Sunday, May 22, 2011

Sharing My Secret With The Girls!

Last Wednesday, I invited my girl friends to have a luncheon picnic and then go swimming with me. I decided to have the picnic in the secret garden. I started grilling around 10:30 AM. I made some Filipino style barbecued pork in skewers, barbecued ribs and grilled some veggies (squash, zucchini, mushrooms and bell peppers). I just threw everything on the grill. I also served corn on a cob but I bought the frozen ones and just microwaved them.

This is one way of accessing the secret garden and probably the easiest.

Bird handled flatware is appropriate for outdoor use.

There is hubby spreading more moth balls in the yard. He did not know I already did that earlier but there is no harm in laying more. He is determined to keep those snakes away. He knows I will stop gardening if I saw even just one. I am so terrified of them.

I moved the picnic basket and flatware from the table to the railroad ties when I was ready to set the food on the table.
I wrapped the flatware with cloth napkins before I laid them down. This way the flying bugs would not get to them. I opened the napkins just for the picture taking and when it was time to eat.

I placed the plates in the picnic basket for the same reason, so the bugs would not get to them while I was cooking. This allowed me to set everything ahead of time in the garden.

Everything's all ready now.

But of course, we could not leave my mom out. While we were picnicking down below, I had her eating up on the deck where she could see us. I just did not want to risk her falling down the steps cause some of them are pretty steep.

Here we all are, the happy hungry bunch! John came home at lunch time but did not join us. He said he will leave us ladies alone:-)

I set the dessert table on one of the deck tables. I knew we wouldn't be hungry for dessert yet, right after eating all that food.
The cups had sea shell shaped saucers.

The teapot is a vintage Bavarian Tirschenreuth. I love the colors and the flowers on it. We had raspberry/cranberry tea. They loved it, in fact they asked for the site where I order them from. They are Whittard of Chealsea's instant tea. I don't think I have tried any of their flavors that I did not like. I kept the teapot in a warmer so we can drink tea anytime while swimming

I like using these screened domes to cover the food. Even if I do not see any bugs, it gives me peace of mind that the food will stay sanitary.

Yummy carrot cake!

Unfortunately, Doris and Mercy had to leave right after eating and could not join us to swim. Doris' office manager had to leave town to visit a sick brother so she had to take over managing the clinic.

Here's Brenda and Debjani.
Way to go, Brenda!

We really all had a great time. We even talked about going night swimming sometime soon.

Debjani shot this. Good thing my feet were clean, lol.

Linking with the following memes:

Sally's Blue Monday at

Lady Katherine's Teatime Tuesday at

Martha and Terri's Teacup Tuesday at

WandaLee and Pam's Teapot and Tea Things Tuesday at

Susan's Outdoor Wed. at
Watery Wed at
Susan's Tablescape Thursday at
Sherry's Home Sweet Home Friday at

Thanks so much for hosting and thanks to all for visiting!


Carol at Serendipity said...


What a lovely day you had! Your gardens are just beautiful and the food looked wonderful. Thanks for sharing the day in pictures.


Confessions of a Plate Addict said...

What fun, Christine! Your secret garden is lovely! And your food looks so yummy! It looks like a fun day! Happy weekend!...hugs...Debbie

ℳartina @ Northern Nesting said...

What a fun time Christine!! Everything looked beautiful and the lunch looked so yummy! Have a great week, Martina

Carol Murdock said...

I'm girls had too much fun!!

Kathleen said...

That looks great! So mny pretty piece you used, love the rattan basket and cloche. Lunch looks delicious!
Cute pic of you, little mermaid!

Richard Cottrell said...

You have such fun parties and the food always looks so good. There must be a really good bakery there as the cakes you show and serve always look so good. I am glad your friends could come and share. Richard at My Old Historic House.

Gloria said...

Oh, Christine -- everything looks so lovely, as usual. You have such an idyllic life! And your Mom, as usual too, looks so cute. Tell her I sent my regards and that I always like seeing her in photos. And boy, how I wish I were there for one of your Filipino Pork Skewers, they look totally delicious!

Unknown said...

Ya'll look like you had a great time! Nothing like good food and girlfriends!
Hope you had a wonderful weekend :)

Lynne (lynnesgiftsfromtheheart) said...

What a great time you all had. I can't imagine swimming after eating all of that great looking food. I would have cruised around on your floatie..
hugs ~lynne~

Debby@Just Breathe said...

You put out the nicest spread. You are such a great hostess. Looks like you had fun.
(I had a delicious carrot cake from Walmart in their bakery section)

Unknown said...

Delightful photos of your garden & picnic ... what exquisite settings in your gardens, Christine.

Moth balls keep snakes out of gardens? Really? I'm sold.
Do NOT like them at all!

Have a beautiful day ~

Dolores said...

Oh Christine, you're such a wonderful hostess.... everything looks so beautiful, delicious..... and fun!
I love the picture of you in the pool!

Traci said...

What a relaxing day!I spent the afternoon in the pool today. It was sooo hot! I love grilled veggies!!

Tru said...

Visiting from Homemaker On A Dime. Great pics! You must have a terrific camera.

Kim @ Savvy Southern Style said...

Christine, you are always so good at entertaining. The food looks great and looks like a fun time by all.

Debbiedoos said...

Now that looked like a fun day Christine. Good food, good friends and a pool and kind of day for sure.

Cindy Adkins said...

Oh my gosh, Christine! Your yard and decorating and food are all just amazing!! WOW!!

Cindy Adkins said...

I'm wondering...where are you located? I'm in New Orleans...are you in Mississippi?

Entertaining Women said...

Now that's the most luxurious pool party that I've even seen. Thank you for sharing your marvelous day in the Secret Garden with us. Cherry Kay

Rajesh said...

Wonderful shots. Looks like you had great fun.

 gmirage said...

Such a lovely garden and I love your table setting! - Mirage

Fashion Momma said...

That got me hungry!

My Blue Monday.

Anonymous said...

Hey, I'm visiting your blog via the 'Something Blue' bloghop.. what a beautiful post :)) see you again next week!! Melissa

SmilingSally said...

Christine, you are truly the Hostess of the Year with that picnic! Thanks for sharing your blues.

Happy Blue Monday.

Unknown said...

What a wonderful day and your garden is really beautiful.

Boo-Bah AKA Iris said...

This post was so beautiful. The garden was gorgeous and the blue water was so pretty.
You are brave to garden where snakes might be. I didn't know moth balls would keep them away.
Happy Blue Monday.

bj said...

Oh, Christine, first of all, you are soooo cute!!!
This is a lovely setting. I know your girlfriends loved the delicious foods and the swim must have been a blast. I am so glad you had such a marvelous time. Many more fun times since summer is nearly here. :)))
xoxo bj

Marlis said...

Christine, you look so very happy in that photo, and it's a really good one. Your secret garden is such a beautiful spot. I'd have a hard time ever coming out (well yeah until I saw a slithering thing). Your food always looks soo good.

Kim, USA said...

Oh my I see rice and barbeque, lol!! Christine you are doing great with your secret garden. I really do like it. And yes, I hate snakes too I don't know why but it just bring chills on me. Cats chase them, you can let them roam around the garden but also they chase your birds too. So moth is fine ^_^ Thanks for sharing your haven love it!

Indigo bunting

Gold finch

LV said...

That is one of the fanciest picnics I have seen. When you do something, you go all out. I am sure your friends enjoyed every minute of this.

Cindy (Applestone Cottage) said...

OMG Christine!
You have to be the hostess with the mostest! You put out the best spread, in the most gorgeous setting with the prettiest tablescape!
And your so thoughtful too!
Love that pic of you, very cute!

Lina Gustina said...

Everything looks wonderful!
Thanks for sharing :)

Sue said...

Christine, what a nice way to cool off and relax after a good lunch! Your friends are lucky to be the recipients of your entertaining. Your yard sure looks lush and green. Just keep an eye out for those snakes! LOL

Johanna Gehrlein said...

Hello Christine,
your garden and all you do for your guests look so great. You are a perfect hostess for your guests.
Best greetings, Johanna

Ceekay-THINKIN of HOME said...

As always...gorgeous. I am crazy for those plates...where did you find them??

Sandi@ Rose Chintz Cottage said...

What a wonderful day you and your friends had, Christine! I think I could spend hours in your garden! What a great spot to sit and relax and read a book! The food looks delish and I like the way you have covered everything up to keep the bugs off. Thank you for stopping by and joining me for tea today. Enjoy your week.


Unknown said...

Looks like a fun day! I never even thought of having a pool party just for the girls! What a great idea! Looks like great weather too!

Olive said...

You are getting me hungry and it's far too hot to cook. Your table and picnic basket is lovely. You all look you are having a lot of fun!

Linda (More Fun Less Laundry) said...

Hi Christine! You must tell me--do the moth balls work????? And does our yard smell from them? I am SOOOO terrified of those creatures--see, I can't even type their name!!!! You have the best parties and your yard and the tables are always wonderful!! Let me know about the moth balls! I always think we are kindred spirits! I hope you don't mind! Linda

Lynn said...

Looks like you all had a fun time Christine! That's a great pic of you:@)

Vintagesouthernlife said...

What a fun time! Your secret garden is lovely and the food looks delicious! You are a wonderful hostess!
Happy Blue Monday!

Chubskulit Rose said...

You have beautiful blues again this week!

Hope you can find time to peek at my blues, thanks a bunch!

Judith @ Lavender Cottage said...

I'd love to attend one of your parties Christine, you cook the best food and are such a gracious hostess.
Thanks for sharing your fun day with friends.

Mid-Atlantic Martha said...

How fun! What a great secret garden and how fun to share your secret with friends! Isn't your mama sweet at her special place of honor.

Anonymous said...

HI Christine! OH, to be on your friends list! What a feast you grilled for them and the decorations are so wonderful. You spoiled them! You're as cute as a button floating in your pool chair!
Be a sweetie,
Shelia ;)

Erica (Irene) said...

Beautiful...what can I say everything is. Love your garden and dishes. Looks like you all had tons of fun and good food.

Moth balls and snakes.....never knew that. But we use moth balls to drive the raccoons and skunks away.

Have a great day!!!!

Life Moto said...

beautiful shots and great foods. salmat sa bisita!

Life Moto - Happy Monday!

Babs said...

Christine, It looks like y'all had so much fun having lunch in the secret garden with delicious looking food. As usual you set a festive table with so many pretty dishes and accessories.
Have a good Tuesday,

Terri said...

The last picture of you is so beautiful! You really look delighted with life!
Your white tea cups and saucers look fabulous stacked all together like that. Your entire setting is gorgeous, along with all your decorating and fabulous food!
Thank you so much for sharing your fun with us.

Wanda Lee said...

Dear Christine,

What a fabulous 'Secret Garden', pool party. Such yummy food also!..,I love every detail. Looks like you all had a great time!

Thanks for joining me once again for TTTT and also for my 84th, Tuesday Tea For Two, it's always such a pleasure having you join us in the fun!

Cheers and hugs from Wanda Lee



P.S. ~ I can See what Sandi means by having trouble with the Blogger comments button today!.., I'm already logged in, I then had to re-log in with my Google account info., and still Blogger is saying I'm 'anonymous'!.., Oh well! ~ (I switched to Mozilla Firefox browser to see if that will make a difference).

Marty@A Stroll Thru Life said...

Christine your picture in the pool is precious. I love your smile. You always cook the most wonderful things and I drool over all of it. Your yard is perfect for entertaining and just gorgeous. Love all of the desserts. Everything looks fabulous. Thanks for joining TTT. Hugs, Marty


Christine, you look adorable in the pool, like a little girl having a terrific time! Well, I know you had a wonderful time, I can just see it! Carrot cake sounds awesome! I just love, love your garden! Keep having fun sweetie, it's the best!
Lots of hugs.

Vittle me this... said...

wow what a beautiful scene!

Sarah said...

Christine, you are a wonderful hostess. I know your girlfriends enjoy spending time at your beautiful backyard pool and secret garden. The food looks delicious. ~ Sarah

Linda said...

Marvelous shots!!

Glad to be following you now...

SavoringTime in the Kitchen said...

What beautiful areas you have created in your patio and around your pool! You cooked such a beautiful lunch for your family and friends. That slide must be so much fun :)

Kay L. Davies said...

I knew that would be a beautiful place for a party! How wonderful!
— K

Kay, Alberta, Canada
An Unfittie's Guide to Adventurous Travel

Jocelyn said...

What a delightful day. Thanks for sharing.

Jocelyn @

Poppy @ With a Dash of Color said...

Looks like you had a wonderful time. Such a beautiful day for a picnic.All the food looks delicious and I loved your garden. Everything looks lovely especially your beautiful china and flatware and the wicker serving tray is awesome. Dropping in from Tabletop Tuesday. Have a great week!~Poppy

Anonymous said...

Oh Christine I found myself singing Mr. Roger's song "its a beautiful day in the neighborhood" when I saw your adorable plates!!

I so enjoy seeing your garden. It just keeps looking more and more lovely with each year!! You have done such a marvelous job and wow, what a great place for all that entertaining you do!!

bee blessed

purethoughts said...

what a fun-filled day! yum, i love that cake with a little carrot on top! thanks for the visit... raya of our home and haven

Marie said...

Oh my goodness, what a fun filled day you hosted with your girlfriends Christine! I would have enjoyed it too if I were there in your beautiful secret garden and all the delicious food.

Personalized Sketches and Sentiments said...

OH! yes...(like Sjheila comented...)how I wish I were also on your friend's list! :o)
What a beautiful day for a wonderful time! Everything looked picture perfect. And how lovely to have your mom there too!

Blessings & Aloha!
...just wanted to stop by and say hello! Thank you again for your lovely visit! Work this week has been long and busy, so not much blog time for me...I don't think I can manage to even get my one post a week up this week! said...

I wish I could get the energy to entertain more-you always seem to have such a good time doing it. Love that flatware!Your garden is looking lovely.

Debbie said...

I love your mom sitting on her throne above so that she doesn't miss the party! That was my favorite part. The whole thing was so inviting, though. I love your yard and the way you set everything up in it. I would love some of those "beautiful day in the neighborhood" dishes.

The Tablescaper said...


Everything looks so delicious! What a fabulous party. I love that your Mom got ot join in.

- The Tablescaper

PS Have you ever gotten around to using those bird plates you won last year? Just wondering.

Stef said...

What lovely photos they are! You are such a nice host. I sure bet your friends had real fun. My WW entry is up too! Thanks and see you around.


Thank you for coming my dear friend! I only have 2 of the decorated plates, unfortunately, but, maybe for a setting for two. I love your Bavarian tea pot and all the white cups! Have a great weekend in your beautiful garden!

Tricia said...

Christine, I wish that *I* lived in your neighborhood! You throw the best parties! Your secret garden is just enchanting, and your food looks wonderful!

lvroftiques said...

Christine what a perfect day! Good food and great friends at the pool no less *winks* You look about 4 yrs old in that pool shot! I can still see the little girl. *winks* Vanna

Marigene said...

What a treat it would be to dine al fresco with you, Christine!
Have a great weekend.

Anonymous said...

You have a lovely backyard and the secret garden is enchanting. What a fabulous lunch you served! Of course, your meals always look delicious.

I, too, am petrified of snakes and need to stock up on some moth balls as I have one (I refuse to believe there are more) living right next to my house. Eeewww! Unfortunately, the fear of them has driven me out of enjoying the yard. :(

Thanks for sharing your secret garden and lovely luncheon with us!

Joseph P. said...

You and your friends all look so cute! Girls' days out are so fun. That it's warm enough for you to have a picnic outside.

Kitchen Benchtops

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