Sunday, August 7, 2016

giving good gifts

I love giving gifts.  Whether for an annual celebration, like birthdays or anniversaries, or more singular occasions like weddings or housewarmings, or out of kindness to show welcome or appreciation, giving a little something that reflects your recipient's interests and your tastes is always such a warm feeling for everyone.

You don't have to spend a lot of money or stress out to put together a little something.  And if you constantly keep your eyes out for great quality products and ideas, you can build your own small stockpile of options to hand select the perfect gifts on a budget.

One of my favorite gifts is a tea (kitchen) towel, with a cooks tool and a bit of fresh flowers, all wrapped into one bundle of joy.  If I know the recipient loves to entertain or drink, I'll include a corkscrew, bottle opener, muddler, or something similar.  If they love to cook, a spatula or nice pair of tongs will make a lovely addition.  For bigger occasions (and budgets), I'll add a wine aerator or even a great kitchen knife.  Regardless, I try and select something that reflects the recipient's lifestyle or interests.

For more than a decade now, I've come to know and love my Garnier-Thiebaut linens.  If you don't know the brand, imagine the most vivid and vibrant colors woven with heirloom, quality expertise and the greatest commitment to excellence in all aspects.  With roots back to 1833, Garnier-Thibeaut has pioneered many of the textile industry's design and technology inventions for the production of fine linens. Today, the company's manufacturing facility in Gerardmer, France is Europe's most advanced center for the design, color and production of fashion fabrics — notably, table linens, bed linens, and other textile accessories — for the hospitality industry and the home. Renowned for its luxurious damask designs, Garnier-Thiebaut is the only fine linens company that produces more than two complete collections each year. So you get the quality you would expect with the colors and trends you hope for.

A great tip: if you have the space and a little extra cash, keep your eye out for sales.  Many department and specialty stores are constantly updating their assortment of kitchen tools, accessories, and linens.  I love popping into Williams-Sonoma stores anyway, but I'm constantly checking out their sale areas for brightly colored kitchen towels, napkins, and kitchen gadgets and tools.  I keep a small closet stocked of these items, plus candles and skincare.  I like finding everyday items of the best quality I can afford, keeping them for gift giving occasions.  Then when it's giving time, I can select the perfect pairing for my recipients. 

About the two photographs above - I like to keep things simple and personal.  The two GT tea towels pictured are from the top of my stack in the kitchen.  After more than a decade of very frequent use, they still look brand new - and feel even better.  The colors are beyond vibrant, the fabric super soft and absorbant, and doesn't leave behind pesky lint when drying glassware or glossy surfaces.  As for the spatula - I'm almost exclusively using WS silicon spatulas.  They're won't chip or crack, resist heat up to 600F, have removable handles for easy cleanup (including in the dishwasher), are anti-microbial, and make for the perfect pop of color in the kitchen.  Their available in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors, but the spoonula is my favorite.  The stainless steel tongs pictured with the thistles and lily are from All-Clad, and a part of a "cook and serve" set.  When it comes to the kitchen, I like form and function.  And All-Clad hits the mark every time.  Whatever gift assortment I select, I always try to include a sprig or two of fresh flowers, herbs, or greenery, and tie them together with some leftover ribbon, string, or even butcher's twine. 

There's something so fun about giving something you'd use yourself, turning the ordinary into the extraordinary.  Do you have any signature gifts?

1 comment:

Virginia W. Joshi said...

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