6/25/08

What's Your Challenge? GIVEAWAY!


It’s really hard for me to post a GIVEAWAY without including some entertaining tips along with it! I’m not much of a “fluffy-post” girl – I like real, authentic, meaty posts. Something that will challenge every reader with a new idea or an inspiration that she can apply to her own life!

In my last giveaway, my friend Laura from Organized Junkie (if you want to get organized, Laura offers some amazing tips!) made this comment, challenging me with a question!


Oh, how I love aprons - I wear them all the time. I do have a question for you. What is YOUR biggest entertaining challenge?


My biggest entertaining challenge would have to be this:
Who will I invite?

It might sound rather simple, but the company you invite can really make or break a dinner party! Keeping these ideas in mind, this is what I think about when inviting multiple guests:

· Think of ONE couple you definitely want to have over.

· Build on that couple. Who do they know, or who has similar interests?

· Invite at least one couple over who needs fellowship! You don’t know how, by inviting them, you can bless and encourage them!

· What are their food/drink preferences?

· What seating arrangement will be the most comfortable/interesting for them? (Example – don’t sit two shy people by each other!)


Now it’s your turn!

Please let me know what your NUMBER ONE ENTERTAINING CHALLENGE IS?

Or, if you have none, how did you get to that point, or reach back in time and share with us some wisdom that you have learned along the way!


Post your comment and you’ll be eligible for this SWEET giveaway! Refer to my giveaway on your blog and your name will go into the drawing twice (please let me know if you do this).

You could be the winner of this beautiful pink apron (customized just for you!), along with Harry & David chocolate-covered cherries, cherry towels and potholders and this wonderful Picnic cookbook!

It’s a cherry of a prize! Winner will be posted on Sunday, June 29th!

(Please make sure that you leave me a viable email address!)

This light pink apron:


Could be personalized for you like this (mine says Reluctant Entertainer, how fitting is that?):

198 comments:

Tracy said...

My biggest challenge these days is my grandma. She's lived with us for two years. Prior to that, we entertained alot. Since she came, I entertain much less, as I know that she gets nervous about having people in. It's been difficult to scale back because my husband and I both thrive around others.

Jennifer said...

Thanks, Sandy, for the great tips!

My biggest challenge with entertaining has been space, or rather seating. We actually have plenty of room for entertaining, but we still have furniture from when my husband was a bachelor. Our dining room table seats four and our living room seats five. When we have parties or get togethers, we have to pull out the folding chairs. Someday we plan to buy a bigger dining room set, but that may not be until we have to - i.e. more kids :).
Right now, I'm really excited for summer entertaining because our patio set actually seats 12!!! (Go figure :)). As soon as the patio is finished, we can just move the entertaining outside. Can't wait!

Ornery's Wife said...

Sandy;
My greatest challenge is that most of my friends are so busy that they don't have time to get together. So, add to the fact that we aren't in a church or other source of fellowship to find new friends, and we are limited to just a couple of people to entertain. We do family gatherings, but again, everyone is "too busy" to get together.

TM

Anonymous said...

Hi Sandy,
Please enter me in your drawing. I've gained lots of inspiration from your blog, but I think my biggest entertaining challenge is keeping the house clean!
KarenG

Org Junkie said...

What an amazing prize, I would be so honored to win!

My biggest challenge right now is just finding the energy I suppose. Hopefully that will change once school is out and things slow down considerably.

You have been quite the influence to me though I have to say. Today it is my neighbors birthday and the kids and I are going to bring her some cookies. I'm excited about it!

Thanks Sandy!

Anonymous said...

Hi Sandy - My biggest challenge is just getting organized enough to invite people over. I just moved, but I am determined to have a small soiree before the end of August. Thanks for all of your tips. ~Danielle
(dsphillips@tamu.edu)

The Summer Kitchen Interiors said...

Being home to entertain... that and being home enough to clean so that I can entertain! But with such a prize one would have to find the time!
Karla & Karrie

Patch of Flowers said...

My biggest challenge is late arrival time and my need to have patience and let go of that frustration. Somehow I always struggle with late arrivals - sometimes up to 45 minutes which, at the time, can really dampen my attitude. Many times I take myself into a quiet place, away from the hubbub, and give myself a "talking to" to get over my frustration. I would like advise on how to view this, not as a challenge, but as a given and be able to go-with-the-flow when it happens.
Thanks for your very interesting and fun blog, I love it!
Elizabeth
patchofflowers@hotmail.com

Jennifer said...

Hi Sandy! I just posted a link to your blog/giveaway on my blog. I hope all my friends can benefit from all your great tips.

Thanks!

Karen said...

My number one challenge is where to put everyone. Or, if it's a small gathering, where to put all the food that we are making. We don't have a dining room (yet. when my daughter gets married, we plan to move some rooms around and make my son's old room into a dining room. Maybe.) Anyhow, kitchen space is at a premium. When the weather is good, we can entertain outside, but that eliminates Christmas entertaining.

Brenda@CoffeeTeaBooks said...

My biggest challenge is two fold, I have a small house and it is in the country. I'm always hesitant to ask people out since it is a drive, especially these days.

However, we just had (last weekend) a huge graduation open house for my son. God truly blessed us with good weather so we could use the deck. There were storms close to us but they stayed away from our area.

A Mom Anonymous said...

Just found your blog from Laura's (org junkie)!
I love to entertain as well. I actually have a few challenges: 1) getting everyone's schedules together 2) enough seating (though I've sort of solved this by putting 6 kids at the kitchen table and 6 adults in the dining room) 3) probably my biggest challenge is that my kids are still fairly little and to keep them busy ALL day while I prepare for our dinner!

Pam said...

What a fantastic giveaway, Sandy!

Your first paragraph today is exactly why I keep coming back to your site faithfully. I love how you challenge and motivate others to faithfully step out and serve by hosting simple gatherings full of impact.

My biggest challenge sounds silly even as I type it, but it's just picking up the phone and asking. Once a dinner party is underway, I begin to enjoy the preparations . . . but I hate picking up the phone and calling.

Looking forward to seeing who wins!

Stacey said...

My biggest challenge is definitely not worrying about things being perfect!! Since finding your blog a few months ago, I have told myself many times, "Sandy says it doesn't have to be perfect." Sounds goofy but that does help me some. Thanks for sharing your inspiration and great ideas.

Stacey :)
snskee@aol.com

Julie said...

My biggest challenge is asking... It's hard to ask and hear "no"... It sorta deflates me and I give up... But Papa's working on that in me....

This is an awesome giveaway....

Julie

~nanashouse~ said...

My biggest challenge is insecurity. I worry about things like "will they like the food?" or "do I have enough choices for everyone?" I wind up serving way to much!

Michelle said...

Hi Sandy! Thank you so much for the incredible blog. I just stumbled upon it a few weeks ago and I am already hooked.

My biggest entertaining challenge is keeping things SIMPLE! Sometimes I have to remind myself to scale things back. Here is what I tell myself:

1. Our friends come over for our company and laughter and conversation, not to be "wow-ed" each time.
2. There will always be more dinner parties so if you have lots of ideas, just plan another party instead of trying to cram everything into one dinner.
3. Keeping things simple allows me more time to ENJOY our friends rather than worrying about the next item.

Again, thank you and I am already getting lots of tips from your other readers!

Monkey Giggles said...

Biggest Challenge is making food that everyone will enjoy and think is tasty.

This is an awesome giveaway.

I have posted at my blog

Fuschia said...

Definitely space. Not so much seating as I have folding tables and extra chairs, but where to put them. And...where to put all the kids after the meal. We have five, and all of our friends are in the kiddo season of life as well.
I'm putting a special link on my blog for this...being a pink lover, I so want this giveaway!! Thanks for offering it.

Megan said...

We have been blessed with two small children (ages 1& 3) and my biggest challenge is preparation while caring for my children. I get frustrated with wanting to give my guests more.... when really I need to remind myself that I can give more of myself during our time together.... not killing myself to make things perfect.

What a great give away! Thanks so much for this opportunity!

Cindy said...

My biggest challenge is my husband who either doesn't want them to come over or worries about not having enough room/food/drinks or the house being clean enough. The other challenge is moving a lot so it's hard to make friends...

Tammy said...

That is an adorable apron! :D

My biggest challenge would be keeping things clean and organized on a regular basis so that every time I have people over, I don't feel such pressure and stress to get everything "just right".

Thanks for another wonderful giveaway!

Sara at Miller Moments: said...

My biggest challenge is just HAVING someone to invite. We have very few friends - and most are so so so busy, that even to come over ends up seeming like an "eat and run" event - not a "sit and stay until the fireflies come out" like I grew up with...

My heart LONGS to entertain - just hoping that God will expand my territory throughout the years to bring more friends our way.

Sheryl said...

I love this giveaway! I'd enter just for the Harry & David cherries ;p
I have several challenges equally big, so I'll share all three: timing (I'm always going like crazy right down to the wire), perfectionism, insecurity (which probably goes with the perfectionism trap).
I have to tell you...I'm usually a lurker, but because of your sight I've been investing in how-to books on entertaining and asking God to really help me follow-through and DO! I feel this is an area He is wanting me to pursue and you have given me hope that I can do just that.
So...whether or not I win this prize...I've already won and I want to thank you for your part in that...your HUGE part!

rachel said...

I don't know what the heck to say to my guests! so i find an excuse to hide in the kitchen!

laurel said...

My biggest challenge is to time it so that I am not having to do the dinner/bath/bedtime thing w/ our three small children (5, 2, 1) right smack in the middle of dinner. It is a little tricky right now, but it doesn't stop me from having people over. Most everyone is understanding. I just hate to be missing out on the party! :)

Rebecca said...

By biggest challenge is definitely space/room. For the time being, we live in a trailer until our home is built next to us. Want to talk about space issues!! I have a huge family, but even with a nice porch to use, there's just no room for anyone here. Anything and everything gets moved outdoors (which is okay - we live on a beautiful farm), or on some occassions, to another family member's house. My daughter's first birthday party had to be at my parents, because we just don't have the space. I was heartbroken. I can't wait for the day to be in our new home, and actually be able to entertain guests. The picnic cookbook would be great for me since we have to do it all outdoors! :)

rebeccaldelong@yahoo.com

Anonymous said...

My biggest challenge is the food. I always know what to cook and plan the meal for weeks in advance. My problem is gaging how MUCH food to make. I always have SO MUCH left over. It's like I'm feeding an army each and every time. It doesn't matter if I'm feeding 10 or 30, I always overmake! How do you gage it?

Shannon
spinchok @ hotmail dot com

Bev said...

I have 2 really big challenges! 1 space. I feel like I just don't have enough space. 2 cleaning, we have floors that show something everytime you walk on them and I mop and mop and just don't really look clean and I am so embarrassed for anyone to see!

StegArt said...

The challenge that I face most is worrying about if the food I prepare will turn out well. I stress over that, big time.

kamewh said...

My biggest challenge is to clean and get everything ready with my 2 young children around! Thank you for the giveaway!

Karin said...

Cleaning is also my biggest challenge--cuz I am a pack rat and have stuff all over~~~~

Emily said...

Many challenges but one that comes to mind is ... my ultimate preference is just hanging out with my family and playing together. So it takes energy and organization to make plans to have people over ... even though we are always glad when we do.

Shawna said...

My biggest challenge is what I'm going to feed everyone and have everyone like if not LOVE the food.

Summer makes that easier because usually everyone loves a good BBQ.

Thanks for the give-away!
So fun!
*S

Michele P. said...

my biggest challenge is finding someone who will eat what I make... just kidding! Actually, it does have to do with food, and the appropriate menu-one thing might be too spicy for some guest, while something else may be too hot for others. Being a 2 culture household, we try to invite the spicy people to one gathering, and the non spicy to another since many of the foods we make are either spicy or not and for big occasions, we try to have a spicy dish and a non spicy dish so everyone can enjoy something.

Southerner said...

I really can't think of an entertainment challenge. I love to have people over. I am willing at the spur of a moment to just throw together what I can find to eat and enjoy entertaining. I think that is one of the biggest things that has given me freedom is to have food on hand that can be brought out in a hurry. Some of the things I try to keep on hand are grilled chicken, preformed hamburger patties and hotdogs, pizza crust packages and sauce, chili and taco fixings. If I am making spaghetti and someone stops by I add more sauce, add beans and rice and corn to tacos, serve chili over rice or baked potatoes or pasta. I guess you can tell I am not real fancy and formal but that is not MY style. Don't try to be something that is not you. I enjoy formal occasionally but more often like to serve meals buffet or family style. Light candles, it hides a multitude of sins-both in your cooking and in your housecleaning!

Liz said...

Hi Sandy,

I'm new to blogging but not to reading your blog. I'm an avid fan and lurker.

I'm coming out of lurkdom to say that my greatest challenge is feeling good about my home. I would love to invite "new" friends over but I'm always concerned about what they will think. We live in a simple home; it's nice but small and older. I am fine with "old" friends who know me and who have been here before. I would love to hear your advice on breaking through this and opening up my home to everyone.

Thank you so much.

Kirstin said...

At the moment my biggest challenge is not living in my own home! I don't feel the freedom to entertain like I want too. But that will end in the next few months and then I'll let you know what the current challenge would be. I think it would be that being on a budget I usually only have in the house what we need for particular meals and that doesn't take into account company, but I know that can be remedied fairly easily.

Susie said...

Love the tips! You don't have to enter me since I already won your precious black/white checked apron, but I do have a challenge in entertaining. I am horrible at floral arrangements. Any hints for inexpensive fresh flowers.

linda said...

Hubby and I used to entertain quite frequently but I have let things go a little bit over the last few years and this holds me back sometimes. I started working outside the home 5 years ago and there just isn't the time to devote my home like I used to have.

Your take on this matter has helped me overcome this somewhat...thank you!

Thank you also for the great giveaway...I've never one a giveaway but this could be the start of something right!?!

Tarrah said...

My biggest challenge is finding nice ways to decorate the table. I don't have much and haven't really been able to find stuff at yard sales (although I havn't been much this year)

I have an Oval dining table and it's tough finding table clothes that fit that, not to mention, I'm just not creative enough to throw it together.

I just make due with what I have and it comes out great but I would love to spice it up a little.

Thank you for all you wonderful tips and ideas. I am very grateful for you blog :)

Kim said...

My biggest concern with entertaining is what to make. Especially with food allergies, likes and dislikes. Plus, with having younger children I want to make something that they would enjoy as much as the adults.

Robin said...

My biggest challenge is choosing the menu and staying in budget. Your site has helped with both. Thanks so much!

linda t said...

One of my big challenges in entertaining... guests that arrive late. For years I would get so frustrated when our guests would not only show up late, but they would not even call to say they were running late. I will admit, I am fanatically punctual, so you can imagine how I felt.
The way I eventually dealt with it is that I now tell people when to arrive and I don't serve the meal right away. That way if they are late, the meal is not ruined.

What an awesome give-away Sandy!!!! Hope I WIN!!!

Mariela Rojas said...

i' about to go through the biggest challange of my life, my dad is back to live with me and damn he is hard

queenoftheclick said...

My biggest challenge in entertaining is choosing appetizers for an event. You are probably asking yourself Why are choosing which appetizers to make so difficult? Well, the after entertaining my inlaws, I went into the refrigerator and took out a dip that was left over. I started snacking while talking on the phone to my best friend. She asked me what I was eating. When I told her, she said, "oh I meant to throw that out for you." When I asked her why she said that my husband's family were double dipping all night. YUCK. I couldn't stop coughing and choking.

So from then on, I have been very selective in making individual, non-dipping type appetizers. I usually find myself trying to find a few good hot appetizers before entertaining.

Jennifer in Beaverton said...

I have a few challenges when entertaining. First, just the prep it takes to go to the store with two toddlers and then come home and prepare it all. I sometimes go shopping the day before the event, and then prepare the next day. Second, we have two dogs. One is small and not an issue, but the other is a Doberman and strikes fear in the heart of some just by breathing! (he is actually a big teddy bear and would never hurt a fly :) ) So, we not only have to think of all the food, company, etc. We have to factor in the dog!

Kari said...

My biggest challenge is the guest list, I don't know when to stop. Any party we have ends up being a huge gathering b/c I feel horrible leaving anyone out! And then all the work that goes into a party of that size turns me off of wanting to ever do it again.

PS I posted about your contest on my blog too:)

K in the Mirror said...

Hmmm. Right now one of my biggest challenges is seating. My house isn't laid out to accommodate more than one table, and our dining chairs are really wide so only six fit around our table. It always feels crowded and limits the number of people I feel comfortable inviting.

I'd love that prize package! :)

Rebecca said...

My biggest challenge is this: I am scared to be in charge of other people's fun. I'm worried they will suffer through the evening and not have fun or conversation will die and I won't be able to revive it, etc. Yikes!

Katie Hampton said...

My biggest challenge is that I want to have adult parties (Wii tournaments, play games, etc.) where toddlers wouldn't do so well, but we ALL have little kids and we're ALL too broke for babysitters! Consequently, we do primarily parties with the whole families, and most of our time is spent talking about or to our kids. Argh.

ikkinlala said...

My biggest challenge is letting go of my perfectionism.

Nadine said...

My biggest challenge is having the energy to entertain. I've been so worn out lately, but when I do I have a blast. I love to have people over. And for the record I always cook in an apron. That one is darling.

debra.p@live.com said...

My biggest challenge is that my husband just found out he is diabetic. Now we have to find different recipes, and also find out what different foods that he can eat.

monkeycat said...

My biggest challenge, like some others it seems, is space! I live in a tiny tiny one bedroom apartment and it's hard to entertain more than an extra couple. Sometimes I'd like to get a bigger group together, but we just don't have the room!

waldenbunch said...

I have 5 kids that I homeschool (4 still at home) plus elderly parents I'm responsible for even though they are in a nursing home. The last several months have been very hectic and stressful and finding time to have people over just wasn't on the list! The other main problem is being on a budget and not having a lot of extra cash to spend on entertaining.

Thanks! waldenbunch

Tonya "Skye" said...

What a beautiful giveaway Sandy!

My challenge is.. feeling obligated to invite the same group of people over and over.. We just had our house built and I couldn't wait to be able to entertain regularly.. But now it is just so much stress trying to work out "who likes who" and "who doesn't quite get along" and "will newcomers feel welcome".

Thanks so much for such an inspiring blog!

Tonya

The Boojes said...

Thanks for the fun giveaway!

Our biggest challenge right now is making time in the schedule to entertain, especially with a one year-old. =) We get into our rhythm and then realize it's been a long time since we've practiced hospitality. Any thoughts?

Lauren G said...

Thanks for the challenge. My biggest entertaining challenge is the fact that I have invited a family of 3 to live with us who are having financial problems, and we have my sister in laws father living with us. It is always tough to entertain when you have people living with you, especially if you just want to have a couple over and get to know them, you have 4 other people in the house too who are eating at the same time, so it makes it hard for intimate conversation.

4 is crazy said...

My biggest challenge is my 3 year old twins. They love to help get ready, but are not so quick or accurate.

I mentioned this on my blog!

Sue Cramer said...

My challenge is that most entertaining is done out of the motorhome so I have limited cooking ability, etc. But they sure do love whatever it is!!

Sue

Jen said...

My biggest challenge is the dinnerware and theme I have. It's easy for me on people. I go with the kids that have the most in common with my kids or others kids. Please enter me..I would lovvvvve to have this.

Cynthia Matzat said...

My biggest challenge is trying to select foods that I know everyone will eat, including my own family. :)

Cynthia (cmatzat at gmail.com)

Sew Wilde said...

My biggest challenge is finding a time and day that works well for everyone.

Denise said...

My biggest challenge when entertaining has always been 'trying to get everything cooked at the same time, so you can serve it all at the same time'. For instance around thanksgiving, I wondered how I would get all my sides cooked if I was also trying to cook the turkey in the oven! (and being from England, this was all pretty new to me!) My hubby solved that problem by buying me a big roaster oven. The turkey then sat on the counter and cooked leaving the oven free for sides. I still find that I have to really think about my menu when planning a meal for company to make sure I know what to pop in the oven first and time everything to be finished cooking at the same time :)

Sgt and Mrs Hub said...

My biggest challenge is knowing how to make my guests feel comfortable. I want the people that come into my home to feel relaxed and at ease, to enjoy themselves immensely while they are here, and to leave feeling like they had the most wonderful time.

How do I adapt for the different people that come into my home. Do I need to?

I am sure if I took another refresher trip through your fantastic archives I would find my answer...! Thank you for your blog - you have made such an impact on my life during this last year of reading!

-Andrea

Debbie said...

We held monthly pot-lucks for ten years! Now, we never have anyone over. My biggest challenge is putting forth the effort to have people over now - we are out of practice. Great blog - just found you but I will be coming back regularly now.

Mrs. Walker said...

My biggest challange is that my living/dining/kitchen area is TINY! I would like to have people over more often, but with a small eat-in kitchen, I stumble over how it would even be relaxing for my guests. I have a basic table with only four chairs and barely room for those. I also have small children, meaning I have a highchair thrown in the mix.

Any thoughts or ideas to help me get past these obstacles??

Thanks!
Rebekah

Principal Sal said...

Darling apron. My biggest entertainment challenge is getting the house ready for guests. By the time I get everything cleaned and put away, I am exhausted!

Omaha Mama said...

I have a few challenges - one being that I get stressed over the preparations. My house is always a mess. My husband gets annoyed if we have too many plans. I fear rejection when inviting people over, it's hard to find a date that works with so many busy schedules...and so on! I keep hoping that as the kids get older, some of this will get easier!

uwood said...

My biggest challenge is doing everything in a timely manner. I know what needs to be done but I always start later than planned and then run into something unexpected. I need to allow more time so that I don't get stressed and rush to the finish line.

Organizing Junkie pointed me this way; love it!
Brandy

Kris said...

I am very excited I found your site on orgjunkie.com. I love to entertain, but lately it has been a challenge. My biggest challenge at this time is my home. Half of our main floor was used as a barn once upon a time so we have no living room yet. Also, our kitchen is very small since it also houses our washer and dryer. We are making plans to change everything, but in the mean time I find it very hard to have others over.

But I must say, when we do have others, they don't see our home through the same eyes as I do. They are much more forgiving. I tell myself that my excuses are really no reason to not entertain, since what I see as problems, guests see as quaint and fun.

I am also putting a link to your challenge on my blog.

our2angels said...

Oh I love apron and have yet to purchase one! Hope I win this one!

My two challenges, how to entertain in a small space i.e. serving space etc

and then how do you keep everything warm when serving and with space restrictions?
Thanks so much!
Sue
marklovessue@numail.org

Becca said...

Sandy, when I saw you already had 73 comments, I had to make sure I wasn't looking at an old post. Wow. I would love to be in your drawing. I'm trying to think of my biggest challenge. I think...it's inviting too many people over at a time. For our last Christmas Cookie Exchange, I invited probably over 100 people. About 60 of them showed up. It was utter chaos and I reveled in all our friends being around. However, our little house was stuffed to the shutters with spill-over all through the gardens. Some people were overwhelmed by the crowd.

I'll be mentioning your giveaway on my blog!
Brighthaven Times
beccanise(at)yahoo(dot)com

Joanna said...

For me, its our new dog.
I've always, ALWAYS wanted a dog, and we rescued this 1.5 year old Australian Shepherd 4 months ago- before he came along, we were reliably entertaining once a week, and now it is much, much less often while we get him trained and get him some manners. I miss having people over without the stress of who is going to get jumped on or knocked over.

GiBee said...

My biggest challenge is ... children. I have a toddler who is into everything, and it is hard to have a party with him around. I think one solution is to get a baby sitter for him until he is just a wee bit older and less wild, and can actually entertain himself or even help out while mommy is cooking or serving, instead of wanting to be underfoot.

BousMama said...

My biggest entertaining challenge is that we live so far away from everyone I could invite that it's hard to get people to want to drive 2 hours for dinner. We have to wait for major occasions in our family for get-togethers. We are slowly making friends in our new community though and I would love to throw a dinner party soon! Thanks for hosting a wonderful giveaway!

Lenetta said...

Neat give-away! My biggest challenge is that it is typical for our guests (family) to arrive late. Very late. I tend to take it personally, and I also have a difficult time figuring out how to hold the food so it's not cold, burned, and/or otherwise nasty.

Thanks! Nettacow at yahoo dot com

Anonymous said...

I just think that apron is too cute! My biggest challenge is what to cook! I don't mind feeding my family my cooking but I worry anyone else will have to choke it down! Thank you!

mamayates@bellsouth.net

superflippy said...

Just found your blog via Brighthaven Times, and I'm so glad I did!

My biggest entertaining challenge is finding a date to do it. There are so many events going on in our small town and among our groups of friends that it's hard to find a date when we're not busy.

That's why we usually stick to 2-3 large parties a year instead of more frequent small ones, though we would really love to have friends over for dinner more often.

Country Mommie said...

I actually have an event coming up, a Fish Fry w/ Fireworks - Outside in July in Alabama (We have lots of room outside, not so much inside). But my biggest challenge is keeping everyone cool enough and keeping the bugs from carrying my guests away, while keeping it "pretty" at the same time. Any suggestions?

Pam said...

My biggest challenge is time - I love to entertain but with two very small children, a full time job, etc. I do struggle. Most of my entertaining ends up being spur of the moment - and although my decorations/ etc. may not be fabulous, I'm pretty good at throwing together a tasty spread last minute!

mmsmith said...

My biggest challenge is "busy"-ness. I work part-time, my husband full-time and we have a baby. We need time "off" to survive. We desire to entertain, and we still do, some. But I hope in a different season in our lives we'll entertain more.

Your blog does inspire me to entertain in spite of (insert excuse here).

Queen B said...

I just found your blog through Laura @ Organizing Junkie. I am looking forward to going back and reading your posts!

My biggest entertaining challenge is entertaining children. Lots of our friends/acquaintances have lots of children. I love their children--don't misunderstand--but it is hard to enjoy the evening when I know parts of my home are being ransacked. I have tried to have my daughter put things away that she doesn't want bothered. And I really don't mean to sound selfish!! It is just a rare occasion that anyone helps put it all back.

Jen said...

My biggest challenge is that I have a very small house. My living room and dining room are one. I love to entertain, any suggestions for people with tiny homes.

Tiaras & Tantrums said...

My biggest challenge is my MIL. If we have any sort of gathering or party and she is not invited, the rath unfolds. IF we do invite her, which we have to - hubbie doesn't want the many phone calls he will receive if not invited. So, when she arrives, she fully makes her rounds to anyone she doesn't know and takes over every conversation - turing it all around to talk about her. She dissects every person in our home, asking very personal questions (yes, she's a snoopy snoop). It is just terrible. We can't win either way. And then whatever my tablescape or menu - she has to say one very loud, very abrasive comment! Frustrating! And then w/o fail - "I just don't kno whow you do it?" Like I'm inept or soemthing??

Josephine said...

One of my challenges is a small kitchen - very bad for making lots of dishes and also a small dining room. Oh, and I always panic that I don't have enough food, even though my husband says I do enough for a small nation!!

Love this blog, very inspiring. Thank you.

seasideparkys at tesco dot net

La Tea Dah said...

My biggest challenge is letting go of the fine details. I generally end up exhausted before an 'event' is over and later I am frustrated with myself because I 'forgot' to do this or that as I had planned. I need to learn to streamline.

LaTeaDah

CrystalGB said...

My biggest challenge is space. I don't have enough room to invite several people to my home.

3CHEERS4MOM said...

Hi Sandy,
I love aprons! I’m so glad that this is your giveaway. I am hosting an office social for my husband in a few weeks. The heat, it is probably my biggest challenges for this event. It needs to be outside because the size of the party and children are invited. If you have it in the evening the mosquitoes are so bad in TX, they will carry you away. I have seen machines for your yard, but they are very expensive.
So far my solution is to have an Americana themed BBQ (it is on July 5th) and an Ice Cream Bar. I guess the centerpieces can be citronella candles & baskets of off (ha ha). –Cheers, Amy

Anonymous said...

My biggest challenges are what to serve, will it taste good, and presentation.

Cindy

Robin said...

My biggest challenge is not going over board. I tend to make too much food and worry too much about what is going to happen. Sometimes simple is just as nice.

michelle said...

My biggest problem is trying to find foods that everyone will want to eat, without making myself crazy in the kitchen. Whether it is inviting a family over where one of the members doesn't eat cheese, while another one of the members practically survives on cheese alone, to other families where one person doesn't like mixed foods (casseroles) and the other one doesn't eat sauces, especially tomato sauce, it can be a huge challenge. I aim for variety and do my best, but I always feel like I have to put six or seven dishes on the table, to give everybody an enjoyable eating experience.

michelle at northofthe49 dot com

Anonymous said...

Please enter me!

My biggest challenge is being okay with my house not being perfect. With 4 boys under 9 years old, I need to relax with this.


Lynn

keithlynn6@msn.com

Beth/Mom2TwoVikings said...

My greatest challenge is my self-consciousness about my housekeeping. I spend more time worrying about how the house looks as opposed to how to make my guests happy and comfortable.

M.E. said...

My biggest entertaining challenge is having to totally clean the house! Well, and our house isn't really big so we are limited to summer parties that we can use our outside patio. I use our dining table for buffet style.
Love your blog!

Rachel said...

What a cute apron and prize package!!

My biggest challenge is not inviting EVERYONE - when you invite so and so, you have to invite who and who also and then we end up with way more people than we planned.

ValleyGirl said...

What an awesome prize package!! I LOVE that apron!

My biggest challenge is making it about others, not about me. Like how much extra work it's going to be, how much time I'll have to spend tidying up, etc. I'm my own biggest hurdle.

And of course, the little button linking people to this giveaway is up and running on my blog!!

Andrea said...

i agree with you, my biggest challenge is who to invite. i don't want anyone to feel left out. I love your blog, I've made a link to mine about this drawing. :) have a great weekend.

tea4two321 said...

My biggest challenge is getting over the fact that my home is very small and therefore I tend to hesitate before inviting others over. I guess I worry that people will feel cramped. The only eating space we have is a tiny eat in kitchen. I wouldn't say I'm embarrassed to have guests over but I know that I avoid situations where I HAVE to have people over. Silly, I know. So this year I've made it my goal to invite others over atleast once a month. So far no one has complained about the tight quarters! LOL!

Mrs. Bargain Hunting Wife said...

My biggest challenge is not getting carried away! I love having people over but I tend to go overboard with food. If we are having a cook-out, I'll do potato and pasta salad and cole slaw. Just so everyone will have something. And fruit, veggies, chips, beans, etc. Kinda excessive!Luckily hubby can reign me in somewhat.

bargainhuntingwife at gmail dot com

Nate, Christy, Rosalyn and Katie said...

I love your blog! What an encouragement it is. My husband is a pastor so we try to entertain as often as possible but I actually have 2 problems that I need to get over. It's hard for me to keep my house clean and ready for company, and I have 3 little kids which makes it a challenge to cook and get things ready.

Katie said...

My biggest challenge is space. Our table only fits 4 ....but alas...we're moving to a house soon so NO MORE EXCUSES!

Chef Penny said...

My biggest challenge is how to adapt exactly what we are eating for my food allergy son. We can have people over but it seems that he is always eating something different from us. You have some awesome ideas !

April said...

I have found that my biggest dilema these days is what to serve. Trying to serve fabulous food on a budget has been a challenge, but one that I do my best to overcome. The other thing is dessert. I am not a baker, so pulling off a homemade yummo food item is my least favorite thing. We have a tendency to rely on ice cream as a back up.

Anyway, I hope I win the amazing apron. My friend and I have been talking about getting special ones for ourselves and this one would be just that! Thanks!

Polly marypauline at stankus dot net said...

My biggest challenge is entertaining with my children around. I know you wrote about this and I'm trying. But they get so very excited that it makes the evening a challenge. We have tried entertaining during the day/lunch/brunch and that seems to go a little more smoothly. I know it will get better, so I'm not getting wrapped around the axle about it.
Thanks for the chance to enter!
Polly

Regular, with half and half and raw sugar said...

My biggest challenge is getting my house clean. I love to entertain, but feel like my house needs to be perfect, then I'm beat when the company walks in.
Amy

Sara said...

I would have to say my biggest challenge is getting the house ready and trying to do it all myself and not asking for help.

Love your blog so far. Can't wait to explore it more. I found you from Laura's Organizing Junkie blog.

~Sara Adkins

Nashvillians Now said...

Hi,
My biggest entertaining challenge right now is meeting people. Prior to moving to a new city we had people over all the time. Now that we are new, the big challenge is getting plugged in and meeting people with similar interests.
Thanks for the great giveaway!

Lynn@ The Vintage Nest said...

My biggest challenge is where I live. I love to entertain and have parties but I worry about people having a little too much of the vino and having such a long drive home. ~

jennifer in beaverton said...

I left a comment yesterday, but failed to leave my email just in case I win that fun little apron!!!
Count me in!

seryclan@gmail.com

Julie said...

Just found your blog! My challenge is making the time to entertain. We love the idea, but it never seems to fit into our schedule.

Christine said...

Hi Sandy! My biggest entertaining challenge would be my neighbors. They are very cliquey and I've never quite fit in. I have had a few over one on one, but am nervous to have the group over. I think I need to just do it, but would love some tips to make it comfortable!

Sarah said...

I think my biggest challenge when it comes to entertaining is having my house clean. I feel like my house is always a mess. I am getting better about this though, and am trying not to be such a perfectionist - no one who has came to my home yet has complained that it was messy, nor have they ever came once and never returned!!

I linked to your giveaway from my blog!

Thanks so much for the chance at such a cute apron! I love wearing aprons!

Shelly G & Hope P said...

I think my biggest challenge at this point is not knowing anyone in the area where I live... We used to have a lot of friends where we lived before we moved... and entertaining was easy... but now I don't know who to invite...

paperjunk-lc said...

I feel very fortunate that entertaining is one of my joys and we have people over quite frequently. I am however always on the lookout for a menu that doesn't require me to spend the whole evening in the kitchen...I'd like to be with my guests. I'd also like something besides a casserole to serve for a cook a head meal.
I always enjoy your posts very inspiring.

Andrea said...

i think my biggest challenge is also who to invite. not to copy you -- that's really the truth!!

and i LOVE pink!!! :)

Angela said...

My number one challenge is JUST DOING IT. I know that is sad, but I love planning hospitable things to do, the desire is there, and I used to be better at it, but at this moment in time, I have a hard time doing it. Your blog is such an inspiration! Thank you! I especially enjoyed the reminder to invite at least one lonely couple! I will do that! I need the good fellowship as much as they do. I am so busy at home that I need to remember I can still reach out from here. Thank you for saying it out loud for me. :)
mybuttercup "@" cavtel "." net

Elizabeth said...

My biggest challenge: Time. Just figuring out when we have a block of open time on the calendar when we can relax and enjoy company. With five kids, I do a lot of running! :)

Kathleen @ Katydid & Kid said...

It's my first time visiting (came via Org.Junkie) and I'm enjoying your posts.

My biggest challenge is a common one: making sure the food is all ready at the same time. I did pretty well for my first thanksgiving, but it's challenging and a little stressful, especially when you have an old kitchen with little counter space and a poor layout.

Kris with a K said...

My biggest challenge right now is my carpet. It's just been done in by 3 kids, an older sick cat and 3 dogs. I just don't want to have anyone over to see this carpet!

Wifey said...

I have two challenges. One, we live in a small apartment. Doesn't leave room for much else and our 4 pound Yorkie! And two my table seats TWO. If we have people over we have to all eat on the couch around the coffee table!

Anonymous said...

I love your blog! I have 2 challenges really. The first being that of actually stepping out of my comfort zone and inviting people over to entertain. The second would be what to do before we eat. I always feel awkward and feel like I have to fill the "space" somehow. Or when things aren't moving along smoothly I get flustered and feel dumb and then start apologizing.

MaryAnn jellybelly210@hotmail.com

Anonymous said...

My biggest challenge is to start entertaining again. I have not done so for a long time because of a busy life (I homeschool three children and hubby works very long hours). Also having the house guest ready (not perfect) and the planning and preparations that go into it. I have been procrastinating too long. My family really enjoys having people over. Thanks for your lovely blog and givaway.

Angela

Audra Marie said...

What an awesome giveaway. One of my big challenges is that we are a family of eight already. There isn't much room to invite another family let alone more than one. I'm sure we could find a solution though somehow.

CanCan said...

My challenge is getting each food ready at the same time, warm and ready to eat all together. That is why I like to do pot lucks. I also haven't come up with a good solution for things to do after the food is consumed. I don't like to put on a movie, because the conversation stops.

onlycancan at hotmail dot com

Amanda said...

my biggest challenge is trying to find the time that friends or family arent busy to get together.

i'm new to your blog and off to go check it out :)

Amy said...

What a cute giveaway! My biggest challenge always seems to be getting the house cleaned to my standards... but I also think of having friends over as good motivation to do so!

- Marybeth I. said...

Love this giveaway - thanks for hosting it. I ALWAYS worry about if the house is clean and what food to make to serve guests. I guess that is the normal stuff but entertaining can totally stress me out!

- Marybeth I. said...

will also add your blog/giveaway to my site!

PamJ said...

my biggest thing is getting my house to where i WANT it to be before my guests come, which is esp hard since we moved into our new house which is not yet complete... i can have the food figured out, and games, drinks, etc etc... just NOT the rest of the place :(
i know, THAT should not stop me...

Homesteader in Training said...

Oh how cute all that is. I love it. I love aprons. I made one once lol. But let's not talk about it.
My biggest challenge with hosting is the actual entertaining. Making sure people are having fun. Things to do and sorts. We have an annual Christmas party and since most of our friends are married we started having a "Newlywed game" type thing. It's gone over very well and we give the winner a gift certificate to a nice restaurant for a date night.
I've posted the giveaway on my blog as well.
Thanks for the opportunity to win such a nice assortment of things.If I win you can email me at goofyhappysilly@bellsouth.net
Here is the link to the giveaway
http://homesteadersheart.blogspot.com/2008/06/another-giveawayyou-gotta-love-that.html
Blessings,
Kim

Bev said...

My biggest challenge is just actually doing it! Getting it on the calendar. We often take the lazy way and meet a couple at a restaurant, which is better than nothing, but probably just barely!

Leah said...

My biggest entertaining challenge is knowing what to make and how much! I want to make something everyone will like and make sure there is enough so that everyone leaves the table with a full belly.

Grace & Peace,
Leah
terrytribe(at)gmail(dot)com

Mimi said...

Keeping things simple. I love to decorate and have several food choices for my guests. This however drains my budget and my energy. Thanks for the reminder that it doesn't have to be a Martha Stewart party everytime:)

noembrown@juno.com

Melissa said...

I think my biggest challenge is we live in a very small townhouse. I always feel like I can't really entertain comfortably. But, I desire to do so and just need to keep it small.

Thanks for the opportunity to win this package.

Melissa

Tara said...

My biggest challenge has been entertaining on a severely restricted diet and with health issues and finding people who appreciate the same types of food we do. In fact, we rarely entertain... but I am thinking about it more since reading your blog and hope the day comes soon when we connect with more people.

Elizabeth said...

My biggest challenge is that we recently moved away from both our families. We don't know anybody in our new community, and our family doesn't want to travel 100 miles to visit us. So we go there, rather than entertaining here.

Anonymous said...

My biggest entertainment challenge is what to do AFTER dinner! How do you keep the conversation going without just talking about one subject??? It seems we have friends in different areas of our lives (work, social groups, etc.) when we are together it seems that's ALL we talk about, I'd like to change the subject but don't really know how....

hopefulheart77 said...

My biggest challenge in the entertaining arena is time. I have difficuly fitting it into my schedule. It is also difficult seating everyone. I have plenty of space. It is chairs that I need. We have even brought in lawn chairs before. :) My friends are just down home folks so they did not mind at all!

Toni said...

My biggest challenge is overcoming my fear of entertaining! I grew up in a household where my parents worked different shifts and we never had people over to our home. So, I have no past experience as a base for being a good hostess. However, I have some good friends and a wonderful husband who are really great and I hope to have a small get together at my home sometime this summer!

GrammaGrits said...

My biggest challenge is what to serve - to be able to have it ready all at the same time, enjoyable table time and not too much kitchen time away from guests!

Rebecca (Foodie With Family) said...

My biggest challenge is far and away time management with the kids. I can either get the food done on schedule and have the kids feel neglected and pushed aside or I can hope that folks don't mind eating until 8p.m. so that I can get the nosh out and keep everyone relaxed at the same time.

I opt for the later eating times because I am the Mom first, and I don't want my kids to be neglected while I'm preparing for company.

Don't get me wrong- the kids can do activities by themselves. It just seems like there are real needs whenever I try to do stuff on a schedule.

In a nutshell, that's my biggest challenge!

Rebekah said...

My challenge is what to do with all the kids. We're in a season of life where the majority of friends have children 9 yrs and younger. I get nervous have children run around crazy. It the weather is good we can toss the kiddos outside to play, but in the winter I'm usually reluctant to host.

Rachel said...

I love your blog!
My biggest entertaining challenge is actually inviting people over. As silly as it sounds, I fear the rejection or people coming because they feel obligated or people reversing the invitation, as has happened many times for us. After that, wondering what to fix that appeals to the majority on a very lean budget. And finally, keeping my young children entertained before and during the dinner and how to handle guest children who are allowed more wildness in their homes than we allow in ours.

Tammy said...

My biggest challenge, after getting over the fear of inviting, is my seating. I only have seating for 6 at my table. I often have to set up a separate table in my kitchen and use tv trays in my adjoining family room.

Sara L said...

My biggest challenge is our itty bitty apartment. Having no room to entertain makes it hard inviting people over. But...we just put an offer down on a house! Entertaining here we come! PS - I LOVE aprons, too!

Beth said...

My biggest challenge is getting up the nerve/ambition to ask someone over. I'm extremely shy and uncomfortable in social situations and just don't know how to relax and enjoy having company.

Jennifer said...

My biggest challenge is my health.
Thirteen years ago I had meningitis, since then I have had chronic headaches and severe joint and muscle pain that continues to get worse each year. Our house has always been the neighborhood house that all of the kids want to hang out at and I have truly loved that as my children have grown up. Things just keep getting harder for me and I get tired faster, but my door and heart are always open!
Thanks! Jennifer
Forr2girls@charter.net

Pat said...

Sandy,
Your BLOG is so cool. I tracked you down from your comment on Boomama's modesty post! I am so glad!

My entertainment challenge is TIME! I am always planning something in my MIND but when it comes time to make it happen, I have NONE!
When next I do, I will be using some of your ideas!!
Pat

marie said...

My biggest challengs is staying organized and enjoying the company I invite. Sometimes I get so involved in taking care of "everything" I forget to enjoy myself and then I am so tired when everyone is gone. Also convincing my husband that we should have people over. He would never have people over and I would entertain everyday.

gina said...

I love a theme- my biggest challenge is how to maintain a theme without it coming across as tacky.

Anonymous said...

Wow, I read some of those comments and it made me realize how many challanges I really do face. :-) 2 come to mind though...I am not a great cook, so I have surrounded myself with good friends who LOVE to cook and know my kitchen like it is their own. I can have this group over anytime, they bring all the food, I do appetizers and drinks, sometimes provide the steak or chicken, maybe even dessert, but they make me dinner in my house. (it's the best!) We all have fun and I don't stress about my cooking.
Another challange that I have not yet found the perfect answer is...RSVP! Why do people not RSVP??? A couple years ago I gave a wedding shower which included dinner. (noted on the invite) 10 people showed who never told me they were coming! We sometimes have a bar b que potluck for close family/friends. I tried the 'regrets only' and 12 didn't show, but never called to let me know. (we provide the burgers and hotdogs, so kinda would like to know how much to buy) Sometimes people do get back to me, but it's like an hour before, so now what? Oh, then there are those who do RSVP for a potluck, but show up an hour late with food for us to eat, and we are full and things are cleaned up and they want to eat??? Okay, I am ready for solutions...please! I must be doing something wrong. Put me in that drawing. I want that apron for my mother in law who has anyone and everyone over for a meal with no warning. She wears aprons and deserves a new one. :-)
Cousin Peggy

Gayle said...

My biggest Entertainment problem is feeling inadequate about my home. I never feel like it is ready. I see things the need to be done and stress about it... which totally takes away from the joy of entertaining. I have learned a lot from your blog! I absolutely love it. =)

Gayle

Pheobie said...

I often entertain the same people over and over again and have trouble keeping ideas fresh. Thanks for the advice you offer on your blog!

Lissete said...

I am so happy to have been directed to your blog! Because a) we love to entertain but b) I aam sometimes reluctant! ;)

Which brings me to my entertaining challenge. While my husband is mostly enjoying himself, I am basically running back & forth or in the kitchen. My daughter was in the culinary program at her high school. She is very good friends with her teacher and when we were talkin one day I found out that I could offer the culinary academy kids community service hours for helping out at my parties since it's part of their academy! I've only used them once. Just 2 kids. All the food was already made all they had to do was plate, serve (or if a buffet, just set up and be sure that chafers aren't empty) stuff like that. Of course, I gave them a little $ as well but I was able to enjoy & mingle without hiring professional $$$ help.

Kim said...

Lack of space. Tiny house with tiny rooms. That's my excuse. I've just found your blog. I'm hoping to become inspired!

Tuscan Lady said...

I love entertaining and usually small lunch or dinner parties happen with little stress. My challenge usually comes when I am throwing bigger parties and people do not RSVP. I tend to stress over not having enough food or chairs if non-responsive folks just happen to show up. I am learning to just pray about it and leave it in the Lord's hands as it can really drive me nuts when I try to deal with it in my own power.
Tuscan Lady
heavenlyminded@frontiernet.net

oona said...

My biggest challenge is I always run out of time frantically cleaning and cooking before the party and only have 5 minutes to put on a fresh shirt and wash my face. I'm usually sweaty and completely stresed and that's no way to start an evening!
Thanks for the giveaway.

beanieg said...

My biggest entertaining challenge is whether to invite 'the kids' or not. Our friends all have children the same age as ours (9, 7 & 4). It's great when everyone is together, but it's also hard to keep kids entertained into the evening. Inviting folks without kids means sitters all around. That's my challenge. (And I want the apron! I'm posting your info on my blog: beanieg.blogspot.com)

Jill said...

My biggest challenge,is when I suddenly hear a knock at the door out of the blue...A real uh-oh moment.I am thrilled to have vistitors,but am usually not put together,nor is the house,or any treats.I would love to know some quick tips for preparing for drop ins.So they feel welcome not awkward.

Nunnie's Attic said...

What a great time for me to return to the blog-o-sphere. I love the giveaway!

As for my biggest challenge? Not any one thing. There are always people popping over to my house. But it's always family. Parents and siblings. Cousins and aunts and uncles. So my biggest challenge is constantly having the house stocked with food. I can't bear not offering someone something to eat. And my other challenge is mail. Where do you put it?? There's always a ton of it. Looks terrible. I need more space to organize I guess. And my final challenge? Seating. I had 22 people over for dinner at Christmas! I had to borrow chairs from the church.

Thanks again for hosting this giveaway!

Love,
Julie

Jane said...

My biggest challenge is finding a time to entertain that meets the needs of my friends with young children. We do not have children yet and thus babysitters etc are not a problem for us... but they get in the way of our friends coming over quite a bit. We have invited the children on several occasions and I am usually relaxed about that (elementary school teacher and all) but it's not always ideal.

Anonymous said...

My biggest challenge is getting my home clean and ready. Love the giveaways! Pick me please Mona

Leigh Ann said...

We live about a 30 min + drive from the majority of our friends. I am always reluctant to ask people to drive out that far to see us especially with gas prices--AAACKK!

chona said...

our biggest challenges are (1) planning ahead - it's usually 5:30 when we are asking each other "who can we invite for dinner?" and (2) agreeing on who to invite.

I linked to your blog on mine! I'm looking forward to reading more of your wonderful blogs soon!
~Sonya

Wendy said...

My biggest challenge is the fact that we live so far out in the country and everyone we know has small children who have early bedtimes.

Thanks for the opportunity to win!

MommieDaze said...

My biggest challenge is that my house is pretty small. It doesn't take many people to fill up our living room and dinning area. It's easier to entertain when the weather is warm, so that we can be outside. We live out in the country and have plenty of yard to set up tables and shades.

david_colleen@mei.net

MizVanessa said...

My biggest challenge is that I am always so tired from my job and life and feel that I don't have the energy to entertain.

Love your blog and my birthday is June 29th - what a happy day! :)

Kelly said...

My biggest challenge is that my living room needs a fresh coat of paint and has now for years! I use that as my excuse not to entertain, but I really would love to have some girls from church over for a teaparty and the like. I know it's just a matter of doing the painting, but with job and life it's hard to get to it.
Kelly

Everly Pleasant said...

My biggest chalenge is time management. At a party, or other festivities, I often get carried away with on activity and then have to cram the rest. You're Givaway is mentioned on my blog, www.everlypleasant.blogspot.com
Thanks so much, you have a lovely spot here!
Everly

Sabine said...

What a lovely giveaway! My biggest challenge right now is the unpredictability of my health. I seldom have anyone over anymore. But in years past, my biggest challenge was overcoming perfectionism. I had to remind myself to focus on the comfort and pleasure of my guests rather than focusing on showing off my housekeeping or cooking skills.

secondofwett said...

My biggest challenge is my two, very large dogs! They love our family but notn strangers...so...whenever anybody comes to visit I must seclude them in a bedroom, w/one of my kids until the company leaves! It's impossible if I want to have a lady's group from Bible study or just have a friend over for tea, if my kids aren't home to stay w/the dogs! :>(

Anonymous said...

I do not how I came upon your website today, what a blessing!

I love to cook and have entertain. My biggest fear is that my dining room does not look good enough - I know that is not the only room used when entertaining. We have a new home and you would think that would be the first room I would want to have look just right since we love to entertain.

You are a blessing and motivation!

Thanks!

Kelly

lockwood@tyler.net

Bonnie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bonnie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bonnie said...

My biggest entertaining challenge is space. Our home is small and our kitchen space only has a round table to seat 4 - which is the number in our family! I love your blog.

bonniej12@aol.com

Grateful Gramma said...

Are you kidding?? My biggest challenge is "Do I REALLY want anybody to see this messy house?"

Tina said...

Well, making it worth the drive and their time. Gas is so high and families time is so precious I just want them to feel like it was worth it. I love the little touches that can make someone feel special.

forgetfulone said...

My biggest entertaining challenge is getting my husband to agree to have company over for any reason, much less to actually celebrate. It took a lot of finagling (sp?) to get him to let me cook and have some family over for Thanksgiving last year. I have been able to plan some parties for the kids, but having any kind of adult dinner party is usually out of the question. So my challenge is how to get my husband to have a desire to socialize in our home more.

Chinamama4 said...

My greatest challenge is keeping the house clean and tidy enough from day to day so that having guests in doesn't turn into a marathon cleaning session the night before (resulting in much unnecessary stress). I'm working to change that, so I can just invite folks over on the spur of the moment and not fret over the condition of the house!

Lynnette said...

My biggest challenge is sticking to a food budget, I always want to make way more than I need but I like things to be perfect.
lynnieped@yahoo.com

Mique (as in M-i-c-k-e-y) said...

Oh- this is the perfect giveaway for me. I love aprons and all things cherry.
I didn't read through all the comments so I hope I don't repeat my entertaining woe- my challenge has to do with cleaning. The cleaning before and the cleaning after. I usually can hold my own during whatever event I'm doing, it's just gearing up to clean (and clean up) that kills me every time.

Leah said...

My biggest challenge is not having enough places to seat people. We have a family of 4 and have a very cramped kitchen space that seats four. I also have friends/family with ginormous beautiful new homes and mine looks little, cramped and cluttered compared to that. I can't remember when the last time we had friends over. I want to but my excuse is always the space in my little house. : *(
Leah

Leah said...

My biggest challenge is not having enough places to seat people. We have a family of 4 and have a very cramped kitchen space that seats four. I also have friends/family with ginormous beautiful new homes and mine looks little, cramped and cluttered compared to that. I can't remember when the last time we had friends over. I want to but my excuse is always the space in my little house. : *(
Leah

Cactusflower said...

My biggest challenge is that we live in an old farm house and although it could be dressed up gorgeously, we don't have the financial ability to do it all at once (like we'd both like to do) so I get stumped on what to do first and always say "when I get this done, then I'll invite people over". When we end up sort of throwing something together and having people over we have a great time -- I just need to get over myself!

Donna said...

My biggest challenge is a lack of space! I enjoy having people over but we don't have a lot of space to entertain in so that can be discouraging sometimes. I also agree that the guest list can be a big challenge as well.

elaine said...

My entertaining challenging is coming up with a menu for times when you have both adults and their children over.Do you make two separate meals when the children are picky eaters?
Elaine R
emrosser@shaw.ca

KSinMT said...

I call my husband my social director. Entertaining is not my favorite thing. so we started a dinner club of 10 people who fit around the dining room table nicely. We take turns being the host and the host decides what we will bring. The host usually does the main dish. Sometimes we do out door picnics, or restaurants buy mostly we do potlucks with a theme. It has taken the edge off for me and am more open when he wants to branch out to entertain more. Kathy
kschenckATbresnan.net

Jamie said...

I love your giveaway!

I'd say my biggest entertaining challenges are seating, menu, and what friends to invite.

I enjoy reading your ideas and have learned a lot from you.

I would love to begin entertaining again and just need to jump in head first and do it.

Thanks,
Jamie
jamies3@cox.net

Mel said...

I just found your site though Organizing Junkies Blog. Hope I'm not too late for the giveaway. I was just telling my husband this morning how I NEED an apron.

My biggest challenge is seating. e just acquired a nice size kitchen table, but I always wonder what to do with the kids. Do I put them in the kitchen? That means the adults have to eat in the living room holding their plates. No one really seems to mind though.

I look forward to reading more of your blog.

Classic MaMa said...

My biggest challenge is scheduling. I know who I would like to have over our home but sometimes it takes a few weeks to find a night that is good for all parties involved. I just really have to remember that all things are in God's hands and in His timing. He'll open up the schedule for all involved and when He does, then that will be the ideal night for Him to work in all our hearts.

Julie said...

My biggest challenge is getting the house up to par. I am a messie and a perfectionist in one body. How crazy is that? I really like the house to look nice before I invite someone over and it NEVER is. So...we entertain very little. I want to change that.

Sara said...

My biggest challenge is that I am exhausted by 8 pm (SAHM, 2 kids under 3)and my guests seem to want to stay forever. I feel rude going to bed, but I can't even keep my eyes open.

Jessie Francis said...

so pretty . would love it.
jessie

Aubrey said...

My biggest challenge is just getting up the gusto to entertain these days. I am 5 months pregnant and have a 1 year old, a 2 year old, and a 3 year old. My days are full! We have lots of lunch time visitors, as this is before I get exhausted, but that leaves out the husbands since they are working. I make it a point to do a dinner party once a month. And I prep for it for about three days! Just so that day of, I am at ease and relaxed, not so overwhelmed at the idea of daily tasks on top of hostessing.

PaperMagnet said...

Sadly, my biggest challenge stems from perfectionism. My house must look a certain way before I even consider entertaining. We have not entertained (except for neighbor kids over for hot dogs) in about three years. We used to have at least one big party a year; since having the third child and life getting more hectic, we just have not done it. (If you don't count the mandatory extended family stuff....when they come to visit from afar and such.)

My 2nd biggest challenge is getting everyone on board with the scheduled date. Kids are starting to have their own lives and DH is competing in BBQ stuff.

The only way I see to survive this "era" is to get more organized in the rest of the house. Purge and containerize: my current mantra. (Which is why I love Laura's blog!)

I'm enjoying your blog as well! Thank you!

Leigh Anne Wilkes said...

I love to entertain and do so quite often. My biggest challenge though is coming up with a menu where everything will be done and ready to eat at the same time - I only have one oven so that can be a bit of a challenge. That last 30 minutes of panic before the guests arrive is the hardest!
Love your blog.