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,)

beach house

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

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

You Are Cordially Invited to Champagne Sunday

Hey Dolls! Happy Super Bowl Sunday! If you’re like me, you’re either attending a fab party or hosting one. We’ll be watching with good friends at their annual Super Bowl soirée.

The big game is synonymous with beer; but I still say bubbles are appropriate. Or better yet, why not both! That said, I bring you The Black Velvet.

This famous drink was invented in 1861 at Brook’s Club in London. Prince Albert had died, everyone was in mourning. The story goes that the steward at the club, overcome with the emotion of the occasion, ordered that even the champagne should be put into mourning and proceeded to mix it with Guinness. The taste was so delicious the Black Velvet quickly became extremely popular. Peep the mixology below.

The Black Velvet

The Ingredients

  • one part Guinness (extra stout)
  • one part Champagne (well chilled)

The Mixology. Fill half a Champagne flute glass with Guinness. Slowly top off each glass with chilled champagne. Serve and enjoy!

Happy Black Velvet Super Bowl Sunday!

Until then, keep sharing the pretty,

L.

The Pretty Domestic

You Are Cordially Invited to Champagne Sunday!

Hey Dolls! Happy Sunday! While we’ve had a couple of very mild days in the last two weeks (57 degrees today); most days, the weather has been brutal. I will not be fooled by a little warmth on my face. I was thinking about my Champagne Sunday cocktail and am still trending towards cold weather libations. The Winter Champagne Cocktail is perfect for the blustery weather that’s sure to return. Peep the mixology below.

The Ingredients.

  • Your Favorite Champagne
  • Orange Bitters
  • Orange Juice
  • One Orange
  • Fresh Rosemary

The Mixology. Pour champagne into glasses. Add 1 dash of orange bitters, a squeeze of orange juice and garnish with orange peel and rosemary. Serve, stay cozy + enjoy!

Until then, keep with sharing the pretty,

Love, light + hugs, 💋

L.

The Pretty Domestic

Photo + Source: MamaNotes

Pretty Organized … the 2018 Edition

Hello Dolls! It’s a new year and for most of us this means new beginnings – the opportunity to reassess what worked and what didn’t in all areas of our lives. We decide to stay with the status quo or make the necessary adjustments. Some areas like career, relationships and finances require more of a heavy lift; but there are some things that are less heady we can do to start the year off fresh.

If you are like me, I start by tackling much needed organization projects in my home. First up the guest coat closet, followed by the basement storage closet and finally my wreath design studio. I love organizing, but equally love shopping for organizing and storage items. Here are some of my organization favs that will hopefully inspire you.

IKEA Bumerang Hangers

I love to open my closet and the clothing is neatly organized, spaced and hung by item type and color. My pet peeve is a hodgepodge of hangers. A while ago, I purchased pretty pink velvet hangers, and much to my chagrin, the pink rubbed off on my white blouses! Needless to say I was horrified; so off I went in search of new hangers. Clean and minimal works best me, so I opted for these Bumerang white wooden hangers I found in IKEA.

Poppin Desk Supplies + Accessories

I truly believe that I focus better and work more efficiently when my desk area is clean, clear and neat, with my necessary supplies organized and accessible. Again, I opted for a minimal aesthetic and Poppin desk supplies are my choice to keep my desk area on point. I love white, but they offer a bevy of colors to meet your fancy.

Peep The Pretty Domestic desk below.

The Container Store Grey Drop Front Shoe Boxes

If you are a Doll with a mean shoe game, you know that there never seems to be enough room for shoe storage. Boxes are different sizes, making storage challenging and sometimes disorganized. What’s even more frustrating is having to open numerous shoe boxes to see what’s inside. These sophisticated drop-front shoe boxes will pamper those Louboutins, protect against dust, and keep them easy to access.

You also have the option of purchasing the Luxury Closet Starter Kit, if you are considering a complete reorganization.

The Lexington Cart

A cart is an informal way to store items that you use frequently. I’ve seen the Lexington Cart from Michael’s styled several ways, but particularly love how Homeyohmy styled it in various rooms. I am thinking of purchasing one or two to organize and accommodate my design supplies.

Kitchen Spice Jar + Labels

Ok, I admit that my husband thought I was absolutely crazy when I embarked upon this little project; but I couldn’t stand the disarray that was in the spice cabinet. The solution, Talented Kitchen Magnetic Spice Tins and 113 accompanying labels.

It takes no time to transfer and label your spices into the new tin. You will be uber pleased at the instant organization of you spice cabinet, your ability to locate just what you need for that recipe and not repurchase spices because you were unable to locate them.

The Talented Kitchen 14 Glass Spice Jars and labels are also nice, if you want a different look.

Z Gallerie Bodega Storage Boxes

You know the drill, you come in the house and throw your keys and whatever other sundry you have in your hands onto the end table. Why not consider a decorative storage box. You’ll know where everything is and have a stylish piece, or two, for your table. I love this set from Z Gallerie, which comes in off-white and salmon.

Z Gallerie Storage Benches and Ottomans

I’ve always liked the look of a swanky storage bench or ottoman at the end of, or beside the bed, or in a living area. Great for storing blankets or seasonal linens, it can also serve as a nice statement piece.

For a modern twist, the Z Gallerie Declan Storage Bench with lucite legs in Bella Gray is hot.

The Robinson Storage Ottoman in dark blue, with silver polished nail heads works well as smaller storage accent piece. It’s also available in white, grey and black.

Christmas Storage

Finally Dolls, the annual post holiday struggle involves where to store all of the holiday decor. Peep your local Target for a wide selection of storage options for ornaments, trees, and of course those Pretty Domestic Wreaths you ordered to glam your door this holiday season.

Ornament Bin

Wrapping Paper Storage Bin

24″ Wreath Storage Box

Dolls, I hope this gives you some new year organization inspiration. I know I have some work to do and would love to hear about your organization tips. Leave a comment below and share your go-to ideas.

Until then, Happy New Year! Keep sharing the pretty!

L.

TPD

Pretty Domestic Wreaths featured on Black Southern Belle!

Hey Dolls! I am so grateful and excited to share with you that my passion and business, Pretty Domestic Wreaths is featured on award winning blog, Black Southern Belle! Peep the details here.

For inquiries about Pretty Domestic Wreaths, please email me at 1prettydomestic@gmail.com.

Until then, keep sharing the pretty,

L.

The Pretty Domestic