Dish Swapping and Creative Valentine Ideas

Do you have a friend who has cool dishes or entertaining pieces, who’d be willing to swap with you during special occasions or holidays?

Through my thrifty finds from yard sales to the Dollar Store, I’ve collected quite a few entertaining accessories over the years. I’ve shared these with friends from time to time, letting them look through my cupboards to pick out what they’ve needed for all kinds of events including large parties, showers, and even a special holiday occasion.

Last year, Paul and I had a sweet Valentine’s Day dinner for a few friends and I borrowed these fun heart-shaped dishes from my friend Hoppi. I used them for Balcony Girls that afternoon, and then again for the dinner party that evening.

They added extra holiday flair to my table, without my having to spend a dime. I like that idea!

Do you ever swap dishes with friends?

Here are some ideas that have worked well for me in the past while celebrating Valentine’s Day:

Cook a Pink Meal! Pink pancakes, milk, jello and heart-shaped cookies.

Chicken Pot Pie with heart-shaped crust on top.

Fun festive red/pink table setting with heart theme.

Make a heart-shaped cake.

Dinnertime discussion - what you love about the person on your right.

Heart-shaped Papa Murphy’s pizza.

Send love notes in lunch boxes.

And here are some inexpensive ideas for sharing love …

Buy a spring bulb and take to a lonely or hurting friend.

Send a card in the mail.

Ask a friend to go on a walk.

Bake a 99-cent brownie mix in a heart-shaped pan and take to your favorite friend or family.

Pick up the phone and call a friend or family whom you care about – just to say Happy Valentine’s Day.

Valentine’s Day is connecting with the one you love! I hope you ENJOY this day with whomever you chose to spend it with!

In regards to marriage, last year I wrote these words when referring to gifts: “I’d rather have a husband who loves and desires me, who understands intimacy, who is honest and engaging. That, and a home filled with happy kids.” To read more about this Hallmark holiday and marriage, you can read the post here.

Line by line, moment by moment, special times are etched into our memories in the permanent ink of everlasting love in our relationships. Gloria Gaither


Jen said...

I have already planned my meal.....and plan on setting my table tonight. Baking my cake tonight too. I have my gifts bought already but need to wrap them for my kids. I'm doing a banana split party for Madison's class tomorrow..I thought you would like that one.....by the way we did your mango salsa chicken and it was big hit...thank you and Happy Heart day to you.

Julie said...

Hi Sandy,

Several months back I let a friend of mine 'borrow' our house and together we hosted a ladie's tea. We each supplied half the dishes and wound up with an absolutely gorgeous table...without spending one cent.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Dawn said...

Those heart plates are so cute. I'm going to make a heart shaped cake today.

Tracy said...

What a wonderful idea! You are an inspiration!

momrn2 said...

What wonderful Valentine ideas! I have never thought about borrowing/lending dishes before. You can bet I will now!! ;-)

Lovella said...

Sandi .. just popping by to see how your Valentine social preparations were coming.
The heart shaped little plates are so sweet. . .

Melissa @ The Inspired Room said...

I borrow things from my sister all the time, she has a great collection of dishes! I have just one set of creamy white ones and one set of clear glass plates, so they are fun to mix up with colored goblets and other accent pieces. I use the cream ones all the time. Your heart plates are adorable! I intended to do some Valentine's Day planning yesterday but then my son came down with a high fever and flu bug. Such is life, you must be flexible above all else! :-)

Great ideas here Sandy! Happy day! I'm amazed that you run at 5AM, you go girl! Maybe I would too if I had a hot tub to come back to!


~j~ said...

Hi Sandy,
What a fun idea. My Mom and I do this very thing and the dishes we have found at the dollar store have allowed us to get so many great looks.
Your table by the way is beautiful.
Those red heart plates are so cute!
Have a fun day tomorrow for Valentines Day.

Praise and Coffee said...

Great ideas Sandy! You are ever so creative.


Wendy said...

Love these ideas! Thanks!

An Ordinary Mom said...

Dish swapping, I love that idea!

We are super excited for our Valentine's day tomorrow!

Jen said...

Swapping dishes is a fabulous idea! I have never thought of something so fun. We have our day all planned out for tomorrow. The kids look forward to a table set with china with a special dinner and dessert.
Hope your day with the family is wonderful,

Rhonda said...

Very pretty table. And wonderful ideas. Just love your blog!

Happy Valentine's Day!!!

see you there! said...

Since I'm crazy about dishes and have limited kitchen storage, I have some packed away so I occasionally "borrow" from myself and unpack a box or two.

Here's a "heart" idea, if you have a small heart shaped cookie cutter use it to cut a heart out of a slice of pickled beets. It looks quite pretty sitting on the top of a green salad :-)


Tammy said...

I love the idea of trading special dishes...it's something I never had even thought about before, but what a fun idea!

I just went over to your link to read last year's Valentine post...your husband is truly a treasure! And I agree...the gifts of the heart are so much more meaningful than an obligatory box of chocolates! (And this comes from a woman who loves chocolate!)

A happy Valentine's Day to you and your family, Sandy!

Given Grace said...

Great ideas! The heart dishes are adorable.

One year I was extra creative and made a heart shaped meatloaf (my husbands favorite dinner) and covered it with ketchup. He loved it!

Have a great Valentines Day!

Emily said...


I appreciate that you included your comments about Vday from last year - what *really* matters to you. I agree wholeheartedly. Just this morning a coworker asked if I was "into" Valentines day and I explained that I am so overwhelmingly loved, served, cherished and connected with by my husband every day of the year, that I don't look to Vday to fill my "love" needs. That said, it is fun to do the little things, like baking heart pancakes for my daughter this morning! Bless you.

Chris @ Come to the Table said...

I love the dish trading idea!

Those red heart plates are adorable!

Are those Mikasa's French Countryside with them? I received those for my wedding and twenty two years later they are still one of my favorite sets. And they have lasted!! I don't think I will ever get rid of them.

These are such fun ideas! Thanks for sharing them.

G. said...

You have such great ideas! I wish I would have read this before valentine's day! We had heart-shaped pancakes for breakfast and for lunch, I cut the kids sandwiches into hearts...I love the heart-shaped dishes, I need to find some of those!

GiBee said...

Great ideas!! Love those cute little heart plates!