Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Throw-together ideas that hit me in the middle of the night...

Do any of you do this?

I'm laying there, wide awake in the middle of the night, when everyone else in the house is fast asleep... the soft hum of fans blowing the warm summer air all around, and I'm mentally going down a list of thoughts?

Sometimes I've got so many that I have to get out of bed, find a notebook and write them down.  (I saw a pin on Pinterest that said, "I don't trust people who go to bed and fall immediately to sleep- don't they have any thoughts?"  Indeed.  My man is like that.  Right to sleep!) (Secretly envious.)

The other night I was going through one of those nights and as I checked things off in my head I realized I was supposed to host bible study the following night.  I normally love hosting things and yet for whatever the reason, I've been more of a clean out the fridge-throw-it-all-on-the-table phase of life.  And it hasn't bothered me in the slightest because those are often the best parties anyway.

Good hostesses know it's far more about how your friends and loved ones feel IN your house, than how they feel ABOUT your house and the common denominator for making them feel relaxed and comfortable IN your house... is you... not what you do or don't do, not what you serve or how you serve it and for that matter... you can be a good hostess anywhere because that is the definition of hospitality in my humble opinion;  Drawing people out of themselves, setting them at ease in your presence and making memories while doing it... and you can do that anywhere, under any circumstances. 

Though pretty straws and napkins never hurt.  I'm just saying. 
So I'm laying in bed thinking... "What can I feed these girls on the hottest week of the year, without heating up the kitchen or spending much at the store?" and it hits me.  Popcorn!  Who doesn't like popcorn?  Then it hit me even harder... EASY throw together buffet style popcorn bar with a sweet or savory style seasoning shaker and DONE!  Boom!

I loved it.
 I got the cute little buckets years and years ago when we were homeschooling and I stored our markers and such in them- I've used them with parchment paper liners for fries and other fun goodies ever since.  I knew they would make the sweetest containers.  I tossed napkins and straws leftover from a weekend BBQ onto my potting bench over a cut of cheap picnic looking fabric, tossed some drinks in the drink bucket and added some fresh flowers.

Then, I scribbled the "menu" on my chalkboard and popped two bags of microwave popcorn.  Once I filled a big canister with that and added a scoop, I whipped together a sweet and savory topping and filled inexpensive grocery store shakers with them. The "savory" was simply an envelope of ranch dressing mix and the "sweet" was cinnamon and stevia mixed together. (You could do cinnamon and sugar, obviously.)

I ripped some brown paper and stamped it with "sweet" and "savory" and tied them on with twine... and that was it.  

I'm going to tell you something.  Often, I drive myself crazy with open windows in my head at night, but every now and then... that staying awake and thinking business leads to a simple and quick, good idea that makes it's way on my blog.

The popcorn idea was a hit and I'm definitely going to use it again when I'm in a time pinch because I've always got a few bags of it on hand.  And bible study was lovely because we took a million rabbit trail conversations and went where they took us...

Hmm... kind of like the same way my mind works when I'm trying to fall asleep!  Ha!

Do you have any middle of the night "Aha-ideas?" 
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  1. What a fantastic idea! Love it. I have awesome middle of the night ideas...it's morning now, so I can't remember them to share with you! :-)

  2. How cute!! Your middle of the night idea turned out to be just the right thing. :)

  3. Yep, I’m a late night thinker too! Love your popcorn bar, what a great idea! I may have to borrow it, if you don’t mind. I just had a thought…my soon to be 13 year old loves popcorn, this would be great for her party. I’m thinking it would be fun to add some mix-ins too, like candy, marshmallows, etc. I love your photographs, and am amazed by the beauty you create with things you already have. You are very talented! Thank you for the great ideas and inspiration!

  4. Same sleep pattern at our house! Love what you did...so festive and fun! And you're right, who doesn't love popcorn?!!!

  5. You are amazing! I would have panicked and probably never thought of popcorn. Everything looks so fun! I have a terrible time falling asleep as well as staying asleep. I've really never understood how some people can just lie down and they're asleep! :)

    I've been having so many technical/computer issues and haven't been able to visit. Will try to do some catching up now!


  6. think I might just use this idea as one of the stations at Seth's upcoming bday celebration. :)

  7. Wow, so many special touches to make a popcorn station snazzy, pretty and elegant! I love the powdered ranch dressing idea for a savory popcorn topping. Might make some of that right now, as I often snack on stovetop popcorn at night.

  8. Looking from the outside. Deep into the inside. At home.Hope you have a wonderful week. I will, it's the only time we get to have this week. So enjoy it..Find Pins about murphy bunk ikea on Pinterest.