Host and hostess gifts aren't just something that we do around the holidays, although with busy days fast approaching, it's always smart to know ahead of time what makes for the perfect gift basket.
Here are our top 5 favorite gift basket items:
1. Cashmere Wines: We don't mean to toot our own horn, but Cashmere wines are not only the perfect gift because they compliment most meals, but they're wines that give back by donating to Breast Cancer Research and Alzheimer's Patient Care. By giving Cashmere you're giving your lovely host/hostess a wine that over delivers and it's something you can feel good about!
2. Something you grew: This can be peppers, tomatoes, zucchini, potatoes, rosemary, herbs, you name it, it can be from your neighbors rosemary bush, but something that comes from the ground, and something that you put effort into all year long.
3. Something you made: Bonus points if it's something you grew and then you turn it into something you made! I.e. jelly or jams, tomato sauces, honey. But it can also be as simple as chocolate chip cookies,
4. Flour Sack Towel: Because all baskets look better lined with a cute flour sack towel, not to mention it's something they can actually use!
5. Basket: Although, this is an obvious one it's important to put some thought into the delivery vessel and make sure it's classic and something that can be reused!
We all know that a glass of wine is the best go to de-stressor (which don't get us wrong, we're all about), here's a list of our favorite activities that also help us relive stress when things get hectic!
1. Painting: Painting is the perfect stress reliever, not only does it act as a momentary distraction by letting your mind wander, but it's also an amazing creative outlet!
2. Puzzling: Keep your mind sharp by puzzling, alone or with friends it's a great way to take your mind off whatever is stressing you out. Puzzling with a glass of red wine is one of our favorite past times!
3. Go for a walk in the neighborhood: Sometimes the best thing to do to de-stress is to get outside. Not all of us have time to travel to a national park or go hiking in the woods, but sometimes a walk around the block can be calming and make you slow down.
4. Baking: This is a great stress reliever because there are sweet treats at the end of it. We may think we have no hours in the day to bake or go shopping for ingredients, and thinking about it may stress us out even more, but once you get started, there's something calming about making yourself a yummy dessert!
5. Read a great book: To us, there's no better way to take your mind off something, than letting it get lost in a good book.
Make a photo worthy cheese plate every time! Follow this cheese plate advice and post your picture perfect cheese plate!
Use the hashtag: #cheeseplateenvy to see everyone's results!
1. Consistency isn't key! We like to have 3-4 different types of cheeses with varying age and hardness levels! Be sure to mix up consistencies - use fresh goats cheese or even put out some cream cheese next to a harder cheese like a parmesan!
2. Cheese and Fruit are the PEARfect match! We always add some sort of fruit to our cheese plate, it's a nice way to add some acidity and sweetness. Pears, apples, and grapes all work really well!
3. The Vessel is Important! Make sure you have at least two types of bead, crackers, or breadsticks to use on your different cheeses, some cheese work best on bread while others may show best on a cracker!
4. Don't Cut the Cheese! We learned from a VICP (Very Important Cheese Person) once that you should NEVER pre-cut cheese for your guests, it's ok to cut a couple slices, but never fully cut the cheese block, people tend to want to cut their own.
5. To Meat or Not to Meat? This one we'll leave up to you...BUT we love adding an array of charcuterie to our cheese boards, just don't go overboard..the cheese should really be the star!
Impress your friends by throwing the best darn dinner party around! Dinner parties can be tricky to organize and manage so here are our top 5 tips on throwing the best dinner party possible!
1. Never an Empty Hand! Give your guests something to sip on while they wait for your delicious meal Cashmere white or Rosé make for the perfect aperitifs!
2. Flowers, Flowers, Flowers! Decorate your house with seasonal flowers - they are sure to brighten up any room or table!
3. Manage your guest list! Make sure you are comfortable with the amount of people you are having over!
4. Like a Pro! Make a dish you've made before so you are comfortable with the timing of dinner, and make sure to try it with your wine pairing beforehand!
5. Piece of Cake! Dessert is just as important as the main course! Make sure there's something sweet at the end of the meal.