Dinner Party Preparations for New Year’s Day

Popping in today to see how you’re doing? How was Christmas? I hope you were able to spend it with those you love most. I was in Ohio for most of the week, spending the Christmas holidays with my son and beautiful daughter-in-love. We spent our time together talking baby things since a little one will be arriving in late February.

We also drove through many of the old neighborhoods in the area, including one where they will be moving in a few weeks. If it hadn’t been so cold, I would have driven around taking photos of the homes to share with you. The homes reminded me so much of the older neighborhoods here in Georgia…no cookie-cutter houses, each home so special and having its own personality.

Today I’m knee-deep in preparations for a New Year’s Day dinner party with friends. I don’t especially enjoy cooking every-day meals, but I love trying new things when I’m having friends over. I often break one of the cardinal rules when it comes to entertaining, that being not trying out a new recipe on dinner guests. So far, I’ve been able to pull it off, can’t think of any past dinner party disasters. Actually, it always seems like the first time I make something, it comes out better that time than it does if I make it again later. Is that beginner’s luck or am I just more careful the first time around?

I’ll try to remember to take some pics so I can share the recipes later. Since I don’t like to be frazzled and running around like the proverbial chicken when my guests arrive, I try to prepare dinners that are pretty easy and don’t require a lot of last-minute tweaking. Since it’s wintertime and cold out, I thought a hearty pot roast would be yummy for this dinner. The crock pot I purchased way back in the 1980’s was only a 3.5 quart size, so I purchased a new one that should easily hold a chuck roast and the various veggies I’ll toss in at some point during the cooking process.

Crockpot for Pot Roast


You know those soup tureens I’m always using during tablescapes? I’m breaking those bad boys out for a butternut squash soup I’ll be serving. I’ll take a few pics and share the recipe soon. (Picture below is from this fall tablescape: Autumn Celebration

Burlap and Green Velvet Napkins in a Fall Tablescape


I’m also using the soup tureen seen in this fun Halloween table setting at The Killer Cafe.



It will come in handy for the butternut squash soup.

Soup Tureen


Looking forward to sharing the recipe for the soup.

Butternut Squash for Soup 2


I also purchased one of these. I’ve never had an immersion blender but apparently that’s the easiest way to blend up all the ingredients for a nice soup.

Immersion Blender


Pumpkin seeds will be a nice little garnish for the soup.

Pumpkin Seeds


While I was shopping in Whole Foods today, I was roaming the cheese department looking for a cheese that would make a good appetizer. I think a dinner guest may be bringing an appetizer but I figured it wouldn’t hurt to put out some cheese and crackers. I asked for a recommendation since the selection of cheese is overwhelming! This was what the nice guy in the cheese department at Whole Foods recommended, St Nuage triple creme, soft ripened cheese. Have you ever tried it? He said it’s nice and smooth and spreads easily on crackers.

St. Nuage Cheese


I ended my shopping trip with a little splurge, a Peppermint Mocha coffee. There may have been a Whole Foods strawberry swirl pastry involved. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Peppermint Mocha


So tell me about your Christmas…what did Santa bring you? Did you get to spend it with family or friends? Other than being with family and/or friends, what was your favorite part of the holiday?

Any special plans for New Years? Having a party or are you spending it snuggled in with a good book?

I’ve missed you the last few days, feels good to be back home. 2014 is going to be a fantastic year and I can’t wait to share it with you! Speaking of 2014, what would you like to see more of here at BNOTP? Anything you’ve enjoyed this past year and would love to see more of?

See you tomorrow for Metamorphosis Monday!

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  1. Patty Lucas says

    We are having an Open House on New Year’s Day. That soup would be wonderful. Can’t wait for the instructions.

  2. Oh my gosh, Susan!!! You are going to be a grandmother!!! I am so excited for you.โ™ฅ

  3. Seeing The Pine Club in your post reminded me of home–lived in Kettering,Ohio.

  4. Glad you had a nice trip! Did they have a little snow on the ground at your son’s? We had just enough here in Akron to be (technically) considered a White Christmas! ๐Ÿ˜€

    • Cyndy, I just missed it. I think they had some the weekend before and were expecting some this weekend. I’m not a big fan of snow, unless I can stay inside the whole time. It’s really pretty from inside. ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. Love to see more of your favorite things….like those Lands End pants! Going to order more! Ha..simple recipes…love all your ideas!

  6. Laura Clements says

    Congrats on your grandbaby! My first grand daughter was born on February 28 th, she will be three this year. You are going to LOVE being a Grandmother.

  7. I am so excited about the baby and I hope you share pictures of your son’s home. I bet it is going to be gorgeous. Are you sharing if you are having a grandson or granddaughter. Or is that a post for February? ๐Ÿ˜‰

    The dinner plans sound yummy and I am looking forward to reading your how to.

    We had a lovely Christmas the day just goes too fast. Last New Year’s Eve my husband and I walked around Old Town Portsmouth to view the Christmas decorations. Maybe we will do that again, otherwise we will be our exciting selves and stay in.
    Happy New Year!

    • It’s an adorable home. It has hardwoods throughout the whole home, many were covered in carpeting. They will do a full kitchen renovation sometime, maybe I can share some Before and After pics when they do that. I love the neighborhood they are moving to, has that hometown feel.
      They aren’t finding out if it’s a boy or girl…they decided to wait and be surprised. ๐Ÿ™‚
      That sounds like a perfect way to spend New Year’s Mary.

  8. Hi Susan, I know I have scarce around blogland this year but somehow I missed that you were going to be a grandmother. That is the most awesome thing that can happen in one’s life. You will be a fabulous Grandmother. I have five adult grandsons and just eleven months ago I was blessed with a granddaughter. I never thought it would happen, I have been in a state of giddiness, not sure if that is a work. You know what I mean.
    Please come by to see our little AJ, Annabelle Joy as she spies our Christmas Tree.
    I am so excited for you.
    Happy New Year,

  9. Mary Stevens says

    I missed the announcement for a grandchild….Congrats! When is the baby to arrive?

  10. We had a lovely Christmas.
    You scared me – when I read you don’t enjoy cooking – then I went back and saw everyday. With all your talents I just could not believe cooking was not involved. Everyday can be challenging, but I have developed so many sensitivities and allergies that it just works better if I cook. It has become easier and along with it I gained a blog. With the blog I have gained friends. It has turned into a blessing. I can’t wait to see the recipe. I think you will like the immersion blender.

    • Cooking stuff I’ve made before is always so boring to me, I only like to try new things. lol I don’t think I’m a real cook at heart, Madonna…more an experimenter. ๐Ÿ™‚ I know what you mean about allergies…me too. Stuff that I used to eat all the time makes me itch now. ๐Ÿ™ So annoying!

  11. Susan, I’d missed the news about the grandchild too. How exciting! Congratulations! Glad you had the holidays together with your son and DIL. Our holidays were spent here, very quiet and uneventful. They were splendid! ‘-)
    New Year’s will be a quiet celebration too, though friends will join us for champagne and black eyed peas.
    Happy New Year!

  12. Glad you had a nice Christmas, Susan!
    Ours was quiet – just the two of us and our English Setter. We took a Christmas morning stroll through our snow covered neighborhood, and it was perfect – no traffic, neighborhood kids (and adults) still asleep after the night of waiting for Santa, crisp air and sunshine…
    On the New Year’s Eve, if the weather doesn’t get too cold, we’ll be going downtown to watch the fireworks. Rapid City has the largest New Year’s fireworks display in the Midwest. After that, head back home, and snuggle down with some snacks and mulled wine to warm up, and probably watch another episode of one of the British period dramas we have been hooked on lately. ๐Ÿ™‚

  13. For a change this year, I went to our son’s home Dec. 19th and thoroughly enjoyed the few days of sort-of normalcy before our usual arrival on Dec. 24th. Each morning in December the three grandchildren run around to see who can find “Jack” first – their Elf On The Shelf. The grandchildren & I played games (when I could coax them away from their electronics) and watched a couple of movies. I’m a big proponent of playing interactive games like Cards, Dominoes, Quirkle, Life, Uno, Checkers, Chess, etc – anything but Monopoly. Our daughter-in-law planned some great outings: one adult to one child split in teams with each child shopping for their brother/sisters. She also planned a Family Scavenger Hunt at a local Mall which was a LOT of fun for all. Ugly Christmas Sweater was on the list; and our son actually tried on an “ugly” Christmas sweater in the women’s section of a department store! His daughter & teammate was hysterically laughing as she snapped the required picture to check off this item. My husband and our daughter & her husband arrived December 26th…evening Church Service ending with the congregation holding up lit candles while singing Silent Night. We have a few additional Christmas Eve traditions, then it’s off to bed anxiously awaiting the arrival of Santa. Christmas morning is everyone talking at once, opening gifts with appreciation & squeals of excitement. Our traditional Christmas Dinner is ham, turkey, dressing, macaroni & cheese (which my husband always makes), sweet potato casserole, 7-Layer Salad (made by our son-in-law) 2/3 with peas & 1/3 without; lime jello salad, & homemade biscuits (made by our daughter-in-law). December 26th is our daughter’s birthday. We started the day with your Champagne Punch as two of our grandchildren (11 & 10) played Happy Birthday on bells & clarinet. They had practiced daily and this touched all of our hearts, especially the Birthday Girl. After her requested lunch, all had to head home & back to Reality. Our son & family departed Dec. 27th for time with the FL grandparents & will head to Disneyworld 12/31. Our daughter & husband will head from SC to Las Vegas the same day. My husband & I will spend a quiet New Year’s Day cuddled up watching three of our favorite teams play in Bowl games – Michigan State, Clemson, & University of South Carolina. Hopefully, it will be cold enough here in NC for a fire as the day moves into evening until we toast with champagne as The Ball drops (if I’m awake enough, we’ll have your champagne punch again). Yes, there are times we have to wake each other up for our midnight Kiss. There is not one thing that I can say is my favorite – it’s the whole holiday season beginning with Thanksgiving through New Year’s; it’s being with loved ones, whether it’s the quiet New Year’s with just the two of us or the semi-craziness of Christmas morning. I am thankful for every moment.

    • What a wonderful time, Paula! The scavenger hunt sounds hilarious! It always good to be back home, isn’t it? Have a fabulous New Year savoring all those wonderful memories you made this Christmas.

  14. Susan, so glad to hear that you spent your Christmas with your son and daughter-in-law! How wonderful to know that the rocking chair will be treasured and used in the years to come. You will make the best “Grandma,” except I can’t quite see anyone calling you that! Have you thought about what you’ll be called or are you going to let that happen naturally? Now I’ve got to find your favorite things post because I missed it somehow!

  15. We had a grand Christmas week – candlelight service at my daughter’s family’s church – my Atlanta Grands play in the bell choir. We “do” stockings first thing, then breakfast – same yummy menu each year, and then open the gifts from Santa/under the tree. Dinner that evening with other family members and with others last night; many are my blessings. I notice someone mentioned black eyed peas; “gotta” serve them in Hoppin’ John! And turnip greens (for “greenbacks” in the new year) and sweet potatoes (for “coins/copper” in the new year). I will send my Hoppin’ John recipe along. No matter what you serve – and your menu sounds delish – have a glorious evening and a grand new year with that baby! My next Grand is coming within days in Alexandria, VA; a boy; the first boy in that generation on either side of the family. His Dad is my only son.

  16. Linda Mazzei says

    Had a great Christmas, went to Christmas Eve service at Church and had a quiet evening. On Christmas morning my new grandson came over with my Daughter and Son in law. He is 7 months old and loved the bows and wrapping paper. Being a Grandmother is awesome, you will love it. Going back to work next week, so I will be working on New Years eve but may still cook some Salmon for dinner. I loved the plates from Walmart great addition to my Christmas dishes! I love your blog and thanks for all your inspirations. Wishing you a Blessed 2014!

  17. Susan, thanks for sharing the info about the pants from Lands End! I love any pair that I don’t have to hem! I ordered their corduroy leggings and LOVE how they feel. They would look so cute with your new UGG boots! I have no ideas about what the grandchild can call you. I started out being “Granny Janie” but we quickly dropped the granny part!

  18. Nancy Sansone says

    I guessed where your son lives when you mentioned The Pine Club! Our olderst daughte went to UD and we ate there a few times…always crowded!! Another place you should try is the The Oakwood Club…it is very good too.
    Glad you had a great visit with them…love the Dayton area. Beautiful homes and very nice people.

    Happy New Year!!

  19. Just think, Susan, next year if you visit your son for Christmas you’ll have a little one to spoil. Now what shall he/she call you? I vote for grandma, but since you’re not convinced what about a cute nickname? Have you ever had one, like maybe ‘sue-sue’? Something that’s easy for children to say is a good idea. My grands call me deedee, but I choose that because they already have two biological grandmothers. When/if I become a biological grandmother I’m going the traditional route.

    We spent Christmas Eve at my stepsons house with the boys and Christmas Day at a friends who lives very close by. Hubby woke up feeling sick Christmas morning but made it thru after pumping himself up with DayQuil. I was glad I had zero cooking to do ๐Ÿ™‚

    Santa was good to me. I got a fitbit and a GoPro. Can’t wait to try it out the next time I go bungee jumping ;).

    Happy New a Year Susan!!

  20. Hi Susan,

    Long things – short : Wishing you a very HAPPY , HEALTHY, LUCKY & FUNNY 2014 !!!
    I love your blog just the way it is: surprisingly by theme ! Just about everything : I mean life ! Gorgeous home tour inspirations, movies, decorating ideas on all occasions, things go well /or weird in life , garden & pets !!!
    Thank you so much or such an passionated blog !
    Warmest wishes

    Dani & cats

    P.S. Mr. Teddy , the cat with the amputated paw is back ! He is doing soooo well with 4 legs but 3 paws !!! Glad we saved his leg since is seems it`s stabled his balance very good , running on 3 but jumping sometimes with the help of a fourth.
    No traumatized as the vets prognoses . He`s so happy & thankful , he really knows 1800.00$….no further Christmas gifts as a pet lover.
    Wishing you all the best and a new “pet love” for 2014 !!

  21. I’ve missed your blog…glad you were with family. Happy New Year !

  22. We’ll be staying in for the New Year but over to friends for dinner on the 1st. Thanks for the link to the recipe for my favorite soup–my husband is the cook, so I will request it for dinner on NYE. As for your blog, since you get spring long before we do, I look forward to posts about signs of spring there and spring dรฉcor.

  23. I remembered you were going to be a first time gramma, and remember the rocking chair too, so glad you took it to them so it will be ready for the newborn!!! Your dinner party sounds like fun and the menu so yummy!!! I always try new recipes on company, how bad can it be???

    Christmas was wonderful, spent it with my sister and family, we laughed and laughed, opened gifts and feasted on standing rib roast, homestyle mashed, sauteed mushrooms, romaine salad, horseradish sauce, then pies and tons of cookies!!! It was a great time, one of the best so far. And now I miss them all!!

    Love your blog, as you already know, can’t think of anything you could add. Love all the info you share with us….many blessings to you in the New Year!!!

  24. Sounds like you enjoyed wonderful trip and Christmas holiday. And congratulations on your first grandchild! I thought being a parent was wonderful, but those grandchildren just add even more joy than you ever thought possible. We just had our eleventh (11th) grandchild. And we are wondering how in the world that happened! Ha! They are all under the age of seven and every one is precious and bring us great joy. My hubby and I are called “Mimi and Papi.” When my oldest daughter was pregnant with her first (and our first grandchild), she told me she didn’t think “grandma” fit me either. So she called me “Mimi” and it stuck.

    We have had a staggered family Christmas this year as two of our children and their spouses and children were down with the flu during Christmas week. And others had scheduling issues so we have celebrated with two of our children and their families separately on Thursday and just this evening. The rest of the recovering families will celebrate with us next weekend. I’m torn between “can’t wait” and “I’m ready for it to be over and done.” We somehow decorated even more this year, although I don’t know how. I think my sweet hubby is quickly becoming Clark Griswold to try and impress all of our grandchildren with his light and train displays.

    Okay, now someone mentioned a great pair of pants at Land’s End. Which ones are they? I order from them occasionally and would love to know which pair you love.

    Have a great New Year’s celebration with your friends. I think I will be taking a nap before cooking up more Christmas goodies for the belated Christmas celebration.

  25. pam ~ crumpety cottage says

    Susan, so glad you were able to spend the holiday with Chip and his wife and your new grand baby. Even if he is still, ‘insitu.’ ๐Ÿ˜‰ Hee.

    Say, when I make crock pot roasts it is always a disaster. I’m a pretty good cook otherwise, but I can’t seem to get the hang of making a pot roast and sometimes there is just nothing as yummy. So if you are willing to share your secrets, I for one would appreciate it. I’ve pretty much decided it’s not me, it’s my crock pot. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    If I had a wish for the site, I suppose I’d love to see that chat forum we talked about. Not sure it’s really feasible. And house tours! You know we all love a good house tour!! Haha. Really though, you do such a great job and seem to think of everything, I’m sure we’re all very happy with the status quo. Happy New Year. ๐Ÿ™‚ Enjoy your party!

  26. Susan, what a great Christmas gift! A grandchild! I have loved every minute ! You can spoil and go home! I’m called Meme! When my grandson was a little one I would say, “who do you love the most? Me, me”and point to myself. So every time he saw me he would shout meme! So my name began. I have 5 now who call me that name plus others! Your grandchild will name you! That’s the best name to be given! one of my best friends is called Miss Ohio. Can you even guess why? Every time she called his mother would have him say…..we miss you in Ohio…….isn’t that cute! She loves that name! We spent our Christmas with friends and phone calls. Our kids live far far from us.

  27. Also, my husband loves his name Poppi, he loves his name! He would put our grandson on his,leg and play “pop goes the weasel”. Sooo, he got named Poppi.

  28. I have a soup tureen similar to yours but I have never used it, but would enjoy doing so. Normally, I’ll keep the soup hot in the kitchen. Do you find that the soup gets cold quickly in the tureen, especially for second helpings? How do you keep it nice and hot? Happy New Year blessings to you!

    • Teresa, I was thinking about that last night. I’ve never used it before. I think if I do use it, I’ll put really hot water in it for a few minutes first to get it warm before I add the soup. I may end up just ladling it into the tureens from the pot.

  29. Nan, Odessa DE says

    You will enjoy that immerse. blender. Keep it handy and you won’t believe the many uses you will have for it. Looking forward to the soup recipe!
    Just keep your many photos, suggestions, colors, paint, and tours coming in 2014.

  30. Hi Susan, sounds like you had a lovely Christmas with your loved ones. Will look forward to seeing their new home as it progresses and of course am waiting to see if you have a granddaughter or grandson. I am known as *Nanny* to mine.
    I smiled at your reference to “a cake may have been included with your special coffee*!!! ๐Ÿ™‚
    Our Christmas was very nice. I first entertained some friends for lunch a couple of days before Christmas and one of the things we served was Squash Pear soup and we use an immersion blender, they are great. I say we, but hubby is the soup King!:)
    For the first time in years, our family went out for Christmas dinner to a resort. My daughter and I decided that we would like to be served for a change, we usually alternate who cooks Christmas dinner. It was a lovely place and good food.
    New Year’s Eve, we are going with eight friends to dinner at a hotel on the lake and are staying the night. So it is has been an easier year for us.
    You asked about what we would like next year. I personally love the movies you take us to and the tours around houses, although anything you come up with on a day to day basis is interesting and creative. Just leave out the spiders please!!
    Hoping you have a Very Happy and Healthy New Year!!

  31. Juanita in OH says

    First, how close to Columbus, OH were you???
    I think you are doing a fantastic job with the blog. I find everything interesting and you go to some of my favorite places like, house tours, stores, food, tablescapes, tips and family stories, I LOVE it all. Did you ever see Bye, Bye Birdie with Ann Margaret? Well, the excitement she felt whenever she thought of or saw him is how I feel when you post something! I can’t read fast enough and I never want it to end, lol, that is the truth.
    My ultimate Christmas tradition is that we all get together Christmas evening and we have one gift for each child. Now that the famly has grown exponentially it is a riot! We have three grown children, eight grandchildren, four great-grands and one niece and nephew. The excitement for them and for me is beyond hysteria, LOL.
    Have a fabulous New Year’s Eve and a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year.

    • I think I was about an hour away. Thanks, Juanita! You are a sweetheart and I appreciate that so much! I’m looking forward to 2014 and sharing more fun things! What a lovely tradition…sounds wonderful!

  32. Cheryl Gordon says

    Congratulations on the grand baby! Re the immersion blender, I think you will love it. It is also great for smoothies and will work great if you want to puree something for the grand baby when it’s old enough.

  33. Just for the heck of it, this is the best soup I’ve ever eaten, let alone the best black-eyed pea soup. Give it a try sometime. It’s fun to make and it’s a good thing, because I make it often. http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&cad=rja&ved=0CCsQFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.tasteofhome.com%2Frecipes%2Fhearty-black-eyed-pea-soup&ei=LgXCUrrBLMyGogSqwYLYBg&usg=AFQjCNFi5iWUB0VoDmrB9Ee_mUxgfqDbVw&bvm=bv.58187178,d.cGU
    Well, that’s weird looking! Sorry, but worth checking it out. What a thrill to be awaiting your first (or any) grandchild. There is nothing in the world like it.

  34. linda r (phila burbs) says

    hi susan. speaking of food, I just wanted to tell you that I made your cranberry trifle for Christmas and it was wonderful!! thank you so much for sharing the recipe. Good luck with your new year’s party and wishing you a blessed 2014. (i’m so jealous that your going to be a grandma! that’s wonderful!)

  35. Jill Brewster says

    Hi Susan, Love your site. I see we have the same granite counter tops. New Years Eve is my Anniversary so we usually go to dinner and then spend the evening at home. We will have our daughter and her kids over or it will just be the two of us. I always stay up to bring in the New Year and my husband always goes to bed early.

  36. Elaine in Laguna says

    Hi Susan, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! Had a great visit w/ my daughter and the boyfriend-in-law as I call him for Christmas! Congrats on the coming grand baby – that’s so exciting! February is just around the corner! I know this because that’s when my birthday is! Sorry I couldn’t answer your previous question about So Calif traffic but your reply link wouldn’t open for me. Oh, and your other follower (formerly of So Cal) didn’t offend me. Lastly, I love your blog, the home tours, movie star posts like Doris Day, and especially your Met Mondays and inspiring tablescapes! Wishing you a wonderful 2014!

  37. Susanโ€ฆlooking forward to the soup recipeโ€ฆhave a wonderful dinner party with friendsโ€ฆthose are times to treasure..and congrats Grandma!!!โ€ฆhow exciting!โ€ฆI wish you a most happy and healthy New Year Susan!!!

  38. Susan, congratulations on becoming a Grandma, or whatever name your grandchild will pick for you! I’m Grammy to 3 wonderful grandchildren. Our newest one is 6 months old & very special to me, as I was able to see her birth. And when I say see, I really mean see her being born. As in the nurse saying, “here Grandma, hold mommy’s leg, a few pushes later, and we have a granddaughter. It wasn’t supposed to happen like that, our other daughter was going to be with her sister and husband, but Mother Nature had other ideas. Mommy came up to visit us in the morning and felt some cramping and called her doctor who told her to come into the hospital to be checked. By the time we got to the hospital, paperwork filled out and they checked her, she was ready to deliver. 30 minutes later we had our little girl! Susan, it was so awesome, but I was terrified at first, especially when things moved so darn quick. Nowadays they just deliver in a birthing room and can have family members present. All I can say is that it was a once in a lifetime experience for me, and one that I’ll never forget. And neither will her sister, who was so mad (not really), that she couldn’t get to the hospital fast enough to be her coach. And her husband was totally blown away at how fast it happened, now he thinks that’s how it supposed to be! NOT! Just ask most mothers out there. Now back to your New Year’s Eve gathering. I purchased that same blender a few months ago and have yet to use it, but I believe I saw a link for your soup recipe, so I’m going to give it a try. Have a wonderful Happy, Healthy 2014 and keep all those great ideas coming!

  39. Susan,
    Greetings from Vegas! Congratulations
    On starting off the new year with new
    Grandchild! Happy for you! I love the
    Soup tureen and was wondering if you collect them?
    I would like to purchase the one like you
    Have. Where dud u purchase it?

    • Thanks, Ann. That tureen is a vintage ironstone piece by Red Cliff and I found it on eBay about 4 years ago. That’s the best place I know to look to find one. I see them on there occasionally.

  40. We always host Christmas at our home. This year was especially special because of my beautiful grandson Elias. He is nine months old. I never knew being a grandmother would be so wonderful! You’re in for some unbelievable joy when your grand baby arrives!

  41. Linda Louise S. says

    So happy you got to spend the holiday with your family. I have two grandchildren and I can tell you they are the best part of life. How wonderful for you! Nothing special planned for New Year’s. My husband and I are both sick so I guess we will just pack it in early. Hope you have a healthy New Year. Let me know how that new big crockpot works out.

  42. Susan Jones says

    Susan, just now getting around to reading this blog entry — I finally got my Christmas decor put up today! So behind! It’s been taken down for a while, just sitting in my living room waiting to be tubbed and put up. Anyway, I LOVE everything about your blog! But my absolute favorite is the tablescapes. I so look forward to that every Thursday. I think I have become a “dishaholic” and every time I am shopping anywhere my husband says “no more dishes!”
    I think some of my other favorite posts of your’s from 2013 were all the yard redo posts. Both my husband and I love yardwork and I love getting inspired by what others have done.
    Congrats again on becoming a grandmother! And I love that Chip and his wife have opted not to find out the sex of the baby. I didn’t find out what either of mine were (son, 22 and daughter, 18) and the surprise of finding out at birth cannot be beat. I really look forward to pics from baby showers you attend and of course, the baby!
    Have a wonderful 2014 and never stop blogging!

    • Thanks, Susan! I’m right there with you. Have my Christmas stuff down but not back under the eves where I usually store it. Waiting on a warmer day to get up under there and put it all away.
      I’m so glad they aren’t finding out yet, either. I did the same thing, too. So much more exciting that way. I’m not sure I’ll get to attend in showers since they are all in Ohio…wish I could. I’m looking forward to going back up sometime after the baby arrives, though. I was just there for Christmas, too. Thanks so much for those sweet words of encouragement, Susan! You are a sweetheart! Stay warm! XO

  43. Hi, Susan! I’m new to your blog; I made the happy discovery after Christmas 2014. We, too, spend every Christmas now in Hudson, OH. Where does your son live? My husband and I don’t have children, but I have a much loved niece and 2 precious greats (ages 4 and 6) who call me “Aunt Arfa!” I adore them so and they do me. I’m like a 3rd grandmother. We had quite a warm Christmas with them this year, but we often have Christmas snow. I can’t tell you how much I love your blog! I am “dish poor” and love to entertain. Finding this blog was like winning the lottery for me. I am 7 years older than you, as I just found out from one of your posts. I love to work in my house and organize. I have to admit I have added to my china collection after finding your blog! My weaknesses are baskets, napkins and napkin rings, candles and candle holders and CHINA! Keep up your wonderful work; you have a fan for life here. I wrote you recently about Max and you answered me. I can’t find that exchange, so let me tell you how sorry I am to hear about your loss of beautiful Max. I told you we had lost our much beloved Bandit 4 months ago and are still reeling from that. Aren’t cats precious? We still have Bandit’s sister and 2 more furry babies. I use my Dyson Stick Vac every other day or so to keep on top of cat hair. But I wouldn’t trade my loves for anything. You have inspired me to do a lovely Valentine meal for some friends. I can’t wait to put my table together!

    • Thanks, Martha…I still miss Max terribly. Cats are so special, have loved them all my life. Doggies are, too but there’s just something about a soft furry face purring you to sleep at night.
      I’m a terrible influence…causing you to spend money! ๐Ÿ˜‰ Well, my number one secret is buy a set of basic white china (I found some in Big Lots for $29 for 6 place settings)…then just buy salad plates from places like HomeGoods, Marshalls, etc where they aren’t too expensive, and you can create tons of beautiful, very different looking tables by just swapping out the salad plates and creating a different centerpiece. Also, you can find some really cute glassware throughout the year in Dollar Tree…I mean really cute!
      Here’s an older post where I talk about this: https://betweennapsontheporch.net/how-to-create-beautiful-table-settings-on-a-budget-welcome-to-the-132nd-tablescape-thursday/

      Thanks for all those kind words…appreciate them so much!

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