End of the week musings.....

Well hello and Happy Friday! Its raining here, much cooler and I must say I am kind of digging this weather, something very cozy about a rainy day. Phew...its been a busy, hectic exhausting week. Son was sick, I got a migraine (likely from not sleeping for three days straight), had to carry on with various commitments including a small birthday luncheon for a really special friend.Thankfully that morning I woke up feeling better, and had enough energy to see me through the "casual" luncheon I had planned, funny....no matter how "casual" it might be..its still a lot of work to entertain and do it in a style that is true to who you are. I always like to share a few highlights and have included some here along with other randomness...you know me and my random thoughts, we go hand in hand like butter and popcorn:) And here we go.......

So for the luncheon, I stuck to what I do well...and what I consider pretty easy, remember this was done after not literally sleeping since Sunday. Served it buffet style.....kept it simple and casual.  I also tried these wonderful little tomato tarts from Yvonne over at Stone Gable (click on link for her recipe), they were as pretty as they were good and a nice accompaniment to this lunch of lemon dill salmon, summer spaghetti, a chopped Greek salad and the tarts. I started with my now expected crostinis and served them on my Bavarian bread board, and served individual vege crudites along with my yummy peach sangria...yes it is now a staple over here! My talented baking friend baked the most superb DIET, yes I repeat DIET (as in Weight Watchers friendly) Carrot cake as the birthday cake...it was heavenly. And instead of sugar uses applesauce, she promised to send the recipe and when I get it, I will share it because yes it  was that good! So here are some highlights........

Lets just say this is a staple in my kitchen.....uses the best of summers fresh ingredients!

The tomatoes marinating to add to pasta later

Fish going in the oven

I bake it with lots of fresh dill and lemon slices

My crostini assembly line getting ready for battle!

No summer gathering is complete without a fresh fruit tray!

And you know my peach sangria has been busy mixing all the yummy flavors (to those of you like me who are judging the pitcher, no worries I did not serve with this, its just a really oversized one so I pour directly into the glasses and serve on tray)!

The tomato tart getting ready for the oven

Sliced veges ready to get filled into little individual crudite cups

Fish is done!

These are cute and make it very easy to eat

Got my new orchids in my big oversized bowl....normally they last about 4 months or so, so they really are a very cost effective investment when compared with fresh cut flowers

Doing a "taste test" of the peach sangria actually did about three

Poured the sangria into the glasses, and add a few chunks of fruit to each glass
Crostinis in the works.....went with three variations
Love serving it on the oversized bread board (available in my online store under European Kitchen, comes in 3 sizes)

I love this picture.....hope it doesn't sound like I am bragging but this looks really "food-y magazine-y"....don't you think? I love the colors and texture together.......
A close up, did portobello mushrooms and parmesean flakes, then prosciutto with parm flakes and a caprese version, tomato, mozzarella and basil drizzled with olive oil

The pastas getting mixed and the tomato tarts are done!

These were really good and very light...thanks Yvonne!
There they are again, there was not a single one left!

The fish, best part is that this can be served room temp and tastes wonderful

This summer pasta is so flavorful and light and is served at room temp
All set and about to serve.......

And the yummy carrot cake........

And my sweet friend gave out party favors, oversized wonderful bags of the most yummy smelling potpourri. I couldn't decide which was a better favor, this or the fact that there's a nice big slice of leftover carrot cake chilling in the fridge for a midnight snack...come to mama!

So that sums up my little luncheon..it was fun, we had lots of laughs and somehow the rainy stormy weather made it feel even cozier...does that make sense? To me, house parties are always the best, more intimate and definitely more relaxing.

Moving on........discovered this wonderful line of bags and I am in love with so many it was hard to choose just one but finally I did, and cannot wait for it arrive. Thanks to the girls over at The Buzz, a pretty little pink something caught my eye which led me to this fabulous line!  Arent' these fun? What a great and snazzy way to jazz up any summer outfit! To visit Monya, click here. Which is your fave?

The pretty little something featured over at The Buzz....

For this weeks which would you choose in which I had you choose your favorite summer outfit to wear to a backyard party, there were several that were very close but a strong first place winner...here's the results! Might I say you have excellent taste:)

1st place with 29 votes

2nd place with 26 votes

3rd place with 25 votes

And tied for 4th with 13 votes each

Several of the others were very close behind....there were no losers in this bunch:)

Also very excited got this fabric and trim ordered for our main powder room so at last our guests can use it and not feel like they are 'on stage' while going to the bathroom (this bathroom has a very tall window which is beautiful but ugh......needing some privacy for obvious reasons). So far we do not use this bathroom for that reason, so we are really glad this is finally in the works! Will show you the big reveal when its all said and done.

Not much in the house except added a few prints from our old house here and there....

A friend and I were on a decorating committee for a fundraiser and bought these cherry blossoms for about 30 tables, so i have a lifetime supply!! We split them and I decided to fill the vases at least for now...better than sitting in a box in the basement collecting dust!

Hung these botanical prints above back stair.......
Added these beautiful prints to guest bedroom and not sure if I showed you this bench or not....isn't it sweet? Disregard pillows...they are literally 27 years old, I got them made for our NYC apt. when we got married!! Somehow they just have been hanging around..........

Some random pictures are thrown in here too.........
I just like this picture, took it last week with my iPhone when I stopped at a local farm....isnt' this so nostalgic in a great "wish I lived in the old days" kinda way? Or is it just me?

And how beautiful is this....a local nursery really does it up every season, they have a pair of these (and they are about 10 feet tall I kid you not) flanking their driveway....

Close up...disregard fabrics.....it will be changed when i get my butt in gear and start attacking some rooms!

Well that's about it for now.......might be back sometime over the weekend. Finally we are here this weekend....yippee!! Hope you have a great Friday and a fabulous weekend. Until next time........


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