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A sweet centerpiece <br>for a summer dinner party!

Welcome my friend, Sandy Coughlin!

Gardening seems to be more fun in the early summer, I think because it’s fresher and more exciting and the weather is cooler. Later in the summer we have to deal with the weeds, the heat, and it just seems like more work. We love to entertain outside as often as we can and now is a great time to get started!

A sweet centerpiece <br>for a summer dinner party!

If we know we’re entertaining, we try to get the whole family involved.

– Make a list the day before of the chores you want your kids to do
– Give them a time frame for when the chores need to be completed
– Be willing to show them how the job is to be done, especially if it’s a new job they’ve never done before
– Keep in mind that the job may not be done perfectly, and be willing to live with it
– Make it fun for the family, talk about the rewards of working together as a family
– After the dinner party is over, or the next day, reflect on what happened during the party and the benefits of everyone pitching in

One example is letting them make the centerpiece!

A sweet centerpiece <br>for a summer dinner party!

Let them fill a low-line vase with water.

A sweet centerpiece <br>for a summer dinner party!

Snip off the flowers the same length (we have a ton of daisies blooming right now!)

A sweet centerpiece <br>for a summer dinner party!

And make their very own arrangement for the dinner table, one that they’ll be very proud of!

It’s a gift that we give our kids when we teach them about hospitality and the details of making it work.

I’d say it takes passion and purpose.

With summer entertaining and work in the yard, it takes a family to get it done and ready!

Note from Melissa: Don’t you love that sweet centerpiece idea? Did you know Sandy has an amazing new book coming out? So excited! This post features an example of the type of simple, wonderful ideas and inspiration you will find in her soon to be released book! I’m so proud of her and how she inspires women to open their homes to entertain. I had the honor of endorsing the book, (squeeee!!) so I’m feeling kind of famous myself! My name on a real live book?! Imagine that! If you’d like to preorder your copy, here is a link! It goes to my store.A sweet centerpiece <br>for a summer dinner party!

Reluctant Entertainer, The: Every Woman’s Guide to Simple and Gracious HospitalityA sweet centerpiece <br>for a summer dinner party!

Do you plan to entertain outside this summer?
How do you involve your kids in entertaining?

ps. I forgot to put an end date on the amazing pillow giveaway so if you haven’t entered yet, you still have another day! I’ll close it Wednesday night!


  1. shannon

    A great idea!
    .-= shannon´s last blog ..My Baking Basket =-.

  2. Becky Ramsey

    It’s precious! And easy. And I love that it’s not sticking up in the way of seeing people’s faces.
    The book looks great! Congrats to Sandy!

  3. Becky K.

    How fun to see two of my favorite creative ladies together on one blog.

    We will be hosting Chelsea’s Birthday party in the form of a cookout in less than two weeks. We are in the process of sprucing up the deck and getting it sealed, weeds pulled and mulch/stone replaced.

    Yikes! It is a lot to do, but my girl is worth it!

    Becky K.
    .-= Becky K.´s last blog ..A Conversation…In Pictures =-.

  4. Imperfect

    I love having fresh flowers in my house and making them into a simple yet absolutely beautiful centerpiece is even better!
    .-= Imperfect´s last blog ..At the Table =-.

  5. Annelise Wilcox

    I always let my kids ice and sprinkle their own cupcakes for the cup cake tree and use that as a centerpiece along with my birthday present placemats, my mother had made for me. My daughter turns three this week.
    .-= Annelise Wilcox´s last blog ..Summer Guest Writer #1 from LOLA BELLE…Where to Start When Designing a Room =-.

  6. sondra

    Wish I had seen this 6 years ago, when I decorated for our son’s wedding rehearsal dinner! I did the same vase and flowers but didn’t leave much of the stem on them. That really makes the difference! I will remember that next time! Thanks!

    By the way, I really enjoy your blog!
    .-= sondra´s last blog ..Where Have I Been? =-.

  7. James

    Just came in from OpenSky. Great idea for a centerpiece, and I love the fact that once you have the low vase, there are so many other things you can do with it.

  8. Jo

    OOOHHH I adore the daisy centerpiece. I’m going to look for a container of some sort and when my daisies bloom again I’m going to do this. I so agree about gardening in early summer. I live in Minnesota, where the gardening seasion is really late May – August. Right now all the shops/greenhouses are having 40-50% off so I buy lots. We really only have about one week to garden with no bugs. Then we get no see ums, mosquitos, flies, gnats, heat, humidity and I’m done. Ready for winter around Oct. and I’m usually not disappointed. Have a great day. I love your blog!

  9. Kim

    Sandy is ALWAYS chock full of good, simple, easy ideas for entertaining and I can’t wait to get my hands on that book!!


  10. Debbie

    Love the floated flowers centerpiece idea. I generally enjoy anything on RE and want to get her book.

    As for entertaining outside this summer… that would be a negative.
    It’s far too oppressive here unless we’ll all getting in the pool. And, well… nix on that one too.
    .-= Debbie´s last blog ..Oh they say when you marry in June… =-.

  11. Maureen

    Love the center piece and the name of the book fits me to a “T” I’m always so worried and wiggy before guests arrive. I can’t wait for the book and it will be a great gift for a few of my friends as well.
    Thanks for sharing!

  12. Kirstin

    great post Sandy, as always. I love your pictures too, you do such a great job. We just had our youth up last night for a bonfire, volleyball and just hanging out! We always get our girls involved by having them help with set up, cleaning the house, getting bonfire materials ready, etc…

  13. LuxuriousLife

    I love entertaining outdoors in the summer!! I have done several posts about this on my blog and will post many more outdoor tables before summer’s end.
    I get my young daughter, 5, involved in the preparation by letting her set the “kiddie” table if children are involved in the celebration. I let her pick out the flowers for the table, set the theme and we talk about how her friends are her guests for the evening and how guests should be treated. She is a great little hostess!!
    .-= LuxuriousLife´s last blog ..Hey Mr D. J….. Keeping a Design Journal =-.

  14. Laura

    What a beautiful and simple centerpiece!
    .-= Laura´s last blog ..Beautiful Blogs =-.

  15. Debbie

    Because we’re a larger than average family (11 children), we definitely NEED everyone’s help ahead of time to get the house, yard, and pool ready for entertaining, but I also want my children to learn to be good hosts/hostesses during the party by learning how to converse (everyone loves to be asked questions about themselves!) and to be on the lookout for the needs of others. Role-playing ahead of time helps and can be fun as we take turns being the ‘guest’.
    Love the centerpiece! Look forward to reading the book.

  16. Sarah

    How precious is that? And so easy too. Congrats Sandy!!

  17. Debbie

    I love that simple daisy centerpiece and how others can be involved in creating it; even kids.

    It’s just like you Melissa to help a friend out. I follow Sandy’s blog too and so I know how good she is. And her book looks fabulous.

    Hugs to you,
    .-= Debbie´s last blog ..Then Sings My Soul Saturday The Potters Hand =-.



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