Thursday, October 13, 2016

Tips for Getting Your Home Guest Ready

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Hey friends!  We are already into the middle of October, and before you know it, the holidays will be upon us!  We host a holiday dinner at our home, and this year we are having guests!  My daughter's boyfriend will be staying for the whole week, and my sister and niece and nephews will be visiting too.  All of this company I am planning for has got me thinking about how I need to get my home in order and prepare to welcome guests into our home, and I thought now would be a great time to share some tips and tricks for getting your home ready for guests!  I will also be sharing a really yummy smores recipe with a twist because we are looking forward to some time by our fire pit with family. But before we get started, I want to make you aware that the picture above is a shoppable image, courtesy of Big Lots!  So if you click on any of the items pictured above, you can click a link directly to that item, how cool is that?

First things first!  I like to have time to just relax and chill with guests, and what is better than family time by the fire and s'mores?  Well, s'mores with strawberries on them, of course!  Everything I needed for my s'mores I found at Big Lots, except for the strawberries.  I'm always pleasantly surprised to find great food items when I shop there!  They really do have a great selection of food, and things are easy to find!  I have plans for us to make s'mores on a crisp Fall evening next to our fire pit, but you can make these in the oven if you don't have a fire!  I actually used the oven to make the one that are pictured below, just for the purposes of photographing them.  But trust me they didn't go to waste.  They were scarfed up in no time flat!

Strawberry S'mores Recipe

Graham crackers
chocolate bars (I used Hershey bars, but you can use whatever kind you like)
Fresh strawberries- sliced

Break graham crackers in half and lay them out on a tray, plate, or flat surface
Roast marshmallow to desired meltiness over the fire
Place roasted marshmallow on graham cracker
Break off a square of chocolate and place on top of hot marshmallow
Place 2-3 strawberry slices on top of the chocolate
Place other half of graham cracker on top like a sandwich.  Enjoy!

To make these in the oven, heat oven to 375, and place the graham crackers on a baking sheet. place a marshmallow on each graham cracker and bake to desired meltiness, remove from oven and place chocolate on marshmallow.  Place back in oven for 2 minutes, and remove again.  Add strawberry slices and the other half of the graham cracker.  Enjoy!

I photographed my s'mores on one of these super cute bamboo boards that I picked up.  I only owned one of these (that I allow people to cut on, hehe)  Since there is going to be more than one chef in the kitchen, I thought adding a couple more of them would be great! I stacked these right on the counter up against our backsplash so they are handy for anyone to grab one.  And I am actually going to let people cut on these!  Big Lots actually has so many great items for the kitchen, pretty much everything you need to fully stock your kitchen!  I love to browse the aisles because I always find something I just have to have!

When there is company around it is nice to have paper plates and  cups for hot drinks on hand for them to use.  Sometimes it is just easier to use disposable things like this, especially when you have company.  That way you can spend less time washing dishes and putting them away and more quality time with friends and family.  I like to keep a variety of hot drink choices around for guests, and I thought this tea looked really yummy!

My entire family was so happy to see these disposable coffee mugs come home with me!  I have to keep reminding them they are for guests, but they are chomping at the bit to use them!

I'm going to be spending some time getting the house clean and organized before we welcome guests into our home too, and I was so happy to find a large container of Magic Erasers, these are great at cleaning up just about everything and I keep them in stock all of the time.  I wanted to make sure all of our bathrooms are stocked with wipes, and I will leave these out so that people can clearly see them and be able to use them.  And Tide Pods will be in plentiful supply.  I want our company to feel free to do their laundry while visiting.  I love it when I have an opportunity to do laundry before traveling home.  It makes unpacking so much more simple when everything is clean and ready to be put away.  

One thing we never have enough of when we have guests, is pillows.  So I bought a couple of brand new pillows  so that we will have plenty to offer people.  

Having an empty laundry hamper on hand for guests to use is a good idea.  And I really love this one because it pops up and then you can fold it back down flat to store it if it is not in use, making it the perfect guest hamper!

In case you missed it, I am in the midst of renovating our guest/children's bathroom for the One Room Challenge, which you can read more about here and here.  Since this is the bathroom that our guests will be using, I wanted to add some of the finishing touches that this room needs so that it will be complete and ready to be used my multiple people.  Starting with this hanging shower caddy. This shower doesn't have a lot of places to sit supplies, and our children's items take up most of the space, so I thought this caddy would be a great solution because I can stack the kids things in it, and the existing storage in the shower will be freed up for guest's things

While I was at it with the shower area, I decided to purchase a fresh and cozy bath math.  This one is sooo nice because it is memory foam, and I love the creamy plush color and texture of it!  The old rod we had hanging in this space was getting to be nasty, and it had been in the house since we moved in. So I hung a new one with new rings to match the new hardware we are installing.  It makes for a nice cohesive look, and the shower area will be fresh and clean for our company.  So now, I can feel good allowing guests to use this shower.  

We were in desperate need of some fresh new towels and washcloths.  I don't replace things like this often enough, and we were overdue for some new ones.  I have a large basket sitting in this bathroom, and I washed and folded them and placed the whole bunch of them in the basket so that they are out in plain sight and easily accessible for guests.  

And I figured this basket was a perfect place to keep the wipes for guests because they are right out in the open, yet contained.  So people have easy access to them- this is right across from the toilet.

Just another little added touch to the vanity is this marble tooth brush holder.  When guests are staying I will have the children place their toothbrushes in the drawer so that guests can have a convenient place to put their tooth brushes.  

Having a small electric heater on hand is something I think guests will appreciate, because some of the kids will sleep in our downstairs family room, and it is significantly cooler down there.  I particularly like this one because it has over heat protection.  So I won't have to worry about someone accidentally knocking it over or something.  

I feel good knowing that I did these preparations ahead of time so now I feel like our house is ready to welcome company!  Well, except for the cleaning like a crazy woman up until the last minute part, anyway!  Ha!  Big Lots has everything you need to prepare for family and other visitors in the coming months ahead, and it is my go to store for all of my consumable items, and more! My store is always clean and well organized, and the staff there are fantastic!  Big Lots also carries a huge assortment of high quality home decor items that are fashionable and on trend! I put together this collage below so you can see where I found these items in the store.  

Are you having company this holiday season?  If so, I hope you can use some of these tips to help prepare for them!  What do you do to get ready for company at your home?  I would love to hear any tips you might have that I didn't mention hear today.  Tell me all about them in the comments below! I love your comments and read every single one!

Do you have champagne taste and a tiny budget like me?  Love fashion, DIY, crafting, all things vintage and thrifty?  Stick with me, I've got you covered!
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