Hostess With The Mostess

A good Hostess is very enthusiastic about flower arrangements & plates.
A good Hostess is very enthusiastic about flower arrangements & plates.

Mostest what? That can just go so many different ways. Mostest Salmonella from undercooked dinner? I could pull that off. Mostest sharp Lego landmines per square capita? . Mostest recorded episodes of cartoons AND reality TV? We got ’em.  Mostest mystery cream filling in a Hostess Twinkie? Delish. I suspected this superior level of catering to guests required a level of class and elegance I’ve yet to reach, so in an effort to sophisticate myself I went to etiquette school. Just kidding. I googled “How To Have People At Your House And Not Scare Them” and read up on the good ‘ol glossy art of playing Hostess. Pinterest was full of most-hostessing pics involving hand painted table cards and elaborate dinner spreads, tips on how to fit the most touristy time into an itinerary, and various crafty/homemade extras to add in to make ones guest feel right at home. Needless to say, I was terrified.  It was Internet Cotillion. All that was missing were the white gloves and an awkward waltz partner.

Party Giving? Party Taking's Boring Sister.
Party Giving? Party Taking’s Boring Sister.


But  you see, I kind of immediately need to figure out this gracious art form. I realized, despite months of conversations, that tomorrow I’ll pick up THE Woman Wielding Words, Lisa Kramer from the airport. I’ll get to spend a week with this lovely lady and meet up with the also word-talented Miss Andra Watkins as she hikes her way towards Nashville to promote her Natchez Trace-based book. I, maybe, told Andra to stay here, too, when she’s done walking 444 miles on her two feet.  I realized I hadn’t so much learned to cook or even maintain a calm household and I maybe forgot to think about this when I gave these bloggy friends the impression that staying at my place was way, way, way more luxurious than any old Hampton Inn. I might’ve left out large details such as: my toddler son has been known to gallop naked around the house yelling “WEINER SHAKE!”, I have actually messed up boiled water, and no square inch of floor is safe as your toes will find some sharp edge of a Hot Wheels/ Lego/ Made In China contraption.  I got so excited to spend a week with a them that I, perhaps, didn’t pay much mind to the fact that most humans don’t eat Hot Pockets & Pop Tarts for supper. My social itinerary typically includes many rounds of hardwood floor skating in socks (Thomas almost has his triple lutz), watching my dog chase squirrels in the back yard, nomming a variety of brightly colored pre-packaged foods. Is this not what you girls meant when you spoke of seeing the sights in Nashville?

I’ve been staring at screenshots of glitter-dipped welcome notes on Pinterest and trying to learn a lifetime of proper domesticity with a quickness. My natural environment involves limited access to flammable materials, an abundance of cartoons, and a neighborhood view of cows and fields with cows in them. The chic corner of cyberspace would like to tell me that to entertain, to hostess the mostess, I must have these skills. Luckily, I’ve got a husband who knows the way I am wired, or in this case, the way I am very much not. When he walked into the kitchen and sees me jabbing at buttons to make two mixing spoons twirl, I tell him, worried, that I only have 40 hours to figure out what this thing is for.  He tells me with his eyes that I should calm the hell down. That it’s ok not to hostess the mostess. That some people watch Honey Boo Boo because they find hillbilly adorable. That these women of the writer persuasion are creative enough to appreciate the circus-freak happenings of this wild, wild house. That we have all the basics covered, and their visits will be, if nothing else, adventurous.

As any good hostess knows, we offer delicious gourmet eats.


Activities? We’ve got in-house entertainment for days.


 Now offering complimentary wake up calls to make sure you are up dark & early at 4 am


Lisa & Andra, there will not be filet mignon. None that I cook, anyways. My dog will stare in your eyes and lick your feet and never break eye contact for such creepy lengths of time that you will later reminisce and feel suddenly violated. My son will want to give you an item-by-item tour of the entire house by announcing “THIS. THIS is a pantry. And THIS. THIS is a can of soup”. I will burn several meals but have take-out menus on standby. A good hostess, after all, is always prepared. I will get us lost driving roads that I have seen and travelled since birth, but my stellar car singing will distract from the added mileage before the destination. I can’t promise you classy, girls. Like not even Hampton Inn classy. Like not even really those by-the-hour-motel-catering-to-spandex-skirted-professionals classy. But I can promise you good-humored conversation, an extensive catalogue of animated movies, clean sheets, and wine. Here’s to your weirdest and friendliest lodging experience!


Reader, are you a natural host/ hostess?

Did you have to read a book or were you just born ready to “set out the good plates” or what?

To check out Andra’s amazing #ToLiveForeverBook & follow her 400+ mile trek along the Natchez Trace click HERE.

Stay tuned for updates on our bloggy adventures. Most of them will be wine-themed, with a few gross dinner shots thrown in for good measure.





41 thoughts on “Hostess With The Mostess

  1. This sounds like heaven on earth to me . . . and besides, since I pretty much invited myself I do not expect to be treated like a queen. I am glad your dog will lick my feet, it will make me miss mine less. I can’t wait!

    1. We are so excited. Thomas thinks you are, indeed, a queen, because you get to fly on a real airplane in the real clouds to get here. You must be some kind of special, Miss Thang. Not just any peasant gets to ride through the sky!

  2. I’d be on Pinterest too. I saw a woman in the discount store Tuesday Morning yesterday buying this beautiful spread for her table. Modern, simple white salad bowls and other interesting shaped plates and bowls, perfectly complementing table cloth and center piece decorations. She just figured it all out in her head and put it all together on a whim. I stared at her and her purchases back and forth trying to figure out how she did that! (She prob felt violated by the time she left. ha!) I almost went back and bought every single thing I saw her buying so I would look like I had a clue and impress my friends and family 😉 But I didn’t….usually comes down to laziness anyway. 😉

    1. I just pictured you creeping around the store taking items, one-by-one, out of that lady’s cart. Hilarious! Pinterest has that effect on me, too. I start getting all these wild ideas about how I can make a balloon chandelier and roasted lamb and personalized place cards and then, after an hour of just staring at Pinterest pics, I realize “Oh, no. I’m not gonna do any of that”.

  3. Oh, Tori, you crack me up! I’ll be you’re a much better hostess than you profess to be. Anyway, it’s not the cooking, or the entertainment that makes a visit special; it’s the good company. I’m sure you’ll all share a week of uproarious laughter and make some great memories!

    My mother was a fabulous, Martha Stewart-type of hostess (the crafty, good cook Martha, not the cold b**ch Martha!). I think she was worried about my abilities, because she sent me to charm school when I was 12. There, I learned to keep my legs closed in a dress and how to get in and out of a car without giving a booty show to the people around me. So if you ever come to my house as a guest, I can promise I won’t shock you, or anyone else, by inadvertently showing my downstairs goods!

    1. Hahaha. I can’t stop laughing. I just imagined your guests summarizing their visits with “Well, at least we didn’t see her hoo-ha. That’s something, right?”. I can promise Lisa & Andra won’t see my bum…. but my toddler is all about freedom of naked sprinting around the house 🙂

      1. I can understand about the naked toddler part! My oldest stripped down (or at least tried to) everywhere went. She though a host’s invitation to take her coat involved handing off her pants and diaper, too. Thank goodness she didn’t grow up to be a stripper!!

  4. I’m sorry, but I’ve always thought that the women who paint their own welcome cards probably have WAAAAY too much time on their hands! I wouldn’t know how to act around all that.

    1. Haha. I’m glad you said it because I’ve felt it. I know I’m supposed to be impressed at over-the-top gatherings, but I get uncomfortable thinking about how many minutes and hours a person could spend on calligraphy and froufrou things!

    1. Wish you & Sara were here! We need an International Round 2 soon! Haven’t had wine with a straw since our visit to KY. That’s sacred Kathy N’ Sara stuff 🙂

  5. Haha! I love your writing and your candidness! Having grown up in a family of eight, I am not a natural hostess either. When your house is that full, who has energy or space for guests? Rather than improving on my mother’s hostessing skills, I have emulated her. 🙂
    As long as their is joy and red wine amidst the chaos, how could it be anything but a wonderful visit?!

    1. Ahh. I’m from a family of 7 and YOU ARE SPOT ON! There will be no lack of crazy things for them to write about. It might not be pretty, but it definitely won’t be boring!!!

  6. I like to get to know people well enough before they come to my house that I can wave in the direction of my kitchen and say, “if you’re thirsty, the cups are in one of those cupboards, and we should have milk… and tap water. go for it. Grab me one while you’re at it”… I make people feel right at home when i’m hostess 😉

    1. Very good point. I’m sure I’ll be so comfortable around these two that I’ll be asking them to take out the trash and hand over the remote by the end of the week 🙂

  7. I’m a half-assed hostess with the mostest…as in, I’ll make you a big fancy dinner and have coffee and pastries ready in the A.M., but, if you want anything else…you better be prepared to get it your darned self, lol. I loved reading this…it was funny…and I can almost guarantee you that WE have the most lego landmines per square capita.

  8. this gave me a great chuckle, and i am sure that your guests will love staying with you in a normal home, filled with love and energy and never a dull moment!

    i lived in natchez in the 1990’s, and have driven the ntz/jackson section of the trace by heart! thanks for pointing us to andrea’s blog!


    1. If nothing else, they’ll have PLENTY to write about 🙂 I grew up off the Franklin, TN portion of the trace! It’s a beautiful piece of history, isn’t it? I think you’d love Andra’s book. It is one of those fast-paced, had-to-keep-reading books and it is set against the Natchez Trace and its history/ characters. Being familiar with the trace, it is pretty cool to see something I grew up around come to life in such an exciting way!

  9. I also invited myself (and my husband). Whatever we do will be fun. I really hope Thomas runs around the house naked doing the weiner shake, because that will be waaaaaay better than seeing my dad do that………which he practically has on this trip. I’m looking forward to seeing you and Lisa on Sunday. xo

  10. Thank goodness you mentioned Twinkies. Once I saw the title, all I could think was, “I need a Twinkie fix.” I’d take one of those chocolate cupcakes as well. I’m going to start serving those when I host parties.

    1. Haha! I think Twinkie before I think hosting a fancy dinner party. Also, OH MY GOD YOUR BABY IS SO CUTE MY EYES EXPLODED. Sorry. Used all my restraint not to add that creepy comment to your post earlier.

    1. Them are Kerfluffle-startin’ words, Mark. Hahaha! And to answer your question: Yes. No use denying it. I like BBQ and the word y’all wayyy too much.

  11. Hooray for when bloggers really actually meet bloggers! You are going to have such a great time… even if you burn the house down.
    PS – Don’t burn the house down.
    PPS – That would be an awesome blog post, though.

    1. Haha. A house fire would make for an excellent plot twist! Then I’d follow it up with a “My Husband Has Had It With My Antics & We’ll Be Consciously Uncoupling Now” post. I’d have the most exciting blog around!!!
      Seriously, though, I am so excited to spend some time with these ladies. I already love them and things can only get more fun with wine!

      1. And, as a friend of mine just pointed out, “‘cookbooks’ full of recipes made mostly of air and paste.” Those are hard to burn. Gwyneth just saved you.

  12. I know this world oh-so-well. I almost bought a throw pillow the other day that said “Pardon the mess. We live here.” Personally, I love a home that lived in, has it’s own flavor and quirks and isn’t a mirror of a Stepford Wife’s Pinterest board. For what it’s worth 🙂

    1. EXCELLENT point! My house definitely wouldn’t leave anyone afraid to touch or break or dirty things up. Everything’s from a clearance bin and we consider the boy’s dirty handprints wall art 🙂

  13. This was utterly delightful. And like your other commenter, I was relieved that Twinkies and other creme filled wholesome goodness was mentioned immediately because that’s my connotation to Hostess! Ironically, I wrote a post called, “The Quest For the Freshly Pressed House Guest” about meeting another blogger and things not “going so well.” ps. Your son sounds like a riot!

    1. Of course Twinkies must receive all due props! I’m lucking out with some great guests, so I haven’t been worried about the actual hanging out part! They both seem to love new experiences, so they’ll be able to add Survived Toddler Circus to their lists of adventures 🙂

  14. Sounds like it’s going to be a great visit! And how proper — the mini Oreos on a silver platter. 🙂 I hope you have time to make those glitter dripped welcome cards you mentioned — I’m sure my kids would love to help! Have fun with your friends, I bet it will be great!

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