Somehow I have become the queen of last minute company. Dinner, drinks, ‘I’m in your neighborhood’, impromptu game nights, and ‘Can I crash tonight?’s have been in abundance. I frequently repeat my mantra that there is no point in having a home if you aren’t hospitable.
Weekly I wish I were laid back. I literally dream of being laid back. This is probably a horrible confession from someone who literally named their blog after their personality type (A). It’s probably ‘the grass is always greener’ at it’s best to believe that being really laid back would solve my problems. But I envy my friends who calmly, graciously roll with the punches. I cannot. I am not.
So here’s how I’ve managed to (kind of) fake it…
Keep the House Clean
When I was a child, I would beg my mom to let me bring friends home from church, school, etc. She would always say: we’ll do it when we can plan it.
So here’s how I combat that same feeling now that the house, the plans, and the friends are my own: I keep the house ready. When I leave the house each morning it’s ‘good enough’ for someone else to beat me home at night. So if a friend lets themselves in before I can even get home – that’s ok. It takes the pressure off of me to run around with a laundry basket trying to get at least the dirty laundry picked up and the pillows back on the couch. This has been incredibly freeing.
Adopt a cleaning routine or at least learn to speed clean.
Trader Joe’s Saved My Social Life
While I love to bake and serve a plate of warm cookies, deck my coffee bar out with themed syrups and napkins, or make a salty snack mix this doesn’t work with last minute guests. I can’t always make it to the store or even get thirty minutes of prep time before company. So I’m going to let you in on a little secret to entertaining: Trader Joes.
Trader Joe’s saved my social life with their amazing (and affordable) entertaining options. I now keep on hand: chips and salsa (there chips are less than HALF the price of regular grocery stores, by the way). I keep at least one dessert in the freezer (this month: pumpkin cheese cake). If I’m still at work when I get the text: play cards tonight? Your place?’ – I get to say yes. I can pull the cheesecake out of the freezer, pour the chips and salsa in a platter and I’m ready.
Bonus: they have great seasonal items from Cranberry Prosecco to Pumpkin Cheesecake. If it’s seasonal, get it. Or ask any cashier: what do you recommend for a little last minute entertaining? I’ve bought dozens of items recommended by the friendly cashiers (hello, cookie butter cheesecake bites) and never been sorry.
Don’t Forget to Delegate
My front door should really be replaced with swinging saloon doors the way the company flows and I love that. But I’ve had to get over my fear that delegating makes me a bad hostess. I want to do it all, perfectly, myself. That’s just silly. If people invite themselves over (or even when you invite them) it’s really ok to say: sure, bring drinks. Or if you have a fridge full of drinks say: I’ll order the pizza, you pick it up on your way.
That reminds me: there’s always delivery. I was an early adopter of the Uber life with my constant travel but I’ve been slow to adopt the Uber Eats life. I like to cook. BUT there are so many ways to make your life easier, for a price. Don’t shy away from having company just because your fridge is bare. It’s ok to order in.