Hostess Gifts and Tips

A Sweet-As-Pie Hostess or Shower Gift

Nicole's shower registry card

Nicole's shower registry card

I recently attended a “display bridal shower” which was thrown for the lovely lady my brother is engaged to. In case you have never heard of a “display shower”, guests are asked to bring their gifts wrapped in cellophane or unwrapped and they are put on display. This way the bride-to-be has more time to spend with her guests, and does not spend time opening gifts at the shower. In my opinion, it’s a nice, modern twist on the typical bridal shower and its eco- friendly too! I also think this is a great option for a person who might be on the shy side or a great solution for a bride who has a very large shower guest list as gift opening can be a very long, and sometimes frenzied, process.

Of coarse I wanted my gift to be an adorable standout in the display stack and I always like to make my gifts as personal as possible… Nicole and I spent summer weekends together this past summer and suddenly found ourselves taking turns making different cookie crust pies. I nicknamed this “Our Summer Pie Project”. So I scanned her registry for the perfect items relating to our “pie project” and voilà… a sweet-as-pie gift was on the way. In the meantime, I gathered the recipes that we made, collected the photos I took of them, and created a little book (using Illustrator and Photoshop) to include with the gift.

Pie pages

Wow! Did we really taste all these amazing pies in 3 months?!

pie cover

I fastened the pages with a brad so it could be easily added to in the future!

Gifts that relate: Trivet, pie plate and dish towel from Nicole's registry

Gifts that relate: Trivet, pie plate and dish towel from Nicole's registry

gift stacked

I stacked the gifts, fanned out the book for cute display and tucked the card in between the pie plate and trivet for safe keeping

add ribbon

1.5 inch, ivory satin ribbon tied the whole gift together!

The finishing touch- a perfectly tied bow!

The finishing touch- a perfectly tied bow!

I have honed my bow tying skills over the past several years… its kind of an art and takes a bit of time and patience but the final result is always worth it!

The lovely Nicole at her shower

The sweet & lovely Nicole at her shower with a "sweet as pie" gift!

This is a fun and fabulous gift that can be customized in so many ways… It is a sweet shower gift or a thoughtful hostess gift that would be especially great for the Holidays! Perhaps your recipe book is customized and made up of favorite family recipes… or you can add a recipe collection of both savory & sweet pies… The possibilites are endless but your end result is guaranteed to be be “Sweet As Pie”!

Xo Dani

Margarita Queen Hostess Gift

The Margarita Queen and her loyal subjects

The Margarita Queen and her loyal subjects

My friends and family call me the “margarita queen”. I enjoy all flavors (lately jalapeño infused is my fave) and formations (frozen, slushy, on the rocks)… Salted rim always please!  The day I met my true margarita love, though, was one sweet day a few years ago… I was poolside in Cabo San Lucas.

Me sipping & dipping in Cabo- this is a requirement of the trip!

Me sipping & dipping in Cabo- this is a requirement of the trip!

In Cabo they take tequila very seriously and they favor fresh lime juice over sour mix- boy, does it make a huge difference! Later, as I danced at Cabo Wabo Cantina (enjoying another margarita or two) I thought to myself, my margaritas will never be the same!

Margarita at Ediths

My friend Amanda and I waiting on a delicious margarita at Ediths in Cabo

Upon our return I adapted the “Cabo way” into my margarita recipe adding a few other touches- namely the fresh orange juice- which balances out the tartness of the lime. Add some of the orange pulp if you like it to be extra fresh tasting. If you like your margaritas more tart, only use one orange. If you are a tequila lover, and are not operating machinery or a vehicle, add an extra TBSP or 2 of tequila.

Here is my recipe for Approx. 2 “Margarita Queens”

• 6 to 8 Limes (just under a cup)
• 1 to 2 Oranges (depends on size- about half a cup)
• 1/4 C. Tequila (Milagro, patron, cabo wabo, el corazon, homemade jalapeño infused)
• 1/8 C. Orange Liquor (Triple Sec, Patron Citronge, Grand Mariner)
• 1/8 C Agave (for an extra touch of sweet)
• Good Ice (I know it sounds snobby, but good ice does make a difference!)

The agave is thick so combine all the juices, and a few cubes of ice to a shaker… add the agave and shake, shake, shake! Also, whisking, blends the agave in nicely. Next, add the tequila and orange liquor and shake, shake, shake again. (Dancing while shaking is highly reccomended!)

To serve, use a lime wedge to wet the rim of your glass and dip the glass in kosher salt (thick crystals are a bonus). Fill the glass with ice and pour… YUM!

This Sunday, we are headed to an end of summer BBQ, and I’m bringing our hosts a “Margarita Queen” Kit. All the fresh citrus supplies plus a bottle of agave, salt in a cello bag and my jalapeño infused tequila. For an added bonus you could always add a cute citrus squeezer to this basket. I’ll include a recipe card and from now on will include a sweet and lovely Margarita Queen (crown made with paper, scissors and a glue dot in back). She is guaranteed to turn anyone from sour to sweet! If not, these margaritas definitely will!

Margarita Queen Hostess Gift Basket

Margarita Queen Hostess Gift Basket

Cheers!  xoxo Dani

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