Why, Thank You

{Fragrant gifts: candles and herbs}

With Thanksgiving just a day away, many of us are starting our preparations early – brining the turkey, cleaning the house, setting the table, making five or six trips to the grocery store, pulling out our hair, etc. If you’re not hosting Thanksgiving, it’s easy to show a little appreciation to your hostess with a small gift. As a guest for any gathering, whether it’s a casual dinner party or a formal Thanksgiving dinner, a good rule of thumb is never to show up empty handed.

Thanksgiving dinner is an easy one: help lighten the load and bring your favorite side dish or dessert – there’s no such thing as too much food on Thanksgiving. If you’re not quite apt in the kitchen and don’t like the idea of bringing a store-bought pie as your contribution, here are a few other options to show your appreciation:

  • Champagne: Libations are always welcome, but wine is such a common gift. Add a little pizzazz and go with something of the bubbly variety.
  • Slate cheeseboard: Cheese platters are quick and easy to put out for guests, so for someone who hosts frequently, this gift is sure to make an impact.
  • Candles: Though not a very unique gift, scented candles are always appreciated by a hostess who aims to make her home as welcoming as possible. I’m a loyal fan of Voluspa candles, as they’re extremely fragrant and pretty to boot.
  • Whiskey Stones: A nightcap is the perfect way to end an evening with friends, but lukewarm or watered down drinks are never a hit. This set of whiskey stones and tumblers will keep your spirits perfectly chilled and dilution-free.
  • Rosemary Trees: Any type of herb plant will do, really, as they’re fragrant and useful. I’m particularly fond of Rosemary, as it’s a hardy plant that can easily be added to any garden or kept potted in a windowsill. Plus they’re festive during the holidays as mini Christmas trees.

{Whiskey stones are the perfect gift for the style-conscious hostess}

Stay Classy

{Night out in Little Italy}

Keeping with my resolution to go on as many outings as possible this summer, some friends and I decided to take an impromptu trip to San Diego, simply because one of them had never seen a polar bear. We packed our bags and left at the crack of dawn, spent the day of reliving childhood dreams of swimming with dolphins and playing with penguins (which sadly never came to fruition), and watching a polar bear blissfully roll around on its back, then ended the day with a meal in Little Italy and took in the view from the rooftop bar of our hotel.

{Dreams fulfilled}

{An evening stroll to the Gaslamp District}

{Reading by the bay before heading home}

Princess Aboard

{There’s always more to explore.}

This summer I made an effort to go on as many outings as possible. My boyfriend was out of the country for a few months on business so I took full advantage of the opportunity to do all the girly things I normally wouldn’t do. I ventured out to Long Beach one weekend with a friend to see DIANA: Legacy of a Princess aboard the Queen Mary. The collection of dresses was breathtaking, but one exhibit, a telephone booth that played actual messages left by Princess Di, was incredibly sad. No cameras were allowed inside the exhibit, but it was such a beautiful day outside, my camera was still put to good use.

Summer Fall Out

{Afternoon Sunshine}

I love the fall. The fresh scent of an early morning drizzle mixed with freshly brewed coffee wafting through air ensures each day begins on a happy and peaceful note. Brisk winds throughout the day let me know it’s time to toss a heavy quilt on my bed, bring my scarves and sweaters to the front of my closet, and replace my sandals with my favorite pair of leather boots.

The weather in Los Angeles tends to be scorchingly hot more often than not, so the brief glimpse of autumn weather we experienced last week was more than welcome, albeit a bit of a tease. I was thrilled as the temperature dropped below 60 degrees – complete with rain and thunderstorms – but the excitement was short-lived. The thermostat has jumped back up to the high 90s, so it seems that summer isn’t quite finished with us yet and it’s back to hiding indoors with the air conditioner blowing, regularly checking for weather updates online.