Holiday Gift Guide: For the Party Host

The season of friendsgiving, holiday cookie swaps, cocktail parties and all of the ‘official’ holidays that take us through the new year is here. Today I am sharing a holiday gift guide for the party hosts you will visit during the holiday season. Hostess gifts can be tricky. Are they necessary? When are they appropriate? Do you give them around the holidays and not throughout the year? That all depends on what you are comfortable with, but I think something small is always appreciated. In this post I will share a few ideas so you can be prepared whether you’re gifting big or small.

I think it is safe to say that most people bring a bottle of wine, small dish or dessert to a holiday party. An easy and thoughtful way to give your host a gift is to incorporate it into what you are already bringing. If you bring a bottle of wine dress it up with a ribbon, festive wine topper and wine charms. These are small yet thoughtful gifts that can also be easily stored away by your host. A cheese board or knives are a great addition to an assortment of cheese and crackers. And for appetizers or dessert, you can dress them up with a gifted platter or bowl. All of these ideas are relatively inexpensive and can be found at your local Homegoods or Target. I recommend sticking with neutral colors {if possible} so your gift fits into any home or kitchen decor.

tree board | snowflake board | knives | tray | bottle topper | charms | food processor | skillet | Dutch oven

If you’re looking for larger gift ideas for the person who loves to host I have a few suggestions in mind to share with you. I love how versatile Dutch ovens are {read my top 5 reasons to buy a Le Creuset here}, so I think they are practical gifts. Macy’s Martha Stewart Dutch oven is a great dupe for the Le Creuset. I recommend saving this link to your favorites and checking it often. You can snag one of Martha’s Dutch oven at an amazing price during a sale which makes it an affordable gift.

Two kitchen staples that make great gifts for someone who loves to entertain are a small food processor and a cast iron skillet. Food processors are great time savers for party prepping. You can use it to quickly dice ingredients, shred cheese or whip together a salad dressing. I have this one and I love that it fits in my upper kitchen cabinets. Cast iron skillets can go right from the oven to the table which is perfect for appetizers like my favorite spinach and artichoke dip. They’re also perfect for searing steaks or browning chicken on the stove top. They double as cookware and servware.

A hosting must-have that I learned from my husband’s aunt is to have at least one food warming tray on hand. They’re amazing! If you are preparing a lot of hot dishes, it can be tough to shuffle them all in and out of the oven. I think sternos are a bit if a pain and also fire hazard. Instead, I use an electric warming tray similar to this one. It is great for keeping food warm before and during a party. Help make your host’s life easier by gifting him or here one of these!

Pupdate | Henry’s Hips

Towards the end of last year our spunky little pup went from bouncing around our house to limping and spending afternoons with little play. At about 8 months old Henry was diagnosed with hip dysplasia. Our vet gave us a run-down of the diagnosis and what Henry’s life may look like from that point on. Heartbroken by this news, we hoped that Henry could still live a long and healthy life.

Fortunately, Henry’s vet felt his case was not severe and since he was healthy and young, he would likely adapt and grow just fine. We were instructed to keep Henry away from dog parks {due to potential rough play}, not allow him to run on concrete, and to start him on joint supplements. His vet said joint supplements may be the only treatment Henry would ever need. She also advised us to ensure he maintained a very healthy weight and an active lifestyle. Good thing Henry is a skinny guy to begin with.

The Back Story

Henry’s symptoms started after he had emergency surgery to remove something he should not have eaten {and would not have passed safely on its own}. Fortunately, the object did not do any internal damage and the surgery was successful. We were actually amazed at how quickly he healed. Within the week of his surgery, we noticed that Henry started limping and eventually stopped walking completely. Seeing Henry suddenly struggle was devastating.

We took him back to his vet to discuss his current state post-surgery. Even though he was limping, he wasn’t showing signs of pain when the vet examined his leg. When dogs undergo surgery, their legs are strapped open in stirrups to help keep them positioned properly. Henry’s vet felt that he was experiencing a little discomfort from the surgery due to the stirrups. His vet prescribed him an anti-inflammatory to take for a few weeks and suggested we keep his activity limited. She gave us instructions to ween him off the medicine and to check back with her in roughly four weeks.

Henry seemed to be back to himself after a few weeks, but after being weened completely from the anti-inflammatories, his limping and discomfort started coming back. Henry was due to have few teeth pulled {read more about there here} and his vet recommended he have a hip x-rays taken at the same time. Both the dental work and x-rays would require him to be under anesthesia. The x-rays ultimately confirmed that Henry was suffering from hip dysplasia.

The Treatment

After his diagnosis, his vet sent us home with a main stream brand of chewable joint supplements. As we neared the end of that bag, I began researching other options. Since I knew that Henry would likely be on joint supplements for the rest of his life, it was important to me that he was taking a high quality product. I started looking for an alternative joint supplement that had simple, easy to read ingredients.

My research led me to Doggie Dailies. Since about February of this year, Henry has been taking Doggie Dailies Advanced Hip and Joint Supplement for Dogs. Within about two weeks, my husband and I noticed a huge change in Henry’s mobility. His limp and any hesitation he had in his hips were gone. After a few months, we could not believe how much strength he gained. Our wood floors had previously been a bit of a challenge for him, but with his new found strength he was finally in total control of his movements. Henry recently had his hips x-rayed again and I can happily report his condition has not progressed at all since his diagnosis!

Doggie Dailies has had a huge impact on Henry’s life. He is happy, healthy and loves a good run around the yard. My husband and I often joke that Doggie Dailies’ supplements have help Henry sprout a new leg {just kidding of course!}. I whole heartedly recommend Doggie Dailies joint supplements to all pet owners I meet. But remember, every dog is different, so your dog’s results to Advanced Hip and Joint Supplement for Dogs may not be the same as Henry’s. Our vet told us that certain products “click” better with certain dogs. For Henry, that product has been Doggie Dailies.

A big thank you to Holly at Doggie Dailies for sending Henry a box of goodies and providing him with a discount code to share with our followers! Shop through this link or use code REDROSE15 for 15% all Doggie Dailies products.

Current Beauty Routine

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Hi friends! In efforts to post more consistently and share a variety of topics on RR&H, today’s post is all about my current beauty routine. I have been trying to keep my skincare and makeup routines consistent and simple. In this post I have included the products I have been using every day. Many of them have been re-purchased multiple times, so you know I really like them!

Even when my skin looks its best, I feel like I’m playing defense. If you’ve read some of my previous beauty posts, you know I have struggled with acne prone skin for quite a while. In the last year I also changed jobs and I now have a long commute into the city. This change made me realize how much the environment affects my skin. I have changed up my products a bit, but still have a few old faithfuls in the mix. This routine has been working well for me and my skin has been clear for months!

Daytime Skincare

I start off by washing my face with one of my all time favorite cleansers by First Aid Beauty. This gentle cream cleanser has been my go-to for over 3 years! I love that it’s fragrance free, removes my make up and does not dry me out. Next, I use Thayer’s cucumber toner with a cotton round and let my skin dry. I definitely notice a difference {not a good one} in my skin when I don’t use a toner. Thayer’s has simple ingredients and it’s gentle. After the toner I apply FAB’s Hydrating Ultra Repair Serum. This serum has been a game changer for my skin. It keeps me super hydrated even during the winter months, but does not cause breakouts. I finish off my skincare routine with Beauty Counter’s matte effect gel cream from the Countercontrol line.

Makeup

These days my makeup routine has become very simple. On weekdays, I usually have about 30 minutes to get out the door {chronic snoozer over here}. Below are the products I use everyday and in the order I apply them. I have been trying to make the switch to safer beauty, but have not fully changed over yet.

  • Concealer
  • Bronzer
  • Blush
  • Finishing powder {to prevent transfer}
  • Neutral Eyeshadow {or bronzer in my crease for a very subtle look}
  • Tinted brow gel
  • Mascara
  • Lip gloss

Nighttime Skincare

My nighttime skincare routine is very similar to my day time skincare routine, but I add in a few additional products {African black soap, micellar water and resurfacing serum}.

I almost always shower at night, so I cleanse my face in the shower. After using the FAB gentle cleanser, I cleanse my face for a second time at the end of my shower with African black soap. I picked this very inexpensive bar soap up from my local spa a few years ago. It does a great job of keeping my skin clear and I have noticed the best results when I use it in the shower which opens up my pores. After double cleaning, I use Garnier’s micellar water and a cotton round to remove any lingering makeup followed by my toner. At the start of summer I started using FAB’s Skin Lab 10% AHA Resurfacing Liquid and I have loved it results. My complexion has started evening out and it also helped clear up a very stubborn breakout. Once the resurfacing serum has been absorbed I apply FAB’s hydrating serum and Beauty Counter’s matte cream.

I hope you enjoyed today’s post! If you have any clean beauty and skincare recommendations, leave them in the comments below.