After close to EIGHT years, I’m dipping my toe back into the Princess Kitty waters by presenting you with a mini PK's Favorite Things Gift Guide for the holidays. This one will mainly focus on host/ess gifts so I’m also happy to provide you with a short list of things to remember when host/ess gifting:
--Don’t give anything that the host/ess has to fuss with at that moment, like flowers. Considering all they are doing or have to do, you’re not being that…well, considerate. --Don’t expect the host/ess to open or fawn over your gift at that moment. (See above note…) --Also, don’t expect the host/ess to use the gift during the party. They’ve planned a menu…a whole evening…they’ll enjoy it at another time, with or without you there. --It’s ok to have a signature go-to gift. Something you always give to anyone and everyone. Just make sure it’s of nice quality and is a true, and obvious, reflection of you. Unique and/or clever are nice touches too. --Don't expect a thank you note. Your gift is the thank you to the host/ess for having the party and inviting you. That's it. A thank you note turns it into a whole "thank you...no, thank you...no, thank you" situation. I can't... --Host/ess Gift Hack: Buy sets of things and then split up the set so you have multiple gifts. The price might be a little steep at first but when you consider that you may be able to get 6-8 nice gifts out of a set, once you divide that by the price, you’ll see you’re ok on budget.
So, there you go...and here you go:
Carry-On Cocktail Kit ($24)
I love these. I think they are so clever and handy, not just for flying but for road tripping, beaching, picnicking, tailgating…or for any situation that calls for something compact. I have been to a few particularly grueling events where no alcohol was served and this would have come in handy because I could have snuck away and become a bathroom mixologist with little effort (that doesn't sound right but you know what I mean). I like to buy the necessary alcohol for each one in mini bottles so the recipient can always be prepared.
Sugarfina is my go-to gift service at the moment. Everyone loves a little sweetie but many don’t buy them because of the laundry list of rules they have for themselves. These are super high-quality and packaged so nicely so you almost don’t need any additional wrappings. Here’s a great example of a set that can be turned into multiple host/ess gifts. The set is $65 but if you rationed these out to eight gifts, it’s a little over $8 a gift…$10 after you zhush it up, which you should. ($10-$20 is a good range for a host/ess or office mate gift, just FYI.) This set has an alcoholic theme but they also offer a bento box of favorites OR you can create your own, if you’re a control freak like me.
How many times have you needed to light…something and haven’t been able to find a match or lighter? I know…a lot right? This is practical and uber-chic for the friend-who-has-everything. I love Jonathan Adler for so many reasons. He has such FUN style and is truly Valley of the Dolls come-to-life for me, which…don’t get me started. I'll have to cover that topic later.
Henri Bendel Holiday Candle Trio ($35; 30% off)
When I lived in NYC in the late 90s, I had three jobs and was going to acting school. I had no money AT ALL but I was so invigorated living there...I felt on top of the world! If I was ever feeling low, I would go into Henri Bendel’s and “dream shop” and it always made me feel better. Now, after 123 years, they are closing down completely (a VERY disturbing trend in NYC right now) and I’m physically sick about it. On the rare occasion that I had a few extra dollars to spend on something frivolous, I would but a travel candle from Bendel’s and it would always make me feel fancy. They still have some of these available but since it’s the holidays, you must give their holiday candles a try, they’re delightful. (Again, another opportunity to buy a set and give as multiple gifts plus it’s on sale.)
I won’t hold it against these people that there is no basketball mold (um, rude) because I think these are so incredibly clever and such a perfect gift. Large fancy ice cubes are all the rage for cocktails (craft, natch) right now so to put a sports twist on it is in good form. If you’re giving this to a particularly good friend, throw in their favorite bottle of brown liquor and a set of rocks glasses for a complete gift…that they’ll maybe share with you!
Someone asked me recently what my favorite “lifestyle” book was and it’s this one, without question. I’ve read it 100 times and I keep it on my nightstand in case a lifestyle emergency comes up in the middle of the night that I’ll need to resolve. Is it a little pretentious? Maybe…but Colin is the epitome of class, style and manners. Take what you like and leave the rest… (When giving a "nice looking" book like this, I'll just tie a satin ribbon around it to gift. It looks casually elegant.)
I’m super concerned that our precious teeny angels are not learning enough about…things. It also troubles me that many spend zero time doing creative projects or non-electronic activities. Stimulate that brain, activate that sense of wonder in your little ones and put this down during meal time. Who knows what kind of conversation it might stimulate?!?!
Every gal and guy should have one of these either in their purse/backpack, desk or car. I can’t count how many times I’ve been a jam and needed something in one of these (think floss, breath drops, safety pin, nail file, etc...). This particular version comes with a little packet of Sugarfina Champagne Bears (spiked with Dom) to satisfy that sudden diva snack attack, which I get on the regular. There are so many cute versions of this on their website. My bff got me the binge watching one, which I have definitely needed at times! (I cannot be interrupted while I'm watching The Great British Baking Show or Game of Thrones!)
I spend 90% of my time taking vitamins and making elixirs for my ever-changing f-ed up health journey and I have just recently jumped on the adaptogens train. Adaptogens are various plants, etc that help your body manage stress and balance your systems out so they work together to keep you looking and feeling good! I recently tried the Brain Dust and I DID feel a little sharper during the day. (I'm usually a notch above an airhead...it's a miracle!) This box is a selection of their various dusts for your health and wellness friend to try...or you could give them to multiple health and wellness friends by breaking up the box!