As the weather warms up, gift-giving occasions multiply – Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, graduation and in my case at least, several weddings in the next few months. I’m a big shopper, so finding just the right gift for someone is not a burden to me, it’s a challenge that I gladly accept.
In the “old” days, I could spend hours window shopping in my favorite stores. And I still do. But now, I’m also willing to shop online for special presents when I find a site that has beautiful merchandise at affordable prices.
When the folks at Uncommon Goods, an online marketplace for creative products, asked me if I would do a sponsored post for them with a giveaway of a gift certificate to their site (details at end of this post), I did my due diligence. It was hardly a chore, to wander through their fun and beautiful items. I especially liked reading how items are made and learning about the designers and artists who created them.
Photo courtesy of Uncommon Goods
Naturally, I was drawn to the kitchen stuff and the bar-related items here.Whether it was major scale wine glasses (with a lovely explanation for how they were made) or curious aerating wine glasses I found here or a platter for cheese and crackers made from recycled glass, I could find plenty to buy.
Then I read up on the company and found that they highlight handmade goods and donate $1 of every purchase to a nonprofit partner chosen by the purchaser: American Forests, Women for Women International, City Harvest, or the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN).
And as I mentioned the company to friends, several already knew of Uncommon Goods and had purchased items from the company, either for themselves or as gifts. Their enthusiasm for their online experience and the items they bought made it easy for me to decide to work with Uncommon Goods.
I found a charming Father’s Day present on the site, but I’m not giving it away. My only hint is to check out the wine tools and accessories page here. Whether you’ll use the gift certificate for a present or a treat for yourself, hope you’ll enter the Uncommon Goods giveaway at the bottom of the post.
But first, for those who would rather focus on what’s to eat and drink, I’ve got a few tips on cheese platters.
Arranging a Cheese Platter
- Keep it simple – Find just a few cheeses that you love, rather than put out a plate crowded with too many choices. How many is perfect depends on the occasion, but my rule of thumb is 3-5, including:
- Serve each cheese with an implement that will cut or spread it easily. There is nothing more humiliating for a guest than trying to wrestle cheese off a wedge or log with an implement that just won’t do the job.
- Don’t crowd the cheeses. If you don’t have a single plate or platter large enough to hold all of them, split them up. Leave enough room so that if there are two or more cheeses on a plate, someone taking a slice or dab or one won’t touch the others.
- Set out the crackers and bread nicely. Whether using a basket lined with a napkin or a rimmed plate, present the crackers and bread just as nicely as you do the cheese.
- Add a little something special. How about a ramekin of marinated veggies, a homemade cheese, a pot of fig jam to go along with tangy goat cheese, or special crackers (like these rosemary, pecan and raisin delights? Having an item that your guests will admire takes your wine and cheese up a notch.
I received compensation from Uncommon Goods in connection with this post, but as always, all opinions expressed are my own. The company did not review the content of this post before it was posted.