Ever since we put in the garden, I’ve been dreaming of having a long table dinner in and amongst it.
Our garden at the time, was peaking in flowers and veggies, the sun wasn’t too hot and days felt just right. So I managed to sneak in a sort of last minute dinner with friends.
I’ve found that sometimes, last minute just seems to work out the best!
I was inspired to host this party when I heard about #HomeForDinner an amazing new community fundraising initiative for Ronald McDonald House B.C & Yukon. Ronald McDonald House BC is a place for families to turn to and stay while their children are being cared and treated for life-threatening illnesses. Families who stay come from communities outside of Vancouver, throughout BC and Yukon, and are forced to leave their jobs to care for their sick son or daughter. The thought of paying for a hotel and meals (especially in the heightened Vancouver market), all while covering the cost of medical bills, can be extremely overwhelming when you’re unexpectedly faced with every parents’ worst fear.
Since 2017, 35 families from Abbotsford have found a home-away-from-home at Ronald McDonald House when their child required treatment at Children’s Hospital.
The 73 bedroom house was newly re-built a few years ago, hosts over 2,000 families each year and is almost always at capacity. A large portion of the House’s funding comes from the generosity of the community, individuals and corporations through donations and community fundraising initiatives. This summer, Ronald McDonald House BC & Yukon introduced a new fundraising campaign called Home For Dinner, which encourages the community to come together, host a dining event , (a home cooked meal or a dine-out event with friends & family and in lieu of bringing wine, a hostess gift or a dish to contribute – the host takes care of everything. Those who come are encouraged to donate through the host’s personalized Home for Dinner website fundraising page. Big or small – every little bit helps, and by participating, guests are helping ensure that families can continue to enjoy meals and moments together through the most difficult of times. I found this to be an amazing opportunity to support other families like mine, while doing something that I love.
I sent out a group text with a pretty picture from our
Summer Solstice party
I use an app on my phone called “Rhonna Designs” which allows you to add embellishments and text to a photo and simply save it on your phone and send. I use it for my kids’ birthday invites, etc. I’m allll about the easy!
Another app that works really well is “Doodle” you send out the link from the dates you’ve chosen in the app and everyone just plugs in what works for them so you can narrow it all down without going back and forth. It works really well with a large group when you have the time to finalize a date.
I didn’t have a specific idea in mind for what the table would look like, I just knew I would keep it simple and use whatever I had around our property. Our sunflowers were finally in bloom, so it just sort of started from there and turned out to have a hint of fall vibes // I think thats the best way to create something – find an inspiration and just build from there.
One again we used @woodpeckertables
and chairs. It really made the whole thing come together, and of course they came, set up, then took it down and picked it up. – I just love the dark finish on this one, especially with the fall tones.
This guy right here^ He’s always behind the scenes supporting me and making my little dreams become a reality. (I was testing the lighting here in camera and snapped this shot as he was levelling the table – but thought it captured him and all he does so perfectly 🙂
My friends Danielle and Maria own @Thehabitproject, a local juice company here in town.
I thought it would be nice to have something to drink with dinner so I mixed their strawberry rhubarb and pineapple pear juice with sparkling water, and added an edible flower- and voila! But to be honest- most of the girls just grabbed a bottle with dinner and drank it as it was. Ha ha!
Something I’ve been doing when we have people over is a charcuterie board. I have very distinct memories of my Mom in the kitchen for what seemed like hours reading from “The Best Of Bridge ” appetizer book. Making fancy dips, and toasted crackers etc .. But a charcuterie board is SO simple and easy, and really, the possibilities are endless.
I posted some inspirations on my Pinterest board HERE.
Plus, – it can be prepared minutes before people arrive. Which works good for me because I always seem to be scrambling at the last minute 😉
We had a ton of green beans grow in our garden this year so I wanted to find a quick and easy way to can them as they came. I found this one, and let me tell you- it’s Ah-mazing and whenever someone has them they ask for the recipe. It kinda feels like one of those recipes that you keep secret… but… Sharing is caring, right!
Here it is:
Pickled Beans Recipe:
- /2 pint) jars with rings and lids and keep hot. Trim green beans to 1/4 inch shorter than your jars.
- In a large saucepan, stir together the vinegar, water and salt. Add garlic and bring to a rolling boil over high heat. In each jar, place 1 sprig of dill and 1/8 teaspoon of red pepper flakes. Pack green beans into the jars so they are standing on their ends.
- Ladle the boiling brine into the jars, filling to within 1/4 inch of the tops. Discard garlic. Seal jars with lids and rings. Place in a hot water bath so they are covered by 1 inch of water. Simmer but do not boil for 10 minutes to process. Cool to room temperature. Test jars for a good seal by pressing on the center of the lid. It should not move. Refrigerate any jars that do not seal properly. Let pickles ferment for 2 to 3 weeks before eating.
I wanted the girls to be able to take something home, so I grabbed a pack of napkins and used those to decorate the table . I also thought it would be neat for them to make their own bouquet, since it was being hosted in the garden so I handed everyone their own jar, and told them to just go for it! I didn’t pick any flowers that week so there was a lot to choose from and everyone’s looked amazing!
We were also able to use them on the table as decor so definitely a win/win.
With the new house, we’ve found ourselves hosting a lot this year, – which we love!
I think many people feel overwhelmed by the idea of hosting a dinner, and may over think it.
Here are some tips/ things I’ve learned:
First off, you can clean all day- organize the toy room, etc….but if you have kids coming over (especially a large group), I can pretty much guarantee that A) no one will notice your dirty floors and B) – you’ll probably be cleaning them and that toy room the next day, anyways.
I try to make sure the powder room is clean, kitchen looks tidy, dishwasher is empty and that the major muck and mire is gone. But I also think it’s important to not judge one another and how perfect someones house is or not.
Let that shit go.
It should be more about creating a community of people around you. Getting together on a whim, sharing in laughter and simply just enjoying your time together.
And sometimes an evening together looks different than the last. For example: The other week we had friends over on short notice, threw on our adult onesies ( Smash and Tess Rompers ) ordered take out, picked up a cake, didn’t document a single moment on social media and it was great, too!
I think being relaxed about the whole thing helps others feel the same.
| My Dress- sold out! | Napkins |
This post is sponsored by Ronald Mcdonald house B.C & Yukon
but all the thoughts and opinions are my own.
Thank you for supporting me so this blog can be possible
To learn more about the house and how you can help, check out: @RMHBC
To learn more about on the Home For Dinner campaign and to start planning your dinner, visit: website:https://rmhbc.ca/home-for-dinner/