Ideas for Last Minute Gifts + Hosting a “Favorite Things Party” with Lidl December 10, 2017 | Good Morning Friends! I love publishing posts on Sundays because I feel like you might actually have a few minutes to sit down and read them with your coffee. I saved this one for a quiet Sunday because it’s a good one and I am so thrilled to tell you about this brand! Today I’m introducing you to the coolest European grocery store chain called Lidl, who’re rapidly expanding here in the U.S. In addition to traditional grocery, they have the most unique offerings, so I wanted to create a post that really shows off just how amazing their curated assortments are. Since “Favorite Thing” parties are such a big deal now, I put together an intimate and fun Favorite Things party for you guys with lots of ideas and offerings ALL from Lidl. I made the trip there (with both girls in tow, so you can imagine my timeline) and was able to source every single thing you see here (from banana peppers to eyeshadow and copper cookwear to candy canes) all within a 30 minute trip! See what I created below… So taking my own advice lately, I didn’t go over the top. I kept every thing fairly simple and fuss free and didn’t buy more food than I knew that I would need. I also kept the food offerings simple for a hostess to whip together and still good for guests to enjoy. I don’t know about you, but lately I’m just happy to get out of the house and don’t really need a super duper fancy spread to be happy at a party. Here’s everything that I used to put the finger foods table together… A little sweet, a little salty and some hot cocoa to top it off completed my app assortment and it involved very little prep work, which is just how I like it. For the salty, I bought a pre-sliced cheese tray with some crackers and salami. I couldn’t get over that they entire tray was $2.99 and would also be PERFECT for lunch boxes. If you wanted to actually make a beautiful charcuterie board or serve cheese pairings with wine for a party, Lidl had an AMAZING (and affordable!) cheese selection, that currently has 16 global award winning cheeses. I also bought the simple ingredients to make my new favorite finger sandwiches. See the recipe below…I dare you to only eat one…they are SO good! For the sweets, I stuck with all pre-made treats that can be found in Lidl’s Preferred Selection range. This range has everything from bacon wrapped scallops to white chocolate souffle and was designed specifically to take the stress out of Holiday entertaining with quality, pre-made offerings. Every single thing on this table was absolutely delicious and made things super easy on me. See the entire preferred selection HERE and I promise you’ll be impressed. Lastly, I put together a small hot cocoa bar on the table and used copper Moscow Mule cups (also from Lidl to serve it in). The toppings included candy canes, marshmallows and the cutest ginger bread cookies you ever did see. I also bought THIS (omg so good) to drizzle on top and totally forgot to include it in the photos. If you follow along on Instagram, you know that I had the pleasure of previewing the Charlotte Ballet’s nutcracker last week and they served “Boozy Hot Cocoa” at intermission. It was SO yummy and I’ve been dying to re-create it! I just found THIS recipe and it looks so easy to re-create and make a large batch in the crockpot. I’m thinking that I would use Lidl’s Chocolate Sea Salt bars instead of plain chocolate to give it a sweet and salty taste! Another thing that I thought was so cool is that most of the Preferred Selection offerings are globally sourced. Gingerbread cookies from Germany, Italian Pastas, etc, making them delicious enough to serve and also novelty enough to give as great gifts! Even these beautiful fresh roses are from Lidl and were only $4.99 for a 1/2 dozen… Another big hit was the brie and raspberry fillo rolls. Pop them in the oven for 10 minutes and I topped them with Raspberry Dessert Syrup that I found in the Preferred Selection and they were ready to serve. Even though I shouldn’t admit this….I had planned to serve THESE too, but sadly they all ended up in my belly instead. Omg. SO. GOOD. Also taken from my little trip to the Nutcracker this week, I’ve discovered a new FAVORITE recipe for finger sandwiches. Normally finger sandwiches don’t really wet my whistle, but after tasting these I am re-thinking that. The flavor pairing are so simple but really really delicious. Trust me you want to try these. How to Make Them: 1 Loaf of Fresh Italian Bread Thinly Sliced Proscuitto Cream Cheese Banana Peppers Spread a thin layer of cream cheese onto the bread, layer banana pepper slices and 1 slice of proscuitto on top. Trim edges and slice. SO EASY. Now that everyone’s had some yummy appetizers and gotten a chance to settle in and make themselves comfortable, I put together a really simple table for dinner and the gift exchange. Favorite Things parties can be executed many ways, but my favorite way (if hosting) is to give each guest an assortment of my favorite things and then ask them to bring one of their “Favorite Things” to gift to each guest (usually keeping the price under $10-15/per item). I was able to gather quite a few “Favorite Things” from Lidl to gift guests, and wrapped them all up with a bow and placed them on each person’s place setting. I decided to mix things up and not gift each person the EXACT same thing, but instead all similar things. Here’s what I decided on: -Each person either got a bag of Globally Sourced Coffee Beans from Lidl’s Preferred Selection or Pasta + Seasoning Mix from Lild’s Preferred Selection. Both gifts speak to a mama’s heart…good coffee and easy dinner prep are both gifts I’d love to receive. -I also included a lip stick and eye shadow from Lidl’s budget friendly Beauty Range. All of their shades are so trend right and great for moms on the go. -Finally each person got a fragrance. Great to keep in your purse or gym bag and they smell amazing for the price! -Next to each place setting I filled a copper shot glass with globally sourced chocolates (both from Lidl) as an after dinner treat to serve with a night cap 😉 …even the ribbon and ornaments that I used to tie together the gifts are from Lidl. Finally, I cannot end this post without discussing their Wine selection. Woah, I was impressed. They have a broad assortment, but it’s not overwhelming. Their in-house Master of Wine carefully curates each bottle that ends up on the shelves and this year alone they’ve won over 200 awards for their selection! Prices start below $5 bucks and some of their most acclaimed favorites are under $10! See a snapshot of their selection HERE. Overall, I was so impressed with my first trip to Lidl! I truly could not believe that I was able to pull together this entire party idea within a 30 minute trip around the store. Some of my favorite things about my experience here: -The curated selection. They simply carry “Best of the Best” and that’s refreshing for this busy mama. There aren’t 10,000 brands of biscuits to choose from. There are probably 2-3 and I know that all will be amazing and it really saves time while shopping. -The prices! I put together this entire party (gifts, flowers, food, cups, wine, etc) for around $200….which is almost unheard of. -The WINE. No explanation needed here. -The MIDDLE AISLE!!! It was so incredibly fun to browse their middle aisle of excitement. There were so many unexpected finds and gift options. From a velvet blazer to a high quality wooden toys, there was such an element of fun to see what we could find. Not to mention, it was also a nice distraction for the kids! There’s something new in the middle aisle at Lidl every Thursday through Sunday, so you never know what you’ll find! -The Preferred Range was a huge win for me. High quality, pre-made, and delicious…all of the things a busy mama looks for! -I also found that they had a large variety of organic options. Read about their quality standards HERE. Currently expanding on the East Coast, see if they’re in your area HERE. If you have any other questions about Lidl, feel free to email me or leave them in the comments below! If you want to know more about the History and their HUGE (as in 10,000 stores) foot print in Europe, see HERE. Thank you to Lidl for sponsoring this content. All opinions, ideas and photography are my own and I alway appreciate you supporting brands who support Style Your Senses.