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Happy 2014!

The start of a New Year! That's always exciting and hopeful. Hopeful of new things, new changes, everything that makes life grand!

My New Year's Eve wasn't boring as I had thought it would be. Not at all! Timmy asked me if I thought it would be nice to invite our good friends - Jack and Lynn Gilbert - over for dinner. Yes! Yes! My children were all in Houston so we were going to be all alone. No one was going to be asking us to baby sit so an adult night sounded marvelous to me! So he called Jack and they accepted, yes, they would love to join us for dinner!

I was glad they could come but now that meant I had to clean house! In my house there are two types of clean - everyday clean and COMPANY clean. Company clean to me means your house has to sparkle. Oh my. Gotta get to work. So I pulled out the windex and the pledge and got to work. Then I decided I wanted to decorate my table. That I love because I get to use my "good dishes". I love, love, love dishes and have lots of them. My favorites are my dishes from West Elm. I have several of their Christmas dishes only because I had the good fortune of having a daughter who worked there who would let me know when they were seriously marked down. As you can see by my photo, I used the plates that are decorated in winter trees which I thought were appropriate since its pretty cold outside. My center piece was all recent finds at my next favorite store - Z Gallerie. My sister Gloria and I shopped there right before Christmas and their decorations were already 70% off! Everything at Z Gallerie is sparkly and glittery - my two favorite colors! It looked pretty impressive if I do say so myself!

Timmy prepared a wonderful dinner of shrimp, chicken, califlower, pickled cabbage and carrots, salad and black-eye pea salad. This meal combined all the good luck foods plus was calorie friendly for Lynn who is very weight concious. It was so delicious. They brought the wine and we sat and had great conversation and good food. A great evening. When they left, Timmy and I vowed to have more dinner parties in 2014!

The only thing missing from my New Years in Menudo. I only make it once a year but didn't this year. Timmy convinced me that it was too much to make and with my kids out of town, there wouldn't be enough people to eat it. This mexican girl was a bit disappointed but I'll make it the next time my family is all together!

The saying goes that how you bring in the year is how you will spend the year. Well we brought in the year with good friends, good food, good wine and good conversation. My children were in Houston with their cousins and they also brought in the New Year with fun, family and food. I think my family's 2014 looks pretty fun don't you? I wish that on us all!

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