21 In Printables

Favourite Things Party

I love the holidays. It really is the most wonderful time of the year AND it allows for extra entertaining!! This year I decided to do a Favourite Things Party with a group of girlfriends. We take turns entertaining in each other’s home throughout the year…sometimes there are themes involved and sometimes it’s just fun and friendship.



To get the party started I set the scene with these really sweet invitations. I ordered the invitations from Brown Paper Studios on Etsy. She did a super cute job. I had them printed on cardstock and mailed them to my guests to get them excited.

If you have never heard of a Favourite Things Party you are in for a treat. They are super fun.

Each guest must purchase 3 of their favourite things. IE- if your favourite thing is cosy socks you would buy 3 pairs of socks. They can be different colours but must be the same. The host gives the dollar amount per gift…and you hope your guests stick to the amount.  There are different ways to do the gift exchange but this is how I did it…when my guests arrived I had them write their names on a card and put them in a hat. On their card was a sticky with a number that my guest was told she must keep.

Once we had our share of nibblies and cocktails we moved into the living room to start the game. The person with sticky number 1 was called to the front of the room where all of the gorgeous gifts were piled. They then reached into the hat and pulled out 3 names. The number 1 person then gave her 3 gifts to the ladies that she picked and told them why the item was her Favourite Thing. The 3 names went back into the hat when she was done. Then number 2 came up and did the same thing. Once a person’s name was called out 3 times and she received her 3 gifts her name was removed from the hat. It is a great way to introduce your friends to things that you already love…



I pulled out some of my decorations and tried to create a cosy atmosphere. I kept my Christmas decorating very traditional this year using a lot of red, green and plaids. I have a lot of decorative Christmas trees and used them throughout the living and dining room.


The tablescape design played off of the classic holiday look I created in the living room. I found these sweet plates at Home Goods in the US and brought them home with me. The plates were purchased for $5.99 each. A complete steal. I was only able to buy 6 at my local store. I looked for more online and found a site called Replacement.com they did have 4 plates but at $25 each, I decided to pass. I happened to be at another Home Goods store and found 4 more plates that were of the same make but a slightly different print on them.


Each place setting featured gold flatware tied with a green bow. I added a Christmas brooch to each of the bows.

My centrepiece was a gorgeous surprise floral arrangement that had arrived the day before. One of my guests had sent it to me and it fit perfectly with the traditional setting.

You might notice by the legs that I got a new dining table. As much as I loved the last one it was just too small and it did not have extensions. I gave it to my son and daughter in law and they are happily using it in their dining room. I bought this one from FB Market (I think that is what it is called) Anyway seats 10-12 people. It came with two extensions. It has a few marks on it but that is ok…it is going to be a spring project for me. I am going to paint it black to match the buffet that you can see on the right side of this photo. The buffet is actually a TV unit. LOL…but it works perfectly!

The chargers and chairs were both rented from Special Event Rentals…… Just as an FYI…if you plan on renting chairs that will be used on hardwood…go to the dollar store and buy felt tips. I use them all the time on my rentals and they save the floors from scratches. These wreaths were purchased from Dollarama for a dollar. I removed the bells that were hanging on them and added white ribbons.

I placed votive candles in each of the  Christmas trees to add to the ambience.

I served each of my guests a glass of champagne when they arrived. To add to the festive look I added a raspberry to each glass. Some glasses were adorned with a candy cane. Excuse my hand…lol…I guess I didn’t get it out of the way in time! LOL


A couple of ladies brought the apps – fresh vegetables and homemade dip. The dip was so amazing I asked for the recipe and am sharing with all of you at the bottom of the post. …the charcuterie board was just beyond!!!!! Janet should start her own business with these boards!!! Gorgeous. Honestly, by the time we were done grazing we were full!!

Dinner was kept simple…I made some penne pasta with bolognese sauce and another with a vegan sauce using mushrooms instead of meat. For dessert one of the guests brought some vegan sorbet that was to die for!! I shared the recipe for it below. I also put out a cheese and chocolate board served with Port. I also had a few trays set up with the fixings for speciality coffees. PS…these sweet little cups came from none other….Dollarama. I think I paid $1.99 I have been seeing them everywhere from $9.99 to $23.99!! Isn’t that crazy!! You would be hard-pressed to find any differences between them.

What a great idea this was to add some extra decor and a bit of bling to the app station. Janet printed some signs and put them in these sparkly frames. So simple and elegant.


I love these tree ornaments from the Trius Vineyard in NOTL. Not only are we getting a great gift but now every time we decorate our trees we will be reminded of the fun night we spent together. There is a better photo of them below but I wanted you to see how they were attached to the gifts.

I LOVE, LOVE this gift bag. I am actually saving it for next Christmas.

Guess who bought us the gift of pillows? LOL Do you remember my blog post on the crazy lady with all the pillows? If you missed it you can read it HERE



This was the first time I have ever hosted a Favourite Things party…I am thinking it won’t be the last!! We all gave and received the most beautiful and thoughtful gifts. So much effort was put into the presentation too. Our evening was filled with laughter, delicious food (with the help of my friends), cocktails and super great company. It was above and beyond my expectations…because truth be told…..I was just winging the whole thing! LOL


Ina Garten ….. Pan Fried Onion Dip


  • 2 large yellow onions
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup good mayonnaise


  1. Cut the onions in half and then slice them into 1/8-inch thick half-rounds. (You will have about 3 cups of onions.) Heat the butter and oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. Add the onions, cayenne, salt, and pepper and saute for 10 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, stirring occasionally, for 20 more minutes until the onions are browned and caramelized. Allow the onions to cool.
  2. Place the cream cheese, sour cream and mayonnaise in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat until smooth. Add the onions and mix well. Taste for seasonings. Serve at room temperature.


  1. Cut up the fruit.
  2. Freeze the fruit.
  3. Blend the frozen fruit.

Val added some almond milk to hers, blended some more… and it was seriously amazing!!!


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  • Reply
    Kelly Hie
    December 23, 2019 at 7:04 AM

    Love, love, love. If I had seen this earlier I would have definitely done this. Although, I would need to rent a space, I have a very tiny home. Saving this for next year. Gorgeous job!

    • Reply
      December 24, 2019 at 1:15 PM

      Thank you, Kelly. It is a really fun thing to do with the girls. This would be fun to do at a shower too! Many new moms and brides don’t open their gifts at their showers anymore….doing this would be a great way to keep everybody involved. Merry Christmas sweet friend!!! xo

  • Reply
    Mary Lynn
    December 23, 2019 at 8:02 AM

    As per usual everything was amazing, you are unbelievably creative. It was a great time and I feel so blessed to be included.You home is not only beautiful but so welcoming. You truly are special.Enjoy Florida.

    • Reply
      December 24, 2019 at 1:17 PM

      You are just the nicest person ML!!! Thank you for all of your support!!! It means the world to me. xo Merry Christmas

  • Reply
    December 23, 2019 at 8:28 AM

    Super fun get together Marion! your home is always so tastefully decorated for the festivities, and so welcoming too 🙂 Again, thank you for including me it was so much fun!
    Merry Christmas from our home to yours, Good Health and Happiness for 2020! Enjoy the sunshine
    Deb xo

    • Reply
      December 24, 2019 at 1:19 PM

      Thank you so much for the compliments, Debbie. I really enjoyed doing this party…and what a fabulous group of ladies too. You guys are so incredibly supportive of my blog. It is greatly appreciated. Merry Christmas to you all as well. xo

  • Reply
    December 23, 2019 at 10:12 AM

    Absolutely Fabulous!!!

    • Reply
      December 23, 2019 at 6:53 PM

      So loved your theme party Mare. It was so much fun. Loved the way the gift exchange happened. Your home inviting and cozy and the company second to none!!

      • Reply
        December 24, 2019 at 1:28 PM

        Thank you, Brenda. I was happy to do it. We sure know how to party together, don’t we?
        You guys put so much thought into your gifts and the presentation as well. Everyone’s efforts were so much appreciated. Thank you for letting me blog about you guys all the time! LOL
        xo Merry Christmas Brenda.

    • Reply
      December 24, 2019 at 1:19 PM

      Thanks Jackie!!! Have a wonderful Christmas!!!

  • Reply
    Joan Livermore
    December 23, 2019 at 11:01 AM

    What a great idea for a fun Christmas get together- love this!

    • Reply
      December 24, 2019 at 1:23 PM

      Thank you, Joan. It was a fun party to host. I hope you are all ready for Christmas!! You have quite a clan! Lucky lady!
      My very best wishes to you and Peter….have a Merry Christmas and hope to see you around town in the spring…I mean seriously…we ARE neighbours now…feel free to come by and borrow a cup of sugar whenever you want!! xo

  • Reply
    Mary Ferguson - Allan
    December 23, 2019 at 12:02 PM

    Wow !! who would have thought my daughter could be so creative. Beautiful ideas and lovely blogs. I’m sure everyone loves reading them Marion. Love to you, Steve and the family over the Christmas Holiday. I may be down for a week in February. All my love Mom xx Will give you a call on Christmas morning.

    • Reply
      December 24, 2019 at 1:24 PM

      Thank you, mom! I learned from the best!!! xo All those times I hid at the top of the stairs and watched your parties paid off!!!

  • Reply
    Betty King
    December 23, 2019 at 1:32 PM

    OMG. My invitation must have been lost in the mail!!??!! As always everything looks fabulous. You are the Martha Stewart of Canada!
    Merry Christmas to you and Steve. See you in BB.
    Hugs BB Mom!

    • Reply
      December 24, 2019 at 1:26 PM

      Thanks, BB mom!!! I think I’ll have to do one for all of my BB friends!!
      Merry Christmas to you and big Daddy!!! See you soon! xo

  • Reply
    Susan Sgro
    December 23, 2019 at 8:09 PM

    Ok….snail mail must have lost my invitation too!! Lots of fun and definitely “ Martha Stewart “ ….on steroids! Love it ?

    • Reply
      December 24, 2019 at 1:31 PM

      Damn Canada Post!!! LOL…I’ll have to think of something super fun to do in the spring.
      Thanks for reading my blog and taking the time to leave a comment. It makes my day to read them all. xo
      Merry Christmas to you and Ralph!!!

  • Reply
    December 24, 2019 at 3:41 PM

    OMG Mare! Our experiences that night were truly heartwarming and shall forever be engrained in our fond memories! Thank you for being so GENEROUS, so CREATIVE, so THOUGHTFUL! I was flattered to attend! ?
    Oh, and add a little lemon juice to the sorbet and maybe a touch of stevia! LOL!

    • Reply
      December 31, 2019 at 11:46 AM

      You can teach me first hand how to make that Sorbet when you get here!!! Maybe we will make a short video of it and post it to my blog! LOL….so fun!
      Happy New Year, Val. See you soon on the sunny side of the border! xo

  • Reply
    marion hunter
    December 24, 2019 at 4:28 PM

    Wow you really have such wonderful creative gal days Marion. My invite came with Susan’s , too late, darn Canada post. ?.
    So great to read your blog and thank you for the recipes. Yum.
    Merry Christmas to you , Steve and your families.

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