As a former TV producer, it's difficult to say no when someone in the media calls or emails and asks for a favor. This week, KATV asked if I could come up with segments for THIS SATURDAY (yikes!) as well as January.
The segment this morning didn't go as planned. It wasn't horrible, it just wasn't great. The well-thought through props were all set up and the anchor and I started rolling along when she got the message in her ear to "wrap." We were a little over half way through the segment and not to the part where we talk about photography, tying in to my business. Oh well, such is TV, huh? Next time I guess I'll knock the shameless plug out at the start of the segment; that's www.mandyshoptaw.com just FYI.
Below, for your reading and viewing pleasure, are the tips from today's segment (Saturday, December 22, 2012). When/if the video becomes available, I will post that for you as well.
Preparing for Holiday Houseguest
1. In the bathroom have a container filled with everything you might need in case of emergency when staying overnight such as spray on deodorant, disposable razors, toothpaste, toothbrushes individually wrapped, q-tips, cotton balls, Band-Aids, etc.
2. Also in the bathroom, a basket with towels, washcloths, shampoo, and body wash ready for the shower or tub. And make sure there is plenty of toilet paper and tissue in an easy to find location too.
3. Next to the bed, fresh water and recent magazines or a fun to read book. This is a great way to use a decanter and a mismatched cocktail glass. You should also make sure that TV remotes or CD players and disks are out where people can see them. There's nothing worse than settling in and being wide awake and not being able to find the remote. A "TV Guide" or a list of channels on your system plus your wireless codes is a nice touch too. Note: Don't have a guest room? Put your items on an inexpensive tray and set it next to a couch or air mattress.
4. Fill the room with fragrance, have a candle and matches on the dresser or a vase filled with fresh flowers or greenery and berries. A candle is great because sometimes a guest arrives last minute and you can always keep it in a drawer to pull out and use; also during the winter fresh flowers may seem out of place and a candle more warm and inviting. Of course the scent of fresh greenery is very nice too and festive for the winter months and usually easy to access just outside your door.
5. Provide guests with maps and brochures to local attractions as well as their own house key to come and go as they please. This is something you can have handy in a drawer all year round. A stop by your local visitors center is a great idea!
6. Remember, personal touches matter. As a photographer, I like to remind people to take a photo of themselves and their guest and put it on display in the room; wouldn't it be fun to have a dresser full of framed photos of all the people who have stayed in your guest room? And if you don’t have a photo with the guest, take one while they are there and send it to them after their visit welcoming them back in the future or thanking them for something nice they did for you or your family while they were there. Note: While you have the whole family together, consider hiring a professional photographer to come on location and take pictures.
7. Houseguests, don’t forget your manners too-- bring a hostess gift, clean up after yourself and follow up with a thank you. A question I am frequently asked is, "Is an email is ok?" If the offer to stay was extended via email then sure, an email follow up is fine. But in this digital age, it's still nice to get an old fashioned hand written letter in the mail.