9/18/08

Seasons of Hospitality GIVEAWAY!

Fall is a SLOW entertaining season in our household. With school starting, our three kids involved in soccer, and my husband as a coach – we have very little extra time.

I believe in seasons of hospitality. Dinner parties aren’t happening right now in our home, but I am always looking for other ways to reach out. I’m currently in the “thinking stages” of planning a fall luncheon for my sweet neighbors next month. I can already taste my orange carrot soup that I plan to serve …. Yum. And that works for me!

What season of the year is your favorite for entertaining?

Leave a comment to WIN this wonderful Harry & David package – by answering the question or by asking me a question that I can address in a future post!

Winner will be posted on Monday, Sept. 22nd.

(Are you familiar with Harry & David? We are so lucky that we live in the same town as this incredible business! You have to try their Moose Munch!)

162 comments:

Kirstin said...

oooh I'm the first....I'm supposed to be doing lesson plans, but I don't feel like it right now.

I'm not sure what my favorite season is to entertain..I think I like a bit of each one. In the fall I love lighting candles, and having soup and breads. In the winter I love making my homemade clam chowder in bread bowls and homemade cinnamon rolls. In the summer, it's fun to BBQ....

I love Harry and Davids. The only time I've visited their stores is when I hit the outlet malls.

Jamie said...

My favoirte time to entertain friends or family is around Thanksgiving and Christmas. I love decorating for fall and Christmas so I feel a lot more comfortable having people over during that time when I feel like everything is looking good and inviting.

It would be so exciting to win your giveaway!

Stacey said...

Sandy you have so many good ideas. I have been thinking of having a lunch with neighbors too. Did a breakfast once (3 years ago) that ended up lasting most of the day! Girls and coffee...

I think it's time! Soup, bread, & salad. Yummy.

Stacey

Kristin said...

OOOHH Harry and David is my favorite!! I ate an entire bag of moose munch this summer and made myself sick!! I still love it though!

My favorite time of season to entertain is probably christmas. nothing like a huge spread and eating yourself into a "food coma" I do love a good summer bar-b-que too!

April said...

Ooooh, I think I start getting intersting in having people over during the fall time. Even just cooking for my own family becomes more fun in the fall...what is with that anyway? In any case, I love fall and have already had family over for meal time!

Jerri Lynn @ Southern Sassyness said...

I definitely love to have people over during the Thanksgiving and Christmas seasons. To me, these holidays represent a giving and grateful spirit. Opening my home to others allows me to serve my sweet friends and family and show them just how much I am thankful for each one of them!

I, too, love Harry and David!

WONDERFUL blog - I am learning so much!

Anonymous said...

I like entertaining around Christmas time the best - the house is decorated and looking homey, I love dining by candlelight, and I enjoy cooking warm, hearty, delicious food.

I have enjoyed your blog and received a lot of inspiration from it. I'm needing a big dose of it right now as this Saturday we are having 50 people over for a book launch party for my husband's 2 books that came out this year.

cheers,
Blueberry
bristolbayfield@gmail.com

Michelle said...

Moose Munch is the BEST!

My favorite seasons for entertaining are fall & spring! We have a great screened in front porch and we LOVE to open the french doors that connect it to the dining room. Here in Ohio we only have mild weather those two seasons so we take full advantage.

Amanda said...

My favorite season for entertaining is summer. I think it is a combination of the warm weather, long evenings, the smell of a BBQ and swimming in the pool that makes it my favorite time for entertaining.

Anonymous said...

Fall and Winter are definately my favorite seasons to entertain. Hearty soups, homemade breads, and all things pumpkin are my go-to menu staples.

Thank you for your minsistry. I've so enjoyed the entertaining ideas and recipes. I'm also thankful for 'permission' to not be perfect...just available. I once heard a speaker say, "Hospitality is saying, 'There YOU are' not 'Here I am.' Your blog exemplifies that statement beautifully. Blessings, Dawn (thewengers5@sbcglobal.net)

Amy said...

I'm enjoying stubbling upong your blog and finding all sorts of good info. My favorite season to entertain?! Hmm, tough. I think possibly Christmas- only because I love the decorations and all the candle light. And candles are a great addition to set the mood at any gathering.

Oh and Harry & Davids- yummy!

Sally said...

Ahh Fall, time to get cozy, the lights come on a little earlier, hot soup, warm breads and a fire in the fireplace. My very favorite time of the year.

Thank you for your inspiration to share the gift of hospitality.

mmsmith said...

I like Christmastime as my favorite season of entertaining!

Carla said...

Sandy,
My favorite is Christmas!!!
The Mcully house in Jacksonville inspired me to decorate my bathroom with floating candles in a full tub one year. I foolishly left the curtian in the tub and it caught on fire. It didn't get very far and was put out, the evening ended in a lively dance we had such fun.
I hope you have a wonderful lunchoen :)
Carla

Melissa said...

I love entertaining in the fall. We're usually not as busy as families we know, probably because we're relatively young newlyweds with no kids to shuttle around from school to practice to piano to... you name it! :) I love to make hearty, comfortable food to keep people warm as they gather in our home, with spicy scents coming from dim candelight. The nice thing about soups is that you can batch-cook them and then pull them out whenever company is company! Something easy like a chili bar is always a lot of fun - and if you're looking for a quick, easy recipe, Paula Deen's taco soup CANNOT BE BEAT. I'm speaking truth here! Also, I love going apple picking with friends and then coming home to make all kinds of fun desserts together. One more thing I love to do in fall is gather a group of girlfriends and have a "Fall Fest" day where we all pitch in for ingredients. I do the grocery shopping and make some simple appetizers, and we spend the day making batch upon batch of stocks, soups, and freezeable meals for fall. Then everyone takes home several portions of each dish and has a well-stocked freezer for back-to-school (back to church board, back to you name it) season!

:..Rebekah..: said...

I don't really have a favorite season, but I do have a favorite day, which is Sunday. In my family we have alot of fall birthdays, and we do like to have big family parties with crockpots full of yummy Chili and Cowboy Beans. I love the fall and the foods that go along with it!

Nadine said...

Any season is a good season for me, but I especially love the fall. Kids are back in school, Thanksgiving and Christmas roll around - it's nice to be with friends.

Do you have a special meal you like to make when entertaining someone for the first time in your home?

Elizabeth G. said...

I'm not sure what my favorite entertaining season is...Christmas? I'm still a little shy about having people over,...I always become very nervous.

Why don't you address in a future post what you do to get yourself out of homemaking doldrums and back into the spirit of a keeper of the home.

Blessings,
Elizabeth

lovie said...

Entertaining in the Summer time is so easy, with bbq's & pool parties and if I lived anywhere other than Phoenix, I would say Summer...But, since that is where we have lived for the last 8 years I think I now love Christmas time.

OKGardners said...

I've never had Harry & David's items, but I have looked at them in catalogs.

My favorite entertaining time is November since that is the only time most of my kids and grandkids can get together to visit - usually around Thanksgiving. Two of my 3 grown children live in other states (TN and GA) - so it is a real joy to get them all together.

I STILL love your blog every day.

Betty in Oklahoma
blue.eagle@cox.net

Melissa said...

absolutely autumn. With the holidays and football - there is always a reason to get a group together.

nashvillemel@comcast.net

ihchicky said...

Definitely Christmas. I love it because I enjoy decorating and making tons of goodies. Thanks!

Danielle said...

This blog is always pretty, inspiring and encouraging...

*happy sigh*

My favorite season to entertain- though I've only had two years of it in my own house so far- is the fall. Autumn has the most gorgeous smells and colors! The air is finally cool, a welcoming fire can be lit, an abundance of candles is welcome- and something baking in the oven makes the house irresistible! I love decorating the table with nutty browns, oranges, yellows and golds... with deep reds, purples and greens as accents! I'm looking forward to the lovely pictures you'll inevitably be posting this harvest season ;)

Homesteader in Training said...

We are entering into my entertaining season. My house is the center of activity for Thanksgiving meal. We have a few families and any singles we can find that don't have anyone to share the holiday with. We always throw a Christmas party as well. We've had anywhere from 20-50 people here. You realize just how small your house is lol. And the fact that some years it's still in the 80's in December it doesn't make it very festive lol.My husbands birthday and our Anniversary trail not to far behind, so the next few months for me are very busy but very fun.
I do have a question for you too. Do I get bonus points lol. My question is, What is the best way to seat people for a formal dinner when you have couples, parents, and singles. I've always struggled with who to put next to who.
You are an inspiration!
Blessings to you!
Kim

Cindy said...

Good question. Fall is my favorite season because of the hearty, homecooked meals, but for entertaining, I prefer Christmas. Something about that time is magical for me. Although I usually have a big open house on Thanksgiving evening and Christmas Day evening. It's always alot of fun. And so simple to do.

I love Hary and David's but we don't have one near us...so this would be a great treat. :)

Hugs!

deezie said...

OH yummy yummy on your giveaway :)
My favorite season for entertaining is right now. The Fall and Winter is just awesome. I love how cozy it is inside with a fire going.
I do enjoy entertaining in the summer also outside by the pool though, but right now is my favorite
deezie

Anonymous said...

I think summer is my favorite time to entertain. It's nice to be able to use outdoor spaces as well as indoor spaces. It helps with kids too, to have somewhere to play while the adults visit.
Laura

Anonymous said...

Summer because my house is small. In summer kids play outside until late, nobody has to get up for school next day, and food is easy.

Moose Munch: have only had it 'almost stale' as TJMaxx is the only place to get it over here!

deb meyers

Jen said...

I love Christmas. I know it sounds cliche...but I enjoy people coming over during this time to see my decorated home...and the foods are always fun this time of year also...

Bev said...

I have to say christmas is my favorite time to entertain! It just puts me in the best mood to have friends and family around me!

Chris @ Come to the Table said...

We seem to do most of our entertaining beginning with the holidays and throughout the winter when life slows down.

But I love the fall season and even though our home is busy busy busy right now, I love this time of year.

Do you have a good pumpkin soup recipe?

Mimi said...

I love opening our home the whole year but I do find we take a break in Sept. and Oct because of school and soccer. My absolute favorite would be the holidays, especially Thanksgiving. We start the day by adopting soldiers from the near by base. We have a full brunch and after we play games, watch football and take naps we have a full Turkey dinner with all the trimmings. After more games and football and naps we have dessert and then say good-bye to our new friends.

Patch of Flowers said...

Mmmm, I love Moose Munch! :)

Fall is, by far, my favorite season to entertain. I decorate the first week of September and I think I actually enjoy my fall decorations more than my Christmas decorations. There is such a homey coziness about the season that brings out my desire to entertain!

I do have a question for you that I have been meaning to ask:
How do you handle overnight guests that are not exactly in the same mindset as you regarding their personal items? I have some guests that stay occasionally that somehow seem to have their things in every room of the house before it is all over. I attempt to create an atmosphere for my guests but when things turn so absolutely helter-skelter I have a hard time remaining cool. When I have dinner guests over or birthday party guests it doesn't bother me that things get all messy in the kitchen and living room because that is expected...but I don't have that same perspective when I have guests in that take over the ENTIRE house...and they don't have kids.
How would you suggest I balance the "what's mine is yours" mentality with the desire to have things picked up so that I can truly feel like I am entertaining in my home, not a messy house?
My frustration has actually led to me wondering if I have the spirit of hospitality that I have always felt that I possess. My dear Mother reminds me that it is a challenge for me but does not mean that I need to question who I know I am and the strengths the Lord has given me. :-)

Sweet P said...

My favorite season to entertain is the fall - football season! We are big sports fans in our house so Sunday football feasts are common in our house. Then there's the World Series for another set of get togethers.

Winning the basket of goodies would be fun!

our2angels said...

Any season is a good season for me to entertain but I prefer to do it when a major holiday is not involved. I love Fall entertaining the best because it has become somewhat cool so we can sit on our large deck looking out into the woods and serve chili and homemade bread and salad with some fun dessert. I also love to make hot drinks like coco or hot coffee drinks to serve as it gets a little cooler after dinner, start a fire and roast marshmallows or cook popcorn. Ahhhh fall is in the air!
Thanks for the chance to win!
Blessings
Sue

laurel said...

Hmmm. I would say as far as the weather goes, we are probably the most hospitable in the summer, just because others seem to have more flexibility in their schedules, and the days are longer.
But, as for seasons of life, we take a break from hospitality when I am pregnant. It is very hard for me to practice much hospitality then.

Erika said...

We are most hospitable in the fall- with the kids back in school, everyone seems to be around more!

Carla said...

You always have such great ideas and really give me the kick in the pants/motivation to do what I love to do more. I love the act of hospitality, but creativity and decoration are not exactly my specialities. I much prefer the cooking aspect of it. My favorite time would have to be the holidays - Christmas and Thanksgiving. I am usually forced to be somewhat creative since our family has been far for the past few years. But we always make it pretty special.

As far as holidays, do you always do the same menu each year or do you switch it up?

Wendy said...

wow, what a great give-a-way! thanks!
i love everything about fall!

Amy said...

Even though time is sometimes limited, I love to entertain during Thanksgiving and Christmas. It's always nice visiting with friends and family during this exciting time and catching up on our lives.

Thank you so much for offering such a great giveaway!

Betts said...

It's hard to decide what time of the year is my favorite for entertaining. I love summer... grilling, sitting outside after dinner, and kids can run around and play without destroying the house. But the holiday are great too... the cozy warm, delicious smells and warm light. My favorite holiday entertaining time is Boxing Day (the day after Christmas). We invited all our local friends and usually have relatives staying with us. We have a potluck dinner, sledding and fireworks.

Lisa said...

I love opening our home all year, but especially in the Fall. The soups and breads and apple or pumpkin desserts are so comforting and satisfying!

I would love to hear your tips on preparing for last minute or surprise guests. Years ago I had some recipes for meals that were completely from the pantry- but as I remember them they all tasted too canned and processed. I love having an item or two in the freezer, but I don't have a large freezer so that's a limited option for me and sometimes a hurried defrost affects the quality of the food. Any special hints or tips?

Tara said...

We usually entertain in the winter with a holiday brunch and a cookie frosting party for my daughter and her friends.

Purposely Preppy said...

I love to entertain in the fall the best...nothing is more delicious to serve then comfort food!

Christina said...

I love SUMMER, FALL & WINTER! Summer: BBQs and the pool! FALL & WINTER: Games, fireplace, coffee/cocoa, etc.

Julie said...

Hi, Sandy!

This is my first visit here! And don't I feel so blessed!!!!!

I just sat down for a quick couple of visits while I have my coffee and have gotten "lost" in yours!

My husband and I don't really entertain, but we'd like to -- and hope to when we get settled in to our new home. I think that reading your experiences and how your husband overcame his reluctance to entertain may help us a bunch! We do love to have family over in the fall and during the Christmas season. It's just such a happy (and cooler weather) time of year, for us! Our favorite!

When I read your profile, I thought it said, "Sandy Beautiful"!
You are, but I thought it was your name, too! Yep, I'm kinda slooooow, sometimes!

Well, I'm off to start painting the front of the house!

Many Blessings,
Julie

paperjunk-lc said...

I've always felt I have a fall/winter home. My backyard patio is not my home's best feature and it's so hot in the summer that if you don't have a pool it's not very inviting. So my favorite time is fall and winter (albeit a mild Dallas winter). Fall entertaining means having someone over to watch our beloved Cowboys. My old DD b-day is on Halloween so I have accumulated a lot of fall accessories...lots of fun to set a table.

Rapunzel said...

Since we live in Florida, summer can be unbearably hot unless you spend it indoors or, in our case, poolside! During the warm months we have an "open house" every Sunday for our friends & family. Whomever wants to stop by can be sure to find us grillin' and chillin' by the pool, full cooler of beverages and tasty treats at the ready!

ursula said...

I'm partial to the summer shindig...lots of good weather (hopefully!) and gathering on the patio for barbecue and cool drinks! I like casual, and summer entertaining seems to fit that bill!
ursula at uswood1@optonline.net

the irish librarian said...

Usually I would say summer. But now I wonder... where I live we really don't have a fall so I pretend. This year I'm going to really decorate for fall and have more people over for simple, hearty soups and breads. We have a lot of rain starting at the end of Oct and I have always shied away from entertaining guests then-but I think now you have inspired me and it would be more fun than ever!

Mod Girl said...

Living in a college town means that Fall is a great time to entertain tailgating style, but I have to say that Spring is my most favorite time of the year for having people over. After the winter cold and dreariness it enlivens me so to reconnect with folks while enjoying beautiful weather.

Kris said...

It doesn't matter the season, when we can have people over it is always a favorite time. But as far favorite seasons go . . . fall and winter are tops. We live in a hilly area and my husband just finished clearing out a trail through our property. Just last night we were talking about making plans for a party the Saturday after Halloween. We want to allow our children the chance to dress up and have fun, but don't really want to go trick or treating. We are planning on having friends over, the kids can dress up and we were thinking of hiding containers of treats along our trail for the kids to find, of course a bonfire and smores are necessary. Hopefully, it won't snow!!

Thanks for the chance to win, I have been in Harry and David's, when we have been in the big city, but I never tried anything.

Sarai said...

I like summer entertaining because the kids can run around outside - but I like thanksgiving too for family entertaining!

Carolyn said...

My favourite season to entertain would have to be the summer. Our house is fairly small, so it is harder to entertain when the weather keeps us all indoors.

mx2mommy said...

I LOVE your blog...it's inspiring and I enjoy that you share the "simple" things in life with us (family, friends and good food). My next event in que is a welcome fall chili party....nice big pot of chili and all the fixings (cheese, sour cream, tortilla chips) and corn bread, outside on a cool fall day with the fire pit blazing...I just need to find the time to organize it now!

Kristen said...

Fall has always been my favorite season and as I've moved away from home and begun raising myown children it has become my favorite season to entertain. The warm fall colors make for easy decorations and the menu can be even simpler with nice comfort foods.

Anonymous said...

What a fun contest :)My favorite season to entertain is fall. We have a huge Apple Festival in our town, and it brings so many people, great food, and lots of gatherings !! The smells are great at that time also!
The wood smoke from backyard campfires, apples, and lot lost more!
Now I'm really hungry :)

Thanks for a very nice offer:)

Dana
d08@goldingers.com

Robin said...

We do most of our big entertaining in the summer (friends) and at the holidays (family). We do like to have friends over to share dinner and watch football on Sundays, but it is getting harder as the kids enter into the jr high/high school season with football games of their own. Sometimes by Sunday, we are all too exhausted to host company!

Karen said...

I actually love hosting Christmas parties with the house all dressed up and serving a ton of sweet treats....

linda said...

I love to entertain more in the cooler months...from Oct on. The house just seems more cozy and so festive with Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas going on.

Harry and David is great. The closest store is over an hour away but I like to stop in when I get the chance. I love moose munch!

If you get the chance, stop on over to my site, I've got a giveaway ending tonight for a fun fall garland.

Haley said...

I have two (sorry I just cant choose). Summer time is wonderufl for us to intertain because we have a pool and a nice size backyard. I love decoratind the deck in summer stuff and grilling out its my fave! Oh and early dec. Since my house is decorated for christmas and its right before people get all crazy with their holiday plans..... small lunches with warm cidar and finger foods mixed with friends! Cant beat it!

Anna said...

I like late summer and fall best for entertaining. My house is small, so casual outdoor entertaining works best for me. Of course, all those lovely havest veggies that my friends give me from their gardens are so delicious.

I also like small intimate finger food parties or "tea parties" in the winter. Since my table only seats 4, (my table is in my living room, and when extended, I have to move the recliner into my son's bedroom,)tea parties are great. 12 or more can help themselves from dainties on the table and sit comfortably in the living room.

Lisa said...

Oh I love Fall entertaining. The casseroles, the soups, the breads! We even grill during this time of year!

linda t said...

Wow, Harry and David!
Great stuff. Great give-away Sandy!
I can't wait for it to cool down here so I can cook soups and stews again!
We leave for WI in a week! I can't wait to see the fall colors!

Amy said...

Such a great blog! Thank you so much for keeping me inspired & motivated in this area.

My favorite season to entertain would have to be the holidays...can it get any cozier?

Brenda@CoffeeTeaBooks said...

Count me in. It looks delicious. :)

Andrea said...

my fav is fall/harvest time and christmas. i love all the colors from both of those times of year. i love to use my fav recipies too.

Anonymous said...

I DONT know anything about entertaining, thats why I am here, but I think summer would be the easiest because you can be outside.

jenniferannnovak AT yahoo Dot com

jodi said...

I like July 4th the best to entertain. Do you do any sort of entertaining for your kids school teachers? if so, what?

you are appreciated-
jodi in FL

Denise said...

For entertaining I'd have to say Christmas is my favorite time. I love the smells and the decorations.
Fall is a fav season too for just slowing down after summer, enjoying the tastes of comfort food (instead of salads). Just last week I made butternut squash soup just cos I had a craving for it :-)
We have a Harry & David in the outlet mall near us, love tons of their stuff.

Anonymous said...

I think my favourite season for company is fall. Homemade soup with an "autumn" salad. Warm bread and a fruit dessert or pumpkin or maple cake. Mmmm!!!

I love your blog! Blessings!

Nyla-Jean - Kingston, Ontario

The Thomas' said...

I love entertaining at Christmas time. Although this year it's bittersweet because we just moved out of the state I grew up in and where my entire family still is. We have now close family where we are now, so we'll have to branch out and see what we can accomplish. Your site is wonderful!

Ms. Tee said...

My favorite season to entertain is fall - it's just my favorite season all-around, especially Thanksgiving. Thanks! :)

Kelly said...

I love to entertain any time of the year!
Although I'm really looking forward to making s'mores around the firepit this weekend and drinking some peppermint hot chocolate along with it!

sheridan said...

Entertaining comes and goes depending on the flow of life. We will get in a heavy flow of having friends/family/etc over and it comes in waves. Loving your blog and all you do to encourage us. thank you! I always love recipes and entertaining ideas for future posts-great reminders how easy it is to have others into your home!

Buzzings of a Queen Bee! said...

My favorite time to entertain is probably now...through mid November, before the hectic holiday season starts. Yummy winter food, wine, and cozy atmosphere...but I love those same thing about the holidays, so technically I love that season just as much!
Carrie

GiBee said...

Fall is by far my favorite season to entertain... I love all the wonderful fall flavors and aromas!!!

PollyS ( marypauline at stankus dot com) said...

While we are one busy family, I find late summer/early fall to be the best time to entertain. We can still spend time on the patio while the kids (our's and our guests') play in the yard. That way we can all be together. We like relaxed entertaining, and how much more relaxed do you get than being outside?

Rindy R said...

I am a summer entertainer. Not so much going on and our family is known for our Funnel Cake parties! Every family makes there own! Grease and Good times - is there anything better? Is your family KNOWN for a certain type of party or get together?

Thankfulheart said...

I like to entertain in the fall. It is so hot where we are it is hard to entertain outside. But fall is cozy even in a small home and the smell of food is so inviting.

miss bliss said...

I don't like to entertain in the summer..I get grouchy when I get hot. And since Fall is my favorite season, I'll say I'd like entertaining best then. Plus, I like to cook warm comfort foods the best, and it's great to eat something warm and comforting in the cool weather.

michelleharrod at hotmail dot com

Bettsi said...

Well, Sandy, my backyard is a redneck yard and it has been a real downer for me this year (and last year too, I believe). I just don't want to have people over to see it! So...I have to say that night time in the fall and winter is my favorite because I can close the curtains to the backyard and not be embarrassed by it! LOL. I sure hope that next year I can do something to that yard!

BTW, I made Myrna's kitchen sink soup last night, using what I had on hand and my children LOVED it! So thank you for sharing that and please thank Myrna too.

Anonymous said...

I adore Autumn in every way -- cooler temps,crisp air, football season, gorgeous leaf color, just to name a few. We love to have folks over for a crockpot meal and walk in the neighborhood afterwards.
Fall in our area of NC is lovely.
Thanks for having a great blog and another wonderful giveaway.
Peace,
Lynne in NC

David and Lisa (and sometimes Laken) said...

Next to the fourth of July, Thanksgiving is my favorite. Both of these holidays bring family together without distracting things such as gifts. Love it.

Anonymous said...

My favorite time for entertaining is the time leading up to Christmas. I just love holiday music, decorations and all of the yummy food you can serve! It is so nice to gather with family and friends, especially those we don't get to see very often.

I also have a question - do you prefer to do dinner parties or do you also try other types of entertaining - like open-houses?

Finally, I just love your blog - I check it daily!!!!!
Thanks!
Dawn S.
striblin@yahoo.com

Rhonda said...

Hmmm. Our favorite season to entertain seems to be after Christmas - January/February - we seem to be in the mood after all of the get-togethers during the Christmas season.

April T. said...

Summer is my favorite season for entertaining, I love outdoor parties, especially in the evening. Besides, everyone is so busy from Nov. to Dec with obligatory family events (which I love too), but people seem to have more time in the summer to just hang out.

Sandy Toes said...

I love to entertain at Christmas...I love making my peppermint ice cream punch!

-Sandy Toes

Anonymous said...

I have a question I hope you can address. Do you host events where you mix firends from different parts of your lives? I am nervous to do so but we have fiends from our kids' school/from our building (we live in NYC) and from work (both my husband's and my job). I sometimes think people from different groups would get along so well but it is intimidating as well. What type of social setting do you think is best to mix different friends? Buffet, brunch, sit down, open house?

Sylvia said...

I love entertaining in the fall. Cool outside weather, bonfires, hayrides, apple picking and drinking hot apple cider. Lots of activities to do outside.
I love Harry and David products. Lots of great dips can be made with their chutneys.

ValleyGirl said...

I think summer is my favourite time to have people over because grilling doesn't require a parka and mittens and we can eat outside or send the kids outside afterwards. Our house doesn't feel as small when the kids can be making use of the 4-acre yard!!

This year, since spring already, we've had trouble knowing more than a day or two ahead of time if hubby will be around on any given day (and now during harvest, he just isn't EVER home!), so that's definitely been a challenge for me this year. I need to start doing things with my girlfriends or concentrating on playdates during this particular season of our lives, instead of being stuck on the idea that we have to entertain other couples and families AS a family.

helenw13 said...

I think I would normally say summer because that is when in theory we should have more time to invite people over but because of years of weekend softball tournaments...it just doesn't happen...so I would winter into spring...it seems so comforting and simple to make a pot of soup to share with hungry friends...the house looks so much nicer and cozy in candlelight...
Fun giveaway!

jskell911 said...

We don;t do too much entertaining (unless DS's sleepovers count), but I love a late Spring get together. I love the newness and ease of moving the party from indoors to outdoors so easily!

sarah @ a beach cottage said...

i like Christmas and that means summer here aswell

I just sent you an email

Sarah

anya* said...

I have learned, after the last few months, that summer is best time for me and my family to show hospitality. My husband is a teacher so he is home more (which creates less stress for ME!)and BBQ food is inexpensive (which is a must for my family of 7)- hot dogs, watermelon, potato salad, cheap and easy. Another important component is that summer allows for outside meals! Kids can run around without worrying about being to loud. And I don't have to stress about a clean house. Once this summer I even told friends that we would love to have them for dinner, but they could only go inside to use the bathroom:).

My question is: Have you had seasons where you felt led to take a break from entertaining, and if so did you feel obligated to let people know you were stepping back from the social scene for awhile?

I hope I win this yummy looking basket!

Cool Crafty Mom said...

My favorite season to entertain has got to be fall. I love the bright colors of pumpkins and squash for decorations. And I love the smell of zucchini, banana, and pumpkin breads in the oven for the perfect appetizer.

Megret said...

Hands down, I love entertaining in the fall the most. We love to host outdoor soup and fixings parties. There's just something about eating outside (without heat and mosquitoes) that makes food taste so much yummier!

Thanks for the giveaway! I love Harry & Davids!
Megret
musesofmegret (at) gmail (dot) com

Betsy said...

I would have to say the winter time...after all the holidays and the schedules seem to slow down. Yes, the Moosemunch is to die for! ;)

We're Blessed said...

My favorite season to entertain is any season that family comes over and I can enjoy the fellowship as well as create wonderful things in my kitchen for them to all indulge in!

Lissete said...

We entertain the most during the Summer. Mainly because we have a pool, so pool parties just happen practically every weekend. My favorite time to entertain is Spring. It is not so hot, plus we rarely have skeeters. In case, you havent guessed, most of our entertaining takes place outdoors.

Bella Casa said...

Christmas time is my favorite time to entertain.

Thanks for the contest, what a nice prize!

Bella :)

Tammy said...

Oh wow...look at everyone entering this giveaway...
Thank you for hosting this!

As you might remember, entertaining doesn't come very naturally to me but I guess I'd have to say that Christmas time is my favorite. I like to keep it casual and have maybe one family come over for Christmas movies and munchies, with the decorations all up!

I've gotten so behind in reading posts with my first couple weeks of home schooling...I need to go back a couple posts here and see what I missed!

Blessings!
~Tammy

Lady Dorothy said...

It's a toss-up between summer and Christmas. Summer is relaxed and grilling is easy. During the Christmas season, the house already looks good, so no worries there!

Grace said...

i love entertaining in the winter, and here's why: comfort foods galore, a roaring fire, and cuddling for warmth. :)

Anonymous said...

I love to entertain in the summer. Food is simple because I put the men in charge of the grill. We eat outside and the children can play while we linger at the table. We have learned to love the cool summer's here in Wisconsin.

I have two girl's night "in" planned for my neighborhood women and also for my moms group to 'get out' for the night for fun and fellowship.

I am also beginning to host a girl's youth group in my home!!! I am so excited that God has opened this door and that the girls and their parents are excited.

Thanks for encouraging us!
Amanda

Lyndee said...

I have slowed in my having people in as my husband is diagnosed with Parkinson's and dimentia accompanies it. So we moved to a smaller house and have a student living with so she can help. I am adjusting to staying home as I was a church secretary for 12 years. I love life and have a "girl's night" on Monday nights for several younger friends to come in and we do fun projects. I would love to win this package as fall is my favorite time of the year. I also love Harry and Davids and visit when I go to the local outlet mall!

Mary said...

My family and I really enjoy when fall starts to roll around. We live in the Texas Hill Country where temperatures can sore to 100 degrees in the summer! So come September we start to see little hints of relief. The other night it actually dipped to 55! The next morning the air was so crisp and cool. It was delightful.

All the best,

Mary

Chris G. said...

I'm still trying to get over the fear of entertaining. Usually, it's family so my entertaining is during Holidays. Mostly in the Fall.

Chris

~nanashouse~ said...

Hmmm...favorite for entertaining? Probably summer because we can go outside and grill and finish our meal with fresh fruit.

Favorite season? Fall, hands down :-)

By the way~~how did you come up with the name "Balcony Girls"? Is it an original creation or something I've just never heard about?

PamJ said...

I love summer for entertaining! That way the kids can run outside without a tonne of gear on and the adults can be in or out...

Stephanie said...

I LOVE Fall! Getting all cozy and having girlfriends over for Pumkin Bread and coffee. I think we entertain more in the Summer just because of the weather and no school but my favorite time is Fall.

I've seen Harry and David catalogs but never been to a store or seen their things in person. Thanks for doing this giveaway! How fun :)

Lynn said...

Your blog is so encouraging and wonderful -- thank you! My favorite season to entertain is fall and particularly Thanksgiving. I love the colors, flavors and aromas, but even more than that I love the attitude. And even neighbors, family and friends that don't share the same faith and beliefs welcome an opportunity to get together to be thankful for their blessings.

It would be wonderful to win your giveaway -- I LOVE Harry and David!

Juliana said...

My favorite season to entertain is summer. Everybody seemes so much more excited to get out of their houses and do something with family and friends that when you prepare something, they alaways show up. Plus you have this really nice warm weather outside, so you can plan lots of fun activities for children

Anonymous said...

Right now is my favorite time to entertain, the weather gets yucky and I can make stews and bread and just feel cozy with people.
I'd love to win!!
Marjorie
surdel1(at)yahoo(dot)com

Org Junkie said...

The best part of entertaining for me is the decorating of the table to match the season. Would love to see more pictures of your dinner party tables.

Thanks for all you do! Oh and I did get the book, thank you so much!!

samsakara said...

I never heard of Harry & David before but the products looks great.
My favorite time of the year to entertain would be thanksgiving. That has to be one of my favorite holidays.

samsakara@twcny.rr.com

Nancy said...

I think winter is my favorite time...we're most likely to host people on New Year's or for a Superbowl party. All of them make me a little anxious as I'm one of those reluctant entertainers (which is why I keep reading your blog!). I also have a question... Do you usually have all the food ready to go when your guests arrive or do you like to do the meal preparation while your guests look on?

Stacy said...

Fall because I love the colors, Halloween and the crisp weather.

hetz-junk(at)hotmail(dot)com

Aubrey said...

Summer and Fall! I love to entertain during both of those seasons. Summer has all the wonderful salads and outdoor fun stuff you can incorporate into an evening shared with others, and fall is so fun because you get to pull out all the recipes from cold months and the house is decorated in warm, inviting colors. Oh, and a hot pie is much better when there is a chill to the air than when it is 90+ degrees as Alabama summers tend to be. :)

Julie said...

Sandy,
Did you grow up in a hospitable family?

Please enter me in your giveaway!

Hugs,
Julie

blueviolet said...

I probably entertain the most during the holiday season but my favorite time to entertain is during the summer so we can grill, swim in the pool, and sit outside in the fresh air.
doot65{at}comcast[dot]net
Elizabeth

jenny said...

my fav time of the year ? 365 all the seasons is my fav and well i love to try and win this its a realy grate prize

Joy Zaczyk said...

I think Fall would actually be my favorite because that's the time I dig out all of my savory dishes to warm the soul!

Gen said...

I love to entertain in the fall, right after the summer heat is over and right before the holiday rush.

The coziness of the autumn colors and the warmth from the oven as you cook up a hearty casserole, homemade bread, or delicious pie always makes for a relaxed and comfy night of entertaining.

Kylee said...

That's a tough one. I really like Thanksgiving and Christmas. It's so easy to get into the "giving" mood then. I love baking goodies for our friends and loved ones at that time. On the other hand, you can't beat a summer BBQ either!

Classic MaMa said...

I think we did pretty well thsi summer. I can't say yet what season is best for us, because we're still working on being hospitable. :)

Leigh said...

OH....for me it is a tooss up between fall (bonfires and the yummies that go along with them, tail gates, etc) and early summer when the weather is perfect and vegetables are ripe, perfect fpr grilling and to toss in summer salads,, crisp watermelons and cold drinks.
I love them both!

shorty said...

I adore your site even though I rarely comment. I am not the entertainer that I should be but your site gives me SOOOO much inspiration to have people over. Thank you!! If I was to entertain it is mostly in the summer and dead of winter. No real reason why just is!hehe
Shorty

Jessica said...

It seems we entertain more in the summer - mostly because it stays lighter later and we can hang out on the deck.

Shirl @ "Got more time than money" said...

I find that people are more open to invitations during the fall. Stews, soups, crusty homemade bread and salads are so yummy and easy. Top that with coffee and a fruit-based dessert and it's a party! Love your blog - I have you listed on my blog as a favorite. Looks like a very tasty giveaway!

duchess said...

Fat chance of winning but I'll take a shot at it anyway.

My favorite time to entertain are the holidays. From Thanksgiving to Christmas. What a better time to reflect on how thankful we are and celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ to share with family & friends.

Thanks for the giveaway. Looks great.

Bethany, Phillip & Nolan said...

I love the FALL! I love having candles and yummy food. Filling my home with friends and good conversations! I also love Harry and David...I never buy it, so I would love to win!

lady jane said...

I'd love to be considered. Thank you kindly. :o)

Autumn is my favorite season in all respects, from welcoming hospitality to decorating to gardening and traveling. In October we'll have dear friends over for an Octoberfest Celebration. :o)

maggie said...

My favorite time to entertain is in the Christmas season. Everything just seems so special at that time. Getting family and friends together when everyone have left their cares for a few hours at least makes the time together super special.
I love your blog and all your great tips.

Danee said...

Sandy - I love to entertainn the spring and summer. I think that it is so great to be outside and have some elbow room. Our house is small but our property is not. So, we can entertain for a big crowd and have plenty of room. We love to do big movie night out in our barn and invite families over to watch. I make "real" popcorn (not microwave and their entrance ticket in to the movie is a bag of candy to share. Each kid gets a brown lunch bag to fill with popcorn and then they can take a little scoop of the different candies and make a candy trail mix to eat during the movie. It is always a hit and a super fun night for all.

Tarrah said...

My favorite time is in the fall and winter. I love serving up a nice warm home cooked meal, comfort food you know :).

I just got a chance to catch up on your blog, thank you so much for that purple book and all that you share with us.

Susie said...

I think my favorite season for entertaining is fall and christmas. I love how my home looks decorated in these seasons, and I love making fall dishes. We live in South Texas, and summer is not fun to entertain if you don't have a nice outside covered area. Too hot!

I want some Moose Munch!

Jennifer said...

I love fall. It is my most favorite season. But when it comes to having guests come to our house I would have to pick summer. We love being able to have people over to enjoy our pool with us.
Smiles!

Anonymous said...

I love entertaining when we can do summer bbqs. Also, fall through the holidays are a fun time when everything is decorated and everyone is feeling festive. Thanks for a wonderful giveaway!

Your site is very inspiring and I'm grateful that you encourage us with the gift of hospitality. Also, I've shared your crockpot chicken a BUNCH of times!!! I'm headed to a recipe exchange in a few hours and plan to exchange it there. :-) I'll credit your site, of course.

Carey Cothern
jccoth(at)yahoo(dot)com

lazy susie said...

Summer for sure. It's so easy, with grilling and salads. Everyone enjoys a casual get-together on a summer evening.

And the children ALWAYS entertain themselves by catching critters: toads, frogs, fish, tadpoles, skinks, snakes, whatever!

Anonymous said...

For us every season has something, in the summer we find it easier to entertain with kids, because we can use the garden.
Always I find it challanging to get the time to do the planning, with 3 toddlers and one baby on the way, but more and more we do it spontanously and encouraged by you, I tell the people we will only have dessert, and so they come, I'm not stressed out and we all have fun.
I'm still looking for more easy and fast to prepare recipies, you have already provided a lot.
Thank you for your inspiration.
Dini

DinB@web.de

Rachel said...

What a kind giveaway!

I have a question for you: Do you have crowd-pleasing budget menu that you go back to again and again (or which you used a lot in leaner times)? We are currently in a lean time and sometimes don't have an extra $20 to make a nicer meal to put on the table for our guests, which keeps us from inviting folks over. Your blog is always an encouragement.

Shannon said...

I love entertaining in the fall. I love the pumpkins, gourds and the fall colors! I love to make pumpkin crisps and pumpkin pies the entire season.

I love Moose Munch, too! :-)

Becca said...

Every season is special to me. But, I do love the Holidays! I try to get all of the shopping etc. done and we just fill our time from Thanksgiving to Christmas up with family and friends.
I am looking for some easy "different" appetizers. Any ideas? And, I have a friend who is pregnant and very very sick. I want to do something for her but have no idea what to do. I've never had children so I'm at a loss. Any suggestions?

griggsrj@yahoo.com

Hannah said...

Fall is my favorite time to entertain. It starts to cool down so it opens up the outside entertaining options to us. I just love the thought of fall entertaining!!

Love you blog!
Hannah

foxxy said...

I'm not much of an entertainer but if I was to entertain I would choose summer. I prefer the casualness of a cookout and watermelon and the kids getting wet in the sprinkler. That's more my style.

Rebekah said...

Definately the "football" season, heh!

Dee Light said...

I love to entertain in the Fall. The change in the weather makes me crave comfort foods, and I do more baking this time of year. It's fun to share it with friends and family.

Christy said...

I like entertaining during summer - BBQs are the best.

realworldmartha said...

You live in Medford...we use to live in Ashland and Phoenix, OR. All hubbys family is still there and we are just beside ourselves wanting to go back :( (boohoo)

Ok, anyways, we now live in Phoenix, AZ so we have to wait until mid to late November to entertain outside so for us it's late fall. It's also the time that we get to finally get to enjoy the weather here.

Blessings,
Debbie aka The Real World Martha

mrsjones6 said...

I have to say that entertaining during the Christmas and New Year season is honestly my favorite. With all of the festive decorations and joy that the holidays bring our family, I can't help but share it! I also know that the holidays are a sad time for others and it is wonderful to share the blessings in our lives, by making their's a little more pleasant.
Over the last couple of years I have hosted a themed lunch swap, a card addressing party, cookie and ornament swaps, and a mystery dinner party (where we even dressed up to play our roles). We have also hosted families in our home for a wonderful Christmas Eve feast because they were far from their own family. All of these have been a smashing success and brought fun and happines to others as well as to our home.
Great post!
Jen

Liz said...

I love both the summer and the fall. The summer because our home is small and we can use the backyard for added space. But, also the fall because I love Thanksgiving. We host it here and I love bringing our family and friends together. I can't wait for this year!

An Ordinary Mom said...

Holy Moly ... 152 comments?

Autumn is my favorite season, but I would have to say summer is my favorite season to entertain. I love low key outdoor BBQ's, especially so the kids can run wild.

Emily said...

Hi Sandy,
What an incredible turnout of responses! So many of us find your blog to be so inspiring and encouraging. ;)
There's no "best" entertaining season for me ... I need to do it MORE in every season! Always, so many excuses and "reasons" that I can't make it happen.
Take care,
Emily

Dawn said...

I love the Christmas season, but it's hard because everyone is already so, so busy. For the last two years, we've started leaving our decorations up a little longer and having people over after the normal "rush" of the season has past. Everyone finds it fun to have "one last celebration" of the season.

Kimba said...

I'm probably too late for your giveaway, but I'll answer anyway. I love entertaining in the summer. It just feels easier and more casual. Burgers on the grill and the kids playing in the yard.

Tiffany said...

I may be too late - but I love entertaining in the fall & winter - candles, soups, comfort foods...love it!

Bryn said...

Summer BBQ's are fun :) But my all time favorite has to be Christmas, love baking, trying new recipes and giving them away that time of year!

Kristan said...

definitely summer...i am a wimp about hostessing and get stressed, so low-key summer gatherings are right up my alley. :)
andrewandkristan(at)hotmail(dot)com

Abby said...

My favorite is the holiday season!

ajcmeyer AT go DOT Com

G. said...

I know I'm too late for the giveaway but, I wanted to leave a comment anyway. :) I actually love entertaining in the fall and winter. We do not have an outdoor area to entertain so fall works well for us. I love cooking all of the fall foods!

Goldielocks said...

We JUST moved from oregon- Salem, actually. Its funny to see here in GA all the things made in Oregon, with harry and David being the top, then Kettle Chips. Everytime we'd go to the Woodburn outlets, my daughter would always BEG to go to "grandma's goody shop", which was Harry and Davids. You dont realize how much you miss it until you dont live there anymore!

i enjoy reading your blog- its a breath of fresh air!!
- Kat!~XO