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5 Insider Tips to Being a Hostess

Have ever wondered how to be a good hostess?

Pinterest can be very misleading. Being a good hostess isn’t about having the table perfectly laid out. It’s isn’t about having a perfectly clean home. It also isn’t about being the best cook and only having the best-behaved children. Being a good hostess is about taking the time to invite a welcome other into your home, and genuinely being glad that they are there.

I grew up having lots of guests in our home. One of the sweetest lessons my mom ever taught me by example was to never allow a situation to ruffle your hostess feathers. If you are relaxed and comfortable, it allows your guests to be also. You may not feel it, but don’t underestimate the power of “fake it ’til you make it”. I can’t count the number of times a dessert was ruined or part of the meal burned, yet she cheerfully served something or brushed over the fact it wasn’t perfect.

Don’t complain about your cooking

She also never complained about the food she made for others. She sat and enjoyed what she had made with her guests. I have visited several people that complain about their cooking the whole time we eat. It was so uncomfortable to eat with hostesses like that. Honestly, most of the time I just want to enjoy the delicious food, because eating a meal I didn’t have to cook is so lovely. If you sit and enjoy what you made everyone else has the freedom to enjoy it too. Let’s face it, as cooks there is a good part of the time that we do wish we could go back in time and add more or less salt, but just keep it to yourself and no one else will probably notice. Most people just enjoy a meal they don’t have to cook.

Keep a well-stocked pantry.

Most meals can be expanded to fill more bellies. I heard a story once of a lady when had prepared a Sunday lunch for guests when she realized she had miscounted how many people she would have over. She had planned to serve roast but decided to expand the recipe to feed more people. She shredded the roast, added some seasonings to turn it into carnitas and served it with rice in tortillas. In the winter you could turn it into tortilla soup, or pork mac and cheese. This secret has also allowed me to make some amazing things from leftovers as well. Try it– it’s really not that hard. Maybe start by practicing on leftovers!

Try not to clean while you have guests.

Sometimes guests will offer to clean up, and sometimes that can be the nicest times to chat. However, if you start cleaning up and they don’t eagerly join you, I try to make that period as brief as possible. I can imagine there are few things more annoying as a guest than to have your hostess, up in the kitchen a large part of the time you’re in her home. Sit relax and try to enjoy your time with the people you had over. There is plenty of time after they leave to take care of the dishes and your mopping.

Have less Stuff

This one takes a bit more time and forethought. If you have been reading here very long, you know I love “Gentle Minimalism“. Having less stuff allows me to get the house looking clean in about 15 minutes. If you do not own clutter, you can not have too large of a mess. I’m hoping to do a series on how we do minimalism, but until then I always recommend “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying up”. This book is a fast read and a game changer. Never wait until your house is perfect to invite someone over though!

What do you think are the most helpful hints for having people over?

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