Back in March, as the release date of my new book EAT MORE DESSERT neared, I began planning a large launch party downtown Seattle. We would hold it at a big party venue, invite everyone we knew, and promote, promote, promote. But as the planning began, I realized this huge party wasn’t my style. While I’d love to celebrate with each and every Seattleite that is a fan of my work, it felt funny asking people to come celebrate in my success. I know, I know, people like to celebrate others, but it still felt weird.
A few years ago I had seen a really cute idea on Pinterest called a “Favorite Things” party. The photos from this particular party weren’t amazing, yet the idea was darling. You gather up your most favorite girlfriends and invite them over to exchange their “favorite things”. I’ve remembered this party ever since I saw it, but haven’t had the time, or excuse to throw one. Well, now I did. The launch of the book would be the perfect reason to throw a Favorite Things party!!
I’d invite 25 of my girlfriends over to see our new farmhouse (most hadn’t been here since we’ve moved last fall), exchange our favorite things, and of course, celebrate the launch of Eat More Dessert. I was loving this idea already. The huge launch party in Seattle may have been fun, but I could make it so much more special celebrating with just my close friends on a much smaller scale. So with that, the big launch party was nixed and the Favorite Things party planning began.
First things first, invitations. My mantra has always been, the invitation sets the stage for a party. Minted created the most gorgeous stationary with chic gold foiled invites and matching address labels. I wanted each girl to squeal as they opened their mailbox and saw the gorgeous invitation waiting for them. I squealed just opening the shipping box of invitations! The back of the invites had all the info for the party. With the favorite things theme, you can really set any price limit or quantity you want. I thought more items would be fun, so we limited the price to $5, with each girl picking 3 of their favorite things, and bringing 4 of them.
Since it was a FAVORITE things party, I decided everything about the party should be my favorite. I called on my favorite florist Chelsea from Flora D’Amore to create beautiful arrangements for the event. As always, she nailed it. She put together THE most gorgeous succulents, hydrangeas, roses and peonies in these fantastic gold glittered jars I found on etsy. When I picked them up the morning of the party, the gal working said “Is it your wedding day?” I said, “No, but it feels like it!!” I’m praying these flowers never die. They’re that pretty.
For food, Cristianos made my favorite baked macaroni and cheese, and cranberry mimosa salads, miniature lasagnas, and spinach salads. MMMmm. For three solid weeks I scoured ebay to gather enough vintage milk glass ramekins and gold flatware so the food looked chic rather than a buffet style food bar. I wanted a special touch to everything, even the food. Who doesn’t feel special eating from gold silverware?
Since this was starting to feel a bit like I was planning a wedding, I decided I MUST have something fantastic to wear. Channeling my inner Carrie Bradshaw, I found this skirt on etsy and had to have it. There really was no better excuse to twirl around in a tulle skirt than to celebrate writing a book. Fisher, Olive, and Crosby went nuts for it too. That, or the fringe balloon garland.
My front porch greeted guests with a darling sign that read “You’re my Favorite” and as soon as they stepped into my entryway, a mint bar cart holding all my vintage hobnail glassware awaited them. We found the most adorable numbered glitter tassel wine tags, and perfectly coordinating paper straws wrapped with Minted’s paper flags that matched our invite. I wanted peeps to feel instantly special the moment they stepped foot into the party!
I had been searching etsy for all things gold and glittered and came across this darling shop that made handwritten prints with cute sayings. They were perfect to use in my entryway on my frame wall! I just replaced my family pictures with the prints! She even agreed to make a few of the sayings I requested. I think these are staying up for awhile!!
I replaced all my vintage postcards in my postcard holder with “ticket packages”. The packages contained party tickets, favorite cards, and glitter clothespins. Guests were directed to fill out their card with their name, and favorite thing they brought. The clothespins helped us attach the cards to the item, or assist the card to stand on it’s own. My dining room table had been transformed into our “favorite things” table. I filled it with an abundance of cake plates, wood crates, and boxes so each guest had a special place to set up their goodies.
I lucked out on the weather, it ended up being a gorgeous sunny day in Seattle. I couldn’t have been more excited to pull out my outdoor furniture and make an separate space for my guests to cozy up around my outdoor fireplace later in the evening with blankets, brownies, and sparkly gold cake pops.
And what’s a book launch party for a book called EAT MORE DESSERT without a fantastic dessert table?? I found these amazing fringe garlands on Etsy that made the perfect backdrop for the table. My friends at Wilton sent me a big box of fun product to try out for the table. It felt like Christmas when the box arrived. What a fun surprise!! They sent the most darling edible bows, edible gold glitter, and new spring cookie cutter set as well as their newly launched pre-filled icing packets. In addition to my signature desserts, I filled the table in with few of my favorites, Frost donuts, Snohomish Pie Company mini pies, and scattered Fran’s chocolates around the party. Lampshade Bash made the cutest custom cake topper for the party, an exact replica of the title of my book!!
Once the guests had all arrived, and everyone had placed their favorite things on the table, I thanked everyone for coming and explained how the process would go. Each gal was given 11 tickets. I didn’t want the party to feel like a tupperware party where we’d draw a number from a hat and that person could pick from the table. I also didn’t want to go around and ask each girl what they brought and why, hence the favorite things cards they filled out by my front door. So the way I planned to run the party was to let guests redeem their tickets hourly. That way the party was still casual, there wasn’t 25 girls racing to the table to elbow each other out of the way for certain things. The first hour the girls got to pick 3 items from the table. I found this adorable pink fringe and glitter banner on etsy and hung it with the Favorite Things agenda.
It’s amazing the treasures you can find on etsy. I found the most darling tote bags with glitter hearts and polka dots. We HAD to have these at the party. They were the perfect bag for the girls to collect their “favorites” in. So, so cute.
The girls got to choose 3 items from the Favorite Things table in the first hour, and 4 items the second and third hour. It was hard to choose, everyone brought super cute stuff! (Our price limit was $5, so people got really creative! I was impressed.)
My super star photographer and incredibly fun friend Kelly of KCB Photography not only attended the party, but captured the entire party on camera (she’s also the talent behind all the gorgeous photos in the book). Check out this backdrop she brought. Are you kidding me?! There is nothing I love more than gold and glitter. And these glittered photo booth props?? Stop. They’re amazing.
After all my guests had redeemed their 11th ticket, I told them to grab a drink, a plate of dessert, and find a spot on my sofa so I could bring their 12th ticket surprise out. I had told everyone they couldn’t go into the room upstairs that said “no peeking” because their surprise was in there. They all had no idea what was in store, except of course my photographer Kelly, my sister Emily, and my dear friend Wendy who helped me put this entire party together! Emily and Wendy were my Vanna Whites.
For an entire 45 minutes, I experienced what it must feel like to be Oprah. Emily and Wendy went up and down the stairs with boxes, baskets, and crates of amazing party swag. All my favorite things. As Wendy would begin down the stairs, I’d announce my next “favorite” thing and why I loved it. The girls screamed, they yelled, and a few may have even cried. It was SO MUCH FUN spoiling and surprising each and every one of my friends. From jewelry, to baking products, candles and beauty products, you name it, they got it.
For the grand finale “favorite thing” I told the group that Jesus is really my ultimate favorite, and gave everyone my FAVORITE Jesus Saves Bro baseball tees. This company makes the most darling tees with fantastic sayings! My photographer texted me a few days after the party and said “This is definitely my new favorite shirt. I’ve been in Target for 10 minutes and four people have already come up to me!!”
The party was truly was a night to remember. Surrounded by all my best girlfriends, favorite colors, foods, drinks, desserts, and gifts. I feel so blessed to have such an awesome support group of friends, some that I’ve known since grade school, or those that I’ve met later in my adult life. I can’t wait to throw another Favorite Things party!! My brain is already thinking different themes and reasons to do this again…Favorite Beauty products, Summer/Fall Favorites, a Christmas theme… my husband is going to leave me!
Each and every one of my Favorite Things was handpicked just for this party, and I want to share them with you!! Yep, I’m giving away a Jenny Cookies bag filled with all the amazing goodies I gifted at my book launch party!
Take a closer look!!
Clockwise from top: 1. Happy Little Lovelies darling beaded necklace 2. Sparkle Pop charm necklaces 3. Beaded Tailored & Polished layering bracelet 4. Monogrammed jewelry dishes from Susan Steele Meyer
1. Lexi’s Shop pink mason jar lids and striped straws 2. Wilton garden cookie cutter set, sprinkles, and floral cupcake liners 3. Vantjag mint earrings 4. Gold glittered mason jar (for use with striped straw and lid)
Enter to win a Jenny Cookies Favorite Things swag bag, over $500 value!!