Last week we hosted our second annual Favorite Things party! If you follow along on Instagram or Instastories, you got some behind-the-scenes action of setting up and preparing for the party as well as some live-shots during the exchange! We had a great time, it’s a fun girls night (#noboysallowed #untilweneededagrouppic) and a great opportunity to get to know your friends a little better by learning what their favorite things are!
If you’ve never heard of it, a Favorite Things party is SIMILAR to a White Elephant gift exchange – but more fun (with less rules) and all women (no men or kids!). Each guest brings three of one of her favorite things to exchange during the party. Today I’m breaking down how to throw a Favorite Things party like ours!
We used Evite to email everyone and give the details of the party. Online invitations are so helpful because you can see who all is planning to attend AND it sends reminders to everyone for you!
What to Bring
GIFT – Each girl brought 3 gift bags of their favorite things, and went home with 3 gift bags worth of our friends’ favorite things! Our price limit was $25/item. Some girls combined their favorite things to TOTAL $25 per gift which made for some fun themes. This can be done at any price point you’re comfortable with. We did 3 gifts for a total of $75, but you could do 5 gifts for a total of $50, or 3 for $45. It’s whatever works for your group of friends – and how many gifts you want to take home!
FOOD/DRINK – In addition to gifts, each guest brought a favorite dessert or wine to share. We’ll cover the food and some of my favorite holiday party recipes tomorrow!!
What to Wear
We changed it up this year and asked everyone to wear their PJ’s. Everyone looked awesome in their cozy best! It made for a fun and exciting atmosphere – and weird explanations to the Uber drivers that brought some of the girls home! Ha!
Gift Exchange How-To
Upon arrival, each guest dropped off their wrapped bag and then wrote their name on 3 slips of paper and dropped them in a bowl. When it was time to exchange gifts, we all drew numbers. These numbers determine the order we present our gifts.
Once we all have a number, Person Number 1 goes up and explains her gift, where she got it and WHY it’s her favorite thing. She then picks THREE names out of the bowl. Those three people get Person Number 1’s gift. If you draw your own name or if you draw the same person twice – you put that name back and draw again.
Unlike most White Elephant gift exchanges there are no “steals” or “freezing” rules. Because we’re all friends, there’s usually some trading going on at the end of the night – but it’s not part of the game!
We provided large gift bags for everyone to keep their goodies in as the names were drawn! This definitely helped keep things organized.
What Did People Bring?!
Gala Preparation Kit – In preparation for a night out (like our upcoming school gala), one friend brought Silicone Petals, Fashion Tape and Eyeliner! The petals were a crowd favorite at last year’s party and were a great gift to kick off our gift-giving!!
Kiehl’s Creme de Corps – I was the lucky recipient of this gift! Always looking for the perfect body lotion and according to this friend, this is “THE BEST” for daily use and you don’t need to use a lot. The 4 oz. bottle is supposed to last quite a while!
Tin of Favorites – This was a GREAT gift for those who got it. Our friend gave nice blanket scarf (ways to wear found here) which she fell in love with when living in NYC, pink nail polish because of her daughters and dark chocolate because… #darkchocolate.
Crossbody Bag – This is a similar bag to the one that was brought. I’m in total agreement that a good Crossbody is a FAVORITE thing! They allow us to be handsfree. This particular bag has a larger pouch for keeping mom-ssentials like the extra diaper, snacks and a small toy – in addition to all the other things we need!! I was excited to get this one as well.
Hair Tie Holder Bracelet – This little number was a popular gift! If your name was drawn you were given a choice of Rose Gold and Gold. The Rose Gold was snatched up first! These handy little bracelets are perfect for friends on the go. I know I often have a hair tie on my wrist for convenience, but it certainly doesn’t look very trendy for someone over 16. These bracelets class up the convenience for sure!! I didn’t get this one, but I’m hoping it’s in my stocking this year *hinthint*
Marc Jacobs Eyeliner – everyone has a make-up item that they swear by and one of my friends SWEARS by this eyeliner! It’s a “crayon style” that looks like a gel when it’s on and it’s all-day smudge proof. This was my third gift – I was one of the first to have my name called three times and tapped out early. 😉
Wine Tumblers – I don’t know what it says about my group of friends, but wine glasses were a popular gift this year!! Both the Corkcicle and Yeti cups keep your drink at the perfect temperature (whether wine or coffee or water – the real mom-ssentials) and both have lids to keep things contained! One of the Corkcicle gifts was a pearly unicorn color that’s BEAUTIFUL!! I didn’t get one of these, I guess I’ll just have to continue drinking my beverages at room temp!
Double Layer Umbrella – This is such a great update in Umbrella technology (if that’s a thing)! It opens outward to make getting out or into the car in the rain a dryer experience. It also has a cool arm hook for carrying it around while out and about. It’s certainly no Mary Poppins umbrella, but it’s really pretty and may make rainy days a little brighter!
Phone Battery Pack & Retractable Cord – in rose gold of course! We’ve all been there – the 20% battery that quickly becomes a 10% battery and you’re without your phone for the perfect photo opp or for an important phone call or text. After a stressful trip to Disney, our friend decided that having a traveling phone charger needed to be a Favorite Thing!!
Travel Jewelry Stacker & Bracelet – Can’t go wrong with travel accessories! For me, it’s always the thing you don’t realize you need until 10pm the night before your flight leaves and you can’t get to the store and Amazon Prime Now doesn’t carry it… This jewelry stacker is perfect for travel, it’s compact and sturdy. It’s a great gift!!
3-month Subscription to Birchbox – How could receiving surprise beauty products tailored to your needs and style NOT be a favorite thing? Subscription boxes seem to be all the rage these days and this is a really great and affordable gift for friends and family. BONUS – it’s the gift that keeps on giving because it’s 3 months so you’ll be getting boxes delivered well into the new year!!
Face Mask Collection – Beauty products were a no-brainer at this year’s party! I haven’t used ALL of these masks, but I know they work wonders for keeping your face clean, hydrated, refreshed and nourished! These are a favorite because it’s little-to-no mess and doesn’t take much time!
Baby Foot – have you heard of this?! People who have tried it, LOVE IT!! Apparently you put it on your feet and it (over the course of a couple weeks) schleps off all the dead skin and impurities on your feet – making them like brand new! Christmas is the best time to give this gift because it’s not something you want to do while wearing sandals.
Nickel & Suede Leather Earrings – These earrings have been popping up all-over everyone’s Instagram feeds and now three of our friends actually own a pair! The company offers a 3-pack gift set perfect for our party guidelines!! These are COMFORTABLE statement earrings. They’re “lightweight and life changing” according to the website.
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Candy Stripe Tumbler & Note Set – My favorite things are a Kate Spade cup that I posted about in my Stocking Stuffers gift guide and a collection of Post-Its for keeping organized. I use and love both of these items daily. I always try to come up with ways to stay hydrated and a fun tumbler cup is the first step! And, it holds enough so that I don’t have to constantly refill a smaller cup.
Looking back, I’d say the theme of our night was Rose Gold, Beauty and WINE #allthewine.
At the end of the night, just before it was time to go home, Houston experienced snow! Moms were calling Dads to wake up their kids to see it fall! We were all dancing around in our jammies and trying to get the REAL snow (not just flurries) on our InstaStories and Facebook pages. It was a fun and memorable way to end our night!
More Gifts for Girls
And because I’ve still been browsing, browsing for more gifts and for ideas for y’all too, I found more gifts (in various price ranges, but several under $25). A couple of these are favorite things I could’ve brought to our party (specifically the magic mascara and wet brush I use every.single day) and I love giving the Power Stone Bracelet as a gift (it comes in different colors so you can choose based on what color your friend wears most), but it’s $36, so it was over the limit for this particular party.
Robe • There’s something so nice about lounging around in a a cozy, soft robe and this “Teddy Bear robe” had me sold on the name alone!
Candle • I used to think a candle was a ‘boring’ gift to give, until I received one of these as a gift myself! Truthfully, I don’t think many people splurge on a really nice candle for themselves, so this is a nice luxury gift at under $25!
Pop Socket • I’m starting to feel my age when James had to tell me what this thingy that attaches to the back of your phone is called. But, whatever it’s called, I think I need it in my own life, so I’m sure your girlfriend needs one too! It helps you hold your phone when taking pics and collapses or comes off when you don’t want it there!
Fleece Pullover • I’m slightly obsessed with fleece pullovers lately and if you were to pop over here, you’d likely find me in one on any given day. I just got this one and is fleecy goodness! Seriously sooo soft!
Necklace • This delicate necklace is the perfect accessory for a bit of bling but in an understated way. It’s actually 5 necklaces in one and only $36!
Cardigan • You cannot have enough cozy cardigans this time of year. This one is super cute with pockets and comes in lots of colors.
Earrings • Yay for a darling tassel earring that is are gorgeous and lightweight. They come is several colors and really add that pop of interest to your outfit.
Pullover • For everyday errands, keeping warm or heading to the gym, this Zella pullover with a cowl neck is super cool with the criss cross hem. It fits TTS.
Bracelet • Like I mentioned above, this bracelet has been a hit with all my friends I’ve gifted it to and I have one too! It’s easy to adjust to your perfect size and looks great layered or alone.
Manicure Set • How cute is this little rose gold manicure set with glitter case. It’s a great size for travel too.
Wet Brush • Not only do I use this wet brush everyday, I have the mini one for Jordan. My hair gets so tangled and this brush and the It’s a 10 Spray is what I use each time after I get out of the shower to brush through and make it smooth. I also use this brush to section my hair when I’m curling it. It could easily have been my favorite thing and I also have a mini one in my travel case.
Mascara • I know I’ve been the happy recipient of makeup in the past and have ended up using and loving what I’ve received, so I bet your friend might enjoy your Ride or Die fave products too. If you like dramatic lashes, I swear by this mascara to give you the longest, thickest lashes ever! It has a curved brush and the bristles are perfect for lengthening and thickening. A little goes a long way, so I always wipe the excess back into the bottle. You only need one coat, but for EXTRA drama, let the first coat dry, then apply another. It’s the mascara that has kept me from wanting to get lash extensions again!
Flip Flops • I couldn’t live without this pair of flip flops! Not only do I wear them most of the year and every time I go get a pedicure, I also travel with them! They have the cutest designs and are really well made. Each pair I’ve owned easily lasts at least 2 seasons, and that’s saying a lot for how much use I get out of them!
If you missed my earlier Christmas Gift Guides, see them all HERE.
So now it’s YOUR turn, if you had a Favorite Things party, what would you bring?