nye

nye 2016

oh what a night!

it was a fun, fabulous, over indulgent evening indeed! we got all jazzed up and went out for the evening. we were excited for our reservations at maple and ash. kim and terry have eaten there before but we have not but heard such excellent reviews on this restaurant. we arrived there in no time. we valet’d the car and walked inside, it was so pretty! i loved the decor and the ambience of the restaurant already. we walked our way in, coat checked, and took the elevator up. once the doors opened, we were greeted with sooooo many balloons! how fun and festive! i loved the vibe it gave the space…it screamed new year’s eve!

we were seated and immediately, small bites and drinks arrived at our table before we could even pick our seats! that was amaze. mini martini’s and appetizers were already flowing. we mingled and connected with a few people who worked at the restaurant. kim and terry were already bff’s with with the maitre d’, mason. the sommelier, frankie, and the wine director, belinda.

the atmosphere was lively, the decor was fun, and the mood was just right. we were having a blast taking pics, being silly, and enjoying our night out. we had to get serious and order our food but we really couldn’t decide. after perusing the menu for a few minutes and everyone discussing what they wanted or might order, we all agreed that we were going in for the ‘i don’t give a f*ck’ on the menu. yup. we just didn’t care to choose what we wanted to eat, so we just let the chef do his thing and boy, it was AWEsome. the food didn’t stop coming to the table. there.was.so.much.food. it was ahhhhhhmazing. we ate and we ate and we ate. i couldn’t stop eating…it was all soooooo good.

one entree after another was being put on the table and it was all so very delicious. i had to try a bit of food off of every plate, everything was so savory and tasty i couldn’t resist! i was besides myself – my slim pants were slim no more with my bourgeoning waistline. then the dessert came…holy cow! a sundae bar! yum, yum, yum. are you freakin’ kidding me right now? it was sooooo fun to create your own sundae with all the fun accruements they offered. that was it. i was dunzo. roll me outta of the restaurant please.

the service was superb, the food was beyond decadent, and the atmosphere was killer. it was an awesome place to be for new year’s eve! we had such a fabulous time!

but wait! that’s not all! scroll down for more entertainment…

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[delicious apps at maple and ash]

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[sisters forever]

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[the doan family]

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[sorry pete, i didn’t realize your eyes were half closed until i posted this. you still look handsome!]

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[french 75]

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[so chic]

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[sea food platter]

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[delicious wedge salad]

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[sisters]

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[soooooooo much food]

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[cheers!]

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[sundae bar]

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[sundae toppings]

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[the crew]

our second part/y of the night was back at our place. we gathered together to ring in the new year with the kids but things went awry. my parents were spent from watching the kids and decided to go home, my sister kim didn’t feel so well and only stay for a bit before heading out with terry, reagan, and bennett. my dear, old friend bex, her husband james, and their two sweet girl ruby and wren stayed along with thuy and we all rang in the new year together!

it ended being an awesome night albeit the deficit of family. the sweetest part of the evening? watching the girls play together. they were sooooooo sweet and so darn cute!!! they made the night magical. they actually stayed up until midnight and we rang in the new year in style…pj’s, noise makers, and streamer poppers!

it was an amazing new year’s eve. i am so thankful for what 2016 gave us – ellie. it was an amazing year full of fabulous memories, olive gaining a sister, sweet moments with friends and family, life was super good. we are blessed.

i hope, want, wish for this year to be full of health, prosperity, and lots of kindness. i pray for my parent’s health, our family’s health, and my siblings health. i am curious on what wonderful moments await us and hope darkness passes us by. the new year is always exciting, refreshing, and exhilarating; and i hope that everyone has a happy, wonderful, captivating new year!!!

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[ready to ring in the sweet new year]

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[kid goodie bag]

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[b visiting from seattle]

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[new year’s eve trinkets]

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[cousins]

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[i loooooove the swan wrapping paper]

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[oh these sweet babes]

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[cheers!]

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[ringing in the new year!]

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[i will have my cake and eat it too]

xoxo

blinging in the new year

it was a whirlwind leading up to nye. i was so excited, relieved, and happy to have told everyone about the pregnancy but still, the nausea and exhaustion plagued me. i had a busy, busy day ahead of me.

i had a dr.’s appointment early in the morning, so i dropped olive off at my parent’s house because i didn’t want to drag her around – how un-fun for her! it was boring talks with counselors, a lot of waiting around, needles, and whole lotta unfunness {i know, i know…that isn’t even a word. hahaha!}. anyhoo, after the appointment, i had to meet my sister’s at the grocery store and pick up all the food and beverages for the party. that took quite some time. then i had to haul my butt over to the party store to pick up the balloons and party supplies, then i had to go to the post office to drop off some packages, then i headed home to unload my entire car {bags and bags of groceries, party supply bags, and two dozen balloons}. it was like a flippin’ clown car.

after i cleared out the car, it was then all about the work inside the house. i had to clean, clean the bathrooms, put away all the groceries, start prepping the area for the party, decorate, and eventually get the apps started. blah! i chugged away at everything as i had one eye glued to the clock to make sure i was on track. it was almost 5 o’clock and i was alllllllmost done! i ran into the bathroom to get ready and my sister kim and bro in law showed up to help! wooooo hoo!

it looked great {i must say so myself}! i had set up the photo booth, decorated the table spread, set up the dessert table, hung all the decor, and assembled all the kid’s favor boxes! my sister finished the apps, i was getting dressed when everyone started to arrive. perfect timing.

it was mainly family with a sprinkling of a few friends. as the night wore on, it got a little bit more crowded and packed with twists, turns, and surprises. my brother and his fiancé were suppose to fly out but their flight was over booked! bad for them but good for us! that meant they were going to ring in the new year with us! first time in who knows when last!

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[blinging in the new year!]

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[i really wanted the numbers 2016 on sticks but last minute, no one had it available to buy, so i scurried home, hastily cut it out of glitter paper i had at home and voila!]

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[kid’s favor boxes: mini party hats, candy, toys, noise makers, poppers, glow sticks, and play money]

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[adult’s table: confetti, glasses, hats, noise makers, party crackers]

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[photo booth fun]

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[huy and tashina]

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[me and my baby girl]

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[delicous apps]

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[looooooove these ladies]

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[i will say this until it is done, but don’t mind the kitchen under remodel!]

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[these crazy kids]

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[cousins in plaid]

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[lan, avery, and pete]

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[cheers!]

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[they’re so cute]

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[love this family so much!]

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[crazy bunch]

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[seriously?]

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[they discovered our undecorated bay window and it because a stage for them!]

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[happy new year! cheers to 2016!]

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[happy new year!]

all in all it was awesome! we had great drinks, delicious food, and even better company. it was a very, very good night. i loved seeing old friends, good friends, and clinking our glasses of fizzies with such lovely people at midnight. auld lang syne!

xoxo

auld lang syne

happy new years eve my friends!

oh my goodness. i can’t believe it’s going to be 2016! wow! what a year it has been. so many wonderful memories. so many amazing times with my hc and olive. i am so incredibly blessed to have such amazing friends and family by my side. i am fortunate to love and be loved. life has been good to me, to us, that i will forever see the glass half full.

i am fortunate to spend happy moments with my amazing dad. every second, every minute means so much to me. my mom’s desire to always take care of all of us is such a great gift. i am lucky to have a beautiful daughter and doting husband. i am blessed to have so many wonderful siblings and in laws.

looking back at 2015, it brings a smile to my face to think of all the fabulous things we were able to accomplish, do, and live. i had a blast celebrating my sister’s birthday in l.a. i celebrate the fact that i nursed olive for almost 20 months! i cherish the moments i am able to spend with my dear friends…all the brunches, dinners, and lovely times we have been able to have together. our yearly vacation to vegas with two very cool dudes. my brother getting engaged to a very lovely lady. the many fun moments olive has had with our nephews, and how sweet darling r is to her. i could go on and on about all the marvelous events that happened throughout 2015 but you could just probably scroll the blog and see for yourself. that is the main reason why i started this…to document life’s many great {and sometimes not so great} happenings.

well, my lovies, cheers to a phenomenal 2016. we wish y’all a blessed, prosperous, healthy, happy new year!! cin cin!

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xoxo

nye

every year, it’s been our thing to go to the city to celebrate nye {or the fact that we were living in the city}. for the past {over} six years we have been together and seven new year’s eves together, we have always had dinner in the city. for almost two decades, my sister and her hubs have done the same. celebrating nye in the city was a no brainer for us, always.

but this year was different. this year olive joined the party {being the older and wiser gal}, this year we bought a house {in the burbs!}, and this year we were slightly not feeling it. it was a whirlwind holiday season and before we knew it, new years was creeping up on us very fast. we weren’t sure where we wanted to celebrate it…what restaurant? what time? oh, all the decision making was overwhelming or rather, not interesting.

so, we thought, why not have it at our house? it’s close to everyone, we love having people over, we love hosting, and it would be a lot more fun and relaxing! we all wanted to dress up and cook a delicious dinner! how perfect!

anndd at our house it was, hc and i got up super early {or rather, olive got us up} and we started preparing for the party. we cleaned, set up all the tables, decorated, and bought any last minute supplies {ice, flowers, etc.}. our place was starting to come together!

right after 5 pm, people started to trickle in. we set up appetizers, served up drinks, and slowly started to cook up our lovely dinner. it was great to just chill, relax, and move at our pace.

the kids were having a blast hanging out {down in the basement or screaming upstairs}. us adults mingled and nibbled on apps. our friend, lan {owner of the krispie bakery}, brought over the most awesome kettle corn that she had made. it was soooo stinkin’ yummy, i couldn’t stop eating it.

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[dapper dudes]

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[beverage area]

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[the addicting kettle corn lan made]

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[yummy cheese plate by kim]

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in between the apps and cooking, we went a little nutso with our ‘photo booth’. warning: there are A LOT of pictures coming your way! hold onto to your screen!

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[me, thuy, lan, and kim]

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[b, r, avery, and grace]

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[the cuties]

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[magritte]

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[this is my favorite photo of the night]

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on the menu for our nye dinner was a caprese salad, arugula salad with a lemon vinaigrette, sautéed green beans with sliced almonds, mushroom ravioli sautéed in a brown butter sauce, and a savory seasoned pork tenderloin. mmmm mmmm.

we all sat down for dinner and i toasted to our fabulous evening! it was such a wonderful event to have everyone gather around for. everyone looked so pretty in their festive attire and the kids were able to scream and play together with ease. a perfect combo for a perfect evening.

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[new year’s eve tablescape]

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after we ate dinner, i cleaned up and i placed out cookies and coffee for dessert. i purchased the tasty little morsels from whole foods! i love their cookie/dessert section at the store. once desserts were out for the adults, i got crackin’ on the kids sweet tooth’s. i first made them little sundaes and then they got super excited at the idea of a root beer float! so i made mini root beer floats for them too! yum!

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[cream and sugar set from anthropologie]

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[mini root beer floats]

the kids were sooooo impatient. they wanted to count down every hour and we kept telling them, no…not yet! they were itchin’ to use the poppers, the noise makers, and the clappers. so, we decided that we would do the count down with new york city!

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[getting ready for the countdown!]

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[midnight kiss!]

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[the sweet babes leaning in for another kiss]

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[we celebrated nyc’s nye but miss olive stayed up to bring in the new year chicago style!]

new year's eve pajama party

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overall, it was such a wonderful, wonderful night. we had the best time socializing, drinking, nibbling on apps, and making dinner together. it was a total team effort…we all had a great time together and it was perfect way to bring in the new year!

xoxo

haphaphappy new year!

happy new year’s eve!

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new year’s eve is such a magical night. it’s a night where everything turns over. not only is tomorrow a new day, it’s a new beginning. i do get wrapped up in the idea of starting over and fresh. it’s your chance to change. this is what you get to do on this first day of a brand new year if you choose to believe.

look upon this upcoming year like a glass half full.

i want to be a better person, always. i am who i am and there are things i cannot change {i can be quick to judge, impatient, temperamental, and too serious}. but i will do my best to be {more} kind, understanding, generous, loving, patient, humorous, and light hearted.

“tomorrow, is the first blank page of a 365 page book. write a good one.” ― brad paisley

“should old acquaintance be forgot,
and never brought to mind?
should old acquaintance be forgot,
and old lang syne?

for auld lang syne, my dear,
for auld lang syne,
we’ll take a cup of kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.”

cheers to a new start, a new day, a new year lovies!

xoxo

the year of the horse

happy chinese new year everyone!

i recall celebrating chinese new year every year with a big party at church! there was always a lot of food {yummy banh mi sandwiches}, decorations, games {gambling, anyone?!}, and generous red envelopes for us kiddies! that was my favorite part…receiving those little red envelopes filled with money. i loved collecting them and would get excited getting a present from anyone! my o vuong would always give me a gift on new years every year…i was always filled with anticipation to see her, knowing i’d receive a pretty little gold and red pouch stuffed with a fun surprise inside! such sweet memories!

may the year of the horse bring y’all good luck, love, happiness, longevity, wealth, and prosperity!

happy spring festival to all!

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xoxo

glitter, sparkle, and shine

happy new year!  wow, 2014!

here’s to an amazing year past.  2013 was full of joy, laughter, love, family, friends, and many blessings!  the most joyous event of the year?  our baby girl olive!  finding out i was pregnant since february and being on this journey almost this entire past year has been eye opening, life changing, and miraculous.

i love seeing the glass half full all the time, so any bumps in the road this past year has truly been for the better…learning from your mistakes, forgiving others or yourself, do something better for anyone, and try, try again.

thank you for my family, thank you to my family.  my greatest support system.  through trials and turbulence, family will always be there no matter what.  i am blessed to have this through the doan’s and the heintz’s.  two wonderful families, truly special people…hc and i are so fortunate to be surrounded by such strong foundations.

thank you to my friends who always stand by me.  they are the most amazing people and i am lucky to be surrounded by such good people.  as life goes on, it’s good to have some solid peeps in there.

///

we spent our new year’s eve with friends and family.  we trekked our way out in this crazy weather to have dinner at rpm.  i loved the ambience and the food was delicious!  so freakin’ yummy.

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[don’t mind me a glass of presecco]

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[our artsy, dramatic attempt]

we settled in at the bar, waiting for the rest of our party to arrive.  it’s great when you live 10 minutes away and no one is really on the road!  we ordered drinks and conversed our time away.  since everyone was running a bit behind {holy snow!}, we decided to order apps.  we had the smoked salmon crostini, prime beef meatballs, gnocchi alla romana, and the crispy ravioli.  small bites that were way too small ’cause every morsel was so yummy, i wanted more!

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[the ladies bedazzled for the evening…obviously i don’t know which direction to look at]

anyhoo, our party finally got there {phew!  safe and sound!}, and we were seated!  yay!  and away we went with our over consumption of food for the evening!

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[festive attire // dress – last season’s akira]

we ordered a whole bunch of plates to share.  i loved tasting all the different flavors.  we then moved onto desserts…i had the tartufo, so decadent!

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[our pasta course // my yummy tartufo]

it was a snowy, wintery night for a new years’s eve celebration.

After dinner, we headed back home to ring in the new year with olive and hc’s family.

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[midnight kiss]

on new year’s day, we celebrated with a fun breakfast.  Complete with sparkles, mimosas, and lots o coffee!  it was a perfect beginning to a fabulous new year!

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[our new year’s table spread!]

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[starting off the new year right…family and a super yummy breakfast by hc]

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[olive’s one month birthday cake]

papa insisted on having cake for olive’s one month.  ask and you shall receive.  i love a good ol’ home baked cake!

cheers!

xoxo

happy new year’s eve

happy new year’s eve my lovlies!

here’s a blast from the past.  it’s us on the eve of 2012 ready to ring in 2013!!!  my what a year it has been!

we celebrated at gt fish and oyster with our friends and family last year.  it was a delicious meal…entree after delicious entree.  gluttony at it’s best.  we started our feasting at 10pm and giddily rang in the new year at the restaurant with lots o hollering and noise!

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[2013]

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[the sassy gals]

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[dana and moi always matching in something, as usual]

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[bex and james, who live in seattle, celebrating with us!]

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farewell to a fantastic 2013 and hello to a fabulous 2014!  i wish for everyone health, happiness, love, and many blessings for the coming new year.

happy new year everyone!!!

“should old acquaintance be forgot,
and never brought to mind?
should old acquaintance be forgot,
and old lang syne?

for auld lang syne, my dear,
for auld lang syne,
we’ll take a cup of kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.”

xoxo

a walk down memory lane

i want to take you back down memory lane.

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we are going to visit our first new year’s together {hold on to your horses!}.  i’m taking you back to 2008…whoa!  well, really the end of 2008 because this was new year’s eve.  i can’t believe that was many a years ago, time sure flies by!  it’s amusing to think that we were only together for, barely, a few months in these photos {wow}!

we started out the evening imbibing and noshing at leyla’s {old} condo in river north.  a little kookiness, a little goofiness, and a lot of fun.  when you’re with this bunch, it gets cray!

the girls...meow!

the girls…meow!

appetizers

appetizers

the boys

the boys

after some jovial moments with our friends + famille, we went on our merry way to broadway cellars {it’s been ages since we’ve been back and seeing this makes me want to go again!}.  we had reservations for two!  after many courses, after many wine pairings, and desserts, we were dunzo {i mean, how much can one consume without bursting?  i really don’t want to find out!}.  we gladly rang in the new year with all the wonderful folks in the restaurant, it was so jubilant!  we were happily stuffed, happily in love, and happy it was 2009!

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celebrate!

celebrate!

should auld acquaintance be forgot,
and never brought to mind?
should auld acquaintance be forgot,
and auld lang syne!

for auld lang syne, my dear,
for auld lang syne.
we’ll take a cup o’ kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.

happy vietnamese new year!

Chúc Mừng Năm Mới!

it’s the year of the snake!  best matches for the snake:  ox, rooster, and the dragon {moi}.

tết is a huge holiday in vietnam.  to grasp how big it is, think about how exciting it would be if new years, your birthday, and christmas was combined into one day?!  now that’s a whole lotta celebrating!!!

it’s all about a fresh start, newness, family, and lots of good luck!!

xoxo

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[fill the little red envelopes with moolah and gift them to children!  i received these as a child every year…such fond memories!]