Our friends came for dinner last weekend and I challenged myself to dig through my box of autumn decorations and use what I already had in setting my table. And also add some little autumn touches around the house.

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How many times do we entertain and run to the store to buy something new?

It doesn’t have to be that way.

One less trip to the store gives me more peace of mind when I’m entertaining.

– Find a tablecloth that works well for the season
– Pull out your entertaining dishes
– Iron up the cloth napkins
– Set the table early using what you have
– Keep the centerpiece simple
– Light the candle and take a picture before your guests come

Many of you know my philosophy of using standard white dishes year round, and adding seasonal accents to make every gathering in our home special and unique.

Along with pumpkins on the porch and autumn wreaths around the house, it’s sometimes the “little touches” that remind us of the season.

Pillar candle on the kitchen counter.

Simple leaf in a tiny vase.

Small black napkins in various places.

Fall-ish pictures of kids from “the old days”.

Touch of fall greenery.

Seasonal pictures of your own food, framed.

Do I ever worry about what people will think? Yes.

Did I worry about my tablecloth not being long enough on the ends (I bought this for my old table which was smaller)? Yes.

Did I think about my menu and second-guess myself? All the time.

But what I’ve learned to do, and what I want to encourage RE readers to do, is to push past your fears and remember this:

The heart of hospitality is wherever people feel loved, cherished, and valued.
(-The RE)

A stylish table can add to the evening, for sure, but it’s not everything.

What little reminders help you keep entertaining simple?