3 Lessons to Learn from My First Hosting Hot Mess
posted on December 20, 2019 | by Chelsea Becker
My husband and I bought our first home earlier this year so as the holidays approach, we’re basically volunteering to host just about everything. I mean, I’ll never turn down being the host when you can skip putting on shoes, control the menu (I’m picky!), and not have to drive home after some yummy vino. Anyone with me here?
Well…turns out I’m not a natural host. I mean, I can order pizzas and make a killer playlist (what most of my ‘parties’ have looked like in the past), but when it comes to a nice holiday dinner or something with family, I recently learned that I had a lot to learn. Let’s just say hosting Thanksgiving was a hot mess. Luckily our families are easy going and the wine was good, but here’s what I’m taking away BEFORE our next hosting experience.
Write out the order of cooking (and what you’re using)
I realized (the day of!) that Thanksgiving was the first time we’ve truly made a multi-course meal for a good amount of people. Usually it’s something easy like taco night or something in the CrockPot when we’re hosting…or pizza. Well, let’s just say I learned the hard way that it’s CRUCIAL to plan out the order of cooking. We have one oven and it’s not very big, so when it came to actually making all the food, we were kind of screwed. We ended up eating at 6 instead of 3 because we had to wait for everything to cook.
Lesson learned. Utilize things like the CrockPot, cooking things the night before then reheating, and planning out the order of what will go in the oven when. Even if it’s not a massive holiday dinner, I think this is important.
Amazon Prime delivers more than diapers
Ever since having a baby, Amazon Prime has been my go-to. For the early nights when you realize you’re out of diapers to the tired mornings when you realize you need about 20 more bibs…I dedicate my son’s survival to the invention of 2-day delivery.
What I wish I knew before this hosting hot mess was that they offer a LOT more. Yes, I know this sounds silly, but I honestly never considered ordering food off of Amazon. Instead of braving the craziness of the grocery store after work (or worse, during the holidays), I will now Amazon Prime everythingggggg.
And since we have a myQ-connected Liftmaster garage door opener, I can get those Prime deliveries dropped off inside my garage when I’m out. With this WiFi-connected opener, you can enable Amazon Prime deliveries to be dropped off right inside your garage so you know your hosting essentials are safe. All you have to do is link the myQ App to the Amazon Key App and select in-garage delivery at checkout. Our new opener also came with LED lights that turn on with motion, so as I’m storing a dish the night before in our garage fridge, it’s crazy helpful to actually see what I’m doing (hands-free). Check here to see if you are eligible for Amazon Prime in-garage delivery!
We are hosting Christmas, and you better believe I’ll have everything from serving utensils to boxed stuffing to crackers for my cheese board delivered to my (garage) door.
Deep clean after, not before
I’m a clean freak and like my mom always taught me, I’m kinda crazy about having the house perfect before people come over. What I learned after Thanksgiving is that 1. No one notices (as long as the house is decent), and 2. The house gets really messy when hosting. Sorry mom, you were wrong.
We had 10 people, 2 dogs, a baby, and things got messy quickly. I ended up cleaning the day before AND the day after we hosted – which felt like a waste of my life. Now I know to do a quick spruce-up before guests come over but to save money on a cleaning service or your time cleaning until the day AFTER the party.
Other than that, I learned that not all turkeys fit in ovens (true story), that a puzzle is a hit for the older crowd, and that I should never be in charge of a pie EVER again.
What’s your biggest hosting mistake? Let me know!
This post was sponsored by Chamberlain Group Inc. As always, thoughts are our own.
Chelsea, my heart goes out to you and I am so proud of you for learning from your experiences. Please note, NOT mistakes! Love and hugs, Betsy