Make New Years Day a day of NEW things!
Have each member of your family do something new. Or take it a step further and do new things all day long!
Try a new food (or a new dessert!) Go to a new store, see a new movie, take a new route to your daily destinations. Style your hair in a new way. Read a new story. Play a new game.
What are you going to do that is NEW tomorrow!
When I was young, we celebrated New Years Eve at my Aunt Kay's house. They set up a tent for us to play in and eventually fall asleep in. It was fun for us and they didn't have to deal with cranky kids that needed to be asleep.
Celebrate a little early. Set your clocks ahead if you need to. Let the kids go outside and make a lot of noise before midnight. Then let them go to bed. Go to bed with them if you like! I promise it is just as fun at 10pm! And it is midnight somewhere!
If you are staying at home with just your kids, have a living room sleepover! Play cards, watch a favorite movie (or a new movie), eat some snacks. Then go to bed!
1 oz. grenadine syrup
6 oz. cranberry juice
4 oz. cranberry ginger ale
1 paper umbrella
3 maraschino cherries
Mix the syrup, cranberry juice and ginger ale in a tall glass. Open the umbrella and slide the three cherries onto the handle. Balance the umbrella on the glass rim in front of the orange slice.
4 oz. seltzer
6 oz. orange juice
1/2 oz. grenadine syrup
1 orange slice
1 lemon slice
1 maraschino cherry
In a tall glass, mix the seltzer and orange juice. Slowly pour the grenadine into the center of the glass, allowing the syrup to settle on the bottom (thanks to its greater density). Garnish with the orange, lemon and cherry, stacked and skewered with the toothpick.
4 oz. papaya juice
2 oz. pineapple juice
4 oz. ginger ale
Lemon and lime peel
1 or 2 slices of star fruit
In a tall glass, mix the papaya and pineapple juices and the ginger ale. For the garnish, use a small, star-shaped cookie cutter to cut star shapes from the lemon and lime peels. Slide the slices of star fruit onto the glass rim.
These directions are from Family Fun. All you need to do is roll a sheet of office paper into a narrow tube. Start at one corner and wrap the paper around a pencil, then slip the pencil out. Secure the tube with tape.
Then pinch one end of the tube and snip it two thirds of the way across (see the picture below) to form a triangular flap. Fold up the flap so that it covers the end of the tube.
Then, instead of blowing, press on the flap so that it almost touches the opening. Gently inhale and release your finger. The flap will vibrate, making noise! You know...in case there isn't enough noise at the party!
Cheap noisemakers and some confetti make a cute favor for your party guests. If you don't mind picking up the mess after the party!
And these pop open party favors are a fun way to pass out goodies to your little party goers. All you need are some paper towel tubes, wrapping paper, ribbon, and these directions from BHG.
I then changed direction and started looking through all of the pictures I took of my family in 2008. Can I just say that YOU NEED TO DO THIS!!! Right now! It is amazing what you can forget in a year. And wow looking at all those photos brings memories flooding back!
So instead of looking at the pictures of my kids (I know they are cute, but I don't expect you to actually be as interested in them as I am!!) go look through your own pictures!
4. I get to eat cake.
3. I get presents.
2. People sing to me.
1. I get to do whatever I want because it is my birthday.
But also I like fresh starts! I am the queen of waiting until Monday or the first of the month to start things. And of course New Years is the beginning of all beginnings. And when it falls on a Monday WATCH OUT!
My kids LOVE to stay up until midnight and I think it is so funny to watch them get so excited! They are just too cute!
For the past three years we have had the funnest New Years Eve party with our neighbors. Lots of food, lots of games, the kids making a lot of noise! Confetti and streamers and silly string. And it is at THEIR house! Bwahahahaha!
And the 5th thing I like about New Years this year... I am going to be 30! I am so excited to be 30! I am expecting really great things from this decade of my life.
I hope you all have a great New Years! If you play, leave a comment that you did and I will make sure to check out your list. And I will try not to be offended if you don't list my birthday as one of your favorite things!
In Spain it is a tradition to eat 12 grapes at midnight, one on each chime of the clock. It started back in 1909 when grape growers thought of it as a way to cut down on the large production surplus they had had that year. But it has been a tradition ever since.
I won't be in Spain for the New Year, but I might still put 12 grapes on a skewer because it looks pretty nifty!
I love when Martha's ideas are thrifty like this one from 2006! Instead of spending money on all of the New Years Eve balloons and napkins, go for the inexpensive plain ones and use a stamp and stamp pad to mark them with the date. Of course, this is only inexpensive if you already OWN the stamps and ink. My scrapbooking habit comes in handy again!
Now we just need some fun ideas for what goes INSIDE the glasses. Champagne is so 2008!
And lets be honest! Any excuse not to buy my Christmas decorations away if fine by me!!
If you are like me and never got around to delivering all of your Christmas goodies (I made them...I just didn't get around to delivering them...), deliver some Sparkling Cider decorated with some ribbon and well wishes for a Sparkling New Year!
Or put together some Goodies! The same stuff you would have given for Christmas, just ditch the red and green for some metallic, black and white, or even sparkly sugar crystals.
By now all the Christmas treats have been eaten or gone stale, so you can replenish the treats!
What you need:
For brownie layer
1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) unsalted butter
10 1/2 oz fine-quality bittersweet chocolate (not extra-bitter or unsweetened and no more than 60% cacao if marked), finely chopped
1 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 1/4 teaspoons vanilla
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
For mint ganache
1/2 cup heavy cream (see recipe notes)
10 oz fine-quality white chocolate, chopped (see recipe notes)
2 tablespoons green crème de menthe (I skipped this and found the mint flavor strong enough; compensated for the tinting with a single drop of green color)
1 teaspoon peppermint extract
For chocolate ganache
1 cup heavy cream (see recipe notes)
10 oz fine-quality bittersweet chocolate (not unsweetened), finely chopped
What you do:
Make brownie layer:
Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 375°F. Lightly butter a 13- by 9-inch baking pan and line with 2 crisscrossed sheets of foil, leaving a 2 inch overhang on all sides. Butter foil.
Melt butter and chocolate with brown sugar in a 3-quart heavy saucepan over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until smooth. Remove from heat. Whisk in eggs and vanilla until combined. Whisk in flour, cocoa, and salt until just combined.
Spread batter evenly in baking pan and bake until set and a wooden pick inserted in center comes out with moist crumbs adhering, about 20 minutes. Cool completely in pan on a rack, about 1 1/2 hours.
Make mint ganache:
Bring cream to a simmer in a 2- to 3-quart saucepan and remove from heat. Pour over white chocolate in a bowl. Let stand 1 minute, then whisk until smooth. Stir in crème de menthe and extract and chill, covered, stirring occasionally, until thick, about 1 hour.
Make chocolate ganache:
Bring cream to a simmer in a 2- to 3-quart saucepan and remove from heat. Pour over bittersweet chocolate in a bowl. Let stand 1 minute, then whisk until smooth. Chill, covered, stirring occasionally, until thick, about 30 minutes.
Spread mint ganache over top of cooled brownie in a thin even layer using offset spatula, then chill until firm but still slightly sticky, about 30 minutes.
Spread chocolate ganache over mint and chill until firm, about 2 hours.
Lift dessert out of pan using foil overhang. Run a heavy knife under hot water and wipe dry, then trim edges of dessert (1/4 inch off each side). Cut dessert into squares and peel from foil.
Remember how we spray painted everything black for Halloween. Well the same idea applies for New Years Eve. Just buy some gold or silver spray paint and go to town on some goodies from the dollar store. Or, find some old Christmas decorations that didn't make the cut this year (a twig wreath, some starts) and use those!!
Family Fun has a great kid friendly wish list you can print out, but the idea works for big kids too!
You can print this one out here, or make on of your own!
What is on your wish list?
All you do to make these streamers is spray cardboard with spray adhesive, attache the holiday paper (or any shiny paper) cut out different size circles (from 2-6 inches) punch holes and attach them together with jump wrings.
Can I just tell you how excited these made me!! I love these holidays! L-O-V-E them! Valentine's is so one of my favorites. And not in the mushy be sweet to your hubby and eat chocolate sort of way!
St. Patricks Day! Green is The Boys favorite color, so that makes it extra fun! But an excuse to go around pinching people...what could be better! Green milk in your cereal. Heck! Green food all day long! (Did you know you can ask your local bakery to make green bread for you!!!)
And Easter! Egg dying and candy and bunnies! What is NOT to love!
And don't forget April Fools Day! I love the jokes that 5 and 7 year-olds play!
Buffalo Chicken Dip
What you need:
2 pkg cream cheese, 8 oz - softened
8 oz ranch dressing (or bleu cheese)
8 - 12 oz Frank's red hot sauce (or any hot wing sauce...the hotter you want it the more you add)
2 cups diced chicken
8 oz shredded cheddar cheese
What you do:
Mix all ingredients together (save about 1/3 of the cheese for the top)
Spread mixture into 9 x 13 pan.
Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes until hot bubbling.
Add reserved cheese and bake for an additional 5 minutes.
Serve with tortilla chips. You can serve it with celery and carrot sticks too, but seriously, if you are eating something that contains two packages of cream cheese, just get over it and get the tortilla chips!! Save the celery sticks for your New Years Resolution!
I spend part of the week between Christmas and New Years filling out my calendar. I start with birthdays, then school schedules, Hubby's Days off, then anything fun I want to add.
Fun stuff like candy holidays. The National Confectioners Association has a list of candy holidays on their site. I can tell you right now that Chocolate Mint Day, Gummi Worm Day, and Chocolate Chip Day will be celebrated in our house!
3rd – National Chocolate Covered Cherry Day
8th – National English Toffee Day
26th – National Peanut Brittle Day
15th – National Gum Drop Day
19th – Chocolate Mint Day
3rd week – American Chocolate Week
19th – National Chocolate Caramel Day
24th – National Chocolate-Covered Raisin Day
12th – National Licorice Day
21st – National Chocolate-Covered Cashews Day
22nd – National Jelly Bean Day
12th – National Nutty Fudge Day
15th – National Chocolate Chip Day
23rd – National Taffy Day
National Candy Month
16th - Fudge Day
7th – Chocolate Day
15th – Gummi Worm Day
20th – National Lollipop Day
28th – National Milk Chocolate Day
4th – National Chocolate Chip Day
10th – S’mores Day
30th – National Toasted Marshmallow Day
13th – International Chocolate Day
22nd – National White Chocolate Day
National Caramel Month
28th – National Chocolate Day
30th – National Candy Corn Day
31st – National Caramel Apple Day
7th – National Bittersweet Chocolate with Almonds Day
7th – National Cotton Candy Day
16th – National Chocolate-Covered Anything Day
26th – National Candy Cane Day
28th – National Chocolate Day
Ironically, Feb 14th is not a Candy Holiday! And I love that National Chocolate Day is actually TWO days long! ;D
29th – National Chocolate Day
Make some cute hats for your party goers.
These joker hats from Martha are easy peasy! You fold a piece of paper in half, top to bottom. Cut slits down from top (about an inch apart), stopping about 2 inches from bottom. You then curl the strips around a pencil. Staple the ends together and add some string to hold them in place!
Here are a couple more cute ideas from Martha:
Even if you don't want to wear them, make some and use them as a table decoration!
I think you should decorate your mantle (or your table if you are mantleless like me) with this idea from Martha. Except I would have each clock on a different time zone and celebrate when each one hits midnight!
Today will be full of trampoline jumping, Wii playing, and dress up. And hopefully a nap.
I hope you get a nap too!
Happy Day After Christmas!
1 gallon 2% milk
13 oz Chocolate Malted Milk Mix
1 Cup Coffee Mate, non-dairy Creamer powder
(makes it creamy and fabulous-do not leave it out)
15 mini York Peppermint Patties
Fresh Whipped Cream
1. Pour milk into a large pot over medium heat. Whisk in malted milk and non dairy creamer. Continue to whisk until hot. Stir in peppermint patties and whisk until melted.
2. Top each cup of hot chocolate with marshmallows and whipped cream. Enjoy!