[ THE ] TIPS: HOW TO PREPARE FOR HOLIDAY HOUSE GUESTS

As far as I’m concerned, there are three types of holiday hosts:

  1. The “Stop By Anytime!” Host: Either a seasoned veteran or a relaxed person to begin with.

  2. The “What Did I Get Myself Into?” Host: Completely overwhelmed. Has considered canceling the get-together entirely.

  3. The “Please Remove Your Shoes Immediately” Host: The quintessential neat freak. Has fever dreams that guests will track dirt onto her new rug.

I obviously identify as Option B and C, as does Joanna.

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The good news is we’ve learned you don’t have to be a professional event planner or a completely relaxed person to prepare and host a great party for your guests.  It all comes down to working smarter — not harder. Trust us, we are really good at it.

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The easiest way to do this is taking advantage of online shopping. It helps my stress levels tremendously because I’m able to order the items I need online and clean the guest bathroom, all in the time it would take to drive to the store and find a parking spot.

It also matters where you shop online. Instead of ordering from multiple stores, stick to a one-stop shop that provides most of what you need. This helps avoid any confusion and the potential of forgetting an item. This year, eBay was my best bet because home appliances and decor make up the majority of my list. Oh, and before you think I was buying used items, I wasn’t. These days, 81% of eBay’s merchandise is new and available with the “Buy It Now” option — and 69% of those items ship free. The site’s Home and Garden section is easy to navigate so I was able to quickly find the top-rated items in each category without having to click back and forth between tabs.

Considering I’ll be hosting adults and all of their children at my house, I thought the occasion called for a new vacuum. Let’s be honest: One of those kids will end up smuggling glitter in, whether by gift package, decorative headband, or some other means - and I’ll need to stop it in its tracks (the glitter, not the child). eBay carries Dyson, along with many other well-known appliance brands, and purchased the Dyson DC50 model vacuum because of its mobility, sleek design, and the fact it was 55% off retail price. (The deals are so good I feel like I actually stole it.)

Not to mention, it *actually* works when you need to clean-up remnants from your tree and ornaments (otherwise known as holiday glitter).

Scroll below to find the other items I purchased from eBay’s Home & Garden page to prepare for my guests and save my sanity:

1. Coasters: My mantra is “No more guests than available coasters.” Buy a few extra sets, just in case someone decides to double fist glasses of champagne.

Carrara White Marble Hexagon Coasters, Set of 4 $19.45

2. Drop Spot: As soon as your guests walk in, you’ll want to designate a spot where they can store their shoes, coats, umbrellas, etc. The more obvious, the better. Look for storage solutions that include hooks and a spot for separate bins.

Extendable Garment Rack $33.99

3. Ice Bucket: If you plan on hosting a lot of guests, it’s easier to create a DIY drink spot so guests can serve themselves when needed. Fill it up with beer, chilled wine, cocktail mixers, etc. Line with glassware and restock when necessary.

Silver Metal Party Tub $36.11

4. Speakers: Music is a must-have at any party. This two-room set from Sonos speakers pairs with Alexa voice control, which is always super helpful.

Sonos Two Room Set, $379

Xo, Clea

*This is a paid partnership with eBay; all opinions remain 100% our own

[ THE ] 2018 HOLIDAY GIFT EDIT

It should go without saying that we aren’t the type to brave the crowded lines for Black Friday sales. I mean….can you imagine us?! As far as we’re concerned, no flatscreen TV is worth breaking a sweat or getting elbowed in the face for.

Instead, our typical holiday shopping purchases take place from under a blanket with a mug of tea or flute of champagne in hand. I guess you can say it’s where we’re most inspired. Which is why we wanted to create another gift guide so you too can do the least while doing the most. You’re welcome.

[ THE ] RAINBOW EDIT

We’ve heard that every time a rainbow item is purchased, an angel gets its wings. Just saying.

[ THE ] TRAVEL EDIT

Carry-on items that double as survival mechanisms.

[ THE ] SURVIVING NOT THRIVING EDIT

Our life motto. Not sorry about it.

[ THE ] COZY EDIT

Who’s cozier, Joanna or a hibernating bear? We’ll leave it up for discussion.

[ THE ] ROBERTA APPROVED EDIT

When Roberta approves, the world takes a deep cleansing breath. *exhales*

[ THE ] CHAMPAGNE EDIT

“A life without champagne is not a life worth living.” -Anonymous. (Okay…it’s me, Clea.)

[ THE ] BEAUTY EDIT

Psssst, we have a secret. There’s nothing wrong with buying a gift set for a loved one, only to unbox it, grab the item you want, and wrap the remaining items in a separate gift bag.

Or maybe that’s just us? Alright, just be the better person and gift the whole set. They’ll love it.

[ THE ] FASHION EDIT

What we love when we’re not wearing sneakers, black leggings, and our rotation of THE shirts and/or hoodie. Style icons, basically.

[ THE ] HUSBAND EDIT

Because he deserves something, too.

[ THE ] KID EDIT

We prefer gifts that don’t take hours to put together, make our lives easier, and look good in the house at the same time.

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*Oh, and this seems like an appropriate time to shamelessly plug our NEW BOOK (!!!!), The Home Edit: A Guide to Organizing and Realizing Your House Goals.

You can preorder it here. Let’s be honest…the fact that we finished writing this book is a Christmas/Hanukkah miracle in itself.

Xo, Clea + Joanna

[ THE ] QUIZ: ARE YOU CLEA OR JOANNA?

Have you ever been on a blind date and by the end of it, you started a business and opened-up several bank account together? Just us? Cool.

Turns out we are the kind of crazy people who do things like that. You know why? Neither do we. But it turned out totally fine so do not be concerned. Also, what are the odds of meeting another hot mess express who somehow also has the same singular organizing talent? It must be a very small pool of people.

Even though we have a lot in common, we also have our differences. It’s what inspired us to dress up like each other for Halloween this year. Although, we’re still trying to decide how “in-character” we’re both willing to get. If so, it looks like I’m eating all of my kid’s Halloween candy and Joanna is drinking a lot of champagne.

In honor of our costume idea, we decided to construct a very scientific quiz that tells you who you’re the most like: Clea or Joanna. Spoiler alert: Both results will show you are crazy. Just…. different sides of the same psychotic coin.

Question #1- Your child comes home from school with a homemade Mother’s Day card AND THEY USED GLITTER. What do you do?

A - Pull the alarm to activate the Operation Glitter crisis plan you had in place, complete with a HAZMAT suit that drops down from a trap door in the ceiling so you can safely evacuate the home before burning it down.

OR….

B - Smile and thank them with a big hug, while simultaneously pulling a mini vacuum out of your back pocket.

Question #2: It’s 7pm on a Wednesday night, where are you?

A - Locked in the bathroom, scrolling through Instagram with a glass of champagne until the kids are asleep.

OR….

B - Already laying completely flat in bed with pajamas on, a bag of candy, and maybe a cup of decaf tea if it’s going to be a late night.

Question #3: You’re about to spend the entire day with Roberta. What’s on the itinerary?

A - Looking at new swatches of wallpaper, fabrics, and furniture selections for the house. She’s been keeping a file to show you so sit down and get comfortable.

OR….

B - Looking at new swatches of wallpaper, fabrics, and furniture selections for the house. She’s been keeping a file to show you so sit down and get comfortable.

Question #4: An hour into a flight, the pilot asks the flight attendants to take their seats. How do you prepare for turbulence, or impending death?

A - Rush to the front and beg for two mini bottles of champagne and promise to be good.

OR….

B - Furiously push the call attendant button and ask them if they think it’s going to be really bad while nervously eating handfuls of Swedish Fish.

Question #5: What motto best describes you?

A - Caffeine Until Cocktail Hour.

OR….

B - Roberta Approved.

If you answered mostly A:

YOU’RE CLEA

A total H.B.I.C (Head Bitch in Charge). You don’t ask for much, only that your coffee must match PANTONE 15-1040. It’s that simple.

If you answered mostly B:

YOU’RE JOANNA

Not a H.B.I.C, but you are Roberta Approved. After all, isn’t that the same thing?

OR ARE YOU BOTH... WE’LL CALL THAT CLEANNA

 

Leave your quiz result in the comment section below!

Xo Clea + Joanna

GET [ THE ] LOOK: CLEA'S LIVING ROOM

After revamping the kids playroom upstairs, I was eager to start on my next house project. Call it an occupational hazard… So when GABBY asked if we wanted to partner on a room makeover, I jumped at the chance to reconstruct my living room and reclaim it as an adult space. It’s not like the kids are welcome to hang-out downstairs from time to time...I just strongly encourage them to sit on their own couch and leave my brand new one nice and pristine.

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Turns out no one in my house listens to me and they sprawl all over it anyway. I was able to customize the layout for my Abbott Sectional so that it perfectly fits the room and provides so much extra seating for my whole entire family to watch TV even though that wasn’t really the intention. I decided to go with an armless chair on the left side to create a chaise, and then I placed a matching ottoman on the right side to give some flexibility for extend seating anywhere on the couch. The good news is that the fabric I selected (in Rush Smoke), is standing up well to all the daily wear from my kids, house guests, husband, and dog.

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To compliment the couch, and to add extra conversational seating, I added two Monroe club chairs. Since the couch is a velvety material, I thought the chairs should be leather to add some textural differences to the room. Both the couch and chairs have metal rivets that tie them together, without making them too matchy-matchy. That’s the technical term, right?

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Coordinating throw pillows can be tough in my house because the palette consists of black, white, and 500 shades of gray. So true to form, I went with that color scheme and tried to mix up the fabrics, materials, and shapes of the pillows so that they aren’t all identical. I ended up making some great custom GABBY throw pillows in the Lina Mercury fabric which added some silky textures to the variety. I promise I’m not afraid of color...I just don’t do accent colors. It’s either black and white, or full rainbow. I don’t really know how to do a random green pillow.

Bottom line: My living room looks great and is now even more comfortable. So naturally it’s going to be the favorite spot in the house for all of us. And as long as no one eats, drinks, spills, jumps, soils it… then everyone is welcome.

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