‘Ello! I’m writing to you after a loooong, wonderful weekend at the beach with four mom/church/friend friends (is “friend friends” a thing? Does every friend need an adjective?). As I was packing for our trip, my husband commented that I’d finally be able to catch up on all of my sleep. Yeah, well, movies, books, and chatty women — plus the missing ability to sleep past 8 a.m. — lead to less sleep than normal, not more!
Regardless, it was priceless to have the chance to relax on the beach instead of vigilantly keeping an eye on toddling toddlers. In addition to eating well (mainly M&Ms and ice cream because no tiny mooches popped up to steal Mama’s treats), shopping (too) much, playing games, and generally enjoying time together, we also had a favorite things party. I proposed the idea after I read about one on my favorite blog. Basically, here’s how it goes down:
Send out instructions to your participants before the party. Everyone chooses a favorite thing (or things if you’re indecisive like me) for $10 or less and brings two to the party. You can use $5 if you’d like, but we were struggling to find good, cheaper options. For instance, if you have discovered a great mascara, you purchase two, wrap them, and bring them to the party.
At the party, everyone places her name into a hat** two times. As the names are drawn, you end up taking home two “favorite things” from two other people. Obviously, you won’t end up with two of the same thing or your own favorite thing. Depending on the size of the group, you can raise or lower the price and the number of times everyone’s name goes in the hat. We had five women, so I chose the number two by happenstance.
It was super fun to see what everyone else brought, why they liked the products, and how I could use them for myself. I couldn’t come up with anything spectacular (and I went slightly over $10…), so I went down a more practical trail.
FYI, I’m making zero moolah off this blog, so these product reviews are 100% my own. Yes, I really have put this much thought into these household products. Because I’m that cool and efficient with my time.
Pledge Multi-Surface Everyday Cleaner
Yes, yes, I included a cleaner in my favorite things bag. I’m slightly ashamed considering my house is in a regular state of disarray (as I sit here and lounge instead of tidy). However, since most moms clean everything with a wet wipe and call it a day, this product is essentially the wet wipe of the “real” cleaning world. AND it smells AMAZING! Get the lavender and peach blossom. Full stop.
Burt’s Bees Vanilla Bean Lip Balm
I’ve been a Burt’s Bees fan for years. I don’t particularly care if my lip balm (is “chapstick” not a generic term?) is organic or natural or any other trendy buzzwords, but I can get behind this product. Then again “vanilla” is one of my personal buzzwords, if you will, so I was sold as soon as I spotted that little, navy-blue band at Walgreens. I’m determined to be the first person to ever use up a container of lip balm before I lose it. Is there some sort of prize at the bottom?
Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day Hand Soap
Y’all. If you keep walking by the Mrs. Meyer’s line in your local Publix (or, heaven forbid, some other grocery store!) cleaning aisle, it’s time to stop and discover something new. I’m not one of those women who gets a kick out of cleaning her house. Fixing dinner? More so, but spending the kiddos’ naptime vacuuming or decluttering? Eh, I’m sure it can wait one more day, right? Mrs. Meyer’s products smell so good that they give me a teeny tiny incentive to put down my novel and pick up a dust rag or mop.
I use Geranium Multi-Surface Concentrate on my floors and Honeysuckle Multi-Surface Everyday Cleaner on pretty much everything else (this started before I fell in love with the Pledge version above). I included the Lavender Hand Soap in my favorite things bag because what mama doesn’t need a calming shot of lavender throughout the day? Oh! I also use the Lavender Body Wash and Basil Hand Soap in my bathroom. Wow. I’m just now realizing how much money I’ve donated to this brand…
Ha! In surfing the Mrs. Meyer’s website, I’ve learned that Mrs. Meyer is a real person with the catch phrase, “Smells like a garden, cleans like the dickens.” Mrs. Meyer, I would like to treat you to lunch someday, as you sound sassy (my favorite trait in an older gal).
Pure Leaf Tea House Collection: Organic Black Tea — Wild Blackberry and Sage Flavor
OK, here’s where I went a bit over on my $10 limit. I purchased the tea before I remembered how much I love the lip balm, so I just included both for fun. I started buying these as a lunchtime treat before I began looking at the price. At my Publix, they’re around $2.50 a pop, so definitely not an everyday treat, in my opinion. However, the flavors are subtle and crisp. I’m a total fan. If you like iced tea, I say give it a taste.
I lucked out with some fantastic prizes myself (which is why favorite things parties are now my new favorite thing!) I scored a LoveHandle phone grip, which claims I can hold my phone with just one finger. I’m trusting my friend, Keri, on this one (hi, Keri!). My name was also picked for two Ulta Beauty cream eye shadow and liners, one in “rosy cheeks” pink and the other in “naked truth” (ha!) beige. In terms of make-up, I tend to stick to what I know (unless I have a friend selling a product, then I tend to fall in line. Lovin’ Arbonne at the moment!). I’ve never stepped foot into an actual make-up store (i.e. Ulta), so it’s been fun to try something new. Plus, my eyelids have never looked more glamorous!
So, the next time you have a girls’ night out or, if you’re blessed with understanding husbands and selfless mothers-in-law (like me!), a girls’ weekend away, propose a favorite things party. It’s like a white elephant exchange with no hurt feelings or drama, AND you leave with something cool not lame. Win-win, folks. Win. Win.
What products or items would you give at a favorite things party? I’m always on the hunt for something cheap, but awesome!
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