A Place to Prepare the Harvest (and a giveaway!)

We are a family of foodies. Good food is a love language and making a dish to share with someone else brings us joy. I firmly believe that the best moments happen in the kitchen, not necessarily seated around the table but in too many hands helping to make dinner, little ones learning to crack eggs and clean up messes, and learning to wait patiently as the fruits of our labor cook on the stove. As we cook, we serve.

There is a little garden at the back of our house that holds a summer crop of tomatoes, asparagus, green peppers, strawberries, and herbs. Raised garden beds built of wood and filled with compost, a place for our daughter to learn to plant and grow, to harvest and enjoy. She helps us choose plants, dig in the dirt, and often runs around the yard snacking on a tomato she snagged off the vine.

In the planting and the cooking we are feeding more than hungry tummies. We are doing our best to be good stewards of this little bit of land and the financial resources with which we’ve been blessed. To be honest, we think nothing of a full pantry, a stocked refrigerator, or a kitchen full of modern appliances. To have a kitchen is completely ordinary for us.

Did you know? Because of you and your amazing generosity there are hundreds of beautiful kiddos in South Africa who will know what it’s like to have a garden. And now? What if we could give them a place to cook and serve and learn about all that wonderful food they’ll be growing? Can we build them a kitchen?

Support #SurprisedByMotherhood & be entered to win! - crystalstine.me

It’s not often that I host giveaways on this blog that come out of my own pocket, but this is one I felt so strongly about that I just couldn’t resist. My husband, the chief chef in our kitchen, considers Le Crueset to be one of HIS love languages. Baking dishes, cast iron pans and dutch ovens in beautiful reds and oranges sit beautifully on top of our cabinets and hang from our bakers rack. Pieces lovingly saved for that bring joy and beauty to the mundane, every day task of cooking. And so it was an easy choice when I thought about what I might want to offer as a “thank you” to those who give to build this kitchen. One of our favorites, for you to enjoy.

#SurprisedByMotherhood – Le Creuset Giveaway

Anyone who donates any amount (whether it’s $1 or $1,000) to the Maubane Community Kitchen & Welcome Center phase of Lisa-Jo’s beautiful project will be entered to win. Simply come back here & fill out the giveaway widget above. The giveaway will close on  Monday, March 17th so don’t wait! You can read all the details about the project, and this specific phase, here.


And don’t forget to head over to Krafty Kash to pick up one of her beautiful “Fall In Love With The World Next Door” necklaces that she’s creating specifically for this project. For each one she sells, she and her family are donating $12 to the Maubane Community Center in South Africa. For this new series she’s offering words that are particularly significant to Lisa-Jo: Love, Home, and Mother. It would be a great time to do some early Mother’s Day shopping, or grab a gift to tuck into an Easter basket!

“Fall in Love with the World Next Door” KraftyKash Necklace   KraftyKash   Vintage Jewelry and Decor

Let’s gather this community around the virtual table to change the lives of 250 orphans and vulnerable children in South Africa. Not because of the giveaway (even though I am pretty excited about it), but because we are women and sisters who see a need and choose to do something about it, wherever we are, no matter how small, trusting that God will multiply our offering and change the world with it. So whether you donate the amount you would normally spend on a cup of coffee, your weekly grocery bill, or a year’s worth of food, will you join me in building a kitchen?

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  • Jamie

    Love this, Crystal! Happy to be a tiny part. And I adore your generous heart!

  • Kate Battistelli

    I love this so much Crystal and I love this community of world-changers!
    Favorite kitchen gadget is a tough one though. I adore my mother’s big white Le Creuset Dutch oven which I use all the time and my grandma’s ancient cast iron skillet. But my fave? Probably my little hand held, battery powered ‘whizzer’ I use for making salad dressing every day! Seriously makes emulsifying oil & vinegar a snap! Oh, and my French press. Without coffee, ain’t no cooking happening anytime soon!!

    • http://crystalstine.me/ Crystal

      Oh amen to that! And I still think you should start the food version of Stitch Fix..ahem…hint hint

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  • http://www.handmedowngrace.com/ Jessica Hoover

    Because I love this project, can’t live without tea, and adore you. Favorite kitchen gadget? Blender. I use it as stress relief some days. Not a super sexy kitchen gadget, but boy does it make a good batch of salsa.

    • http://crystalstine.me/ Crystal

      Also fun in terrifying our toddler 😉

  • http://www.dianewbailey.net/ Diane Bailey

    My favorite cooking instrument is my cast iron skillet and my Le Creuset dutch oven!

    I love your passion for this project!

    • http://crystalstine.me/ Crystal

      Oh yes! I can imagine the dishes that come out of those, my friend :) You need to do more cooking videos!

  • Karrilee Aggett

    I donated and love that we are doing this together… and OH MY GOODNESS – that set? Gorgeous!

    • http://crystalstine.me/ Crystal


  • Sherry Mengel

    My favorite kitchen gadget is whatever my husband uses to cook dinner:) But, if I had to choose one, it would be my spring action cookie dough scoops (a bit OCD about consistent cookie sizes). We don’t own any Le Creuset pieces, however, we’re more than happy to visit Crystal’s on occasion!

    • http://crystalstine.me/ Crystal

      I use those cookie dough scoops ALL the time :) They’re perfect for cupcake batter!

  • leekm2006

    My favorite kitchen gadget, that’s a tough one! I love my keurig if that counts (ha!) but seriously I think my favorite kitchen gadget would be my mixing bowls, so much love and fun takes place when we get them out to bake :)

    • http://crystalstine.me/ Crystal

      Especially when you add a toddler to the mix 😉 hehehe…see what I did there? (i crack myself up)

  • Alia_Joy

    I love Le Creuset, in theory. I don’t actually have any but I smile at them when I see them in the store. And the color matches my kitchen. Your generosity and loving-y-ness <—totally a word, are amazing. Love you, girl.

    • http://crystalstine.me/ Crystal

      loving-y-ness? totally my new favorite word :)

  • Kate

    Just donated! I *love* Le Creuset, but the only piece I have (so far) is my mom’s old, royal blue pot. The handle on the lid is broken, but I still use it all the time .. and it’s probably over 20 years old! Thanks so much for hosting this, Crystal!

    • http://crystalstine.me/ Crystal

      There is something so special about those pieces that are handed down and all the memories associated with them – cracks, broken pieces, and all :)

  • http://www.happygostuckey.com/ Cynthia Stuckey

    WE, too LOVE Le Creuset!!! Love that we are all visiting South Africa together today!

    • http://crystalstine.me/ Crystal

      So fun to take a world-wide trip in our yoga pants ..ok maybe that’s just me..ahem..

  • Holly Solomon Barrett

    Love this post, Crystal!

    • http://crystalstine.me/ Crystal

      Thanks Holly!

  • http://www.lisajobaker.com/ Lisa-Jo Baker

    Gah, LOVE you guys so so much!!

    • http://crystalstine.me/ Crystal


  • Lillian Bracy Milstead

    I have a small garden in my back yard as well. I love eating what comes out of it.

    • http://crystalstine.me/ Crystal

      It has completely changed how I taste food – I love it :)

  • Tonya

    I just love that this community is so on fire for this!!! Just love it!!! So glad to standing shoulder to shoulder “in the kitchen” with you friend!

    • http://crystalstine.me/ Crystal

      Nothing sweeter than time spent “cooking” beside a sweet friend 😉

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  • http://kriscamealy.com/ Kris Camealy

    Love your heart.

    • http://crystalstine.me/ Crystal

      Love yours, too :)