Not sure about you guys, but P and I have been up to our eyeballs in wedding invitations and housewarming parties this year. It must be the season, or perhaps simply a function of our age, but just about everyone we know is getting hitched and setting up home, and it has me constantly shopping for things to gift and give (if they have not explicitly requested for an angpow that is). Based on recent experience, here's a round up of things for the home that have almost always elicited a mad excited
"OHMYGAWWDTHANKYOUSOMUCHTHISISJUSTWHATWENEVERKNEWWENEEDED!" (from the bride)
1. A case of nice wine - for friends who love to entertain, having a stash (or an entire cellar) full of decent wines is a must because you can go through so many bottles in just one dinner. We love the selection at Culina, though we recently had an extensive tasting at Angra Wines and the selection was pretty good too, especially if you're into mid-priced Italian varieties.
2. Custom stamps or bespoke stationery - for friends who still believe in writing christmas cards and wrapping gifts, because there's nothing lovelier than adding a bit of flair with a stamp or stationery customised to their exact style. We often order from Wedding Paper Divas which offer self-inking stamps (best invention ever) but we love Etsy too!
3. Vouchers for a robot vacuum - for friends who don't have help at home, and because this little bugger saved our marriage. No more fighting about who cleans the floors!
4. Subscription services - the gift that just keeps giving, from flower subscription services to magazines delivered to your door, this is a housewarming present that will definitely score a repeat invite. There's nothing lovelier than getting fresh flowers or your favourite titles in the mail. The Floral Atelier and AllScript Magazines are my go-to spots for these gifts.
5. Cheese boards - they're far more beautiful than your regular serving platters, and can be used decoratively around the home as well for those that don't eat cheese. Crate & Barrel has a nice selection of wooden ones, perfect for entertaining outdoors.
6. Marble anything - because it's all the rage these days. We like the selection at Comme Home, and also appreciate the complimentary door-to-door courier service for orders above $80.
7. Really, really good quality EVOO - it's such a luxury to have good quality EVOO at home, the kind you add a dash of to any dish to brighten it, the kind that has a slight peppery finish on the end. Our default is Ardoino, but if you really want to impress, you can't go wrong with a bottle of EVOO from Château d'Estoublon which comes packaged in gorgeous apothecary jars.
8. Coasters & Throws - because these are things people hardly ever think to buy for themselves, but they're so useful for protecting your wood furniture (water rings be gone foreverrrrrr) and cozying up on the couch while bingeing on your favourite tv series.
9. Really hardy plants (read: Cacti) - for the friends who can't keep anything alive but need something green because I firmly believe a house is not a home till there's a plant in it.
10. Prints - because a daily reminder to be kind to your other half is always appreciated, and the newly weds are likely to need things to fill up those bare, blank walls. I am a big fan of the "no grouches allowed" print from The Paper Bunny.