A Simple New Year’s Eve

nye5

Happy 2014!

The past two days have been full of countless toasts, hopes, and inspirations for the New Year. We had a blast ringing in 2014 at one of our favorite places – our home. I honestly think that last time I celebrated New Years at home was back when I was in high school. We all know I like a good party and any excuse to drink champagne and wear sequins.

In the past I always wanted to try new things on New Years – I’ve done the all-inclusive dance parties, the warehouse parties, the house parties, the gayborhood bar hopping, the ski lodge trip, and the tropical island trip. Most have been disappointments (oh except for the tropical island one – last years New Years in Puerto Rico was unforgettable). Yes, I have fun memories with girlfriends but usually the bad outweighs the good. There is too much stress over what to do, what to wear, who to kiss at midnight, and how long it takes to get a drink at the bar. The night usually ended in some combination of exhaustion, being broke,  tears, and regret.  How is that any way to start a New Year?

This year I switched it up a bit. Back in the Fall we decided to spend New Years Eve at home with just the two of us. The fall was a busy time traveling around seeing friends. We wanted to wake up in our own bed and have the night to ourselves. Simplify – one thing I plan to achieve this year.

I rearranged our furniture and made it so we would spend the night eating and drinking upon a huge pile of blankets and pillows in our living room surrounded my candles and strung up twinkle lights. It converted out little home into a cozy, romantic, love nest for the night. We dressed up a bit, made some favorite appetizers, and toasted the night away.

nye4

nye3

nye7

nye6

We eventually changed into sweats and watched a few episodes of Breaking Bad (yeah we’re a little late to that party!) before the clock struck midnight. I was so happy to use our Champagne flutes from our wedding and as we clinked our glasses after midnight we shared our hopes for the New Year. We facetimed with family and were in bed by 1:30. (On a side note, my parents were up partying until 2:30 …hmmm how things change!)

nye2

On New Year’s Day we hosted my family for the traditional New Years Dinner. We loved welcoming everyone into our home and feasting together. It was a great way to welcome 2014.

I may just be getting old, but I loved staying in together.

Happy New Year! The best is yet to come!

xoxo katie

Celebrating in NYC

Sometimes life has a way of throwing you subtle reminders of what is important in our little lives. This weekend that reminder was given to me by a screaming mentally ill street person in the East Village. But let me regress…

988389_696931791419_1515925472_n

I spent the weekend in NYC celebrating the 30th birthday of one of my best friends, Jeanette. Being in NYC at Christmastime, you find yourself surrounded by all the glamorized Christmas cheer – the tree, the ice skating, the window displays, the pop up Christmas tree vendors, the chestnuts roasting on an open fire. The thousands upon thousands of people. I was so excited to get off the train, find my friend a few blocks away and start celebrating. And then I stepped foot into Penn Station and wanted to escape the swarms of stressed out and angry people.

Walking the three blocks to the subway station to meet Jeanette took longer than my commute to work. People were just standing in the streets looking around and NOT moving. The idea of staying in this midtown crowd and attempting to walk to Rockefeller Plaza was dismissed as easily as the idea of eating sauerkraut for the rest of my life. Once we finally made it onto the Subway, we felt like smushed cattle and were sweating like pigs. Not exaggerating. I was literally counting the seconds in my head until we reached our stop. I don’t know how anyone could live in Midtown NY and brave doing any errands during the month of December. All the things that could be enjoyable were not.

1501790_696894096959_391105167_n

No, This picture does not document the crowds that were around Macy’s and Penn Station.

We literally jumped out of the subway and ran up the stairs and were greeted with the much more friendly and livable NY that I love, the East Village. Although I couldn’t live here now, the village always fills me with romantic thoughts of what life could have been like had I chosen to go to school in the city and lived the bohemian life as a poet. (everyone had a crazy dream like that, right?!). I love the vast array of cafes, bars, boutiques, and pop up street shops, and the fact that there are zero crowds anywhere. Jeanette also asked for perfect weather, and mother nature did not disappoint. We were greeted with beautiful 70 degree weather on the weekend before Christmas.

We and two other girl friends rented out an apartment from AirBnB. With a refrigerator, bathroom, and two beds it suited our needs. We were ready for a night of roaming the streets and bar hopping. Girls’ weekends are like a little retreat. A time to recharge your girly batteries and laugh about silly things. I got a serious workout this weekend by laughing alone. I hardly took any photos – the night flew by.

nyc1

After we shared two bottles of the finest champagne (ie J Rogets at $7.99 a bottle – still on a tight budget at 30!) we hit up a Cuban place for dinner. Other highlights included a few champagne cocktails at the French inspired Bougioues Pig, bourban drinks at the highly pretentious speak easy themed Death and Co. and finishing the night as the oldest people in the bar at The Library (but thank god for cheap drinks!).

nyc2

nyc4

nyc3

As I end my 30th year, I am definitly starting to feel older. My hangovers are more intense, I get tired very easily, food sticks to my hips like superglue, I choose staying home over going out and yoga pants over tight dresses and I managed to go out in NY without going broke or feeling like death the next morning. It was pretty fantastic! I’m all about being a thirty-something. Aging is something to be proud about. Twenties were a confusing and fun mess, thirties feels like a new life is starting.

No, I didn’t forget about that subtle reminder life threw my way this weekend:

As we were walking out to get provisionals for the evening (cheese and Champagne), life handed me my subtle reminder. While crossing Houston St we crossed paths with a man who could barely stand up straight and looked like he just drank his weight in grain alcohol screaming “I’M AWAKE! I’M WALKING!”

How true dear man. How true.

Yes, this is the gift we should be most happy for. To have the ability to wake up every day, to go out into this world and make the most of it. We are given the gift of living – the rest is up to us. We are blessed with the power of freedom and choice. As long as you are awake and walking you have the power to choose how you want to live your life. Go out and be and that person. Don’t waste another minute.

I’m going to embrace my life.

xoxo katie

 

Cheers to you! {The Poinsettia Cocktail}

drinks

Linking up with Amber (Mr. Thomas and Me) and Erin’s (Hooley with a Z12 Days of Blogging Christmas link up.

Today’s prompt:“Holiday Cocktail”

Let’s give three cheers for it being the weekend before Christmas!!! I’m sure there are a lot of holiday parties and celebrations this weekend. I love any reason to celebrate! Every little milestone deserves a little attention and I love creating and naming cocktails for every special occasion. Life is too short – toast everyday! This is why I believe you should always have a bottle of Champagne in your fridge – ready to pop whenever life surprises you!

Today I’m sharing a favorite holiday cocktail, pictured above, and of course the main ingredient is bubbly!

Come join me by the tree and let’s toast to the holiday season with my Poinsettia Cocktail!

1 oz. Chambord  liqueur
4 oz. sparkling Champagne
1/2 oz. cranberry juice

Pour the sparkling wine into a champagne glass. Over that, pour the Chambord and the cranberry juice.

Light, refreshing, and perfect for any special occasion.

And speaking of something to toast to! I’m now offering sponsorships for fellow bloggers, shops, or authors! Now through Christmas take 50% off all sponsorships (all priced under $5 originally) with code: LOVECHRISTMAS

(but act quick! This sale is only offered to the first 5 takers!)

We have a lot to toast to in this upcoming week. Ryan is currently completing is last final exam of this semester. Cheers to only 3 semesters of Law School left! Tomorrow I’m heading up to NYC for the weekend to celebrate best friends thirtieth birthday and then Sunday the Christmas festivities kick off as my brother and his wife are going to be in town. Can’t wait for a few days of relaxing time with family and friends. That’s my favorite part of the holidays – being together and celebrating.

What are you toasting to this Christmas?

xoxo katie