hosting for the holidays? last minute tips to spruce up

Sunday, December 6th, 2015

Do you realize there are only two weekends until Christmas? Holy moly. My shopping list is still a mile long … and it feels like every night is already scheduled with holiday parties and get-togethers. Plus, I’m wearing the hostess hat more than once this year — which means the list is even longer.

Five Last Minute Ways to Welcome Guests1. // 2. // 3. // 4. // 5. (I buy Dee Dee’s at Whole Foods!) // 6.

Is the party at your house? Or did your friend send a last-minute text to say she’s stopping over with cookies? Of course, the most important thing to remember is that true friends don’t care what your house looks like; they love you for you! But we all want to put our “best foot forward” and to make everyone who comes into our homes feel comfortable and welcome.

Traci Zeller Charlotte Today December 2015Last week, I visited the Charlotte Today show to share a few tricks to help you feel comfortable welcoming guests into your home. Even better? These are all things you can do at the very last minute — with stuff you can keep on hand. No need to panic; you’ve got this!

how to freshen your house in five minutes

Monday, June 1st, 2015

Quick!  You have five minutes to make your house presentable. Am I the only one whose husband calls shortly before the arrival of newly invited guests? Never fear, MOMs. You may have twins, but you’ve got this! I use a laundry basket and toss in all of the odds and ends that manage to accumulate all too quickly. You know, the toys that have found their way downstairs and the bills that need to make their way upstairs. Next, stash the laundry basket out of sight. Preferably somewhere that you won’t forget where you put it.

Traci Zeller Designs Foxcroft Kitchen Painted CabinetsNow it’s time to move to the kitchen and check the sink. If I’ve been there last, all is well. If my husband has been there last, well, all bets are off. Move any abandoned dishes to the dishwasher. Give the sink a quick swish with the sponge. If you are feeling especially ambitious, use a microfiber cloth to dry. Shiny sink =  extra credit.

Traci Zeller Designs Powder Room Charlotte NCTime for the powder room. Ensure the hand towel is freshly washed and pressed. Repeat quick swish of the sink. Use another microfiber cloth to shine the faucet. Wipe down the toilet, if necessary. Especially important for the twin boy moms. Ahem. We are virtually “paper towel free” in my house, but for emergency situations, Method wipes can’t be beat. And they are compostable.  

Traci Zeller Home Candle by Ella B.Last step? Burn a pretty candle with a clean, crisp fragrance. Because really it’s all about the sinks and the smell.

Why yes, I do have a favorite; thank you so much for asking! Of course, it’s one of my Traci Zeller Home candles, created by Ella B. and hand-poured in Charlotte, North Carolina, in my two exclusive scents. In addition to my signature scent — zesty mandarins and citrus-fresh limes combined with herbal notes of basil — I added a celebratory Bubbly scent — champagne, pomegranate and pear. The common denominator? Clean, crisp fabulousness.

So now you know pretty much everything I’ve been up to. Interested in more “quick clean” tips? I spilled additional dirty secrets — hahaha, pun totally intended — in this post.

Photos by Dustin Peck Photography for Traci Zeller Designs.