Book Club Party: Where the Crawdads Sing

I joined a book club!

stamped_WTCS_Prep_DSC_0037

It was a happy accident–one of those chain of events where one social engagement leads to another…

And here I am! I had attended one event so far, and I found myself agreeing to host the next one!

First off, let me just say that Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens was spectacular! As a work-from-home mom (with a toddler), it is nearly impossible to find time to read! But with a book club you have a (slight) sense of accountability, and between that and some poetically visual writing, I found a way to finish all 368 pages without skimming.

In this day and age, readers are desensitized and bombarded by literary cliches, but Delia Owens did find a way to surprise me with her craft and storyline! The way she weaves expressive words out of air, as if spinning straw into gold, makes my heart full. The lush, marsh/swamp setting out of North Carolina seemingly sprang to life!

Delia made hosting a Where the Crawdads Sing Book Club Party fun!

When it came to hosting my first ever book club event, I made a lot of mistakes, but the best thing my husband said to me (in the midst of a slight freak-out session the night before), was that it “doesn’t have to be perfect.” YOU ARE HUMAN, YOU ARE ALLOWED TO MAKE MISTAKES. Let out a deep breath.

Do you judge other people when everything isn’t perfect at their home? Oh wait, you do? you’re kind of a b****. Haha! Well me, personally, I don’t. I’m relieved when I see someone else who is imperfect, like a flicker of empathetic camaraderie. It reminds me that we’re all human and we can try our best, but that’s pretty much it.

If you are ever crazy enough to volunteer To host something–remember–try your best, but don’t expect perfection. Let minor mishaps go with a shrug. That being said, I learned a lot this time around. And although the worst case scenario happened to me at this party (my main course was ruined)… I came out alive & the whole shebang was still considered “a hit.”

THE MENU:

WTCS_Menu_8-8

I’m a graphic designer & I do this for a living, so don’t expect to be able to design this in fifteen minutes like I did! But I had fun and wanted to share my menu.

What Failed: (1) The Loveless Cafe Biscuits (I didn’t allow enough time to hand-roll biscuits), so I served on-hand Hawaiian rolls instead (2) The Broiled Shrimp (the glass casserole of shrimp exploded on Broil in my oven–do not broil food in a glass or stoneware container–I repeat–DO NOT BROIL FOOD IN A GLASS OR STONEWARE CONTAINER–METAL ONLY). When these two things went wrong, they felt like a disaster to me (the hostess), but no one genuinely cared. The End Game is that your guests have fun. There was alcohol, so we all survived and giggled along the way.

THE EXPERIENCE:

As a hostess, I believe in tantalizing the senses: SIGHT, SMELL, SOUND, TASTE & TOUCH.

I had Creole/Swamp music & swamp sounds playing in addition to a swampy YouTube Playlist, swamp decor & firefly lights twinkling, the aroma of delicious food cooking, and an entire swampy ambience complete with dangling leaves and flickering LED candles.

PREP PHOTOS:

I didn’t get photos of EVERYTHING (hostess mode distracted me), but here is the gist of the menu I used:

Roasted Olive Oil Asparagus

Broiled Cajun Shrimp (BROIL IN METAL, NOT A GLASS OR STONEWARE CASSEROLE DISH)

Slow Cooker Cheese Grits

Vodka Jell-O-Shots

White Peach Sangria

My Friends Brought Over DELICIOUS Smoked Salmon Deviled Eggs, Vegan Fried-Green Tomatoes + Pimento Cheese, and Southern Pies + Ice Cream. Yum!

I must say, my new Book Club Friends are awesome, and living in the South is proving to be… not so bad!

 

DIY “Bringing Home the Christmas Tree” Car Ornament

I’ve had a WONDERFUL holiday season on Etsy this year in my SummerSeaCo Shop, and it’s been so good for my family to get a little bit of extra financial help.

With over 200 Orders this season (I’m as shocked as you), I’ve PERFECTED my own method of creating cute miniature car ornaments (with Christmas trees on top). I can’t believe all of the wonderful customers I’ve encountered with nostalgic stories about VW Bugs/Wagons. They’ve been so much fun that it’s really put me in the holiday spirit this year!

My Etsy holiday selling season is over for the year of 2018… but I’ll be back the day after Christmas for an After Christmas Sale, and to release some adorable Love Bug ornaments for Valentine’s!

I’m so excited to share my DIY ornament techniques with you! My hubby and I have perfected our technique and I’ve released a tutorial on an exclusive, UNLISTED YouTube Channel… so you need this special link to get there!

This is my first crafting tutorial video… EVER… so bear with me!
Click on the image below:

Super Exclusive! “Bringing Home the Christmas Tree,” Car Ornament

My Etsy Shop is closed for Christmas, but there’s still time to make your own this year! 🙂 Happy crafting!