Thrifty and Practical

As long as the pineapple remains

A few months ago I was chatting with someone who had been researching hospitality. I’m always up for learning more nerdy facts about things, so I was super intrigued when she told me about pineapples and hospitality.


Apparently, pineapples are a symbol of hospitality. When European explorers, conquerors, settlers (whatever you want to call them) arrived in the Caribbean islands, they knew a village was welcoming if it had a pineapple at its entrance. This symbol was later translated to housewives a couple hundred years later in America. They would place a pineapple on their fireplace mantle or on the table to let everyone know they were welcome. When the pineapple would mysteriously disappear it  meant it was time for guests to leave. Or so the legend goes.

Since we moved from a 3 bedroom to a 5 bedroom house a few months ago, I’ve been thinking a lot about what it means to be hospitable. This is mostly because we intentionally made space for guests and people in need of a place to stay. While I can’t speak on behalf of those who have stayed or are staying with us, what I can say is that I’m sure our neighbors think we’re the crazy family who has too many cars at their house and a constant stream of people coming in and out.

What I realized is that hospitality is a state of heart not a state of house. It’s about being generous, friendly, and welcoming. Wherever Josh and I lived we always seemed to max out our space with people. We hosted small groups, had theme parties, and birthday parties at our tiny 1 bedroom apartment in Toronto. When people spent the night on our super uncomfortable futon, it was in our living room. We continued to do the same in our 3 bedroom home, but our friends and family now had an air mattress and slept in one of our kids bedrooms. No matter what season of life, we intentionally tried really hard to make our home a place where others felt welcome.

If you ever come over and the pineapple is gone, you know something has seriously gone wrong.
If you ever come over and the pineapple is gone, you know something has seriously gone wrong.
I found this amazing gold print of a pineapple at Hobby Lobby and stuck it on my living room wall. It’s become a running joke with anyone who has the patience to hear my pineapple history that as long as the pineapple stays on the wall, they are welcome to stay. So far it’s never come down.

seek to show hospitality.

Romans 12:13

Thrifty and Practical

Crash course in hospitality

If you desire or think you have the gift of hospitality, you will notice and discover some people who are amazing at it. 

The coziest bed ever. Fresh, crisp linens and fluffy pillows.

My mother-in-love (because law just sounds bad) is one of the best hostesses I have ever met. From the moment you walk in the door until the moment you leave, you are fed, cared for, and pampered. And it’s not just any food, it’s the best meal you’ll have eaten in months. It’s not simply that your basic needs are met, it’s all of those things that you need with an extra dose of flair and love. You lack for nothing and her couches, chairs, and beds feel like home (but way better than your own home)!


The entryway when we arrived. Candle, fresh flowers, and a birch branch found fallen in the woods.
She’s a genius at creating an atmosphere of beauty, peace, and relaxation. I think it’s because every corner of the house is its own little vignette. For example, the bathroom downstairs has this little chair with a tiny homemade pillow on the counter. Tiny things are so cute!  

Her bottle collection and button collection are stunning in both size and diversity. 


This is just one grouping of her gorgeous, colorful collection.

A taste of her lush button collection – jars upon jars of beautiful buttons.

Maybe it’s because I’m not a collector or maybe it’s because I don’t have the knack for thrifting that she does, but I’m always impressed with her ability to mix and match styles, play with color, and bring life to fabric, china, and anything else she discovers. 
One of the cutest outdoor spaces complete with lanterns and cosmos.

There are certain individuals whose eye and appreciation for beauty are beyond good. I’m constantly impressed because their home is an ever changing, ever beautiful palette. Some people are so creative in their use of objects, color, and space it astounds me. To those individuals like my mother-in-love, keep it up! The world needs more spaces in which to feel at home and at rest. 
Garden perfection.