Tuesday, September 8, 2015

A Labor Day by the Lake

Labor Day weekend kicks off the beginning of dove hunting season.  My hubby and his friends excitedly await the arrival, not so much for the hunting part, but the camaraderie and the communing with nature. Someone recently said that my hubby can't sit still long enough to hunt, and this is probably true, but he loves the whole idea of it.  We invited the wives to come down to the lake Sunday evening to meet up with the hunters and share a meal out in the wild.

 We recently added string lights, and an outdoor kitchen to our outdoor setting by the lake.
 Setting a square table has its challenges.  Since I didn't know exactly how many were coming too far in advance, I had to come up with something fairly quick.  So to keep it simple, I just used white plates, gray napkins, and inexpensive crystal and wines.
 The table and chairs have a contemporary flair, so I didn't want to add too many embellishments.
I did bring silver flatware, tied with a ribbon, and embellished with my mom's old costume jewelry.
 Some were earrings, and some were brooches.  
 They were all different.
The men remarked that the table looked quite different than the one from the night before!
 The crystal glasses are Cristal D'arques Longchamp and nice quality as well as reasonably priced.
 Another issue is decorating around an umbrella pole.  Again, not much time to get too creative, so I just used three cylinder vases, with grocery store flowers and solomon's seal from my garden.
 Wine glasses were from the dollar store!!
 Two contemporary-style votive holders, and done.
 It turned out quite nice, considering I had to transport everything from home.
 Mother Nature provides most of the eye candy here!
 Our meal consisted of steak and salmon, caprese salad, sauteed squash and zucchini, fried okra, corn cooked on the grill, and homemade cookies and brownies.
 Of course, cocktails and appetizers were shared at the beginning of the evening.

We had a fun time being together and cooking together outside.  It was a mutual effort!  We left the men, and drove an hour to get back home.  Time seemed to slip away from us, and we had no idea it was so late when we got home at 1:30 am!  I spent the next morning, cleaning up dishes and utensils, and putting everything away.  So the rest of the Labor Day was spent in a chaise lounge by the pool!

Hope your Labor Day was relaxing.  A Labor Day celebration was held in my hometown and the guest speaker paid homage to my father and uncles who served in World War II, as well as other local hometown heroes.  Wish I had known about it in advance.  It was a wonderful tribute to my family and I was honored.

Thank you for visiting!  Come back soon!


Thursday, August 27, 2015

A Beachy Setting

It has been a whirlwind of a summer.  We have been to the beach for three weeks, and I am so thankful that we had the opportunity to share our vacation with family and friends.  Even though I am sad that the summer is coming to a close, I have great memories of fun times!  The weather continues to be hot through October, so hopefully we will get back there soon.

In the meantime, a beach tablescape will do.  It reminds me of eating delicious seafood, wading in the cool ocean, feeling the sun's warmth, and curling my toes in the sand.

I used a white and cream-colored runner as a base, and added a silver boat-shaped dish as the centerpiece, filled with an assortment of shells and votives.
I wrapped two cylinder vases with rope, and used these for my "beachy" arrangements.
A cream basket-weave design plate held my shell dishes which are tinted blue with beige.
Instead of using busy napkins with shell-design, I decided on plain white ones, with beautiful floral cut work.
The colors and textures of the shells are beautiful.
Starfish, shell, and votive holder add to the beachy feel.
A friend of mine gave me these great wine glasses that have a silver base with shells and a lobster.  The beverage stem has a silver rim.
A silver shell napkin ring holds the napkins in place.
Another close-up of the lobster wine glass.
Using battery-operated votives in the boat centerpiece keeps me from worrying about fire while entertaining.
The shell placecard holders were also a gift from my cousin.  Thank you!!
Your place is ready!  She-crab soup??
I hope you have enjoyed your summer.  Thank you for visiting with me today!

I also want to send my condolences to the families of the victims of the WDBJ shooting near Roanoke.  Alison Parker went to JMU, the same university as my daughter, and Adam Ward attended VA Tech, the university my son attends.  My heart aches for these families' loss.  Please pray for them!


Saturday, July 4, 2015

A Red, White, and Blue BBQ!!

Happy Fourth of July!!  We celebrated America last night with a backyard bbq with friends.  Even though rain threatened, we went ahead with our plans, but put up two additional tents just to be safe.  We provided pulled pork bbq, slaw, macaroni and cheese, hot dogs, and bite-sized desserts.  Beverages consisted of frozen margaritas, beer, wine, and of course, lots of cold water.  Upon entering the backyard, a lantern with a double mesh bow greeted guests.

I found these patriotic candles at Pier 1 as well as the lantern, which was on sale!!
Torches lined the sidewalk, with white candles adorned with red and blue mesh bows.
This is a view of the party venue coming in.
Another view of torches and sidewalk from the opposite side.
Lots of red, white, and blue accessories on the bistro table coming in.
I found these great pillows at Joanne fabrics for a reasonable price.

On my stone console, I used my little pails with fireworks-type decorations.  I love using quotes, so I added these with easels.
The cylinder globes held red and white marble fillers, red and blue wiry stuff with stars (I found this everywhere),  water and white floating candles.

I added lots of American flags to my flower pots.

I usually buy flowers from Kroger or Fresh Market, but they were sold out of red, white, and blue flowers, for the most part.  I did buy a few red and white carnations and some status.  I used lots of greenery from my backyard.

More quotes on the tables!
We set up a bar for self-serve.
I used a tray with a festive placemat, and these wine glasses.  The American flag container chilled the white wine.
Another table under the big tent was dressed with a blue-striped tablecloth, red runner, hydrangeas, and festive centerpiece.

Everyone brought a dish, so we needed lots of food tables.
My original thought was to use the round table for dessert, but we had to move desserts to make room for all the food!!
Plates, trays for hot dogs, and utensils wrapped in paper napkins tied with more of that wiry stuff that I don't know the name of.
Thank goodness for warming trays.  Luckily I have lots of outlets in my backyard, and I used two warming trays to keep the bbq and mac n cheese hot.
A picture of the table before all the food!
I found these tall candlesticks at an estate sale.  
I like using individual bags of chips for outdoor functions, because they don't get soggy.
A table for two . . .
Lots of lanterns, and even a fresh arrangement inside the house.

We had lots of fun, plenty of food, and when the rain came, we just congregated under the tents, moved the food under shelter, and kept the party going.

So, may God bless America, and bring unity, peace, and goodwill to our great country.

Have a happy Fourth, and be safe out there!!