Last Minute Guests

Last Minute Guests

Oh Man!

Here’s how to deal.

Sometimes, there’s nothing more frustrating than last minute guests - no matter how much you might love them. Read on to know how to navigate most last minute guest situations, and have you enjoying their company, rather than worrying about their comfort, and their’s.

First, it’s a mental game. While you might be annoyed or shocked at first, digest and know that if you have some back up (read below) you are almost there, and also know that the guests know they are last minute, and that you are human, so it’s OK. Take a deep breath, burn a candle or turn on some relaxing tunes if needed :)

At the same time, none of us want to have our place seen as a pigsty. While we shouldn’t have our homes be in this state anyways, we might think it to be perceived that way, especially - as we all know - some weeks the messiness is next level! (Hate those weeks! #ButThatsLife)

We also chatted with Nicole of Cedar and Rush, Chicago based blogger on all things style and entertaining, about her host(ess) with the mostest tips!

Image Source:  @nicolearegan

Image Source: @nicolearegan

(paraphrased and adapted form the conversation unless otherwise directly quoted)

general tips

  • “Wash and Iron a few cloth napkins”. They can be ready to go on arrival of guests, and an elevated “touch to coffee, lunch and dinner” presentations.

  • “I keep homemade meatballs in the freezer”. “Its a fast quick dinner, just add a jar of sauce” - (we love a homemade or clean ingredient sauce like Rao’s Homemade) - “and pasta, both of which are pantry staples”

    • Et, Voila! “This is a meal most everyone likes, including you have a few kid guests”

  • “If you only have time for one place to clean go to the guest bathroom! That’s my biggest Oh Yuck!” (I think we agree!) “Believe me the guests will be thankful”

  • A few flowers or leaves/branches if you have them accessible are a nice touch!

  • If your guests are only stopping by for coffee or hello, another great item to have in the freezer, is a sweet dish. Nicole loves keeping her “homemade sour cream coffee cake” as a back up in the freezer. “Actually, I think it tastes better and is moist after frozen.  However, nothing beats a warm cake and the smell in the house... Sometimes I make one recipe into two smaller cakes or into muffins.”

Sour Cream Coffee Cake (provided by Nicole)

350 degrees for 50-60 minutes

Cake Batter

1 cup butter

½ tsp. vanilla

2 cups sugar

2 cups flour   

2 eggs 

1 tsp. baking powder     

1 cup sour cream

¼ teaspoon salt


¾ cup chopped pecans

1 tsp. cinnamon

4 tsp. brown sugar

Grease and flour an angel food cake pan.  Mix topping ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.  Cream together butter, sugar and eggs.  Fold in sour cream and vanilla.  Add dry ingredients-flour, baking powder and salt.  Pour half of batter in angel food cake pan and top with half the topping mixture. Repeat with remaining batter and topping.  Bake @ 350 degrees for 50 to 60 minutes.

Overnight guests

If you collect sample size bath items along your journeys for last minute sleep over guests, Nicole advices to do so and then present “them in a pretty bowl in your guests room/bathroom”. Bath towels and water bottles are also essential for the overnight guests. Nicole suggests putting them “in a big basket, or tray in the room, set at the end of the bed” for a pro-looking display. “Turn the bed covers down to make it inviting to jump into, and of course always have an extra blanket in their room” 

General etiquette when they come into your humble abode

  • “Take their coat”

  • “Offer to carry their luggage to their room”

  • “Offer a drink and snack”

These should get you in the mindset to know what to do, in general, for last minute guests, and what to focus on.

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