Colors and Inspiration for NEW RE Blog Design 2014

Colors and Inspiration for NEW RE Blog Design 2014

Hello, Friends, and Happy New Year, 2014!

I’m very excited for what’s ahead this year, and I hope you’re lives will be filled with blessings, love, and vibrant, rich entertaining moments! Because that is what makes life really the best. When we come together over a meal, with family and friends, and we connect and get down to the nitty-gritty.

I can’t help but think of those words that will keep me in focus this next year as I write on RE. I’ve found there are not a whole lot of entertaining blogs out there, ones that really talk about the soul connection around the table, so I want to challenge myself to post more about this, and also ask for your feedback and what you’d like to see here at RE.

Would you be willing to share your ideas?

I’m also very happy to say that I’ll be getting a new blog design here on RE, thanks to my friend Lindsay, at Love and Olive Oil. She’s the best at this job, if you haven’t heard of her, and I can’t wait for what we come up with together.

I must say, I love the colors (and these dishes) in the banner photo, inspired by Williams Sonoma.

Yellow, greens, and blues make my heart go pitter-patter!

Love these soft colors, too, over at Fresh Hues.

soft colors

Not only will recipes be easier to print out, I’m hoping to have new categories and possibly a column where YOU can ask ME a question. Any question about entertaining.

RE is here to help with not only new recipes and tabletop trends, but I also love sharing how our garden is the “rock star” of our spring, summer, and autumn meals.

Travel will be a big part of my blog in 2014, as I traveled to Orlando, FL; Sunriver, OR; San Diego, CA;  Murrieta, CA, Carmel, CA; Austin, TX; Portland, OR; Umpqua River, OR; Memphis, TN; Pacific City, OR; Bainbridge Island, WA; Seattle, WA; New York City, NY; Park City, UT; Kohler, WI; DeMoines, IA–to name a few–in 2013! Fun times!

I also love helping debunk hospitality and entertaining myths, and I really love it when I get a heart-felt email from a reader who genuinely needs a little help. Or courage …

It reminds me of an email I received yesterday.

I’m entertaining in 2 days, and I feel sick! Just nerves, I hate it!
It’s the timing of the food and getting it out…
I always do a buffet, just find it easier than sit down, for a bigger crowd….
I usually have a good time when they arrive..but before that I am a bundle of nerves… Just hate it!
I want to learn, but I have a critical person who I sometimes listen to …

I wrote this dear person back, and was happy to exchange a few emails with her. To help her and give her tips. To give her … courage, in a sense.

Giving courage to someone means that you offer encouragement to them!

My goals for 2014 are simple:

-Continue to entertain a LOT, because having people in my home is what real living is about (not just writing about it online). As much as I love my online friends, I love my family and real-life friends, too!

-Continue to work with and travel with brands I believe in. As much as readers look to the internet for free recipes and ideas, it does take a LOT of time, discipline, and work as a blogger. It’s my job to provide good content.

-For sure see some of my online friends at conferences or gatherings. Our friendships are REAL and mean the world to me.

-Work more in the garden with my husband. Possibly change things up, try new vegetables, can more and possibly teach a younger generation who’s interested, how to can! I have a very nifty outdoor stovetop now for canning!

-Continue to exercise (gym, running, yoga), eat healthy, and grow in faith (and not in waistline), which means healthy recipes!

-Love my family. I feel very blessed with my husband and children. Each day is a gift from God that I never want to take forget!

-Possibly write a column on marriage, since I’ve been encouraged by a few friends to do this.

-Get going on my new book idea/proposal! (I’ll share more later.)

-Get a new blog re-design! YAY! Easier to navigate, for readers to find recipes, keeping it fresh and simple.

Yellow Blue Red

(I’m also inspired by these lovely colors, over at

Thank you again for being a faithful reader. Some of us go back years together, when I first started Reluctant Entertainer!

What changes would you like to see on RE this next year? In design, format, and content? Or, feel free to share your favorite blog, and why!?

This post is not about advertising and sponsored posts, so please hold comments on this subject. Thanks, friends! :)

26 comments on “Colors and Inspiration for NEW RE Blog Design 2014”

  1. Your goals for the new year are so inspiring! With a newborn and a toddler I would be lying if I said we were doing a lot if entertaining these days! I miss it so much but know this is just a phase in life. In fact, on New Years Eve I almost couldn’t get into our crystal cabinet to grab champagne flutes because we removed the door knob after we found Asher throwing our crystal punch glasses across the room earlier in the year. ;-) Good times- haha! Love you girl!! Hoping our paths cross soon. Xo

  2. Happy New Year my friend. I personally love your design and see no need to change it but I do understand the “need” for change sometimes too. I of course love the aqua, red and yellow combo but the softer colors are nice too.
    So when are you going to be in Orlando and for how long? I’m only 45 minutes from Orlando. I could some how accidentally stop by to say hi or something. *smile* But I’m sure if it’s a conference of some sort you’ll be pretty busy.
    Have a lovely day my friend.

  3. i especially love the second to last goal. ;) happy new year my friend! hope i see you sooner rather than later.

  4. I love the idea of you doing a column on marriage; obviously nobody has it PERFECT but it seems like you guys are doing marriage well! And the book? YES PLEASE :) You and I could get together and have our books released at the same time ;)

    Oh, and the colors are amazing. I love them all – and Lindsay really IS the best! You guys will be unstoppable with fabulous style!

  5. Good morning and Happy New Year Sandy! I love reading your blogs and I especially adore the beautiful photos you post. You really inspire me with your decorating ideas, recipes and of course all the wonderful entertaining ideas you have. I can tell you have a generous and loving soul. Thank you for sharing with us and I look forward to all your 2014 posts:)

  6. Between Lindsay and You, I can’t wait to see the new design! I KNOW it will be fabulous! I love your recipes, and you have a great collection of them! I think I would love to see complete menus, possibly arranged by season. I’m a good enough cook, and can come up with one or two good dishes, but I always have trouble deciding on a full menu for a meal. As for blog design or colors, I LOVE that top image on this post! It’s colorful without being too loud. Can’t wait to see all the beautiful things you share in 2014!

  7. Thought of you the other day as I stood gazing at my tablecloths in the closet- is that weird?! Love the colors and look forward to reading your thoughts and ideas this year!! You are an encouragement to me to keep fostering opportunities for relationship!

  8. Incredible and so inspiring! I love your colors, your goals and cannot wait to hear more about that book!
    Happy New Year, Sandy! Hopping this is the year we get to meet! :)

  9. I’m so grateful 2013 brought us so much closer, in time together and as friends. I hope 2014 will serve us just as well! You know I can’t help but comment about your new design, I can’t wait to see it and love the idea of the new content areas. I vote for the sea greens, coneflower blues with just a touch of the orange-ish red. Love that WS image. We’ll see if Lindsay agrees :)

  10. I love this whole post – it’s fresh and full of life! I canNOT wait to see your new design. I personally see more of you in the first photo from Williams-Sonoma…full of color and life and style and fresh garden yum, yet lovely and gentle and encouraging. Happy New Year, my dear friend! xo

  11. I can’t wait to see what 2014 brings here! Blog redesigns are always a nice refresher too. BTW, I’m pretty set on inviting myself over at some point this year.

  12. I can’t wait to see what Lindsay comes up for your site! So glad we’re friends…you know how much I love you!

  13. I love your blog design inspiration ideas!

  14. Hi Sandy,

    I’d like to wish you and your family a very happy and prosperous 2014!

    Best wishes from Italy,


  15. I always enjoy your blog–so encouraging! I also love your stemmed glass in this post. Would you tell me where to purchase a set?

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