Wednesday, February 15, 2017

How to Throw a Galentine's Day Brunch

Valentine's Day is one of my favorite holidays. As I said in yesterday's post, I just enjoy celebrating love. I have so much love and joy in my life and although I try to constantly remind my loved ones how much they mean to me, I like to get into the holiday spirit and really celebrate around Valentine's Day.

Every year growing up all of the ladies in my family would celebrate Galentine's Day over Sunday brunch. We would exchange little gifts, talk lady things, and just enjoy the love we shared for each other.

Fast forward a few years to my days of binge-watching Parks and Recreation in college I was again reminded of this tradition by my favorite fictional character and spirit animal, Leslie Knope.

During every season of the series, Leslie Knope throws a Galentine's Day brunch on February 13th for all of her gal-pals. Originally is out of bitterness for being single, but even as she meets her boyfriend and future husband she continues the tradition to show her closest ladies just how much they mean to her.

Last year, a friend of mine threw a Galentine's Day brunch to ask us all to be bridesmaids in her wedding. Definitely a day filled with love, laughter, and happy tears.

This year, I wanted to throw the brunch because I have so many beautiful women from multiple walks of my life here in D.C. and I wanted them all to meet and be surrounded by equally strong and beautiful women.

There are a few necessities to through a successful and fun Galentine's Day brunch that I want to share with you to inspire your own:

1) Decorations

Decorations definitely transform a normal brunch to a Galentine's Day brunch. I wanted my friends to walk into my apartment to a see of pink so that it was clear that we were really celebrating. 

I very honestly got all of my decorations from the Dollar Tree (although I spent wayyyyy more than is acceptable seeing as everything was $1). I bought mostly pink, but added hints of white and red in to cover the whole Valentine's Day color spectrum. 

One of my favorite decorations was the little flower arrangements I made using sweethearts and multiple vases. It was honestly so easy: I simply placed a small standard vase filled with pink daisies in a square vase and filled the extra space with sweethearts. I placed it on a small side table with Leslie Knope's Galentine's Day quote, and had a perfect little display. 

All of the other decorations fell in suite and I'm in love with the product.

2) Food

FOOD! What would a brunch be without food?!? I wanted to stay in theme with hearts and the color pink so I did as best as I could. 

My favorite dish was the quiche's I made: one was a bacon/sausage/cheddar with bacon hearts on top and the other was a Mediterranean with Red Pepper hearts on top. I also made a granola parfait bar with pink strawberry yogurt and heart shaped fruit as per theme. Also in the picture below are DELICIOUS Sugar Shack donuts that one of my gal pals brought. Every last crumb was eaten.

Another friend of mine brought pink cupcakes and heart-shaped cookie pops. Again, every last crumb eaten.

Not pictured are the delicious chocolate-covered strawberries and cinnamon crumb cake that two of the other girls brought. Definitely two recipes I would recommend including. 

3) Drinks

I decided to provide two drinks: one alcoholic and one not.

The alcohol drink was very honestly thrown together with ingredients to purposely make it pink. It ended up being DELICIOUS and dangerous because you couldn't taste the vodka I added. I simply combined 1 bottle of Sprite, 1 bottle of white grape/strawberry juice, and 1 bottle of peach vodka. I topped it with frozen raspberries and VOILA!

The non-alcohol drink was a Pinterest recipe that I just had to create! It was a crockpot Pink White Hot Chocolate. It was a simple recipe that combined 7.5 cups of whole milk, a can of sweetened condensed milk, a bag of white chocolate chips, and 1.5 tablespoons of vanilla extract. I cooked on high for 2 hours and then kept it on warm during the brunch. Right before everyone arrived I added red food dye until it turned the shade of pink I wanted.

I served it in Mason Jars with whipped cream and decorative straws and had quite the Pinterest-ready drink!

4) Valentine Exchange

I think my favorite part of the whole brunch was the Valentine exchange. I had everyone bring a Valentine of their choosing for everyone else so each person got to leave with 10 Valentine's (did I mention I hosted 10 girls in my 500 square foot apartment?)

They were so creative and thoughtful and I absolutely loved them!

5) Photo Booth (Wall)

This part was so fun and I now have SO many pictures to show it. 

Originally I ordered a metallic backdrop from Etsy, but it didn't arrive in time, so I improvised.

I found glitter hearts during my Dollar Tree trip, so I arranged them on one of my empty walls so people could take pictures. 

I provided a few different headbands, heart sunglasses, and a frame so that everyone could use props and have fun!

Here are the wonderful pictures:

I hope that everyone had a Galentine's Day and Valentine's Day filled with love! Please leave any recommendations for next year in the comments!


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