Monday, November 2, 2015

Party Like a Boss

Last Thursday was our Noonday trunk show benefiting the adoption of my friends, Brooks and Erica. In total, we raised over $500 for their family! Not to mention supporting so many courageous, talented Noonday artisans across the globe. Major Win/Win!

But here's the rest of the story.

My week leading up to the event was, uh, wrought with emotion. As you may have gathered. I found myself in one of those pockets of time and space where life was pressing down just a bit too hard.

But a party is a party, adoption is adoption, and in the end, I was in charge of the food. The food! I mean, that's not a duty I'm willing to shirk.

I S.O.S.-Voxed my friend Kendra, "I need some super simple, but definitely special snack treats. Help!" You might remember Kendra from The Sugar Box blog. Well, she recently launched a new site called The Lazy Genius Collective and it wins the whole world. I got a sneak peak before launch day and was blown away. The tagline is "Be a genius about the things that matter and lazy about the things that don't." She IS my love language!!!!! So, the moral of the story is, I totally knew she would hook me up. (The other moral of the story is, you need to keep an eye out for her posts.)

First up: Andouille sausage wrapped in puff pastry, sliced, and baked. Boom.
Dipped in a sauce made of two parts apricot jam (her recipe called for apricot chutney, but we're not fancy enough for that around here) and one part whole grain mustard. I wanted to use the dip as a whole-body spa treatment. But I settled for eating it.

Next up, veggies in individual cups, served with Ina's herb veggie dip.
Several people asked me for the recipe for the dip, and it's always fun to say "Sour cream, cream cheese, and mayo." But the veggies totally balance the proportions, or something like that, and the magical properties of serving snacks in individual, carry-'em-around cups covers a multitude of dairy fats.

To up the fancy factor, I blanched some string beans and threw them into the mix, with their little stem-ends still attached. What, are we French or something? Maybe so.


And I'm not talking about the grapes, though they sure are glisteny.
I'm talking about the orange rosemary popcorn.

Two hours before the party, I spoke on the phone to a friend I hadn't talked to in almost two decades, and when we hung up, I sobbed my make-up off. But popping corn is as good an antidote to sadness as any I've come up with on my own, and by the time I was done, I felt better.

Confession: I've never, made popcorn on the stove top. It's shameful, I know. Especially now that I've seen how easy it is. I used this method, then when the corn was popped I drizzled a mixture of 1 T melted butter, 1 tsp sugar, 1/2 tsp chopped fresh rosemary, 1 tsp orange zest, and a pinch of salt over it and shook it to death in the pan with the lid on until it was coated.

Holy yum.

I grabbed a $5 bunch of mums from Kroger, cut the stems short, and threw them into a few silver vases. As we were walking out the door, I grabbed my swoony burlap table runner, and hit the road, along with my cute assistant, Ruby River.

It's a short drive to the venue, and we spent the last three minutes of it singing our guts out to this song, which....wait for it...made me quite teary. I seem to be experiencing the spiritual gift of fragile emotions lately, and it feels good and bad at the same time.

When we pulled up to the Fruit Hills Winery, I realized I'd forgotten a table-cloth and a platter. But because God knew I'd reached all of my limits, this pretty cloth was just sitting there waiting on me, and the owner let me borrow a plate.

A HUGE thank-you to the owners, who let us host the trunk show there for free! It was such a cozy little space for our bash.

And then we partied.

I snapped these shots just after we opened the doors. It didn't take long for the room to FILL with people excited to support Brooks & Erica!

Our fearless Noonday ambassador, Jolene, styled us and rang us up, all with a smile on her pretty face. Love that lady.

If you haven't hosted a Noonday trunk show, you've got to! This was my fourth. WHAT??! They never get old. To have a room full of world-changers and big dreamers is such a beautiful thing. We sell ourselves (and so many others) short when we think our small decisions can't have meaningful impact.

All evening, we buzzed around the room, chatting with friends, feeling all special with our tiny cups of dip. I tried on twelve different necklaces and wore them around like I was some kind of Kardashian. The jewelry is seriously gorgeous.

Speaking of which, one of you online shoppers won the Rachel necklace! Ginger Supinger, what's up???! Lady, you won! Email me at shannandmartin@gmail and we'll get it to you!

If any of you missed the chance to order, our party will be open for through tonight, and 20% of your order will still go toward Erica's fund-raiser. You can shop here.

Thank you, again and again, for being the kind of people who care about the world.
And good food.
In the scheme of things, I don't feel out-of-bounds saying party food ranks somewhere up in the top half of the list of Important Things.

XO like whoa,