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a little something for my friends

This week became the week of gift-giving and the perfect opportunity to look at some great gift ideas for housewarming and hostess gifts. Earlier in the week, my boyfriend Marc and I had another couple over for dinner to watch the Rangers playoff game. It was a low-key night with take-out pizza and a homemade salad. Our friends brought us some lovely chocolates and a candle, which was so thoughtful and made me think about gift-giving ideas for upcoming parties we have on the calendar. On Saturday, we headed over to Brooklyn for another couple’s housewarming party. Since I didn’t know their design aesthetic, we opted to get them a gift certificate to a great local restaurant to welcome them to their new neighborhood.

Here are some other spring gift options for when you want a change-up from a bottle of wine or bouquet of flowers.

for the home:

1. Small Candles: These small Tocca candles in scents like Bali are great hostess gifts, like the one I received earlier in the week. I enjoy their light and clean smell, for $16 each, pick up a couple and you are set.

2. Soaps: I love the scents of these gardenia magnolia and coriander lavender soaps from Fresh for $12 a piece.

3. Bud Vases: You can pick up three or four of these bud vases from CB2 for $2.95 each and some fresh blooms on your way to the party.

for the kitchen:

1. Olive Oil and Vinegars:
Marc and I have been giving olive oils and vinegars from The Filling Station NYC since it was a small store down by the seaport. Now located inside the Chelsea market, it has expanded to include salts and beers. Their bottles are reusable and friends can come back to refill their favorite flavors. Pick up a couple smaller olive oil bottles in favors like Tuscan Herb, Lemon, and Chipolte for $9.95 a piece, or grab one of their prepackaged sampler gift packages ranging from $35 to $70.

2. Salts: My mother gave me a small container of the Himalayan Pink Salts, also from The Filling Station NYC, after her recent visit and I am hooked. I can’t wait to explore some of their more creative flavors like Bacon Sea Salt and Spanish Rosemary. The 4-pack sampler package for $24.95, is a great way to introduce some new cooking options to friends.

3. Baked Goods: If you don’t have time to pick something up for a party, don’t be afraid to send a little something after. These yummy macaroons from Little Oven, a small bakery in Long Island City in Queens, are the perfect solution. Send the Little Oven classic or spring sampler box for $22 with favors like Orange and Rose Pepper, Passion Fruit, and Caramel Fleur de Sel it is sure to be a hit.

Just for fun, memories of the best housewarming gift to date:
A few years ago, some friends and I were heading to a housewarming party and realized we hadn’t picked anything, it was 11PM. Our solution: pick up the most random items we could find from the corner bodega. We ended up with a kiwi, blow pops, one Judas candle, a 5 pack of beer (we lost one on the way over), and a Mr. Foutbal jelly snack container. For this group of friends, this has now become a tradition and the memory of this silly night is now the gift every time someone brings over another random item for the group.


  1. Sally Brown says

    On our last visit to New York went to the Filling Station , love their vinegars, oils and salts. Also a great house warming gift, include a nice fresh loaf of bread.SB

  2. Kasey says

    Live the olive oil idea! It’s hard to buy things for the home when you are not sure of their decor…thanks for the ideas!

  3. Bri Packham says

    LOVE the idea of a gift certificate to a restaurant in their new neighborhood!


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