Eat Pray Love Luncheon in the Park with Girlfriends

Table set for Eat Pray Love Lunch at the park

I was just reminiscing about this luncheon I had for my girlfriends…

I absolutely loved Elizabeth Gilbert’s book “Eat, Pray, Love”. It was an inspiration to me full of eating, praying and love! Yeh, duh! My girlfriends had all read the book and most felt the same connection that I did to Elizabeth’s experience. I decided that I wanted to celebrate the book and the movie coming out with my girlfriends. So…I planned a Luncheon and Movie date with some of my closest friends.

Everything I did for the luncheon was inspired from my reading. I kept in mind the countries she had visited: Italy, India and Indonesia along with her adventures and the food she ate.

I wanted this to be a memorable experience for my girlfriends. It was important to have the food, decorations and the atmosphere depicting the book.

 

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Food was a big part of Liz’s Italy adventure including some wonderful fresh fruits. Here I served melon wrapped in prosciutto with grapes as the first course.

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In the book there was a very special bonding of the relationship between Elizabeth and her friend Ketut’s wife. When Ketut’s wife offered Elizabeth a cup of coffee the first time, she served it in a Mason jar. The second time she brought her coffee, she brought it in a Mason jar on a china saucer. Hence, I used a Mason jar to serve the ice tea on a saucer. The other interesing thing that Ketut’s wife did: she brought the sugar in a little bowl. Hence, I used these little crystal bowls for each one of my guest to serve the sugar in.

I loved this exchange in the book between Ketut’s wife and Elizabeth. It was hard for Ketut’s wife to accept Elizabeth at first. It took her some time before she trusted and allowed her into her heart and have a relationship with her. I can completely see where Ketut’s wife is coming from. Here is this lady from America coming into their life, asking lots of questions of Ketut, and spending a lot of time with him. I, too, would have my guard up!

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Sticking with the Italian food, I served an artichoke and tomato salad with olive oil!

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There is a wonderful scene in the book when Liz visits Rome. She is enjoying a pizza and practically has an orgasm while she is indulging in every single bite of this amazing pizza. (Reminds me of the movie “When Harry Meant Sally” remember Meg Ryan sitting in the coffee shop? hahah)

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Liz did a lot of praying and meditating during her journey so I thought the Buddha statue from Cost Plus was a perfect centerpiece.

The stargazer lily is my favorite flower. The fragrance is exquisite and represented the large fragrant flowers from the gardens of Bali.

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I wanted my friends to know how grateful I am for their friendship so I wrote a thank you note to each individual guest which also worked as a placecard.

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Heart sugar cookies reminded us of the love that Liz received at the end of the book.

The elephant sugar cookie represented the scene from the trailor of the movie where Julia Roberts has the encounter with the elephant in Bali.

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I got the India tablecloth from Cost Plus, too. It did such a good job at pulling all the decorations together and depicting India.

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No party is complete without party favors! I included elephant and heart sugar cookies, tea, and homemade berry jelly.

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A toast to good friends, love, peace, Italy (most of us are Italians hee hee), and spiritual growth.

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College Boy made these prayer beads for each of my guest. A heart replaced the 109th bead of the prayer necklace. The necklaces graced the table representing Liz’s spiritual journey. Each of my guest took a prayer necklace home to remind them of this beautiful day together.

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College Boy was so sweet to put these together for me on such short notice! Isn’t he cute with his prayer beads on?!

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“…it is wiser to surrender before the miraculous scope of human generosity and to just keep saying thank you, forever and sincerely, for as long as we have voices.” –Elizabeth Gilbert

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Tirimasu for dessert was the perfect ending to this Eat, Pray, Love themed luncheon in the park
My girlfriends and I left that park and headed to the movie theater where we cried, laughed, and cried some more. We each could relate to Elizabeth Gilbert’s journey. Each in our own way we could feel the love, the hurt, and the spiritual growth. We wanted to be Elizabeth Gilbert.

After two hours of being on the journey with Elizabeth, we wanted to continue our journey when the movie was over.

Which one of us friends would most likely leave everything and take that big leap of faith to visit three different countries? Could we take that leap of faith?

I would jump at it! Got a book deal you want to give me? I’ll pack my bags while you draw up the contract and wire me my first check. ok?

It will be a great journey!

 
pam

Beach Theme Birthday Party (Part One)

My friend, Mrs. Beach Lover, was getting ready to celebrate a milestone birthday party. You know those milestones of 21, 25, 30, 40, 50, 60 years old. I won’t disclose what year she was getting ready to celebrate. Although she had made the arrangements for the hotel including the food and entertainment, I wanted to surprise her with decorations and party favors. [Read more…]

Beach Theme Birthday Party (Part Two)

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There were several beautiful decorative tables around the room including the Cocktail Bar. I added different decorations to each of these which included the burlap fabric, blue mesh, glass containers wrapped in various bright color ribbons, candles and seashells.

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I had one table with candy dishes including candy wrapped in blue paper and gummy sharks which were a big hit!

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Mrs. Beach Lover had close to a hundred friends at this party. I thought it would be a great opporunity to have a special place set up where photos could be taken of her guest to remember this special evening.

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 The food was delicious at the Lafayette Hotel and was wrapped up with this delicious vanilla bean cake with mocha frosting.

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The party was a big success. It was a wonderful evening of great food, fellowship and dancing.

Note: You may also want to look at Beach Theme Birthday Party (Part One).

Sugar Sand and White Milk Chocolate Shells

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I went to the cake and candy store to buy sugar to look like sand for my silver party trays for the Beach Themed birthday party I was planning for Mrs. Beach Lover. I decided if I bought it from the store pre-made, it would be way out of my price range to buy as much as I would need for 10 trays. I set out to create my own (Mom in toll–she is more creative and a better cook then I am.)
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Mom and I bought organic sugar, raw sugar, and a variety of decorative sugar in white, gold and black from the speciality cake store and began creating our own sand.
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We also purchased sea shell molds, white milk chocolate and butterscotch chocolate from the cake specialty store. The milk chocolate seashells were very easy to make. Basically melt the milk chocolate and the butterscotch chocolate in seperate bowls. Drop a few teaspoons of the melted butterscotch chcolate in the white chocolate and swirl. Spoon into the shell molds. put in the refrigerator for two or three minutes to harden. They easily pop out of the molds. Store them in tupperwear that has a corner popped. (Don’t seal tightly or they will “sweat”).
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Mom had so much fun creating the sugar sand and milk chocolate shells that she later made cupcakes for the neighbor kids with the sand sprinkled on the icing and the shells sticking out on the top. Mom said some of the kids were afraid to eat them because they thought they were real shells!

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