Quick and easy tips for creating a calm and stress-free environment at home, perfect for entertaining family, friends, and all their children.
This post is sponsored by NESCAFÉ Dolce Gusto
Do you avoid having people over because it’s simply too stressful and time-consuming to prep (clean or cook) for the occasion? Entertaining friends at home – whether it be a coffee catch-up, playdate, or a BBQ – needn’t be a strenuous or overwhelming experience, nor a reason to prevent you from inviting friends and family around. This list of 10 quick tips will help you create a clean and happy atmosphere filled with easy-to-make tasty beverages, a yummy snack that can be prepared in advance, and even some super simple activities to keep the kids entertained!
Get It Clean
There is no need to spend hours or days cleaning your home in preparation for visitors. Often a few quick cleaning tips are all that’s needed to brighten up our homes in preparation for guests.
1. Spot Vac
A quick whip around the high traffic areas with the vacuum cleaner – like the dinner table, kitchen and hallway – can be enough to freshen up the space you’re going to be entertaining in. I love to have a good cordless vacuum cleaner on hand to make doing this even quicker and easier!
2. Hide The Dishes
Dishwashers aren’t just good for cleaning dishes – they’re also great for hiding them! If you’re expecting visitors and haven’t got time to wash the pans in the sink, simply hide them all in the dishwasher and shut the door. Out of sight, out of mind. Use this philosophy for kids toys too, quickly pick them up with your washing basket and set aside.
Set The Scene
Perhaps your home is not as clean as you would’ve like it to be, but that’s no reason to miss out on seeing friends! A few little touches can help to create a lovely and inviting atmosphere that makes your home a very pleasant space to be.
3. Display Fresh Flowers
In addition to making our homes look super pretty, fresh flowers and house plants also help to make us happier – they actually trigger happy chemicals in our brains such as dopamine, serotonin and oxytocin! A must have for any happy stress-free catch up at home. Although, my gorgeous flowers below are totally faux, I get to look at them all year round!
4. Crank The Tunes
Music is a powerful tool for creating a mood. Whether you’re wanting motivation to help you clean before the guests arrive, or a more chilled tempo to relax your friends once they’ve arrived, music can certainly help achieve this. Check out The Organised Housewife Motivation Mix Playlist on Spotify for a little inspiration.
A Coffee For All Occasions
Catering to all tastes is incredibly simple when you have an easy-to-use and versatile machine like the NESCAFÉ Dolce Gusto Esperta machine. They have a huge range of high quality pods (which can be delivered direct to your door with customisable subscriptions!) that make it super easy to create bold espressos, flat whites, iced coffees, indulgent hot chocolates – the list goes on! – and all with one simple click of a button (you can even do it from your phone!).
5. Offer Variety And Convenience
Don’t miss out on time with your friends because you’re tied up in the kitchen! Thanks to the NESCAFÉ Dolce Gusto App you can connect your phone to the coffee machine via Bluetooth, allowing you to personalise the temperature and size of a coffee, and start the brew without even getting up from the table!
The benefits of this super smart Bluetooth feature far exceed those of just playdates. The NESCAFÉ Dolce Gusto App also allows you to start brewing your morning coffee from bed, so that you’re greeted in the kitchen by the beautiful aroma of a fresh hot coffee just waiting to be devoured. There’s a huge range of flavours available too, so even picky coffee connoisseurs can get their tailored fix.
It’s also a very cool feature for busy mums who don’t have time to stop and smell the roses (er, coffee) in the morning. Simply set the coffee to brew in your keep cup whilst contending with lost socks and school lunches, and then take it with you when you’re ready to walk out the door.
Upgrade your morning with NESCAFÉ Dolce Gusto. Head to www.dolce-gusto.com.au and use the discount code NDGTORGHOU99 to get the following bundle of NESCAFÉ Dolce Gusto goodies for only $99 (that’s a saving of over $60!): 1 x Genio Machine + 1 x Travel Mug + 3 x boxes of capsules. Just make sure you pop all these goodies in your basket before applying the discount code. Offer ends 31st October 2019.
6. Remember Who Drinks What
It can get a bit confusing when entertaining, to remember which friends drink which tea or coffee, with how many sugars, and if they have milk or not. Remove this stress and instead impress your guests without the need to ask them how they take their cuppa by using this pretty as a picture Coffee or Tea Printable.
Pop it on the inside of your cupboard door, or frame it and place on the bench next to your coffee machine or kettle, for a quick and easy reference point when making the perfect cuppa! It also makes it easy for your friends to help make the coffees and teas.
DOWNLOAD: Coffee and Tea Printable
7. Offer Cold Drinks Too
There’s boring store bought drinks, and then there’s something a little more tasty – like a delicious iced coffee! Luckily, creating an iced coffee with the NESCAFÉ Dolce Gusto Esperta machine is just as easy as creating a cappuccino!
I simply added cold milk and ice to a glass, and then extract one of the NESCAFÉ Dolce Gusto pods into it.
A quick stir and you have yourself the perfect iced coffee. With heaps of different flavoured pods to choose from you can easily customise your iced coffee to suit. I used the NESCAFÉ Dolce Gusto Americano pod because of its light roast.
Entertain The Kids
If you’re having friends over with kids, a little forethought can make a big difference! Entertaining children doesn’t need to be stressful or leave your home in disarray. Pre-planned activities that require minimal adult supervision are a great way to keep the kids occupied and having fun, whilst still affording the parents time to chat and connect.
8. Get Out The Bubbles
Bubbles are the best, but often this joy can be short lived. We buy the bubbles, we blow a few, the kids want a turn, the bubbles get spilt, and then come the tears… game over.
Avoid the frustration and trauma of spilled bubbles whilst also keeping the kids entertained by themselves for hours on end, with this clever, quick, and inexpensive DIY no-spill bubble hack.
READ MORE: No-Spill Bubble Hack For Parents + Kids
9. Let Them Paint
Don’t stress about paint stains on the table or someone (god forbid) eating the paint. This homemade paint recipe is cheap to make, includes all edible ingredients, is non-toxic, and is easy to clean too. Storing the paint in these squeezable sauce bottles also means less mess and wastage.
Consider laying a big waterproof tablecloth outside and setting the kids up with canvas’, art paper, brushes and these non-toxic homemade paints.
RECIPE: Non-toxic Homemade Paint
Feed Your Friends
Quick baking ideas are the key to creating stress-free catch-ups at home, but remember you don’t need to do it all by yourself. If you’re strapped for time or not much of a cook, make sure you ask your friends to bring a plate too.
10. Serve Up The Muffins
Muffins are an easy snack to whip up for a play date, and can even be made in advance and frozen. These Coffee Walnut Muffins are delicious, super quick to prep, and make the perfect accompaniment to an afternoon coffee… or two.
To make this recipe even tastier, use a coffee extract from the NESCAFÉ Dolce Gusto Esperta machine for the ‘brewed coffee’ ingredient in this recipe. It will give the muffins a fuller, more natural coffee flavouring.
RECIPE: Coffee & Walnut Muffins