Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Outdoor Dining Made Simple

This past weekend found our family celebrating two special occasions.  Our daughter Ashley's 26th birthday and Mother's Day.  Due to scheduling conflicts, we decided to celebrate on Saturday night.  The weather was beautiful and I knew that meant we needed to eat outside.  That doesn't happen very often in Virginia because the mosquito is our state bird and it arrives early in the season and stays until Thanksgiving. 

Our back porch was just begging for an opportunity to shine so we went for it.  First, I asked Hubs to bring out one of the umbrellas we used at Ashley's wedding.  He weighted the base down with bags of water softener salt so it wouldn't blow over in a breeze.

Then I had him move a few small tables from the screened porches over to the benches to accommodate the 9 people we would be seating.  Cushions for the benches and dining room chairs completed the seating.

I added blue chambray top sheets as casual table cloths.  Each table was simply decorated with a candle lantern.

My grandmother's amber glasses and my thrift store collected Currie & Ives dishes were the table setting.  I used a collection of dark blue napkins and mismatched white napkin rings.

I used cobalt blue serving pieces and my regular silverware.

It was a perfectly relaxing meal with friends and family.  The menu was simple and relaxed as well.  Hubs grilled some marinated chicken tenderloins on the grill.  I made scalloped potatoes ahead of time and popped them into the oven to bake.  I also made refrigerated herb rolls and my daughter made a fresh salad.  Dessert was a purchased cheesecake from Sam's club.  Not much fuss, but delicious and a lot of fun.


  1. What a beautiful al fresco venue. Just lovely ;-)

  2. A beautiful table and celebration!

  3. Gorgeous as usual!! I just said a quick prayer that I wasn't the cause of the scheduling conflict.

    What an awesome celebration for your wonderful family to have you here this Mother's Day!!!

  4. What a delightful way to celebrate and enjoy each other!

  5. It looks like the perfect place for a meal - I love eating outside!


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