I know it’s not September but let’s just pretend together. I love hosting monthly themed brunches for my friends, it started out in July as a “one-time-thing” and turned into a tradition. I enjoy the whole process of coming up with a theme, brainstorming, decorating, making the invitations, baking and of course the mimosas!! I got sick this September so I had to push it back a bit and October kind of sneaked up on me. But it’s ok, it just means that October will have TWO BRUNCHES! Double the fun 😀
I don’t have a really big house –I’m a student so I don’t really need one- so there isn’t much room which means I can’t have all my friends over at once. That’s a bit disappointing but to make up for this, I rotate the friends I invite each time. There is only one person to whom I have promised will be a constant at every brunch and that is because they were very much a part of the conception of the idea.
The first brunch didn’t have a theme, at that point I didn’t know I was going to be hosting every month. I have now come to call that brunch the “Original Brunch Party”. It was a hit and seeing how much everyone enjoyed it and how much I enjoyed it myself, I decided to do it again, and again, and again. So the next brunch was in August and the theme was “Summer Madness” and the dress code was “beachwear and sunglasses” so we sat on my balcony eating and drinking mimosas in our bikinis. I know the old guy who lives across my apartment enjoyed that one in particular.
And now we are in September (still pretending remember?) and school starts in September (here in Greece) so naturally the theme was going to be “Back to School”. And I always loved back to school season because it meant that all the stores filled their shelves with beautiful, colorful notebooks and binders and pens and all that jazz and I just LOVE anything that has to do with stationary. I am addicted. I have many empty notebooks, unused pens and markers, stickers and washi tape and it seems as though no matter how many I have they are never enough! So coming up with September’s theme wasn’t hard. The brainstorming process was also very enjoyable and I had many ideas.
So after I decided on the theme and the people I was going to invite, the preparations started. I made sure everyone was available on October 1st and then made the invitations to send out.
I used some card stock paper for the invitations that had owls with glasses on the one side (I forgot to take a picture of that side, oops) and flash cards with some appropriately decorated washi to talk about the dress code. Every brunch is themed and has a corresponding dress code but for this month only I decided to do something special: turn the dress code into a challenge. So I went back to school shopping and picked up a few things I liked. I tried to color coordinate them as much as possible so that everything matched beautifully.
The challenge was simple: whoever had the most school-related or school-associated items would win. Meaning anything stereotypically associated with school. Choosing the winner however didn’t turn out to be that simple. Everyone came dressed like schoolgirls and they had backpacks filled with notebooks and pencil cases and everything! One of them was even wearing her mom’s tennis skirt from when she was young and went to school. That skirt was 50 years old! It was clear that everyone had put great effort into their costume choices so I felt really bad having to pick. All of them deserved the prize. So we decided to change the rules of the challenge a bit. One of the girls –the same one with the vintage skirt- had also brought a vintage game of Snakes and Ladders. The last time I remember playing Snakes and Ladders I was still living in the States. That’s a looooong time ago. So we decided to play and the winner would take the prize. I ended up winning the first game but we played again because I was obviously out of the competition. I was really glad when the winner got the prize because I could tell she really liked it and that made me happy.
As for decorations I usually don’t go crazy, although I would love to decorate and turn the whole house into each month’s theme but there is simply not enough time for that. So I usually just decorate the table that I use as a buffet for the food and the mimosas.
For this month I decided to get fresh flours and put them in a –makeshift- vase not filled with water but with those little plastic magnetic letters we used to spell with on the fridge when we were little. I used water vials to keep the flowers fresh and the letters covered them up nicely. I placed it next to the menu (which was supposed to be blackboard-colored but my printer decided on a more brown-orangey color instead). It looked cute but after I placed a big vintage-looking notebook underneath and an apple, it really came together.
As for food I had made banana bread (the healthy version with no sugar but still delicious), lemon cream cheese filled crescent rolls and for desert apple crisp cupcakes with a mouthwatering caramel sauce topping. Needless to say we ate a little too much 😛 And lets not forget the mimosas!! I used orange juice. Simple, classic and delicious.
When it was finally time for everyone to go I gave each a takeaway container with leftovers. I had decorated the lids ahead of time with stamps.
And a little gift bag. I always make gift bags with little goodies inside and a thank-you note. For this month’s gift bags I used some pretty pink polka-dot lunch bags and closed them using name tag stickers with their names written on (I had these from when I was in 2nd grade). Inside I included a couple of Women’s Energy Yogi Tea sachets that I clipped together with a gold binder clip. I also made roasted chickpeas with Masala spice and stored them in a cute little polka-dot baggie.
And finally I dropped in an envelope with the thank you note and that month’s keepsake. This might seem a little cheesy but I like giving away little wooden hearts as keepsakes. I write a quote or message on one side and the theme and date of the brunch on the other. I make one for me too and my idea is that when we celebrate the “one-year-anniversary” I will have hung them up on string in a prominent place near the buffet.
It was very fun and I think everyone enjoyed themselves. Its very satisfying to see my friends get excited when they’re invited and then enjoy the food and thank me for the goodies. It makes me very happy and it’s definitely a hobby that creates beautiful memories.
I am now brainstorming for October’s brunch, I know the theme will be Halloween-y but I’m still trying to come up with a cool title to go with it so stay tuned for that. Also, I will be putting up a post soon on how I made the crescent rolls which turned out delicious so stay tuned for that as well.
I hope this post inspired you to engage in experiences that create beautiful memories. If it did or if you also enjoy hosting brunches or parties let me know by leaving a comment down bellow, let’s discuss and exchange ideas. Also, let me know if you have any ideas on what to call October’s brunch.