The Container Store

The New Year

What have I been doing, besides my random acts of kindness, you mean? Well, I have been putting my house in order which takes a lot more work than I thought it would. I have also been on a massive return spree and think I am all “mall-ed out” for the foreseeable future.

What am I actually doing? Well, I cleaned my linen closets, junk drawer, and my own closet (okay, just the dresser drawers) and hoping for an Elfa Intervention to organize the hanging closet mess. This is no subtle hint – help me Elfa! BTW, the 30% off sale on Elfa is going on now at The Container Store.

I just thoroughly clean the fridge yesterday, too. Wow, something is up with me.

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Good timing – I just heard about a contest that The Container Store is running…

The Perfect Pantry Makeover Contest

You can enter for a chance to win a $1,500 Gift Card towards the elfa pantry of your dreams. All you need to do is visit their Facebook Contest Page and submit a photo a baked good that you have either made or that you admire.

It’s simple and you can submit as many photos as you like – just make sure you have your favorites submitted by THIS SUNDAY, January, 20th. Three finalists will be selected on Monday, January 21st and you will be able to vote for your favorite entry until Sunday, January 27th.

Works for me as I have been busy baking (flour banana bread – two versions – one as Joanne Chang intended and one adaptation minus the cinnamon and walnuts of her recipe but with chocolate chips added) – so I will take more pics as I bake my way through January.

For more information and to see what treats have already been submitted, just click the image below to jump straight to the contest page.

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Best Hostess Gifts – Day 7 of The 12 Days of Shopping

Anne Taintor napkins, coasters, magnets, capability mom loves them allI love finding great hostess gifts, really. It’s fun and easy to create a signature gift. Anything Anne Taintor is fabulous.

Why Whine:

There is the favorite I-don’t-know-what-to-bring-or-even-if-this-is-decent-because-I-am-re-gifting-it bottle of wine – it is what you do with it. The Dollar Spot in Target is filled with great wrapping paper, cello and gift bags. anthropologie and sur la table dishtowels from capability mom Deliver the wine with a bow or personalize it with your own art work (get out the Mod Podge!), ribbons or ornaments. I keep a stash of Target ornaments and papers that I use for package decorations. Affix the tag to ribbon or write your message on the package.

Let’s Dish:

I also pick up pretty dishtowels throughout the year, holiday themed or not, you can use them as wrapping paper for wine, baked goods or tuck them into a mixing bowl with a wooden spoon and the dry ingredients and recipe for your favorite holiday treats.

Chow Down:
Choccapability mom finds the best chocolate gift - and they are mice LA Burdickolate is always a favorite and you don’t have to spend a lot but feel free to upgrade, you can also go higher end both container and chocolate to make it even more special. I have found great containers at Target, Marshall’s, T.J. Max, Home Goods and The Container Store. The best chocolate (both in presentation and taste) I ever received was from this company, L.A. Burdick, and I may have eaten this box by myself, maybe.
Plant an Idea:
Prarosemary tree from Whole Foods Market by Capability Mom Bloggmatic Mom likes to give a lemon cypress or a rosemary tree. I got one last year that I didn’t kill kept alive for three months finally succumbed to my inattention. Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods both have them for under $10. You could decorate it with little tiny presents or bows but they are gorgeous as is, smell terrific and you can tuck a favorite rosemary recipe in the card.

Spice It Up:

This is an item that I have long coveted – Dean & Deluca’s Spice rack. Cool, modern and a little geeky, which I love, of course. capability mom has long coveted this spice rack from dean and delucaIt is on the splurge side, so if you want to do this less expensively, pick up nice spices at your favorite local place like Sofra Bakery or you could head to Target for this cool Trudeau 16-bottle spice rack – $31.99. Still not what you are looking for? The Cheese Shop in Wellesley has spectacular food gifts and makes the best gift baskets. Also try Formaggio Kitchen – great cheese, chocolates and more in Cambridge and Hi-Rise Bakery – also Cambridge – for their own jams and a nice selection of wines (they package everything beautifully). Still not what you are looking for? Try Uncommon Goods, Black Ink or Just Next Door.

I almost forgot one of my favorite holiday haunts…Fastachi in Watertown – homemade chocolates, roasted nuts, specialty candy and nut butter (try the almond) – all prettily packaged, fresh and delicious.

Hostess Gifts that will make the cut and your day – Day 7

I love Hostess Gifts!! Really – they are fun, easy and can span all price ranges – love getting and giving these! So, of course, there is the standard bottle of wine – it is what you do with it that matters. I was shopping in The Container Store this morning and they have great gift bags but also great gift totes. Deliver it as is or personalize it with your own art work (get out the Mod Podge!), ribbons or ornaments (I have a secret stash of inexpensive Target ornaments for package decorations). Affix the tag to ribbon or write your message on the box.

Chocolate is always a a favorite and you can go high-end or down market and still make a nice gift. Ask Pragmatic Mom who was the recipient of a glass pumpkin jar filled with Lindt truffles one year that she hosted a Mystery dinner. Huge hit with the kids…and I got both at Target – nice presentation but easy on the budget. You can also go higher end on the container and the chocolate (maybe next time, Pragmatic Mom!). See Etsy shops for great ideas, like this super cute cookie jarcookie jar or these elegant dishes. soft green lotus bowls capability mom finds these pretty bowls at adventures in clay on etsyThe best chocolate (both in presentation and taste) I ever received was from this company, L.A. Burdick, but I have to confess that I did not share with anyone. Before you think too badly of me, my husband does not care for chocolate (I know, almost a character flaw but it works for me!) and the children (almost babies, then, really) were too young to appreciate it and I did confess later. Now they will read about it and know the how mean I was not to share.capability mom finds the best chocolate gift - and they are mice LA BurdickPragmatic Mom likes to give a lemon cypress tree – such a great idea – maybe tuck an instruction sheet in the container, too.  I am all for tropical trees and plants – more green, now please!

This is an item that I have long coveted – Dean & Deluca’s Spice rack. Cool, modern and a little geeky, which I love, of course. capability mom has long coveted this spice rack from dean and delucaIt is on the splurge side, so if you want to do this less expensively, pick up nice spices at your favorite local place like Sofra Bakery or you could even repackage supermarket spices in glass containers like these from The Container Store.

capability mom loves these spice jars from the container storeThe 12 Days of ShoppingI will be posting The 12 Days of Shopping jointly with Pragmatic Mom. Each day, please visit her blog to see the other half of each post. Thanks!Friday, Dec 10: Make Your Own Gifts GRANOLA, Amazing Granola from Nigella Lawson versus Amazing Granola Bars from The Barefoot Contessa

Sat, Dec 11: Kids Make Gifts CRAFT (ModPodge versus Clove Fruit)

Sun, Dec 12: Personalized Gifts: Fancy Return Address Stampers and Personalized Stationery from Pixie Chicago

Mon, Dec 13: Father-in-Law/Dad and Mother-in-Law/Mom

Tue, Dec 14: Tutors/Teachers

Wed, Dec 15: High Tech/Low Tech

Thu, Dec 16: Hostess/Doing Good and Getting Something

Fri, Dec 17: Sanitation Engineers, Mail Carriers, Hairdresser, Delivery People, Babysitter, Cleaning People, Dog Walker/Dog Trainer

Sat, Dec 18: Husband, Me (Our Own Wacko List)

Sun, Dec 19: Dog/Cat

Mon, Dec 20: Quick Gifts from Whole Foods versus Gourmet Food Store

Tue, Dec 21: ’Cause I Am So Together, Last Minute Home Made Gifts

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