Post # 1
DH has a good friend that he hasn’t seen in a while who, like us, recently got married. We weren’t able to make it to each other’s weddings and so DH invited them to come visit us in Baltimore. I have never met either of them but I am excited to because we don’t have many (okay, any) married couple friends.
So now they are coming to visit over Labor Day weekend! I am getting nervous because I have never had house guests I don’t know! We have a guest room and I plan to pimp it out, but other than that I’m not sure what to do. Should we cook for them? Plan things to do? I don’t want to try too hard but this is their first time to this city and I want to make sure they have a good time.
I know some of you have to be great hostesses, so share your tips!
Post # 3
Cooking for them for at least one dinner is definitely a good idea. You could plan a few meals ahead of time, so you have ingredients or ideas on hand in case they intend to stay in for food.
You could ask them, as the time draws near, if they have any food allergies or anything they really don’t like to eat, too.
I’m sure they’d like it if you had some ideas on things to do together, but it’s nice to not have a packed schedule in case they want to go out on their own. Maybe you can ask them or see if your DH knows what they like to do – outdoorsy, museums, etc.
Playing hostess can be fun! That’s so sweet that you’re thinking of this ahead of time. I’m sure you’ll be an awesome host and your guests will love it no matter what. 🙂
Post # 4
@CattyMN608: DH knows them well and has all these ideas about what we will do with them. I’m worried that we are going to overbook them! As it gets closer, I will just ask them what they want to do, I guess.
That’s a good idea to plan to cook but just play it by ear – that way if we stay in, I have something to make, but if not, then not! I am hoping they want to eat out a lot 🙂
Post # 5
You sound like you’ve got things covered pretty well. One thing I always appreciate is plenty of cold bottled water on hand! They’re easy to grab and go, and if guests feel awkward making dishes it’s not an issue.
Also, maybe get a feel for how activity oriented they are. Some people love jam packed schedules, others loathe them.
Post # 6
The last time we stayed in another couple’s house I ended up feeling totally claustrophobic because they didn’t leave us alone. We were in a city we’ve lived in before, so didn’t really need tour guides. A day or two together would have been great but they went everywhere with us, every day. We were staying on the floor of their living room so didn’t even have a door to close. It didn’t help that before staying with them we’d been staying with another relative, so it felt like we hadn’t had any alone time for ages. And I need my alone time 🙂 So if I was them I would have given us at least a morning to ourselves, maybe met up with us for lunch or a drink in the afternoon. Hopefully you will be able to tell what they need, or your DH will know 🙂
Apart from that, I like to have the guest bed/room set up as though they are expected (including with towels on the bed so they don’t need to go hunting) and a meal planned for when they first arrive. Have fun!!
Post # 7
Make sure they have towels and any other welcome items would be great. I usually end up regretting if I try to cook, because it takes so much energy that you could give to the guests. So I say, eat out and have fun.
Post # 8
As far as cooking goes I would make some things before they arrive and freeze them. That way if you do have dinner at home you don’t have to go through the effort of cooking, just pop it in the oven. If you don’t end up eating at home you can eat those meals with your DH after they leave.
I would also have lots of breakfast items on hand since that is the one meal that tends to always be eaten at home. Cereal, milk, frozen waffles, coffee, tea, etc.
When we stayed with my ex-BFs brother and his girlfriend for a week it was super awkward. They never opened up the kitchen to us but didn’t make it clear that we would need to be bringing our own groceries. I didn’t mind paying for my own food but I wish they would have been upfront about it (we just had to figure it out ourselves..).
Post # 9
You might want to spend the night in your guest bedroom to get a feel for it. Ventilation could be an issue and a fan available could help. Kleenex, an radio/alarm clock and those kind of things are nice. Others have given you good ideas. Most of all, have fun!
Post # 10
Towels on the bed are great! also a hand towel in the bathroom is fantastic too. I always put a soap bar on the towel. Just ones I collect from a hotel. So it looks hotel like 😛 (I know that might appear a bit ?) but the amount of times that I have forgotten to pack soap and had to go out and buy some when I go travelling is annoying!
Waterbottles in the fridge is awseome and when they get there giving a tour of the house so they know where the toilet is and that and where the coffee and mugs are is very important!
I just also say in conversation when we go to bed that Im usually an early riser or something. Just so they dont feel as tho they have to stay trapped in the bedroom till we both get up. Because theres nothing worse than staying at a place and your the early riser but dont want to get up because you might make too much noise for the couples whose house you are staying at.
Also.. have a few spots in mind so if they ask where some place where the coffee is great or lunch is good or tourist attraction, you can answer it! but mostly wing it when they get there. Or just ask what there plans are when they get to yours. Some couples take it day by day what they want to do.
🙂 but its awseome that your thinking about this now! Nothing like preperation!
Post # 11
Thanks for all the advice! I have a list of tips going now to make our home welcoming. I think the general consensus is to not over-plan, but be prepared, in regards to cooking meals and activities?
Post # 12
Sounds like you’re pretty prepared already. And the suggestions you’ve gotten are great. I always make sure to have a bunch of different kinds of drinks and snack available. And clean linens. The activities won’t be hard to coordinate, just have an idea of a bunch of stuff to do, and when they’re there you can all agree on what to do that day. I’d also look into community based stuff, like fairs/farmers markets/museum events that might be held only during the time they’re there.
Post # 13
Make sure you’re pretty well stocked for their arrival. Drinks (both alcoholic and soft drinks) and food as you don’t know yet how much you may be involved in their stay – you may find yourself without the time to shop!
I’d make them dinner for the first day. Of course have the bed done up for them and leave them some towels on the bed so they have them there if they want to shower right away. I’ve always been taught to clear out a space in your bathroom for them to put their toiletries and clear at least one area of your cupboard so they can put stuff away.
If you have a cordless phone or something in that room I would either unplug it or move it whilst they’re there. Just in case you get an early or late phone call.
Buy some extra shower gel and toothpaste and have an extra toothbrush on hand in case they forget to take some (I always do when I go stay somewhere!).
I’d have a few suggestions as to stuff that they can do and discuss it over their first dinner. Offer them whatever time you can to go out with them and show them yours and your DH’s favourite places.
And have fun! House guests can be a great source of fun and activity. You definitely won’t be bored whilst they’re visiting!
Post # 14
Yup, I think everyone has it covered!! When we have guests over, we usually wait till they get here, and have some things planned, but say let us know what you feel like doing. I give them a couple suggestions (although when I had my 20 year old cousin and his two buddies here they were like ah, just make a decision for us, we can’t make up our minds!)
And someone mentioned to let the guests know not to make them feel like they have to wait in their rooms until you wake up. Great idea. We tend to wake up earlier than others when we’re at their home, and feel awkward leaving our room to grab breakfast from the kitchen before them. They’re our good friends, so I’m sure they didn’t even think to tell us since we’re so close, but we still feel a bit awkward!!
Knowing where essentials are, or stocking before hand is great too. Toilet paper, towels, drinks, extra toiletries, snacks.
Post # 15
Yep, the best hosts I’ve ever stayed with had towels (and more than I needed), extra pillows, a multispeed fan, lotions and toothpaste and stuff all in the spare bath/bedroom, lots of extra toilet paper in an easy to find place (I always feel SUPER awkward finishing a roll at someone else’s house, because you either have to root through their stuff or else be like, “I used all the TP because I poo a lot” and ask where it is), and they walked through their schedule for each day with me the night before, and made themselves available but didn’t try to schedule me too much. 🙂
They also bought lots of easy to grab snack-y foods that I know they don’t normally eat – muffins, granola bars, mini bags of chips, etc. so that if I wanted to snack, I could do it without feeling like I was raiding their groceries. She even had a ‘snack basket’ that she left out on the counter in the kitchen so I didn’t have to dig through cupboards to find stuff.
I also agree with the bottled water comment.
Post # 16
A delicious breakfast suggestion- Blueberry Delight (from kristakooks.blogspot.com)
1/2 cup butter, softened to room temperature
1 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup milk
2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
Cream butter, egg, sugar and salt until fluffy. Combine flour & baking powder; add to creamed mixture slowly. Slowly add milk, mixing well. Add blueberries & pour into greased/floured 9X9″ square pan.
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup softened butter
Combine all 4 ingredients & place on top of batter. Bake at 350 degrees for 35-45 minutes.