These are a few of our favorite things…

Raindrops on roses
And whiskers on kittens
Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens
Brown paper packages tied up with strings…

With all the gift giving coming up, we thought it would be fun to gather with friends and celebrate our favorite things. Little treats and splurges that make our lives wonderful. Each guest was invited to bring ONE of their favorite items, priced under $20 and wrapped up nicely, to share in a gift exchange.

The more sparkle, the better?

We enjoyed crisp Belgian waffles with fresh fruit and flavored syrups. Hot tea with cold cream and pomegranate mimosas. And of course, each other’s company!

What would you bring?

Soaps, teas, facial oils, sparkling wine, incense, crystal balls, good books, cozy socks? Cream-colored ponies, warm mittens, lively houseplants, scented candles?

Here are some treats shared by our friends:

To Sip & Savor:

  • A big mug to savor your favorite tea, coffee, or as one guest likes to use hers for: CEREAL! {“You’ve never had cereal until you’ve eaten it out of a mug.” –Lori} These bubble mugs are from Polish Pottery, one of our friend Andrea’s go-to stores for gift giving. Check to see if you have a store local to you, or you can purchase online.
  • Roasted rosemary cashews, purchased from a local deli (although you could certainly make your favorite treat!) {Nancy brings these to any special gathering for an unexpected treat.}
  • Gourmet chocolate bars from ethical sources, like Askinosie Chocolate in Springfield, MO {I love that they pay fair wages and don’t exploit children. –Lyndsey}
  • Cocktail ingredients, including Luxardo cherries and Bittermilk No.3 Smoked Honey Whiskey Sour Cocktail Mix {All you need to add is some Jameson. –Miriam}
  • Favorite teas like Harney and Sons Tea – Hot Cinnamon Spice {I love this flavor so much I buy it in bulk! –Erica}
  • Gift cards to your favorite coffee shop {You gotta love coffee! –Missy}
  • And a Milk Frother to take your drinks to the extra level! {“They don’t seem like much, but they are the BEST things to have! –Christa}

For the Home

  • Iridescent Votive Candle Holders {I’m so obsessed with opal glass right now. –Stephanie}
  • Fairy Lights & battery operated tea lights {So your house can feel hygge all the time. –Stephanie}
  • Houseplants! {Specifically, a split philodendron} {“Can you have too many plants?” –Alex}
  • Bottle Brush Trees {“I’m obsessed! I have these for all seasons. –Ricci}
Ricci’s Christmas collection of Bottle Brush Trees

For pampering your pretty self

For the hostess with the mostess

So next question…what are some of your favorite non-thing things?

  • Reading by firelight
  • Late night dinner with friends
  • Sunny autumn walks
  • Skipping work to have tea (and mimosas) with friends
  • Breaking out the holiday decorations each year
  • Looking through old photos
  • A well-loved cookbook and making recipes from it
  • Doing something creative
  • Working on a jigsaw puzzle
  • A long hot bath
  • Going to the movies
  • The smell of brownies baking
  • Driving around looking at Christmas lights
  • Warm towels out of the dryer

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Backpack, Backpack

Remember when wearing backpacks with both straps on your shoulders was uncool?

21 Jump Street

{photo via Slate article, which makes me SO HAPPY that there’s been an investigative study}

Personally, I was almost always a two-strapper, because it was just more comfortable. I had A LOT of books in those backpacks, because…well, I was a classic nerd. And classic nerds used both straps to keep their backs upright (well…as upright as possible while still maintaining their low self-esteem poor posture).

Thankfully, the garment itself, a backpack, will never go out of style. It’s practical, it can be “cool,” and it’s easy on the back. A win-win-win!

Not even Semi-Homemade

If you’ve been following along, you know we love to entertain. Part of the fun is menu crafting, deciding what to make from scratch, what to collaborate on with the grocery store, and what to just unpackage and put on a pretty plate.

Last week Stephanie hosted a Bunco party for some friends, and because of her schedule, she didn’t have time to prepare much. But it looked like she did…

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Click to read more about easy entertaining!

Wine to Go Go

One summer evening, I joined a friend for an outdoor Shakespeare on the Park. It was a beautiful night, they were performing A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and the lawn was packed. My friend had already set up chairs and blankets and as I arrived, she handed me an insulated tumbler.

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Photo by JodyHongFilms on Unsplash

Ah, thanks, I’m so thirsty! After a big gulp and a little cough, I realized the giant tumbler she gave me was filled with cold white wine. She’s a good friend.

Party Time All the Time!

Add a little party to your day. Put light-refracting crystals in your East & West-facing windows, and at the two sleepiest times of day (8am and 5pm), HELLO DISCO!

It’s hard to be in a bad mood when rainbows of light are dancing in your house.

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Little tear-drop crystals are easily found at thrift stores, from old chandeliers. Or a strand of glass beads from the craft store. More options below!

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Chakra-inspired Crystal Suncatchers

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Put a layer of prismatic film over a window. My husband actually put this in his basement-office windows. Jealous.

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beads

Faceted glass beads, strung and hung work well too!

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necklace

Or even better, wear your party  all day long!

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It’s such a simple and beautiful way to add color to your life!

{featured Photo by Regina Valetova on Unsplash }

Indoor Picnic

The weather here in Southwest Missouri has been cold, drizzly, and not very spring-like. So for Easter Sunday this year, we decided to have a French-inspired indoor picnic. French wine, cheeses, a charcuterie board, home-made baguettes…the whole works.

Of course, we ate at the dining table, so rather than a picnic, I guess it was just French-inspired picnic-fare. C’est la vie. It. Was. Parfait.

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