Saturday, October 1, 2011

favorite things

Tonight is my post-birthday dinner out, and I'm sooo excited! At first, I'd planned a fancy-pants 5 course sit down meal at a wonderful place nearby, but it was expensive and planning-intensive and a bit joy-sucking. My most indulgent husband suggested I change it over to our favorite local Italian restaurant and treat everyone (his gift). Now, it's a no-stress, bring-your-own-wine girlfriend fest, and I think it will be a blast!

Rather than getting all stressed out about Martha Stewart perfection and planning of gift bags, I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to host a "favorite things party" (inspired long ago by the beautiful inchmark blog). I asked everyone to think of her favorite item that costs $5 or less and to please bring 5 of that item to the dinner. No matter how many people come, everyone goes home with 5 new things. I love this idea! It has inspired some real creativity. Some guests have taken it completely in stride, announcing "Done!" without hesitation. Others ask brilliant questions like:

"Can it be living?"
"Can the average cost per item be $5 as long as the total of the 5 items doesn't exceed $25?"
"Do the items have to be identical?"

and my favorite...

"I was going to be all intellectual and creative, but what I really love is chocolate.
Can I just bring that?"

One creative friend has worked herself into a frenzy, choosing the ideal $5 items and then packaging them to the hilt. She gets bonus points for presentation.

I love this idea. I think it would be incredibly fun to host a favorite things party twice a year. It's a great way to share little indulgences, and twice per year would take the pressure off finding the ideal item the first time around. I know I've gone 'round and 'round with it. A pre-paid coffee in a nice cafe? Chocolates from my favorite local maker? Homemade granola in nice jars? Recently, I've been making my own laundry detergent (that's another post), and I can get about 100 loads out of $5. Hmm...

This time, it was nail buffers. $4 at The Body Shop for beautiful, healthy, shiny, no polish nails.

I'm also cheating a bit (hey, I'm the host and it's my birthday!) and also giving everyone magnetic bookmarks from The Netherlands (purchased at the Mauritshuis when we lived in The Hague) and an Anne Taintor postcard. Just because.

Happy Birthday to me!

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