Easter is a favorite time to celebrate with our friends and family here at FrenchGardenHouse!

It’s a time when we celebrate the resurrection, celebrate the fresh new hope of Spring, and just celebrate being all together!

Monsieur Lievre Spring2

I plan what I’m serving at least a week or so before, and also make a list of all the serving pieces I want to use for the buffet table.

That way I’m not stressed, or trying to re-invent the table at the last minute. I can enjoy the day, knowing that I planned it all ahead!

Here’s an easy check list I use, and that you can use too. This weekend is the time to really start planning, if you haven’t already.





Write down what you will be having for brunch {or lunch or dinner} and make a huge list. I actually plan my menu on a blank piece of printer paper, I like room for doodling!

Here is what we will be having for our Annual Egg Hunt & Brunch:

Assorted Appetizers {guests bring their favorites}

The Perfect Spring Appetizer

Honey Baked Spiral Ham

Honey Baked Chicken Breast

Arugula and Roasted Grape Salad {recipe coming Wednesday!}

Cesar Salad

Spring Parmesan Artichoke Risotto

Most Delicious Hashbrowns Ever

Assorted Rolls and condiments

Easter Cake {made by me, simple layer cake with frosting}

Easter Cookies

Mixed Berries




Write down every single thing you will need. I group my lists into “areas” of the market, or into different shops I need to go to.


If you will have a HoneyBaked Ham, order it now, there’s still time. They have a great online reservation service, you simply log in, click on what you want to reserve at your local store, and they email you with your pick-up time. Pick up early, the ham will keep for days, so at least that part will be done.




Yay! You all know this is my favorite part!  Will you have a formal table, or casual? Best antique dishes, or every day, or paper?



I use another piece of 8-1/2″ x 11″ blank paper to plan out my tables. I’m visual, so I make simple shapes for the centerpiece, the serving bowls and platters and everything that will go on the table. I also make a note of the serving utensils.

I also write on this “blue print” what food goes on each dish. That way, when Easter morning comes, and I’m a little scattered, I can look at my plan and know exactly what goes where.




I try to have everything in house by now. I pick up my ham and chicken breast. If there is something to be picked up the day before Easter, I will make a separate list for that.

frenchgardenhouseprovencebagPainted Provence Tote


If you are making cakes, cookies and other things that could possibly be made ahead, do it!  In years past I’ve made things in the beginning of the week and frozen them.

These days, my menu is so simplified, that I just make a cake, some cookies ahead of time and call it done for the cooking part, except for the salads which are so super easy to mix together on the morning of Easter, and the risotto, which I will make early Easter morning.



Flowers always look better a few days out, so you can easily create your beautiful flowers Wednesday or Thursday. They will cheer you up while you are busy working on your Easter celebration too!



Flowers can be anything from a beautiful bunch of all one flower arranged in an antique ironstone French pitcher – to single stems, each in an old glass bottle.

4. CLEAN. 

By that I mean dust, and vacuum. Make sure the bathrooms are clean, with a little flower arrangement, some pretty soaps,  and clean towels for guests.

Don’t wear yourself out, guests don’t really notice if your home is ready to be featured on America’s Cleanest Homes, or not. Just use common sense, you don’t want to be so exhausted by the time Sunday comes!

FrenchCountryOliveLavandeSoap2Olive Lavender Soap



It’s a sweet idea to make a little Easter favor for each guest.  It can be anything from a small bar of French soap, to a little box of chocolates.

antique-tea-cup-velvet-ribbonLavender Antique Teacup


I started the tradition of filling my grandchildren’s Easter baskets with a new bathing suit, and just a few chocolate treats.  I love spending some “me” time creating their baskets, and also any favors for guests.  This favor below is just a paper box tied with vintage ribbon, filled with some speckled candy eggs, topped with a tag and a little sprig of wax flower.




Since we actually eat outside in the back garden, for me this means I only set my buffet table in the kitchen area. But I do have tables and chairs outside set out already by the end of the day. {thank you Mr. FrenchGardenHouse!}



I gather big plastic bins, to fill up with all the plates, flatware, napkins, tablecloth, glasses and everything else I use outside. So that when it comes time to set table outdoors, it’s all in an easy totable bin!

2. CHOOSE OWN EASTER OUTFIT.   I usually try it on, too! I want to look somewhere between elegant and casual, and wear clothes that are really comfortable. Usually for the brunch, this is my “go to” outfit – a pair of white or jean skinny pants, a non-wrinkle linen shirt, a bold, statement necklace, and comfortable shoes, often sandals since we live in California and the Brunch is in the garden.



1. SET OUTDOOR TABLES.  If you are having just one table, and it’s indoors, you’ve already set it yesterday, so you are ahead of the game!



2. COOK LAST MINUTE DISHES.  In my case, this means putting the risotto in the oven, and tossing the salad.


3. USE LIST TO PLACE ALL FOOD ON BUFFET TABLE.  Use list to get all the food onto the buffet table, with a “blue print” there is no guessing. Plus, in my case {since I am famous for forgetting to serve something – which no one but me knows!} it helps as a  reminder to bring everything out of the refrigerator.


4. GREET GUESTS WITH A SMILE AND ENJOY THE DAY!   You’ve made all these lists, shopped every store in town and prepared everything ahead of time so that when the party begins, you will enjoy it too!

Sometimes things aren’t perfect, but it’s okay. Glasses can break, a child can trip, if you as the hostess are in a non-frazzled state of mind, these are soon dealt with and forgotten. I hope you enjoyed this glimpse of my own Easter Preparation. I hope you are having a fun time planning your celebratory time with your own family and friends.



Don’t forget to enter the give-away!




  1. You are a gifted lady! I await your emails. They lift me up.
    Thank you.

  2. You have fabulous recipes that are easy to prepare.
    I am attempting to be proactive and set my table the day
    Before too. And I love your idea of putting new swim suits
    In grandchildren Easter baskets.

  3. Thank you for the inspiration and good tips!!! Easter is one of our favorite holidays in our family.

  4. Lidy, these are such wonderful tips! I am hosting Easter this year, and I am so excited! It is my favorite holiday! I have been planning for weeks, and have been making my grocery list and designing my tables this weekend. I hope that you have a happy and blessed Easter!

  5. Shannon, I hope you have a beautiful time! I know everything will be beyond lovely. xo

  6. Ginger, without my lists I’d be lost! They actually free up my mind so much that I make a list each time I entertain. I think most of us do that, although i do have a few friends who don’t. Don’t know how they do it, I’d be frazzled.

  7. You have done my work for me..Merci…

    it is always a pleasure to read your blog!

  8. I loved the post, it’s just what a scattered person like me needs. Tell me what to do in black and white and give me the pictures, I’m good at following directions. I just may be able to pull this off!

  9. Oh to be so organized! I want to be invited to you table this Easter. It’s beautiful and says Spring is here!

  10. If I bring mimosas, may I score an invite? Everything is just perfect!

  11. Beautiful!! I like to forage for spring branches to add to some spring flowers to decorate. Bring to outdoors inside for the weekend.

  12. Always look forward to your blog . It is like dessert saving the BEST for last ! You inspire . Thank you

  13. I am so inspired for Easter! That is a great checklist Lidy…I love your menu, and thank you for sharing my recipes. Happy Easter to all!

  14. I don’t have any comments to add, but the pictures of the table settings are just beautiful!! The toile tablecloth is charming!

    Happy Easter to All !!

  15. I just love anything you do for special occasions! I want to be seated at your table. Thanks for inspiring us. Pat

  16. The parmesan artichoke recipe looks like a keeper- I am going to make this soon!Yum! Happy easter to all.

  17. So interesting. In my family, the Americans go for buffets, but in France, they either serve family-style at the table (passing dishes) or serve plated dishes. People rarely get up from the table. I prefer family-style so I can avoid anything I don’t particularly like without leaving it on my plate (every Christmas, my in-laws give me a huge hunk of deer meat that I don’t touch, nor do I eat the cream-covered potatoes, but that leaves only the single stem of vegetable, which nobody else eats, but which I would have gobbled up given half a chance).

  18. We do family style dinners for other holidays, but for Easter, it’s a middle of the day meal with so many people that having the buffet set up in the kitchen, and the tables set up outside is the way to go! Especially since there are so many little ones hopping around the garden. There is a crafts table for the children {and an occasional inspired adult!} and then the egg hunt, all in our garden….so it’s a very casual affair.
    Happy Easter!

  19. Such a beautiful setting, gorgeous decorations, along with great ideas.

  20. Wonderful ideas to follow, I will try to do it all up right this year. Thank you for all your suggestions!!!!!

  21. Lidy,
    I, just love, love, love your attention to detail and your style! Your flower arrangements are always so beautiful, and I think the paper box tied with the vintage ribbon is such a nice detail -great idea. Think I will make them too. I also like to make list’s and plan out all my serving pieces sure makes things easier the day of your event. Please enter me into the drawing.
    Thanks, Denise

  22. Thank you Denise! Sometimes it’s the little details that make everything special, isn’t it?

  23. Lidy, thank you for this peak into your planning for Easter. We will be hosting this year and I’m thrilled to do so. Even though the grand-princesses might seem too old, they still enjoy the egg hunt. Our back garden has two tiers with waterfalls and small ponds, so we will enjoy the egg hunt on two levels. It always brings back memories of past years when they were toddling around searching for eggs.

  24. Oh Lidy, how I admire your organization and thoughtful preparation. No detail is missed. So helpful of you to share your checklist! It is such a blessing to a girl like me who is usually “flying by the seat of her pants”.
    The amazing risotto dish will be on our Easter table with the traditional ham. And thanks to you, I just may manage to include some of the special touches that say this is an extraordinary day of rejoicing and love.
    After waking up to S-N-O-W this morning, I am praying for good weather on Easter weekend. Thank you for your help and inspiration!

  25. Julie, snow. Oh my. No matter what the weather, may you have a blessed Easter. I hope you love the risotto!

  26. I am also a huge believer in lists. Helps to keep me sane and organized. Love your ideas.

  27. Happy Easter Lidy,
    This is such a beautiful setting of the tables and all the pretty flowers are to die for, you really have a great eye, just love looking at all your pretties, makes my day and gives me so many good idea’s. Thank you for sharing, wish I lived closer to see in person all your wonderful things,you and your family have a wonderful Easter and “HAPPY SPRING”~~~~~~~
    Bonjour, Jean~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

  28. Your plum transferware has my heart skipping a beat. It’s my favorite pattern, but so very difficult to find.

    Happy Easter.

  29. What a lovely chic decorating Brunch idea. Thank You for sharing this with your readers. I wish my daughter’s would take the time to make a lovely Easter Brunch. They work full time, and take whatever short cuts they can. When I worked full time. I would start preparing at least a week ahead of the holiday. I would set the table ahead of time with my finest heirloom linens, and hve everything decorated. All I had to put on the table were the flowers, and food on Easter. I would take a inexpensive clear plastic drop cloth and put it over the table until Easter morning. The candles would keep the plastic cloth off the plates. I own a Bed & Breakfast, so I still get to do some beautiful table settings for my guests. They are always so pleased when they come down to Breakfast in the mornings, and see the table looking elegant, with fresh flowers, antique china, and beautiful table linens and placemats, with matching cloth napkins and pretty candle rings. Candlelight Breakfasts for my guest. A special way to start the day.

  30. Thank you Janice. That sounds just so lovely! Your guests are very fortunate, that IS an elegant way to begin the day!

    Happy Easter!

  31. Everything looks beautiful and the menu sounds delicious. You make it sound very easy. I’m sure your family looks forward to having brunch at your home.
    Have a blessed Easter with your family.

  32. How lovely the photographs are. And the tips and suggestions are wonderful. I am only hosting my friend this year and it will be very simple but your post is a great guide for entertaining for any occasion.

  33. Thank you Debra. I hope that the two of you have a wonderful time together!!

  34. What a lovely giveaway! Your home is perfect for any of the holidays! Tts just always picture perfect! Where did you get such a big Bunny! Its amazing! All you tips are very helpful. I plan on using some of them for my easter dinner.

  35. Oh you make anyone want to be a guest in your home….seated at the most gorgeous table among wonderful people and conversation. Crushing over the gorgeous purple platter…the perfect item for your Easter Brunch Buffet…but then again it would be perfect for any occasion. Your decorating and events are flawless. I love the idea of the bathing suit in the Easter baskets! Have a most wonderful Easter with your family!

  36. Lidy,
    I just came upon your blog by happen chance. It is so utterly enchanting…Your suggestions for Easter are Wonderful. I am going to use a few…I hope you don’t mind. The recipes look Fabulous. Thank you for introducing me to an inspirational and lovely Easter palette. Happy Easter Lidy…

  37. Thank you so much Stephanie! I am so happy to meet you here. Happy Easter, Stephanie! I hope it is beautiful, meaningful, and filled with laughter! xo

  38. I have my lists for the menu. I place beside it when I am going to prepare the items. I usually do this with teas also. But I go one step further. I set the table ( inside ) and place notes on each serving dish with the food that will go there. That way when I am finishing the table with the food, I know exactly where it goes. More important if there is an empty bowl or platter I know I forgot something. Your table setting map does the same thing.
    Thank you for all the words of wisdom to relieve the stress.

  39. Love your prep list and, of course it’s appropriate for any celebration. Setting the table is my favorite thing to do too! I envy you being able to entertain outside already. Here on Cape Cod we have a while to go. I enjoy your blog and all the lovely things I have gotten from you. Have a delightful Easter.

  40. You just have the most wonderful ideas and merchandise. Your presentations make us all want to be invited to one of your celebrations. Happy Easter…

  41. Lidy, you are amazing – your decorations are always amazing, but the food is delicious. I just added more recipes to my box. Thank you for the checklist.

  42. I do miss not having something like Honey-baked Ham or ordering a turkey pre-cooked breast here in the French country side. It all sounds so good, Lidy! Unfortunately, we don’t have the prefect weather to count on either. But, we love all of your ideas so we may just try it all a week or so later! Enjoy!!

  43. Allison, but you have France!! And all the beautiful joys and blessings of living there. Hope spring is soon on its way again, after that un-seasonal “summer” weather earlier this year. Happy Spring! xo

  44. Of course, I don’t ever take that for granted! We’ve been back for 5 weeks and finally, the leaves are coming out on the trees that beautiful yellow-green of early spring. The fields are already gorgeous green and tulips are up everywhere. Can’t sit outside for meals yet – too cold. But, by May, we should be going strong. Enjoy your beauiful back garden! Smiles, Allison

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