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how to host a favorite things party

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Ok, I don't mean to pretend I'm the authority on favorite things parties, but since I've been to two now, and I get so many questions about them, I thought I'd share all the nitty gritty in a blog post.

A favorite things party is where you get together with friends and gift each other your favorite things.

You'll want to carefully think about your guest list. I really wanted this party to be fun and filled with girls who would enjoy not just the process of picking out their items to bring, but in receiving others items as well. I didn't want this party to be a burden to them at all. I knew the wrapping alone for some of these girls would be thrilling. I ended up with about 13-14 girls.

It makes it much easier to be very clear on the invitation itself, examples help too! And of course a cute invitation makes it even better. I love Paperless Post for evites, and they have such great customizable option. Here's the details you can put on your invite: each person brings 3 items (these items are the same) with a $10 limit per item. If you for instance absolutely love lip gloss, you may want to bring 3 lip glosses, individually wrapped. They could be 3 shades, but they will all be lip gloss. Another person may love scarves, so she will wrap up 3 scarves, could be all identical or could be 3 different patterns. Don't tell each other what you've brought, it keeps the suspense fun!

That's the overall idea of the party, now for the decor. I like a theme party, who doesn't?!

To start, I decided to begin with all of my own favorite things. I wanted the decor for the night to be reflective of things I love. I started with a felt ball garland in the dining room. I ordered a stash of felt balls online and threaded a needle with embroidery floss. I left a few inches between each ball and varied the colors. Then I just hung with tape. Super easy. Or just click on the link and buy one! Even easier. ha. 

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Picking out the paper goods and utensils was fun. I am a fan of stripes, color and birds. Thank you Ikea and Party City.

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or the menu I knew I wanted to serve dinner, but I didn't want it too complicated. I decided to stay with the theme. I love soup and I love salad. Aaron made a big batch of my favorite soup, this lemon chicken spinach recipe. Chinese chicken salad from one of my favorite spots filled the salad (thanks mom!), and a friend brought a delicious artichoke dip with sliced bread. Easy and yummy. I love champagne so we served champagne and rose and lemon water and sparkling la croix for the non-drinkers.

For dessert I thought it would be fun to serve some of my favorite candy and chocolate bars. We all shared and so no one felt too bad about indulging since you aren't polishing off a whole candy bar on your own. Another friend brought a delicious cake from Sweet Lady Jane, an infamous L.A. bakery. And I made a yummy super easy dessert that I will be sharing soon. Stay tuned for the 3 ingredient recipe. Yes, just 3 ingredients.

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I'm not a huge game person, but this is really fun. I compiled a list of favorite things questions and had everyone fill one out, make sure no one writes their name. I read them off one at a time and we all guessed which person it belonged too. Include fun ones like 'favorite superhero power' and 'favorite celebrity crush’. If you’d like to use the one I created, scroll down to the bottom of the page, and I’ve included the pdf. Just click on it and you can download and print to use at your own party. 

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Now for the really fun part! Everyone needs to write their name 3 times on little scraps of paper and then place them in a hat or box. Then each person picks 3 names out of the hat (making sure it's not their own name or that they've picked the same person two times). Then it's present time. Starting with one person, ask who pulled that person's name. The three people will raise their hand so that she can pass out her items. It's fun to hear why it's their favorite thing. Then we all get to watch and oh and ah over what they received. We go around the room until everyone has passed out their things, and in turn everyone has 3 brand new favorite things they get to go home with. 

This time I still relied on my favorite store Anthropologie and stalked my item until it went on sale so I could stay in budget. My 3 friends received this egg crate, one blue, one yellow and one green.

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Just to give you some examples of what some favorite things might be, here's what the girls received at my party:

~flameless candles

~Madewell reusable market tote

~OPI nail polish

~Burt's Bees lip gloss

~mug and tea pack

~travel accessories

~liquor/champagne

~Anthropologie candle

~Lush bath bomb/soap set

~Anthropologie lotion

And I'm drawing a blank on the rest. But I assure you they were ALL goodies! I love girlfriends with good taste. There you have all the deets on how to throw your own Favorite Things Party. Now get planning! And if you've already thrown a favorite things party, I'd love to see it, so please leave a link in the comments so we can all glean from your ideas!

Here’s the PDF, just ‘Click to read’ and then you can download and print for your guests.