7/29/09

Parties put the Pressure On! GIVEAWAY!


I couldn’t agree more with author Marni Jameson’s quote, “Parties put the pressure on!” from her last book, The House Always Wins, of which I’m giving ONE copy away!
 
This book is about creating the home you love, without busting your budget.  It’s done in a very practical way – and you’ll love Marni’s wit and humor!
 


I’d say Marni and I have similar styles in preparing for a party.  

No nonsense. Keep it simple. Don’t stress out!
 
• Clutter bust
• Strip the refrigerator
• Edit your bulletin boards
• Hide the laundry room
• Do a walk through
• Think twice
 
Think twice?
How many times do we open our mouth about having a party, and then we stress over it later, regretting we opened our mouths? 

Yes, I’ve learned to really think it through, before inviting a large group into my home! Because it does take a lot of work.
 


How to win?
I’d love to hear if hosting large groups stresses you out?  

Are you a more intimate, smaller party girl – or a big party girl?
 
What do you win?
One FREE copy of The House Always Wins. Twitter or post on your blog, and your name is entered twice. 

Winner announced on Thursday!
 
Marni has a weekly column, in which Reluctant Entertainer was featured over the 4th of July weekend!  Thank you, Marni! (Check my sidebar to read the links in the Denver Post, Atlantic Review, and Philadelphia  Inquirer).
 
Yes, parties do put the pressure on. And once you commit, usually there’s no turning back! Just like my 4thof July annual party that I committed to, 5 days after we ripped our kitchen out – down to the studs!  (Top photo: adults relaxing that night on the side patio)

We held it anyway, and we had a blast!

Good luck on the giveaway! Oh, and check out Marni's next book, House of Havoc!

83 comments:

K :) Family Historian said...

i do stress over parties and have recently decided not to have a party that i did last year before school started. my life is not as much about having tons of fun right now and i thought it best to back away from this celebration, as opposed to, feeling regret if i commit to it.

Renee said...

I stress when my mother is coming over!! Hubby can always tell because I go crazy with organizing & cleaning. BUT when friends are over I'm a totally different girl. I love to host parties but don't do it enought. I think this book would be a great win for me ;-)

B'ahm nancy said...

I host several groups at Christmas.
So my deal is clean once and party
3 times. So I host the parties
all in a row instead of once a week.

JadeLD said...

I love having loads of people over and large parties are always great fun, but my house is really small! So we have to stick to smaller gathering for now, good practice for when we have a bigger house though.

I like the house to be presentable though which always creates a bit of a run around clean and tidy stress beforehand!

Anonymous said...

Large parties when it's family; no way getting around that. But, I do prefer more intimate 4-8 guests.

I recently moved into our new house. I think my blank decorating at the moment could use the insights from this book.

Thanks,
Holly@aiminghigh
www.homeschoolblogger.com/aiminghigh

Jen said...

I do stress a little with a bigger party coming to the house...I stress over is my house clean enough, is there enough to do, will they like the food...yada yada.....lol.

Please add me in I would love to win this.

Kim said...

I love the planning and coming up with a menu for a party-big or small. It's the guest list that usually stresses me out. My preference is for maybe two other couples and their kids. It just seems manageable and easy to prepare for and socialize. Big or small It definately puts the pressure on me to get the house cleaned up. I always like that about entertaining. This looks like a great bookand I hope I win! BTW, we are addicted to your Green Chile Enchiladas! I can't find that brand of sauce anywhere though.

Ellen said...

Stress for sure, but almost always worth it in the end. Please count me in!

heatherelle in va said...

I prefer smaller parties, but my husband thinks the more, the merrier! It helps that we are both from large families where "dinner for 30" is normal!

A Touch of Country said...

I love to entertain and throw informal get togethers at the last minute. YES I stress about the house not being clean, but after they guests leave, I say well, they didn't even ask to see the rest of the house ....why did I clean.

Kimberpeas said...

I definitely prefer smaller, more intimate gatherings. DH and I don't have a lot of friends, but we are very close to the ones we do have. We'd rather spend more quality time with them.

Also, we have a fairly small house (880 sq. ft.) and no dining room or eat-in kitchen, so large gatherings scare the crap out of me in that sense!!

Laura said...

I do stress about large parties at my house. Mostly because we have only lived here a few months and I feel like I haven't decorated enough of the house yet!

Da Mouse said...

Yeah, I get some what stressed over big parties. We just had a house warming this past weekend and I was pretty stressed about getting everything together. But, little get togethers with friends not so much. I tend to make sure the dishes are done, but that's about it.

Kathy C. said...

I love to have people over, and it gets me more excited than anything to plan out the types of food I want to prepare according to the type/size of the gathering. It doesn't stress me out (unless I'm PMSing - LOL). I am pretty particular about making lists and checking off as I go, especially for a big dinner where I have to start certain things at a specific time. I love to decorate my home and table, I guess it should always be fun. When it feels like stress, you probably should take a break from it.

Laura said...

I love to have parties. So many times it is family and the more the merrier. I have to come to realize no one will really see or care if I mopped the floors that morning. My husband is a big help and we give all the kids jobs to pitch in.
Laura

Caroline said...

Big parties I find stressful....small parties are much more manageable!

slip4 said...

We usually have small parties, but we have 3 annual Christmas parties, all on the large side.
Like commenter Nancy said, we clean up and make alot of food, and party for 3 straight days. Friday and Saturday nights and Sunday brunch.Once your house is clean, you might as well! I would love to see what Marni's book says.

shruley said...

I pretty much stress over any party, any size. Even a babysitter. Drives my husband nuts and a big part of why we don't invite people over more often. I try to let go, but it's hard when you are totally Type A! In general we don't really host any large parties, unless all the family is coming over.

Angela said...

I don't stress over parties as much as I used to. Hubby loves to entertain, so I've had to get used to it over the past 11 years! I do enjoy smaller gatherings better, but we don't shy away from having the entire Sunday School class over either. Either way, my biggest source of stress is getting the house clean enough for company. No matter how hard I work, I'll still find dust AFTER the guests arrive!

Robin said...

It totally depends on who's coming! I do love a party, big or small and I LOVE to host a get together at the last minute, then there's really no time for stressing!!!

Blessings,
Robin

Bonnie said...

I love parties - big or small although I actually prefer big. Big means more people talking to one another - less stress for me if they're having a good time. Our New Year's Eve party ended up quite small and I worried all night if everyone was having a good time. I say the more the merrier! I've learned to not worry about the house - I'll dust, vacuum, mop & clean the bathrooms but in my "company good" version. I clean it REALLY well after they're all gone. I don't want to scrub it like crazy twice!!!! No one knows - everyone who knows me thinks I have one of the cleanest houses and they want to know how I do it... I just tell 'em "years of practice!"

Elizabeth said...

I stress over parties, mostly making sure my house is really really clean and trying for perfection which I am trying to get better at. I think this books sounds fabulous.

Carrie B said...

The level of stress directly relates to the names on the guest list. If it's a business affair, big stress. Friends and family, not so much. :)
But once I'm in hostess mode, I kick in and really enjoy entertaining.

Bombtastic Belle said...

I stress when family comes over because we live in FL and they're in TX, so we don't get to see them! I go on a cleaning rampage for about two weeks getting things organized, cleaned and just acting like a lunatic. *loL*

Maren said...

Large Parties. And I do not stress about them. I look around the house and say "this is what I have to offer" and that has to be good enough. We always have fun.

Kasey Hunt said...

I love hosting parties. I wish I had the dishware I desired, but I realize that people just love the company and the thought of being together more than anything. I don't stress. It gives me a great excuse to get my house clean.

Rina said...

I have to host what I consider large parties for work- up to 20 people. It used to stress me out, but over time I developed an excellent system, where I do everything possible in advance, and I have a spreadsheet listing ALL the details that have to be done, and when to do them. Then each day, I go through the list and see - anything to do today? The last time I hosted 16 people, I was calm and the house was ready. It was actually a pleasure to have everyone over, not a chore and something dread, like it had been before.

I would love to win this book! Thanks for holding the drawing!

Brenda@CoffeeTeaBooks said...

I prefer to hostess larger groups in the summer when we can all be out on the deck and in the yard.

The smaller the group, the more pressure there is on the hostess and the more I FEEL like I am entertaining as opposed to showing hospitality.

I stress mainly when I have a small group coming over for a sit down dinner.

Gina said...

I usually do tend to stress just a bit over parties-but I've been learning to relax. I love smaller, intimate gatherings but I also love large crowds, both for different reasons. My home feels so alive and happy when it's full, but I enjoy the close conversation that happens in smaller groups.

I try not to go crazy cleaning, I just tidy up and make sure things are in order and presentable. The bigger the party the bigger the mess afterwards, and I usally get my cleaning done then!

Donnetta said...

Large parties used to stress me out more than they do now.

I think it's because I have a friend who now helps me keep my perspective when it comes to entertaining! ;-)

This sounds like a fabulous book!

Bobbie said...

I always plan my parties to be very small groups, but by the end of planning, I have invited a large number and I figure- its just as easy to entertain everyone at once instead of seevral parties for fewer people. House gets really cleaned only once!

Donna Lupton said...

I enjoy both our large and small gatherings of friends. I love Friday scrapbooking at my place, tossing things on the grill, hosting a crazy big homeschool event, an ice-cream sunday party, inviting the locals for thanksgiving, keepers at home meetings, ladies teas… ... any reason for fun, food and fellowship, we are all over it!

Gwen said...

Large parties don't stress me out, they exhilarate me. Okay, part of that exhilaration is the stress, but the excitement takes over.

I threw a big bash for 4th of July and didn't really realize until the last minute that I had a serious lack of serving pieces. So out came my growing collection of silver plates and plaques that are meant for future wall art. It was hilarious, serving coleslaw on someones tennis trophy from 1972. It added a touch of whimsy that I could never have planned.

I would love to win the book, thanks for the chance!

playingmanyparts said...

I stress over the cleaning part only, because the house is never as clean as it should/could be. But the food and decorating are pure joy for me and actually stress busters. Big or small matters very little once the house is clean.

Laura said...

This book sounds amazing. Sign me up! I'll post about it on my blog as well.

I have had lots of big parties over the years, but I usually do them at Christmas time and usually just for women. Why? Everyone's house looks good at Christmas (I think it is all of the red) and why women? I like late morning brunches. I love brunches because the food is simple, mimosas are delicious, and by that afternoon it's done!

Laura

Laura said...

Large groups at my house do stress me out only because I find it impossible to talk with everyone and make sure everyone is doing okay. I prefer a smaller crowd.

Megan said...

I love small parties... primarily because we have a very small home. We love to share all God has given us... and I can't wait for our next gathering. In August, the girls are coming over for "Drinks on the deck!"

Natalie said...

This looks like a great book!
I like to stick to 1 or 2 families at a time. Our house doesn't lend itself to groups bigger than that unless the weather allows us to be outside.

Annie said...

I used to stress out about parties, but as I am in the middle of a kitchen remodel that seems like it will last until my kids are in high school, I think that I have to get over it. I would love a copy of the book!

Lucy said...

Big parties do stress me out so much that I can't eat anything I've made. My tummy is all up in knots w/the stress.

I prefer smaller parties of 10 max. I do very well w/that number. Although the number has gone up for my next up coming party... I'll work it out and maybe I won't eat ;-)

Somewhere In The Sun said...

When I am stressed over something non-entertaining related, my husband will say "Chill out, nobody's coming over!" That's how stressed I get. I want everything to be perfect. The more people, the more stress I feel. I haven't entertained for a long time because of it.

Anonymous said...

I really stress out when anybody comes over. My husband works long hours, I also have three small children, so its crazy trying to get my house 'perfect'!

I do like to have only a few couples over rather then a large party. Its easier, in my book!

julia_roseo@yahoo.com

Shelley said...

Every year we have a huge Easter brunch with up to 15 couples and 40 kids. I make it easy by delegating, I do hams and potatoes and ask everyone to bring a fruit plate or sweet bread. Everything is served on pretty paper products, people eat anywhere they can find, and we have a HUGE egg hunt. Friends count on it, but they always say, "I could never do this." I find that with a simple menu and throw away dishes, it is pretty easy. I focus on cute invites and fun center pieces to make it special. Oh, and I want that book!

Katy said...

Posted on my blog :-)

Lynn said...

LOL! "Edit the Bulletin board" That is SO me!

I am known what those that know me as the "Sticky note queen!" I have sticky notes all over my house as reminders. ( My brain is mush if I don't write things down.) However, after someone mentioning something to me about what one note said.......I now have to write me a Sticky note to remind me to take ALL sticky notes down before a party at our house. : S

How sad is that, eh? LOL!

Muzzymom86 said...

We never have people over. I hate that. I am trying really hard to get there. I would love to start a girls group similar to your Balcony Girls for this school year. As far as parties goes. I prefer small groups that way I can talk to all the people.

Bess said...

I think I tended to stress more in the past about people coming over than I do now. It didn't really matter if it was one couple coming for dinner or the entire small group from church (6-8 couples, which I think is a great size!). I always wanted my house looking "perfect" and in order...and I realized it NEVER met my expectations because I have kids! :)
Now, we moved into an 1852 farmhouse two months ago that is almost double the size of our previous house. Keeping up with the cleaning and organization can be overwhelming, but when people are coming over, I always remind myself that I have little ones who won't leave their toys alone and won't leave my things alone...so why stress when I can't make it perfect? :)

Marie said...

I love a good party...at someone else's house! Nah, just kidding. I've thrown a few myself, but am limited by a little house and teeny-tiny kiddos. Trying to let go of perfection and just do it more (it gets easier with practice, right?!?)

suzie in mo said...

big parties are less stressful in some ways than smaller ones. i clean less when a crowd is coming, certainly no mopping before the crowd comes in. when the house and/or yard is full of friendly faces who is going to notice dust bunnies?

Rhonda said...

I'm the wanna be host! I love to do it but always stress about it! Always wanting everything perfect is what ends up adding to the stress! This book would be helpful! Thanks for the chance!

Rhonda said...

I tweeted about it! http://twitter.com/Rhondas3boys

philben5 said...

For some reason large parties seem less stressful to me. Go ahead and say it. How wierd is that? I think it's because I grew up with my parents both having 5 sisters and brothers and so any get together we had was buffet style, and there was always great fellowship. Now small parties really stress me out. I worry so much more about a sit down supper.

Amy@DesigningaLifeILove said...

Of course, entertaining is stressful! But I always am glad I do it. I think my mother-in-law stresses me out more than any other person. Now, mind you, God gave me an ANGEL for a mother in law! I love her with all my heart. I'm just so scared she'll think less of me, and that fear drives me into a state of PANIC!!

Kathy said...

I love hosting large gatherings, mostly in the summer when it can be done outside for a BBQ and pool party. It doesn't really stress me out, but I do like to plan and prepare ahead of time.
Kathy

Carrie said...

I love to host parties,but we only host small parties for close friends and family. I do feel like I spend way too much cleaning before a party and not enough time on everything else!

Teresa said...

Big time stress here when I entertain. Big or little. I need to work on that. :)

Sarah said...

I L.O.V.E hosting parties. We recently moved to a smaller house. This is great for our family & keeping it clean, but squelches the large parties. But small intimate parties are fun too!!

Debbie B. said...

Yep, I stress too. I'm stressing right now. LOL I am hosting our family reunion this Saturday. Please put my name in for the book. I need it!

Nathan and Jaymi Bragg said...

We just had 25 people (mostly family) over for our son's 1st Birthday Party! It was supposed to be an outdoor cookout, but everyone came inside to escape the gnats and heat! I was stressing at first having everyone inside (crowded!!!) but then, I just said, "Oh well, go with the flow." I would love to read this book!

Lynne in NC said...

I joke with my kids that there's nothing having folks over to get the house in tip top shape.
We do enjoy entertaining. We just welcomed my friend and her family of 9 in our home over the weekend. She has 4 boys and 3 girls and our 3 bedroom home was filled with fun and laughter.
Thanks for the give away.

Val said...

I'm a newlywed with a new house and I'm so excited to be with my husband! However, I've been a little over-eager with handing out dinner party invitations, I'd love the book!!

Holly said...

I think I would be a smaller party person, because larger crowds make me a bit uncomfortable. I enjoy visiting with others, and getting to know them better, which can be difficult in a larger setting. My housekeeping isn't the best, so I do stress some when inviting people over, but it also motivates me to tidy up! Thank you for the giveaway!

Janera said...

It's fun to have small groups,just family and friends. On the other hand, I do enjoy opening my home to my kids' youth and other groups.

Do I stress out? Yes, just a little. Ok, a lot.

But I enjoy it just the same!

Elizabeth (blue clear sky) said...

We both come from large families, and funny enough, I never stress over large family parties. 20-40 people, kids too. Those I can pull off frequently with no problem -bridal showers, Christmas, special birthdays etc. I feel like my family is comfortable in our home and would never judge us. BUT the pressure would be on for smaller 'neighbour parties.' Those I stress over and therefor avoid. I feel my home is never 'good enough' for neighbours. Weird.

Marianna said...

This looks like a really good book.

Big parties most definitely stress me out...I prefer to keep things casual and intimate.

The Blissfully Happy Housewife said...

I don't really stress...but I put a lot of pressure on myself to have everything done before the guests arrive. In a way, I guess that is not always good but I love to be able to enjoy the company and not worry about the work once everyone is there!

We are entertaining a LOT this summer with some larger parties...including a family reunion. Even if it DOES take a lot of work, I absolutely LOVE it.

Have a great day my friend and, as always, thanks for all the inspiriation!

Jamie

Anonymous said...

I have finally learned to think twice. I have fewer parties, focus more on having only the people who I really treasure and want deeper relationships with. I have found that I am stressing less since these people all love me warts and all, even messy house and all.
Cousin Peggy

Empty Nest Full Life said...

Yes, I do stress over parties. I am a detail person, and strive too much for perfection. I prefer smaller gathering that seem more person. I don't host enough and want to start opening my home more.The nest is empty and I need more company. Would love to hear the advice in this book. Jackie

Anne N. said...

i stress over small get togethers..large groups don't faze me!

Rachel said...

Large parties stress me out, unless they are birthday parties for my kids since I figure kids don't expect perfection and the food can be on the simple and inexpensive side. Otherwise, we like smaller gatherings so we actually have the opportunity to catch up on a deeper level with friends, even with lots of interruptions from our kids and theirs.

This looks like a book I need right now.

Shannon @ AnchorMommy said...

Large groups completely stress me out! I do a relatively large family brunch at Christmas, which I try to keep simple but inevitably fret over. I would love to host a summer party, but can't seem to bring myself to do it! I need to stop living in the shadow of past summer blowouts and just have a low-key get-together that's about simple food and good conversation. That's what matters, right?

lunalissa at aol said...

i am all about the small parties, i can handle those. i will take on a big party, if it is a potluck or bar-b-que- which means others help with food or hubby cooks! i will also co-host with a few others, but will not give a big party on my own. if i need help cleaning,i hire "the midget maid"- my granddaughter who cleans for 15 minutes for 25 cents!

great giveaway, great host!

Carrie @ Cottage Cozy said...

I really do love to entertain, but it can be stressful! Keep it simple so all can enjoy! Thanks for entering me in your giveaway!

Carrie

driftwoodroses said...

I would much rather a smaller more intimate setting for a party. Leaves me more energy to attend to the finer details like decorating and making sure the food is delicious!

Blushing hostess said...

I agree with the declutter thing but a party any size is a great one!

Chinamama4 said...

I much prefer smaller gatherings (our house is not conducive to large groups), but we do host an annual holiday party for the same group of friends every year, and every year I get a little bit better at it!

Jan said...

I love to have people in our home, whether in large or small groups. The ones that stress me out the least are the impromptu ones when I don't have time to think and plan. I love giving a call to someone saying,"Hey, we have extras, want to come over?" That is just so relaxing. When I have time to think and plan, I tend to stress about it all being perfect. I'm learning, I'm learning.

I was recently in northern Wisconsin leading a young adult retreat. We were invited to have breakfast at the home of one of the young men's aunt's house. I found myself laughing and thinking about you. The table was lovely. The dishes all matched, but the paper napkins laying on the plates were from a variety of holidays---Christmas, Thanksgiving, birthdays, etc. The serving dishes were a mishmash of whatever she had handy at the moment. The syrup was from Aunt Jemima (and this family usually makes their own). I thought, "Sandy would be so proud of Jane". Just thought I'd share that.

:) Jan

erinz said...

I DO stress over having parties! I am excited up until the day arrives...then watch out!

Cathy said...

Hmm...we have 400-500 people coming here for a bash each August. Wonder if I'm stressed. LOL Plan ahead is what you do. Keep lists of what works and what doesn't.

Sara L said...

I would love to enter - I prefer smaller parties, you have more time to talk with each person.

Thanks!

charles and sara at hotmail dot com

We Want Tessert said...

Do I stress? HA! I had to move to a bigger house just so I could start making myself invite friends over. And I'm still terrified! I keep reading your stuff and hoping to come to some zen-like place in my life where I can just breathe and say, "Come on over!"

Laura Ingalls Gunn said...

I throw several parties a year whether they be birthday parties, dinner parties, etc.

While I love the intimacy of small parties, I almost feel that if I am going to go to the trouble of extensive cooking and cleaning I may as well make it a big party and invite those who are special to us. It is as if in some small way I show my neighbors, friends and family members that I appreciate the kindness that they regularly bestow upon me.

Anonymous said...

Hosting stresses me out, I admit I don't do it very often because of this! It helps to get a friend and host something together!

Meredith
mk467@hotmail.com