While I was home in Austin for Christmas, my best friend and maid-of-honor, Katie, threw me an intimate little bridal shower with some of our oldest friends as guests. There were cupcakes, bacon wrapped dates (recipe here), and plenty of champagne. We played a long distance version of the Newlywed Game with some Q&As that Mike had answered for Katie earlier in the week. It was truly wonderful to spend time and share an abundance of laughs with friends, and what girl doesn't love being showered with gifts? One of my favorites included the cookbook Small Gatherings: Seasonal Menus for Cozy Dinners whose recipes I will share with you as I concoct them. They all look mouthwatering, and Mike seems pleased that I am feeling motivated to cook new things.
One thing that I have noticed from my constant perusing of wedding boards is that there doesn't seem to be much agreement on the policy towards giving gifts to your shower hostesses. If you get one thing from this post and forget everything else, then please just remember this one thing: It is ALWAYS appropriate to show graciousness. A few women on the boards argue that it's YOUR shower, and that they should be showering YOU. Well, that's one way that you can think of it, or perhaps you could take a less selfish approach; understand that this person took the time out of their life to throw you a party and maybe a little thanks is in order. If you've ever thrown a party then you know this takes hours of preparation and clean-up. If you didn't know that, now you do. Sometimes you are thanking not only a good friend, but their mother or a friend of a parent or future mother-in-law whose tastes you might not be familiar with. If you are, then by all means, gift something unique, that they would love, but if you don't have a clue where to even start, here are some of my favorite ideas: