Posted in Not Just a Mom

Not Just a Mom: Hosting Tips

Hello! How was your weekend? After arriving back late Friday night, we spent the rest of the weekend unpacking and doing laundry. I also went and got my car washed and went to the grocery store because we were out of everything. The kids and Trav did go to the UK game on Saturday night. We went from 80 degree beach temps to much cooler weather, and while I miss the beach, I’m ready for full on fall mode.

It’s the second Monday of the month, so I’m co-hosting our monthly link up with some of my favorite bloggers:

So far this year we’ve discussed:

  • Favorite bloggers in January
  • Day in the life in February
  • Reading habits in March
  • What’s for lunch in April
  • Go to gift ideas in May
  • Dream travel locations in June
  • Family food traditions in July
  • Binge watching shows in August
  • Favorite workout places in September

This month’s topic is: hosting tips.

Well, I don’t think I’ve really hosted guests (besides family who come to visit) since before Covid.

If we host, it’s usually very casual and typically in fall or summer. Our house is on the smaller side, so I prefer hosting when I know the weather is nice enough for kids to play outside and for adults to sit on the patio as much as possible. In the fall, it’s easy to make a pot of chili which was my “go to” for all the years we hosted Halloween. In the summer, it’s so nice to grill out and let the kids make s’mores in the fire pit.

Here are a few of my tips:

  • Make lists: I try and stay organized and plan ahead before hosting. I may run errands or prepare what I can in the days leading up to having people over.
  • Let people help: This is still a weakness of mine. I’m not good at asking for help, but I’ve learned to let others bring side dishes, desserts, and drinks.
  • Light candles: No matter the time of the year, I always have a few candles lit. That provides a cozy atmosphere during the cooler times of the year and keeps the bugs away in the summer.
  • Prep beforehand: Travis is big help with this. He’ll clean the house or sweep the patio in the days before people come over. If I need extra tables or seating, I get those items out the day before. Of course, if I can cook or bake in the days leading up to hosting friends, I do that as well.
  • Buy paper products for easy clean up: As much as I’d love to host with dinnerware, it’s easier for clean up with the kids to use paper plates, bowls, silverware, and napkins. Also, I always make sure to have a marker for kids to write their names on their cups. Now, when I’ve hosted small Thanksgiving or Christmas meals, I definitely use nice plates and glasses.
  • Buy what you can: Sometimes store bought desserts are the answer to a time crunch. Also, everyone loves a Fazoli’s bread stick to go with home made spaghetti.
  • Have a drop zone for purses, coats, and shoes: When people arrive, I want them to know where they can put their coats and purses if needed…which is usually Hadley’s bed. Also, if kids take their shoes off, I show them which closet to put them in, so Homer doesn’t run off with one.

I do feel like my kids (and therefore, their parents) are so busy that we don’t get together in large groups as much as we used to. That being said, sometimes, we spend an evening at the pool with friends in the summer or the moms have a glass of wine after a school event. Also, my neighbors are good about casually getting together when we can.

Anyway, I certainly hope for more opportunities to host in the near future.

What about you? What are some of your best hosting tips?

If you have a blog, we hope you’ll link up! Also, next month’s topic is: the internet made me buy it…

After a week off, re-entry is going to be rough. I’m sure it will take us a couple of days to get back in the groove of school and activities. I hope you have a great week!

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16 thoughts on “Not Just a Mom: Hosting Tips

  1. We have so many of the same tips! We used to host a lot more too either before kids or when they were younger. Now other than having our parents over it’s pretty rare that we host anyone.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I hosted very little this summer! I think it’s because we haven’t been able or felt safe to go out and now all we want to do is meet out at places, you know? Of course, having people on the boat is a form of hosting. I would love to have people over for chili and a fire, but everyone is so busy again, you know?

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  3. yes to using paper products. I remember the first year we hosted a big family event with over 20 people and I insisted on using real plates (so I had to go buy a bunch). It was a pain to do all the dishes and we didn’t have a dishwasher.

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  4. I forgot about hosting Halloween…I used to host it every year, since my kids were the youngest. My family and sisters would all come over and we would eat soup and then go trick-or-treating with the kids. Someone would always stay behind here to hand out candy. That was always fun! I don’t host that much either these days, with the exception of birthday dinners for people in our family and our sons every year. I would say we have people over five or six times every year, not counting the times I randomly invite someone over to eat with us. I make things as easy as possible, with easy clean up and I let people bring things if they offer. I don’t ask, but if they offer, I’ll take them up on it. I’ve learned the hard way that it’s easier on me when I accept their help. I hope you had a good weekend and that re-entry is nice and easy on all of you today.

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    1. I’ve loved hosting Halloween with friends. It’s been fun to see our kids grow up. Last year was the first year I didn’t host…in 12 years I think. Kids are older now, so it’s just different

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  5. I have a hard time getting people to help out too, however when I’m invited somewhere and I don’t need to bring anything, I also appreciate that!! I love an outdoor party too, the kids can wreak havoc out there instead!

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  6. The struggle with asking for help is real! I always felt too guilty to ask people to bring something (like a potluck), but now that I’ve had a few friends “go first” in hosting a pot luck, and I feel better about it. Nobody ever seems to mind, in fact people get excited when their recipe is a hit!

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