Taking the Party With You

A “girls only” dinner party in Highlands, N.C.

Linda Bjork photographs

Many of my friends are going to North Carolina, Colorado, Maine – anywhere to get relief from our hot southern climate – even if just for a few days. There is a group of girls in New Orleans that always go to the mountains together, and this dinner party is designed just for them.

Everyone is responsible for planning one night. We drive, which makes it simple to take centerpieces, golf clubs and any extras that you might need, so I put in my windowpane centerpiece that we could use night after night.

This whole idea for my night began with a trip to IKEA in Atlanta on the way to Highlands for the girls only trip. The summer rug, which doubles as a tablecloth, started it all. Then I found the blankets, which we wrapped with a lime green ribbon and accented with silk gerbera daisies from the Dollar Tree.

It gets chilly in the mountains when the sun goes down, so these were perfect favors for everyone. The whole area is dotted with giant flower pinwheels that came from Big Lots. We are drinking wine from colorful ice cream cups from Rouses. Our menu is simple because we’re playing bridge after dinner: spinach salad with walnuts and dried cherries, pasta with chicken and sausage and cupcakes for dessert!

The second we get home I’m having the grandchildren for a week, so I’ll get to recycle the flower pinwheels and cups for a special celebration! F

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