Thursday, July 6, 2017


noun. an evening party or gathering, typically in a private
home, for conversation or music.


early this spring the local community ed book came and i flipped
through it. i saw a class where you could learn to make 4 new summer
salads and i thought it looked fun. i almost signed up but then
thought to myself..."hmmm, why pay $50 bucks to go to a class when
we could do this in our own neighborhood" and an idea began.

about a month later i thought about it again. my kitchen is
galley style and big enough for only about 2 cooks though, so
i sneakily called my neighbor and friend mary and told her about my
idea to have a party where several woman were invited and we'd ask each
one to bring a salad to share. the idea hopefully included getting new
ideas for salads for our own families and having people do some final
prep at the gathering...share recipes and then take home some samples
of each others.

she loved the idea.

then i hit her up with the big loaded question:
"could we ever do it at your house? in your newly remodeled,
fabulous kitchen???"
she wasted no time saying YES...(she's nice like that). : )

so it was on!
we had fun planning for this fun evening and here are some photos from our

summer salad soire'e

you guys, i hate to cook. so what's a non-cook doing co-hosting a party that involves cooking?
well, setting a pretty table of course.
(mary loves to cook and she's a great one.)

i wanted to use all the flowers that were blooming in my garden and
ideas for the table started "cooking" in my head.

i was on pinterest and saw these moss balls. i loved the idea and
couldn't find a tutorial about how to make them but knew i could
figure it out. i went to my favorite nursery and bought a couple of plants
and the day before the party i made two. they were really very easy.
i had sheet moss on hand so i soaked some pieces in water and
then tipped the plants out of their pots and compressed the soil and
roots as much as i could into a ball. then i just set them on a
sheet of the moss and shaped it in a ball and used fern pins
(shown below) to secure the moss to the root ball.

soaking the moss

i just upended the plant in it's former pot to work on wrapping the
moss around it and pushing in the fern pins.

these are fern pins. they're available at any floral shop.

ta-da. here's the second one done. now you can perch them on top of any fun
pot or vase or footed plate etc.

"stuff" piling up to go over to Mary's~

i scavenged little vases so that each guest could have one
on their plate to bring home.

we decided to make place cards and i used a dollar store
paint set to paint a little peony on them.

*if you don't see your name here, it was because we only had room at
the table for 6 guest + the two of us...we wanted to invite
every one of our friends!

here's our table all set and ready.

we had a little card with a saying on the plates for each friend.

the last of my peony's bloomed 2 whole weeks before our party and i put them
in the fridge and said a little prayer that they'd "hold" for the party and they did!!

mary set up a couple different drink stations, one with fruited water
and the other with fun non alcoholic beverages and wine.

remember way back when i had my store? i sold these napkins and
mary (of course) bought some. how fun is it that she still had
some of that box of 100?
: )

this bouquet i made for the bathroom had sumac in it.
that's what the unusual conical berry like things are- weird but pretty.

mary and I- ready for our guests in our matching aprons. mine was from
bella pear, mary's was her moms.

two days before the party i still hadn't decided what my salad was going to be.
pinterest to the rescue!
i decided to go out on a limb (a limb made of bacon) and try something
really new for me. i've never bought spring rolls and thought it
would be fun to try BLT's on them. i don't think any of the other
girls had used them either and they are really easy, quick and fun.
all you do it wet them, add your toppings, roll up and eat!

the funsters started arriving and unpacking what they'd brought.
*hi carol and cheri!

hi mary, mary and Bridgette~

here's jill prepping her salad. hi jill!

 mad stirring~

carol, cindy and  mary

host mary and friend mary. (don't you love this kitchen?) : )

silly sally- i mean cheri, mary and mary.

here's the yummy salads all lined up and ready for us to try.

we also had a bunch of appetizers for the social hour before we ate.
i'm bummed i didn't get a picture of them. mary provided most of them
including her amazing homemade bruschetta.
mary and tim have a gorgeous oasis in their back yard. it's all
native/prairie wildflowers, and tropical plants that tim tends to all summer long.
there is a fountain and a few different seating areas (no grass at all) and we started the
party out there listening to the fountain and catching up in each
others lives. it was a perfectly perfect minnesota evening.
*i don't think a single mosquito bit anyone~ how perfect it that??

dessert. key lime pie from trader joes with violas from my garden.
you can eat them you know and i did!

what a fun way to celebrate summer with some fabulous friends.
mary and i were both tired out the next day, but like she said,
"it was the good kind of tired. the kind that comes from
doing something you love for people you care about".

now we're past the 4th of july and summer is in full swing.
we're going to the lodge this weekend and will be celebrating our oldest's
birthday. i think all or most of us plan to float down the river on Saturday-
which i haven't even experienced in the 5 years we've owned our place
up north. what's up with that???
: )

i've got a new swim suit to break in!

have a great weekend you guys,

xo beth


  1. you're a hoot and sweetest person ever

  2. Looks like a beautiful evening with friends and food!!

  3. Such a fun idea Beth! What was your favorite salad?

  4. What a great idea! Your flowers were gorgeous and the salads all look yummy.


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