Food · House · Life · stress free zone

The Dinner Club


After years of talking about it and never following through, I finally had a dinner party. Why you ask that I waited years to get together with my friends at my house? Because I’m a perfectionist. I have always had it in my head that everything in my house, everything on the table, everything we wear has to be perfect and if I can’t make it perfect, then I can’t do it. Because of this I’ve missed out on the kind of fun and pure enjoyment that I had last night.

I’ve worked hard on myself for the last year. I’ve tried to recognize my own faults and fears to see what I can do to get past them and to a place where happiness is within myself. Being perceived as perfect (which I know no one else actually sees me as, but in my mind, that’s what I want them to think), is one of those issues. So, me being me, I decided it’s time to work on it. I text my two close friends and said, “Hey, I’m throwing a dinner party next month and this time I mean it.” I imagine they rolled their eyes and decided to leave that date open on their calendar for when they expected me to say a week later that I wasn’t going to do it. Nope, not this time. This time I immediately sent out a group text to all five friends and said we’re doing this on Friday 13th. It just might end up being a nightmare, but we’re doing it anyway.

I ended up changing out the center piece, but you get the gist.


While planning I made a pact with myself that I wasn’t going to go overboard. I wasn’t going to panic. I wasn’t going to try to make it perfect. In some ways, I failed at all three, but in others I let go and let be.

I love to decorate. Love it. It brings me joy. So, I went full steam ahead on the table. Other than these plates I ordered (which I was planning to order anyway), I used only what I already had to set the table and decorate it. How I limited myself is I didn’t go out and buy a new dining table and chairs. Yes, the old me would have had to have this done before ever inviting people to come over. My husband is planning to build me a dining table and I’m going to purchase chairs, but I made myself wait until we could actually afford it and not just break the bank because I wanted the people I was having over to only see the best. Is anyone else like this or am I on a lonely island over here?


The panicking side I did really well on….until the day of the party. I was all good until I came home and started getting everything together and kept noticing things around the house out of place or something that was messy. I started to panic thinking what will these people think of me when they come over and see the vacuum hasn’t been put away yet. No kidding I started sweating so bad I had to take an extra shower. Seeing what I was doing, I left that freaking vacuum sitting out where it was so I could prove to myself that it doesn’t matter. If my friends cared that my place had things out of place, then I don’t need those kinds of friends. (no one cared!)



For six people, that’s a lotta cheese and bread! 🙂


You know what? It wasn’t perfect, but it was a blast. We laughed loud, ate too much, drank too much wine, and it was everything I hoped it would be. I actually had so much fun that I forgot to take photos of the food, but it was easy and delicious and I’ll leave the Roasted Chicken over Red Potatoes recipe video from Honeysuckle Catering here.  I sautéed fresh green beans as a side and that was it. Since we had a ridiculous amount of cheese beforehand I knew the dinner didn’t need much to fill us up.

Now we are planning on having a monthly Dinner Club. Once a month we’re going to go to one of our houses, eat, and enjoy each other’s company. One thing I know for sure is we women need each other. We need encouragement, acceptance, and love for one another.  In this time in my life, I need it.

Food · stress free zone · Uncategorized

Tea Time

Downtown Fort Smith, Arkansas has impressed me with its continuous growth and variety. Five years ago I would have never imagined it to be as it is now AND it’s still improving.

Savoy Tea is one of my favorite places to go downtown. The cool colors, cute décor, and amazing smells never fail to cheer me up and make me feel like I’m doing something special. And in my opinion, they have the best chai latte in town and their Ozark Sunset Sweet Tea is perfect on a hot summer day.  I’ll also be signing up for their Tea Toaster’s Club this month.



This weekend my best friend and I went to Savoy Tea to discuss nothing and everything over a cuppa (me) and coffee (her). There’s nothing better than having a friend you can be in tears with one minute and laughing the next. I’m not going to lie, this season in my life hasn’t been an easy one and I’ve needed my friend and thankfully, she’s been there.   With two unexpected grandchildren on the way, work, school, and just life, I’ve been unintentionally isolating myself and she’s the kind of friend who forces me to get out and do something with her and talk about things instead of letting me close off the outside world. She’s also the kind of friend that I can say, “Hey, can you go outside and take a photo of me through the glass?” and she says, “I hate you, but yes.” HA!

Savoy Tea-1-8Savoy Tea-1-5Savoy Tea-1-4

One thing I’ve learned lately is life usually doesn’t go as planned. Things happen that are out of our control and in that moment you might feel like everything you’ve worked for is up in smoke, but life goes on. Take a yoga class, call a friend, have a cup of tea, make a new plan, and before you know it things don’t look as bad as they did before.

Dress : Brickyard Buffalo  (This dress is no longer available, but I always find something great on their site)
Chai Latte: Savoy Tea (Fort Smith, Arkansas)
Food · travel

Wild Things Farm

Just across the state line into Oklahoma and about ten minutes from my house sits a family farm, cleverly named Wild Things Farm, that I love visiting. They’re open to the public pretty much year around so you can go in and pick whatever produce they have available at that time. Right now, it happens to be strawberries.


I’d like to thank my husband for taking this photo when he knows absolutely nothing about photography and gave it a go.  I think he did pretty good for his first time.


I don’t know about y’all, but I love fresh strawberries and the strawberries at Wild Things Farm were a beautiful, vibrant red and incredibly sweet. Of course I had to make something from my bounty before my family devoured them all. I decided I’d make a couple chocolate strawberry loaves using a basic strawberry bread recipe, found here. Because I’m me and I like to mess with things and see how it goes I added cocoa powder and a few tablespoons of vanilla extract to bring out the chocolate flavor and it also added more liquid to the recipe since chocolate is notorious for drying out. I crossed my fingers and went for it and I’m glad I did.


I also make a simple chocolate glaze with powdered sugar, cocoa powder, and milk (not pictured, sorry) to drizzle on each pieces after slicing.

If you get a chance, find a produce farm in your area and hang out for a while. If you happen to be in the Fort Smith, Arkansas area, take the extra three minutes and get lost at Wild Things Farm (and that could be literally considering it took forever for me to find my way out of the corn maze last fall).