Feeling crabby on an ordinary day

For them, it was nothing but an ordinary day on an ordinary day on an ordinary weekend, but for her, there was something revelatory about the notion that wonderful moments like these existed.

~ Nickolas Sparks

This summer, like most others, felt way too short.

It seemed as though it were only a few days ago that we were talking about all of the things we wanted to do, experience and accomplish during the summer months and now the unofficial end of summer was quickly approaching.

Instead of looking at a long list that never came to be, I decided to write a short list of the small moments that made this summer special.

That list included things like:

Drinking a glass of wine on the deck of our favorite neighborhood restaurant, Mott's Creek.

Walking my dog on the beach.

Morning walks and conversations with special friends.

And family gatherings.

Oh the family gatherings.

And I say this because each family member was, lets just say, good sports about all of the toasting and celebrating for no specific reason.

As a family with adult children, it's not always easy to find the time to get together, so when these moments arrive, like having an end of the summer celebration, you...... make a toast, right?

Now what does every mom-hosted celebration start with?

It starts with asking the question, what do you guys want to eat?

And so this party quickly became very crabby indeed.

ON THE MENU:

Whole crabs in garlic and Old Bay ( simply ordered and picked up from our local seafood place)

Easy baking sheet seafood boil ( hint..boil potatoes and corn, oven fry sausage the night before. Just add raw shrimp and butter/old bay sauce the day of the party and bake )

Recipe can be found @ damndelicious.org

A side of ( assemble the night before, then bake the day of the party )

mac -n -cheese

And for those non seafood lovers, a mini make -your -own taco and pizza station, made family members and host very happy.

White craft paper adorned with cute little crabs, along with disposable utensils, not only looked festive, but allowed for easy cleanup at the end of the night

Of course we all know how messy eating crabs can be, so each place setting had it's own 'crabby kit" complete with an extra cup of old bay spice and lots of hand wipes....claws for celebration!

It can be a little difficult, at the end of the summer, to simply go to a local farm stand, grocery store or even home depot to find beautiful seasonal flowering plants. Summer annuals are fading out and fall mums have not yet come into full bloom.

So I decided to gathered a variety of inexpensive, color coordinating faux flowers and placed them in an outdoor plastic planter.

The planters were originally black, so I simply spray painted them a beautiful copper color to match the other copper accents on the table.

And of course every crab feast must be enjoyed by candle light... not really,

but it's such a beautiful, easy and inexpensive way to add ambiance to the table.

Of course I didn't take a poll asking if anyone wanted or needed ambiance.

It would have been unanimously answered with a one word question.. "really?"

I'm happy to report that the absolutely, all important candles stayed lit the entire occasion, even with a slight breeze that day, thanks to these hurricane candle shades. Lanterns are beautiful, but these set the mood perfectly.

Just something to consider should you want ambiance during your outdoor party.

Any table or cart can be used as a cocktail bar or food and dessert area, but these delivery crates added a nice rustic, comfortable area to gather and enjoy.

Take out boxes filled with oatmeal raisin and macadamia nut cookies, stayed out of the sun in an old produce crate.

Sure, we could have simply gotten together and had a wonderful dinner, but by adding just a few special touches, the day felt more like a party and an experience to remember.

And the sparkler "send off" to the end of summer

was loved by all.


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