I prefer to stay in on New Year’s Eve – maybe it’s the introvert in me or maybe the old lady. What I’d like to do is have a small dinner party where everyone dresses up as if they were going out, then after dinner we all change into our pajamas until the ball drops at midnight. It’s the best of both worlds! Anyway, if you are headed out on the town here are a few dresses that would be a great way to start 2019!
I know I said I wouldn’t be back until after the new year, but I couldn’t let it slip by without sharing this recipe! My mom makes a big pot of black-eyed peas and a piping hot pan of cornbread every New Year’s Day. Superstition has it that eating a bowl will bring you luck in the coming year, and I’m not one to mess with that kind of science! This dish is one she has stored in the recipe box of her mind and has never been shared before, so this is *kind of* a big deal. It’s also very versatile. Add more beans, leave out the sauerkraut, cut back on the meat? All totally doable. We like to place a piece of cornbread in the bottom of a bowl and cover it with the beans before digging in. Here’s to a fantastic 2018!
New Year’s Day Black-Eyed Peas • 1 bag dried black-eyed peas, soaked overnight in a large pot of cold water
• 1 large sweet yellow onion
• 4 cloves of garlic, minced
• 2-3 large ham hocks
• 1 ring of Polish Kielbasa or Polish Sausage, sliced into 1-inch quartered pieces
• 1 ham steak, fried and cut into small 1/2-inch pieces
• 12 oz sauerkraut, drained
• red pepper to taste
Drain peas and rinse well, removing any bad ones. Combine black-eyed peas, onion, garlic, ham hocks, Kielbasa, and ham steak in a very large stock pot, then fill with water to cover. Set on low heat, stirring occasionally. Mixture will thicken as it cooks. Cook until black-eyed peas are tender and ham hocks are cooked through and falling apart. Remove ham hocks from pot and remove meat from bones, then add meat back to the pea mixture. Discard scraps and add sauerkraut and red pepper to taste. Cook for additional 15 minutes. Total cook time varies, but is usually in the three to four hour range.
The Best Cornbread • 1 C butter, softened
• 2 – 8 oz cans corn, drained
• 2 – 8 oz cans creamed corn
• 4 eggs, lightly beaten
• 2 C shredded sharp cheddar cheese
• 2 – 8.5 oz boxes Jiffy cornbread mix
Preheat oven to 350º. In a large bowl stir together all ingredients until blended (do not beat with mixer). Pour into a greased and floured 9” x 13” cake pan. Bake one hour or until the top is lightly browned. Enjoy!
If you’re someone who looks forward to doing it up big for New Year’s Eve, well, I know you’re already thinking about your outfit. While I try to get away with wearing pajamas to my friend’s party, you’ll be painting the town red in satin, sequins, and tulle and shuffling down sidewalks in shoes that are not at all winter weather appropriate… and I salute you. It wasn’t so long ago that I did the same, it’s just that these days I prefer not to fight the crowds on super busy nights out. What I do like is picking out what I might wear if I were braving it out there, and sharing all of those sweet finds (and SALES!) with you.
While I don’t expect the world and all of its issues to change because we flipped a calendar page, I am hopeful for a fresh start. Last year was a huge rollercoaster for many, and even though much of that will carry over it feels like there’s a bit less baggage in acknowledging a new year.
I stopped doing resolutions several years ago and instead do intentions. The word itself is much less intimidating and I’ve found I’m more likely to last past January 2nd with this mindset. I managed to make headway with two out of three 2016 intentions, which isn’t half bad in my estimation.
This go around I’m only focusing on one – pushing out of my comfort zone. This could be taken any number of ways, but what I’m hoping for is growth in both my life and my business. Saying yes but not being afraid to say no. Turning my weaknesses into strengths. There is great growth in discomfort and I can’t wait to dig in and get dirty.
So here’s to a happy and healthy 2017. Let’s be our best selves.
I wasn’t planning on showing up here before Monday, but like a lot of you I’m feeling introspective with the new year upon us. (Happy 2016!) I stopped making resolutions years ago – the guilt and disappointment are a bit too much when I fail – but this year I’ve settled on a few intentions. (Resolutions by another name? Most likely.) And just like writing them down on a Post-It and sticking that note to the fridge, sharing them here holds some accountability for me.
Take better care of myself. Since turning 36 in November I’ve realized this really is the only body and the only life I’ve got. I plan on making big efforts to get my diabetes even further under control, as well as continuing with my daily regiment of vitamins and eating well. Hoping to get more physical activity into the mix as well. (Ugh.)
Work on that whole work/life balance thing. I’ve been struggling with this since taking Design Crush full-time four years ago, and have yet to find a decent balance between the two. My hopes are to spend more time with friends and family, as well as open myself up more to relationships. (Because honestly, I just haven’t made the time or effort. And I’m not getting any younger.)
Try at least one new recipe a month. I’ve fallen into a kitchen rut. Since my diabetes diagnosis back in 2014 I’ve had to relearn my eating habits and cooking hasn’t been nearly as pleasurable. I’m starting small with one new recipe a month, and hoping I fall in love with the process again and more on to one new recipe a week.
So there you have it. What are your intentions for 2016?
Every year I think I’m going to skip out on doing a photo card to send out for the holidays, but then I see a design that I just can’t stop thinking about and order them. This year was no different, thanks to Artifact Uprising‘s modern looks and beautiful sayings.
After 8 1/2 years of Design Crush I figured now was a good time to do a card to send out to sponsors and PR folk who I work with on the regular. I really liked the idea of sharing a peek at my home and aesthetic for the photo, so you might recognize the shot on it from this month’s holiday mantle post.
For my family and personal friends it was none other than my pup, Bebe, front and center! I snapped this photo of her last year before decorating, and paired with the sentiment it was a perfect match. (This is also the first year I’ve included my pets names on a card – the decision to makes me laugh!)
I also toyed with the idea of New Year cards as I rushed to get the house decorated, gifts bought, and cards written out and in the mail. They’re such a great option for those of us who note December as the busiest month of the year both personally and work-wise. In fact, I’m already half planning on it for holiday season!
Sayonara 2014, aloha 2015! Last year was full of much success on both personal and business levels, but it was also filled with turmoil and challenge. Some good, some bad. I’m looking forward to grabbing the new year with everything I have and squeezing every last drop of potential out of its 365 days. Here’s to a good one!
While I sort of think New Year’s is an overrated holiday, there’s something exciting about getting together with people simply to celebrate. I much prefer smaller get togethers during the holidays to anything huge, so my idea of the perfect imaginary New Year’s Eve party would be rather simple. A dozen friends, good music, and lots of candlelight to set the mood. Throw in a good selection of cocktails and a buffet full of appetizers and a few sweets and we’re set. Party starts at 7pm!
Happy New Year! Saying 2014 feels like we’re living in the future, don’t you think? This year is going to be a bit crazy, I already have a few major things penned on my calendar and I’m hoping to add a few more. My focus (or resolution, if you prefer) is going to be on living in the present. Like all of us I have the habit of thinking of the what ifs of the past and the what will bes of the future, and I’d really like to change that. Cheers to the best year yet!