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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Time for Tea

There are so many talented and inspiring ladies that we want to meet in our city, so Stephanie has started hosting tea parties at her house, as an excuse to invite them over and get to know them better.

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photo by Chuck Travers @ 417Home

They are a fun way to mix & mingle in a unique setting. Stephanie has a large dining table and an even larger collection of mismatched tea cups, which just invites conversation and connection.

Each party is usually on a weekday morning, and caters toward women of every walk of life. It’s not just for ladies who brunch! Mamas, Entrepreneurs, Teachers, Artists, Do-ers, Bloggers, Retirees, 9-to-5ers, you name it.

Of course there’s tea in cute cups, French press coffee, scones, and Prosecco. She doesn’t expect any of her guests to bring something, but every once in a while a quiche or a bottle of Irish Whiskey shows up. They are never turned down.

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The last tea was a small affair, twin style. Stephanie invited me (her twin sister), and a set of creative twins who we ABSOLUTELY LOVE and wanted to spend more time with. It was a quiet lovely morning, and I got to hold a brand new baby. Win win!

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Want to set up your own tea party? Keep reading for more ideas!