friday favorites – best GIFT ideas of the week

So I decided to change things up and use my Friday Favorites to share five fabulous gift ideas. I am really struggling this Christmas season. Even though I’ve watched the Muppet Christmas Carol, which is my favorite Christmas movie and is always sure to get me in the holiday spirit, I’m just so behind because of buying a new house (#firstworldproblems – I know). I have only a handful of presents and no idea what I’m buying yet for some people. So I’ve been scouring the interwebs to find inspiration and there are a zillion gift guides but I figured I’d add one more! So I present a gift guide for entertainers. While this blog is primarily about event planning, I also hope it provides inspiration for entertaining at home. Here are my top five gift ideas for anyone who loves to entertain.

As someone who entertains a fair amount, I often get a lot of more typical gifts – serving pieces, tea towels, etc. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with those – I love serving dishes! I really do! But these options are a bit more… unique.

#5 – Corkers

gift guide for entertainers and hostesses

Continue reading

gift ideas for your event planner friends

With the holidays right around the corner, I’m sure you are all thinking about what you can get that special event planner in your life, right? I know there are tons of “gift guides” that come out this time of year – gift guides for moms, dads, husbands, wives, aunts, co-workers, neighbors, secret santa recipients you don’t even know, etc. I couldn’t find a good list for event planners so I decided to make my own. Below are some ideas that any event planner (or meeting planner, or wedding planner) would love to receive:

Blazers:

gifts for your event planner friends - blazer

Every event planner I know loves a good blazer. I love a good blazer. It’s rare for me to work an event without a blazer of some kind. I’m even wearing a super-cute blazer right now. Blazers have multiple pockets (great for phones, walkie talkies, room keys, etc.), and look great with almost any outfit – from dresses or pencil skirts, to jeans (I love jeans and a blazer – although I hate wearing jeans, weird, right?). I do like this one from Ann Taylor.

  Continue reading

good hostesses give good hostess gifts

I love entertaining. I love having my friends and family over for dinner – for any reason or for no reason.  I love to cook delicious food, try new recipes, and share laughs over a bottle of wine (or two, or three). But I can’t always be the hostess. Sometimes I need to be the guest.

To be honest, I struggle with this from time to time. Sure, there are our friends whose homes feel like an extension of our own, but there are plenty of times when I wish I had the sole monopoly over opening one’s home to guests.

But when I do go over to someone’s home – whether for dinner or a party or a mini-vacation – I can’t arrive empty handed.

The first question is always: “What can I bring?” And it may be dessert, a salad (true confession: I love when guests bring the salad. I love salad but it’s not my favorite thing to make), or a bottle of wine. But sometimes you need to bring a little more. Maybe it’s a housewarming party, maybe it’s a special occasion, perhaps you want to thank the hostess for extended hospitality.

Enter the hostess gift.

Maybe it’s just me, but I feel like ever since Pinterest really took off, hostess gifts have gotten a ton more creative. You can’t just give a bottle of wine, it has to be a bottle of wine wrapped in a custom tea towel.  Even a gift basket isn’t really enough unless it’s themed in some way. Search “hostess gifts” on Pinterest and you are bound to find a bajillion ideas, ranging in execution from “easy – I probably have all those items in my pantry” to “I’d have to pay a personal shopper to track down all those items and wrap them so nicely.”

But hostess gifts don’t have to be intense – they should just be something the hostess would appreciate.   Here are some ideas that I like:

I truly appreciate receiving flowers, but I like this lemonade set as well, with the sunflowers as a bonus.  The truly heartfelt part is the handwritten lemonade recipe, but you could honestly recreate this with the ingredients to any recipe:

Photo via  Ask Anna

Photo via Ask Anna

This next one is ideal for a housewarming gift, or just someone who could use some new kitchen gadgets, but I love the idea of putting a bunch of kitchen items in an oven mitt. Again, this could be tweaked to any interest.

Photo via  Sur la Table

Photo via Sur la Table

For the DIY inclined, I love the idea of making chalkboard napkin rings and pairing with cloth napkins. I bought a can of chalkboard spray paint a few months ago for a project and I have plenty of paint left and I’ve been trying to think of a good use for it – this might be it. Of course, store bought, non-chalkboard napkin rings and cloth napkins would be lovely as well. I’m a big fan of cloth napkins and I almost always use them when entertaining. As my friend Anna says, cloth napkins are a sign of adulthood.

Photo via  Green with Renvy

Photo via Green with Renvy

And while wine is nice (and certainly a much-appreciated gift for many hostesses), one of my favorite store-bought gifts is the corkcicle – I’ve given it many times and everyone has loved it. It keeps wine cool without a cooler or a tub, or it chills wine to serving temperature. Buy one for your wine-loving friend, or let’s be honest, you probably want one too!

Buy at  Amazon

Buy at Amazon

This of course doesn’t take into consideration plenty of other great gifts – homemade or  otherwise (and we all know my thoughts on swag and favors – edible or consumable is best – applies to hostess gifts as well). What’s your go-to gift for your fellow hostesses?