Wednesday, December 10, 2014

The Hostess // Books for Every Lady on Your List // Holiday Gift Guide // 2014

The Hostess

The hostess is the one who is always organizing all of your social plans, inviting you over, inviting you out, sending you mail, giving you gifts... etc. She is happy to have you over at a moment's notice, she always has snacks and drinks on hand, and manages to look anything but flustered in any social situation. She might be an incredible cook or bartender. She knows how to set a theme for even the smallest gathering. She might also be crafty, creating centerpieces, handmade invitations, paper decorations, or wrapping a present like a pro. No occasion is too big or small to celebrate for her. Her Instagram is a collage of invitation designs, seasonal holiday details, pretty cocktails, and impressive desserts.

1) What's a Hostess to Do?

I recently picked up this fun little book while we were in Seattle.I picked it out because I enjoy entertaining, but even when I have the best intentions... I am not the best at planning ahead. So I thought, this book just might have some tips for me about how to be prepared, keep organized, and not go kinda-sorta-crazy when having guests over. So far, I love this book! It contains recipes, organization tips, prepping tips, nice things to do for your guests, different types of parties to host, as well as clean up tips, and ideas for all of those leftovers. Great for anyone who entertains, even if it isn't very frequently!

2) Camille Styles Entertaining: Inspired Gatherings and Effortless Style

You're going to notice right away that many of these books are organized seasonally, which I personally love, but can be great for people who want to entertain more at different times of the year! This book is so beautiful, the images are just breathtaking! Styles has an earthy meets glamorous vintage style - that gives such a youthful vibe. Along with recipes Styles shares tablescape, floral, and home design tips and inspiration. This book would also be great for DIY-er and the Foodie.

3) Paper to Petal: 75 Whimsical Paper Flowers to Craft by Hand

This lovely book gives in depth instructions on how to make beautiful paper blooms. Described as surprisingly easy-this book is for anyone who enjoys a good craft. From simple to complex there are 75 ideas to choose from in this book that would enhance any gathering or event. Also a good choice for the DIY-er.

4) The Cocktail Club: A Year of Recipes and Tips for Spirited Tasting Parties

This 5 star rated, seasonally divided book is perfect for the mixologist in your life. Within each chapter is a month where a type of alcohol or type of drink designated. Within each of those chapters are drink recipes that fit the theme and appetizers to pair with them. It also includes bartending basics and tips. This might also be a good choice for the Foodie in your life!

5) 101 Sangrias and Pitcher Drinks

Kim Haasarud is the queen of alcoholic beverages. This book is particularly good for anyone because pitcher drinks are always festive, always delicious, and fairly simple to execute. Who doesn't love a good sangria?!? In case you are interested... she also wrote: 101 Tropical Drinks, 101 Blender Drinks 101 Margaritas, 101 Martinis, 101 Mojitos, 101 Champagne Cocktails, and 101 Shots. - Like I said, the queen of alcoholic beverages. So go with your bliss here, or your friend's I guess! -Another good selection for the Foodie

6) Meals in Heels

A fun book with hostess tips, recipes, and styling tips for days. With very high ratings on Amazon and fun illustrations to-boot this is a must-read for hostesses everywhere. Many of the reviewers rave that they use this book more than their dozens of cookbooks at home! With starting tips for both novices and seasoned veterans, as well as seasonally divided menus, there is something for everyone here. Also great for the Foodie.

7) Celebrate: A Year of Festivities for Families and Friends

Did you guys know that Pippa Middleton was an editor for an online party magazine?! -Me either. This is her first book, which is another seasonally divided resource for party planning and cooking. There are gorgeous pictures, many pages of crafts, recipes, and activities to entertain guests. Many parents are raving that this book is excellent for children's party ideas! I also like the nod to the past with pieces on after dinner games, old fashioned recipes, and beverages. This book would also be good for the Momma or the Girly Girl.

8Cooking with Flowers: Sweet and Savory Recipes with Rose Petals, Lilacs, Lavender, and Other Edible Flowers 

This book is a treat for the senses for any creative entertainer. It contains over 100 recipes that utilize edible flowers. Not only do the recipes sound scrumptious, (daylily cheesecake! rosemary flower margaritas!), they are equally beautiful. This book is sure to excite gardeners, entertainers, and creative foodies alike. I think it's fair to say that this, is on my own personal wishlist! Also great for the Foodie.

9Relish: An Adventure in Food, Style, and Everyday Fun

You might remember my review of this book... you might not... but I love everything about Daphne Oz's love letter to life. The recipes are inventive, exotic, and fun - but also extremely approachable! In addition to the many recipes shared here, there is a wealth of advice and knowledge shared about entertaining, traveling, fashion, decor.... you name it. Oz feels like an old friend when you read this, and I benefited greatly from her wisdom, and have loved EVERY recipe that I have tried so far! She even shares funny anecdotes about entertaining woes, and how she's learned from her mom to go with the flow. Also great for the Foodie.

10) Sugar Baby: Confections, Candies, Cakes & Other Delicious Recipes for Cooking with Sugar

For many entertainers dessert is the best part. It's tasty, but it is also a good chance to show off your culinary expertise, and wow your guests. This cookbook is perfect for one such advantageous hostess. A recipe book full of lovely sugar recipes from cotton candy to rock candy, marshmallows to chocolate mousse and everywhere in between. Another great choice for the Foodie, or a Girly Girl who loves to cook!

I hope that this list has given you some book ideas for your favorite party planner!

Interested in more?  Check out this post to view my book recommendations for other 'types'.

Happy Gifting!



  1. Thank you Meagan! Being a major bookworm I had a lot of fun making these lists... and my amazon wishlist may have grown... a lot... haha. I hope this helps with your SIL's gifts, and that she enjoys whatever you find! Thanks for stopping by! XO

  2. my mother in law loves hosting things but always gets stressed out, lol. i might look into that 'what's a hostess to do' one!

  3. so far it has had some helpful tips for me. Granted your MIL has probably hosted a little more than me! :) haha

  4. I am better at being the hostee than the hostess. I admire people who can have stuff all under control for big gatherings.

  5. Those are such great book ideas- I've not heard of many of them but your right- they would be perfect gifts for hostesses, especially since I am not a hosted myself so I admire those that are!

  6. Me too! I think I personally fall much more in many of the other categories.. I am more of a Wanderluster / DIYer :) XO


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