The Extra Mile Special Touches with Guest Cindy Sigler Dagnan

I am blown away by the fabulous ideas and interactions going on here in the comment thread each day. Keep it up!

Yesterday there were many ideas for pampering our husbands and such sweet encouragement from women who had lost their husbands as to how not to take ours for granted.

However, I must say that I had to laugh when my own dear husband contacted me asking me to enter my own giveaway. Seems he’d really like me to get a copy of Sheila’s book!

Now today, we talk little extra-mile touches that make your family and guests feel special.

Today’s guest is my creative friend Cindy Sigler Dagnan.

Cindy  is a domestically impaired wife and mother of four. She is a writer and speaker who is a whiz at naming dust bunnies, but manages to incorporate enough little touches in her home that make all the difference.

Visit her on the web at or read her blog about spiritual legacies for your children at

From Cindy’s heart (and brain! Such clever ideas she has!):

I’m possibly the farthest thing from a Martha Stewart out there. I am the only person in my home ec class who got extra credit for not wearing my garment to class!

That said, I love the idea of my home being a place of welcome to my family. A place of refreshment for my friends. A retreat, a respite.

A place where things that I can do, little touches that say “you’re special” are evident, but don’t stress me out.

~ Line pantry and cabinet shelf edges w/ lace; line drawers w/ scented paper

~ Throw a towel in the dryer and give cozy warmth to someone whose bath or shower is just finished; keep bath salts, fizzies & bubbles in stock

~ In your guest room, turn down covers, leave a mint or fresh flower; on the bedside table, place a pitcher of water, a cup and a few current magazines or a good inspirational book; lay a set of towels on the end of the bed along with a fresh bar of soap

~ In the bathroom, keep a small basket filled w/ extra toothbrushes, sample bottles of shampoo, lotion, conditioner, mouthwash, etc. for any guests who may have forgotten something

~ When you make hot cocoa, add whipped cream, marshmallows, miniature chocolate chips and drape a candy cane over the side.

~ Float a few strawberries in a pitcher of lemonade

~ Dip the rim of glassware in water, dip in sugar and freeze lightly before serving lemonade or tea

~ Cut a tiny cross hatch in a decorative cupcake liner and poke a straw through to keep bugs and debris out of drinks you serve outdoors

~ A bowl of fresh lemons & limes atop a stack of coffee table books is inexpensive & elegant

~ Freeze cranberries in your ice cubes to add to water for a visual, flavorful treat.

~ Purchase shaped ice cube trays (we like stars) for a fun change. Add a dot of red or blue food coloring for a Fourth of July treat

~ Have a “You are Special” plate (ours is red) to celebrate special occasions. Keep a special book near the plate or write on the back in permanent markers. Ours has celebrated everything from finishing chemo treatments (my daddy), to birthdays, to first days of school, honor rolls, engagements, & job changes.

~ Keep a guestbook by your front door.

~ Save your Christmas cards and draw out several each week to pray for on family night.

~ Adopt a national or local leader to pray for. Send them a card or packet of drawings from your children once a month.

~ Be thoughtful even when you’re on the receiving end of hospitality. Bring a small hostess gift {cookbook; small floral bouquet; scented candle; a card with a candy bar or potpourri tart attached with tape}

~ Put tea lights or a bowl with floating candles at each place along with a place card

~ Keep your high chair after your family has outgrown it so you’ll have it on hand for small guests.

~ Use a picnic or card table to decorate a special table for children.

It doesn’t take much. In this case, your mother was right: a little goes a long way! Happy hospitality!

Today’s giveaway:

For all of you? Cindy has crafted a freebie for you over at her place. See for handouts for table centerpiece ideas and other little touches for your home. (click on “handouts” in the top navigation bar of her site)

And, since part of this week deals with pampering our husbands (today is the last day for this topic) one of you will receive a copy of her book Hot Chocolate For Couples: Practical Ways to Sweeten Your Love Life.

To be entered to win the book, tell us a little extra touch you like to see or do when it comes to hospitality.

Remember, all winners will be announced the day after Easter and you may comment on all posts up until then to be entered in the random drawings.

NOTE: We are also interacting over at Karen Ehman’s Book Studies on Facebook.Click here to “like” the page & join us. Starting this weekend there will be giveaways there too based on info from the book!

photo credit

photo credit


  1. Things that make me feel special that I also like to do for others are things just for them: homemade dessert, lighted candles, and a calm spirit :)

  2. I like to have a special treat in their room, a gift basket of snacks they can enjoy while they get ready for bed, do bible study, or watching their T.V. before turning out their light. I also like everything done before they get here, the cooking, and cleaning so I can fully enjoy their visit and spend as much time with them as possible.

  3. Hi there My tip is to keep a small squeege in the shower so that when you are done with your shower you can wipe it down and leave it clean for the next person or time. it only takes less than 5 minutes to wipe down and the shower is clean…er and will be easier to clean on cleaning day. also take a tiny squeege with you when you travel to someones home to leave it nice for your hostess if she doesn’t have one you can use.

  4. I love when people light candles in their bathroom and kitchen to make things smell nice. I always seem to forget this extra touch.

  5. We live with other family and do not have room for overnight guests. But when we have friends over for a visit I always make sure we have plenty of different drinks and snacks on hand!

  6. I try to make sure I have thought about their food preferences when I am preparing the meal. I also keep extra toiletry supplies in case something is forgotten. I try to remember to send a hand written note too letting them know I enjoyed their visit.

  7. funny you mentioned the guestbook because we knew an elderly couple that did that at their farm house and I loved the idea!

  8. I like to see the special ice cubes. I like the idea of adding fruit or food color to the ice cubes. It’s attention to detail that I like to do or receive.

  9. When I have company coming over I try to make sure the guest room is tidy and the sheets are clean. I also leave night lights on so guests can find the bathroom in the middle of the night. Sometimes sleeping in a different place can be disorienting.

  10. I always have a basket in the guest bathroom stocked with items they may have forgotten. I also try to find out what is some of their favorite meals so that I can plan mealtime around their favorites to make them feel special.

  11. Here is an adorable hospitality idea from someone who was just on the receiving end of some recent hospitality. Our family just returned from a visit to my husband’s aunt and uncle. In their guest bathroom, they kept a little white basket stocked with travel-sized lotions, soaps, shaving cream, toothpaste, hand sanitizer, etc. It was such a cute and loving way to provide for our travel needs, and I don’t think it cost them too much as many of the supplies looked like they had come from their visits/stays in hotels, yet it made us feel very welcomed.

  12. I always like to welcome my friends and guests with a hug!! I like to plan menus that everyone will like and just let my guests have time to relax and enjoy their visit.

  13. What great ideas! I especially like your idea about the special plate and having a book that goes with it to jot down important family dates. My tip might seem silly, but it’s important to me – I always keep TP stocked in a pretty basket on top of my toilet – right out in the open. I’ve been to houses before where it’s run out – and then I have the awkwardness of trying to look for it in the bathroom without the hostess thinking I’m going through her things! lol I don’t want my guests to ever have to be in that situation. :)

  14. I have towels that are extra fluffy and spot free that I like to leave out for my guests. I keep them hidden from my kids though!! Boys just don’t seem to appreciate the fluffiness and cleanliness! =-)

  15. We always host Thanksgiving and try to make my cousins feel welcome by thinking about their son who has food allergies. We avoid having those foods in the pantry (peanut butter) and always try to make a dessert that he can eat. This past Thanksgiving I made homemade beignets made from canned biscuits that he could eat and they were a huge hit! I was so happy!

  16. I don’t think we’ve ever had an overnight guest, but we are hoping to buy a home soon that will allow us to do so. It is really important to me that a house smells good (as well as be clean!).

  17. What wonderful and easy ideas I have been reading this week in the comments! I thought I was doing welll to get the guest bedroom clean and the bed clean and fresh! I do like to use the spray bottle of linen spray when I make the bed…I think it gives the sheets a special scent, and when I can, I like to line-dry the sheets and pillowcases….the fresh scent they have is wonderful! I also like to put a stack of fluffy towels, each folded with the matching washcloth peeking out, on the bathroom countertop. We stayed with friends a number of years ago who had a dedicated guest drawer in the bathroom for guests to store their toiletries, etc. during the visit. I am so enjoying reading the comments and hope I can find time to make some notes!!

  18. I can finish making mini banana bread loaves and share them with people around me to bless them. I was just thinking that I could finish making them and give one to my son’s bus driver. She always waves when she sees me in the morning. It would be nice to bless her.

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