Shoe String Living

Having a Creative and Fun Frugal Life

My Guest Box March 5, 2010

Filed under: DIY,Guest Room,Home Decor,Organizing,Saving Money — trntm @ 3:26 am

Someone asked if I could show a photo of the wrapped soap that I made for my in-laws visit. Instead of just showing you the wrapped soap, I thought I’d show you the secret to being able to entertain my guests on a whim.

I introduce you to the “Guest Box”. It’s a simple shoebox that I wrapped and is kept in the linen closet. All guests are made aware of the wonderful box of fun after being shown to their room.

The box contains several supplies for overnight guests so that they’re comfortable. Things like band-aids, sleeping masks, tissues, cough drops, hand sanitizer and more. My handy box makes everything so easy. I love to entertain, which sometimes includes hosting guests overnight. When a person stays in my home, I try to make their stay like a luxury hotel as best as I can. This often includes a personalized guest basket to make their stay comfortable.

A friend came to visit me recently, so I grabbed the guest box and a large basket from the linen closet. I took out a small bottles of tolietries and included a fuzzy photo-album and a notepad since this friend loves to take photos and journal. Each basket also gets a welcome note explaining little things like the location of medicines and instructions to not allow the cat to take showers with you-no matter how much he begs-and generally just wishes of how much I hope they’ll enjoy their stay with us.

Everything gets put inside the basket, including a set of towels for my guest to use during their stay. It doesn’t cost much to maintain the basket, a trip to the dollar store every now and then to restock on soaps or toothbrushes, but I like to think that my guests appreciate the gesture.

What do you do to make your guests comfortable?


Prepping for the In-Laws, Part 2 January 10, 2010

Filed under: DIY,Guest Room,Home Decor,Organizing — trntm @ 4:35 am

The in-laws are coming for a visit which means the guest bedrooms that were formally home to my crafts and my cat, must now go into guest mode. We have four extra people coming and three spaces to prepare: guest bedroom/craft room; guest bedroom/cat room; living room (temporary sleeping quarters)

The craft room/guest room is the easiest to prepare.

Simply stash my projects away, re-make the bed (this isn’t the final look, my in-laws did get a comforter),

lean mirror against my work desk so desk can now serve as a vanity area,

add lamp and scented candle

add instant calendar art and add welcome baskets and towels. Done!

The cat’s room/guest room was harder. We had to move all of our baby’s toys to the laundry room and throughly vacuum and clean the room so that it was cat-hair free.

Add some instant art in the form of scrapbook paper,

fabric on the wall and calendar images,

lean a mirror against a wall and add a welcome basket. Done!

(ignore the kitty crap, this was phase one of the revamped room. Don’t worry, everything was washed and vacuumed beforehand.)

Living room, a bit harder. Add a large plastic tub full of bedding supplies. Cover plastic tub with extra pillows from sofa set. Stash tub in the corner. Done!

I wish I had a photo of the welcome baskets. Inside each basket was a personalized welcome note, towels, shower caps, soap (that I hand wrapped in gift wrap and added a little “welcome” tag), shower loofah, and some token gifts. For instance, my mother-in-law received a coloring book and crayons and two small puzzles to help her relax and my father in law received local magazines to browse through.


Prepping for the In-laws, Part 1 December 30, 2009

Filed under: DIY,Guest Room,Home Decor,Organizing — trntm @ 3:27 pm

The in-laws are coming for a visit which means the guest bedrooms that were formally home to my crafts and my cat, must now go into guest mode.

With four extra people coming to the house, I want each and every person to feel special. Usually when guests come, I provide a handwritten note of appreciation and some little tokens depending on the purpose of their visit.

For my mother’s first visit to the house and our city, I left maps and brochures detailing excursions in our city as well as some coffee crafted with the flavors of the city.

image from neatocoolville

When my family came for the holidays last year, I provided a basket with shower supplies and not much more since their stay was short and they already had their own agenda mapped out. I also provided more coffee, since my mother fell in love with it.

image from HEB

For the in-laws’ visit, I plan on each person recieving a plastic basket with their towels and extra shower supplies. This will serve double duty, since all four people will be sharing one shower, as a way to carry items to and from the bathroom quickly and easily, as well as holding all the token gifts.  Inside the basket, I plan on adding a small bottle of water and snack to the basket.

Preparing for my brother-in-law will be the hardest, since he will be sleeping on the downstairs sofa, which naturally is the gathering space during the day. His set-up will have to be temporary and easy for him to use.

I love hosting and sharing my home with others. This visit will be interesting since it comes at a time when we’re redoing the master bedroom, so I’ll have a lot of free shopping going on.