Are you reluctant?

There’s a winner!

The winner chosen for the giveaway below, who will receive a copy of The Reluctant Entertainer is…
Rae who said…
“I do struggle with comparing myself to others and feeling that I don’t measure up to what guests might expect. I am so very content with my simple life, but having guests over makes me think of all the things that they take for granted. And I find myself tempted to rush around buying this or that to try to live up to expectations… and then hospitality is no fun at all.”
 

 

Congratulations Rae! Please send me your snail mail so you can start enjoying this lovely book soon.
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Today I’m so happy to have my good friend, Sandy Coughlin, here to share a recipe and tell you all about her beautiful new book, The Reluctant Entertainer. Sandy is as sweet as they come, and full of wisdom we can all take a note from. Even though I just met her in February, she’s already like a sister to me. I think you’ll soon see why. (There’s a giveaway too!)

Take it away Sandy…

.
___________________________
.When Amy asked me to write a post for her blog, I immediately thought about her beautiful photography and how mine doesn’t compare to hers. It doesn’t even come close! But that’s okay because I have a secret that I want to share with you today.

I’ve learned to NOT compare and get all hung up on what others do.

When it comes to living out our passions, we have to figure out what makes us tick or what inspires us. And then as we learn to let go of the imperfect, which often robs us of our potential, we embrace the freedom to be ourselves and move forward with confidence and clarity.

By the way, have I told you how much I adore Amy? We’ve seen each other 3 times this year.– BlissDom, Napa Valley, and Park City. We still have 2 trips planned later this Fall. I appreciate the friendships I’ve made through Blog-land. I’ve learned so much from some very special ladies! (Love you, Amy! Thank you for having me here today.)

Anyway, I just wrote a book released this week, The Reluctant Entertainer, and it encourages women to be real with their entertaining. It offers great wisdom to those who get caught up in the comparison trap and gives savvy entertaining ideas.

Since Amy asked me to talk about my book, I thought I’d share my “Best Strawberry Bread” recipe that is featured in the back. Yes, along with wisdom, advice and ideas for the reluctant entertainer (anyone will enjoy this book, even the seasoned entertainer), I have some very yummy, tried and true recipes …

I went to my strawberry patch last night, as it’s growing thin now, and picked these beauties. I just love how the little white blossom fell into the bowl right as I was finishing up.

My daughter helped wash, stem and slice up the strawberries and we added some raspberries to create a more unique flavor

Mixed together and tossed it in the oven.

I love making extra loaves for my neighbors.

And then a large loaf for the family.

Raspberry Strawberry Bread
Recipe
 

Ingredients:
3 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. vanilla
2 cups sugar
2 cups sliced strawberries
1/2 cup raspberries
4 eggs, beaten
1 cup cooking oil
.
Instructions:
– Mix by hand. Add the berries at the last. (**)
– Bake at 350 for 35-45 minutes in small loaf pans, or around 60 minutes in 2 large loaf pans. Remember each oven is different, so make sure and UNDER-SET your timer, so you don’t over bake the bread!
– Serve and enjoy!
.
 

Hospitality is about helping others to feel warm and welcomed. It’s not about being the perfect family or entertainer. And to me, on this night, it was also about sharing a loaf of bread with our neighbor.

Do you struggle with “perfect” or the comparison trap, to where it stops you from inviting others in?

** True confessions: When I made this bread I forgot one simple step. Make sure and add the berries at the last, and then mix the batter by hand. It’s much better with chunky bites of fruit!

________________________________

.

Thanks Sandy! This looks delicious. Can’t wait to make it, and soon! I think I may have almost all the ingredients on hand too.

And guess what?!? One person will be randomly selected to receive a copy of The Reluctant Entertainer, by my friend, and guest, Sandy Coughlin. Just leave a comment answering Sandy’s question above…

Do you struggle with “perfect” or the comparison trap, to where it stops you from inviting others in?

OR share a tip for no stress entertaining.

Can’t wait to hear comments and ideas!

***Be sure to leave your comment before Wednesday, August 4, 2010 midnight PST. One comment (entry) per person. Winner will be randomly selected and announced sometime on Thursday, August 5, 2010.

_________________

By the way, if you’re looking for an easy peasy chicken recipe, that would be a perfect compliment to Sandy’s yummy bread, check out this guest post I did for Tasty Kitchen where I tried out a recipe for Lazy Chicken. It’s easy and tasty! Tasty Kitchen is a great place to find all sorts of recipes and you can join (for free & no strings attached) to submit your own favorites to share with us all!

:•)

Comments

  1. 1

    Lynne says

    I have often struggled with the perceived need for perfection and comparing myself and my home to others. (My sweethearts ex-wife and her incredible talent for decorating a home comes to mind…what a waste of my energy that was!)

    Finally I realized that I was shortchanging myself. I was missing out on so many opportunities to share laughter and good food with friends.
    Now I embrace the opportunities when they come, relish the idea of trying new recipes to share with people. I tell myself (as I am preparing a feast using recipes I’ve never tried making before) that the worst thing that can happen is that we all get a good laugh and we order pizza.

    It’s liberating, really it is!! Try letting go and just having fun. Your guests and your family will remember the laughter and not the one spot you forgot to dust or that your dishes don’t match.
    By the way….we’ve yet to order pizza and we’ve had a really good time!!

    This bread looks so good, and I will be adding it to my ‘must make soon’ list. Thanks for sharing. I am really looking forward to adding the book to my collection :)

  2. 2

    says

    I struggle with comparing myself to others and it’s a trap I feel like I’m always trying to avoid. I’m a work-in-progress! : )

  3. 3

    the country cook @ Delightful Country Cookin' says

    I’m not a “reluctant” entertainer, but I do struggle with the compulsion to make everything PERFECT. The house has to be perfectly clean, the table has to be beautiful, the food has to be perfect…even the kitchen has to be cleaned (which is hard if you have just made a meal for people). I look forward to checking out her book – I would love all the entertaining tips I can get.

  4. 4

    Kara says

    Uh, a daily struggle for me, both in entertaining and the rest of this thing we call life. I still entertain a ton, I won’t let it hold me back, but almost every meal set on the table is accompanied by an apology of some sort (even before the first bite!), which I hate but have to figure out how to stop. This looks like a great book! (and yummy bread!)

  5. 5

    says

    I’m worst than reluctant. I am so busy with all the things I want to do, that I often forget to stop and enjoy the company of my friends and family. So what if the house isn’t picked up or I started the dishes a little later than I should have to be ready for my guests. It all works out, I keep telling myself. But I am a little slow to realize my own advice.

    Good luck with the book.

    Sandi

  6. 6

    Julie says

    The clean house thing has been my downfall. One day a friend stopped by (after calling me to give me warning, at which point I cleaned like crazy until she arrived) and she made a comment that I could never come to her house because she could never have a house as clean as mine. That was a shot in the heart…and a wake up call. I learned that my cleaning compulsion was hurting friendships. So now I actually do not clean up when someone calls to say they will stop by (OK, so I don’t clean as much as before). It feels pretty good to show people how we really live every once in a while.

  7. 7

    sheri says

    I agree with Julie about feeling like the house needs to be cleaner in order to entertain. It seems like there is not enough time to get everything done so I just put off having people over.

    By the way, the bread looks yummy! I love quick sweet breads – they are one of my favorite things to eat!

  8. 8

    says

    I’m a reluctant entertainer. I used to struggle with comparison. I’ve found, though, that since two of my children are grown with one married I am much more comfortable just having people over spur of the moment. Yes, I run around like a mad woman stashing things and straightening up. (I like a little bit of warning!) But in the end I enjoy myself so much more now. There are still a few women I would have a hard time inviting over, but I’m definitely improving.

    The bread looks delicious! The book looks like something I need to read. Thanks.

  9. 9

    Rose in Ohio (@RoseMillsOhio) says

    Okay, here’s what bugs me. When I first moved to this town, I made my favorite chocolate cake from Gourmet Magazine and took it to my Bible study group. I had made it many times, it’s a terrific recipe, and it has never let me down. But because the first thing I cooked for my new friends was actually delicious, suddenly I got a “reputation” for being a “good cook” (shudder). The sad truth is that most of the things I cook are only mediocre at best, but I feel like everyone expects me to produce something fabulous. I’ve put myself under so much pressure to perform. Should I move away and start over? I fear entertaining because I will forever be competing with myself and that darn chocolate cake. I sure hope Julie’s book covers the imposter complex I’ve developed.

  10. 10

    Lori H says

    I struggle with the perfection trap. One way for stress-free entertaining is to have a potluck once in a while. Everyone gets to bring a dish to share, and the hostess isn’t on the hook for the whole dinner.

  11. 11

    says

    I’m not afraid to admit that I’m recovering from an eating disorder right now, and I do still have issues with comparing with others. My desire to be thin always sprung from comparing with the other, thinner girls around me, rather than models. I would always like to serve my sister food because I felt that if I served her more than I served myself, she would eat more and therefore gain more weight than I did. It’s heartbreaking how cruel and twisted that sounds to me now, and I wish I could stop comparing, and I wish I could stop hurting others with my comparing. Comparing is inevitable, but sometimes you just have to let it go.

    BTW: I live in China. Does that mean I can still enter the giveaway?

    Wei-Wei

  12. 13

    Duchess D says

    I have one particular friend that is happy to tell you when you aren’t being perfect. Because of that, for a while, each time I planned an evening at my house, I had to either be sure everything is going to be exquisite, or to plan a group that wouldn’t cross paths with her. Recently, I’ve come to be more confident in my imperfections. I now have the courage to tell her that I tried my best, and that everyone else seemed to enjoy themselves. She still comes with snippy comments, but I let them slide over me rather than obsessing about them on the next event. I think of sprinkles on ice cream – they would never look delicious neatly placed in lines! The imperfections of their placement are what make them so yummy!

  13. 15

    Sybil Clark says

    Yes, I always stressed over everything and sometimes avoided having people over. Then I hit 50 and realized people want to enjoy you no matter if things are perfect or not. I no longer cared about perfection. Guess I learned what was really important. If you feed them, they will come. Makes for a very relaxed atmosphere. Makes lots of memories.

  14. 16

    emily s says

    I do struggle in this area. On several levels. First, when I do have people over, I get overly obsessed with perfection. I go all out – stress myself out – and my husband. It’s not fair to him or me, or my guests, and it’s something I need to work on. In another way, I compare my skills to others. Cooking. Baking. Photography. With all the amazing competition out there it’s easy to get discouraged, but this was a great reminder that it’s time to stop comparing, and just do the best that you can with what God gave you.

    Thanks!

  15. 17

    says

    I struggle with the comparison trap way too much! I want my house, yard, kids, & life to be perfect (which I deep down in my heart, I know isn’t possible!). I can go over to someone’s house and think “man I’m a really bad housekeeper, mom, wife, etc…. But I am trying to work on this issue. There are some things I am great at :) I’d love to win this book.

  16. 19

    says

    I definitely worry about any events that we host being “perfect,” especially since my husband’s family gets together at our house for big holidays (e.g. Christmas) and birthdays, and who wants to mess up someone’s Christmas??? Since having my little girl, I’ve gotten better with realizing that everything can’t be perfect, but that doesn’t mean I don’t try (or that I don’t worry about it anyway!).

    I would love a copy of Sandy’s book! Thanks for the opportunity to win!

  17. 20

    says

    We have people over quite a bit, including every Sunday for church and a potluck. I’ve gotten used to folks being in and out, and it doesn’t stress me out as it did many years ago. I think writing down everything that needs to be done and checking it off is a good idea for not forgetting an important item. Doing most things ahead of time can definitely eliminate stress before company arrives.

  18. 21

    Lynne in NC says

    Yes, I struggle with perfection. Perfection in how my home measures up to others’ homes, how the food I serve will be received and how imperfect our family is. However, since reading Sandy’s blog we all have become less reluctant to entertain friends and neighbors.
    An example: After our teens played Ultimate Frisbee with friends at a nearby park, they all came over for an impromptu pizza party. I didn’t even know our teens had invited them until they were bringing the pizzas in the door! No reluctance on their parts! It was nice to see them with no care for the perfection that I struggle with. They just wanted to bless their friends.
    Thanks for the giveaway and for featuring Sandy and her book.
    Peace.

  19. 22

    weedwacker says

    I always get so stressed out when entertaining, cleaning, cooking, and making sure everything is just right. By the time the company arrives, I am too frazzled to enjoy the party. To help with this, I enlist my family to help me clean (instead of trying to do it all). Depending on the occasion, I may ask that each guest bring a dish. We provide the main course, and I throw a few quick salads together the day before. These things help with both mess, preparation, and time. Don’t be afraid to ask for help; it makes things so much easier!

  20. 23

    Angie B says

    All my friends seem to have a knack for cooking and entertaining and I feel like I must’ve slept through that class so, though I would love to have friends to my house, I feel much more comfortable at their houses. I realize, of course, that I don’t care if their house is messy or if we’re just having water and talking, but I can’t seem to accept that they may feel the same way at my house. Don’t know how to get over that, and at my age I guess I might not.

  21. 24

    Steph W. says

    I have one of each! An answer and a tip.

    My answer is ABSOLUTELY! I know everyone says “well, my housekeeping could be better” but mine is truly sub-par. And of course, it seems that it’s always on the day that I left the dishes until morning that someone shows up unexpected!

    My tip is hot spinach artichoke dip. It’s reasonably inexpensive to make, and you can throw it together in about ten minutes. Even people who hate spinach love this stuff. I’m asked to bring it whenever there is a party. I just throw all the ingredients into my slow cooker and open a bag of tortilla chips half an hour later, and let the party happen!

    Can’t wait to try this bread recipe. I need to use up my bounty of garden stuffs!

  22. 25

    cindy b. says

    i struggle with the ‘perfect’ thing and selfishly wanting to do nothing – especially if we’ve been really busy.

    the bread looks awesome!

  23. 26

    SuzyQ says

    I am somewhere in the middle. I usually go all out for a few big occasions, rather than a bunch of smaller (more manageable!) ones. The cooking seems to take forever, so I guess I could use help choosing different recipes. Thanks for a great giveaway.

  24. 27

    says

    Yea for Sandy:) I can’t wait to try this bread. Looks fabulous! We are in the middle of a kitchen remodel, so there is nothing perfect about our house right now. We just warn people to watch out for nails, etc:)

  25. 28

    Michelle O. says

    I have always loved to entertain. In years past though I was reluctant to do so because things in my home were not perfect. The house needed to be cleaned, bathrooms needed to be shiny, yard & porch manicured, etc. I have learned though that none of that is important. It is the people who are most important. The relationships ,the conversation, the memories made and remembered, are what it is all about.

  26. 29

    jaymi says

    I used to want to be perfect. When we had people over, I would dig out new recipes and reorganize the linen closet. Then I had kids. Now I try to make sure the toilet in the guest bathroom has been flushed and that the hardwood does not contain enough dog hair to knit a sweater. I’m all about the crock pot for easy entertaining.

  27. 31

    Donna says

    I ran into some old friends last Friday and, on a whim, invited them to our home for dessert and overdue conversation. My husband was shocked! I would never have done that in the past. I told them to take the long way to our house so I could move the folded laundry off the sofa in the den. They did and we had blast.

    Sandy’s blog has helped me realize I was missing out by trying to have everything perfect before inviting anyone over and causing myself a lot of stress in the process. I’m not perfect, my house is not perfect, and my good friends already know that. Who was I trying to fool?

  28. 32

    Sarah G. says

    No, I actually don’t really worry about being perfect. I enjoy having company over, and it’s something fun for me! :)

  29. 33

    says

    I decide ahead of time that things don’t have to be perfect. I just want to spend time with those I’m having over and I rarely do dishes while company is still here. Why? Because I don’t want to take away from time spent with them, unless the gals and I gather in the kitchen and share the job (which has been done before).

  30. 34

    Yvette says

    I struggle with my home never being “company ready”. I am working on that. :)
    ~Yvette

  31. 35

    says

    I do struggle with inviting friends in to my home, but I’m not sure it’s because of the ‘things need to be perfect’ thought? If it’s just adults I seem to be ok, I plan ahead, make menus that don’t keep me in the kitchen all night etc… but if the company is to include children, that’s when I panic! I am just not comfortable when they ‘run all over my house’ and the parents don’t keep an eye on them… hence the reason I don’t invite many ‘families’ over. I am trying to overcome this so I can have our friends over more often.

  32. 36

    Kirstin says

    I would love to do more casual, last minute entertaining but my house never seems clean enough…kids, dog. I’m sure no one but my husband would care but it does stop me from having more occasions to have friends over. Would love a cope of the book!

  33. 37

    Christy says

    Hi! Visiting from the Reluctant Entertainer site! Through Sandy’s wonderful blog, I have found the courage to entertain and have people into my home. I grew up in a home where we only had visitors a few times during my childhood.. it was just not done in that house. Once I had my own family, I knew I didn’t want that to be the case, but had no idea how to invite people IN. Sandy has taught me this! My tip for stress free entertaining is to remember that a slightly messy house puts people at ease and that if you start to feel overwhelmed, just order a pizza.

  34. 38

    Cathy says

    I love having people over– I do however struggle with wanting everything to be just right. But slowly thru your site and Sandy’s I am learning to let go and allow God to use the little I have to bless other people’s lifes.

    P.S– I love using mixes as my base ingred. to make quick and easy treats for my family and friends. Check out the Kraft Food site and Betty Crocker when you are in a pinch for time.

  35. 39

    joanne says

    I always struggle with is my house to small or does my food taste alright. I have to keep telling myself that nobody came to see my house or judge me. They came because they love me and my family. Besides by the end of the night the house is messier than it was to begin with and everyone is full, laughed out and ready for seconds!!

  36. 40

    Aimee says

    I still live at home, and would love to entertain! But my mom is a pack rat, and I really struggle with the idea of my friends judging me based on how disgusting my parents house is. The worst is the well meaning friends that tell attempt to goad me into cleaning my parents house, without realizing that I can’t just go through and throw things away that my mom is purposely saving for whatever reason. I’ve become very selective of who I allow to visit me, until I can get a place of my own. Its very frustrating.

  37. 41

    says

    We live near a lot of family so we have them over a quite a bit, and I never worry too much about them judging me harshly, but when it comes to having others over I’m a lot more reluctant… Wish I could just think of everyone as family!!! The bread looks delish, and I’m wondering if the bread pan is pampered chef? I love that you can make four loaves at once in one pan!

  38. 42

    rachael says

    I do struggle with my home being “perfect” before people coming over. We have been renovating for years! I’m tired of waiting, and think I need to start having people over again!

  39. 43

    Carol says

    Oh boy, this has been a life long struggle for me. I not only compare myself to other women but I compare my kids to other kids and my husband to other husbands!! Makes for a real happy life…NOT!!! The Lord has really been teaching me throughout the years to let that go, and I’m better than I used to be but I still struggle with it. I really do have a wonderful husband and great kids and I started being more grateful and looking at the positives of my family. You’ll always find people you think you’re “worse” than which will make you depressed or find those who you think you’re better than which will make you prideful. Comparing is a lose, lose proposition! Such a waste of time and energy!!

    This book looks great, I’m always looking for new recipes!

  40. 44

    Maren says

    Make ahead food. I love entertaining for brunch. I make it the night before, throw on a pot of coffee and make some juice and put out fruit in the morning, and I am all set. I also have the rest of the day to myself…not cleaning for company.

  41. 45

    Crystal says

    I like to try to keep the ingredients on hand for a menu that I am very familiar with and that doesn’t take too long to throw together. That way when the chance comes up to have people over at the spur of the moment, I don’t have to fret over what we’ll have or running to the store. It really makes it possible for this control freak to be able to say, “Come one over!” a lot more often.

  42. 46

    says

    I used to be HORRIBLE about comparison. And the worst thing was, I was setting myself up to be completely disappointed because the comparison was TOTALLY unrealistic. I compared myself to my sister-in-law who had a husband with a high paying job, a gorgeous fancy new house, and she didn’t work. So when I went to her house all I could see was how beautiful her house was and how perfect everything was. I have a friend who is from a very wealthy family and she is in the same situation. McMansion, stay-at-home mom, unlimited money. OF COURSE compared to them I failed miserably in my eyes. SHAME ON ME!! My life is my life, not theirs. I am MUCH better about it now. Yes, I do want my house to be fairly clean, and yes, I want the food to taste pretty good, but I have stopped OBSESSING about striving for perfection. Some of the most fun parties I’ve been too were not in gorgeous homes with gourmet food. They were good friends and good times. So, now I’m making up for lost time. We have friends over for supper quite a bit and I relax and enjoy!!!

  43. 47

    lou anne flowers says

    Well, of course I do. My current roadblock is my kitchen that needs to be remodeled. But, I’ll work through it as always!

  44. 48

    Leigh Anne says

    Yes, I do struggle w/ not having a perfect house for entertaining, but have learned so much from Sandy’s blog. And I’ve learned to let the little things go (like having a spotless floor) because I’m gonna have to clean AFTER we have people over anyway ;) Hoping to win Sandy’s book!
    Thanks!

  45. 49

    Maureen D says

    Yes, I struggle with the balance of having a clean house to serve good food in! I love to cook and seldom hedge over my cooking, but getting the house in order stresses me out. I have learned, though, that friends have been more impressed that I DO have people over when my house isn’t immaculate than when I work hard to clean, clean, clean. One thing I love to do in the summer is eat outdoors on the lawn, complete with table linens and dinner music. The focus leaves both the house and even the food, and becomes all about enjoying the moment. The book sounds intriguing and will hopefully encourage more of us to buck tradition and entertain in whatever manner we can!

  46. 50

    Tina W. says

    I am constantly torn between wanting to invite people into our home but always feeling like it’s not good enough. I feel like the house isn’t good enough, we’re not good enough (too boring) :-) or that the food won’t be good enough. I really can’t wait to check out your book!!

  47. 51

    Dawn says

    I absolutely love to entertain, and it comes to me pretty easily. But, the older I get, the more anxiety I get, and I have found over the past few years that we invite people into our home less and less, as I am worried that they are judging. Many of our friends have big, beautiful homes, and my husband and I live in a little Cape Cod that is perfect for us, but certainly not the McMansion that our friends occupy. So, yes, I do worry that they will only see my old linoleum floors and not my heartfelt food I have prepared.

  48. 52

    Kyla says

    Yes! I compare and apologize and talk myself out of entertaining all of the time! I’m slowly realizing the blessings that I’m missing out on by being such a perfectionist. One of my husbands friends actually told me a while back that he wouldn’t come over anymore if I kept apologizing for the mess or dinner being late or whatever was bothering me at the time… he just wanted to hang out with our family and enjoy the time – not feel like an imposition. How unfortunate that my pride kept him from enjoying himself!

    I would love to win this book… I’ve got lots to learn, and a husband that loves to entertain. Some practical tips/reminders/recipes would be most appreciated!

  49. 53

    Tiffany says

    yes, i do struggle with both the perfection and comparison traps. we have friends who are great entertainers and have the “perfect” house. it makes the rest of us not want to even bother anymore. We actually went over 2 years without having anybody over for dinner :( we’re trying to break out of our shell a bit and just be us, but it has been difficult. i would love to win this book to get some practical tips!

  50. 54

    Peg says

    Even though I think it should get easier to not worry about it the older I get…I do still worry about the “perfect” part and trying to make things just right for any guests that might come to my home. I used to entertain my friends a lot but the desire has dwindled because of the comparison issue. Maybe this discussion will allow me to rethink my hang-ups and get back into the fun of enjoying the company of my amazing family and friends.

  51. 55

    psychomomi says

    I’m a perfectionist. It takes me two days of frenzied cleaning every nook and surface. Then I feel like I have to rush through my cooking. I’m getting a little better but I also have learned to compromise on the cooking stress by utilizing some purchased items to add as fillers to my menu.

  52. 56

    says

    I do struggle with the desire to achieve “perfection” but have found that the less pressure I put in myself the better entertainer I’ve become as well as the “happier hostess.” I try to focus on simple fresh seasonal recipes that are echoed in my table scape. Fresh finds from my yard set the scene and embrace the season. When I’m relaxed, my guests are relaxed and that makes for a wonderful evening enjoyed by all!

  53. 57

    Jayne says

    Well, I like having guests and chatting and cooking for others. But I have also have the fear that “what if I’m not doing good enough” or “what if they think my floor is grimy and my washroom is slimy?” I try to get over that because in the end, entertaining really means having a good time with your guests and having fun together. I’m learning… last Saturday I had 3 friends over. We enjoyed the time together. I’m inviting another family of 5 over in 2 weeks. Hope it goes well!

  54. 58

    Erica says

    I feel like I’m doing pretty good.. the fact that I don’t have kids running around yet might help though :)

  55. 59

    Lori H says

    This is one of those days that I happened to find myself here… and I found exactly what I needed to “hear”. Letting go, letting go, letting go is the reminder I needed today. Enjoy by letting go.

  56. 60

    says

    I love to entertain and I like to think that I’ve learned over the years to be more relaxed and realize that it’s all about the fellowship and not the perfect house or perfect meal that matters most. I do notice that it’s harder to practice this if some time goes between hosting people. I guess i just need to entertain more often. :) I love the concept of this book and look forward to reading it.

  57. 61

    Kathy says

    I love having people over. I think what makes it easiest for me is that my idea of entertaining is having people feel like family. I usually serve buffet style from my kitchen. I love to have people help or bring a dish if they offer. My style is very comfortable and easy. But it is always so nice to just have the time to visit and really get to know people. That’s why I love having people over!

  58. 62

    Lisa says

    There’s not enough room, not enough food, silverware, drinks, not enough money, who wants to come to my house? These are the things that go through my head but honestly, I would love to invite people especially just ladies for some coffee and cake. Then what would I do with the kids, husband. I think I make it out to be much harder and expensive than it really is.

  59. 63

    says

    I definitely struggle with comparison and entertaining! I’m not a decorator, and my husbands family always has such a nice table set, and the perfect serving dishes, etc. and then since I have a food blog, I feel compelled to serve perfect good, all the while reminding people that just because I write about recipes I love, doesn’t mean I’m an amazing cook. It stresses me out, but I made a commitment in January to have someone over for dinner at least once a month, and I have to say it has helped a ton. Plus I view it as my Christian duty to be hospitable, so I’d better learn to like it :)

  60. 64

    says

    I love to entertain but I do sometimes get hung up on the details. Sandys website has really turned my attitude around. I still struggle sometimes with perfection (or lack of it!) but I remember her great advice, never apologise! I would love to win her book, but if I don’t I will be buying it. One way or another, I know I will love it:>)

  61. 65

    says

    I really do struggle with the “having to have things perfect” in order to have people over. I’m kind of in a rut right now because I LOVE having friends over, but we just moved into a house that needs a lot of work and I feel like I’m always apologizing to people who stop in about why things are such a mess and then describing all the things we are planning to do. It’s exhausting! I think I might just put little signs all over the walls with arrows that describe our remodeling efforts.

  62. 66

    Dawn says

    My husband, son, and I have a four bedroom home. I can decorate well and we have everything we need. I am also a very good cook. We have friends. We have time. My problem? I’m not a people person and my husband is. I don’t feel comfortable with groups of people especially when I have to be in charge of their “good time.” The pressure is just too much and I feel crippled by it. After a get together, I am emotionally drained and have to spend hours, or sometimes days, isolated just to re-group. I feel just awful, because my husband and son LOVE to have people over. Please help.

  63. 67

    Tamrah T. says

    It’s a daily struggle for me…striving for perfection. It runs deep in my genes. Guess it’s why I have a lot of stress surrounding any gathering: birthdays, mingle with friends,… I agree, it’s exhausting by the day’s end but, once I get past the prep work, I REALLY am blessed with so much more! Why in the world do I get hung up over and over again? Lord willing, I’ll get past and redeem my time better.

  64. 68

    Lorraine BAzzi says

    I like to entertain and would love to do so more graciously and effortlessly. Despite doing it often enough I still have not gotten to a place where I am completely relaxed with my guests like I see others are. I sometimes feel a little bit awkward. Although I have been know to complicate things sometimes, I would never call myself a perfectionist. I am very curious about the RE book as I have enjoyed reading Sandy’s blog.

  65. 69

    Jessica says

    We have guests over often but not many last minutes guests because I worry that the house isn’t clean enough, etc.

    That bread looks amazing!! I will be making it!

  66. 70

    says

    I love what you said Sandy about not comparing yourself…so true :) I love your website and everything that you write about. I can’t wait to get your book and spend days on end pouring through it’s pages.

    PS: You ladies make my heart smile daily :)

  67. 71

    says

    I do struggle with comparing myself to others and feeling that I don’t measure up to what guests might expect. I am so very content with my simple life, but having guests over makes me think of all the things that they take for granted. And I find myself tempted to rush around buying this or that to try to live up to expectations… and then hospitality is no fun at all.

  68. 73

    says

    I am a reluctant entertainer (and maybe other things as well) because of the pressure to “be perfect” I think what it comes down to is not really being perfect…we all know everyone has flaws. Getting over the need to “feel perfect” would be a great starting place for me. I’m sure I see what looks like a flaw, no one else even noticed.

    I think getting over the feeling (because feelings sometimes lie to you ) and seeing the situation through others eyes is a way to grow. So with that in mind I’m going to invite more people over, even if the house isn’t perfect. And I’m going to give myself a break and try to “go with the flow”.

    (Easier said than done, but I’ll try)

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