Archives for July 2010

Craft, Wrap & Gift Closet
{And Christmas in July!}

Craft, Wrap & Gift Closet <br>{And Christmas in July!}

Inspiration: Country Living
Make a craft, wrap and gift closet


I’m not pining away for Christmas yet. I’m still enjoying summer. But I have always wanted to be one of “those” people who is so organized that they have all of their Christmas shopping done by fall and they can FULLY enjoy the holiday season — baking, decorating and wrapping gifts, and not stressed out about too much money flying out the window at Christmas. OK, I know that might be a crazy dream, but I have managed that a time or two in my life and it was BLISS.

Craft, Wrap & Gift Closet <br>{And Christmas in July!}

Holiday gift wrapping: Country Living

For years and years, I have had a gift closet, or even just a gift shelf, that I used to stash my pre-bought gifts. Sometimes the closet holds crafts, wrap and gifts, and sometimes just gifts. I really enjoy finding gifts at my own pace, as I see things I like. Then when I need a present for someone (like a hostess or teacher’s gift where I completely forget about giving the gift until it is time to leave for the party!), I can go to my gift closet and find something appropriate at a moment’s notice.

By purchasing great gifts when I find them, I save lots of time wandering aimlessly through shops getting frustrated. And even better, I save money because I am not overspending in a hurry to find something. It is a win-win.

Craft, Wrap & Gift Closet <br>{And Christmas in July!}Country Living

Do you have a gift closet?

Confessions: I Was a Reluctant Entertainer
:: Apron, Tea Towel & Book Giveaway!

Confessions: I Was a Reluctant Entertainer <br>:: Apron, Tea Towel & Book Giveaway!

Once upon a time, I was definitely a reluctant entertainer. I wasn’t reluctant about having people over, though, I was reluctant to have them over for dinner. I didn’t know how to cook anything that resembled what I thought was a “guest worthy dinner.”  I was intimidated by friends who made delicious four course sit down dinners, always had their houses clean, and would never put the salad plate where the bread plate was supposed to go. It was just all too much for me.

Confessions: I Was a Reluctant Entertainer <br>:: Apron, Tea Towel & Book Giveaway!

I knew I’d never measure up to my own expectations of what I thought “having guests for dinner” meant. In order to hide my lack of confidence — and quite honestly to hide my lack of desire to gain gourmet cooking skills, I would throw Make Your Own Pizza parties, Ice Cream Sundae parties, and Taco Salad bars. Cause I am fancy like that.

If it was easy to make and preferably if people had to assemble it themselves, I was safe. I mean, if your ice cream sundae tasted awful it was your own fault. Right? Right. BRILLIANT I tell ya!

Looking back, I now realize there should have been no shame in any of my attempts at entertaining. At the time I felt I was an epic fail as a hostess, even though in hindsight I was just trying to find a way to have people over that was manageable for me and allowed me to let go of unrealistic expectations (and let’s be honest here, I wanted to be able to spend more time decorating than I spent cooking! Soooo true, I cannot make this stuff up. )Confessions: I Was a Reluctant Entertainer <br>:: Apron, Tea Towel & Book Giveaway!

Little did I know my desire to focus on authenticity over perfection in entertaining and decorating, {and my passion for creating ambience in decorating over the task of preparing a gourmet meal in a kitchen}, would someday lead to this blog The Inspired Room. Clearly I would never be writing a cooking blog. AND The Inspired Room would lead me to some of my best friends in the whole wide web world, Sandy and Nester, and the three of us would write a book about ourselves called The Reluctant Entertainer.

OK, that last part is a lie.

Sandy is the only one who wrote the book. But you knew that.

I just feel pretty special to see my name on the back, even though I knew it was going to be there. And this weekend was the first time I had actually seen it in real life!!

Confessions: I Was a Reluctant Entertainer <br>:: Apron, Tea Towel & Book Giveaway!

I took this picture at night holding it up to my camera. And somehow a black smudge got on the book and I didn’t even notice until just now.

I might have written 20 bazillion blog posts over the years but I have never written a book. So it might be a small thing to celebrate, but I am SO EXCITED to have my name on a book! ESPECIALLY on the back of THIS ONE, right next to my pal Nester. Nester and I completely and wholeheartedly believe in the message Sandy shares:

Entertaining is not about perfection, it is about connection.

Confessions: I Was a Reluctant Entertainer <br>:: Apron, Tea Towel & Book Giveaway!

Confessions: I Was a Reluctant Entertainer <br>:: Apron, Tea Towel & Book Giveaway!

Giveaway: Book, Apron & Tea Towel

TWO lucky winners.

To celebrate my dear friend Sandy’s new book, today I am giving away a copy of The Reluctant Entertainer to TWO lucky winners and if that is not so amazing by itself, each winner will ALSO receive a beautiful demi pink sorbet apron and tea towel (pictured above) from The Hip Hostess! SOOO adorable, you will totally want to have a party just to wear this apron and set out your tea towel. And with your handy dandy guide from Sandy on how to make entertaining doable, you’ll be all set to invite people over tomorrow night!

If you want to buy a copy of Sandy’s book for yourself or for a gift, you can find it here in my amazon store! This book is truly amazing and inspiring, you really will love it! I promise!

To enter this giveaway, leave a comment here about your most embarrassing entertaining story or your biggest reluctance in having people over. Then go let your friends know about the giveaway on Facebook, Twitter and your blog and come back to let me know where you posted about this and you’ll get extra entries!

Giveaway is now closed!

Thanks for entering!