One of my favorite things to do is to visit friends at their apartments, houses, etc. all over the country! I love having dinner parties but also love attending them. Many of my friends are starting to get engaged, some getting married and even some are pregnant! It's a crazy time in life but so much fun and so many reasons to celebrate.
With that said, I learned a very important lesson from my mother: The gift bin. I remember being little and I would have an occasion and my mom would say, 'well did you get a gift'.. of course, I would say no, and she would open her magic gift bin and pull out the most perfect gift. Smart woman, huh?
That being said, I attend some sort of occasion that calls for a gift at least once a month and not to mention, I never go to a home empty handed. While a bottle of wine/champagne/liquor always works, sometimes I like to bring something extra. Not to mention, when your BFF calls you to tell you that she is engaged, you better have champagne, a ring dish and flutes on hand to rush over and celebrate!
I've started to curate a 'gift bin' of my own. From statement jewelry to champagne flutes and everything in between, it could be Christmas tomorrow and I'd probably be pretty prepared. Whenever I am out and see something neutral (meaning without a strong scent, or monogram, appeals to both sexes, etc.), I just purchase it and stow it away. I also like to purchase sets of things that are usually available during the holidays. For example, Molton Brown has a great gift set with smaller bottles. I open the set and then use those as small gifts or to pair with a larger gift.
I also always have Starbucks gift cards on hand. Because most people love coffee, and Starbucks is everywhere so they can appeal to almost everyone. Plus, it's fun to just give someone a $5 card and say 'hey thanks for being a friend, your drink is on me'.
I thought I'd round up some of my favorite things to have on hand. Some are small gifts and some are larger, but you can also customize. For example, for a couple that just got engaged, champagne flutes and a nice bottle of champagne makes a nice pairing. Or for a housewarming present? A set of lotion and soap for the kitchen or bathroom, but wrapped in a cute hand towel. I also love adding on things like nail polish or lipgloss to make it extra girly and fun. I think a Starbucks card and cute mug can make a great small gift! And I love love love bringing flowers to a dinner party, but in a gorgeous vase. That way, the host or hostess doesn't have to fuss and cut them and rush to get them in water.
Do you keep things like this on hand? What are your suggestions? Have a fabulous day!