How To Host Your Family And Friends

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Can you use some help on how to host your family and friends visiting your home? Mark and I live about halfway between a major city and the happiest place on earth, Disneyland.

We love to share our home with people who are taking road trips so they can save a few dollars on hotels, motels, and a few meals. It’s really quite easy with the tips I’m sharing today. My home is very small, keep that in mind. Just think about the memories!

With summer coming I hope you can use some of these tips I have used for about 14 years now. I want to enjoy my time with my company and make it comfortable for my guests. Mark and I do not have any family living nearby, so when we bought this house I set up some rules for our guests that would visit.

Bedrooms

This is one of our simple bedrooms ready for our guests. It has 56 gallons of water stored under the bed in WaterBricks. You can’t see them but that’s how I live. I’m a prepper, but you know that by now.

Buy Good Mattresses

Before we bought this house one of our friends mentioned to us “make sure you buy good mattresses” or your guests may wake up cranky. That was the best advice EVER! We didn’t buy the top of the line, but we didn’t go cheap. Best decision we ever made. Our guests feel welcome and love our mattresses.

Invest In Good Sheets

I must confess I’m a sheet brat and I own it. Have you tried Jennifer Adams Eternal sheets and pillowcases from Costco? They are priced well below the cost on her website, just giving you the heads up. I no longer look at thread count, if they are scratchy I can’t sleep. Enough said. Buy right the first time.

I can wash the used sheets, dry them and fold them to put back in the closet container labeled “sheets.” Every guest room has a container in their closet labeled “sheets.” It’s awesome, I promise.

Two Sets Of Sheets For Every Bed

Let me explain why I buy two sets of sheets for every bed in my house. I have nine beds available to sleep on. One King size, 2 queen size, and 2 triple bunk beds. When people arrive the sheets are clean and ready to sleep on.

The previous guests are expected to change the sheets before they leave, that’s my rule. I can’t change all the beds after my guests leave. But I can clean the bathrooms, vacuum, and wash the floors, that’s it.

The reason I do this is so my next set of guests can come late and their beds are ready. You gotta love it, the table lamp is on and it looks welcoming.

Pillows

This gets tricky because we all like our own pillows. Some people have neck issues or back issues. I buy the pillows at Costco that are 2 pillows for $6.00.

I didn’t spend a lot on them and if they get soiled or whatever, I can toss them. If they are washable that’s a bonus for me. I’m a clean freak and I know it.

Quilts or Blankets

After my guests leave I wash every single quilt or blanket used. That’s how I roll. I want my friends and family visiting to have clean everything when they arrive the next time, does that make sense?

Bathrooms

Both bathrooms are stocked with extra toothbrushes, toothpaste, disposable shavers, toilet paper, shampoo, and conditioner. It’s nice to have those monthly womanly items placed in cupboards just in case our house guests need them.

After my guests leave, I clean the bathrooms, tub, shower, mirrors, and floors. A fresh bar of soap is replaced after each group leaves so it’s fresh for the next group. I put a clean 4-gallon bag in each garbage can in both bathrooms.

The cupboards are stocked with paper towels. We only use paper towels for our guests when they wash their hands. Bath towels and washcloths are placed on the countertop or in the cupboards ready to be used for showering. Being a good host is important to me, I love having guests.

Meals

I hope you can use some of these very simple tricks to prepare meals for your friends and family.

Bacon-Cook Ahead & Freeze It

I prefer cooking the bacon ahead of time, I cut the slices in half, so it looks like I have a lot of bacon. Have you seen the post on how to bake it in the oven?

After baking it, I place the servings I will serve for each meal in quart size freezer bags and freeze them. It’s all about budgeting for each meal. Baking Bacon In The Oven

When ready to serve the bacon, I place paper towels on a plate and microwave them to heat through. Or you can reheat it in a frying pan, either way, it works. Keep in mind I want to enjoy my guests.

Egg Bakes Are Awesome

This is one of my favorite ones, but I have many. I love making these along with my Mickey Mouse pancakes (waffles) for everyone.

Easy Breakfast Casserole by Food Storage Moms
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr 15 mins
 
Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Servings: 12 people
Ingredients
  • 8 slices of bread (tear into bite-size pieces)
  • 2/3 pound of Velveeta cheese (cut into pieces)
  • 4 cups milk
  • 8 eggs
  • pinch of salt
  • pinch of dry mustard
  • 1-2 cups grated Mozzarella cheese to put on the top of the casserole when you bake it.
  • One package of Jimmy Dean sausage (small size cooked and drained)
  • 6-8 slices of cooked bacon (crumbled)
Instructions
  1. Butter a 9 by 13-inch pan and place the bread cubes in the bottom. Beat the 8 eggs, then add the milk, thoroughly mix together. Add the salt and dry mustard to the egg mixture. Now, pour this egg mixture over the bread cubes in the pan. Place the cubes of Velveeta cheese over this bread and egg mixture. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator overnight.
  2. Cook the sausage and bacon separately and drain the grease. When cooled, place in the refrigerator until the next morning. Remove the plastic wrap the following morning. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Take the cooked sausage and bacon and press down into the casserole. Sprinkle the grated cheese on top. Bake uncovered for 1-1/2 hours or until eggs are set.

Here’s Another One

I love having a few recipes to make for my guests, I make them the night before and bake them early in the morning.

Mom’s Egg and Sausage Breakfast Casserole
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
1 hr 30 mins
Total Time
1 hr 50 mins
 
Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Servings: 12 people
Ingredients
  • 12 slices white bread (crusts removed and cubed)
  • 3 cups grated cheese
  • 1 pound of sausage cooked (we buy Jimmy Dean Maple)
  • 4 eggs
  • 2-1/4 cups milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
  • The next two ingredients you save for the next morning when you bake it:
  • 1 10 3/4 ounce can cream of mushroom soup
  • 1/2 cup milk
Instructions
  1. Grease a 9 by 13-inch pan and place the cubed bread in it. Sprinkle the grated cheese on the top of the bread cubes. The next layer is the cooked sausage spread evenly over the cheese. Beat the eggs, the milk, and the dry mustard and pour over the sausage layer. Place the covered casserole in the refrigerator overnight.
  2. The next morning preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Then combine the soup and the 1/2 cup of milk together and pour over the casserole. Bake at 325 degrees for one hour covered with foil. Remove the foil and continue baking for another 30 minutes or until the eggs are set.

Breakfast Add Ons

Orange juice, milk, coffee, hot chocolate, chocolate milk. Fresh fruit is awesome when you cut it up the night before so it’s ready to serve. Life is so good when you “break bread” with friends.

Lunch Ideas

I like to purchase some sliced meat, cheese, lettuce, and rolls, and bread of all kinds. Add some potato chips, watermelon, and pickles, we’re good to go. We can make bean burritos another day, hamburgers, hotdogs, tuna, peanut butter, and jam sandwiches.

Life is good when you eat at home or take your sandwiches in a cooler for a hike in the beautiful Southern Utah red hills. Add some carrots, celery sticks and life is good.

Dinner Ideas

We love cooking together in the kitchen so eating out is not our idea of fun. Just make a huge tossed salad every night with homemade soup, creamed chip beef on toast, lasagna, tacos, spaghetti, pulled pork, or Sloppy Joes.

Paper Plates and Cups

I stock paper plates, cups and napkins, so we rarely have a lot of cleaning up so to speak. We use my regular silverware but none of us want to do a lot of dishes, so paper works.

Final Word

I hope my post today on how to host friends and family inspires us all to bring the family together, cook together, and eat together. And having fun together. May God bless this world, Linda

13 thoughts on “How To Host Your Family And Friends

  • May 15, 2019 at 7:28 am
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    We will be having guests around July 4. I usually make pulled pork for them as one can’t eat beef. I keep breakfast items on hand, too. We only cook a meal at night and the rest of the time, it’s sandwiches or left-overs (also called encore meals at our house).

    Thank you for all the tips. They are awesome!

    Reply
    • May 15, 2019 at 8:41 am
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      Hi Deborah, oh we love pulled pork too! I’m so excited for you to have guests on July 4th!!! When our family lives miles away we look forward to hosting our family and friends!! Life is so good! Bring on the red, white and blue! Linda

      Reply
    • May 15, 2019 at 8:41 am
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      P.S. I’m going to add pulled pork to the post. We all need ideas for meals. Thank you, Linda

      Reply
  • May 15, 2019 at 11:52 am
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    Linda, your guest rooms are like my sister’s. Family and friends have labeled her home the B and B. As 2 of her 3 extra bedrooms are in the basement, she has set up a coffee counter with a Keurig (also keeps cider and hot choc cups too), a microwave and small frig. Puts snacks like popcorn, Mac n cheese, those little (non-frig) microwave meals, ramen cups, etc in the shelf above. Works especially good for the younger set who may stay up to play her original Mario Bros game, hee hee. My sister’s hubby is easily woke by Any noise, gets cranky. This set up solves this! ( TV does still need to be very low volume.) When us older folks stay, she sets out a nice fruit bowl, knife and cutting board, even has whipped cream in frig. I call it “glammed” out snacks. My sis loves hosting but tries to respect her hubby too. The real hilarity for us sisters is that when they’ve stayed at my house (extreme rural), both say it’s hard to fall asleep in the Quiet around my place. Lol, next time I will tell my kids to turn up their TV volumes. Or put on grand theft auto game! City noises, right? Side note: my sister says it’s odd how many adults just leave the beds unmade! Bath towels on floor or just tossed over the rod! She is very nice, didn’t say much previously. I’m sort of pushy so I ‘train’ guests: show where they will sleep, show them the clean towels and sheets, heck I even show them my washer and dryer, ask them to please run a load before they leave, of what they used. I walked my sis thru this nicety. Because, people don’t always know what they should do. Frankly, they could Ask but are maybe too used to being in hotels.
    I travel for my job and have often brought my boys with me. (Lol, ‘boys’ are now 37, 20 and 18.) I taught these guys to fold the blankets, strip the beds and gather towels, all trash in cans, tied up. It’s only a little work for us but sure saves the housekeepers back! It is always a surprise to home hosts when my guys do the same anytime they stay overnight as a guest.
    Crap, I’m STILL training my sons’ overnight guests. I’m not running a flop house, lol. I’m also nagging at a couple of them that if they spend the weekend, they should bring things like soda, milk, pizza, snacks …hey, they may call me ‘mom’ , but I’m also not a grocery store. I swear: their parents never taught them manners like how to be a good guest. (Oh, these buddies all have jobs and income.) My oldest son has taken to grabbing soda, snacks,etc, putting in his suite of rooms before the weekend: he says within 12 hours of the younger ones coming, all will be gone!
    I don’t know What this says about his hosting manners but I do agree, tho I hate this selfishness (?). Any thoughts on this, from anyone? I’ve often hosted huge get togethers (over 100 people) and Never expected anyone to bring anything. Hey, it’s My Party. But, frequent overnight guests may be in a different sphere.

    Reply
    • May 15, 2019 at 2:13 pm
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      Hi Wendy, I call myself Bossy Boots, I own it. I love people and I love to laugh. But I expect people to make the beds before they leave. Yes, my guests start the washer as well. This is how I see it, I love having guests but I can’t do everything. I would hope they would have enough respect for me that they would automatically strip the beds and then make them with fresh sheets. BUT they won’t do what they are not instructed to do. I am not a doormat, that they can walk all over me. I deserve more than that. When Mark and I stay with our daughters we always strip the beds. And we make them if they have an extra set of sheets. We always wash the towels. We help in the kitchen, empty the dishwasher, and fill it as well. It’s called teamwork. When my girls were growing up our house was the popular one to hang out at. BUT, I asked if people came over for weekly get-togethers they bring a snack to share. My budget wouldn’t allow a lot of fluff. Linda

      Reply
      • May 16, 2019 at 9:28 am
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        Linda, I so agree with not being a doormat which I often feel like when the younger guys friends stay over. I just re- organized my ‘ office’ to have a single bed, an empty dresser and a stand at bed foot for guest’s suitcase/backpack. Lol, so I went into that room this morning and found one of my guys friends sleeping there! She normally would have been on one of my couches. This is the second time in the less than 2 weeks since I did this room that a guest has slept there. The first, a much younger teen, did Nothing. He slept on top of quilt, just using one blanket. I asked him to please put it in my washroom, before he left. Nope! So I guess I will find out if the girl does better…tomorrow, btw, as I’m staying out of town tonight. And will be bringing home a guest. Hoping I don’t have to change sheets! I will leave a note, haha.

        Reply
        • May 16, 2019 at 11:28 am
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          Hi Wendy, what a great idea to add a bed to your office. You may have to make a 5 by 7-inch picture frame with RULES for guests. We love having guests and we really love it when you remove the sheets and put on clean ones for the next guest. Thanks for staying with us! LOL! I have another rule for not sleeping on top of the quilt. Just because they don’t want to change the sheets. That happened only once. LOL! I feel like I sound like a mean grandma but they keep coming back! And I love it! Linda P.S. praying the sheets were changed by your guest.

          Reply
  • May 15, 2019 at 12:57 pm
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    Living so far out in the country, I rarely have over night guests. It’s usually friends of the grandkids that stay over. So we have air beds and cots available. I always have breakfast items on hand. I make waffles and pancakes and keep some in the freezer for quick meals. I also make muffins and quick breads and freeze them as well. Fresh fruit is always available. We don’t drink tea on a regular basis, (but the coffee pot is always full). I also keep powdered Tang ,gatorade and a variety of juices on hand. We buy paper plates, styrofoam bowls and plastic cups in bulk. We have plastic ware to eat with. We have paper towels in the bathrooms as well. (I can’t sleep on scratchy sheets either). We have extra sheets and pillows . I buy extra tooth brushes,and tooth paste every month. We also buy feminine products in bulk. (I don’t use them anymore, but 3 other females here do). I buy other items like razors,deodorant,soap,wet wipes,shampoo,and conditioner in travel size ,(I use these in my blessing bags to give to the homeless) so I have them on hand all the time. We even have extra clothing and PJ’s if needed. This was another great post. Thank you, and God Bless

    Reply
    • May 15, 2019 at 2:16 pm
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      Hi Judy, oh my gosh, I love your comment! Extra PJ’s and clothing is a great idea!!! It’s so fun to have people over, I miss living by my friends and family!! Linda

      Reply
    • May 16, 2019 at 9:45 am
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      I too love the ideas of a gift bag of toiletries and PJ’s. I have a decorative plate on the nightstand for hotel toiletries. You mentioned grandkids friends…my grandson lives with me so we always have one or two here on the weekend. Pre metty funny when you mentioned PJs and extra clothes…the younger ones just sleep in their clothes (?!?).

      Reply
  • May 15, 2019 at 5:51 pm
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    We bought a house in Arizona almost three years ago and have some single older guys coming to check out the state and my youngest son and his family usually come for Thanksgiving. In working with our guest room, each time we have a guests or family, I think about what I could improve on for the next time we have visitors. Make ahead meals or prepared ingredients work so well. I too want to enjoy the family and other guests at different times. Usually, my grandsons, 9 and 10 1/2, and I are the first ones up and we love this time together. Thanksgiving usually means that my daughter-in-law and I have already worked out which recipes we will use and we love making this special traditional meal together. We even included an elderly neighbor and she said it was so wonderful being a part of a family during the meal and time afterwards when we chatted. My husband loves to do the clean up for each big meal like that . . . if I put away the food.

    Reply
    • May 15, 2019 at 5:56 pm
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      Oh, Carol, I should have done a shout out for husband as you did!! Thank goodness our husbands like to clean up!!! LOL! Isn’t it so fun to get up with the younger kids and enjoy that precious time together? Life is so good to us!!! I love working out the recipes ahead of time as well. Then we can all enjoy the time together. I love your comment!! Linda

      Reply

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