weekend bonfire

Okay, so I’m still working on getting good shots with the panorama feature on my phone, but this is a (bad) picture of our kitchen mantle, after I got a little enthusiastic at Michael’s (fall leaf garlands?!? = must.have!).

And here is our living room mantle (pop quiz: name a benefit of living in an apartment that was originally an antique store?  yup, that’s right folks ~ two ornamental mantlepieces!).

Last weekend, a few of my girl friends from highschool and their guys journeyed from Philadelphia (I realize that makes it sound epic ~ we’re only 12 miles from Center City so it can be done in 35 -45 minutes if the traffic isn’t bad) to our little country house for dinner and a bonfire.

It was one of the best evenings I’ve had in a long time.

First, it was awesome to have our friends over (the man and I love to entertain) but also, isn’t it so great to spend time with people who have known you since pretty much the beginning of you?  I moved to Wyomissing between my sophomore and junior year in highschool, and I feel blessed that these two ladies are still/again in my life.  It’s comforting (I know, I use that a lot but I love feeling comfy!) to be with people who know your family, who understand where you came from.  And, both their guys are fantastic too, so all around, it was so much fun!  (I’m gushing.  I know.  But seriously.  I -and the man- had such a good time!).

Second, the man and I love doing stuff like this.  Prior to their arrival Saturday evening, we did some decoration shopping (I had this idea of how I wanted everything to feel so we went on a mission and I felt supremely satisfied after our sojourn) and meal prepping.  We were presented with a few meal-planning challenges (which is too strong a word, but my brain seems to be short-circuiting in the synonym department) because one of my friends is a pescatarian and the other doesn’t eat gluten (better women than me for staying disciplined!).  Some of our tried and true dinner menu items were out (sadly, no hickory smoked cheese bread … ah well!).  We ended up making Smitten Kitchen’s Buttermilk Chicken and cooking it on the grill, vegetarian stuffed peppers and potobello mushrooms, and oven-roasted potatoes.  For dessert, I whipped out a favorite from IGE ~ crispy homemade peanut butter cups.  We also enjoyed some amazing cookies and delicious Pumpkin Beer (I am now a huge fan!), as well as a few nice reds, a tasty white & a bottle of bubbles to celebrate bar passages and game releases, and upcoming tests, and just getting together!

After dinner we all ‘retired’ to the firepit with hot mugs of cider (some spiked, others -like mine- as is -because that’s how I like it!).  Before we knew it, it was past midnight and everyone headed home.  But what a great evening! I like remembering really fun times, and I especially like reminiscing during a particularly stressful time at work.  It cheers me up to no end.

Happy Fall!  Next up … our first major PSU tailgate for OSU next weekend.  It’s a white out ~ we have a spreadsheet for who is bringing what ~ it’s going to be epic.  (And hopefully, very organized!)

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