I have long given up the idea that everything has to be perfect when I entertain. I am all about simple. I find that breakfast is a great way to keep things simple.
Here are a few things I do to keep it simple, but still special:
I eat oatmeal, toast and fruit almost every morning for breakfast, so that is what my friends get, too. I always make sure to ask if they like oatmeal, and I have found that they are appreciative of a hearty and healthy breakfast. I usually make my Cinnamon Apple Cranberry Oatmeal.
I always serve my lemon water in mason jars, of course. I also always serve coffee, unless they prefer hot tea or hot chocolate. For my more adventuresome friend, I will serve Turmeric Chai Tea, a Green Smoothie. I even have been known to stick a few apples and a couple handfuls of fresh cranberries in the juicer for freshly juiced Cran-Apple refresher. Delish!
The black coffee cups? I only have 2. I liked them, but could not afford a whole set. They are the mugs I use when I have just one friend over. Same with the square, colored plates. I only have 2 of them. Most of my serving dishes are white, so they go with just about anything. I use mason jars as serving dishes and drinking glasses. Don’t stress if what you have does not match perfectly..I didn’t like that my napkins clashed a bit with everything else, but it is what I had and in the end look just fine.
4. Light candles
Candles are just a little extra touch that add atmosphere and scent. Coffee is another way to add a great scent to your home. One friend came into my home and said, “MMMmm..it smells like a coffee shop in here!” It was my butterscotch candle mixed with the aroma of coffee.
5. Fake clean
Make sure the area you will be spending the most time in is picked up, then just shut the doors of the rooms that are not up to par. Put all dirty dishes into one sink if you don’t have time to wash them. It looks so much better than strewn all over the counter top. Spot clean the kitchen floor if you don’t have time to mop–I did that this morning. Give the bathroom a quick spray and wipe, making sure there are no globs of toothpaste to greet your friend in the sink. Light a candle in there, too. See that brown rug? I did the ultimate fake clean seconds before my friend rang the doorbell today. I gave it a quick shake right there onto the floor, then covered the mess up with the rug itself. Oh yes I did!! Thursdays are “wash floors” days for me, so I knew I would get to it later. Fake cleaning rocks!
always almost always prepare so that the only thing I have to do is pop the toast down and add oatmeal to the boiling water. In less than 5 minutes, we have breakfast! I make sure coffee is made, table is set, beverages ready, fruit prepared and house in order before my guest arrives. Honestly, it all really only takes minutes!
I always have some type of music playing when we have company. It adds great atmosphere. I choose the music based on whomever is coming over and their tastes. Today I played Whisperings: The Best of David Nevue piano music, so chill and lovely. Another time I played Some Kind Of Trouble by James Blunt. Sometimes Viva la Vida by Coldplay. Whatever your heart desires.
8. Feed their souls.
Depending on the personality of your guest, this may or may not be a good idea. I love to pray for our food before we eat, and it is a great opportunity to pray for my friend who is there visiting, thanking the Lord for their friendship and being. I also like to grab one of my favorite devotionals Jesus Calling or the Bible and read a little encouraging blurb out of one of those. It seems to always bless not just my visitor, but me, too!
9. Be yourself.
In the past I would get so into the details of entertaining and making sure that everything was perfect, that I felt like I would miss really being present with my peeps! Not anymore. My year with cancer taught me just how dear and precious moments with those I love are. I am striving to be present in them, no matter what. A fun example of this is I was running late one morning, and I knew my friend would be here any minute. I was still in my pajama pants. I made the best of it. I texted her to warn her of my wardrobe, and we laughed about it when she got here. I DID get my teeth brushed and deodorant on, I’m sure she appreciated that. It seemed to set a fun, casual mood as we ended up on my couch, each lounging with a warm blanket and having great “girl talk.” Love making memories like that!
What are ways you simplify entertaining?
ChelseaJanuary 20, 2012 at 6:21 pm
love it … im always telling myself, “ill invite them over next week, this week the house is too much of a mess”. That is an excuse that can go on forever. Great post, Breakfast is an awesome idea!
Liz @ thequickjourney.blogspot.comJanuary 19, 2012 at 9:56 pm
great post! i think i feel like i’m not a “hospitality” kinda girl because i freak about everything being perfect… and then i enjoy very little of the event. i love your take on things!!
Amy BowmanJanuary 20, 2012 at 12:21 am
thanks, Liz! I hope it encouraged you. I so relate to wanting things perfect, but who we foolin’? Lol. Try the “shake the rug and hide the dirt” thing. It is so freeing. Ha!!
Amy BowmanJanuary 19, 2012 at 9:25 pm
@Joanna–your comment makes me so happy! Have a fun breaky!!
JoannaJanuary 19, 2012 at 9:16 pm
That’s it, you’re right, if I waited until everythings perfect I would never have anyone over! I’m going to follow your lead and invite my best friend over for breakfast next week. She will love it!