Happy New Year!

happy-new-yearWishing you all an amazing 2014!!!  Tomorrow my family and I will stay in our pajamas all day long.  We will watch a lot of HGTV and ignore the fact that school will be starting up very soon.

Best Cheese Ball Ever Appetizer

Perfect for holiday entertainingWith all the family gatherings that are bound to happen this holiday season I thought I would share with you one of my favorite appetizer recipes.  This Cheese Ball recipe is super easy to make, transport and shovel in your mouth hole.  I didn’t invent this recipe.  I’ve looked at the internet and seen this and variations of this all over the place.  But this is the one that I like the best so it is what I wanted to share with you.

Best Cheese Ball RecipeThere are not many ingredients so make sure that you use good quality items.  I think the blue cheese makes it for me but I understand that there are some people who think it tastes like feet so if that is you, just leave it out.

add-all-the-cheeses-and-green-onion-600Make sure your cream cheese is softened and then just mush it all together.

Best Cheese Ball Appetizer Recipe EverRoll it in a ball (or don’t) roll it in some nuts (or don’t) and eat it with Wheat Thins (I’m sure other crackers would work too but tradition states that you eat it with Wheat Thins.  You don’t want to eff with that do you?)

Cheese Ball and Champagne for holiday entertainingYou know when this cheese ball would work best?  New Year’s Eve.  It can sit out for a while without making all your guests totally sick.  Edible gold stars are like the jazz hands of the food world and really make this cheese ball next level.  Serve with some bubbles and party on.

Best Cheese Ball Ever Appetizer

Ingredients

  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese (softened)
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese (I like to go with sharp cheddar)
  • 1 TBSP chopped green onion
  • 1 TBSP Blue Cheese (crumbled)
  • 2 tsp Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • Finely chopped pecans (optional)
  • Wheat Thins

Instructions

  1. Combine softened cream cheese until well blended.
  2. Add remaining ingredients.
  3. Mix well and chill.
  4. Shape in to a ball and roll in pecan pieces.
  5. Serve with Wheat Thins
http://www.cupcakesandcutlery.com/best-cheese-ball-ever-appetizer/

New Year’s Eve Countdown Craft for Kids

New Years Countdown craftI had this idea for New Year’s Eve Countdown Surprise Bags for Kids (yup, that title IS too long).  I wanted to share it with you as New Year’s Eve will be here before you know it.  So this is what I call a “Nap Time Tutorial.”  While my kids don’t nap, I can often find bits and pieces of quiet time that I can use to shoot a tutorial.  But sometimes in the middle, things go haywire and I have to scramble to finish.  Such as the case with this craft, but you get the idea and can totally cuten it up.

The idea behind this is that you choose a time that you want to start this on New Year’s Eve and each hour you hand your kids a new bag.  Inside the bag are fun treats, activities, etc. to keep them entertained and excited until midnight.  Candy works too, but they still get cranky when they start to come off that sugar high.

New Years Eve Countdown CalendarI’ve created a few examples of things to include in the bags.  For this one, I would also include a card that tells them to get dressed up like a business man and create a character.  Then they need to pretend they have to finish up one last job before the clock strikes midnight.  I don’t know about your kids but mine are great with impressions and accents.  They will use their imagination and put on a fun little show for the whole family.  When they get bored with that, the watch (found in the favor section of Party City) is a puzzle that they have to try to get the silver balls in to the holes.  But you know Dad will end up with the mustache on and a fake French accent…

New Years Eve Countdown Calendar for kidsThis next bag would include some “party animals” and a cd of our favorite dance songs.  It would tell them to get their dance on. Then we would try to guess, if animals danced, which animal would be the best dancer.  Come on, this is good for at least 10 minutes, right?

Easy New Years activity for kidsOf course you can change this one up if your family doesn’t use the word suck.  With this bag I would say something about how waiting for midnight sucks and then we would drink root beer floats.  I get it.  Totally unclassy use of the word suck.  But its a play on words.  If I can turn it in to a teaching moment, doesn’t that trump class?

Decorate the BagsAdd a little pizzazz with some silver tassels (I made these for my son’s upcoming birthday party so they were already on hand to zhuszh these up.  Anything will work.  Get as carried away as you want.

countdown calendar for kidsSo there you have it.  A quick and easy idea to keep you family entertained on New Year’s Eve.

Best of: New Year’s Eve Party

Since New Year’s Eve is less than a week away I thought I would start out with last year’s New Year’s Eve shoot that I did with Lauren.  Shot by Ed of Up Imagery, the party was full of pink, girly, glittery fun where the party decor was created using almost exclusively the pages of a Real Simple Magazine.

There were several posts for this party!  Here (just the sneak peek but a really cool photo), Here, Here, and Here.

Sharon