Celebrate With Me!

Celebrate with me.

Celebrate with my confetti cake and me.

Celebrate with my confetti cake and me as I announce my “one year blogiversary” contest winner on 4 Reluctant Entertainers!

But let me start off with this: I really am humbled and thankful for the many heartfelt, positive comments left on my last post. This next year, not only will I keep writing for my kids, I will keep writing to help and encourage individuals across America.

If you are new to RE, reading this particular “winners” post will tell you exactly what has happened on my blog in this last year.

Here are some comments that particularly moved me:

I’ve definitely started focusing on serving my guests (not just food!) rather than serving myself (making sure the house looks good).

I love the Ten Commandments and keep them on the side of my refrigerator.

Your Balcony Girls group has inspired me to begin a similar group when my daughter gets older.

I love the thrifty posts and the recipes, and your ideas for conversation starters.

I really enjoy how you get your kids involved in entertaining.

I love how you bring your whole self to the entertaining process, because that is what the guests will remember.

It is so wonderful to know that I don’t have to have a huge budget in order to make my home beautiful.

You have de-mystified entertaining for a lot of women. You have taken the fear out of doing so.
I also take to heart the more sobering comments that I hope RE will continue to help:

I expect perfection of myself, but I never attain it.

Even as old as I am, I have never felt good enough to entertain or cook for others.

I’ve always felt I’ve had certain standards to meet. I entertain on a “need to” basis, not a “want to.”

Opening my home to others has always meant opening for others to see my imperfections, my shortcomings, and my lack of decorating sense.

Now for the winner!

Oh, how I wish I could have given this package away to each and every friend who commented (and even posted about it on your own blogs – thank you!)

CONGRATULATIONS to MRS. B from her blog The Starcrossed Blogger!

Although I’m new to Mrs. B’s blog, she’s a true sister after my own heart (says her profile): I am a dreamer, a perfectionist, a God-seeker. I am a mother and a wife. I am a homemaker, a chocolate lover, and a laughter addict. Love to read, write, create.

If you get a chance, head on over to Mrs. B’s and give her a hearty welcome and congratulations.

Maybe we’ll see an upcoming post of her in her new apron! (If anyone is interested in ordering your own personalized apron, please email Hoppi at hankicards@msn.com ).

Stay tuned for more exciting posts on RE, keeping many of your questions in mind!

Be encouraged. Be challenged!


(Photos: Abby and I had a blast yesterday making this confetti "photo prop" cake and snatching these crazy photos!)


Linda in Minnie said...

Ahem, Miss Sandy - recipe for the confetti cake??? is that angel food? What do you make the confetti out of? ;-)
I am sad I did not win, but cannot complain as I have my beautiful hanky card already. I thank you for being beautiful you! You have taught me that I do not have to match the standard of my stay-at-home grandmother (though I love her dearly, I could never match her homemaking skills), who never even had a drip down the side of her sloppy joe bowl. Oh, but she taught me that trick - just wipe the lip and inside top of the bowl with a paper towel before serving! I applaud all you marvelous entertainers and hope that some day I will be able to use some of your advice!

restyled home said...

I must say, I love your site!! You have such great advice and inspiration for taking the reluctant part out of entertaining!
And, that apron....sooo pretty!!!


carrie said...

Thank you for your encouragement! My husband and I LOVE to have people over and just sit awhile and build relationships over wonderful food. (My husband is a chef) and we just love how the Lord gave us this passion together...Thank You

Mrs. B. said...

Eeeeek!! Yay, yay, yay!
Now I can no longer complain that "I never win anything." :)
Thank you so much and I will email you right away.
L-O-V-E the confetti cake, by the way!

Walter Jeffries said...

Congratiulations on the one year mark!

Dawn @ My Home Sweet Home said...

Congratulations to the winner!

justabeachkat said...

Wow...what fun and cute photos! You look great, might I add! Congrats to the winner.


Nadine said...

Congratulations to Mrs. B. I have really enjoyed getting to know you this year. I'm looking forward what you will do in the upcoming year.

Sue @ praise & coffee said...

You are an inspiration!!


PS: Even though I missed the contest, I just have to say that apron is adorable!

nancygrayce said...

I actually like to have people over but only if I am cooking something I like to cook and I have time to clean house! I think I like to entertain at my own home because I am a control freak. I get crazy if I am going to someone else's home! :) P.S. the apron is wonderful!

see you there! said...

Congratulations Sandy, you are doing a wonderful thing. I have to tell you tho, my favorite part of your blog is the Balcony Girls tales. I feel like I have a bunch of wonderful little Granddaughters when I read about them


An Ordinary Mom said...

I love all the photos in this post!

Thanks for so kindly sharing your wisdom and inspiration with us!

Nunnie's Attic said...

Congratulations Mrs. B!!

Sandy I'm so happy I found you and your wonderful blog! If you knew anything about me you would know that at any given time of the day (or night) there's usually a guest or 2 at my house. We love to entertain and do so regularly. But, I am not so naive that I don't realize I can always use more tips! Stop over and visit - the door is always open!


momrn2 said...

What a fun celebratory post! Your place here never seems to lack excitement, joy and even fun!!

Although I'm disappointed I didn't win, I am extremely excited for the one who did! I can only imagine all the wonderful goodies she will be receiving! What a real treat that will be for her! YEAH!!!

Hope you are having a wonderful, family filled weekend friend! Be sure to take just a bit of time for "you"! :-)

Freshly Found said...

Congratulations! What a celebratory Cake!!!

A Woman Who is: said...

Great cake! Is the confetti all edible? Do tell?

Sandy said...

Hi Ladies! The cake was a 'photo prop' cake -- Ab and I made an angel food cake, ate the yummy crusty part as it came out of the oven, turned it over and covered with confetti... all for fun! :)

ValleyGirl said...

I can't believe you went to the trouble of making a 'prop cake!!' Good thing you got to eat part of it, at least! Congratulations on a great year, and I'm so looking forward to spending another year here, getting great recipes, creative entertaining tips, and lessons on the true meaning of hospitality!!

Bettsi McComb said...

Sandy, congratulations on your first blogiversary! I'm sorry I missed out on the celebration, but I thought you would still appreciate hearing how much you have encouraged me. It's no surprise that your girls are learning to be Balcony Girls- after all, you are an extraordinary Balcony Girl yourself!
This weekend I hosted a sleep-over party for my baby, Max (11!) and tonight will host my extended family for dinner. It has been a lot of work to clean, but none of it has been grudging or harried. I have decided to enjoy the process and do it for my joy and the joy of my family and not do it out of a feeling of obligation. Your gentle voice over the past year has really helped me reach this point. Thank you, thank you! The work you do is SO appreciated!

GiBee said...

Congratulations Mrs. B!!!

Cathy Wolff said...

I am attempting to leave a comment to your blog but I have never done so before and am not sure if I'm doing it right. I love and appreciate all of your posts. Thanks so much for your help. I also really like the apron.