Interview with Sandy from Reluctant Entertainer {Giveaway}

I’m excited to introduce you to one of my favorite bloggers and authors, Sandy Coughlin from Reluctant Entertainer. I met Sandy at the Blissdom Conference several years ago and thought now is the perfect time to interview her since we will be together again at Blissdom next week! Sandy is a very inspiring, sweet and successful women. Read about how she does it all and then check out the giveaway:-)

When did you start Reluctant Entertainer and what inspired you to do so?

I started the blog, Reluctant Entertainer, in 2006 when I realized that so many women fear entertaining. What was it about opening their homes and inviting others in that was so intimidating? When I started writing and sharing my thoughts, I found even more that women could relate and wanted help. Thus, The Reluctant Entertainer book was written and came out a few months ago. I get emails daily how it is changing lives as women let go of perfectionism and realize that hospitality is not about glitz, glamor, or stuff. It’s about fostering authentic friendships.

You have been blogging for a while now, what are some of the best things you’ve learned along the way? Things you wish someone would have told you about blogging.

I had no idea that I’d be blogging for going on 5 years – on the same subject. It seems to be a needed subject in women’s lives today. Through my blog I’ve formed some of the most wonderful friendships. I never dreamed I’d have friends in every State, and that I’d get to see them at conferences, etc. So I’ve learned more about friendships and I’ve learned that it’s good to stay within your niche’ and to keep writing (do not focus on numbers!) and sharing your passion with others. Each one of us has a voice and we want to be heard. There is a lot of “wisdom” being shared in blogland!

What post or project got a lot of attention that you weren’t expecting at all?

When I write about perfectionism and relationships, these topics get the most attention. People can relate more about these subjects because we live in a “perfect-driven” world where image is very important. Image can only go so far before women realize that something is missing, that they are lonely, and that they long for a deeper meaning in life. First impressions are important but what really draws us together (usually at the table with great food) is genuine love and authenticity. Being authentic actually draws us to other authentic people – those who are soulful and who make the greatest friends!

What is the MOST fun thing that has happened since starting Reluctant Entertainer?

The most exciting thing for me has been writing a book and helping other people!

In my new inspirational book, I relate to many apprehensive hostesses in real ways with genuine encouragement and advice. Emphasizing the forgotten goal of entertaining – connecting deeply with others – I show how women can use who they are and what they have to create memorable experiences.

How do you balance life with teenagers, blogging, entertaining, writing books and everything else you do? Have some advice for those of us juggling it all with small children?

I have 3 teens, one in college. I am not sure I would have been a very good mother if I had started blogging when they were little. It takes time and discipline, especially when you’re tweeting, facebooking, keeping up with all the zillion friends that you make. Teens don’t need me as much so I have more free time. My advice is to routinely ask your partner if he’s supportive of your endeavors? Does he want you to keep blogging or is it causing problems in your home? I am not perfect at this; I will admit time management is hard.

What are three of your most favorite projects/posts?

Traveling with Bush’s Beans in 2010 and attending the EVO conference.

Participating in the 31-Day Series during the month of October with The Nester.

Stenciling a Memory – When my mom passed away I took her writing and I stenciled it on to plates for my sisters.

And Traditions … When is it Time to Change?

What’s in store for Reluctant Entertainer? Any big plans you can give us scoop on?

My goal for Reluctant Entertainer is to continue blogging about food, family, gardening, life, relationships, dinner parties – and not worry or get caught up in numbers. To write from my heart and to share what I know. I’ve been very blessed by meeting so many bloggers that I want to keep in touch with ALL of them.

Next year my New Year’s Eve dinner-party is going to be featured in a beautiful book of 25 Dinner Parties by Jo Packham, creator of Where Women Create and Where Women Cook. I’m sure there will be more exciting opportunities coming up.

Also find Sandy here:


A big thanks to Sandy for the great interview and for giving away one of her books to a lucky Living Locurto reader!

Enter to win by leaving a comment below.

Tell me what makes you reluctant to entertain? Or maybe you love to entertain no matter what? Leave a comment with your thoughts.

For extra entries:

  • Let me know you “like” Living Locurto on Facebook (Remember… now there is an exclusive gift if you do!)
  • Let me know you are an e-news subscriber or join today!

**Giveaway closes on Monday, January 24th at midnight. Winner announced on Tuesday.

You might also enjoy these interviews:

About Amy Locurto

Amy is a creative mom of two and graphic designer. When she's not working on Living Locurto, she's busy designing Printable Party Supplies and working on I Heart Faces, her photography blog. Find Amy on Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, and Instagram.


  1. I entertain often, but every single time I am so nervous and stressed inside (about the food and if the house got cleaned). I am a subscriber… Would love this book.

  2. dawn neale says:

    I tend to entertain people I am comfortable with, I need to broaden my circle of people I invite into my home.

  3. As a young bride I had dreams of coffee with the girls & fun dinner parties with friends. That all flew out the window when I discovered that I will probably never have the “perfect” house I knew I’d have back when I was 20 & fresh baked goods at the ready like my grandma had! Istead I have hand-me-down furniture, dog hair & a full time job.

  4. Both of you ladies deserve a big thank you for this giveaway!!

    Seriously….I love to entertain. BUT….it makes me crazy. Where did I ever pick up the idea that I need to be like Martha? Perfectionism is a huge problem….I need balance….can it be possible to be more carefree? Maybe Sandy has all the answers in her book! I surely need a few!

  5. like living lucurto on facebook

  6. Time is what makes me a reluctant entertainer.

  7. I’m an email subscriber.

  8. We love to entertain but are reluctant at times due to our small space as well as the mess we usually live in!

  9. Melissa Dill says:

    I became a fan on facebook – thanks for the fabulous printables. They will be perfect for Valentines Day.

  10. Melissa Dill says:

    I am always afraid to invite people into my home…always wondering if the house is clean enough, will the food taste good, what do I do to be a good host. It is alll so nerve racking.

  11. I’m never reluctant to entertain adults but when having parties for both adults and kids, I get nervous. It’s a lot more work to keep the kids entertained while the adults also have fun. It’s much easier in the summer when the party can be outdoors. It’s the winter parties (think Super Bowl) that leave me scratching my head and…well…reluctant!

  12. Kirsten Hansen says:

    I’m an e-news subscriber

  13. Kirsten Hansen says:

    I “like” Living Locurto on Facebook

  14. Kirsten Hansen says:

    I’m reluctant about entertaining due to being overwhelmed with not only the preparations of the food but also the appearance of the house to be presentable for company.

  15. I don’t know how to limit my guest list, so I guess I can’t have a party for 50 people everytime!

  16. Im reluctant because we just moved and things are not quite in their place yet…
    Im a fan on facebook and an e-mail subscriber too!!!!! Thank you for the opportunity to win this book! Its awesome!!!!!

  17. I just subscribed to your newsletter!

  18. I’m a Facebook fan, too. :)

  19. I love to entertain, but I worry our guests won’t feel that our house looks or feels “welcoming” enough. We have two busy children, coupled with a very hectic schedule, and I haven’t quite figured out how to keep up with it all.

  20. Have enjoyed browsing your blog, very much!

    I still want everything perfect for guests. However, the big breakthrough was this last party. I chose not to have the carpets cleaned until afterward. Nobody even noticed. By focusing my attention on what matters (as per Sandy) and not on all the other stuff, I actually had a good time too. Thanks for the chance to win.

  21. I get sooo excited when Living Locurto shows up with a new post in my reader!

  22. I love to entertain in small doses with a few people. Any more than that & I stress that our small apartment won’t fit everyone, someone will spill something & we’ll end up having to pay to recarpet, etc. How crazy is that?!

  23. I love The Reluctant Entertainer and her blog! I am reluctant to entertain because I worry too much about having a clean house and what to fix for our meals… I love Sandy’s advice!!

  24. i’m afraid of being compared to others who are more experienced

  25. I don’t entertain because of fear that the guests will be offended about something. One of the last time we had friends over for dinner, I had oven roasted chicken. One of the women didn’t like the way it was cooked, got up from the table with her plate and put it in the microwave and cooked it until it was dried out then she ate it. It was the first time she had ever been in our home. That sure took the wind out of my sails in wanting to entertain, but I want to entertain! I have been reading Sandy’s blog and have more courage but not tried to entertain again.
    Thanks for the interview and a chance to win her book.

  26. I already subscribe to the newsletter.

  27. I am a Facebook fan, of course:)

  28. I love entertaining, but I am reluctant because I always make a mess in the process. I try to have everything cleaned and under control by the time the guest arrive, and at the end of the night I have a kitchen full of dishes. I of course CAN NOT go to bed until everything is cleaned and put away. Thanks for the fun sharing and chance to win:)

  29. I receive (and look at every one of) your emails! Thanks for the fun ideas and printables!

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