Be Happy with What you Have!

I know that our family’s tightening our belts in our home.  And it's not because we’re getting more fit and losing weight!

Nope, it’s because we’re more conscious about money, and in the meantime trying to teach our kids about what’s going on in the economy.

Does this stop us from entertaining? 

Not really, because I believe in the power of delegation. We make a few dishes and our friends bring a few. We split the bill in ½!  That is what we'll be doing for Easter this year.

Because we entertain quite a bit, I’d really like to purchase a more updated, outdoor dining set for our back patio

Every time we go to Costco I eye the outdoor furniture section

I really like the brown colors

But because we’re trying to be wise in tough times, and we don't need "new," we will settle with our old set this year (unless I find a yard sale bargain!)

Even though it's almost 10 years old, it has held up well

And one chair has been broken for a couple of years, but it's still usable

Things don’t have to be perfect to bring our family joy.  And actually, we’re going to do more than settle this year ...

We’re going to be happy with what we have.

I can guarantee that at our first dinner party served on our back patio this season, we will not be thinking about our old dining set.

I bet we'll even pull up an extra table with some mix-matched chairs!

And our guests won't even notice.

Has not having brand new or something you think you’ve really needed, stopped you from inviting people in?  

Or are you content with what you have?


Sandy Toes said...

I love the white table cloth on the porch table...that is great!
sandy toe

Mod Girl said...

I'll be honest, and rather ashamedly admit, that yes, our 20+ year old stained, powder blue carpet HAS inhibited my hospitality efforts but not completely. If we have folks over at night and dim the lights the carpet doesn't look so bad. And, this winter I was thankful that we weren't using the concrete slab as our floor, brrrrr. Someday, someway sleek new wooden floors will be nice....

More than Survival said...

Right on!!!!! Using what we have and ENJOYING the RELATIONSHIP is what makes life good!!! Having a new table will not make the friendships any stronger... It is the TIME spent together. You are such a good example of this to us all!

If you really want at *new* table... could you tile the top of your existing table??? Can you remove the glass top and then put a plywood top on and then tile it?? If you are interested in doing this let me know and I will talk to my husband about it... He is a professional Ceramic/natural stone installer and could tell you how/what materials to use. email me if you want this info. I do think that your *old* table is just fine!! YOu should see my picnic table!!!!

Terri and Bob said...

Making do used to be the American Way! I would love to see us go back to being creative... I remember our picnic table was two sawhorses and a sheet of plywood that my mom would cover with the prettiest cloths, and sometimes, a pretty sheet. I am proud of what you did!

Wendy said...

Great post! I have to admit that I have let my less than perfect things inhibit my entertaining. When we do have them over, the loved ones we have over DON'T CARE about any of that. When will I get that? LOL

I have the perfect post to complement yours today. Great minds think alike. Living well with less. Come and visit.

Julie Gillies said...

LOVE the title of this post, Sandy. I think we Americans are spoiled to a degree and always want "more" and "new".

We're getting together with friends for Easter, as well, and we do the same thing: everyone brings a dish. More fun, less money! :)

ginny said...

It is a fact of life over here. We both lost jobs, forced into retirement and now really penny pinching. Thank God for resale shops, consignment stores etc. I can entertain with anything on hand. I have a plastic patio table, yes, plastic, that we can sit around and enjoy our company. Things don't matter; its the people who enrich our lives.
great post.

ellen b. said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
A Stone Gatherer said...

I've been stuggling with this lately. It seems we have been trying to be good stewards of our money, but because of greed and mismanagement by others we keep getting hit, and have less and less! I am really struggling here! Thanks for the reminder that I am to be content with what I have, not with what I don't have.

Gina said...

Perfection, or the desire for it-used to top me in my tracks! But thankfully, God has been working on me in this area. Now I'm just so grateful for the oppurtunity to use my home as a blessing to others, and have been learning to be content with what we have. We really don't need new things, and it's been fun to work with what I have and be resourceful. And then make that choice to walk in contentment!

Crissie said...

Thank you so much for this wonderful post! It is very encouraging and motivating since our family of 7 has been living on savings and unemployment since my husband's job loss.

We just yesterday finished painting our kitchen table and chairs - I think you'll like it! I even used mismatched chairs intentionally and I think it's beautiful! You can check it out here:


Leave me a comment and let me know what you think! :)

Stacey @ The Blessed Nest said...

I remember our first patio table and chairs we got! They were curbside castoffs :)!! Broken and not very attractive, but we sure enjoyed some fun times with our friends anyway!! Food, fun, and great conversation are the main events at our get-togethers!

Sarah said...

I would have to admit that sometimes my less-than-perfect house gives me pause for entertaining. But then I realize my friends and family are coming too spend time with us, not with our furniture!

I've been trying to be more frugal also, reusing things and finding ways to dress things up on the cheap. Clearance linens are my friend! I think dressing up an outdoor table just as nicely as an inside table is so fun and elegant!

Melanie said...

Last week was our spring break and one of my projects was to freshen up the front porch. I have a lovely wicker setee that I bought from a neighbor last summer for $40. No pretty cushions for it though. And no budget for that right now. So I used old bed pillows and coordinating pillow cases in blues and an old table cloth w/big blue and white checks to "cushion" the wicker. I draped the table cloth over the back. I brought a painted chair w/another blue pillow onto the porch.
My oldest son called it a "Raggedy Ann" porch! He didn't care for it but it's comfy and cute (I think?) for the summer!

So without a budget for Pier 1 or Target, etc., I made do and am happy with what I have!

Myrna said...

I've always entertained---and We've lived in a variety of homes---the very used, single wide mobile home was the most challenging---but we still had extra people around our table regularly. I was blessed with a creative mother who once moved a pingpong table in and regular furniture out to get everyone around the same table for Christmas. We covered it with white sheets and decorated it with many candles, borrowed dishes from neighbors. Once the food and people were in place---it was lovely---and so much fun to be able to see every face and hear every story told!!

Marci said...

We have been blessed the past few years and have fallen into the trap of "get a new one" instead of "we can fix it". I have been feeling that no matter how the economy is, we need to just use common sense. Everything does not have to be perfect. Not everything was perfect in the house I grew up in. We made due, used some creativity and had a great time with people over all the time. I need to get back to that.

Miss G said...

Just throw one of your fabulous tablecloths over it and voila! Maybe you could even dig up a brown one. :) And then use yellow and white dishes? Kelly

p.s. love that you took photos in costco!

Darlene - Our Creative Life said...

Making do makes one use their creativity!

LuLu said...

Love this post! We are opening up doors to friends and family... so much to celebrate...love this post.

GiBee said...

May I make a couple suggestions for your table?

PAINT... there is a spray paint specifically for patio furniture that looks like the exact finish you have -- like granite. Paint it brown with speckles in it. you can even remove the glas.

Splurge on some inexpensive chair cushions from Pier 1 imports in browns.

And if Paul is super crafty, maybe he can make a wooden insert (or cement board) for the table instead of the glass, and you can create your own tile table top with tile purchased at the hardware store. Use water-proof clear caulking around the exterior before placing it back in the frame.

Voila -- new-ish furninture for the cost of $2.50 per spray can ... or if you wanna go with the tile, just a little bit more cash!!!

Gena said...

Such a good reminder! Thanks for being a voice of encouragement in these difficult times we find ourselves in.

Meredith@MerchantShips said...

I love this post!

You've seen my dining room table--it's an old family hand-me-down with a cracked and pitted surface that I covered with spray paint.

Is it perfect? Anything but!

Yet I love being able to tell families that our house is 100% childproof. There is a lot of freedom that comes from accepting imperfection!

momof3girls said...

so true! It is so funny what we stress about prior to an event, then once the event is here we never notice the thing we were sure was going to be a big deal! I really enjoy your blog!

The Real Me! said...

Oh I love this post! We had needed a bigger table for years!!There are 5 in our family and our table only seats 6 so having people over would be hard but it never stopped us. We invited a family of 10 over the other night, granted we were all over the place but no one cared and we all had a great time. Instead of one kids table there were 3 LOL.
But I admit that we have been on the lookout for a bigger table and were blessed with one not to long ago from Craigslist for a great price. It now will seat up to 14. But we searched for over a year just to make sure we got a great deal and we did.
Blessings to you Sandy.

Runner Mom said...

Hey, Sandy! Thanks so much for visiting my blog! I loved your post today! Hubby and I are on the same page! We love to entertain as well! Trying to find time between sports and meetings is a little tricky! It's all about planning ahead and using what you have.

I am adding you on my sidebar so I can visit my new running friend from Oregon! Are you training for anything right now?


Shannon and Carey said...

VERY content with what we have. Heck, we have 4 chairs that are alike. The kids' high chairs take up 2 of those. We drag in the old Costco folding chairs and the lawn chair. I sit in that with a pillow so I can see! Nice post!
-Shannon in Austin

OKGardners said...

I am happy with what I have. I was raised very frugally and appreciate that my parents taught me to be thankful with what I had.

Thanks for the nice reminder and enjoy your Easter dinner with friends and family.

Betty in Oklahoma

An Accomplished Woman said...

You could put old plank boards out and old chairs and your guests would never even flinch as great a hostess as you are. I know you will find a great one... keep checking. I have seen some great ones on Craigslist lately.

It is the heart of the hostess not the beauty of the home that makes the guests comfortable and girl you have that.


Dawn said...

I've been in the market for a new patio table and, like you, I don't actually "need" a new table, I just WANT one. LOL So far, I've been able to control myself as we're trying to be wise with our money in these troubling and uncertain economic times. Thanks for the encouragement.

mikky said...

how true... yup, we really need to tighten our belts, but we also need to count our blessings... :)

Grace said...

a quite appropriate and thoughtful post, sandy. and i can tell you for certain--when food's involved, i could care less if my chair matches everyone else's. :)

Betts said...

I just call our house a work in progress, and that's what it will always be.... forever.

Deb said...

A few years ago, we had 3 couples over for a dinner party. Doesn't sound like many - BUT - we have a TINY house and at that time only a table for 4. We borrowed a big table and stacking chairs from my husband's office lunchroom. I found a large table cloth for $10. The table looked great. No need to worry. :)

Donnetta said...

Ah contentment. Something I need to be reminded of now and then. Thanks for such a reminder.

However, overall I would say I am quite content and don't let it stop me from having others over.