Tag Archives: texting

Thoughtful, Last Minute, Holiday Hostess Gifts..


As the More is More Mom®, I’m all about……more thoughtful, last minute hostess gifts! It’s always a gift to be invited into someone’s home, but it is a particularly special treat this time of year when we’re all so busy. The best way to say thank you is with a small token of appreciation. It’s not necessary to give a great big extravagant gift. No, a thoughtful and meaningful gesture is much more appropriate and touching.

Boys will be boys, with absolutely no sense of urgency or need to accurately communicate their plans. Saturday morning, my Nick announced that he had just gotten a text from one of his hockey teammates informing him that they decided to have an impromptu game film review at the home of one of the boys in the afternoon. Wow! There is nothing like having 17, incessantly hungry, teenage boys (and their darling girl goalie) descend upon you at the very last minute. One boy could eat you out of house and home, much less a Varsity Hockey Team! Had I only known, I would have whipped up a homemade tray of cookies or brownies. On such short notice, cookies from the grocery store bakery department would have to do. Besides, as quickly as boys inhale snacks, I’m not sure they fully appreciate treats made with tender loving care anyway.

 

I made a quick trip to the grocery store for star shaped sugar cookies with red and green sprinkles. Last minute can still be festive! Next on my list was a fast Target run so I could pick up a little holiday platter. There is no reason to burden your hostess with the task of digging out a serving piece as she has guests descending upon her. You know my mantra is more of everything is always better, which includes festive, decorative ribbon. I have boxes of spools of ribbon for every conceivable occasion (I stock up at the worlds greatest stock up store; CostCo. They sell spool after spool of seasonal wire ribbon, which is amazing. The perfect ribbon is one of those small details that transforms your gift presentation from nice to spectacular. It even makes an ordinary item, like store bought cookies, a showpiece.). All wrapped together, the cookies and the platter, made for a lovely presentation. One Nick was completely embarrassed to bring into the game review get together. I knew I had done my job.

Another one of my favorite, quick and inexpensive, personalized hostess gifts is a serving piece, showcasing hand-dipped chocolate covered pretzels embellished with festive sprinkles.  This is sooooo easy. All you need is a bag of pretzel rods, 2 bags of chocolate chips (I prefer milk chocolate) and decorative sprinkles. I stock pile clear, flat plastic gift bags, which can be found at craft stores, party supply stores like Party City, or even Target. They are perfect for individual servings of chocolate covered pretzels and are great for showcasing gift cards as gifts. For the gift card, stuff the bottom of the bag with either crinkly shredded paper filling, or small candies (like M n M’s or Hershey’s Kisses). Tie a ribbon around the bag at the top and you have a charming gift presentation.

 

Chocolate Covered Pretzels

 

Chocolate Covered Pretzels in Clear Gift Bag Sleeves

 

Platter for the hostess, treats for the kids....

To make the pretzels, line a baking sheet or two with wax paper. In a deep microwave safe bowl, melt a bag of chocolate in the microwave for 1 ½-2 minutes. You’ll want to watch it so the chocolate is creamy and smooth, not over cooked and burnt. There is a very fine line. Stir until smooth. Dip a pretzel rod in the chocolate, using a spoon to drizzle the chocolate evenly over the rod. Over another bowl, shake sprinkles over the pretzel rod, turning until the rod is festive enough for your taste. Line the chocolate covered rods on the baking sheet, making sure they are not touching. Melt more chocolate as necessary. Put the baking sheet in the refrigerator until the chocolate sets.

I like to make up a gift bag of chocolate covered pretzels for each individual child in the home. College students totally count. Anywhere between 4-6 pretzel rods make for a nice treat. I tie each bag off with a gift card and a ribbon for each child. Using double-sided tape, I secure the bag to a serving piece that I have selected for my hostess. The tape prevents the bags from sliding around all over the place, and makes for a much more orderly and neat presentation. I then wrap the whole platter with ribbon from my treasure trove of decorative ribbon, making a gorgeous and sumptuous presentation.

Ornament embellished gift bag and picture frame with message of gratitude.....

 

Always a sucker for photographs of family and friends, I think that picture frames make a delightful gift. You’ll never go wrong with a classic and elegant silver frame. If you don’t have a picture to accompany the frame, insert a note of thanks behind the glass until you do. How easy is it to format the page size of a Word Document to the same size as the photo intended for the frame and type in a message expressing your appreciation for your host’s hospitality? Coordinate the ink to the ribbon you’ll be using to wrap it up and you’ll have a beautiful gift. To sweeten the deal, if you have an opportunity to snap a photo at the get together, print one to size and send it with a thank you note after the party is over. It will serve as a fond reminder of a great celebration.  

For friends that can’t possibly pack one more thing into their home, a CD is a great gift. Classic Christmas tunes or recording from a favorite performer or movie soundtrack is a thoughtful and personal gift. Slide the CD into a small gift bag, tying an ornament to the handle with pretty ribbon and note. The ornament could relate to the music, the particular event, or the interests of your hosts.

More thoughtful gifts, more entertaining, more celebrations…..

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Families That Text Together, Stay Together…


 

 

As the More is More Mom®, I am all about….more texting! Seriously, I don’t know how we ever lived without the cell phone and all of its inherent advantages. Once upon a time, when I was a youngster, we had exactly one telephone in our entire house. The day we got call waiting, I nearly lost my mind. There was nothing like saying, “Hey, can you hang on a minute? I’ve got another call.” When I was a teenager, we bought our first answering machine. As the resident know-it-all, I took it upon myself to craft a snappy message that included playing annoying music in the background. It was sooooo cool. While all of these advances in tele-communications were amazing, nothing compares to the invention of the cell phone…….

Thirteen years ago, when we bought our house, I was super psyched that it came equipped with an intercom system….that played music (once again on the cutting edge of technology)! Granted it only played cassettes, but I could have totally made a mix tape. I had these visions of being able to answer any visitors at our front door from any room in the house. I romanticized that the possibility of reaching any member of my family, at any time, day or night, would be as easy as the flip of the intercom switch (largely reducing the need for screaming at each other any more than was absolutely necessary.).  I LIVE FOR MUSIC (interestingly enough, I am not musical in any way, shape or form, except for my complete and utter appreciation for smart lyrics…..and a good beat that you can dance to) and fantasized about jamming to the tunes, from room to room.

Well, as it turned out, our intercom system was somewhat of a bust. When our house was built in 1986, I am fairly certain that our builder didn’t have the foresight to imagine the innovations in technology over the next 20 years, so the existing system wasn’t quite up to par. In fact, there was always this faint, sort of annoying, humming noise. Over the years, as we have painted each room, one by one, we have removed the intercom docking stations, dry-walled, mudded, taped and painted for new and improved, smooth and beautiful walls.  

The question then remained, “How do we reach one another with out screaming at each other throughout the house?” I mean, there is bound to be a certain amount of screaming, even amongst the most civilized of families (and the remainder of us savages do nothing but scream, about; coming down to eat, the children cleaning up their bedrooms and the piles of discarded personal items, the children and their thoroughly unbearable arguing with one another, the fact that it is time to leave and we don’t have an extra moment to spare, the fact that the homework isn’t finished, the fact that it is well past everyone’s bedtime…the list of reasons for hollering are absolutely endless.).

There in lies the beauty of the cell phone………and unlimited test messaging. As teenagers, our pals have had cell phones for a number of years (with an unlimited text messaging family plan…which is way cheaper than being charged per text message. And man, I tell you, these teens surely know how to let their fingers do the walking…..it’s a snap!). Now, sometimes as a substitute to screaming, we text each other important messages, such as; come down for dinner, you are late for practice, hey, turn on ABC, you’re missing Modern Family (the best show on TV), have you finished your homework, would you care for dessert, it’s time for bed.

Why not? It’s so much more civilized than the screaming. We all have our cell phones growing out of our ears (like an appendage…….except for Chuck, who never has his phone on hand for our convenience past the end of his busy work day. I suppose that he is tired of being tied down by the chains of in-humanity. Whatever! The rest of us are on the edge of our seats, anxiously awaiting communication from the outside world……or even inside the house.).

You’ve heard the old adage, “If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em.” As the More is More Mom®, I am highly in favor of more meaningful family communication, more of the time, with…..more texting (Only not while you’re driving…this is a PSA)…..

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