This time last year, in the midst of undergoing the most difficult trial of my life, there was one thing, well okay, two things, that single handedly nearly saved my life:
1. Gathering for a meal with friends.
and 2. Gathering for a meal with friends, picnicking, near the water, in the warm sun.

When Nicholas and I were in New York for a month three years ago (I know, three years now!!!) we LOVED how everyone took advantage of every moment and every space that you could be outside, especially to have a glass of wine and a meal.

The same two years ago in Paris (image above) if you had a brain, and if it wasn't pouring down rain, it was pretty much a 99% guarantee that when the day was winding around to dinner time, you'd be near a river with a friend or friends and not at all sober.

So, last spring, the shockingly lovely Seattle spring that it was, we spent AS MUCH time outdoors as we could, drinking ALL of the rose and eating ALL of the brie, either in our backyard garden or down by the beach, and this spring and summer will be no different.

As I started this day today in an oddly and surprisingly rough manner (check my Facebook for deets) the best way to remedy the situation was to go outside and sit in the sun. Although I needed to be alone, how utterly ironic that a dear friend dropped at my doorstep a little breakfast meal to me, even if to enjoy solo (well, besides my little Pablo pup and Phosphorescent blaring.) As I thought about it, it was still a gathering of sorts, really.  Something about sharing sustenance that is so, so connective, don't you agree?

You can bet your bottom dollar I now have ALL the thankfulness to have learned this art of gathering; gathering with old friends, gathering with new friends, gathering with family, gathering with strangers along Le Seine... just opening yourself up to what can become the most glorious of habits: connecting, deeply connecting, over a meal and surroundings. How divine that we have this necessity to routinely, physically nourish ourselves.

I am hoping for moments to gather together this weekend between all our kitchen renovation work.  In hopes to keep my head up during this garish renovation process, I've done a bit of online shopping for items I think will really add to this new space to gather, here's what I found...

> I don't know about you, but when was the last time you had a presentable pot holder? You know, one not covered in stains and other miscellaneous caked on items... That's what I thought and that's why I threw my old one out and am thinking this could be a great replacement.

Perfect and will last a lifetime.

> Joanna Goddard of A Cup of Jo shared a great article on hostess gifts, and I LOVED the idea of having this available to do in the new indoor/outdoor kitchen and lounge space! Maybe having a couple would be a good idea!

> I know I can't have all everything everywhere copper in my house, but I think one or two of these could be darling in the kitchen, plus they'd mesh into any other room really well too!

Simple spoon rest? Yes, please!

> Found this dinnerware collection and am really hoping to make these the new go-to pieces. I'm thinking of starting with just a set of four to add into our other dinnerware. Thoughts?

> Can never have too many.

> I had a very large vintage table that I got for free as someone else's throw-away last spring/summer and it made such a fun addition to the outdoor space. However, despite attempts to weather-proof it, it recently was laid to rest in the recycle bin. Thinking of getting this set  OR looking for another vintage table at Goodwill for $20, along with some random $7 chairs. The latter is sounding more unique and fun!

Happy gathering, one and all, kiddos. Enjoy your weekends.


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