April 30, 2014
Hosting our First Family Holiday | Backyard Easter Dinner
We hosted our first family holiday this Easter and it was quite the dream come true. We have a lot of things in our home throughout the year but all the big holidays belonged to other family members. Since my brother and sister in law, who usually host Easter on my side of the family had a baby due very soon, the Easter hosting baton was passed on to us this year. I knew I was excited to host our entire family, including Brent's family, this year. But little did I know just how fun it would be.
The weather has been really nice so we were able to have dinner outside. That combined with an egg hunt for the kiddos made for a fun excuse to go all out in our backyard so early in the year.
We welcomed guests with a Happy Easter chalkboard sign as well as an old fabric banner I made years ago when I was super into shabby chic. Pulling out all those pastels again was very fun!
I had hosted my sister in law's baby blessing the week before so I used that as an opportunity to cross over on some of the decor and desserts. I moved the ombre blue paper banner up to the wall and used our buffet for the dessert spread.
Like before I made layered desserts from the Glorious Layered Desserts cookbook and macarons from Gourmet French Macarons. Everyone loved the little desserts to chose from, many going for seconds and thirds! Having the desserts all in single serving bites made for an extra fun eating experience that all our guests raved over!
I printed out these He Is Risen printables from Jones Design Company.
I tucked away some candy grass and peeps for just the right amount of childhood whimsy. Little pink flags I had in my birthday party stuff box. Since the decor from the baby blessing was mostly blue and gold, adding these touches of pink added just the right balance in color.
In the backyard I set out a line of rectangular tables for dinner. I covered the tables with three different patterns of wrapping paper I picked up at TJ-Maxx. Easter is such the perfect holiday for an array of pretty colors!
Each place setting got a little chocolate egg as well as a He Is Risen card. I love the look of layering a plate for a pretty tablescape. By simply adding a piece of paper and chocolate to the mix added so much more depth and texture without adding unused chargers or fancy whatevers. I like to keep my entertaining supplies down to a minimum storage wise so I only keep things that actually get used. By changing out paper products I cut out on the excess but keep my tables looking fresh and unique.
Flowers and peeps served as centerpieces that were festive but did not take up a ton of room on the narrow table.
We hosted a little over twenty people all on one long table. When we have big birthday parties I will separate the tables but for family it feels more intimate, even with over twenty people, when we are all sitting at the same table. We have slowly been adding outdoor tables and chairs to our collection over the year and used this as an opportunity to purchase another rectangle table and a few more chairs. Our long term entertaining goal (yes, this is a real thing in our life!) is to have four round tables which each seat ten with enough chairs.
I hung up crepe streamers I received from PartyPail along our outdoor lights. Something about hanging crepe streamers makes an event feel more like a party. I am really happy with how it came out...even if it took me forever to hang them. And don't even get me started on the wind!
PartyPail has a great selection of crepe streamer colors. It is nice to be able to order online and have them stored away instead of running around town the week of looking for the right colors!
See that wind...still pretty in photos. Crazy irritating in real life. But it was worth it. Because really, it's all about the photos around here!
Covering the tables with white tablecloths and colored wrapping paper created a unified and fancy look while still appearing colorful and happy!
It is amazing how much more upscale the setup looks when all the tables have matching chairs and table cloths. I am so glad we decided to make the investment versus buying more patio furniture. Slowly buying a few pieces at a time has made it more financially manageable spread out over time. We have found that Costco and Sam's Club offers the best prices on the Lifetime brand.
When family arrived, we had snacks set out in our dining room. I added a few pink elements to the decor but mostly kept up everything from the baby blessing.
I made this little bunny burlap runner at an event I went to at my local West Elm the week before.
Right before dinner, the sun started to move giving me some better light for photos outdoors.
While picking up more chairs at Sam's Club we saw this family size inflatable pool for $30. It is pretty big, comes with little inflatable chairs in it, and a cool little bridge to swim through. Even if we only used it for a summer with my nephew, this great deal was totally worth it. My eyes must have been pretty big because Brent freely offered to buy it without me even having to ask! It was also 80 degrees that day. We needed a pool.
We set up the food on one round table buffet style. We joked it was the table you just keep going around...taking a bit at each plate!
The table was perfect. The weather was lovely. The food was delicious. We were blessed by a wonderful day.
And the kiddie pool? A huge hit!
After we ate ourselves silly, the two little ones got to go Easter egg hunting! What a joy to see those kiddos run around our yard! My heart was full!
And as the evening closed to an end, the ambiance always gets so lovely.
Once the dishes were cleaned and the last guest left, I went ahead and relaxed in the pool with my Instagram feed. It was a good day.