Mother's Day can be a joyful day for some women and for others a time when personal loss is felt more acutely. I encourage you to take time on Mother's Day to honor and celebrate some of the special women in your life.Read More
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!
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
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:
Please SHARE this blogpost with your friends and encourage them to sign up to receive our newsletters.
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 husband Brett and I are staying with friends in South Africa. Christmas doesn't seem quite the same here as it is the middle of summer. I decided to set a simple but festive Christmas table while my friends were out, using what I could find in their home. I added in a table cloth I had with me (I had bought the fabric to use as a large picnic blanket during the Heartistry Experience) plus one of my favorite decorating items, my lights. I just love my little strings of mini-LED, battery operated lights and they travel with me in my suitcase. I have used them over and over to turn a normal meal into a celebration! (You can purchase the lights at a hardware store such as Orchard Supply or buy them on Amazon.com. Look for string of battery operated LED lights.)
I picked some greenery from the garden to use as the centerpiece. The searched through my friend's cupboard and chose two vases. I partially filled both of them with water, added the greenery to the smaller one and put it inside the larger vase. I added cherries to the water of the larger vase. I would have liked to use fresh cranberries but didn't have them due to it being summer here in South Africa and I was using what I could find in the fridge!
I added the pretty napkins/serviettes that I had brought my friend earlier in the week and strung the little lights around the vase and along the length of the table. I added the silverware and glasses, and voila, the table was set! Surprise!
Watch this short video to see how to set a simple and hurriedly thrown together table! Please SHARE with friends and check out our Heartistry Youtube Channel.
You are invited to sign up to receive our newsletters. I will send a notification when I post a new blog (most of the time!) Don't miss out on helpful tips and inspiring stories.
Yesterday I woke up at 7.45 AM and realised I had just over an hour to get up and dressed (for a wedding later in the day) and prepare the brunch for a dear friend who was arriving at 9.00 AM. Phew!
I am sharing with you my best tips for getting a simple meal prepared very quickly!
Heartistry Tip One: Set the table first
We are currently staying in a friend's condo and have a tiny patio. I put a card table that I recently bought second hand outside. I threw on a tablecloth and then jumped in the shower. At least we were part way there with getting the table ready!
Heartistry Tip Two: Keep some hospitality items in stock
Pre-decide on a theme and purchase a few items that co-ordinate.with that theme. I love poppies so through the years have purchased poppy table cloths, some poppy napkins/serviettes and recently bought some inexpensive poppy themed bowls. (I bought the pottery poppies at a market in St Hippolyte-du-Fort at the Heartistry Experience in France last year.) Having some hospitality items that coordinate and are ready to go, cuts down the time deciding what to use on the table.
Confession: I have a few different themes, such as birds, bicycles (to match one of my logos) and more! But start with one and you will be all set!
Heartistry Tip Three: Keep the food simple
Due to the fact that we will involved in a wedding and the weekend was really busy plus I had hosted people for tea the day before, I had not shopped for the extra food for brunch (I was going to wake up early to do that!) I recruited my husband and we walked (almost ran) to the closest shop which is a small Central American grocery store. We decided who would shop for which item and we power-shopped looking for items that were easy to prepare in the 15 minutes we had left! On the way home our friend texted to say she would be 10 minutes late which was great news! We were happy to prepare the food with her chatting to us in the kitchen, but we did need to be home to welcome her when she arrived!
Heartistry tip Four: Ask for help
It is important not to do everything yourself if at all possible. Brett prepared the sausages and fried tomatoes while I finished setting the table. Sometimes we have to let go of perfectionism and use the ready and willing hands. They may not prepare the food the way you would have done, but as we know, "Done is better than perfect!"
Heartistry tip five: Repurpose left-overs
My brunch was far from gourmet but it was tasty, colourful and quick. I served left-over macarons from the tea the day before (which had been bought from the shop) and cut open a pomegranate that we had been given. I had a pack of opened chicken sausages which we served with scrambled egg and fried tomatoes. We purchased a pack of berries, some peaches, a few pastries, French bread and orange juice from the local store.
Heartistry tip Six: Involve your guests
When our friend Kim arrived she gave us champagne, chocolate, strawberries and a lovely card for our anniversary which was the next day. I immediately invited her to help prepare the strawberries in the kitchen while we finished off the final meal preparations and made coffee.
Heartistry tip Seven: Relax and enjoy your guests
Once you have done your best to prepare a pretty and table and have at least pulled together something to eat, relax and enjoy your friend's company. The greatest gift you can give someone is your undivided attention as you listen well. Authentic friendship also involves opened your own heart and sharing what is happening in your life and there is no better place to do that than around the table.
Heartistry tip eight: When possible don't oversleep!
I like to say, "The More Before, the Less the Stress!" I don't encourage people to leave all the preparations to the very last minute, but if it means the last minute or not at all, I would rather try and pull simple something together. The more one offers hospitality, the esker it gets to make a simple meal, served on a pretty table.
I encourage you to continue opening your heart and your home (and setting an alarm!)
Please share your comments below (and please click the share button to pass this on to your friends)
What tips do you have that help you to prepare a meal quickly?
Have you ever overslept on an important occasion and had to come up with a plan?
Want to keep your ice-cream cool throughout your entire party?
Like to turn a simple tub of vanilla ice-cream into a center piece and topic of conversation?
Interested in hearing plenty of ooh's and ah's?
It is very easy to make a stunning ice-cream cooler!
Follow these instructions for a single ice-cream cooler:
- Choose a container that can fit into your freezer that is big enough to hold your tub of ice-cream and has sides that are as high as the tub of ice-cream.
- Partly fill it with cold water.
- Add the tub of ice-cream.
- Add ice around the tub of ice-cream (you want to use ice rather than water so that the ice-cream doesn't begin to melt.)
- Add fruit that matches the theme. I added strawberries and blueberries.
- Weigh down the tub of ice-cream with something heavy. I used another tub of ice-cream as I have limited freezer space, so used what needed to stay in the freezer in any case.
- Leave overnight to freeze well.
- Transport to your party location in the container and then run some warm water on the outside of the container to melt the ice a little bit.
- Place the solid block of ice with the ice-cream tub inside it on a dish or tray that will be able to hold the water as it slowly melts.
- Voila! You are all set and guests can serve themselves throughout your party without your having to run backwards and forwards to your freezer in an effort to keep the ice-cream cool!
Please share these tips with your friends and encourage them to sign up to receive our Heartistry newsletters.