simple is beautiful

Back From La Quinta & a Giveaway!!!

Monday, April 25, 2011

 ***THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED***

To say that a week in Southern California was dreamy would be an understatement.  Days filled with sunshine, beautiful flowers, and dining alfresco are only the beginning.  Knowing that I had a wonderful group of bloggers here to fill in for me while I was gone made my time away even more enjoyable.  I hope you enjoyed their guest posts and found them to be inspiring.
(La Quinta resort)
While I was in California, I often thought how wonderful it would be to have access to summer beauty year round.  Especially when it comes to entertaining.  I mean, stepping outside to cut a few flowers from the garden, or fresh ingredients for a special recipe would certainly make it easier and more enjoyable.

(bougainvillea from the back porch)

During our stay, one of our son's friend and his father drove down from L.A. to spend the day.  As much as I enjoy entertaining, I admit that sometimes it can be stressful.  Especially when you don't know your guests well, or in this case at all.  Will they like the food?  Will we run out of things to talk about?  --- are some of the things that ran through my mind.
(I served rotisserie chicken salad on croissants)

As I was preparing lunch, I found myself channeling Sandy from the blog the Reluctant Entertainer.  She has such a laid back California style that I would love to claim for my own.  Sandy realizes that entertaining doesn't always come easy - hint reluctant entertainer

Sandy has written a book to inspire us and to remind us that entertaining is more about connecting with others and less about perfection.


Here is just a peek at what you will find inside:

more than 40 recipes
tips for creating a welcoming atmosphere
questions that spark conversation
thoughts to open your heart and home


In honor of Mother's Day, Sandy is giving away a signed copy of her book.

To enter the giveaway all you need to do is leave a comment.

For additional entries you may:

1. Leave an extra comment if you are a C & V follower.
2. Leave an extra comment if you follow the Reluctant Entertainer.

The winner will be chosen via random.org and will be announced this Thursday.  Good luck!

To learn more about the book or to purchase your own copy:

The Reluctant Entertainer: Every Woman's Guide to Simple and Gracious Hospitality

115 comments:

  1. welcome back, rene!! sounds like you had fun!

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  2. Love the picture of the bougainvillea! So pretty

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  3. I am now a follwer of the reluctant entertainer

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  4. I would love to win a copy of this book. It looks like it is full of the kind of things I like to prepare. Thanks for the chance!

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  5. Sounds like a great book! And I love the title. That's just how I feel. :)

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  6. Rene, welcome back!! Your pics are beautiful! I felt the same way when we went down to FLA and everything was in bloom and sunny!! It really does wonders to your well-being!!!

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  7. I feel the same way and wish I could channel a laid-back feeling for entertaining-- because I need to do it more often!! Glad you had a wonderful vacations! Take care, Caroline

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  8. Oh, I think this book must have been written for me! If I don't win I think I'll be ordering a copy for myself! Glad you had a wonderful trip...Janell

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  9. This sounds like a book I need to read...I'm a very reluctant entertainer!

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  10. The resort looks beautiful. Hope you're planning on sharing more pics of your trip. Thanks for hosting this giveaway. I'd love a signed copy of her book.

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  11. That chicken salad looks delicious!

    I follow you, via Google Reader

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  12. And I follow The Reluctant Entertainer

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  13. I was thinking about this book the other day because I am definitely reluctant to entertain.

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  14. Welcome back you where missed... I so glad you had fun... Looks like a place I would stay forever...

    Pattie

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  15. I love to entertain, but I am always looking for new ideas!

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  16. I am a cottage and vine follower!

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  17. Rene, so glad you had a wonderful spring break with your family! I am dying for this book - I love Sandy's blog and find her words of wisdom on entertaining so inspirational! Thanks so much for the chance.

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  18. I am a devoted Cottage & Vine follower!!

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  19. And......I also follow Reluctant Entertainer!

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  20. Oh I need a vacation! I love to entertain but always feel so behind on the other aspects of life...

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  21. Sounds like you had a wonderful time.

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  22. I am so glad that you had a wonderful time, it looked beautiful there. I sometimes wish that we could have warm weather all year around too but I know that I would miss fall, not so much winter though. :)
    Anyway, what a great giveaway! I am a follower! :)

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  23. I'm a follower. Glad you had a great time in sunny California.

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  24. Thank you, friend, for hosting this giveaway! :)

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  25. What a beautiful blog you have, thanks to Sandy for publishing it on Facebook today. We love going to Palm Springs for rest and relaxation. La Quinta is divine and we also enjoy Villa Royale, former home of Sonia Hening.
    Thanks for entering me in the book giveaway and yes, I follow Sandy's blog as well! All good wishes,
    Catherine

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  26. What a great giveaway!!! I would love to win this book.

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  27. Love following Sandy's Reluctant Entertainer blog.

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  28. I would love a copy of this book b/c I am a reluctant entertainer.

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  29. and I follow the reluctant entertainer...and just printed her 10 Commandments of Hospitality!

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  30. I'm also a follower of the Relunctant Entertainer.

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  31. I LOVE this giveaway. I have been eyeing this book for awhile now!

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  32. I'm a reluctant entertainer follower

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  33. Oh, Rene, it looks like you had a fabulous time!! Glad you enjoyed the special family time! So appreciative that you invited me to guest blog--so fun!

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  34. I would love to receive this book...have heard so many good things about it! : )

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  35. Wonderful giveaway. thankyou.

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  36. Thanks for a great giveaway. I'd love to win! chedeb5353@hotmail.com

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  37. New follower of Cottage and Vine chedeb5353@hotmail.com

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  38. Welcome back! And thanks for the chance to win this book!

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  39. I'm a follower of Cottage & Vine!

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  40. And I'm a follower of The Reluctant Entertainer!

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  41. I am a follower of Cottage & Vine!

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  42. This book looks amazing... would love to win it :)

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  43. "reluctant entertainer" perfectly describes me!

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  44. Love La Quinta!! Just went there in February with my BFF. What a dream!

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  45. I follow Cottage & Vine...of course!

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  46. I also follow Reluctant Entertainer. Natch.

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  47. Rene',
    It sounds and looks like you had a lovely get away!
    Ofcourse, I'm a follower. I would love to win a copy of Sandy's book!
    Thank you (and Sandy) for giving all of us a chance!
    Lynne
    {w /l}

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  48. Love Sandy and i have bought her book twice and had it lovingly lifted by friends and family - and i let them keep it - so i would really love to a win a copy of MY VERY OWN lol.

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  49. Rene'
    I follow Sandy now...
    (I checked out her book on Amazon...it looks amazing!)
    Thanks for introducing me to her blog!
    Lynne

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  50. What a great give away. This is one that I have been wanting to add to my library.

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  51. I follow Reluctant entertainer also!

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  52. I need this book badly! I have the gift of hospitality, but the third baby has zapped me of my confidence (and energy and time, etc., etc., etc.). I need to get my mojo back and I think this book could help me do it.
    I'm a follower too!
    Thanks!
    Kim

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  53. Did I say that I'm a follower?
    Thanks ;)!
    Kim

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  54. Welcome back!!!!! You were so close to me! Hope you settle back into real life easily! Thanks again for having me while you were away!

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  55. I'm a follower. Love the title of this book...describes me perfectly!

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  56. Welcome back. Looks
    like a great book and
    giveaway....I will check
    her out : ). Hope your
    trip was restorative!
    xx Suzanne

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  57. This book looks lovely. I would love to have it!!
    Daphne

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  58. Oh, I would love to win this!!!

    simplysara83@gmail.com

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  59. I have been a follower of cottage and vine!!!

    simplysara83@gmail.com

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  60. I am anew follower of the reluctant entertainer!

    simplysara83@gmail.com

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  61. Welcome back Rene, I enjoyed all of your guest posts while you were away. I hope you had a wonderful time. I am a follower and would love to win this giveaway!

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  62. Welcome back, Rene. I'm glad you enjoyed Southern California, where I'm blessed to live.

    Thanks for this wonderful giveaway!

    Blessings,
    Marilyn

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  63. I'm a new follower of The Reluctant Entertainer.

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  64. Glad you're back Rene! It sounds like you had a wonderful vacation. I often get nervous about entertaining...I love to do it but worry if the houses look "orderly" enough and I want my food and presentation to be just perfect, etc. I could benefit a lot from this book!

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  65. What a beautiful spring break! If only my yard look so colorful ...

    This would be wonderful for many upcoming events ~ I'm a follower!

    Have a great day ~
    Jo

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  66. Following along with Reluctant Entertainer as well!

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  67. Ahh, I have a love/stress relationship with entertaining too. P.S. Your chicken salad looks delish!

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  68. Welcome back! I am so the reluctant entertainer. I love having people over but stress way too much about it. I am a follower!

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  69. What beautiful pictures! Sounds like a perfectly wonderful trip. Welcome back!

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  70. Follower! I always enjoy your posts! Thanks for the chance to win! And your chicken salad picture made me hungry...off to raid the kitchen!

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  71. I would love to have a copy of this book. Thanks for the great giveaway!

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  72. I am a follower--love your blog!

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  73. I am a happy follower! Love all these beautiful pics from your vacation!!! Thanks for sharing!

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  74. I am a follower of your blog and my email is melissreeder@hotmail.com

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  75. I am a follower of RE! My email is melissreeder@hotmail.com

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  76. I'm a follower! Sounds like a great book.

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  77. Next time you go to CA, I will follow you there!
    Wow, how wonderful to get-away and what stunning shots....and that book!!! Just love it.
    pve

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  78. I am a follower...the book looks fab. as does her blog.

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  79. I am a stressed out entertainer. It's something I hope to one day rise above, lol. This looks like much needed reading!!

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  80. I'm late to the party, but PLEASE COUNT ME IN!! :)

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  81. So glad I got on this giveaway before it ends tomorrow! Thanks so much!

    Jessica

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  82. I'm a faithful follower of C&V. <3

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  83. I just so happen to be a follower of the Reluctant Entertainer too! She's got some great ideas over there on her blog!

    Jessica

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  84. I have the book but would LOVE to win one to give as a gift. It's a great book!

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  85. I've been a follower of Reluctant Entertainer for a while. Double my chances :)

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  86. I'm a follower! Your pictures from your vacation are so gorgeous. Love the different doors and your in-law's home looks so inviting. Used to live in SF area many years ago...love California!

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  87. Welcome back, Rene! Put my name in the hat.
    Teresa
    xoxo

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  88. I have never won a giveaway so if I won this what a great start! I am an avid follower of your blog and love reading about your beautiful home and ideas.
    lisag

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  89. Hi Renee,

    I also love following Sandy's blog. What a great giveaway. I have this book on my wish list.

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  90. The book looks fabulous and I would be delighted to win a copy. What a fun giveaway!

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  91. Looks like something I need! I'm only a reluctant entertainer because we've got 21 people in our immediate family. I think that would make anyone hesitate!!

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Thanks so much for stopping by! I love your comments and read each and every one. Your questions will be answered here or you can email me at rene.cottageandvine@gmail.com

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