Laurali
Hi, I'm Laurali! I live in a tiny, seaside fishing village in Florida where I nurture my plants, go hiking in the woodland, and wear flowers in my hair.

Inviting More Outdoor Gatherings into My Slow Life

Outdoor Lighting, Mood Lighting, Atmosphere in the Trees for Woodland Feasts
I have really been trying to concentrate on more of what I want out of life and on this blog.  I've really been leaning towards inviting more outdoor gatherings into my slow life!  I am a woodland creature by nature, so its only natural that I would want to spend more time in the great outdoors.  It could be a picnic, a woodland-themed baby shower, or a cute backyard wedding, as long as it's sparkly, has great food, and mood lighting, I'm happy!

That being said, I really want to have more get-togethers.  I see a lot of them being outside because I'm a nature girl, but even gathering inside adjacent to the outdoors works wonders for me and my kinfolk.  This is part of the connection I'm trying to make, which you can read about here.  As an introvert, I have a tendency to shy away from big events, concerts, and the like.  I make a pretty good wallflower at parties.  Small, intimate gatherings are much more my thing.

There are a lot of upcoming events in my life happening to me and my loved ones.  My oldest daughter is pregnant with her first child and is engaged.  All of my kids have grown up and moved out of the house.  Things are moving at a fast-pace, while I'm still trying to slow things down so I can get myself caught up.

Slow living really puts an emphasis on taking your time and making the little moments count with the people you love.  It's about family and spending quality time with friends who are like family to you.  It's personal.  You just have to learn to make that time count for something, whether it be a movie and pizza night or a small dinner party with wine.  It's about making memories whenever you can.

The Secret Ingredients for Outdoor Gatherings


An Outdoor Chandelier Light Made of Prisms and Light

Tips for a Woodland Gathering

  • Keep it small and intimate whenever possible.  This way, people can still all be able to talk to each other and keep the flow of conversation going.
  • Be resourceful.  Use what you have in many different ways, for many different family events and gatherings.  You'll get more use value out of them and create less waste.
  • Keep it casual.  Dinner parties and small weddings should be casual.  They should be relaxing and there should be a natural flow to things.  Everything should unfold organically.
  • Kinfolk.  This means your family and friends who are like family to you, depending on the event.  
  • Make it eco-friendly and waste-free.  Or at least as zero-waste as possible.  Set out bins for your guests to recycle, repurpose items found around your house, wash your own dishes and clean your own linen.  Bonus points for creating vegan dishes that will blow your guests mind!
  • Do something to give back to the environment.  You are utilizing nature as a backdrop for your reception, therefore have your guests do something to give back to mother nature.  Have your kinfolk gather items from a nature scavenger hunt to place on a fairy altar.  The fairies love stuff like this!  People do as well.  Make being charitable fun!
  • Keep your audience in mind.  When planning your party, what mood do you want to create?  Then, create a playlist for that mood and atmosphere.  
  • Relax and enjoy.  You don't have to do all the work, even if you're a type-A personality.  Have guests clean up after themselves or if someone offers to help stay and clean up, take them up on their offer.
  • Plan a menu and grocery list ahead of time.  Just to get a feel for what your family has been craving lately.  Sometimes, we'll all be craving a portabella mushroom pizza, and that gives me an idea of what to shop for and what wine to pair it with.  
  • Teach your guests how to be hunters and gatherers and forage for things.  Take your family and friends mushroom hunting and to gather golden berries.  See how many things you can find that is edible and can be used for dinner that night.  If you put your heads together, you can create a vegan-friendly dinner that was found in the forest by a band of natural survivalists.  This is also a great way to teach your kids about surviving in the wild.  You could even bring a book on edible berries, flowers, and plants.  Every nature girl (and guy) should have one of those in their house!  You can then bring it home, clean them, and cook them up over an open fire and make vegan hot chocolate to boot!
I love getting together and hanging out with family and friends.  It's one of the reasons I made a life in Florida and moved to a tiny, seaside fishing village where I'm only a hop, skip, and a jump from the ocean blue.  It makes me feel like I'm part of something bigger than myself.  It's like we all have a place in the world and our light really shines and burns bright when we're gathering.

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