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:

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

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

  7. 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.

  8. 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!

  9. 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.

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

  11. 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!!!!!

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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?!

  15. 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!!

  16. 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.

  17. 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:)

  18. I enjoy entertaining, but I’m a perfectionist, so I have to work hard not to make it a royal pain for myself and my husband. Sandy has great words of wisdom on that.

  19. I’m reluctant to entertain because I’m worried about everyone’s individual needs & tastes. How do you plan food to please all the picky eaters? And how do you anticipate all the different types of soft drinks, etc that each person prefers? I’ve tried a keep-it-simple approach, and literally had poeple refuse to eat or drink because I didn’t have exactly what they wanted. That’s no fun for them or me!

  20. Just subscribed to you and will “like” you on FB as well. Absolutely love Sandy and would love a copy of her book. I also plan to purchase a copy for my soon to be daughter-in-law!

  21. I start to have anxiety over the ‘details’ of entertaining. I worry so much about what food, how much food, how to decorate, making sure the house is ‘ready’, etc. In the end, I just avoid having anyone over. It is unfortunate, because I am truly a social person!

  22. I LoVe to entertain, it my husband who does not:( So I have become a reluctant entertainer. I am rusty, and would love this book to give me a push in the right direction again.

  23. I think the thing that deters me the most from entertaining is the mess in my hosue. I have 3 toddlers and no matter how hard I try my house is always cluttered. I either have to wear myself out cleaning right before a party or deal with clutter occurring after the house has been cleaned.

  24. My New Year’s resolution this year is to overcome my reluctance to entertain. I have already hosted 2 get togethers so far. RE has definitely given me the encouragement I needed to begin my journey to overcome my anxieties in having guests in my house.

  25. I love Sandy’s blog, and I would love to win her book. I am reluctant to entertain because I learned from my mom’s example that it has to be perfect in order to be worth doing. I’m beginning to learn that this isn’t true at all!

  26. I love to entertain! I live in an apt and don’t have much space…especially small kitchen. I would like some tips on what to do to make it easy, not stressful.

  27. I am reluctant to entertain because I have such a small house right now, it is barely big enough for my family of 5!

  28. Oh what fun to win a copy of Sandy’s book. Her blog is very inspiring. I always feel like I’m not organized enough to have people over, but I realize that is just silly. Trying to do better!

  29. I LOVE this idea! Yes, I need HELP!! I do love to have friends here but can’t get my act together to plan it. I think this book is right up my alley!!

  30. I left a comment earlier but it didn’t post (maybe because it included my blog address?) so I will repost that I loved this interview and so hope I snag a copy of what sounds like a wonderful book!

    I came over via Sandy’s blog and so glad I did because you have some much inspiration to be found!

  31. I’m reluctant to entertain because I feel like my house is too small. Also, my husband works a swing shift, which gets tricky sometimes. I do love to have people over, about twice a year! I want to do more.

  32. I would love this book. I recently tried to get it from our library system, but because it is so new, the libraries won’t do an interlibrary loan. I’ll have to wait a year to read it due to my hubby’s unemployment and our no-buy rule for this time.

  33. What a wonderful interview. Thank you!I love her take on perfectionism. I already bought the book and recommend it highly! Enjoy Nashville! 🙂

  34. I love to entertain but my house is so small, it’s difficult. I try to have people over every few months, especially when the whether is nice and we can do the indoor/outdoor thing.

  35. Hello! I don’t entertain as much as I would like because my house is always a BIG mess. I follow you on Facebook and I subscribe to your newsletter.
    I hope I win. LOL!
    Keep up all the good work because I love your blog.

  36. i am a reluctant entertainer for so many reasons..lack of skill in the kitchen, feelings inadeqate as a homekeeper, hectic schedule, and all that cleaning!

  37. This is so funny that you are featuring this subject, as I am just going through this issue now as I will be hosting a bunco group at my house for the first time. I have been grappling with wanting to make things “just right” and making sure my home is perfect. I really related to the comments Sandy made about connecting with people by being authentic. I need to focus on that & not worry so much about the image I present to others.

  38. Still get nervous about the food turning out right – that’s my biggest problem, and I’m 58 years old!!!

  39. I am 51 yrs. old and am just now figuring out that the more I prepare ahead of time, the more fun I have at my own parties. I used to hate entertaining because I am such a prcrastinator. It’s getting easier!

  40. I understand the fear of entertaining. I always seem to end up in the kitchen while my guests are outside.

  41. I love to entertain no matter what…clean house, dirty house, fancy schmancey meal or leftovers. I just love the people connection part of it. I got Sandy’s book for Christmas and I’d love to have another to give as a gift.

  42. Wow, I am so guilty of not inviting friends round cos of the mess/washing up/dirty floors/laundry pile etc etc.

    It therefore becomes a really big deal planning a visit from someone which then causes stress between Jon & I as we would both rather be doing something else.

    You know, before reading this article I’d never realised it was a problem either!

  43. I’m relunctant because the house is always a mess, looks like a tornado went through it (and it’s not decorated either)

  44. I like to entertain, but I always get nervous and stressed at the last minute that there is so much that still needs to be done, and things won’t turn out right, etc.

  45. I too feel like my house is never clean enough, big enough, “Pottery Barnish” enough….. Great giveaway!

  46. I recently moved from my cozy 3 bedroom cottage in Missouri, to a trailer in Iowa to be with my only daughter as she had a baby, and starts her own life…and I don’t want to sound judgemental, or ungrateful, but trailer living is diferent, and I just don’t feel “nice enough” to entertain.

    I know real people don’t judge that way, but I’m struggling to make the adjustment to living in a completely new kind of home. And, with an infant in the home…it’s just never neat and orderly….speaking of whcih, I don’t have time to sit here reading and blogging, I need to go clean my kitchen !

  47. I love entertaining, but there are times when it’s hard for me – when it’s been a busy week and I really just feel like trolling around the house in sweats. My next goal is to have a party where everyone HAS to come in their comfiest clothes!

  48. I was reluctant as a hostess so many years back because I was nervous that my house wasn’t fully decorated yet ( I was a newlywed who was still “nesting”). I was also reluctant when I anticipated what we might talk about at the table really made me anxious.

  49. My neighbors set such a beautiful table! By comparison, I’m much more informal so it’s a little intimidating to “measure up.” Then I realize it’s not about the “table”, it’s about the “people” around it. Sure could use some advice from her book, though. Love the idea of the stenciled plate.

  50. I love to have family over and we have dinner together several times a month. I do love to cook and entertain and usually don’t worry too much about my house. It’s not spotless but it’s neat and people are more interested in what they are eating and how you make them feel anyway!

  51. I’m reluctant to entertain because my husband and I have 4 small children (ages 4-8) and we live in a 950 sq ft home. It’s crowded and cluttered.

  52. My problem is that no matter how early I begin preparing, inevitably I’ll be running around like a chicken with my head cut off as guests are arriving.
    I ‘like’ you on FB and subscribe to your newsletter. Thanks!

  53. I’m afraid to have people over because our house is tiny and not “decorated!” I know I need to get over it, but all our friends have beautiful homes and I”m intimidated!

  54. I am reluctant b/c I have 2 (almost 3, I am 8 months pregnant) children and I am not very confident in my hosting/entertaining skills.

    I am an e-newsletter reader too!

  55. I like to entertain, especially when I use some of your super cute printables. I just don’t like the cleaning before and after.

  56. And I’m an e-newsletter subscriber and have been for a while. I love receiving your newsletters!

  57. My house is tiny. And with a 2 and 4 year old, getting my house in order AND cooking a yummy meal is often too much for me to think about. Although I do have other friends with little kids (and somewhat messy homes homes over ;o)

  58. My only reluctance to entertain stems from decorating our house not being the focus of my attention. I love to cook and enjoy people’s company, and when we do invite people to join us, it’s lots of fun.

  59. I am reluctant to entertain because we are renovating our Edwardian home (and it is taking forever – biggest test of my need to be patient) and because I live in fear that what I do will not measure up to what people expect.

  60. I need a copy of the book like so many women have mentioned I love having people over but I always have such anxiety during the preparation process. I clean up yet it’s not clean enough! I cook but I’m afraid people won’t like what I make. Id love to have a copy of the book so I can just enjoy the process and preparation and to learn to not get so anxious about entertaining.

  61. I would love to entertain more, but I have a large family (seven kids) and a small house, and I always feel as though my house is way too cluttered for anyone to see it.

  62. I just signed up for the e-news….your blog looks fun…I think I’ll enjoy coming back during the day to check out everything.

  63. I just recently found her blog. And can you believe in the entire Kansas City library system which is where I try and find new books no one has her book yet. I can have a potluck party for 100 people with no problem. But a sit down dinner for one other couple ties me in knots….the whole timing food out right to get all on the table together….which is crazy cause I pretty much did it with our little immediate family….well most of the time.

  64. I am reluctant to entertain because I am a perfectionist and I always feel like my house isn’t “perfect” enough! 🙁
    I follow you on FB and i subscribe to your e-newsletter also!

  65. I am sometimes reluctant to entertain because of the mess of my house…with three small kids it’s hard for me to dust regularly…but most often I just entertain anyway and hope people don’t write in my dust!

  66. I enjoy entertaining but have the same stress as most others have, “having things perfect and a tidy house”. I need to learn to relax and enjoy the company and forget all the little details. Thanks for letting us see that we are not alone in our reluctantness (probably not a word)!

  67. I love to have people over. I guess it is the southerner in me. Nothing gives me more pleasure than to have a friend show up at my door unexpected. This lets me know that they feel comfortable with me and my home. I would love to get more ideas on how to make my home feel more welcomed to whoever enters my doors. I am always delighted they came. I, too, like so many others am thankful for you sharing all of your wonderful ideas and techniques.

  68. I am always reluctant because I think my house is too tiny to hold everyone! I wish that I had a space for everyone to take a seat, but I don’t, so summer parties in the backyard are best for us ;o)

  69. Our house is like a dollhouse–it’s walls have “poison darts” (feng shui) everyhere–and even though it’s jam-paccked with a dining room table that is way too large, a leather sofa, an armchair, and a nearby desk and chair–there isn’t nearly enough seating. Hence, we’ve only had people over for dinner twice…in 3 years.
    BTW–am a FB fan and newsletter/blog subscriber! Keep up the good work, everyone!

  70. I would love to check out the book! I can coordinate office parties no trouble, but have no idea on how to entertain close friends and family…

  71. I would love to entertain more – but I think I’m more reluctant now bec. I feel our current house is too small. Silly reason now that I just typed that. 😉

  72. I am reluctant to entertain because I feel my house is not nice enough. I have never been into decorating or interior design and feel like my house is just very plain. I love to cook and I love people. I also married a spouse who is not into entertaining and is very shy. I am an e-mail subscriber.

  73. I am afraid my house will never be clean enough to entertain w/2 dogs and a cat. Where do I put them when there are guests? They always have free reign over house sofa, etc.
    Love & Hugs,

  74. I love entertaining but my husband not so much. I try to plan most of my partys/activities when he’s at work! My house is never clean enough, or put together enough… but neither are my guests’ houses, so I try not to make it an issue. We always have a great time regardless of the occasion cookie exchange, back to school brunch, candy making party, or just a playdate for my kids. I always have fun with a crowd and we always have at least a dozen kids running around, that’s the way I like it.

  75. I love to entertain. . .wish I could do it more often. I’ve just stumbled on this blog and am interested in following it now. Thanks for the chance to win!

  76. I enjoy “entertaining” when I don’t have to “entertain.” I prefer “getting together” with friends -old or new – and sharing a meal and time. Sometimes it is with our silver and china, but usually not. I am not good at small talk, nor do I want to try to impress any one. Otherwise, as long as I have the time and the money, it is fun to be with people!

  77. I’ve felt reluctant to have people over for dinner because I worry that there won’t be enough food (even though I cook for an army lol) or some silly reason that goes right out the door when my friends arrive. It’s me they want to see, not the state of the house and they always get a great feed. So really, there’s no need to feel reluctant or let worrying overcome the potential for a relaxed get together with lots of food, is there?

  78. I just “liked” you on Facebook and you are the newest blog (and top of the pile) on my igoogle page.

    I would LOVE this book to give to my best friend. I have never understood the fear of hosting people- I do it regularely, but for her she is paralyzed by it.

    Thanks for your great stuff! I gave the owl calendar to a friend for xmas!

  79. If I could just worry less, I think I would enjoy it more!!! Entertaining is tons of fun, wish I could get the worry off the list.
    I love the free valentines print-ables on Living Locuto’s Facebook page. I can’t wait to use them…

  80. Oh my gosh! She’s stunning! So beautiful~

    I love to entertain! I’m seldom reluctant, but when I am it usually has to do with $ or space (our house is pretty small for large crowds). However, when the weather is nice, we have a nice, huge backyard we can entertain in. Thanks, jeanette at thealldays(at)msn(dot)com

  81. I don’t like to entertain much when I have to have my guests inside because I feel that I do not have enough space for a large crowd to move around and eat comfortably. However, I do like to have a larger crowd at my house in the summer because I have a large backyard with a huge covered patio. Thanks for the chance to win. I am a subscriber.

  82. I like to entertain, but with the basics. I like the company more than putting on a show. Come hang out and share your company, I’ll feed you too, but it may not be fancy!

  83. I am a fan on fb. I love to entertain my friends every now and then. I tend to be reluctant most of the time due to my budget and space.

  84. I just found this blog this week, and so in love!! Following on facebook – shared it with my on line scrapping communicaty too – and of course subsribe now as well.

    I love to entertain, but time seems always so short so it happens less and less as our lives get busier and busier.

  85. I worry about my house not being clean enough with 3 young children or serving the “perfect” dish. But I’ve managed to throw some children’s parties this year and that has helped me “ease” into hosting get togethers. I WANT to do it, but party planning is alot of work 🙂

  86. it is such a good feeling to give up on perfectionism. Some of the best memories are when mistakes happen!! Would love a copy of your lovely book.

  87. I am totally reluctant to the point that I don’t entertain.
    Maybe, reading her book will inspire me this year.

  88. I am reluctant because I don’t feel like I can pull it off, or have the right amount or kinds of food items and decor.


  89. I am also signed up for your emails–I LOVE your stuff, and am headed over to Reluctant Entertainer to hopefully catch some good tips!

  90. I am reluctant to entertain–I am a newlywed in a new neighborhood, and I don’t want to embarrass us! Luckily, hubby is REALLY good about helping me and encouraging me, so we’re planning on more parties in the future!

  91. I even didn’t know you had a Facebook account…AND MOST DEFINITE, “YES”… I FB “like”d you today 🙂

  92. I love to entertain. The one challenge to my follow through is lack of confidence in the kitchen. I pretty much stick to basic dishes for family meals…and always feel disappointment in not being able to making something else for a gathering.

  93. I used to be very reluctant to enterain — although I really love the planning and the friendship.

    Although I have overcome my “not good enough” feelings, for the most part, there are always times when I think things should be better.

    I have book-marked the Reluctant Enterainer for further reading — thank you!

  94. My house is to small and OLD. Not a cool old either. We live on a farm and sometimes our yard is so muddy or snowed in you need 4 wheel drive to get in and out. We are moving to a cool old house this spring. I’m hoping to entertain more then.

  95. If you saw how stylish my friends’ homes were, you’d be reluctant to entertain, too! And as much as I try to plan ahead, half the time I still have wet hair when the guests arrive! I would love to be an effortless entertainer! Thanks for the giveaway!

  96. The Hubs and I love to entertain! Though, I’ll admit, I’ve been more hesitant, since having our two boys, to welcome those beyond our close circle of friends and family. A home in which toddlers run amuck is a bit difficult to “maintain” to say the least! And still, through the encouragement of great blogs like The Reluctant Entertainer, I’m learning to accept, find peace and even enjoy the chaos.

  97. I a) don’t have my own space – yet. and b) i feel like i don’t have the timing down right. if and when i entertain, i feel like i spend the whole time in the kitchen!

  98. I love to entertain but what makes me reluctant is that my apartment is very small so it can hold up to about 8 people at the max. For any larger party, I have to use the spacious basement party room of my non-elevator building, which means lugging all the dishes and anything else I need down and up 2 flights of stairs. This takes about a 1/2 hour and makes it hard to do any dishes that need to finish cooking at the last minute to be still warm.

  99. Love Sandy and would LOVE to get her book. I am not a reluctant entertainer. In fact I love to entertain. I’m not obsessed about perfectionism. I just kind of go with the flow. I don’t think people make the time to get together like back in the day when things were so hectic.
    Thanks for the chance to win.

  100. I am reluctant to entertain for a couple reason – can’t seem to feel like I have enough time to get the house clean and do not know what to make. I am very excited about this website and book as in my heart I want to have people over more!

  101. I am not really a reluctant entertainer. I grew up with people always at our house; missionaries, Pastor,& family, friends, and any “strays” my dad found! I love to entertain, and as a Pastor’s wife I do my share of it! I see so many people who are hesitant to entertain and would love to win a copy of this book to add to our church library. Thanks

  102. I have already joined you on facebook and thank you for the free download! And I do already subscribe! I like to have people over and cook for them but I stress to much about the meal, will they like it etc. I never get to truly enjoy my company because I’m stressing too much over how everything will go!! I could really use this book!!!

  103. I am reluctant because I have dogs and many people don’t like to go to homes that have dogs!

  104. I entertain any chance I get. I love having people in my home – creating an environment for fellowship & it is a good creative outlet for me!

  105. I have been “liking” Living Locurto on Facebook for a little while already and I do “like” the Reluctant Entertainer now!

    If entertaining people was a “job”, I would not like it – but if it is about enjoying authentic friendship while sharing good food and thoughts around a table, making every efforts for your friends to feel welcome, in a nice setting showing that you care for your guests – then I am all for it and I wish it would happen more often as an host and as a guest.

    Thank you for sharing this interview! Blogging is inspiring – I will do it one day – once my children are grown up and that I have found my”niche”.

  106. I visit her site often and always feel Happy I did. I like to entertain alot and she has such Great ideas and tips.
    Thanks for sharing her with us today.

  107. Like everyone else, I worry about the house being clean, what to serve, etc, etc. I think I just worry too much!

  108. I Love entertaining…I am often relectant to do so as it is hard for me to find the time to host with having 3 small children. I think that once they are a little older, I will definitely be looking forward to hosting a lot more fabulous fun events!

  109. My only reluctance to entertain is my lack of home decor skills, but I do love entertaining and would love a copy of this book!

  110. I am reluctant to entertain because i have 3 small children and I’m certain someone will find a dirty diaper, or a barbie head, or something under their chair! i do love to entertain, just reluctant to do so!

  111. I am reluctant to entertain because I feel like my house isn’t big enough to have a dinner party. I suppose I could just invite a few couples for a more intimate setting. Hmmm, I need that book!

  112. My house is tiny, we still use a card table for our dining table (8 1/2 yrs later) People are allergic to my cat. I’m not very good at making things come out all at the same time and tatse good. The thoughts of letting people into my home give me huge anxiety. My husband is extremely anti-social.

  113. I’m reluctant to entertain more often because of my own expectations & wanting everything perfect. I thoroughly enjoy entertaining & cooking but need to lighten up on myself.
    I like you on Facebook.
    I am an e-news subscriber.

  114. Ugh…..my house is too small, not tidy enough, will the guests like my food, what will we do, etc

  115. I so want to entertain at my home–I have the space, the creativity, etc, but I am just too darn uncomfortable with something going wrong that I have never done it. What games do I pick, what music if any do I play, etc. I have three boys, the oldest just turned 8, and I have never threw a birthday party for ANY of them because I am so nervous about it!

  116. I love entertaining… I came from a big family, so having people (especially my family) to my house is a comfort for me.

  117. I love to entertain, in fact this Saturday is Girls Night at my house. The theme is New Year, New Recipe. Everyone is brining their favorite healthy dish with the recipe. Usually I do all the cooking but some of the people said they would love to start bringing food too, so why not. LOL To plan ahead I spend about 15 minutes a night cleaning a section of the house until the day of the party. I decorate the night before after I do a final pick up and once over cleaning look. As far as whether or not my house is decorated or designed perfectly I really don’t obsess over it. Everyone is always to busy having fun to care. 🙂 Life is short, start on smaller get togethers until you feel comfortable and then cram the parties to the wall. With so many people at your house they will be the decorations. LOL

  118. I’m reluctant to entertain when people have small children – our house isn’t kid proof and we have a lot of pets 🙂

  119. I love to entertain, but with 4 homeschooled kids I feel like I can never get my house clean. I wish we could entertain more often, there are a few couples in our church that are overdue for a dinner in my house.

  120. I love entertaining and do it often but EVERY time I do, there is always the nervousness about judgment. I would hate to hear a negative comment be passed, especially when i work so hard to make it perfect!

  121. I’d love to entertain more! I think I am a terrible cook and housekeeper and get anxious at the enormous to-do list that entertaining creates. But, usually after the fact, it turns out ok and I’m glad I did it.

  122. I love to entertain, but always have to worry about what I am going to do with our dog. He gets a little out of control when people come over, so I usually take him to my parents house when having a big party. I would love to have this book 🙂

  123. My husband loves to entertain. I do not. My parents never entertained so it is something I am having to learn-to be comfortable around all types of people and not worry about lags in conversation.

  124. Thanks for the giveaway…. looks like a GREAT book! We are starved for real relationships in our culture. Thanks for simplifying the methods and refocusing our lives around what really matters – each other!

  125. I love to entertain, but I always feel like it is never good enough. I would really love to win this book!

  126. Thank you for this giveaway! I love Sandy’s blog. It speaks to my own struggles so much, is gorgeous, and always includes simple tid bits that are de -stressing.

  127. I love to have people over its just that most will not come because I am disabled now and people have quite coming around because I can’t get around as well as before it makes them unconformable to be around me. The only people I have over now is family and they are willing to help themselves.

  128. The Reluctant Entertainer is a new blog for me…..where have I been??!!! I am reluctant to entertain because my cooking skills are pretty much non-existent. I am definitely NOT confident in the kitchen, but I love having people over, and every time we do, I always ask myself, “Why don’t I do this more often?”

  129. I’m reluctant to entertain because it always seems like a lot of work, the house is never clean enough and I’m afraid it’s going to throw the kiddos schedule way off. I’m always glad we had people over though afterwards.

  130. I love having friends and family over, and just keeping it simple: clean house, good food, music, and a welcoming spirit!

  131. I always feel guilty about my house not looking clean enough when everyone comes over! My step-mom feels the need to comment on things and I just need to learn to let those comment roll off my back! Love Sandy’s blog!

  132. I’d love a copy of the book!! I’m reluctant to entertain because of the preparation… with four kids, our house is never near perfect and I dread the cleaning and putting away and then getting the kids to KEEP it that way! But, once the door opens and the guests walk in, all that goes away and I love having people over!!

    I’m a fan on facebook already and an e-new subscriber!

  133. I am reluctant to entertain for the same reasons many other women have cited already – my house is “not tidy enough”, and I don’t want people to see all of our clutter that seems to fall out of the sky, no matter how hard I work to clean up.
    I enjoyed this interview/post! Thanks!

  134. As I look at the previous comments, I realize that I’m not the only one that thinks my house is never neat enough, decorated enough, organized enough, etc. I’d love to get over this hang-up and enjoy having guests over without the stress of my expectations of being “perfect”.

  135. i am always worried my house wont be clean enough, like someone will see dust on the picture frames or something! not like they would say anything, but i would be embarrassed!

  136. I’d love to have people over more often, to entertain and share my baked goods! But I’m self conscious about my apartment – it’s too messy, not decorated and not large enough!

  137. I’m reluctant because I never think my house looks clean enough or decorated enough, I still end up entertaining but I never really have a good time because of my worry.

  138. I am not reluctant at all to entertain. I love every aspect of it and I would love a copy of The Reluctant Entertainer. I follow her as well as you. Love it.

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