Tuesday, April 22, 2014

How to Be the Best Hostess EVER

First things first...

You've entered YESTERDAY'S GIVEAWAY-- right?. {If not, you can go do it now.  I'll wait.....}

And now to the issue at hand... HOSTESSING.

On Easter, it struck me all over again how blessed I am to be part of such a great TEAM with my Mom and Jill. We can really put together a nice meal.  Sure... each of us can also do it on our own.  But, as the non-hostess, how EASY is it for me to bring just a side dish to help out? And guess what?  That's one less thing the hostess will have to worry about making/baking, refrigerating/storing, or even purcha$ing!  [There are many ways to help a hostess, and lets just say it... financially is one of them.]

I spoke to a sweet lady on Easter Sunday who was stressed out about getting home in time to put the potato casserole into the oven.  She was worried about what her daughter-in-law would bring -- because they never communicate that ahead of time.  She had a bit of an attitude about others who would be coming to lunch, and hadn't offered to help at all.  When I told her our "system," she admitted that her bad attitude and stress was probably her own fault, because she'd never asked for help, or suggested what anyone could bring.  She tried to do it all herself.

There are times when that is appropriate, and it works just fine.  But usually in those situations, you have already mentally prepared yourself to carry the entire workload.

I would like to suggest that part of being a good hostess is realizing that your guests cannot/should not be expected to read your mind!  Don't be afraid to ask your guests to help out, and if you have something specific in mind then, by all means, be specific.

And of course, there's the other side of the coin.  Part of being a good guest is offering to help in some way. The "party" is much more interesting when teamwork is involved!

What are your thoughts about being the "Best Hostess EVER?"

FROM EASTER :: We enjoyed an awesome meal at Jill's, and I came home with these photos.  I laughed, thinking "this is how you know your kids have grown up.... when you come home with only photos of THE TABLE!'  Oy.  But it WAS a pretty table!

Monday, April 21, 2014

Green is the Color of Spring (and a GIVEAWAY!)

Green is also the color of the newest Heritage Collection jars.  Have you seen them?  They are a stunning shade of green that is so great when the light hits them -- reminds me of beautiful Depression Glass.

You probably know that I am crazy for canning jars.  <--- Click there to see my Pinterest board!  They fill our cupboards loaded with dry goods, are situated around our home in decor-mode, and [get this] we're even thinking about actually learning to CAN around here - LOL.  I know, right?  We're in DEEP.  You can see the evidence, HEREHERE, and HERE.

Needless to say, I was excited when Jarden Home Brands {who now manufactures the Ball brand} graciously offered to let me review one of their products, and these green Heritage Collection jars arrived on my doorstep.  These particular jars are quart-sized and wide-mouth, although the jars also come in pint size, regular mouth.

My jars have been pressed into service holding my ever-present straws, ground coffee beans, and they stand at the ready for buds and blooms too!  Come fall (not to rush the seasons), I can totally see my hubby using these for his giant batches of homemade applesauce!  (The wide-mouth style will certainly be easy to fill!)

The wonderful people at Jarden Home Brands would like you to have a set of these pretty jars too!  Just check out the Rafflecopter box at the bottom of this post to see all of the ways that you can enter for a chance to win a set of six quart-sized, wide-mouth jars.

Contest ends 4/30/14.
The winner's name will be posted at the top of THIS POST soon after, and will be contacted via e-mail.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, April 20, 2014


He is risen INDEED!

Matthew 28:1-6a
     After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb.
     There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it.  His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow.  The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men.
     The angel said to the women, "Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified.  He is not here; he has risen, just as he said."

Blessings to you this Easter Sunday.  Stop and consider Jesus' sacrifice on the cross for you!  And don't forget... HE IS RISEN!  Hallelujah!!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Recipe: Baked Ham & Noodles (Casserole)

I have fond memories of eating this casserole as a kid.  It wasn't necessarily in the regular rotation of meal choices, but I enjoyed it each and everytime it DID come up in the rotation!  This is about as basic, basic, basic as it gets, folks.  It's nothing wild and crazy, or hot and zesty.  It's just simple and down-home, because you know... I grew up on a farm and all that... ummm.... NOT.  But you get the idea.  Comfort food at it's finest (and a great way to use up leftover ham!)  Maybe you'll have some of that after Easter Sunday?  Just sayin'.

LOL - don't talk to me about the irony of this happy pig-face for a pork recipe!
I know, I know... but I couldn't resist!  *wink

Baked Ham & Noodles (Casserole)

12 oz. pkg. wide egg noodles (or your favorite kind of noodle)
2 cups ground or finely chopped ham
1 small onion (I use dehydrated)
1/4 cup milk
salt & pepper

Cook noodles according to package.  Place layer of noodles in buttered casserole, then a layer of ham, and sprinkle some onion, salt, and pepper.  Repeat, layer by layer until all ingredients are used, ending with a layer of noodles on top.  Pour in milk, but (depending on casserole size/depth) make sure the milk doesn't cover the top layer of noodles.

Melt a tablespoon or so of butter in a small pan, and add a handful of breadcrumbs.  Stir over low-medium heat (watching carefully) until butter is absorbed and breadcrumbs are toasty.  Sprinkle over casserole.

Bake for one hour at 350F.


Blessings to you and your family this Easter weekend as we celebrate our RISEN SAVIOR!  How will you celebrate?  My own family will be together for worship on Sunday morning (there is no better worship than on Easter Sunday!), and my extended family will gather for lunch at Jill's.  Guess what she asked me to bring?  (THIS!)  Whatever your plans, enjoy the blessings of the day!


Linking with:
Jennifer Rizzo for Fabulously Creative Friday
Craftberry Bush for The Inspiration Gallery

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Balm for the Soul

I often find myself thankful that I taught our kids to say important words like:

"I'm sorry."

"Will you forgive me?"

And in response to someone who says those words to them, to say:

"I forgive you!"

These are important words to say and hear, and I believe it's imperative to teach your kids to be able to say them sincerely, and in a timely way, and to receive them with openness and grace.  This exchange is balm for the soul!

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