This Intentional Life



Live Date: December 21, 2020


Show Description: Heather is joined today by entertaining extraordinaire Lydia Menzies who is on a mission to help everyone become the hostess they’ve always wanted to be. Lydia shares her best tips and practices for entertaining through this holiday season that looks so different than before.


Link to Full Episode:


Biggest Takeaways:


  • Lydia shares where her inspiration comes from for the various events she puts together. She believes it’s important to be open to the things you find while shopping including pieces that could be used for both home decor and party decor. She believes it’s important to find pieces you can repurpose. The simplest things often inspire big ideas.


  • Lydia shares how the events of this year allowed her to really slow down and take time to be fully present without distractions so she could make the best plans for her business. She made good use of her time by investing in herself and taking courses and classes to better her craft.


  • Lydia walks us through her tips for how to navigate entertaining this season:
    • Create an environment that makes an experience for people
    • Adding elements from your yard into your home such as greenery 
    • Try having a traditional Christmas that incorporates red and green colors, candles, and china
    • Incorporating playful elements as well to avoid the party feeling too stuffy such as candy canes with bows and oranges with cloves



  • For someone who is hosting for the first time, Lydia shares insight on where to start:
    • Start with a basic tablecloth and then get a good topper
    • Incorporate layered fabrics
    • Use basic plates, preferably white so you can add anything to it 
    • Use patterned napkins or solid napkins with another accent to go with it



  • Lydia also shares suggestions on kid-friendly entertaining tips and ideas:
    • Cookie decorating
    • Feeding birds with popcorn and cranberries 
    • Stringing cranberries garlands for them to use at their table
    • Making their own Christmas mix 
    • Painting a rock each year and then building a collection
    • Gingerbread house competition with cash prize



  • Lydia talks about her top 3 entertaining tips for hostesses and aspiring hostesses alike:
    • Always have a goal to create an experience for people. It’s important to now only think about how it will look, but how it will flow and how your guests will feel 
    • Always include fun details that are unexpected – don’t take anything too seriously
    • Don’t forget the basics: greet your guests at the door, walk them to the door afterwards, and keep the party to reasonable timeframe




  • “I think a lot of times people don’t realize that they have a creative side, and I heard a quote one time from a friend here in town and she says, she feels like that everyone is given the gift of creativity, but that they just don’t know where to find it. And I take that to heart a lot. And I think about it when I am making and doing and then teaching it because I feel like when people feel creative and they do something nice for others, I think that it in turn gives them confidence. There’s something special for making other people feel good.” – Lydia Menzies 4:57


  • “And I feel like people overlook that or they try to make it more complicated than it needs to be. And it can just be as simple as going to the grocery store and buying some fruit, tying some ribbons around it, putting it in a bowl and adding ornaments of course.” Lydia Menzies 30:05


  • “So one thing I really love to do is every year, no matter what my theme might be or what my decorations might look like, I always get garlands that are fresh because I like the scent of the fresh greenery in those. And I typically buy them at Thanksgiving and I use them for the Thanksgiving table as a runner. I use the Garland and decorate around that. And then I’ll take that Garland and use it in different ways, like this year it’s in our dining room and I have a plate wall. I did two garlands and I swagged those in the dining room and then added things to that. In the years past, I’ve put it around our front door. So I always take things like that and repurpose it.” – Lydia Menzies 30:43


  • “And then the other thing this year I’ve really gotten into is topiaries. And it can be like going and buying Rosemary at home Depot or Lowe’s and putting that into a pretty pot and you basically have a little Christmas tree and it also smells good. And then you can also use it for cooking. I typically buy it and then we also use the Rosemary for our Christmas Eve meal.” – Lydia Menzies 31:54


  • “And that just taught me to not take anything too seriously, just the joy that you can bring. So try having some things like that, that are funny and that everybody remembers that party because of it.” – Lydia Menzies 45:07


  • “I would add that I have found over the years that put intention into the party or the event is having table topics. I love having a couple of intentional questions that I have thought through beforehand that we go around the table and talk about, so that not everything is just chit-chat small talk, but that there is some meaningful conversation that happens during the course of your meal or your party.” – Heather Adams 46:22


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AUTHOR: Haley Trejo
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