Monthly Archives: October 2013

Holiday Transitions

It’s official. We’re in holiday transition mode: Halloween is almost over (as my candy filled stomach can attest to) and the seasons are clearly making the transition from Autumn to Winter. I just saw my first Christmas commercial of the year last night!THANKS

But before we get into the mad dash of Christmas cocktail receptions, dinner parties, family gatherings and holiday shopping chaos, it’s time to think Thanksgiving. This occasion is a perfect opportunity for gifting a basket to your Thanksgiving dinner hostess or showing your co-workers or assistants how much you appreciate them. Gifting thanks before taking a holiday break from the office, passing evenings with good company and chowing down on slow roasted turkey, tangy orange cranberry sauce, rustic stuffing, mashed potatoes, and pumpkin pie topped with silky vanilla whipped cream, is a good thing.

Here at A Tasteful Gift we’ve started preparing for the holidays and we’re putting together some incredibly delicious gift baskets for the upcoming holidays. We’ve also got some exciting and more importantly, tasty holiday posts coming up here at A Tasteful Gift Blog and hope that you’ll join us! Keep an eye out – and salivating taste buds – for holiday entertaining tips and tricks, holiday themed recipes and of course, a wide collection of new gift baskets designed for one thing: celebrating the holidays with the ones we love most at this time of year!

What about you? What are you looking forward to this holiday season? Have you started planning yet? What do you need help with? Have any seasonal favorites to share with us? Tips?

Share with us at the A Tasteful Gift Facebook page now!

Happy Halloween!

Boo!

Halloween is only just a week away – have you got your ghosts and goblins and caldron near by? I certainly do!

Halloween

Though I have to be honest – I’m not entirely sure how useful they will be. I’ve found over the years that less and less children seem to be trick or treating. I’ve used this opportunity however to host my own Halloween themed dinner parties! Who says Halloween has to be for the under 12 age demographic, anyhow?

That’s right – I’m cooking up one heck of a goulish feast and highlighting the season’s best produce in the process. While others are carving pumpkins, I’m stuffing mine with fresh herbs, sausage and delicious apples!

The key to a great Halloween holiday themed party is simple: Keep it themed. Create dishes that can be mostly prepared ahead of time and are either Autumnal or Spooky oriented.  Try creating some fun Halloween snacks. Decorate the table with orange, white and black colored napkins, candles, place cards and centerpieces, or keep it elegantly goultastic by sticking to white pumpkins, black accents and a few splashes of red.

Either way, be sure to finish the meal with something sweet – after all, you don’t want to be tricked for not having treats!

Other things to keep in mind when hosting a Halloween dinner party:

1. Invitations. If you haven’t sent these out yet – it’s best to make phone calls or send an email for a quick response. Suggest an RSVP date so people know to reply quickly. If you haven’t had a chance to send out proper invitations, think about putting together a thank you note and goodie bag for when guests leave instead.

2. Music. Keep it upbeat, lively and fun. There are a great collections of spooky or fun vintage-lounge type music available out there that will coax guests into feeling festive!

3. Games. You want people to feel entertained, right? Donuts on a string, pumpkin carving, and of course, there’s always bobbing for apples!  If you’re Halloween party is strictly for adults, be sure to line up a few fun games for the older crowd.

4. Drinks. BYOB is totally acceptable – especially if you’re doing all the cooking. However, welcome guests with a Halloween themed cocktail to get them in the spirit of things when they arrive!

5. And finally, if you really want it to feel like a party, ask people to come in costume! Be sure to mention there will be food involved so they can choose outfits that will permit fork to mouth access.

What about you? How will you be celebrating Halloween? Hosting a dinner party? Any tips for us? What’s your favorite thing about Halloween?

 

Birthday Gift Basket

How do you celebrate your birthday?

Birthday Gift

As we all get a little older, it seems birthdays don’t quite hold the significance that they did when we were small. Instead of a party full of balloons, pin the tail on the donkey, we’re content to enjoy a good meal with a few close friends and a couple bottles of fine wine.

Celebrating our birthdays doesn’t have to be less exciting as we age – in fact, they should become more so! When we’re young, a birthday is an opportunity for junk food and giggling children to play. As we get older (and wiser, mind you), there’s more to celebrate. Academic achievements, professional accomplishments, lessons learned, friendships nurtured, families grown. And as our tastes refine, so can the gifts we give.

A birthday gift basket is not only tasteful but tasty! They’re dignified and in leading the busy lives that we do, they’re already wrapped beautifully – just waiting to be ripped open and devoured. Whether you prefer something wine friendly like our Tasteful Gourmet Basket, savory like the goodies found in our Gourmet Celebration Basket, sweet like our Chocolate Madness Basket, or fun like our Happy Birthday Basket, there’s always a collection of fine indulgements to share with the birthday girl (or boy). Chuck in that cheap bottle of wine and you’re all set! Who needs cake when you have a whopping selection of carefully chosen and elegantly packaged delicious treats? Not me, that’s for sure!

I know we live in a culture of youth and that aging is often resisted and refuted. But as each birthday rolls around, we can give thanks to ourselves and each other and use it as an opportunity for celebration. For reflection. For laughter. For eating. Aging doesn’t mean getting old, it means getting happier. And if you define happiness like I do, a little bit plumper. And I’m good with that.

Yes. I believe we should celebrate our birthdays as we grow and the memories we have with each other. I honestly can’t think of anything better than sharing a bottle of wine with close friends and family, while savoring on decadent chocolates, gourmet cheese and dips or delicious olives and re-counting our histories while toasting the future. That’s a birthday I can get on board with. How about you?

How do you celebrate your birthday? Is it something you look forward to? Or resist? Do you have a favorite birthday snack? Which basket would you like to get on your birthday?

National Boss’s Day – October 16th

“If you think your teacher is tough, wait until you get a boss. He doesn’t have tenure.”
– Bill Gates

We quote this with jest, of course. If you’re human, you probably know what it’s like to have a boss. We all work hard in our lives, many of us up to 50 or 60 hours a week. This leaves us with a lot of face time with the people we work with. In fact, we often see more of them than we do anyone else! That’s what days like this are for. To give thanks and credit where credit is due. October 16th is National Boss’s Day. And we’re proud to celebrate it with you all!

Boss's Day Gift Basket

I remember my first experience with a boss when I entered the job market with a little bit of tenderness and as the years wore on, a whole lot more understanding. Being the boss isn’t easy. Especially when they hire a weak kneed, flighty 20 year old who wants nothing more than to lay on the beach, snacking and drinking mojitos. Never mind the agonizingly difficult decisions they have to make on a daily basis, the quotas they have to fill and the questions they have to answer.

But she stood by me. Sometimes with an iron fist, sometimes with a knowing tone in her voice, often with support and understanding. It was my first boss that taught me about true responsibility, email etiquette and how to persevere past the big obstacles that came my way. We’ve all had our fair share of not so great bosses, but to those who took the extra time to teach us with patience and stand by us when we made our mistakes, we owe them thanks for shaping us into the grown ups we are today.

And even now, almost 20 years later, I still want nothing more than to lay on a beach and drink mojitos. The difference, of course, is that I have bills to pay and a far greater drive to succeed. I have goals, one of which included becoming my own boss, which I now am. For those who are also their own boss, you can agree that you are far harder on yourself than any other boss ever was, so take full advantage of this holiday and rightfully reward yourself as well!

National Boss’s Day is an opportunity for us to thank our bosses for their guidance, support, and daily diligence in the office. They often go far above and beyond what we ever think to do and that’s why they’re where they are. So let’s thank them, shall we?

Gift baskets are a generous way to show our appreciation. They look good, the taste good, and more importantly, they feel good. There’s no better way to bump your salary pay grade than by cajoling your boss with a basket of gourmet, tasty treats… You know, besides work hard.

To those of us who have ever had bosses, who are bosses, or maybe are our own bosses, happy National Boss’s Day everybody. Let’s chow down and celebrate, yes?

What’s your most memorable boss memory? Are you a boss yourself? How are you celebrating National Boss’s Day? Have you remembered a gift? Need one? Can we help?