Brunch · entertaining · Hostess Goals · organization · Time management · Uncategorized

Tips For Hosting a Stress-Free Shower

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I love hosting showers! Babies and weddings are just fun events to celebrate! They are both gifts from God, and that alone makes them special!  This past Saturday I had the blessing of having a wedding shower in my home for a sweet young woman who has been a part of my Adult Bible Fellowship this year.  I had so much fun coming up with a menu and decorations to help her celebrate her upcoming fall wedding!

I thought I’d show you how I plan and work ahead of time to keep things from being too stressful the morning of the shower.

  1. Decide on a menu – I went with brunch and served:
    Egg and Sausage sliders
    Strawberry White Chocolate Scones –
    Crackers with Cheese Dip
    Fresh Fruit & Dip (Provided by a friend)
    Cappuccino Punch/Coffee/Water
  2. scones
    These are wonderful!!!

    Decide on a color scheme – I used pink and deep maroon flowers, the colors of the bride’s wedding.

  3. Begin to decorate the week before.  Here are some things I had done before Friday~
    Flower arrangements
    Mantle decorated
    Sketched on my chalkboards
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  4. Make/prep whatever food you can ahead of time.  My do-ahead’s included:
    Cooking the sausage for the sandwiches
    Cutting strawberries for the scones
    Putting all the dry ingredients for the scones in Ziploc bags, ready to mix
  5. Get out all the dishes/platters you’ll need ahead of time. The night before set the tables, label platters and places where the food will be placed.  I use sticky notes on the platters telling what food goes there.  Then the day of the shower, if someone wants to help, they know where to put things. or if I’m working alone, that keeps me from getting frazzled!
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  7. Cute chalkboard labels are great to label food platters
  8. Get the pitchers, utensils, plates and napkins ready.
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  10. The day of the shower, try to have the food ready for the oven, or finished, if possible  30-60 minutes before your guests arrive. Then you can have the kitchen clean and  you’ll be ready to greet your friends as they come.
    Also, accept help if others offer!  A friend from church did the fruit and the punch.  My daughter came an hour early and helped me finish plating food.  Oh,and having a husband who is so wonderful to do dishes is a super-duper blessing!!!!

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Working ahead is the best way to keep from being stressed.  A relaxed hostess can make her guests feel welcome because she really will be glad they came!

Happy showering!

With love from my country kitchen,

Denise Signature 150 px

organization · Priorities · Refreshment · Time management

Planning Can Bring Rest

All those pretty planners that were sold in the month of December or January were so inviting.  There were stickers and binders as well as pretty pens to mark up the dates.  Did you purchase one?  Maybe you got one from Target or ordered a special Erin Condren version.  At any rate, how’s it going?  Is it still in use?  I think it’s easy to get started in those kinds of organizational tools and then let it slip off into the Ocean of Good Intentions.

Sometimes our feelings of being overwhelmed are due to over-scheduling ourselves.  Over-scheduling can come from lack of planning, and a lack of planning comes from getting a bit careless.  This is true of my own life.  I’ll tuck my planner in the cabinet, then start the week off and realize I’m going in circles, and not really sure what needs to be done that day/week.  The reason?  I didn’t write it down!  Why?  I was just too lazy to sit down and do it.

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If you feel overwhelmed and don’t have a planner, can I encourage you to try some sort of daily list?  It can be written in a simple notebook.  It doesn’t have to be anything fancy to get you organized.  Here’s my strategy:

  1. At the beginning of the week, I fill in all the appointments and daily routines I know I need to do.
  2. Each day I add the other things that I’d like to accomplish, such as blog posts, cleaning, service to others, etc.
  3. As I accomplish each task, I check it off.  This lets me realize at the end of the day, that even if some things were left undone, I did  get some things completed!

If other things come in and keep you from doing what you’d planned, accept it as the Lord’s intervention and go with it!  If you give each day to Him, your time is not your own and He will allow you to do what is necessary.

If you find you’re not getting things done and there was no “Divine Intervention,” make sure to look over your day and see where you’re wastitng time.  You might want to

  • Limit social media until after noon or after those tasks are completed.
  • Get up earlier, if possible.
  • Try to work on a time schedule – write out the time in the day when you think you should be on that next task.

Proverbs 28:19a He that tilleth his land shall have plenty of bread

Hard work pays off.  If we forget to “till the land” (prepare for a future time) we will feel overwhelmed with everything that is left undone.  A little tilling now will allow you to reap more than just bread!  You’ll reap the blessing of a rested heart.

Do you use a planner each day or do you need to start one?

Denise

 

freezer · Meal planning · organization · refrigerator contents

What’s In My Fridge?

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After returning home from vacation, I went to the grocery store for a few things like fresh veggies and fruits, milk and eggs.  Other than that, my freezer and pantry had what I needed to get through a week of meals.  Bulk shopping when things go on sale keeps me from having to buy a long list of items every single week.  I love that!

I thought I would give you a peek inside my refrigerator and small freezer so you can see the standard things that are in there and how I organize it all.   Continue reading “What’s In My Fridge?”

home · organization · refreshment at home

Organization and Embellishing Stack-able Drawers

I hate clutter in my house. I like everything to be put away, however, I have a hard time keeping the hidden places in my house straightened up.  Places like drawers and closets are just hard for me!  I stepped into my pantry and my bedroom closet this week and decided I didn’t like the way they looked.  I’ve never had a walk-in pantry or walk-in closet before, and I am determined to make these spaces not only function well, but also be pretty!

I have a set of stack-able drawers in my closet for belts, socks, etc.  Because the drawers are clear, it looked messy.  So, I took scrapbook paper and lined the front of each drawer with coordinating patterns and colors to give it a neater look.

I have a small table in my closet to hold my jewelry organizers.  I have two necklace trees to keep chains from getting tangled.  I love my earring picture holder my dad made me.  It keeps the fish hook earrings in perfect view!

 I also have a tackle box for earrings and bracelets.  This box is great for travel!

Now on to the pantry ~  I had one little area that needed attention.  I have quite a collection of aprons and just had them hooked through one of my pantry shelves.  They hung on the floor and looked messy.  Soooo, I found a cute little hook at TJ Maxx for $8.  It is perfect to keep the aprons within reach and looking lovely!

Do you have some hidden spaces that need some organization?  Attack one or two spaces this week. If you’re like me, you’ll be happy about walking into or opening that space after you’ve done some straightening!

Refresh by organizing,

Family life · home · Home making · organization · refreshment at home · Work

Breaking the Habit

“Negative Habits Every Family Should Break”  is the title of the series my husband is preaching on Sunday nights. This past Sunday night he encouraged families to get rid of disorganization. The very evening he was preaching his message, I was reminded of why it’s so important for my home to be organized.

As the service was being started, one of our very own missionaries who was passing through the area, felt led of the Lord to come to Boones Creek Bible Church’s evening service. He was by himself, due to his family being away for a few days, and so he was on no time schedule. After spotting him in the congregation, my husband had him come up and pray during the service. When our missionary guest announced how the Lord directed him to our church, and that he was on no schedule, the Lord prompted my heart that he needed to come and stay with us for the night. It was no surprise that when I talked to my husband after the service, he felt the same way. And so, our missionary friend returned to our home after the service.

As my husband was preaching, and I had been given the prompt to invite this dear man to stay with us, I thought, “I’m thankful that everything is in order at the house. I’m not going to have to go home and apologize for the messy kitchen, dirty dishes or laundry piled up on the couch. Whew!” Oh, not that my house couldn’t have used a dust rag or mop in places, but overall, it was ready for a guest to drop in.

Being organized and tidy isn’t only about teaching your children good habits and responsibility, it’s also about being prepared to be used of the Lord when He prompts your heart. There have been times that I would have resisted having a guest enter my home, trust me! But on this night I was thankful that I was prepared – not so I wouldn’t be embarrassed, but because my lack of organization would have caused my husband and me to miss the blessing of serving this servant of the Lord! It was a delight to have him in our home, and to be able to quickly obey the Lord’s leading.

So, if you look at your lack of organization and say, “It’s just my family, and they don’t care!” You’re missing the whole point. First, we’re stewards of what the Lord has entrusted to us (that includes our belongings, as well as the training of our children), and secondly it will free us up to serve others.
Paul reminds us in Galatians 5:1 – Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage. I realize that he’s referring to legalism, but disorganization can also be a type of bondage that keeps us from being free.

Look around your home right now and ask yourself if you’d be good with guests stopping in. If the answer is “No way!” why not start on a path to orderliness? Perhaps you could free yourself from the bondage of disorganization by:
FlyLady cartoon

  • Check out Fly Lady’s “Getting Started” Tips
  • Determine to get rid of 7 things every single day. Put the unused items in a black bag and when it gets full discard it – Goodwill, Salvation Army, Consignment – something!
  • Read Emilie Barnes Books on organization, such as “Organizing Magic: 40 Days to a Well-ordered Home and Life

If this negative habit has been a part of your life, it’s not impossible to get rid of it! Start today and make a little progress at a time. It will be so freeing, and you’ll be ready to serve at a moment’s notice!

Would you be ready and willing to serve others today? What would it take to get you there?

 

home · Home decor · Home making · organization · refreshment at home

Kitchen Pantry Tour

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My pantry is a corner closet in my kitchen.  It holds all my cooking items, so that would mean ~

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  • Canned Goods
  • Baking ingredients
  • Dry Goods
    • Pastas
    • Rice
    • Flours
    • Grits
    • Oatmeal
    • Sugars
    • Dried Fruits
    • Nuts
  • Teas
  • Pudding/Jell-O
  • Cereal
  • Jams, Jellies, Honey

It also holds some paper products

  • Paper plates
  • Plastic cups
  • Plastic silverware
  • Straws
  • Holiday napkins and plates
  • Holiday bags
  • Extra Ziploc Bags

Some seldom used items are stored there.

  • Pressure Cooker
  • Pasta Pot
  • Thermos
  • Small Insulated cooler

So, as you can see, that pantry has lots in it AND I go in and out of there all day long. I tell you all that so you’ll understand why this “Before” picture looks so messy!  It had just gotten out of hand, even though I had a “system” I thought was working.

Pantry

I took a day and half last week and got it under control!

Let me give you a tour of the “After.”  It still has LOTS in it, but it’s labeled better and spread out in a way that doesn’t overwhelm me when I walk inside.

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I’ll show you each shelf:

Up above ~

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I added a little decor inside the pantry.  I hung my “Denise’s Kitchen” sign and my Rooster picture above the shelves.

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I hung my two dust pans on a wall in here.  The small one is only for sweeping crumbs off the tablecloth.  The large one is for the floor.  I was constantly going to the coat closet down the hall to sweep around the trash can and counters.  This makes life easier!

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All the holiday paper napkins are in Ziploc bags and labeled.

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A little vignette on the floor!

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While my pantry might not be the most beautiful with glass jars and empty shelves, it works for me and I enjoy stepping inside now.  My items are accessible and it makes me smile to open the door!  Mission accomplished!

If you didn’t see this post, you can see how I used vinyl chalkboard to cover the door of my pantry!

Do you have an area in your house that makes you grimace?  I hope this inspires you to do something to that space so you’ll smile instead!

Refresh those spaces!

Denise Signature 150 px