Are you guys ready to get this party started? I can't wait to transport you to the Hampton's for our favorite party of the summer, Favorite Things! You may already be asking, what the heck is a Favorite Things Party? If you've been here before for Rosé All Day or our summer vibes party, you know it's only the best party theme around, and if not, let me explain!
What is a Favorite Things Party?
We first heard about a Favorite Things Party 3 years ago, when my best friend texted me she saw this cool party idea and that I should call my party partner in crime, Allison Carter Celebrates, to host our own. The idea is simple: each guest comes to the party equipped with 3 of their "favorite thing" that is a certain price point, it could be a favorite face wash, travel tumbler, home decoration or earrings, there are no rules, it's just something you love. Then, during the party, you end up picking 3 new favorite things that your friends brought to take home, and you end up with 3 new favorite things! I'll explain more below, but Allison and I were immediately sold, and the end of summer party tradition started. I look forward to co-hosting this party with Allison and Aleks Lopez every year!
First things first, the cocktails
Our friend group is a tribe of moms who all met 6 years ago when our first babies were born at a local hospital parent-baby class. I was blessed with an insanely amazing tribe that I am thankful for every day and have gotten me through the ups and downs of parenthood. With that being said, this party is a mom-only event, and the first thing I like to do in such occasion to celebrate, is to pour myself a cocktail.
The bar set up for this Hampton's inspired Favorite Things Party was so inviting and the first thing guests gravitated to when they arrived. The beautiful wall hanging Allison made gave the perfect beach house vibe and the delicious wines were provided for us by Goose Ridge Winery and Cascadian Outfitters. They paired perfectly with our signature drink, The Beach House and transported our guests straight to the Hampton's when they poured their first drink!
Each guest found their custom seashell drink tag, and later learned the custom colors were their teams for round 1 of gift picking! I loved the surprise when we told everyone to find the girls with the same color tags!
Take a Seat
After everyone had gotten their drinks, and dished up from the potluck style spread of food, we did our next favorite thing that mom's don't get to do often enough, and that is RELAX!
The seating areas for this party were actually my favorite part of the party for two reasons, let me explain. This year, we did something CRAZY, we *mixed* friend groups. Yup, who does that, right? Our tried and true mom tribe is the absolute best, but this year, Allison, Aleks and I had the privilege of getting to know a group of local mom-boss business owners and have forged a pretty awesome and inspiring friendship with these entrepreneurial women, we call ourselves the "bossy mommas" original, huh? We thought this party would be the perfect opportunity for these two worlds to collide! It was so much fun shaking things up, and with two groups of women this awesome, it was easy and instant friends among everyone.
One of these new bad-ass business friends and mom of 3 is Kendra, the owner of Linen and Ivory. She CUSTOM DESIGNED an entire pillow collection inspired by the Hampton's vibe of the party to bring these seating areas to life. I still can't get over how perfect they were and how much I love them. I'm currently lounging on the Seattle Pillow from her collection as we speak, and I love it.
Each seating nook had a fun beach pun inspired sign that I made, because if you know me, I'm such a sucker for puns.
My other absolute favorite part of the seating area was getting to reveal a NEW product that I debuted at the party, my custom acrylic signs. I am in love! It's really hard to share about a party without just detailing how much you love everything, but guys, I love these acrylic signs! They are new to my shop and can be personalized for any occasion or celebration, in virtually any size. If you have a wedding, bridal shower, party or even a company logo you'd like printed on acrylic, send me an email!
Our friends could also sit at this absolutely gorgeous tablescape that Allison set up! This girl has a vision and knows how to style a table. I'll be honest with you tho, it was so beautiful I didn't even want to sit at it and mess it up! I just wanted to stare in awe!
I did have a teeny small part in the table design, but I can't take credit for the idea. If you aren't familiar with Allison's business, Allison Carter Celebrates, she creates party planning guides that take the stress, hours and guesswork out of hosting themed parties. She outlines every single detail you need, start to finish to host your own party, and gives links to buy or DIY all the party goods (psst, that link above is to her Hampton's Favorite Things Guide). The sea glass place cards are from her party plan, and she provides the link to an adorable Etsy shop that sells these, or if you're like me and love to DIY, I made my own. There is just something so cool about having your name personalized at your seat. We couldn't decide between the personalized sea glass, or beach inspired rope balls with name cards, so we kept them both!
Another Allison Carter Celebrates tip is to repurpose and reuse. These awesome hanging lanterns were saved from my cousins wedding in Hawaii and were given a new life floating above the outdoor dining area.
I want to share one more detail with you that made this year's Favorite Things Party so special, and that is the giving back piece we incorporated this year. I do a lot of volunteer work for my friends at The Team Lilly Foundation, a non-profit started by childhood cancer survivor, Lilly. This little lady was born with cancer, and beat it, all before her first birthday. Six years later, she started her own non-profit to be the outstretched hand to other kids fighting and I've been fighting by their sides since 2013. Aside from the daily financial assistance and support they provide for cancer warriors and their families, they send over 600 care packages a year to cancer fighters. We asked our guests to bring socks to send in the care packages and I was overwhelmed with gratitude watching these baskets fill. Honestly, after the party, I took all these tubs home that were filled to the brim with socks and coloring pages our kids colored and cried. It was such a small and easy thing to do at the party, and just felt so good to be able to give back and make a difference in the life of a childhood cancer warrior. It is a gentle reminder as a mom, when life gets us so busy, to make sure we slow down and hug our babies, and don't take their health for granted.
Let the Games Begin
After that, I'll lighten the mood back up with a fake laugh group shot. Fake laugh pictures give me life and I love these women with all my soul, so they deserve their own moment!! Did we nail that fake laugh or what?
Here is how the "Favorite Things" portion of the party works: Detailed in each invitation was an instruction to bring 3 of the same item, valued at $30, unwrapped to the party. When everyone arrived, they put their items on display on a table that we set up with various risers and crates. During the party, everyone gets to check out what each person brought, and make their wish lists of items they want to grab first.
Each year, we try and mix it up as far as games and the choosing order goes. Allison's party plans outline all the details, but we find it best to split it into 3 different rounds and styles of picking. This year, round 1 was finding your team using the colored drink tags, then a round of "Pier Pressure" an ice-breaker type game I created. Since we didn't all know each other, we wanted to play a game that we could work in small groups to get to know the other moms. This was a questionnaire game that you got various points for having the same or different answers as people on your team. Since it is a group of moms, questions were things like "how do you drink your coffee?" "how many pairs of yoga pants are in your regular rotation?" "add 1 point for each year you've been married or each number of kids you have" It was a quick and fun way to get to know everyone. After all the questions were answered we tallied our scores as individuals and groups, then flipped a coin to see if the group with the highest score or lowest score got to pick first. The round 1 picks went in order of teams who had the highest group score, so group 1 headed to the table, and chose ONE item off. This is where the fun part starts, some years, there are items that are so popular, all 3 people from the first team choose the same item and it's gone before the second team even has a chance!
This year, I brought a gift box from my friend Leah, the owner of Mother Snacker, a curated box for moms that features items from mainly women owned businesses that help make the ride of parenthood a little sweeter. Let me just say that giant rice crispy treat was heavenly. Long story short, I picked my own gift (hey, it's my favorite) and devoured that rice crispy treat.
For the second round of gift picking, we went Project Runway style, and put all the sea glass name place cards into a bag and pulled out the random order. I snatched a clothing steamer, because I am terrible at hanging clothes and can use it to de-wrinkle linens for parties. A dual purpose gift!
Let them eat Cake
Remember how I told you about the talented "Bossy Mommas"? I also get to introduce you to another powerhouse mama through cake! Krysten, the owner of Lucy & Lemons is a majorly skilled baker (and a party planning extraordinaire) who brought this GORGEOUS (and delicious) cake to the party that stole the show on the dessert table.
We had a round of desserts before we started the third and final round of gift picking. Even though this party was in the middle of summer, you never know what you're going to get with Seattle summer nights. It was starting to look like rain, so we turned round 3 into a speed round, and that turned out to be my favorite round! We went back to our "Pier Pressure" ice breaker game, and flipped a coin to go in order of most points to least points, per individual score this time, instead of as a group. There were only 15 items left on the table, so you had to act fast this round!
We started with the highest amount of points, and worked our way down, with about 10 seconds in between each number, girls literally had to run to the table and dive after their items, and there were a few rounds that had ties, so two people ran to the table at once. There were a ton of laughs this round, and lots of clapping and cheering as everyone rushed to grab their last items off the table! I was ready to dive after an adorable Hearth & Hand stand and it was swiped right before I could get my hands on it, so I did a quick pivot and snagged an at home spa kit, complete with 2 face masks, rose water spray and reusable make-up remover wipes.
Believe it or not, the rain held out on us, so we were able to sit around the fire pit and finish off the Cascadian wine, and we wrapped up the night with a swim in the pool. It was absolute perfection and the best way to finish off the night.
I hope you enjoyed being part of our Favorite Things party through pictures this year. If you have any questions about hosting your own Favorite Things Party or need any paper goods, please reach out to myself or Allison, we'd love to help!
[Left to Right]
Allison Carter- Allison Carter Celebrates
Aleks Lopez- The Parent Essentails (and beautiful party photographer)
Kendra Farmer- Linen and Ivory
Krysten Klemesrud- Lucy & Lemons
Nicole McKinley, Palm to Pine Design
Glasses and Silverware: Balancing Balloons
Wine: Cascadian Outfitters and Goose Ridge