You can see my theme was blue and white. All inspired by the blue and white plates and decorations I found 75% off the day after Christmas!
I love all the Pinterest inspired ideas, like the balloons on the picture frame. Each balloon was labeled with an hour. The kids took turns popping them on the hour. Even though we forgot to pop the 12:00 balloon!
Some other pinspiration was the snowflakes. They were super easy to make, a cost effective decoration, and pretty.
We had a chili station, complete with cheese, sour cream, fritos, and hot sauce. Chili is always a great way to feed lots of people. I was able to make it ahead and put it in the crockpot, which freed me to mingle with my guests.
We set up tables out back and enjoyed the beautiful South Florida winter.
I made "baby" lemon bundt cakes and mini apple pies. Because everything tastes better when it's cute and mini.
I made some staples, like sausage bites. You'll also recognize the individual cups of bruschetta and 7 layer dip that I served at my Sisters' Cookie Swap. This is a definite trick to entertaining: find a few good crowd pleasers that you're good at it and stick with them.
Though I depend on the staples, I also try to challenge myself and try at least one new recipe when I entertain. This is bacon cheddar dip a.k.a. crack dip that I discovered on Pinterest.
We had a great time eating, chatting, hanging by the fire pit, playing 4 men on a couch (a must-play at your next gathering of 8 or more people), lighting off fireworks (my apologies to my neighbors!) and just enjoying each others' company!
I love that we are able to celebrate New Years' Day at church in the morning. And then we were able to come home, reheat chili, veg on the couch and watch the Dolphins' game and sneak in a nap. I pray that you and yours are as blessed as I am in 2012! I leave you with a verse for the new year:
12 Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. 13 Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
Blessings to you,