I’ve always found that hostess gift guides can be the trickiest and most redundant across the internet because the reality is that most people seem to default to a bottle of wine or champagne when gifting to the hostess over the holidays. This roundup is a mix of practical + budget-friendly items because sometimes living in a city means considering how much your Ubers will be to and from the destination, and regardless of where you live, the cost of the ingredients for your complicated potluck recipe may have blown your weekly grocery budget out of the water. A bunch of items I’ll be including in future guides would also be relevant to hosting, but consider this a more budget-conscious/what I think would be considered “applicable to most people,” start!
Happy Monday, friends! We had a wonderful weekend in Charlottesville with our neighbors turned friends (and the dogs!)–we went on a hike, hit up Duck Donuts (my first time and it lived up to expectations), went to L.L. Bean, visited two wineries (King Family and Veritas), and got dinner at Red Pump Kitchen and ice cream at Kilwin’s (one of my all-time favs), got Bodo’s to go (obviously), and stopped at Barrel Oak on our way back to DC yesterday. It was cold but the perfect couple of days–I’d never visited UVA’s campus before and while Millie is still very much an eight month old puppy and loves to act like one a lot of the time, it ended up being the ideal fall weekend.
Now that we’re just over a week away from Thanksgiving, it’s officially gift guide season in the lifestyle content world! I know many of these can get redundant and annoying after awhile, so I’m going to mostly stick with that I did last year: only post the guides on “off” days and keep my MWF posts non-gift guide related. Today is obviously an exception but you can expect guides to fall on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays, and Sundays for the next few weeks. I’m also trying to be a little more “out of the box” with my topic ideas–you’ll see the typical “for the hostess,” “for her,” “under $xx,” etc., but also a couple new ones like this one. As someone who has lived in small spaces for the past few years and now shares a sub-600 square foot place with a boy and a dog, I wanted to share items that I think would be good for other’s who may be in a similar position because when space is so precious, it’s tough to give it up for more “stuff” if you hate clutter like I do. All of these items are on the smaller side, overly practical, or would get “used up” – all good boxes to check if people on your list fit this mold!
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One of the major backend components of blogging is giving attention to the metrics on various parts of the site and through content I share, including the analytics pertaining to items that garner attention from clicks or sales. One of my biggest takeaways is that many of you seem to love L.L. Bean, even if the brand isn’t one of your go-tos for everyday wear. I spent many years thinking of L.L. Bean as solely an outdoors brand and while they’re definitely leaders in that realm, also make some of the best basics, clothing, and travel accessories on the market. I wanted to round up some of my favorite pieces on their site right now–I’m avoiding the things I talk about all the time (like the Sweater Fleece and Bean Boots) but highlighting some new arrivals to keep on your radar both for yourself and for early gift buying, since everything is currently 25% off through Tuesday!
P.S. The image above is from this time last year!