Decor · Food & Drink · Uncategorized

The best hostess gifts to give – to make sure you’re always invited back.

Happy Holiday Month!!

If you’re calender’s are looking anything like mine does right now for December, I am amazed. I am amazed that you found a few minutes in the holiday chaos to join me in my little corner of the internet.

With this being a very busy holiday season, I wanted to talk about something important… hostess gifts! Do you always bring one or do you feel your presence is enough? I think they are great and I always bring one to a party and it warms my heart when people bring them to ours. If the answer to “Can I bring something” is the expected “no”, that does not mean you should go empty handed! Ever! Take a couple minutes and come out with a thoughtful and even inexpensive hostess gift to bring! Or, read below for some great options!

You can never, and I mean never, go wrong with bringing wine! Or really, just any type of alcohol in general. However, I was getting pretty tired and rather embarrassed of tossing my wine bottle into a gift bag and away I go. So, I started doing some research and I came across Furoshiki – which is basically the art of fabric gift wrapping. Naturally, I got right into the car and headed over to Marhsalls to load up on some tea towels to use this holiday season. It’s the perfect gift combination – wine and a tea towel. I think it turned out pretty awesome and I’m really proud of myself! I’ll never purchase another wine bottle gift bag again. It just gives a little extra oompf to a simple hostess gift. Plus, less waste in our landfills!wine wrapping 2

wine wrapping 3

The holidays for me just have a certain smell. Do you know what I mean? It’s a very distinct smell and it just floods my brain with childhood memories and give me all the feels which is why I really love holiday simmering pots. These are the easiest gifts to put together and everyone loves them. I like to do a mixture of orange slices, fresh cranberries, fresh rosemary, cinnamon sticks, fresh cloves, lemon, lime and pear slices. You can swap out the pear for apple if you’d like but because I am allergic I use pear. Toss everything into jar and cover with water before sealing it tightly. Attach a cute little tag and you’re all set.

simmer jars.jpg

A few years ago I really wanted to do something special and totally personalized for a few of my closest girlfriends and their families. I wanted something that would be loved, shown off and something they would keep for a very long time. It was a complete success and I just love seeing their boards used at their parties and sitting on their countertops. These do need to be done in advance so it’s not something you can put together the day of a party obviously, but something you should look into right away to make sure you get them on time. You could also package these with some cute cheese knives, some cured meats, nuts etc. I cannot remember the company I used when I did these but I know an amazing wood burner, Tanya from Burned Out By Tanya that I would totally recommend you get in touch with. You can click here to see some of her work and reach out.

cutting board

 

I know the I labeled this post three hostess gifts but, when in doubt don’t over holiday baking! Bonus points for adorable packaging. While you’re at it, don’t forget about the fluffy four legged family members whose house you are going to also. These are not just for Thanksgiving but can be made any time of year. I make them every holiday season and Winston and I drop them off to the furry friends in our neighborhood on our walk. Lastly, if you’re in a pinch for time – flowers! Flowers are always a good idea!O Oh, and lavender plants!

What is your go-to hostess gift? What has been the best hostess gift you have ever received?

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XOXO.

B.

 

Decor

The weekend hostess with the mostess.

Our friends and family members are not strangers to spending the night or even the weekend at our house.

We knew that by moving an hour from the city and our previous life, it was going to be hard to have people come over for “a quick visit” and we wouldn’t be getting the “I’m in the area, thought I’d drop by” calls as often. That being said, we tend to get a lot more use of our guest rooms now than we did in our old house.

When we have guests in the house, I want to always do everything that I can to make sure they feel comfortable and at home. I want it to be a place where guests, no matter who they are, feel like they could stay forever and they can use anything, do anything and that they are not encroaching on our personal space. I am sure we can all think of a situation where someone made us feel that way and it’s not how I want people to feel when they come to stay with us.

Whether you have a guest room, a comfy couch that people crash on from time to time or are just trying to make guests feel better when visiting, here are a bunch of ideas and tips on how to do so. Some I have picked up along the way from others, and some I’ve thought on myself.

Tech information station.

I had seen things like this circulating all over the internet and I knew right away that I needed to do this. It really didn’t require more than a few dollars and a few minutes of my time. I purchased the frame from Dollarama for $2.00 and made my own design. You can find hundreds of free templates online though or you can also head to: TheHappierHomeMaker.com for some cute ones. Supplying the WiFi information right in their room instantly lets your guest know how things works and they don’t need to feel like they are “bugging” you by asking. Plus, I can’t be the only one who forgets our own password sometimes, right? I also make sure there is an extra phone charger available, in case they forgot theirs. Once we set up the extra TV in our guest room, I’ll be sure to have the remote in clear view for them also and maybe a quick little note on how to use it since I personally get anxiety trying to navigate someones TV remote!

get comfy

Consider the space in the dark.

This is easier to do in a bedroom than if you have someone sleeping on your couch, but make sure to assess the sleeping arrangements in the pitch dark. Are there windows that need treatments so guests can sleep better and aren’t blasted by the sunrise? Is there a flashing light from a tech device that’s annoying? A weird sound the dishwasher makes that would keep them up? Basically, make sure guests are sleeping in an environment that you’d be OK with. Before a guest arrives, I flick on the LOVE marquee light for them on the dresser. (I purchased this one from Michael’sabout 2 years ago and they no longer have them but you can find similar ones on Etsy, Amazonor Wayfair) By turning it on before they enter the room to get cozy and relaxed, I feel it allows them to feel comfortable switching it off if they’d like or leave it on as a night light.

love sign

Fresh food & drinks.

There’s nothing more welcoming and homey than something like fresh cookies or a bottle of wine being opened when a guest arrives. Go the extra mile with this touch. Plus, having something sitting out makes your guest feel a lot more confident eating/drinking, without feeling weird about digging through your pantry. In their room I like to leave a fresh bottle or a resealable jar of water with a glass and maybe a few snacks if there is something in particular I know they like. I also like to leave snacks out on the kitchen island so they know they are free to take anything they’d like. This ranges based on the time of their arrival  but if it is the morning it can be coffee, juices, fruit and some freshly baked goods. If they are arriving later in the day I tend to put out a little charcuterie board and a bottle of wine – don’t forget to set out the glasses and mugs so they feel empowered to help themselves and don’t get embarrassed looking in all your cupboards until they find one.

morning

afternoon evening.jpg

Stack of blankets.

Since everyone has a different preference when it comes to the ideal sleeping temperature I make a point to have a few extra blankets folded around the room in plain view. I also put a few extra pillows on their bed than necessary so they can pick the ones that are most comfortable to them before going to bed. It is so annoying when staying at someones place and having a pillow that is too hard or soft and nothing else to choose from. Make sure they have something other than decorative pillows to sleep on, too!

spare room

Dedicated space.

Your guests don’t want to feel like their all up in your grill during their stay, ya know? Make sure guests have a dedicated space for their belongings – in the bedroom AND bathroom, so they can place their things down. Even better if you can clear a drawer or at least a shelf so they can stay organized. I always keep pretty hangers in the guestroom closet so they can hang their things and I keep the dresser and side table drawers empty for them. In the guest bathroom I stock up on travel sized goodies of things they may have forgotten – toothpaste, extra toothbrushes, deodorant, shampoo, conditioner, Q-tips etc. (just remember to replace these items once they leave so your next guest doesn’t reuse them by mistake). Don’t forget to leave out clean towels also!

SO, who wants to come stay over? But for real, I hope you find some of these tips helpful. Easter is coming up, are you having house guests for the weekend? Do you have any other ideas?

Don’t forget to subscribe to LiveLaughLearn.blog to stay up to date and follow on Instagram @LiveLaughLearn.blog

XOXO.

B.