Tierney Bistro: Child Labor at its Finest, for St. Valentine's Day

If you're like me, you like your husband. You like getting dressed up. You like eating food. You like general adorableness. And being waited upon. And little bells.

But if you're like me you do NOT like sitting in traffic on a Saturday night (seriously, what is your problem LA?). You do not like trying to find a parking spot. Maybe you also don't like dropping off your awesome eight-passenger van full of sand, individual socks, and goldfish cracker dust with the valet at a nice restaurant.

If you're like me you don't like waiting around -- although you DO enjoy your husband's company and think he is hilarious and looks very handsome in that shirt -- you just don't like sitting around.

Tablecloth and bread basket cloth are from my fabric stash.

You definitely don't like having to decide if getting dessert is worth the extra hour you'll have to pay the babysitter. You're not crazy about having spent THAT much on something that is now just -- in your tummy. You can't necessarily remember all the stuff you made small talk about with the babysitter the last time you drove her home, so now you're worried that you will sound like an idiot to the girl you just paid to watch TV (and not do dishes) at your house.

Flowers are left over from Betty's birthday party.

Yes? Maybe?

Well . . . have I got a solution for you:


The husband invented Tierney Bistro for our anniversary one year to accommodate my likes and avoid my dislikes. It was such a huge success that we've used it many times since for other special occasions and date nights.

Here's how it works:

  • We set a festive table (kids can help with this of course) and print out a menu for the evening
  • A grown up cooks the food for the grown ups (usually the husband has done this, using prepared finger-food-type items from Trader Joe's and Costco, but I decided to give it a go for this time) and something quick and easy for the kids
  • The kids eat first
  • The kids seat us and wait on us at dinner

We ring a little bell if we need service, otherwise they stay (somewhat) out of sight. But there is great ceremony as they bring out the courses and refill the drinks. Occasionally, there have even been dinner shows.

My kids love it because they like the pageantry and playacting. We call them "Miss" and "young man." They get to feel like responsible adults with real jobs. I love it for all the reasons I outlined above. And it's really, really cute and affordable.

We decided to have our St. Valentine's Day edition of Tierney Bistro a little early this year to beat the beginning of Lent (mmmmm . . . steak), and so I could share it with you here.

Enjoy! And have a very Happy St. Valentine's Day with the ones you love!

Hey! I finally fixed those pants!
Happy St. Valentine's Day, my love!

Congratulations to Joy and Karen, the winners of Advent and Lent quest! If your name is Joy or Karen, check your email to see if you are the right Joy or Karen. If your name isn't Joy or Karen, or if your name IS Joy or Karen but you didn't get an email from us . . . sorry, you didn't win.

That's the bad news. But the good news is you can still order your own copy and it's downloadable so you have plenty of time to print it out before Lent starts tomorrow.

Thanks to everyone who participated and stay tuned for our Lent Challenge!

Check out Arma Dei for this and other Catholic craft kits.