Are you a Reluctant Entertainer?

I stumbled upon the Reluctant Entertainer blog and started reading her posts on perfectionism and entertaining.

I think so many of us women aspire to be Martha Stewart with perfect everything that when we fall short, we feel inadequate.

I liked what I saw on the blog and so I ordered the book.

It is a beautiful, hardcover book with gorgeous, glossy pages.

Sheer pleasure for a tactile girl like me!

I’m also very visual and I loved looking at all the photos of food and of easy ideas to decorate your table.

Basically, I’m terrible at reviewing books because I take no notes but I have put some stick-e-tags to mark off the things that spoke to me.

Here they are:

“get out of the jail cell of perfectionism by asking yourself, “am I having people into my home to impress them or to bless them?”

(Like Sandy, I also believe perfectionism is a jail cell that will keep you in bondage)

“Authenticity is honest and doesn’t try to needlessly impress others. And the great thing about being authentic is that it attracts other authentic people – those who are soulful and who make the greatest friends”

(authenticity is one of my highest values)

Some of my take aways:

I love how she says that when you apologise profusely for things (food not being perfect, this not good/ that not good, etc.) you make your guests feel uncomfortable. I will stop doing this immediately 🙂

I also love how she tells people to figure out your style. If you’re a relaxing brunch type of gal, go with it. It doesn’t all have to be supper! Who knew?

We used to have people over for suppers in the pre-twins days and now I honour their sleep (after waiting for it so long!!!) so we don’t have people over in the evenings. I’m now a lunch-time person. But I’ve been freed to have people over for tea and muffins and not feel guilty about it.

Sandy says, “true hospitality is not about being perfect, cooking a fancy meal or spending a lot of money. Rather, it’s about an open door and an open heart.”

Amen to that!

Are you a reluctant entertainer who is trapped in perfectionism?

Do you know your entertaining style?

P.S. If you related to anything I said, either get the book or subscribe to her blog (there is so much insight in the comments too).

P.P.S. I’m not being paid to write this review. She doesn’t even know I exist 🙂

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  1. Oh I am a very reluctant entertainer. I don’t know why though because when I do entertain then it all runs smoothly and goes really well. So well that I make my guests help me with the dishes before they leave – in the spirit of being social and all that. Depending on who I invite I may even get them to sweep and mop the floors for me…LOL

    Truthfully, I don’t particularly enjoy entertaining. It makes me anxious, it stresses me out to no end. When I do entertain it is usually with not too many people and I don’t ever cook for people. I’m a platters and snacks kind of girl. Or I do desserts. Or cake and tea. Always during the day and never at night.

    I do feel bad about it. My mother is a fabulous entertainer. It’s her hobby and she is really good with the food and the details and all of that. And she would never dream of asking her guests to help her with the dishes before they leave…

  2. Hi Marcia,
    I’ve been reading her blog for ages! But not lately, I think she changed her website or something and it came off my Reader. So you’ve reminded me to get her back on my reader! I didn’t know about her book, sounds lovely!
    I love her down to earth style and her Balcony Girls.
    Have fun entertaining!
    To Julia above, I totally let people help clean up! Many Hands Make Light Work, I always say!

  3. Marcia Francois says

    Julia, I have absolutely no problem putting people to work. I like to decide beforehand what I will accept help with and what I prefer to do myself (anyone is welcome to do dishes, but I like to set the table)

    Laura, yes. She used to be a .blogspot and moved to her own domain so that could be it. I also love the Balcony Girls – I would LOVE to do a group like this when my kids are older.

    I’d love to send you the book!

  4. Amanda Bolton says

    Hi Marcia,
    I tried contacting you on the email address on your website – but it bounced back. Please could you let me know what your email address is – so that I can forward my enquiry on.

  5. I dream of being the perfect host and the perfect chef and that is my problem. I want to be perfect and not being perfect stresses me out. Most of the time my friends and family dont even notice the “bits” I think aren’t perfect and I get rave reviews but I don’t enjoy the stress before. I have to learn to stop stressing and since I’m now living in another country and no one here knows me its a good time to change my style ~ Thks!

    • Nicky, thanks so much for commenting. I loved seeing your name pop up in my inbox.

      It is definitely a good time to reinvent yourself 🙂 It’s strangely very tempting. Hmmm.

      Did you relate to the bits I highlighted in the post on perfectionism?

      Get the book – it’s going to be good for you 🙂

  6. I love Sandy’s blog, have her book and had the honor to meet her when she was close by for her daughter’s soccer game.

    Thank you for a great post!! I just posted on Spur of the moment entertaining…I love that things don’t have to be perfect! We had a few of my daughter’s friends over with very little food in the house but we still had fun and they were fed.

  7. laura m. says

    It’s easy to entertain friends with a “dessert medley”, from home baked to the local bakery. Serve coffee, ice tea, punch. To cut costs, some are just doing desserts. Mid afternoon or evening is ideal when everyone has eaten their main meal as this cuts expenses. Great for retirees as most women work. However,few entertain anymore (not counting family) it’s just too time consuming. Church groups tend to have people bring food and everyone pitches in cleaning up. Same with senior centers and veterans groups.


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