So it starts with the invitations. I don't want just a simple Facebook group invite, I make up real, paper invitations and they get mailed out to each invitee. This year I went the extra mile and calligraphied the names which I thought was a fun touch.
Here's how it works. Each person brings 5 of their favourite things under $6. The same 5 things and they don't need to be wrapped. When they arrive at the party they write their name down on 5 slips of paper and drop it in a bowl. Then we eat and visit. When the times comes for the exchange we all sit in a circle and one person takes the bowl. They pull out a name (putting their own back if they get it) and that person explains what their favourite item is and then gives the name puller one of their things. The person with the bowl then takes a second name (putting back any repeats) and continues until they have 5 items. Then they pass the bowl to their neighbor who repeats the process.
Now I'm terrible at taking pictures during the party, it's just too much fun so I instead compiled a bunch of photos later of everyone's favourite things. They may not be exactly the same but pretty close so let me tell you about everyone's items because they were so fun. We'll start with mine though.
And now everyone else's.
1. Bath & Body Works hand sanitizer and room spray (she wanted lotion but they were all out in her scent).
2. Face Mask
4. This very specific brand of Salsa
5. Mettalic Sharpies
6. Glitter cardstock
7. This one was probably the most unique and everyone was intrigued. Did you know that apparently Avon bubble bath makes a really good cleaner? You mix it with some water and then use a microfiber cloth to clean just about anything, including streak free windows. So she gave away a small bottle of bubble bath, a microfiber cloth and some lipgloss.
8. Teavana Tea (I got one of these and it's super yummy)
9. This picture doesn't even sort of do this item justice but I couldn't find anything better. She gave away a notepad but it was super graphic and bold and patterned. Then there was a set of matching blank cards, envelopes and a pen to complete the set. It was awesome, unlike the boring picture.
10. Lipgloss and Mini Eggs. I got this item too and I'm loving the gloss.
11. Washi tape, you can do amazing things with this stuff.
12. This huge box of hot chocolate
13. The most adorable tweezers ever
14. A Booster Juice gift card
I love how different all the items are and it's always fun to anticipate when your name will be pulled.
The best part for me at this party though is the extra's that I give away. I gathered 7 (no significance to that number) of my other favourite things, but didn't keep within the price restraint for all of them. Then I put 7 slips of paper in the bowl with a star, so when someone pulled a star they got a sixth item. I had put them all in a bag and then when a star was pulled I picked an item for that person. I could have done it randomly but I thought since I know all the people it would be more fun. I don't know if everyone loved it but I sure did. Here are the 7 things I gave away.
- All about treats. Jolly Rancher Awesome Twosome's are the greatest. Big Feet are a long standing favourite and the Dairy Milk Sweet and Salty Peanuts is cruncy and sweet and salty and yummy.
- These cord clips are amazing, in our house we currently use 7 of them. You stick these to your bedside table/desk and then clip your phone cord (or whatever else you need) in and it keeps it from sliding off the table. I stick them to the back side of the bedside table so you can't see them but they keep everything tidy and neat. Love.
- This Magnetic tray is awesome! I mostly use it for upholstery and holding all the staples as I remove them but it would work for any project, keeping all your nails/screws handy.
- Eyeshadow Primer. I don't actually use this brand, I use the MAC Paint Pots but this one is equally as great. If I couldn't use a primer I wouldn't bother with eyeshadow. It keeps it from creasing, makes your eyeshadow more pigmented and makes it last forever. Get some, seriously.
- I love lipstick, it makes you feel so polished and ready. I chose this Rimmel Colour Rush one because it lasts forever but doesn't feel super lipsticky if you know what I mean. I thought it was pretty universal.
- These spin pins. I use these probably 3 days a week, they are probably my all time favourite beauty product. Any time you see me with a top knot it's thanks to these spin pins. After I've curled my hair, to keep my curls lasting to the next day sleep in a very loose top knot, also thanks to these babies. Buy some, especially if you have long hair.You can get them at any drug store.
- And lastly, also in the hair category is the Wet Brush. I don't know what makes this brush so magical but I bought one for Catie and loved it so much I instantly bought one for me too. Somehow it gets through tangles with almost no pain and you can even brush your hair wet without any stretching and breaking.
So there you have it. A giant this of Favourite Things.
This party is all about Favourite Things, so I make my favourite invitations, invite my favourite people and we eat my favourite food. I like that I don't try to co-ordinate the food, I just choose a bunch of things I like so they're completely random. This year I served;
1. Mini soft pretzels with a pizza sauce dip
2. Yummy Salad (Romaine, craisens, toasted pecans, cumbled feta, cubed pears and poppyseed dressing)
3. Ichiban Salad (minus the mangoes)
4. Italian 7 Layer Dip with baquette. The recipe is here but I really think it needs to be heated so I serve it warm
5. Awesome Twosomes
6. Big Feet
7. President's Choice Moktails - Margarita, Bay Breeze and Mojito flavour
And for dessert
8. Chocolate Chunk Cheesecake
9. Creme Brulee