Dinner with Friends
A design-focused, quarterly lifestyle magazine celebrating California's Central Valley, one dinner party at a time.




In this weekly blog offering, DWF's founder, Kendra, speaks from the heart about her decision to leave Fresno in the midst of creating a magazine based on her love for the city and surrounding Central Valley. (Yes, it's confusing to her, too.) But above all, she's committed to continuing the magazine's mission. And instead of dwelling, as it is best not to do, she's celebrating the ways her new city reflects her hometown, and how Fresno is never really that far away.

THE POWER OF A GOOD OLD FASHIONED PHONE CALL / Likes are great. Ninety-eight views on an Instagram story makes me feel pretty good. Seeing new followers joining the Dinner w/ Friends journey can literally make my day. Just like losing followers can break it. But I was recently reminded of just how powerful an actual phone call, and spoken words, can be. 

Planning the upcoming "Dreamers Who Dine" dinner party from afar has required many, many emails, Google Docs edits sent back and forth, texts, and phone calls. Some communication has been strictly procedural, while some has been fun and exciting as ideas are exchanged and the vision for this event starts to take shape. But one phone call in particular downright shook me...in such a beautiful an unexpected way. When my heart was running on empty, this one conversation filled it to the brim with hope. And when you're sharing your passion with the world, and opening yourself up to judgement, moments of encouragement like this are so necessary in order to move forward. 

One of the biggest hurdles in planning this dinner was finding a location to have it. I wanted it to have a personal connection to hosts Micah and Miciah, but also not cost a lot (or anything) as this magazine is currently operating on a shoestring budget. If that. So when M&M suggested having it at their neighbor's house, I immediately said yes! Luckily, the neighbor did, too. 

When I called said neighbor, Esther, for the first time to talk logistics, I planned on also thanking her profusely for allowing a bunch of strangers to take over her yard for a night. Thank her I did -- not only did she grant us access to her yard, complete with string lights guaranteed to be turned on for us, but also to the back part of her house for bathroom access and what not -- but I never expected to hear in return that she was excited I had chosen her home as the location because she and her friends are fans of Dinner w/ Friends. 

I couldn't believe what I was hearing. When working on a passion project you always hope people are following along and into it, but there's always a little part (or maybe it's just me) that protectively keeps you from fully believing that. The last two minutes of my conversation with Esther helped me inch ever closer to 100 percent belief in myself and my ideas. And it made me feel so much closer to home. And love it a little more because of how involved and supportive the people there are! 

BONUS: Esther's house is the cutest little bungalow ever. So, it is truly Dinner w/ Friends that is lucky that she granted us permission to host our dinner party there. We cannot wait to show it off in the feature...due out in November! 

Kendra Gilbert