Party Guest This Weekend? 8 Unique Summer Hostess Gifts

Whether you’re going to a birthday party, barbecue bash or partaking in a “let’s get together for no reason” gathering, proper manners say you should always come to someone else’s home bearing a gift. After all of the hours cleaning, prepping and cooking, nothing makes a host or hostess feel more appreciated. Sure, a bottle of wine is nice, but it’s also soooo boring. This summer, think beyond the rosé. Instead, here are some unique gift ideas guaranteed to make your host say, “haaaaay!!”.

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Get Your Gifting On:

1.> Apron
2.> Napkins
3.> Serving Set
4.> Trivet
5.> Succulent Pot
6.> Bowl
7.> Candle
8.> Eat Drink Nap Book

To all friends invited to our Labor Day weekend shindig, mental note – any of these hostess gifts for yours truly are greatly appreciated! Just sayin’, I’d really like that apron.

Santé to Summer: A Must-Do Beach Celebration

When we looked at the calendar last week, we were shocked that it’s already the middle of the summer. Holy****, how did that happen?! But what’s worse than realizing over half the year has gone by? Realizing you’re smack dab in the heart of your favorite season and have YET to actually spend a day at the beach. And you can’t quite call it summer without some sand between your toes, right? So in celebration of San Francisco finally hitting temps that actually feel summer-like {hello, 80 degrees this weekend!}, we wanted to set the scene for the perfect ode to the season – a chic gathering on the sand, perfect for toasting to a summer well spent or, in our case, a summer that is just unfolding!

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Sure, you don’t need to over think a day under the sun, but there are definitely some things you can pack to make an escape to the beach feel pretty special. For our set up, we started with a home base – a place to cool off and protect ourselves from the sun. We love this Sombrilla cover – think super cool umbrella tent. It provides a lot of shade – you can easily fit a group of friends under its chic roof, and once it’s pitched you’ve got a place that feels secluded from the crowds!

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Once the Sombrilla was up, it was all about creating the ultimate place to lay back and relax. Rather than eat off our laps, we set up a “table” that we made out of a couple of planks of wood. It’s a nice way to elevate things {literally, ha!} and bring them out of the sand! A piece of plywood would even work. We threw down woven blankets, Turkish towels and beach rugs and made things extra comfy with soft floor pillows. Things were quickly starting to look like the perfect setup for a glass of wine and a good book! We could have easily lay there for hours!!

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To get ready for our beach buddies, we set out beautiful ceramic plates, antique silverware and vintage glasses to dress up the eating area {all from a local company called Mrs. Peasy, where you can rent out everything you need for a beautiful party!}. We could have opted for paper items, but oysters and rosé are way more enjoyable with the real deal on hand – don’t ya think?! And with drift wood straight from our surroundings, some non-traditional beach themed decor like these ceramic bells, lanterns and some candles, things were pretty much perfect! With the ambiance just right, the fun was sure to go way past sunset.

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It is such a treat to be able to gather friends and enjoy amazing weather and beautiful views. With just a little bit of effort, you can put together a day everyone is sure to remember for a long time. Thankfully, we all have a few more weeks of sun to enjoy and we certainly can’t wait to get our toes in the sand again and again. Honestly, we plan to just keep our Sombrilla and beach towels in the trunk of the car, so we’re ready for any spur of the moment beach day!

Looking for more summer entertaining inspiration? CLICK HERE

original photography for apartment 34 by emily scott

This post is in partnership with Hollie & Harrie. All thoughts and opinions are our own. Thanks for supporting posts that keep Apartment 34’s doors open.

3 Star-Studded Memorial Day Recipes

If you’re planning to throw any type of backyard party this summer – which you should be! – you’ll want to have the following three recipes safely in your back pocket. They will quickly become your secret BBQ weapons of choice, guaranteed to wow anybody walking by the potluck spread. We love that these recipes will come in handy all season long – Memorial Day, birthdays, 4th of July, no problem! They’re so simple, yet sophisticated you’ll never sign up for potato salad again!

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Pulled Pork & Brie Sliders (serving size 6)

Ingredients:

– 3 cups pulled pork
– cut of your favorite brie
– 6 sesame seed slider buns
– radish slices for garnish
– arugula for garnish

Method:

Prepare pulled pork and heat in crock pot {we love this marinade!} or buy it from your local grocery store. Toast slider buns and dollop spoonful of pork onto bottom bun. Slice a thin piece of room temperature brie and add to top of pork. Garnish with arugula and radish slices. Enjoy!

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Pea Shoot & Radish Salad (serving size 6)

Ingredients:

– 1-3 radish bunches
– 1/2 cup watermelon radish
– 3 cups pea shoots
– 1 avocado
– 1/2 c – 1 c of whole English peas
– Manchego cheese for garnish
– lemon vinaigrette
– salt to taste

Method:

Lay pea shoots on serving platter. Use mandoline slicer to achieve thin radish slices. Add radishes to pea shoots as well as whole peas. Slice avocado over top with shaved Manchego cheese. Drizzle with your favorite lemon vinaigrette and sprinkle sea salt to taste!

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Sparkling Star Spangled Sangria (serving size 4-6)

Ingredients:

– 1 bottle white wine
– 1 bottle champagne
– 1 cup blueberries
– 1 cup sliced peaches
– 1 cup cherries
– 1/4 cup Triple sec
– sugar to taste
– rosemary to garnish

Method:

Mix chilled wine, champagne and Triple sec into pitcher. Add sugar to taste {about 1/4-1/2 cup} and stir until dissolved. Top off with chopped fruit. Let chill in fridge for at least 4 hours. Serve over ice.

If you’re looking for more summer entertaining ideas, be sure to check out all our favorite outdoor entertaining ideas.

Summer fun, here we come!

produced by bianca sotelo // original photography for apartment 34 by to wander & seek // food styling by natasha kolenko // illustrated recipes by bright room studio