I’ve been hosting a scarf swap at the start of the Holiday season for about six years now. Last year I did a “snow” theme and this year I simply was inspired by a “red & gold” color scheme. The group of ladies is always different and each year I find myself taking a new approach to a familiar tradition. This year I kept the food simple, invite list small, and decor snazzy but easy. My mom graciously let me use her home and I got to do all my setup while the rest of my crew watched football. Great way to spend a Sunday afternoon if you ask me.
I finally got to use my cricut, generously gifted to me by a friend, and I find myself in love all over again. I used this banner a friend made for my baby shower and just added the lettering. I also love to use what I have a plan a party on a budget. Stay tuned for a few tips at the end of the post.
A new addition to this year’s party was to have jewelry from 31Bits one of my favorite companies and jewelry every. I own and wear their necklaces, bracelets and even a headband almost daily. So I wanted to share the love. Having a home party for them is super easy. You just fill out a brief application, they send you a box of goodies, you display and sell them and then send back whatever you don’t sell. I am in love with their new Holiday line.
I just provided a few items to snack on and drink and then the party goers all brought festive contributions too. I made sugar cookies – I’m venturing into the royal icing realm and learning so these white and red cookies were fun to do.
And then I went for it with homemade hot cocoa with a recipe I found on Pinterest and tweaked a bit. Check out my boards here. Along with my “go-to party punch” I’ll share the recipe at the end of this post.
The bacon wrapped dates were a highlight that one guest brought, not to mention peppermint bark, truffles, chips and dip of all kinds, a cream pie and a champagne cake. These ladies know how to party!
We play the scarf swap game by each drawing a number. The first person selects a wrapped gift to unwrap. The second can steal an open gift or unwrap a new one. Then each person has the same option. A scarf is permanently frozen once it has been stolen twice. At the end the first person who began that game can also take one last turn to trade with anyone in the circle who has a “non-frozen” scarf.
I love that during the party everyone shares how they wear their scarves and secrets to tying them. This year I learned how to turn a pashmina scarf (which I own several of) into an infinity scarf. So fun!
Thanks ladies for a relaxing, laughter filled evening.
1. Ask guests to bring a snack to share if they can. It always makes the meal more decedent and fun.
2. Use what you have or BORROW from a friend.
3. Plan events close enough together that certain elements you can reuse – for example our leftover hot cocoa was used a kids book swap the next day.
4. Use tried and true recipes – don’t try a new technique or recipe that day…
5. Don’t worry about inviting the world or a long guest list. Sometimes intimate is just right and you can mix it up next time.
6. HAVE FUN! Prepare enough in advance, keep it simple enough, that when guests arrive you can just enjoy. I’m getting better at this each and every time I host. I don’t want to be working the whole time and I want to get to visit with my guests.
(SIDENOTE: sometimes using paper plates is okay for just this reason.)
(This was taken before the ice cream was added – I wait to do that until right before the guests arrive)
Alex’s Party Punch
2 liters of Ginger Ale
1 can of frozen juice concentrate
(this time I used cranberry)
half a gallon of vanilla ice cream (mixed in)
Add fresh fruit for garnish
Other times i have made this with orange juice concentrate and orange rounds thickly sliced.
Yet others I’ve used limeade with slices of lemon and lime (or even used Sprite when it was all I had)
I just pick a juice that suits the party theme, food selection, or season and use the same other ingredients. Every time I make this people ask for the “recipe.”