The first six days of 2014 have been a wondrously fun mix of photo swapping, video watching and reminiscing. The truth is, while many of you have already moved past holiday clean up and on to organizing life in the year to come, I'm still riding high from the party we threw on New Year's Eve. I have to tell you, after so many weeks of planning and handcrafting details for our fete, it's truly been the sweetest gift.
Today I'm offering a glimpse into all the handiwork that made up our inaugural celebration.
We wanted our guests to get the message straight away - this was a party! We placed a few effects and some party animals out front to help show them the way.
Our signature cocktail greeted them at the door. We nicknamed it the "Au Revoir" - a tasty concoction of Calvados, Champagne, Apple Cider and Mint. It was sort of the Yin to the Yang as we we ushered out one year and welcomed another.
I whipped up a few shooters from the Jelly Shot Test Kitchen archives to get our party guests going. First up - The Bramble (citrus vodka with a blackberry floater), The Cosmo and a Cucumber-Lime Margarita shot served silver spoons.
The beaming Cheers marquee sign created by The Mister lead guests out onto the patio bar. We had asked guests to help us build the bar by bringing a bottle of their choice with them. It worked out really well and we had everybody's tastes well covered.
The mineral decanters I had created just prior to the holiday were used to present juices and other mixers beside the bar.
We lucked out with the weather and ended up spending part of the balmy night poolside under the canopy. We ditched sidewalls in favor of prettier effects. I pulled together some geometric lighting fixtures using dowels and industrial bulbs. Overhead, we hung a cone art installation (10 hours and 1200+ sheets went into that). Lumber trees decorated with white paper flowers sat along the perimeter of the canopy in between the cocktail tables.
Some old wood paneling was parlayed into a timepiece that announced the New Year on both coasts.
One of the best decisions we made was hiring in Felipe and his amazing taco cart for the night. No work in the kitchen meant more time preparing pretty details like the monogrammed and gilded coasters that sat on all the cocktail tables.
The biggest transformation of the night impacted our living room. We cleared out all of the furniture to create two sections - a dance floor and adjacent lounge area where guests could rest their dancing feet. To protect the floors, we laid down thick plastic and indoor/outdoor carpeting. The solution was a success!
In the dining area, we fashioned a board game using dice and the painted beasts that sat around last year's Christmas tree.
Tired guests were sent home with hand painted goodie bags stuffed with a burrito, taco sauce and a chocolate chip cookie - the requisite snack after a long night of dancing and indulging!
We woke up to the aftermath of a great celebration. Thankfully our house can take a party and cleaned up well. As we kick off the first official work week of 2014, all is already polished, shined and put away. But what a night to look back on with all our nearest and dearest. It's something both The Mister and I will remember and talk about for many nights to come.