Fun fact about me: I studied Industrial Design in school and part of our training was User Experience. That phrase boils down to understanding potential users’s habits, wants, and needs. Imagining how someone else experiences things is a lot of fun, so let’s imagine we’re guests staying in a small apartment. Room by room, going through a day as a guest. First stop: The bedroom.
So ‘bedroom’ might be a stretch in a small space, but ‘sleeping place’ doesn’t sound quite as inviting. Whether an air mattress, couch, or for the lucky duck who gets a bed, the easiest way to make guests feel welcome to to show them the space that will be theirs for the visit. Besides the obvious of clean linens & towels what can you do?
In our apartment we give guests a bed in the living room with a dedicated side-table. Keys, bags, watches. All personal items within reach that makes an unfamiliar place homey. A tray for trinkets, a candle for cozy, a wifi card and water by the bed goes a long way.
So after they’ve dumped their things, where to? The bathroom!
If the bathroom wasn’t the first emergency stop, it will definitely be next. Bathrooms feel very personal- all your upkeep products are there! To avoid any awkward feelings or freezing mid shower questions, keep items you’re open to sharing in plain view, point them out (plus where toliet paper is stored!), and maybe hide your razor for the weekend.
Phew, almost done with the house tour. Time to relax in the living room!
If you’re not planning on spending every waking second with your guest, show them how the entertainment system works. I like to leave out text heavy coffee table books so if someone forgot reading material they’re covered. My favorite is a local magazine that features different neighborhood shops.
Pro tip: Local coffee shops in your area probably have similar magazines! They might have local attractions or events listed that can help plan the weekend.
After hanging out & jet lagged blissful sleep, it’s breakfast time.
Are you a coffee or tea person? Cereal or bagel? I’ve found everyone has very different breakfast preferences and that it’s uncomfortable to have to ask where the food is, especially if you’re a guest and wake up before your hosts! Do some shopping beforehand (and
possibly definitely a coffee bar) based on your guest’s noshing habits to clench the ‘hostess with the mostess’ title.
If you’re looking for some guest impressing breakfast’s, try our citrus breakfast bowl or spiced stout pancakes. Big brunch approved.
You have any tips to making guests feel welcomed? Did you like going through the day as a guest? Let me know what you think!
This Thanksgiving Michael & I will be hosting for the first time together as two, semi-adult adults. And while we’re excited, I have entered classic over-planning mode. Menus, decorations, accommodations! All in our small apartment with an even smaller budget (this girl’s got a wedding to plan ;)). So any project that is quick, cheap, and easy enough to throw together right before guests arrive is a major win in my book.
The secret candlestick holder? Bud vases! I used two I found at Ten Thousand Villages (other cute options here and here) and an old lab flask from a flea market. To get your candles to stay put, gently twist the candle end into the vase opening, sort of like sharpening a pencil. The wax will slowly shave down and create a nice, snug fit. If it’s still a little wobbly, try melting the candle end before placing it in the vase.
Alright, alright. This week’s DIY post is more of a holiday hack but it’s still cute, no?
Pro Tip: Hit up T.J. Maxx or Marshalls for tapered candles. I found a box of 8 for $4! Much better than my 2 for $3 ones from Target and they’re exactly the same. If you’re wondering what opening size to look for, tapered candles generally have a 3/4″ dia bottom. The more you know 😉
How are you decorating your Thanksgiving table this year?
Brussels sprouts are back in season! They’re easily one of my favorite vegetables because they’re super quick to make and once roasted they can be dressed up to anybody’s taste. And to make it easy on you, here are three ways all in one place: sweet honey, spicy sriracha, & the savory balsamic vinegar jewel of it all.
Basic Roasted Brussels Sprouts
salt + pepper
Preheat oven to 400. Lightly coat sprouts in olive oil, salt & pepper. Toss into oven for 30-40 minutes shaking the pan halfway through until browned on the outside. Et voila! Time to get saucy.
Each sauce works well drizzled on top right from the oven. Or turn it into a colorful, interactive station for Thanksgiving and let guests pick their toppings!
Sweet, Sweet Serendipity
The easiest sauce of the three, this one comes from an old roommate’s repertoire. We had been on a broccolini kick for so long and wanted to change up our veggies, so he roasted some brussels sprouts, drizzled on honey, and topped with goat cheese. The sweet, creamy combination is pure dinner acceptable candy.
equal parts sriracha, apple cider vinegar, honey
I had been testing a spicy glaze for salmon and figured why not for the brussels sprouts? The honey and apple cider vinegar balance the spice while also making a perfect glaze. Drizzle over hot sprouts and serve.
1-2 T butter (to taste)
1 cup balsamic vinegar
The one that started it all- my mom’s OG Thanksgiving dish. This glaze is so good people will fight for the last drops. (This technique is the same we used in last year’s Valentine’s Day Red Wine Sauce! Check it out for a great dessert idea.)
In a large saucepan, bring the vinegar to a simmer over medium-high heat then bring down to a low simmer. Stir occasionally. It should take about 10-15 minutes depending on how thick you like your sauce. Remember, it’ll thicken up once cooled! When you’re ready to remove from heat, stir in the butter and try your hardest not to drink it straight.
Pro tip: Do not breathe over this- vinegar vapors will be in the air and will knock you back.
I love serving all three on a platter! The colors give any table the perfect seasonal touch. Try them out and let me know which one is your favorite.
shoes | cart | bed | pitcher | couch | pueblos
This fall is all about the deep warm tones in terracotta, umber, and a dusting of blush pink. The clay colors are easy to work with as a neutral palette but bold enough to be that extra pop to bring your summer collection into the cooler months.
My personal fall goal is to find a velvet dress in one of these shades. Will you be playing with umbers this season?