Short-cut Hospitality with Guest Joy Forney (And idea swap & share)

It is Friday swap and share for our online study of A Life That Says Welcome. Before we share our decorating ideas and links, let’s hear from today’s guest, the lovely Joy Forney.

Here she is!

Hi! I’m Joy from Grace Full Mama and I’m so glad to be here today! I am the wife of a missionary pilot and mama to 5 and we live in Indonesia.

I love hospitality….in my head.

Early in the week, I am feeling full of energy and ready to invite people over for fellowship on the weekends.

And then…. the weekend comes and I wonder, What was I thinking?

The house is a mess, I am tired, and all I feel like doing is getting in my jammies with a good book.  It’s in those moments of exhaustion that I need a pick me up both physically and mentally so that I can truly enjoy the company that I have invited!

Here are my quick tips to prepare for company, especially when you are feeling a bit run-down:

1. Prepare the day before. Is there anything I can do ahead of time to make it easier? Can I make cookies ahead or prep any ingredients?

2. Plan a simple yet fun dinner.  One of my favorite go-to meals is BBQ Chicken Sandwiches, Coleslaw, and Baked Beans.  Just throw 4-5 chicken breasts in the crockpot with a bottle of BBQ sauce on low for about 5 hours {it will make your house smell great!}, shred the chicken, and serve on rolls. Simple and tasty!

3. Take a nap. Schedule a little down time before your company comes to rest a little so you have full energy to welcome other into your home.

4.  Light some scented candles, turn on some soothing music, put some flowers in a vase, and turn down the lights! Ambience will help you as well as your guests relax and enjoy the evening!

5. Relax and have fun! Now your guests are here and you are ready to embrace them with love and welcome!

Great ideas. Thanks Joy!

Now, Joy has a giveaway for one of you; a $25 Target gift card to buy candles, music or a decorative item.

The winner will be chosen at random from one of you who shares a decorating tip today. Do you have a simple idea? A homemade craft? A link to a clever centerpiece or do-it-yourself project? A way to use old items for a new purpose?

Leave your idea in the comment section. Or leave a link with a clever idea you have stumbled upon on the web. (don’t leave more than one link per comment or my site will reject it)

Or, if you have a blog, use the link up below to showcase your blog post here with your decorating piece. I can’t wait to see your ideas!

Don’t forget to come back over the weekend for more encouragement.


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  4. Fresh flowers go along way! I go SAMS so I don’t break the bank and would like to plant some hardy ones so I could avoid buying :-)

  5. My decorating idea is what I call a “Blessings Wall”, it’s a wall in our house full of pictures of family and friends. It’s a great way to fill a large wall and a great conversation piece. I will be posting on my blog this week -sorry I’m behind :(

  6. Two easy decorations good any time of the year are:

    1. Simple White Candles in a decorative vase, bowl or hurricane lamp. I use river rocks, coffee beans or depending on the season — season candle to line around the bottom.

    2. Fresh Flowers. You can usually pick up a small bouquet at your local grocery store for 5.00 or less.

  7. I made faux mirrors out of old (and some new Dollar Tree) picture frames and I LOVE them! Krylon makes a reflective spray paint perfect for this craft. Just find some picture frames, take the glass out, and spray paint the back side following the directions on the can. When they’re dry, the flip side of the glass will then be reflective like a mirror – pop them back into the frames and you’ve got mirrors! I like the distressed look, so I took some masking tape kind of wadded up and randomly “patted” the paint when it was dry. The tape peeled off little bits of the paint resulting in a distressed look. I made somewhere around 10 of these “mirrors” with mismatched frames and plan on making a collage with them. We are getting ready to move in about a month and I can’t wait to put them up in our new place!

  8. I have a dear friend who gardens and shares of her talents freely. Me? I have a brown thumb, but I love the $5-10 bouquets of flowers at our local grocery. It always put me in the right mood for sharing something beautiful.

  9. I am very big on candles. I like to get new ones but if I see a decent looking used one at a garage sale for 25 cents, I may even get that. I was at a garage sale and I noticed to plain white candles that sat on clear holders. I decided to put ribbon around them and give them a personal touch. I loved it. Now, I decorate them according to seasons!

  10. For Thanksgiving I bought a few plastic Thanksgiving Kids Table plates that are fun colors. I put them on a table with a stuffed animal turkey as the cernterpiece and it helps the kids to feel loved and included too, even if they are at the Kids Table.

  11. With limited space….I like it to feel relaxing if someone is over so I will try to keep a candle lit so it smells good and sets the a relaxing mood.

  12. For our dining room table I have had my daughter color pictures, then use a clear table cloth over the pictures!

  13. I find that my schedule has been very full so when I feel in the mood for baking I’ll make something and freeze the remainder to save for another time. Let it thaw and then find a nice bowl or container to put it in. I like to do little munchies around in cute bowls around so everyone can much on them. With each season I try to add some little decoration for the season. Or a nice way to present the food.

  14. I have a hanging vase that I try to change monthly. Like if Feb, I put plastic hearts in it. In Apr, I fill it with Easter eggs. In May and July, I fill it with American flags and a red bandana. Sept. has lots of school supplies. Nov. has fake leaves and mini plastic pumpkins. Dec. is different ornaments. I try to check the dollar store or Michaels after a holiday for stuff on the clearance rack that I can use the following year.

  15. Fresh Flowers from the yard!! Always brings a smile to companys faces…and the nice smell of a candle and maybe a magizine or two.

  16. Saw a great idea for coloring Easter eggs .. Instead of using cups, use a muffin tin. Put a different color in each muffin tin. Seemed to be less messy! Great if you are hosting an egg dying party!

  17. I love having a pretty centerpiece on our dining room table – fresh flowers, or more often, a display of MANY scented candles with soft artificial light.

  18. I have learned to not tidy up/clean up my house too much when I invite friends over. I have repeatedly had friends make comments about feeling comfortable in my house because it’s not so perfectly setup. At first I wasn’t sure how to take that comment – was my house too messy – but then I realized she meant it in a positive way. It made her feel better about her house. So I do clean up, but I don’t knock myself out to make it perfectly tidy – afterall there are five of us living here.

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