S is for Simplicity
This year little c asked to celebrate her birthday with a more intimate gathering than in years past. She suggested a day out with her mom and dad and one school friend and we were happy to oblige. Big brother is off on a church mission trip and as no family happens to be visiting this year, we thought she might be disappointed when there was only Michael and me to sing Happy Birthday to her. So we decided to invite neighborhood friends with children to stroll by....in that sweet spot, after supper but just before summer bedtimes...to sing with us and have a piece of cake. Easy for everyone!
There were still a few simple preparations.
S is for Straws, made of brightly colored paper.
While shopping for plates and napkins, I spotted these irresistible packages of brightly colored paper straws. The empty jam jars, piled at the bottom of the basement stairs, seemed like a perfectly simple companion for the old fashioned paper straws. Who knew straws and jam jars could be so inspiring?
S is for Steal
I picked up this vintage metal tray on a recent junk store junket. I love the colors, the pattern and the shape and with a price tag of $2...it was indeed a steal! And I was excited to have an opportunity to put it to use.
And guess what? The jelly jars fit PERFECTLY on the tray:
But what to serve our guests? Pink lemonade bags seemed the safest (organic, no glass and no added sugar!) as well as the most simple solution for our young guests....
but for their parents?
S is for Sangria, the summer variety...
I have never made sangria so I googled recipes and figured I could not go wrong with this Martha Stewart recipe. This recipe is light and not too sweet. It calls for basil and sliced ginger which I thought sounded interesting. I made a few "secret recipe" adjustments and voila....
I let it sit overnight and crossed my fingers!
After the morning thunderstorms rolled on past, we tidied up the garden just a bit, set out our simple spread and soon, neighbors came strolling down the street.
S is for Sesame Honey Almonds from Trader Joe's.
Everyone loves them and they were a nice nibble with the sangria. The green bowl is a piece of 50's refrigerator glass that belonged to Michael's grandmother.
S is for Spiritual practice opportunities!
Just before our guests arrived, I noticed that Atticus the cat had jumped on top of the cake box! Tinker Belle had nearly disappeared in devil's food cake and the garden of yellow icing flowers was now stuck to the top of the box. Michael volunteered to run it back to the bakery, hopeful they could "fix it" but in the end, we kept it simple....I smeared around what icing was left and let it go. Sweet Michael said, "Good job, honey! You made it look like clouds."
I vented on FaceBook...my status read:
"My &*^#$%$ cat just jumped on top of Caroline's cake...Tinker Belle is toast!" And then there was some mention of my sampling the sangria immediately.
I am glad I vented as one friend reminded me that it's our mishaps that most often lodge in our memories. For years to come, we remember them and laugh. This is so true! I am sure that we will always remember this as the year the cat jumped on top of the cake. The realization made me (almost) glad it happened!
Another friend made me giggle when she commented, "In
my world there is almost nothing more holy than a spiritual director
who says "&*^#$%$ cat" publicly. Except maybe one who heads for
sangria next. You're in the spiritual big leagues now, my friend. Watch
I am so thankful for those who accept and affirm me, exactly as I am! What a gift.
S is for Sweet Voices and Sweet Smiling, Sticky Faces...
c was excited when it was time for singing...she didn't mind that the breeze put out the candles before she could blow them out and she sure didn't mind the smooshed bits.
S is for Summer Birthdays and Sweet Daughters turning eight!