Some good friends of ours are coming for a 4 day stay over Memorial Day weekend, and I’ve been looking forward to it for a long time. For one thing, I’m excited to show two New York City virgins around the town, and also, we’ve never hosted anyone for as long of a time as they’re staying! Any apartment dweller can relate, but when you live in a space with no spare bedroom, it can be hard to host anyone, and guests are usually limited to the overnight visitors who are couch surfing (which can often be more of a pain than a treat). However, since these friends very kindly made plans specifically to visit us, proper attention had to be paid. Slash, it awakens the hostess in me, and when it comes to entertaining and hosting people and making it feel special, I really just can’t help myself.
So, I put together this little welcome basket to help make their visit feel extra special. Today, I wanted to share what I did just in case you have house guests coming and wanted some easy hosting ideas. You could use any or all of the elements of my basket and it’ll still make them feel like an honored guest!
1. Samples, samples, samples
I saw this pin on Pinterest forever ago that suggested collecting those small samples you get at beauty counters in a jar, and saving them for your guests. I’ll totally cop to stealing that idea for part of my basket. How fun is this? I’m usually not really that interested in a lot of the samples that get stuffed into my shopping bag at places like Sephora, but somehow, when you’re on vacay, it’s SO fun to try new products (think about at cool hotels, where they stock the bathroom with interesting brands you’ve wanted to try!). I’ve been collecting samples for a couple months, and was able to put a nice jar together for my girlfriend, who happens to be a huge product junkie.
2. Add something local, and useful
Our guests have their own bath, so like a hotel, I decided I wanted to stock it with a few goodies that no one likes to travel with. With that in mind, I stopped by Sabon, a soap store that has locations all over New York and in a couple other U.S. cities, but is unknown out west. I picked up a few different soaps and a body wash, had them wrapped, and then added my own little tags on each one to describe what they are. My guests can take ’em home, or if they leave them, we’ll use ’em up too.
3. Provide a mini-medicine cabinet
If you suffer from seasonal allergies, NY is basically the worst place to be right now. Pollen counts have been crazy high! Using a small dish (last seen here), I added a few types of allergy medicine to the basket, just in case. And while I was at it, I also added a bottle of Ibuprofen, some Pepto, and a few hangover prevention herbal supplements. Because, well, wine…duh!. (And because no one wants to ask for Pepto when they have an upset stomach).
4. Set ’em up for restful sleep
It occurred to me that where we live in NY is probably far louder than their own apartment in California, so I stopped by the drugstore and picked up ear plugs and an eye mask too. I know when I’ve traveled across the country, I always have a hard time with jet lag (is it just me, or is the three hour time difference worse domestically than when you travel internationally? It always takes me longer to get used to the time change!). There’s nothing worse than not enjoying a vacation because you are so exhausted, so I figured I’d add a few goodies to aid in a good nights rest. Plus, seriously, car horns in NY = no bueno when you are trying to sleep.
5. Get excited!
The last thing I’ve done — which isn’t pictured! — is I put together a Google map with pinpoints on all the places we have restaurant reservations, and some of the cool stuff we plan on checking out while they’re here (the High Line, Brooklyn Bridge, etc). I also pinpointed places like our apartment, and other major monuments, just so they could get a sense of where things are in the city. Not only was this really fun for me to put together, but I think it creates such a great sense of excitement for guests! Plus, as they’re coming from the airport, they’ll already have my address on hand and know exactly where to go, all via a private Google map! (PS, if you want to learn how to make these custom maps, go here).
So that’s a little sumthin’ sumthin’ I put together for our friends. What about you? Do you do anything special for house guests?
Images by Victoria McGinley for vmac+cheese