Guest Guru: Dawn Sandomeno of Party Bluprints

December 6, 2011    |    By +
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After serving as a guest judge for our Giftee Awards, Dawn Sandomeno, graciously enough has offered to share her entertaining expertise with us. As one half of the dream team behind Party Bluprints, she and her partner Elizabeth Mascali have been dishing out helpful advice and guides to hosting and throwing the perfect party for any occasion.

They’ve been featured on NBC TODAY Show, Fox TV Good Day NY, Good Housekeeping, Consumer Report’s Smart Shopper, Redbook Magazine, Martha Stewart Living Radio, Fox News Strategy Room, CBS NY2, and have their very own published guide, “Plan to Party”.

So given it’s the peak time of holiday parties, we asked Dawn to share her favorite host/hostess gifts for all the social occasions on your calendars.

The Perfect Hostess Gift for Every Holiday Party Type

The most important thing you can do as a guest to show your gratitude is to be fully present and take time to enjoy and appreciate the gifts your host(ess) has bestowed on you. Make note of her/his special touches and send a personal note of thanks after the party.

You can also express your gratitude to your host by selecting a special token of appreciation. Send flowers the day before a party. In the midst of preparations for the big day, it’s a treat to receive a beautiful arrangement that says, “We’re excited and grateful to be with you tomorrow.”

You can also call ahead to say thank you in advance and that you’ll bring dessert for the kids. Better yet, have dessert sent directly to the host so they can plate it in advance of guests’ arrival—one less thing to deal with that day. If you’re looking for a special token to gift your host try my suggestions below.

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Meet the Gurus

Kathryn D.W.
Kathryn Drury Wagner is the senior manager of content at She was formerly the executive editor at Honolulu Magazine, and is the author of The Ultimate Guide to Shopping on Oahu. Her career has included staff positions at Country Living Gardener and Power & Motoryacht. Her latest book is "Hawaii's Strangest, Ickiest, Wildest Book Ever!"

Gwen P.
Gwen is the Editorial Curator at In addition to writing blogs, she creates gift guides, curates the site, and produces content for our social media channels. As a freelance writer, she created blogs on fashion, art, travel, health and lifestyle. A talented jewelry designer, she's also a yogi and a hospital volunteer with her therapy dog, Lilo, a Pomeranian.