Quiet and common notions...shared here...with you! Of life ~ our hearts and our home.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Mugs & Muffins :: Guest Post on Hospitality by Heather Hoover and a Lilla Rose Giveaway {now CLOSED}

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   Welcome, welcome, welcome!!

It's good to be back here - bright and early, this Monday morning with another Mugs & Muffins Guest Post and Giveaway... oh, and a yummy muffin recipe, as well!  If this is your first time of coming by here, checking out this Mugs & Muffins thing...then to you, I am especially delighted that you've come.  
Make yourself at home!!  Please...
I can't wait to share this one with you!  My RL (in real-life) friend - Heather Hoover will be sharing with us today.  Sharing, with us, a topic that is very near and dear to my heart.  Heather does not have her own blog but perhaps after today - we can convince her she should write and keep a blog. :) Needless to say, after reading her words you might conclude that this gal might not be able to sit still... long enough... to write. Lol!  I have the privilege of knowing Heather in real life and this gal is a riot.  
Love, love, love her!!

Let's get right to this.  Pull up a chair and gather close.  We're here, together, to be encouraged.  And, I trust you are.  If you haven't grabbed your cup of coffee, do so now.  And we'll pass around the tray of muffins... :)  Don't you wish?   My daughters are eager to help...

They look scrumptious... and that's because they are!
The recipe, for Heather's Pumpkin Muffins, will follow at the end of the post, today!

Here is our guest, now...
:: Hospitality, at home and away! ~ Heather Hoover

I’m going to spend some time today talking about something Bevy’s talked a lot about!  Hospitality!  I know Bev has covered it and promotes it, but I'm going to have a different approach to it! If you have ever gotten overwhelmed at the thought of having someone over for coffee and muffins, you’ll love this post.  I mean we can't all be Bevy! (Bev: Hey! HEY!!)

I went thru a phase in my life where I had people over almost every Sunday after Church.  And guess what? I didn't even know who!  I just got lots of food ready and we invited whoever we felt like that day.  I loved it and my kids loved it.  I’m not sure my husband loved it.  In fact, I know he didn't love it!  Now, however, my life has changed a lot and now I guard that Sunday lunch with just my family!  I really don't want to have anyone else over.  (Except you!  If you would show up at my church I know I would have you home!  Even my husband says every now and then “Hey, so and so is here, you better invite them over!”)

I’m in the stage of life where I’m running!  We have piano lessons every weds night, baseball 2-3 nights a week, swim team 3-5 times a week, kids club once a month, 4H meetings and responsibilities, chorus concerts, open houses, birthday parties, and you know how endless the list is!  My husband and I try to keep a tight rein on the schedule.
By the way.  This is NOT Heather's calendar...it's just a Stock Photo!

But even with doing the minimum, it still gets very busy!  I love having that Sunday lunch time for just us. And even better, my husband’s home.  He rarely eats supper with us during the week, so it’s great for all of us to come together! Even the neighborhood kids know we are eating lunch together and won’t play.  Of course, they still call just to make sure!
So where in the world can I be hospitable to people?  I really don’t have any more time to have people over and I really feel like I do need to guard my family’s  time. 

Well, I've come up with a few solutions.  Most importantly, hospitality is, I believe, a state of mind.  Being hospitable means being welcoming. We can welcome people wherever we are, not just in our own homes!

Here are a few examples:

When I’m at swim team practice, it’s so nice to sit with my “old” friends and chat!  We have a lot to catch up on after all!  It’s about 4 of us moms love to talk!  But I try very hard to not sit with them every night!

I sat one night with a Mom who is raising her children in the Jewish faith.  We spent the evening talking about how important we both feel family is and how to balance the time with children’s activities.  She struggles because for her, the Friday night Shabbat is very important similar to our Sunday lunch.  However, there are many practices and games and other events that fall on Friday nights.  So she struggles with how many to do and how many to skip. I had such a great time talking with her.  It reminded me that other people are struggling with the pull of the world’s activities and their family’s needs.  It wasn’t easy for me to go and sit on a different bench away from my friends who were having a great time chatting and laughing. But what a rich time I had, sharing mutual struggles with my new friend.

Sometimes we take our supper to the games or practices.  If you bring extra you can share.  Muffins! Pumpkin Muffins.  They're easy to make, they make a lot and it's one recipe that everyone loves.  So, an idea might be:  you can pass out muffins to all those other little kids your younger kids might be playing with! Who wouldn't like to be known as a Mom who brings muffins to games? (the recipe will be at the end of the post!)

One evening at swim practice, my usual cohorts weren't there!  What to do?  I hadn't brought a book, and my phone doesn’t always get internet in the pool area. So I couldn’t just hide in my smart phone.  I was going to have to talk to a person.  In fact, I was going to talk to someone I didn’t know! I started talking to the mom next to me.  She is from India and I will admit, it wasn't the easiest conversation I have ever had!

But we kept talking and understanding, one another better. We spent the evening chatting about supper times! Traditionally in India, supper is served late like 9 pm.  I asked her if she did that here in America.  (She does not.) We commiserated on how hard it is to feed children easy nutritious meals, especially when practice times are the traditional meal times. Then we realized our daughters were in the same grade and therefore both in orchestra practice together.  When she told me her husband was traveling for business and she couldn't figure out how to do all the transportation, I was happy to help.  I picked up her daughter from orchestra, fed her lunch and took her to the swim meet. My daughter got to know her daughter better, which was helpful during orchestra practices. Another friend and ally in this crazy world!

One evening after baseball practice I asked several other families who I really didn't know all that well if they would like to go to the Dairy Queen after the game! I believe most people are looking for an excuse to go out for ice cream. And/or just to get together with other families!  

That was a great night in getting to know other parents and other kids on the team.  I love the sense of community that comes from being on a team.  I have learned to know so many other people in my town, and I love it!  The more people I know out in the community, the safer I feel having my children being involved in sports.  I feel now like there are always other parents around I trust, in case it’s a night where I have to drop my kid off and go.  Isn't that a great feeling?  That comes from people building a community.  If you attend Church, you probably feel comfortable dropping your child off in Sunday School.  Right?  Well, part of the reason is, is you probably know the teacher.  That’s how I feel at sport events.  But it wasn't always like this. 
It’s from getting out of my comfort zone and talking to other parents.  Especially the parents I don't know!

One other way I've been able to show hospitality is thru my business.  I am actually a consultant for a direct sales company...Lilla Rose.  Because I have inventory in stock, I often have people stopping by to come and buy things.

Now, I don't necessarily brew some coffee and make them a great recipe from Bevy’s blog, but I do sit down and we talk.  Sometimes it’s a business transaction only.  But ofttimes we talk about life and kids and husbands and working.  And maybe even a prayer thrown in there.  I would have never thought having a small business in my home would have me practicing hospitality, but it happened.  The nice part of that is I don't feel like I have to prepare foods or even clean my house.  And it doesn't inconvenience my husband!  He’s not even home when they come over!

I've really come to think of hospitality as a welcoming heart.  No matter where we are!  Maybe you can be welcoming to your neighbor kids.  I’m currently working on that one myself!  Bevy and I would love to hear how you have welcomed people wherever you are.

We are also having a giveaway.  I, Heather, will be giving away my very favorite Lilla Rose flexiclip.  It’s not even available anymore.  This is a purple flexiclip and has these great words on it; “Faith Hope Love”.   As you can see in the picture, it also has a removable charm that says “Mom”.  If you aren't a Mom, you can still wear this flexiclip. The picture shows it both ways.

If you are even wondering what a flexiclip is, you have to try them out!  It’s a fabulous hair solution!  And seeing is believing.  They look pretty unassuming but they work!  Isn't that what you want?  An accessory that actually works!

If you don't win the giveaway, no worries.  There are still plenty of great things available for you.  Like my favorite hairband! Stop by my website or, if you're local you may contact me to meet me somewhere!  I would love to help you get some happy hair! 

Thank you for letting me share with you, today! 

Your entrance to the Giveaway!! 
Share with us... a time... when you were either a recipient of someone's hospitality "on-the-go"...or you took the time to go out of your way; blessing someone else.  This is solely meant for encouragement purposes.

How did it make you feel?  You came away with...

Each comment, either of your own or a reply to another's comment earns you one entry.  Let's dialogue... shall we?
As well.  You can LIKE Heather's Facebook Page - for another two entries.  Let me know you did so in your initial comment.  Thanks!

Have fun!!

** This GIVEAWAY will end on Wednesday - the 18th of June! at 10:00 pm, EST.  The winner will be notified and announced later in the week..
It is okay to enter for this giveaway - even if you don't have a blog of your own.  Please be sure to include your name and way of contacting you..
** THIS GIVEAWAY is NOW CLOSED.  Thanks for participating.

:: Recipe::

Pumpkin Muffins
4 eggs
2 cups sugar
15-16 oz can pumpkin
¾ cup vegetable oil
¾ plain yogurt
3 cups flour
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp salt
2 cups chocolate chips  (I used the mini chips..)

In a large bowl, beat eggs, sugar, pumpkin, oil, and yogurt until smooth.  In a separate bowl combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and salt.  Add dry ingredients to pumpkin mixture and mix until moistened.  Add dry ingredients to pumpkin mixture and mix until moistened.  Fold in chocolate chips.  Put one quarter cup of batter in a each muffin cup.  Bake at 350 for 17 minutes or until done. (A toothpick comes out clean).

Share and enjoy!

Thank you, so much, to each one of you for coming by, today! I hope you enjoyed...
Special thanks to my friend Heather for sharing, so vulnerably, her heart!  I know I've been challenged to get out of my comfort zone and be a bit more hospitable.  All around.  Not just in and from my home - but while out and about.

 How about you?

Thanks for reading, here today and have fun in and with the Giveaway!  See you next time!


  1. Heather, I agree with Bevy that you should begin blogging! LOVED your post today...and enjoyed hearing your idea of hospitality. I agree wholeheartedly! We went through that stage of having people over every Sunday, then we guarded our family time on Sunday, and then of late God has been teaching me about hospitality being a condition of the heart...stepping out of my comfort zone and reaching out to others that I don't know very well, or perhaps not even at all. Thank you so much for sharing here today and for sharing the recipe!

    1. Dianna.. it sounds like you're right in the midst of where Heather's coming from. Great stuff!!

      Do you have any specifics of where stepping out of your comfort zone... blessed you as well as the "receiver"?

    2. Dianna, thanks for the note of encouragement! It seems like we are trying to attain the same goal!

  2. I'm new here, and love this post. I'm a grandma, and the grands are all grown up, but who doesn't like a muffin?! Thanks for sharing!!

    1. Welcome Terri! Good to have you come by..

      You get to share all kinds of things - being a grandma and all.

  3. i like heathers take on hospitality! i try and look IN THE EYES of waitresses, cashiers and other mothers, or someone who meets my eye and looks like they are not having a good day. we seldom take time for eye contact and dont mean it when we do. i try and put a lot of feeling in my eye contact. i guess thats my version of showing hospitality when im out and about. great post!

    1. This is good, Janelle. I know what you're saying. And - because of that - you're efforts in being more intentional; eye contact, etc., will open more doors for a conversation.

      So good to hear from you, here! I think of you often..

    2. What a great way to welcome people. I am wondering how you put a lot of feeling in your eye contact! LOL!!! I think it's easy to sort of see right thru the people who are helping us. People like waitresses and cashiers, it's easy to forget they are people! Thanks for the response!

  4. Great post by Heather.. Yes, she should blog but it sounds as if her schedule is already packed...I love the idea of hospitality on the go.....I tend to look at ways to makes others feel welcome wherever I am..even in the grocery line..I also agree that family time is very important.. as a Pastor's wife.. mahy years ago.. I would cook large meals on Sunday and invite whomever...great times! My kids are all grown and spread out so I miss the fellowhship of a large supper table.. I spend my Sunday evening opening my home to a group for Bible Study. whoever wants to come.. My hubby makes cookies or brownies...yes, my hubby..:). One of my greatest holdbacks...it my perfectionism.. I have learn to let it go more as I have gotten older.. Hospitality is a giftedness that comes from God.. we should welcome all but I think God gave some a little extra dose of it.. Pumpkin muffins sound yummy! Bevy is the Best! I love her simple appoarch to things.. Thanks for sharing Heather.. Blessings!

    1. Oh Patty! You bless my socks off.

      I love learning a bit more about you just here in this comment alone.

      I totally hear you in the perfectionism. I had to chuckle when you said about God giving some an extra dose of it. This is where "practice hospitality" (Romans 9:12) comes into play. Don't ya think? It's never easy...and we get in our own way far too often...just keep trying. Just keep practicing...
      I need to, that's for sure!!

      Thanks for coming by here. You're so sweet!

  5. Such a wonderful post... Hospitality is something that I have always dreamed of... but I always thought of it as owning a Bed and Breakfast, or hosting people in my home... I really never thought of it as something as simple as "Eye Contact" or a "Simple Hello" to someone "NEW" ... I love it though... I have always envied people that have the big cookouts, dinners, and I have thrown a few but I was miserable, exhausted, and never really got to enjoy... and yes it was mainly because I focused on Perfection and it stole my joy for sure... so I don't do any get together's anymore except for just my little family... and that has become enough...more importantly joy filled... and relaxing...
    I loved this post... and what a beautiful Giveaway... Heather, Girl your writing is a blessing... I am only a reader/friend of Bevy but I have to say, she has blessed me over and over...

    1. Connie - you coming here is always a breath of fresh air. I thank you!! Funny thing is.. I used to think the exact same way - about B & B's and big get-together's, etc.

      Here is my biggest challenge... thoughts on hospitality. It starts at home! Simple enough but the hardest to hold to. ;)

      Thanks for coming by!!

    2. Connie,
      Thanks for your reply! Thank goodness we don't have to have B&B's to show hospitality! That's not my style at all! I have had big dinners here and even though I do love it, I do get miserable and exhausted! Ha! Now, my next problem is having a daughter who is very hospitable and wants to constanty invite people over! She's already planning a BIG party for next July 4th! I'm trying to gently squash that dream!

      Thanks for your comment!

    3. Heather, its funny that you mention your daughter, my daughter is total opposite... I even have encouraged her to invite some girls over, and her comment is they are in my space... she loves home and looks at it as her private space... So I let her be... she has had sleep-overs and she said she didn't like to entertain... lol... she is 16... it just shows how different everyone is...

  6. One of my favorite topics Bevy and what a fun give-away!

    So nice to meet you Heather. I think your right. Hospitality is a state of mind. And as much as I thrive on having folks in my home or being invited to someone's home for a meal or coffee and dessert, I think the simplest form of hospitality begins at home in the everyday...

    When the children set the table for supper or offer water to a visitor hospitality is simple, holy and beautiful to me in our home. . And when I have a cold glass of tea ready for a hardworking husband when he comes home from work I feel is a fine way to offer hospitality.

    Loving and serving my family day in and day out I think is one of the finest ways I can offer a sacrifice of hospitality to the Lord!


Thanks for coming by, today! You're visits always mean so much...

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