My favorite things: hostess gifts

I'm back! If you're wondering where I've been, I successfully underwent ACL reconstruction surgery last week. On the road to a LONG recovery. Take care of your knees, especially if you're heading to the slopes for the holidays.

Last year during the holidays I shared some of my favorite things. Here are my picks for items any host or hostess would be delighted to receive:

Let's start with the most obvious -- a bottle of wine.

I'm not a chardonnay fan. I simply don't like the flavor of oak. When I ordered a glass of Mer Soleil Silver Unoaked Chardonnay this summer at George's in Alys I was hooked. This wine is fermented and aged in cement tanks, which sets it apart from oak barreled varieties. Tasty and comes in a cool ceramic bottle too. A bit of a splurge at $25 a bottle.


Block Nine Pinot Noir continues to be my favorite red. I just served it at Thanksgiving. At under $15 a bottle, you can't go wrong.


And speaking of red wine. Back by popular demand -- Tech Stain Remover. An unexpected, yet practical gift. Be creative. Package it with a bottle of red wine. Trust me, every hostess needs a bottle in her arsenal. Available on and most local hardware stores like Intown Ace.

Speaking of stains, do you all know about The Laundress? I think we all agree that doing laundry is a tedious and loathsome task. The Laundress products can add a bit of style to your otherwise dull laundry room. I like the Apres hand cream and soap duo. On sale now for $34. Okay, a bit of a luxury, but every laundress deserves something special. Why spend money on the living room, when we spend most of our time in the kitchen and laundry room? If you have a question about a mysterious stain or truly terrible laundry quandary, just ask the laundress.

Chic And Clean
{For a small fortune, you too can stock your laundry room with The Laundress products}

There's always a lot of food around for the holidays. It's nice to receive baked goodies, but why not gift something that can be enjoyed after the holiday season? As you know I'm quite smitten with Jeni's ice cream. Her salty caramel sauce is to die for! A steal at $22 for a two pack.

Scented candles can be a tricky purchase. A candle scent -- like perfume -- is a personal preference. I continue to stand by my fave Seda France "Japanese Quince." For something more subtle, you can't go wrong with "Cutting Garden."

Note to the hostess: You do know not to burn scented candles near food, right? They are meant to be used near an entrance to your home or in the powder room. Burn non-scented candles on any surface that has food on or around it.

Pagoda Candle by Seda France

I love these signet mugs from Anthropologie. Perfect for tea and coffee drinkers alike. Mug + small treat = $10!


I stumbled upon the Canadian company Chive last summer. Chive has an extensive collection of vases and pots -- not to mention gnomes -- for all of your floral needs. Styles are definitely more on the modern side. My fave is the simple frog cube. At less than $10, it comes in a rainbow of colors. Cut a flower, herb or piece of greenery from your yard -- holly would be nice this season -- pop it in a cube and present it to your hostess. Go ahead and order a case. You will have to pay a small shipping fee, but I received a free gift with my order. I do love a little surprise. White is an obvious choice for its versatility, but silver would be nice for the holidays.

 {I always have one in my powder room.}

Enough for now. What will you be giving as hostess gifts this season?

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