From time to time, I've mentioned that I'm in a book club. Yesterday as I was getting ready to host the girls at my house, I thought I'd snap a few pictures and share a little bit about our group and our evening together.
Book club gatherings are not a fancy affair, but it's fun to make it a little extra special.
I started in the morning by going outside to pick some flowers from the garden - daisies, oak leaf hydrangeas, astilbe, yarrow and ferns - in white pitchers and blue mason jars.
I already had seashells out for summer and just added some vintage book bundles because, well, we're a book club!
And since my flowers were yellow and white, I added some fresh lemons to the table.
For beverages, I mixed up a big batch of peach sangria, made fresh lemonade and of course had a pitcher of water.
I didn't follow an exact recipe for the sangria, but it's basically a mix of 2 bottles of dry white wine, some peach nectar, lemon-lime soda and lots of fresh fruit. The day before, I cut up three peaches, an apple and a pear and put them in a big pitcher with the wine and the peach nectar. Just before serving, I added the soda. I really don't think you can mess up sangria. And oh my, the fruit is so yummy! Fruit is good for you, right?
Have you ever had the Strawberry Poppyseed Salad from Panera? Well I make that at home all the time. Just chop up your favorite greens and top with strawberries, blueberries, fresh pineapple and mandarin oranges. Serve with Sugared Pecans (my recipe here) and Poppyseed Dressing - homemade or store bought, depending on time. This is so delicious and refreshing!
I served the salad with a Tomato and Fresh Corn Quiche - it was totally awesome! It's chock full of garden fresh onions, corn, tomatoes, basil and chives. And that pile of cheese on the top doesn't hurt either. I found the recipe at A Touch of Honey. I'll definitely be making this again!
I made two, leftovers are a good thing!
Easy, delicious and oh so pretty!
We gathered in the sunroom for dinner and discussion.
A little nautical décor.
We collect sand, seashells and rocks on every family vacation. You'll find them all over my house in the summertime. They just make in smile!
The sailboat was a recent thrift store find. I have wanted one for the longest time!
More Sugared Pecans and Tag Sale Chocolate Cookies - wait till Karla finds out I'm now adding mini-chocolate chips to this recipe!
More flowers, seashells and a yummy vanilla candle.
I love having a garden!
Our book this month was The Supremes at Earl's All-You-Can-Eat by Edward Kelsey Moore. The story follows the friendship of three women known as the Supremes, as they weather the ups and downs of life in a small mid-western town over the course of their lives. Earl's All-You-Can-Eat is their gathering spot and holds the heart of the entire community. We all thoroughly enjoyed the book and it made for a great discussion. We are always amazed by male writers who can totally capture the voice of the female characters with such humor, wit and honestly. Definitely a great addition to your summer reading list!
And you didn't think I was going to send you home without dessert, did you? How about a slice of Lime Mousse Cheesecake? This one is a definite keeper - creamy and delicious! I forgot to buy a lime for garnish, but the lemon goes with my theme. Let's just say I planned it that way! The recipe is from Barns and Noodles. I love trying out new recipes on the girls. As you can see, I was making good use of my Pinterest boards!
Now for a little bit about our group. .....We've been together for over 11 years and we've read 128 books together. We celebrated our 100th book with a weekend getaway! There are 11 of us and we all live in the same neighborhood. The core group has remained the same, with a few people moving away and a few new additions. I think proximity is one of the secrets to our longevity. Even on a busy evening, you can usually at least put in a quick appearance for hugs and a glass of wine. Although I tend to think of us as being the same age, we actually have about a 20 year age range. We have members who are married, divorced and widowed. And our children range from elementary school age to 30-somethings. I think our bit of diversity makes us more interesting as a group!
Some of us have close friendships outside of book club, others come together just once a month. We read a really diverse selection of books. Don't you love the thought of becoming completely lost in a book. If the characters stay with me long after the last page, then that's a great book! And then I just can't wait to talk about it. But I really think we could read just about any book and still turn it into a great discussion. We don't always see a book in the same way, but that's the beauty of it! Sometimes the discussion can actually change your mind about the way you feel about the book. Even if you are just a casual reader, I highly recommend starting a book club of your very own!
My friend Amanda from Mommy is CooCoo recently shared a post at our Tuesday party with 10 Tips to Start a Book Club. You should definitely check it out!
And if you need any book recommendations, I have 128 of them for you!
Thanks for joining us for book club this month!
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