I think we overthink entertaining.


We let it overwhelm us.

We think we have to spend too much money.

We think our home or our kitchen or our meal or our food might not be enough.


Just. NO.



Nothing too fancy. Nothing too overwhelming. Just making the everyday something special.

And today I’m sharing simple, easy entertaining ideas you don’t have to overthink or spend a ton of money on. Starting with a simple picnic.

On this beach.

1. Every picnic starts with a blanket

Or a curtain.

These are extra curtains we had in our basement and we didn’t have any tablecloths and I didn’t want to spend any money.

See what I mean? NO OVERTHINKING.

You are outside.

The ocean and jetty don’t care if you are sitting on window coverings.

2. Bring along music

Nothing fancy, just a cell phone.

Stream music or just play from your playlist.

It’s amazing how a little music makes the grapes and strawberries taste better.

3.  Use dishtowels as linens

I’ve tried paper outside before and it just blows away.

Dish towels are a great option.

Then I use them to clean up afterward.

4. Add pillows

We asked everyone to bring their own chairs.

But just in case they didn’t?

We brought extra pillows.

Nothing goes better with curtains on the beach than indoor/outdoor pillows.

5.  Add outdoor games

I always want to talk to everyone at the party.

My teenagers don’t.

With a little planning, I have outdoor games ready for them like football or flying a kite or kayaking to keep them entertained on the beach.

More talking time for me.

6.  Simple white dishes are a great option

I love white dishes like these melamine plates.

They go with everything.

Especially the ocean.

7.  Think fresh

There’s just something about eating fresh vegetables and fruit outside that reminds me of summer.

Shop farmer’s markets, roadside stands or even the organic section of the grocery store for the freshest options around.

And keep what you serve simple.

I just tossed together what we had on hand in a bag and headed down the path to the beach.

8.  Add a few throws

I love bringing extra throws to a party.

That way if it gets chilly as the sun goes down, you can just wrap up.

It’s a great way to encourage more talking.

9. Use what you have

This impromptu picnic I put together for friends and family was just stuff I already have.

A few snacks.




Those are SO MUCH more important than spending money on a big celebration.

10.  Enjoy

Don’t stress.  Don’t worry.

That’s the joy of eating outside.

If something spills, there’s no need to clean it up.

Just sit back, relax and enjoy family and friends and the ocean breezes….

….and all that conversation. 🙂

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  1. Image for Stacey Stacey

    Such great thoughts. It is definitely SO easy to get overwhelmed about entertaining. Thank you for the reminder that it can be simple and just as lovely. <3

  2. Image for Carrie Carrie

    Oh boy did this post arrive at the perfect Time- God’s hand…I’m traveling to Michigan and while there we will be having a memorial picnic for my uncles. The plans have changed and the luncheon is now at my almost 90 yr old Dad’s place… I have realized that the company and conversation is so much more important than the cleanliness of the house and the mismatched dishes! Thank you for the reminder ❤️

  3. Image for Lori Lori

    What? Me fret about having people over? Is the bathroom clean? Do I have the right food? Is my house decorated nice enough for the Smiths? Oh no! I just can't until I have a perfect house!...that is me...thanks for the encouragement though. I do love having chats with friends but always end up stressed prior, during and all the after thoughts of if it was good enough just whacks my brain. So I don't. I need to do better. Your beach outing looks great and I so hope your having a great time with your family. So much fun!!

  4. Image for Kris Kris

    We threw a combination event a couple of weeks ago. We had my son's Eagle Scout Court of Honor ceremony in the morning followed by his graduation party after that. When planning, I settled on having goodie bags and water bottles as we didn't know what the covid restrictions would be (and our church, where we were hosting the event, wasn't allowing us to serve food due to current restrictions). A couple of friends graciously helped me so I could mingle and I had positive comments about the food portion of the party. My son had a wonderful time and it was so nice to have a happy reason to get together with people. All to say ... just get together. No one who counts in your life will care how fancy it is.

  5. Image for Maurer Maurer

    You are right about keeping it simple. I usually have everyone bring an appetizer and I provide the space and beverages. I had coffee at a friend’s house on her beach this morning. It was so relaxing! Have a wonderful time on the sea shore!

  6. Image for Linda Linda

    This post put a big smile on my face, you are so right. It is the little things that make a difference. I have 2 grandsons. One a new teenager...one only 6. They don’t get to come often but when they do I always fix breakfast for them and we always light candles and have breakfast by candlelight. You wouldn’t think that two boys would be so delighted by that but they are. Because you are right. It is the littlest things that make a difference. Perhaps long after I am gone they will have breakfast by candlelight with ones that they hold dear to their hearts. That makes me smile.

  7. Image for Michele M. Michele M.

    If we always wait till we look better, have more money, feel better, if the house just gets these extra few things changed, etc., before we entertain we will find ourselves never entertaining. I agree completely - just do it - make it simple, but make it happen. I have been encouraging new tea party hostesses to start simple - but do START. Well said, KA. Great post. Love those ideas.

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