Hello! I hope everyone is off to a good start for the week. We are enjoying great temps here in my neck of the woods in the high 60's~low 70's. Most of all I'm enjoying a little break in the humidity. And it's sunny after many cloudy but rainless days. Finally.
You might remember that we were going to have a BBQ on Saturday and yes, we did. It was a lot of fun but I am sorry to say I only have a handful of pictures. I was going to try to get pics when everything was set up but we were actually doing that even as the first couple of people came. If I learned anything from this particular party, if someone offers to help, don't try to act like you're Mr. Nice Guy and get all "Aw, shucks" over it. Be firm. Say exactly when and how you want that help. I was offered a tent, tables and chairs as well as some setting up help. I was also offered some help in the kitchen. Most of it happened but I think it turned into more of a disaster in the making and no one was very happy. I'm all for delegating, but not if it involves more than making a simple dessert to bring or loaning some extra folding chairs.
Jeff has really gotten his "grill on"! His new home has a fabulous sort of built in grill on the covered patio (as well as a restaurant quality stove in the kitchen), so he has really been whipping up some great stuff and enjoying it. He likes to buy his meat fresh and has a fantastic butcher, so he offered to bring hamburgers (made fresh that day), hotdogs and chicken. He had the grill smokin' hot and we were really impressed. I made potato salad and pasta salad and there were appetizers brought by a few family members that were great. The Husband happened upon a recipe for Jalapeno Poppers recently and since he doesn't even know his way around our kitchen, we call it his signature (and only) dish. Considering the seeding and cleaning of the Jalapeno's pretty much forces everyone to leave the room due to the fumes, he's on his own with this one but they are SO good. I will give you the recipe one of these days. Or email me if you are anxious! ;-)
Here's Abigail and Papa. I don't know why Papa is making that face...it looks like someone just told him a naughty joke.
I thought I had planned ahead...we do this sort of stuff at the lake all the time so as I try to think back on what went awry that day, it's mind boggling.
Maybe I didn't prepare for the unexpected. I woke up at 4:00 a.m. Saturday morning having asthma issues. I reached for my inhaler and it was empty. It became worse and worse until The Husband could get to the pharmacy at 9:00 a.m. I was finally getting my breath by noon but many hours wasted.
We thought we could squeeze in other obligations. We had two graduation parties that day that we (The Husband and I) thought we could manage by each of us going to one for about an hour. I raced out the door an hour before my own party to go to another party up the street where I barely knew any of the 60 or so guests. I stood like a wallflower with my teensy plastic cup of wine and looked at my watch every other minute.
I could have done without the tent, I worried too much about rain. I should have done more ahead of time, I got a little too confident that time was on my side. And I must never run out of my meds!
After all of this has been said, you probably expect me to be the last one to give out party tips! Well, these aren't so much tips as they are things that I found that make life easier when you're hosting a few or a lot. I found these baskets in the dollar bins at Target. A lot of the tweens and teens don't like salads or the side dishes we do. Rather than setting out big bows of chips, buy the individual bags and toss them in a basket. You can even fill one with individual packaged cookies and sweets to put on the dessert table.
We stopped buying canned drinks years ago when we found so many half empty when we cleaned up. Buying liter bottles didn't change things much, then we had bottles and plastic cups. Thank goodness for these little bottles and cans...perfect for kids and even on the bar when adults make their own mixed cocktails.
I don't know how I could function without trays in my life. I must have 15 in all sizes and shapes at the lake. We live outdoors mostly so I am always corralling food and drinks and snacks and utensils on them to bring outside and then you can easily do your clean up with them. Same at this house now that we are using the grill more. These are from my grocery store. Check the seasonal aisles at CVS and Walgreens. All this stuff goes on sale about now.
I love melamine. Oh, how I do! I get really grossed out by how plastic containers can get greasy and never seem to come clean. And these are so solid. And colorful! People are so surprised to see that I actually do love color, as long as it's outside! Ha! I believe these were about $8.00 at Target. One of these bowls held 2 pounds of pasta salad so they are big.
I know you've seen these little caddies with compartments. They come in all shapes and sizes. I have one at the lake, too and we use it to carry out ketchup, mustard, etc. For this party I had utensils, straws. napkins and small paper plates in it. I think I got the woven caddy from Pier 1 at the beginning of summer.
These are bamboo forks and knives that I stock up on from a website called Smarty Had A Party. I love this place. They have everything disposable to take your party up a notch but make the clean up easy. Most of the stuff is sold in bulk so one or two bags of utensils or napkins (in every color of the rainbow) can last me all summer long. I keep some of the disposable forks in a Mason jar on the kitchen counter to grab for a snack or take out food.
Yesterday was my "I'm not doing anything" day. I really need time to slow down, stop and smell the roses. I ate leftovers all day and dug deep into a mystery novel I'm reading. I wouldn't even go outside with the dogs...I have had enough of the Great Outdoors. Then today I woke up to sunny skies and just when I thought I was losing that summer enthusiasm, you know, when you can't stand the sight of another weed and keeping your yard neat comes second to cleaning the bathroom, I felt renewed. I got showered and dressed and decided to pick up where The Husband left off outside yesterday cleaning up. I picked up branches from the wind we've had the last few days, I watered my plants and swept and filled the bird feeder. It is glorious out there!! Do you see the striped outdoor rug there? I had been really stubborn about not getting one even though our patio is really, really cracked and split. That happens when you've been outside in the wind, rain, sun and cold for over 80 years! What I thought was just a little old time charm started to get ugly so I broke down and got this from Home Decorators (on sale) and I think it looks good with my replacement umbrella.
Did you notice the green beans? My first harvest! And my only harvest...I planted the beans in a container and well, you just don't get as many as you do when you have a few rows in your garden patch. I am getting some decent container lettuce and the tomatoes are getting big, just not red. :(
My first bloom on this rosebush. It's so pretty. When I was picking out the plants for my little landscaping job at the lakehouse, they had these New Dawn rosebushes on sale for $10.00 each so I grabbed one. I've been wanting roses that I can cut and bring indoors so I hope this one does what it promises.
Other than an eye doctor appointment tomorrow and maybe a trip for a few groceries, I am free as a bird this week. There is no company in sight coming up to the lake and The Husband surprised me, he has taken a week off the second week in August for us to go up there and just do nothing. But of course we will. I'm still working on the never~ending job of expanding my English Garden but we also plan on scouting out some new towns, flea markets and restaurants. Can anyone tell me the name of a good beach read?!! :)
Joining Brenda at Cozy Little House for Tweak It Tuesday