The Ultimate Guide For Taking Someone A Meal- Etiquette 101: Hospitality Delivered

The Ultimate Guide For Taking Someone A Meal- Etiquette 101: Hospitality Delivered

I’ve been writing recently about the beauty of bringing someone a meal (here and here). It’s truly a wonderful and simple way to make someone’s day. I’ve been on the receiving and giving side of meals more times than I can begin to explain, so I’ve learned some helpful tidbits along the way. I figured why not compile all the nitty gritty details into one super helpful ultimate guide? So here it is!   The Ultimate Guide To Taking Someone A Meal- Etiquette 101: Hospitality Delivered 1. Make Contact and Schedule your delivery:    ~Initial Contact    Contact the recipients to find out if they would be interested in receiving a meal. Letting them know you would like to bring a meal is the first step.  I know we aren’t always planning ahead, and sometimes bringing a meal is incredibly spontaneous, but it’s definitely polite to let the recipients know of your intentions. Ask the recipients if they have any allergies, food sensitivities, likes or dislikes.  Taking a moment to find out this vital information and following the recipients dietary needs & preferences is so greatly appreciated.  Wouldn’t it be a bummer to prepare a meal centered on shell fish only to discover after the fact that the family is allergic or perhaps dislikes seafood or are Vegetarians? Awkward! That could easily be avoided by simply connecting ahead of time to find out that important information.  Find out if the recipients are in need of additional meals beyond the one you’ll be bringing.  Life changing events like having a new baby, a death in the family, or even moving into a new home can...
17 Little Known Ways To Get In The Mood To Cook When You Just Don’t Feel Like It

17 Little Known Ways To Get In The Mood To Cook When You Just Don’t Feel Like It

Restoring joy in the home kitchen is one of my greatest passions and driving reasons for WHY I started “Savoring Joy”. Though I’ll be the first to admit that being in the kitchen isn’t always a joyful experience. And there are definitely times when I just don’t feel like cooking. Like at all. But I’ve learned some ways to help combat those feelings, get my booty back in the kitchen & in the mood to cook even when I feel like it the least. So how do you get in the mood to cook when you don’t feel like it? 17 little known ways to get in the mood to cook when you just don’t feel like it.    1.) Flip on some tunes. Listening to music is a powerful way to lift your mood and increase energy.  This is one of my favorite playlists to turn on when I step in the kitchen and don’t feel like cooking (minute 14 is when one of my favorite songs begin). It instantly ignites a desire to create something wonderful!  (Proof- I was listening to it when I made this delicious butternut squash mac and cheese!) YUM!  2.) Disconnect from Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest. Gasp! Yes, I mean it. Sure they all have their purpose and place, and yes I use all three of those sites like you might, BUT haven’t you ever hopped on just to check ONE thing and then realized 30 minutes had gone by? Whoops… Social media can be wonderful, but it can also be a black hole that zaps all of your time & energy. So if you’re hoping...
Product Spotlight: Mary & Martha

Product Spotlight: Mary & Martha

I ADORE dishes. Let me clarify- I’m not talking about the act of doing dishes. No, not so much. I adore pretty dishes. Anytime I’m in TJ Maxx or Target, I tend to gravitate towards the kitchen and serving ware isles. I especially enjoy looking at all the colorful designs and reading the words printed on the mugs. (Isn’t owning a great mug just awesome!?) Maybe I’m alone in my pursuit to find a great mug, but having the right cup just makes a difference to me. I guess I can explain it in the same way a great outfit can impact how you feel in those clothes, a great mug can impact how you feel as well. At least it does for me. (Little secret– I will always opt to dine-in at a cafe if it means I can use a real mug and not a paper cup to-go.) Coffee mugs are one of the things that we didn’t register for before getting married. My hubby and I both enjoy a unique cup, so we left those purchases to be something we gather eclectically. For our plates and bowls, on the other hand, we went classic and opted for solid white. And I love them. The plain white is the perfect backdrop for letting the food stand out as the star. But then I was given these little beauties and I am even more in love! Mary & Martha Dishes These two pieces are from Mary & Martha’s Melamine Collection called “This is the table before the Lord”. Just like my favorite mugs, these have beautiful colors, words that...

How Food Can Say “I Love You”

“Food is symbolic of love when words are inadequate.” -Alan D. Wolfelt Isn’t that the truth?  Sometimes words really aren’t enough.  But food can be a powerful and yet simple expression and extension of love. I’ve been on the receiving end of meals more times than I can count.  They’ve come in celebration of our son Isaac’s birth and moving to a new home.  They came when I was on bed rest and dealing with severe morning sickness.  They came when I tore my rotator-cuff and was recovering from surgery.  Whether in times of hardship and desperate need or times of joy and celebration, the times my family has received meals are times I think of with deep gratitude.  There’s just something special and warming to the soul about having a meal prepared for you. A neighbor of mine recently had a death in her family.  I don’t know their family well, but I know circumstances enough to know that they are grieving.  I decided to step up and be neighborly, but a sincere gift of flowers and words on a card just seemed to fall short of what I wanted them to feel.  I wanted them to feel loved.  Thought of.  Cared for. Not forgotten during this very difficult time.  I wanted them to know that even when things like this happen and things don’t make sense, that there is still something worth living for.  (Granted, only God can comfort them in ways that they are craving in this time of grief), but I just felt that there was something more I could do to assure them that...

8 Things I’ve Learned From Breaking Up With Meal Planning

Image Source: Walt Stoneburner   Meal planning and I have had an extensive love/hate relationship.  I loved the benefit and rewards that meal planning brought to my life, but hated the effort and attention that meal planning demanded.  We have a long and complicated history of being on again & off again. But like all relationships, you always learn something. Here are 8 things I’ve learned from breaking up with meal planning:   1.     I spend a lot of money on last minute take out.  Dinner time rolls around and the question of “What’s for dinner?” spurs on a conversation that ends with me ordering take out for my husband to pick up.  Team work at its finest. 😉 2.    I often go hungry.  Sometimes I actually forget to eat because I don’t have anything planned.  And then I get over hungry and the result is lesson #3. 3.    I have the potential to be a very anxious and “hangry” person.  Familiar with that word? That’s when you are hungry AND angry.  It’s not a pretty combination.  Angry about being hungry. Angry at the world.  Enough said. 4.    I have the ability to get totally and completely overwhelmed with the responsibility of making food for my family. Without a plan, I can walk in and out of the kitchen several times a day until I just collapse from emotional and mental exhaustion. 5.    Food stored safely in the confines of the fridge has the mysterious ability to disappear and only reappear when its at the point of no return.  Money (& yummy potential) down the...
A Beginner’s Guide To Food Sensitivities & Allergies

A Beginner’s Guide To Food Sensitivities & Allergies

A mama in our Savoring Joy Community recently emailed me this urgent request: “Help! Where to start?! No dairy for 3 of us, no nuts for 2, no gluten for 1 maybe 2, (all have to) cut back sugar…???” Does her cry for help resonate with you? Discovering food sensitivities and food allergies can be very difficult emotionally, physically and mentally. Depending on your current lifestyle and the severity and precedence of the food you’re sensitive or allergic to, it can be a HUGE adjustment.    I understand this mom’s desperation.  I know how complicated and challenging adjusting to a new way of eating because of food sensitivities can be.    Last year I was faced with a ridiculously long list of foods that I could no longer eat because of leaky gut (intestinal permeability).  That’s another story for another time. But bottom line, I get it.  I TOTALLY get it.  I’ve had my own journey with oppressive food sensitivities so I understand the challenges they present. Imagine the burden of trying to accommodate each family member’s sensitivities every meal you eat together.  The mom who emailed me was trying to confront not only every new food allergy & sensitivity, but also every additional food dislike and preference each person had, and try to somehow manage putting food on the table that everyone could eat and enjoy.  How overwhelming!    Can you imagine how many different dishes she was anticipating having to make to please everyone?  That is enough pressure and restraints to drive a person into pure insanity or depression.  Straight up crazy talk. Thankfully, I have a simpler solution for her, and for you....