One Stop Online Shopping: 8 Hosting Essentials to Order Now for the Holidays
If you are hosting guests this holiday season, you’ve got plenty on your plate (pun intended) already. Why not do one quick sweep through Amazon right now to pick up any of the essentials that you might be missing for hosting a crowd? You’ll be done in no time, in one fell swoop, from the comfort of somewhere (anywhere!) far less stressy than the mall. It’ll be fewer stores to have to hit up IRL and there are deals to be had.
Nov 17, 2016
13 Easy-to-Mix Drinks That Should Be Your New Signature Cocktail
A “signature cocktail” sounds like the stuff of a fussy wedding reception, not a simple Sunday dinner party. But as a host at home, having a signature drink just means that you have a delicious and easy-to-mix recipe at the ready to whip up a tasty, boozy sip for anyone who needs it. So what will your signature drink be? It should be something that, first of all, you like to drink.
Nov 16, 2016
Clash Course 101: How To Set a Mix-and-Match Table
I don’t know about you, but I’m constantly committing to hosting the holidays or big events, while completely ignoring the fact that, when it comes to dinnerware, I’m extremely underprepared. Something just happens to me in that moment where I get swept away with the anticipation of a great evening surrounded by family and friends and I subconsciously fail to recognize that in no way, shape or form do I have twenty-plus matching settings of any kind of dinner, stem or flatware.
Nov 16, 2016
Think You Can’t Entertain Because Your Place Is Too Small? This Couple Does, in 350 Square Feet!
Natasha and Rob live in a tiny space — just 350 square feet. With so few feet to work with, if you don’t put a little work into your space planning, you’re not going to have a very functional environment. But this clever couple doesn’t just tolerate their small NYC home; they cook in it, relax in it and yes, even entertain in it.
Nov 16, 2016
Crowd-Tested Appetizers and Snacks That Will Be a Hit At Your Next Party
Whether you’re hosting a dinner party, a small pre-bar-hopping cocktail hour or even ordering in some take out for a lazy sunday with friends, there’s a simple secret to making the most of the day: Have a snack on the table as soon as the first guest arrives. It doesn’t have to be anything elaborate—even just a small bowl of chips or nuts will get the job done.
Nov 15, 2016
These Essentials Make Entertaining in a Small Space Easier
Throwing a party in a few hundred square feet is no easy feat, but it absolutely can—and should!—be done. By inviting people over one night for dinner or drinks, you’ll bear witness to one spectacular magic trick: As you fill your space with more and more people, you’ll find your tiny apartment feels bigger than ever. But before you do, it’s wise to make sure you have your space ready.
Nov 14, 2016
These Crowd-Pleasing Songs Belong on Every Party Playlist (Ever)
Based on nothing other than anecdotal evidence, I’ve formed this opinion that are there two types of party hosts: Those who create carefully curated audio ambiances for any event, and those who just hit play on whatever pre-made playlist or Pandora station seems to fit the occasion. Our panel of party experts have only served to validate my highly unscientific hypothesis.
Nov 11, 2016
Party Time-Savers: Experts Say These Essentials Are Better Store-Bought Over Homemade
Here is a short list of things you’re unlikely to hear at a party: “Let’s start a game of Monopoly.” “Oh I love discussing politics.” And of course, from the host: “I wish I spent more time in the kitchen and away from my guests.
Nov 9, 2016
Our Panel of Entertaining Experts Spill Their Party-Hosting Secrets
Whether you’re the Martha of your friend group—whipping up a charcuterie board with all the finesse of a seasoned pro—or someone who thinks throwing a party feels just about as foreign as an original French copy of Je Sais Cuisiner, I know this is true: we all want to get better at entertaining.
Nov 7, 2016
Do Millennials Make the Worst Houseguests? The Bad Behavior Study
The short answer? Yes—Millennials do make the worst houseguests, according to a recent study from HomeAdvisor. But the reality behind it is a little more nuanced than it seems. In the study, 2,000 people in the U.S. were asked to confess both their biggest pet peeves and their worst houseguest habits, from a list of 27 bad behaviors. Each generation—Millennials, Gen Xers and Baby Boomers—had a slightly different take on what bothered them most.
Nov 7, 2016
How to Throw a Party When Your Living Room is Also Your Bedroom
Do you want to invite friends over — maybe even have a dinner party — but you’ve been hesitating because you live in a studio apartment and your living room is also your dining room, kitchen, office and bedroom? Though it might feel a bit strange to have guests (good friends or acquaintances) milling about in your sleep space, I don’t think having a small home should be a road block for entertaining.
Oct 29, 2016
How To Have Fun When You’re Staying Home on Halloween
Going out on Halloween night is always a good time, but if you live in a neighborhood or apartment complex where kids go trick-or-treating on Halloween, sometimes it’s fun to stay home and pass out candy instead. And if you have kids or want to have some fun with your nieces and nephews, taking them around to go trick-or-treating can be a good time too, if you really get into the spirit.
Oct 28, 2016
The Art Of Leaving A Party Early Without Ruffling Any Feathers
Say you’re at a soiree with pink champagne cocktails and more guacamole than you know what to do with, and you find yourself yawning between all the mingling. Or maybe you’re standing in front of your bathroom mirror — applying the night’s lipstick — and it dawns on you that getting into a taxi cab and legging it across town is the last thing you want to be doing that night.
Oct 8, 2016
The Casually Successful Host: 5 Secrets for Pulling Off a Modern Potluck
Getting together with friends shouldn’t be a fussy affair. If all you have the time and energy to do is send out an email, then offer to host a potluck dinner at your place and get the gang together for a night. Being the potluck host doesn’t let you off the hook completely, but it’s a heck of a lot easier than cooking for a crowd. The first step to a potluck is sending out the (informal) invitations. And the modern way to do that is online.
Sep 30, 2016
Get Your Wellness and Wallet Back on Track this Fall by Eating at Home
To any of you who need a bit of a fire lit under them to fire up the stove this fall, here are a few tips for easing your way back into the kitchen.
Sep 22, 2016
Master the Art of Picking Up Friends: How To Ask that Cool Person on a First (Friend) Date
Like getting out of bed without your knees cracking, making friends is something that gets tougher as you get older. But here’s the thing: Everybody’s out there looking for new friends. Yep, even that really cool, funny gal you met at the supermarket checkout. So how do you go from small talk about kale to your first friend date? It’s as easy as 1-2-3: One of you has got to plant the seed that it might be fun to meet outside of the checkout line.
Jul 21, 2016
How Not to be “That Guy” When Invited to Use a Neighbor’s Pool
Among such blessings as an in-law with a rent-controlled apartment and a friend with the same shoe size, you’re truly lucky to know a warm neighbor with an even warmer pool. Here’s a short guide to navigating this social minefield with grace—five basic rules that ensure you don’t blow it. You’re reading this because, at some point, your neighbor suggested that you could come over to use their pool this summer.
Jul 18, 2016
9 Ways to Make Your Home Feel Like a Party (for Less than $25)
Hosting a summer bash can quickly get expensive, but one area where you really don’t need to splurge is on the decor. All of these ideas are created using colorful, affordable materials, such as paper, paint, yarn, and balloons, so you can craft big-impact decorations, without going over budget. Add fringe to paper honeycomb balls, suspend them from the ceiling, and you’ve got festive party balloons that will never deflate. Follow the how-to on the Shop Sweet Lulu Blog.
Jul 8, 2016
No Guest Room? 5 Tricks to Make Visitors Feel at Home
The summer is prime hosting season, but the reality is, many of us don’t have the luxury of owning a guest room to offer to friends and family when they pass through town. Yet even in a small space, there are simple ways to make overnight guests feel more comfortable and welcome in your home—even if they’re just crashing on the couch.
Jul 5, 2016
20 Ways to Celebrate the First Weekend of Summer
Although you’ve likely been sweating in tank tops for what seems like ages already, this week marked the official start of summer, which means this is the first weekend of the season. So let’s all get out there and celebrate with some activities that capture what summer is all about: Al fresco dining, soaking up the sun, and, yeah, maybe just a little bit of time inside to appreciate the invention of air conditioning.
Jun 25, 2016
20 Easy Fourth of July DIYs to Make Your Party Pop
These star-spangled, red-white-and-blue party decoration ideas will have your Fourth of July bash shooting off fireworks. Most of these simple projects don’t require any fancy supplies—bring on the sparklers, balloons, and dollar-store bandanas!—so you get the most bang for your buck. Mix up some non-toxic colored powder (hint: it’s cornstarch!) for your Fourth of July bash’s photo ops, following the recipe on A Beautiful Mess.
Jun 19, 2016
Glamping at Home: Bringing the Indoors Out for One Night
Nothing feels quite as rebellious as bringing something that doesn’t belong right through your front door. That’s why it’s so fun to have a tree in the living room at Christmas, or if you heed the advice in this post, set up a living room or bedroom outside for the night. Let’s get glamping! The recipe is really as simple as bringing some of your inside furniture outside to enjoy and feel defiantly luxurious for a night. Like camping, but a heck of a lot more fun.
Jun 9, 2016
Secrets of Hosts Who Are Always Ready for Guests
Nothing can instill fear in someone’s eyes like the agreement, over group text, that their apartment would become the meeting place before dinner tonight. Is the bathroom clean? Do I need to pick up some food? If you would rather the thought of unexpected guests to be a thing of joy rather than dread, you need to learn and live by the secrets of people who are always ready to host. Not weekend.
May 10, 2016
You Can Do It: How To Go to an Event Where You Won’t Know Anyone
Was one of your resolutions this year to connect more? (That’s smart of you). Whether you’re new to a city, trying to find new friends or need to network more for your career, the task can seem Herculean if you know you won’t know many (or any) people at the event you want to attend.
Feb 22, 2016
Simple Last-Minute Holiday Centerpiece Ideas
Don't let the holiday countdown stress you out–we're here to help you make the most of it!
Dec 19, 2015
These No-Bake Dessert Strawberries Are Your Holiday Party Solution to “What Should I Bring?”
(Image credit: Kelli Foster) From The Kitchn → The Last-Minute, Gluten-Free, No-Bake, Stress-Free Dessert That’s Going to Be What You Bring to Every Party
Dec 11, 2015
Beyond the Bottle: 3 Fresh Ideas for Host/Hostess Gifts
We’re well and truly into Holiday Party Season now, which means a return to the age-old question, “What to bring as a host gift?” If you’re anything like me, you just rummage in your wine stash for a bottle of something nice enough to gift (probably given to you the last time you played host); but also like me, you might have loftier gift-giving aspirations. Here are three ideas for host gifts that aren’t wine, chocolates, or flowers.
Dec 7, 2015
5 Ways to Organize a Gift Exchange
It’s the spirit of the holidays–you want to give gifts to everyone: Family, co-workers, the friends you see every day. But sometimes because of budgets or the fact that everyone might not know each other all that well, a traditional present swap isn’t going to work out. In those cases, it’s fun to get a little creative and make a game of it. If you’re hosting a party, here are five ideas for getting a gift exchange together.
Dec 7, 2015
Holiday Hosting: Guest Room Must-Haves
If you’re lucky enough to have a guest room, chances are good that you’ll be hosting someone there this holiday season. Of course you want your guests to be comfortable, but even the most dedicated hosts sometimes forget a few things. Before your guests arrive, take a look at this checklist of six guest room must-haves to make their stay as enjoyable as possible. Blankets. Probably the biggest potential source of discomfort for your guests is your home’s temperature.
Nov 30, 2015
How To Get Your Bathroom Ready for Houseguests
Whether you have one shared bathroom in your place or a half a dozen, when you’re hosting for the holidays you want to get those spaces ready for houseguests as soon as possible. We’ve put together a totally doable, slow-paced two-week plan that will have you clean, ready and–most importantly–relaxed. The time frames are just a guideline, of course. You can get these five steps done in any order and on any timeline before your guests arrive.
Nov 12, 2015
8 Things You Need for a Successful Halloween Pumpkin Carving Party
The Halloween holiday inches ever more closely, and you might be looking for a way to supercharge the season with a classic activity that’s fun for all ages. Here are eight things you’ll want to have on hand to throw a great and successful Halloween pumpkin carving party. Carve pumpkins too early (and don’t do any tricks to make them last longer), and you’ll have rotted, deflated pumpkins by the time the big trick-or-treating night comes around.
Oct 19, 2015
Why Doesn’t Anyone Have Parties Anymore?
If you feel like you’re getting invited out to your friends’ houses less and less, it might not be you — maybe it’s just a sign of the times. According to the New York Times, house parties are a thing of the past. They’ve identified statistics that seem to show that these days, people host gatherings at their homes less and less — but why? First, some dire numbers: the amount of high school seniors who have a never attended a party has climbed to 41.
Oct 8, 2015
How to Be the Best Host: Have You Ever Slept in Your Guest Room?
To truly know how to be a great host, I think you have to put yourself in your guests’ shoes. Or their bed, actually. One of these days, take a turn to stay in your own home as a guest. Your hyper-local staycation will allow you to get to know the quirks of your home from a visitor’s point of view. Is the bed uncomfortable? Is the street noise louder on this side of the apartment? Do the upstairs neighbors use this room as a gym?
Aug 17, 2015
How Many Seats Should Your Living Room Have? Here’s One Rule of Thumb
How many people can you host at once? Two? 10? You’re probably counting sofa cushions right now in your head. The reality is, the “right” number of living room seats is different for everyone, and largely dependent on the amount of space you have available.
Aug 12, 2015
“Hello from the Apple Pie”: The Must-Make Cocktail of the Year
It’s 2015. Why not shake up your holiday party traditions? After all, you can only eat so many snickerdoodles without craving something a little more fiercely festive. If you want your party to be the one that everyone is talking about the next day, we’ve got you covered. This year, instead of swapping cookies… …set up a shake swap.
Aug 1, 2015
The Best Party Games for an Outdoor Get-Together
Our best picks for breezy outdoor games that can be picked up quick to invite everyone in on the fun.
Jul 29, 2015
9 Easy DIY Ideas for Your Next Outdoor Party
Having a summer party that looks like a million bucks doesn’t have to mean spending a million bucks. Here are nine easy DIY ideas that will make your next outdoor party especially memorable… and that won’t break the bank. Above: A wheelbarrow makes a great impromptu drink cooler. Spotted on Style Me Pretty. DIY low table (cinderblocks and plywood perhaps?) + blankets and pillows out on the lawn = an unforgettable outdoor dining experience. Image from Eye Swoon.
Jul 13, 2015
20 Last Minute Ways to Make Your Home Look Guest-Ready (When It’s Actually Kind of a Mess)
Are you a robot who is always ready for spur-of-the-moment guests? Good for you! The rest of us humans need to fake it once in a while. Here are twenty easy ways to do just that. Make your home look loads better in a hurry with one or two (or more if you’re feeling motivated!) of these low effort, high-impact (and dirt-hiding) tips. 20. Sweep clutter from all visible surfaces. 19. Make the bed. 18. Clean the bathroom mirror. 17. Light a candle. 16. Putting out a store-bought snack?
Jul 9, 2015
Quick Checklist: 5 Things to Do Before Overnight Guests Arrive
Do you have plans for guests to be trickling in this summer? In between your own travel plans and busy life in general, you might find yourself pressed for time before receiving visitors. Check off the items on this list for a quick way to make sure you’ve got it all together before houseguests arrive, this season and beyond. Ideally, we want to have time to do a really good clean up of the whole house before guests come over. But you might not always have the time for that.
Jul 6, 2015
Liven Up Your Lawn: 10 DIY Games to Make + Play Outside
Now that sunshine and warmth have arrived, it’s time to start hosting BBQs, parties, and outdoor hangouts. If you’re looking for some activities to jumpstart your gatherings, here are ten DIY ideas that will liven up any lawn. Top Row: 1. Yard Toss Game via A Subtle Revery: Bright colors make this yard toss set even more fun. 2. Giant Jenga via Momoluv on Instructables: If the blocks seem unwieldy, you could also use a rubber mallet to nudge them free. 3.
Jun 26, 2015
4 Picnic Ideas: From Day Drunk to After Dark
There’s no wrong way to picnic, so here are four very right ways to go about dining out-of-doors. From the Fancy Pants Tea Party-Style Picnic to the Adults-Only Midnight Picnic Jamboree, and from the Classy Drunk to the Everything-Free Feast, there’s a style for every picnicker… Do Day Drinking Right Of course Apartment Therapy does not condone outdoor alcohol consumption where prohibited… but if you’re going to spike your picnic, do it with style.
May 30, 2015
A Marie Kondo Swap: Turn Your Decluttering into a Party
Chances are, you’ve heard of Marie Kondo by now. Her book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, seems to be everywhere these days. If you haven’t heard of Kondo’s philosophy, in a nutshell, it promotes cleansing your life of all the things that don’t give you joy. In the spirit of spring cleaning, my friends and I recently had a Marie Kondo party to collectively motivate ourselves to clean out, tidy up, and share some joy.
May 28, 2015
10 Tips For Creating A More Kid-Friendly Home (For Non-Parents)
Your definition of what it means to be a good host will more than likely change a few times over the course of your lifetime. If you’re at that stage of life when everyone around you seems to be having babies, you might want to consider changing things up a bit — not only to be a better host, but also to protect your favorite things from being broken, squished, or colored on.
May 22, 2015
15 Mother’s Day Brunch DIY Decor Ideas
Not only is Mother’s Day a time to celebrate and thank all the wonderful moms in your life but it’s also a great excuse to host and style a beautiful spring brunch. Setting up a gorgeous table shows your guests how special they are and makes an event that much more memorable (and provides lots of great photo opps!). With the Spring season, there’s no shortage of colorful inspiration.
May 7, 2015
4 Terrific Habits of Homebodies (That Anyone Can Do)
Everyone knows a homebody. (And if you don’t know one, you definitely are one.) Homebodies aren’t boring and they’re not necessarily shy. They just know hanging around the house can be pretty awesome. Here’s why… Homebodies love spending time at home and so they naturally put a lot of effort into making their home a great place to be. That might manifest through calming colors, lots of comfortable seating or even just plenty of snacks.
May 3, 2015
Before & After: How to Turn a Dining Room (Or Any Room!) Into a Guest Room Someone Would Actually Want to Stay In
Writer and editor Melanie Warner Spencer’s apartment in Uptown New Orleans is filled with charm, but no guest bedroom. So she’s come up with a way to transform her dining area into an inviting space a guest would actually want to stay in — and has tips and ideas you could steal for your own home.
Feb 28, 2015
The Introvert’s Guide to Surviving a Houseful of People
As much as we welcome extended visits with family and friends, many introverts can attest to the fact that sometimes the nonstop noise and people stimulation can be draining — regardless of how much we love our loved ones and enjoy being with them. Sometimes we need to catch a breather or we find ourselves running on empty. Here are a few tips on how to recharge if you get your energy from being alone (but you are currently surrounded by people).
Dec 15, 2014
The 6 Elements to an Irresistibly Inviting Seating Arrangement
Want your guests sinking into your living room furniture cushions to soak up each other’s delightful conversation instead of crowding in your kitchen or awkwardly standing around? Focus on your seating arrangements and add these six elements to make future entertaining in your home smooth, cozy and natural. Guests don’t want to shimmy through tight squeezes or step over stools to get to seating. They want it to feel like getting cozy is natural and easy to find.
Dec 14, 2014
Dos and Don’ts: 7 Ways to Be The Perfect Party Guest
Are you a good party guest? Here are three party guest habits to avoid — and four to adopt — to ensure you’ll be invited back year after year. 1. Show up right on time. For most people it’s second nature to show up at least 15 minutes late to a big gathering, but the perpetually punctual may have trouble with this.
Dec 10, 2014
Relax: 3 Things Your Guests Don’t Care About (And 3 That They Do!)
We all set ourselves high expectations occasionally: to be the best we can be, to put our best foot forward, to try our best, etc. But when it comes to a party, that kind of “best”-focused thinking can be counter-productive. In preparation for the holiday season, here are three things that you can Stop Worrying About Now, and three that you might want to focus your energies on. Things to maybe chill out about: Having a picture-perfect setting.
Dec 3, 2014
9 Holiday Hosting Mistakes You Might Not Even Know You’re Making
So you’re having a holiday party, and you want it to be perfect. Take a look at this list — and make sure to avoid these nine mistakes that even the most well-intentioned hosts and hostesses make. Don’t expect that your guests will know to help themselves to the beer in the fridge, or that they’ll be able to find those cookies tucked away in the back of the kitchen.
Dec 2, 2014
A Spooky, Kooky Halloween-Ready Home
Name: Jennifer Perkins and husband Chris Boehk along with daughter Tallulah (five years old) and Baxter (three years old). Location: Shady Hollow Neighborhood — Austin, Texas Size: 2,900 square feet Years lived in: Owned 1 year We shared some of the great Halloween decor ideas we spotted in the home of Jennifer Perkins (crafter, business lady and really rad mom) earlier this month.
Oct 31, 2014
The Awkward Files: When (and How) to Say No to Hosting Houseguests
If your couch is sagging under the weight of too many surfers this summer, you may need a refresh on the basics of guest/host protocol. Read on for our take on when to welcome guests into your home and how to just say no. Disclaimer: It’s your home, so you’re free to invite (or not invite) anyone, regardless of what we think. But, if you’re looking for a few suggested guidelines, here you go.
Jul 30, 2014
6 Sure-Fire Ways to Make Overnight Guests Feel at Home
When we moved from Atlanta to Tallahassee, we were glad to discover that our new location was an ideal spot for friends from Georgia to come over for a little getaway. With some of the country’s top beaches just a couple of hours away from us, friends love to come and visit for a few days of catching up and catching some sun and surf. Here are a few ways I’ve found to make everyone feel welcome and comfortable. Have sleeping arrangements ready before guests arrive.
Jul 25, 2014
Small Space Hosting: Tips for Welcoming Guests When You Don’t Have a Guest Room
I sometimes wonder if the guest room is, like the formal dining room, going the way of the Dodo. With people living smaller by choice and necessity, an entire room dedicated to overnight guests is a luxury you don’t see as often as you once did. These days, extra rooms tend to be home offices, if they exist at all. But people will want to go visiting, won’t they? As someone who has made my home away from my native country, I’m used to having people come and stay.
Apr 28, 2014
The Best Flatware for Entertaining Outdoors
What makes for great outdoor flatware? Above all else, it should be inexpensive and easy to clean (keep grandmother’s intricate silver inside). Bonus points for any set with natural or nautical details that make make a casual backyard barbecue feel like dining in a posh yacht, glam campground or lavish maharajah tent. Each of these options is not only beautiful, but priced just right to entertain four for less than $60 (and most are under $40).
Apr 23, 2014
Come As You Are: How To Throw a Successful Last Minute Get-Together
I’m realizing as my friends and I get older that last-minute get-togethers are becoming not only a regular occurrence, but a staple in our lives. Gone are the years where we made a big to-do about birthdays and holidays; rather we relish the days when both good weather and free time align and we can come together to share delicious food, drinks, and conversation.
Apr 3, 2014
How To Be a Great Host: 13 Tips
Between high school and college I went to school in England and stayed often with a family in London. The parents, Tim and Caroline Gladstone, were the kindest and best hosts I’ve ever encountered. Whenever I rang their doorbell, Caroline would greet me, welcome me right in the door with my dirty backpack from the train station or airport, and ask me whether I wanted to eat first or wash up.
Mar 31, 2014
No More Entertaining Excuses! Answers to the Biggest Entertaining Roadblocks
Are you a pro at trotting out a long-winded list of excuses when others ask why you haven’t hosted in your home in awhile? Sorry, but that list is about to be annihilated. We found the best entertaining excuse-busters we’ve ever published, and we’ve put them all right here in one spot. Take a moment to close your eyes, look deep into your soul, and ask yourself which excuse is really keeping you from sharing your home with others more often.
Mar 29, 2014
The Ultimate Casual Gathering: Slumber Party For Grown-Ups
A party can be equally intimidating to guests (wear the right outfit, provide sparkling conversation, know somebody beyond the host) as it is for the host (play the right music, serve the right food/drinks, invite the right mix of people), but nothing says “come as you are” like an invitation to a sleepover party! Why should you host a slumber party immediately, and why should you accept an invitation to a slumber party immediately? Let’s count the ways.
Mar 21, 2014
Easy & Cheap St. Patrick’s Day Crafts You Can Make Before the Weekend
Whether you’re throwing an impromptu party or just trying to avoid getting pinched, it’s not too late to get a little green. Try out one of these easy crafts that celebrates St. Patrick’s day and decorate your table, mantel, patio, or yourself with some Irish spirit. TOP ROW: 1. Tunnel Fringe Garland | Julep from Minted 2. Clay Pot Planters | The Merrythought 3. Crepe Paper Shamrock Streamers | Studio DIY 4. St. Patrick’s Day Confetti Poppers | Haute Chocolate 5.
Mar 12, 2014
How To Make Fart Hydrogen Sulphide Gas Smells Go Away
Warning. This is an awkward post. It’s deep winter and many of us are trapped indoors without the flow of fresh air from open windows. I, personally, have become quite conscious lately of daily smelly moments both at home with guests and at work (the elevator is the worst) where I’ve been trapped by someone passing gas or simply wished the bathroom at home would air out quicker. I myself will plead guilty on occasion.
Feb 10, 2014
Easy Party Decor Idea: Make a Photo Wall for Under $25
It doesn’t take a ton of time or money to create this memorable photo wall for your party that can serve both as a decoration and an activity for your guests. We had a small gathering of family members for my daughter’s first birthday, and I put together this photo wall as the visual focal point of the party. I printed out 75 4×6 photos documenting the past year of her life and arranged them on a wall.
Feb 3, 2014
Indoor Camping Party: Decor, Menu, + Music
The weather’s getting colder, the days are getting shorter, and cabin fever is imminent. A weekend in the wild would cure what ails you… but the weather’s getting colder, your schedule is jam-packed, and none of the buses or trains go past any decent campsites. Time to invite your similarly-fevered friends over for an indoor camping party, s’mores and a (inevitable) sleepover! The Decor: Sleeping Like A Log Pillows, Think Geek, 16.
Nov 13, 2013
The One Thing Your Holiday Houseguests Won’t Tell You
I’ve been a houseguest before, and there are plenty of things I have wanted to ask of my host that went unspoken in the spirit of gratefulness and generally trying not to be a pain in the chateau. I do want to get invited back, after all. But I’ve also been on the other side of the coin, and I know that any generous host wants their visitors to be happy and comfortable. Here’s the most important thing your guests won’t tell you. Your home is too cold, or maybe too hot.
Nov 11, 2013
Before & After: DIY Cooler
Summer’s outdoor entertaining calls for keeping drinks cool, but budget options aren’t all that attractive. Ashley from Shanty 2 Chic turned a basic styrofoam cooler into a stylish solution that doesn’t diminish your décor. Looking for a weekend project that will up the ante on your patio parties? Check out this after:Ashley put together this country chic cooler stand with $50 in supplies and some power tool basics.
Jul 12, 2013
Go with the Flow: Simple Ways to Relax and Enjoy Hosting
As we approach the final days of the January Cure, the celebratory get-together is looming larger in my mind. I enjoy hosting, but there are still usually stressors and worries involved, even when I’m hosting my dearest friends. As I prepare for the big night, I’m going to keep a few things in mind to eliminate that worry and to help me make the most of it.• Your guests will be as relaxed as you are.
Jan 31, 2013
The Perfect Cocktail Party Playlist
Getting ready for a holiday cocktail party and thinking of putting the ole iPod on shuffle? The convenience may seem tempting, but take an hour and make a playlist instead. Cocktail parties are the time to break out the red lipstick, the fanciest drinks, the funniest stories, and the bounciest music. If you can make a playlist that will have your guests shimmying, singing, and flirting, then you’ve set the stage for a swinging night.
Dec 5, 2012
Strategies for (Very) Big Holiday Gatherings In a Small (ish) Home
One of the biggest challenges of small space living is entertaining. For a family of five, our 1700 sq ft house is more than enough on a daily basis, but add in twenty dinner guests, and we’re bursting at the seams. After a few years of failed attempts, this year I’ve discovered a happy style recipe for low-stress, large gathering entertaining.
Nov 26, 2012
5 Things to Do in the Last 30 Minutes Before Your Guests Arrive
You’ve decorated. You’ve cleaned the whole house. You’ve cooked up delicious gourmet foods and compiled a well-stocked bar. You’ve got a killer theme, and you’ve invited the most interesting people you know. You’ve spent weeks preparing for this party — but what you do in the last 30 minutes before it starts could be just as important as everything that has come before. Here are five things you don’t want to forget.
Nov 20, 2012
Real Life Advice: Hosting Guests Without a Guestroom
Looking through all the Small Cool entries this month has me pining for the small space I used to inhabit — I loved it so much, but I don’t miss the challenge of hosting overnight guests in such a small house. We had one bathroom and one bedroom, and frequent houseguests that would often stay for two or three nights — sometimes more. While we love to host family and friends and put them up when they visit, it can pose a real challenge to keep everyone happy, healthy, and sane.
Apr 17, 2012
Hosting Help: Tips for Sleeping Comfortably on an Air Mattress
I live in a one bedroom apartment with no pull-out couch, so whenever guests come to stay, either they or I usually end up sleeping on my inflatable air mattress. Due to these adventures, I have collected a list of tips and tricks to make the night more bearable (and perhaps even comfortable) if you’re sleeping on an inflatable.See below for my list, and of course add your own.1. If you haven’t yet purchased an inflatable mattress and are planning to, splurge and get the double.
Mar 27, 2012