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Friday, June 9, 2017

Peonies on the Terrace

Well, this table came together in a flash.  A quick stop at Trader Joe's and a chat with a friend in the frozen food aisle lead to an impulsive invitation for dinner.  Almost all the food came from those very aisles, and so did the flowers.


Oh!  The flowers!!!!  Aren't they smart to put them right at the front door?  You see these beauties and right away you put some in your cart and begin to make plans for a special night. 

Peonies!!!!  A very special flower in our family!  They are elegant and fragrant, and beautiful, and magnificent.  I just had to grab some.

Since our border flowers are looking pretty good, and the weather was delightful, I decided to set our table outside on the lower terrace.  I also thought the pink petunias would compliment the pink peonies.

In the spirit of making things easy and quick, I grabbed these pink toile melamine dishes that I haven't used in quite a while.  They were made by Swell, which was sold by Target years ago.

The glassware was a high/low mix of this hot pink bubble glass and clear Juliska stems that I used for wine.

The napkins are from the Palm restaurant line, and these soup bowls were also from Target.  I served visychoise in them, as Mr. Pressed Pants has been asking for it.

This plastic flatware is a cute, vibrant knock-off of some ornate silverplate. 

This French salt and pepper holder is the only serving accessory I used.

I love the way this all came together. 


Can you see the lake through the trees?  The Canadian geese were pretty noisy, but, they were not nearly as noisy as the bullfrogs!!!

It was a mosquito-free night, though.

This is a little bit of heaven, and it's even better with friends to share it.

Try the lemon piccata chicken from Trader Joe's refrigerator case!  We  all loved it.

Here's the view from the upper terrace. 

This is what happens when you don't stop to think about things, and just blurt out an invitation.  What the heck!  The house was pretty clean, the landscapers had been there, and the food was almost ready.  When the friends are that good, it's almost a "Come-as-you-are" party.  We even ate leftover lemon cheesecake from a luncheon that I gave on Tuesday!!!! Capture the moment and make a memory!

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Thursday, June 8, 2017

Lemons, Ladies, and Lunch!



One of my very favorite groups to entertain is my Bridge Buddies!  We are six women who have been together for years and years and play bridge once a week.  Usually, we meet at 2:30 and play, but several times a year, we have lunch and then play.  This week, I invited them to come for lunch.


These ladies seem to appreciate every little detail, and I love giving them lots to look at!


My inspiration started with this cheerful tablecloth from Homegoods.


After an epic fail (I wish I had photos to show you the sad attempt), I came up with this centerpiece.


Lemons and daisies!  Sure felt like summer! 



In place of a wreath, I simply tied a small bouquet with gingham ribbon onto the door.


The tag read "Please Come In".  My landscaper happened to come to the door before the girls arrived and asked me if I was expecting company, or was I just lonely!!!!!!!!!!!


These placecard holders were from Pottery Barn a year or so ago.  I cut the layered name card out with my Silhouette cutter, and then hand lettered each name. 


On top of my every day white dinner plate, I placed a bright yellow napkin and topped it with a menu card.  They were a simple rectangle, even though they photographed sort of misshapen.  I always add a quote to the menu card and this one says "Girlfriends help us think our best thoughts, do our noblest deeds, and be our finest selves."  (Anon.)  Love this!


I used a rattan charger and this bamboo handled flatware from Horshow.


Initially, I planned to use these bright yellow glasses, but I found I only had four.


Didn't they look cuter?  The other glass is a plain Tiffany wine glass.


And here's what we put in them!  The cutest bottle of pinot grigio!  These daisies on the bottle just sent me into orbit.  And it was really good!!!!


This is really a candle holder from Italy.  I would have used it on the table, but I only have one, so I filled the little hole with water and placed just a few daisies in it and used it on the sideboard.


In one powder room, I added daisies and a hand towel with a lemon tree.


I forgot I had this till I was looking for a towel.


The other powder room got a small daisy arrangement, too.


In the bar, I used some lemon napkins and some small yellow appetizer sized napkins. The fern covered dish held buffalo chicken roll-ups that were a hit.


This tray held the coffee fixings.


I made lemon-thyme salt for favors.  It is so good on chicken or veggies.


And the other favor was raffle tickets for produce from my grandson's farm.  He's TEN!  And he has his own farm.  Last year he harvested 300 lbs of potatoes alone.  This boy can work!  These raffle tickets afforded him the cash to buy his seeds, etc. this spring.  I'm going to do a post about him later in the season.




After a leisurely lunch and lots of laughter, we got down to business.  We never take our games too seriously, though.  This is party bridge.  Boy, was I ever surprised to find these cards with lemons in my stash! I don't remember buying them. It was like a miracle.



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Saturday, May 27, 2017

Turquoise Gingham on the Deck

It was time to have our bachelor neighbor over for dinner.  And time to post something!  I haven't posted anything in a month, maybe six weeks.  I've done a Cinco de Mayo dinner, a Kentucky Derby dinner, several small dinner parties, and a lovely picnic, but the situation just wasn't right to photograph blog-worthy pictures.  I'm a firm believer that the event is much more important than capturing it on film, even for a languishing blog!  And that, folks, is why I don't accept advertising.  I just can't promise a certain number of posts. 

But last night's dinner on the deck was simple and lovely and much appreciated by our neighbor.  I went with serene and summery.  He pretends to be all macho, but he loves to be pampered and enjoys a pretty table almost as much as good food!

I started with a white linen caterer's cloth, and then added a pale turquoise straw place mat.  These came from an awesome store in Seaside, Florida called Seaside Style.  The whole store looks like this!  Do not miss it if you are in the panhandle area.  Then I added this whitewashed wooden charger from World Market.  I love how it becomes soft and interesting with the whitewash. 

Then, I chose this scalloped edged dinner plate from Target.  Really!  Target!

These natural handled wooden flatware is Martha Stewart's from years ago when she had her on-line merchandise store.

And these turquoise glass tumblers are Martha Stewart also, this time from Macy's.  I didn't set the table with wine glasses, because we just brought our glasses we used with appetizers to the table.

The salt and pepper and butter looked a bit lost on the table, so I corralled them on this small bamboo tray.  It echoes the color of the flatware. 

White roses and hydrangeas continue to keep things serene.

Today's flowers are brought to you by Whole Foods! 

These candlesticks gave another element of blue/turquoise.


It was a beautiful evening.  We are enjoying the weather before it gets too hot.

The meal was a hit.  Pasta salad and grilled shrimp after an old fashioned appetizer of chips and clam dip.

But the very most enjoyed course was the banana pudding made with Nutter Butter cookies in place of vanilla wafers.  Unbelievable!

Mr. Pressed Pants thought I was way to generous when I sent all but one serving home with Ronnie!  


This deck holds several sitting areas, and  I've softened them with pillows covered with outdoor fabric from Ballard Designs.

The best part is the view of the lake, and of friendly faces across the table!


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