Monday, November 14, 2011

PK Holiday 2011: My Favorite Things...for Hostesses

Once upon a time, several years ago, there was a good-time gal named Princess Kitty who wrote a weekly newsletter filled with all sorts of silliness...and she had a faithful following who fully accepted her and all that super silliness. Bless them all...those were some fun times! She also put out special gift lists for the holidays filled with her favorite things in the hopes of providing her peeps new and creative ideas to give to their favorite peeps! It was one of her favorite things to do yet it's been a while...a long while. So, without further chit-chat, here are PK's Favorite Things for the Holidays...2011! Whoo!

This edition will feature 10 great ideas for host/ess gifts or any last-minute gifts you may need for the holidays...I swear!

Olive & Cocoa Holiday Taffy ($44)

Olive & Cocoa is one of my favorite catalogs. They have such unique and classic gifts. I am always able to find a gift for any occasion and the holidays are no exception! If anything, check out their website and order a'll love it. They really have such a wonderful selection of gifts. Sweets are always a great last-minute gift idea and/or host/ess treat. I have a ridiculous sweet tooth and taffy just happens to be one of my favorite sweet treats! This set has 12 sticks of old-fashioned pulled taffy in holiday flavors such as cranberry, peppermint and vanilla and is packaged in their signature wooden box...all ready for giving!


Vosges Haute-Chocolat is my favorite boutique chocolatier. Everything from this shop is positively delicious! (Check out their line of bacon & chocolate treats!) This is a fun and stylish little gift set that includes four cameo-shaped silhouette chocolates flavored with four different holiday "parfums", as the lovely and talented owner, Katrina Markoff, calls them. Flavors are peppermint candy cane + 45% cacao deep milk chocolate (Vixen), gingerbread spiced toffee + 65% cacao dark chocolate (Mrs. Claus), peppermint candy cane + 62% cacao dark chocolate (Esme the Elf), and sweet butter toffee + walnuts + pecans + 45% cacao deep milk chocolate (Ebenezer). You won't be disappointed by any chocolatey gift from me!


I wish that I could buy everything that Jonathan Adler designs! His "Happy Chic" style is so fun and clever...and happy! For this holiday season, he has designed a whole line of cute ornaments that you simply must check out on his website. Unfortunately, a lot of his products are a little bit pricey BUT, for the right recipient, there are many items that are worth the price...including this kitschy ornament set. It includes a jet plane and suitcase, both adorned with fun and colorful retro travel graphics. In addition to livening up a tree, these can be displayed year-round as unique tabletop accessories, like in a guest room or office. (Also check out the Jet Set Coaster Set ($48) as another great gift idea for your favorite world traveler!)

If you have a music lover in your life, this is the perfect gift for them! Recycled vinyl records are made into drink coasters (clever!) and part of the fun in this gift is the surprise of what albums you'll get to give (that's right, you can't select what you'll get but I really think that's part of the fun)! With all hopes, you'll get a combination of the Bee Gees, John Denver, KC & the Sunshine Band, Def Leppard, Michael Jackson and Grease...or is that just me? Note that you can also order other items made from recycled LPs, such as a mirror or do some exploring and check out this clever line!


I really don't have words to describe how much I love Stonewall Kitchen! I obsess over Jonathan & Jim (the owners) and their good friend, Ina Garten, and their impeccable style in the kitchen. If I could spend freely, my whole pantry would be filled with Stonewall Kitchen products (some of my favorites are Tequila Lime Cocktail Sauce, Cinnamon Sugar Doughnut Mix, Raspberry Peach Champagne Jam, and Barefoot Contessa Coconut Cupcake with Cream Cheese Frosting). Just buy, no further asking.

They are very well known for their award-winning jellies and jams and their Hot Pepper Jelly is positively delish! As you may or may not know, over a block of cream cheese, Hot Pepper Jelly is super yummy spread over crackers (like Stonewall Kitchen's Simple White Crackers) and is a very simple snack idea. This gift comes with a tree-shaped ramekin that your host/ess friend can use for serving (although don't get offended if s/he doesn't serve it at the party you're attending...that's pushing it because it just may not jive with the evening's menu...I'm just sayin') plus it comes all ready for giving, wrapped in a cellophane bag with a red grosgrain ribbon.

Tiffany Dragonflies Correspondence Cards ($23.95)

I just returned from the Biltmore Estate and got to view an exhibit of Louis Comfort Tiffany's stained glass works. (Please note that I also got to see Edith Stuyvesant Vanderbilt's monogrammed Louis Vuitton steamer trunks on this visit as well and almost fainted on the spot, much to the tour guide's dismay...I'm serious.) Many of his designs featured dragonflies and the level of detail was just exquisite! Now, I'm totally obsessed. Note cards are a GREAT gift to give ANYONE because, I tell you, the art of writing a good thank you note (or note in general) is dying...and we must MUST try and save it!! It's always good to have some nice stationary on-hand and this is the perfect set for a stylish friend.


For those who are familiar with PK from back in the day, my favorite candle company, Paul Robinett, who made my custom candle gift each year, is no longer in business. (Don't even get me started...) However, we don't need to fret because there are still plenty of great candles out there! Another favorite of mine is Henri Bendel (which used to be sold at Bath & Body Works), which comes from my favorite department store of the same name in New York City. The thing I love about some gift sets is that you can break them up and have several gifts to give from one purchase. This is also usually very cost-effective, if you're on a budget, like yours truly. This set has three candles in ho-ho-holiday scents of Silver Birch, White Spruce and, hello?, Holiday. Give them as is or break them up into three separate gifts by packaging each one up in a cellophane bag with paper shreds tied with a big colorful ribbon. I think it's also thoughtful to throw in some matches with a candle gift so check out these Tiled Mix-n-Matches ($11 for 3). You can choose your colors (From a wide selection) and you don't have to buy 3,000 matchbooks to place a minimum order. This gift idea works out to being a little over $10 per candle (a few dollars more if you factor in your wrapping)...very affordable AND thoughtful!


I know...again with the candy. This selection from the British confectioner available at Williams-Sonoma is so nicely packaged and available in so many fun nostalgic flavors, I can't help but feature it.  My favorites are Gummy Bananas, Root Beer Drops and, of course, Champagne Bubbles. Again, you can buy a set of five jars of these sweets, on sale now for $49.95, and give them as five separate host/ess gifts. The set includes Red Berry Blocks, Strawberry Puffs, Luster Gumballs, Champagne Bubbles and Cinnamon Balls. They are really ready to give as is so that works out to about $10 per gift, which is the perfect price point, I think!


Z Gallerie is another great stop for gifts...and home decor, especially if you are into retro design or like some serious flair and whimsy in your decor. Wine or Champagne is absolutely a perfect go-to host/ess gift so this sock monkey wine cover can add just the right bit of whimsy to your gift for the holidays and is certainly something that will be used again and again by your recipient. I mean, who doesn't love a sock monkey, for cryin' out loud?


You'll need to become a subscriber of UrbanDaddy to take advantage of this special set but I can vouch that this is one of my favorite newsletters and I think you'll really enjoy it. (You can sign up here.) Anywho, brunch is one of my most favorite things to enjoy and what is brunch without a deliciously spicy Bloody Mary (with lots of olives, celery and limes)! Demitri's is an award-winning maker of the perfect Bloody Mary mix and in this special members-only set, you'll get an eight-ounce bottle of each of their special mixes: Classic Recipe, Chilies and Peppers, Extra Horseradish and Chipotle-Habanero. You'll also get a four-ounce tin of their original RimShot Rimming Salt, as well as the Bacon flavor. Um, yum. AGAIN, this is a gift you can give as the full set or break it up as you see fit into a few gifts.

(Stay tuned for my upcoming entertaining book, Princess Kitty's Entertaining for the Fabulous, that will feature some super yum recipes to serve with the perfect Bloody Mary!)


And remember, if you're pressed for time this holiday season and need some help getting your gift list together, I am always available to help with gift ideas, shopping and wrapping so shoot me a note if you need a little PK in your life (for a small fee, of course...I'm forced to be a recessionista at present)!

Next up, later this week, My Favorite Holiday Things...for Little Ones!

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