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Free Book: How to Host a Party and Handle House Guests


How to Host a Party and Handle House Guests

171 Great Party Planning and Guests Hosting Ideas

How to Host a Party and Handle House GuestsYou don't need to be an event planner with a staff of 20 to host an inspired gathering. Time to hose down the patio furniture, dust off the grill, and bust out the creativity. Follow the brilliant tips from Judith Brown for a party your guests won't forget!
This guide covers the following areas:
* General Party and Guest Hosting Ideas
* Holidays Ideas
* Gifts and Gift Wrapping
Before you throw your next party, find out how to make it an occasion that your guests will be talking about until the next time you entertain.
Here's just a small sample of the tips included:

Gifts and Gift Wrapping
You'll always have little gifts on hand if you remember to buy doubles of things you need yourself. Such items as jellies and preserves, correspondence notes, and toiletries make suitable gifts. You can also take advantage of sale items and specials that look like suitable standby gifts.
Store these potential gift items in a particular spot.
This is also a great way to stock up on holiday stocking stuffers for the children.
Fill a small basket with spices as a gift for someone who loves to cook.

A straw basket filled with special soaps, a nail brush and good face cloths makes a wonderful house gift.
Make a loaf of bread and wrap it up along with a jar of homemade preserves as a delicious and practical gift.
Need an unusual gift for a friend? Paint a pillow with nontoxic acrylic paints and personalize it with your friend's name, dates or place names important to that person, or a special design or message.
Instead of buying a box of note cards as a gift, make up a package of the lovely art reproduction postcards you can buy at museums.
When bringing fresh flowers to a friend, put the stems into a balloon with a little water in it; secure with rubber bands. The flowers stay fresh and are easy to carry.

When you make a gift of stationery, include some stamps. This is an especially thoughtful touch if the recipient is someone who can't get around much-a person in a hospital or nursing home, maybe.
Think big when buying baby shower gifts.
Babies are often ready for the 6-month size within a couple of months of birth. Also, every mother needs baby shampoo, soap, washcloths, crib sheets, soft towels, disposable diapers, baby sleepwear. And what about something nice for the mother-to-be, too?

For a friend who hates housework, give a gift certificate for one day's professional cleaning service.
Have a writer on your gift list? He or she will appreciate a supply of legal-size lined yellow pads in a monogrammed leather case. Or even without the case.
For friends who enjoy the beach or have the luxury of their own swimming pool, a set of plush bath towels is a welcome gift.
If you have any artistic talent, put an original ink drawing on the cover and on several inside pages of a notebook, and give it to a friend to use as a diary or personal record-keeper.
For a practical but pretty shower present, buy a laundry basket and attach kitchen gadgets and towels with colored ribbons.
Enlarge the cultural horizons of a friend: give records of music from Latin America, Italy, Germany, or some other country.
Organize your gift-wrapping chores by storing wrapping paper rolls in a narrow wastebasket, along with scissors, tags, Scotch tape, and marking pens of assorted colors.
If you're not sure how much to cut from a large roll of wrapping paper for a particular package, first wrap a string around the package, cut it so there's a slight overlap, and use it as a measuring guide.
To wrap an oversize Christmas gift, why not use a paper Christmas tablecloth? It is easier to handle than several sheets of ordinary wrapping paper.
Pack gifts in practical baskets or decorative tins or containers. Your gift will be doubly useful, and you won't have to buy wrapping paper and ribbon.
If you're mailing cookies, minimize breakage by packing them in fluffy, unflavored popcorn. The recipient can eat both the cookies and the packing.
If it's not too used-looking, smooth out wrapping paper from gifts you've received and use it again. And don't forget that you can iron paper that's not too flimsy.

Wrap gifts in color comic strips or bright magazine covers and artwork, Newspaper and brown paper bags make strong and surprisingly attractive wrappings for packages.
A gift for a teen can be wrapped in a colorful bandanna.
If a paint or wallpaper store will give you old wallpaper sample books, you can use the sample pages as gift-wrapping paper-elegance at no cost at all.
Dress up a plainly wrapped package by spelling out the recipient's name or a greeting from letters cut from newspaper or magazine headlines.
Check out the accessories in a fabric goods store for unusual trims to decorate your package.
Old maps and pieces of sheet music make fine wrapping paper.
To press a wrinkled ribbon flat, pull it through a hot curling iron.
Instead of tying a package with ribbon, glue on dried leaves and flowers to decorate. Or simply paint a ribbon on your gift-wrapped box.
Make small squares of wrapping paper double as gift tags. Fold a piece in half, punch a hole in the corner, and write your message inside.
Blow up a balloon, paint the recipient's name on it, and tie it to your gift.
To protect a gift bow on a package from being crushed in transit, keep a plastic berry box taped over it until you arrive at your destination.
Paint the recipient's name and the year on a shiny Christmas bauble and tie it to your gift. Your friend can hang the bauble on his or her tree as an annual reminder of you.

Cleaning and Washing Floors
A mopped floor occasionally dries with a luster-dulling film; if you mop it again with water containing a cup or so of white vinegar the floor will glisten.
A pencil eraser or fine, dry steel wool is often effective in removing scuff marks left by shoe heels on resilient flooring. Lift crayon marks by rubbing them with toothpaste or silver polish on a damp rag.
Instead of using commercial preparations, you can "wax" a floor by washing it with warm water to which you have added 2 tablespoons of furniture polish and 1/2 cup of vinegar.
When cleaning an asphalt tile floor with water, use a well-wrung cloth or sponge; excess water can seep into the seams and loosen the adhesives that hold the flooring.
Rather than wax floors on your hands and knees, stand and use a long-handled paint roller. A roller not only speeds up the waxing process, it makes it easy to reach under a radiator or built-in
To clean up raw egg dropped on a floor, sprinkle it with salt, let it sit for 15 to 20 minutes, and then sweep it up with a broom.
Instead of using a rag to apply paste wax to floors, get a better grip and protect your skin with a glove-type potholder or workman's glove slipped over your hand. Such gloves have the added advantage of being sturdy and easy to clean.
When washing highly waxed floors between waxing, use a solution of 1 cup of fabric softener in 1/2 pail of water to prevent dulling the shine.
A few drops of vinegar in the water used to clean the kitchen floor will help remove particles of cooking grease that have settled from the air.
For a fast shine between floor waxing, put a piece of waxed paper under your mop and slide it around your floor.
After you've waxed a floor, wrap a bath towel around each foot and shuffle around the room to polish the floor in a flash.
When it's time for a new coat of wax on a linoleum or tile floor, remove the old wax by mopping with a solution of 3 parts of water to 1 part of rubbing alcohol.

Cleaning Wells and Wall Coverings
There's no need to purchase expensive wall cleaner. You can make your own economical cleaner by mixing into a gallon of warm water 1/4 cup of washing soda, 1/4 cup of white vinegar, and 1/2 cup of ammonia.
Lift crayon marks off a painted wall by rubbing them carefully with a cloth or sponge dampened with mineral spirits or lighter fluid. Remove any shine by sponging lightly with hot water.
To remove crayon marks on wallpaper, rub carefully with a dry soap-filled, fine grade steel-wool pad. Or use a wad of white paper toweling moistened with dry-cleaning solvent and delicately sponge the surface. Carefully blot and lift in small areas to prevent the solvent from spreading and discoloring the paper.
It's best to wash walls from the bottom up; otherwise, water trickling over the dry, unwashed areas creates hard-to-remove streaks.
You can make washing walls less of a wet, messy task by decreasing the amount of water and using an egg beater to make thick suds.
Remove ordinary soil marks from wallpaper by rubbing them gently with an art gum eraser.
It's easy to remove transparent tape from a wall without marring the paint or wallpaper if you press the tape-through a protective cloth-with a warm iron to soften and loosen the tape's adhesive backing.
To prevent water from running down your arm when washing walls, fashion a bracelet from a sponge or washcloth held in place with a thick rubber band.
For cleaning rough-textured walls, old nylon stockings or socks are better than sponges or cloths because they won't tear and leave difficult-to-remove bits and pieces on the surface.
You can sponge washable wall coverings and some vinyl's with a mild detergent. To find out how much elbow grease your paper can take, first work on a scrap.
Lift grease stains from washable wallpaper with a paste made of cornstarch and water. Alternatively, rub dry borax over stains.
To remove grease stains from a grass-cloth wall or ceiling covering apply an aerosol dry cleaner. Follow instructions carefully.
To remove a grease spot from no washable wallpaper, place a blotter over the spot and press it with a moderately hot iron. The blotter will soak up the grease. Repeat as required.
You can also use talcum powder to remove a grease spot on non-washable wallpaper. Dust on the talc with a powder-puff, leave it for an hour and then brush it off. Repeat, if necessary.
Clean non-washable wallpaper with rye bread.
Make a fist-sized wad of bread and rub it across discolorations and dirt.
To remove white water marks from wood wall paneling, rub mayonnaise into them. Wipe off the mayonnaise 12 hours later. The marks will have vanished.

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