Thursday, November 5, 2009

Simple & Affordable Ways to be a Fabulous Hostess.

An overwhelming number of you contacted me about Tuesday's post, asking for ideas on hosting people in your home on a budget. These readers showed interest in doing things similar to what my Mom does for her guests but were concerned about the cost. As you know, I am now a full time At Home Mommy and Husby is in Medical School. So, if ANYONE knows about being destitute, well, it's me. So, I'm going to give you some tips on how to be an excellent hostess with any budget!

First off, get to know your guest. In my Mom's case, I am her daughter, Husby is her Son-In-Law, and Levi is her grandson, so she knows us already. But. Regardless of that fact, she pays close attention to detail. When I mention a cookie I love or have been craving, she has a platter of them waiting for me when I arrive. If Husby says he likes a certain soft drink or coffee, Mom actually writes these things down so to make sure to have them in her refrigerator or next to the coffee maker when he comes. Take notice of what your guest enjoys, whether it be a treat you can bake and have waiting for them, or having their favorite magazine laying next to their bed when they turn in for the evening. All of these things could be picked up in your regular grocery shopping trip, and if you are concerned about going over the grocery budget, forfeit something for yourself that week. Your guest will take notice that you prepared for them in this kind way.



Use the Dollar Store or Clearance Aisles in your favorite stores. The Dollar Store is a hidden treasure. Say, for instance, you were hosting people with babies or children. There are aisles of cheap, cheap, cheap toys, diapers, wipes, and even onesies in case there is a mishap with their outfit. It's nice to have these things on hand for people with children, simply because Mommy's often lose their brains. And along with losing their brains, they forget very important items! (Like the other day when Levi and I ventured out of town without any wipes!! AHHHH!) Also, the Dollar Store has every toiletry item on planet earth. Buy a cute little basket for a dollar and fill it with toothpaste, toothbrush, soap, etc. It doesn't have to be anything fancy, but just filled with necessities in case they forgot something. Also, the travel aisle in Target is fantastic for this type of thing. Cheap and easy!



Be Prepared. Lynzee from Crafty Corners e-mailed me and was concerned about the lack of baby items in her home for her far away nephew that only visits a few times a year. She loved the ideas Glam*Ma had with the crib and other things, but she doesn't want to buy any of these items since she is single and doesn't see children in her future. So, she asked for some tips for when he comes over! Part of being a good hostess is PREPARATION! You do not have to buy anything! One of my friends moms lives in another state and only gets to see her grandbaby a few times a year. When they do come to visit, she borrows a bassinet, play pen, play mats and a high chair from younger moms in their Church and neighborhood. Genius!! It costs her nothing and it saves the traveling family so much stress of lugging pack and plays and toys from airplane to airplane, and car to car. Also, if you feel weird about borrowing other people's items, be on the look out at yard sales. They have the best baby stuff for cheap. Think, people use baby items for a few years max. So yard sales are a great place to find useful items for cheap. Another friend of mine does this and she stores the large items in her garage when not being used.



Think Fresh! There are few things in life as pleasant as a fresh bouquet of flowers next to your bed. Purchase these at your local farmer's market for good prices, or drive in the country for a few miles and you're sure to find some beauties!



Treats to Take Home. If you have an Old Time Pottery or Hobby Lobby near you, head over there and stock up! These are super cheap places that carry good quality items. Something I love to do is buy a cute seasonal platter or bread pan and have sweet treats waiting for them. When they gobble up the sweetness, they can then take the plate home with them! It's so easy, so cheap, and it sends a huge message. People LOVE getting fun stuff, and all women love things for their kitchen.



Make Their Room Comfortable Some people don't like to come out of their room once they are ready for bed. Make sure they have everything they need in that room so they don't feel stuck. Place a few snacks by their bed along with some bottled water. Again, have their favorite magazines lying on the bed. Place a fan in there so they have that option. Have extra blankets and pillows in case there is an allergy you aren't aware, or they may just like to sleep bundled up. Remember that basket of toiletries we made from the Dollar Store, place that in the bathroom near the sink so they know it is for them. Have a fresh bottle of shampoo and conditioner in tub. I don't know about you, but it freaks me out when I go to someone's house and use their half used shampoo. I feel like I am invading or something. Have an alarm clock by the bed in case they forgot theirs.

Those are the biggest tips that I can share that will impress your guests in a huge way. I hope I helped out those of you out there with questions. You don't have to be well off financially to prepare for your guests - any budget will do! Just take the time and effort to show them that you care. And that you are so happy they are there.

I love these kinds of topics!! It just makes me want to have everyone over! So what are you waiting for? Come on!!!

28 comments:

  1. Thanks for sharing...these are some great tips!

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  2. It's great!! Thanks for these tips!! They are so helpful!

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  3. I am so bookmarking this post!

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  4. Great ideas! I love when people come to stay with us! It doesn't happen often, but these are great tips! I even have a guest book in our guest room for people to sign so we can keep a documentation of the loved ones who have stayed with us! It's very special, and people really enjoy leaving a note!!!

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  5. Such great ideas...we are having company this weekend, and I'll be sure to use some of your great ideas! :)

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  6. Great tips, Whitney! You ARE your mom, I can tell!! :)

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  7. I really think you & your mom should write a book.

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  8. Oh this is a wonderful post. I always take a lil trip to the clearance sections & the dollar stores. You never know what your going to find. Thanks for the tips!! =)

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  9. Great tips! I love all your ideas. Keep them coming!

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  10. Great tips! We have been entertaining for a long time and had to learn all this as we went along...it is so nice for the young hostesses today to have such great information at their fingertips!

    One thing I do before people come is to find out about food allergies and dislikes...that way I wont serve anything they cant eat!

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  11. This is such great advice! I totally agree with SB that you and your mom should write a book!

    Here's a question for you: What do you do about feeding guests when you have them? I am a super picky eater, so I'm always nervous to cook for guests in case they are picky too. But cooking is MUCH cheaper than eating out - and often way more fun! Any advice?

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  12. What a great post! They are all good ideas! Thanks for sharing

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  13. What great tips! I currently live with my roommate and lately our house has become holiday inn during football season in a college town. We love entertaining - I will definitely keep these things in mind after I get married and welcome guests in my own home!

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  14. Wonderful tips!! I am in love with the dollar store. You can find wonderful things there. Another great place to look is resale shops for used children's items. My mom has purchased things for her nephews there (since it's been 15 years since she's had a baby in the house) so when they come to stay they are comfortable. I will definitely be sharing your post with my readers!!

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  15. So fun! Thanks, Whitney! Love it. I just need an extra bedroom now so that I can host someone! ha ha! (-:

    ~K

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  16. You mean my guests didn't like sleeping on an air matress in my office? Haha. I wish I had a house and could have a guest bedroom. These are great tips! Now I want someone to come visit me so that I can do all of these things :)

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  17. You should do posts like this more often. You make being a mom, wife, hostess, everything seem easy! I'd love to hear more how-to's from you! So, put on your advice pants and get to it, missy!

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  18. Great tips.

    I am new to your blog, found it through a friends blog. Super cute. We have the same designer too, the design girl!!

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  19. Your mom is THE BEST hostess. She has ALWAYS taken everything into consideration. Even if it's just for lunch. This is a great post. Great tips!

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  20. Great tips! Thanks so much for this. As a girl well on her way to becoming a housewife, your blog is HEAVEN. :)

    Best wishes thanks again,
    Carrie from [carrotspeak.]

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  21. I like the idea of buying a platter and putting treats on it - that is usefull in MANY different situations, I plan to use it as thank you gifts and as hostess gifts!

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  22. You are spot on that being a good hostess is not about money but about time and attention to detail. Think about what makes you feel comfortable in someone's home and do likewise.

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  23. Looove this post! My mom and my future mother-in-law are wonderful hostesses, and I can't wait until I get married next year and have an actual house instead of a tiny apartment to host get togethers at!

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  24. I love all of these things! The other night Ty's parents came to stay after a football game. I had to be at the airport the next morning really early and they didn't get in until about 1 a.m. I left them several things on their bed including a handwritten note. I'm all about the little details.

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  25. We're waiting for directions :)
    I love having people over too! It's driving me nuts to be in a camper right now, and not have space for guests.

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  26. I think these are great tips and everyone should live by them!!!! :)

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  27. Greta tips girl...the Dollar store and Old Time Pottery are def. great places to checkout! :)

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  28. I have guests coming this weekend and I had saved this post so I could refer to it when my next guests came. I blogged about it today :)

    http://grahamcrakas.blogspot.com/2009/12/i-read-this-post-about-being-good.html

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May the Lord bless you and keep you safe today! Thanks for the comment, friends! :)

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