Monday, December 11, 2017

Holiday Favorite Things Party

A favorite things party is now one of my very favorite things. For forever I've seen people post about them, I've heard people talk about them, but apparently I've never been someone's favorite enough to get invited to one (Ha!), so this year I decided to host one! 

My girlfriends and I are pretty religious about getting together as often as we can, and for the most part there is a standing weekly invitation for anyone that is available (thanks to the great planning of my long time gal pal, Baili). So, when I was mentioning to my husband about wanting to host the party he suggested an invite list of his "guy group" of buddies and their wives. Which we both agree was a great idea, because I don't see them as often. 

So I put together a cute little invitation and sent it out via text .. because I'm classy like that (and really because I totally planned it last minute). It included all the necessities like date, time, etc. and also these 8 detailed instructions:
  1.  Think of something you love that is $10 or less
  2. Purchase 3 of those items (so three of the same thing)
  3. Bring all three to the party - WRAPPED (the same)
  4. Mark them - Guy or Gal
  5. Come on over to our house - Festive Attire Encouraged
  6. Eat, Drink, + Chat with your Pals
  7. Indulge us in a new holiday soiree
  8. We'll explain the rest when you get here :)
And that was that - I did a little leg work on the backend, but mostly just set up and let everyone else do the work! And here's how it went. 

Festive Attire - Check.
Sweater that holds a can, Check, Check. 
Gift table - yep. 
When everyone arrived they had to fill out (1) card with their name and their favorite thing and place it in the center bucket. Then they had to fill out three blank cards with their name only and place it in the Gals or Guys bucket.
Then when it was time to play (Shane drew from the center bucket first) and announced who was to go. They stood up explained what their favorite thing was, proceeded to draw three names from their respective bucket (guy or gal, pending which they were) and hand out their gifts. It was SOO fun to see what everyone's favorite items were! 
The gals brought: Aviate baseball hats, rosewater spray, coconut oil, wine, hand soaps and lotion to name a few. The guys brought: NyQuil (insert laughing face), cigars, face lotion, razors, booze, and coozies as some of their favorite things. 

To spice it up a little bit, we had a couples gingerbread house decorating contest, and let me tell you - IT WAS HILARIOUS. Talk about couple's therapy. I purposefully unpackaged them and did not provide instructions - to ensure they would have to talk it out. We had a 15 minute time limit and there was so much shouting, laughing and banter, it might have been my favorite part of the entire night. 
I gave every family a name for inspiration and had everything pre cut and ready to go so it was just start the timer and roll. 

Also, can we talk about Trent's sweater. Straight out of the 90's and I LOVE it. 

The finished masterpieces -- we played it like one of those cooking game shows and started a countdown and made everyone run their's to the table before the timer went off or they were immediate disqualified. Also, hilarious. 

Gotta hate when the foundation cracks :(

And the winner: The Walker Whereabouts. They didn't even put it together right, but there ya go -- gotta be a circle in a world full of squares and you come out better for it! 
I kind of failed at taking a lot of during the party photos, but we were just having so much fun! If you're looking for a part idea, I highly recommend a favorite things party. I'm probably going to host one every year from now on, because I'm slightly obsessed! 

Happy Holiday (Party!) week! I feel like everyone I know has a holiday party this week. Are you going to one?!

Thursday, December 7, 2017

It's Beginning to Look ...

A lot like Christmas! And it feels like it too! Brrrr! We've officiall decorated the house .. and just maybe it's enough inspiration to actually share a home tour (mayyybe).

And last weekend we spent the weekend in French Lick with my dad's side of the family celebrating Christmas. It was the most magical, fun (insert all the great words) here weekend!
The kids and I arrived a few hours early and shared some Diet Coke and carrot cake with Papaw.

The we put on our matching PJs and headed to board the Polar Express! While waiting to board our train car we wrote letters to Santa (and I was super surprised at the kiddos requests!).

We picked out our spots on the train and settled in to make our way to the North Pole.

Lainey is still boycotting photos :)

Well, sometimes.

The whole ride is about 1.5 hours and you head through the Indiana forests. There are dancing and singing elves that entertain you, and serve you cookies and hot chocolate.

Once you make your way to "The North Pole" Santa boards the train and the kids go CRAZY! They're so enamoured with the whole to do!

After we arriving back to home base we wrapped the night with way too much pizza and bowling!
After the kids got a (ahem) full night's sleep, we had a big ole breakfast and then headed to watch the choir carol in the atrium of West Baden.

Then the younger little's took a quick nap, the older ones got ice cream and we made our way to ride the ponies!!

Lainey was EXSTATIC and rode Trixie.

Bennett patiently waited for his turn and was atop Sam.

After we had our fill of the ponies we headed to view the grounds and once again visit with Santa. Trolley rides were everyone's favorite.

And we wrapped with a grand finale dinner at Hagen's on a spectacular golf course view. And let the little's open a few gifts in the atrium before calling it a night.

It was the very best start to the Christmas season and we can't wait for more celebrations this holiday! A special thank you to my parents for planning such a great getaway and giant hug to all of my family members that's shared in all of the fun memories with us!!