Showing posts with label hospitality. Show all posts
Showing posts with label hospitality. Show all posts

Monday, March 23, 2015

Warts And All {embracing imperfection}

I struggle to find a balance between perfection and imperfection. Do you sometimes too? Do you not have friends over because your house isn't clean enough or because you don't like the peeling wallpaper in the guest bathroom or the chewed up table leg {curses on your dog}. What would people think? Would they leave your house murmuring and mumbling about 'why in the world would she invite us over before tidying up that mess?'. You promise yourself that as soon as you get new wallpaper or repair that table leg or scrub those floors, that then, then, you'll have people over.

I come to you several times a week and talk about all kinds of stuff, lots of intentional living stuff, embracing stuff, living in the moment stuff, hospitality stuff, but you know what, I struggle too. I feel like I can't have folks come over and hang out because, it's not all clean enough. Whoa. That's hypocritical.

When I'm in this depression season of mine, life as I know it comes to a screeching halt. I'm sitting amongst a jar filled with valentine's candy, and a chalkboard that says, 'In the meadow we can build a snowman', not an Easter bunny or daffodil in sight. So I go into lock-down. No one's coming over until I get things back on track, translation, p-e-r-f-e-c-t. Really????? That's ridiculous. You know what that means? It means that I think very little of my friends. It means that I don't have any value for myself either. It means that I think they are only coming over for some type of 'sensory experience', only coming to oooooh and ahhhhh at my seasonal change-ups and to marvel at my cleaning skills. 

That's not intentional living, that's not living at all. If you find yourself right where I am, embrace imperfection. How quickly I forget, it's only March and I hardly remember my word for the year, EMBRACE.  Love on people right where you are and  right where they are. I can totally promise you that if they come over in the midst of your mess and love you, they are true friends, if they are murmuring on their way out the door, you might want to re-evaluate that friendship.

So all these photos...... real life, right now, sometimes messy, sometimes dysfunctional, totally imperfect, just like me. And in case you are wondering, I am having friends over this week in the midst of it all, it's me, it's my life right now, and I know that my friends love me and all my imperfections, it's way past time for me to trust and love them too. I'm learning to embrace imperfection,  care to join me?

Monday, September 22, 2014

How To Keep Your House ENTERTAINING Ready

Do you remember when you were a little girl and playing dress-up was so much fun? Putting on that twirly dress,  mamma's heels and clip-on earrings, grabbing a purse and strutting around, yes, I remember getting 'all dolled up'. Entertaining is my grown-up version of playing dress-up. It's my chance to get the house 'all dolled up' and to welcome friends into my home. I do it as often as possible and as much as I love having friends over, I have an ulterior motive for entertaining and it's really hugely selfish. Are you ready? Promise not to judge, K? Entertaining is how I keep my house clean and in order. Ugh! I really hate to admit that, but it is the only way I can keep it all together. When I know that friends are coming by, that little bit of excitement and adrenaline kicks in and it just becomes so easy to clean and get the house together. That's probably a little crazy, right? Do you get that little adrenaline rush too, when you know that folks are coming by for a visit. With the holidays coming up, why not go ahead and start a new way of keeping order in your home. I'm NOT saying that this house is always clean, goodness no. You can read some posts on just how messy it gets sometimes here and here. But for the most part, we keep it kind of in order so that it would take very little time to have it company ready. 

I'm going to give you some really easy steps to get your house in order and to keep it that way so that you can have friends over more often and this will in turn help you keep your house 'entertaining ready'. Please work on this list slowly, a little at the time, because, if you're anything like me, nothing causes me to shutdown more than being overwhelmed! Once you've worked on each step, it becomes easy to maintain on a weekly basis. 

No. 1. Keep that fridge CLEAN. Nothing is more embarrassing to me than opening the fridge to serve drinks or snacks and have it full of old, stinky food. If you can get that fridge clean and stay in the habit of keeping it that way, it just feels so good.

No. 2. If you get in the habit of vacuuming a couple of times a week, especially if you have house pets like we do, there's not so many of those fur tumbleweeds blowing across the floor. The house just feels clean with clean floors.

No. 3.  If you will teach your children to be responsible for their spaces, your life will be sooooo much easier. Nothing irks me more than families with kids that do practically no housework. How are they ever going to know how to take care of their own homes one day if all they know how to do is take out the trash and pick up toys? ALL of our children have been taught since they were little to pull their own weight as far as chores go. As they get older, the workload increases. I can confidently say that if I were to become ill for any length of time, our daughters at eleven and thirteen, could run this house nearly as well as I do. They know how to do laundry, cook and bake, clean a house with the best of them, and look after our seven year old. I think that parents do themselves AND their children a terrible disservice not teaching them how to take care of their home. 

No. 4.  A clean bathroom is a must and it's very easy to have if you just learn how to put things away after every use. Keeping the counter and the toilet clean, makes it easy to be ready for guests. If I have the time, I'll add some fresh flowers or seasonal greenery from my yard to the bathroom just to add that special little touch.

No. 5. Your yard is the first thing that guests see when they visit. Try to keep the outside in order the same way as the inside. It's all about establishing new habits. We have two porches that guests use and I always try to keep them tidy. I sweep and even wipe off my doors from time to time to get rid of all the dust that builds up from mowing the lawn. The porch is your first line of defense when guests arrive. Make them feel welcome from the moment they get out of their car.

I find that if I can keep a handle on these five things, I never feel too far behind. By far, my favorite is number five. I don't know why, but I've always felt that if my porches stay clean, the house just seems fresher and more inviting to guests. When friends come to any door at our home, I want them to feel welcome and know that I'm happy they are visiting from the moment they knock on the door. I chose to be a wife and a stay at home mom, and I feel that it is part of my job to have an organized and clean home {most of the time}. We all have off days that throw us off track, but when I'm feeling better again, I get right back on track. 

The secret to ALL these steps is that once you have them all done for the first time, you consistently check back with this list at the first of the week and at the end of the week, that way everything sort of stays in pretty good order. Now, if you decide to have friends over, nothing is such a mess that if would take longer than thirty minutes to an hour to get it in order. You'll find that once you get into the habit of living this way, you'll really enjoy entertaining in your home! And you'll enjoy the benefit of living in a cleaner more efficient and organized home every single day- guests coming or not. Now with the house all clean, let's go bake some treats for your friends to enjoy! How about some cake pops like these perhaps......

This was our first try at cake pops and they turned out pretty good. I hope that our guests agreed! Thanks y'all so much for stopping by today! If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to share below in the comment section.....

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