Happy New Year!

My dearest besties---it is time to Wake Up!!  Happy New Year's!!  Are you wondering how to celebrate today?  Well…I have some ideas for you.  First, go grab yourself a cup of coffee (by the way, I am addicted - mostly to Starbucks, however, I have a few new favorites in Fort Collins, always happy to support the locals).  Take a moment or an hour to reminisce about what a magical evening you had last night and come back to me and we can find some wonderful things to do today!! 

To bring in the New Year there are several different party options.  This year we are going back to “Good Luck!”  I am a firm believer in superstition and therefore, this is our theme for today’s celebration:  Sending Luck into the New Year!  Foods that inspire a New Year filled with wealth, love, and other good fortunes.  I have invited our dear family and closest friends.  An intimate, quiet gathering for the New Year feels great (and especially since the night before usually holds a grand event with lots of people). Each guest was cordially invited to our event with a personal invitation, which included a stamp to bring to the party.  Every party should have a theme, but also, a little “surprise” or “tease” to keep your guests intrigued and eager to come…remember we at Jolly Events, always want to be remembered for our extravagant events (yes, that was a little plug!).  The invitation expressed that my guests need to come with 3 things that they would like to accomplish, see, or create in the New Year, along with a promise that none of these will be shared with others.  The stamp is their ticket into the door of our home (VIP style, of course).  When they enter our home, our guests will be greeted with an envelope on which they will fill out their address and stamp.  All of this will be strategically placed next to our “Drink Bar,” for inspiration and motivation.  I, as the hostess, will collect these stamped and sealed “accountable wishes” and hold on to them until next year at the same time, in which I will send them out to all my guests to see how their year went.  We will then share these with each other at the next New Years Gathering!  It is great fun to get these 365 days later and to see what we wrote and what we did.  Each year I spice it up and send my guests something different in their invitation to bring as their door ticket…you know so we keep things interesting and never the same. 

So, now the food (phew, what we have all been waiting for), what do we eat to bring us luck!  Our theme on food on New Years Day, is enjoy, enjoy and enjoy…because let’s face it girls, we all know what tomorrow is…Gym Day and Eating Right…so let’s bring in the New Year with some deliciousness!  Collard greens (kale, cabbage, etc) are some of the most colorful items on my menu.  Greens resemble paper cash, and the thought is the more you have the more prosperous and healthy you will be in 2014. An easy and so amazing way to prepare our greens is with a crockpot (because you make it the day before or while your little ones are napping).  You can find some great recipes on Pinterest (my obsession), or by asking your family.  One that my family has shared with me is Collard Greens with Lima Beans and Chicken - if you want the recipe please let me know!  My favorite item on our menu is Cornbread, great with butter and honey….yummy!  I am notorious for the recipes that simply ask to add water or milk…I find this brilliant, because I rarely have time to invest so much energy (stirring) into items from scratch.  Some of you “Betty’s” will find this crazy, however, no one can every really tell the difference, unless, of course, I tell them…which why would I tell them my secret (whoops, look like I just did).  Cornbread resembles gold, which is why we indulge in this on New Years Day.  The more you eat the more gold you will encounter in the New Year, so bring on the seconds.  For our sweet tooth at the end of our meal, I have sugar cookies in the shape of piggies!  Pigs symbolize progress and moving forward.  Our guests love it and I love making them (again, with the add milk and egg recipe).  In addition to this, we serve little Oranges (cuties), round fruit resemble coins.  These also can turn into a little party favor as I often find our guests leaving with these in their pockets or purses, it is definitely cute!

One thing for sure is all of our events are never short of laughter, lots of cheers, and pictures to capture the moment (and to share of FB, of course!)  We express that we love each other and can’t wait to share the next year together, and until the next New Years Day gathering, we wish you happiness and endless possibilities…and lots of celebrations! 

Cheers to 2014!

Emily