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Holiday Parties & Favorite Things

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Holiday Party (Sunny Side Up)

{kitchen sources}

Happy Friday! We made it to the holiday break! My kids are out of school and we are officially ready for Christmas. Well.. a few things still need to happen first including all of the wrapping (sigh.. I love years when I start that early but this was not one of them!). It’s ok.. I have my holiday tree tags printed and it will get done! Right now I’m just so happy that I get to sleep in tomorrow. That is seriously all I want for Christmas at the moment! Ha.

I realized this week that I never shared pics of my holiday party this year! I had it a week before Thanksgiving and loved doing it earlier. The only down side was how busy it was getting my house 100% decorated in time, but it was such a fun way to kick of the season early. I called it a “Kick off Christmas Pajama Party” with the theme of gratitude. Last year the theme was self care – you can see details on last year’s party here. I always choose a theme and we always wear pajamas. No surprise there. :)

Holiday Party (Sunny Side Up)

{family room sources}

I’m horrible at documenting parties that I’m hosting so these pics aren’t great! They were just all I had on my phone from the party.

Michael Bublé was invited of course. :)

Holiday Party (Sunny Side Up)

{soup chafer station}

I served salads and a charcuterie board from the same place I ordered from last year and then once again my cute friend Katy made her baked potato soup. It’s my favorite thing that she makes and I beg for it every year! She always wants to be creative and switch up the menu for my party but I won’t let her. I love her soup too much. And I’m a creature of habit. Plus I just love her soup. Did I mention that already? :)  Last year when I shared pics of my party so many of you asked where she got these beautiful soup chafers! You can find them on Amazon here. Perfect for hosting.. they will keep soup or anything you are serving hot all night!

Holiday Party (Sunny Side Up)

I used these beautiful marble top servers to hold dessert! I decided to order cheesecakes from the Cheesecake Factory this year (always a good thing). One was plain with strawberries so we could have a little red and then one was pumpkin to get our Thanksgiving fix. ;)

Holiday Party (Sunny Side Up)

A close friend made this holiday dessert and it was so delicious! It’s part of the reason I traded my jeans for joggers a few weeks ago. (In January I’ll be singing hello treadmill my old friend..) 

Holiday Party (Sunny Side Up)

House decorated – check! Kitchen clean – check! Food out – check! Pajamas on – check!

Let’s do this.

Holiday Party (Sunny Side Up)

Holiday Parties (Sunny Side Up)

{kitchen sources}

The best night with friends! I had 3 tables set. This dining nook, my formal dining room, and then I used the table in my craft room too.

Holiday Party (Sunny Side Up)

I got these cute bookmarks ready ahead of time.

Holiday Party (Sunny Side Up)

Then I put them all in gratitude journals to give to my friends.

Holiday Party (Sunny Side Up)

{gratitude journal}

I talked about how I sent this gratitude journal to El at college and about the difference this book made in my life when I was going through a hard time after we moved to VA. You would think writing down 3 things you are grateful for each day wouldn’t change much, but it really does start to shift your perspective. Physically writing things down vs. just thinking about them makes a difference too. Have you ever tried it? I love these particular gratitude journals because they are simple and get to the point. A lot of gratitude journals have affirmations and places to write thoughts and journal and while that’s great, I think that’s hard for most of us to make time for daily! This book just has 3 lines for each day. Something manageable that most of us can pull off.

After rambling on about gratitude for a while I channeled my inner Oprah and tossed each person a book exclaiming “you get a journal and you get a journal!” Ha ha.. not quite a car but still. I do that every opportunity I get. ;)

Holiday Party (Sunny Side Up)

Last year I handed out cozy socks.

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With this note attached.

Holiday Party (Sunny Side Up)

{chunky wool/jute rug}

We had a hard time getting everyone together for a picture with people coming and going but Kenny snapped this with some of us! So grateful for all of the good friends in my life.

Holiday Party (Sunny Side Up)

And for all of the good cheesecake in my life too. :)

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And after.. the sign of a good party!

Holiday Party (Sunny Side Up)

I’m always so happy staying up late and cleaning after the party. So many of my friends try to stay and help me clean up but I eventually send them all home! I turn on Christmas music and load the dishes with a big smile on my face after such a fun night with people I love. :)

Holiday Party (Sunny Side Up)

December brought even more get togethers including 3 more Favorite Things Parties! For one of the parties we were supposed to wear all black or white or pearls. I was a renegade and wore these green faux leather pants with a black top (I just felt like a pop of green was needed somewhere!). Then I wore my reindeer onesie to the ugly sweater Favorite Things party breaking the rules once again. Hopefully they’ll all still invite me back next year. Ha.

Holiday Party (Sunny Side Up)

Aside from connecting with close friends these parties are the best for getting lots of fun gift ideas! I feel so bad I didn’t get these gift ideas out to you sooner in time for Christmas (although some of these Amazon items might ship overnight!). Better late than never I guess. I hope they are still helpful for post holiday gifts or maybe you’ll find something fun for yourself! I’ve already ordered and tried so many of these items and am obsessed just like my friends. I’ll share some of my recent favorites in the new year!

I’ll be back one more time before signing off for Christmas. Good luck finishing up all the things! :)


1-hair wrap towel   2-it’s a ten   3- getting past your past   4-moroccan oil

5- hair mask   6- hair brush   7-supergoop sunscreen   8-dry shampoo

9- mini waffle   10- tree cutting board   11- glowing body oil   12-ponycap

13-candle   14- lip duo set   15-hair dryer   16-anti-frizz spray

1-battery operated candles   2- hergreens   3-bread knife

4-tumbler   5- eyelash serum   6-personal heater   7- hair finishing stick

8-cheese board   9-dishwashing liquid   10-fashion tape

11-packing organizers   12-dutch oven   13- drinking glasses   14- sunscreen

1-apple slicer   2- pocket blanket   3- the confidence code for girls

4- scoop   5- dandelion tea   6-sun bum   7- salt and pepper grinder

8- satin pillowcase   9-mascara   10-avocado slicer   11- jo malone

12- holiday candle   13-purpose cleaner & hand soap   14-lip balm

1– handheld mirror   2-mascara primer   3- lip sleeping mask

4-mascara   5- lip balm   6- sugar lip set   7-plumping lip polish

8- whitening toothpaste   9- Mac lipstick   10- gel moisturizer

1- lip balm & scrub   2- bath bomb   3- lip & tint set

4- hydrating serum   5-fur blanket   6-gift set   7- supergoop

8-  jewelry cleaner   9- olaplaex no. 9   10-unite hair 

xoxo, Erin
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14 thoughts on “Holiday Parties & Favorite Things

  1. What fun times you have had with your friends, Erin. It’s a great reminder that we all need that connection and it’s worth the time and effort. I think it’s great you are a gentle rebel, too. Thanks for sharing the goodness. You are a gem.

    1. Ha ha! Gentle rebel made me laugh. ;) Thank you Jeanne! I’m so grateful for your support and friendship! Wishing you all the best in the new year! xo

  2. I’m planning to do a favorite things party next year – I went to my first one this year and loved it but I’d be interested to hear the logistics for each one you go to and if they run the same or differently.

    1. They are so much fun Lindsay! Each of us do the gift part a little different. I’ll try to explain all of the options in a blog post at some point! xo

  3. Erin,
    What a lovely group of women! I love that your kitchen was again “hit” just a bit, too ;-) You ARE so relatable, but the messy kitchen makes you 100% more so! Also, something else the same. You, like me, gently shove them all home so you can do the clean-up yourself! SAME! SAME! HOW I relate to THAT! Me exactly! Well, we know WHERE everything goes, right? We know WHAT can be in the dishwasher and what cant……. For you, I know the “alone time” in that magical, fairy land, Christmas Kitchen with Christmas music and a scented candle must be bliss. I am sure I am not the only one who has just a bit of envy of that space BUT in such a GOOD WAY! I am so happy you have that space and the decor talent to make it what it is!
    Erin, your wonderful post, such a nice break for me, in the middle of house clean up after finishing the decorating and madly searching for gifts I put away EARLY and running out again for things I forgot (or couldn’t find in some obscure “hiding place”) and starting the wrapping /bagging (New England seems to be in a holiday gift bag shortage, or I am just too late!) You are like a good cup of gourmet, herbal tea and a fab decorating mag or coffee table book plus a chat w/a good friend. ALL IN ONE! Well, I DO have to MAKE the cup of comforting herbal tea MYSELF, but you provide that CALM DOWN moment you get from a chat with a good friend and the fab. decor book or mag! Can’t tell you HOW many times I have felt this way! A talent, you have, to be sure. I have too much to do still, yet here I am reading your blog. Again! Well, I just went on email to check on a bill! There you were! Couldn’t resist! :)
    PS. I know you linked them once, but where are your cream color plates with evergreen trees on them from??

    1. Sherri you’re the sweetest! That might be my favorite compliment I’ve ever received! Tea, a fab coffee table book and a chat with a good friend. I love it and am so honored you feel that way about me and my posts. :) I feel the same about you and your kind comments! I always drop whatever I’m doing to read them! Sometimes I can’t respond right away (this December was next level crazy! My own fault for not getting enough done before the madness hit!) but I see them come in and read them immediately and they ALWAYS make me smile so big. YOU have a way of making people feel comfortable and loved. Plus you are funny and always make me laugh! A talent for sure. :) I’m so grateful for your support and friendship this year! And I love that you send people home after a party too. I just want everyone to have a night off! And yes.. always the best getting lost in cleaning after a fun night with a scented candle! You get it. :) Those tree plates are from World Market! I’ll add a link to the post they are linked in.. so cute. Happiest holidays Sherri! Wishing you all the love and joy in the new year! XO

  4. This year I had a favorite things party and handed out socks and handmade soaps at the end. It was a huge hit. The weather in Iowa was terrible that night and I still had a huge turnout. Can you tell me how you worded your invitation this years party? I love the wearing PJ’s idea and your journal idea.

    1. That sounds so fun Susanne! I’m so happy your party was a hit! Below is the exact message I had on my evite. :) I hope it’s helpful! Happy New Year!

      Let’s kick off the holiday season with a night of food and friends! Dress code: pajamas of course! Wear Christmas pjs or regular pjs.. as long as you’re cozy. :) The theme this year is gratitude (since we love Thanksgiving too). ;) Bring one gift (around $25) to give.. something you are grateful for! We will share our gift and why we are grateful for it so use a gift bag or simple ribbon to wrap it (so that we can see what you brought and all get gift ideas!). I’m so grateful for each of you and can’t wait to have you over to celebrate the holiday season! XO

  5. Erin, I love your blog. I so enjoy going over each detail that you share with us. You have such a lovely home and decorate it so beautifully. Thank you for inviting all of us along for your journey. I’m considering a holiday party this year and love all of the food you have served the past couple of years. Can you share which grocery store that you get your platters from and the potato soup recipe as well! Thanks in advance.

    1. Thank you so much Melissa! You are the sweetest! That made my day. :) Are you in San Diego? I get my charcuterie platter and salad from Seaside Market in Cardiff and the desserts from Susie Cakes! My friend Katy makes the potato soup every year.. I’ll ask her if she’ll share the recipe and try to post it this year! :)

      1. Thank you so much for sharing. I live in North Carolina. You had said you didn’t have as many pics so I thought I’d look the grocer up and see if I could find a comparable store that had similar platters where I live. You inspire me with all of your holiday decor, food and festivities throughout the year.

        I even had my husband put up a framed shiplap wall but can not for the life of me figure out how to share a pic with you. Either way keep thanks again for sharing!

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