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A Coffee Date at the Turquoise Table

We partnered with Kristin Schell, blogger of The Turquoise Table. Check out her hospitality tips for better connecting with friends and neighbors over coffee.

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Sit a Spell

My grandmother had the sweetest expressions. When neighbors would drop by for a visit, I remember hearing her invite guests to join her in the living room. “Come, sit a spell,” she would say.

As a young child I was curious by the invitation to sit a spell. Maybe Grandma and her friends knew magic? These days the Southern expression which means “to sit for a while” is rarely heard. Although, a magic wand would come in handy to create time on the calendar to sit a spell with friends.

Have you ever felt like it was impossible to find time to slow down and connect with friends?

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Meet Me at the Table

One of my favorite ways to gather with friends at the Turquoise Table is for a simple cup of coffee. Sometimes our coffee dates are spontaneous. I’ll send a quick text: meet me at the table in 20 minutes. A friend or two will show up with their own traveler mugs of coffee, often with bed-head and in yoga pants.

These impromptu mornings at the Turquoise Table are a delightful way to start the day. No planning, no worries about clearing the clutter from the kitchen counters, no excuses. Just a quick way to sit down for a few minutes and connect with friends.

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Unplug & Stay A While

Sometimes coffee dates at the Turquoise Table are more planned. Recently, my neighbors Mandy, Amy and Shannon joined me at the table. I made a pot of coffee, grabbed my favorite mugs and we settled in for conversation.

Judging by our calendars, none of us had time for coffee at the table. For busy, working mothers, the end-of-school is the most hectic time of the year. We joked that we should wear t-shirts declaring “May is the new December.”

We encouraged each other to finish the school year strong, or at least just finish! Soon, our summer happy hours at the Turquoise Table would kick-off.

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Conversation Leads to Connection

We’ve learned something in our neighborhood. Gathering at the Turquoise Table is more than just a fun thing to do. It’s become a way of life for us. At first I wondered if coffee dates at the Turquoise Table would matter.

Four years of spontaneous and planned coffee dates at the table do matter. Whether we meet for fifteen minutes or linger longer, conversations add up over time and have led us into treasured friendships.

As my friend Mandy says when it’s time to go, “Let’s push pause on this convo and pick back up in a couple days.”

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Keep it Simple

Hosting a coffee date at the Turquoise Table is simple. Think about a friend or neighbor you would love to see, but never seem to find a way to connect. Or, next time you run into a friend and say, “we should get together for coffee,” be bold and propose tomorrow! Or the next day.

Brew a pot of coffee. Or, as my grandmother would say, “put the kettle on,” and welcome your friends to the table.

Our favorite way to beat the heat in the summer is for an afternoon iced coffee. My friend Kimberley’s mother, Mimi, serves this delicious iced coffee treat all summer long. On a recent visit to Mimi’s, she shared her simple recipe with me. It’s too good not to pass along. It takes no time to make and the recipe is per glass, so you can make as many or as few as you need.

Mimi’s Iced Coffee Recipe

1 heaping teaspoon of instant coffee

½ cup boiling water

½ cup milk

Sugar or sweetener, to taste

Ice

In a tall glass, stir together instant coffee and boiling water. Stir in sugar or sweetener and milk. Add ice and serve.

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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!

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Dining and Kitchen, Outdoor
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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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32 Comments

  1. Reply Kindra Cook

    Really nice idea!

  2. Reply Sheila

    My Momma, always in her southern voice, would ask (tell) any one to “sit down a minute”! Oh, to just have one more visit with her. Take the time to visit, and never regret it!

  3. Reply Kathy Klemcke

    I would love to come sit a spell at your Turquoise Table. I loved reading your blog, cannot wait to find your book.

    I am in San Antonio, Tx I wish for a Turquoise table, my favorite color also.

    Thank you for sharing such a fun tradition. We all need to slow down and smell/drink some coffee.

    Kathy

  4. Reply Elizabeth Tiger

    Love your comments. I used to be the one who invited everyone over for coffee or open houses. Now my husband is in hospice, although he is up and about on O2 and a walker. I am thinking of finding a small table to invite friends, since no one comes any more. and we are both lonely. Nice idea when people can come casually on the spur of the moment without a lot of prep on my part when I never know how the day will go or the prior night has gone. Thanks. Betty Tiger

    • Reply KrisConant

      I’d come visit!

  5. Reply Kathee claiborne

    Loved your ideas and your “sayings”. My grandmother had a few just like that.

  6. Reply debbie musick

    I want to sit at this table and visit with these ladies. Our neighborhood is not that friendly and open to each other. Many people work; several have very small babies, and a few have never reached out or responded to my waves, smiles or greetings. Any suggestions??

  7. Reply Linda Welling

    You are so right, bringing community together in your own home. Our church shares this same idea. Good fellowship is a wonderful commitment to our souls. I will share your blog with others and look forward to reading your book. I have been a Tuesday Morning fan for years, some of my favorite things come from that store.

  8. Reply Dwanna Tenpenny

    Excited to read your book!!

  9. Reply Pat Morey

    Am anxious to purchase u’r new book “The Turquoise Table”… I.Love Turquoise (and bright colors) myself…brightens my day!!!

    Good Luck…
    Pat

  10. Reply Allene Friede

    This sounds like a nice idea to do….here in Wisconsin our summers are great and it would be nice to invite friends over to drink my favorite beverage, iced coffee, and sit around our pool….a couple baked goods and fruit would be good also….THANX….

  11. Reply Ronda

    I love this idea and am so thank you my friend Linda hooked me up.

  12. Reply Mary Ann

    Nice idea.

  13. Reply Cheryl

    Love turquoise, too! AND I bleed burnt orange as a ’65 ‘Horn! Moved into this beautiful mid century modern in 2003, and it was indeed turquoise. It would have fit in beautifully in Miami on a bluff overlooking the Brazos River and the dam on Lake Granbury. Even the carpet was teal! Your turquoise table idea is fabulous. What a sweet way to get to know your neighbors and solidify friendships! I have a friend who has brought a group of us artists together as a kind of kaffee klatch group too (often involves wine) and I’m grateful for those efforts. You just bring women together and you enhance the world! Love the “come sit a spell.” What a sweet invitation. Thanks for this article.

  14. Reply Donna Otteson

    Love your turquoise table outreach to neighbors. So simple but so needed in a world of lives that are so busy. Looking for to reading your book.
    Donna

  15. Reply Malinda

    I love your heart! And the pictures are beautiful and inspiring!

  16. Reply Joyce Babcock

    Interesting story. Look forward to the newsletter.
    By the way am finding it challenging to find the pictures of store items…only text Info..
    Not helpful

  17. Reply Maria G. Noe

    Looking forward to hearing more about getting neighbors together. I live in a retirement community and it seems like some of us are still very busy and don’t sometime take the time to sit down and just enjoy visiting with our neighbors…. thanks I just wish we had a Tuesday Morning close to us where we could shop instead of us going so far .

  18. Reply Lucille DiBiase

    Bring a Tuesday Morning to HAMILTON Township NJ

  19. Reply Patti Gallagher

    Too good to be true

  20. Reply Jan Kennedy

    This is another great example of making and sustaining connections – especially with our neighbors! Do you know Amy Lively who wrote “How to Love Your Neighbors Without Being Weird?” Great lady and great experiences! She also has a web site, Facebook, etc. – http://www.howtoloveyourneighbor.com. I look forward to seeing your products – and “connecting” more with you – and my neighbors!

  21. Reply Sonya Horsley

    Agree w/ finding community in our own neighborhoods! Will definitely read this book!

  22. Reply Kay Arthur

    Hi, being I am 71 yrs of age the term sit down and sit for awhile, reminded me so much of my Mother. She said it to all friends and neighbors. She always had some type of refreshments to offer and this just brings bqck so many good memories of my Mother. Thank you. Kay A.

  23. Reply Donna LaHue

    Loved your idea and would like to make it a group where I live. Retirement Village Would you be able to send me a hard copy of this email blog?Would like to have it become like BUNCO..My address is 621 NW Jacob Dr Apt 114 LEE’S SUMMIT, MISSOURI 64081 I also would like to get a copy of your book This is just what my friends and I need THANK YOU Anxiously waiting your response
    DONNA LAHUE

  24. Reply jills_children@yahoo.com

    would love the mugs

  25. Reply Linda Kienzle

    A lady in the area posted on Nextdoor that she would have coffee every Thursday morning at 9:00am for whomever showed up. This would take place during the summer months. What a delightful group of ladies I have met!! We also have Gal-Pal once a month and that is also a group of ladies, everyone invited. We have some of the most interesting conversations and meet some wonderful people!! Highly recommend this to anyone moving into an area. Start a coffee morning or a Gal-Pal group! You won’t regret it.

  26. Reply annaMaria

    Done the same thing here in Lake Worth Fl. The intention was to get to know the multi cultural community. Not easy. am not an early riser retired but once a week Thursdays I get up early set table and wait. It works as they all work. Hard to go to structured neighborhood meetings. Lots of waves all welcome to sit a spell. It was an out grow of a meeting that asked how many of your neighbors do you know to the front ,back, or either side of you.

  27. Reply Joanie Makielski

    I really think it’s a wonderful refreshing

    • Reply Joanie Makielski

      Sounds to me like a very refreshing idea

  28. Reply Michelle Gray

    Oh, I love everything that is The Turquoise Table! I stopped in my local Tuesday Morning and stumbled upon the collection. I have been in love with a picnic table for as long as I can remember so I was immediately drawn to items with the adorable picnic table printed on them. When I learned that there actually is a painted turquoise table at some Tuesday Morning shops, my mission was crystal clear. I had to have one! It’s been a long day, but Charlotte, North Carolina now has a turquoise table to call its own and it’s in my front yard! I have purchased 10 hardcover copies of the book to share with neighbors and friends. I cannot wait to have what my Grandma referred to as “pop over friends” stop by for a little coffee, conversation, and connection. Cheers!