Sunday, June 12, 2011

How to Have a Favorite Things Party

I saw this idea on the internet (pinterest) one day and I loved it.  It's a reason to have a party when you really don't have any reason to have a party.

I started with a list of women who I really like - I thought of people in the 20s up to women in their 60s.  Fun doesn't really have an age.  I sent out an invite explaining the idea - which is that you bring 5 of your favorite thing costing $6 or less to the party, when you leave you'll have 5 favorites from other people.  I invited about 25 women in total.  (I could have invited more but you've got to draw the line somewhere - so if you're reading this and you weren't invited but you might have liked to have come - I probably would have loved to have had you there!  If I invited everyone I loved/liked the list would have been well over 100 women...but I was not quite up for throwing that large of a party!)  In the end there were 17 of us at the party. 

I thought for a while about the menu, I wanted it to be things that I really like since we're talking    about favorites.  Lately I've been making my own little pizzas that I really like.  They are pita pizzas with goat cheese, sweet corn, sun dried tomatoes, mozarella, garlic salt, spinach leaves and a little olive oil infused with garlic.  They are easy, but yummy.  I also bought fresh & easy hummus (my favorite store bought hummus), wheat pita quarters, made fruit kabobs with pineapple, cantaloupe, and strawberries and threw together a ceasar salad.  For dessert I bought some red velvet cakes from the Hermosa bakery (also available at Fresh & Easy).  I also made a punch I really love.  It's raspberry lemonaid with 7-up and frozen berries.  I think the food was pretty yummy and easy to eat and not too heavy.

It was a lovely evening in my backyard (I had planned to take photos of all of this but I was too busy with the party to be taking photos!).

Eventually we gathered around and everyone passed out there favorites.  It was so fun to see what people brought and fun to anticipate having your name drawn to see what you would get.

Here are a few of our favorites (this is not an all inclusive list - some of the ladies read the invitation to say that they should bring 5 different things and not 5 of one thing, in that case I just chose one of their items to list here):

Three ladies brought different types of lip gloss - this photo is the brand retreat but not the actual lip gloss brought to the party.  But apparently ladies care about their lips being nice and soft based on the representation of different options to do so among our favorites. 

we also like our homes to smell good.  two favorites were fragrant wall plug in from bath and body works and gold canyon candles (it seems like there is some fudging going on with pricing - especially with the candles but it's because the woman who brought these sells them)

We also realllly like tasty things, Fresh & Easy short bread, Sprinkles Cupcakes, Urban Cookie cookies & cupcakes, Trader Joe's chocolate, Zoyo Frozen Yogurt and homemade blackberry jam were among the foodie items represented.

we also like to keep things nice and tidy, the magic eraser made an appearance (and these ARE pretty great) as did silver polishing cloth, which I was very happy to get to take home with ME. 

We also like our beverages - one of the ladies brought 5 glass goblets for everyone.  She said she loves to collect them but she chooses one every day to drink her water with ice out of.  I love that because I do the same thing.  The metromint water was brought by me, I love it because it is zero calorie water but has the taste of mint.  It's very refreshing! 

Who doesn't love old navy flip flops?

The woman who brought the sharpies is very artistic and has great hand writing - I love writing with sharpies too! 

So there you have it, a successful "favorite things" party!  I'm definitely doing this again sometime.  (I also gave away a few extra favorites by asking the ladies to put their favorite movie, book, etc. in a bag, then I drew out of the bags for the extra gifts.  For fun I thought I'd list our favorites)

Favorite Movie

Pride & Prejudice (with 3 votes!  who knew?)
Mama Mia (2 votes)
Notting Hill
Raising Arizona (my friends have good and funny taste :) )
When Harry Met Sally
Freaky Friday
Waiting For Guffman (see?  my friends are awesome)
About a Boy
Sound of Music
Ferris Beuller's Day Off
To Kill a Mockingbird
Wizard of Oz
Fool's Rush In

Favorite Vacation Destination  (for a bunch of ladies who live in a warm climate, we sure like to vacation in other warm climates!  Probably says something about people who don't mind living where it's Hot)

Rocky Point (4 votes)
The beach (3 votes)
Hawaii/Kauai (2 votes)
San Diego
Road trips to see new things!
Cruise to the Bahamas
Universal Studios
Sun Valley Idaho (apparently we have one skier in our midst)
New England

Favorite Restaurant

(with only one vote each, we have no consensus here, but Mexican won hands down with 5 restaurants...again, living in Arizona, you gotta love Mexican food!)
Reyes De Las Tortas
Carlos O'briens
Chino Bandido
(Japanese came in second with three places)
Cherry Blossom
(and all the rest are all over the map)
Lone Star
California Pizza Kitchen
Texaz Grill
Melting Pot
Herb Box
Prospector's Skillet
La Grande Orange

Favorite Childhood TV Show  (we have a tie)
Bewitched with 2 votes
Little House on the Prarie with 2 votes
I love Lucy
Big Valley
The Monkees
Sigmund and the Seamonster ( a Sid & Marty Kroft fan but they don't pick HR Puffenstuff?!)
cinderella  - the annual one with what's her face (I have NO CLUE what this means)
Gilligan's Island
Charles in Charge (methinks someone has a Scott Baio crush)
Wallace & Ladmo
Sesame Street
Familes Ties/Cosby Show
Quantum Leap
Brady Bunch

Favorite Book

To Kill a Mockingbird (3 votes)
Pride & Prejudice (2 votes)
Life of Pi
The World to Come
Guernsey Litearay & Potato Peel Pie Society
Grapes of Wrath
The Kite Runner
Harry Potter (series)
Red Tent
Les Miserables
Cry The Beloved Country
The Help
The Hiding Place

(we're a pretty literate crowd...makes me happy)

It was awesome!

(if you're interested in seeing how this went my second year of doing it, check out that blog post HERE)


Cynthia said...

That seriously was a great idea for a party and you pulled it off superbly. It was a very fun evening for all! Thanks! It's always nice to be at your house.

Cynthia said...

You forgot Peanut Butter M&Ms. I've been enjoying mine all day.

Heidi said...

Seriously cool party. 17 out of 25 is a pretty darn good showing. So sad I missed out. Maybe I can make the list for the next one (wink, wink).

Lauri said...

Cindy called me to tell me about your party and then told me to read your blog for more details. this is seriously a fun idea and one I am definitely going to copy.

EmilyCC said...

This is a great idea for the long, long Phoenix summer!

Jill E said...

I love this idea! Was wondering how you actually go about switching items with people? Is it a random order, or just mingle until people find other things they like?

Bandanamom said...

I hope to have another post soon on this same subject, as I'm having another party this year as well! But to clarify on choosing: everyone gets 5 slips of paper and writes their name on them at the party. When it's time to exchange gifts we pass the bowl with the pieces of paper around starting randomly with one guest. That guest would hand out all 5 of her things by choosing five pieces of paper randomly from the bowl. So maybe she brought lipgloss - each person she picks from the bowl would get one of her lip glosses. If she happens to pick 2 papers with the same persons name on them (remember there are 5 pieces of paper for each person) then she would put one back and choose again. It works out perfectly that way because each guest takes a turn talking about what they brought and why and then passes out what they brought. And it's totally random what you end up getting.


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