5/14/09

Don't be an Entertaining Wreck!


Meet my Guest:  
Sandy Toes from Shell in Your Pocket


I don't know how Sandy Toes has the time, but she manages to visit my blog every post. Her comments and faithfulness in reading 4RE is so appreciated. Please pay her a visit at Shell in Your Pocket.  Sandy Toes values her family in a way that is contagious. Her posts are real, inviting and inspiring - and she loves hospitality! 



How exciting to leave my little ol' blog and be a guest at 4RE! 


I have always enjoyed entertaining before I even had kids, but it has evolved and changed over the years. 


Looking back at my "entertaining" adventures, I have realized that it is not that my cooking tastes better, or that I set a pretty table.  But, my over all attitude towards guests in my home is done with more ease, and the expectations are not so "high."  


I remember when we would have guests over for a Saturday night dinner.  I would start preparing and cleaning on MONDAY!  Yes, I did clean everything including the "underwear" drawer....I had the table set by Thursday, and the water pitcher filled by Friday.  


I was a wreck and so was everyone around me.



Through the years I have realized that those who "grace" our home are coming for fellowship with our family, NOT for a perfect house, perfect 4 course meal, and linens pressed. 


Some of my best dinner get-togethers have been pizza and pop, or hamburgers on the grill.  


I love to try new recipes, especially desserts and if it doesn't taste right we can always pull out the package of Chip Ahoy cookies. Coming to the realization that having kids and a perfect house with candles "lit" is not always attainable. So I've tried to "relax" with entertaining, realizing I would rather have those that I love around me eating on a paper plate with salad made from bagged "lettuce," than having no one around at all!


Some great nights of entertaining we have done are:


Progressive Dinners

Pizza and pop night (buy little pizza crust and have a "toppings" bar)

Just Dessert night (invite them over a little later and enjoy a good dessert-hopefully chocolate)

Italian Night (everyone bring their favorite italian dish...you supply the drinks, bread and salad)

Sub and Chip Night (order a big sub, chips, pop and have sweet talk around the table or play a game together)

Election Parties, Game Nights, Movie Parties


Having a family over and reconnecting with one another, even if you are using paper plates, makes life a little "sweeter!" 


fondly...sandy toes

32 comments:

sarah said...

Hi Sandy

what a great post from Sandy Toes

I have to say the pizza and pop night is a fave around here, sometimes it's not actually pizza but the same concept - we invite our friends whose kids are the same age and then just sit about, chilling and order in...great for keeping it real at the Beach Cottage

Sarah

Kim said...

Great post! I could so relate!! I think our family can easily pick up on our "stress level" when it comes to entertaining. I want my kids to see entertaining as enjoyable!

Thanks for sharing!!

Jill said...

I must admit, I have done the whole "being a wreck" thing, but have also found that less is more just like you... Thanks for being real Sandy-ies and being encouraging to all of us well-intended hospitality do-gooders.

Stacey said...

This is absolutely the way we do it! We have company all the time. It's fun. :)

Sandy Toes said...

Thanks for having me as a guest....
What a fun day!
sandy toe

Marci said...

Sub and chip nights are one of my favorites--so simple, yet who doesn't love a good sandwich, right?
Great post!

Betsy said...

I love being with friends and family more than anything. Always a great excuse for fun with family and friends. Great post.

Meredith@MerchantShips said...

So great to learn more from Sandy Toes!

Thank you for the encouragement Sandy. Unfortunately I need a constant reminder of this lesson!

Julie said...

loved the post sandy!!!!

Doris the Great said...

Thank you Sandy Toes! I love the pictures too. Just tell me please what that first salad is made up of? It looks delicious!

Jboo said...

Hey Sandy Toes -- sounds like you are an awesome friend and entertainer. Am going to try and take your tips to heart and relax a bit!

Janet

Busy Bee Suz said...

Great post. Great inspiration!!!

Dot O said...

Cool ideas Sandy Toes! Our dinner group had themes. Last year it was game/dinner night so I had to come up with some creative games and each of the six couples supplied part of the dinner, with the host supplying the main entree and the festive drink.

Food and fun just go hand in hand.... I do like your idea of just dessert night - makes it a bit less stressful.

Astrid said...

Great post!

It's so easy for me to go overboard on cleaning and getting ready for company. Perhaps I need to invite people to my house more often! :)

Smelling Coffee said...

So true and great ideas, Sandy Toes!

Susan~ this is the biggest blessing I have received from your blog - you've accomplished just what you set out to do - remind us that the people we are serving is much more important than the dishes we are serving. Thank you for faithfully keeping this in front of us Reluctant Entertainers! Blessings to you all...
Jennifer

Gina said...

What a great post. I love the reminder that it doesn't need to be perfect or fancy, entertaining is so much more than that. It's about connecting! And don't we all need more of that in today's hectic world?

I used do exactly what Sandy Toes did-I agonized over every little detail-what a waste of time! Our favorite get togethers have by far been the ones where we've ordered pizza and called whoever was home at the last minute!

I agree with Sarah, thanks for keeping it real!

Kacey R. said...

What a great post and awesome advice. AFterall, its all about spending time and enjoying one another!

I LOVE the pizza night and toppings bar. We do this with the kids and they LOVE it - an so do we!

Empty Nest Full Life said...

Great ideas, and definitely better to be relaxed than a wreck. Being an empty nester I am seeing more of a need to have the company and fellowship of friends. I want my home to be warm and inviting, not perfect. Jackie

Empty Nest Full Life said...

I missed the giveaway while out of town, but what do you make your raised beds out of. I heard it is not good to used treated lumber. We are planning to start some, so what advice do you have for this newbie? Jackie

Betts said...

I wasn't sure if I had it, but last weekend when the power went out right after our dinner guests arrived and I didn't panic, I realized that I really was a relaxed hostess. And they arrived at 5, and I didn't start prepping until 3:30.

Ruby Red Slippers said...

I Love SandyToes!
She really does have some practical, and useful tips for hosting-I will be writing down her dinner ideas-sounds like fun!!!

Em @ Bunch of Scrap said...

Great post Sandy Toes! I always was one to freak out before having guests over but now I am more relaxed and feel so much happier! Great ideas for dinners, I am going to use ALL of them!

Rhoda @ Southern Hospitality said...

Great post, Sandy Toes! I've enjoyed your blog too.

LuLu said...

You featured a wonderfully talented lady! Sandy Toes has a wonderful blog that i love to read each day!!! she makes entertaining look so easy and family FUN!!! she keeps in real!
LuLu

GiBee said...

True, true, true! Great thoughts, Sandy Toes!!!

Farmgirl Cyn said...

Wonderful post with great ideas. Entertaining does NOT have to be difficult! I have used several of Sandy Toes' ideas myself! A soup and bread supper, a "Vadalia Onion" party, where we celebrated the 1st of the sweet onions to hit the grocers! It would be burgers on the grill, topped with big slabs of sweet onion...YUM! served with the years 1st potato salad. Build your own sundae party, with lots of toppings and bananas for splits! Popcorn and a movie night! Or the times everyone brings a dish to pass...especially a good idea with these trying economic times! Entertaining is fun!!!

a woman who is said...

I agree Sandy Toes. We did take out from Famous Dave’s Barbeque for Mother's Day. Such a different Mother’s Day, but with the new little one we couldn't do the traditional brunch out. I used chinet paper plates, pulled a frozen yellow cake out of the freezer, added strawberries and coolwhip. I set up an iced tea bar where everyone helped themselves. Raspberry tea, green tea w/honey & lemon, and regular tea with all the help yourself fixings.

We ate outside and everyone including me had a very relaxed afternoon.

Angela said...

What a great reminder Miss Sandy Toes. I too struggle with thinking everything has to be perfect to have people over. It becomes so daunting that I don't do it often enough. I love your ideas. Inspiring!!

theArthurClan said...

Fun post Sandy Toes! I used to be the same way - so obsessive compulsive about everything being neat and perfect. Life is so much more enjoyable when you can let go of that a little bit. :)

Miss G said...

Sandy Toes, you are a very generous blogger. You sweeten the world with your comments all around on people's blogs. I often notice your name and your nice comments. I think you have a ministry of making people's days brighter, both those whose blogs you comment on as well as those of us who read your nice words.

This is a great post. I especially like your list of ideas at the end. Kelly

Kirstin said...

Wonderful post! It's true!! It's not worth being uptight over. Just have fun

Kristi said...

Thank you for more great ideas and for making "entertaining" seem so much less intimidating!