Ringing in the New Year

In 2012 we welcome in the New Year on the beach in Costa Rica

In 2013 we welcomed in the New Year on a yacht in the British Virgin Islands

This year, we welcome 2014 in Jersey. IMG_1082-MOTION

I’d say life is moving in the right direction.

After a few years of pretty intense trips with our friends, we decided to tone it down a bit and stay local. Thankfully, a lot of our friends made the same choice. And our two favorite San Fran natives added the dirty Jerz on their east coast tour, so they were in town to celebrate with us as well.

Matt and I spent December 29th making our own decorations for the party. Needless to say, Matt was thrilled with this idea.

We made a few garlands and added some NYE-themed artwork to our faux “mantel” shelves.

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To make the circle garlands, Matt used a 1.5″ circle punch on gold, silver and black glitter paper. I then broke out my sewing machine to stitch the circles together in one long line. I chose not to put any spacing between each circle but if you want to make a longer garland, you can certainly do so.

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To make the tassel garlands, I followed these instructions (thanks Linen, Lace and Love).

It really doesn’t look like we did a lot, but somehow we were up until 1am making these things…

We ended up having 13 people over our apartment – a good number but one that proved a little challenging for food. It was a small enough group that we needed to provide more than just appetizers/snacks, but a big enough group that a full sit down meal would be a little challenging.

Dun dun da dah — Crock pot to the rescue!

After starting with a few different appetizers: Spinach and Cream Cheese Pastry Puffs, Buffalo Chicken Meatballs and a new Flatbread (this one Matt liked, as compared with this)

Our main menu consisted of the following:

Pulled Pork Sliders w/ creamy coleslaw
Baked Beans
Mac and Cheese Casserole
Cape Cod Potato Chips (regular and salt & vinegar)

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Matt went out the morning of the 31st to pick up a pork butt. He came back with a 6 lb piece of meat. It goes without saying, we will be eating pulled pork for a while. Thankfully they make GREAT leftovers (and Matt will actually eat them)

Starting the year off with leftovers!
Starting the year off with leftovers!

Thank you to all of our friends who helped us ring in 2014 in our new place and in style. We are so lucky to have you in our lives. Can’t wait to see what the new year brings for all of us!

"Family" photo
“Family” photo

Bexley Turns Two

Last week my niece puppy celebrated her 2nd birthday. And, it wouldn’t be a birthday without a “paw-ty”.

As you may remember, Abby screwed herself by setting a really high bar last year.  Thankfully, she stepped up to the challenge once again with a pirate themed party, complete with dog-friendly pirates booty (i.e. egg casserole)

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HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO THE CUTEST PIRATE AROUND!

Bexley’s Pirate’s Booty

Well beaten eggs, spinach, hot dogs and cheese all mixed together,

Pour mixture into in a casserole dish, cover with tinfoil  and bake in the oven at 450 for 15 minutes,

Remove tinfoil and continue cooking until it looks done/cheese is melted.

The Big Easy

Remember this guest post from a few months back? Well everyone’s favorite guest blogger, Dan, and Aid Still Required are hosting an incredible event. If you are in the LA area I strongly encourage you to attend.

Tickets are $150 each, or you can buy a table for $2,000 (that’s a heck of a lot better than the $3,000 and $5,000  tickets to the Robin Hood benefit!) BUY TICKETS HERE

All tickets give you access to 3 open bars, a musical performance by Overstreets’ New Orleans Jazz Band and a chance to party with Mr. Big from Sex and the City. And the best part – all of the proceeds go to deserving programs in New Orleans’ Lower Ninth Ward.

Who doesn’t like to party when it is for a good cause?

Molly Squared

This weekend Matt and I traveled to Washington DC for a little sight-seeing in our nation’s capital and to celebrate the 30th Birthday of my bff Molly (yes, Matt’s best friend is named Matt, aka Kinsella, and mine is named Molly – weird, I know).

We celebrated Miss Molly in style with a photo booth, a hip-hop dance lesson mid-party and Carly Rae’s Call Me Maybe played no fewer than 5 times during the evening. Clearly her siblings know how to throw a good party!

I’m so happy to have Molly in my life and to have been able to celebrated with her. To honor this very special occasion, here’s the latest rendition of Call Me Maybe.

*Sorry there aren’t any pictures from the party – Molly is paranoid about being featured on my blog. Yeah, I know – – most people consider it an honor!

Chalk It Up

In the house where I grew up, we had an unfinished basement that Abby and I turned into our play “zone.” We would roller skate around on the cement floors, do karaoke performances on the “stage” for our parents and jump on the homemade trampoline that we created (two old couches pushed together). However, one of my favorite things was that our parents let us write on the walls. I am not exactly sure that they approved of this idea before it actually happened, but they didn’t freak out when it did.

Because the basement wasn’t finished, our walls were a cool grey cement that was a perfect canvass for chalk. We practiced out signature, drew smily faces and supported our swim team with things like “GO SUNFISH!” scribbles around the room. When friends came over to play, they were immediately intrigued by this “wall art” that we were allowed to do.

When Abby and I were in high school, our parents decided to “finish” the basement. Walls went up, carpet went down and new furniture came in. We put a tv in the basement and a dart board. We went from having our very own roller skating rink, to having a youth center. It was the setting for many swim team parties and I shamefully sat downstairs with a few dates, making them watch Disney movies… Matt was the only boy who lasted through The Little Mermaid, Aladdin, AND Toy Story.

While the new space was certainly nicer than the unfinished basement that we had grown up with, Abby and I missed having the ability to write on the walls. My parents tried to make up for this by hanging a giant whiteboard on one wall, but it was just not the same.

A few weeks ago, I decided I would get back the ability to write on my walls by painting a wall in our apartment with chalk board paint. Matt wasn’t terribly excited about this but he also knew I wasn’t going to back down. So we bought some paint and he sat quietly on the coach as I covered a small wall with black paint. The painted worked wonderfully – now all I needed was something to write/draw…

Weeks went by and the chalkboard wall remained blank. I had to wait for the right inspiration. Thankfully, that inspiration came when Matt and I decided to host a small Super Bowl party last night.

Thanks to everyone who came by! It was a lot of fun; and surprisingly, we didn’t have too much food left over! Thank goodness for “binge days.”

Goodie Bags

vintage birthday party clipart

Some of my favorite childhood memories are from the countless Birthday parties that I attended as a child. Whether it was a party at Good Times Roller Skating Rink, a pool party in someone’s back yard or a sleep over, I was always down to celebrate. I enjoyed being with my friends, buying Birthday presents and of course, eating cake. However, the best part of the Birthday party was receiving the coveted goodie bag.

It comes as no surprise that my mom was a little restrictive of the “treats” that we used to eat. Our pantry was stocked with Raisin Bran and Grape Nuts, we drank Juicy Juice (never soda) and there was always something green on our plate. To this day, neither Abby nor I have had a Twinkie, Ring-Ding or Ho-Ho. And to be honest, I doubt I am really missing out.

But when it came to Birthday parties, there were no rules. I could eat as many slices of ice cream as I wanted, eat both cake AND ice cream and drink multiple cans of soda. While I would often go home with a severe tummy ache, it was always worth it. But the best part was digging into the goodie bag, which often contained candy. The party would continue into the coming week with lollipops, bazooka bubble gum and ring pops. For a kid who always had trident gum and fruit roll ups were a real treat, a goodie bag was a whole ‘nother thing.

Today I had the privilege of going to the dentist. Although they yelled at me for my infrequent flossing and the fact that I still have my wisdom teeth, they told me that I have been doing a fantastic job at brushing. Even though I am 28 years old, it is always nice to hear that my dental hygiene skills are top-notch! However, even better than the praise, was the goodie bag I received at the end of my visit. Although the goodies have changed since the day of Birthday parties, it still brought a smile to my face.

I can’t wait to use my new toothbrush, toothpaste and floss!

I really know how to have a good time.

Cookie Swap

Tonight, Matt and I are going to the annual Taste Bud’s holiday party. I missed this glorious event last year and got to hear all about it from all my other “Taste Budders.” Right then, I knew this was not an event I wanted to miss again. So when I got my paperless post invite, I reserved the date on my calendar and started to get excited.

The party is a cookie swap, where everyone makes their favorite holiday treat and brings enough to distribute to the group. So you come to the party with a tray of your favorite cookies and leave with a tray containing an assortment of Taste Bud’s finest! With Taste Buds being a company that runs cooking classes and parties for kids, I knew the stakes were going to be high. I had to come up with a delicious, yet festive, cookie.

I decided to go with Gingerbread Snowflakes. These have been my “go to” cookie for the past 2 years. They are beautiful, as well as delicious, something of a rarity in holiday cookies. So after baking the cookies Tuesday night, I spent last night piping royal icing onto dozens of Gingerbread snowflakes. It was a lot of work, but my sous-chef did a great job helping out!

I will certainly capture the moments of the Taste Bud’s celebration. It is sure to be a great evening filled with some of my favorite people and delicious food!

For the  Gingerbread Snowflake recipe, please click here.