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Helpful Hospitality Tips

We partnered with Kristin Schell, blogger of The Turquoise Table. Check out her helpful hospitality tips to better connect with friends and neighbors in your own front yard.

When Hospitality Feels Hard

I love bringing people to the table. Cooking a delicious meal, setting a pretty table and even thinking through details like creating a festive playlist and determining seating arrangements will play a role in making everyone feel welcome. Opening up our home is one way I like to show friends and family how much I love them.

But, as busy mother of four, the reality is I spend more time in the minivan than I do in the kitchen. At this stage in my life, having people over can feel overwhelming and hard. Most days it’s a challenge to get the slow cooker plugged in for the next meal, much less think about hosting the next get-together.

Everyone I know is busy, too. Trying to coordinate schedules to have friends over feels impossible. There’s nothing worse than finally finding a free date on the calendar to host a get-together only to realize no one else can come.

Maybe you feel this way, too?


Longing for More

I crave long, lingering dinners at the table where conversation flows into the evening. But let’s be real, my friends and I have on-the-run conversations in the produce section of the grocery store. Or quick status updates via social media and texts.

Realizing life wasn’t going to slow down on it’s own, I decided I needed to rethink my definition of entertaining. There had to be a way to bring people together without all the fuss of hosting a formal party.

Desperate to come up with a way to slow down and connect with the people I love, I put an ordinary picnic table in my front yard, painted it turquoise (my favorite color!) and began inviting friends and neighbors to come hang out.

The Turquoise Table


It worked! I’d send a text to a couple friends inviting them to pop by for a quick cup of coffee. As the concept of meeting at The Turquoise Table caught on, we became more creative and began hosting casual potluck suppers and bake sales for school projects.

Building A Family

School BakeSale for Class PetTT

Donuts at Turquoise Table

A new concept of hospitality unfolded in our neighborhood, and before long The Turquoise Table led to a movement of Front Yard People—ordinary people who long to create community right where they live.

Friends and neighbors love the simplicity of meeting in the front yard. One friend calls the Turquoise Table the best hospitality hack of all times, “No need to clean the house, everyone is outside at the table!”

Hospitality always seems small when you hold it in your hands. It’s not until you let it go, released like an offering, that you see how extravagant it is.

Turquoise Table Community

Three Hospitality Tips to Connect in Your Own Front Yard

1. Keep it Simple Invite a friend over for coffee or tea. Start small and remember it’s not about what’s at the table, but who is at the table.

2. Be Spontaneous. Sometimes spur of the moment works best for everyone. A quick walk with a neighbor, a last minute lemonade stand with the kids, an impromptu happy hour after work.

3. Have fun! Your enthusiasm will be contagious. No need to overthink things or make them more complicated than they need to be. One of the most fun traditions in our neighborhood is Clean Out the Fridge Party. Bring what you’ve got!


If you really want to have some fun and connect with others in your neighborhood, join us for a 5-Day Front Yard People Challenge.

To get updates about the launch of The Turquoise Table’s full, outdoor product collection available at Tuesday Morning this fall, sign up to receive email newsletters HERE!

For even more hospitality inspiration, follow Tuesday Morning on FacebookTwitterPinterest and Instagram.

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Kristin Schell

Meet the Contributor

Blog: The Turquoise Table

My home Tuesday Morning location: Burnet Road, Austin, TX

My favorite Tuesday Morning department: That’s like picking a favorite child! Probably seasonal, housewares and food. Oh, and linens.

A little about me: I’m on a mission to love my neighbors. I put an ordinary picnic table in my front yard, painted it turquoise and invited neighbors, friends and even strangers to hang out and do life together at The Turquoise Table. I live in Austin with my husband and our 4 children. My favorite color is turquoise, but I bleed burnt orange for The University of Texas. I believe the answer to world peace might involve a bowl of queso and salty tortilla chips.

What I love to write about: I love bringing people to the table and encouraging others to gather with family and friends, too. My book The Turquoise Table: Finding Community and Connection in Your Own Front Yard releases on June 6, 2017 with Harper Collins Christian Publishing.

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  1. Reply Marsha Saucier

    I’m looking forward to connecting with my neighbors.

  2. Reply Jack Taylor

    Great concept and I am so grateful for your initiative.

  3. Reply DiAne Gates

    Kristin, love your mission and your heart for people. Our Heart’Wings” leader sent your site out to all of us today. I can hardly wait for your book release on June 6th. Blessings sweet sister! May God continue to shower you and your neighbors with abundant blessings!

  4. Reply zulmara martinez

    Good , Job, God , bless

  5. Reply Diane Alsid

    What a great idea!

  6. Reply Carleen Ashton

    Loved your article. Reminds me of the front porch grandmas that had smiles, hugs, and most of all neighborhood friendships. Keep it up

  7. Reply Shawna Ashlock

    What a novel idea and great approach to bringing a neighborhood together!!

  8. Reply leslie hanna harper

    Thank you so much for helping me with my Next Step after baptism. i have eighteen refugees on my street since the flood in south Carolina. They are from Korea, Bolivia, Bosnia and Cuba. None of us can speak to each other. But we meet at my turquoise table for prayer, tea parties, hugs, smiles and always apples. I have decorated mine like Alice in wonderland with six foot flamingos, flying pigs in the trees, monster size butterfly on the fence, frogs with led binoculars, i have fine china cups hung on the fence. We have a nineteen foot slate patio and five foot fire pit. Dogs are always welcomed. The fence has Tuesday Morning outdoor art.have just started a garden club and we share our plants. For all good things, to God be the glory.

  9. Reply Teresa Malone

    I think this is a wonderful idea! Thank you for sharing this with everyone and can’t wait to read your book The Turquoise Table. I wish you the best of luck and God Bless You!!