Tuesday, March 29, 2016

It's All Worth It At The End of The Day

Dinner parties are wonderful. 

The candles are lit....the music is playing in the background....and the stage is set for another wonderful evening filled with loved ones, laughter, and a fabulous feast.

But let's face it, they are also a lot of work. 

I think one of the best things about me hosting dinner parties regularly (aside from sharing my home with good friends and family) is that my house gets a really good cleaning!


I always spend a little extra time on the 'regular' chores when I have company coming. 

And there are always a few extra tasks tossed in at the last moment when you take a moment to look around and view your home as others will see it. 

There's no harm in that....for me, it helps keep my home running smoothly. 


And at the end of the day when the guests have left and there have been big hugs all around and the promise of 'lets do this again real soon' you turn around and survey your kitchen and dining room and just think....

Where do I even begin? 

And heaven forbid you sit down for a minute....you may never get back up again. 


But there is a very good reason to keep at it for another half hour and get your home in order before you turn in for the night. 

Because in the morning you wake up to this:


Instead of this:

Via
There are times at the end of a wonderful evening when I just don't think I can wash one more glass. 

No more pots, please! 

Maybe I'll just deal with it in the morning after a good rest. 


But I change the Pandora station to something relaxing and keep at it for just a few more minutes. It truly doesn't take that long once you get up off that chair and get going. 


First things first, I clear the table and load the dishwasher. I love my dishwasher!

My good crystal glasses get hand-washed, as do the pots and wooden salad bowl. 

I take the leaves out of the table again and store them away under the guest bed. 

The table gets cleaned with Murphy's Oil and re-dressed with clean linens. 

The counters and stove top get sprayed down and cleaned thoroughly. 

The throw pillows are fluffed, the blankets are folded over the back of the chairs. 


And it makes all the difference when you finally go to bed with a sparkling clean kitchen and the dishwasher humming away happily. 

The difference between a feeling of peace and accomplishment rather than a feeling of being overwhelmed and anxious. 


And in the morning when you awake,  you can relax with a hot cup of coffee and know that all that remains to get your house truly in order is to put away the dishes and give the counters another quick wipe. 


And perhaps you'll have a few minutes to curl up in your favorite chair in a puddle of sunshine and relax in your cozy, clean house before you head off to work. 

And relish in the afterglow of another successful dinner party. 

It's truly a wonderful feeling. 






48 comments:

  1. cleaning is the very reason i don't give dinner parties. lol

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    1. Sometimes I don't blame you, Debbi! :)

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  2. We have a rule at my house. I cook and husband cleans up. Good deal for both of us since he can't cook!

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    1. You've got a great deal going there, Diane! Well since it's my house and I don't have a hubby (my Sweetie has his own house) unfortunately the cleanup falls on me! We have our own deal, though, that I cook when we eat at home....but my sweetie takes me out to eat at least twice a week so that more than makes up for it!

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  3. Good post. I don't entertain very much since I moved to this small apartment but I think I need to get back in the swing of things.

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    1. Start small....and see where it goes! It doesn't have to be a sit down meal if that doesn't work for your space. A simple cocktail party is always nice, too!

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  4. We entertain at the farm all the time outside. I always opt for paper plates to avoid the dishes but seeing this post makes me miss my dishes.

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    1. I can't wait until the weather is nice enough to dine outside again....soon! I used to use paper plates a lot when I was young like you, Valerie - but then I figured out that a dishwasher would be cheaper in the long run!

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  6. I giggled at Diane's response because that is the way it is on our house too! I love to have people over but, due to how tiny our house is, we do not do formal sit down dinners here. I have all the lovely china, silver and crystal to do so, but I also raised boys and now have grandsons, none of which are easy on fine china. ;) I do however do the deep cleaning when having company come over, or when my parents are coming to stay with us. :) Your table setting looks lovely and I wish I could do something like that here without worry of things being broken.

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    1. I used to keep the good crystal put away in the china closet and never use it and then I said, why am I doing that? What am I saving it for? So I started using it - and I don't regret it. Yes, there have been chips and breaks....but it is what it is. My house is not large by any means but we squish...and it's more cozy that way anyway! :)

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  7. I love this post. Very pretty photographs!!!

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    1. Thank you so much, Phylis! The sun was shining so beautifully when I was putting away the dishes I just had to capture it!

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  9. I don't entertain much except when our family visits, but I'm like you. I have to go to bed with a clean house or I'll just toss and turn all night. It sounds as though guests love to come to your dinner parties. I think a relaxed hostess makes all the difference!

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    1. I'm usually pretty relaxed once people arrive....I do run around a bit at the last minute, making sure everything is 'just so' but once it's GO-time I'm ok!

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  10. I agree that entertaining is a LOT of work! I don't do it often and we only had my mom over for Easter, but there was a lot of food prep and extra cleaning involved. My hubby helps me clean up afterwards, so that part isn't too bad. I love my dishwasher, too...it's an old, hand-me-down one, but I don't care what it looks like. It was free and it gets the job done! I loathe doing dishes by hand, so a dishwasher is a must for me. Anyway, your table setting looks beautiful. I'm sure your guests felt pampered and loved.

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    1. My dishwasher came with the house - as did all the appliances - I didn't replace anything (except the microwave, when the door cracked in half.) I think the appliances are from 1995, so they are 21 years old, but still work well. The dishwasher is an absolute powerhouse - I love it! I don't rinse, I just scrape the plates, and I can totally overload that thing and it still does an amazing job! Love, love, love - best dishwasher I've ever had!

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  11. Your photography just keeps getting better and better! I told you you were a natural at this. I couldn't go to bed with a mess in the house either. You should maybe think about doing more posts on how to entertain. You're so good at it.
    Brenda

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    1. Thanks, Brenda!! You have taught me much about both blogging and photography - I'm so grateful to you for all your help!

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  12. I usually get overwhelmed and anxious preparing for company dinners. Then I usually slip off into the kitchen while everyone is entertaining themselves and get started on the dishes. I can not sleep at night knowing I have a mess to deal with when I get up.
    Your home is lovely. Looks like its right out of the home and gardens magazine.
    Lisa

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    1. I usually spend a little time while I'm preparing dessert tidying things up a little bit....if I don't do that it's just completely overwhelming at the end, for sure! My mom gets really panicked when she's hosting a dinner....I'm glad I did not inherit that trait. Thanks for your sweet compliment on my home - it's hardly magazine worthy but it makes me happy, that's for certain! :)

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  13. You`re a natural at this, Deb. And I agree with one of your readers that having a relaxed hostess or host makes the evening run a lot smoother. I miss having dinner parties and having the whole family over together.Our tiny home the last year has made that impossible. Something to look forward to down the road. :) Your home is so loved. It shows in every photo. Deb

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    1. Thanks, Deb! Just remember when you are designing your new home that it makes such a difference when entertaining if the kitchen is open to the living room. Down the road if/when I make some updates to my kitchen (I'd LOVE to get rid of that tile counter!) I think I want to open it up to the living room. It's just a bit tough to configure it just yet without turning it into a big project. Other than that, my home is just about perfect for me!

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  14. Oh I enjoyed this post so much! Your dinner party table looked simply lovely, and I agree with you about the cleanup, so much better to do it after guests have gone (so you can enjoy their company), and wake up to a clean kitchen is the only way to go! You are right, it really doesn't take that long to make it happen, getting started can be the issue, lol! I entertain a large group of people once a week in our home too, and I've got the setup, and cleanup pretty much figured out. Our small home, as small as it is, I have hosted up to 15 people (of course they were sitting in just about every space possible, lol!) but you are right, squishing works just fine when you are having a good time of fun. However, I usually do paper plates. I am going to think about that some more. Maybe I should just use regular plates... yours looked so pretty! :)

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    1. I'm so glad you enjoyed my little post - it's weird the 'stories' that come to me as I'm uploading my photos, I don't always know what's going to come out of my brain and onto the screen! How nice for you that you entertain once a week...I don't entertain that often but right now while I'm taking long weekends to use up vacation time it's a great time to host some dinner parties! I think 15 has been my max here, also, and people were just everywhere. I can do more in the summer when the weather is nice and we can spill out onto the deck....I miss dining outside on summer nights!

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  15. I clean up that day/ night, too. I always feel energetic after friends leave...I have a lot of energy from all the fun, so I whip around and clean it up. I love entertaining in the summer...out by the pool in the sunshine or at night under the stars. Plus, most of the mess is outside!! ;)

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    1. You're so funny, Kim - I'm usually bone tired at the end after everyone leaves, yet on a little 'high' as well from all the fun and the successful evening! I guess that is what gets me up and off my butt and into the kitchen to finish up....that little success 'high' - but sometimes it ain't easy, my friend! :)

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    1. Thank you! I love the sunshine in my home - this is the sunniest house I've ever lived in and I never get tired of it!

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  17. I enjoyed this a lot - what a beautiful home you have and I liked how you shared your thoughts as we saw each photo. When I use to have company - I was always too exhausted to clean up afterwards always wanting to leave it until morning. I rarely entertain anymore but I sure enjoyed looking at how you do it. Beautiful home!

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    1. Thank you so much, Sandy! I always want to leave it until morning also....but I don't. And in the morning I'm always so incredibly happy I didn't! :)

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    1. She usually does, Dayle....she's a smart one, that Monkey of mine!

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  19. According to my husband, I wouldn't be able to sleep if everything wasn't cleaned up and put away! I do have a thing on dirty dishes not getting taken care of right away...
    I love that your kitchen is so bright and cheery.

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    1. So do I, Marigene....so do I!! The sunshine just warms my soul!

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  20. It is great to wake up to a clean and organized space. Glad your dinner party was a success Debbie :)

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    1. I love waking up to shining counters and everything 'just so!' I guess I might be a little OCD - oh well!

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  21. I feel like I just arrived for the dinner party! Thanks for inviting me, where's the wine?!?! ;)

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    1. I'm about to open a bottle - come on over, mountain sister!! :)

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  22. Dear Mountain Mama:
    Sounds like a great plan of cleanup done right and immediately! The next day - dishes are so hard to clean. I love too that entertaining means things are now clean again. It forces us to do what is just needing done. I love your sweet and warm kitchen. The cupboards are lovely and your counter. Put your feet up now! Not that I think you are that kinda gal-ha! Thanks for sharing and linking.

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    1. I would love to put my feet up now, please....but alas, not to happen. Too much to do this evening!

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  23. You have described a wonderful evening.
    I love entertaining, especially the planning.

    I enjoyed hearing about your clean up routine.

    Laura
    White Spray Paint
    TOHOT

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    1. Thanks, Laura - it's the simple things in life, truly, isn't it?

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  24. Everything looks wonderful.

    I enjoy hosting dinner parties, but I get off easy. All I have to do is clean the house and set the table. Steve gets the hard work of cooking.

    thanks for sharing at SYC.

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    1. That's funny....I'd much rather do the cooking and have someone to do the cleaning!! :)

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  25. I like to get most everything cleaned up before heading to bed, but sometimes, I'm literally falling off my feet. I always do all the dishes, but I usually leave everything else. I get it done faster after a good night's sleep, but I must say, you make it very appealing to get it all done at night! Lovely, inviting home!

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    1. Thank you, Amy! I do love my home....as you can tell!! :)

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