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A Spring Pre-Mother’s Day Celebration with Mom Friends

by Caitlin Kelch

With spring finally arriving and the flowers in full bloom, I thought it would be fun to spend a Saturday afternoon out on the porch and in the yard with my fellow mom friends as a sort of pre-Mother’s Day celebration. Being an introverted homebody, I’ve always been a bit shy when it comes to making new friends, but in the past year, I’ve been lucky enough to discover a wonderful group of women who also happen to be moms. Until this year, I was usually found awkwardly standing in the back of the crowd at school pick-up.

Last summer, I had my first dinner gathering with my amazing neighbors here on Princess Street in Shepherdstown, West Virginia. There were several empty homes for sale that were suddenly populated with the best neighbors one could hope for. This year, I stepped outside my comfort zone once again (thanks, Sabrina!) and invited some fellow moms over for a pre-Mother’s Day get-together.

Since I live in West Virginia and we finally got a store within 20 minutes of my house, I can usually be found there late on Saturday nights when Viola, my nine-year-old, heads off to Grandma’s for the weekend. This spring, I noticed some really beautiful marble pieces at Target that fit my annual spring refresh budget. I usually find some great, affordable pieces in the Threshold line and a lot of my basics are from the Room Essentials range. This season’s collections feature more classics than seasons past, so I stocked up on some affordable, luxe pieces with stripes and marble galore.

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 Image above, clockwise: Inspiration from the Ladies of Forêt: Table seating for those moms who rarely sit at the table without a child on their lap! | A classic ladies luncheon dish: Chinese Chicken Salad from Giao Trac | My  used as a planter atop my favorite from Target | Fresh peonies, finally! | Fresh cherries and strawberries | Picnic-style seating with my new , and from Target.

I was more than happy to pull some of my new finds outside for our porch party to break them in with my lady friends while we swapped R-rated stories and snacked on delicious food — with no Goldfish crackers or ranch dip in sight. Click through to see our roundup of our favorite picks for spring and Erin Gleeson’s mouthwatering Watermelon Salad recipe after the jump! Here’s to moms and mom friends everywhere!

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Erin Gleeson’s Watermelon Salad

Why Erin loves this recipe: I love the watermelon salad because of its unique presentation. A big round slab of watermelon acts as the base, and the salad is built on top of it. Perhaps because I studied sculpture in college, I often think about my dishes that way, taking into consideration how the shapes, colors and textures fit together. I chose mozzarella over the usual feta not only because I love the flavors together, but because I like how the round slices of cheese look when fanned out over the circular slice of watermelon. The basil and mint add color and flavor depth, and the nuts add a much needed crunch!

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About Erin: Photographer and artist lives in an idyllic cabin near San Francisco, CA, where she paints beautiful watercolors, cooks from her CSA box and writes her beloved food blog, , and a weekly “Delish Dish” column for Better Homes and Gardens. She has garnered attention from Design*Droits-Humains, Food52, Bon Appétit and Saveur.

Below are some of our favorite seasonal pieces now available at .

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Image above (clockwise): | | | | | | |

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To mark the spot for new friends who hadn't been to my home before, I hung the Mother's Day card my daughter gave me last year.
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I hung these super on our fence so the guests could just grab them and set up their own seating, picnic-style.
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I got a few tomato-red with plans to cross-stitch "Mom" onto them for my Mom and a few special relatives. These extra-long were great as ground-level trays for food and drinks!
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I used my new to pot some new additions to my garden and hung it in a tree for some eye-level color.
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I loved, loved, loved these marble-topped accent tables, so I bought two and used one as a table and one for seating. They actually make the perfect bench.
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My daughter was a bit grumpy when I said this was a grown-up party, so she merrily ran around to find the perfect spot to hang her Mother's Day card (also from Target last year!). She decided the side gate was not the spot and tied it to the front porch spindles.
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Ah, the tulips! The view from the back porch.
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We loved Kari Morris' ginger cocktail recipe. Erin Gleeson's watermelon salad was a big hit, too!
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These tiny were perfect for olives, nuts and berries. I set out some old photos of my Mom as a young woman in Puerto Rico because she couldn't make it down from Delaware for the celebration.
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I invented a new potato salad dish with kale, lemon and tons of dill since there were no kids around to complain! I was so happy to use my new lidded instead of my unruly collection of mismatched recycled containers.
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There was a lot of clinking, smiles, moms, grandmothers and G.G. Mom* even came to help with the food! (Great Grandmother)
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Yet another spot for the card that Viola vetoed. "Too much rust!"
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We tested out Adam, Lauren, and Susie's Pistachio Praline Ice Cream Sandwiches from Kristina's In the Kitchen With column here on D*S. Try. These. Now. So delicious!
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I used farmers' market herbs that will get put to use later in the season around the table and porch.
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Image clockwise: Vintage table and seating for those Moms who rarely sit at the table without a child on their lap!, a classic ladies luncheon dish: Chinese Chicken Salad from Giao Trac, my turned planter sits on my marble love from Target, fresh Peonies finally!, fresh cherries and strawberries, picnic style seating with my new , and from Target.

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