it warms my heart…
~to see how much you two enjoy one another.
~to find you reading to one another
~to find your dolls wrapped up in my scarves after a morning of play
~to hear you giggling in bed in the morning
~hear you hug and kiss at night and say i love you.
~norah,that you still call hannah sissy.
~to see how totally different you are from one another yet it is completely clear that you are sisters.
~to know that you will always be the best of friends.
i live in such a fun neighborhood.
we are always throwing a party!
i feel so lucky to have such a close knit community within my neighborhood and that we all love tradition.
we get together regularly for all different occasions and we always have so much fun!
this past saturday was our annual progressive dinner. it’s usually held late winter, early spring and i was delighted that it fell on a beautiful warm and sunny evening. for those of you who are wondering what a progressive dinner is, it is basically a party where each successive course is prepared and eaten at the home of a different host.
i hosted hors d’oeuvres this year. i wanted to focus on the arrival of warmer and longer days and chose spring inspired fare.
the menu included horseradishy deviled eggs and salmon with brown bread and condiments such as capers onions, mini gherkin pickles and different types of sweet and spicy mustards. there was white bean dip with sugar snap peas, carrots, asparagus and baby broccoli and several different cheeses served on a long cheese board that i had made just the day before. because it was such a warm day i was able to open up the front porch to serve drinks. i used spring flowers such as hyacinth, ranunculus and tulips to make an arrangement for the table. i unearthed my antique china adorned with polka dots and green trees and it was time to celebrate!
i highly recommend this type of party. they really are so much fun (i had so much fun that i didn’t even pick up my camera to photograph any of the guests!) and the list of possibilities are endless.
i thought it might be fun to offer a little how-to guide on organizing one.
here are a few suggestions….
hosting a progressive dinner
::progressive dinners are not just meant to be hosted within a neighborhood. plan one with friends, co-workers or family. but be sure to keep in mind the travel time between each course to make the night more enjoyable. being able to walk from course to course is the most convenient!
::progressive dinners can be simple or as elaborate as you wish. our neighborhood one involves just appetizers, a main course and dessert. but you could involve more homes with more courses such as soup and salad, or after dinner drinks and dancing. we keep the menus and decor simple but my mother’s neighborhood hosts progressive dinners with themes that involve culturally inspired foods, decorations and sometimes even costume!!
::make sure to involve the whole gang. ask others to contribute to the different courses. you can even be particular and let them know exactly what you need. for example, bread, a green salad, a grain dish etc.
:: make it BYOB! it will help with the budget of those who are hosting the different courses who always seem to take on the brunt of the bill.
:: progressive dinners can happen at any time of the year. we like to pick a time when not much is going on in the neighborhood and when the winter months have kept us all inside from seeing one another. but a summertime one would be fun to host outdoors too!
::progressive dinners are a fun way to meet new people. invite a neighbor who has just moved in or a co-worker who you just haven’t had the time to get to know.
:: don’t stress! there are no particular rules to this. make it your own and have fun!
well you sure all know how to make a girl blush!! thank you, thank you, thank you for taking the time to write to me.
i so appreciate all of your thoughtful comments.
i also appreciated those of you who gave me suggestions and ideas.
and it was so neat to hear from many of you for the first time.
you have all encouraged me to come back here more often and focus more on what we do in our every day lives, our traditions, holidays and parties, houseplants, gardening, thrifted finds and my mother’s home and garden.
i also appreciated the suggestion about answering more of your questions within the comment section. in fact i even took the time to personally answer each and every comment on the last post and i had so much fun doing it!
at the same time it also feels so good to know that you all enjoy coming here to find this space just the way it is. so thank you friends!
easter weekend was lovely with some warm weather and sunshine mixed in which was such a treat.
the girls came down on sunday to find their easter baskets filled with chocolates, seed packets, a succulent plant and other little goodies.
we then headed outside for an egg hunt. i had hid the eggs earlier that morning and placed one with a little face drawn on inside the coop. we all laughed when it was found right next to a freshly laid ‘americana’ blue egg.
over by the birdbath the girls found the the basket of confetti eggs (cascarons). this is a tradition that has been carried on since i was a little girl. they are so easy to make. and yes they make one big colorful mess but are so much fun.
i did however keep finding pieces of confetti in my dutch baby at breakfast.
i have never been a creature of habit.
maybe it’s the aquarian free spirit in me that doesn’t like boundaries or limits.
it’s amazing that i even started a blog and come back here from time to time!
but the truth is i want more routine in my life.
especially here in this space.
i envy those bloggers that post almost every day and who have come up with such clever titles and topics for specific days of the week.
i have been thinking about what i want to focus on here.
i have some ideas up my sleeve but would love to know what you would like to see and hear more of from me.
i have wanted to ask this question for a while but have been a bit shy.
but seriously i am so curious.
i am especially ready for warmer weather and working in the garden.
i have been having fun searching for garden inspiration and plan to focus on certain outdoor areas this year including the front of my house.
tend will begin another season starting monday. we have a few new additions that i am excited to share.
:: you are determined to run the media 5 miler again this year. you started training this week.
:: you have been spending a lot of time drawing and writing in your journal. you drew the most beautiful picture of papa sitting in a tree today
:: you told me the other day you have always wanted to be a dog but the one problem would be you would only get fed once a day. you love to eat.
:: you are such a night owl and you usually stay up later with papa while hannah and i go to sleep. these last few weeks though you have been asking me to sing you to sleep. your favorite is “stay awake”.
even though it’s not officially summer, last night we took a jump start with one of the things on the list.
invite friends over more often.
we like the idea of keeping it simple.
desserts and drinks.
last night we served strawberry rhubarb crumble with ice cream.
and of course there were cocktails.
this morning i was greeted by another dog walker who had some questions about raising backyard chickens. she told me our house felt like oregon, where her daughter lives.
this afternoon when i was watering the garden, a guy and his dog strolled by and told me “i love how you are always doing something new here.”
a week ago a woman who lives around the corner stopped by with her dog. she introduced herself, told me how much she loves our garden and that she was building a rock wall inspired by ours. she then handed me a plant she had picked up at the nursery that she thought i might like.
i love living on the corner.
and i like people with dogs.
over at tend.