Our New Year’s Day Brunch

The sixth (out of six) event we hosted this holiday season was a brunch to celebrate the first day of the new year.

We made it a potluck, with us providing pancakes and waffles, coffee and tea, and people bringing whatever else they felt like enjoying. We had a great turnout and many delicious goodies.

The living room mantel had been de-holiday-ed and has a pared down appearance:

Our brunch set up included this fun printable from eighteen25:

Hutches ready with drinks and platters for yummy goodies:

Glitter is always appropriate:

The food people brought was amazing:

The sausage on the top left plate was delicious. Oh, there’s none left. Yeah, it was epic, and it was gone the moment I would bring more out. Our friend J made it himself and I tell you, I usually HATE breakfast sausage, but this was fabulous.

My mother-in-law brought fresh fruit, which was the healthiest thing we had all day:

Auntie L brought this amazing gorilla bread:

Picture us diving in like raging beasts and pulling back with our pieces, leaving only a few nuts and crumbs on the plate.
She also brought yummy muffins and pumpkin bread. Oh man, inviting Auntie L is a dangerous thing, she is a fantastic baker.

We provided pancakes and waffles, and our friends S&C lent us their Mickey Mouse waffle maker:

Our friend K and her family brought bacon and ingredients for a yummy hash. Then she told me to leave my kitchen:

See that huge knife she has?

Yeah, I left.

But then she brought this out so I figured I’d been made to leave my kitchen for a good reason:

Our friends J&M brought eggs, freshly made whipped cream, and a yummy berry compote. Our other friend S was seen scooping up a huge spoonful of whipped cream and dumping it in her coffee. We all just smiled and nodded. S brought us homemade mulled wine, which we can’t wait to try, and many people brought sparkly wine and OJ for mimosas.

There’s no further pics because I was eating like a pig for the rest of the brunch. That, and making sure K didn’t have a knife in her hand anymore.

My dear friend M and her kids (her son is friends with my oldest) came over, which made for a nice end to our brunch. Then my husband started playing Lonely Island videos on the TV while the kids were playing outside. One little girl made it back inside and her dad promptly took her back outside so her tender ears would not be corrupted by our choice of entertainment.

My boys were still getting Christmas gifts, I swear, we are all severely spoiled. The final brooch on the perfect day we had was my friend M coming back to drop off some homemade posole for my dinner. I tell ya, we have awesome friends.

Our Christmas

My oldest decided to use a whole jar of sprinkles for Santa’s cookies ;D

it was all about quality, not quantity because the rest of the batch was deemed not worthy of decoration.

The key words this year were “super hero” for my oldest, and “Godzilla” for my youngest, so most of their considerable loot was in one of those two camps.

I love little-boy bedhead!

My husband did an outstanding job with dinner, again, with a few dishes made by mom and me. We made the little Santa hats that were all over pinterest.

All too soon, the festivities ended, mom went back home, and we got some much-needed sleep. In a few days we will host the last of our holiday season events, a New Year’s Day brunch. We are doing it potluck-style, with us providing coffee/tea and pancakes/waffles, and everyone else bringing other items. So far, our response list is looking scrumptious!

Swedish baby shower

Over the weekend, I had the honor of hosting a baby shower for my sister-in-law, K. Her husband is from Sweden, where they live, and she’s visiting for a couple of weeks, so it was out only chance to get together and celebrate. I keep referring to her baby as baby Thor or baby Freya, but no, those are NOT the names they’re considering 😀 In fact, some of the names K likes for a girl (they don’t know the gender yet) are the ones I would have given to my child if I’d had a girl. I would LOVE it, if K’s baby is a girl, for my new niece to have those names I love, so yes, I am a little biased in what I hope she has.

Since we don’t know the baby’s gender yet, I decided to do the shower in the colors of the Swedish flag – blue and yellow:

I even learned to make pompoms!

Some of the wine was renamed with the names of Swedish places and the mommy- and daddy-to-be’s last name.

My husband did an amazing job decorating the house for Christmas, it looked beautiful!

I came up with a few games, including a crossword puzzle:

I had a blast planning and hosting the shower and even got gifts from my mother-in-law and sister-in-law for hosting! My husband was a fabulous assistant, he took many photos, helped set up, kept people fed and with drinks, he made my job so easy. K said she had a good time and was very thankful, which means the world to me. I am so excited for baby Thor or baby Freya to arrive next spring!!!

Birthday weekend, part 4

After lunch and a nap, we got ready for dinner at Allegria.

Last year, our friends C&D had come to Napa with us and they’d gifted me a bottle of Caymus zinfandel.  I decided to bring the Caymus to my birthday dinner at Allegria and share it with my hubby and our friends J&M.

The wine went perfectly with our entrees and it was a delightful dinner.

Little did I know that our friends C&D would gift me another bottle of Caymus for this birthday – score!  Now I have wine for next year’s birthday dinner ;D

On Sunday, we had breakfast at the hotel and then headed home because we had invited people to celebrate with me – the party started at noon and we got home about 90 minutes before that.  My mother-in-law had watched the boys for us, my father-in-law got the house ready for guests, and both of them along with my husband did all the food.  I am so grateful to them!

I saw something this board on Pinterest and decided to make my own:

The afternoon was wonderful, it was so nice to see so many people from so many facets of my life.  When thinking about what to say if people asked what I wanted for my birthday, I took my inspiration from the book that started my veggie garden adventure – Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, by Barbara Kingsolver.  For her 50th birthday, Barbara asks everyone to bring her a plant.  I couldn’t do the same since her birthday was in May, perfect for planting, but mine is in November, and I was guessing many plants would not survive the winter.  So instead, to those who asked, I simply asked for seeds.  Any type of veggie or flower would do.  And oh my goodness, I now have a serious stack of seeds for my 2012 garden!  Plus other, very generous gifts that will all come in handy.

I didn’t want to blow out FORTY candles so my husband, helpfully, decided to get four “decade” candles.

My boys had tons of fun as well since they had lots of friends to play with.

It was such a wonderful end to my birthday weekend, so many wonderful friends and relatives.  Despite all the whining and moaning I’ve done about turning forty, I know am a very lucky girl.

I hope everyone has a great weekend!

Lovely time with friends

Yesterday my husband and I attended a party in honor of our friends J&M’s engagement. It was a J’s parents’ gorgeous home and everything was exquisite – from the delicious food (ribs, cornbread, to-die-for chocolate cake, etc.) to the decorations (everything in turquoise!) to the delicious baby I got to hold for about an hour or so. Little Logan is two months old and he slept peacefully in my arms, so I totally got my baby fix.

I figured the weather would be sunny but not overwhelmingly hot, so this is what I wore. Except my fab babysitter said she liked my chunky bracelet better, so I swapped the hoop earrings for diamond studs.

bbq party

I love this top from Old Navy, stripes are in but no way in H-E-L-L am I doing horizontal stripes so these are flattering and the scale is graphic but not crazy. The bag, skirt and wedges I had, and I felt comfortable and appropriate.

We had such a great time celebrating the future marriage of our friends, it was the perfect end to our week.