This weekend we have some of our closest friends coming to town which means I’ve been running around getting our home “guest ready”. You see, I take the act of hosting very seriously and this act is all about the prep work! Prep work I’ve got down to five easy steps - it starts with a cocktail (of course) and ends with breakfast. Five easy steps I thought I’d share with you all. Happy weekend! Truly, MKR

No. 1 – Ready the cocktails. After planes, trains, and automobiles your guests are likely a bit exhausted from the travel so greet them with a “house” cocktail and a proper toast to kick off what will hopefully be a relaxing and enjoyable stay.

No. 2 – Prepare the guest room. This means fresh linens and towels, extra pillows, plenty of closet and drawer space, and fresh flowers on the nightstand is always an appreciated touch.

No. 3 – Create a guest room tray. As a guest there’s nothing worse than having to ask your host time and time again for items they may need or have forgotten. A fully stocked guest tray will eliminate the ask all together. Some suggested guest tray additions would be; water (sparkling and flat), a carafe, glasses, napkins, coasters, a candle, matches, Advil, magazines, and treats. I love wrapping treats such as trail mix and cookies in re-sealable packaging so if your guests don’t dig in during their stay they’ll have something to snack on at the airport.

No. 4 – Bathroom extras. The most forgotten items when traveling are toiletries. Therefore stock the bathroom with all of the necessities; toothbrushes, toothpaste, razors, shaving cream, shampoo, conditioner, face wash, lotion, perfume, and soap. And may I suggest buying the small individually wrapped soaps to avoid the half-used-leftover-from-the-guests-full-of-germs-before-soap.

No. 5 – Stock the fridge. It’s always best to check with your guests before arrival to make sure they don’t have any allergies or need any specific foods during their stay. Then fill your fridge with all of the standard items (milk, bread, coffee, wine, etc.) plus a few regional specialities they may not be able to get at home. For example we’ll have pimento cheese, BBQ of some sort, and homemade Southern biscuits (recipe to come!)

Photography: Rustic White | Bed Head: Ballard Designs | Bedding & Monogrammed Hand Towels: West Elm | Concept & Styling: Mandy Kellogg Rye Of Waiting On Martha | Ivory Juju Hat, Gold & White Pillows, Vases, Pill Carafe, Trays,: Waiting On Martha | Lamp: Pier 1 Imports | Nightstand: Pottery Barn