Garden Update – Late Summer Treasures

One thing I love about these mild late summer days is finding cool things happening in our gardens.

Some days turn into a treasure hunt in nature.

I like to think we have our own little eco-system going in throughout our yard.

We have been enjoying beautiful late summer days lately, with mild, dry, sunny and cooling temps.

I cherished a peaceful day off last week by spending an afternoon experimenting with the travel watercolor kit I received from my best buddy.

It was fun to mess around with the palette of colors that came in this little kit. At first, I thought it might too hard to paint an image with such a limited collection of colors. Once I got mixing and painting, I realized how fabulous this little kit is, with just the right about of paint colors, perfect little mixing trays, a water bottle, a mini brush just right for working on my art cards, and a cover that doubles as a water dish.

Hope you’re finding opportunities to relax and enjoy these late summer days too!

A Dinner Party

I may have mentioned here in my notebook that we aren’t big on entertaining, but we are trying to make an effort to have people over more often.

I have a couple aunts and an uncle who live in an assisted-living facility whom I don’t see often enough. I grew very close to them and we spent so much time together; they were like my second moms and dads.

I didn’t think they would see any trick-or-treaters on Halloween, so we decided to have a dinner party with them, and let them answer the door when the kids came around. We had such a great time that we are already looking forward to having another dinner party… soon! Can you believe that? The more I host these types of parties the more I grow hooked on the idea.

I always try to keep things simple, but add little touches that people will smile about, making their experience more enjoyable. I found this cool fabric at Joann’s, two yards of which made a perfect tablecloth for our Halloween dinner party.

From that picture, it’s a little hard to tell that the fabric is purple sheer with black furry spider webs all over it. It looked cool draped over the table!

I used an old popcorn tin as a platform for all the black and orange tealight candles we had. I didn’t have enough time to make party favors, so maybe I’ll plan ahead for the next party.

We served chili, cornbread muffins and homemade applesauce, which all turned out perfectly. (whew)

Everytime I make chili, it turns out different. This time, it was perfect so I had to jot down the ingredients: ground chuck, can of chili starter, can of diced tomatoes with chili seasonings, can of tomato sauce, jar of chili sauce, dash of tomato paste for thickening, and salt and pepper. (forgot the onions) We served it over pasta but I left that out of the chili so it wouldn’t get mushy and in case someone didn’t want that.

I didn’t take a picture of the dessert, but it turned out yummy too. I made gingersnap ice cream sandwiches from the Martha Stewart Living November issue. They were delicious, especially with the butter pecan ice cream in the middle. I guess we ate it too fast to get pictures.

I also found this cool sign that glowed in the dark.

I’m a little bummed that it’s all over because everyone had such a good time. It’s Sunday night, which just adds more sadness to another fun-filled weekend. I’m already brainstorming ideas and looking forward to the next dinner party!