Friday, January 20, 2012

A Toast to 2011

New Year's Eve
My sisters and I, as married ladies, have to take turns spending Christmas/ Thanksgiving with our parents and family in Alpharetta. In 2011, we were all with my parents for Thanksgiving and our in-laws for Christmas. On the years we are not all together for Christmas, we usually try to get together for New Year's Eve, and this year was extra special because we also waited to exchange gifts until December 31st.

We did a Secret Santa gift exchange so that we could all buy a gift for just one other person. The dollar limit was $50. I drew my sister, Laura's, name, and since she is expecting her first child in March, I wanted to get her something that was really meaningful, to help her understand how excited and happy I am about the impending arrival of my little nephew.

I decided on this Tiny Name Charm Necklace from Three Sisters Jewelry Design by Zoe. Not only do I love the name of this website (Three Sisters!), but this necklace was the perfect price at right around $50. I also had "Reid," the name of my upcoming nephew, engraved on the charm. Laura loved the gift, and tells me she wears the necklace everyday. I'm glad I could get her something so special.

I had heard about the company through People's Style Watch Magazine, and had been wanting to buy something from the site for quite awhile. The craftsmanship on the necklace was top notch, so I most likely will buy again. I love finding unique gifts for my friends and family, though most of the time, I end up getting a gift card, sweater or purse or something typical like that. My friend from college, Laurin, is probably the queen of unique gifts. I will always treasure the Izzie necklace she gave me for my birthday in 2010, and every year she surprises me with something totally unexpected. I wish I could be so creative. Some years, she even makes the gifts. I could never do anything like that.

Magret Duck from di Paolo
After we opened gifts, we spent the rest of the afternoon snacking on appetizers and cookies leftover from the Cookie Party the day before. We also played games, including Bananagrams, and after Laura and her husband went home to tend to their pugs -- we are a pug family -- Chapin and I dressed for our dinner out. We had planned to eat a nice meal out with my other sister, Gail, and her husband, Rich, at one of our favorite Alpharetta eateries: di Paolo Restaurant.

I wore the Royal Purple Nanette Lepore Still Free Shift Dress (no longer available), which I paired with my new Kate Spade New York Women's Gina Platform Pumps in Gold and Kate Spade Sparkler Coin Purse (that I use as a little clutch).

We ordered a bottle of wine (or two), the special bruschetta of the day, and then dug into our entrees. Chapin and Rich both had the duck special: Magret Duck with roasted sweet potatoes, pancetta and an orange duck demi glace. (Check out the picture on the left.) Gail opted for pork and I had fish: the Pan Roasted Grouper with Corn-Mascarpone Risotto. It was just a wonderful meal, as it always is at di Paolo, and I loved getting to try out the risotto. It was delicious!

We ended the night with a game of Taboo with my parents, and drove home just in time to see the ball drop in Times Square. Happy New Year 2012 to all!

With my sister, Gail, on New Year's Eve 2011