Sometimes, you just need a night in with your girls. A thoughtfully planned, delicious food, good conversation, gift-swapping night in with your girls.
I love decorating my home for parties. Carefully planning little details that give my guests a little treat. Most of my party decorating is for my kids, so I thought it was past time to decorate for me! Don't get me wrong, I love an impromptu dinner with friends with no frills or extras, but sometimes, you need to enjoy some little details. At least I do!
I love putting together pretty little sets of plates and napkins with fun patterns and colors. These cute little food picks with the gold trim I bought on clearance at Target after the holidays knowing that I would be planning this party and were the start of this party theme. (I also wanted to use these adorable straw bows from their party department that disappeared before I could buy them! Ugh, sometimes waiting is not ideal!)
The concept of this party I came across a few years ago, and have hosed a couple of these Favorite Things Parties. You ask your guests to pick one of their most favorite things and bring five of them to the party. I specify a $5 per item limit so that everyone spends about the same amount. Guests are welcome to package their gifts, but it isn't necessary. As you can see, we had a variety!
As guests arrive, they write their name on 5 slips of paper and put it in the bowl. I decorated pink bags with everyone's name to take home their gifts from the party. I found the bags in the Target Dollar Spot, and the beautiful labels are by Sugar Paper and also came from Target's holiday collection. My favorite detail may have been the polkadot curling ribbon. When it comes to polkadots, I just can't help myself.
When it's time to swap favorites, I pass around the bowl and each person draws five slips, making sure they have 5 different names. I do it this way, so that whoever is last to go doesn't end up with all the same person and everyone gets a variety of favorites. Once everyone has five names, we get started.
Each person then presents their favorite thing to the group and gives one of each to the five names they drew. Now each person goes home with five new things, that might just become one of their favorites!
This year my friends shared: succulents in pots, head massagers, hex key set, cross stitch kits, Caphin Vietnamese iced coffee, cookies, Pretzel Flipz, Jelly Roller Pens, and Trader Joe's coconut chips. The photo to the left is my haul of goodies (minus the yummy cookie I ate long before taking this photo!) I am completely in love with my head massager and I've found myself using it while sitting at my desk contemplating things, plus it fits perfectly in my pen cup! I'm not a coffee person, but I did try the Caphin Vietnamese Iced Coffee and it has SUCH good flavor. The coffee is a Texas made product by a friend of a friend, so make sure you look for it in Central Market if you love iced coffee!
Now on to the food! I love my party food to be simple and delicious. We've had parties where my husband spent the WHOLE time at the grill. That of course makes for delicious and very fresh food, but it also means he misses out on a lot of the fun because he's slaving away and sweating up a storm. So when I can put the finishing touches on the food just as the party starts, I call that a success! One of our favorite recipes lately (which also makes a great party food) are Monte Cristo Party Sliders by South Your Mouth. Oh my goodness. King Hawaiian sweet rolls, yes please! Plus they are simple to make for a crowd. Another fun recipe is for fruit salsa. I love how this tastes paired with homemade cinnamon chips, but the cutting is slightly torturous. Do this the day before so you are less resentful of it on party day! I do a slight variation of this recipe by Spend with Pennies, and it is delish! My mom made some beautiful sugar cookie bows special for this party, and I brought out my favorite Hobby Lobby purchase to date, my mini chocolate fountain. We use this for parties a LOT. But it's quick, easy, and our guests always love it.
For a fun cocktail, I made Orange Swizzle by Something Swanky. The recipe is non-alcoholic, but you can add a bit of vodka and it works out great! Each guest makes their own - with or without the cherry! All of these recipes are happy Pinterest finds that I've made over and over again. I have a few boards dedicated to recipes and party food if you want to follow along!
All in all, this was a really fun night. It was a great wrap up to the summer and a great reason to get together without kids to enjoy each other's company and let's admit it, it's pretty fun to leave with some fun new little gifts! If you had to choose, what would you pick as one of your favorite things? It's actually harder than you think!