Every year as my birthday rolls around, the Christmas season has come to a close and the few weeks of dreams has awakened. This year is no different and as I look forward to a few items to purchase in 2018, here’s the list of items on my birthday wish list for the year. Some are adventures and others are major life moments, but either way they are equally valuable. More than anything during my 20s I learned the value of running after my dreams and passions wholeheartedly. That’s why I’m choosing honesty when it comes to the heart part of the list because this year is on where I truly longs for certain pieces of the puzzle ot be added. It’s real, true, and feels right. I have a feeling 30 is going to be a tremendous year.
Keep reading for the true wants and wishes for this, my 30th birthday.
There’s something about turning 29. No longer in my early twenties, I’m in my late twenties, and almost my thirty. At one point in life, I thought turning thirty was shocking and far off. Now, it is just on the horizon. With hindsight I look back on the past decade and am amazed. I’ve lived in California, Texas, and Kentucky. I’ve completed internships in St. Croix, SoCal, Denver, and Indiana. I’ve taken a team to Estonia and lived in the tension of ever-shifting roles. Pastor, designer, blogger, and student. I’ve worn multiple hats and have found significance and purpose in various responsibilities. Now that I am on this side of my twenties, I must admit they have been some of the most challenging and formative years I’ve known. I have a strong and cemented sense of self, who I am, what I love to do, and I am excited to see how it is going to evolve in the forthcoming years.
This year to celebrate my birthday, I wanted to keep things simple and went to a favorite appetizer. Built out on a large wooden plank, it was impressive, beautiful, and served as a stunning centerpiece. In the past, I used to think antipasto was for the lazy host, but over the past year it has become one of my favorite things to eat. In our house we affectionately refer to it as “adult lunchables.” Filled with sweet and savory pairings, four cheeses, and hot protein options, it is impressive for a crowd and fills everyone up, just as a traditional plated meal would. Paired with a robust red table wine, chambray napkins, and gold flatware, it says effortless entertaining in the best of ways. (This was a gathering that took a total of 30 minutes cooking for five people, making it the shortest prep of any dinner party I’ve done to date.)
The party continues with the basis of all good dinner parties the food and the wine!! Keeping the inspiration of the French countryside, the preparation highlighted seasonal ingredients, robust wine, and delicious cheeses. With this menu I focused on highlighting a few flavors of mushrooms, summer tomatoes, and fresh herbs.
Keep reading for the menu, wine pairings, and full recipes after the jump!
Today we continue to share the behind the scenes of a great French themed dinner party. There was not a detail overlooked and this has been one of my favorite styling projects to date. Using a color palette of vibrant reds, fuchsias, and purples, it gives a nod to the style of France without being overly literal.
As I was planning the party, I wanted things to have a large visual statement while still staying true to the casual nature of French of entertaining. There were deliberate design solutions where elements of the table were subtle and stunning. Keeping the dishes and flatware simple, it allowed the flowers and food to be the showstoppers.
Keeping reading for all the details after the jump!