Today I had an open house, pretty much because I'd wanted to see more friends than could come to the dinner party. I made a yummy Quinoa and Black Bean Salad (if you make that recipe, I highly recommend changing the green pepper to red, just doing fresh jalepenos, and adding edamame and cucumber), some basic brownies, and sangria and put out the leftover appetizers. I also had sun tea, sodas in a cooler, chips, carrots with lime juice and the grill ready to go. I wouldn't call it exactly relaxing, but it was a breeze compared to yesterday.
At 2:00, Holly arrived and we got to catch up (I haven't seen her in ages). Then, Priscilla, Paul, and Susan, followed shortly after by JR & Stacey. At this point, I can't remember the order of the arrivals, but guests included: Janiece, Aileen and Brian, Wendy and Chris, Dee and Deanne w/ Benjamin and Jonathan (who loved the cats and was very gentle with them), Heather and Kevin w/ Connor and Braden, Michelle w/ Liam (a sweet little guy of about 6 mo.), Ginger and Dave w/ Sydney (who loved the cats, but was a little loud for them, so they hid), and Paden. So, that's 25 guests total. Not all were here at the same time. Some came early and left early, some came late and left "late" (everyone was gone by 8:00).
We had a great time laughing and telling stories. I tried to mingle like a good hostess should, introducing people and getting drinks, but by the time there were over 10 guests, they pretty much had to fend for themselves. There was plenty to eat and drink, however, and some guests brought some extra salads in addition to what they brought to grill.
One fun part though, was that when I went to Safeway, they were having a sale on plastic dinnerware. Since I had just been thinking how nice it would be to have that and not have to throw away disposable stuff, I bought a bunch of it, including a fabulous compartmentalized plate (see left). Not only was it great for the kids, but adults found it fun too. At the end of the evening, it was so easy to just toss it in the dishwasher. I also got a lovely vinyl tablecloth, which you see under the other stuff.
The cats were a bit paranoid by the end of it, particularly with inquisitive children about, but they had refuges under the bed or in the basement, so I left them to it.
Tomorrow, my dad arrives to begin his house/catsittership. I'll train him in the daily routines and let him know where all the important stuff is (water shutoff, spare keys, emergency phone numbers, etc.).
And I need to start packing.
Tonight, I want to go to bed early. Which is right about now.
Thanks to all who were able to make it! I really enjoyed myself very much and I hope you did too. :)