In 2011 I threw a favorite things party and it was a huge hit. It was also somewhat meaningful for me because I threw the party one month after we announced to everyone that we were moving from Oregon to Las Vegas. My last big hurrah, you could say. The last gathering that I held in our home.
Ever since then I have wanted to throw another favorite things party. And I even tacked it onto my 101 in 1001 list (#96) to make sure it would happen.
In January of this year I started thinking about it and kinda pegged September as the month to shoot for. As the month approached I wondered if I was ready, did I have enough people that I could invite, would people even come, trying to get a sense for where I stood . . . I waffled around a bit. Scott told me I had to do it because it was on my list! (that makes me so happy that he reads my list). So I decided to just go for it.
I sent out 16 invitations and got back 10 RSVP's (one later had a conflict, so 9 attended). Phew! People came! And we had a really good time! Someone told me that it was so nice to get together and get to know each other better. I know!! That was my goal. :)
I have learned that I am horrible at getting pictures during a party (totally slips my mind), but I have lots of pictures of the set-up. Enjoy!
I found that woven silverware/napkin basket at Target on clearance ($3.88) and it became my color inspiration. Kraft + shades of aqua + a touch of gold. I designed the invitations in Photoshop Elements and added two little pieces of washi tape to cutify.
Text: "Think of something that you LOVE (under $6). Bring FOUR of that item. We will draw names and everyone will go home with FOUR new favorite things."
You can really set this up with any dollar amount and quantity of items to bring. I like the 4 / $6 because your guests end up spending less than $25. That's a dollar amount that should be manageable for everyone.
I tried to keep the decorations simple, pretty, cohesive, and inexpensive. I had fun decorating for this party because it gave me an opportunity to test out some of the fun ideas that I have found on Pinterest. Like the balloon garland above.
This is the "welcome" table. The chalkboard was a tin Christmas sign that I sprayed with chalkboard paint -- easy re-purposing project. And the aqua fringe on the table is actually a plastic tablecloth. I cut a strip the length of the tablecloth (and probably 20-24 inches wide), folded it in half, and then laid it on a cutting mat. Using my rotary cutter I started at the open edge and cut strips, stopping about 1 inch from the folded edge
Coffee filter pom-poms and tissue pom-poms
More plastic tablecloth fringe, a pendant banner I made a few years ago, and a glittery title created the perfect backdrop for the food table. To make the "favorite" letters I used my Silhouette Cameo to cut them onto cardstock, then sprayed them with spray adhesive, and doused them with glitter.
The main activity, of course, is the exchange of favorite things. But I like to throw in 1 or 2 other activities to keep the conversation and partying moving along.
This game is a repeat from my first favorite things party. Everyone fills out the entire questionnaire. Then we go around and reveal our answers, one question at a time . . . but we play it Scattergories style. If someone else has the same answer, you cross it out. (It's important that you don't leak this game play info before you start!)
[ Hey! You can Download the Favorite Things Game right here. ]
The people with the highest number of unique answers received a little prize! I gave out these adorable tiny boxes filled with milk chocolate Lindor Truffles. Mmmm, my favorite.
One of my favorite things is crafting, so I decided to set up a little crafting station with some super simple, mess-free crafts. The craft station was centered all around things you can do with washi tape (another favorite).
I set out the supplies, gave a little creative direction, but it was basically up to the party guests to play and create however they wanted.
And the big activity of the night . . . . swapping our favorite things! We each wrote our name on 4 pieces of paper and added them to the bowl. Then everyone drew 4 names (making sure not to get their own name or a duplicate). One by one we went around the room and each woman shared her favorite thing and why it was a favorite thing. Then she would give her favorite thing to the 4 ladies she had drawn.
I've found that it is the most fun to keep the names you draw a secret, until it gets to your turn and you announce who your favorite thing goes too. It just helps to build up the excitement and anticipation. Kind of like Oprah's favorite things, but with less screaming.
Here are the favorite things that were shared:
- Harry & David Red Pepper and Onion Relish + 1 mini latte bowl in seafoam
- Eggsact Egg Timer
- Skin care samples and cookies
- Keychain wristlet
- Room Spray from Pier1 Imports
- Ethel M Pecan Brittle
- Cakestands (such a cool DIY - she glued together a dollar store candle stick holder & melamine plate from Target)
- Mason Jar mug plastic water bottle - from Target
- favorite foods/treats from the bulk section at Winco
- L'Oreal Voluminous mascara
The menu for the night included . . .
- pumpkin muffins
- chips and my favorite dip (Pepper & Onion Relish + cream cheese)
- grapes, cherry tomatoes
- peanut butter M&M's, Twizzler Nibs, and almonds served in nut cups
- Brie and crackers
Also some white chocolate popcorn in these adorable french fry boxes
And for dessert, chocolate chip pizookies with vanilla ice cream.
I love putting together favors to send home with party guests. I did a repeat of the brown paper bag because it doubles nicely as a way for people to carry home their new favorite things.
Inside, I also put together a small packet of favorite things for everyone who attended. Small notebook, one Lindor truffle, and a roll of washi tape. (All from Target)
And that was it! Honestly, this is probably the biggest that I have ever gone for a ladies' night party -- the combination of decorations, food, activities, etc. It was a lot of work, and it came out very nicely and I think everyone appreciated it. (I hope I didn't set the standard too high, because it's all down hill from here!) The best part is coming away from the party feeling like you just celebrated Christmas!
I think someone said that we should do this every month. Well, maybe not every month. But I'm sure I'll be throwing another one of these in a year or two.