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Hospitality Made Simple

williams-sonoma scentI think all of us–including me, sometimes–feel inadequate when it comes to having people in our home. Just the word “hospitality” will often send me into a tailspin of doubting thoughts: I don’t have enough room to have people over…I don’t have as nice of dishes as they do…What if they don’t like the way I decorate? Or the food I serve?

painted canvas

Here’s my latest projects from my Etsy shop!

On and on it can go. But I’ve learned some things when it comes to opening my home. One of the most important things is this: Hospitality can be simple. It doesn’t have to be complex. Yes, there is a level of planning involved. But sometimes, the most spontaneous get-togethers have been my favorite. It helps to have some favorite “go-to” recipes (and ingredients) on hand.

Recently, I heard that a friend was in the hospital, and quickly baked my one-bowl muffins with a blend of three berries that I had in my freezer. At one of my favorite gatherings of the summer, I made my first watermelon bowl, and then made some iced herbal tea of “Cranberry Apple Jubilee,” which was great without any sweeteners added.watermelon bowl

One of my favorite books on the subject of hospitality is Lifegiving by Tammy Maltby. In it, she gives some practical tips on how to create a welcoming environment in your home. I will borrow a few to share here:
– Serve dishes you have made over and over
– Use lamps and candles
– Use fresh flowers when possible
– Bake a simple cake instead of buying one- Serve the predictable (it doesn’t have to be fancy!)

“We can all create a happy, lovely place for our guests. Remember, true hospitality is giving someone a message about his or her value. It is a heart issue, not a size issue” (Lifegiving, p. 137).

Also, in Lisa Bevere’s book Nurture, one of the chapters talks about opening our homes, and here are some of her suggestions:
– Pillows and throws for comfort and warmth (especially in winter)
– Soft instrumental or worship music
– Lighting: lamps and candles
– Laughter
– Lots of food!

pineappleSpeaking of food, here’s some of my sister’s and my recent favorite recipes from Pinterest (Several of these are crockpot recipes…who wants to heat up the kitchen during the summer? Besides, we can have more time outside this way, or reading some good books!):

Easy Guacamole = 3 avocados (de-seed & smash with a fork)+ 1 can Rotel
Chicken Fajitas (can easily be made in the Crockpot!)
Italian Chicken and Potatoes
Tacos made with this homemade fajita/taco seasoning mix
Easy Peanut Butter Oatmeal Bars

On a final note, I wanted to share this story that touched me:
“You Call Me Out Upon the Water” – an article by Scissortail Talk

I hope you all are enjoying your summer!!

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