Hostess

Great Goodie Bags: My Top 5 Favor Ideas

As a general rule, I’m a sucker for a great gift (big surprise). What makes a “great gift” though–that seems pretty broad. To me a great gift has three principles nailed:
– Relevance: the right gift for the right person, on the right occasion, in the right season, (and if this is really a practical gift, you could also call this Usefulness)…
– Timelessness: it’s so quintessential to the recipient that it will still be special to them years from now
– Sentiment: a theme has been encapsulated (often subtly, which is best) that transcends the object and brings the recipient back to another time and place instantly
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Spring Cleaning and Shopping From My Closet

The changing of the seasons is always fun for me. After a few months of the same wardrobe I am pretty tired of the same-old-same-old and a closet refresh–even if it’s simply pulling out items from another time–is a nice change of pace. My favorite style-switch-over is winter to spring/summer so this time of year gives me fashion-joy like none other.

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Weekend Recreation: Ready, Set, Swap…

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(A close-up of my haul from the swap)

Ok, so I’ll admit it, I’d never done it before so I was nervous. They say the first time is always the hardest and you just have to jump in head first. Switching it up and gaining exposure to something different is important, right?!? Well after about a month of planning, today was the day. It was going to happen…

I’m speaking, of course, of a Fashion Swap.

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The Gift of Time

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Me, age 22, by the pool at our family weekend house, August 1997 (yes, I’ve always had short hair)

Last weekend we went to stay with some friends at their weekend house in Upstate New York‘s Hudson Valley. It was a lovely break from a city weekend which can become a bit tedious come late August…and their home was amazing. I say amazing for a few reasons: the company, the hospitality and food were all incredible. But upon further reflection, the weekend reminded me of my own childhood getaways to the Hudson Valley–particularly watching another family enact their own lovely and loving everyday ballet–and I caught myself saying: “I remember…” more than once (sometimes aloud and sometimes to myself).

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Summer Thank You Gifts: Perfect Pairs

20130620-233054.jpgI’m going to a few summer parties and I can’t wait. It’s alway such a blast to party in the warm weather and enjoy some fun in the sun, especially since now my kids don’t need constant supervision. I always like to bring something for my hosts that contribute to the meal, but what about hosts that tell you: “just bring yourselves.” That never seems right, right? Right.

IMHO it’s always important to express thanks with gratitude for an invitation with a gesture. I also want to make sure that what I share with my recipients aren’t run-of-the-mill. These ideas are gift pairings that are fine alone, but are truly better together

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Oscar Party Ideas: Award Show Inspiration

20130217-222250.jpgI love award show season…LOVE IT!

I watch the Pre-shows, the red carpets, the awards shows themselves, I cry, laugh, eye-roll and yell at the TV (in the same way men do during football season) at the acceptance speeches and winner disclosures and I absolutely watch the fashion wrap-ups. Now it’s not every esoteric one. I limit it to the Golden Globes, The SAG Awards, The Grammys, The Emmys, The Oscars and, of course, The Tonys. The Grande Dame of all of these–I actually have two but Grande Dames but not everyone agrees with me, major props if you can guess my #2–is The Oscars.

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One For Them, One For You: Book Gifts

Image courtesy of Kittisak / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Call me old-fashioned but there’s something about a reading a text with a cover and a spine that can be folded back and dog-eared that is so comforting. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve read a number of books on my iPad and that was a great experience, but sometimes I need a real tactile read–I guess I’m book-polar. These books are some new and new-ish picks that make great gifts, and–as the title of this post suggests–ones you may also want to get for yourself: one for them and one for you.

Happy reading!

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Pre-Holiday Sale Guide

Image courtesy of Salvatore Vuono / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

To gear up for Thanksgiving, and prepare for Chanukah and Christmas, I’ve put together a list of food and decor deals perfect for a host/hostesses, family gatherings or even a party you’re hosting (leave the centerpiece to someone else, and have it shipped too).

So enjoy these offers, feel free to post any others you know about in the comments, and look for updates and new posts as the season continues.

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Holiday Hostess Gifts

Image courtesy of Ron Bird / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Despite my passion for gift-giving and shopping (it’s kind of the whole premise for this blog) when it comes to the holidays, hosting and feeding my family and friends takes the cake–literally and figuatively. I love preparing the menu, decorating our house with my husband and kids–well, he watches and directs while we decorate but it’s still really fun–finding a fun activity for guests to break the ice and then pulling it all together. That said, I also visiting family and friends: our annual tradition of going to my aunt’s for Christmas Day, celebrating New Years Eve with my husband at “our” restaurant where we had our wedding reception, watching all the kids and grown-up men get sweaty and hungry playing soccer (or maybe it’s football) on Thanksgiving at my in-law’s.

Whether it’s an established tradition or a new invitation that finds you celebrating in someone else’s home, it’s customary to bring a token of thanks. I’ve written about hostess gifts before, and my “rules of the road” (a bunch of them will work for the holidays too so feel free to check them out again, particularly this one and this one) but these gift ideas focus on unexpected and holiday specific ideas to warm the hearts and homes of your hosts.

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Halloween Inspired Gifts

20121007-111243.jpgWhether you’re going to a Halloween party, hosting one of your own and need favors or want some Halloween themed gifts for a birthday or other fun event, this is a fabulous time to get thematic with spook-tackular treats, accessories and more. I’ve selected confections, hostess ideas, personal accessories, books and movies that incorporate one (sometimes more) of my favorite Halloween themes: spiders, skulls, black cats and pumpkins. I’m still not sure how we are going to celebrate–house party, trick or treating or going to a local block party–but you’ll be one of the first to know, of course, and would love to know about your Halloween traditions in the comments.

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