These are a Few of My Favorite Things

Happy Monday friends! We had our first real snow in Chicago this weekend and considering my car won't start this morning I am a teensy bit less than thrilled about it, but at least it's pretty outside. And thanks to my trusty iPhone, I can be on email for work until the hubs gets home to jump the car.

In other news, I had the best weekend ever. Friends in town, a really really REALLY fun wedding, breakfast at one of our favorite spots and my favorite girly afternoon of the year - The Favorite Things Party: Beauty Edition, hosted for the 3rd year in a row by the bestie.

Here's a little recap of this super fun event, which can sort of act as a guide to throw your own Favorite Things Party if you wish!

First up, of course, drinks! Bridget had an assortment of wine and I brought a couple bottles of San Pellegrino, but the real hit were these two holiday drinks she made. The one in the foreground here involved cranberry juice and Prosecco, and the lighter colored one behind it had cinnamon in it. Both were delicious, and I am nominating Bridget to send me recipes for both so I can post them here!

I always love going to Bridget's because she has delicious snack foods. These garlic toasts with tomato, mozzarella, basil and balsamic were not surprisingly my favorite finger food of the afternoon.

Obsessed with this little cheeseboard -

Another exciting snack of the day was decorated sugar cookies, which I WON (!!!) from local business Caroline's Kitchen Table! Caroline recently relaunched her business and branding, and to celebrate she hosted a giveaway for a dozen of her delicious decorated cookies, otherwise known as Sweet Caroline's. I was randomly picked as the winner by her adorable daughter, and knew that the favorite things party would be the perfect spot to showcase Caroline's cookies! Aren't they adorable?!

I told Caroline about the party and she created these little tags for us, which I thought were perfect for the party theme. If you need personalized cookies for a party or hostess gift, I cannot recommend Sweet Caroline's enough. You can view pricing and further details for ordering HERE.

After hours of girl talk, we finally settled in for the main event. So here's how it goes -
- Each girl picks what her favorite beauty product is that costs $10. If your favorite product only costs $6, you buy another product for $4 so it still adds up to $10. If your favorite product costs $25, you try to find a mini size of it for people to try!
- You buy one of your $10 product for each guest at the party. Because this can end up being a little pricey, Bridget always sends out the invite several weeks early so we can all plan for the cost, and she also keeps the guest list small so it doesn't totally break the bank. Usually, we end up with 8 or so girls, which means you spend $80 if you buy one of your products for each guest plus yourself.
- Everyone takes turns telling the group about their favorite product - how to use it, where to buy it, why they love it.
- As the host, Bridget always gets everyone a cute little holiday bag or bin to stash all of their goodies in, which is nice so you don't end up with a big pile of stuff to try and shove in your purse to take home!

This year, I brought 2 products, since the first didn't cost quite $10. I recently discovered Jenna Hipp nail and hand cream at Costco, and admittedly bought it for the packaging. I am also obsessed with lotion and carry at least one with me everywhere I go, so these hand creams were perfect for me. After reading about Jenna Hipp - green nail stylist of the stars! - I was totally sold on this product and quickly went back to Costco to stock up for the party.

The second little goodie I brought were little tiny tins (from the $1 bins at Michael's) with scoops of the rice flour "dry shampoo" I've been using obsessively. I'm telling you people - this stuff is life changing.

I always think about Oprah when we're handing out the goodies - You get a lip gloss! And YOU get a lip gloss!! You get a hand cream! And YOU get a hand cream!! I also love discovering new products that I likely wouldn't typically purchase for myself. Bridget handed out a lavender undereye makeup base that I'm already hooked on - a tiny little bit of this stuff brightens tired eyes like you wouldn't believe! Other goodies this year included the perfect purpley-gray Essie polish, a fancy deodorant, a REALLY great dry shampoo (used it this morning, loved not washing my hair on a Monday!), a face moisturizer I've been wanting to try for ages, lip glosses, and a hair product that I never knew I needed but am certain I'm going to love. Best way ever to round out a weekend if I do say so myself :).