Keeping it Real!

I need to say I look forward to your blog. It brings me inspiration and hope. Your insight is priceless and the way you look at our world is unique. Some of us lead lives that are not often as they seem, and are looking for the peace and serenity that will bring clarity. I value your insight as if it could be my own, and it often feels as such. I honor the fact that family is so important to you and yours because my family has kept me alive during cancer, and continues to do just that to this day. I just wanted to let you know how insightful you’ve become to me. (written by an appreciated reader)

Since the birth of 4 Reluctant Entertainers, back in 2005, my desire was to keep this blog relatable and real – through true-life, inspiring stories and creative ideas, with real-life photography.

I wanted to reach out to the reluctant entertainer, and even the seasoned entertainer who might be in a rut, looking for new ideas. I basically wanted to debunk any perfectionist aspirations that women in America may have regarding entertaining, or practicing hospitality in general.

Because of my mission, there are never any perfect-picture photos taken from magazines or the internet, posted on my blog. *

Yes, there may be clutter in the background of my photos. Things are not perfect in my home – or kitchen – and I know it! The photos on my blog are usually taken here in my home (in my needs-to-be-remodeled kitchen), by my talented husband, or by myself, or they come from a few friends. (Thank you Jenny, Anni & Minor or any other friends who have sent me “real-life-entertaining” pictures.)

A friend of ours used to work for Harry & David, doing photo shoots for their catalog. He told us it would take 15 assistants to help him get the perfect image for their entertaining catalogs. Fifteen people helping out!!

When it comes to entertaining, “perfect” photos always make me wonder – could it really look that good? Or be that good?

“Perfect” is against what I know to be true about entertaining. True-to-life is what I believe is going to help us get to the next level in our entertaining, as we achieve our goals of expanding our hospitality.

Thank you, valued readers – and know that I am on a mission to stay within my distinctive theme of KEEPING IT REAL!

(With an exception, here is one photo I took from the internet – which you might enjoy reading this previous post – here!)

(Does anyone want to guess what is in this bowl, and will be “ready” in another 6 days?)

22 comments on “Keeping it Real!”

  1. I adore your pictures. You should do a post with tips on how to get great home-based pictures… without fifteen assistants or perfect lighting or professional cameras!

    I think it is Friendship Bread in the bowl, but I’m a few days past the 6 day waiting time!

  2. I love visiting your blog! Your ideas go beyond anything I would ever think of. Thank you for taking the time to share.

    And the pictures. Amazing! A real gift for photography.

  3. I have so appreciated the freedom you have given for hospitatlity to not have to be perfect… or even ourselves to be be perfect for that matter! Thanks! :-)

  4. What I love so much about coming here is not only the fun tips on entertaining…but more than that, the essence of your blog. How your love of others through giving and hospitality and love within your family comes shining through.
    It truly blesses me!
    (((HUGS))) ~Tammy

  5. I think in the magazine perfect photos… it can’t possibly be a household with kids or animals.

    It’s taken me years but I’m not so fussy and try to focus on just making some great memories. (of course my 3 kids and dog and helped in this process) LOL

  6. I love your blog and I’ve come to just love you too! I so wish we could do coffee sometime :)

    Your pictures are great, I didn’t realize they were all originals, very cool.

    I have no idea what’s in the bowl.
    I’ll bet it’s something yummy though!


  7. Groovy: that which is fashionable, excellent or pleasing. I am giving you the Groovy Award. You can read the write up I did about your blog at my blog found at The entry is titled Groovy, Baby.

    I LOVE your blog and am very inspired when I read it.

    Many Blessings,
    Holly @Aiminghigh

    You are the winner of the Groovy Post Blog Award!
    Share the award with three other bloggers that have a “groovy” post and list their names on your blog and along the person(s) who awarded you. Be sure to leave a comment on their blog telling them they are a winner.

  8. How cool are you! I didn’t realize you only used real pictures and no internet shots. Wow you are the woman! I do enjoy reading your blog even though I don’t shy from entertaining. I actually love it, but I get inspired by your wonderful ideas.

  9. You awesome woman, you! As I always say, you’re a blessing!

  10. I’m guessing sourdough starter or Amish Friendship bread starter. I didn’t look at the other comments yet. Does anyone else think so??

  11. I love it! Keeping it real is the only way to go.

  12. Love your blog and the fact that God and Family come first!!

  13. I know what’s in the bowl–Brach’s malt balls. You can’t fool me! The “6 days” is just a distraction!

  14. I think this blog is just FABULOUS! I will be married soon and have been reading your blog for ideas about how to show true hospitality to all of God’s precious children. It’s good to see a family that still loves to hang out together and have quality family time. Thanks for what you do, you have TRULY changed my perspective on the purpose behind hospitality. I treasure the insights I now have and can’t wait to have my first dinner party; hopefully, sometime this summer. Take Care and may God Bless you and your family.

  15. I love the pictures on your blog! How talented you and Paul are that you can take beautiful pictures like that, even without 15 assistants to set things up for you!!!! (what the heck is a photographer good for if he needs that many people to make the picture perfect anyway?!)

  16. Sourdough?


  17. Thank you for your inpiring blog. It is an inspiration for me in an area I have known for some time I’m lacking in and WANT to improve. Thanks for the practicality of your help!

    My guess is sourdough. (I’ve made it before.)

    M. in Texas

  18. I think more people need to jump on the keeping it real bandwagon!

  19. The only thing I can think of is maybe Amish Friendship Bread? I know it takes many days….

  20. I absolutely love the pictures!

  21. I love your blog too! And I guess that you have a friendship bread starter in that bowl.

  22. I have absolutely no idea what is in the bowl and will be ready in
    six days…I’m curious though! And I too appreciate your “transparent” sharing. You do make entertaining “achieveable” for anyone. And your pictures are amazing!! I love all the new ones on your sidebar. One looks like it could be in a magazine!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *