Awhile back I signed up to help with ladies events at my church, South Mountain Community Church. On May 18 they held a Girls’ Night Out event, with live band, mocktails, catered dinner, speakers – the whole nine yards. And I got involved.
At the first planning meeting I volunteered to be in charge of mocktails and the little take-away treat that each guest received. I wanted to help with things that I could do at home, since I am not able to help with set-up or break-down of the event.
Planning the mocktails was fun. First thing I did was jump on Pinterest (wouldn’t you?) and find several ideas to try out. I knew I wanted three distinct drinks that would be 1) different flavors and 2) would look different visually, allowing you to choose quickly without identification tags. A couple of ladies from the planning committee volunteered to help with mocktails, so I invited them over one morning for a tasting. (My three girls had a great time partaking of our cast-offs, that’s for sure!) We settled on three distinct drinks and perfected the recipes.
We settled on a Pink Kiss (sparkling apple cider, sparkling cherry water, cranberry juice and grenadine) in a champagne flute (plastic of course) with a frozen raspberry float; a Sunset Cooler (equal parts orange juice, cranberry juice, pineapple juice, and Sprite) in a low tumbler with an umbrella and pineapple chunk; and a Mojito (made with mint from my garden, club soda and lime juice) in a highball glass and sprig of mint.
For the gifts, after much back and forth with the organizing committee, we settled on small cellophane bags filled with Hershey’s Kisses and topped with a brightly colored topper, with the label “Believe, Beloved, Belong” (our motto for the event). I was determined that I wanted to sew the bags shut rather than use glue or staples as I thought it would give them a more professional and special feel (although the ladies were concerned about the amount of work that was for me). We planned on having the whole group of volunteers help me assemble the bags the morning of the event, while my girls went to play at a friends house. But life laughs when you make plans.
The night before the event the three older girls were up all night with the stomach flu. That was sooo not fun! When Friday dawned Ava still hadn’t kept anything down and all the sheets were dirty. So I called my friend and cancelled the play date, asked another friend to bring me the Hershey’s Kisses and hunkered down. To put together 200 gift bags on my own.
In all honesty, it went smoothly. I had already had the toppers prepped, so I spent the morning alternating between filling the bags and sewing them shut. The girls were so exhausted from their ordeal the night before that regardless of the situation, we wouldn’t have been doing much besides watching TV all day anyway. So that’s what they did while I stuffed and sewed. In the end it all came together beautifully.
I finished the bags just in time to shower and get ready before Elliott came home from work and I headed out to the church to start prepping the drinks.
The night went smoothly and I had so many cheerful helpers in the kitchen, putting together mocktails for 200 ladies. My calculations were spot on for most of the drinks and leftovers were at a minimum. Everyone raved about the drinks and many asked for the recipes. They were a hit.
The goody bags were equally well received and I felt great about all the hard work.
But best of all was the event itself, where I was able to connect with many ladies from my church on a deeper level and make some new connections with homeschool moms and other moms of littles. It was amazing to leave with so many connections and to feel like I belonged!