October 23, 2017

Celebrate with Simple Gatherings + Amazing Giveaways

Oct3

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As many of you know, I’ve spent the last six months punching out every story and thought and detailing my heart for imperfect, every day hospitality with 60,000 words (yes, you read that correctly – 60K words)

In this day and age of so much virtual interaction, don’t we all just love and appreciate being warmly welcomed and invited to someone’s home? It’s truly a gift.

I’m passionate about the importance of gathering people together in community and since my book, Just Open the Door, won’t be out until April 2018, I want you to have immediate inspiration. (And right now, I’m all out of words. Shocking, I know.  ;))

It’s an honor and joy to share one of my best blogging friend’s books, Simple Gatherings: 50 Ways to Inspire Connection. 

Melissa and I have been friends for nearly ten years and we share the same heart beat for hospitality. We understand that you don’t have to have impressive culinary skills, a perfect house, a large budget, or elaborate decorations to host a festive and welcoming gathering.

Guests tend to remember these four elements of a gathering: the feast, the conversation, the atmosphere and the special touches.

Sometimes, I’ve printed my cute, free banners, added flowers to mason jars, bought treats (gasp), served coffee and it was the best of times.  Just be willing to open your door and I guarantee that Melissa offers simple ideas to make a gathering in your home feel special and memorable.

It’s so much easier than you think. Truly!

Simple Gatherings create cozy home

solve the shoe dilemma

To celebrate her new book, we’re hosting a fun “Progressive Launch Party” and giving away FIVE prize package sets. Each hostess is giving away a unique set of prizes to a lucky winner! You could win more than one, so enter them all.

Progressive Party: Melissa Michaels The Inspired Room (start here)
Emily Lex – Jones Design Studio
Beth Hunter – Homes Stories A to Z
Sandy Coughlin – Reluctant Entertainer
Bre Doucette – Rooms For Rent

Melissa has set up a fun party hostess quiz that will tell you what style is right for you.

Does it come as a surprise that my hostess personality was care free and laid back? I’ve learned that key necessity through the years and with a few tips and tricks, it’s manageable to host and enjoy at the same time. So take your quiz first and then come back to enter my fun giveaway at the bottom of the post. You have 7 entry opportunities. 🙂 

beautiful white front door

Simple Gatherings is truly a feast for the eyes with beautiful pictures alongside simple encouragement and tips for creating a warm and welcoming home, party decorating, cleaning, setting up creative tables, themes and reasons to gather as well as helpful tips for hosting and preparing the event.

 It’s a lovely read filled with lots of inspiration. I’m excited for you all to get your hands on it and with the holidays coming, it’s a great gift idea! Order it wherever books are sold or through Amazon. 

 Here’s my party personality and it was spot on. What’s yours? I’d love to hear.

You’re a carefree, laid-back hostess who is most likely to throw casual, impromptu gatherings. You love to invite others to come as they are at the last minute, and you don’t fret over the details or presentation.

Being prepared and considering the finer details of decor and party ambiance may not be your natural tendency, but staying connected is your specialty.

Planning an intentional gathering might feel a bit overwhelming or out of your comfort zone. But even the most spontaneous of gatherings can be extra special and memorable with just a few advanced preparations.

Basic party to-do lists can be your best friend because they won’t squelch your free-spirited style, and they can prepare you to take your gatherings to a new level of festivity without added stress.

(This giveaway is now closed)

One Balancing Beauty and Bedlam winner will win all four of these beauties.

Balancing Beauty and Bedlam Giveaway

 

Progressive Party: Melissa Michaels The Inspired Room (start here)
Emily Lex – Jones Design Studio
Beth Hunter – Homes Stories A to Z
Sandy Coughlin – Reluctant Entertainer
Bre Doucette – Rooms For Rent
Jen Schmidt – Balancing Beauty & Bedlam
ENTER HERE: 


Comments

  1. Love this!

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  2. Misty Lynn says:

    I love hosting baby showers!

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  3. I like to host baby showers

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    Jen Reply:

    @latanya, Celebrating new life. Such a blessing.

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  4. Michele Laramay says:

    How fun is this?!

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  5. Loving this giveaway! My most memorable so far this year is my best friend’s party that I helped cohost. It was decorated with fresh flowers and diy signs, markers and tags. We had balloons and finger foods that we all participated in making. Such a fun time.

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    Jen Reply:

    So fun!! What were the DIY signs? TO greet friends?

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  6. We planned an event for my daughter’s 5th birthday with the theme of unicorns. I did as much as I could to make the entire Living Room and eating area be unicorn like as possible. I would’ve joked and said, “WOW, a UNICORN exploded in here 🙂 !!!” It was a lot of fun and to see the smile on my daughter made all the hours of planning worth it.

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    Jen Reply:

    No way!! That sounds SOOOO cute!! I bet everyone adored it!!!

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  7. I’d like to host Thanksgiving one year!

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  8. Jess Richey says:

    A large group of fellow coaches wives. 💜

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  9. Jennifer K. says:

    We love hosting Thanksgiving at our house. It’s the one time a year where our families from near and far can be together.

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  10. Thanksgiving is my favorite meal to host because it is all about showing gratitude instead of focusing on gifts. It is a great time to just relax and focus on time with friends and loved ones.

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  11. My husband and I stopped hosting our annual Friends and Family Crawfish Boil after home renovations and funds stopped us one year, and we never got on groove back on either front. I would love to return to hosting that next year!

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  12. Debra Schramm says:

    I’d love to host a Christmas party for friends. I’ve just never taken the time to do it.

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  13. What a fabulous name for your blog! I am glad to discover it and am intrigued by your posts!

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  14. Live in a new area and miss the chance to host get togethers 🙂 hopefully family will come for Thanksgiving!!

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  15. I got social butterfly but I’m thinking I didn’t answer right 😂 I’m a conversation gal but I’m not the life of the party!

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  16. Jen, you are so kind to open your doors today and let us come in to celebrate! Your hospitality means SO much to me. Thank you for being such a dear friend and for sharing my book with your lovely readers here. I can’t wait for your book!!! XOXO

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    Jen Reply:

    You know I love you and that big, huge heart of yours like crazy. 🙂 xoxox

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  17. I just enjoy having good friends and family over! 😉

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  18. A laid back hostess – I hope I appear as one, but I am a perfectionist through and through!

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  19. Love Melissa’s beautiful books!

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  20. love those serving spoons!

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  21. Heather Anne says:

    I enjoy hosting gathering but our home is in such a state of disrepair right now … it’s been a long time since we opened our home and I really feel badly about that.

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  22. This book looks great! I love to entertain, but I need some encouragement and inspiration.

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  23. I would love to host thanksgiving again. It was hard work but it was fun. I hope to have enough space in my home again.

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  24. amanda whitley says:

    i would love to host a holiday party but my aunts are always the ones hosting.

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  25. Lori Bolick says:

    I loved hosting birthday brunches for my mother and her friends. Cooked, decorated, served and cleaned up without her lifting a finger help. So fun for all of the ladies.

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  26. I would love to host a fun gathering of my daughters’ friends…lol.

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  27. Jill Stroud says:

    Relaxed and Personable. That they were who I was thinking of when the party was planned.

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  28. I’m so excited to get the book. I just ordered it yesterday. I’ve been dying to start up my dinner parties again, but feel a little shy about it too.

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  29. Love the concept and looking forward to reading the book!

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  30. I stepped out of my comfort zone and hosted a New to the Neighborhood Lemonade Laugthernoon social with my new neighbors. We all moved in around the same time and I felt it was time to just get to know each other. Lemonade on the deck with light cool snacks at summers end. I think it went well. They all say hello at the mailbox now!

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  31. I love the thought of simplifying hospitality and making it more about relationship and connection. This perfectionist needs freedom and help!

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  32. I’d love to host a luncheon for all the ladies I’ve volunteered at school with over the years. It takes so many dedicated volunteers to run a successful PTA and I’ve been blessed with some true rock stars.

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  33. Jessica Oliver says:

    The descriptions of this book and yours coming out soon sound like exactly what I need!

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  34. Amanda Wood says:

    It’s been a long time since i’ve hosted a nice, big birthday party. It would be fun to break out the cake recipes and candles, and really go to town on decorations.

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  35. I love hosting Christmas but space is an issue! but small gatherings sometimes can be just as fun!

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    Jen Reply:

    Absolutely – small gatherings are really where some deeper connection can occur. 🙂

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  36. I’d love to host a group of women for a Favorite Things party or a Cookbook Club!

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  37. I would love to be more carefree and laid back when it comes to entertaining. I am going work on this, I want all who enter our home to feel welcome.

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  38. Easy breezy is definitely my goal. I do think I get a little caught up on everything being just so. I want to be motivated to host by sharing life with people. <3

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  39. Shari Schempp says:

    I would love to host a casual fall luncheon with some girlfriends. As a matter of fact, maybe I will have to make that happen!

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  40. Ooooh! Love that bowl and serving spoons! Would be perfect in our lake house!

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  41. We spent 10 years away from family but have been back near 2/3 of our children for 3 years now. It’s looking like Thanksgiving will be at our house again. I’d like to turn it over to one of my sons but with Baby 2 due at Christmas it’s not a great year to do that. I love my DIL too much to do that! The other son & DIL have jobs that interfere with hosting.
    We’ve lots to be thankful for this year. Baby 1, turning 3 this month was the first girl for us. Baby 2 will be the first boy for the other grandparents.
    We hold hands and go around naming something we are thankful for. We began this decades ago for Sunday dinners. It always ends with Bean Sauce! Which son #3 yelled out when he was 5.

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  42. I’m Easy Breezy too! It’s almost like you get to be a guest at your own party 🙂

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  43. I love hosting dinner parties! I love to cook, and I love to gather dear friends and family around the table. My style is definitely more laid back, but I try to pay attention to all the details before my guests arrive so the house is ready and I can just relax and enjoy the party along with my guests. My favorite sound is the sound of chatter and laughter around my table, and I adore watching everyone feeling so relaxed and comfortable in my little mountain top home!

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  44. I love to host get Togethers for my family. We try to get her at least once and month with our adult children and their families!

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  45. Jamie Lockard says:

    I always lay claim to hosting Thanksgiving. IT holds very special meaning for my family and we always try to extend invitations broadly to all corners of the extended family tree.

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  46. LYDIA CUNNINGHAM says:

    In our neighborhood we have regular gatherings. Sometimes it’s just a few of us for tea and cookies and other times it’s a large party. Everyone looks forward to them and our gatherings have become a great place to connect with those who live right around us.

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  47. I love hosting Sunday Football!!! It is so much fun getting everyone together for the game

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  48. I actually got EASY BREEZY! Love people and having others around!

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  49. We live in a pretty small home, so we like to invite a family from our church over on a Sunday afternoon, just to have a simple meal (my husband’s a great cook!) and get to know our church family a little better.

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  50. I’m a perfectionist! This really wasn’t surprising to me since lists have always been one of my favorite things.

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  51. Francesca Gunn says:

    I love the name of your blog! I am looking forward to learning more about you.

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    Jen Reply:

    Welcome! So glad you found my little place in blogland. 🙂

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  52. Hosting is like a roller-coaster – First it’s so exciting to start planning! Then it’s stressful and takes too much prep time (that I feel like I don’t have). And finally, once underway, it’s that feeling of “what was I complaining about? this is great!” 🙂

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    Jen Reply:

    Katie – that is a PERFECT analogy!! I love that so much.

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  53. I would love this book!

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  54. Jessica Brubaker says:

    Looks like a great book, thank you for joining in to celebrate the launch.

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  55. First off, Thank you for the chance to win these beautiful home items! Social Butterfly here! I have been entertaining in my home on a regular basis as a former military spouse of 30 yrs! Keeping it simple is my preferred style! I have key pieces that I use on a regular basis and add decor based on the season! I have a stash of favorite recipes that I use and usually have most of the ingredients on hand! It’s all about socializing for me!

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    Jen Reply:

    you’re so welcome, April, and you sound a ton like me. 🙂

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  56. I would love to host a poetry and teatime for my girlfriends and their kids and a family friendly game night.

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  57. I would love to host a small dinner party.

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  58. I’m glad I stopped by! I took a detour to your banner templates – so cool! Thanks for sharing ;o) xo Kim

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  59. Love this! I’m a perfectionist who desperately needs to learn the way of “going with the flow” vs. stressing over every last detail!

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  60. This book looks beautiful (and helpful!)

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  61. I am always a little anxious about hosting people but my heart is always so full after everyone goes home. I never regret saying yes to hospitality! I look forward to reading this book!

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  62. Such a FUN idea for a book launch! Awesome items… such beauty. Good encouragement to host simply and beautifully.

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  63. A graduation party for my MBA degree next May!

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  64. Heather Gehman says:

    Easy Breezy…?! Haha maybe I am sometimes. 🙂

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  65. I love hosting baby or bridal showers. So many fun ideas!

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  66. I really struggle with hosting and this book looks like it has lots of great ideas.

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  67. Thank you!

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  68. Brittney Rust says:

    At first when the quiz said I was Easy Beezy I didn’t think it was accurate- I put A LOT of thought into the decor and food- but I’m not uptight- I want my guests to come as they are and be completely comfortable to be themselves, not be formal.

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  69. I am a perfectionist through and through!

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  70. carol clark says:

    a baby shower i think would be so so so fun

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  71. we love hosting! Thank you for sharing.

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  72. I’m planning a Christmas Market right now, where several different women business owners can come share their wares with friends and neighbors. My lists haven’t kicked in yet, but they will very soon!

    The items are so lovely!

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  73. Greta Wesslen says:

    I would love to win this and I can’t wait to read this book to give me more tips to build my confidence with hosting.

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  74. Christmas parties are my favorite to host 🙂 Such a special time of year, love the decor, and just having family and friends together!

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  75. I would LOVE to host a dinner outside under the stars. Just a casual dinner. Long table filled with flowers and string lights above. A big group of people. Delicious food. Specifically I’ve been wanting to make a HUGE charcuterie board! If I could just come up with extra time and money that would help. Haha.

    But as a perfectionist I’m learning that even if everything isn’t perfect I still need to invite people over! Sometimes it keeps me from entertaining at all…because I never feel like I am 100% ready. I’m trying to learn to lower my standards and remember that people feeling loved is the most important thing.

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  76. Susan Hatcher says:

    I’m going to be hosting my ladies card group in a few weeks in my home. I’m already stressing over it.

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  77. What a fun book and giveaway! I got Nervous Nester, so could definitely benefit from a little advice 😉 (or stick to what I’m good at now – attending parties planned by someone else😂)

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  78. can’t wait to read this book!

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  79. Thanks for sharing! I’m easy breezy.

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  80. Leslie MP says:

    Baby shower, definitely. Love, love all the pint-sized goodies!

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  81. My son’s birthday’s coming up, so we may host something for that.

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  82. A freezer cooking party! Or…a knit and crochet group. 🙂

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  83. We’re in the middle of renovating a (rather large) fixer upper. Once we’re done, I’d love to host all of our family gatherings. 🙂

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  84. I would LOVE tp have a simple coffee and treats gathering. That spunds amazing and I really want to try that soon.

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  85. I’d love to host Christmas when my kids can all be home at the same time!

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  86. Of course, I came out The Perfectionist as expected! But it’s something I’m working on when it comes to gatherings… As a mom of two littles under the age of three, I’d never have people over these days if I still expected perfection — LOL!!

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  87. I like hosting dinners with just a few friends… talking, eating, and maybe a few group games. Not too much pressure.

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  88. Susan L Lindeman says:

    I’d like to try hosting a cookie exchange party

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  89. I would love to host Christmas eve with family or friends!

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  90. I love hosting all sorts of gatherings- church home groups, baby showers, family celebrations, holidays, craft/ladies’ night, dinner parties, its all so fun!

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  91. Looking forward to learning for this book, I tend to get overwhelmed by all the details! This was also nice to discover some new blogs. Thanks.

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  92. I love that Jadeite pedestal!

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  93. Sounds like an excellent book to inspire get-togethers!

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  94. I’m usually traveling to family for the holidays, but I would look forward to hosting Thanksgiving at my home in the future.

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  95. I’d like to host a handlettering workshop.

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  96. I would have a Mothers Day brunch! Celebrate Moms in my life!❤️

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  97. Pretty things! I want to become better at welcoming people into my home even when it’s not perfect.

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  98. Jen Van Hooser says:

    I would love to host a wedding!

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  99. I can’t wait to read this book!!

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  100. I’m a perfectionist and could use some tips for making parties more relaxing!

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  101. Would love to host a wine tasting.

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  102. Nancy Heab says:

    Going to have to purchase this book! Cover looks great.

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  103. I would like to host a really nice Christmas party for my closest friends–maybe a favorite things party. But I can’t seem to get over my fears of it not being an easy breezy (my hostessing style) gathering and it being too many details to make it right. Maybe I have more perfectionism in me than I thought.

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  104. Love to host family and friends.

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  105. Melissa W says:

    Working on the new home to make it a fun party place!!! It takes time and $, but we’ll get there!!!

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  106. Thanks for hosting!

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  107. I’m Easy Breezy 🙂

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  108. Love every one of the prize packs!

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  109. Oh man, my favorites to host at my house are the informal come-as-you-are-bring-something-to-share-if-you-can get-togethers. But I would love to host a bridal shower or baby shower at my house. Maybe after we finish the basement so there’s a little more space. 🙂

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  110. Sweet prizes! My go to party food tends to be chili or tacos with all the fixins. Easy to prep ahead and feeds a crowd!

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  111. I love teaparties and Bible study groups or book parties!

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    Jen Reply:

    We are twins because those are all my favorites too. 🙂

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  112. I’d like to host another mystery dinner. That was so much fun!

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  113. I would like to host a wine and cheese.

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  114. Susan Smith says:

    I’m a nervous nester, would love to be more carefree and laid back!

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  115. I’d like to host a holiday party

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  116. I love hosting casual get togethers. A good menu and a fun afternoon!

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  117. Sherri Yoder says:

    I’d love to host a come as you are party, or a pajama/movie nights for some girlfriends

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  118. I love that colorful cake stand and the gold serving set! This Nervous Nester needs to read that book!

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  119. I would like it if all my children and one grand daughter could be home for Christmas this year.

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  120. This has been a fun way to find new blogs!

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  121. I got Nervous Nester and this book seems perfect for me to learn to be more relaxed about hosting.

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  122. Rebecca Danes says:

    I’m dreaming of a Christmas Tea for the ladies in my small group–have begun searching for tea pots at thrift stores, thinking about a candle exchange, and hoping I’ll make it to Old Salem to pick up their delicious Moravian Sugar Cake to serve!

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    Jen Reply:

    Yes!! Sounds like a perfect afternoon. I adore tea parties and we’re twins because I have tons of tea cups and pots from thrift stores too. 🙂

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  123. I am thinking of hosting a launch party for my debut children’s book. I want to celebrate and thank my family and friends, as well as the illustrator’s family, who have encouraged me in this endeavor. This should be a simply elegant, relaxed and memorable event.

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    Jen Reply:

    Congratulations!! That’s such a wonderful accomplishment and you should definitely do a launch party. 🙂

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  124. Hannah Beth Reid says:

    I want to host some of my favorite people, without any stress of scheduling!
    We hosted my mother-in-law’s birthday lunch a few months ago and it was very rewarding, so perhaps just more family events like that would be a good goal!

    I am SO EXCITED that you’ve written a book!!!

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    Jen Reply:

    Thanks so much. It’s with the publisher in final edits. 🙂

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  125. Bridal showers, baby showers, and graduation parties are my favorite to host! So much fun anticipation and ability to bless the recipient!

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  126. Love the Jadite cake stand…beautiful!

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  127. I loved hosting birthday parties for my kids They are grown now, though, so I may have to expand my horizons!

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  128. I would love to host a luncheon for maybe 5 good friends in a laid back, carefree style where we could visit and encourage each other.

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  129. It is so inspiring to be part of a community who loves to gather and desires to create a warm and inviting space to love on people!

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  130. I am a social butterfly for hosting parties via the quiz 🙂

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  131. I like to host dinner parties for eight!

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  132. I am a social butterfly and just love being with people! When some good food is involved and great conversations then it is a “perfect” combination!

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  133. I love casual potluck gatherings!

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  134. I’ve purchased simple Gatherings and can’t wait to dig into it!

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  135. I love that teal colored cake stand! I can visualize that being served as a grand finale to a fun evening!

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  136. I’m easy breezy! I love a simple gathering.

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  137. Tiffany Banks says:

    I’d love to host my nieces’ birthday party

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  138. I’d love to host a Favourite Things party with three or four friends where we relax with some cocktails or tea and coffee or whatever and exchange our favourite things.

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  139. Love Melissa’s books. Always helpful.

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  140. Can’t wait to read the book!!

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  141. Can’t wait to read!

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  142. Hearing the laughter of friends and family makes it all worthwhile!

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  143. I would love to host a part for my daughter’s first birthday!

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  144. Heather E says:

    I wish I wasn’t so terrified to have people over. My house is so small, and so many people.

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  145. I’d love to host our church deacons and their wives for a special appreciation supper.

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  146. I’m a social butterfly who loves to host Thanksgiving dinner. I would like to host more dinner parties.

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  147. I got easy breezy, which seems to fit me well!

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  148. What a fun idea and cute book

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  149. Nervous nester. I need this book!

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  150. So excited by BOTH these books! Looking forward to new fun opportunities to host friends and family

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  151. I got easy breezy but I am really a perfectionist. Actually there should have been a category called Cra-Cra because I would definitely be that as I hosted our daughter’s wedding reception for 240 guests in a tent in our yard. Then three years later our son wanted his rehearsal dinner for 110 also in a tent in our yard…low country boil! After hosting those two parties maybe anything else would appear to be easy breezy! Thanks for the chance to win great prizes and find new fun bloggers.

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  152. Kara J McGill-Meeks says:

    Love the jadeite cake stand!!!

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  153. Nervous nester – I’ve done Christmas and Thanksgiving get-togethers at my house. Now I just need to do a Halloween party! This book will hopefully help me to feel more comfortable and confident about being a hostess.

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  154. I would love to host a tea party at my house. My mom always has tea parties, and I think they would be so much fun to plan…I even have a Pinterest board full of ideas!

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    Jen Reply:

    Do it!! I lived in England for a semester and tea parties are now a favorite tradition 🙂

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  155. The one event I’d like to host is a vow renewal. My husband and I will be married 10 years this December and we never had any wedding photos taken of our wedding day. I would love to renew my vows in an intimate renewal ceremony and finally get some photos taken of us!!

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    Jen Reply:

    How special that would be. 🙂

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  156. I got perfectionist! Not surprising, and it’s something I need to work on. I love to-do lists and I’m exhausted before my guests even arrive. I stopped hosting last year for that reason and others. Maybe this will inspire me to ease back into it.

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  157. Love this!!

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  158. I would love to host my Sunday school Christmas party in my new house.

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  159. Love to host parties for family and friends!!

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  160. Since we have moved to a new community, the social butterfly in me has not been very social lately. I look forward to reading Melissa’s new book!

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  161. I love getting together with friends for any reason! Impromptu gatherings are the bestest!😊

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  162. Shelley L says:

    I’d love to host a book club.

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  163. I would love to host an outdoor dinner party when the weather is finally cool here in Texas!

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  164. I love hosting a quiet dinner with friends.

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  165. Perfect pieces to entertain!

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  166. christina purvis says:

    I’m a nervous nester. I like to host baby showers or bridal showers because the focus is off of me.

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  167. I’m excited about hosting the holidays! Just moved into our “new” lake house in June. Thanks for the chance to win these beautiful items!

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  168. I’d love to host a chill girl’s night with my close mama friends!

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  169. I’ve been wanting to host a dinner party to raise money for charity but I’m too intimidated.

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  170. Social Butterfly!

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  171. I like hosting, but often get too caught up in the details. Surprise, surprise…I am the Perfectionist hostess type. I would like to work on being more easy-going and be able to enjoy the party too.

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  172. I love hosting birthday parties and dinner parties and I’m excited to host our annual pumpkin carving party this month 🙂

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  173. What a fun post! I love all the items in your giveaway!

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  174. I’d love to host a book club party–which would require me to join or start a book club…
    Thanks for the giveaway!

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  175. I want to host a Halloween party for the neighbor kids.

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  176. Karen Jeanne says:

    I’d love to host a pig roast, with great food, great live music, & a relaxed atmosphere. I have the space, but definitely not the hosting abilities. Maybe someday. Thanks for the giveaway!

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  177. Edwina Orban says:

    Thanksgiving-it is my favorite holiday! Thanks for this chance to win!

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  178. Linda Spangler says:

    I enjoy hosting very small groups, no more than 2-4 people at a time. That way we can really get to know each other better-too many people at once distracts me.

    Love this prize series-well done!

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  179. I live Melissas books. Thanks everybody for joining this gueaway.

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  180. I hosted my daughter in law’s baby girls baby shower thi summer! After having 3 grandsons in 12 months it was so fun to have a very girly gathering! The theme was a tea party with a beautiful table filled with delicate vintage china and tea cups. I hung a clothe lines of tiny pink baby clothes between the kitchen and family room! It was alot of fun!!

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  181. Thank you for hosting! I am glad to have found your site! I got the perfectionist, but I have learned how to cope with my detail-oriented style by getting ahead so that I can be present with my guests when they arrive.

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  182. Paula Romer says:

    Hi Jen, Thanks for offering this fun giveaway with Melissa Michaels. I’ve been a long time reader and love your blog. I am eager to read your upcoming book. I would love s copy of Melissa’s new book, “Simple Gatherings.” I’ve read ALL her other books and this one looks right up my alley. I love to host a post-holiday gathering of girlfriends and one for neighbors in early January. My decorations are still up and I have everyone bring a treat to share. It makes it more do-able than doing all the food myself, and the girls are happy to bring something. It’s about the company, not me striving to impress… Rather bless my friends by providing an outlet for connection.

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    Jen Reply:

    Exactly! I can tell we are soul sisters with hosting. 🙂 I’ve actually started doing an after Christmas open house to take the pre-holiday stress off. IT’s perfect because it’s the Saturday after Christmas, most people are free and I get all the after christmas things on sale. 🙂

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  183. Thank you for hosting a give away! I am learning to make my gatherings more and more simple so everyone is relaxed and comfortable.

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  184. This is fun – Nervous Nester is exactly right for me!

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  185. I love those spoons!

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  186. Easy Breezy, lemon squeezy!

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  187. I am hosting a bonfire for our life group here in a couple of weeks and I will need to decorate for it.

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  188. Linda Miltzow says:

    Hi, Jen! You are a sweet friend! It would be fun to have a Simple Gathering with all of you on the blog hop. If we only would remember that its about the people and relationships, every thing else will fall perfectly into place! Have a beautiful day!!

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  189. I love hosting for Christmas because for the most part everyone seems to be in a joyous mood. Love the smell of fresh cold air, snow, Christmas décor and great food.

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  190. Looks like an amazing book to have. We love to entertain, but I’m a novice.

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  191. I got Easy Breezy. I often have to fake it till I make it. Wouuld like to have a favorite things party because I have been neglecting my friends lately with family commitments.

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  192. What a wonderful giveaway! Thanks so much

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  193. I would like to host a neighborhood Christmas party.

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  194. I came up as a perfectionist! I think I definitely need some help. Looking forward to reading the book!

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  195. We are getting ready to move, so I’m thinking we will host a house warming party. 🙂

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    Jen Reply:

    Always so fun and a great way to get to know new neighbors. I have a post for hosting a perfectly imperfect housewarming party. 🙂

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  196. I love hosting Thanksgiving but have never been able to host anything around Christmas….would love to do that some year!

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  197. Stephanie H. says:

    Maybe a surprise 18th birthday party or a graduation party for my daughter.

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  198. I would love to host a Thanksgiving dinner !

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  199. I love any occasion to have a gathering but baby showers are my favorite!! ♥

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  200. I would love to host a neighborhood holiday party! I’ve wanted to for years but it seems like all of a sudden it’s Christmas!

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  201. Love seeing new blogs, love the giveaways!

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  202. This is so fun!

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  203. I would like to host a football watching party! The entertainment is built in and the food is simple and delicious!

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  204. These are beautiful!

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  205. A few friends, snacks, great conversation.

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  206. I love retro type dinner parties

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  207. I want to have a tabletop game night!

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  208. Julie Mitchell says:

    I’d love to host an afternoon tea! Finger sandwiches, fresh scones with clotted cream and jam, tiny sweets and delicious tea! Lovely conversation!

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  209. I love to host Thanksgiving. We don’t have family near, so it is usually just me and my husband. But, it doesn’t matter whether two or 20. It is still a time for celebration and giving thanks.

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  210. I’m an easy breezy… pretty much right on!

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  211. What an intriguing quiz and what lovely party helps!

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  212. Emily Adams says:

    I usually host Christmas in my home! We always seem to have a great time!

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  213. I am a very detailed oriented person. I like to get organized for parties.

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  214. Steva Finch says:

    I host all kinds of gatherings with family and friends, but one that I want to begin hosting annually is a New Years Day Brunch.

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  215. I love Melissa’s books, looks like another winner!

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  216. Dee Parker says:

    I like hosting baby or wedding showers because it’s so fun to decorate for them.

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  217. One event I would love to host is a simple bonfire & cocoa party resplendent with all the colorful crocheted blankets strewn about for comfort!

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  218. We had our grandson’s Christening Party and went well, though my kitchen was being remodeled. Somehow it all worked out. The best thing is people are so happy to be together they don’t mind anything we have going or overlooked.

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  219. A simple Saturday morning brunch with friends!!

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  220. Sally Christiansen says:

    I love to host casual gatherings with friends.

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  221. I enjoy hosting birthday parties and Christmas parties!

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  222. Easter Brunch!

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  223. Babette Thurston says:

    I would love to host a small tea for my friends to enjoy and just get together and learn more about each other.

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  224. I always think of reasons to host events with friends and even less-well-known neighbors, but I shy away because I get hung up on not feeling adequate about putting on the right food, the right decor, or being a good enough hostess! It sounds like I just need to get over that and just go for it. Thanks for a chance to win some beautiful hosting items! I took the quiz and it says I am a social butterfly, which is probably very true. I will go to anyone else’s event no problem!

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    Jen Reply:

    I think those feelings are common for so many, but think how much we all love being included an invited. I am sure others will feel the same when when you invite. 🙂

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  225. I love to host dinner parties.

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  226. I would like to host a fall gathering

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  227. My favorite party is casual without much of an agenda.

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  228. I want to host a girlfriends party where everyone I invite gets to invite one girlfriend to bring along!

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  229. I enjoy hosting a variety of events. I like the challenge of taking on an original idea and playing it out as far as possible. Themes are my friend. But the best party is preparation and execution with my party-giving inner circle. Jo @ Let’s Face the Music

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  230. Cheryl Forrest says:

    The quiz was interesting to take. I didn’t know that I’m a perfectionist:( I guess that explains why I’m so tired after hosting a party!! That’s good information. I agree with Jen, we all love to be included. I’ve been the one to organize a neighborhood block party for several years. Initially, when I knocked on neighbors door they seemed hesitant and uncomfortable. Now, neighbors and their kids look forward to this every year, and always ask if I’ll organize it again! People really do long for connection, I think.

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  231. Thank you!

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  232. Perfectionist

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  233. I’d like to host a hygge solstice party!

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  234. Trudi McDaniel says:

    It said “Social Butterfly”, but I’m not so sure about that one! I host in my head more than I do in reality. I desire and plan, but sometimes chicken out on the implementation. No always, but often enough. I enjoy having people here and am always glad after it’s over, but my little ole introverted self probably stresses too much over stuff that doesn’t matter to have it be completely enjoyable. Hope to get better about that.

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  235. I think a progressive dinner would be fun to host.

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  236. We love hosting the 4th of July at our house because we live on a ridge with a great view of the city and everyone’s firework displays below us.

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  237. These are lovely things!

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  238. My most favorite gathering to host is when I get to introduce friends to friends that haven’t met before and then get to watch new friendships take root. Thank you for the beautiful giveaway!

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  239. I would love to host more. I need to be inspired!

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  240. amy guillaume linderman says:

    i have always wanted to host Thanksgiving in my house!

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  241. I am a Perfectionist when it comes to parties/gatherings. The last part I hosted was a good-bye lunch for a friend who was moving away. We had a lovely bruschetta bar and it was a big hit!

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  242. Courtney F. says:

    I’d love to host a good Christmas party…but it’s so hard to fit into all the schedules of friends and relatives!

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  243. Laura Barker says:

    When I was younger I entertained but my husband didn’t like having people over. Now it’s me and the kids and I no longer have the space or finances to entertain, despite the desire. One day soon I hope.

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  244. My husband and I love to host barbeques and taco nights with family friends. Lots of families, and laughter and games. A success when the people leave with smiles and hugs!

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  245. I would like to host a fun game day party. My husband and I love fall football season, especially college game day Saturday’s. I just can’t seem to get up the courage or convince him that having some friends over to watch with us would be fun.

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  246. Carefree and laid back too. But only after years of doing it the hard way ; ) Thankful to have hit a better stride and Simple Gatherings seems the perfect reminder of fixing our eyes on the heart of the matter.

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  247. Melanie Herman says:

    Love this!

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  248. Dinner with a couple of friends is what I like to do best. I get nervous wit a larger group.

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  249. I would love to host a rehearsal dinner. We have 2 great porches that just make everything look beautiful.

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  250. I am looking forward to hosting some fall/winter afternoons of knitting with coffee and dessert for my sisters!

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  251. Leslie Smith says:

    Beautiful prizes to make for an beautiful gathering!

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  252. Sara Newell says:

    I love a long cocktail party…

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  253. Jillian Too says:

    I’d love to host a surprise birthday party.

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  254. Outdoor gathering around the fire pit.

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  255. Can’t wait to read this!

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  256. Thanks for the giveaway!

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  257. Saundra Bowers says:

    I`d love to host a baby shower.

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  258. I’d love to have a Fall party of some sort, maybe to craft with friends or trade favorite things.

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  259. aaron reck says:

    I think it’s really important to celebrate achievements small or large. I think it reinforces positive life choices. Be there for those that fall but also celebrate when they stand.

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  260. Alissa Andrews says:

    What a great launch party. (:

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  261. My style is social butterfly..and so me!
    I host parties all the time..I’m very traditional and want to have parties for every holiday or for no reason at all.
    Although,mix do host large family gatherings, my favorite are smaller parties..relaxed, causal chic..and fun!
    Everyone must have fun..including me.
    Living in Florida the majority of my parties are al Fresca.
    I’ve had parties, at the beach, pool, lakes, back yard even 22nd floor rooftop under the stars.
    The party I can’t wait to host..next year..will be when we finish remodeling my parents 60 year old ranch..outside by their lake..maybe with a fire pit smores ending for dessert.
    Thanks!

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  262. What a lovely giveaway! I love the quiz as it’s ppints out stuff I should really be aware of, but sometimes gets glossed over

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  263. I would love to have a friends’ classy craft night or a flower workshop or a fall gathering. Thanks for the giveaway!

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  264. Love all of these prizes!

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  265. I’d love to host the next couples get together here.

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