Book & Culture Club

d5cdc04762d6023a3d805d38e689d4f1I find it so dang cool that I have been a part of my book club in Dallas for four whole years. I have written about book club time and time again because I love it with my whole heart. We have read great books and enjoyed time together around the table, building a sweet little community that I cherish so much. I feel so grateful for the time we've spent together. Because of the experiences we have together on a monthly basis (born out of our shared love for books), many of us have traveled together, set up double dates with our manfriends, babysat each other's children (and dogs), and offered a shoulder to cry on. We've become a tribe. Last week Melanie, Elizabeth, and I met at Allison's house for dinner. We brought cookbooks, per the meeting's theme, and pored over recipes, snapping pictures with our phones so we could remember lists of ingredients and cooking directions. We drank wine and ate Allison's quinoa salad with autumn vegetables and popcorn studded with pretzels and M&Ms. While we read and drank and ate, we chatted about things we'd like to do as a group in the future - attend lectures, take cooking classes, see documentaries, visit special museum exhibits, go to plays. And suddenly a new facet of book club was formed - culture club.

Our idea is this: instead of simply reading books and meeting in one another's home on a monthly basis (which, don't get me wrong, we still love), we'll choose titles to read on our own and then pick fun activities in Dallas that we can do as a group. Occasionally we'll regroup in a home, gathering around the table for great food and fun conversation (about life and love and travel and recipes and the books we've read), but we'll be out and about more, experiencing so many of the exciting things that our sweet city has to offer.

So next month we'll be reading Amy Poehler's memoir Yes Please (I can't wait to get my copy!) and meeting for cocktails somewhere holiday-ish and fun. In January, rumor has it that we'll snag tickets to see The Book Club Play (because, c'mon, it can't get more fitting than seeing a play about a book club - talk about culture and books combining!), and in February, several of us have already committed to seeing the one and only Ina Garten speak at SMU. So many fun things are on the horizon!

I love watching our amazing group of women shift and grow, both as individuals and as a club. So onto new things, friends - three cheers for book & culture club!

Image via Brett & Jessica Donar for Camille Styles

The Harvest

7390b83e55816250ae8b29674a90a16e Tonight is a highly anticipated evening - the harvest. Last fall I wrote in detail about the harvest, an annual gathering that Korena, Laura, and I have as we gather around the table, welcome autumn, share a delicious meal (which always includes tasty appetizers, a robust salad, Korena's incredible roast, and something sweet for dessert), drink good wine, and spend time together. It's funny - even though the three of us frequently get to do fun things together together, whether as a trio or as a group at Girls Night In or with our manfriends, there's something so special and sacred about celebrating the harvest together. This evening will mark our fourth year (count 'em, four years!) of enjoying the harvest, and I absolutely cannot wait.

I have to borrow some words I wrote last year about our special evening to close out this post because I think they perfectly encapsulate how I feel about our sweet tradition:

So tonight we’ll meet for the harvest - we’ll talk and laugh while enjoying a juicy roast, the namesake salad, and champagne, all around Korena’s table. As I wrote in an e-mail the day after the first harvest, it is a gathering of ladies, a “woman’s night in: a harvest of blessings, a feast prepared by hunters and gatherers.” (I might have gotten slightly carried away there, but you get the point.) It is a reminder of how our friendships have grown, how our lives have changed, how our dreams have been realized, and how dang lovely it is to have a night in together around the table.

To the harvest!

Photo via Moments and Memories