Friday, June 29, 2012

Friday Favorites

My Favorite Things Party Idea

I was invited to a Favorite Things Party a few weeks ago and I had so much fun that I just had to share with you this amazing party idea!!!

The Basics
A favorite things party is an event in which each guest you invite brings their favorite item, times five.* You have a fun night of sharing your favorite item and exchanging items with guests, so that at the end of the night everyone goes home with five* new fabulous things!

Decide Your Guest List
Whether you have 10 guests or 50, it will be fun and each guest leaves the party with the same amount of  items. When planning your guest list take into consideration what people will make or purchase to bring as their item. If you are having a party with both men and women you will want to encourage guests to make their item something either would enjoy.

Decide Your Item Rules*
I suggested that you would have each guest bring their favorite item x 5, however the number is up to you. For example, if you ask them to bring their favorite item x 8, each guest will go home with 8 new items. If you ask them to bring their favorite item x 2, each guest will go home with 2 new items. I thought 5 was the perfect number, but its your party and you decide what will be best for your guests. You will also want to set a spending limit on the gift. We had a limit of $5 per item (5 items x $5 ea = $25 total), but again you can adjust this to work for your group of guests.

Invite Hints
When creating the invite, you will want to make sure your wording doesn't leave any confusion, make sure to be clear that you are asking them to bring 5 of the same item (which is why I like the wording, 'bring your favorite item, times five'). You want to make sure you don't have some guests attending with five different items, or confused on the limit you set per item. You also want to be clear on item requirements - you can choose to limit to store bought/homemade or allow either. The more clear and concise you are in the invite, the better the party will go and the more comfortable the guests will be in preparing for and attending the event.

Party Set-Up
It is a good idea to print a simple set of instructions for guests of what they need to do when arriving at the party. This makes it easier for you to host the party and greet guests, instead of constantly repeating instructions. You will need a container (we used bowls) for each item you asked them to bring. So, if they were asked to bring five items, you need five containers. Set them up near the instructions with plenty of writing utencils and slips of paper. You will need the same number of slips of paper as you have guests TIMES the number of items you asked them to bring (10 guests times five items each = 50 paper slips). Instruct each guest to write their name down on a slip of paper for each item they brought (5 items equals their name on 5 paper slips) and put one slip in each container. If your guests are not familiar with each other be sure to have name tags as well.. Once each guest fills out their paper slips (and nametag) you can have them mingle until everyone is ready to start.

Party Tips
If you put 7:00 pm on the party invite, don't expect to start the actual gift exchange until at least 7:30 pm. It takes people a while to filter in and get their names written down. Its best to have refreshments while everyone mingles and fills out their paper slips to keep them from awkward lulls. It functions best to sit in a circle so everyone can see and hear when the gifts are being exchanged - this IS the party and you will be surprised how much fun it is hearing the stories behind everyone's favorite things.

Let's Get This Party Started
Once all the guests have followed the instructions and are mingling you can sit everyone down and get started with the gift exchange. You will start with the first guest. Each guest stands up and shows off (Vanna White style) their favorite item, and shares why its a favorite item, or a funny story about how this became a favorite item and then draws a name for each item they have (5 items equals drawing five names) and gives their items to the guests whose names are drawn. Then move onto the next person and do the same thing. This continues until you run of of names in bowl 1 and then move onto bowl 2 until those names are gone and then bowl 3, then 4, then 5. Once you run out of names, you should have completed the entire exchange and everyone should have 5 new items to take home.

Birthday Haul Variation
You can come up with lots of fun variations on this party, but one of my favorite is doing a birthday party haul. It's the exact same concept but if it is someone's birthday and you really want to spoil them, you have the guests each bring an extra item. So if your exchange is 5 items, they would now bring 6 items. You would proceed as normal, BUT everyone would give their sixth item to the birthday boy/girl. So, the birthday boy/girl goes home with one of every item! How fun is that!

My Gift
Okay, so now that you know how this works, I wanted to share with you what I gifted as my favorite item. I have always loved mint - mint ice cream, andes mints, thin mints, the color mint, I even had a mint green blanket my grandma made me that I slept with from birth until a few years ago (don't tell, it's embarrassing). So... I decided to stick with a mint theme for my gift - I put together an adorable package with a few of my favorite mint things.

My Favorite Andes Mint Cookie Recipe

            Satin Flower Hair Clips made by me - Lizzy         Mint Bliss Energizing Foot Lotion


A Comment!!! For me!?! Aww how sweet!