Hooray! We survived! Honestly it wasn’t that bad. But it wasn’t that easy either.
I’ve taken on hosting Easter brunch for our family for the past two years and I really love “owning” this holiday. We’re not a religious family but I love Easter as a celebration of the start of spring. Especially in New England and especially after this winter, tulips and pastels and fresh fruit and veggies are a most welcome sight.
Easter prep started about a month ago taking out my Easter decor, checking out my party supplies from last year (cups, plates, etc.) and thinking about the good and the not-so-great from last year. I decided to ditch two of the hot dishes I served last year and ask my Mum to make one more hot dish. With my aunt bringing her famous quiches, Mum taking care of cornbeef hash and potatoes, “all I had to do” was fruit salad, spinach dip, and store bought pastries. I say “all I had to do” in quotes because anyone who’s ever hosted even a cocktail party knows that it’s a lot more behind the scenes than people think- the cleaning, the decorating, the shopping, the prep, the actual hosting, and the clean up. Throw in a 3 month old and all I have to say is thank the lord for Dada and naptime.
But the day was just lovely. There was just enough food, plenty to drink, lively conversation, and everything looked… welll, blog-worthy.
Little man was an absolute gentleman. He rocked a vest and snappy suspenders- until some spit up and other bodily functions got the best of the outfit.
He really was a trooper having so many people invade his turf and they are not exactly a quiet group. I think his face here and his pudgy hand flipping me off really says it all- seriously Momma, when can I nap?
His naps were intermittent but he slept well overnight so I have a happy boy once again. I don’t regret hosting Easter at all but I am so so happy to have my house back to normal. Routine is essential for babies and (as we’re discovering) for parents too. I’m looking forward to a spring and summer filled with the normal schedule and small, manageable outings. Doesn’t that sound wildly exciting?
My cousin Alex grabbed this shot of me smooching on my boy. It’s my favorite shot of the whole day. Just goes to show that no matter how Pinterest-worthy my brunch table is, this is what holidays are all about Charlie Brown. So good to see my family and share this precious little dude with everyone.
I’m so excited to share my beautiful baby shower with you! I feel so lucky to have such wonderful friends and family around me that truly did “shower” us with the cutest gifts for our baby boy. A big special thanks goes to my mum though who happens to throw the best parties and really went above and beyond to make all my pinterest plans come true!
Our shower was themed “Welcome to the World” and dotted with vintage maps, globes, and tiny suitcases.
A suitcase full of favors…
Those are tea tins and infusers with “A Baby is Brewing” labels.
The food was set up inside but the party took place in my Mum & Dad’s yard under a lovely white tent surrounded by their magnolia tree. It was a gorgeous late summer day. Perfect for sipping lemonade and non-alcoholic sangria. Don’t worry, there was plenty of wine on hand for those not currently with child.
We chose three baby games with some surprising winners! My cousin Isabel guessed within 100 M&Ms of what was in this over-sized baby bottle. And I was shocked that it wasn’t the new mommies but my college-age cousin who ran away with the Price Is Right game. Who knew Aveeno Baby products were so darned expensive but a package of organic baby wipes barely cracked $5?
And leave it to my girls- cousin Maria and Made of Honor Jamie to guess the circumference of my bump almost perfectly! Here I am measuring their piece of yarn guess during our B is for Belly game.
And oh the gifts! I know this part can drag on at showers but everything was so freakin’ cute I hope we kept the guests entertained.
There was plenty of oohing and aahing but this homemade quilt from my cousin Maria brought me to happy tears! It’s so beautiful and special. I know our little man will be crawling and cooing all over this! Thank you Maria!
Nephew Zeke really helped Auntie and Uncle out with the tough bows. He’s going to be a fantastic big cousin!
And in the end, it was all about the cupcakes… er… the people!
The people were my favorite part… honest… with cupcakes a close second. Thanks again ladies!
There’s nothing that says Happy Easter like a Family Charades Tournament! Well at least it did for us! Too old for egg hunts and too young for sitting around watching each other eat ham, we decided to host a lively Easter Brunch with some friendly competition.
The morning started with two of my favorite things- preparation and mini eggs. Having cleaned the house from top to bottom on Saturday, I staged my table and had all my platters and serving utensils ready to go.
This beautiful arrangement came on Friday from my best friend Jamie (you’re the best James) and was the perfect size for my living room.
These little moss bunnies along with this birdcage candle holder that I filled with some faux eggs served as my centerpiece.
The table filled up nicely with bagels, pastries, a big fruit salad, my asparagus galettes, corn beef hash from Mum (to satisfy those pesky meat-eaters) and two beautiful quiches from my beautiful Aunt Lorraine- and despite her name, no they were not Quiche Lorraines.
It was a successful Easter Brunch! And after a couple of mimosas, the Family Charades Tournament commenced.
Forgive the blurry photo but I couldn’t resist Jared acting out Plunging a Toilet!
We were actually all much better at charades than we thought- although Scooby Doo, as we all found out, is very difficult to act out. Nice try Aunt Carina! In the end, Team A defeated Team B by just one point despite a last stitch effort by cousin Rachel. We’ll get ’em next year team!
But only hearts can build a home. This past Friday, there were many hearts in our home. Our housewarming party was very much a success. Good food, good friends- it took my breath away to see so many loved ones enjoying our home and all that we’ve put into it.
And speaking of what we put into it, the party itself was quite the feat. Almost 40 people responded to our “casual cocktail party” but this wasn’t exactly my first rodeo. Here’s an inside peek…
If there’s one thing that keeps me organized it’s lists. I had a good 5 lists going for this party: food, decor, shopping, hour-by-hour prep for day before and day of, and then an excel spreadsheet with all guests names, their addresses, their RSVP response, and a column for gifts to make thank you cards a breeze. Post-its are essential as well. The day before, I staged the party.
Chairs were set out throughout the dining and living rooms, the table protected by a white table cloth and my go-to kraft paper, and all platters were set with labeled post-its.
Then the morning of the party, I just made each platter and left the post-its on the table so I knew just where everything would fit just before the guests arrived.
It was a wonderful party. Jared and I feel truly blessed to have so many wonderful people in our lives. We’re looking forward to many many more parties in this house! Thanks for coming everyone!
I’ve shopped, and baked, and assembled decor but honestly, tonight’s party is really about our guests.
It’s been a long year but we’ve made it through the bulk of this renovation. And If you’ve helped us in any way- through knocking down walls or putting them up, painting trim or laying floors, and especially in your kind words of encouragement and praise, we thank you. You’ve helped us build our dream home.
Closed for party planning!
Closed for party planning!
Sorry everyone but Where We Are Blog is currently closed this week. It’s party planning central here at headquarters! Catch you next week for more on the completion of the half bath, staircase railing, how the Housewarming went, and much more!
I’m a sucker for sweets. I don’t think I’ve met a dessert I didn’t like. And especially around the holidays, it seems like bakers get pretty creative. I like to have a variety of favorites and crowd-pleasers for a party but why not have one or two show stoppers? These decadent desserts are surprisingly simple but look spectacular!
clockwise from top left
I’ve never been a fan of a full bar for a party. I understand people enjoy their mixed drinks but I’m not about to play bartender all night or have a crazy guest taking shots of Patron for the duration of the party. Instead, I like to offer beer and wine and have just one signature cocktail.
It can be fun and colorful, or go with your theme, or have a silly name like the Where We Are Blog-a-rita! At our fall wedding we had an apple cider martini as a nod to our getting engaged in an apple orchard. And at our housewarming, my cousin Maria will be whipping up her famous Apple Pie in a Glass.
Here are some fabulous holiday themed cocktails for your upcoming parties… cheers!