Last night I hosted my annual “favorite things” party & gift exchange with the help of Nico and Lala. If you read my holiday tips & tricks post, I alluded to this party there as well as showed off the adorable invitations the ladies whipped up for me! This type of gift exchange is similar to a “secret Santa” except you bring along one of your favorite things aka it’s like shopping for yourself.
There were lots of bows, striped straws and naturally, toasting involved in last night’s festivities. Nico and Lala made my vision come to life with the design and party swag for us all. I’ll let the photos speak for themselves and more party details below.
The signature drink for the night was a little cocktail I created and appropriately named.
- White Wine or Bubbly (up to you how heavy the pour)
- Splash of cranberry juice
- Splash of sprite + blood orange soda
- Garnish with fresh rosemary & cranberries
To each champagne glass, I attached a number and passed out drinks upon friends’ arrival. These numbers were later used to help determine the order of the present picking…and stealing.
To accompany full glasses of Christmas cheer, I also served a few signature homemade desserts & salty snacks: red velvet mini cupcakes, peppermint marshmallow cheesecake bars, hand dipped chocolate festive pretzels and gingerbread truffles. Oh yes and a cheese board for yours truly. (Email me for the recipes!)
After we consumed far too many sweets, the gift exchange began from a pile of very sought after “favorite things”.
GIFT EXCHANGE RULES:
1. A gift can only be “stolen” 4 times (there were 20-something of us, normally this is just 3).
2. You can’t steal back a gift or go home with your own.
3. Whoever picks first, can go again at the end.
What was my favorite thing? A 2014 Nico and Lala desktop calendar, of course.
After the exchange, I brewed up some hot hot chocolate and we each made our own customized drinks from the “bar”.
(Cathy with her masterpiece of a hot chocolate.)
Probably not too surprising if you follow me on instagram, but one of my other favorite things is homemade hot chocolate. I wrapped up a single serving for everyone to take home complete with marshmallows & candy canes. These served as the party favors for the evening, however, I think I might be the only person past the age of 8 that still enjoys a good party favor.
Follow along on instagram for more photos from the night with the below ##.
Special thank you again to Nico and Lala for designing and providing all the fun party swag. If you’re hosting a birthday, baby shower, bachelorette weekend or getting married, these ladies should be your go-to! Plus, they have adorable stationery and other fun products.
Stay tuned tomorrow for the start of a new series + a DIY Ornament idea!