Sorry Barry, Your Invitation’s Not in the Mail

When was the last time you were invited to a dinner party? Not a birthday party or Sunday School Party or graduation party or any other kind of party with an obvious celebratory excuse.

I mean a real, authentic dinner party ,or even a cocktail party (remember those), a party that someone hosts purely for the purpose of inviting friends into their home for fun, food and entertainment. A party with some forethought. A party with genuine-sent-through-the U.S.-mail paper product invitations! A party that you actually RSVP to?

When JT and I were house hunting we knew within 3 minutes of stepping through the door of this home that it was meant for us. Despite the fact that the previous homeowners taste in decor was totally not ours. Despite the roller blade scratches in the polished concrete floors. Despite the fact that one of their dogs actually threw up on the kitchen floor while we were touring the home. (that’s a realtor’s dream right there). No, none of those things deterred us since decor can be changed and floors can be polished (and also wiped up and sprayed with Lysol, thank goodness). We loved the neighborhood, the large lot, the style and layout of the house with it’s great kitchen and tons of custom woodwork, but mostly, we loved the large covered back porch.

We just imagined the great parties we could have on that porch. Parties where friends and family would share food and laughter and beautiful weather. JT would hang long strands of party lights and I would fill the porch with gorgeous plants to make it an inviting place for our guests.

And we did.

But just last fall we decided to become much more intentional about our entertaining. We would have a theme. We’d send invitations in the mail. We’d have beautiful table settings and wonderful food. We would invite an interesting mix of friends.

And we did!

Our first Party on the Porch, last November, was planned specifically to welcome in the glorious coolness of fall. Of course someone forgot to mention this to Texas Weather who decided to try and incinerate us with one last blast of summer heat and humidity precisely on the evening of our party (thanks Texas Weather, you can be a buzzkill sometimes.)

And even though we actually frightened a few friends when we sent real invitations in the mail- “Is someone sick? Are you going to try to get us to buy into a time-share? What’s the catch?” they said.

And even though the dingity dang Texas Weather did its best to kill us all, we enjoyed the party so much that we decided to do similar ones at least two or three times a year.

Our next one is planned for April and I can’t tell you how much we’ve enjoyed discussing a menu (well, mostly it’s me who’s enjoyed this) deciding on a guest list, compiling a music playlist (will somone please break it to JT that Barry White is not necessary at every party) and just generally dreaming up a theme.

I’m researching appetizers and interesting drinks and desserts- and enjoying every minute.

Anyway it all makes me curious.

Do you entertain? I mean in the non-birthday/holiday party way? Have you received a dinner party invitation in the mail in the last few years? Do people still do this? Have dinner parties and invitations and table settings and place cards and the like almost completely disappeared because we all seem to stay so connected via social media? Has it all become a thing of the past?

I’d love your thoughts – just please, let’s leave Barry White out of it.

Happy Entertaining!


What are you Celebrating?

It’s easy to decide on any given day that there’s truly nothing to celebrate at all.

The weather’s gloomy.

The political climate is gloomy.

Everyone seems unhappy with everyone else.

But when it comes right down to it, we get to choose, every single day, whether we’ll celebrate or give into the gloominess. Whether we’ll allow ourselves to get sucked under by the comments, the pictures, the conflict, and the unhappiness. Or, if we’ll make the effort to look around and see all the things (large or small) that we have to be so very grateful for and plan a celebration (large or small) because of those things!

Yesterday, in this house, we celebrated 2 wonderful things with a Skillet Cookie (I used this recipe

  1. The oven is fixed! The part came in early and the awesome technician said he knew how distraught I was about having no oven, so he worked me into his already packed schedule yesterday afternoon. I may have hugged him.
  2. My sweet husband came home from a fun ski trip with his HS buddies. They go each year on Super Bowl weekend and have such a good time. This time they were in Vail,
Thanks for sharing the picture Herb!

and after 4 long days, I’m not sure who was happier to have him walk in the door, me or Hootie!

These certainly aren’t earth-shattering things to most of you, but they were BIG things around here- JT’s homecoming outranking the oven repair, of course. I bet, if you try, you’ll find some equally BIG things to celebrate yourself.

I challenge you- and you don’t have to cook anything to do it. Plop a scoop of ice cream on an Oreo, add some sprinkles and get to celebrating.

I’d love to here what you decide to “party” about- drop a comment in FB or Instagram and let’s fight back against the gloominess!


Ovens Have Feelings Too

I assume all of you, like me, talk to your appliances.

“Way to go Dishwasher, these glasses look great!”

“Hello Fridge, don’t tell Washer and Dryer, but you’re my favorite. Really you are.”

Even Little Toaster gets a high five and verbal affirmation when he doesn’t burn my bagel.

Sadly, though, my last few conversations with Oven have been less pleasant.

“Are you kidding me Oven? I have people here. People who don’t eat raw fish. People who are not hip. Pull yourself together and focus. Remember last Thursday? You were at 400 degrees for three hours straight and you barely broke a sweat.”

“Is 375 just too much to ask?”

“Oven…You’re embarrassing me in front of my friends.”

I know it sounds harsh, but In my defense I didn’t know that Oven was actually suffering from a physical ailment, not just being obstinate (although I’ve seen this attitude before).

The oven is so sick, in fact, that we must wait 2 weeks for its replacement part.

No baking for two weeks. No heart or lip-shaped Valentine cookies. No cakes. No fun.

No casseroles, cinnamon rolls, or bread puddings.

No broiled veggies.

We shall surely starve.

Oh I suppose we could pull ourselves up by our bootstraps and cook yummy things on the stovetop and in the microwave. People in other cultures have survived for years without ovens. But how? Why?

Anyway, we’ll make it. We will. We’ll be creative, if not just plain desperate.

We’ll boil and fry! Saute and stir!

Just you wait world, we can do this….

Please send help.