This past weekend I had the honor of representing Darling Magazine's "Hostess" persona at their Create + Cultivate conference. I lead a room full of 90 talented, beautiful, and inspiring women in a round of crafting Painted Rope Votive Holders to inspire a simple hostess gift idea, or dinner party accent. As I prepared for speaking to this group and sharing my craft with them, I thought about what it means to be a "Hostess." Immediately my thoughts went to figures like Martha Stewart and June Cleaver. Historically a hostess is synonymous with a perfectly tidy kitchen, ruffled apron, steaming pot roast, and wobbly jello mold, not to mention a spacious dining room to entertain in! Quite the opposite of my small one bedroom apartment, dishwasher-less kitchen, and round 4-seater dining table, I should add.
For starters I had mixed feelings about considering myself a hostess. What I've found is that while I love the art of entertaining, cooking a meal, mixing drinks, and generally socializing with friends and family; often times I feel the pressure to achieve perfection only to fall short on many occasions! You have no idea the frenzy of dish washing, toilet bowl scrubbing, and hurried candle lighting that ensues before my guests knock on the door. (Tell me I'm not alone in this!) I'm usually frustrated and sometimes a bit embarrassed at how little space I have to entertain guests, not to mention my general lack of seating. There is no, "Let's retire to the library for cocktails" in this house.
So, as I considered all of these facts, and tried my best to work them into a meaningful presentation to accompany my candle project, I realized one very important thing. Despite all of my preconceived notions and feelings of inadequacy when it comes to the proper entertaining home, I still considered myself a hostess. The good intention behind the act of opening up one’s home, big or small, creating a welcoming atmosphere, and a sense of comfort is all that is really required. I think too often we get caught up in the idea of perfection, of keeping up with the Jones’, and forget about what qualities and talents we can personally share with others. So on that note I led the conference in a round of candle holder making.
photos via Esselle
It's always been my intention with this blog to share inspiration, delicious recipes, easy entertaining ideas, and DIY projects made for the modern-day hostess. I hope that I can inspire you to consider yourself a hostess in your own right, to open your home to the ones you love, and to never be intimidated or held to a level of perfection that is simply not realistic. Mostly, I hope you take away a desire to entertain, to host, and to share your talents and hospitality with others.
On that note, Esselle is giving away a $50 gift card to use towards one of their Hostess boxes to a Freutcake reader. Esselle creates dinner party decor and tablescape essentials for the modern hostess...how perfect! So, please leave a comment here about your thoughts on what makes a "Hostess." I would love to hear from you, and you might just win a gift card too.
Here’s How to Enter:
Note: Comments must be entered by 12:00 am PST, August 29th in order to qualify.
A hostess is creative and playful with her get-together theme and execution, tries not to stress, and above all, can enjoy the party when it all comes to fruition!
I think having a gracious, loving and servant's heart makes someone a good hostess. Perfection is often our own battle, other's just want to feel welcome.
I think encouraging comfort, laughs, and plenty of eating and drinking makes a good hostess!
Alina Conn says
A good hostess is one that can make her guests feel that they are the most important thing in her life at that time. Whether the guest is a drop in, a relative or a celebrity!
Sean C says
A hostess provides the setting for the visit and is warm, caring, gracious, welcoming and ensures that nothing is too much trouble for his/her guests.
A hostess is who creates the theme and atmosphere of the party, and implements her design.
A hostess is someone who graciously opens her home to family & friends and makes THEM feel at home.
ladies in navy
Toby Trachy says
I think a good hostess is kind, welcoming, and makes good conversation
nancy thurston says
A hostess makes each person feel special - like family
Mary Ann says
In my mind, a hostess is someone who makes people feel welcome and comfortable. My apartment is never as clean and tidy as I'd like, and I usually serve simple food and drinks, but I finally stopped letting that keep me from inviting people!
A hostess needs to enjoy her guests and not get too wrapped up in appearances.
opening up their home and makes you feel happy and comfortable - you will remember the visit and want to go back again
Being a great hostess means everyone leaves happy, satiated and thankful for the time spent with friends! Creating that happiness is all in the details. Flowers, candles, unique (and simple) appetizers, and lots and lots of wine are the keys to success. I grew up shadowing my grandmother, aunts and mother as they hosted family and friends for occasions from holidays to casual summer parties and always admired their skills. Now that I have my own home and host book clubs and dinner parties regularly, I'm always looking for ways to create an extra special experience - and nothing making me happier than my guests complementing my magic as they leave!
making guests feel comfortable!
Jordan Troublefield says
Making people feel at ease while providing them with accommodations and grace.
Sara Lang (@SaraLang) says
A hostess tries to put her guests at ease while providing a lovely, fun, playful experience. It's not about what goes behind the scenes, but what the guests see and how much they enjoy it!
Going with the flow.
Diane @ Vintage Zest says
A hostess is someone who also wants to have fun along with her guests!
Lynn @ The Actor's Diet says
Someone who attends to their guests' needs to make them feel comfortable and at home. My dog is a horrible host.
A hostess is someone who makes it obvious she is happy to make sure her guests are no. 1
Jen @ Marshmallows and Margaritas says
I think a hostess is anyone who makes their guests feel comfortable -- whether that means fancy food and a pretty table or just some folding chairs and paper plates.
kristen mcclary says
a hostess is someone who plans an event or problem that caters to the guests that plans everything so that everyone has a great time.
Laura m says
A hostess makes everyone feel welcome and creates a fun atmosphere
Erin Ellis says
To me, a Hostess is someone who makes an guest feel at home in her home. Thank you for the wonderful giveaway.
A great hostess keeps a cool head (and towel handy) when the first glass of wine inevitable spills all over the tablecloth, carpet, guest sitting next to you.
A hostess is someone who is happy to open up his/her home, is welcoming, and is ready to laugh if things don't turn out perfectly when hosting guests.
A hostess is someone who welcomes guests into their home and ease fully presents a lovely gathering
Planning for Paris says
Making someone feel at home!
barbara n says
The ability to make guests feel welcome!