My husband and I have a long-standing tradition — we wait until we know we have houseguests coming and then we scramble to finally do all those pesky honey-dos. I swear, if no one ever visited us, our house would still look like it did when we moved in eight years ago. In other words, old and outdated.
One of my husband’s best friends (in fact, he was best man in our wedding) and his wife and 3-year-old are coming this weekend from New York. They’re expecting their second in a couple months and decided to bring their daughter to Disney while she’s still an only child (smart parents). They called last week to see when might be a good time in February and of course my husband consulted his Bible — EasyWDW.com. When we saw that the crowd rating is going to be a 9 on President’s Day weekend (that’s based on a scale of 1 to 10), we urged them to come earlier or later. It ended up being earlier, so they’re coming this weekend (and it’s a 4, according to the crowd calendar. Much better).
But that meant we only had a few days notice to get the house in order. Now, we certainly could have done nothing and everything would have been fine. But there’s been some items on our list since the holidays — plant flowers in containers, trim the hedges, print new pictures for frames, get new lamps and some new curtains. You know, nothing much.
We (insanely) hit Ikea on Sunday. Our whole family loves Ikea normally. Even E. loves the “baby jail.” Yes, even with a name like that, she loves going there. And I love the special solo shopping time. But when we went on Sunday, it was PACKED. There was about a 15-family line just waiting to sign kids up for baby jail. But she was a trooper and joined us for our mad sprint through a packed Ikea.
We came out with three new lamps, new curtains and a new curtain rod. This is our favorite of the new lamps:
I love it except for the fact that I can’t get the damn lamp shade to stay straight. Doesn’t it look like it has a slight lean to you? So annoying. And yes, that is a Halloween picture of E. from her first Halloween. I brought it out in October and it’s still there. Do you see what I’m saying people? If guests don’t come, I’d never update anything (besides my mom. Poor her. I never make any changes for her visits, but that’s what moms are for).
Speaking of Halloween, there was something else lingering around since then — our front door map. Yes, all through Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas, we had a pumpkins Happy Halloween mat out front. Seriously, what is wrong with me? I finally swapped in a generic Welcome mat.
Back inside, the lamps are all set up, but the curtains are another story. The guest room is ready and waiting for them.
Yeah, it’s high time those mini-blinds got covered up. I bought a pair of curtains at Ikea. I know that Ikea’s curtains all run long but we got a pair for E’s playroom last year (before her birthday party — see, I need motivation) and in mind, I was like, “Yeah, I remember using the iron-on hems to shorten them. No problem.” Why does my memory suck?
As soon as I got the new curtains home, I held them up to the guest room windows and realized hemming them would be a MAJOR project. The windows are 57 inches long. Look how long these curtains are:
Seriously, who the hell has 98-inch windows? Anyone?? And if they do, they sure as hell aren’t buying curtains at Ikea. Somehow Ikea curtains don’t scream McMansion Chic.
And the iron-on hem instructions are oh-so-simple to follow.
As I went into E’s playroom to figure out how I did it last time, my memory suddenly kicked in — I tried and failed to hem them last time, so I caved and took them to my seamstress.
And since I wait to do everything until the last minute, I have no time to return the curtains and go find new ones. One guess as to where the curtains are now? You got it. I begged her to finish them as quickly as she can, but that means I’ll be hanging curtain rods and curtains the night before our guests get here. Awesome.
So much for those Ikea savings.
Since I was depressed about not getting new textiles up somewhere, I decided to snag a new tablecloth when I ran to Target at lunch today for a few things.
I think it works with our dining room chairs, but man those covers need to be changed. I’m not even going to tell you how long they’ve been on there, but let’s just say they’ve made several moves and seen several roommates and parties in their day. They’ve served me well.
Other than a trip to the grocery store and liquor store, I think we’re in good shape. The fact the cleaning lady was already scheduled for one of her twice monthly visits tomorrow is just a blessing of timing. No tub scrubbing til midnight for me tonight!
How do you prepare for houseguests? What motivates you to make changes around the house?