Do You Do Hostess Gifts?

Summer is barely waning, but we’re already starting to see intimations of the holiday season on social media and in stores. The days of gift guides, holiday table setting posts, and wrapping paper round-ups are just around the corner.

We’re always mystified by holiday hostess gift ideas on blogs–showing up to a dinner party with a fluted cake plate or a hammered copper tea kettle seems a bit much. But then again there are times when we’d like to bring something more original than a bottle of wine or flowers.

What’s the best host/hostess gift you’ve received? What do you typically bring as an offering?

What I’ll be Wearing Postpartum

*I’m writing this a few days ahead of schedule in the hopes that my baby has either just been born or is being born when this post is published.  Wish me luck!*

During the first sticky weeks after our baby boy arrives I’ll be wearing sweatpants and my bathrobe full time (Katie and I both have the lined version of this robe).  Once my hormones level out a little and I’m able to be up and about, I’m looking forward to wearing normal clothes again.  Normal, but with forgiving waistbands and the potential for quick-release boobs.  Here are three outfits I’m planning to sport.

The pants in this first ensemble are Madewell jeans, but they have an elastic waist.  YES, PLEASE.  I own the blanket cape, and it is lovely, heavy, and has a beautiful drape.

Fall Outfit 2

|| 1. Blanket Cape  || 2. Chambray Shirt  || 3. Earrings || 4. Booties  || 5. Watch  || 6. Pants  ||

With the addition of a nursing tank, this super casual get-up will probably be my maternity-leave uniform. I own the shirt already, which is flannel but thin and super soft.  I bought the earrings a while back after seeing them on Cup of Jo and they are perfect for everyday wear, so long as baby isn’t too much of a grabber.

Casual fall outfit

|| 1. Shirt  || 2. Shoes  || 3. Earrings || 4. Jeans  ||

I’ll wear this outfit when I want to feel a little more stylish, but still completely comfortable. If sleeveless turtlenecks aren’t your thing (totally valid to insist on sleeves on your arms if there’s a sleeve on your neck), these pants would also be cute with a boatneck breton and chunky heels like these or these.

Fall Outfit

|| 1. Sweater  || 2. Pants  || 3. Bracelet  ||  4. Loafers  || 5. Earrings  ||

What are your casual fall staples? Any favorite online retailers we should be checking out?

A Good Read For the Long Weekend

We hope you’re enjoying the long weekend!  If you find yourself with some leisure time today, Making House: Notes on Domesticity by Rachel Cusk is worth a read.

This article really delves into the feeling of restlessness and discontent that can accompany decorating a home in earnest; a feeling both of us have talked about and, at times, struggled with. It also speaks to something that used to be a big part of our “About Us” blurb–when we first started Red House West we confessed to being nervous that writing about decorating would diminish us or make us seem frivolous.  Cusk writes, “there are other imperatives that bedevil the contemporary heirs of traditional female identity, for whom insouciance in the face of the domestic can seem a sort of political requirement, as though by ceasing to care about our homes we could prove our lack of triviality, our busyness, our equality.”