Making Hospitality Easy: 4 Tips for Hosting People in Your Home

20
Nov
2020

making hospitality easyWith Thanksgiving coming soon here for those in the U.S., I thought I would chat a bit about one of my most favorite topics—making hospitality easy.

When I mention the word hospitality, how do you respond? Do you get excited? Or perhaps you begin to feel a bit anxious and nervous?

My heart is to calm your nerves if you are the latter. The art of hospitality, the bringing together of friends in our home, is truly the heart of the gospel being played out in a real tangible way. I read this today, and it resonated with me deeply…

“Hospitality means primarily the creation of free space where the stranger can enter and become a friend instead of an enemy. Hospitality is not to change people, but to offer them space where change can take place. It is not to bring men and women over to our side, but to offer freedom not disturbed by divining lines.” —Henri J.M. Nouwen, Reaching Out: The Three Movements of the Spiritual Life

Put simply, hospitality is the act of hosting people in your home, making time and space to create connection. Often it involves serving them a meal. The centerpiece of how Jesus shared the gospel was often around a table. It fills a human need for nourishment, and we can add so much to that experience by using our unique gifts. If you feel you aren’t good at hospitality, I encourage you to think again.

Let’s chat about a few really simple and practical ways to create a space that is inviting, yet not overwhelming, to those we invite in our home. I know your desire is to make others feel welcome in your home, that is all. Nothing more is needed.

Create a welcoming space

What brings you joy? What speaks to your heart? Your home should be an appendage of your heart. When friends walk in, they should be able to see you in all the spaces. This does not mean you need everything to be perfectly arranged and have expensive pieces decking your home. What it does mean is that your personality is reflected.

Having simple decor that does not clutter but is special to you is really a key piece. As I began furnishing my home last year (the one we’ve recently sold), I was very aware of choosing special things that were a part of me and really reflected who I was. A special painting that my good friend painted for me as a centerpiece. I chose small, decor pieces because they fit a need, not just create clutter. It doesn’t have to be a perfect space but should reflect who you are.

Simple is best

One of my biggest tips for those stepping out into hospitality is to have two or three simple and really good recipes or menus that you can use when you invite others over. This is key to having things run smoothly and also for you to be less stressed. I have found a good chili recipe with a wonderful gluten-free cornbread recipe to be one of our staple menus we pull out when we have others over. I also can make some roasted potatoes, roasted vegetables, and a simple protein like grilled salmon or chicken. There are several of my favorite hospitality recipes in my book, Got Dinner recipe book, where you will find 45 recipes that will make entertaining easy.

Diffuse

This tip is by far my favorite!!! Ever since I began using essential oils in my home, which is now nearly eight years ago, as soon as someone walks into my home they comment on how good it smells. I am so grateful! The calming ability of diffusing essential oils eases stress, but also just gives a feel-good feeling when you are smelling really yummy smells without any toxic residue. If you have a diffuser, be sure to check out these wonderful fall diffuser blends I shared; they will be perfect for your Thanksgiving gathering. We may be in a trailer now, but I have two diffusers, and we will be spending the day with my son and I will have diffusers going there as well. If you do not have oils yet, be sure to connect with me and I would be honored to help you get started.

Good conversation

Even as an introvert at heart, I can and do enjoy conversations with others. It’s true. The art of conversation is actually a skill you develop. I have spent time working on how to have engaging conversations with others over the past five years. People truly enjoy talking about themselves, so why not make sure you have some questions in your pocket to engage that conversation. I have enjoyed small gatherings of friends and acquaintances because I can ask questions about them and their life experiences. This truly helps me understand them, but also helps me feel connected. It’s such a joy for me now. I was once a person who struggled with conversations. Now I just keep asking questions about their family, their hobbies, their favorite things to do, and more.

Put these tips in your back pocket and you’ll be well equipped to foster a home filled with key pieces, making hospitality easy even at a moment’s notice.

Further reading for making hospitality easy

I have a few books that I have enjoyed on the topic of hospitality. If you’re interested in gaining more tips and inspiration, give these resources a look.

Simple Real Food Weeknight Dinner Recipes

22
Oct
2020

This week I have a simple and easy menu plan full of real food weeknight dinner recipes. I have some tips and tricks to let you work less and enjoy some really tasty food that is both nutritious and yummy.

For Monday, I want you to grab TWO pasture-raised chickens. You will cook TWO today in your Instant Pot, one for the meal this evening, and one for Tuesday’s meal.

Monday

Instant Pot Rotisseries Chicken from Kristine’s Kitchen

Garlic-Roasted Herb Potatoes, Carrots, and Green Beans from Cooking Classy

Instant Pot Rotisseries Chicken, a perfect weeknight dinner recipe

These two recipes will be perfect for a hearty and tasty dinner. I love roasting fresh vegetables in the oven. Remember, salt, pepper, and spices are your best friend. Always use REAL salt; it’s so good for your body!

Cook one of your chickens in the early afternoon, then let the pressure release; remove the chicken to cool. You can then start your other chicken you will serve for dinner. Once your first chicken cools, you will need to remove the meat and store to use in tomorrow’s recipe. Save the carcass, as you will be making your bone broth with this carcass and the one from the other chicken.

Once you’ve served dinner, take any remaining chicken and store with the previous meat, and take both carcasses and place them in the Instant Pot. You can follow this recipe here, or I often just use some spices, lemon slices, garlic and onions, and cook. Have fun; use what you like and experiment. Strain your bone broth and save for tomorrow. I often will let the bone broth go overnight and then release it in the morning.

Tuesday

Chicken Vegetable Soup from Detoxinista

Try this real food chicken vegetable soup for dinner

Serve with your favorite wholesome sprouted wheat bread, rolls, or gluten-free bread.

This soup recipe is so good, and I will encourage you to have fun with it. Add more of certain vegetables, and if you have enough ingredients, be sure to make a double or triple batch! Then you can freeze a portion to have in a few weeks when you are rushed for dinner one day. I love doubling recipes to make more for a later time.

Wednesday

Best Sheet Pan Fajitas With Steak from 40 Aprons

 Sheet Pan Fajitas With Steak, a real food treat

This recipe will be a hit and it’s so easy. I love sheet cooking in the oven—makes for easy prep and also cleanup! You can easily chop the veggies the night before and place in a baggie, and then if you have a busy day or are returning from work, simply dump it all on the sheet, along with the sliced steak. Tip: Use parchment paper any time you are using pans in your oven; the cleanup is simple and it’s less toxic than aluminum foil.

Serve this with some premade refried beans, or black beans made in your Instant Pot. Grab some organic corn tortillas, sprouted wheat tortillas, or use lettuce wraps! If you are looking for a great place to buy some organic pantry supplies, I highly recommend Thrive Market. I typically place two or three orders monthly for things like tortillas, beans, salsa (this is one of our favorites), and gluten-free products. It makes my life so much easier. You can grab 25% off your first order when you use my referral link.

Thursday

Egg Roll in a Bowl With Creamy Chili Sauce from 40 Aprons

Egg Roll in a Bowl With Creamy Chili Sauce family weeknight dinner recipe

I love this recipe because it is so versatile!!! You can stick to the recipe or venture out and add some fun ingredients in the suggestions to help your family love this even more. I use ground chicken, or you can even use leftover chicken from Monday (if you have any left after your soup!).

Friday

Homemade Vegetarian Chili from Cookie and Kate

Gluten-Free Cornbread

Homemade vegetarian chili real food recipe

Perfect for a Friday night—for real!!! If you can start this in the morning and let it simmer all day in a Crockpot or on the stove, you will love it even more. If you need to skip the blender part of the recipe, no worries. It will still be so yummy!

So there you go! Save this post or pin it to your recipe board so you can easily find the links. Your family will enjoy some tasty meals for the week and maybe even have some leftovers for the weekend!

If you are needing more real food weeknight dinner recipes for your family that are simple and easy, check out my Got Dinner, Quick and Easy Recipes with over 45 of my favorites; it’s only $2.99!

23 Inspiring Quotes for Motherhood

24
Sep
2020

My Favorite Inspiring Quotes for MotherhoodMotherhood is a tough job, not for the weak or weary, am I right? Our days are long and often met with extreme challenges, especially in the past six months. We all need encouragement and inspiration to keep taking one day at a time. I wanted to gather some inspiring quotes for motherhood that will encourage you to keep on doing the things you know to do, and be the blessing to your family you only you can be.

And let me remind you, you are doing an awesome job—truly!!! No one can do exactly what you are doing…no one.

Sit down with a cup of coffee and let these sink in. Grab a favorite image and save to your phone so you can have a little bit of encouragement whenever you need it.

My Favorite Inspiring Quotes for Motherhood

“Mother is a verb. It’s something you do. Not just who you are.”
—Cheryl Lacey Donovan

“Motherhood: All love begins and ends there.”
—Robert Browning

“Mothers hold their children’s hands for a short while, but their hearts forever.”
—Unknown

Children are not a distraction from more important work. They are the most important work. —C.S. Lewis

“Live in the moment and make it so beautiful that it will be worth remembering.”
—Fanny Crosby

“Life doesn’t come with a manual, it comes with a mother.”
—Unknown

“No influence is so powerful as that of the mother.”
—Sarah Josepha Hale

Finding balance as a mother means accepting your imperfections. —Mary Organizes

“They may forget what you said, but they will never forget how you made them FEEL.”
—Carol Buchner

“The journey matters as much as the destination.”
—Michelle Dockery

“The heart of a mother is a deep abyss at the bottom of which you will always find forgiveness.”
—Honore de Balzac

Motherhood has the greatest potential influence for human life. —Unknown

“Motherhood is the exquisite inconvenience of being another person’s everything.”
—Unknown

“Motherhood changes everything.”
—Adriana Trigiani

“You are far more precious than jewels.”
—Proverbs

Successful mothers are not the ones that have never struggled. They are the ones that never give up, despite the struggles. —Sharon Jaynes

“Your child will follow your example, not your advice.”
—Unknown

“Mothers are like glue. Even when you can’t see them, they’re still holding the family together.”
—Susan Gale

“The influence of a mother in the lives of her children is beyond calculation.”
—James E. Faust

To the world, you are a mother, but to your family, you are the world. —Unknown
“Children are the anchors that hold a mother to life.”
—Sophocles

“God could not be everywhere, and therefore he made mothers.”
—Rudyard Kipling

“Kids don’t stay with you if you do it right. It’s the one job where, the better you are, the more surely you won’t be needed in the long run.”
Barbara Kingsolver

I hope you take some time to allow these inspiring quotes for motherhood to sink in…to really help you feel the powerful job you are doing today and every day. Even in the hard, it is so worth it.

 

10 Mom Hacks and Proven Timesavers

13
Jul
2020


It’s time to share some sweet mom hacks and proven timesavers with you all. We are all busy and it’s a great thing when we can utilize timesavers to help with our schedules that seem to be jammed packed, right?

These are true and tested mom hacks and timesavers I have used through the years, and I am happy to pass them on to you.

Make a daily list for your kids

Who likes repeating themselves? No one—especially moms. But I found that I do it a lot. If I have some lists compiled and posted for daily occurrences, it will help everyone. Not only does it give me a break, but it helps my child learn to read and be self-directed.

We have a list for morning tasks as well as tasks that need to be completed at bedtime. I shared in a live video that I do not use a fancy chore chart; I simply type out a list on a Word document so it’s easy to change up as needed. We just edited our list for the summer months and it’s been working like a charm.  I love adding an element of positive consequence when my child is successful at following the list and completing it. This is developing wonderful habits for your children and helps mama keep a bit more sane!

Clean all produce upon returning home

This is something I only started about a year ago. But friends, it’s such a timesaver…I cannot believe I didn’t think of it sooner. I fill my large farmhouse sink up with water and my Thieves Fruit and Veggie Wash (more on Thieves here) and begin washing all the apples, berries, lettuce, and other produce. Once it’s dry, I bag the lettuce so it’s all ready to use. It may take some time initially, but when it’s time to grab a snack or make a meal, it’s so easy to prepare. You can also employ your kids to help with this task too. Give it a try and see how much time it saves!

Delegate tasks to your kids

I talk about this often, especially using my Weekly Household Planner. It’s one of the most important mom hacks and proven timesavers you can do! Just because there are tasks that need to be done to keep a tidy home doesn’t mean you as the mom need to do it all. In fact, if you are, you are doing your children a disservice. Where else will your child learn home-keeping skills? Write out tasks on a simple whiteboard or use a colored highlighter to color-code tasks on my planner. Each child gets a different color and they know what task they are responsible for each day. It’s easy and will free up your time for something else too.

Buy the same socks in bulk

Here is another tip I just started about six months ago. I buy only one type of sock for my ten-year-old and that is it. The time I have saved folding laundry and allowing him to help is way more than a few minutes. It’s been wonderful for laundry day, but also when we pack for a trip. Toss socks into the suitcase and you’re ready.

Shared digital calendar with family

I haven’t kept a paper calendar for our family in years. My hubby and I share calendars on iCal, which automatically syncs appointments so everything is kept up to date. You can add your kids to the family calendar as well—even kids that do not live at home. They can see your family plans instantly. Our ten-year-old doesn’t have a cell phone, but he does have an older iPhone that we’ve disabled cell service on. There are a few features he can use, such as texting using Internet, but only family members. He can access the local library audio book site, and he has access to our family calendar. It helps him feel a bit more grown up and “in the know,” which he finds really important. We can also easily print out a copy of a day or a month and post it if need be.

Double up dinner and freeze

This one is life-giving, friends. When you are making a dinner, either soup, like this one which is a favorite here in our home right now, or a casserole, make a double batch so you can freeze it. I have been doing this for several years, and I love knowing I have extra dinners in the freezer for times I just do not want to cook, or we get unexpected friends who stop by. I can be hospitable without all the anxiety of “what to fix.” I will often do this when I bake a pan of cornbread as well. We will not eat the entire pan within a few days, so I freeze it in small batches for later. I’d encourage you to see what you can stretch in this way.

Clean your shower while in the shower

I have a handheld dish scrubber in my shower that contains a mixture of Thieves Dish Soap and Thieves Household Cleaner. When I am nearly finished with my shower, I take a minute to scrub the shower glass and tile. I rotate areas on different days. This has helped so much in keeping the shower clean and truly cutting my cleaning of our bathroom down to a few minutes. It’s a huge timesaver, and it will allow you to savor the warm water just a bit longer too!

Online shopping

Take advantage of the many things you can have delivered right to your home without leaving! I have so many items we use consistently on Amazon subscribe and save, which truly saves me time and money. With my discount from Amazon I save money, plus my time is valuable, so I am saving that as well. I also use Amazon Prime instead of running out to a store. This can be a true money-saver, since you are not purchasing things you truly do not need because you happen to see something while out in the store.

A few more sites I use are Thrive Market, where I can get wonderful natural food items, and Stitch Fix, because I just am not a mall shopper but do like some pretty things (and they have the best jeans!). Daily Harvest has been wonderful with helping me eat healthy, even when I am busy and have a hard time keeping on track. It’s so easy to whip up a smoothie and add my favorite protein powder to the shake. Lastly, Green Chef has been my best friend the last three years. Living in a remote area has its challenges, but this was the perfect way to get meals delivered that met our specific dietary needs.  Honestly, we have so much fun trying new things. Cooking has become more of a joy with Green Chef!

Weekly meal plan

I sure hope you are already meal planning, but I know when I asked the trouble areas mamas needed help with, this was a big one. Sit down once a week, pick some recipes, create your grocery list, and just do it!! Grab this FREE meal planning sheet, get out your favorite cookbook, or go scroll through my Pinterest boards. Another idea is to snag my “Got Dinner” recipe book that contains 45 recipes that are family friendly for only $2.99. I admit, I had fallen out of weekly meal planning, but now that I am back in the groove, it’s such a timesaver and gives me so much joy to cook. I am not burdened with that “what’s for dinner,” angst that hovers over me when I do not have a plan.

Clean without thinking

Yes, I said that! One of the things I hear all the time from moms is…”I don’t know where to start.” Well, this where I have taken all of that thought process out of the equation for you. My Weekly Household Planner is FREE and it has tasks listed for the most common things you would want to check off when managing your home. It’s the motherload of mom hacks and proven timesavers! Keeping things tidy is the name of the game. If you haven’t downloaded your free copy, do so. Give it a try. Print a full week and see how it goes. I can guarantee you will not have to think much, and for a busy mom, that is total music to your ears!

More mom hacks and proven timesavers

Have you implemented any of these mom hacks and proven timesavers? What new ideas will you use? What other homemaking tips do you use in your daily routine that reduce your stress and free up some time?

Ready For Stress-Less Homemaking?

23
Jun
2020

Yesterday, I introduced you to the Ultimate Homemaking Bundle, but there’s one thing I haven’t told you about yet…

Did you know it comes with bonuses? Lots of them? Hooray! 🙂

Not only do the bonuses make it even easier to take care of your home, your family, and yourself… but also? They’re just really fun to redeem and receive. And who doesn’t need a little boost right now?

AMAZING RESOURCES

In addition to the 51 amazing resources in this bundle, you’ll also get 9 bonuses worth $343.96 which include:

  • Printable cards, printable calendar, art prints, and a $15 shop credit from Hope Ink Emily Hope, the artist behind Hope Ink, loves creating inspirational hand-lettered art to brighten up homes and living spaces.(Value $158)
  • Chapstick, salve, and soap bar from Puro CoPuro Co is a small-batch body care company that uses high quality, safe ingredients to create their skincare products.(Value $20)
  • $15 credit to Cultivate What MattersCultivate What Matters was created to help you live more intentionally. Use your $15 credit for their Write the Word Bible Journals, PowerSheets – the ultimate intentional goal planner, goal guides, or any of their other goal-oriented products.Value $15)
  • 4 pack of microfiber makeup remover cloths from By Jillee Jillee Shop takes pride in the exceptional quality of the useful tools, accessories, and other items you’ll find throughout the shop. (Value $19.99)
  • 10 Free Audios from Around the World Stories Around the World Stories creates fun, memorable audio stories that teach children about the world’s countries and cultures while capturing their imaginations and sparking their inner explorer. Each 30-minute story also comes with a parent guide full of activity ideas, recipes, printables and discussion topics. (Value $38)

Plus, there are 4 other bonuses from companies like Musik at Home, Strawesome, Bloom Naturals, and MadeOn Skin Care!

And there’s one more thing…

If you get your bundle by the end of today, you’ll also get a special early bird bonus designed to simplify your closet and help you put outfits together! Get Your Pretty On® is offering you one of three challenges. Pick from Kickstart & Workout ($39 value), Closet Staples ($39 value), or Bust Out of the Makeup Rut ($29 value).

Get your free bonus when you grab your bundle before midnight tonight.

Here’s how all these bonuses work: You can pick and choose whichever offers you want to redeem–as many or as few as you want. For the physical bonuses, you’ll be responsible for shipping costs. Five of the physical bonuses even ship internationally!

The digital bonuses are available to anyone in the world – with no shipping costs!
Ultimate Homemaking Bundle 2020BUDGET FRIENDLY

You may be tightening up your budget right now (which is so understandable!), but the Ultimate Homemaking Bundle has so much to offer you.

The value of the bonuses is over ten times the cost of the bundle, and when you add in the Get Your Pretty On® bonus, plus the 51 resources, it’s so much easier to discover strategies to help you take care of your family AND yourself–and that’s something we could all use right now amiright?

Check out all the bonuses and resources included in the new Ultimate Homemaking Bundle right here 

Last week I asked about the areas that those in my community needed help with.  It was meal planning, home keeping and finding time for you. This bundle is perfect!

I am looking forward to using the recipes from Garden Harvest Recipes: A Plant to Plate Cookbook (eBook) by Holly Bertone which has a value of $7.99.  Guys….. it’s all about living a healthy lifestyle and has recipes!!!  And then you also get the Uncomplicated Kitchen: 3 Step System for Simpler Weeknight Cooking (eCourse) by Ruthy Kirwin valued at $64.00.  WOW!!  Right there, with just those two things you have gotten more value than what you paid for the bundle, $29.97.   It’s a proven 3-step system that will help you streamline your weeknight kitchen, and free up your time making dinner in the evenings.  Can you say happy mama?!!!

Get on over to grab your bundle today, it runs til Friday – but get it today to snag your early bird bonus!!

Ultimate Homemaking Bundle 2020

P.S. Don’t miss your early bird bonus: buy before midnight tonight!