Review: The Turquoise Table by Kristin Schell + Giveaway

When we moved to this cul-de-sac, a friend posted an Instagram picture with the hashtag #frontyardpeople. I was intrigued. Our neighborhood is one where front yard living is alive and well. Judi often sits on her porch and if we can’t find our girls, there’s a 90% chance they’re sitting with Judi. Another neighbor’s grandkids and our girls have formed a little bike gang, speeding through the street and down the spillways. Because of this front yard mentality, we have gotten to know our amazing neighbors.

_140_245_Book.2295.coverSo when I heard that Kristin Schell, founder of #frontyardpeople had written a book about her turquoise table and the start of this movement, I knew I had to read it. The Turquoise Table: Finding Community and Connection in Your Own Front Yard is a timely and important book. In an age where we are constantly connected but not necessarily face-to-face, meeting people takes a lot of intention.

I’ve read other books about the importance of hospitality but this one grabbed my attention fully. Perhaps is that Schell offers such grace in the journey. She shares her own stories – both relatable successes and failures – as she found her rhythm living in her front yard. She also shares the stories of others living life with their neighbors and through this mix she gives permission to find your own path. For some, an actual turquoise picnic table in the front yard is a perfect tool to start conversations. For others, creating an intentional time to be outside may be how they connect. Schell reminds us that we are all different and our neighborhoods are different, so to try and recreate something exactly most likely won’t work.

Not only is this beautiful book filled with stories, but it’s also formatted as a guide to living an intentional life. Schell has prompts and questions to help the reader get started on a journey of living life communally. She also includes favorite recipes with each chapter to help inspire gathering around the table.

The book is filled with bright pictures and offers plenty of space for reflection. I think because it’s published as a “gift edition,” the idea of living out hospitality is acknowledged in the actual pages and style of this publication. If it hadn’t been printed as a gift book, I’m not sure I would have connected as deeply – the act of reading this book captures the idea of simple hospitality.

With summertime starting, it’s a natural time to move some of our regular activities to our front yard. Perhaps we’ll start small, with sitting on the front porch once or twice a week after bedtime. Perhaps we’ll grow bigger, with front yard barbecues and gatherings. However this plays out, I’m thankful that we live in a front yard neighborhood, and I know The Turquoise Table will infuse new ideas into our community.

What’s your neighborhood like? Do you think it would be easy to start a front yard community?

GIVEAWAY! I am giving away my copy of The Turquoise Table. Leave a comment about your experience connecting with neighbors and I’ll randomly select a winner on Friday, June 9, 2017. (United States addresses only.)

I review for BookLook Bloggers
I received this book free from the publisher in exchange for my honest opinion.

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4 thoughts on “Review: The Turquoise Table by Kristin Schell + Giveaway

  1. Oh, you keep adding books to my list!. This sounds a lot like another book I’ve been wanting to read: Here Goes Nothing by Kendra Broekhuis (she actually just posted something on Instagram today about inviting people intentionally into her home). I LOVE the idea of being front yard people. My new commitment (actually based on an Instagram post from Broekhuis today) is to be prayerful about intentional neighborhood living. A sort of “If you build it, they will come” mentality maybe? I don’t know. I love this though!

    1. Ooh, I’ll have to check out “Here Goes Nothing.” 🙂 It’s amazing how easy moving certain activities out front can be with kids. I keep our water table in the the front yard, which means afternoon play ends up out there.

  2. Sounds great! We have Neighbor Nights over here. They’re usually impromptu, but the kids beg us for them … In fact, they came up with the name. We pull up lawn chairs and blankies and a favorite drink and catch up on life. We did one on Friday night. So good for my soul.

    I love the idea of the turquoise picnic table.

    1. Love the idea of Neighbor Nights! We always talk about organizing something like that with our neighbors but never do it. Maybe impromptu is the way to go….

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