Here’s to the End of Summer!

Hey Dolls! Happy Labor Day! I hope that you are doing something fabulously fun. And really, whether it’s beaching, brunching or barbecuing, the day calls for a great cocktail. It’s still hot here on the East Coast, so I’m opting for a refreshing libation – the Le Grand Fizz with Vodka. Peep the mixology below.

Le Grand Fizz with Vodka

The Ingredients.

  • 1.5 oz of your favorite Vodka
  • 1 oz St-Germain Elderflower Liqueur
  • ½ oz freshly squeezed lime (approx. half a lime)
  • 3 lime wedges
  • 2 parts chilled soda water

The Mixology. Build in an oversized cabernet wine glass with lots of ice. Add Vodka and St-Germain. Then squeeze fresh lime and discard. Top with chilled soda water. Stir and garnish with fresh lime wedges and a stirrer. Serve, sip + enjoy!

Happy Labor Day! Here’s to the end of summer!

Until then, keep sharing the pretty,

L.

The Pretty Domestic

Source: Town & Country

Last of the Summer Soirées

Hey Dolls! I seriously can’t believe that September is five days away. The next few weeks will bring the last of the outdoor summer soirées. Cookouts, picnics and beach parties aren’t what they used to be. The stylish selection of outdoor accoutrements really excite a Doll. So, whether you are headed to the beach, cookout, picnic, “porching,” or enjoying the backyard with your honey, here are my recommendations for the last days of summer outdoor soiree must-haves.

Paper napkins be damned! Salt + Sundry’s Cotton Cocktail Napkins Rolls instantly take your outdoor soiree to the next level. The texture is awesome and they are completely durable. In addition to white and grey, they come in green, navy, and coral.

No one wants to schlep a stale old blanket to the beach, park, family or friend’s. Keep it stylish with a cotton woven striped beach blanket from Jack Wills.

A Doll has been known to bring glass champagne flutes to the beach, park or friend’s cookout. And if the location warrants, I will continue to do so. But some locations are just not conducive to glassware. Enter Crate and Barrel’s Govino Shatterproof Stemless Champagne Flutes. Cast you worries aside about a simple spill meaning the end to one of your favorite stems. Pour and enjoy.

An additional outdoor soiree must-have is fabulous beverage tub for all things sparkling and bubbly.

No one wants an uninvited guest; but what’s worse are the pesky little one flying around your soiree. Citronella candles are helpful for keeping these flying friends away; but they tend to be so unsightly. Anthropologie nails clean packaging, coupling it with citronella oil that works to mask odors that attract those little pests. You can also grab an accompanying incense. I’m also a fan of the Willams Sonoma Meyer Lemon Citronella Multi-Wick Candle.

What’s a soiree without sounds. Pick your favorite playlist and get the party started with the SACKit WOOFit Go speaker. Don’t let the petite size fool you. This little number gives great sound quality, volume and is easy to pack and go.

Canned and boxed wines get a bad name; and some rightly so; but every once and a while you stumble on to something that changes your mind. A recently trip to the Edgartown Meat and Fish Market brought me face-to-face with Babe Rosé with Bubbles. Yes, a canned sparkling rosé. I grabbed a few and headed off to the beach to share with some Dolls who definitely have discerning palettes. We sipped and fell in love. Don’t judge. Try it for your end of summer soiree. Plus the packaging is so much fun. Oh, and you can’t go wrong with something that is on the Big O’s (Oprah’s) list as a party must haves!

Don’t forget fresh flowers. If you don’t have a ready made cutting garden, pay a quick visit to your Whole Foods. They have a beauty selection of florals. The petite bouquets are perfect for your outdoor tables or powder room.

Will you be entertaining this Labor Day Weekend, headed to the beach, friends or family. Leave a comment let me know your summer soiree favs!

Until then, keep sharing the pretty,

L.

The Pretty Domestic

The Social Graces: We Loved Having You …

Hey Dolls! I’ve published this post annually for several years, with the original post published June 2012. It continues to be a favorite! Because summer is here and vacations are in full swing, I thought a refresher may be in order (even for me). Peep the original post below! (Hostess gift ideas have been updated,)

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Summer has arrived in all of its glory, and with it much-anticipated travel plans. Some travel involves a stay at a cute boutique hotel and other times we are guests of family or friends. On those occasions when we are guests in someone’s home, how do we ensure that we are invited for a return visit. In other words, what makes a gracious house guest?

Friends and family don’t really mean it when they say, “Feel free to drop in anytime.” Don’t drop in on anyone. In other words, communicate and coordinate your plans with your hosts well in advance. Let them know when you will be arriving and departing. It’s good practice to book your travel arrangements after you have confirmed these details with your hosts. Equally important, let your hosts know how many people will be traveling with you, especially if little ones are involved.

Inform your hosts of your schedule while you will be staying with them. This is a courtesy, especially if your plans do not involve spending all of your time with your hosts. You don’t want to inconvenience (or surprise) your hosts with an unexpected knock on the door from you late at night or early in the morning.

Observe and respect the house rules. Most hosts will offer a tour of their home to make you feel comfortable when you arrive. Ask questions. “Is this the powder room that I should use?” “Is this the closet in which I should hang my coat?” Don’t be too familiar just because you have a long-term relationship.

If you notice that your hosts take off their shoes when they come in the door, you should do the same. Similarly, if you notice that a certain room in the house is not used by your hosts, don’t “camp out” there during your visit. If your hosts turn in early, and you are on the nocturnal side, be respectful … speak in low tones if you are on your cell, don’t turn a bright light on directly outside of their sleeping area, don’t have the volume on the TV turned all of the way up, and for goodness sake, don’t order PPV movies “on their dime.”

Clean up after yourself. I will say it again. Clean up after yourself! Wait, let me say it again. Clean up after yourself! Your hosts are not your housekeepers. Make your bed, load your own dishes in the dishwasher (or offer to clear the table one night), turn the lights out when you leave the room, keep the powder room you are using neat and tidy. Don’t leave wet towels anywhere, but on the towel rack. Keep your things in one place. When you are leaving, ask your hosts what they would like you to do with bed and bath linens.

If you break something, inform your hosts immediately and offer to replace or pay for the broken item.

Ask to lend a hand when you see your hosts’ straightening. There is nothing worse than following guests around the house, picking up after them. Remember, you want to be invited back, not talked about after you leave.

Your Hosts are Not You Babysitters. If your children will be traveling with you, and you will need sitting services, make the appropriate arrangements before arriving at your hosts’ home. Don’t expect them, or their children, to watch and entertain your kids. Set expectations with your children, before you travel, about minding their manners and being neat.

And finally, these two go without saying ~ bring a gift when you arrive + send thank you note after your departure.

Peep these gift ideas to bring to your hosts.

Luxe Room Spray + Hand Soap. Gift your host and hostess a little bit of luxury that they wouldn’t normally pick up for themselves. I love Byredo Room Spray + Soap. The Cotton Poplin + Gypsy Water fragrances are particularly lovely for summer.

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Candles make great gifts. They are practical, yet you can selected from thousands of aromas to compliment the tastes of your hosts. Diptyque Candles and accompanying Wick Trimmer are always a win. My favorite scent is Baies

Diptyque Candle

Personalized Stationery are the “Write” Stuff. While shooting a quick “thank you” email has become commonplace, but there re still a lot of paper Dolls out there. Gift your hostess a beautiful Grand Silk Stationery Box. Personalized stationery ranges from whimsical to formal. 

While you’re at it, order a set for yourself, so that you will always be prepared to send a quick “Merci!”

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Fab Florals. Who doesn’t love flowers!? I have been swooning over the eternity roses from Venus ET Fleur. Gift your hosts a beautifully curated rose arrangement that will remind them of your gratitude and time together long after your gone – actually up to a year.

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Cocktail Glass Set. For your friends that imbibe from time to time, these Mr. and Mrs. Cocktail Glasses make for a super stylish gift.

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Personalized Guest Towels. A hostess can never have enough guest towels when entertaining. These luxe Caspari personalized guest towels from Horchow have the look of linen, with the feel of cotton. 

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And for a whimsical splurge for the friends who have everything, bring a a couple bottles of bubbly and a “Thank You Candy Trunk” from Sugarfina!

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So there you have it ~ Gracious Guest 101. Follow these simple rules and you’ll surely receive an invitation to visit again. Final thought, make sure you reciprocate. Don’t forget to invite your hosts to spend time at your home.

Until Then | Keep Sharing the Pretty,

TPD

You Are Cordially Invited to Champagne Sunday!

Hey Dolls! Happy Sunday! Summer is here with a vengeance and the 4th is days away. I was trying to decide on the perfect champagne cocktail for the holiday and thought I would try the “Always Sparkling.” Don’t you love the name! Peep the mixology.

Always Sparkling

The Ingredients |

  • 1 part cognac
  • 3/4 part lemon juice
  • 3/4 part sweetened strawberry purée
  • 1 dash rose water
  • favorite sparkling rose

The Mixology | In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, combine cognac, lemon juice, strawberry purée and rose water. Strain into a stemless glass filled with ice, and top with your favorite sparkling rose. Sip + enjoy!

Until then, keep sharing the pretty,

L.

TPD

Source: Cosmopolitan.com

National Margarita Day!

Hey Dolls! It’s not Champagne Sunday, but it is National Margarita Day! Peep the mixology for The Perfect Margarita.

The Perfect Margarita

The Ingredients.

  • 1 lime, cut into wedges
  • Coarse salt
  • Ice cubes
  • 1 1/4 cups freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1 cup best-quality white tequila
  • 1/3 cup Cointreau
  • 1/3 cup sugar, plus more if desired

The Mixology. To salt-rim the glasses, rub a cut lime around the rim of each of 4 cocktail glasses or stemmed goblets. Fill a saucer with salt. Dip glass, upside down, into salt. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Fill blender three-quarters full of ice cubes. Pour lime juice, tequila, and Cointreau over ice. Add sugar; blend, starting slowly, and then increasing to high speed, until ice is very finely chopped and mixture is frothy. Taste for sweetness; add more sugar if desired. Blend a few seconds more; pour into salt-rimmed glasses. Serve immediately and enjoy!

Until then, keep sharing the pretty,

L.

The Pretty Domestic

Dollentine’s Day Gift Ideas

Hey Dolls! We are a day shy of Valentine’s Day, and whether you have plans with a special someone or not, I say who cares! Tomorrow is a day we can spend showering ourselves with love. Peep some of my fab gifts ideas and splurge on yourself for “Dollentine’s Day.”

Gucci Crystal-embellished GG Brooch

Brooches are everywhere and this ruby crystal number from Gucci is perfect to gift yourself. Don it on a distressed denim jacket, go-to LBD, or cutest French beret.

La Perla Lingerie

Sexy lingerie is not to be reserved for special occasions! Head over to La Perla and indulge yourself in some beautiful intimates.

Smith + Cult Kundalini Hustle Nail Lacquer

Honestly, nothing beats a pop of red on the nails. I am obsessed with this opaque poppy color. Not to mention, Smith + Cult packaging is everything.

Chanel Rouge Allure Luminous Intense Lip Colour Limited Edition

If we are doing red nails, then certainly we are doing red lips. Who does a red lip better than Chanel? Rouge Allure limited edition lip colour in No. 1 is the perfect shade of red.

David Yurman Crossover Wide Ring

Build your own jewelry collection with this David Yurman Crossover Wide Ring. True to his signature style, the Crossover Ring will compliment your Dollentine’s Night Out ensemble.

Fresh Flowers

It goes without saying, that you don’t have to wait on anyone to send you fresh flowers. I’m a tulip Doll; but, swing by your favorite florist and pick up a bouquet of your bloom of choice.

Veuve Clicquot Rosé Champagne

Dollentine’s Day is synonymous with bubbly. Pull out your best flute and pour a glass or two.

Happy Dollentine’s Day!

Until then, keep sharing the pretty,

L.

The Pretty Domestic