D.I.Y: hospitality.

 Well now that I said I was going to write this 'hospitality how-to's' post, it seems... silly.
Because really, what can I tell you that you don't already know?
Since basically this topic is just about inviting people IN to your world, and maybe even putting a warm meal in their belly.  That's not rocket science.

(So maybe, just maybe this post is for the young mothers out there who struggle with some of those issues that I mentioned previously).

Here's some helpful hints (from my own experience) about opening the chaos of your home, and sharing it with others:

Plan ahead.  Invite people over a week ahead of time.  Find out what food issues/allergies/intolerances they may have.  Choose the meal.  Make your grocery list.

Cook ahead.  (No, don't cook a head... gross).  But, if possible, get that meal started before the guests arrive.  I prefer to be able to visit with people when they show up.. vs. having to run around the kitchen (though sometimes it's required).  The best meals for this type of approach would be crock pot recipes, currys, soups, or casseroles.  These can be cooking or simmering as long as you want, without your constant attention.

* Involve the kids.  Yes, we want our family to enjoy having company!  If your kids just associate guests with 'Mom is on a cleaning-fuming-cooking-demanding rampage' it's probably not going to be their idea of a good time (or yours).  Just remember that your kids are more valuable than a perfectly clean house.  Anytime I get more concerned about my agenda than about involving the kids... I get angry.  I try to involve the kids by getting the oldest (4.5yrs) to help set the table/make the meal with me/craft some decorations even/or help feed the baby (6mos).  The little guy (2.5yrs) is his own mess maker, so I often have him up on a chair *pretending* to wash dishes.. (a.k.a...splash water everywhere).  Because inevitably, every.one.wants.to.be.in.the.kitchen despite it being the size of a broom closet!  ;o)

Even the baby.  She like to fuss and holler right at prime cooking time. (Don't all babies?).
So I usually have her in the portable rocker chair... so I can feed her, rock her with my foot and still do meal prep.  Go team!

Ok, that's just some basic reminders I'm sure.

The key for us mamas is that we remember it's not the success of the meal, the perfection of the home or the proper behaviour of our children that makes for 'good hospitality'.
Hospitality shines brightest from a home that reflects love.
Love that is authentic.  Love that opens it's door, it's table, it's heart to others.

Mel ;o) 

P.S... if you have any other hints or insights from your own experiences, I'd love to hear too!



  1. I like this- it's always good to encourage each other to include more hospitality in our lives. I like your tips because I am surely the mother on the cleaning/cooking rampage. Having people over is almost the only incentive to cleaning... almost. I think I have finally surrendered any big ideas I have about hosting elaborate shindigs. I would honestly rather visit with our loved ones. Saying all this, I think it's time for us to have you guys over!!!

  2. Good advice for us all, (not just young families...) I too prefer to sit and relax with guests, (we seem to have had tons this summer!), not rush around prepping the meal. I look for recipes that say 'Prep to this point ahead of time...then...stick in the oven 40 mins. before eating.' We have a wonderful 'Eggplant Casserole' recipe (vegetarian) that works in this way - all of the fiddling mess over with long before the arrivals! Although, my time is (I'm guessing) more flexible than yours, lol!

  3. Sounds lovely Annie! Your place is always a picture of hospitality (and creativity) in my mind. We'll have to come see you soooooon... studio tour!!! ;)

  4. We're all getting 'there' slowly but surely aren't we... letting go of the silly 'ought tos' and holding the true value of 'being' with other souls. Of course we would LOVE to see you guys soon. There needs to be planning/scheming happening post-haste.... xx


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