When you go to the “discount” party store, do you almost pass out at the cost of the paper goods, decorations, and party favors? I am always shocked how much I can spend on themed merchandise. If you have felt the same way, I have some budget-friendly ideas that will help you create a festive atmosphere for happy kids.Read More
SHARING JOY | a blog by beth williams
What do you do when your outdoor children’s party is under threat of being rained out? This is a question that can make parents shudder in terror and children sound, what I call, the horn of disappointment (you know, that nasally ‘Awwww’ sound with an accompanying sulky, slow walk followed by tears). Since for many, postponement is not a desirable option, here are some last-minute ideas for a good plan ‘B’. By the way, the reason I am covering this topic right now is because this is actually my current situation for child number four.Read More
Are you intimidated by the prospect of making your child’s birthday cake? I know the feeling. About 14 years ago, I just got sick of my ideas not coming to fruition because I was lacking some basic cake decorating skills. I ended up taking a course to improve but that’s not for everybody. So, for those who are not terribly confident of their skills in this area, I have a shortcut for you.Read More
What traditions are important to your family? Some of them take money, but if you stop to think about it, I bet the most meaningful ones are essentially free.
When I was growing up, we had a family tradition of having breakfast in bed on our birthdays. Mom would arrange a tray with our favorite pastry (chocolate éclair) adorned with a candle, plus our birthday card and a gift. The family would line up, bed hair, P.J.’s, and all, to sing “Happy Birthday”.Read More
My job was décor and cupcakes. Since it was a kids’ swimming party and I had my typical budget, $0, I headed to Dollar Tree. Pool noodles came to mind as a great starting point. While I was there, I picked up plastic table cloths and sand pails too.
Do you ever want to host something but think your house just won’t be good enough for it? I challenge that thinking with an old saying, “There’s no place like home.” I have been to events, like baby showers and birthday parties, that were held at churches or activity rooms. But I have to say that I much prefer the atmosphere in homes. There is a certain amount inherent warmth and comfort in them that is not present in large halls, which sometimes bring to mind chirping crickets. It is also much easier to make a home look festive. Of course, there are space limitations but not everything needs to be inside and you don’t have to host 50 people.Read More
What is it that moms really need on Mother's Day. In a nutshell, they need to feel loved and valued. But that looks different for everyone. The book, The Five Love Languages, speaks to this. In my case, I love acts of service. So on Mother's Day that means, I don't cook and get the day off. Cards and flowers in some form (usually something plantable) are a huge bonus. But others feel more loved with gifts. So this list really speaks more to those in that camp. In “Gift Ideas for Mother’s Day Part 1” I shared some thoughts for traditionalists, foodies, and hygge-ers. Here are four more categories to investigate for that special something for Mom. Click on the item names to find out where to buy them.
Are you struggling with what to get your mom for Mother’s Day? (Did you realize it's less than two weeks away?) Admittedly, women are simpler to buy for than men, but it is still not easy to find the perfect gift for them. Here are just a few tips and ideas that may get your juices flowing to appeal to the different sides of your moms.Read More
I know that this blog is about home and hospitality. But I am going to stretch that a little to include an aspect of parenting which causes anxiety and distress for some but energizes and brings out the theatrical in others: the school project. There is no need to be intimidated. You are not building something that needs to last, in my case, longer than two hours. Hot glue, paper clips, duct tape, and staples are your friends. It is not going in your home. You are not offering it as a product to sell. So, for all you perfectionists out there, just remember what a friend told me in college as we were working on costumes for The Music Man: “No one will notice on a trotting horse.”Read More
Are there things in your world that are just too mysterious to tackle? I am not talking about the supernatural. I am talking about crafty things and DIY. One of the main purposes of my blog is to empower people and to take the fear out of projects. One said project is canvas stretching. You may ask, “Why in the world would I need to know how to do that?” Well, the fact is that the technique you use to do this job is the same you would use framing textile artwork, making a padded bulletin board, or upholstering seat cushions or headboards.Read More