How to Have a New Year’s Day Open House and also not have a rash

New year, new me.

So far, v. unimpressed with new me.  Too much tired, too much brain fog, too much bald. At least full body “I want to remove my outer layer of skin” rash has dissipated and the hole in my throat has healed and…

OKAY THIS IS HIGHLY DEPRESSING.  Maybe I’ll write a post one day about cancer and chemo and how 2017/18 were NOT my best friends, but for now, how to distract…how to be festive…

I KNOW.

A NEW YEAR’S DAY OPEN HOUSE.

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No, you may not know where I live, thx.

I’ve always wanted to host a fresh and glittery and welcoming party on New Year’s Day. Seeing as how NYE is so often a fail, or at least a regret, I thought it might be nice to focus on moving forward with the new year, rather than auld lang syneing the last.

 

 

The only thing I reallllllly missed about NYE was the bubbles! Champagne, prosecco, cava, sparkling rosé – please overserve me at your earliest convenience.

Hence, the need for a…

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I admit I reserved the good stuff and put out the good enough stuff, but when you invite 40 people and 37 of them can’t care if it’s Cupcake or if it’s Veuve, sorrynotsorry.

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I rented extra coupes and flutes from River City Events, along with ice buckets. You don’t want to be washing up glassware in the middle of the festivity!

Here’s how I set it up. Also. Here’s my pink hair.

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I set out three kinds of juice – pomegranate, grapefruit, and orange, and three kinds of fruit – raspberries, blackberries, and blueberries. I also had non-alcoholic sparkling juice stuff. Whatever that is.

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Silvery straws in a “sparkle” glass did double duty as sippers and stirrers.

With so much sparkling going on, one can’t forget the food! Since it’s a drop-in open house, I had to make sure that there were foods that could be replenished, both cold and hot.

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However, apparently I only took one food photo. Must’ve been due to all the replenishing that was going on.

I was also delinquent in my dessert photo taking, ugh! But here are the big players.

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Love, LOVE the Macaron Gâteau from Duchess. And that almond buttercream this month is amazzzzzing.

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Need a festive party activity that is both fun and delicious? Get yourself a Galette Des Rois. Stuff the youngest partier under a table. Force him/her to call out everyone’s names, one by one. Serve each person a piece of cake. Hope to heck that no one breaks a tooth on the fève. (That’s the ceramic tile that’s hidden somewhere in the cake.) Stick the paper crown on the hopefully not toothless winner. Festive!

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Queen S

                                                                     hangover 2.0

 

A great way to kill a party’s vibe is to use LED lights and invite horrid guests. I avoided both of these.

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Non-LED lighting.

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Non-horrid guest.

 

Before people were allowed to escape, reluctantly took their leave, I demanded meekly suggested that they write down a wish and pin it to our wishing wall. I think wishes are so much more lovely and so much less intimidating than resolutions. “LOSE 10 LBS” is not what one wants to see when one gazes with wonder upon a wall of wishes.

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Doesn’t get much wishier than this. HEART.

 

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It was a lovely New Year’s Day party and my rash barely bothered me at all! Well, maybe a little bit around the ankle…and the elbow…and…and…

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

 

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How to NYE in Edmonton

Ah, New Year’s Eve, you kidder you. Always driving me into a frenetic mania in my attempt to secure the perfect NYE festivity. And every year, I tread dangerously close to disaster.

This year, I almost spent 200$ per person to sit in a stuffy, underwhelming ballroom at tables with 8 unknown Stepford wives/husbands, in chairs with fabric bows tied onto them, eating things that include descriptors such as “naughty” and “prestige” (BARF). Who do I think I am, a regular in the smash hit series, “Housewives of the Not-So-Wealthy-Side-Of Glenora”??

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NO.

 

Rebounding from that near catastrophe, I went too far to the other extreme and almost spent 10$ to dance with children half my age whilst clutching my red solo cup of the dreaded vodka cran.

So. Much. Plaid.

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 NOPE.

 

Fortunately, I was able to retrieve my senses from their precarious party planning perch, and ask myself:

Smart me: “Ok, soooo…what do we like to do when it’s not NYE, anyway?”

Dumb me: “Well, we like to….eat. Good food. Good local food. Aaaand drink bubbles. Also, we like Nibs.”

Smart me: “Alright! So here’s what we do. We eat good local food. We drink bubbles. Also, we eat Nibs.”

Dumb me: <smiles contentedly>

 

So off we went! First, we went to Table Top Café to eat Nibs. And play Bananagrams.

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I love the candy bowls, I love running a tab, and I LOVE destroying the world with my banana gram talents.

Since we hadn’t made reservations, we decided to start at one of the best joints in town for food and for atmosphere, Bar Bricco. But first, a toast.

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To us! #lovemyfamsomuch

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Have you been to Bar Bricco? I feel instantly cooler when I walk in there.

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We started with the ricotta and crostini. Always a favourite, so to die for, and die we did.

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With a glass of the bubbly rosé – a Pinot Noir/Grasparossa, it was divineee. My compatriots enjoyed the 8$ Negronis and Boulevardiers. Man, I hang with some cool kids.

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This was just the warm up though. If I had to marry a spuntini, my husband would definitely be the scrambled eggs Cacio e Pepe style.

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Aghhh so creamy so cheesy sooooooo good.

Finally, the Fonduta Angolotti with its blissful sage butter.

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Sorry for darkish pic. I’m actually surprised I have anything to show you since my eyes were closed in rapturous bliss for most of the dinner. Point and click, baby!

Time to move next door to Uccellino! Men in kilts first!

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Oh my gosh I love me some Uccellino.

Start with bubbles. Gasparossa!

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Add a bubbly dinner partner.

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And get ordering ALL THE FOOD.

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Pumpkin Agrodolce. Such a revelation of deliciousness. Like worthy of stopping in just to eat this beauty.

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I, of course, had to continue my uninterrupted streak of Tonnarelli Cacio e Pepe. I always have intentions of breaking outside of the cheesy, peppery box, but continually fail.

Dear husband Robert has been holding a desperate and hopeful vigil for the Drunken Spaghetti for many months now. His soul was crushed like a pitiful ant under my Poppy Barley boot, however, when he heard it is still AWOL. He rallied and got the Pappardelle with Pig’s Head and Prosciutto Ragu Bianco.IMG_0438

He did love it, of course! Nothing, however, will ever compare with his beloved Spaghetti Ubriacchi. For the sake of our marriage, Uccellino powers that be, please bring it back!

Dearest daughter o’ mine had the Pumpkin Ravioli.

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More sage butterrrrrr. It was beloved, adored, and cherished.

Daughter’s lovely young fellow in rose had the Mezze Maniche. Spicy food for a spicy guy!

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To end it all on a note of adulterated bliss, we had the olive oil cake with olive oil gelato.

SHAZAM.

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A toast to a highly successful NYE dinner!

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P.S. I actually painted my nails so please note them.

 

What a delightful evening we have had, I guess it’s time to go hom-

WHAT.

WE DID NOT. HAVE. CHAMPAGNE.

OR OYSTERS.

On to Wishbone!

I highly recommend Wishbone as a first date venue. That lighting though. Banishes the deepest of wrinkly crevasses into blurry oblivion!

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Fresh, delicious, slurpy oysters with garlicky butter and lemon, of thee am I also fond.

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Fully sated with decadence and tomfoolery, we headed home.

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To a midnight toast to 2018!

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How did you celebrate the new year? Hope it was anything but disastrous!

 

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