Sunday, November 14, 2010

Gearing Up for Holiday Guests

I had to throw out my decorative beaded pumpkins last year due to some damage. I might replace them with these pretty ones from Z Gallerie.

Are you ready to host holiday guests? Even if you don't have any plans for family or friends to visit, you might want to see if your guest room (or pull-out sofa) is ready for company. You never know who might drop in, or if someone will get stranded from weather-related problems. Or someone might need to stay the night after over-imbibing at your cocktail party!


  • Look over the two remaining weeks of this month. Need to make any doctor, dentist or vet appointments? Need a haircut, dye touch-up, hair trim or manicure? Who has a birthday coming up? Do you have a couple of quiet nights at home booked in and solidly enforced (meaning if someone calls to invite you somewhere on that night, you firmly say no, sorry that's my down time?)

  • Anybody in your household need to schedule a haircut so they look nice for Thanksgiving?

  • Are you taking holiday pictures? If you take them now, you avoid the crowds and rush, and you might be able to deliver them in person on Thanksgiving!

  • Make menu plans for the week ahead; create grocery list; shop if needed


Today I'm thoroughly cleaning my guest room. I recently painted it (a lovely turquoise/teal peacock color) and redecorated. Nobody has slept in it yet since the redesign - I intend to sleep in it this next week just to test for its comfort.

Last week I removed all the furniture from the room, laundering the bedding so it wasn't dusty, and vacuumed the mattress.

After I painted, I vacuumed the carpet, dusted baseboards and closet doors, washed the windows and sill, and wiped down the lamps. I don't have any curtains in the room yet, just a pull down blind that needs to be replaced soon with something more attractive. So I don't have to worry about laundering curtains today.

Is there room in your guest room closet for guests to hang their clothing? Or do you have it cluttered up with stuff you're storing? Right now I need to remove some toys that need to be sorted and make their way to the toy box in the nursery next door.

I'm putting a L'Occitane "Red Fruits" candle (and a book of matches) on top of the bookcase (high enough that visiting toddlers or nosy puppies can't reach). I'll make sure there's up-to-date bottled water in the room for guests to drink.

I have two lamps, an alarm clock, and a box of Kleenex within easy reach of the bed. I keep a selection of four different sleeping pillows on the bed for someone to choose between. I recently bought some inexpensive ones at Costco - I don't like to keep a pillow around for more than a couple of years due to dust mites.

Have you ever slept overnight in your guest room so you know if the bed is comfy, the blankets adequate, the pillows restful, the lighting good for reading in bed, and the temperature in the room ideal?

Are you hiding clutter in your guest room (under the bed perhaps?) that needs to be sorted, sold, given away, thrown away or stored elsewhere in your home? I used to store my holiday dishes under the guest bed, but last year I moved them to a bin in my storage area in the garage.

Right before guests actually arrive (perhaps as soon as next weekend) I'll spritz the room with just a tiny bit of pumpkin-scented room spray, put fresh flowers in the room, and perhaps a small tin of Tea Forte tea cookies on the nightstand for guests to help themselves to.

LOVELY BLOGS: Mowielicious

A blog by a London-based baker, photographer and food stylist. There is a lot of beautiful eye candy to look at here, not just of food but also his travels and explorations. It's definitely a picture-heavy blog, so I hope you have a fast Internet connection. You'll want to peer deep into the blog's archives, I'll bet.


Browned Butter Cranberry Lime Muffins (Joy the Baker)

Chefs' Tips for the Thanksgiving Meal (NY Times)

Hard to Kill: Houseplants For the Inept (NY Times)

15 Handmade Hostess Gifts (Martha Stewart)

6 Thanksgiving Turkey Recipes, from Traditional to Trippy (CHOW)

Smoregasbord (Bakerella)

10 Fall Color Schemes (House Beautiful)

Toasted Marshmallow Milkshake (Joy the Baker)

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