On New Year’s Eve we had a party at our house. This was our 2nd annual New Year’s Eve party. Justin and I both enjoy entertaining. Hosting events at our home is something we enjoy doing together. We are both social creatures, he loves food and cooking, and I enjoy the organizational aspects to hosting an event. It was a successful New Year’s Eve at our house in that we rang in the New Year with friends and had a wonderful evening.

This year the party was extra special as we co-hosted the event with our friends and neighbors Jeff and Kristle. Kristle is an amazing cook, so we decided to divide and conquer the food for the night. She was in charge of the desserts. She ended up making 11 desserts from scratch!!! She is incredible! I don’t know anyone who bakes better than Kristle. Everything she made was so incredibly good beyond words!

Having three small children makes planning and preparation of a party a little more challenging, since I don’t have ample amounts of free time. I cannot set up an event in one day, as I used to do. Now, I have to set things up over a period of several days in order to get everything done. The best time to get things done is during the twin’s nap time or after all three are in bed for the night. One thing I did in advance was create a program of activities for the party night.

New Year's Eve parties can be LONG. Ours started at 7:30 PM and the last guests left around 1 am. That made it a 5 and half hour long party. Which is why we created a program of activities to make the night fun and having a flow to the evening.

New Year’s Eve parties can be LONG. Ours started at 7:30 PM and the last guests left around 1 am. That made it a 5 and half hour long party. Which is why we created a program of activities to make the evening fun and filled with activity. The itinerary gave a nice flow to the evening, which seemed to fly by too quickly!

We planned a music program for the night. Days prior to the event, I created and printed some mini programs for the guests. I also printed 15 Christmas Sing Along books with sheet music inside, so the guests could easily participate in our sing along that followed our little concert.

Two days before the party I set up the display for the party favors (which were custom mixed CD’s I made, along with a candle, and chocolates- The theme for the favor was “ring in the New Year with Love”). I also wrapped sets of silverware in white cotton napkins and kept them wrapped using red tulle ribbon. I set up the bar area two days prior too. Doing things days in event, makes the day of the event much more relaxed for me, as I know things are almost completely ready for guests to arrive. With kids, you never know if one is going to have a rough day on the particular party day, so if they do, I can give them my attention, since the party stuff is already done in advance!

Justin and I own lots of party ware. Like I mentioned, we enjoy entertaining and have been doing parties together since before we even got married. We have glass plates for 80, fabric napkins for 80, wine glasses for 50, coffee mugs for 40,  and silverware for 40. I like the fact that we have a large pantry area to store these items. I keep most of the items in boxes and up on the top shelves. We also have 12 stacking woven chairs that are light and easy to move around. These are stored in the garage with our folding tables which also come in handy for entertaining. It is amazing how much use we have gotten out of these items over the years. Party preparation entails bringing these items out of their stored locations and making sure everything is perfectly clean.

I did the food shopping and preparations days prior to the party as well. We served honey baked ham. Everyone loves honey baked ham and it is great for parties because it is best served and eaten at room temperature. We served the ham with Hawaiian rolls and two types of gourmet mustards. Other items on the menu were Justin’s homemade cranberry dish, pork sausage and cream cheese stuffed mushroom (I made these thanks to my friend Kristen’s recipe), sweet kale gourmet salad, large shrimp cocktail, brie and crackers (with grapes and strawberries), and then meatballs made by Kristle.

The night before the party I set up the photo booth in the master bedroom. I had purchased two sets of props from EBay, which added some fun to the photos. I also set up the chairs for the music program in the formal living room, and I put the sign on the front door.

The food was set up on the island in the kitchen. The desserts were laid out in the dining room. They stole the show for the night. I cannot get over everything she made! While I was doing party set up the days prior to the event she was in her kitchen baking these divine desserts. Here is what she made: White chocolate cheesecake with macaroon crunch, German chocolate cake, caramel toffee cheesecake with gingerbread crust, brown sugar cookie dough dip, upside-down pineapple cake with pineapples rum buttercream, salted caramel brownies, chocolate chip peanut butter blondies, red velvet cake, homemade cannoli’s, Mississippi mud pie, and dark chocolate peanut butter bundt cake. Amazing!!!!

The music program for the evening went well too! Many thanks to our friends Phillip and Susan. Phil is an accomplished pianist. Susan is a beautiful singer with her own solo CD. For the party she sang two solos, I sang 2 solos, and we sang 2 duets together. Phillip also played two piano solos by an Italian composer. He did a beautiful job playing! It all went really well. Especially considering we sang together the first time about a week before the event. I can see us doing more singing together in the future. It was a lot of fun making music with Phil and Susan- Thank you both so much!!!

Here are some photos from the party during the music program. Thank you Charlie (my friend Teresa’s husband) for offering to use my camera to take these photos. You have a talent for taking great photos Charlie! I really like all the different angles of the photos and vantage points.

The photo booth was fun! I am glad some of the guests took advantage of it! Below are some of the photos from the photo booth and from the party that night. Thank you to all who came and it made it such a fun night. Of course my favorite party was the games! No photos of that since we were all to busy playing “Heads Up” (Ellen’s game app). It was a fun night with friends and a terrific way to ring in the new year!