No sooner had I arrived home Saturday from an all-day training seminar at North Point State Park to keep my certification current as a volunteer ranger for the Maryland Park Service, than I shoved my homemade baked artichoke-cashew dip in the oven and raced to get dressed for a going-away party for dear friends, John and Maria, who are moving to North Carolina with their adorable little girls, Zoe and Abby, both adopted from China.
Since huge backyard bonfires have always been a centerpiece of John and Maria's large gatherings, I knew this final get-together would be outdoors in the chilly November air, so I ensured my toastiness by donning a sparkly brown turtleneck sweater that I've had for years, brown leggings by HUE for Macy's and comfy warm apres-ski boots in blond faux fur that I found at Ski Haus in Glen Burnie Maryland several years ago.
My sparkly sweater was the perfect backdrop to show off one of my favorite necklaces, a gorgeous Russian painted horse and amber stone pendant in a silver setting with citrine and topaz stone and silver earrings from Fire & Ice Jewelers of Baltimore (http://www.fireandice.com) that I received for my birthday last year. I topped the outfit off with a Dea Dread hair accessory from Thea Osato (deadreads.etsy.com).
My baked artichoke-cashew dip was a big hit at the party and John and Maria were sent off in high style, surrounded by loving friends and a memorable bonfire.