I'm sorry I was gone most of last week, we had a very busy and fun schedule packed with a volunteer table design benefit, visit to a childrens' farmstead and a baby shower hosted at our house... I have a zillion photos to share this week...  as Emma would say, "Here go!" - a complete sentence in baby language.

Last things first, I just can't wait to share the photos from the Baby Shower Brunch I hosted at our house yesterday.  My friend, Susan, is pregnant with twin girls so a very girly, "Sugar, Spice & Everything Nice" shower was in order. 

 I love these invitations from Minted.  It really is the only way to go for custom invitations for a small number of guests.  I'm still enjoying these "Angel" peonies today as I type - my very favorite.

Before each event I host, I make these types of little sketches to help me envision what everything will look like.  It also helps me make my shopping list because I'm able to figure out what I'll need for linens, props and styling before the actual setup.

Because I tend to entertain in a very casual fashion (because I think everyone enjoys it more than fancy...), I designed the party to be special with plenty of flowers and girly touches, but relaxed with big bountiful platters of help-yourself food and drink and comfortable seating. 

 The night before I always set out everything I possibly can for the next day... especially in a brunch situation.  Hosting a party can go from fun to stressful if everything is rushed and left to the last minute.  I definitely learned this the hard way during my catering days.  I found that it took all of the fun out of my job if I was running late and rushing through everything.

I set this beverage table up in my kitchen - the table is usually used as my desk.

I also made the Sweetie Pie favors the night before.  Each bag contained either a Mini Apple or Strawberry Pie.  Here is the link to the Mini Pies step-by-step instructions and recipes!

 Here are the Strawberry Pies - I'll share the step-by-step and recipe later this week.  

Here is the dining room setup.  Because it was going to be a small casual brunch, we left he seating open - a fix a plate and "make yourself at home" type party.  To make the banners, I use theRifle Botanicals Garlands I found at Paper-Source... only $16 and took just minutes to hang.  

 I'm obsessed with these - still haven't taken them down.  I plan to do one with E-M-M-A in her room later this week... and I might hang the "Sugar & Spice" one in there, too.

I really like casual centerpieces like this.  Everyone asked if I cut these from my garden - exactly what I want people to think.   

 But, no unfortunately I don't have any peony bushes in my garden... yet.
The pewter pieces are Match (wedding gifts), and the glass pieces are old candy apothecary jars.  I also placed some wrapped gifts for Susan amongst the flowers.

More uses for the Rifle Botanicals Garlands - I couln't help myself.  Easy Banners = Insta-Party

Last one...

Here is the beverage bar setup the morning of - Bellini's and Coffee.  We also had Sparkling Pomegranite Juice for the pregnant ladies... we had four out of ten guests that were pregnant!  Five babies and ten ladies.

 Stations make it so much easier for your guests to help themselves - I think it makes everyone more comfortable.

Bellini is a drink with Peach Puree (or juice) topped with Champagne or Prosecco.  I think it must be the "new" mimosa.
Brunch Menu...
recipe links coming later this week!

Upon arrival :

Mini Vanilla Bean Scones (we called "Sugar & Spice Scones)
Brunch :

Cheddar & Chive Quiche
Strawberry & Spinach Salad
Fruit & Cheese Platters
"Homemade" Cinnamon Rolls

Favors :
Tiny Mini Pies - "Sweetie Pies"

Forgive the re-used photo from original post... I didn't have my camera out when the girls arrived and the fresh scones came out. 

The BEST Strawberry & Spinach Salad.

Bountiful fruit platter made by my Co-Hostess, Melissa.

Cheddar Chive Quiche (warning : old post from my sister's baby shower I hosted 3+ years ago!)

 "Homemade" Cinnamon Rolls (re-used photo from original post)

I was so glad to host the shower for Susan at my house - I can't wait to meet those little ladies in just a couple of months!

Here is the easy-to-pin strip!