Being Gifted: The Hostess Gift

I'm writing this from a ferry in between Wales & Ireland
as I make the last leg of the final trip
for my fall semester with my group.

Predictably, it's foggy and cold outside
but inside the ferry it's warm 
and I'm nursing a cup of tea
while my eye wanders back and forth from my computer
to the fat wedges of carrot cake sitting at the ship's cafe.

Speaking of fat,
my belly is getting pretty big these days.

I can officially no longer button my regular pants,
have split one pre-maternity dress all the way up the backside,
and have started being asked by strangers when I'm due.

At the finale of my semester and 24 weeks,
I now have the ability to tell when my babies are sleeping or awake,
and the awakening sensation that "this" is actually happening.

I'm going to have two babies...
and it's not going to be that far away.

Besides the tragic blowout of that dress, 
the other mile marker that is making all of this seem real
are my upcoming baby showers.

I'll be headed back to the States next week 
for two showers and an early Christmas in Oklahoma.

While I've been happily stocking our registry
full of cute things might someday fill our little flat,
I've also been shopping around for a way to say thanks
to the friends and family who are graciously sharing 
in this exciting time by hosting baby showers for me.

Hostess gifts are alway tricky for me.

What I want to buy and what I can afford to buy
for all of these great women
is a difficult equation to crack.

Today, I'm loving these new books
that my long-time favorite stationer & design studio,
Mr. Boddington has designed for these Penguin classics.

   All $17.99 at Anthropologie: Little Women | Jane Eyre | Pride & Prejudice | Sense & Sensibility | Alice In Wonderland

Classics like Pride & Prejudice, Alice & Wonderland & Jane Eyre
have been made to look oh-so-lovely.

I love any addition that can pretty up any home
without infringing on too much space.

{I'm not sure I can say the same for these two babies.}

You all have pretty good taste...
help me a sister out.

What's a hostess gift you have given/received that you loved?


  1. I have never received a hostess gift, but I love giving them. Giving books is such a great idea, especially these classics. And they are all so chic!

    Well, sorry about that dress. It happens to the best of us.

  2. Those are literally all of my favorite books. Jane Eyre being my utmost favorite.

  3. Those are the cutest books I've seen. I'm kind of kicking myself for skipping Anthropologie on my way out of the mall this afternoon!

  4. These are gorgeous, I just saw them somewhere else as well - maybe the Martha Stewart website?

  5. trying to figure out the same thing...i think the books would be great for one hostess..but not the two others im thinking of... i always think a delicate piece of jewelry is a kind gesture, and something most women love. ugh. the possibilities in this day and age..dammit pinterest.

  6. What about a pretty boutique type candle? And then you can give them all little double decker buses...;) Seriously, throw in something that is from the UK and they are sure to love it!
    What about a tin/box of your favorite tea and a pretty tea cup? Something that is very English.
    I do love the books as well, just trying to throw a few more ideas out your way.

  7. Congrats! I am slightly behind on the blog reading lately. Two babies double the blessings!

  8. Some of my most favorite hostess gifts seem to be chocolates, truffels, tea or salted caramels.
    More side and back splitting ammo. I am trying not to give things that will cause clutter as I just de-cluttered and it seems that things that can be eaten or drunk are some of my go to gifts.

  9. I have become a big fan of anything from Whittard's while here. I think most ladies would like a selection of teas/hot cocoa from there. And I think that fragrances/lotions are always a good choice. Perhaps something small from L'Occitane...

  10. I love these! Is it bad to gift myself a hostess gift? Probably, right?

    We always go with the standard bottle of wine, but that is REALLY boring. I like the idea of giving tea, especially to American hostesses.

  11. i love to receive candles especially a nice one you could burn during christmas. also a little pampering gift always goes down well with me but to be honest anything that has a thought behind it and i think any hostess would be happy.

    and i remember when people first started asking me about my baby and i used to think how did they know--maybe the big bump you are carrying around lottie ;)

  12. I love when people give candles. Those super nice ones that fill your home with that cozy scent. It's a small luxury sometimes I don't buy for myself.

    I love those books though, what a beautiful gift!

  13. i always love candles. especially pretty looking and smelling ones

  14. omg these are so amazing... i want pride & prejudice and little women! i don't think you can go wrong with anything from abroad... anything foreign = anything cool. :)

  15. I gave my sister's the cutest planners from They also have personalized note cards now that are really cute, and something people don't usually by for themselves.

    I have also given a monogrammed Jute Tote I ordered off Etsy with a bottle of wine inside. So far I have seen my friends use them quite a bit!

    Hope that helps! Have a wonderful trip home!! :)

  16. I have given and gotten personalized notecards (set of 10) I ordered off vistaprint with a coupon and was very impressed with the quality considering how affordable their prices are. Plus you can customize for each hostesses taste.
    PS I had 33 hostesses at one of my wedding showers so I needed something affordable! Good luck!

  17. You are going to be such a stunning Mom! I love getting expensive cheeses or local wines as hostess gifts - I love cheese and the wines help me experiment.

  18. Please disregard my comment on your latest post about Texas...I forget Oklahoma has Bluebell too :)


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