Spring Entertaining Essentials

Now that we are well into Spring, I wanted to share some of my favorite entertaining essentials for the season.  It was not easy creating this list, as I have found so many fabulous entertaining accessories.  With that said, I have selected the following items not only because I frequently use them, but they are also unique, aesthetically pleasing and under $30!  

3- Tiered Serving Piece 

This is a piece that I actually acquired during the "Lilly-palooza" event at Target a few weekends ago (see here for my complete story).  Originally I had come across this multi-tiered stand in the serveware section and thought it would be great for serving petit fours, desserts, etc… Upon arriving back at home, I called my mom to tell her about my newest acquisitions.  It wasn't until she asked me to send her a link to the new serving piece that I realized it was actually a jewelry stand!  Learning this interesting bit of information didn't phase me.  I have used this piece multiple times for serving food and have yet to use it for jewelry, but apparently this piece is multipurpose! 

I love the elegant aesthetic of this 3-tiered piece.  The gold and cream color combination goes beautifully with most of my serveware pieces and looks great when paired with a variety of brightly colored Spring flowers.  In addition to the aesthetic, this piece is also a great space saver.  My favorite use for this piece is to hold all of my cheesescape crackers and accompaniments.  

Paper Table Runner 

I first debuted this accessory in my post on Spring Cheesescaping.  Since this post, I have used this paper at least half a dozen times.  I absolutely LOVE disposable table runners.  Why?  

  1. They come in an assortment of bold colors and textures, which are perfect for framing your neutral serving dishes  and other entertaining accessories.
  2. The roll of paper actually lasts a long time.  As I mentioned, I have used this paper at least half a dozen times and still have what appears to be a very full roll of runner paper remaining.  
  3. Post party clean-up is a cinch!  Instead of having to collect all of the crumbs and sticky food particles from the table after a party, I simply roll up the paper and throw it in the garbage.  
  4. This roll of table paper is under $30.  Considering how many uses I have gotten out of this paper so far and all of the other benefits, I consider this price to be very reasonable.   

Gold Cheese Knives 

Gold flatware has been all of the rage lately.  I am certainly a huge fan of this look, however I haven't been able to justify the price (especially since I already have a full set of everyday flatware).  My solution?  Gold Cheese Knives!  These cheese knives are an updated look at an affordable price.   In addition, I love that this gold cheese knife set comes with a spear for serving pre-cut charcuterie and a flat paddle, which is perfect for using to serve chutneys and/or fruit preserves.  

Edible Flowers 

Nothing screams "Springtime" like floating a flower in your cocktail!  As you may have seen in previous posts (like this one), edible flowers are my latest go-to cocktail garnish.  Unique, natural, pretty and at a cost of $1.69/container you really can't go wrong incorporating these little gems into your next party.  

Bud Vases 

Spring means flowers and lots of them!  Since flowers are my go-to decor accessory this season, I have decided to get creative with the way they are displayed (both arranging and vessels).  My favorite vessel as of late is the bud vase.  Why?

  1. Versatility- Bud vases allow for a floral pop of color in a variety of spaces.  Instead of just using one large arrangement on my coffee table when I am entertaining, I will arrange 4 small bud vases interspersed with votives.   I am also a fan of using bud vases to adorn my kitchen window sill, bedside tables, dining table, bar and even my bathroom countertops!
  2. Affordability- I have bought the majority of my bud vases from my local flower supply store at a cost of roughly $2.49/vase.  What is not to love about that?  

As I mentioned at the start of this post, it was a challenge to keep this list of Spring entertaining essentials to only 5 items.  The possibilities for Spring entertaining are endless and there are so many fabulous products/entertaining accessories on the market at the moment.  My best piece of advice is to look beyond the face value of any item you are considering buying.  Thank goodness I didn't look at the label of my latest cheesescape serving piece in the store.  If I had looked at the label of my 3-tiered "Jewelry" Stand prior to purchasing, I don't know if I would have gone through with buying it.  As always, I hope this post has provided you with a new perspective and inspiration for hosting your next Spring soiree.    

Housewarming Gift Ideas for Spring

Host/Hostess gifts can sometimes be a challenge to think up.  Wine is always an easy go to, but lately I have grown tired of being so predictable and have been on a search for great gift ideas.  Here are a few of my favorite housewarming gifts for spring.

Agate Coasters

When hosting a party, I always make it a point to have my coasters strategically placed around the house and in abundance.  As a hostess or host, you are always wanting protect your home from accidents (ex. water rings on wood surfaces), so it's important to set your guests up for success and keep coasters easily accessible.  Why not have chic and unique coasters, like these agate coasters from West Elm?!?  These coasters come in a variety of colors that can definitely add a spring-like feel to any space and a personalized touch to your gift by choosing a color that may work best with your hostess/host's room decor. 

A Beautiful Book

Depending on your hostess or host's interest, a really well done coffee table book or cookbook can be a great gift.  A few of my favorites include: Scalamandre Haute Decor, Beauty at Home, Plenty MoreHouses of Veranda and Ad Hoc at Home.  

A Fragrant Candle

Candles are a staple in my home.  Each room has at least one (and sometimes more than one) candle with its own unique scent.  Fragrant candles are a great addition to your coffee table, bedroom and of course the bathroom!  There are so many deliciously fragrant candles on the market, you really can't go wrong gifting your host/hostess with a beautiful candle.  If you are concerned about selecting the right scent, do a little research on your host/hostess to figure out their scent preferences.  If you aren't inclined to do that, here are a few that I would highly recommend:  Nest Fragrances Blue Garden, Williams-Sonoma Vert Frais, Voluspa French Cade & Lavender, NEST Fragrances Luxury Mini Votive Set, Jo Malone Wood Sage & Sea Salt

A Set of Gourmet Chutneys or Jams

When I am hosting guests, especially overnight, there is nothing I love more than to receive a set of delicious and unique chutneys or jams.  Why?  Because I can use them right away!  Chutneys make a great addition to any cheeseboard and jam is a must have when I am hosting guests for breakfast.  For chutney, I am a huge fan of the Virginia Chutney Company's entire line of products, as you may or may not have noticed from their regular appearance in my cheesescapes.  For jam, I am really loving the Eat This jam company (they were also mentioned as one of Oprah's Favorite things this past December).  These jams have very unique flavor combinations that work beautifully together and can be paired with both savory and sweet foods.  Both the chutneys and jams come in very unique flavors and beautiful packaging, making them ideal housewarming gifts.  *I recommend gifting a set of 3 chutneys or jams.*

My belief is that a housewarming gift should be somewhat unique but also practical.  A pretty coffee table book or set of fancy jams might not be something that the gift recipient would buy for themselves, but they would certainly use and enjoy if they were gifted with these items.  Whatever you decide to bring, as long as it's a thoughtful gift your host/hostess will be appreciative.