Thursday, December 19, 2013

A Few of Our Favorite Things

Last year on Pinterest, I saw a post for a "Our Favorite Things Party" and loved the idea. Over the years, I've had card exchange parties and cookie exchange parties but this sounded much more fun - boy was I right!

The invitation
To begin with, I picked a date and created an invitation.

Normally I would invite my close circle of friends but I decided to extend invitations to women I've met through the Chamber of Commerce that I thought I'd like to know a little better.

The rules were simple:

Pick your favorite thing under $6, purchase 5, wrap them up and bring them to the party. It could be a beauty item, a kitchen gadget, or something else. 

Then I had the fun of planning the menu and decorating the house. I scoured pinterest for recipes and decorating ideas.

And here's where I make an admission.....I'm not Martha Stewart and I cheated! 

Normally, I'd make everything from scratch and strive for perfection....making myself crazy with recipes filled with butter and cheese and bacon and deliciousness. I'd be worn out from baking, cooking, cleaning....this year, I focused on the one or two things I do really really well and then opted for some pre-made things to save me some stress.

The other 'cheat' I did was to allow my friends to bring something. I hate to throw a party and ask my guests to bring anything. It just doesn't feel right. I got over that this year. Everyone asked, "What can I bring?" My pride started to say nothing but truth is, money's a little tight and time's a little short so I started giving them ideas. It worked well and everyone thinks next year's party should be potluck!

The gifts pile up under the tree
Ok, on to the fun. The guests began to arrive and my little house was soon packed with amazing women and fun packages.

We started having a few drinks, eating some food, introducing eachother.

It was fun to have an eclectic group of ladies at my house and be able to introduce people who hadn't had a chance to meet yet.

At one point, someone decided to play "Six Degrees of Heather" and everyone talked about their connection to me.

I know how I feel about each of these women but it was really heartwarming to hear them talk about me (and a LOT embarassing haha).

There were women I'd met through my kids sporting events. Women I'd met through my ex-husband (he was a firefighter).
A woman I'd met when I purchased a black lab from her.
And of course, women I knew from work.

Me and Rachael  - she started as a volunteer
on my events and is now a good friend

They all had something in common.....beautiful, caring, kind, generous, and incredibly funny!!

Then the gift giving began.

Each of us grabbed our gifts, said a little something about our "favorite thing" and then drew five names to give the gift to. Each of us ended up with five gifts at the end. It was full of laughs and so interesting to see what our "favorite things" were.

We got socks, lotion, lip gloss, tea, candles, gift certificates for a book or a coffee, chocolates, champagne, kitchen hand towels, scarves, and rubber spatulas.

Laurie (in the middle) and her daughter Adrienne on the left- 
I know them through my ex-husband. Laurie and I fish together
each year. Cathy on the right - we met through our oldest
sons football careers:) 

But mostly we got a few laughs, lots of cheer, and the opportunity to celebrate friendship and the holiday season! I think this is a new tradition!

 A few photos from the evening:
Valerie (on the left) and I met through the Ford Family Program.
She's truly one of the most beautiful women I know. I'll write
about her sometime.
Angee (on the right) and I have a funny history. I dated her ex-husband and
when we parted ways, her and I have remained

Tashia (on the left) owns Tashi Soap Company - maker of the best lotion
on the planet. I don't know her well but I really like her.
Kristi (on the right) is one of my best friends.
I've known her the longest here in Klamath. Our boys are friends. 

Judi (on the left) is a new friend. I met her during a football game
when I realized she was the only mom in the stands louder than me.
Amber (on the right) has a son who's friends with Nate. 
Shannon (standing) sold me a black lab.  Melinda
(sitting in the middle) owns several wonderful stores and has
become a good friend. 

Amanda (middle) left her job at the Chamber, creating an
opening for me to attempt to take her place. Shari (right) and
I first met when her ex-husband coached Nate's
tee-ball team five years ago. 

My new favorite Christmas drink -
Peppermint White Russian yum!

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