Three years ago Jenny suggested we ladies do a "Favorite Things" exchange.
We loved it so much that first year that there's no going back and it has even replaced our regular gift exchange between the siblings. The guys kind of miss out that way but we told them they were welcome to do their own favorite things if they wanted :)
I had a hard time choosing what to give for my favorite thin of 2014. There were so many fun things that I discovered.
I finally decided on three things to try and combine.
Last year, one of my awesome friends gave me a sweet, hand pieced tissue holder. I have absolutely loved it. Every time I pull it out I smile and think of her. Thanks again Trina :)
So, I wanted to make one for each of the ladies.
I tried to personalize them to some of their interests. Some were easy, others were tricky...
I searched online for fabrics that fit the bill and was pretty happy with what I found.
Wendy likes to ski...
We found out at Swiss Days in the fall that Becky has a thing for garden gnomes :)
Nancy LOVES old barns.
Lyndi is a scholar and likes to read and Jenny...well, let's just say she ALWAYS is finding great deals and letting others know about them.
(Those are shopping carts if you can't tell :) Also, she loves the combination of teal and red.
I just realized I think I already posted about these tissue holders when I made a bunch earlier...
Yup, scroll down on this post for the link to the tutorial
Another of my favorite things of 2014 was my Silhouette Cameo that Andy gave me a year ago for Christmas. It has come in handy for some many different projects and I have loved it. I have also loved being able to use it to help others with projects of their own.
So I had to include it somehow. I used it to cut out the vinyl for these little jars.
In the jars, I put some of my beloved Chunky Chocolate Buckwheat (Hazelnut) Granola that I posted about while I was in New Hampshire. I say "my" but it's not like I came up with the recipe or anything...I just love it so much!
So that was my gift that I came up with.
We all take a moment to explain our favorite thing and tell any stories that might lurk behind them.
True to form (bless her heart) Nancy got emotional as she talked about hers.
I don't know how it happened but somehow, all the guys ended up being in the gathering this year. Andy was there to help with Ben so I could focus and enjoy the experience. The other three gathered with us too which was actually kind of fun hearing their comments and laughter.
All of us with our treasures...
Andy's brother Dave was in China on business so he had Wendy hand out a favorite something of his...they're little asian cake type treats. I thought that was awesome :)
(Andy got a package in the mail about a week ago of Tiger Balm. Apparently it's one of Todd's favorite things :) It will be interesting to see next year if they all come up with something to give to each other. We decided us girls are not going to do it for them...so they are on their own with this.
Nancy gave a pastry mat and a pancake pen which was perfect for her because she is always in the kitchen cooking up something good for the rest of us. She's always creative with her pancakes too and makes seasonal designs and colors often.
Wendy's favorite thing was "Our Best Bites" cookbook which we all own already so she gave us a squirt bottle for the creamy cilantro dressing recipe and a personalized pie plate for one of the pies that she loves in there.
(Her youngest daughter also wanted to give her favorite tic tacs to all of us...very sweet)
Jenny has friends living in Europe right now and I believe that was her connection to this excellent chocolate...oh wow it was yummy! She also has really enjoyed Bath and Body Works soap sleeves this year...so pretty.
Becky has really been in to Dressing Your Truth this year. It has seriously been a big part of her life recently and so she bought a piece of jewelry that fits each of our "types".
I was particularly excited about this because Andy gave me the online course for Christmas. Hopefully soon I will be dressing my truth as well :)
Lyndi was so cute because she is super organized and her favorite thing was a notebook in which she keeps track of everything. She explained her system to us and we all got a kick out of how Lyndi it was. The funny thing is, I could totally relate to so much of it and was constantly nodding my head as she explained. (We are actually the same energy type in the dressing your truth program. We are the only 2's in the group so that was pretty funny to see our similarities)
She also threw in some index cards (more organization) and washi tape to decorate with and her favorite mint malt balls that she can't find out in Tennessee where they now live.
There was only one night when all of the families were there at the same time...and even then we were missing Dave, so we had to cram all of our big plans into that one night.
Jenny and Mike had planned a Deal or No Deal game (without the women :) for all the couples.
We sat in the theater room late that night and played it out. Pretty fun! There were even prizes. Andy and I came in second and got a gift cards to Subway and iTunes.
Not too many pictures of that since we were just sitting in the dark for the most part, but it was super fun! Thanks Jenny and Mike!