Monday, February 18, 2013

 Happy Monday! This weekend we had a very special celebration for one our own! We celebrated up Tory's 29th Birthday! In our family, birthday's last a long time, sometimes up to 2 weeks. We have lunch with friends here, dinner with family there, drive to see others here, have others drop in at our we celebrate up birthday's in a big way. This year Tory wanted one of those to be a girls-only party based on a party she had attended earlier in the year called a "Favorite Things" party. She wanted to tailor that idea into Birthday Party form. 
 We decided to work along the Sound of Music song "These Are A Few Of My Favorite Things" and started with the invites. Brown paper packages tied up with string is one of the lines of the song so one side of the invite was brown paper while the other gave out the party details and how to play. It was tied up with Baker's Twine and a tag that looked like a "warm woolen mitten" was added that says "These Are A Few Of My Favorite Things". Finally it was placed inside a fun paper lined brown paper envelope! Click on the photo to see a larger image and the details of the invite!

Basically, as a guest, you buy 4 items that are exactly the same and that you love that cost under $10. Such as 4 bottles of your favorite color of nail polish or 4 pounds of your favorite coffee. Then you wrap each one up in a brown paper package, tie it up with string. One of these packages is for the Birthday Girl. She gets one of everything that everyone brings and so is properly spoiled! The other three will go to the three people whose name you draw out of a basket. So you go with four items and you come home with three!
 She even set up a framed set of the lyrics so that people who didn't remember the words would be able to see it again...and, yes, get the song stuck in their heads. We were singing it all day!
 We made up mini brown paper packages filled with her favorite candy, York Peppermint Patties, and tied them up with more Baker's Twine.
 They were set out with the lyrics, her Alice in Wonderland mini snow globes, her Mickey and Minnie figurines and her Mickey Mouse bowl filled with the fortune cookies for people to take home along with an Alice in Wonderland themed sign "Eat Me". Lots of her favorite things on the table.
 A simple flower arrangement was all that was needed to dress up a corner of the food table. The table was filled with food so it really didn't need a lot more decoration.
 On the "Packages Table" she set out a basket so that when people arrived with their packages they set them on the table and then wrote their name on three slips of paper and folded them and put them into the basket for the package swap later in the evening.
 There were LOTS of Brown Paper Packages. Most of them were bags that were filled with fun stuff, had tufts of pretty tissue popping out of the top of tied up with pretty ribbon.
But some of them were actually flat packages wrapped in brown paper and, yup, tied up with string! 
When the time came to do the swap Tory had everyone pick out 3 names from the basket. Then she opened up one of the packages, this one marked especially for her, and had the person who brought the "Favorite Thing" explain why it was one of her favorite things. Then they handed out the other three they had brought to the people whose name they had picked out of the basket.

 But first there was FOOD! We started out with two types of punch including this Ginger-ale, white grape juice and orange sherbet Birthday Punch. It was SO good!
 There were little spots of decoration that matched Tory's Favorite Things such as polka dot lanterns set up like Mickey Ears and a dark purple backed Rainbow Happy Birthday Sign.
 We both fell in love with banners this year so she made this one to hang over the window of the room where we opened our packages. 
 The table was full of Chinese food since that is also Tory's favorite. We were aiming for lots of color so even the sauces were part of our color scheme!
 These brightly colored square Happy Birthday plates and napkins just fit right in with the multi-colored chopsticks, food and drinks. It's the little details that complete the look.
The food was a hit. Lot's of Tory's favorites like Orange Chicken, Egg Rolls, Fried Rice, Walnut Shrimp and Mushroom Chicken as well as the Chow Mien. All of it came from Panda Express. Her Alice In Wonderland signs urged everyone to eat up all of the good food. We certainly tried!
 Even the bottles of water encouraged the Alice theme with their Drink Me labels! The red Mickey themed tray is one Tory made herself and it was a perfect way to serve up the paper straws for the water and the punches.
 The Cake Table ended up being in the same room that we opened the packages so that it was part of the decor in that room. So we set up it up on a low table with a "Let Them Eat Cake" sign that even has a cherry on it...definitely one of her favorite things! We used a plastic tablecloth for bunting tied up with tulle and curly ribbon. When you walked into the room you definitely knew that was a special area!
Even the cake was filled with Tory's Favorite Things. Each side of the cake displayed more of the things she loves in life. You can see all four sides over at the Cat's Cakes Blog
It was a Lemon Chiffon Cake filled with Lemon Curd Buttercream and her very favorite cake. This was Tory's piece!

The party was tons of fun, filled with lots of Tory's Favorite Things and a great way to celebrate in the last year of her 20's. We hope you got some great ideas for a "Favorite Things" party of your own. This upcoming week is Oscars! And, as a movie family we do it up BIG! I'll share next Monday!


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