Many people complain about the negative aspects of social media, but for me, I have experienced the blessing of support and positivity from a group of women I’ve met virtually on Instagram. Last month I decided it was time for me to meet in person the women I admire and follow, so I reached out to six of my favorites and invited them to brunch at my home. Yes, I invited total strangers to sit at my table to exchange ideas, learn their passions and connect all of these beautiful influencers.  It’s like meeting a Pen Pal! My poinsettia girls – Julie from The Crestwood Home, Amy from A Brown House Designs, Ann from Hill Country House Girl, Jacque from Fort Worth the Wait, Julia from Julia Reddout, and Catherine McIntosh from Catherine White Art are a collective of creativity, passion, and authenticity. It warmed my heart and gave me such glee when I heard, “Oh, my goodness, you are Fort Worth the Wait? I follow you!”  We are so much better in collaboration than competition, don’t you think?

My inspiration was the bright red poinsettias from Trader Joe’s. You can’t beat their prices of nice-sized pots for just $6.99. I placed one poinsettia inside a white ceramic bamboo planter from Amazon for the center of the table. I added green moss to hide the edges of the black plastic pot. Then I deconstructed the other poinsettia by snipping the stems into individual flowers for small clear vases from Amazon.  I set the table with my Christopher Radko Christmas dishes I purchased many years ago with Christmas money from my mother, vintage napkins, ruby red glassware, and my mother’s vintage wedding crystal. New to me this year were red round faux leather placements from Target. I can’t wait to use them for Valentine’s Day and July 4th. To personalize the table setting, I use clear lucite place cards from Amazon. It’s super easy to take a washable paint pen to personalize each place card. Wash and store away for another day.

Mother’s Hot Curried Fruit

I served my favorite brunch recipes – Sausage, Biscuits, and Gravy casserole here from a previous blog post, or you can print the recipe here; Cranberry Christmas Cake – a must for guests or to make and share as gifts. It is so delicious and super easy; and my mother’s Hot Curried Fruit, a nice twist on the traditional fruit salad.

Here’s her recipe:

Hot Curried Fruit
1 can peaches
1 can pears
1 can apricots
1 can black cherries (if you can’t find black, red cherries work. But not pie filling, just plain cherries).
1 can pineapple chunks
1 small jar of maraschino cherries
2 ripe bananas
Drain all fruit well. Mix fruit in a rather flat casserole. Melt 1/3 cup butter with 3/4 cups brown sugar and 1 TBL curry powder. Pour over fruit. Bake about an hour at 350 degrees.  I served the fruit in vintage ruby red compote dishes gifted to me by my neighbor Helen.
I set up a Merry Mosa bar with champagne, and a variety of juices.  For a twist, we enjoyed a Southern Living twist on the traditional mimosa using Pomegranate Juice and a sugar cube with Champagne. Here’s a free 5×7 printable to frame and use for your Mimosa Bar.
We finished the morning sitting by the fire sharing our stories, challenges, and dreams. It was the most memorable and special gathering I’ve hosted in a long while. We all agreed to continue our Poinsettia Girls group in January. Catherine gifted everyone with her beautiful Chinoserrie 2022 calendars still available here. And, I sent everyone home with a Peppermint Hot Cocoa Bomb made by Lindsay from Sprinkles and Love. I embellished the boxes with ribbon from Shy Myrtle on Etsy and gift tags from WH Hostess Social.
Please take a moment and follow these wonderful women. Merry Christmas!