Zest A Little Lemon Themed Date Night With My Main Squeeze

My theme began with a lemon napkin I got at Pottery Barn Outlet last year

My husband often teases me about my love of themes. He has told me I need to write a book called, “Living The Thematic Life” and one day, I just might. This theme, for a date night with my sweetie, began with a lemon napkin. I had a few ideas of things I wanted to do. I’ve been wanting to try making a flower arrangement with citrus slices on the side of the vase. I also wanted to make some foods that had lemon in them.

First attempt at creating a flower arrangement with lemon slices on side of vase

I enjoy creating. Flower arranging is one thing I love to do for a table. We have a Sam’s Club near our house and they have a good selection of flowers at a reasonable price. I decided to go with the white carnations. I wanted my work to last a bit and carnations keep well. I was able to pick up two bowl shaped vases to nest in each other to make this. The key is nesting a smaller one in a larger one. In the smaller one goes the flowers. In the space between the smaller one and the larger one goes the lemon slices. Make sure your smaller bowl isn’t too small. You want the gap to be just the size of a slice of a lemon, so they lay against the glass correctly. You place the lemon slices in and then add water to this space. The water keeps the slices fresh. Then add the flowers to the smaller vase with water. I always use 7 up in water. It keeps the flowers fresher longer. Fill vase mostly with water then a bit if 7 up. I got this idea off Pinterest, if you need more detailed instructions on how to do this, you can find a lot of sources there. I’m happy to share what I did in more detail, too. You can comment below with your questions. I like to attempt new things and this I considered a “pinner winner.”

The table setting with its layers of dishes in blues, whites and yellows

The top blue and white dish (all 3 dishes used in setting are from Crate & Barrel) is the one we will put our dessert on. The next scalloped dish is for the appetizer. The dinner dish, well, you can guess that one … lol. The lemon napkin is from Pottery Barn Outlet. The blue and white silverware is from Pottery Barn. The blue and white napkin is from Crate & Barrel, too, as is the flower near the place tile. The shiplap charger and the tile place card are from a shop called Details 2 Enjoy. The lemon slice is from Tattered and Twine, a shop you can find on Instagram.

This is Us” quote from show is very meaningful to my husband and I

I’m a quote girl, I used several for this theme. Most are just silly lemon puns, but the quote from “This is Us” has special meaning to my husband and I. We, like the fictional Jack and Rebecca (they sure don’t seem fictional do they?), lost a son. We lost him many years ago, but it changed the course of our lives. We related to the doctor sharing how when he lost his child it altered his life’s focus and direction. We were never able to go on to have any other children and we needed to figure out what to do from there. It was a painful journey. It took a long time to realize we wouldn’t be parents, but along the way, God faithfully took that sourest of lemons of life and helped us make lemonade with it. We knew how deeply we loved kids and people in general. He gave us many people to love and be loved by. I taught school for 20 years and had the honor of knowing the best kids. Many of these kids, who are now all grown up, I still have a relationship with. They are a dear part of our lives and one way He made lemonade from lemons. We are proud of the life we have lead despite this great loss. We glorify Him for making something beautiful from it and giving us the hope of heaven one day and meeting our son.

I am a sentimental girl and this quote was a way to honor the life we live on our little date dinner. I love to reflect our story in our home. Life’s losses and challenges can really make one realize how important it is to seize the day or in this theme’s words’ “Squeeze the Day” (pillow with this quote seen in other photos is from Kirkland’s.)

Date night is a perfect excuse to theme out the bar for my main squeeze

I decorated our bar in the lemon theme. I served a raspberry lemonade (Simply Raspberry Lemonade) with mint and fresh raspberries added. Raspberry and mint garnishes on toothpicks for the drinks makes it a little more festive. I added a band of lemon scrapbook paper (purchased at JoAnn’s ) to the cups. A few more little quotes give a nod to the theme, too. The letterboard quote was my playful way to say, “it’s date night.” The photo is of my husband and I at Disneyland. Disneyland has been our place to play and laugh for many years.

Lemon Basil Crostinis were the appetizer

A theme really gives you something to begin with. I wanted to incorporate lemon in all the food items. These appetizers were simple to do and very easy to make. They are another Pinterest idea. A baguette cut in slices and toasted in the oven. Before putting in a 350 degree oven, drizzle olive oil over them. Bake for 3 minutes and then turn toast and bake another 3 minutes. The spread was simply 8 ozs of ricotta with a tablespoon of lemon zest and pepper and salt to taste. Spread with this after toasts come out of oven, Last thing to do is add julienned basil to each toast ( these 9 toasts needed about 6 leaves.)

Ina Garten’s Lemon Chicken

The main course was a recipe from The Barefoot Contessa, herself. The only thing we changed was using precooked chicken strips. I’m sure cooking the chicken in the sauce would bring even more flavor, but this method was quite good. Both my husband and I loved this dish and would make it again.

Click on:

Barefoot Contessa – Ina Garten’s Lemon Chicken

to find this wonderful recipe.

Lemon Orzo With Parmesan And Peas

This orzo dish was quite good, too, another “pinner winner.” It was a nice compliment to the chicken. There were several different ones on Pinterest. I kind of combined elements of different ones. I’ve just really began making dishes with orzo and like adding ingredients to it. I would suggest that whatever recipe you follow that you use shredded Parmesan not the can version (the can version is great and a stable in our house, just feel in this application the shredded is more tasty.)

Dinner all ready and on the buffet

I was a little worried it would be too much lemon, but both my hubby and I enjoyed all the combinations. The photo above shows all the food on our buffet. I decorated the buffet with a tray of lemons and other lemon accents.

Time to eat.

We ended up eating the crostinis with the meal. They are like the bread of the meal. We enjoyed a lovely leisurely meal. We love our Sunday dinners. I’ve shared before that growing up, my family had a special meal on Sundays and often either played games or watched tv. “The Wonderful World of Disney” was a favorite of my brothers and I. My husband and I enjoy having a peaceful and relaxing time together before the week starts.

Dinner close up

Lemon Chiffon Fluff

We enjoyed dessert while playing a game called, “Tenzies.” I love using my tiered trays for desserts. I put our servings in individual bowls. The little mini Vanilla Wafers were the perfect dipper. The recipe was simple. One lemon instant pudding, 1/2 cup of milk, one vanilla Greek yogurt and one container of thawed Cool Whip. Whisk it together and enjoy!

Dessert and game

Hope you enjoyed your peek into our date night. I love to do these and celebrate our life together. It may take a little work, but I love creating these and making the ones I love feel special. What matters is doing what you love. Enjoying the days you have all out. Squeezing the day! My next blog is another little theme of a certain bear I’m very fond of. He has a movie coming out and I can’t resist a visit to the 100 acre wood in my home, so check back or better yet subscribe, so you can join me and this silly old bear on a little adventure with perhaps a smackerel or two.