New Year’s Eve Plans

Brrr, baby!

It’s a cold morning in Ocala today! And no, it’s not just Florida-cold. It’s legitimately cold. We have frost on the ground and temperatures are in the 30s.

It’s so cold that someone has yet to emerge from bed.

dog under covers

Cough, Sadie, cough.

Cold mornings must begin with coffee!

Marylou's Coffee

I brewed myself a hot cup of Marylou’s eggnog coffee that Tina sent to me all the way from Boston last week. I loved the last Marylou’s blend that she sent my way (peanut butter wonderful) and the new eggnog flavor is fantastic as well. I’m a sucker for flavored coffee!

Marylou's Eggnog Coffee

While my coffee brewed, I whipped up a batch of pancakes for breakfast for me and Ryan.

pancakes with syrup 002

pancakes with syrup 004

Topped with a bit of syrup!

New Year’s Eve Plans

When I was hanging out with my girlfriends in New York City earlier this month, we started talking about New Year’s Eve plans and came to the conclusion that New Year’s Eve is way too hyped.

Nothing that spectacular ever seems to occur on New Year’s Eve, yet every year there seems to be something in the air that makes everyone feel like they should have something fabulous on their agenda for New Year’s Eve.

My all-time favorite New Year’s Eve was a house party at my friend Merri’s house that included lots of good food, champagne and a small group of our close friends.

New YEar's Eve 2011

It was perfect! Simple, small and lots of fun.

Merri’s birthday is January 1, so at midnight the party shifted from a New Year’s Eve party to a birthday party for Merri and her twin sister Liz. It was a blast! Low key and perfect.

New Year's Birthday

Another memorable New Year’s Eve took place in Chicago when Ryan and I flew in town to celebrate with my best friends from high school. Unfortunately the memory of a severe hangover on the plane ride home the next day taints the memory of that New Year’s Eve. Bleh.

This year Ryan and I are considering throwing in the towel and having a “just us” New Year’s Eve date night. Dinner and a movie out sounds perfect to me! No matter what we do, our New Year’s Eve will surely be better than last year’s!

Questions of the Morning

  • What is your take on New Year’s Eve? Do you love it or think it’s a bit overhyped?
  • What are your New Year’s Eve plans this year?  


  1. says

    I used to think there was some sort of magic about NYE. Thankfully I out grew that thought. This year my boyfriend and I are taking my niece and nephew (ages 9 and 11) out for a day of fun. Disney Quest, putt-putt, maybe a movie, and a whole lot of fun. We will return home to watch the ball drop from the comfort of my couch. I’ve never been more excited about my plans.


  2. says

    For the last 3 years I’ve had set plans for NYE, so I’m not quite sure what to do this year since it’s Friday and I still have NO clue what I am doing. I went to Las Vegas with my whole family one year, then I went to NYC 2 years ago and last year I had a wedding! This year I think I will probably end up going out for some sushi then back home<—party animal! But yes it is hyped up–I think its really fun to go on vacation for New Years if you can–I loved NYC and Vegas!


  3. says

    I think it’s fun to look back and review the past year! I don’t know about all the crazy partying etc. but it’s fun to reminisce. This NYE we are going to spend time with some close friends we don’t see often so I’m looking forward to that 🙂
    Happy New Year!


  4. says

    Last year, my husband (then fiance) and I had a “just us” dinner date night out before going to a big party, and honestly, I would’ve been fine with going home after the date night with just the two of us. Big New Year’s parties are kind of overrated!


  5. Samantha says

    I totally agree that NYE is overrated. I would much rather have a quiet night in with the boyfriend or a small house party with close friends than go out, spend so much money on a night people use to just drink more. Unfortunately none of my friends have caught on to the overrated-ness of new years.


  6. says

    I think itz totally overhyped!! The prices just to get IN to bars are ridiculous!! Luckily, Jonny and I are WAAAAY more low key type of people than to deal with all that, so we’re going to a hibachi style dinner with my bro and his girlfriend and my sister and her hubs! Perfect!


  7. says

    Completely agree, New Year’s Eve is over hyped. I never do anything crazy for it because I don’t like dealing with crowds and spending lots of money, haha. One of my good friends comes up every year from South Carolina, and so her and I spend the night in together along with our two other good friends. Snacks, wine, couches, stretchy pants, and girl talk are the best kinds of nights for me nowadays!


  8. Katie says

    Overhyped!! I’d rather keep it low key and be home before midnight (aka before the drunks get on the road). 🙂 Plus, how can one pass up a night on the couch in their jammies, drinking champagne and watching movies??


  9. says

    For the past 4 years my boyfriend has performed with his improv comedy group at the First Night Knoxville festivities, but this year they aren’t having First Night. I’m really not sure what we’ll do. I know we are supposed to be going to dinner with some friends, and I heard something about a small party at another friend’s house. I’d be just as happy to do the dinner/movie thing.


  10. says

    I always see Tina drinking that coffee and I want to try it! Of course I live nowhere near there 🙁 I love pancakes, yum.. And of course no plans yet for new years, but a date night sounds fantastic!!


  11. Rachel says

    What kind of pancakes did you make?
    Julie, I have a question. I moved to an area where it is freezing and I’ve no money for a gym. I also live with retired, older people and so doing “circuits” or videos at home is impossible. This bodes badly. It is incredibly ferocious weather outside, so walks are short and slow. And I can’t do “cardio” inside that is quiet. Even a simple march in place is way too noisy and not good. Squats, pushups (only bodyweight I have, no equipment) are fine I guess, but they don’t get the “cardio” burst that I NEED from jumping jacks or skaters or something..
    What do I do? I am losing my mind and rather worried as this is long term.


  12. says

    We usually have some “big” NYE plans, but this year all of my friends were kind of just over it. We’re headed to a friend’s house for a small gathering with munchies and champagne and we can even bring our pooch! Kind of makes me feel old, but then again I’m not sad about it 🙂


  13. Kaylyn says

    I agree — totally overhyped. However, there’s something so fun about getting dressed up and drinking champagne with your closest friends!! This year, Jordan and I are having another couple over for good food, champagne and to have our puppies play. Now that we’re new pup owners, we can’t really leave him for long! PLUS there’s nothing better than pj’s and a nice night at home with those you love.

    Cheers to 2013!! 🙂


  14. says

    New Years Eve is absolutely overhyped…it never ends up being nearly as exciting as people expect it to be. Last year the boyfriend and I threw a small house party, which was fun. But I usually avoid going downtown or to bars…too crazy for me! I think the boy and I are just going to have a low-key night this year.


  15. Annie says

    I’m so with you on that on. I hate all the hype that comes with NYE and to be honest I think it’s just a day where you are simply forced to do something because if you don’t, you’ll be viewed as a friendless person or party-popper. One of my best NYE’s was spent with my best friend and her family eating good food and having a lot of fun and my worst ones were always the bigger parties. This year I don’t know what i’m doing yet but it’ll probably be a good meal and some fun with my best friend and it suits me perfectly!


  16. says

    My Fiance and I usually head out of town (3+ hour drive) for new years, but this year we are also thinking of staying in, making a great meal and watching a movie. Hey, I may even be in bed before the clock strikes 2013! The night just never seems to be *that* good!


  17. says

    It’s overhyped. I hate the resolutions (though I always seem to make and break them), the “requirement” that you kiss someone at midnight, that you have to have a date, you have to go to a party, etc etc. This year, I asked a friend of mine over for dinner, possibly margaritas (I got a new “Party Machine” blender for Christmas! 🙂 ), and chick flicks. We’ll see if she doesn’t flake out on me.


  18. says

    I definitely agree… New Year’s Eve is a little too hyped up for my taste. This year we’re getting back in town on Sunday after being away for over a week, so I have a feeling this New Year’s Eve will be a pretty chill one. I like your idea of a low key date night!


  19. says

    I totally agree! In my opinion, going out and getting crazy on New Year’s Eve usually leads to something bad happening – whether it’s you or someone you know. I love being home with my family and close friends. We usually do some type of intimate house party with great company, food and drinks 🙂


  20. Laura says

    I 100% agree! I have been doing the low-key date night New Years Eve for a couple of years now and have never once regretted it. It can be kind of a good night to cook something a little fancier than you usually would, but honestly, last year my boyfriend and I made chili and I fell asleep at like 10:30. It was glorious!


  21. says

    New Year’s Eve is totally overhyped. I never feel like the actual night lives up to the anticipation. I think my husband and I are throwing in the towel too and having dinner/movie night as well.


  22. says

    I’m with you, Julie..I think NYE is a little too over-hyped. I think it can be a fun night and it’s exciting to ring in a brand new year, but there is too much pressure to do something extravagant! My husband and I are going to head to one of our town’s little bars early in the night, and then celebrate midnight at home on the couch in our pajamas..which sounds pretty darn nice to me 🙂


  23. Lauren says

    Last year I got engaged right after the new year was rung in so I don’t think anything could top that-BUT NYE will also now be very special & fun for me!


  24. says

    I was actually writing up my post recapping my past 4 New Year’s Eve’s and they’ve ALL been bad. I always seem to hype up the night so much that in the end it always ends up being a disappointment. Last year I made the mistake of going out the night BEFORE New Years and was so tired the next day I didn’t even want to get out of bed!


  25. says

    Maybe it’s just me getting “older” but a simple date night like you have planned sounds more appealing to me each year! I love getting dressed up and hanging out with friends, but I am always so tired by the time midnight rolls around…oh well! This year, we are going to a friend’s house. Her parent’s love to throw huge parties…so it should be fun!


  26. says

    I totally agree that NYE is too hyped! It’s a lot of pressure to have the “perfect” night, but going out is expensive and usually not really that fun. This year, I’m hosting a small gathering of friends at my house. I’m going all out with the decorations, luxe appetizers, champagne bar with all the mixers you could want — but it’s just going to be a small group of people. I think it will be a lot of fun.


  27. says

    It’s super hyped! We always end up feeling stressed like we’re SUPPOSED to be doing something super cool, but we’re really not that super cool haha. We’re hosting a small house party with 12 close friends. I’m really looking forward to it!


  28. Shannon K says

    I like NYE. The celebration is different for us every year. Two years ago we were in Mexico, last year we hung with my parents. This year is my first NYE as a married woman and my husband and I are headed for a long ski weekend with our two best friends. Looking forward to it!


  29. says

    I definitely agree. There’s always all this pressure to have a “fabulous” New Year’s…and most of the time, I don’t even feel like going out! This year my roommate and I decided to avoid the last minute scramble to find a party, and throw one of our own. A simple house party is always the best way to go, we’ll provide some champagne and New Year’s swag, and everyone will BYOB. Can’t wait!


  30. says

    For me, there is no better way to spend any evening, especially New Year’s, than at home cuddled up by the fire with dinner and a movie with my two loves. It’s always so busy, rushed, crowded, and the restaurant wait times are never less than two hours. Now if I can just manage to stay awake for the ball to drop. 😉


  31. Annabelle says

    I think New Year’s Eve is a bit overhyped! I have been to all kinds of parties starting from celebrating with my bff at home or joining a house party at a friend’s house to celebrating at a club – and I have to say at the end of the day I always felt a bit disappointed because it never turned out as I had imagined. Either the crowd is not as “fun” as it usually is or the organizing and planning takes up so much time in advance that when New Year’s Eve has finally arrived one is already stressed out or you end up in a fight with a friend or somebody is already completely drunk BEFORE 12 o’clock that everybody ends up taking care of that particular person…etc. A friend of mine has once said to me when I told her that I am not a big “fan” of New Year’s Eve that maybe I just haven’t been to the “right” party yet. Well, maybe. Or maybe my expectations are just too high.
    I think it’s great that you guys are spending NYE together just the two of you. I think that’s what I would do if I had a boyfriend (although I have to admit the one time I did spend NYE with my boyfriend, now ex-boyfriend, we ended up in a HUGE fight and didn’t speak for 2 days and I can’t even remember what the fight was about).
    Well, this year I am spending NYE with my mother (it’s not as pathetic as it sounds) – we originally had planned to go out for dinner and drinks but since I failed to book a table at our favourite restaurant in time we have to stay at home.


  32. Christine says

    In New England it’s tradition to eat chinese food on NYE (not sure if its just New England but my fiancé is from Ohio and he had never heard of that tradition) so we are staying in. I’m making some homemade chinese food, we are popping a few bottles of champagne and watching Dexter! We just started season 1 and there are 6 seasons to watch so we will have plenty of entertainment! I don’t like being on the roadways on NYE, I don’t trust the other drivers so staying home is perfect!


  33. says

    I definitely prefer more low key NYE’s celebrations over getting all gussied up! Every year we head over to a friends house and eat lots of good food, drink wine and just hang out all evening Normally we even stay the night to avoid getting out on the roads with all the crazy drunk people.


  34. says

    I definitely prefer more low-key house party type New Years, they ware WAY less expensive than going out in the city and usually more fun! This year mine will be pretty lame… Haha I’ll be going to a big party my parents’ friends throw every year and then back to my friend’s house because I’m taking care of her dog while her parents are out of town (She’s gone too).


  35. says

    Oh, I so agree! Even when you had “big” plans, it was always a let-down because the night had been so over-hyped-up! I’m all for hanging with my family and playing games now. Maybe that comes with age too…as I crept into my later 20s, big parties or nights out at the bar quickly lost their appeal.

    Hey quick question: do you always keep your table set or just for photos? I like that idea! Now if only I had two dining tables… 🙂


  36. says

    Mmm your pancakes looked yummy!

    This year we are having a small group of friends over. Our besties from Wisconsin are driving through IN on thier way home, so we will be enjoying time with them and thier two little ones. It’s going to be a low-key and enjoyable night!


  37. says

    My husband works near a Marylous so when he works the overnight he brings home a cup for me in the morning before I head to work. It’s the best coffee ever!

    I completely agree about New Years. This year we also decided to do a just us low key year – we’re going to cook dinner, watch a movie and that’s it! I am actually really looking forward to next year’s NYE because we have close friends getting married (he’s in the wedding) that night so we’ll be at the best kind of party there is!


  38. says

    Oh man, I have to agree… NYE is always, always over-hyped and everyone feels this invisible pressure to do something spectacular and “make it count.” I can honestly say I’ve only had one NYE that was absolutely amazing.. the rest have generally followed the trend of uneventful and/or hot messes. 😉 This year I’m doing nothing at all because I’m having minor toe surgery in the morning… I was sort of bummed about that at first, but all that really counts is making the next day (Jan. 1) and on great for the new year, right?


  39. says

    NYE parties out are definitely overhyped. It’s dangerous to be on the road with all the drinkers+drivers anyway. A married couple friends of ours always throws a simple get together that I’ve gone to for the past 3 years. Casual and fun way to ring in with our good friends. 🙂


  40. Karen says

    Totally agree with you Julie!! NYE is so hyped, over-expensive to do the same things, and just an excuse to get pulled over for drinking a couple of glasses of champagne!!

    Last year we had people over (they stayed overnight), and this year we might go to a friend’s party (will stay over). I refuse to go “out” out.


  41. Jessica says

    I was JUST thinking about this as well. I feel like NYE is hyped up and every year I feel like I need to go over the top and having an amazing time, when I would rather just have a smaller party with close friends.


  42. Kendall says

    I never thought New Years Eve was anything special either…until I got engaged on New Years Eve!! Now the hubby and I do something just the two of us and celebrate our engagement night 🙂 I much prefer doing something fun on New Years Day to start the year off right!!

    This year we aren’t sure exactly where we are going but going to dinner then probably head home for a Wii game night!!!!!!!!!


  43. Elisabeth says

    New Year’s Eve has always just been a bunch of hype to me! I am excited to have it off this year (I work 3rd shift in a hospital & often work NYE) and plan to veg at home with appetizers/movies. 🙂


  44. says

    So happy to hear I’m not the only one who is over the expensive and cramped parties on NYE. This year will be the first we give up on the party scene. My boyfriend and I have dinner reservations at our favorite Tapas place who will be doing live music and a champaign toast at midnight. Yes please 🙂


  45. says

    That’s so funny you mention that because I was just talking about how NYE is too hyped up. For the past couple of years, I have tried to make it the best night ever and it fails. I think when we put so much focus on one event, it never meets our expectations. This year, I was thinking to do the same thing you planned: watch a movie (there are so many great movies out now!) and have a nice low key dinner. My bf opted to go to the casino with his best friend and gf to watch a comedy show and have dinner. Although it’s not low key, it will still be a great night spent with awesome people! Happy New Year!


  46. says

    Truth Girl ! Everytime I spend way to much money for some “all inclusive” party with thousands of people I don’t know I end up severely disappointed at the end of the night. Usually the best part of the night is the after party sitting around with friends the next day laughing about how pathetic it was and we’ll never do it again. I’m all about a low key NYE this year too!


  47. says

    I agree that New Years is always such a big hype, I usually wind up disappointed. My favorite NYE memories are usually when I am up at a cabin with a group of friends for the whole weekend. This year I’m doing the big out in the city thing with friends, but I’m guessing next year I will go back to keeping it low key!


  48. says

    Yeah New Year’s Eve always seems to be more hype than fun.. at least for me. This year my family will be celebrating New Year’s Eve at my uncles house. As for the cold, it is snowing here in Chicago!!! Brrrrr


  49. says

    I could not agree more–New Year’s Eve has always seemed a little to hyped up to me. I have nothing against people doing something fun, of course, but there’s some unsaid pressure about it that’s just never made sense to me…We’re not what we’re doing yet, but we’re leaning towards just going out for a really nice dinner and then relaxing at home with a few drinks and dessert!


  50. Kimberly says

    Actually, this is the first year I’ve really gotten into NYE! Usually I do something pretty low key. Last year I took a weekend vacation to Monterey (in Cali) over NYE and it was so nice! This year one of my best friends is visiting from Manhattan, so I bought a sparkly dress and we’re going out in San Francisco. I think it will be a nice change of pace from doing nothing!


  51. Sara Lopez says

    I totally agree, definitely!! I am going to one of my Best Friends house and we are going to eat and hang out just small and fun!!


  52. says

    haha I think it’s funny you mentioned this topic Julie! People may think I’m a scrooge or something when it comes to holidays, but I think that MOST special/holidays are hyped up a lot simply because I’m not accustomed to going all out with them. I’m usually more of a low-key, small group, or one on one celebration type of person so I like to keep things REALLY simple. Most of the time during new years, 4th of july, etc., I spend it with my husband (not long ago bf), but I’m sure that there will be times when we attend big parties too :). But I guess during new years, it’s always nice to think what cool thing God has in store for us because we never know how He might surprise us!


  53. says

    It’s totally overhyped! The best one I had was when myself and my ex boyfriend, along with 3 other couples rented a house over in the West of Ireland for a week and went surfing! The village had one pub were 100s convened New Years Eve night; a post office, one shop and a church and hostel! It was amazing!


  54. Erika says

    I think NYE is over hyped! Most years I end up doing something but nothing too crazy. Hanging out with friends is fine by me and that’s what I’ll be doing this year. Like your friend, my birthday is also Jan. 1!


  55. Erika says

    I think NYE is over hyped! Most years, I end up doing something but nothing too crazy. Hanging out with friends is fine by me and that’s what I’ll be doing this year. Like your friend, my birthday is also Jan. 1!


  56. Gina C says

    I’m not sure what Merri thinks about her birthday, but mine is Jan 1 as well and I always used to hate it! I would get a few moments of celebrations before everyone was tuckered out from NYE celebrations.

    I can remember bugging my mom about not holding me in till the 2nd (like it was her choice). And then…..I went and delivered my son on Dec 31st!!!

    So now…we have a birthday/NY celebration every year for the both of us…and it doesn’t seem so bad anymore!


  57. says

    Low-key New Years Eve celebrations are always my favourite!

    If we don’t go out for dinner, we like to pick a recipe beforehand and cook a special meal. Of course, with some wine or champagne:)

    Happy New Years to you and your fam!


  58. says

    LOL – love that picture of Sadie in bed. So adorable. We always stay in for New Years. Just us and take and bake pizza. No parties, no being out on the road. That way we always start the new year out on the right foot.


  59. says

    i used to love getting dressed up and going out on NYE, until we got our little puppy that is absolutely terrified of fireworks…so now i feel like a bad fur-mom leaving him on the worst day of the year for him…so now we have quiet evenings at home ;p


  60. says

    I’ve never thought of New Year’s Eve to be overhyped. I don’t usually have crazy plans, but the people I spend it with is always a crazy good time. This year I’m doing exactly what I did last year–hanging out w/ some friends, my sister, and boyfriend who lives across the country. Can’t wait!


  61. Alex says

    I like new years eve, but I like it because my parents always throw a new years over party. It is always low key and includes lots of yummy food! I would rather spend new years eve with close friends and family then out at a bar spending lots of money!


  62. says

    We are in the same boat- we think it’s just going to be us since everyone is sort of all over the joint. It’s definitely overhyped but there is still this stigma attached to it that you have to do something fabulous haha. If only.


  63. says

    I like the idea of a new year to start fresh, but I don’t feel the need to ring it in with some huge event. We have a family tradition of eating Chinese food on New Year’s Eve. My daughter thought that EVERYONE did that until she was about 10…so sweet. My favorite New Year’s Eve was spent eating our traditional Chinese at Epcot in the Chinese Pavilion. Other than the massive crowds to deal with, that was soooo much fun! I have been working on a Bible study to do with the family about New Year’s resolutions and I found these verses that I thought would help us make good ones. James 4:13-17, 1st Corinthians 19:20, Mark 12:29-31 and Ephesians 4: 29-32

    On a side note, my 20th wedding anniversary is on January 2nd and I do plan to celebrate that!


  64. says

    Definitely Overhyped, IMHO. We cook lobsters for dinner on our own, then go to a friends’ house to usher in the New Year. So much more sane than anything else we could think of. Did a big event once, eons ago, but we much prefer the small, intimate gatherings to the chaos. Enjoy date night!m


  65. says

    Last year my husband and I gave up on hosting or attending a New Year’s Eve party and went out for sushi with our 3 kids and then came home to all night movies. It is one of my fondest memories. And this year we’ve already made reservations for the same sushi restaurant and have movies and board games lined up.


  66. says

    For NYE, my friends and I get together at one of the houses and have a PJ party. We all buy new PJs to wear and play board games and drink wine/beer and have lots of appetizers and desserts.


  67. Emily says

    I think it is a lot of hype although I have to share my all time favorite NYE was two years ago when my sister got married. It made for one busy Christmas week but it was so much fun! It was at a gorgeous hotel and almost every guest stayed the night, so no worries about being on the roads. The favors were NYE hats and noise makers it was a great time! This year we are having a low key dinner with family which is wonderful because I am 33 weeks preg.


  68. Cindy says

    Wow! I am stunned at all of the negativity and perception of NYE being all ‘hyped’ up. It’s funny because that’s exactly how I feel about the most overrated, commercialized, pretentious, meaningless holiday called Christmas! At least people don’t have to pretend to be something they aren’t on NYE. We are hosting a party and will be drinking, eating and having a great time!! There won’t be any crappy what-the-hell-am-I-gonna-do-with-this gifts. There won’t be any wasted wrapping paper, wasted money, wasted time or wasted anything. We also won’t feel guilty for celebrating a religious holiday when we aren’t even near being religious or come close to practicing and honoring what is supposed to be the true meaning of Christmas. Happy New Year 2013!


  69. says

    I agree that NYE always seems so hyped for basically no reason. The best NYE I ever had, I went to bed at 10pm and didn’t wake up until I had to go to work the next morning. I felt so refreshed and renewed and am thinking that’s the best way to start 2013. It really sets the tone of the year for me.


  70. says

    Being in a new city for the last 2 years my friends and I went all out and bought in to all the over priced tickets to DC night life. This year though we are exchanging our Christmas presents after work and doing at home appetizers and then have a 9:30 dinner reservation that includes a champagne toast! Oh I am getting old!


  71. says

    I totally prefer low-key New Year’s Eves as well! My fiance and I hang out with my best friend and her husband and don’t do much of anything. One year we attempted to rent a condo in the Poconos on NYE, and that was way too ambitious 🙂 we do much better when we just sit around and enjoy each other’s company!


  72. says

    My fiancé and I will be having a fun night in, just the two of us! We’re planning on making a yummy dinner, playing cards, watching the ball drop and drinking some champagne of course 🙂 Fortunately, we always have a great time even if we’re by ourselves!! Happy 2013 everyone!!


  73. says

    I think I feel different about it because it is my husband and my dating anniversary. This year marks 10 years as a couple. We always try to do something fun and it’s always a blast getting to spending an extra special two days with my favorite person.



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