Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Preparing for Holiday Guests

Are you ready to host your holiday guests? Even if you don't have any immediate plans for family or friends to visit, you might want to check to be sure your guest room (or pull-out sofa) is ready for company. You never know who might drop in, or if weather will suddenly strand someone overnight at your house. Or perhaps someone might need to stay the night after over-imbibing at your cocktail party!


  • Look over the remaining few days of this month. What appointments do you have coming up in the next few days, if any? Who has a birthday coming up? Do you have a quiet night at home booked in and solidly enforced (That means if someone calls to invite you somewhere last minute on that night, you firmly say no, sorry that's my quiet time?)
  • Anybody in your household need to go get a quick haircut so they look nice for Thanksgiving?
  • Sniff your house. Need to spray some home fragrance, burn a pot of cinnamon sticks on the stove, or light some candles?
  • Do you have your bags packed and host/hostess gift ready, if you're traveling or going to someone else's house for Thanksgiving?
  • Anything you need to start cooking or preparing before tomorrow?
  • Pay any end of the month or beginning of the month bills you have laying around, in case you forget during the holiday festivities.


Plum Chenille Throw, from Pier 1 Imports

Today I'm thoroughly cleaning my guest room. I've kept it pretty clean, but it's been unused and I worry about it smelling dusty or feeling "closed up." Also, I've kept the door closed most of the time, but pets have wandered in - I'll want to be sure they haven't left anything behind (pee, fur, bones and chew toys).

I'll launder the bedding so it's fresh smelling, and I'll Febreze the curtains and throw pillows.

Next I'll vacuum the carpet, give the baseboards and closet doors a quick dusting, wash the windows and sill, dust the nightstands and bookcase, and wipe down the lamps.

Let's check - Is there room in our guest room closets for guests to hang their clothing? Or do we have it cluttered up with stuff we're storing?

I'll make sure there's bottled water in the room for guests to drink, and a box of Kleenex within reach.

I have two lamps and an alarm clock next to the bed. I keep a selection of four different firmnesses of sleeping pillows on the bed for someone to choose between.

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? We won't have time to experiment with this before the holiday begins, but it's something to think about before the December holidays.

Are you hiding clutter in your guest room (under the bed perhaps?) 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 instead.

Right before guests actually arrive (perhaps as soon as next weekend) I'll spritz the room with just a tiny bit of cranberry or cinnamon-scented room spray, put fresh flowers in the room, and set a thoughtfully curated collection of magazines on top of the bookcase.

LOVELY BLOGS: The Spice Train

This blog focuses on recipes that celebrate spices. Nicole blogs from the Rocky Mountains west of Denver. Currently she's sharing recipes for pumpkin spice desserts for Thanksgiving; her recipe for Hummus with sumac; and her inventive Nutmeg Sweet Potato Stacks.

LOVELY BATH AND BODY: Almond Glazed Shampoo/Shower Gel

I may set out a bottle of this new shower gel in my guest bathroom for holiday guests to enjoy. From Philosophy, it's a limited edition that can be used as a bubble bath, shower gel AND shampoo. I think it's a nice transition scent between fall and winter.

Almond Glazed Shampoo and Shower Gel, at Sephora

LOVELY GIFTS: Monarch Desk Calendar

I like to think there are a few people out there besides me who still enjoy paper calendars and allow them to take up space in our homes. I love this 2015 Monarch desk calendar that's made to stand up on your desk like an easel. The calendar is by Rifle Paper Co. The artwork features female monarchs from a variety of countries, including Tonga, France, Scotland, Hawaii, India, Nigeria, and more. The illustrations are gorgeous! I was thinking this might be a nice gift for your stylish aunt, history or fashion loving sister, or that fabulous gay uncle.

Monarch Desk Calendar, on Amazon


Chart: How Black Friday Invaded Thanksgiving (Mother Jones)

Chocolate Caramel Apples (The Bearfoot Baker)

Cranberry Pie with Thick Pecan Crumble (Smitten Kitchen)

How Famous Artists Would Plate Thanksgiving Dinner (This Is Colossal)

How to Keep Your Cool Traveling with 41 Million People (Time)

Is Turkey Actually Good For You? (Time)

Let it Snow and Make a Pot Roast (The Culinary Cellar)

Southern Side Dishes for Thanksgiving (Homemaker in Heels)

Surviving Holiday Small Talk (The Atlantic)

Vegetarian Thanksgiving Recipes (101 Cookbooks)

Watch How Macy's Creates Their Holiday Windows (CNN)

Why Americans Call Turkey 'Turkey' (The Atlantic)

--Copyright 2014 Lovely Living

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