On the morning of Mother’s Day, you can find me hunched over a pot of rice or thinly sliced pieces of Spam with eggs sizzling over a vat of oil with crushed-up garlic bits. One of the hallmarks of Filipino food is breakfast/brunch, which has become one of the many times I share my love with my mom and my aunt. As I got older though, I wanted our ritual brunches to feel more special and have a little more *pizzazz,* especially for Mother’s Day. I scrutinized the idea that everything about the day needed to be extravagant: a room filled to the brim with roses, gardenias, tulips, a cabinet with expensive champagne, and since we’re already up to this point, a box of doves to release at the end of the five-course meal.

Luckily, being broke and in college pumped the brakes a bit. Mother’s Day is an extension of love that can’t be summed up to a single day but the celebration can be just as abundant no matter where you’re at in life. Hosting a cute brunch is just one of the many ways to love on our moms and mom-figures, and here’s how to.

Decorations for the perfect Mother’s Day brunch.

I tend to start here when it comes to planning a function. It allows me to see how I can set the tone and honestly, it brings out the HGTV host in me, but start planning wherever you feel is the easiest. A majority of my decoration shopping will always come from Dollar Tree because for one, they tend to have cute seasonal items in stock for Mother’s Day and it’s completely inexpensive. If floral or pastel decorations aren’t your mom’s taste, Party City also has some pretty good selections. But don’t feel pressured to buy the entire line of tablecloths and centerpieces! This is where you can get creative and if nothing else, definitely include something that you know your mom/mom-figure would love. My mom loves taking pictures more than breathing so one year, I ended up hanging little individual pictures of us and the rest of the family. I printed the pictures out from Walmart and hung them all around the kitchen.

Mother's Day brunch isn't complete without food and drinks.

Brunch is probably one of my favorite eating times because it doesn’t involve a five-course meal complete with entrees and appetizers. It’s casual and more flexible than having to think about what’s next on the menu, and there are plenty of brunch items and avenues you can go with that won’t leave pinching pennies. In the past, I’ve always stuck with starting brunch out with shareable snacking-type dishes because it opens more options and lessens the risk of leaving your hot foods cold for too long. That means charcuterie boards, fruit platters, or if you’re like me and my aunt, a guava and cheese platter will definitely be your go-to’s.

In terms of hot food, it depends on how many people you’re anticipating and as mentioned before, if you intend on catering large amounts of different breakfast staples or plan on just having a casual eat-as-you-go situation. Either or, there are so many recipes that can accommodate everyone’s tastes. Some of my favorites lean more towards the meal-prepping side, especially for larger parties, and yes, TikTok is my go-to for those recipes like berry yogurt parfaits, croque monsieur bites, a ham and croissant bake, or cinnamon sugar toast rolls. But, if cooking isn’t your strong suit, no worries! You can have really festive “make-your-own” food stations with goods like bagels, pancakes, and toast.

For the drinking side of things, mimosas, espresso martinis, and bloody marys are a must. If you’re old enough, obviously. If not or if you’re like my mom and don’t particularly like alcohol, there are so many mocktails like this mimosa mocktail and this blueberry lavender one. 

All in all, try out whatever feels manageable and have fun!