One of the best parts of this time of year is that we get to welcome family and friends into our homes.  I absolutely love to entertain and have a few key systems in place to streamline the process.

• Food & Beverages •

I try to always keep a few staples on hand, so that if we have unexpected guests drop by, I can offer them something yummy to eat.  My current favorites are a wedge of espresso cheese, fig spread, and crackers, all ready-made and easy to pick up in the deli section of my grocery store.

I also keep frozen puff pastry in my freezer because it’s so versatile–I use it to make everything from chicken pot pie to these delicious pear tarts:

|  Pear Tart Recipe  |

We usually have beer and wine on hand for guests, but if you’re craving something fancier, Moscow Mules are always delicious–and those copper mugs are so festive:


|  Moscow Mule Recipe  |

Prosecco and St. Germain (elderflower liqueur) is also a refreshing combination that pairs perfectly with a fire and a good book!


|  Prosecco & St. Germain Cocktail |

Not to brag, but we’re kind of known for our cocktail recipes over at 11 Magnolia Lane, since my blogging partner’s husband is a (very talented) former bartender.  You can visit our entire cocktail library {here}.

How to create an inviting guest room | 11 Magnolia Lane

•  Guest Room  •

Next on the prepping-for-guests checklist is getting the guest room ready.  This is where a little planning really goes a long way.  High threat count sheets, plush towels, and fancy soap are just a few of the small touches that your guests will appreciate.

I use the top dresser drawer in our guest room to store an assortment of toiletry items and over the counter medications, in case a guest forgets something.  I also try to include a phone charger and extension cord for those technological emergencies!


Since most guests will now request the Wi-fi password within the first hour of entering our home, I’ve made it easy for them by framing it in and putting it in the guest room:


We’ve got a couple of great posts that go into a lot more detail on preparing your guest room and hostessing; you can check them out on the Mohawk blog {here} and over at 11 Magnolia Lane {here} and {here}.

•  The Rest of the House • 

Your guests are coming to visit you, so they’re probably not going to perform a white-glove inspection on your home, but there’s certainly no doubt that we all want our homes to look their best during the holidays.

Because it’s such a busy time of year, one splurge that’s well worth it is a thorough professional house-cleaning.  I justify it by reminding myself that there’s not as much to do outside during the colder months, so I can budget a bit more for the inside of the house.

If you can’t justify that expense, then put the kids to work with a feather duster and some of my favorite natural cleaner recipes!


| Natural Cleaner Recipes + Printable Labels |

•  Prepare Your Floors  •

Don’t forget to get your floors ready for the season, too.  Cold temperatures lead to rain and snow, and floors can take a beating.  For carpets, be sure to tackle spills immediately, and vacuum regularly. We love our bound SmartStrand® Forever Clean rug with All Pet Protection– it traps dirt and mud before it gets tracked inside.


For hardwoods, consider a humidifier during the heating season to prevent wood shrinkage, and wipe up spills and spots immediately with Mohawk FloorCare Essentials Hardood & Laminate Flooring Cleaner.

A little bit of preparation will go a long way towards making your home ready to welcome guests, and you’ll be able to kick back and enjoy the fun of the holiday season!

Thanks for stopping by-



Final New Christy headshot 2015


icon-facebook-1icon-instagram-1icon-pinterest-1icon-twitter-1NEW Google+