Arranging The Perfect Charcuterie Platter

Charcuterie platters have the potential to be the food focus of any great cocktail party, and are the perfect no-fuss appetizer to set out and get any dinner party started. You’ll be able to prep everything in advance so you can be right there sipping and savoring alongside your guests instead of fussing over a needy canapé. With our easy guide, any novice can put together a wow-worthy, balanced and aesthetically pleasing charcuterie platter centerpiece with a little something for all tastes to nibble on. Plan for about 1-2 ounces of meat per person, as well as about 1-2 ounces of cheese, and double that if you won’t be serving dinner, or if the rest of the spread is light. Read on to learn all about the ins and outs of assembling the perfect charcuterie platter:   Add height for interest A flat, boring platter will taste fine, sure, but a platter with a balance of different heights will add interest and practically attract people to it like a magnet. A champagne flute and a thin tall vase filled with thin breadsticks known as grissini, pickled green beans or asparagus spears, or long carrot sticks will fit the bill nicely.   Use cool containers you already have Rather than a flat board with meat just sitting on it, why not add a plate set atop an upside down highball glass to make a mini stand to hold that brie? Add a cute teacup in one corner stacked high with buttery club crackers. Grab a mini colander and fill it with an array of grapes, dried apricots, and quartered figs. The possibilities are endless if you take a look...

Why We Gift Wednesday (Best Friend Chat Edition!)

This Why We Gift Wednesday we’re sitting back and reflecting on the people in our lives we can turn to when times are tough and we need to just call someone over for a nice long chat, a walk, and come out of it with a new perspective and a new attitude on a situation. Our best friends are the people in our lives that we can always depend on to come to our side and be the one who offers great advice, a sounding board, or just a change of mood with a totally off the wall, funny story or comment. So today, celebrate and give a shout out to your BFF and share this post with them!   Comment Below: Who can you always count on to turn your day around with a simple chat? We’d love to hear about...

D.I.Y. Gift Scavenger Hunt!

Make the gift-giving process more fun by making the recipient put on their detective hat and solve clues to find it! We’ve created a do-it-yourself scavenger hunt that you can modify to fit your unique home, or any location you choose! Just write or print up our clues on notes and leave them throughout the house, with the final gift in a hard to find location. This scavenger hunt works well for kids and adults alike (but we’d be a little less obvious with the hiding places if an adult were searching – try on the bottom of a shampoo bottle, inside a shoe, or the underside of a table or chair. To make the scavenger hunt extra challenging for adults (or super savvy youngsters), take a photo of the final hiding place, then cut into 8 pieces and hide one piece with each clue. Then, the seeker will have to assemble all the pieces at the end to finally reach their gift. Now set up your clues, and send your gift recipient off on a fun scavenger hunt that will turn an ordinary gift giving moment into a fun, sure to be remembered adventure! Introduction card: A gift awaits you if you’re a great detective. Just solve all the clues, you can’t be selective. I’ll lead you to them, one by one. Let’s get started and have some fun! Clue #1 Finding your next clue will be so neat! It’s way under the covers, down by your feet. (Hide under end of mattress , or under sheet)   Clue #2 Clue number two is sure to fool you. Go check in the...

Cool Down With Summer Drink Recipes

The dog days of summer are upon us, and what better way is there to cool down after a long hard day of work (or play), than with a tasty summer drink? There’s not too many I can think of that are as simple or cheap as a summer beverage made from one of these summer drink recipes. At GiftTree’s headquarters in the beautiful Pacific Northwest, this summer has been much nicer and cooler than last year so far, but after a long day of providing people with awesome gifts, or cleaning out the garage, a tasty summer beverage is still much appreciated. We’re here to help you cool down with summer drink recipes. Check out some of our favorites of both the virgin and adult variety. This is one of my favorite non-alcoholic summer cool down beverages! I first tried it at a Mediterranean restaurant down the street from my house and have been hooked since. It is a simple twist on a classic, super refreshing on a hot day and goes great with a falafel wrap. Check out this recipe from Salt & Wind.     Another one of my favorite summer time cool down beverages is Thai Tea. Not only does it combat the heat of a spicy Thai curry, but it can also cool you down on a hot summer day. It’s also surprisingly easy to make! Check out a couple of options for making Thai Tea from the dynamic duo of White on Rice Couple. There are so many ways to make this that you may need to experiment to match the flavor at...

Friday’s Featured Artisan: Victoria’s Lavenders

Lavender is certainly in bloom here in the Pacific Northwest, and Friday’s Featured Artisan, Victoria’s Lavenders, has mastered  the art of growing and harvesting this flowering herb of a thousand benefits. Victoria’s Lavender has its roots in Oregon wine country, growing out of a dream to use the property that Marilyn Thompson and her husband Troy had purchased to build their home on and use for his landscaping business. But shortly after, Troy was diagnosed with ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, an incurable and fatal illness. After a courageous 4-year battle with ALS, Troy passed away at the age of 36. During his illness, Marilyn devoted herself to keeping him comfortable using natural alternatives,since traditional medicine did very little to weaken the vicious symptoms of the disease. She soon discovered the many health benefits to lavender, including anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties, migraine and stress relief and so much more. As a widow with a young child and fueled by the former dream she and Troy had shared for the property, Marilyn began growing lavender and eventually started her own company, naming it after their daughter, Victoria. Today, Victoria’s Lavenders prides themselves in crafting high quality, small batch artisanal products using lavender from the farm and locally-sourced or fair trade organic ingredients in their formulations. From bath and body care to candles, aromatherapy essentials and even lavender to use in cooking, Marilyn Thompson strives for loveliness in her products, both inside and out. One of GiftTree’s most popular gifts is our Spa Booties with Lavender Aromatherapy gift from Victoria’s Lavenders. We love popping these ultra-soft booties in the microwave for 30 seconds and slipping them on for a...

Bring Summer Sun Indoors with Bright Bouquets

Ahhh, summer…. if you live in a part of the country where there’s a pretty spectacular difference in the weather from winter to summer, you know all about taking advantage of the summertime sun, because come October, you might not see that big yellow ball again until April. From gardening to barbecuing, to beach days and the county fair, we’re all about getting outdoors and milking those long sunny days for all their worth. But of course, there are days where we must be inside, and when that happens, bringing the summer sun indoors with bright bouquets keeps us cheerful and ready for the day ahead. We’ve gathered a list of some of our favorite summer bouquets below – if there’s a special occasion coming up this summer, or someone you know is stuck indoors with a summer cold, a bright bouquet is the perfect gift. Onward!     Playfully Pink is a fun, unique bouquet that is anything but standard, this dramatic arrangement beautifully stands out from the crowd. Enchanting and perfectly gorgeous, the most vivid summer blooms in pink and orange hues are artfully arranged in a collectible matching mod vase. The Shining On Bouquet is such an elegant, monochromatic arrangement of snowy white blossoms sprinkled with bright green sprigs – we’re sure this bouquet will cool even the hottest of summer days. Summer Samba is a fiery blend of summertime blossoms such as chrysanthemum, lilies and dahlias that perfectly capture the spirit of summer. Brighten up anyone’s day with Summer with Style. Vivacious dahlias, roses, lilies and more are artfully arranged in a gleaming orange glass cube. Just because it’s summer doesn’t mean...

Why We Gift Wednesday (Eating Outside Edition!)

Isn’t there something about eating a freshly cooked meal outside in the summer that makes it just taste better? It could be as simple as a grilled hotdog and potato chips, or something as extravagant as lobster dipped in drawn butter with luxurious champagne, but something about the open air or a warm breeze blowing past, and sounds of nature that makes a meal come alive. This #WhyWeGiftWednesday, raise a toast to the people in your life that you love to see gathered around the outdoor table or picnic blanket for a delicious outdoor meal.   Comment Below: What’s your favorite meal to eat outside? And where? We’re partial to a simple home cooked barbecue of burgers or brats, potato salad and microbrews enjoyed on a back patio in the waning golden sunlight of warm summer’s...

Charming Personalized Gifts For The Kitchen

Do you know someone who is a die-hard foodie, novice chef or have an impending wedding or an upcoming housewarming party?  At GiftTree we have some pretty unique and top-notch gifts to fit all of your gift giving needs.  Our personalized gifts will be the perfect addition to any kitchen. Check out our fabulous array of tools and accessories for kitchens that are thoughtful and certain to please. Engraved Chopsticks for Two One of our most popular and endearing gifts, these upscale chopsticks are fun, stylish and won’t be soon forgotten! Our one of a kind chopsticks will make a great housewarming, wedding, or anniversary gift. Bonus feature: GiftTree offers personal engraving with a special message for Free. Personalized Pint Glass Set Thoughtful and thoroughly impressive, these personalized brewing company pint glasses are the perfect way to enjoy a refreshing craft brew. Any beer drinker will be overjoyed by this sentimental and long-lasting gift. Personalized Brewing Company pint glasses make the perfect gift for the craft beer lover in your life. So, whether your special beer connoisseur is into ales, pilsners, stouts or IPAs their beer drinking experience will be quite special in these amazing glasses. Engraved Ice Cream Bucket with Scoop I scream, you scream, we all scream for Ice Cream! Everyone loves ice cream…until it starts to melt. Now you can savor each frosty bite without feeling rushed. Simply place a pint or carton of ice cream into this metal alloy container for a long-lasting chilled treat. Engrave a name, date, or special message for the perfect gift-giving experience. This show-stopping gift comes with a classic ice...

Friday’s Featured Artisan: Lollia by Margot Elena

Friday’s Featured Artisan, Margot Elena, is an entrepreneur from Colorado with a love of all-things-beautiful. She began her career out of college, opening a tiny boutique that sold handmade soaps with custom package designs of her own creation. Her knack for scent and style took off, and today, she’s an internationally recognized perfumer and designer. The Margot Elena brand consists of four product lines referred to as “libraries”, all meticulously crafted and perfectly balanced in design, fragrance, and formulation. Constantly mindful that her products add both beauty and purpose, Margot personally orchestrates her scent families and designs each package down to the last enticing detail, charming customers with these perfect treasures to fall in love with. One of Margot Elena’s elegant libraries is known as Lollia, a series of fragrance stories whose chapters overflow with whimsically scented and designed bath and body luxuries. Here at GiftTree, we love the perfectly placed details, fresh scents and effortless allure of Lollia’s carefully designed treasures. Two of our favorite spa gifts proudly feature Lollia bath products, and if you ever get a chance to give these a sniff and whirl in the bathtub, we know you’re going to be absolutely amazed – they’re just as pleasing on the nose as they are on the eyes. This celebration calls for a little bubbly – a bubble bath from the Luxe Bubbling Bath Crate, that is! The light floral perfume of rice flower is perfectly paired with southern magnolias and demure mimosa in this fragranced bubble bath. Blended with moisture-rich avocado oils and vitamin E, this perfumed bubble bath arrives in a distinctively modern glass bottle with white petal lace, a signature cork and a kiss of gold...

Typography and the Art of Gifting

Have you ever really paid attention to the fonts on your favorite products? Typography is the art and technique of arranging type to make written language legible, readable, and appealing when displayed. When you put it that way, typography seems like it should be crucial to a product’s design, but unfortunately it’s not always at the top of the totem pole, coming in much lower than illustrations, graphics, or photos. But the truth is, if the typography on your package or product isn’t attractive, you can easily repel a reader or consumer. And so typography is even more important when it comes to giving a gift! Say you’re giving a gift to a loved one with something personal printed on it – maybe a special message printed on a ribbon, or their name engraved on something special, transforming the gift into a precious keepsake. The typography’s affect on a gift’s appeal can make a good gift  a truly remarkable one – one that leaves a lasting impression. At GiftTree, our Personalization Department goes to great lengths to make sure that the fonts we use are never boring, never old fashioned, always stylish and always current. We’ve gathered a “best of” list, sharing our latest and greatest gifts with new fonts that perfectly blend modern appeal with timeless and classic sophistication, while still having a little bit of fun. Onward!   When the occasion calls for something bubbly, present a toast with our Lush Blush Champagne Crate. GiftTree’s designers exclusively created this loving and playful gift, featuring a “Love the Wine You’re With” message, crafted using a fusion of feminine and modern fonts. One of our bestselling gifts, the Monogrammed Mug recently had a facelift,...

Why We Gift Wednesday (Summer Memories Edition!)

Thinking back on your childhood memories, aren’t some of the best ones those simple summer days spent lounging at the neighborhood pool, chasing the ice cream truck down the block, and sitting on a sunny bench with friends in the park not really doing much besides being a kid? This Why We Gift Wednesday we’re celebrating those golden, glowy days of summer memories made by parents who were willing to let kids be kids – let to run a bit wild with pick up baseball games, marco polo in the pool, and sitting together shooting the breeze with sweet popsicles dripping in the afternoon heat.   Comment Below: What’s your favorite childhood summer memory? Did you ride bikes all over town, go to the local ice cream shop, or head to the beach with floaties in tow?   Share your story and it could be featured on the next #WhyWeGiftWednesday...

Happy 4th of July From GiftTree!

Today, the U.S.A. celebrates its 240th birthday! We hope that wherever you are, and whatever plans you have that you have a safe and very happy day celebrating the 4th of July! May your barbecue be filled with scrumptious food, and your hearts be filled with glee as you celebrate our nation’s freedom with family and friends alike. Happy 4th of July! Now let the fireworks...

America the Beautiful: Our Favorite Scenic Destinations in the USA

Here at GiftTree, we’re getting pumped for the 4th of July celebrations like everyone else, but this year’s also got us feeling especially grateful for this beautiful country. From frozen mountaintops, to vast expanses of painted deserts, to towering pines along crystal lakes and sun-drenched beaches of soft sand, the United States has something for everyone. In the spirit of celebrating our upcoming Independence Day, a few of us in the Creative and Marketing Departments got together and compiled a list of our favorite destinations in this breathtaking country. Onward!   California – Old Growth Coast Redwoods If you ever find yourself planning a drive through Northern California, the coast redwoods are not to be missed. These California trees, some close to 2,000 years old, reach heights upwards of 300 feet, higher than a 30-floor skyscraper, and carry a circumference of over 25 feet. Humboldt Redwoods State Park and Richardson Grove State Park, both in Humboldt County along Highway 101, provide breathtaking, up-close and personal views with these silent giants.   Tennessee – Great Smoky Mountains Eastern Tennessee is a verdant land of rugged mountains, lush forest, rolling farmland and deep, wild river gorges. The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the main attraction, with an incredible array of plant and animal life, peaceful cascading streams, and misty mountain vistas. It’s the most visited national park in the country for good reason. If you ever find yourself in Tennessee, you’ll to be completely enchanted with this harmonious, rustic backcountry, and feel as though you’ve been transported back in time.   Wyoming – Yellowstone National Park Yellowstone National Park is a 3,500-sq.-mile expanse of wilderness set atop a volcanic hot...

Why We Gift Wednesday (Meteor Shower Edition!)

Sharing a special moment with someone you care about is one of the best things that life brings us. One such moment is a quiet, peaceful night looking up at the brightly lit sky full of stars and hoping to catch a glimpse of the magic that is a meteor shower. This Why We Gift Wednesday, we’re celebrating that special someone who shares an interesting hobby and is always willing to head out on adventure together. With several reliable meteor showers coming up in late July and early August, there are plenty of opportunities this summer to get outside and away from the city lights, set up a blanket or a reclining chair, and cozy up with someone special under the stars. Here’s a great guide from EarthSky all about when and where to catch the best meteor sightings, what to bring with you, and all about how meteors actually work, along with some great photography. Happy viewing!       Looking for a great gift made for a meteor shower lover? Check out our Name a Star Gift Set on GiftTree.com. This exciting kit includes everything needed to name a star in the recipient’s name. When the enclosed registration materials are sent in, the recipient will receive a Star “Deed”, and instructions to locate their star in the night sky.   Comment Below: Have you ever had the chance to spend time looking at a meteor shower? When and where? Let us know about your experience!...

Get Grillin’ BBQ Recipes

The warm summer sun and longer days combine to create the perfect mix needed to pull out the grill and your favorite BBQ recipes. So, invite friends and family over to enjoy some summertime festivities and new twists on classic BBQ recipes. The ultimate BBQ soirée begins with the two most important ingredients, patience and creativity. Perfect BBQ requires that you be willing to nurture the meal and allow the grill to do all of the work. When BBQ is done right there is nothing more satisfying to the chef than seeing everyone rushing back to the table to get seconds and thirds. Below we have compiled several of the top BBQ recipes destined to make the perfect summertime meal more memorable.   BBQ Volcano Potatoes This dish is simple to make and explodes with savory flavors.  All you need is a few potatoes, foil and any assortment of your choosing like cheese, sour cream, and any meat of your choosing to fill the insides. Whats’ perfect about this dish it that there are endless combinations of fillings you can add and create.   Beer Can Chicken If you desire to taste the juiciest chicken on this planet, then this is the dish for you! What makes this dish so amazing is that it’s super simple and all you need is a can of beer that’s half full and a whole roasting chicken. Season the chicken with either a traditional BBQ rub or any seasonings you want and boom it’s done. Voila, It’s that simple!   Prosciutto Wrapped Asparagus Keeping with the theme of an easy and mouth watering BBQ side Prosciutto wrapped asparagus fits...

Friday’s Featured Artisan: Murray’s Cheese

If you’ve ever been inside a Kroger, Ralph’s or Fred Meyer supermarket, you’ve probably seen their stand – a blazing red sign stamped with delicious-sounding adjectives like “savory”, “aromatic”, “toasty” and “farmstead”, along with a bold yellow logo that proudly declares Murray’s: We Know Cheese. And boy, is that right. Friday’s Featured Artisan is one of our favorite cheesemongers and one of the very best in the business, Murray’s. A small Greenwich Village shop in 1940, the original owner Murray Greenberg had the simple dream of being a part of the neighborhood’s food scene as a dairy wholesaler. When he retired in the 1970s, he sold the shop to his longtime clerk, Louis Tudda, an Italian immigrant. In those days it was a butter and eggs shop with a selection of block cheeses, catering to the Italian enclave of Bleecker Street. While standing in line at Murray’s one day in the 1990s, a customer named Rob Kaufelt overheard Louis Tudda say that he was thinking of closing the shop down. Rob made an offer to buy the store and Louis accepted, making him the third (and present) owner of one of New York City’s oldest cheese shops. Soon after buying the storefront, Rob began traveling the globe seeking new cheeses that no American had ever heard of, and bringing them back to the United States. From humble beginnings as a 300-square foot shop, to a flagship store in Grand Central Market, a 50-seat restaurant and wine bar, their own network of state-of-the-art caves where cheeses are aged to perfection on Long Island, and 140-cheese stands at Kroger markets throughout the country, Murray’s sells a whopping 800,000 pounds of cheese...

How to Host a Backyard Movie Night

Happy Summer, everyone! Nothing comes close to the feeling of a balmy Summer night. Hanging out in the backyard on a warm summer night is a great idea, but how about taking it to the next level and hosting an outdoor movie night? It’s much easier than you’d think – with a little creativity, a few setup essentials, some loved ones to snuggle up with and a lot of fresh popcorn, a backyard movie is the perfect summer night.   Here are seven simple steps to create the perfect backyard summer movie night:   1. A laptop, projector and speakers. With a few extension cords, you can prop up your equipment on a table or lawn chair, easy peasy! Just make sure that you test out your set up – that way you can ensure there won’t be any technical difficulties on the night of the big premiere. 2. A large white flat sheet. A big white flat sheet makes the perfect movie screen. You can use nails or thumbtacks to fix the sheet up against any wall, fence or flat surface. Giving it an iron before hanging to work out any wrinkles is a great idea, too! 3. Plenty of ultra-comfy seating. Spread out beach blankets, quilts, bean bag chairs, cushions and pillows to make sure that every guest has a super-comfortable area to lounge. Check the weather before the movie night too, and warn your guests that they might want to bring a light jacket or another blanket if the temperature dips. 4. Lots of snacks and drinks! Offer plenty of popcorn, candy, soft drinks and other beverages, just like the movie theater! Setting up a little refreshment stand is a fun...

Why We Gift Wednesday (Grandmother’s Love Edition!)

Why We Gift Wednesday is the day we celebrate all the myriad people, occasions, and reasons to spread generosity. From bus drivers to best friends, so many people in our lives show their heartfelt care, commit countless selfless acts, or achieve milestones or goals that they’ve been working towards for ages. That’s why we love the stories behind the gifts we sell – they’re not just products, they’re memorable gifting moments waiting to be delivered. This week we’re giving a shoutout to all the Grandmas out there who put time, energy, and lots of love into baking treats and goodies for friends and family. Nothing quite beats walking in the door at Grandma’s house to the enticing smells of a famous cookie recipe getting ooey-gooey in the oven, or a fresh loaf of bread just waiting to be slathered with butter and devoured.     Comment Below: Do you have a family favorite recipe that someone cooks for you, or that was handed down to you? We won’t ask you to reveal the secret ingredients, but we’d love to hear the story behind how it came to...
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