1. How often do you have company in your home (per week/month/year)?
It really seems to vary for us depending on the season of the year - we definitely host more in the summer season, and during the holidays. Including family (my husbands, primarily, as my family lives in the US), we have company to our home 2-3 times/month.
2. What do you enjoy about hosting? What do you dislike?
I love to cook and bake for others, and I especially like sending people home with the leftovers so I don't have to wrestle with storing all of those leftovers in my already crowded refrigerator :) For hosting, though, I most enjoy the conversations that embark when you sit down with family and friends. Even though we see some family members and friends quite often, it is only when we all sit down together that we actually take the time to listen and learn more about who we all are.
There isn't much that I dislike about hosting, or else I wouldn't do it. Ever since Tessa mentioned this book to us many months ago, I've tried to let go of the idea that the house needs to be spotless before company arrives, so that has helped to alleviate some of that "prep stress" that used to happen so often ... For me, I always wish I had more time to make the visit more special - but with 3 little ones underfoot I've accepted that to be an impossible task for now: conversations will inevitably be interrupted, strings of thought will be lost time and time again, and there will no doubt be pee splatters in one of the bathrooms in the house :)
3. Name 2 things that you do for company/before company arrives, that you rarely/never do otherwise.
For one, we'll eat in the dining room, which we only do when company is coming as it fits more people than the table in our "eat-in" kitchen ... I can't reach all of the kids' faces with the washcloth when we're at the larger table :)
Second, I like to have fresh flowers in the house when we're expecting company, whether from the garden or store bought.
4. What is on your "last-minute check list" right before the door bell rings?
Tidy the bathroom, make sure drinks are in the refrigerator, and appetizers are ready to go.
5.What is your favorite "event" to host? ( for example: coffee, a meal, evening, over-nightter, family/friends, outdoor/indoor, casual/formal... etc)
I most love to have company during the Christmas holiday season - my husband and I both love winter and the entire Christmas holiday season, and we've even been known to stretch the invites well into January to extend the season for ourselves :) I definitely prefer the more casual format with a buffet of food on the table, versus a "sit down formal" meal ... it just seems less stuffy when people are sitting all over the place with plates on their laps, versus everyone sitting around the dinner table.