LIBBY LIVING COLORFULLY

San Pellegrino

How To: Be a Great Host

Entertaining, InteriorsLibby RasmussenComment

A little while ago, I gathered some tips and tricks on How To: Be a Great House Guest and now here's some advice on being the host.  Side note: The word host is both male and female as in, "someone who entertains guests or strangers in his or her home."  Contrary to popular belief than only a man can be called host, and woman, hostess.  Anywho, the other weekend, I had the pleasure of hosting some friends from out of town and made some quick and easy preparations for their arrival.  
 

Tidy Up - This doesn't have to be anything extensive.  Just be sure that the sheets are washed, the bedside tables are dusted, and the bathroom is clean and free of any dirt of unnecessary clutter. 

Stock Up - Prep your home with some extra beverages. Make sure to have some cold water chilled in the fridge, and the bar cart stocked. Guests traveling long distances will appreciate a drink or cocktail to settle in and relax.

Be Cognizant of Smells - Really not kidding about this one.  We all know that feeling, when you walk into a home and instantly pick out its smell. To keep this initial nasal reaction positive, make sure to clean out the sink, empty the trash, and find some gentle-scented items to fill your home with.  I love Diptyque candles and room diffusers for this reason.  If you're worried about allergies, grab some hydrangeas, hyacinth, and lilacs for a fresh, floral, home scent.  

Create a Guest Tray - Nothing says "I'm happy you're here" more than a tray of goodies to welcome your guests.  This could also include a basket of toiletries in the bathroom, or even a card on the bedside table.  Anything to make your guests feel special and at home. 

Give a Tour - Once your guests arrive, be sure to give them a tour of your home or the spaces you feel comfortable showing.  We all have one "messy room" that we'd wish didn't exist. If you don't think the guest will be up in your master bathroom or home office, there isn't much of reason to show them the space.  Additionally, let your guests know of any security systems they might set off or supply them with a spare key if you plan on being home at different times. Give them the low-down on how your coffee machine works, or for extended stays, where the laundry room is.  This will save your guests from feeling uncomfortable not knowing the overall lay of the land. 

Be Welcoming - This may sound obvious, but many times, the stress of hosting guests can remain present during their visit. Be mindful of any arguments or loud conversations you could have while your guests are there. Alleviate any tension by actually enjoying your time with your guests. Play a board game or cook an easy meal together. 

Stay tuned for a future post on how to make the perfect guest tray! 
Until then, 

 

Fresh Squeeze - Having Fun with Citrus Water

Entertaining, FoodLibby RasmussenComment

As the weather starts to get warmer, I'm remembering that sometimes, a tall glass of cold, fruit infused water can really hit the spot.  All you really need is a bottle of chilled Pellegrino, a mandoline slicer, and some ripe citrus fruits.  

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All to often I find myself overthinking the simplest things - especially when it comes to hosting an event or party.  Whether it's coming up with the right cocktail or hors d'oeuvre, I have to remember that sometimes, the basics are the best.  

Mary Giuliani, caterer to the stars and author of one of my favorite party planning books, The Cocktail Party: Eat Drink Play Recover preaches the power of simplicity when it comes to hosting.  Pigs in a Blanket. Yes, you heard me, pigs in a blanket, are Mary's #1 suggestion for what to serve at a fun dinner party.  Not just because they're easy, because you can turn it into a Pigs in a Blanket Station by adding multiple dips, toppings, and sides that make it both fun and more importantly, delicious. 

Which brings me to the topic of water - the most basic human need and most versatile beverage.  Why limit the options when serving it? I always like to keep a few bottles of San Pellegrino on my bar cart for guests or an added spritzer.  Along with my bar cart H2O are essential garnishes such as lemons, limes, and this week, blood oranges.  With just a couple of citrus slices on the mandoline, a tall clear glass, and a fun party straw, you can easily transform nature's simplest drinks into a beautiful beverage!
 

 

 

 

Photography: Libby Rasmussen