Entertaining: My Quest for Simplicity

“Bed & Breakfast, you make both” sums up my capacity with entertaining.

Last week I was sitting at a café in the city with a fellow blogger. We had a great time talking about all things blogging. As I spoke about The Cottage Wife, I mentioned that I may have trouble writing about entertaining at the cottage. You see, I have a picture hanging at the cottage, it says “Bed & Breakfast, you make both” and that sums up my capacity with entertaining.

Cottage Entertaining my way
Image courtesy of Carol Alden on Etsy

I have friends and family who are fabulous at entertaining. They go out of their way to make great food and staging everything beautifully for entertaining. I am not like that. Sure, I’m a little past making my guests use paper plates (usually) but I’m not a candles and cloth napkins kind of girl. I’ve often said “if they’re noticing what’s missing, we’re not entertaining enough.” Now, I may be reconsidering all of that.

When I described the situation to my friend, she gave me an entirely new perspective to consider: for her, it’s more about celebrating life seasonally and feeling special. She likes being around nice things. Thankfully she also likes simple. She assured me that making things nice and embracing the seasons didn’t have to be complicated. What a relief!

It’s more about celebrating life seasonally and feeling special.

As we talked I noticed that perhaps by not making any effort, I may not be making the most of the wonderful place, family and friends we have. It’s as if I was not allowing myself to fully enjoy the whole experience of the cottage, the land and our friends by refusing to make a fuss. Maybe it doesn’t have to be a fuss.

Don’t get me wrong, when we have company I go out of my way to clean and I do try to plan meals and spaces that our guests will enjoy. In fact, I can spend days fretting over ways I can make things more comfortable and relaxing for our guests. AND I wish to not be stressed out too; the cottage is our relaxation time after all. I think it’s more the décor and details that I miss.

A few things we do to make things easier on us when we have guests who are staying over more than one night:

  • We have them choose a night that they’ll take care of dinner.
  • If they come often they bring their own sheets for their beds. We don’t have laundry facilities at the cottage so this is a sanity saver that flows into the next week back in the city.
  • We don’t miss our evening walk for the sunset. Our guests can choose to come with us or not.

Of course I had a moment where I judged myself as being lazy or careless – that’s a natural woman-thing to do isn’t it? Thankfully I know I’m not lazy.  I like simplicity and wish to keep that cottage vibe going.

Maybe it’s time to explore the idea of creating something a little more special, a little more grown up. It’s definitely time to celebrate the seasons, our friends and family with more intent. I have no idea where I’m going to begin this adventure but I’m willing to begin.

Happily seeking suggestions for simple (and special) cottage entertaining! Leave me a comment and let me know how you entertain and keep it simple.

 

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