Favorite Things Party

I LOVE having people over to my house. I love hosting things. From just a few people to a larger group I love opening the doors of my home and welcoming others into it. But I feel super self-conscious of our home. We have the same hand-me-down and IKEA furniture John used for years through university before we got married, our place is small and doesn’t accommodate large groups, there is nowhere for kids to go and play except in the middle of the living room, and we’ve long since outgrown it so it always feels cluttered and stuffy (to me anyways).  I want to have people over more often, but my hang ups about our house keep me from doing this as regularly as I’d like. {I’d like to acknowledge here that I’m grateful for my middle-class problems, I know it could be so much worse.}

Last Tuesday was my 30th birthday, and although I usually want to keep it quiet, this year I wanted to mark the occasion in a more special way. I wanted to throw myself a party! So I decided what the heck. I was going to invite over who I wanted and stop caring about how my house wasn’t a great space to host something like this. Who cares- its not like the friends I invited were going to judge me.  And I’m so glad I just went ahead and did it!

I eventually settled on throwing a Favorite Things party. My mom came up the day of the party to help with decorating and with the boys. I could not have done this without her! I used a printable party pack from The Dating Divas as well as a few things I picked up from the Party Store to decorate my kitchen and living room. The party pack also came with a few games, which made things super easy for me. I wish I had gotten better pictures, but these will have to do. We set out some of my favorite foods on the table, and a few guests brought things to share as well. We had strawberry lemonade, chips and salsa, crusty bread for dipping in olive oil and vinegar and a spinach artichoke dip, some of my favorite cookies, Lindt chocolates, apples with caramel sauce, and the German chocolate cupcakes my mom made and brought up. It was a good spread. I ended up with tons of leftovers.

The highlight was the gift exchange. Everyone brought a few of their favorite things, talked about what they were, and then shared them with the other guests. At the end of the night everyone went home with a little gift bag filled with other people’s favorite things. It was so much fun to see what everyone else brought. I’m really happy with the things I got, pictured above. A few of the highlights of the night were the makeup bags one friend sewed because she loves sewing, the little fabric nativity scene my mom made because she loves and collects nativities, the chocolates and recipes, and the friend who talked about her love of cooking Italian food and brought a recipe for homemade ricotta tied up with a little piece of cheesecloth. I gave little notebooks with a pen and a list of journal prompts, because I love writing and have kept a journal ever since I learned to write. It was so much fun to share our favorites and see what everyone else brought.

I’m really happy with the way things turned out. My favorite thing about the party was that it didn’t feel like a birthday party. I may have wanted to do something special for my 30th birthday, but I didn’t want to make a big deal about it because it didn’t feel like it was a big deal. A gift exchange where we all shared our favorite things with each other was perfect.

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