Tuesday, January 22, 2013

How to Host A Favorite Things Party

(Most of) my favorite ladies with their loot!
This post is a part of the 2013 Bucket List series, in which I tell the whole world my goals so I have to complete them. You can read the original post here. 

This is the second post about the FTP. To get caught up, read this post  first, where I explain my goals and share invites + tips.

Here is an update on one of my 2013 goals:

Throw a Favorite Things party

We finally did it! The FTP finally happened! I've been wanting to do this party for months.

I'm going to be honest and say that I planned it and had it on my radar, but purposely didn't do much planning until the day before the party. I tend to get pretty stressed out about dumb stuff sometimes, and I knew that if I let myself start planning early, I would just stress for weeks. Dumb, I know, but that's how I am. Everything turned out pretty great! Here's a breakdown of the party in case you would like to throw your own.

Socializing before the festivities

Once I figured out I wanted to do this party, I knew I couldn't do it in my small apartment with two small couches and one (yes, one) chair. My cousin volunteered to host it at her house, which was a big stress relief for me. I designed the invitations on InDesign and made a Facebook event. If I were Martha Stewart, I might have made real invitations and sent them out and had RSVPs, but I like to tread that fine line between fancy + lazy. The Facebook group was great because I could see who RSVP'd, and gave people the option to bring a friend (I always like to have the option to have a wingman), so they could just click a button and invite other people. Every week or so I would post a quick update on the party to gently remind people about it. 

For food, I wanted to keep it simple and snacky. I decided to bring all my favorite foods, so we had waldorf salad, pretzel rolls from Costco, chocolate covered strawberries and homemade lemonade (so much better and cheaper than bought lemonade). I posted and asked people to bring their favorite foods if they wanted to (a couple people did) but planned on being the only one bringing food. I planned for twice as many people, which helped me have fun during the party because I wasn't worried we'd run out of food. Now we just have my favorite foods as leftovers.

I got all my decorations at Target, most of the food at Costco, and the table wear at the dollar store. My friend came with me and I kept getting excited about the glorious cheap + cute decorations at Target. Bring someone shopping with you to reign you in and to bounce ideas off of. 

Even though I didn't plan too much ahead of time, I was thinking about what I'd bring for my favorite thing for days. I was going to bring Oprah magazines, but my friend reminded me that some people don't like Oprah, and that most people know about it, and if they wanted to read her magazine they'd buy it. 

So I brought these cute notecards. I grew up in a house where you write a thank you card for everything, so I always have notecards to spare. If you don't have them in your house, you'll probably forget to write that thank you and then one night you'll wake up in a sweaty panic because three months ago you were supposed to send that out and it never happened and now that person thinks you're an ingrate. That's how my brain works. Always always have notecards in your house.

I also bought gift bags for everyone to put their loot in. It was a great touch that I got from another blog! That way everyone had something to carry their stuff home in.

Loot bags + name tags 

We cut up 5 strips of paper for each person and their wrote their names on them and put them in a bowl. While everyone was going around the circle introducing themselves, I walked around and gave everyone 5 slips of paper with different names on them.

At each person's turn, they explained their favorite thing, then gave those 5 things to people who had their names in their hand. 

Rachel got an Alfred Hitchcock movie! 
Jeannette trying on her cozy socks from Rachel.
It was fun to see what everyone brought! It was a great excuse to get together and give each other gifts. And now my friends from different circles know each other, which is a plus for me. I love introducing awesome people to other awesome people.

Kristin explaining her 5 things.
Becca explaining her five things (B+BW lotions)

Since this was my first time throwing this kind of party, there was a learning curve. I'm excited to throw another one in the summer and make it even better! 

I had a great time planning + throwing this party! My friend commented that I'm so put together and throw awesome parties. In reality, I do stuff like this because I hate winter and needed something to distract me from having winter blues + give me an excuse to see all my friends that I never see. It was a great time! If you throw your own party, I'd love to hear about it. Email me @ kelliemrowland(@)gmail(dot)com.


Make an invitation + facebook group
Invite friends who you think would get along. Make sure everyone knows at least one person.
Think of your favorite thing to bring + buy it.
Buy + make food. 


5 favorite things
Kitchen ware (plate, utensils, cups, etc.)
Name tags
Party bags to take loot home


Make sure everyone has a nametag on. 
Set up food beforehand so people can eat when they get there. It gives them something to do if they feel nervous.
Give people time to eat + mingle.
Pass out names.
Introduce people to each other.
Explain the rules.
Take turns explaining your favorite thing and passing it out.
Let people stay as long as they want to socialize.


Sally Hansen quick-dry top coat
wool socks for winter
boba tapioca pearls
favorite movies
favorite food treats + candy
tried and true recipes
favorite books

Have fun @ your party! 

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