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A Valentine’s Day Dinner for the Whole Family

valentine dinner

Maybe we’re weird, but ever since we had kids, Valentine’s Day has been more about family love than romantic love. We usually get together for a nice dinner and exchange Valentine’s…and that’s about it. But it’s a tradition, and I’m all about tradition.

This year we decided to kick it up a notch and really go all out! My daughter-in-law Kaitlyn was in charge of the decor, my daughter Britta made the food, and I was in charge of creating a few fun printables. The result was a fun Valentine’s dinner experience for the whole family that (even though we held it a couple of weeks early) we all enjoyed thoroughly.

I hope by sharing some of the things we did that you will be inspired to throw a “Love Dinner” for your own family.

While Britta worked on preparing the food, Kaitlyn got to work on the table. I think you’ll agree it turned out beautifully.

Valentine's Dinner

Everything she did is very easy to replicate.

Valentine's Dinner

For the placemats she took inexpensive plastic placemats from the dollar store and using spray adhesive and glitter created these beautiful backdrops for the other table decor.

Valentine's Dinner

For a centerpiece, of sorts, she filled different sized mason jars with conversation hearts candy and red hots.

Valentine's Dinner

For a little extra sparkle she also glittered (is that a word? It should be!) a few of the mason jars. Each of the jars was then topped off with a white tealight. Super simple, yet so festive!

Valentine's Dinner

She ran ribbons of different colors, patterns, and widths, down the length of the table for an easy table runner.

Valentine's Dinner

Ordinary bottles of strawberry soda got spiffed us with a simple doily wrapped around them, tied with a piece of twine….pink and red dish towels were pressed into service as cloth napkins….and the whole space was crowned with a DIY mobile of hearts hung from the light fixture above the table….and a simple paper chain and bunting hung across the dining room window.
I just love the effect that all of these simple little touches created for our Valentine dinner!

Valentine's Dinner

Meanwhile, Britta was in the kitchen preparing our very simple but fun meal. On the menu: My Beeting Heart Salad, Heart-Shaped Potatoes, and Steak & Veggie Kabobs!

Valentine's Dinner

The salad was a simple pre-packaged salad of mixed greens topped with carrots, feta cheese, and sliced beets cut in the shape of hearts!

Valentine's Dinner

The potatoes were thick slices of red potatoes cut into heart-shapes, brushed with olive oil, and roasted in the oven on a greased cookie sheet for approximately 25 minutes at 350 degrees.

Valentine's Dinner

The kabobs were simply sirloin steak cut into cubes and threaded onto wooden skewers along with onions and peppers and then cooked on the grill.

And for dessert????

Valentine's Dinner

A quick and easy batch of rice krispie treats that we cut out with heart-shaped cookie cutters, dipped halfway in frosting and skewered with a cute arrow-shaped topper.

Valentine's Dinner

The last, but definitely not least, element to our dinner were the “Love Books” I created for each member of the family. They are based on the “compliment books” we used to do in school back in the day (not sure if they do them anymore, which is a shame.)

The idea goes like this: Each person gets a booklet with a cover page and a sheet for every other member of the family to write on. For example, our family now has a total of eight people….so each person’s booklet that I printed out had seven pages in it (not including the cover page.)

Throughout dinner we each took a few minutes to fill out a page in each person’s book and then when everyone had finished, we all got to read ours aloud. We had so much fun doing this….and now we have the books to keep and refer back to whenever we need a little love pick-me-up! :-)

Valentine's Dinner


Valentine's Dinner


I hope some of these simple but creative ideas will help you plan your special day for you and your family!

Do you have any Valentine’s Day traditions?

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Jill Nystul (aka Jillee)

Jill Nystul is an accomplished writer and author who founded the blog One Good Thing by Jillee in 2011. With over 30 years of experience in homemaking, she has become a trusted resource for contemporary homemakers by offering practical solutions to everyday household challenges.I share creative homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make your life easier and more enjoyable!

About Jillee

Jill Nystul

Jill’s 30 years of homemaking experience, make her the trusted source for practical household solutions.

About Jillee



  • Jillee…this is so totally adorable!
    I don’t know why but for some strange reason it got me misty eyed!!
    Guess i’m all mush when it comes to family…ha!
    GOD bless all your efforts and may love and light and happiness surround you always.

    • I got them at Smith’s grocery store in Utah a couple of years ago! But like Tori said I would definitely check Walmart or Family Dollar. I’ve also seen really cute Valentine’s decor at TJ Maxx, Michael’s, JoAnn, JCPenney, World Market, Target (especially the dollar section) etc.

  • The whole idea is ingenious and incredibly nice to involve the whole family. I especially like the idea of the love books – never had those in school.

    A lovely way for the whole family to celebrate Valentine’s Day.

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