The hubby and I had decided way before we were pregnant that we would have to find out the sex of the baby. So now we are counting down the time until we go to our 20 week ultrasound appointment...3 weeks and 3 days... I wasn't kidding, we are literally counting.

I wanted to have a fun gender reveal party since I love any excuse to throw a party, but that was immediately veto'd by the father-to-be (since when does he have a say?). Instead, we came to an agreement to have an intimate dinner party at our favorite local restaurant and cut a reveal cake at the end of dinner. This is not stopping me from purchasing a few small trinkets to make the dinner more personal and fun.
I found these pins on Etsy (there are actually a bunch of different pins and other great gender reveal ideas on Etsy if you are in the market for that sort of thing). I will ask our guests to place their vote for girl or boy and wear their pin for the reveal.
I have also already planned my outfit for the night-shocking I know. The hubby and I will wear neutral colors so as not to sway the voters. I bought this white dress from Forever21, at $14.50 it was a great deal!

The dinner is actually a month away from tomorrow, so I have a little more time to purchase a million more things. I can't help myself, I'm so excited!
 
Happy New Year everyone!  I made a few changes to my blog layout if you want to check it out.  The links across the top of the page are for navigating, and, drumroll please...I added a new part to the blog!  I am by no means going to become a fitness blog, it would be very pathetic compared to my two favs SR and HRG, but I have added a new section for the new year.  My new year's resolution is to run 5oo miles.  Yup.  It may not seem like much to some, but I haven't been seriously running and training in 2 years.  So, for more info about that section of the page you can check out what I post on there!

In other news, how about a holiday recap in pictures?  Ok then.
Our Christmas Family photo.  Josh and I color coordinated with the purple.  All 4 of us chose to have crazy camera flash reflective eyes.  We like to plan this stuff out.
Our festive fireplace.
Some random photos from our New Years Eve set-up.  I tried the new SkinnyGirl cocktail-so good!  And I made the drunkin' bears...you must try them, they were definitely a hit!
The New Years Eve outfit (dress seen here).  Drink of choice: Dirty Shirley (cherry vodka, diet sprite, and a cherry).
Under the mistletoe, our first NYE as a married couple!  He even coordinated his outfit. This marriage may  last afterall!
The dogs all day on new year's...the only time they have gotten along.
 
Well, the party part of the New Year at least.  Here are some of the things I plan to have present at our party...
Drunkin Gummy Bears (click on the pic for the recipe)
The boardgame Quelf (I hear it is out of control).
Some Awesome Grub!

Hummus and Cucumber Bites

Bacon Wrapped Jalepeno Chicken Bites
Posh Pigs in a Blanket

Do you have any great New Year's Eve ideas?
 
I always love coming up with different types of parties to have at our house.  One of my all-time favorites was our beer tasting party.  A beer tasting party is very simple to set up and it's sure to be fun for everyone...as long as they are beer drinkers that is! 

I think it would be fun to put an extra twist on it and have a holiday beer tasting party!  I am always into trying new beers and the special seasonal brews tend to be my favorite. 

Here is the simple way to set it up:

On your invitations make sure to clearly state that it is a holiday beer tasting party.  Each person is to bring their favorite winter or holiday brew (make sure to state the amount that they should bring-depending on how many people you are expecting).  When we hosted the beer tasting, we had purchased 3 of our own favorite beers just in case someone forgot theirs, we wanted to make sure there was some extras.  Here are some of my fav winter beers:
Source: Bing Images
Delirium Noel, Troegs Mad Elf, Harpoon Winter Warmer
The glassware depends on the amount of people you are having.  Our beer tasting was pretty large and we didn't have enough glassware, so we used disposable.  But, if it's a more intimate setting it might be fun to provide everyone with their own tasting glass.
Pub Glass (12 for $9.99)
As for food, you can go as fancy or as simple as you want.  It is a lot easier than a wine tasting and food pairing party!  Here are some fun and easy recipe ideas and a little pinspiration!

When I hosted my beer tasting party I served a sample of each beer on a tray and we switched the beer every half hour.  It ended up being a lot of work to keep everything organized and not run out of glasses.  I would recommend setting up a table with the beers to be sampled and making a small informational card to explain each beer.  That way your guests can choose which ones they want and they can rinse and reuse their glasses!

A fun holiday party is not that hard to attain!  With a holiday brew theme and some delish appetizers everyone is sure to have a good time!

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I love planning small parties and get-togethers in my home.  There are a lot of little things that you can do around your home to make a holiday celebration really stand out to your guests.  I will share some of my tips!
One of the most important things to make sure looks super spiffy is the bathroom that your guests will be using.   I have an old barn ladder in my guest bathroom (you make remember it from this post) and purchased really inexpensive holiday towels from Joanne's Fabric and I also used some evergreen garland and a big bow (both were super cheap at the WalMart).  I also like to have both hand soap and hand lotion on the sink counter.  The biggest key: a beautifully smelling candle.  Usually the less expensive candles aren't in the "candle section" or Target or Walmart, they are by the febreeze.  Why spend a lot on a bathroom candle?  It just needs to smell great!
Source
(This is just to show you the effect.)
Never underestimate the look of some simple white christmas lights underneath of sheer fabric.  You can buy sheer white fabric from a fabric store, or even get some sheer curtains for cheap.  You lay the lights out underneath so they are spread evenly and then drape the fabric over it.  You can use bowls and boxes to create different heights under the fabric and this would make for a beautiful tablescape for setting up appetizers, a buffet, or a dessert table!
I love setting up a really nice bar for people to make their drinks with.  Before I had an actual bar I would still make sure to have a designated table for all the bar glasses and bottles.  I like to use fake snow (super cheap from Target) to put in a a big tin tub (or now in the wet bar part of my bar) and I prop wine or liquor bottles up in the snow.  A little extra touch to get in the holiday spirit!  I also found the cute cocktail napkins in the above picture from WalMart.