My Farm-to-Table Birthday Dinner Party

The word that best describes the night is magical, and it really, really was.

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Last week, I turned 24, and to celebrate, I hosted a farm-to-table with a group of wonderful friends in my own backyard. It was the best birthday I’ve had in my adult life.

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My roommate Elizabeth and I have been talking about hosting a farm-to-table dinner for weeks. To serve a meal sourced exclusively from local ingredients. And then when my birthday entered the horizon, we decided it was the perfect occasion to turn our idea into reality. With the tables I had purchased for the Woodlawn Street Market, we turned our backyard into the most magical place on earth.

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We kept the decorations simple and embraced a mixed-matched theme. I had purchased the white tablecloths for the street market, and the burlap table runners came from my grandmother’s 80th birthday party. I have an assortment of cloth napkins that I had purchased from prop sales at work. And we used every chair in our house (plus a few from Elizabeth’s mom).

My dear friend Stephanie arranged the flowers using jars I had lying around the house. I love how elegant the simple arrangements look, using only sunflowers, spray roses and baby’s breath.

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I don’t know what this says about Elizabeth and I, but we had to borrow plates, knives and chairs to accommodate 16 people, yet we had more than enough wine glasses. We set out drinks and appetizers for when people arrived, keeping the main courses inside to avoid bugs. I made a yummy white wine sangria, my friend Leah brought rum to make Dark ‘n’ Stormys, and (since my mother always say you should have a yummy, nonalcoholic option) I had lemonade and cucumber-lemon water. And then several people brought a bottle of wine.

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As people arrived, we mingled on our back porch, and we have a nice stone patio at the base of the porch steps. To combat the bugs, we had tiki torches lit on the deck, and we set up a couple of these mosquito coils from Off. (We found ours at Target.) They worked great. Highly suggested.

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The food – oh the food – was so crazy good! I prepared a bbq pork shoulder from Morning Song Farm in the slow cooker. Elizabeth made cheese grits with McEwen & Sons grits. We also enjoyed potato and green bean salad, yellow squash casserole, feta and artichoke tarts and so much more!

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We ate, drank and talked for hours. It was spectacular. And then we ended the meal with a personal favorite: Edgar’s strawberry cake. Perfection! I couldn’t have asked for a better night with wonderful weather, delicious food and amazing friends. I vote this becomes an annual tradition.

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A huge thank you to Stephanie for taking these pictures throughout the night!

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Woodlawn Street Market, Round 2

Love of Felt hit the streets once again at Woodlawn Street Market this spring. The market was a big success, thanks largely in part to my mother who drove over to Birmingham to spend the day with me.

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This time around, I actually made some investments. I purchased 6-foot long tables, table covers and baskets. I did some research online of other maker’s set ups. And I put some thought into where each item should be displayed. (Like one blog suggested placing your top selling items  closest to the aisle to better grab  the attention of a walker-by.)

I’m almost too embarrassed to post a link to my first market set up, but for the sake of learning from one’s mistakes, I’ll share. (Don’t judge too harshly.) I think it’s safe to say I’ve improved leaps and bounds at my second time at bat.

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Notes I made for next time:

  • Make a sign with the shop’s name to hang in the back. (This time around, I simply ran out of time. I wrote “Love of Felt” on one of my small chalk boards, but I think a bigger sign will make a huge difference.)
  • Use the back table to create a center of focus. Again, I think a sign will enhance this, but I may also purchase more crates to place on the back table to add different levels of height.

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Before this market, I spent a good amount of time seeking advice online. I really liked this post from Catshy Crafts. I took her advice about mocking up my display at home a few days before, and I’m so glad I did. It helped so much having a game plan going into the morning. Plus, it helped me realize details I was missing. I snapped a few pictures of the mock up to help me remember.

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Lettuce Turnip the Beet

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A friend recently gave me a card beautifully illustrated with a head of lettuce. It read, “Lettuce always be friends.” I laughed at this for an embarrassing amount of time. It then led to a Google search for “vegetable puns,” and my world was opened to the plethora of puns the world has to offer!

I then made this banner. My thought is that it can help decorate my display the next time Love of Felt goes to market. Who knows, I may even put it up for sale.