Tuesday, March 27, 2012

2nd Annual Swap 'til You Drop!

I  recently hosted a very successful second annual 'Swap til you drop' party! 

swap /swäp/
Verb:  Take part in an exchange of. 
Noun:  An act of exchanging one thing for another.

Swap parties are a fantastic way to share or exchange your unwanted items with your friends.  It's like shopping without actually spending money and one of the best parts, you get a chance to catch up on your Spring cleaning.  After everyone gets a chance to "shop" I get the fun task of packing all the extras up and donating them to good will.  Okay, it's really not the most fun but it's for a great cause so I don't mind doing it.

And what would a swap party be without some healthy finger foods and snacks...

Simple, bite-size sandwiches including  cucumber hummus on whole wheat (above) and caramelized onion,  sun-dried tomato with vegan mayo on whole wheat (below).

The delicious onions used for this sandwich came from Evergreen Farmer's Market.

Stuffed baked mushrooms, stuffed with cooked quinoa, caramelized onion, sun-dried tomato, salt and pepper and Daiya cheese.

To sooth and replenish the palette, mint and lemon infused chilled water.

And for dessert, sweet vanilla raspberry cupcakes with raspberry vegan butter cream.

There was so much stuff left over, I think the girls barely made a dent but I was happy that everyone had a great time.

Want to host your own swap party? Here are a few tips based on my own experience:

  1. Keep the number of guests small, between 6-10, you would be surprised with how much even a small group of girls will bring with them.
  2. Keep food light and simple.
  3. Most swap parties use some form of "currency" like poker chips, pennies or playing cards for "shopping" but with my friends, everyone is so easy-going and just happy to get rid of their stuff that we don't usually need this form or currency once the shopping gets going.
  4. It is important however, to have a system at the start.  I had everyone choose a number out of a hat, the highest number got to "shop" first, getting first pick at one item.  Then the next guest followed, picking only one item, then the next, etc. etc.  Once every person gets a chance to pick their one item then it's a free-for-all!
  5. Don't be too finicky about where things go.  I always have system when I start - housewares in the kitchen, clothing and accessories in the living room, etc. - but before you know it there is so much stuff that you just have to put it somewhere, anywhere!  In the end everything gets pretty mixed up anyway.
  6. Remember to have fun! Take time to chat with friends and catch up.


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