Tuesday, January 24, 2012

The Pineapple: What and When to Bring Host/Hostess Gifts?

Written By: Va Va Voom (Katrina)

So, who isn’t baffled when it comes to gifts for a host/hostess?  This may be a tricky situation with our ever changing modern social standards.  Here are some guidelines which will help you determine if a gift is necessary for your next event. 

Are you attending an event or party hosted in honor of another person, such as a baby shower, bridal shower, engagement party, etc.?  Then a host/hostess gift is absolutely not expected.  It is more than likely you are bringing a gift for the mother-to-be, the engaged couple, or the bride –to-be, focus on them instead.  The host/hostess won’t be upset!

Are you attending a cocktail party, casual brunch or bonfire?  Host/hostess gifts are completely optional.  If you know the person well, and wish to be overly generous, then feel free to bring a gift.  A bottle of wine or selections of gourmet cheeses are perfect gifts for a cocktail party.  If you are bringing a dish to pass or specialty drinks, then this gesture is a gift in its own right and will be much appreciated by the host/hostess.

Are you attending a dinner party?  This would be the time to think of a creative and personal gift for the special host/hostess, especially if you know them well.  However, if you are preparing entrées, appetizers or purchasing liquor and wine, these contributions most definitely qualify as a gift to the host/hostess.  If you still feel obligated to bring a gift, choose something personal for the person or couple, but keep your spending below $25.00, this isn’t suppose to be equivalent to a birthday gift!

Are you attending a weekend at their summer home or lake house?  This is most definitely the appropriate time to bring a gift to show your thanks!  Keep it personal and within a reasonable price range, such as everyone chipping in for a spa or restaurant gift certificate.  If you are purchasing a gift on your own, arrive with a bouquet of flowers, a selection of Brazilian coffees, a box of Godiva chocolates or a basket with favorite movies, popcorn and candy.

If you are having a difficult time deciding what to bring, just remember, keep it simple.  It is the thought that counts!  Even a handwritten mailed thank you note is such a special treat.

Remember to say thank you to the host/hostess when leaving the event, if you forget, then you should definitely mail a thank you card.  If you did say thank you, but would like to express it again, then a quick email or text can be appropriate.  However, an email is not appropriate if you did not express your thanks when leaving.

Here are a few additional gift ideas for that special host/hostess:

·         A Woodwick candle, www.woodwick.com

·         A small porcelain dish (for serving or decoration)

·         The latest bestselling novel (for an avid reader)

·         An assortment of tea, www.teaforte.com

·         A set of oils for golf clubs or a box of their favorite golf balls (for the golf lover)

·         A box of Penzey’s spices, www.penzeys.com

·         Fresh flowers or a house plant, either from your local florist or made by you

·         A bottle of wine, Port or an assortment of specialty beers

·         Personalized stationary or unique journal , www.scribblespaper.com

Or if you are the host/hostess, have a pineapple for your guests either to eat or use it as a table decoration to show your hospitality, warmth and friendship!  http://www.levins.com/pineapple.html

Can you re-gift?  This is always the taboo question of our times.  Yes, you can re-gift, but if you do, the item must be new, still in the packaging and remember who gave it to you originally.  Re-gifting bottle of wine, which you haven’t opened yet, is completely acceptable.  Do not re-gift a handmade, personal gift.  The receiver will know it was not truly meant for them!  Think before you re-gift!  Would you want this gift?  Keep re-gifting for those rare occasions.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Is your Woman Fabulous and Classy or a Dose of High Maintenance?

Written By: Ooh La La (Danielle Marie)

Why do most men, and some women, assume that a well-dressed woman is high maintenance?  Is it a layer of societal misconception by those T.V. reality shows or is it hard for others to measure up to these women, let alone have a relationship with?  Well listen carefully, just because a woman takes care of herself, loves to have a fashion forward sense of style and presents herself with elegance does not qualify her as high maintenance!  Of course, there are women who are most definitely high maintenance, but don’t assume before you judge. 

So, you may ask, what qualifies as high maintenance? 

This is the type of woman who:

·         demands your time, your gifts and your love. (Recognize the key word here, demands, because most women deserve your time, your gifts and your love.  A relationship should not be made up of demands).

·         must hourly touch-up her makeup and hair. (Bathroom breaks every 20 minutes is definitely over the top).

·         carries a purse heavier than a bowling ball, with a change of clothes, a full make-up bag and a hair curling iron, just in case…. (In case of what?  Who knows!)

·         changes her clothing several times a day, for no significant reason.  (There’s a difference between changing your outfit from work to an evening on the town, but remember, it isn’t all about the clothes.)

·         is unable to give away material items she does not use. (Let’s be charitable ladies!  What man is impressed with a closet the size of a bathroom?)

·         talks incessantly about the latest designers, retail therapy and drama, drama, drama!

·         walks into a crowded room and makes a big scene with her loud voice, ear wrenching laughter or over the top superfluous outfit.

·         has a egotistical superiority complex, believes she is the most beautiful woman in the room and won’t let other women forget that!  She may also refuse to associate herself with others unless they will help further her social agenda.  (Don’t be naïve, these women do exist!)

So now you may ask, what qualifies as a classy woman who isn’t high maintenance?

This is the type of woman who:

·         doesn’t take hours to get ready in the morning, because she knows exactly what works with her complexion, her body type and how to create a natural but enticing look.

·         walks into a room without making a big dramatic scene.  She may not be the most beautiful woman, but she embodies an aurora about her which strongly attracts most men because of her gentleness, grace and elegance.

·         rarely needs to touch up her make-up, besides the occassional lip gloss, and she would never make a big scene in public but always excuses herself for the ladies room.

·         does think of others well-being and openly tries to be charitable, kind and forgiving even though she may be misunderstood by others believing she’s “high maintenance”.

·         doesn’t demand attention, she deserves it and embraces it.  (Eventhough this may be hard to do sometimes...)

·         may love designer labels, the latest fashions and wears them with grace and elegance, but she does not obnoxiously display these brands.  (You can’t tell if she’s wearing Rachel Zoe, Elie Tahari or Elle?  Obviously she doesn’t care if you know; she just wants to feel fabulous in what she wears!)

Sauce of Life Tips: 

If she has a prideful air about her clothing, accessories or features then she has failed the test and consider her “high maintenance”, but be careful not to judge on a first glance.  You may be wrong!  

If she walks with firm confidence, without demanding constant attention, and has a side of humility, she is the perfect balance and absolutely... fabulous!