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GALentine's Day Party - Girlfriends Valentine's Day

Last month, I had the pleasure of meeting so many incredible women at BASH 2016 (a party/event planning + blogging conference), one of whom was Chandice Probst from Gluten Free Frenzy. Chandice immediately told me all about this fun idea she had that mixed a “Favorite Things” inspired Valentine’s Day party with an easy way to give back to those who could really use some extra love, and I immediately knew this was a girl after my own heart!

Let’s see… an excuse to get the girls together (with french fries and chocolate) PLUS a bit of that pay-it-forward magic that lasts far beyond the party? Yes, please!

So, she promised to send in pics after her party, and I promised to share the story, in hopes that others might find this idea inspiring too and add a similar “Blessing Bags” type of activity to one of their parties. What do you think? ;) Chandice explains all about the Blessing Bags (which were given to local homeless people) in her party details below, so I encourage you to scroll down and check it out. There’s lots of fun eye candy to take in along the way!

PARTY HIGHLIGHTS to look out for:

  • “Fries Before Guys” French Fry Station with add-your-own toppings
  • Simple & sweet Valentine’s Day dessert station with open-frame pink heart backdrop
  • Blessing Bags table/station (with the cutest little helper you ever!)
  • “Kiss Kards” station for making your own sweetheart cards

Valentine's Day Party - Blessing Bags Station

Pink and Red Valentine's Day Dessert Station

Fries Before Guys - French Fry Bar

Valentine's Day Hot Chocolate

Kiss Kards Station - make your own sweetheart cards

Favorite Things Valentine's Day Party

LOVE Marquee Light

Party guests making Blessing Bags for homeless shelters

red roses + giving back

Blessing Bags Station

Party French Fry Station

red and white valentine's day cookies

Galentine's Day Party with roses

rainbow-dotted-divider-2

PARTY DETAILS, as told by Chandice…

Last year I was totally inspired by the ever talented Jenny Cookies to create my own favorite things party. I loved the idea, but knew that I wanted it to be more personal. My favorite holiday is Valentines, so I thought it would be very fitting to create a Galentines Day favorite things party. This year was our second year and like the first, I got so excited to see what everyone would bring as their favorite things. For our party, we asked the gals to choose two of their favorite things $5 or less and bring three of each. We then drew names to see what order we could pick prizes. My parent’s old piano that they recently gifted us with, seemed like a classic beauty for displaying the favorite things on different style cake stands (another of my favorite things).

When it came to sweets and eats, I just couldn’t resist sharing with the girls some of my favorite foods. My number one food addiction is french fries, so creating a “Fries before guys” bar just seemed fitting with our theme. I used vintage tea cups I had collected to serve fry toppings and decided now was the time to display my (very new) calligraphy skills by putting the “Fries before guys” sign in this station.

For drinks, I decided to go with my favorite drink, LIVE Soda Kombucha. The flavor I like most, culture cola, has a red label making it perfect for our Galentines color scheme.

I am now a lifestyle blogger, but as a former gluten-free only blogger, I still love developing recipes. So, creating cookies, which are one of my favorite desserts, was a must. I decided to put together ooey, gooey red velvet cookies and nobody even knew they were gluten-free. Success!

I am the ultimate girly girl, and love all things pretty, including lipstick. Putting together a “kiss cards” table where the girls could pick a lipstick to apply (and take home thanks to our friends at Red Apple Lipstick) and kiss on a handmade card for their Valentines, was so fun! The girls loved writing notes to their sweetheart and were even more excited to take home a lipstick all for themselves.

While everyone loved the favorite things, lipstick and the food, the best was yet to come…

Our first year hosting a Galentines Day party was so much fun but there was something missing, the give-back aspect. I love taking the time to dream up and style a beautiful night for friends, but I wanted everyone this year to feel something more long lasting than just a great night out. I thought “Blessing Bags” – plastic bags filled with toiletries, socks and snacks – would be a great way to do this.

While I knew my friends are generous and would happily supply items for the bags, I wanted to really get them excited about this part of the party. I reached out to my sponsors at Six Pack Bags and Red Apple Lipstick to see if they would be willing to send my favorite products from their product line for one lucky girl to win. They happily obliged, sending over $300 total in products. When the girls found out that for every item they brought for the blessing bags, they would receive a ticket to enter for the raffle prize, things got a bit more competitive. In fact, we had over 530 items donated, resulting in over 35 completely stuffed blessing bags!

It was heart warming to see my friends laughing and visiting around the table while doing something so selfless. My little lady even got in on the fun and put some items in the bag thanks to help from her auntie Kirsten.

I sent a bag home with each girl asking them to keep it in their car to hand out the next time they passed someone on the side of the road asking for money. Our local homeless shelter was so incredibly grateful for the remaining 25 bags we donated, and I couldn’t have felt more proud to call these ladies my friends. It truly just goes to show that giving back can occur in both big and small settings. No matter how large, charitable actions all make a difference.

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