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There’s a chill in the air and the sweet scent of autumn is on the breeze. I love this time of year!  The season is turning, dusk comes sooner, kids are back in their school routine and some of my favorite holidays and family time are right around the corner. As this time of year settles in around me, I like to make sure I reconnect with some of my closest friends. As moms and wives, we get busy with our day to day lives and forget that it’s our girlfriends that keep us grounded and level.   I’m planning a Backyard Ladies Night for next weekend to get us all reconnected and recharged.

 

plans for the backyard ladies night-

 

I’m keeping things simple. It’s not the food or drink that makes this night a success; it’s the people. We have a fire pit that has been sitting lonely and empty for many months. It’s time to fire up the flames and enjoy time around the mesmerizing blaze. I absolutely love sitting around a fire. There’s a peacefulness about it.

 

 

My friends and I all love s’mores so I’m setting up a s’more bar. The girls can toast marshmallows and create a delicious treat in the traditional way, or, as some of us like to do…consume the chocolate. I’m going to have multiple chocolate selections from traditional milk chocolate all the way to the dark, rich, bitterness of an 86% cacao.

 

 

 

 

As far as drinks go, I’ll offer the usual wine, sodas and water but I’m also going to create the Caramel Apple Spice (mimicked after it’s namesake from Starbucks). I love a warm, savory drink like this in the fall. I found this recipe on bakedbyrachel.com. It looks yummy!

Caramel Apple Spice

1/2 cup water

1/3 cup brown sugar

1 cinnamon stick

2 cups apple cider or apple juice

1 tablespoon caramel sauce

whipped cream

Directions:

In a small pot bring water, brown sugar, and cinnamon stick to a boil. Stir until sugar is dissolved completely. Discard cinnamon stick. Add in apple cider and caramel sauce and stir. Pour into mugs. Top with whipped cream, a drizzle of caramel sauce, and a sprinkle of sea salt, if desired.

 

 

backyard ladies nightThe fire will create a great ambiance, but I want to make it even better. I’m setting out lots of little votive candles all over the yard. I love candlelight! We also have a pool so I try to incorporate the pool into the ambiance as well. I have a solar lighted globe chlorinator in my pool and I love the way it looks. It kind of reminds me of a big, harvest moon. It casts a soft glow in the pool and around the yard. If I get the time and energy, I do want to add some twinkle lights here and there in the bushes around the yard. Lighting is such an inexpensive way to create a warm, inviting setting. I want my friends to all feel relaxed and comfortable as we celebrate the beauty of women, friendships and life!

 

 

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