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In fact, I got to BE one when I lived in San Francisco and worked at a beloved, historical bed & breakfast. In some ways, I had scored my dream job. I’m happiest when I’m doing all of the things that speak to me – writing, photographing, nurturing. I was missing two of those things back then, but these days I’m working on all three as a mother. I’ll always be an Innkeeper in spirit, and one trait I shared heavily with the Inn I used to work at, is a love for “thinking of everything” and being prepared.
As you can see from photos, our house looks a bit like a ski lodge. My friend likes to affectionately call it a “House of Rest, Relaxation and Respite. We really like people to come here and feel absolutely welcome and comfortable. Like this:
I’m a chocolate on the pillows type of person. We host so very many people during the winter and I love to build mini medicine cabinet-like baskets for my guests. I have always loved the idea of having everyone safe and snug and comfortable under my roof and I think it’s a natural part of who I am. Sometimes it gets lost in translation and details, and I don’t know if I’ll ever be an Innkeeper again for real, but I think I’ll always be one in spirit. Now that the winter season is upon us, earlier and earlier, I love to prepare for it by stocking up on seasonal essentials at CVS. I try to anticipate many guest needs.
Since my kids are little nurturers as well, I took Des with me to CVS this week to see if we could put together a fun little “hotel/soap/medicine cabinet basket” for upcoming winter guests. He loved helping! This is what we picked out together:
1. Saltines! Honestly, what can’t they do? It’s always nice to have crackers in your home for soup and comfort. Comfort and soup. We use them when we’re not feeling well, when we ARE feeling well, and just to have on hand for guests.
2. HALLS! I think it’s important to prepare the home, and our visitors, for whatever the winter season may bring. Sometimes we’re not feeling our best, and getting symptom relief of coughs and scratchy throats makes our guests comfortable.
3. Lysol! I like to buy the disinfecting wipes. It’s just such a nice addition to our hotel “soap baskets” because they come in handy nearly daily during the winter season. Lysol kills 99.9% of bacteria on soft surfaces.
4. Kleenex! Of course this is important. We go through a lot of boxes at home, so I always like to make sure our guests have their own boxes – that haven’t been manhandled by Des. He will use a tissue and then stuff it back in a box. Ugh!
5. Smartwater! This is honestly my favorite water and I have it on hand constantly for hydration.
Putting together this basket with the kids is fun. They like to add their own little twists – like with stuffies or CVS chocolates or gum, and of course, I like to add moose soap. It feels really incredible to rediscover my Innkeeper roots, and to create a “home away from home” for my guests. CVS will be running a week-long National Promotion featuring these seasonal essentials, starting the week of November 15th! Starting Sunday the 15th, through the end of the week, if you spend $15 at your CVS store, you will receive $5 in extrabucks. Do you have a CVS near you? Store locator link HERE.
Janine Huldie says
Yes to all of the above, especially the Lysol wipes as I feel like no matter what time of the year these are just a necessity to help keep all sorts of germs at bay. But still your house definitely could pass for a relaxing Bed and Breakfast experience from all I have seen here over the years now! 😉
I agree. I made a joke to the daycare teacher that I wish I could make a gloves and suit out of Lysol wipes and that’s just how I go about my day! No germs! ha!
Come visit our “bed and breakfast”!
We load up on those Lysol wipes, let me tell you.
I get it. I bought a four pack and I still wonder if it’s enough for winter.
Kleenex.. forget it. I’m doing a blog post about a TWELVE pack next and I wonder if that’s enough!
Alright it’s settled,I’m coming! My house is such a zoo right now that the words relaxation and rest are like a narcotic to me! I think with all of your supplies, TLC and such your house is for sure a highly sought after locale!
You’re invited! It’s quite awesome here. And if you like snow, we’ll have that pretty soon.
And we always keep a light on and ice cream in the freezer.
I love CVS! We shop there all the time. In fact, the other night when I was getting my flu shot, the guy at the pharmacy keyed in my info without even asking my name! LOL
Yay for getting your flu shot! After even the COLD I had for three weeks, it makes me very afraid of what might be lurking around this winter.
Cool about the keying info!
Bev Feldman (@Linkouture) says
I hope one day I get to see your home in person! Your home is my dream home, although space like yours is VERY hard to come by in Somerville! I would love to have lofted ceilings in our living room and create a second floor in our now attic, having part of it overlook the living room. And more than anything, I want the space to host guests. I got to live out an innkeeper dream myself for a year when Sam and I were Airbnb hosts. I never blogged about it because I didn’t want my parents to know we were doing it! But I loved having a basket of goodies available for our guests. I never put out chocolates on their pillows, but it certainly would have been a nice touch!
Come visit! It’s so easy! I bet it will happen soon.
I’m laughing about the Airbnb thing and your parents not knowing.
April G says
I actually have a Facebook friend who runs a blog and opened a bed and breakfast. Keep the idea alive!
That’s awesome! We wanted to call ours “The Sled Dog Inn.” Maybe one day.
Lindsay Klein says
I’m so excited to be a winter prego guest for my first time;)
Oh yes. You’ll get the full treatment! But no sushi. Or soft cheese. Or deli meat.
It is that time of year! My hubby is getting over a bad cold and I am fiercely trying to not catch it. CVS does have a great stock of items to stay healthy. I’ll come to your B&B!
I guess you’re far away so maybe you didn’t get THE COLD that’s been going around here. It’s the most awful thing I’ve ever experienced from a cold.
I put together little guest room gif baskets too! And I buy Lysol and Clorox wipes by the box-full!
I usually buy four packs and then I think it’s still not enough! It’s like I need to make an entire suit and gloves out of them, just to pick up my kids from daycare and school!
Jenna Wood says
We always have a basket full of goodies, and extra blankets, to greet our guests. I want to come stay at your house though, it looks so serene! #client
I’m so glad you do that too! It’s so much fun. I always have to add moose soap to mine too. To go with the whole ski lodge thing!
What a great idea to have a care package! And yes, I’ve never been to your home but I already adore it!
It’s really a nice little ski lodge! Without.. skiing.
Mrs. AOK says
Your home!! Heart eyes 🙂 I cannot wait to have my own home again & hopefully have room for visitors.
I love heart eyes! That’s how we found this place. I got the big heart eyes for it.
This sounds so awesome! How I wish I can be a guest. Your home is so lovely!
Also, it’s always better to be prepared.
I wish you could too! I’d have to let you guys borrow winter gear, because you’d need it here!
Your guest baskets are so thoughtful! I really like the addition of crackers because sometimes you get the munchies but don’t want to disturb your host 🙂
So true! And crackers are just.. good. The reason I got them was actually because both of my sisters are pregnant and what’s better than Saltines when you’re queasy??
Ahhh…I wish I could give you an inn. I’d come and visit. (PS – I got a moose night shirt. I couldn’t resist. It’s very comfortable).
YES! I need to go to that store so badly. It made me feel all the feelings. One day I’ll have to tell you about my Everything Moose store in Wyoming and how I had a strong vision in there.
I used to want an inn called The Sled Dog Inn.
Can’t wait to hear that one!
I was with my ex in the store and I saw a vision of a man, clear as day, holding a baby in those adorable moose baby pajamas. Only the man was Cassidy and not the man I was with. It definitely turned the tides of everything I thought I knew.
Years later I did see Cassidy holding Scarlet in moose pajamas.
For real? That’s awesome! And you knew it was Cassidy? And the next day the other guy was your ex? Inquiring minds Tamara…
haha, well it wasn’t the next day. So Cassidy had come back into my life after two years apart but we weren’t together. I had a boyfriend and we were in Wyoming.
I stood in the Everything Moose store and had the clearest vision ever of Cassidy rocking a baby in red and black moose pajamas.
I was really happy it came true, although the baby in my vision had blonde hair and Scarlet was born with dark curls.
Jennifer | The Deliberate Mom says
What an awesome idea! I love the treats you provided in your baskets. You’re quite the hostess! Can I come stay with you?!
Thanks for sharing (I just love all the sleepy pictures).
Wishing you a lovely evening.
Yes, you can! You’ll even get a chocolate on your pillow.
The sleepy pictures are just the best. That was from like.. January to April. I love when the light starts coming back slowly and we get it at different times of the day. Just streaming in.
I can totally see you as an innkeeper–I love this profession so much and have always wondered what it would be like myself. It’s certainly a lot of work but how wonderful to spend each and every day with people from all over the world, united in their interest to see your home town/lodge? 🙂
You must be an incredible host. Love your guest gift baskets! (and behind-the-scenes look at your beautiful house.) XOXO
It’s so much work! I’m so glad I got to experience it because I don’t think it’s really my dream, or not yet. So many other things first, or during.
Anyway. I can’t ignore such instincts!
This is an awesome care package for houseguests! My sister always had a tendency to get sick whenever we traveled, so things like cough drops and extra water are perfect. Of course, no one would argue with chocolate (or cookies) on the pillow either!
That’s like my mom! I rarely get sick when I travel and my mom will get a UTI, a stomach virus, a cold and strep! I was totally thinking of them with this, and my sisters are pregnant.. so.. Saltines!
I see you owning your own bed and breakfast or inn. Your lovely photographs could decorate the walls.
And Cassidy’s strange pop culture collection.
Chris Carter (@themomcafe) says
Oh Tamara- I could totally see you owning a B and B with Cassidy and having SO many beautiful nurturing things to offer there! From your beautiful photos and decor to all your gifts to your natural love and care taking abilities… when you open it, I wanna come!! Buy one somewhere with MOOSE nearby!!
Great gift basket!! I have all those items in my house!
It’s sort of this strange, abstract dream we’ve always had, but it’s also scary. I’ve done it before and it’s HARD work. I’m sure we could find a way somehow, though.
And you’re invited.
What a great get well basket. It has everything one needs to pamper oneself when sick.
I also have two pregnant sisters, which is where the Saltines come in! They’ll be staying here soon.
Robin Rue (@massholemommy) says
Knock on wood, we haven’t been sick here this winter, but I know its coming so I need to stock up on all that stuff!
Nice! I hope your trend stays. My daughter brought up a nasty cold only a month or two into school and it was one of the worst I’d seen in years.
That picture with the sleeping dog is adorable. I love the idea of a get well basket.
Thanks! I love the epic naps everyone takes in this house.
Christine M Luken (@FinLifeGrd) says
I love CVS and their Extra Bucks deals! I need to stock up on Kleenex, so I’ll definitely be taking advantage of this deal!
Me too! I’m a longtime Extra Bucks deals user. I have gone so Kleenex crazy lately..
I would love to own my own B&B out in the mountains. It would be a lot of work but never a dull moment 🙂
Everyone looks so relaxed in your photos. I need to take a page out of your book 🙂
Exactly!! So much work, but never bored.
Eli Pacheco says
I’d so stay there. I might make a special request of those little red boxes of animal crackers.
Your request would so surely be granted. I turn into I Dream of Jeannie with house guests also. It’s worth it for that.
Jessica Beal Harlow says
You seemed to have created a very restful respite! I’m sure your mom tendencies plus your B&B experience has made you a natural! I love the idea of pulling together some “homey” essentials to have on-hand for guests especially if they are spending the night.
I love that you take such care for your guests. I’m sure people love visiting you! I think that is a great stock up -especially the saltines. I adore saltines!
Helene Cohen Bludman says
CVS is our go to place for almost all our supplies. We’re lucky to have one close by.
Saltines are a must in our house! And my husband is obsessed with smart water.
Liz Mays says
These are great for making guests feel welcome. I need to start putting together more welcome baskets. The water is a great idea!
Nellie @ Brooklyn Active Mama says
Is it weird that I hoard toothbrushes and all kinds of fun things from events so that I can give them to my guests?! I guess it’s a little weird. You take the cake with the chocolate though! (See what I did there?!)
Claudia krusch says
Love your tips and all the products on your list! CVS is my go to place when I need that healthy boost!
I will need to remember this when we have guests. A great way to make them feel welcome.
Debbie L. says
I have to get ready for the winter season. Crackers are a must for me…there are the only thing I will eat with a upset stomach.
Carol Bryant says
I have company coming next month and I am going to replicate this basket in the guest room.
Brandy M. says
Keeping the essentials on hand for this time of year is so important. Nothings worse than when somebody in the house is feeling crummy and you have to run out to get something for the symptoms.
Kleenex cool touch tissues really help those with runny noses not have a painful nose from all of the blowing.
Lois Alter Mark says
It sounds like you are a wonderful hostess! Any guest would be lucky to stay with you!
An inn keeper would have some great perks. I can see how it would be fulfilling to host others too. 🙂
CVS always has such great deals. I’m headed there today to get some laundry detergent on sale. I also like using the Lysol wipes for easy cleaning.
Amanda || Growing Up Madison says
How did I miss this post? Well better late than never. I always make sure there are new toothbrushes, toothpaste, tissue, lotion and soap in the guest bathroom so they’ll never have to ask for anything. I love your idea and might have to incorporate a few of these other things too.
Tonya C says
This such a great touch that I’m sure guests would love. Interesting you wanted to be an inn keeper!
Nicole Lutzy says
I think when you have kids the Lysol wipes are a must! I even take them with when we stay at a hotel too!
oh my gosh – I thought I was the only one who left little “in case you forgot something” baskets in my spare room! It’s actually the entire top drawer of one of the nightstands and it’s easier to ask me, “what isn’t in there?” LOL
There are toothbrushes, floss, mouthwash, kleenex, chapstick, lotions, soap, a brush, hairspray and gel, deodorant (his and her), band-aids, feminine care products in a makeup bag, nail file and clippers, magazines, cards, pen and paper…. like I think I even have new socks in there just in case. LOL Basically I just hit the travel size goods sections of the local drug store and go crazy.