Friday, June 28, 2013

An Evening with My Book Club

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 d├ęcor.

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!

I'm sharing with...

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Cottage Blue Dresser

Little cottage style dressers are my very favorite pieces to paint.

This one came from an estate sale and did not require one single repair - woohoo! That almost never happens!

She was a little musty. So after a good sanding to knock down the shine, I scrubbed her with TSP and let her dry in the sun.

Then she got two coats of Behr Premium Plus (paint and primer in one) in a pretty blue called English Channel.

Then a light distressing and a coat of wipe on poly and she was done!

Don't you love the simplicity of the knobs? They were the first thing I noticed about her.

This just might be the easiest project I've worked on in quite some time.

And one of my favorites too!

A girl can never have too many cute little cottage style dressers in her life!

I'm sharing with ...
Miss Mustard Seed
The Shabby Nest
Simply Designing
Finding Fabulous
504 Main
Craftberry Bush
Flamingo Toes
Three Mango Seeds
Create Inspire
My Repurposed Life

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Be Inspired Features and Link Party #75

Happy Tuesday! Welcome back for features and party day!
Elizabeth and Co.

Hope your summer is off to a great start! Looks like you've been busy with all kinds of great projects. Here are just a few that caught my eye this week ...

Can you believe this beautiful buffet started out as a very outdated TV console complete with a record player? You can check out all the details on this transformation over at Start @ Home!

This aqualicious hall table from Jo at Coastal Home Love is so fresh and pretty!

Katie from Upcycled Treasures was also feeling the coastal vibe with her beach inspired console table!

Patti from Old Things New shared a beautiful coastal inspired table all decked out for a casual seafood dinner!

And to round out the theme we have going here, Linda from Coastal Charm shared her driftwood art!

Check out this beautiful transformation of a simple Ikea chest from My DIY Habits.

How clever to turn the pulls sideways!

These Peach Cheesecake Parfaits from Sarah at Alderberry Hill look so pretty and refreshing!

And come on in and check out this sweet little guest room over at  MsMoozy's Open House!

I love that Debra was able to make this space multi-functional by creating a little craft corner!

And if you pop on over to MsMoozy's Open House, there's an awesome Ramsign giveaway going on right now. You know you want to win one! And Debra is a relatively new blogger and she'd be thrilled to make some new friends!

Thanks so much to everyone who linked up and linked back!
We so appreciate having you here. If you've been featured, feel free to grab a cute little button from the sidebar!

Elizabeth and Co.

And if you're sharing a garden or outdoor related project, you can also link up to our June Garden Party!

Elizabeth and Co.

Now on to this week's party...
* Link up your furniture makeovers, DIY projects, home decor, crafts, recipes, thrifty finds, etc... We want to see whatever is inspiring you at the moment!
* Grab a party button or link back in some way. You must have a visible link back to be considered for a feature!
* And we'd love to have you follow along with us!
We'll be back next Tuesday with features and a brand new party. Now let's be inspired together!



Saturday, June 22, 2013

Writing Desk/Console Table

It's been a busy week and this morning I'm catching my breath before heading off to a wedding. It's not often that I'm paint free and have pretty polished nails! ... Here's a sweet little piece that I think would make a great writing desk or maybe a console table - perfect behind a sofa. It would even work as a kitchen table in a small space, maybe up against a wall.

This one came from an estate sale. I loved the wood top and the long graceful legs.

As you can see, it's really just parts and pieces of a much larger dining room table.

But as I played around with it in the driveway, the pieces just kind of fell into place. The apron was just so pretty, it needed to be front and center.

I went with a deep dark charcoal for the base - a custom mix of paint. I decided to keep this one clean and modern with no distressing.

The color combination was actually inspired by this pretty desk from Angela over at Number Fifty-Three.
I sanded the top, added a coat of wood conditioner, then used a deep walnut stain. I finished with two coats of wipe on poly. Don't skip the use of steel wool between coats of poly, it makes all the difference!

It was so nice to work with a beautiful piece of solid wood!

Except for having to attach the top to the base, not a single repair was required - woohoo!

She's pretty right?

Such a simple project, but I love the way she turned out!

And I still have another beautiful piece of wood to use for another project. I'm think this would make a great top for an industrial style coffee table.
I'm thinking something like this inspiration from The Locker maybe?
Okay, I only have to keep my nails pretty for a few more hours!
Hope you all have a great weekend!

I'm sharing with...
That DIY Party
Mod Vintage Life
Kammy's Korner
Coastal Charm
Knick of Time