Finding the time for ourselves during our busy season is a little complicated. From weekends filled with weddings and deliveries, to week days filled with office work and preparation for the next busy weekend, we have a hard time catching our breath. Luckily, we decided before the busy season that we would plan a few nights over the next few months to have friends over. I’m sure you see all the beautiful weddings and events we work or are apart of and think how great it must be. But quite frankly, we rarely enjoy those beautiful events. Which is why we plan things, like an autumn dinner in the garden with close friends, to make it all that much more special for the people we love, as well as ourselves. 

The other night, we had a full day off with no work planned. We had marked the day off in our schedule as a dinner – one that we were going to host. We invited some friends over weeks ago and told them to save the date for us. We love having our friends over to spoil them with dinner, drinks and just a night out. It is our love language and we don’t plan on stopping hosting events any time soon. However, this one was a little different. It’s still a little warm during the day, but the nights have a crisp bite to them once the sun goes down. Finding areas around the ranch to set up our dinner table has always been pretty simple since we tend to keep it close to the kitchen to make things easier. However, we wanted to set up somewhere knew. We’ve never hosted a dinner by the garden so, we decided why not!

We set our dinner table under the grape vine trellis pergola, which created the most intimate seating once the sun said goodnight. We found that the grape vine above head and growing around the pergola created this garden setting that you would find in Napa or somewhere similar – it was magical! We set the table with candles, goblets & flatware in natural colors with hints of yellow to make the table pop a bit. Being able to get creative with the table setting is always the fun part for us. Using materials that we already have or challenging ourselves to source new pieces is like a big scavenger hunt. We found the most perfect linen napkins at Home Goods, pillar candles and votives from World Market, and used furniture as well as goblets, flatware & plates from our inventory with Tremaine Events.

As we grow our blog more and more, and create content for fun, we find ourselves being tackling new challenges we may not have otherwise. Like photography for example. Luckily, we have a few friends with incredible knowledge on editing and shooting, they’ve been beyond helpful with tips and tricks. Being able to take photographs of our set up is such a simple way for us to work and still enjoy quality time with people we care about. Another thing we never thought we would find as enjoying as we do when hosting was the cooking. Being able to find a delicious recipe or two, challenging ourselves to make something new in the kitchen and execute it well is so fulfilling. Having friends encourage you and share how yummy their dinner was is seriously the icing on the cake. What are some ways that you challenge you in the kitchen?