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pretty spring pajamas

If you know me, you likely know about my love for a good pajama set. A good pajama set makes me so happy, and the spring pajamas that are out right now are doing just that!

My pajama set collection started in high school, when my mom started giving my siblings and I pajamas for Christmas every year, with pretty pj sets for my sister and me. We gathered a few pairs of flannel pajamas, perfect for cold winter nights. Over the years I have increased my pajama set collection and always love getting a new pair. My sister and I received these soft, stretchy, striped cotton pajamas for Christmas and they are one of my favorites! They are the most comfortable pair I have and are so cute with the pretty piping detail and cuffs. (Just make sure to size down if you get these as they run a little big.)

Spring Pajamas | www.passthecookies.com

One year while we were dating, Will invited me to spend 4th of July with his family at his grandparents house. This left me in a pajama conundrum – flannel isn’t the best material for July in the south, but I wanted to make a good impression in front of all of his extended family and not wear a ratty t-shirt either. With my mom’s help, I found a pretty pink striped cotton pajama shorts set that worked perfectly for the hot summer nights, and still looked lovely and classy at the breakfast table in the morning. That pajama set, which I still wear and love, taught me the versatility of cotton pajamas and a good shorts set.

With the heavy duvet on our bed in the winter and a light maltese covering it in the summer, I can wear cotton pajamas year round without feeling too cold or too hot (though some frigid nights are strictly for flannel). Even when we travel in the winter I pack one of my pajama shorts sets, and often end up wearing them if the place where we are staying has the heat cranked up. With warmer weather here to stay, I am so excited to have my shorts sets back in full rotation and to see all of the beautiful new shorts sets that are out for the warm spring weather. I have heard wonderful things about Eberjey and Lake pajamas, and I have my eye on this pretty coral striped shorts set and this darling citrus-inspired set. I love all of the patterns that are out right now, too. These gingham pajamas and these lightweight poppy print pajama shorts, pants and shirt are all adorable! Below are a few more of my favorites to inspire you this season :)

photo via

spring bucket list

2017 spring bucket list
via

It is officially spring and we have already had the rain showers and pollen coatings to prove it! Each fall, I like to create a list of things I want to do before the next season starts. I’m not sure why I haven’t done this for every season, because these seasonal bucket lists are some of my favorite ways to set goals. The three-month time period allows for more time and flexibility than my monthly goals, but doesn’t allow me to push things around like I might with my yearly goals. These lists also force me to live in the present and focus on and enjoy the current season. Some of the items on my list are already planned out, and some are left to fill free weekends and evenings whenever the mood (and timing) strikes. So, without further ado, my spring bucket list!

Spring Bucket List
-Go on a picnic
-Plant herbs
-Celebrate my birthday
-See the Ansel Adams exhibit at the NC art museum
-Go on lots of walks
-Celebrate with friends and family at weddings
-Spend time at our local farmers’ market
-Celebrate Easter with family and make an Easter dessert
-Go to at least one new place on our triangle bucket list
-Make lots of cookies for my cousin’s wedding favors
-Have tea at the reopened Honeysuckle Tea House
-Eat a meal outside (at home or at a restaurant/café)
-Have Memorial Day brunch (an accidental annual tradition in my family)
-Celebrate our three year wedding anniversary!

What is on your spring bucket list?!

sprouts farmers market

We’re doing something a little different today. We’re going on a tour of the newest grocery store in town!

Sprouts Farmers Market North Carolina | www.passthecookies.com

On Tuesday I had the opportunity to tour the new Sprouts Farmers Market in Raleigh before it’s grand opening on Wednesday morning. The grocery store is the first Sprouts Farmers Market in North Carolina and it couldn’t have gotten here soon enough! The variety of healthy options at affordable prices was unbelievable. Do you see that produce section below?! There is so much selection! They have a great array of organic options, but also conventional options if you aren’t at a place where you want to eat (or want to pay for) organic food. That being said, the prices of both conventional items and organic and natural items is amazing. The store is a slight trek from where I live, but it is so worth it! (more…)

2nd blogiversary!

Yesterday marked the second anniversary of Pass the Cookies blog (a second blogiversary, if you will)!

Pass the Cookies 2nd blogiversary! | www.passthecookies.com

I started this blog in Will’s second semester of medical school, mainly to give me something to do while he studied at night and on weekends. I look ahead and see the few short years until medical school graduation, but don’t think about the time behind us very much. The start of medical school seems so far away now that Will is midway though his third year, and just as the two and a half year mark of med school came unexpectedly, the two year mark of this blog crept up on me as well. It has been a fun journey and I am so glad to have you here with me! I am so glad to have this space where I can share recipes, trips, tips, things I am loving and goals with you.

Throughout this blog journey I have learned more about recipe creation, cookie making, photography, and so much more. One of my favorite parts of this blog is hearing about the Pass the Cookies recipes you try! I absolutely love when someone tells me they made a recipe from the blog or shares a picture of a blog recipe they made. I know the recipes here span the difficulty range, some very easy, some more consuming, but those moments knowing that I can help other people bake, branch out and try new recipes bring me such joy!

Over the next year I am excited to learn and grow even more here, to share more recipes, trips and goals, among other things. Thank you for following along and coming back to Pass the Cookies! I can’t wait to see what is in store! And don’t worry, there will be a celebratory recipe soon ;)

Photo above is of the funfetti brownie cake with cookie dough frosting from earlier this year.

homemade gifts and easy english toffee

We are in the final days before Christmas, and while I’m pretty much finished with my shopping (except maybe a few stocking stuffers and gift toppers), I still have lots of baking to do to make sure I can get our tokens of appreciation to the bus driver, mail delivery person, neighbors, coworkers and far-away family. We like to make cookies, candy and other small homemade treats for these people as a thoughtful, personal way to show our appreciation for all of their help and love throughout the year. I love making and wrapping homemade gifts in small packages tied with pretty ribbons. Some of our favorite treats that we make and share every year are shortbread bites, rosemary spiced nuts, gingerbread cookies, and marshmallows, but we decided to try something new this year with easy English toffee.

Easy English Toffee-12

As noted by its title, this English toffee is super simple. I didn’t realize before writing this post, but adding the almonds makes it English toffee, rather than just toffee, as if the British have a monopoly on almond usage. I love making this recipe with chopped toasted pecans in place of the almonds (which I guess would then nullify “English” in the title). Not only does it have a wonderful flavor, it also reminds me of the delicious Chapel Hill toffee we love to give family and friends as a memento from our small college town.

easy English toffee and other homemade gifts | passthecookies.com

Easy English Toffee-13

Though not absolutely necessary, it is helpful to have a candy thermometer (or at least a clean meat thermometer) to make this recipe. In order for the mixture to become a hard toffee, it has to reach a high enough temperature. The great thing about this easy recipe is that if your butter-sugar mixture doesn’t get hot enough to create hard toffee, you will have a delicious soft candy treat that is still wonderful to gift! It is difficult to mess up this recipe, which makes it great for the week before Christmas when you don’t have time for re-dos.

Easy English Toffee-14

Easy English Toffee-15

If you aren’t into toffee (though you should still try this because it is delicious) I have listed a few of my favorite homemade gifts you can make this week for the service people in your life, stocking stuffers, or just the difficult person on your list who you still haven’t found a present for.

Homemade rosé gummy bears
Peppermint bark
Shortbread
Hand scrub
Bath salts
Coffee syrup
Hot chocolate mix (homemade or not) with homemade marshmallows
Homemade amaretto
Easy English toffee (recipe below)

Easy English Toffee-16

This toffee is just as the name states – easy and delicious. And with the adjustment of a few ingredients it goes from English toffee to Chapel Hill toffee :)

Easy English Toffee
1 cup finely chopped raw almonds, divided in two (you can also use pecans for this)
18 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips or chunks, divided in two (you can also use dark chocolate)
1 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar, packed
a pinch of sea salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (good quality, if you have it)

For this recipe, it is important to make sure everything is chopped and prepared before starting. You won’t have time or hands to do so after you start.

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat (as mentioned in the gift guide for bakers!) and sprinkle half of the chopped nuts onto the lined baking sheet. Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until the almonds are fragrant and slightly golden, stirring a few times while they bake. Toasting the nuts adds a great flavor to the toffee.

Melt half of the chocolate in the microwave in 15 second increments until smooth and spread evenly on top of the toasted nuts. The nuts might move around a bit – this is fine. When you are finished spreading the chocolate you can move some of the nuts back into place to make sure they are evenly dispersed.

Get ready, set your music and have your tools ready – this is where you are married to your pan and the toffee that is to come. In a medium saucepan over medium high heat, melt the butter and brown sugar together, whisking constantly, until the mixture reaches 300 degrees F on your candy thermometer. For those who don’t have a candy thermometer, the color of the mixture will be about the color of peanut butter. This takes 15-20 minutes.

Remove the mixture from the heat and quickly add in salt and vanilla. Immediately pour the toffee onto your nut and chocolate covered baking sheet, spreading it out evenly with a rubber spatula or offset spatula. Sprinkle the remaining chocolate over the hot toffee and when it looks like it is melted, spread with an offset spatula (like in the gif above!). Sprinkle the remaining nuts on top and gently press them into the chocolate.

Refrigerate for 1 hour before breaking into pieces. Store in an airtight container in a cool, dry place. I find that it stays fresh longer in the fridge. You can also make this ahead and freeze for up to 3 months.

gift guide for stocking stuffers

Today gift guide focuses on stocking stuffers for everyone on your list. I always save stocking stuffer items for last. I like to take inventory of the presents we have gotten for everyone, see if there are any small things that would pair nicely with our existing presents, or just smaller items that I think they would love and be surprised to get on Christmas morning. I always love trying to gift something that fits someone’s likes and personality, but is small enough to sneakily fit in a stocking. The sneakiness is part of the thrill of stocking stuffers because it causes so much excitement and wonderful surprises :). These smaller ideas also make great presents for coworkers or friends. The best part? Almost everything on this gift guide for stocking stuffers is under $25, and for the two or three items that aren’t I have included an under $25 dupe! Let’s stuff some stockings!

Gift Guide for Stocking Stuffers

A unique sweet treat, like hot chocolate on a stick, rose gummy bears, cocktail sugars (the mint julep sugars are in the shape of horses in horseshoes!), or macarons from a local bakery, is a great addition to any stocking. It stands out from the rest of the festive candy and gives them something to look forward to trying after the big holiday. You can even add a personal touch and make your own hot chocolate mix and package it with homemade marshmallows.

With their small size and reasonable pricing, earrings make a great stocking stuffer. There are so many styles, making this an easy gift for lots of people. Include a jewelry travel case for easy storage of all their new gifted jewelry on their trip home.

Beauty products are also great sizes for filling stockings. Lipstick, nail polish, face masks, lotion, a sleep mask, and any of their favorite makeup items make great fillers that your mom and sister are sure to love and use long after the holidays pass.

I have listed this on almost every gift guide this year because I believe socks are one of the most versatile gifts. They are great rolled up as stocking stuffers, gifted to coworkers and friends, or under the tree for a family member. With so many styles there is a good pair for everyone. These reindeer socks are so cute for the holidays.

Warm slippers (these chic faux fur ones are only $20!) and a velvet bow make lounging around the house in the days following Christmas much more stylish, and a desk calendar and some journals will get them started on the right foot the next week when New Year’s comes around.

I hope this weekend brings some cookie baking, relaxation and stocking stuffing!

gift guide for the jetsetter

Moving from baking and cooking to one of my other favorite activities – traveling! This gift guide for the jetsetter is filled with ideas small and large for the frequent traveler or the on-the-go friends and family members in your life. Whether they are traveling across the globe or across town, there are items in every price range that make a thoughtful gift and help them in their busy, mobile lives. Some of these items are so useful for everyday life that I was tempted to get them for myself (looking at the travel mug, dry shampoo and clothes steamer). :)

Gift Guide for the Jetsetter | passthecookies.com

Starting with the most obvious, a duffel bag or weekender bag is a great gift for any frequent traveler. You can often find these smaller bags at great prices for their size, which makes your gift seem even more impressive ;) Duffel bags and weekenders are great for short trips and can be used as carry-on bags if they are the right size, meaning they are double as useful!

These luggage tags are so cute and a great addition to the jetsetter’s bags. The pretty hues will make it easier to find her luggage amidst all of the other bags on the baggage claim belt. These make a great stocking stuffer too!

I love all of the Rifle Paper Co. products, but their travel inspired paper goods are always some of my favorites, especially as I make it to more of the cities on their calendars and prints. This “bon voyage” calendar is perfect to help the girl on the go plan when she will be on trips and get some inspiration at the same time!

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, socks are a great gift for ANYONE on your list. I always pack an extra pair of socks in my purse when I travel in case I get cold or just want to feel comfortable. I love these cute skiing penguin print socks to inspire a winter excursion!

I do lots of research before we take trips and always find travel books to be helpful. I have always loved the New York Times 36 Hours books since they are filled with great trip ideas, but are pretty enough to make great coffee table books and conversation starters. They have many variations, including specific regions and cities in the US, as well as more broad areas of different countries. To go along with the travel book, these language phrasebooks are a great gift for anyone who is planning on going on a foreign trip, but isn’t confident with their language skills. These books are pretty and so helpful when you need to know the right word for bread and how to ask where the bathroom is in a different language.

A travel mug is an easy gift for both constant travelers and just those who are on-the-go in general. They are convenient and a much cheaper (and cute) way to have coffee in the morning than a stop at the coffee shop every day. I love the ceramic ones that have started coming out – wouldn’t they be great for a car ride near or far?

One of the worst parts of traveling is forgetting things or not having the things you need on hand. These cute minimergency kits take care of that and come in so many colors and variations for anyone on your list (even one specifically for traveling!). Gift them to coworkers, friends, or in your sister’s stocking, and maybe stash one in your purse while you’re at it ;).

I always find that it takes more effort to look put-together after a long day of traveling. It is difficult to get enough sleep when you are on the go, which can affect the rest of your trip if you aren’t prepared. I love sleep masks for long plane trips (or really long car trips), especially when you are adjusting to a time change. They help you get some rest while in transit, which helps you look and feel less tired for the rest of the trip. Some of my favorite post-flight or post-travel products are dry shampoo and stay-all-day lipstick. In 1 minute you can go from a weary traveler to a fresh new girl, ready to see the sites. Face masks are a nice treat for anyone (and are great stocking stuffers!), but an especially great indulgence for those who travel often to give them some relaxation after what can sometimes be a long, stressful journey.

I have heard so many great things about clothes steamers and am so tempted to get one for myself. They are great for travelers to use when they unpack their suitcase of wrinkled clothes. There are lots of small ones that are very portable and are so affordable! This is also great for someone who might not travel a lot, but just doesn’t have a lot of time on her hands. A quick steam would be so much faster than pulling out the ironing board!

gift guide for the baker

As we head into the final weeks before Christmas, I have gift guides for people with specific interests. Sometimes I get stuck when I’m brainstorming for gifts for friends and family and don’t step back to think about other things they would like that aren’t obvious or already on my gift list. Hobbies and interests, old and new are great starting points. There are some gifts on here that are specifically great for those cooks, chefs and bakers in your life, but lots are also great gift toppers, coworker gifts, and presents for people who might not do a lot of cooking but are interested in learning more about it. One of the best things about this gift guide is that there are gifts for every price point. Some of these items are under $15 and with all of the sales going on right now nothing is more than $42! Just as I hope this blog provides inspiration and ideas that you can make in your kitchen at home, I hope this gift guide for the baker and chef can spark some present ideas for you too.

Gift Guide for the Baker

Silpats and nonstick baking mats are ideal for the baker who makes lots of cookies and pastries. Not only do they allow baked goods to release from the pan easily with little mess, they also help the products cook and brown at the same rate, so all of their cookies come out a uniform shade of golden. It is great for making macarons and choux pastry too!

I picked up a pretty pie server from the sale section of Anthropologie one day and use it more than any other serving piece in the drawer. It is great for serving pies, cakes, plated appetizers, pizza, quiche, you name it! I am shocked how often we pull it out, but so glad to have it on hand for unexpected entertaining. Since there is such a range of prices on pretty pie servers, you could give one to a hostess on it’s own, to a friend on top of the rest of their baking-themed gift, or in your dad’s stocking. Bake a pie and tie one on top for the perfect built-in gift and contribution to your in-laws’ feast.

Copper is clearly in vogue right now. I walked into Crate and Barrel the other day and saw a whole wall of copper tools and bowls. It is everywhere and it is beautiful. This copper-handled whisk, copper bowl and copper and rose gold colored measuring cups and spoons are an affordable way to bring the beauty into your favorite baker or chef’s kitchen. All of this copper reminds me of the wall of copper pots on the wall of Julia Child’s kitchen in the Smithsonian Museum. How can you go wrong with that famous chef as your guide?

I love a cute oven mitt and pot holder, and these Kate Spade ones take the cake (some quite literally)! These oven mitt and pot holder sets have such fun and whimsical patterns and even have aprons in matching patterns so your baker can be fully decked out and lovely while spreading flour and handling hot dishes (I imagine someone effortlessly doing both at once, while adjusting the music, spicing the soup on the stove and still making conversation with you. Maybe cute oven mitts have magical multitasking powers?)

Most bakers have the classic square metal pan for making brownies and bars, but this ceramic painted brownie pan would be a beautiful step up from the old (probably scraped up) one they usually use. Pretty enough to serve treats in, but useful at the same time – those are some of the best gifts. I always love gifts that I know someone will use, but wouldn’t typically buy for themselves (in this case because they already have a square pan, but not a pretty one). Local pottery stores or flea markets are also great places to find unique, pretty baking pans.

Another small gift that is extremely useful is a spoon rest. I never realized how useful it was until Will got one for Christmas last year. It has made cleaning up the stove and the counter so much easier since there is less to clean, and keeps your spoons from getting too hot because you don’t leave them in the pan. There are lots of great options that will blend in with your kitchen decor, and fun ones that stand out.

One of the best gifts you can get for chefs, bakers and home cooks of all experience levels is a cookbook. I have at least one cookbook on my list every year and love reading through the recipes (and the stories of the recipes) after we all exchange gifts and have some down time before brunch. No matter how experienced or inexperienced the cook, a good cookbook with new recipes is always useful and helpful. You can give them a cookbook written by a local chef, one you have and love, or a new one that you have heard great things about recently.

gift guide for him

Yesterday I posted a gift guide for all of the women in your life. Today, we are moving on to the guys with a gift guide for him! Just like in yesterday’s gift guide, there are gifts of all price ranges so you can get a great gift for grandpa, the perfect present for your pa, and a superb stocking stuffer for your secret Santa, Sam. ;) Sometimes I feel like the guys in my life are some of the most difficult to shop for (looking at you, Will and Dad). Over the years I have gotten better at knowing what they would like and what would be good gifts for any guy in case I can’t find anything specific for them. It is helpful to know their interests (which I talk about a little later), so you can make the gift more personalized for them.

Gift Guide For Him

Will and I both love a good quarter zip. The “Better Sweater” fleece jacket from Patagonia is a great option for casual weekends and evenings when there is a chill in the air but a full coat is overkill or as an extra layer under your coat when it is really cold outside.

Button-down shirts are always on Will’s gift list, since he wears them every day in the clinic. I love the festive plaid of this button-down shirt (and at less than $25 it is such a great price). It would be great for Christmas parties, but could also be worn with a simple tie in a fancier setting. This great tartan bow tie is another great gift for the guys who dress up often. It would go well with one of the solid button-down shirts for all of his Christmas celebrations.

Whiskey wedge ice molds, grill tools and Yeti tumblers are great for any guy on your list, especially when you are stumped on ideas. Yeti tumblers keep drinks cold or hot for hours and they come in collegiate versions for his favorite team. I didn’t find this out until recently, but Yeti also offers customization, so you can put his initials, a logo or text on any of the tumblers.

I said this in the gift guide for her and I stand by it for guys too: socks are great for anyone on your list on their own or as an add-on gift. I think these Star Wars socks are hilarious and perfect for Star Wars fans, especially as the new movies come out, but the classic patterns are also great for those whose fandoms you aren’t aware of (like your office secret Santa).

Another gift that can easily be personalized is a book about their interest or hobby. Coffee table books with photos and information are great, and you can choose whichever topic they like. If they are interested in travel, get a travel guidebook. He likes golfing? This book about golf courses around the world is perfect. He wants to learn more about backyard chickens? Guides to specific subjects like those are easily searchable on the vast book source that is Amazon and make for a thoughtful gift.

For the boyfriends, husbands and dads, a nice sweater is a great gift idea. Cable knit, v-neckwool, there are so many options. I like to stick with a classic look or a color I know they will wear often. The color of their alma mater is also a good bet, since they will have a reason to wear it on game days ;). To get even more personal than just a sweater in their team’s color, these knitted college sweaters are so cute and much classier than a sweatshirt. You can even get one customized if you don’t find his school!

Pajamas (a set or just pj pants) are easy and a very traditional gift for Christmas Eve or Christmas morning. To go along with the nighttime routine, this toiletry bag is sturdy and great for long and short trips. Will likes to keep all of his essentials in a small bag like this so he can grab everything he needs when we go out of town or if he is on-call in the hospital overnight. Some of these smaller bags are great prices too.

Finally, one of the most exciting gifts – the gift of technology! The Amazon Fire TV Stick, Tap, Echo, and Echo Dot, a bluetooth speaker and the brand new Google Home are all great gifts that are sure to spark excitement on Christmas morning. The Fire TV Stick, Echo Dot and some of the bluetooth speakers are $50 and under and are great gadgets to play with on Christmas Day!

Guys can be difficult to shop for, not because they are difficult to please, but because sometimes I don’t feel like what I get is personalized enough to be a great gift. I hope these ideas help you in your gift searching and giving process!

gift guide: for the hostess

I hate to jump the gun on Thanksgiving and post holiday gift guides, but hostess gifts are often relevant for Thanksgiving as much as they are for the holiday party season that follows. So many people travel or join family and friends for Thanksgiving that hostess gifts are just as useful for Thanksgiving visits as they are for Christmas parties. Below is a roundup of some of my favorite gifts for the hostess this year. Almost all of them are $35 or less! :)

Gift Guide for the Hostess | www.passthecookies.com

Serving board – There are so many pretty serving boards on sale right now, from marble to wood to slate. These are perfect for the seasoned hostess who always has the components of a cheese board in her fridge. Cute cheese knives or cheese markers would be the perfect topper to this gift.

Coasters – I love these pretty Draper James coasters. They are elegant and classy, and give a nod to the South on top of it all. Pretty work, Reese.

Candles – Over the past few seasons I have grown to love candles burning in my kitchen, living areas and bedroom. There is something relaxing and soothing about a wonderfully scented candle and it’s soft light. There are a ton of great scents this time of year, but I tend to gravitate toward the pine and Christmas tree smells, rather than the super sweet scents. The beautiful jars around some of the candles only need a bow to be fit for giving!

Candle holders – I have often thought about giving candles as hostess gifts, but after seeing so many lovely candle holders I almost think these are the winner. They can reflect many styles and would make an easy and beautiful display for any home.

Coffee table book – There are so many awesome coffee table books that you can get for a great deal. One of my favorites right now is Styled by Emily Henderson. My mom sent me this decorating and personal style book earlier this year and I love reading it before bed or when I’m killing time on the couch before I have to head out for the morning. The gold leaf adds a fun element and looks beautiful on a coffee table.

Cocktail/appetizer cookbook – When I host events I am always worried about the menu. Will there be enough sweet foods and enough savory options? Are my appetizers tasty enough? Is there a good variety of foods? What should we serve to drink? A good appetizer or cocktail recipe book would solve that issue for many hosts and hostesses who think like me ;)

Ornament – Whether you add one to the top of a gift, to a bottle of wine that you bring, or just bring a pretty one on it’s own, an ornament is always a great option for a holiday party hostess. I love the mercury glass ones as a safe, pretty bet, but if you know the host/hostesses personality there are some cute unique ornaments that would be so cute to give. I think this deviled egg ornament is hilarious.

Guest book - I hadn’t thought about using a guest book at home before, but recently stayed at a home with one and read about someone else’s great tradition of using one when people stayed with them in their home. I love the idea of people leaving their messages for the loving host and/or hostess and can’t think of a better person to give this to.

Soap + soap dish – One year a coworker gifted me an adorable soap dish and a pretty bar of soap, tied together with a ribbon. It was a simple gift, but I still use the soap dish every day. Pretty soap is an easy way to pamper your friends, and with so many of them wrapped in beautiful paper, you just need a ribbon to finish it off.

Tea or coffee – Loose tea is one of my guilty pleasures. The flavors of nicer tea’s are usually tastier than the tea bags I use on a regular basis, but because it is more expensive, I don’t buy them very often. A small combination of loose teas or nice tea bags along with a tea infuser or a bag of nice coffee is a lovely, affordable way to pamper a host or hostess and gives them something to relax with after the hubbub of the party is over. Tea Forte is a favorite in our home, and these Christmas flavors are sure to be great. And with so many great local roasters around us, we love getting and gifting locally roasted coffee beans to hostesses and in stockings.

Breakfast supplies – One of my favorite hostess gifts to give is a breakfast basket for the morning after the party. Include a pancake or waffle mix, or even a homemade breakfast treat (my go-to are scones and quick breads), alongside jam, syrup or local honey, all wrapped in a pretty holiday tea towel, and they lucky hostess doesn’t have to lift a tired finger in the morning. This is great paired with the tea and coffee as well. We visited Sarabeth’s while we were in New York in August and everything was amazing, so I would be so excited to give (or receive) the cafe’s pancake and waffle mix!

I hope this helps you as you make your way to your Thanksgiving destinations and start thinking about the holiday hostesses in your life.

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