Hostess Gifts and Tips

Giftable Cookie Jar

I’m always looking for new and fabulous ways to package cookies, especially as gifts…

40th Birthday Cookie Jar

A fun and sweet gift… Happy 40th Birthday Cookie Jar

My friend, Jaime, who’s birthday we celebrated this past weekend, might be just as big of a “cookie monster “as I am. I wanted to make her a batch of favorites as well as a few 40 cookies to mark the occasion. While I personally adore the kitsch of specified cookie jars, I knew it would be difficult to match one to her new apartment. Plus I knew she’d be having guests visit her all weekend and thought it would be nice for her to have some extra cookies to share…

Add a bow to the lid and may the festivities begin!

Add a fab bow to the lid, or wrap it all the way around and may the festivities begin!

After a bit of searching, I decided on the 6 quart JCP Everyday glass jar (which bear an amazing resemblance to the ones we used on set at the Martha Show 😉 ) and filled it with 2 batches of delicious, freshly baked cookies (one chocolate chip, the other triple chocolate chip). For added viewing pleasure I added three sets of number 40 sugar cookies with small hearts along the sides as well as one at the top.

The 6 quart size is perfect for filling with lots of cookies, but is still portable which is super important in gift giving! Easy for you to carry there, easy for them to carry home!

The 6 quart size is perfect for filling with lots of cookies, but is still portable which is super important in gift giving! Easy for you to carry there, easy for the giftee to carry home! Here we are with the cookie jar are posing for a birthday photo on our way to birthday dinner.

Filling this jar similarly but subbing turkeys, acorns, leavessnowflakes, gingermen or any other Holiday cookies could be super sweet! Just make sure the shapes you choose are not too fragile and are on the medium or smaller side. Also, be sure to let all the cookies cool and dry fully before carefully layering them in the jar. Anyone would be thrilled to receive this thoughtful gift and they can re-use the beautiful jar afterwards. Here’s what I did with the extra jars that I bought for myself…

I finally have the counter space to accomodate a flour and sugar jar for easy access! I used the 8 quart for the flour and the 6 for the sugar.

I finally have the counter space to accommodate a flour and sugar jar for easy baking access! I used the 8 quart for the flour and the 6 for the sugar. I added scoops to the jars that will remain in each jar and will scoop into my measuring cups to avoid any cross ingredient contamination. (Nerdy baking stuff, I know but I am very woohoo about this!)

I also love Crate and Barrel’s version of these large jars as well as the ones from The Container Store… the gallon Ball jar is also adorable but note, the mouth and jar is not nearly as wide. No matter which jar you choose, this will prove to be a sweet way to spread the love this Holiday season and beyond! Stay tuned for more ideas for filling these cookie jars coming very soon! (Good thing I bought a few extra! :))  Xo Dani

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“Welcome to the World” Baby Boy Gift Basket

Gift baskets are back! (cue applause)

SDB Carrie Barron Gift Basket

A Welcome to the World Gift Basket for Baby Barron and his Mom, Carrie

You might be wondering… Did gift baskets ever really go anywhere? Like most trends I have seen gift baskets and hostess gifts trend and wane. For a while there, my requests for cookie gift baskets were few. With the craziness of the economy in the past few years, people have definitely been more conservative with how they spend their money.

Lately though, I’ve seen fun gift baskets making a resurgence and I love the really creative takes on them (like Jodi Levine’s Baby Shower in a box) as well as the more “traditional” (like mine, above) and of coarse, the cookie gift basket! What’s great about a gift “basket” (note: I use that word loosely, your container does not have to be a basket), is that you can be really thoughtful and especially customize the contents to your giftee. With a little craftiness you don’t have to spend a ton of money to give a great gift basket.

My friend “cupcake” Carrie had a baby boy just a few weeks ago. I started collecting items for this gift basket a month or so before he was born and it all started with this adorable plush cupcake! When she invited me over to meet him, I packed up a few fun items in an “apple bushel” style basket that I purchased at the craft store. Here’s what I included…

SDB Welcome to the world basket shark mitt

Don’t all little boys love sharks? I could not resist this adorable shark bath mitt from Target! I lined the bushel with a turquoise blue handmade paper and set the shark up in the back for height…

SDB welcome to the world gift basket 77kids shirt cupcake

My first two purchases for Baby Barron… this adorable Kidrobot plush cupcake from Urban Outfitters (almost too cute to part with!) and this “foodie” baby tee from 77Kids!

SDB Welcome to the World Nutella Sandwiches

I have been working on these Nutella sandwich cookies so I baked a small batch topped with blue sanding sugar so I could get Carrie’s opinion on them (they are impossibly melty!)…

SDB Welcome to the World Basket Cheesy Stars

I also included some of my “Cheesy Stars”… something sweet, something savory… I love how they looked wrapped in this Martha Crafts waxed paper…

I also included a chilled half bottle of Champagne and a ripe orange (great for propping up the other gifts). I figured I could make Carrie a mimosa on the spot if she felt like toasting but if not she could save the Champagne for later and have a toast with her husband. (She opted for the large iced coffee I brought her 😉 !

SDB Welcome to the World Basket Martha Stewart gift tag

I love that Martha is selling these metal edged gift tags at Staples- they fit perfectly on so many different packages!

SDBWelcome to the World Barron in shirt

The shirt is a little big now but by Fall it will be perfect!

SDB Welcome to the World Basket Barron and Cupcake

Hey Buddy- It’s me, Cupcake! Wait till you try the cuppies your Mom makes…

Welcome to the World Baby Barron! Welcome back gift baskets… much more inspiration on these to come! Xo Dani