Be a grateful guest when staying overnight

In my last entry, I shared tips on how to be a gracious hostess when having overnight guests. Now it is time to turn the tables and share how you can make sure you are not a burden to your hosts. The principles are the same – communication is key!

1. Prepare your host appropriately for your arrival.

  • Be accurate with your arrival/departure plans. Showing up early can cause problems – they want to be sure they are ready for you. And showing up late is just rude. You don’t want them to spend hours waiting for you.
  • Notify your host ahead of time of any special needs. It seems like a given, but make sure that it is ok before you bring pets, or children. If you have any allergies, make sure that your host is able to accommodate your needs. If you have any disability or any physical needs, or if you need more privacy that they will need to accommodate, make arrangements beforehand.
  • Also, if your host offers you their own bed, you should decline. Of course, if you have a disability or injury, are an elderly person, or have children that need a confined space, this is a definite exception. But, as much as your host may love having you live with them, it is still a sacrifice to provide for you. You should make it as pain-free as possible.

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How to be a gracious hostess to overnight guests

Last fall, I shared tips on how to be a fabulous hostess for dinner parties. With summer upon us, you may find yourself hosting overnight guests. Whether it’s friends or family, hosting overnight guests can be tricky. Follow these recommendations, and hopefully your visit will go off smoothly. (Quick disclosure, I did find these fabulous posts from Simple Mom and Classy and Fabulous).

1. Prepare your guest for their living situation. If at all possible, provide a private area for your guest. If you have a guest room, this is easy. However, you may not. If that is the case, be sure to set that expectation with your guest so they are prepared – ear plugs, more modest sleeping attire, etc. Keep in mind your guest’s personal situation. If they are older, have an injury or disability or kids that need to be contained, you should absolutely offer to let your guest use your room. A gracious hostess will always offer her room to any guest staying in your home – however, a good guest will decline (unless one of the above factors is in play). Also, if you have any house rules (No shoes? Lights out at 11?) be sure to communicate these ahead of time. Having these conversations ahead of time will allow your guests to feel at home when they arrive.

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Summer BBQs–Festive decorations for your parties!

IMG_3802Summer is finally upon us! Which means it is time for summer BBQs with friends! In Seattle, summer doesn’t really begin until the 4th of July, which is truly a perfect excuse for a party! Here are some fun, easy, and INEXPENSIVE ways to create festive decorations for your holiday party table.

One day, while home sick from work, I was watching the Nate Berkus show and was inspired by an episode on thrifting. He had a segment with a fantastic blogger, Mr. Kate, who created a beautiful holiday table with all thrift store finds. With a little bargain hunting and couple cans of spray paint, you can do the same.

Do a little shopping

Mr. Kate went into the thrift store imagining beyond just what she was seeing. Sure, that ceramic eagle figurine w/ the muted pastel colors and the weird eyes looks pretty creepy now, but spray painted white, it’s a great accent for a 4th of July table. Those slightly rusty metal bowls have great lines, and with a couple coats of navy blue and a cloth napkin liner, they could be the perfect bowl for your buns. And, at 30 cents a piece, you can spray paint the handles of thrift store silverware for a fun look. Whatever you can’t find at the thrift store, you can supplement at the dollar store. I found plates and napkins at the Dollar Tree – they fit in perfectly!

Here are my finds: Continue reading