auld lang syne

happy new year!

we hosted a small get together for our friends and family on new year’s eve!

our family debated on whether or not we wanted to go out to dinner {something we’ve done many, many times on new year’s], so we decided to have a party at our place instead! just the sisters and the bro and a few friends. people who we typically celebrate with every year.

we were in debate on what we were going to cook {not me! ha!], we just had beef tenderloin for christmas eve, we had a spiral ham and prime rib for christmas, so we went with a pork tenderloin for new year’s eve! every one pitched in with the menu and when that happens, it makes the night so much more fun and easy!

i ran around decorating like a crazy person. rummaging through my decor box and creating something fun for new year’s! i had no clue what i wanted to do for the tables, the photo booth, the dessert table…but thank goodness everything turned out sparkly and festive!

we ate, and cooked, and ate, and cooked, and ate some more and then ate more food. then ate dessert and then ate more leftover food. bahahahaha! we were s t u f f e d. the food was all sooooo delicious and perfectly made.

once dinner was over {we ate late on purpose}, we cleaned up a bit, and chilled; waiting for the new york countdown, since we have kids and we are ‘old’ and we didn’t want to be up all night…ohmergawd. we’re duds. haaaaaaahaha!

anyhoo, once we counted down, everyone pretty much ran out to go home! no problem…we were tired! i really think it’s because it’s the last of the holidaze and by then, we are just spent!

overall it was a wonderful, relaxing evening! i hope this year brings everyone love, joy, health, prosperity, and many great adventures!

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[nye photo booth]

école valentines jour artisanat

[she wouldn’t put on a more festive outfit, insisted on wearing this crown, and lately, this has been her cheese face…]

école valentines jour artisanat

[the boys]

école valentines jour artisanat

école valentines jour artisanat

[she looooooved sitting on the chair!]

école valentines jour artisanat

[i was stumped…i wasn’t sure what i wanted to do for the centerpieces!]

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[me and hc]

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[chalkboard calligraphy]

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[kids table]

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[party favors]

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[cheese plate]

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[everything is good with macarons]

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[kim and terry]

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[sip sip hooray!]

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[party cake]

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[the girls]

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[party table]

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[i love our fireplace…so cozy!]

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[dance party!]

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[rich and agata]

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[pete and dan]

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[triplets]

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[interpretive dance]

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[plaid in the usa]

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[hey olive, smile! hahaha]

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[lan, avery, and pete]

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[agata, olive, and dan]

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[isn’t she so sweet??]

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[oh these kids…it’s so hard to wrangle them in for a good pic!]

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[ready to ring in the new york new year!]

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[counting down!]

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xoxo

grace and daniel’s grad party

i can’t believe grace is headed to high school this fall. what?! what happened? i remember when she was barely six years old. i met her 4 months into being six, so i could almost say since she was five years old just to be more dramatic!

well, it was a hot day and the party was held at gramma and papa’s house. hc and olive went up the night before to help them set up and such. i drove up with my sister and parents the next day. i got so car sick from the ride {i really think it’s because i am pregnant, because normally i don’t get that way}, that when we arrived, i had to go downstairs and lay down for awhile to get myself together before i could go to meet and greet all the guests! the car sickness dissipated, i put some food in my belly, and after 15 mins or so of laying down, i was ready to go!

olive was in great spirits and she was the most social i have ever seen her! she was giddy and open to others, which is something i rarely see when she is around people she doesn’t know. she was playful and super smiley…i was loving it!

i made my rounds and said my hello’s to everyone. it was so great to catch up with friends and family! grace had her group of friends and daniel had his group of friends and it was so interesting how they never intermingled! grace and daniel aren’t just cousins, but more like brother and sister. they are both almost the same age and in the same grade but different schools so, it was fascinating to see how, now socially, they weren’t meshing…???

olive was a tired, sweaty mess and by the time everyone left…this poor girl was dunzo. she didn’t have a nap and was having a complete meltdown. this babe was zonked out in the car ride home and pretty much slept for 13 hours from that evening until the next morning. a much needed sleep!

anyhoo, i had a great time hanging out with everyone and it was nice to see my family there too! i can’t believe grace is heading into high school! wow! my how time flies! she has grown into such a beautiful young lady. hc and i are so proud of her! she has done remarkably well in school, is such a sweet girl when she’s with us, and is the best big sister to miss olive. she is so good with her and it’s the sweetest thing to watch. we love you grace and can’t wait to see you flourish in high school!

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[the graduate! such a pretty girl]

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[some fun decor]

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[dick and jane]

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[ready to eat cake]

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[ice cream scoops]

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[yummy cake]

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[mom and dad]

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[love this babe]

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[daniel and friends]

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[love this babe so much!]

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[having fun with anabelle]

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[hc and me]

xoxo

e-party

well, as y’all know, miss dana is engaged. i was super delighted to have received the invite to her engagement party!

it was held at her aunt’s house in the cozy neighborhood of highland park. we cruised up north and as we turned down the road where they live, we noticed groups of people walking down the street. we assumed that they were a part of the party and we were right! as we walked closer to the crowd, i asked if they were heading to dana and scott’s engagement party and they said yes! that is when i met scott’s sweet mom and dad.

we walked inside the spacious home and we were immediately greeted by dana! oh, how i love this girl. she was dressed all cute, natch. we were meant to be friends through our fashion sense. seriously. we somehow always manage to dress alike, in coordinating style, or similar color combos. like always. this time dana missed the pop of green but we definitely got the b + w down and our gold accent ankle strapped shoes.

hc and i grabbed drinks and started mingling with the other guests. when it comes to something like this…hc is not in his element! i am the social butterfly and the hubs is socially awkward. he doesn’t like breaking off on his own to start independent conversations like me. so, we usually move around together and i will be the talker and he will be the ‘add on a comment or two’ kind of guy. haha.

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[whenever we get together, we somehow always coordinate or match]

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[fist city chicago beer]

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[everyone gathering around for the food]

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[cocktail napkins]

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[with the engaged couple!]

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after a bit of mingling and several libations, dinner was served. everyone grabbed a bite to eat and continued to socialize. just a bit after the food was served, irina and patrick showed up! i was so excited to see them! irina and i get to see each other every so often and when we do, it’s fantastic to catch up!

the four of us sat down together and did a lot of talking. the conversation just flowed and we were having a great time hitting all kinds of topics. right after dinner, dana’s aunt and uncle welcomed and thanked everyone who came and made a toast to the beautiful guests of honor, the two lovebirds who were going to tie the knot! mazel tov!

dessert was served and i was on it. i went into the kitchen and piled my plate high. i couldn’t stop eating the reese’s peanut butter cups in a cookie crust. best ever. it was like heaven in my mouth.

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[toasting to the engaged couple]

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[irina and patrick]

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[i couldn’t stop eating the desserts]

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we had such a great time celebrating dana and scott’s engagement. it was fun and fantastic to meet and greet most of their family members and friends. weddings are so much fun…love, happiness, elation…the best celebratory emotions all rolled into one beautiful day. we can’t wait until the big day comes!

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