Monday, April 16, 2012

A Refreshing Take on Entertaining (From "It's Just a Dinner Party")

For those of you who're loyal enough to have been waiting for another post (since it's been nearly a week since my last,) thank you! I have been sick, sick, sick, but I'm happy to report that it seems as though things are looking up. *knock on wood* Shawn has been more than awesome about taking Kate for me and even took time off from work to be home on a particularly bad day. Kate had so much fun with dad while I was in bed, that I don't know if I'll ever be quite enough to make her totally happy again. Such an awesome guy.

Anyway, one bright point of the past week came to my doorstep wrapped in a bright pink envelope! An old friend of mine, Cheryl, sent me a great little book on entertaining called "It's Just a Dinner Party" by Ron and Julie Malloy. So thoughtful! Of course I haven't gotten very far into the book, but I wanted to share some of the thoughts from the book that I found to be so grounded and very refreshing.
"It is our goal to illustrate that entertaining shouldn't be intimidating, and that it can be a tremendous source of joy."

What I love about the book is that it brings perspective to what the real goal of entertaining is. It's not to impress or intimidate your guests, or to stretch yourself to the breaking point making everything perfect, but to create an opportunity for friends and family to enjoy a shared experience and enjoy each other's company! I also love that their approach pretty much entirely revolves around their guests. When planning they ask themselves questions like "What type of party suits them," and "Where would [the] guests like to be?" Also, I love how they assure you that entertaining can be done by people with full-time jobs, not just housewives with enough free time to whittle their own wooden place-card holders.

Beyond their fantastic perspective, they give lots of super helpful tips that I have not found in other, more typical books on entertaining. Tips like:

  • Buy extra ice.
  • Hot rooms make people sleepy.
  • Your guests are more valuable than your crystal.
  • Don't stretch yourself too far financially.
  • Honor yourself and your own personal style.
  • Remember that in order for your guests to be happy, you need to be happy.
  • Stick with natural, simple foods.
  • Clear a section on your kitchen counter for dirty dish stacking.
Thanks a million, Cheryl! I'm so inspired and can't wait to start practicing some of what I'm reading!

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