6 TIPS for No-Pressure Entertaining

6 TIPS for  No-Pressure Entertaining

I love simple entertaining, and I sometimes wish everyone else loved it as much as I do. But not everyone does, because they do not like the pressure they are under when hosting others. So today I’m sharing 6 Tips for No-Pressure Entertaining!

Redefine the word.

One thing to keep in mind for reluctant entertainers is that you may need to redefine how you think about entertaining.

Think about the words relaxed, or “no pressure.” Doesn’t that bring a bit of clarity and relief?

6 TIPS for No-Pressure Entertaining

If you’re having people into your home to catch up on life, or out-of-town guests are coming in for a short weekend, or neighbors are popping in for a quick meal – whatever the scenario, there is nothing wrong in dressing up a meal in your freezer, or serving take-out food from your favorite restaurant, and making the evening easy on yourself.

My kind of dinner party is a relaxed dinner party.

Easy on yourself.

Easy on yourself … means no pressure. Keep it simple, easy, use what you have, go with the flow, and be easy on yourself. That means do everything you can to remove the pressure of “perfect” and learn to relax and to enjoy! The moment may never come again to be with those exact people who are sitting around your table!

6 TIPS for No-Pressure Entertaining

I also call it un-pressured entertaining. Now I feel even better just reading that word. :)

How to entertain with NO pressure:

1. Decide that SIMPLICITY is your focus. Concentrate on keeping it that way. In other words, don’t get caught up in all the extra “fluff” that doesn’t really matter.

2. Remind yourself that you are NOT impressing others, but are providing nourishment and sharing.

3. Mix it up with mix-and-match dishes, linens, chairs – get the idea out of your head that everything needs to match perfectly!

4. Tell yourself it’s okay to serve “take out” even for a portion of the meal, if it makes it easier on you and saves you time! Whatever shortcuts you need to take … take them. No one needs to know!

5. Focus on the people who are coming, not the worries of perfectionism that will haunt you and STEAL the joy right out from under you.

6. Sit at the table with your guests and do not get up. Learn to revel in the moment, learning more about your guests and the gift they are to you.

6 TIPS for No-Pressure Entertaining

The great reward.

A great gathering does not have to be gourmet. All it takes is a willingness to venture out and want to get to know others more.

By simply sharing food and drink in your home, you’re providing the ultimate hospitable environment! By the way, hospitality is a forgotten word amongst many households, sadly so. And I feel for our children who never learn the rewards in life, by the simple gestures of hospitality.

6 TIPS for No-Pressure Entertaining

Details about the mix-matched table.

- MacKenzie-Childs black and white “Courtly Check” chargers & water pitcher.

- Dollar Store black plates.

- TJ Maxx clearance peacock salad plates, gold candle holders, CHEERS paper napkins.

- Mikasa chalkboard wine glasses.

- Greenery from the outdoors.

6 TIPS for No-Pressure Entertaining

I used what I had, set the table in less than 5 minutes — perfect-ready for company! Perfectly as in perfectly not perfect!

And then the golden sun shone through the back patio door, which made the table sparkle and glow {swoon}.

An added gift for what was to come …

What stops you from entertaining?

   

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17 Responses to “6 TIPS for No-Pressure Entertaining”

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    Debi B — January 15, 2014 @ 8:09 am

    Good Morning Sandy! I love your suggestions. I always seem to worry about what to serve for dinner. Believe it or not I will spend days searching/deciding what meal my guests would like. My husband has your philosophy of keeping it simple and relaxed. I love your idea of mixing and matching the dinnerware..thanks for the great ideas!

    • Sandy Coughlin replied: — January 15th, 2014 @ 8:57 am

      Debi, I’ll work on a “what to serve for dinner” post for you :) How’s that?

      • Debi B replied: — January 16th, 2014 @ 2:50 pm

        Sounds great Sandy!! Thank you:)

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    Flavia — January 15, 2014 @ 8:32 am

    Hi Sandy! Remember me? ;) I love these tips. I always love reading your posts because they are so encouraging and always have such great nuggets of tips and tricks. I’m still struggling with being a reluctant entertainer, but I *am* improving! I’m also learning (slowly but surely) to stop being a perfectionist–it’s hard! But I’ve realized that once I set aside perfectionism and my reluctance, I have more fun hosting people in my home. I will still always be a “planner”, but I’m learning to enjoy the dinner party planning process more thanks to your posts! Hope you and Paul are doing well. Hugs from Texas! XO

    • Sandy Coughlin replied: — January 15th, 2014 @ 8:56 am

      Love hearing the positive comments like yours, Flavia! So proud of you … and yes, being a planner is what actually helps make entertaining easier. Hello from Oregon to Texas, my friend! Happy New Year!

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    Diane — January 15, 2014 @ 10:11 am

    I adore those peacock plates – such fun! How about a post on small scale entertaining – the friend you don’t see very often who is coming over to chat and catch up? I’ve a cozy corner near the fireplace and a large ottoman that can serve as a small table, but need suggestions on food/drinks/”table” décor.

    • Sandy Coughlin replied: — January 15th, 2014 @ 12:48 pm

      Great idea, Diane. I wrote a post last year (I think) for Valentine’s Day where I turned my coffee table into a table for 2. I bet you have some creative ideas (like the ottoman with a big tray) brewing … ? Fun! I love cozy get-togethers.

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    Joanne @ Fifteen Spatulas — January 15, 2014 @ 11:00 am

    I love your tips, Sandy! I find myself getting very frenzied every time I have guests over, but you’re right, it’s about enjoying your time together and that requires a little relaxation =)

    • Sandy Coughlin replied: — January 15th, 2014 @ 12:47 pm

      Thank you, Joanne! Hopefully some day we can have a dinner together here in my home!

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    Denise — January 15, 2014 @ 11:53 am

    I wholeheartedly agree with your tips. However, It seems to contradict the perfect photos that went along with the article. It appears a lot of work and effort went into the table setting and really didn’t seem relaxed with no pressure. Just my opinion. I realize those are items that you always have on hand. But for me to have “no pressure” it would need to be less table fluff. I do love your book!

    • Sandy Coughlin replied: — January 15th, 2014 @ 12:46 pm

      Hi, Denise. Thank you! I actually timed myself setting the table (hee-hee) because I knew I was writing about this. The secret to setting a table it to gather what you have, put it down (which you can do in about 2 minutes), then walk away and not question if it’s perfect or nice enough, or what will others think? Be confident in the table, and move on. That is exactly what I did … and in the process created a warm, relaxed table setting and environment. YAY!

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    Jenny Flake — January 15, 2014 @ 6:22 pm

    Sandy I need to come for a visit for some one on one entertaining training! You are so good at it and make it look so beautifully easy! xo

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    SeattleDee — January 16, 2014 @ 7:55 pm

    It’s hard to avoid going into “Martha Mode” when I have a long timeline, so impromptu entertaining is much more relaxed. This works when we’re living on the boat but is more challenging in the city. Maybe having more tableware and “stuff” available ashore, plus ready shopping access, isn’t such a big help after all.

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    Shaina — January 17, 2014 @ 10:55 am

    Such wonderful tips, Sandy! Now I need to actually put them to use.

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    Andrea Worley — January 20, 2014 @ 9:57 pm

    I love this.

    Focus on the people, it’s so true. Isn’t that what it’s all about?!

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    Clare — February 20, 2014 @ 2:37 pm

    When I read this post, I called my brother and invited them to dinner. (I told my husband it was payment for doing our taxes! Which it was.) My sister-in-law ended up not coming due to a work deadline but we had the nicest time. I didn’t freak out about cleaning and perfection. I just made sure the bathrooms were clean! I love your posts – so encouraging. They always make me want to throw a party!

    • Sandy Coughlin replied: — February 20th, 2014 @ 8:33 pm

      I love that, Clare. “They always make me want to throw a party!” Thank you for your comment and sharing your story! That’s why I love to write RE! :)

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