New Year’s Eve Favorite Things Brunch

Happy new year! The ladies in my family have started a new tradition of having a favorite things brunch around the holidays where my younger cousin and I host our moms, aunts, and grandmothers at my house for a fun morning of fellowship and gifting. (Click here to read more about the favorite things game.) This year, we had extra helping hands from our cousin’s new wife. (You may remember when we hosted her wedding shower last spring.) Last year, we hosted the brunch a week before Christmas, but this year we decided a New Year’s Eve brunch would work best.

We had a lot of fun setting the table this year! It was a special treat to break out linens and actual dinnerware and treat the ladies of our family to something special. We’re definitely a family that typically uses disposable plates and napkins for family gatherings.

Each place setting had a water glass, linen napkin, mimosa champagne flute with a swizzle stick, favor, party hat, name card, small plate, dinner plate, charger, and utensils. Trust me, we really upped the table setting ante from last year’s brunch.

The party hats were from Target, and almost everyone wore their hat during brunch! It was so much fun to look around the table and see everyone wearing party hats and enjoying themselves. The name cards were a simple DIY using free flower clip art. This helped us identify which mimosas should be mocktails. Plus it was a really sweet touch everyone seemed to appreciate.

We found the Bubbles & Kisses favor idea from Pinterest, and it was a huge hit! All we did was add some Hershey Kisses to an organza favor bag, write “Bubbles & Kisses” on gift tags from Target, and add it to the mini bottles of sparkling cider.

I’m going to get real for a minute and admit that this cake was almost a huge problem. It all started when I ordered a cake topper that didn’t arrive correctly, and then the Etsy seller forgot to send the correct topper. She was really gracious about it and gave me a full refund, but the cake already started with a disadvantage: no topper. Then, when we picked up the cake, it didn’t look at all like it was supposed to look. Instead of being covered in an edible glitter, it had gold sprinkles haphazardly sprinkled all over.

Honestly, we just needed to reset our mental picture of how the cake was supposed to look and instead accept how it actually looked. Once we did that, it became a lot easier to move forward. I found a free clock printable to use as the central topper, and we just used a decorative scalloped circle punch to add some circles to add some something decorative around the clock. This all happened around midnight the night before the brunch. The cake itself was strawberry and delicious.

The rest of the table’s centerpiece featured grocery store flowers in holiday vases, a beaded runner, and the cake on a silver cake plate. There was enough going on with the rest of the table to feel comfortable with a simpler centerpiece.

All of the food was placed on a small buffet table near the main dining table. Unfortunately, the only place to put the buffet table blocked one of the doors into the dining room, so we had to get a little creative blocking the exit. The mix of balloons and the banner ended up being the perfect kitschy, not-so-serious additions to the party decor. The balloons were hung from the door frame with sequined ribbon, so the extra touch of sparkle was really fun.

The food itself was a mix of old and new recipes, and it was all well received by the brunch guests.

Menu:

Happy new year, friends!

Planning a Brunch Menu

Last year, I hosted a ladies brunch for the women in my family. It was a huge hit, so I recently decided that I would hold the brunch again this year. I plan to host the brunch every year if the women in my family continue to enjoy it.

A brunch, to me, is feminine in nature. So, it makes perfect sense to make this occasion ladies only. Plus it’s a great excuse for the generations of women in my family to all get together. We range in ages from 75 to 18.

The brunch will be in the fall (same as last year) and will be themed (more on that later).

The menu was one of the most difficult pieces of the puzzle for me to nail down last year. In the end, though, it all came together beautifully, and I’ll be using some of the same dishes this year. Such as:

  • Homemade biscuits with some not-your-ordinary, fruit jams (peach, blueberry, etc.)
  • Cheese platter of assorted cheeses and crackers
  • Mom’s cider
  • Blushing apples (These can bee seen in photo below.)

I’m trying to decide if we should go meatless, and the more I think about it, the more I’m leaning toward yes. The women in my family, myself included, hardly eat any meat at all, so it makes sense. I tried a sausage casserole last year, and it wasn’t a huge success. I had thought about cooking slices of bacon, but I’d really rather not try to cook breakfast meat the morning of the brunch. It’s anyone’s guess where I’ll end up on this one.

I find that cooking the morning of a brunch is not something to be taken lightly. I prefer to cook only one or two dishes that morning that were preferably prepared the evening before. Everything else for a brunch should only require assembly the night before or the morning of. For instance, I’ll have the cheese plate ready to go with the exception of the fruit and crackers the night before. Those will be added the morning of.

Cheese Platter from Last Year’s Brunch

I want to include more pastries this year with the addition of some flavored butters. Perhaps honey? Or Pioneer Woman’s berry butter? I lean toward the honey, but we’ll see.

I’m also toying with the idea of setting up a mocktail mimosa bar. My family may not drink alcoholic beverages, but I’m sure they would enjoy putting together fun mocktails. Plus with inspiration as pretty as this, who could resist? (Read full article from inspiration picture here.)

I’ve still go t a long way to go planning this brunch, but I’ll keep you posted a long the way. I have a lot of fun ideas for table settings, invitations, decorations and games that I can’t wait to share!

p.s. I’m linking up to Tablescape Thursday over at Between Naps on the Porch. See you there!

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