The first party was on Thursday night - two friends got together and decided to put on a Girls' Night Out for a bunch of us by hosting a "My Favorite Things" party. I had never heard of these before but it was such a great idea. Basically everybody brings three things (all the same) that they really love under a set price limit (ours was $5). Then you all sit around and give each other presents all night long! We just put our names on three slips of paper and one by one would go grab our three gifts, explain what we chose and why, and then draw three names and those people were the recipients of our favorite things.
I ended up going home with dry shampoo (I have never tried it before - does it work? how much do I use? do you use it? it must be popular since 2 people brought it as their favorite thing), some super organic granola bars (like, the girl rolled the oats herself and doesn't eat animal products so she made them with coconut oil in place of butter - that kind of organic), and organic sunscreen from Trader Joe's.
A lot of the favorite things were healthy/organic things, so I was a little sheepish when I got up to explain that I brought cupcake liners for my favorite thing. haha. Seriously though, a couple years ago a friend's husband got fed up with always running to the store just to buy cupcake liners since she was always forgetting them so he ordered her a crate of like 5,000 cupcake liners (they're cheaper in bulk, of course), then they gave a bunch of them away as Christmas presents and they gave me a carton of 500 cupcake liners. I am just now reaching the end of my supply. So I ordered 3 sets of 300 cute patterned liners for $5 each off Amazon and said that my favorite thing was never having to make that extra run to the grocery store for cupcake liners (we have all done this, right?). I also got a set for myself so I am set for at least another year or two.
There were 22 people who came to the party and some of the other gifts were things like a favorite brand of nail polish, issues of a favorite magazine, water bottles with a freezer insert, and some kind of flat bread for sandwiches. I forget everything else but it was a really fun night and now I totally want to throw one of these parties myself.
Then last night Paul and I were invited to a Pie Party. The idea was each couple made a pie, then we would all have some of each. I was not told beforehand that we would be voting on these pies, otherwise I might have taken a different approach to my pie choice (since we all know I get a little competitive about baked goods).
I made a Razzleberry Pie with Clara. It's my favorite pie but I have only ever had the Marie Calendar's kind and had never made one myself. To be honest, I didn't love the recipe I ended up using, which was a bummer. I mean, it was okay and the crust was good, but the filling was not what I anticipated. But it lit a fire and now I am on a quest for a perfect recipe for Razzleberry Pie since I can't find it in the freezer aisle where we live.
Clara and I had lots of fun making the pie together. Whenever I am busy in the kitchen cooking dinner or baking, Clara is right there helping. She likes to dump ingredients into the bowl for me and she thinks "sneaking" tastes is the funniest thing in the world since I always give her the reaction she is looking for of mingled surprise, mirth, and reprimand. And I love her giggle and impish grin as she "defies" my by sneaking another "little taste!" (the phrase she always uses) right before my eyes.
When we were making the pie, Clara ran into her "kitchen" in her room and grabbed her tiny rolling pin, then came back to stand on her chair at the island where I gave her some of the leftover dough trimmings from a pie crust I had already rolled out, then showed her how to sprinkle a little flour and roll her dough flat. She told me "Clara make apple pie!" because she has a book called "Apple Pie ABC" so that is the pie she is most familiar with. Incidentally, whenever I make or eat pie, I tend to think about Kayli's parents who had pie for their wedding instead of cake because they love pie so much. I mentioned that to Kayli's mom on Instagram and she thought it was funny that I remembered that.
The party was so fun - I mean, what party with 8 different kinds of pie is NOT going to be fun, right? We all filled up plates with slivers of each pie and voted on presentation, crust, and overall favorite. I got a prize for best crust (a dough scraper! which I had just been thinking about that morning while cleaning up my pie crust scraps). Paul told me on the way home that he had voted for the apple pie that somebody else brought for all three categories. All least he had the decency to sound ashamed that he wasn't loyal to the pie I brought regardless of its qualities. haha. In fairness, it was a delicious apple pie and I voted for it too, knowing the razzleberry pie recipe I had chosen was sub-par.
Hooray for having awesome friends who like to throw parties!