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Countertop Review

This time last year I was packing up our house to prepare for our down-to-the-studs renovation in our kitchen, family room, and master bath as well as the addition of a screened porch. The family room wasn't originally part of the plan, but that's a post for another time. The kitchen was where I really had to plan and scheme, and, yes even fret, to stay in our footprint and budget and to get the function and look I wanted. I love a challenge like this, though, so despite some occasional frustration with my client (aka me! ), I enjoyed the process. A key "want" of mine was honed marble countertops. There are dozens--maybe hundreds--of blog posts, articles, and showroom sites that compare various types of countertop materials and their pros and cons. I read most of them and took notes from a lot of them in the months leading up to our start date. One of the most helpful things was visiting a sweet friend's kitchen, where I was able to ask questions about cleaning, a

The Supper of the Boating Party

Probably like most of you, dear readers, I have a few memories of nursery school and kindergarten days that have informed me, that offer clues as to who I really am and what, perhaps, I really seek.  One of these early memories is of the art museum docent who regularly visited our nursery school, bringing with her a poster-sized print of a famous work of art.

Once, she brought Renoir’s Luncheon of the Boating Party, and I have never forgotten it.  Oh, of course, I don’t remember anything she had to say, I just recall being drawn into the painting, loving the colors, the exuberance of the outing depicted.  At the time, I loved—still do, actually—Richard Scarry’s Busy Busy Town book, and I think this painting opened a similar door for my young mind—it was visually engaging, full of stories I could tell myself.    So, dear docent wherever you are, thank you.  I have loved art ever since, and my life has been richer for it.

As much as I am enriched by visual art, it is the art of friendship that really feeds my soul.  And the Mister and I are blessed to have great friends, both near and far.  Somewhere in the middle distance is my dear friend, D, who found a deal (Groupon, perhaps) and planned a Sunday evening outing for friends.

The Mister and I packed a few goodies and drove to Charlotte to meet our pals.        

IMG_4329We toted our picnic to the end of the dock, where an electric boat awaited us.  b and d outing Longtime and dear friends, the Ws, guaranteed safe passage for the flowers.IMG_4323D’s husband, S, piloted us out of the marina and around the coves of Lake Norman.  The day was overcast and cool, perfect for a fall cruise.IMG_4324D and B have our snack supper buffet ready to serve.  Spinach rolls, parmesan chicken fingers, Palmetto Cheese and crackers, and pumpkin chocolate chip cookies.IMG_4326It’s possible that adult beverages were proffered.IMG_4328 The Mister and I had a great time, being on the water with old friends, great (and uninterrupted!) conversation, and delicious nibbles.

Cheers to the Supper of the Boating Party!

So, what’s the most fun deal you’ve ever purchased through Groupon, Living Social, or a similar daily deal site?


  1. What a wonderful evening with friends ~ you ladies all look so lovely! I love the idea of dinner on the water.


  2. Looks like a great time!
    I didnt make it onto a boat all year :O(

  3. looks like a fun afternoon!! I just got a dinner at Mr. Chow's from Gilt and can't wait to go with my hubbie!

  4. I've always loved that painting. Looks like everyone had a great time on the lake and the food looks great! Actually, I have yet to order something through Groupon or Living Social. I've come close, but have yet to do it. Not sure why - maybe I need to just jump in and buy!

  5. What a delightful way to spend an evening and time with friends. Good food, good friends, a boat on the is good indeed.

  6. As LPC said, it was COMPLETELY fun! And, it has inspired me to consider Groupon, etc for more than just a deal on an oil change or kids' haircut. I'm now seeing it as a way to add some fun!

  7. What a great time with friends. BTW, I am still thinking about your story. I am so amazed by it. xoxo

  8. Impressionism is also what introduced me to the deep and satisfying wonders of art. Because who could not love the beauty and accessibility of a Renior painting? And there is so much more to discover from there. But yes, the art of friendship is what life is all about. Glad you were able to have your own luncheon (supper!) of the boat party. Looks like a TON of fun.

  9. what a lovely way to spend the evening with
    dear friends!

    i have always loved that painting, too, and
    richard scarry, as well.

  10. Loved your post, especially the photos. One of my (many) home obsessions is Hadley Pottery, and the artist who created the designs on the pottery back in the 40s and 50s got her start by designing place settings for her family's houseboat. They are charming and I love the nautical collections, which always make me want to go for a boat ride!

  11. Hi Jennifer, Thanks so much for becoming a follower of Town and Country Mom! I love Hadley Pottery, too, so sturdy and fun!

  12. Very well written great admin do post like this


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