Making It Paleo: New Year’s Eve Extravaganza

We went all out for our New Year’s Eve party this year. We celebrated New Year’s Eve with some great friends, and my sister-in-law who was visiting from Seattle. We had an amazing Paleo’ish party to ring in the new year.

THE MENU:

Appetizers:

  • Buffalo cauliflower – my sister-in-law made this following a recipe she found here. We didn’t want to use rice flour so tried almond flour and it was good. Later in the week, we tested with coconut flour (yuck) and also tried without any flour and it was just as good! I can’t lie though, I had to dip in some blue cheese dressing :)
  • Assorted raw veggies
  • Shrimp cocktail
  • Nuts

Entrees:

  • Corn and crab chowder – dairy and gluten-free! (while I know corn isn’t Paleo, this chowder is too delish not to eat!)
  • Filet Mignon on the grill cooked just perfectly medium
  • Green beans in marinara sauce (beans aren’t Paleo but there are a few little cheats in here). My friend made the marinara herself and it was delicious. I didn’t miss the pasta!
  • Green salad with carrots and tomatoes

Drinks/Desserts:

  • Chocolate cupcakes with chocolate frosting - these were good…these were really good!!! Even my little picky eater ate one.
  • Coconut milk creme brulee - the flavor was great but it didn’t set as firm as I’d have liked it…I’d be willing to test it out again though and try to set for longer.
  • Eggnog - the flavor of the eggnog was good…but I could do just a smaller portion next time. Maybe a shot? We also added a LOT of rum to it…maybe too much :)

THE OUTFIT:

Yeah, I’m never one to turn down a chance to dress up! And if you know me at all, whether IRL or via the blog, you’re probably not surprised at all that I’m wearing my leather leggings. They are a staple in my wardrobe this winter and I’d wear them every day if I could. I paired them with a black sweater with sequin shoulder trim, a black studded cross body bag, black booties, a leopard print scarf and a sock bun! Sweater from Forever21. (similar here and here). Leather leggings from Forever21(similar here and here). Leopard print scarf from TJMaxx (similar here). Studded bag from H&M (similar here and here). Shoes are Christian Louboutin. 

FRIENDS & FAMILY

It was awesome to celebrate with some close friends and my sister-in-law.

AND THE BEST PART….

The party started at 3pm and we were on our way home before 8pm!!!

Happy New Year and best wishes for the most amazing 2013!

 

Rhymes with Curious George

Rhymes with Curious George? Yeah, that’s a tough one. This is a long and windy story so just bear with me…but I’ll try to make it brief.

My youngest daughter’s name is Ella and we often call her Ella Bella. And then we keep rhyming. So sometimes it’s Ella Bella’s feets so smella. I know, genius right?

My oldest daughter’s name is Lily. We always rhyme Lily with chilly and silly and all sorts of other made up -illy words.

But one day she had a better suggestion.

“Lily, Lily, Curious George.”

Yup. That’s it. Give her a break, she’s only in preschool. But she laughs hysterically every time. And honestly so do I.

I’m sure you are thinking I am the worst story-teller ever at this point. But it is a true story, and relevant. Keep reading…please.

We love Curious George in our house and was super excited to be invited to preview season 7 of his show on PBS. We previewed the first episode in a theater and my girls loved it. They sat in their seats in the theater and attentively watched George and his Australian adventure. The show features Bindi Irwin as a special guest…but come on, monkeys and kangaroo? How can you go wrong?

Here’s a sneak peek :

It was a very cute show and the adults were giggling and enjoying it as much as the children. Any who…after the screening, we had the opportunity to meet George himself! I think I was way more excited than my little ones. The three year-old played it cool, but did ask him where the Man with the Yellow Hat was. Smart question if you ask me. My little one, well, she had a meltdown. She is a huge fan of Curious George books, shows and even her little Curious George stuffed monkey, but a 6′ tall fuzzy, in real life George? Not so much.

From that picture, I am not sure you can really tell the fear in my little one, but trust me, she clung on to me so tight, buried her head in my shoulder and sobbed. Uncontrollably. Poor George…I hope he didn’t take it personally.

So we left. Quickly. Without saying good-bye.

And I took them for fro-yo. Because that solves all problems.

Here is more info on season 7 of Curious George, premiering on Monday, December 3rd:

Monday, December 3, 2012

“Monkey Down Under”

G’Day Mate!  George and The Man with the Yellow Hat visit the land down under for an Australian outback safari adventure!  While the Man goes sightseeing for sea cows, George stays behind to investigate footprints in the sand.  Could it be a mysterious hopping clown rabbit?  Or perhaps…a baby kangaroo!

“Bright Lights, Little Monkey”

George, Allie, and Bill go on a late-night search for a mysterious creature – the Perseids. But taking pictures in the dark is hard enough without making noise that would scare away their camera-shy guests. They’ll need a new way to communicate…in a flash!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

“We Otter Be Friends”

After an otter swims away with Mr. Quint’s boat keys, a stranded George tries everything he can to retrieve them.  But the otter is a faster swimmer, a quicker runner, and a better hider than George.  Can George out-otter the otter and get the keys back?

“Sir George and the Dragon”

George is starring in his first play.  Under the hot stage lights, George falls asleep and dreams he’s a guarding a medieval castle!  Can the clever monkey figure out how to keep Dragon Charkie out of the castle and be the hero of the play?

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

“Hundley Jr.”

What’s long, low to the ground, and loves to clean milkweed off the lobby floor? Hundley’s newest friend and caterpillar, Hundley Jr!  But when Hundley is torn between looking after the lobby and caring for his new friend, he turns his lobby duties over – to a monkey!

“Curious George Gets Winded”

Bill needs one more newspaper delivery to win the coveted Golden Pouch, but a big snowfall ruins his chances. Even with George’s help, there’s no way he can deliver all those papers in time.  Can George’s monkey-made wind sled help the duo sail to victory?

Curious George airs weekdays on PBS KIDS (check local listings). For more monkey fun, visit Curious George’s website at pbskids.org/curiousgeorge. The site has games, printables, and video clips to enrich kids’ creativity.

Frightful Halloween Decorations

It’s nice to see people in the holiday spirit and decorating for Halloween…but some of the decorations I see are just awful. I hate seeing gravestones, ghosts and skeletons all over houses and yards. That does not seem to promote good Feng Shui….not that I am an expert or anything.

Well, I decided to ask an actual Feng Shui expert Christine Conway of Christine Conway Life Designs & Coaching for her perspective on these frightful Halloween decorations:

Halloween is a fun time….times for trick or treating…bobbing for apples and other fun activities.  Even though it is a fun time, the energy that can come from the holiday decorations can be somewhat inauspicious (not favorable).  People cover their entire front door with displays of pumpkins, seasonal plants, scarecrows, skeletons and the such….which while this may look festive, what is occurring from an energy perspective is the energy is being blocked from entering your home.    The other common theme for Halloween is creating a cemetery in your front yard!  There are many other decorations that can be used during this beautiful fall season instead of creating a yard display of dead people and tombstones.  Think of the energy around the items you use in all decorations all year-long.  Does it bring the kind of luck and energy you want in your home and in your life?

 Yeah, what she said! To summarize:

  1. Don’t block your front door. You can decorate with pumpkins and even bails of hay or flowers, but make sure your entry path in/out of the home is clear. I literally saw a house with a blow up tombstone completely covering the door. That’s a no-no in Feng Shui…and in overall life!
  2. Stop with the tombstones and skeletons and focus on pumpkins, pretty mums and other more positive Halloween items to decorate our homes.

I’m not trying to take the fun out of things..but there are plenty of creative ideas you can do to jazz up your home for Halloween and not create Land of the Dead in your yard. Happy Halloween!!!

Am I Crazy? OCD? Maybe Just Really Organized

As I am planning for my upcoming Halloween Party, I’m noticing that I’m … ummm…. well….maybe a touch anal. I hate that word so I’m searching for a new one. Some have said I’m a little OCD. Some have said I’m a big planner. Some say organized. Some say just plain crazy.

“Why?” you may ask.

Here are some examples.

Costumes: In late September, I started thinking about Halloween costumes. I put together a PowerPoint with different themes on each page. We dress up as a family, so I needed ideas that would be good for all 4 of us. Me, my husband, our 2-year-old and our 2 month old. Themes included circus, zoo, pirates, flying insects (bumblebees, butterflies, etc.), Yo Gabba Gabba, and the Flintstones to name a few. For each theme, I had pictures of a variety of costume ideas at different price points for each member of the family. I then presented it to my husband and 2-year-old to decide….yeah, that went well :)

Decorations: I’ve been scouring magazines and the internet for a while. I have a Pinterest pin board called “Fall Fun” where I put some inspiration, and I also have a magazine that I’ve ripped out some ideas. I am in a big “DIY” phase right now so I bought all sorts of cheap things from our local Christmas Tree Shop, and with a can of black spray paint, have transformed them. I’m going with a vintage B&W Halloween theme for the decorations so everything will be black and white.

Menu: From the moment I decided to have a party, I have been working on the menu. I have a list of menu items, and then have broken that down into a grocery list of all the items I need to buy. I further “color coded” that to note items I need to buy at Shaw’s (my local grocery store), BJ’s, Whole Foods and Trader Joes. I took it one step further and have already decided what serving trays and platters I will be using for all of the food and drinks I am serving.

Layout: So with the theme, decorations and menu all planned out, I actually drew a map of the layout of my house for the party. If you saw the space I am working with, you’d realize this is a little overboard. The first floor of my place is basically a kitchen, connected eating/dining area, bathroom and living room. That’s it. It’s not a ton of space…yet I drew a map with the layout of everything…down to the placement of the crockpot to hold the soup I plan to make.

In my defense, I do have an event planning background. I’ve done events for the New England Patriots, New England Revolution, Starbucks, Yoplait, Green Giant, RiverTowne Country Club (Mt. Pleasant, SC), TrinityOne and about 25 brides! I guess it’s in my blood…but still begs the question…

Am I Crazy? OCD? Maybe Just Really Organized…

And yes, I’ll post some pics after our party this weekend ;)