We finally got to have our "Back to School" dinner last night. I had the best time cooking most of the day but I must admit I am out of practice when it comes to getting a large meal for seven all done and on the table at the same time. I served chicken tetrazzini, fresh corn salad, steamed broccoli, panzanella salad, Tuscan roasted garlic bread and sour cream apple cobbler with fresh whipped cream. I knew all of those things would be kid friendly and I was right!
I pulled out the camera to snap a picture or two when the table was almost ready and then buzzers started going off, drinks had to get poured, and kids had to be rounded up. I had fully intended to get some pictures of the food - to prove to those doubters in my family that I can get a meal together when I want to - and the family, but these kids were ravenous having just come from sports practices at the YMCA and it was all I could do to get them to hold off diving in until we were done with grace. After that, it was every man for him/her self and we started around the table hearing the kids' thoughts on their class, teacher and school year so far. We were thrilled to hear how much they are enjoying it all....and before I knew it, we were clearing the table and I hadn't taken another picture. I guess that is a sign of " a good time was had by all".
I kept the table pretty simple. I guess the color scheme was pretty much black, red and school bus yellow. I was having a hard time coming up with what I wanted to use on the table to make the red plates "pop". I thought about my glittery, black Halloween place mats but that still kind of said "Halloween" so I tried sticking a red mat down first and then the sheer black mat on top...and we had a winner. It actually kind of mimicked the "mottled" look on the red and black composition books I found on sale at Target.
I stacked the composition books with children's classics and then added a pretty red apple and a jar of pencils and a ruler to each stack. I threw in a new box of crayons, yellow candles in red holders, sun flowers in a red vase, a "loose leaf notebook paper" wipe-off board with "welcome back" sentiments and wipe off math flash cards scattered about. The pens were nearby if any of the kids wanted to practice some math facts while they were waiting.
I was going to send most of the "centerpieces" home with the kids so I finished off their favors with a box of Cracker Jack for today's school snack and some extra pencils...somehow they go from having many, many pencils at the start of school to not being able to find any for homework in about a month - hopefully these will come in handy then!
We have some more company coming in tonight but then the next few days are pretty empty so I have decided there will definitely be a paint brush involved in my plans...just don't know what size it will be. One of these projects will win out - we'll see.
The top photo is of course my Grandin Road knock off and the bottom is the paint I have purchased for my living room. I know. It looks just like the dining room AND the kitchen. But, I promise, it is not. It is called "Bayou Sand" and really is supposed to be a shade or two darker than the other rooms. I figured that room can take the darker color because of the large expanse of windows but light seems to cast really weird shadows in this house and no matter what the color looks like in the paint can, it all looks alike when it is on my walls. We shall see which project wins out and how the color looks on the walls if that is the way I go. Stay tuned.