A prettily set table can help family and friends feel welcomed and honored. But how do we do this without it taking too much time or costing a lot? I have set so many tables through the years and hope one or two of these ideas will work for you.Read More
Learning how to take short-cuts, enables us to offer hospitality more often. We can open our heart and homes to people because we don't end up feeling totally exhausted at the end of the visit. During my Top Ten Hospitality Tips training, I shared about making a simple Valentine's Day tray as a way to demonstrate how we can easily bless people around us as we use short-cuts!
You can treat someone you love and care for to a pretty Valentine's Day tray. Surprise a teacher, neighbor, teenager, friend or spouse. It can be quick and easy to do.
I brought cupcakes and strawberry milk and a small pack of chocolates wrapped in pink paper at my local convenience store. Pink icing is easy to make (add the food coloring with a toothpick or you will end up with red icing!) You can add it on top of the white icing for some of the cupcakes to provide variety. Add some sprinkles, cut out a small heart from paper (I used the cardboard from the chocolates!), add a tiny flower and you have designer cupcakes for almost nothing! I put the cupcakes into some cuter cupcake holders that I had and tied a ribbon around one of them to add an extra touch of whimsy.
Set a tray with a flower in a little jar, a pretty napkin, one of your cupcakes, some strawberry milk (bought or homemade) and you are all set to bless someone! Look around your home to see if you have any other items that will add to the theme and include those. Add a heartfelt note and share the tray. What a blessing!
Please share your trays with me so that I can post the photos. Let's encourage each other.
And please share this blog with friends. Encourage them to become part of our Heartistry community!
Do you want to set a pretty Easter table without spending a lot of time or money? With just a couple of packs of Easter eggs, some napkins/serviettes and a few other inexpensive items, I have set a number of place settings. You can try one of these ideas as you prepare a welcoming table.
- Stack up cake stands or plates with glasses between them and add Easter eggs.
- Sprinkle eggs directly onto the table cloth in between the plates and serving dishes. (They may get eaten, so have extra on hand!)
Use some pretty napkins to add color and design to the table. Napkins can be put on the plate, under the silverware, or set up on a buffet table. Check out 10 Ways to Use a Napkin other than Wiping your Mouth!
The Easter eggs can be used in many ways. Add them to small dishes and place on at each setting. Use a paper doily and wrap them into a cone and add the Easter eggs. Use your imagination and you will be able to add color and whimsy to the table!
I found cute little lamb chocolates which looked so sweet at each setting. In South Africa we grew up eating Easter eggs that looked like real eggs and these look great on a spoon or as part of the centerpiece. You can also use hard boiled eggs for a natural (and healthy) addition.
Check out the other Easter table decor ideas, such as using real grass to set a spectacular Easter table.
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Do you want to grow in sharing your heart and home with others? Need inspiration and instruction? Last week I shared my TOP TEN TIPS "live" on my Heartistry-Art of Welcome Facebook page. I have posted these ten 10 minute long sessions here, so that you can also watch these mini-sessions. Obviously it is hard to condense all the teachings into such short videos, but I am sure you will learn something!
Tip One- Learn by Doing
I encourage us to begin the journey. We activate the heart by action! In this video I set the stage for what we will be learning in the next ten sessions. I encourage you to sign up for our Heartistry Newsletters so that you can get more information from me from time to time.
Tip Two- Start Small
I share a true story that has motivated and touched me deeply as I have learned how to live more generously. Hospitality has a big impact on our families and the lives of other people too. It doesn't take much to be able to help someone know that they are loved and have value.
Tip Three- Bless not Impress™
What is the heart of true hospitality? I share one of our Heartistry mottos which is, "Bless not Impress™. In this video I speak about the difference between ENTERTAINING and HOSPITALITY and how we can overcome the obstacles to offering heartfelt hospitality.
Tip Four- Set a Tray Today
Set a Tray Today! I share a personal story of how I set a tray and the impact that it has on my friend. I demonstrate how to set a tray to show how quickly it can be done! I encourage everyone to set a tray and to send a photo to us, so that we can all the inspired. Why don't you do the same? Send it to Lyn@Heartistry.info.
Tip 5- The More before, the less the Stress™
In Tip Five, I share about preparing our hearts and our homes for hospitality as we learn the motto, The More before, the Less the Stress™. We discuss what prevents us from offering hospitality and what the real purpose of hospitality is. I show some of my special hospitality items.
Tip Six-Set the Table First
I love this tip. Set the Table First! There is great power in the Prepared Place. Inviting people into your home when the table is set will help them feel truly welcomed. I shared my tips and also about my new e-booklet that is coming soon! Exciting! It will be free for those who sign up for our Heartistry newsletters!
Tip Seven- Take Short-cuts
If we are going to continue to offer hospitality without getting burned out, we need to make it as easy as possible. I share some of my best tips for saving time as we prepare the table and the meal. I set a Valentine's Day tray to show how quickly one can make something pretty to share with a friend. I encourage everyone to sign up for our newsletters so that they can receive my 10 Simple Tips for Setting the Table e-booklet! It will be free for those who sign up for our Heartistry newsletters!
Tip Eight-Ask for help
In Tip Eight I encourage everyone to ask for help when offering hospitality. It can be easier at times to do everything ourselves, but if we want to be able to continue offering hospitality, we need to not try and do it all. We also train others (especially our children) but encouraging them to work alongside us.
Tip Nine- Be a Hub person
Offering hospitality can be sacrificial. It costs, money, time, effort and more. And yet the rewards are great. I encourage us to be the ones who reach out to others. "Hub" people gather and convene friends, family or even communities of people. I also share my favorite hospitality item, a cake stand! (More accurately, I share a number of cake stands with you!)
Tip Ten-Just Start- Open your Heart
In our final mini-session, I review what we have learned and encourage us all to start offering hospitality. I share from my passion and remind us all of the power and purpose of true hospitality. I would love to hear from you if you have finished watching all ten videos, so please email me at Lyn@Heartistry.info and share what you learned. I would also love you the comment here on the blog. Thanks so much!
Today we celebrated Heartistry's 3rd birthday! I have been practicing and teaching about hospitality for decades, but three years ago I launched Heartistry.info and it was official! I am so thankful for the people who encouraged me, assisted me with the graphics, technical details, and so much more. I am grateful for the countless people who have read the blog and Facebook posts and those who have attended events around the world. I wish I could have hosted ALL of you for tea today. Some of my local Heartistry Experience alumni and friends stopped in this morning and we enjoyed tea as we caught up with one another.Read More
Are you living in a cold, snowy area? Or is it so hot at your home that you would love to imagine yourself on a winter's vacation? Follow the instructions in the video and set a fun winter wonderland table. Prepare a simple meal of soup or baked potatoes, dim the lights and have a memorable evening around the table!
Use a white table cloth or sheet as your base and then add white plates. If you don't own white plates, I recommend that you buy a set of inexpensive, plain white plates as they provide so much versatility for so many table settings and seasonal meals. Add silverware, glasses and white napkins/serviettes. If you have small tea light candles, add some of those to the table setting as well.
Add table salt to a plate or cake stand (did I mention how much I LOVE cake stands?) You can also use a glass bowl or fish bowl (take the fish out first!) Add a small decorative item from around your home and some greenery. If you have a glass vase large enough, turn it upside down and cover your "scene". I added a string of little while lights and hid the batteries under the salt (I wrapped the mechanism in paper first.) These little white lights are one of my favorite items to use and I travel with them in my suitcase (crazy I know!) Their delicate beauty can turn even an ordinary meal into a celebration! You can purchase the lights at hardware stores and online. Look for battery operated LED lights with wire (not plastic).
Keep the food simple. When you have a special table setting, people barely notice the food (this is my saving grace!) Bake potatoes and serve them with sour cream, cheese, green onions and broccoli (think of this as the touch of greenery in your winter scene). Or make a big pot of soup and serve it with crusty bread. If you are having fun setting the table, just use store bought soup. No-one will even notice!
Dim the lights, play some music, gather around the table and enjoy a memorable meal!
In the midst of the busyness of the everyday, we need to be intentional about creating memories and adding celebration to our lives. An excellent way to do this is to plan for a special "Memorable Meal" each month. Then gather with family and friends. You can reach out by inviting neighbors or even strangers to join you.
Do you need some help, tips and encouragement to do this? This is what Heartistry is all about! We are excited to share ideas with you in our newsletters.
It is almost New Year's Eve and you don't have any plans. Why not invite a few friends, neighbors or even strangers over for a potluck dinner. Set a quick celebratory table and you are all set! This simple table setting works for New Year's Eve or any other special occasion using supplies you can find around your home! Easy and festive! Check out Lyn's video and be inspired to open your home. Happy New Year!Read More
Serving someone a cup of tea can be much more than just offering them a beverage. Stopping to enjoy a cup of tea with a friend, colleague, neighbor or stranger gives an opportunity to connect and share a little about the day and is an easy way to begin offering hospitality. It also provides a few moments to rest and catch one's breath. As someone so aptly said,
Today I'd like to sit and sip,
Forget about the world a bit,
Ignore the things I have to do,
And just enjoy a cup or two.
Life can be so busy and pressured that we scarcely take the time to stop and greet others around us, net alone truly connecting. We need to be committed to building authentic friendships. Let's start now by sharing a cup of tea with someone. And let's encourage others to do the same.
Join our Heartistry community in our two-week TEA FOR TWO CAMPAIGN (August 16-30) as we share a cup of tea with someone! And you don't need to only do it once!
- Gather your 'tea making supplies"- two simple cups, a few tea bags, sugar and milk (if serving tea English style!) If you feel inspired you can even set a simple tray.
- Make a list of those you know who would enjoy sharing a cup of tea- and plan to be spontaneous!
- Invite a friend to have a cup of tea with you in your home or at your desk at work.
- Plan to take your cups and tea items to someone's home- "tea in a basket" can be a big blessing to an elderly or ill person. (Kim de Carvalho delivered this lovely tray to my mom when she was not well.)
- Photograph your two cups of tea (and the two of you if you are happy to be on Heartistry!)
- Post the photo on our Heartistry site or email it to Lyn@heartistry.info.
- You're welcome to share your inspiring "tea stories" with us!
- Post photos to your Instagram and Facebook and tag #heartistry.info
- Encourage your friends to serve tea and participate with us.
- Everyone who shares a cup of tea and sends a photo of their two cups will be entered in a drawing!
- Two names will be drawn on September 1.
- The winners will receive a basket filled with tea goodies!
Read the inspiring story of a woman who packed Two Tea Cups and took them with her as she traveled. She made the effort to spend quality time with people over a simple cup of tea.
Let's make a difference in the next two weeks by inviting as many people as possible to stop for just a few minutes to have a simple cup of tea with us. You never know what may happen!
I grew up near the sea and now after 30 years have returned to South Africa for a season and am once more going to sleep at night to the sound of waves. A nautical theme is one that I plan to use often as I set a table with the beach in the background. I have collected some nautical napkins to be prepared!
Recently I visited my parents at their lake cottage in Connecticut, USA. I quietly unpacked my nautical napkins and scarf from my carry-on luggage and set a surprise tray for them (crazy to carry items like this I know, but it was fun!)
Later I picked some wild flowers from the garden and added an old navigation lamp that my dad had used on one of his sailing boats for a simple lunch table. I treasure every moment that I can spend with my parents and am so thankful that I can visit them on a regular basis even though I live far away from them. I took this photo of us holding hands as my mom said grace before our meal and prayed for the family spread around the world.
P.S. The exquisite wooden sculling canoe was built by my dad. Isn't it so beautiful?
I love using a theme to set a table. It makes it so much quicker and simpler. Read my blog on How to Use a Theme to Set a Table and 10 Tips on Choosing a Theme for Setting a Table for more helpful tips.
One of our Heartistry readers and a dear friend, Diana Candee, sent me a couple of photos. A friend of Diana's was visiting her from out of town and they were planning to have a tea together with local friends. As they shopped for items for the table, they spontaneously decided to match what the guest of honor was wearing and went for a blue and white theme. And they ended up with a pretty nautical table setting! Just in time for me to add them to my blog! Thanks Diana!
I would love to see photos of your table settings, so please share them with me!
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Last night we had our first staying guest at our new rental in Cape Town. Our friend Sylvia has been part of our Repurposing Business (rep) programs in Cape Town and also attended my first Heartistry Experience in South Africa, so Brett and I both know her well. It was a joy to have her in our home.
Check out our Heartistry blog Simple Tips to Make Staying Guests Feel Welcome for some practical ideas. I am in a furnished condo, so am making use of what I can find to make my guest feel as comfortable as possible.
Setting a small tray next to the bed and adding a note of welcome is so easy to do and helps the guest know that thought was put into preparing a place for them.
Sylvia is the owner of Special Events and Trouvrou and she is highly sought after to set elaborate tables for very fancy events. I know I can't compete with what she does, but I still wanted to make my table look attractive as I know she loves pretty things. Since the view from our windows is of the ocean, I chose a beach scene. These lovely serviettes (that is what they are called in South Africa) actually say Cape of Good Hope on them and have a map of Africa, so they are just perfect. I added a mini tea-light candle and a beautiful shell at each place setting. A simple napkin/serviette can be used so effectively when offering hospitality. Check out 10 Uses for Napkins other than Wiping your Mouth!
Sylvia arrived with a gift for me that proved she really knows me and loves me! I am SO excited by the beautiful cake stand in my color and the serviettes that came in an exquisite bag! The bag even matched the guest room!
A cake stand is one of the most useful items when one wants to make an ordinary meal or event more of a celebration. I gathered some of my best ideas to share in the blog, How to Decorate with a Cake Stand.
This morning we enjoyed a typical South African breakfast and then said goodbye to our guest. Spending time together is such a precious gift and I am so thankful that I am able to have guests in my home. After a quick clean-up, I went for a morning walk on the beach and expressed my gratitude for all my blessings.
The goal of Heartistry is to encourage generous living and true hospitality. Please share the blog with friends and sign up to receive our newsletters so that you receive notifications of new blogposts. Thanks so much!
Do you want to learn how to set a beautiful table? Want it to be quick and easy to do?
Using a theme for your table setting can both simplify it and make it look more attractive and coordinated. Check out this video on using a theme to set a table and this blogpost for more information.
You can use these helpful tips to get going:
1. Walk around your home and look for items that match e.g. Do you have a vase with roses painted on it and a small painting of roses? These could be grouped together for a pretty setting. I love cherries and have had fun setting a table using fresh (or artificial cherries) and beautiful cherry napkins/serviettes and more related items.
2. Do you have a hobby or special interest? Use some of these items to decorate your table. My husband Brett Johnson has written a book called Lemon Leadership. Consequently we have lots of lemon items!
3. Is there one color that you love and use a lot in your home? A friend has a home at the beach and decorates a lot with blue and white, so this would be a good place to start.
4. Are you about to celebrate a holiday? Begin by choosing a few items for Thanksgiving, Christmas, July 4th or Valentine's Day.
5. Begin with a seasonable table and add some items for fall or spring. Fall items work well for Thanksgiving too (if you live in the USA).
6. Do you have a special or heirloom tablecloth? Use that as your base and add a few items that would tie in well. The protea is the national flower of South Africa. I painted this cloth to use for the first Heartistry Experience in South Africa.
7. Beautiful napkins and serviettes can serve as inspiration. Build your theme from there. Check out the blog on 10 Uses for Napkins.
8. Is there a theme for your party? Build your table around the theme such as travel items for a Bon Voyage party. We celebrated my mom's 85th birthday with a Garden Party which my twin sister and I hosted in her garden. We used a flower theme and had adorable mini hat cakes as one of the desserts.
9. Is there a "message" you are trying to share? I used globes and napkins with a world map on them when we had a dinner focussed on the impact guests could have on the world through their lives and businesses.
10. If all of the above suggestions seem too much, just start with a few white items. They can be used for any occasion and will be a great base for your table setting adventures!
There are many other articles and videos that will give you further inspiration and instruction, so check out our blog and Youtube channel.
Please SHARE this blogpost with your friends. I love to hear your comments, so please share what themes you use for your table settings in the comments section below.
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Decorating a table can be such fun and yet many people feel overwhelmed and don't know where to start. Using a theme is a great way to make setting a beautiful table simpler and more affordable. By having some special items on hand that all match and work well together, it takes away the guesswork and saves time.
I love to use different themes and have quite a few (some would say many!) collections that I use for my table settings. In the video I share how to use a bird theme to set a beautiful tray or table.
How to Begin:
- Start with basic white crockery and a white table cloth.
- Over time add a few items that fit your theme.
- Theses items can be clustered on the middle of the table, displayed on a buffet table or added to a tray to make a very special treat for someone.
- Having a theme takes the guesswork out of setting a table and saves time.
- The items on the table coordinate with each other and make a fun and creative setting.
For more ideas and inspiration, check out the blogpost:
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I love my cake stands! A cake stand does the same thing for a simple pie, as high heels do for a girl!
- Elevate that peach pie on the cake stand and it is time to party!
- Place a cupcake on a cake stand and you have a celebration!
If you have extra money in your budget, buy yourself a simple cake stand. You will add fun and pizzazz to every day meals and you'll use it over and over for celebrations and special events.
10 ITEMS TO PUT ON A CAKE STAND:
- A cake (now that is a surprise!)
- Special desserts that deserve VIP treatment such as macaroons
- Cupcakes and petit fours- they can even be used instead of a wedding cake
- Fruit- fresh berries are beautiful for a brunch
- Hard boiled eggs- I add my bird salt and pepper shakers
- Seasonal decorations-Easter lambs, fall pumpkins and gourds, Christmas decorations
- Flower arrangements- add a few blooms to your favorite tea cup and set it up high
- Salt, mini lights, some greenery and a little bird for a winter scene (check out the instructionalvideo here)
- Ribbons, feathers, souvenirs from your travels, books piles on the sides with spines showing
- A couple of framed photos of your honored guest can be placed in the centre of the table
The simple act of serving a cake on a cake stand makes the entire event feel more special.
I served my friend from India a simple birthday cake on one of my favorite cake stands and he was so delighted and appreciated it so much. Look at his face!
Heartistry Tip: I used a bundt pan and then put a single bloom in the middle of the cake and added some candles. Very easy, yet effective.
Just for a laugh! Look at my online order that arrived!
I would love to hear how you use your cake stand. Please share comments below. You are welcome to post photos on our Heartistry Facebook page too.
My South African host and her daughter both have their birthdays on the same day. What an excellent opportunity to host a birthday tea party!
We decided to enjoy the warm weather and host the party on the patio. I used one of my scarves as the table cloth and then we added my friend's beautiful china. So often special china is kept for display only; I encourage you to take it out and have the pleasure of using it. In the midst of often challenging every day lives, it is worth making the effort to celebrate as regularly as we can!
I love hosting people but don't like cooking so I am always looking for short-cuts. We served home-made quiches that we bought from a local co-operative bakery, but any store bought quiches would be fine. I baked my 5-Minute Buttermilk Scones and we served them with apricot and berry jam and a big bowl of cream. Watch the video and get the recipe and directions here.
I changed it up by adding some pink food coloring and some cherries, iced it with light pink buttercream icing and served it as the birthday cake. I added a surprise treat inside the center of the bundt cake. The two birthday girls were excited to see what was inside!
One of the guests brought a chocolate cake and I added in some cute mini cookies and macaroons that I purchased. We had a toast with non-alcoholic pink champagne and then it was time for presents. Everyone had a great morning and the mom and daughter birthday duo announced that this was one of the best birthdays they had ever had!
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I love to host family and friends in my home but I don’t like to cook or bake. So I am very delighted when I can find a quick and delicious recipe. Over 30 years ago my sister Michelle shared this Buttermilk Cake recipe with me and it has been a favorite since then. It is made in a food processor, which is what makes it so fast. You can serve it plain or add raisins, nuts, cherries, coconut or chocolate chips.
Dust the cake with icing sugar or frost with a rich butter icing. You can also fill the hole in the middle of the cake with a treat and give your guests a surprise when you cut the cake open!
Watch the video to see how quickly I made the cake!
Add all the ingredients one by one into the food processor.
1 cup castor sugar or finely grind regular sugar in processor
125g butter- cream together with sugar
Add 1/2t vanilla and 1/2t almond essence (or a full teaspoon of vanilla if you don’t have almond essence)
2 cups flour
2t Baking Powder- add slowly
1 cup buttermilk
Optional: Add 1 cup raisons, nuts and cherries or 1/2 cup coconut) Place in bundt pan (grease according to manufacturer’s directions
Bake at 180 degrees for 1/2 to 3/4 hour
After baking, allow the cake to cool and then fill the hole in the middle of the bundt cake with a treat. Ice the cake with buttercream icing and decorate the top of the cake according to the occasion or season. When you cut the cake, you will surprise your guests as the filling spills out! (Thanks Kate of The Kate Tin for the idea!)
Heartistry Tip: Place your cake on a cake stand. A cake on a cake stand looks so much more festive!
This Christmas I used the Buttermilk Cake recipe and filled the inside with chocolate balls! I served a Christmas tea to some friends and we all enjoyed the cake and the candy treats!
Buttercream Icing Recipe:
Use your food processor and mix:
3 Cups Powdered sugar
1 Cup butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon cream, milk or bandy - add slowly until you get the right consistency.
Please share your comments below and send me a photo of your cake via Facebook. I would love to share it on our Heartistry-Art of Welcome Facebook Page!
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I love setting a pretty tray. A well-set tray reminds me of a still life painting. It captures the heart of hospitality in a small space. Whether the tray is fancy, or just a very simple one containing a cup, small snack and a single flower it makes those few moments when one stops for a drink more like a mini-celebration.
This week I encourage you to bless a family member or friend by bringing them tea or coffee on a tray (it will feel more special than just handing them a mug!) You may decide to deliver a tray to a friend and surprise them by knocking on their door as I did with Nancy (see previous blog).
You can make a tray from:
- A breadboard
- A cookie sheet covered with a dishtowel or place mat
- A piece of wood wrapped in gift wrap
- A large, flat bowl
- A basket
- A lid from a cookie tin
- A piece of firm cardboard
- A mirror
- A framed painting or print (not a valuable one)
- A tray!
A tray can be used in many ways:
- A welcome tray in the room of a new house guest
- A birthday tray served with breakfast and a birthday card
- A tray for a family member returning from a hard day at work or from writing an exam
- A tray for someone who is sick in bed with nourishing food, a pretty flower and a get well note or card
- A tray for an elderly person in an old age home needing encouragement and a warm visit
- A tray for a teacher with a snack that he/she can enjoy at their desk while grading papers. Add a note of appreciation
- A tray for a housekeeper/domestic worker encouraging them to sit for a few minutes and be served before they start work
- A tray for a teenager who needs to know that they are precious and valued (a friend of mine did this for her new step-children and it eased the relationship)
- A late-night tray delivered during exam time to a student with enough snacks for them to share with their roommates
- A tray for a new mom with something to drink, eat and a note welcoming the new baby
We spontaneously decided to invite our colleague, Linh to come for a work meeting (a.k.a. a surprise birthday brunch) at 9.30 AM and had half an hour to make it happen! This was a fun challenge! Here is how my friend Linda and I made the very rapid preparations!
- Turned on oven to pre-heat (400 degrees)
- Put on our aprons-pretty ones help!
- Set the table
- Hospitality Tip-Start by setting the table first- if someone arrives and the table is set and ready, they will feel welcomed and loved! You can always cook when they are with you.
Hospitality Tip-It is worth investing in a few pretty table cloths. Small, square ones work really well as they can be put over other cloths, used on a rectangular table or on a round table such as mine.
Hospitality Tip-A cake stand turns every occasion into a celebration! If you don't own one, put a plate on an upturned bowl to get the same effect.
Hospitality Tip-Keep some pretty napkins on hand. (Check out 10 Uses for Napkins other than Wiping Your Mouth).
No flowers? I quickly added extra napkins in a milk jug to add color and interest!
I began with the baking by making scones in my food processor. They are easy to make and taste wonderful when they are warm (there was no choice but to have them warm, as this all happened so fast!)
- 2 Cups Flour
- 1 Tablespoon Sugar
- 2 Teaspoons Baking Powder
- Mix briefly in food processor
- Measure 1/4 cup of oil into 1 Cup baking cup
- Add one egg and fill to the top with buttermilk.
- Add to flour mixture in food processor and process quickly (don't over process)
- Place dough on floured board or parchment paper and pat down to about 2 inches think.
- Cut into small circles and bake for about 10 minutes until lightly brown on top and cooked through. Serve with butter, jam and cream (if you have it, which I didn't!)
Hospitality Tip- Always keep some small cakes or little tarts in the freezer, as these can be pulled out at the last minute to be used as a birthday cake or for some other celebration. We had Trader Joe's mini fruit tarts all ready to be popped in the oven.
While I made the scones, Linda fried bacon and scrambled eggs and had that ready to cook at the last minute. When the scones were in the oven, and the eggs and bacon ready to go, we added some other touches.
Hospitality Tip- Add light! I love my small, sparking lights and I use them so often to make a festive atmosphere. We added them to the table and a lit candle.
Wine glasses make any occasion more special, so put one at each place setting. Although we put out sparkling wine, none of us drank it as it was a work day! We enjoyed tea and coffee instead.
Hospitality Tip- Keep birthday cards on hand. I signed a birthday card, added a small gift and put cards on the table for affirmations. I had made the cards at an earlier time using wrapping paper that I loved and had them ready to go.
Hospitality Tip- Make the occasion meaningful through words that are shared. We have a tradition with our staff that we spend time honoring, affirming and praying for each person on their birthday. We took a few minutes and wrote our affirmations in the cards, while Linh waited patiently and then we read the words out loud to her. This is always a very meaningful time for all of us. We have also grown in our ability to speak out encouraging and uplifting words.
If you don't feel comfortable writing an affirmation, check out this blogpost: 10 Tips for Writing a Good Affirmation
Surprise! Linh arrived and we had a special time together celebrating our friend.
Hospitality is not hard. But it requires practice, so give yourself a bit longer than 30 minutes and you'll do fine.
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10 Uses for Napkins other than Wiping your Mouth!Read More
These fun little eggs are so easy to make and can be part of your table decor too.
3 tablespoons butter
1 package (10 oz., about 40) Marshmallows or 4 cups Miniature Marshmallows
6 cups of bran sticks cereal
In large saucepan melt butter over low heat. Add marshmallows and stir until completely melted. Remove from heat. (You can also microwave the butter and the marshmallows, stirring evry two minutes until melted.)
Add the bran sticks cereal. Stir until well coated.
Place small amounts of mixture into cupcake paper cups and press down the center with a buttered spoon or ice-cream scoop.
Decorate each nest with a few chocolate eggs.
These are best if served the same day, but since Easter morning is so busy, make them the day before- they'll be fine!
Go ahead and have some fun! Please share this blog with your friends!
Living a generous life starts with small steps of reaching beyond ourselves to touch the life of someone else. I am hoping you will follow the instructions in the previous blog to host an appreciation dinner for some friends as I know it will be so rewarding.
Just in case hosting a dinner may seem a bit too much to try right now, how about planning to set a pretty tray? You can serve tea to a teenager in your home, your spouse or even deliver it to the doorstep of a friend (and invite yourself in to share the goodies!) Don't forget to add a note to your friend or loved one telling me how much you appreciate them.
After your event, please share your photos and results with us so we can all feel the love!