Posts Tagged ‘friends’

When Preparing for Guests

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Entertaining

The holidays can be a joyous time filled with warm and friendly get togethers, love, and laughter. They can also be filled with stress as you attempt to prepare your home for your holiday guests. To help cut down on the amount of stress that seems to come with the territory this time of year, try preparing for your guests using some of these tips and techniques.

Plan Well Ahead

If you’ve been thinking about updating your guest bathroom or having the kitchen floor replaced before the holiday guests arrive this year, be sure to plan this well in advance. The busiest time of year for contractors is in the two or three months heading up to the holidays for just this reason; everyone wants their home to look good for the holidays. Plan and book your home renovation as early as you can to ensure that it gets done in plenty of time.

Anticipate Their Needs

If your guests are staying overnight or for an extended period of time, try to anticipate some of their needs so you can better accommodate their stay. Remember that holidays are stressful times for those that are traveling as well, and your guests may therefore forget things like toiletries or toothbrushes. They may also need a few comforts of home around so that they can relax once they arrive.

Prepare a basket with toiletries for them including things like soap, lotion, extra toothbrushes, tissues, and other items they may need. And stock up on their favorite tea, coffee, and brand of cookies as well. This will ensure that they can relax once they arrive – which means that you can relax as well.

Invest in Good Bedding

A good night’s sleep makes everyone more cheerful. Make sure that your guests are able to sleep well by investing in some good guest bedding. New air mattresses are available that fold away neatly, but blow up high enough to get them off the floor – perfect for extra or unexpected guests.

Have plenty of clean and fresh linens and extra blankets and pillows on hand and easily accessible by your guests as well. Leave them right out on a chair in the room they are staying in, right next to the basket of toiletries so they don’t have to bother you for anything.

Find the Fun in Your Home

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Design and Decorating, Family, Hints and Advice

This photo shows a beautiful skyline, but it’s the Ferris wheel and carousel in the foreground that capture your eye. Just like this photo, your home needs a few fun elements to add excitement to your décor. Here are some suggestions.

  1. Art can add excitement and even whimsy. Do you have a favorite cartoon or literary character? An illustration of that, even in a small print, can add a touch of personality and create an interesting and fun conversation. Look also for artists whose style appeals to your sense of humor.
  2. Do you enjoy puzzles? A few used as accessories can offer your guests something to play with while they visit. Look for nice wood versions of three-dimensional puzzles or anything that appeals to you personally. If you have a side table, you could leave a jigsaw puzzle available for anyone to work on while chatting.
  3. Any favorite toys from your childhood? Maybe one or two could sit on your fireplace hearth. Chances are your friends may remember playing with the same toys and you can take a nostalgic look at yesterday together.
  4. Add a teddy bear or other stuffed animal to the pillows on your guest room bed. It provides a sense of coziness and tells your friends they are welcome.

Don’t get carried away – you don’t want your home to look like a toy store. By placing one or two simple items in several rooms in your home, you can create a sense of whimsy and let your guests know that you don’t take yourself too seriously. So have some fun and make your home more entertaining at the same time!

Thanksgiving Recipe: Baked Mac & Cheese

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Thanksgiving

This time next week, we’ll all be spending time with our family and friends on Thanksgiving Day! Here at Century Tile, we thought we’d share one of our favorite side dishes with you for this special occasion. We hope you chose to cook and and enjoy! If you do, let us know what you think! Happy holidays!

Ingredients

  • 1/2 pound elbow macaroni
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1 tablespoon powdered mustard
  • 3 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup yellow onion, finely diced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 large egg
  • 12 ounces sharp cheddar, shredded
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Fresh black pepper

Topping:

  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large pot of boiling, salted water cook the pasta to al dente.

While the pasta is cooking, in a separate pot, melt the butter. Whisk in the flour and mustard and keep it moving for about five minutes. Make sure it’s free of lumps. Stir in the milk, onion, bay leaf, and paprika. Simmer for ten minutes and remove the bay leaf.

Temper in the egg. Stir in 3/4 of the cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Fold the macaroni into the mix and pour into a 2-quart casserole dish. Top with remaining cheese.

Melt the butter in a saute pan and toss the bread crumbs to coat. Top the macaroni with the bread crumbs. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and rest for five minutes before serving.