These are a few of my favorite things...

No, I don't think I'm Oprah, and I'm not going to shower you all with gifts. Wish I could. I'm doing some entertaining over the holidays and I wanted to share some faves I'll have on hand for the festivities.

Let's start with invitations. These days it's such a treat to get one in the mail -- by mail I mean from the US postal service. Sad, but true, they are few and far between. Three online invites I've used (along with my comments):
  1. (free, but meh -- speaking of "meh" I love New York Times "The Meh List")
  2. (most invites free and pretty classy)
  3. (very classy -- you get what you pay for)
My brother-in-law picked up a bottle of Block Nine Pinot Noir at Greene's a few weeks ago. I'm not a big red wine drinker, but this is light bodied and fruity. Yum! Wine Spectator gives it  90+. At under $15 a bottle serve it at your holiday fete or present it as a hostess gift.

My favorite white is Three Pears Pinot Grigio. Can't go wrong at $10 a bottle. Pretty label too!

2011 Three Pears Pinot Gris

Make sure you have a fully stocked bar and a directory for mixing the perfect cocktail. Drinkology is my fave. It makes for a cute little coffee table book.

Drinkology: Revised and Updated

Treat guests to some nice hand soap in your powder room. My all-time fave is Caldrea No. 14 Basil Blue Sage. Caldrea has recently changed it's labeling, which I don't really care for. But they now offer glass bottle dispensers. Caldrea products are available at the coolest Intown Ace Hardware on the planet.
Basil Blue Sage Glass Hand Soap
And, while you're at it, set out some festive guest towels like these from Mark and Graham (don't forget the free monogramming). West Elm also has a nice selection at reasonable prices.

In addition to making the house look good, you want it to smell good too. I love Seda France candles. Japanese Quince is my favorite scent. The 17 Steps usually stocks a nice selection. Sometimes you can get them cheap on One King's Lane.

Seda France Japanese Quince Mini Pagoda Box Candle

Every year I look forward to Trader Joe's holiday treats. The Dark Chocolate Covered Peppermint Joe Joe's are my fave. Grab some now while supplies last. They always run out.

Not on the super sexy side, I rely on a couple of cleaning aids. Bar Keepers Friend has bailed me out more times than I can count -- like the other night when I left a balsamic reduction on the stove unattended for a really long time. No doubt I was working on my blog.

Bar Keepers Friend Multipurpose Household Cleanser & Polish 21-oz.
Tech Stain remover -- available at Intown Ace Hardware -- is another friend to lean on. It removes just about any stain on clothing, upholstery and floor coverings. Check out these tips on how to use it. Have some close by during your party should your guests spill red wine on themselves or your white sofa. Yes, I do have a white sofa. 

Just one more thing. Sur La Table's flour sack and bar mop towels are perfect for drying glassware and china, as well as cleaning up messes.

So what are some of your favorite things?


  1. Readers: As luck would have it Seda France candles go on sale on OKL tomorrow 12/8!

  2. Don't sell yourself short! Oprah has long been out of touch with regular people. We need someone who lives in the real world to tell us what's good!

  3. Great post! Lots of things I did not know about, thanks!

  4. agreed about Intown Ace Hardware. I can pass 2 hours there without being ready to purchase. Tip for Scoutmob users - 50% off at Salon Red Kids up to a $50 value. Stocking stuffers, books, etc. Cash in on that deal!


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