10/17/08

2 Fabulous Years on RE - GIVEWAY!

2 Years Ago
Two years have come and gone on Reluctant Entertainer.

Two years ago on October 18th, I started 4 Reluctant Entertainers blog (read My Purple Notebook, here). As two years have come and gone, I’ve worked hard to stay on course, as I’ve been determined to help others overcome the pressures of perfectionism and learn how to enjoy and nurture the friendships around them.

Pay it forward
I continue to be excited and passionate about sharing with you my experiences that take place in my home and with my family and friends. I’m taking real life experiences and real life ideas of what works and passing them on to you, so you will be inspired. It’s about real entertaining for real people – sharing, giving out, and opening up. But most of all it’s about loving people. I hope that you’re taking my ideas and running with them!

A Fall box
To celebrate this great occasion – I am giving away a Fall box full of table decorations and more! Plus a promised jar of my homemade apple butter and some other miscellaneous necessary items (like chocolate!)


How to win
Post a comment and answer this question:

What do you look for in hospitality/entertainment publications? (Magazines or books.) Great photos? Recipes? Particular lifestyle helps? Organizational tips? What about real life stories that inspire you?

Double your chance
Feel free to use the photo on your blog and tell others about this GIVEAWAY (those who share on their blogs will have 2 entries – please let me know, by your comment or email). Non-bloggers are eligible too! But if you don’t have a blog, please make sure and leave an email address in your comment! (Many people leave comments with no way for me to get back to them!)

Winner announced
I’ll be announcing the winner on Monday!

Spread the news and win some of my award-winning Apple Butter (it’s award-winning in our household – does that count?)

Read about my ONE YEAR Blog GIVEAWAY from last year, here.

Next post: Yesterday I took the day off from work and had my neighbors over for lunch. I’ll be sharing a 3-part post on how it all came together, the recipes, and my true confessions! Stay tuned …

154 comments:

Discursivelyhappy said...

What I look for are good pictures and organizational tips. I love Home Companion mag best be/c she is a fellow MO and her pics are great! I love the stories, art/crafts, tips, recipes, everything, that is one mag that I can read cover to cover and feel inspired to start doing something more to my house.

Amy said...

Wow- what a great giveaway! I'd love to win, especially so I can try some of your fabulous apple butter!

In magazines I love to see LOTS of photos and also simple but pleasing recipes... you know, the kind that don't take a whole lot of effort, but look like they take effort! :)

Jordan said...

I like real stories by real people. I love the non-emphasis on perfectionism and purchasing things. Pictures are great too because they often spark my creativity even if I don't do exactly the same thing.

RosyRose said...

Hey what a fun giveaway!
Since my husband sells new windows and gets all the old ones I have access to a lot of old windows and doors soI love to look for cheap ways to decorate especially using what I have.
I also look for yummy,easy yet unique recipes.
I love you and your blog! Rose

GiBee said...

Great recipes with beautiful pictures grab my attention first... then, the ease of the recipe clinches it!

Wonderful giveaway! And guess what I did this week? I made CROCKPOT apple sauce and CROCKPOT apple butter! Yes indeed -- it was so easy!

Mommy Lynda said...

I look for real life stories with great photos, realistic recipes, and day-to-day simple solutions from staying organized to time saving tips. By the way, I LOVE apple butter!!!

Mod Girl said...

Well happy second birthday! I'm entering because I really want to sample your apple butter!

When perusing articles and publications about hospitality beautiful photos are definitely a draw for me, but I look for simple and easy, recipes, decorating tips, and serving ideas... this is real life, after all. And, that is why I love your blog so very much... you capture it all and present it in a fresh and uplifting way.

Thanks, Sandy, for your encouraging blog. It is a blessing.

Jerri Lynn @ Southern Sassyness said...

What a great giveaway! I look for pretty inspirational photos - anything that I can copy and that would look nice in my home! I also like organizational tips and yummy recipes, too.

Mommy Lynda said...

blogged here
http://homemakersjourney.blogspot.com/

Bonnie said...

I look for great pictures and depending on the project, clear step by step directions. Pictures are a great starting point for me. Often I'll get ideas from something I've seen and then I can tweak it and make it "mine."

Bonnie said...

Ok... should have left a link to my post in my last comment. Sorry about that! Here you go...

http://proverbs31vs8-9.blogspot.com/2008/10/another-giveaway.html

lazy susie said...

I prefer real stories about real gatherings of real people.

I like it all though. One thing I don't need is organizing tips, but I'd still read them.

I also like to see photos that make me feel like I'm there. That means that they include wide shots and not just close-ups of people and food and centerpieces.

I've linked to your gift basket on my food blog. God bless!

Susan

Donnetta (momrn2) said...

I look for fairly simple recipes that don't require me to purchase ingredients that I wouldn't otherwise also be able to use for other things.

I also look for photos of how to decorate yet keeping it simple, manageable and very family friendly. (The majority of the time when we have others over it is the entire family meaning children coming as well.)

Congrats on the 2 years! I have read every post you have written from day one and have learned and been encouraged beyond words!

Honored to call you friend! (And of course would be ecstatic to be the lucky winner of this giveaway! ) :-)

Betts said...

I love photos and simplicity. I want to entertain, but I want to spend time with my guests instead of too much time in the kitchen. I like to find ways to make entertaining look and feel easy.

ValleyGirl said...

I look for "all of the above!" I love simple, inexpensive ideas, including crafty ideas for centerpieces, napkin rings, and other decor. I also love recipes and organizational tips. I can use inspiration and guidance in pretty much ALL areas of entertaining/hospitality!!

And, of course, I've created and put a button up on my sidebar to send people to check out your page.

Melissa @ The Inspired Room said...

Congratulations on TWO YEARS of blogging! You are such a great inspiration to us women, I'm so glad you are blogging! And I am thrilled we are friends...it means a lot to me. I'll spread the word about your giveaway on Twitter...it is the best way to spread news! :-)

Take care and enjoy the weekend!
Blessings,
Melissa

Hannah said...

It has to have great pictures and then give me the ability to make my home/dinner look that way if I choose. If it had recipes that is even better and if there are recipes there HAS to be pictures!

ellen b said...

For me it's all about the photos and the recipes! If there are photos to go along with the recipes that's a super bonus. I learn a lot visually...
Congratulations on 2 years Sandy!

Jeni said...

For me, it's all about great photos and great recipes. Things that are simple-yet-delightful give me hope that maybe, someday, I can have a pretty home, too! :-)

Laurel Wreath said...

Yummmm.

I like pictures, and real life stories from people in similar situations. I also love recipes (as long as they are doable for the average cook).

our2angels said...

I love a magazine that has great photos and how tos, I find them inspiring. Simplicity is also a big factor as I don't have the time and $ to create some of the fabulous things you see in some magazines.
What a great giveaway, thanks for the chance to win!
Blessings
Sue
marklovessue@numail.org

twingirlsmom said...

I look for good pictures! The slightest item can spark my creativity as a decorator or as an entertainer. I also look for simple, do-able recipes that will WOW my guests!

Anonymous said...

I like recipes with photos, recipes that can be made in advance are awesome as that leaves more time to chat with guests and I also look for tips on easy decorations.

Marjorie
surdel1@yahoo.com

love your blog! Just found it a few weeks ago and I've been looking at all the archives.

Tamara said...

Sandy,

Congratations on 2 gracious and entertaining years!

I love magazines with lovely pictures, but I prefer for them to be pictures of things I can find or make easily, with minimal expense.

I love simple recipes that do not require a special trip to the grocery store (except for holidays & special occasions).

I love simple decorating and gift projects that don't require expensive supplies. I'm always on the lookout for ideas for gifts that I can make.

I love your ideas for easy suppers and things that can be thrown together to take to a friend in need.

Tamara said...

Forgot to add...blogged about your contest here: http://ponderedinmyheart.blogspot.com/2008/10/harvest-goodies.html

Leisa said...

This is my 1st entry I'm new to this. Found your blog love it. Thank you I love recipes, Entertaining, decorating bargains, new ideas. I'm a preachers wife and just love having people in my home.

Cyn said...

I love how you are a no fussy meaning everyhting doesn't have to be perfect.

Robin said...

I really enjoy your blog and the Pioneer Women's blog more than all the magazines that I used to read! You not only post the great pictures for ideas but also tell how you put it all together in your own home and not in a studio where you have buyers and everything at your disposal. Thank you for all of your inspiration and for your great recipes and thank you for inviting us all into your life. Reading your blog is like keeping in touch with an old friend!

Jen T. said...

I love pictures and the real how-tos. Not just elaborate ideas, but how do you make it happen in real life?

emilymcd said...

HI, Sandy-
What a cool blog topic. I look for a combination of things in magazines regarding recipes:
1. A sensitivity to flavor without having to buy too many odd ingredients.
2. Photos really help. I'm a sucker for good photos.
3. An overall "you can do this" feel to the magazine... nothing too artsy fartsy that requires two days of work, but then I'm not too keen on "made in 5 minutes" either... because generally things made in 5 minutes taste like they've been made in 5 minutes.

I used to be a Bon Appetit fan, but their new photography technique makes the food look so modern that I'm afraid of it. (Strange?) I'm leaning towards Rachel Ray these days. She's down to earth but definitely a foodie. Also like Barefoot Contessa.

Lisa said...

Photos are key for me. Often I won't take time to read the article, but if a photo catches my attention I use the idea as inspiration.
(I love good recipes, too.)

June said...

The articles I enjoy the most contain simple recipes, great photos and lots of creative decorating tips on a budget.
Congrats on 2 wonderful blogging years.
June
jawojnar@aol.com

slip4@yahoo.com said...

I'm drawn to inviting photos of homes that look real, not designer. And if they describe a recipe as "always a hit" or "never fail" (something like that), I'm all over it!
Thanks for the opportunity to win, and congrats on 2 years!

Lisa B. said...

Congratulations on two years!!!

When I'm flipping through a magazine I am always captured by photos and recipes...anything that get's the creative juices flowing. Either it helps me to re-think my decor using items I haven't pulled out in a while or it inspires me to try out a new recipe or experiment with new flavors and food combinations.

I've added your photo to my blog as well!

Sandi @the WhistleStop Cafe said...

Happy Blogday to you
Happy Blogday to you~

I am always looking for great ideas. I am the worlds worst at looking at a magazine and thinking 'I can do that'. I also love checking out favorite blogs for ideas. Google blog search is the bestest.

Amy said...

Yay! I'd love to have that apple butter and chocolate! (Was there more? I couldn't see past the chocolate...)

What makes me pick up a magazine and read it? The REALITY. The PRACTICALITY. Don't show me what Martha Stewart can do with pinecones and twine. I am a REAL woman, and I am interested in real issues. You are so good to show the everyday; that's what draws us to you! Keep doing what you're doing - we LOVE YOU FOR IT!!

Patch of Flowers said...

I look at the pictures first, most definitely! They grab my attention, give me visual ideas, and create a "feel" for the magazine.

maggie said...

What I look for are great pictures, recipes,organizing tips and simple ways to use what you have to decorate or make a meal for your family. Living on a budget means making the best use of what you have and repurposing things when you can.
Love your blog and gets lots of inspiration from you. I'd love to enter your great giveaway and I will post about it on my blog. I'm just getting it started.

Haley said...

I want good pictures and recipes in a magazine..... I like to see what my finished product SHOULD look like (so I have a little something to compare it to). And I love to see easy ways to take ordinary things and make them great for decorating. My hubby is a youth minister and we have people over all the time..... Oh and i am deff. putting this on my blog.... I want all the entries I can get!

OKGardners said...

Congrats on your 2 Yr. Anniversary! I would love anything that you give away.

WHAT would I like in a magazine? Everything you mentioned sounds great to me. You are a spectacular person and mentor to those of us who are a little shy about entertaining.

Betty in Oklahoma
blue.eagle@cox.net

Ornery's Wife said...

Hi! Wow, imagine coming at just the right time to enter your drawing. I would absolutely LOVE to win it.

I love magazines that are full of pictures and ideas for decorating or gifts. Recipes are nice, too.

Now, the MAIN reason I came was to tell you that there is an award for you on Miller Manor, because yours is one of my seven favorite blogs. I did mention your blog there, and that you are sponsoring a contest.
tm

Ginger@From The Cocoon said...

Apple Butter...I haven't had that in years...a memory I cherish of summers spent at the lake with my grandparents. I'd love to win, just for that!

So, to answer the question. The pictures pull me in, but I like organizational tips in a well laid out manner.

Anonymous said...

Sandy,
I like the recipes along with the photographs. Much like your blog!

How do you keep your house tidy and manage to entertain all the time? Some hints would be great.
Thanks!
Lynne in NC

Elizabeth said...

I look for great pictures that give me ideas, as well as organizing tips. It seems I always have something to organize!

Ms. Tee said...

I like a combination of all you mentioned, but especially photos that show me how to do things. Your recipes and party ideas are always great, too.

Happy blog anniversary to you! :)

tinkerverve said...

definitely photos! I am so visual~I just LOVE good pics.

Denise said...

What I seem to be drawn to is great pictures and ideas for hosting get-togethers. While I consider myself creative, I always love to see how someone else may use items to dress up a table or yummy up a meal. That is one of the reasons I love your blog! :O) The real life stories that inspire me are ones that show a simple life lived extraordinarily. Thanks for last two years! Looking forward to many more posts!

Chinamama4 said...

I look for realistic ideas - things I can do with my little budget (or better yet, with stuff I already have, whether they be decorating ideas, recipes, table settings. Lots of photos of places I'd actually enjoy being in, instead of museum-looking homes.

Congratulatons on two years - I love your blog!

Kristine said...

I love the recipes. I also love your site! Full of great ideas about making the entertaining MEANINGFUL. Thank you!

Pennies In My Pocket said...

FUN and FAB giveaway!

What I look for are ideas that are not difficult to do, nor expensive. I'm the type of person who sees something, but if it takes too much effort I will totally pass it up! lol

I also want things that can be used over and over but accented to fit different seasons, events, parties, etc.

~melody~

Sgt and Mrs Hub said...

What I look for is fantastic photos. I love looking at the pictures in that type of magazine, they are well done and contain so many inspirational ideas that I may be able to, in small or big ways, bring to life in my own home.

I like some of the articles those magazines put out, but rarely do I have time to read them. Perhaps that is one of the reasons I love the magazine(s) that Pottery Barn publishes. I can pick it up and flip through for any length of time; I love to look at all the pictures of the color schemes, the table settings, the placement of pictures on the wall, the dishes, etc...

Happy two years, Sandy! You sure have brightened up my world!

-Andrea

April said...

My husband and I look at house plans and dream for our future. However, now I'm mostly looking for pictures of objects that start with the letter of the week for our 3-year-old daughter to take to school. I've also blogged you
http://purlsofpraise.blogspot.com/2008/10/giveaway.html

Rebecca said...

I love to see great tips that are practical and simple. Something that when I read it, I think "I can do that!"
What a great giveaway!

Sandy Toes said...

How fun!! I must admit I am a "picture" person...the more pictures the better! I can gather up ideas easier by looking than reading! No, I am not 5yrs. old! hee hee!

-Sandy Toes

Carolyn said...

I look for easy, no fuss meals so I can spend more time with my guests.
I just found your site yesterday!

Lady Dorothy said...

Happy blogiversary! I do love giveaways!

I look for recipes that work (which is why I love Taste of Home -- real home cooks) and theme ideas for parties and entertaining.

(I will blog about your giveaway tomorrow. I'll send you an email when it's up.)

"Hello... It's Me Again..." said...

Congratulations on two years!!! What an amazing giveaway! I really enjoy your blog and the ideas you share.

I look for decorating ideas online, thru blogs, and magazines. I try to decorate using with things I already have or things from garage sales.

I absolutely love simple, everyday recipes that I can feel confident making.

I'll be sure to mention your giveaway on my blog too for an extra entry.

Heather said...

Wow two whole years!
You have truly been inspiring and I really enjoy your blog.

I also have a great love for anyting apple - especially homemade apple butter! Yum!!!

my favorite inspiration in a magazine would have to be the pictures hands-down!
They make me excited to be creative and do the same thing!

happy Birthday of your cute blog!

Hilty Sprouts! said...

I enjoy magazines like Real Simple that have beautiful photos and practical organization tips. The information has to be presented in a way that gives me confidence and makes me feel like I could actually accomplish the featured craft, recipe, tip, etc. On the flip side, I can't even open a Martha Stewart Living magazine without breaking into a cold sweat...she's way too perfect and way too intimidating!

Jennifer

Jessica said...

hello!
i would have to say that tablescapes in magazines really inspire me. i'm also inspired by "theme" nights/dinners. i'm always looking for a fun reason to have people over, especially since we don't have kids yet.
once again, thanks for your inspiring and uplifting blog - the pictures are always stunning and i'm so glad your blog has tons of them. oh, and i wrote about you on my blog so would you please enter me TWICE! :)
keep up the wonderful work!

- jessica

Abby said...

My sister (above) discursively happy introduced me to Home Companion magazine and it is AWESOME!

ajcmeyer AT go DOT com

Betsy said...

I look for things that are quick, easy, and use things I already have in my home. And of course, gorgeous photography always catches my eye first! The thing that is great about real life stories is just that...that they are real! :)

Buzzings of a Queen Bee! said...

I love the photos, gotta admit! A pretty table, great decorations...love them! Congrats on two years!
Carrie

Rebekah said...

I love great photos, and I love the recipes. I especially love great photographs of food to go with the recipe!!!

Jen said...

okay i really want this one....so bad that Miller is on the potty right now and I'm posting this comment..no really....i have it on my site..so count me twice...please...i go for you for advice..really .....and magazines and maybe better homes and gardens once in awhile but for hospitality its you friend....i really do get alot of info and advice from you....
Now...count me twice Miller is yelling he pee peed on the potty gotta to......I really want this one.....

Melissa said...

I like organizational tips, photos, recipes - and especially photos of the recipes.

Kathy said...

What do you look for in hospitality/entertainment publications?
Well, I really prefer recipes that are easy to follow and don't need too many crazy ingredients - I want to be able to use what is in my pantry, you know?
Great photos? Photos of recipes help since I'd like to know what it's going to look like when I'm done.
Organizational tips and stories that inspire me are great - but most of all I want to see low cost decorating ideas. Simple ideas that look fabulous. Ideas that can be pulled off on a shoestring budget. I hate looking through those mags where the photos show these grand old homes with gorgeous drapes and expensive furniture and fancy decor - who can afford all that? And how many homes actually have all that cool architecture built in? Mine doesn't! It's a classic, cookie-cutter ranch. I want to know how to make THAT beautiful!

=) Kathy K.

Heidi said...

okay...i really want some of your apple butter!

for me - i look for photos...i can't CREATE anything on my own - but i sure can COPY ideas well. i'm actually GREAT at copying others fabulous ideas! :) definitely recipes. i love country living, home and garden bags and my favorite little magazine for great recipes is the food everyday one - it is small and easy to file away. i keep a list of the recipes that i try and my family loves and then i can easily find exactly where it is in one of the 60 or so that i have collected. it is "real" cooking - love it! i also love to drool over gourmet sometimes...and to me...the best magazines are the ones that people give me. magazines are meant to be traded and passed on not recycled after one use! the dentist office i go to gladly hands over their magaizines at the end of the month (i don't go asking..just if i'm there!)

ikkinlala said...

I look for recipes and inexpensive ideas (I'm a student, so I'm on a fairly tight budget).

ikkinlala AT yahoo DOT ca

K :) Family Historian said...

love photos of recipes and ease of preparation. also enjoy a little "life story" here and there.

wonderful giveaway and looking forward to your next post.

Brenda said...

First I'd like to say Thank You for your encouraging and inspiring blog!!
I love real life stories, tips on how to make what could seem simple and ordinary into something genuinely extraordinary are always wonderful! Beautiful pictures and recipes are nice too! Anything that truly inspires joy in hospitality is fantastic!!

...Thanks for the opportunity to enter the giveaway even though I'm not a blogger myself!

♡♥ Brenda ♥♡
brendalynn1114@cox.net

Sincerely Yours said...

Happy 2nd birthday! I really enjoy your blog and all of the great ideas and inspiration that you give.
I look for entertaining tips and ideas as well as simple, delicious recipes. I prefer lots of photographs in books and magazines.

Anonymous said...

I think that photos are what suck me in first and then I stick around for people stories and ideas of how to encourage and bless (which is why I am here at your blog)! Blessings! Nyla-Jean - Canada

Tammy said...

Oh, I'd love to win this giveaway!

Great pictures do catch my eye, but I love reading organizational tips, decorating tips, and personal stories.

Congratulations on 2 years of blessing so many!

Maryann said...

Good photos come first with me ;)

The Browns said...

When I'm looking for a magazine or publication about entertaining the most important thing to me is can I actually do this? Sometimes my budget can be small when entertaining so I need ideas that I can do without spending a lot. I love good pictures of ideas so I can readapt them as I need to with things I might already have around the house.

Thanks for the opportunity to get in on this giveaway. I'll be posting your picture on my blog later today.

Barb said...

2 years--time to party!
I luv lotsa photos too, but they've hafta be tuned to my lifestyle. Like you can forget Metropolitan Home, but Country Living I'm all over. I like the quirky stuff in Rachael Ray's magazine too--the pet page, and the interviews with well-known people who tell her what they eat in a day, or what's in their fridge. Hey, there's an idea for a post--what's in Miz Sandy's fridge?!?!

Susan said...

I love pictures of before and afters. And organizational/simplifying tips...oh and recipes. Okay, I want it all!

Kirstin said...

Oh, I hope I'm not too late...I love pictures, great recipes, tips but things are for an everyday hostess. The fluffy, fancy, expensive stuff doens't help me. But I'm always inspired by books and even visits to other peoples homes (or blogs). I'm going to do a quick post on this but I'm heading out the door so it's quick.

Anonymous said...

Happy Second Birthday!!

When looking at magazines I look for yummy, easy recipes. I love to having something new for my family and friends!!!

Lynn

keithlynn6@msn.com

Barb said...

To answer your question, Sandy, I look for new recipes, nice photos and decorating ideas. Mostly I look for ways to simplify entertaining.

What a great giveaway! I'd love to be entered. And congratulations on two years of very inspirational blogging.

Anonymous said...

Good morning! Thank you for this opportunity. I've enjoyed reading some of the comments left on this. I am a table linen and table decor fanatic. I love being inspired by pictures of great ideas and creative artists when it comes to dinner/serving tables. Presentation is such an eye-catcher for me and I love to bless those we entertain with special little (many times inexpensive) touches. Heather Hofman

Anonymous said...

What I look for are good pictures and recipes. I love to try new recipes!

As far as real life stories, I really enjoy reading about your entertaining tips and stories. My life has been very chaotic the last few years and it's so refreshing and relaxing to come to your blog and feel like I'm part of it somehow.

Thanks for all you do!!!!
Dawn S
striblin@yahoo.com

Org Junkie said...

I can't believe it's been two years already, time just flies doesn't it. Your blog is amazing and so are you. I enjoy coming here, it's like a breath of fresh air. What I enjoy most about magazines is similar to what I enjoy about coming here...great pictures (I'm a visual girl) and simple do-able recipes.

Melanie said...

Southern Living is my favorite magazine for the picutures of the IDEA homes and also the recipes. When it comes to my own home, I prefer an uncluttered and "beautifully pared down" style. This is b/c I feel better w/less clutter and layering but also b/c I have very limited storage space for out of season decor pieces.

Bobbie said...

ME!!!! Me!!!! Pick MEEEEEEE!!!!

My favorite magazines are Southern Lady and Beautiful Homes and Gardens and Paula Dean.... because they seem to show real people doing real entertaining. I like to see the easy recipes, the organizational tips and the pretty pictures of real women's homes not the ones that look so perfect that they are no achievable.

Jill said...

I like the pictures and the tips...Iwould like to follow through with the tips, but regretfully, I don't.
Congrats on 2 years.

Elizabeth said...

I look for great photographs and color schemes. I love holidays so anything to do with celebrating ANY holiday is a must. I love the recipes in Southern Living.
I like inspiriation that goes above and beyond the normal...over the top ideas because I think everyday is a holiday that should be celebrated!
I also like apple butter ALOT!
Elizabeth

Debbie... said...

What a wonderful blog! I found you from another blog. Hope I win your giveaway! I'll save your blog as a favorite and check back often. Have a blessed day!!!

realworldmartha said...

Ok, so I love magazines. I am a page tearer and totally masacre the magazine to death. I love the pics and tips and have files for each subject like-entertaining, organizing, travel, ETC! It makes life fun.

So if we don't win is there a second place winner the contains the apple butter too? :)

I love fall and I can only taste it (apple butter) and not feel it since I live in Arizona from Oregon :(

Thanks,

Debbie
http://realworldmartha.wordpress.com

Kathleen Marie said...

My is posted on my blog, photo, answer and all and thank you so much for you kind words on the passing of my father. Blessings to you!

Donnetta (momrn2) said...

My post is up spreading the news about this fabulous giveaway! :-)

Happy Weekend Friend!

Miss(es) Canadian Pie said...

The pictures definatly draw me into an article. They are truly the first thing that captures my attention. It's what inspires me to read the article and even begin to attempt what the article is about.

I posted the giveaway on my blog. Thanks so much!

Anonymous said...

I would love to leave a comment about this post, but I will not be able to leave my email address in the comment box due to my privacy. I therefore cannot be considered for your giveaway, although I think it is a nice one.

linda t said...

Congrats on two years Sandy!
I am always drawn to real life stories that inspire me and give me ideas to entertain simply.
And I love any recipes that help me to think outside the box. I can get in a rut and serve the same menu every time I entertain.
Thanks Sandy cuz you have helped me to change it up and find a new comfort zone in which to entertain!

Megan said...

I, too, am inspired by beautiful pictures and words that apeal to my senses. I am most imspired during fall and Christmas ~ to host in my home when it is beautifully decorated!

Thanks again for your lovely blog and for the opportunity to win a fall basket.

God's Blessings to you & your's!

P.S My husband and I are currently reading Married But Not Engaged .... and it's great! Thanks for that too!

hondaray6 said...

Apple butter?? Yummy! This is a great giveaway! I look for different decorating ideas that are inexpensive to make.And recipes with a matching theme.Its nice to tie it all togther! Thanks

the irish librarian said...

I love beautiful pictures, but the main thing is personal stories with quick easy 'fixes' for everything from seasonal decorations to recipes and how to keep everything organized for quick reference. Planning parties and get togethers are great, but with five grown kids all in town, I get 'surprised' a lot with extra guests. It's nice to be able to pull together something quickly and easily without feeling like I have to go overboard.

(And I think the giveaway is a great idea-so sweet of you!)

Jennifer said...

I am a visual learner so great pictures are a plus but I also enjoy real life stories because they are easier to relate to.
Crossing my fingers (and toes)!
Smiles!

Angels Watching Over Me said...

Hi Sandy. I found your site through another person site. I really like the articles you post. I look for recipes, tips on anything for the house, sewing, gardening. I also look for any website URLs. First thing I do when I get a magazine is get rid of all the inserts, then I read any comics, then browse the pictures, then read the articles. I get sewing, gardening, genealogy, and Readers Digest magazines. I posted your contest on my blog; http://yesangelswatchoverme.blogspot.com/
I will definitely be returning to your blog. Karen

Deborah said...

I must have great colorful pictures for inspiration and I love entertaining recipes - simple, good, new and make ahead, if possible.

I also love photos of table settings!

JILL said...

Happy 2 years to you and RE! I really enjoy your blog very much. As far as entertainment mags... I love recipes and tips for "putting it all together" for a dinner party or other special occasion. Here's to many more years of blogging.

Juliana said...

The first thing I look for is pictures with tips on how to decorate you table etc. Then, as I read, I look for great and simple recipes. Of course the stories are a great, but mostly, pictures, pictures and pictures!

Nancy said...

Happy Anniversary! What a generous and fun giveaway! Your apple butter sounds delicious. I think the pictures get me first. I often try to recreate what I see. After that, I am looking for different recipes.

duchess said...

Congrats on your Anniversary!
As for magazines (they're my weakness) I love great photos. Anything relating to home decor & food gets me every time.
I'll try to send some stalkers your way.
Thanks for the giveaway!

Michelle said...

I love homekeeping tips. I also like reading how others entertain, it always sparks my imagination on how to not stay in an entertaining rut.

~nanashouse~ said...

I look for timesaving recipes that look and taste really good. One of my favorite tricks is thawing frozen bread dough, braiding it and then topping it with seeds or herbs and an egg wash before baking. Everyone thinks I have slaved away but THEY are more special to me than anything. I love your blog because of all the timesaving tips and beautiful presentation ideas you give. Thank you abundantly!

GrammaGrits said...

Chocolate - yah for the giveaway that includes chocolate!

I love to look at the recipes, organizational tips and especially the lovely pictures for hopefully things to spur my creativity (or that I can somewhat copy).

Congrats on two years of blogging!

GrammaGrits said...

Oops! Forgot to leave my e-mail address - vmcml1@verizon.net.

Sara L said...

I love "real" recipes - not ones full of crazy ingredients that I can't find - but a regular, tasty, and good for you recipe. I also love to see room makeovers. We are renovating our home and pictures from magazines always get my mind thinking of new ideas.

I would LOVE to try your apple butter.

Southern Fried Gal said...

Glad to have found your blog! I love simple entertaining that makes people say wow. I find pictures and recipes draw me in the most! Hope I win!

Cassidy said...

I look for pictures that look warm and inviting. Simple, easy recipes that usually go with the season...seem to make it seem well planned and make the guest feel special.

Wonderful giveaway!
Smiles, Cassidy
AThankfulMommy@aol.com
www.Grace4Mommies.com
www.thankfulmommy.com

Zack said...

What a pleasure to find your blog. Count me in for the give away chance.

Warmly,
Diane

Amy said...

I always love getting new recipes in magazines and I love when it is something with regular ingredients that you can find at the grocery store. I also love decorating tips that are for people who don't want to spend a ton of money and may not be "super" creative but still want to make their home look beautiful.

Thanks for the great contest!!!!

Christy said...

Hi Sandy! I have to ask you a crazy question? Were you at the 82nd ave. Walmart Saturday morning? I couldn't believe my eyes when I thought I saw you and walked past you in the tupperware isle!! If it wasn't you, it was someone who look similar! I'm so upset with my self for not saying something to you! You were my semi-local celebrity for they day! I know you are in Southern Oregon, I thought maybe you were speaking somewhere or something! If it wasn't you hope you are laughing at this silly comment! :) Enjoy your blog so much, you are a inspiration for sure and a blessing to so many! I hope someday I can start a balcony girls group when my daughter is a bit older! Love in Christ, Christy

Overwhelmed! said...

What I look for in hospitality/entertainment publications are great recipes (simple to make) with beautiful pictures! And I love the recipes passed down from generation to generation too!

He And Me + 3 said...

I look for articles that can simplify my busy life. & yummy but easy recipes.

Lorrie said...

I like good photos to draw me in, real life stories that encourage/inspire me along with recipes that taste great but are not too difficult or time consuming to prepare.

Great giveaway!

Discursivelyhappy said...

I posted the giveaway on my blog.

Darlene said...

The first thing that draws me to a magazine is the pictures followed by organizational tips or stories. I am always trying to stay organized.

Looks like a wonderful giveaway!

flowerpot said...

I think you can two focuses: entertaining or hospitality. I strive for hospitality with the focus on people, not decor. In that vein, I love lots of great photos of decorations. I don't mean sparse decor, but making a big impact with a few items. I need to be encouraged to "practice hospitality" as Romans 12 says, and not be overwhelmed by all the possiblities. I also like themes presented as a whole: whole menu, with decor and the little touches that make each guest feel welcomed and loved.

The Parson's Wife said...

Tutorials are my favorite! I never quite do exactly the same, but sort of "hospitality-lift" and spin it my way. Thanks for the give away... off to blog-link now, hoping that using your pic is good, because it is so awesome! Blessings, Shawn <><

Anonymous said...

I love beautiful pictures and ideas that are affordable but look like a million bucks. I am a magazine junky and love to look through them while my youngest is napping! Holly
bhc-law(at)juno(dot)com

Stacey said...

I look for new ideas all the time. For me to use an idea it has to be pretty easy, items easily attainable, and casual. Entertaining for us is all about being with the people we enjoy and love.

I so enjoy your blog and have shared it with many people.

Your ideas are so inspiring! I will be truthful and tell you that I won't be canning or making my own apple butter. But I can pass on goodies to a neighbor or teacher. I guess overall you cause me to think about some things that are important that I might take for granted.

Being with the people that we love and sharing with others is so important.

I will pass along your giveaway on my blog. :)

Lenae said...

The words "Quick and Easy" always appeal to me . . . along with great photos that look beautiful, but can be done by people like me who struggle in the creativity department! Great blog. Congrats on two years!

Anonymous said...

I am a very visual person so to me it is all about the pictures! I love the pictures - they inspire me!!

Bonnie :)
bonniej12@aol.com

kamewh said...

I mainly look for recipes - I love trying new ones! I especially love recipes with photos!

kerin0874 (at) yahoo (dot) com

Lura said...

I really like pictures. They help inspire me to use things I already have in ways I hadn't thought of.

Anonymous said...

I look for amazing pictures and recipes that look wonderful but are really easy. LOVE your site!
Elaine

voketaitis@verizon.net

Megret said...

Great photos are fun to look at and admire (and get inspiration from), but I do better with a step-by-step tutorial. I can probably count on one hand the ideas I've only seen visually in a book or magazine and actually pulled off in our home. Most of the time I decorate via tutorials OR with the wise help of my mother-in-law (an interior decorator).

I do like stories and such (such as what used to be published in the bygone Victoria magazine), and I adore recipes (I love to bake).

I am a hoarder of magazines that fit this genre -- I rip out pages I want to keep, then share the love by passing on the mags to friends!

Thanks for the fun giveaway!
Megret
musesofmegret (at) gmail (dot) com

Rosanne said...

I love great recipes and easy seasonal decor ideas!

Aubrey said...

Happy Bloggy Birthday!!!

I hope I am not to late (I looked and didn't see the deadline if there was one, but I am very preggers and coulda just went brain dead...who knows?) but I love pictures. I am a visual learner, and those pics go a long way with me. And recipes. Always recipes. I have enjoyed trying out so many of the recipes you post on your blog. Thanks, Sandy!!

Dreaming of Mermaids said...

I look for inspiring stories and recipes. Real life things that anyone can do, as well as clear, artfully taken pictures. I love to feel like I can recreate the things I see online or in magazines, and I especially appreciate the ideas if they are affordable. frugal remakes and trash to treasure ideas, as well as economical and pleasing recipes are most excellent!

Toia said...

I maninly look for crafts and recipes. That's a great giveaway you're having. Have a bless week.

Annie said...

I found out about your giveaway from Mandy at Discursivelyhappy, and I love your blog!

I like tips on how to simplify entertaining - I have a casual entertaining style, and usually have groups of 20 or more. Easy decorating and meals are also great.

I know the contest is almost over, but I'm linking on my blog.

Becca from TN said...

Definitely recipes and photos for ideas.
Thanks and congratulations on 2 years!

Anonymous said...

No blog for me but I would love to have a pint of your apple butter. It looks yummy!!

Thanks for all of your inspiration. I love your recipes (made the pear butter!!!) and the pictures are just great.

Becky
pbcronin@comcast.net

Wendi said...

Happy Blogoversary!!!
I come by way of Duchess, at The Daily Adventures of Four Ed's.
She sent me.
I am thrilled she did.
I love your place.
I love apple butter and
I love magazines.
The photography, the design, the recipes, and the organizational ideas...it all speaks to me.

Anonymous said...

I look for beautiful pictures of recipes that go with simple, on-hand ingredients. I also like creative inexpensive table decorations.

Empty Nest Full Life said...

What I look for are good and practical ways to entertain on a budget. Beautiful pictures are great, but I need everyday life suggestions. I enjoy mostly SL recipes. I am just simple what can I say, but I would love to be entered in your giveaway. Jackie

Lissete said...

I've been away all weekend and now I'm late for the party!

I LOVE photos! I also look for easy entertaining ideas, including decorating & recipes, that don't break the bank. Oh and organization tips are a plus as well. I adore apple butter, that in itself is a great prize. All the rest is just icing on the cake! :)

helenw13 said...

Congratulations on celebrating 2 glorious years!

In essence,I think I look for things a lot like your blog...simplicity in recipes, lots of nice photos...although I know my finished product probably won't look the same...just to get the idea and to get my eyes excited about the prospect of something new and yummy.

Most of all...I don't want to spend a lot of time looking at a fantasy...that is not realistic and it is also is defeating. I want to close the publication and be more armed to create that which I hope to create...be it a great meal, a simple decor solution or just a helpful hint that makes life easier so that I can spend more time with those that I love.

Great giveaway...I have yet to ever win one but I am ever hopeful.

Wendy said...

I definitely look for pictures. A book or magazine with great pictures can stop me in my tracks. I like to look at all the ideas and just take them in. I hope someday when I have a "decorating" budget, I will be able to remember all the great ideas. I honestly can say that is one of the things that first attracted me to your blog.
And recipes are a given!
Thanks for sticking with this for two years. You have truly encouraged and challenged me through this blog.

Wendy

Cindi said...

I prefer different ideas that aren't the same as everyone else is doing. I want my guests to feel like I went the extra mile for them. They are special to me and I want to show them in my entertaining. I'm a visual person so lots of pictures are definitely eye candy for me.

Bethany, Phillip & Nolan said...

I look for ways to warm up my home with comfort and candles. I look in magazines and love using the pictures to create something with what I already have on hand. Stories inspire me and help me get motivated to start doing some of the things I read for my family too!

ay8s said...

I love your ideas. They give me the courage to put aside my pride and just have fun with those I love and want to cherish and nurture. Thank you for all you do!
ay8s@sbcglobal.net

Anonymous said...

I look for good decorating pics and ideas, sometimes recpies (although that can be tricky, as I don't know how they will taste : ))
I haven't found many stories on simple entertaining and that is why I like your blog so much - all the down to earth - but brilliant - ideas and stories, and your constant encouragement to be yourself, NO perfectionism and the inspirational ideas - I've got to say - because of you I have been much more open to invite people over and so on, a lot of the excuses I used to make to myself and my husband don't count anymore, I even found a bible study on hospitality that I want to do. Please keep up your blog, since I found you, about a year ago, I love to come back and see (I even read all your old posts ; ))
Be blessed as you are a blessing for all of us.

Dini
DinyB@web.de

jnscrotsley said...

Healthy and from scratch would be of interest to me. I love to cook with my children and want to make healthy meals that they can also make for their famies one day. We homeschool so we tend to cook healthy but also not terribly time consuming. I don't normally make recipes that use a lot ingredients we won't use again. I try to serve my husband by sticking to a budget and when eating healthy and feeding 3 growing kids that can be tricky. Sometimes we make breakfast breads and other foods and freeze them so we have the convience of "fast foods" done healthy. So those kinds of recipes are a treasure to me and would get to buy a magazine.

We live in Florida and apples are still really expensive right now, but I would really like to make your apple butter. I am going to make a trip to the farmer's market to see if I can't get a good deal on apples:)!

Shawna
jnscrotsely@comcast.net

Anonymous said...

What a fantastic giveaway!! I love recipes with pictures . . . let's me know if I'm on track with the recipe!!
Stacie H.

Joanne said...

I have to see a photo! I definitely need to visualize. And, please don't include ingredients that I either don't know what they are or don't know where to get them. Joanne ~~ glamourgirljoanne@yahoo.com

Wendy said...

I really love great pictures...I'm a visual person and can usually get inspired and figure out what to do simply by seeing it! Thanks for the chance to win such great stuff!

Robin said...

Oh how I would love to win this! I am drawn to pictures in magazines or on blogs...love ones of creative decorating or entertaining ideas that are simple enough to copy. I love to see something and think, "I could do that, too!" Thank you for this opportunity!

Robin said...

Sorry, Sandy. I forgot to mention that I have mentioned this giveaway on my blog at http://robinsblessednest.blogspot.com/2008/10/great-giveaway.html.

Sleepless Sabra said...

I look for real things that actual women with children and busy lives can do on a real budget. Things that I don't need a nanny and another income to create at home. I love your blog! I've just discovered it and can't wait to read more...