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Free Decorating Ideas and Tips by Marlene Alexander

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Gifts For All Seasons

Best Guest

Hostess Gifts for a Cottage Stay

Its cottage season again and those of us who donít own a cottage may sometimes be invited to spend a week or two at a friend or family memberís summer retreat. What should we take to show our appreciation? Should it be something useful, something decorative or maybe both? Here are some examples for both ideas.



Dollarama sells small gazebo-style lanterns in a variety of colors for $2 each. A pair of these, along with a package of votive or tea light candles for a buck would make a lovely gift to add to deck or patio ambience. You can also get a small double hook shepherdís hook for two bucks, to hang them on, if youíd like to include that, as well.



Iím sure your hosts will appreciate a gift that helps with meal times. How about filling a colorful medium sized plastic tub with BBQ essentials like Heinz mustard, BBQ sauce, relish, napkins and paper plates, all available at dollar stores. Add some Jell-o pudding cups and some hot dog buns, both available at the dollar store, and a package of wieners from the grocery store to complete this offering. 

The same type of plastic tub as above could be filled games and eats. This is a practical gift sure to be appreciated by families as it will help to entertain the kids on rainy days. Dollar stores have puzzles, playing cards, drinks and chips, cookies and other goodies to help fill it for a total of $10 or less, depending on your choices. 

This tub will also be useful after itís empty as an ice receptacle to keep drinks cool outside or as a place to store small outdoor toys. 



For something on a more personal note, present your hostess with a gift containing flip flops, sun glasses, a couple of pretty garden decorations, a puzzle book or magnetic note pad, a plastic wine goblet and a small bottle of Perrier. You can put something like this together for ten bucks or less.









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