It’s summer and that often means more evenings out, including those infamous summer BBQ’s and casual cocktail parties in someone’s backyard or patio. Although these are often casual affairs that involve blazing barbeques, hamburgers and self serve cocktails, that doesn’t mean that guests should feel entitled to arrive empty handed. Hosts and hostesses still have to work hard to put together one of these “shin digs” and I often find that a little appreciation can go a long way. So, if you are looking to “pay it forward”, here are some ideas that won’t leave you empty handed at the door. All are inexpensive, easy to find, and you can even ask your significant other to pitch in with the festivities and pick up any one of these on the way home.
5. Fresh Basket of Tomatoes Cost: $10 or less at whole food’s market or any local farm stand
- Yes, Farm fresh tomatoes always come in handy at a barbeque, on hamburgers, for that one vegan friend who needs something substantial with their meal, these make an authentic and unique hostess gift. Can’t find tomatoes, try a basket of peaches and even add a pint of Haagan Daz. The host and hostess may even save this one for their post party munchies
4. Fresh Flowers Cost: $10-$15 at whole food’s market or a local gourmet market
- You can’t go wrong here and I personally find the mixed bunches at whole foods are beautiful and inexpensive.
3. Wine Glass charms Cost: $8-$12 at Homegoods
- Unless this is a formal wine tasting, chances are guests will be leaving glasses on side tables, the grass or patio, and anywhere they can find. These little charms are “kichy” but they work and helps reduce the host’s chances of running out of glasses
- Every host needs more glasses but not to wash. Try some nicer looking patio glasses in melamine or even plastic. They look great for the party, will come in handy and you may even enjoy one yourself.
1. WINE and bring the ice bucket Cost: bottle of wine of your choice, bucket $15 at Target (pack the ice from your freezer)
- Yes you can bring a bottle of wine that’s not boring
Stay tuned for more summer hostess and guest tips next week!
Note: These images are not exact images of the items found at the respective retailers. Price ranges accurately reflect products located at each retailer as of July 2012.
Photo Credits sourced from Flickr: (5-1 in order) Ciot Run, Salim Virji, Fulgorine, Judie Paint Edit, Ben Ross Mowat