My Purple Notebook

The idea for Reluctant Entertainer all started here, in this purple notebook, over two years ago.

Friends have asked me how I came up with the name for my blog, knowing that I am not a “reluctant” entertainer! I love opening my home, thus my blog’s name 4 Reluctant Entertainers was created – for the person desiring to learn more about hospitality, but also for the seasoned hostess.

A couple of years ago, my husband and I were attending the ICRS (International Christian Retail Show) in Denver, Colorado, promoting our book, Married but Not Engaged(Bethany House 2006). The idea of writing some kind of entertaining book had been brewing in my mind for quite some time – I just didn’t know what or how I wanted to put it together, or who I wanted to reach!

When Paul and I travel, one of the highlights for us is finding intriguing, delectable, restaurants. We always share a meal, we take our time, and it’s always quality time for us. We talk about our marriage, and we always end up talking about our kids. For some reason when you are away from your children, you love and appreciate them more. You regain a healthy balance and perspective on parenting, and for my husband and me, it’s refreshing to come up with new ideas or parenting plans. As the evening progresses, we end up talking about our goals and dreams. What are we here for? What is our purpose? Are we giving back to this world and to God, as He asks us to do?

That is where the purple notebook comes in. One evening, during this trip, as we were finishing with dinner – the idea of Reluctant Entertainer was born.

Because the art of hospitality is dying in our culture! People are too busy, gun-shy because of our perfectionism, and just plain ol’ reluctant to open our homes to others.

Why Me?
I learned the art of hospitality from my parents, and I practiced it in my home. Why not share how it worked for me? It was worth a try!

Why You?
At the time, not even knowing what a blog was, I really wanted to help reluctant people, or maybe those who were rusty and not in the groove anymore, to get excited again about giving to others. I wanted to inspire YOU, so that you could experience the joy that I have whenever I share my life and home with others.

So this is where my great idea began – in my small purple notebook. (Paul and me heading out to find a cool restaurant …)

How about you – do you jot down ideas in notebooks, or journals, and keep ideas fresh and flowing? Or do you use a notebook to organize your day to day activities, appointments and even menu planning?

20 comments on “My Purple Notebook”

  1. I am not a real journal kind of gal but I do have a great binder I have kept over the years filled with inspiring quotes, articles, pictures from magazines of rooms and homes that make me smile.
    Your purple notebook is a true vision keeper!

  2. I am definitely one to make lists and notes to myself on what it is i need to get done for the day/week. I can’t live without my “Mom’s plan it” calendar either. I love to entertain especially around the holidays. I’m good at it, but yet my husband says it stresses me out to much and that i’m a glutten for punishment. I still do it though. Im always trying to plan get togethers and parties. Halloween’s coming up……we love costume parties! Any ideas for good couples costumes?

  3. I have notebooks detailing my whole life… I have one from when I was first starting to write. It’s a treasure, to me. All through my ears of growing I have written… Not always the pretty stuff either :)

    Now my notebooks mostly record prayers – my quiet time with God. But I just recently found a notebook I had started after getting married. It’s more of a personaljournal that has ideas already written out for you. Such as:

    Today I feel good about
    Something new I experienced
    Latest with Family/friends
    People who touched my life
    What I did to touch someone’s life
    Plan for an even better tomorrow

    I am looking forward to filling this notebook out just for the details I often forget!

    That purple notebook of yours changed my life!! Thank you!


  4. I love notebooks! Love them! How fun that this all started in a purple notebook. :-0

    How are ya? Hope all is well…I’ve been super busy just trying to keep up with life!


  5. I am an avid journaler….

    I love to journal my heart

    I think your ministry is such a blessing.

    I love coming here.

    AND I loved the book… “Married But Not Engaged”

    My husband is now reading “No More Christian Nice Guy”. He said to me the other night, “It’s really good” When I see him reading a book every chance he can, I KNOW he’s enjoying it….

    Thanks for your sweet ministry!

  6. I love notebooks, planner and binders…I have so many binders…one for each child and the school year…a general school year binder, daily daytimer and then my big binder of everything else! I love your blog…I will be back for sure!
    -Sandy toes

  7. I almost always have a spiral bound notebook with me for things just like this – jotting down ideas, plans, organizing my thoughts. I find it’s so much more helpful to keep it all in one place. I used to just write little notes to myself and they’d get lost or thrown away.

    Whatever – I’m so glad you and your purple notebook made your way to the blogosphere!

  8. It is so lovely to read the history of your name Sandy. As you know your blog is one of my favorites and you really have pushed me into not only entertaining but being open to others. I think that I really had walls built up and I didn’t even realize that. When they came crashing down I looked around and realized who I might have pushed away. Now I try to be more welcoming and know that I meet people for a reason. Who knew that visiting your blog would lead us to sharing a warm summers evening together with our families. I write my ideas down on notebooks, rolodex cards and even sometimes on my wrist. That way I won’t forget an idea.

  9. I am such a list maker. I make out our menu for the week, then make a grocery list. I make lists for day to day work. I have lists for what I want to do with the kids…I have notebooks to journal, jot down quotes, notes from bible studie, prayer requests…What would I do without notebooks.

    What a blessing that puprle notebook has been to all of us!

  10. I love to use a notebook and organize my menus. I plan out a week at a time. Both my boys are on gluten and dairy free diets so it makes it much easier to feed them when I have a plan. I want to make grocery lists that corresponds to the week to make life that much easier.
    Thanks to you and your encouragement, I had my husband’s european co-workers to the house last night and DIDN’T freak out! I am learning. We had a great night and I wasn’t exhausted from cleaning or stressed that the food wasn’t perfect or up to their (high) standards. I just enjoyed having them in my home.

  11. So grateful that you followed through on those desires…I know you’ve blessed so many with your gift of entertaining. I agree that entertaining at home has waned quite a bit in our society, yet the fellowship is so necessary (and healthy). I always love hopping over here to see what you’ve been cooking, too.

    On organization, I was recently blessed with a gift card to the Franklin Covey store. I needed a new planner terribly…it’s been such a great tool and planning system for me and the family.

  12. Oh, my … I have a notebook just for entertaining. I will jot down my theme idea (if any), my menu, I’ll draw out my table and draw the serving platters where I want them if it is a buffet, I’ll make a list of the dishes and linens I’ll need/use, I’ll make my grocery list, to do list, and anything else relating to the party I’m planning. This is usually just for large gatherings.

    It helps keep me organized!

  13. Even though I don’t leave comments very often, I enjoy your blog. Thanks for all the great post to read. Your pictures are always wonderful too.

  14. I have a day calender that I LIVE by. It has everything in it and goes everywhere with me. Now at Christmas I keep a journal starting at the end of October jotting down different gift ideas who I’m buying for, dinners and menus….treats for neighbors and mailmen and garbage men….yes I take them hot chocolate…they are cold too…lol.
    I also do little reminders for our Christmas traditions….so that is my journal info…but throughout the rest of the year I just keep my calender by my side….I’m glad you started this blog..I not only have gotten great info but met a dear friend.

  15. My notebook is my laptop computer. It’s full of ideas, recipes, dreams and goals. It’s easy to write things down, but much trickier to act on them.

    Thanks for your blog entries; they’re entertaining and inspirational.

  16. I don’t really have anything I use at the moment. I’ve tried to start things, but then don’t really follow through…hmmmm…I need to work on that (C:

  17. Both. I do keep a notebook for schedules — a Moleskine for daily household duties and such, and a BusyBody book for blog scheduling stuff.

    I DO have other notebooks for dreaming and listing — one of which is my Book of Lists, all my lists in one spot (wish lists, gift ideas for kids, recipes to try, etc.).

    Love your blog!

  18. I have a scrapbook journal, which I’ve shown how to make on my blog. It was inspired by one of my favorite bloggers, Jewels. It contains lists, goals, recipes, quotes, Bible verses… all kind of special things.

    My daughter was the one who encouraged (as in pushed) me into blogging. I had been asked to write a book by friends but I didn’t have the desire or time to do anything on that level.

    So… my daughter sent me the URL of her favorite blogs and told me it would be the perfect medium for the way I like to write.

    Two years and almost 1,000 posts later, she was right. :)

    Your blog is definitely a favorite.

  19. Can you send me your little purple notebook just for a week or so? I want to gleem and bask in it lol. I agree with what other people have said on here. Write the book and we’ll buy it. IT’s that easy ha ha!
    Blessings to you!

  20. All over my house, one might find notes on papers, calendars, in spiral bound books, on post-it notes and on index cards. If I don’t write down what I’m thinking, the thought is soon replaced and long forgotten.

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