on how to decorate for any holiday with my signature blue!
And Valentine’s Day is no exception!
A few years ago I made this easy painted wooden heart garland.
i started with a set of wooden craft heart ornaments from Amazon. The exact set I ordered, with 3 sizes of hearts, is no longer available, but I have linked some other options below.
To mimic the blue and white design of my spongeware collection displayed in the dining room corner hutch, I started by painting the hearts a base white. Then I dipped a natural sea sponge (also linked below!) in blue paint and gently dabbed the paint onto the hearts in patterns similar to my dishes.
A little paint goes a long way, so I used it sparingly! It helped to blot the sponges on a piece of paper before applying the paint to the heart.
I used a paint brush to add stripes, just like on the bowls.
Lastly I tied them onto a piece of natural twine and hung!
I think it has a folk art charm, but requires zero painting talent. My kind of project!
Fabric Hearts Centerpiece
I carried the heart theme forward to the dining room table centerpiece.
You all know I have been on a bit of a sewing tear now that my sewing machine has been repaired.
You can read all about my recent kitchen/dining sewing projects in my post Easy Sewing Projects to Warm Your Kitchen and Table for Winter.
In honor of Valentine’s Day, I thought it would be fun to make some tiny heart “pillows” from the leftover fabric scraps.
Using templates in different shapes and sizes cut from poster board, I traced the design onto the fabric, then cut, sewed, stuffed with polyfill, and handstitched the opening! Done!
A few tips: Fat rounded hearts work better than long skinny ones. The seam allowances make the skinny ones look a bit like bunny ears….
And be sure to trim the bottom tip of the heart, along the curved seams at the top, and down to the center to make the fabric lie flat when you turn it right side out.
I brought my stack of wooden bowls (anchored by my favorite blue-painted beauty!) up from the basement.
They are the perfect container to hold the hearts.
I think I will leave this display out until the end of the month!
A Lacy Floral Mantel Display
I learned this past week that there are a lot of baby’s breath haters out there.
And, to be honest, I have never been a huge fan. I have always seen it as an unimaginative filler for other flowers.
But then I got a vision in my mind inspired by those old fashioned lace heart doilies.
Why not let baby’s breath be the star?!
A light airy spray of white flowers in blue and white containers set against rough stone.
Simple. Slightly romantic. Perfect for Valentine’s Day!
Executing my vision was harder than expected, though. I came up empty at the grocery store. Several local florists looked down their noses at me…
But eventually I did manage to rustle up a few branches.
And the mantle display turned out just as I had envisioned it.
So I say, this Valentine’s Day, forego the roses and embrace baby’s breath!
That is, if you can find it…
Local Maine Chocolates
What is Valentine’s Day without chocolate?!
We are lucky to have a craft chocolate confectionary located right here in our little seaside town!
Bixby Chocolate’s mission is to “make chocolate confections that are delicious, clean, and natural, with a conscience.”
They are family-owned and currently two generations of women are actively involved in the business.
And oh yes, with their “bean-to-bar” chocolate making process, their chocolates are delicious too!
Earlier this week, I popped into their local store, where the chocolates are also made, to pick up some Valentine’s gifts. They have a large variety of treats — bonbons, chocolate and snack bars, brittle, toffee, and more!
And lucky for you, they also have an online shop!
A Romantic Lobster Dinner
The saying is that lobsters mate for life, and some contend that lobster meat is an aphrodisiac.
While science might not support either of these claims, few will dispute that lobster makes for a romantic dinner.
The plastic bibs. Cracking the claws. Pulling the meat out with your fingers and sucking on the shell.
Hmmm… Well, let’s say that most will agree lobster makes for a special meal.
I shared Luke’s Lobster previously, in my post Visit Maine | My Scrapbook From a Summer Week With Family. Luke’s has lobster shacks across the country and also ships a variety of lobster meals — from lobster rolls to live lobsters — directly to your home!
All Luke’s seafood is harvested sustainably right here in Maine waters, then shipped to you at no cost.
And to read more about Maine lobster and my favorite local lobster shack, head to my post The Best Little Lobster Shack in Maine.
My Favorite Chocolate Cake Recipe
Now, for dessert after your lobster dinner — my favorite chocolate cake!
Dense, rich, and moist, Ina Garten’s Chocolate Ganache Cake is deceivingly easy to make.
It is my no-fail go-to recipe when I want a special dessert that always impresses.
And yes, it is sinfully delicious.
You are welcome.
This Week Into Next
We have reached that point in winter when the glow of the holidays has long since faded, but the first blush of spring is still just a dream. None-the-less, there is a lot of talk these days on Instagram about spring. Some are even starting to decorate.
While I know the spring equinox is now just a little over a month away, real spring doesn’t arrive here on the coast of Maine until we are into May.
But even though we are experiencing chilly winter temps, we haven’t had much snow. So outside it is just, well, brown. With some patches of dirty snow.
This weekend we will be warming up into the lower 40’s. (Upper 40’s elsewhere in the state!) I will seize the opportunity to do some outdoor cleanup. Maybe I will trim back my limelights. You can read how I do this and other limelight tips in my post How To Grow Limelight Hydrangeas For Beauty All Year Round.
All of this is to say, that I don’t have much going on these days.
This is the quiet season, so I am living my quiet life — creating content for Instagram and this blog, volunteer work, cooking, reading, daily exercise, walks with M&C, some creative projects, the occasional get-together with friends, and tv time at night (currently bingeing Suits!).
And of course dreaming of summer and time with family.
I hope you are doing well, whether you are living a quiet winter life or already embracing spring.
Happy Valentine’s Day with love from Maine!