Easy Entertaining

Getting to know the neighborhood

 

Do people still know their neighbors? Do you frequent each other’s homes or just show up on neighborhood clean up day or just meet in the street in your evening walk and, say, “we should really get together sometime,” knowing that while you have good intentions you will likely never get around to it.

We live in an older established neighborhood, but because the schools are so incredible in this county, there are always new families with kids moving in. We were 100% guilty of the scenario I described above, we had good intentions but little follow through.

Last year, I decided to host a gathering for the ladies. No offense to the men or kids, but I selfishly wanted to get to know the ladies without having to figure out how to keep that many kids occupied and how to convince the guys that my menu of pumpkin inspired snacks was worthy of their consumption. Plus it was October and in the South than can mean the weather can range from 50-85 with either clear blue skies or hurricane spin-off downpours. My house could only accommodate so many people at a time comfortably.

Invitation

The invitation would be coming out of the blue and I wanted to insure a good attendance so I made it a point to add this wording to the invitation: “Nothing to prepare, nothing to buy, just an opportunity to say hi.” I didn’t want anyone to think that I was trying to sell them jewelry or wraps or that they would have to bother with bringing anything.

I placed printed invitations between the mailbox and flag on all of the boxes in the neighborhood because A) I honestly did not know everyone’s name or even if there was a lady in every household; and B) the neighborhood Facebook group was a little sparse and I wasn’t sure it was up to date at the time. I have since found out that this is illegal. Y’all I broke the law trying to get ladies to come to my house. The USPS.com law states that mailboxes are for postage-paid mail only and that “no part of a mail receptacle may be used to deliver any matter not bearing postage.” So tucking something between the flag and the mailbox is not OK. I will use a different method this year.

Approximately 15 women came which was the perfect size crowd Since this was held in October, I went a little overboard with the pumpkin inspired recipes.

Fall Favorites Menu

Fluffy Pumpkin Pie Dip

(Note: I served the Pumpkin Pie Dip on Trader Joe’s Ginger Snaps – they are by far the best tasting with just enough kick and sweet.)

Pumpkin-shaped Cheese Ball

Brown Sugar Pecan Apple Dip

Simple veggies and dip, and store bought pinwheel sandwiches and cookies rounded out the menu. Not everything has to be homemade.

Beverages were lemonade, hot cider and ice water (again Southern October day could have gone either way)

Name tags were thought of at the last minute so we went with the generic stick on ones – I will do better with that next time.

We simply ate and talked both casually and in a larger group so we could all learn a little something about each lady. You never have to plan too much activities for women – we just love talking.

Simple Fall Favor

Because I was pumpkined out by that point – I sent each lady home with a small mum ($1 each at WalMart) simply placed in rolled down brown paper lunch bag with a raffia bow. It was just a bright little reminder that could be planted or kept on the window sill and contained  0 additional calories.

All of the women said they enjoyed the day and that we should do it again sometime. Fall has gotten away from me this year and we will soon be in the thick of all the holiday activities, so I think I will host again in January. Don’t we all need a little pick me up during those cold days when the holiday hoopla is over and we are struggling to keep those New Year’s resolutions. Stay tuned for details on my Winter Women’s gathering.

For these and other fabulous fall entertaining ideas, please follow my Fall Gathering Pinterest Board.

Stay humble, work hard, be kind.

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3 thoughts on “Getting to know the neighborhood

  1. I was one of those ladies blessed by your kindness and hospitality! It was a lovely afternoon, indeed. We are all sorely lacking these days in true neighborly contact. Thanks again for opening your home and heart to welcome us all!

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