A dinner party

On Saturday, Ryan and I kicked off what we hope will be a long-standing tradition - a monthly potluck dinner party for all our local friends. Since this was the first month, several people already had commitments, and we ended up with an intimate gathering of eight. Which worked out well, because it was the perfect number we could squeeze around the table.

You may recognize the table as the one that usually resides in our kitchen (here it has the leaf added). Our mishmash of chairs looks kind of funny but works ok. It was fun to finally use the dining room to its full potential. The dark table that is usually there was pushed up against the wall and used as a buffet (and naturally, I forgot to get it in a picture!).

Since we don't have a full set of 8 dishes, we alternated colored dinner plates with white ones. Ryan's dish was a yummy salmon chowder, so we used latte cups as bowls since we had 6 matching. Antique cotton napkins made the party a little fancier (and are more eco-friendly than paper).

For a simple centerpiece, we bought two tropical leaves at the Metropolitan Market down the street ($2 each!) and used my standby blue glass vase (which looked beautiful with the light from the window coming through. I surrounded it with rocks we've found and gathered from a local beach. Just a very simple and affordable way to add interest to the table.

Next month I think we'll have too many guests to use the table, and we'll probably add a theme... which just means that I get to think about decorations instead of table settings! Even better.

When did you last throw a potluck or dinner party? Any tips to share?