A Holiday Party Hit

My first holiday party of the season was on a chilly Thursday night. The premise was simple: bring yourself, bring food, and bring 5 of your favorite thing for a little gift exchange.

Since I knew I would be spending the evening with my more health conscious girlfriends, I wanted to bring something that was original, healthy, but still had a touch of decadence to it. (It was a party after all!) I did not, however, want to bring store-bought cookies from Trader Joe’s that would just sit on the counter untouched by the end of the night (like I did last year). It came to me rather quickly thanks to an old Pinterest find from earlier this summer. I wanted to do a dessert-type dish and I wanted to do something that I actually took the time to make (no matter how simple it might have been).

Strawberries (healthy) + chocolate (decadent) = the perfect party treat (that your incessantly dieting friends will actually eat).

An added bonus, besides the irresistible pairing of strawberries and chocolate, was presenting them in a unique way by stuffing them, rather than dipping them (there’s the originality).

(Click here for the recipe).

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{Chocolate-filled strawberries.}

As for the gift exchange, the idea was to bring 5 of your favorite thing that was $6.00 max. Each person’s name would go into a hat 5 times and we’d each draw 5 names (minus your own) to pass your gifts out to after a small introduction as to why it was a favored item of yours. At the end of the night, you’ll have 5 different new favorite treasures from your friends.

I knew instantly what I would bring from the moment I learned of our gift exchange: L’Oreal’s Colour Riche Femme Fatale Collection nail polish in Tangerine Crush. I’ve already raved about it as one of the great beauty finds of 2012 (now you know why 5 were featured in the post). Since I’m all about presentation, I wanted to give out my goodies in a special way. I got 5 super cute Chinese style take out gift boxes from Cost Plus and placed the nail polish inside with a touch of tissue paper. Voilà!

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{L’Oreal’s Colour Riche Femme Fatale Collection nail polish in Tangerine Crush.}

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{Gift boxes.}

The chocolate-filled strawberries and nail polish in these awesome gift boxes were a holiday hit! And not one strawberry was left over after our potluck-style party. Take that, store-bought cookies! 🙂

Highlights: Holiday Inspired

It’s amazing how literally everything around you changes during this time of year to bring the spirit of the holidays alive. Magically, green and red colors infiltrate your world, the make-overs in store window fronts and shopping malls prompt you to spend away, Christmas trees pop up all over town, homes glow from the sparkle of lights at night, and egg nog, peppermint, and gingerbread everything become all the rage. 11 days until the big day. Here are a few Holiday themed highlights that have been making the season extra festive:

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{Starbucks’ new holiday themed paper cups.}

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{“Operation: watch tons of Christmas movies” has been going well. So far I’ve watched 5 festive flicks, including this fun stay at home and get cozy comedy, The Holiday.}

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{These adorable reindeer made from real Christmas trees.}

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{Goodies received from a recent holiday party gift exchange.}

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{Gifted homemade toffee crunch.}