Well, well, well… We made it through November. Winter is upon us. December is upon us. The holiday season is upon us. Yup, we said it – are you ready for it?! Ok, let’s take it step by step. It’s exhausting, exciting and usually overwhelming by the end of it. So, we’re going to make it easier for you a little bit and just dial it back. Let’s start this week with our host and hostess gift guide. We all get invited to someone’s house or party or event and we never show up empty handed. Right?! Hopefully that was a yes and we can expand your repertoire of what you can bring!
First, the easiest place to start is the bar. Always. Who doesn’t love a great cocktail or bevie? So, let’s help them with that! We love the Belvedere special edition bottles that come out around the holidays – that shiny red is our fave!! If you’re looking to spend a little less or even spend a little more, this infuser from Williams Sonoma compliments it well or is perfect just on it’s own. The bar is an easy place to help someone stock – even if it’s great stir sticks and cocktail napkins or coasters and a wine stopper, you can’t go wrong!
Another fun tip with bevies is to focus in on what the host(s) like most. If you’ve got a couple catering to you and one likes beer and the other likes bubbly, there’s nothing wrong with getting a little packet of both.
Moving the booze aside (finally) and sharing another easy place to start: at our forever obsessions, candles! If you’re a Vancouver or Toronto local, we obsess over Vancouver Candles. Every single one of their candles smells insanely good. Their scents may also appease the host (our men cannot get enough of the Gastown scent) if you’re worried about being a bit too gender specific. Voluspa and Woodlot are also a great alternatives. Even the smaller candles start at $20.00, same as a bottle of wine and they last a lot longer!
We would also never ever say no to a homemade gift; we remember vividly when someone brings us something from there kitchen, and we hope we leave the same impression. This very quick and easy salted caramel is one we obsess with… mostly because it’s an under 10 minute process (for sure less time than going to the store!). Here’s how you tackle it:
Combine all ingredients (except vanilla) into a sauce pan and heat until boiled. Constantly stir. Once the mixture has boiled, turn to low and stir for 5 minutes. Add in vanilla until well mixed. Move the finished product to a jar and voila!
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp brown sugar
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 tsp salt
Dash of vanilla
We really love focusing our gifts on something specific to our host/hostesses. What kind of gift guide would this be if we didn’t elaborate on tailoring the gifts a little bit more. Did you notice a record player in their house? Great, them a record of one of their favourite artists. Did you see a wine cork collection? Bring over your extras if you don’t have one of your own. Does one of the host(s) like polkadots… awesome, polkadot napkins it is. Tailoring gifts becomes it’s so much more thoughtful and personal while not really adding too much more effort into your day! We are big fans of the personal touch. When people bring gifts like that over, we don’t forget where we got them.
Happy Holiday Party-Touring!
Michelle & Samantha