Hosting on the fly

Ding Ding! It’s the week before Christmas and do you know what that means? Yup, the drop-in season has officially begun. It’s a fun and frivolous time of year, packed with lunch dates and impromptu BBQs and all the excuses to open that bottle of rosé and toast with our friends and family.

When you’re burning the social candle at both ends it can be easy to let the little household admin slide… Next minute, you’ve got unexpected visitors dropping in and you’re in a mad panic to rinse a few glasses and hide that overflowing washing hamper!  We’ve all been there. And, over the years we’ve learned a couple of sneaky tricks to help keep your home host-ready at a moment’s notice:

Back up dinnerwear
Take it from us, the one thing you will never regret purchasing is a set of extra dinnerwear. Tuck it safely up in the top of your pantry and when those unexpected guests come knocking, you’ll be ready to roll. Don’t want to fork out for a whole set of porcelain? We hear you. That’s where these great bamboo plates from Ecoplates come in. For just a smidge extra, you’re getting something way more classy than waxy party plates – plus, they’re super kind to the environment.

Have snacks ready to go
This time of year, your fridge is likely overflowing with leftovers and random ingredients that you bought for that never-attempted-before dish. Well, here’s where it’s time to get a little creative! By working with what you’ve got, those left-overs and random ingredients can easily be turned into snacks for your guests. Cold meats, cheeses, and leftover salads can be turned into delicious sandwiches, or mini pizzas toasted on pita pockets. Or, take those corn kernels from your pantry and add a few interesting flavours – like lime juice and chilli – to get instant pop-props. Our secret weapon? Those little flavour satchets from your ramen noodles make a crazy-yum popcorn seasoning. You can thank us later.

Don’t forget the alcohol-free drinks
Chances are, during the Christmas holidays, your cup will runneth over with the festive drink. We’re talking beer, wine and spirits. But, we often forget that there’s some people that don’t drink…Like children. Or your pregnant sister in law. So, do yourself (and them) a favour by making sure you’ve got a few good non-alcoholic options up your sleeve. Juices, teas and soda is great – or, make up a big batch of iced tea, or this delish chia ginger limeade. It’s great for kids, and (the best part) all you have to do is throw in a splash of your favourite tipple into it for a delicious afternoon cocktail.

Pick your battles
We’ve all been there: A phone call out of the blue, and before you know it, you’ve invited friends over for lunch. In 15 mins. And the house is a complete mess. Here’s the thing: your guests will most likely not even notice half the things that you’re freaking out about. But, what they will notice is if you’re unable to relax and enjoy their company. Our advice? Double check the one thing that bothers you most. This will be something different for every person – maybe it’s dust, maybe it’s dirty dishes in the sink. Whatever your biggest pet peeve is, just take care of it. Even if your guests never notice, you own peace of mind will mean you can relax and enjoy the time with your guests. Afterall, that’s the whole point!