4/2/09

Good Company & Chocolate Chip Cookies!


Meet my Guest: Kimba 
from A Soft Place to Land

My friend Kimba is very talented.  She makes beautiful pins, and I wanted to show you in person how stylish they really are! (Photo:  My daughter grabbed the pin from the box as soon as it arrived in the mail - you can visit Kimba's etsy shop, here.)  I met Kimba in February in Nashville, and together we are a part of Moms Unite.  She has a beautiful blog, a very sweet spirit, and a great love for people. I'm so happy to introduce Kimba to you today.  

Here's her inspiring story ...

When we started building our home a year ago, my husband and I both felt strongly that we should seek out opportunities to share it with other people. Sometimes that means family and dear friends…sometimes neighbors and casual acquaintances…maybe someday we’ll be sharing it with strangers. YIKES!

There was a time in my life when I felt compelled to create an elaborate event every time I had guests in my home. No more! I’ve learned that if I’m going to practice hospitality, I need to make it easier on myself. Sure, there are times when an elaborate meal is appropriate and enjoyable, but for now, I’ll settle for good company and chocolate chip cookies.

There are several families in our church that we’ve been wanting to know a little better. A Friday night over desert seemed like a great way to connect. Since all of these families have young children, we knew that they would be eating dinner at a fairly early hour. Starting at 7:00pm gave everyone enough time to get home from work and have a quick dinner before stopping by for desert.


Coffee and iced tea for the grown-ups and fruit punch for the kiddos along with a huge plate of fabulous homemade chocolate chip cookies made for easy entertaining and a happy hostess. Since I was only making one thing, I was glad to spend a couple of hours baking with my older son in the afternoon. We tried out a new recipe from Kendra at My First Kitchen. Major yum! And a bonus…when everyone arrived, the house smelled like fresh-baked cookies.

By keeping things simple, we were able to focus on the true purpose of entertaining…Connecting with our guests and getting to know them better. I wasn’t stressed out by trying to make a complicated meal and I didn’t have hours of clean-up work after everyone went home.

We ate cookies and drank coffee while the kids had hopper-ball races on the basement. Everyone got to know each other a little better and I got to have leftover cookies for breakfast. YUM!

Can you see why Kimba is my kind of girl?  She fits in so well with the Reluctant Entertainer mission.  

If you get stressed out over entertaining, have you thought about keeping it simple like Kimba did?  I'd love to hear your story!

25 comments:

The Real Me! said...

Great post. I'm all about easy. And the cookies look delish!
Hugs.
Kim

Kim @ Forever Wherever said...

I've gotten a little better about this. But it's a challenge for me. Thanks for your cookie idea! I'll have to try that one day.
We should all relax a little more, and not take things so seriously all the time.
~Kim

Alisa Lucas-Brown said...

Hi Sandy!
Loved reading Kimba's post. I can identify with her story completely. I've been all to trapped in the "big, eleaborate event" mindset. Thank God, I've been set free! When we moved to NC we too felt that God was urging us to open our doors to those around us. I read a prayer yesterday about asking God to help us open our home to embrace those who need a connection. I really appreciate your site and your reminders to just let go of perfectionism and let God lead you to genuine hospitality and care for your "neighbor".

Sandy Toes said...

Keeping it simple is a great idea but OH....how I forget that and then the stress begins. I think it's EASIER to keep it simple in the summer months...outside...lemonade and a scoop of ice cream with fresh fruit is perfect.
sandy toe

Melissa's Thoughts said...

My favorite entertaining is when the neighbors come over and we sip ice tea on the front porch and just talk.

Laurie said...

I love her story. I still haven't been very brave by inviting many people over, but stories like this make it seem easy! Thank you for sharing it...

Kimba's pins are adorable by the way!

momof3girls said...

I agree when the hostess is at ease everyone else is. Let's face it, if I came to your house and you made cookies I would be thrilled -chocolate & I didn't have to make them!!

Kirstin said...

Awesome idea. You're right, simple dessert, juice and coffee can sometimes be a better way of entertaining because there's less time involved and makes for more relaxing visit...

Gina said...

I love this reminder, we usually have friends over spur of the moment, and try to do this often. Sometimes we plan a head or I'll make a big pot of something and call whoever we can get a hold of.

Or we pick up pizza, they bring salad and the kids play or watch a movie while we play games. We even usually give the kids bath and jammies before our guests even arrive-if one of them crashes on the couch we just take them to bed!

It sure works for us and gives us great time to hang out with people we love!

Elizabeth G. said...

Hi, Sandy!

I'm here catching up on recent posts that I've missed and I am wondering...Are you doing anything special with your family for Easter and holy week that you are willing to share?

God bless,
Elizabeth

Sweet Caroline said...

Oh gosh, I do this. I spend hours and hours trying to make the perfect recipe so I can get an occasional, "Wow, Caroline, this is good." But, 9 times out of 10 I don't get anything. Then, I feel silly and bitter. Who am I hurting? Myself.

So, I am in charge of a huge church function tomorrow night and I was going to make homemade potato soup for everyone. Yup. Insane! At the last minute, I decided to just buy canned soup, throw it in a pot, and look who is relaxed and happy?! Everyone!

Yes, the pins are super cute. Good message in your post today. Thanks for helping the manic!

G. said...

What a great idea! I've had people over for dessert a couple of times but, I'm always thinking that to truly entertain I need to have people over for dinner. This takes the pressure off, especially when you are busy but, you want to make time to get to know people. Thanks for the wonderful post!

marty39 said...

Great post. It seems we're all so busy anymore and don't take the time to connect with other people and in the process we lose out on wonderful friendships. Keeping it casual seems to fit today's lifestyle. Most of us don't have formal events anymore. Hugs, Marty

Betsy said...

So often we think it has to be a chore to have people to our homes. But nine times out of ten people don't care what you serve, how clean your house is, or how beautiful your tablescape is...they just want to enjoy a night with friends or family. Some of the best get togethers we have are more organic and evolve naturally. Great post.

Susan of Very Pretty Things & Pink Portuguese Roses said...

I posted over at ASPTL too.

But thanks for this post. I am going to do dessert nights....We as a family need to connect with the other families at our church.

My husband is a shy sort..and doesn't like to put himself out there. Maybe this will make it easier for him.

Thanks so much for the suggestion!

Cheryl said...

I didn't read others comments,but someone may have commented about this already...and that is: if you are having a sit down meal and the people invited ask what they can bring...well, by ole means let them bring their fave dish or salad or whatever. They have a part in the meal and it's one less thing for you to put together.

We have also done the dessert thing like you talked about. Very nice, very informal and no fuss. Nothing to be stressed out about.

Tricia Anne said...

I purchased two adorable brooches from Kimba and my 16 year old daughter fell in love with one that looks a lot like yours. She is using it on her purse. :o) Mine is on my coat. :o)
Sincerely ~ Tricia Anne

Live.Love.Eat said...

While entertaining doesn't stress me out because I love it so much and like to do it big, I DO need to learn how to simplify sometimes and enjoy more time out of the kitch while guests are over.

Darlene said...

great post!! I love the idea of a simple Friday night over dessert. So freeing!!

Linda said...

I was intrigued by the name of your blog when I found it on CWO blog roll. You have a beautiful site. I'll be back!

Juliet said...

Thanks Sandy for sharing Kimba's story with us... I'm now going to go across to her blog to say hello!

Dawn said...

I love this idea! I love to entertain, but definately stress myself out over it each time!

Thanks for making me realize there is a way to enjoy the process more!

~Dawn

Jen@Balancing Beauty and Bedlam said...

Ah yes - it's such a wonderful reminder of why we're called to practice hospitality in the first place. :)

Kelli said...

Thanks for the motivation to have others in our home in order to get to know them and share this life together!

Anonymous said...

I stumbled onto your site and am so glad that I did. I get so stressed out when I have company over for dinner/parties that I take it out on my children and husband. This isn't fair to them and makes me feel even worse. I am going to take a page (or two) out of your book and try not to stress over it. I am looking forward to reading your posts and hopefully will learn how to R-E-L-A-X while enteretaining.

Thanks,
Rosemary
patnrosemary@hotmail.com