David and I made a deliberate decision to make New Year’s Day calm and quiet, to stay in and get some rest, and to do just a minimum of chores. I am pleased to report that we have been very successful at meeting our goals!
First, I wanted to do a simple kitchen tablescape for our New Year’s meal. My tablescapes have been hit and miss for a week or so, and I wanted to do a nice table just for us. I did not want to go to a lot of trouble, but I did want us to have a little something special. Meals just taste better when they are eaten at a pretty table! I started with these Pier 1 placemats, hand-me-downs from my niece.
Tired of the red and green colors of the holidays, I was ready to get back to the earthy, neutral colors that I love. To that end, I chose the Friendly Village plates. My neutral napkins (box deal from Driveway Man) and sparkly tassel napkin rings were great with this plate.
I used my Chateau flatware and Dollar General green goblets. How calming to see these nice earth-toned colors again! I felt so happy when I saw the Friendly Village after all of these weeks.
For a centerpiece, I pulled out the decorative tray with rattan balls that you have seen me use many times. This time, instead of the river rock or glass beads that I usually use, I lined the tray with some sparkly tinsel to continue the New Year’s theme.
Santa put several different colors/scents of votive candles in my Christmas stocking. Even before
tablescaping took over my life became my main hobby, I have always loved having votives of different scents. Santa usually gives me some every year. I picked out 2 of the neutral ones (ironically, the scent is Sun & Sand, a little out of place at a winter table) and put them on 2 of my silver candlesticks.
The final look was just what I wanted: simple, yet special for just us. I know that it sounds kind of blasphemous for this Southern girl, but I have never had Hoppin John. I have had blackeyed peas every New Year’s Day all my life, I guess, but never this Southern staple. I’ve looked at recipes and never really wanted to make any.
However, that all changed when I became a fan of the Pioneer Woman. I recently purchased her most recent cookbook for my iPad, and her Hoppin John recipe intrigued me.
Here it is simmering on the stove in preparation for our New Year’s lunch.
David grilled out some chicken ( I did a quick marinade with bottled pomegranate vinaigrette salad dressing and some Mediterranean seasoning). I added some broccoli and cheese sauce. I can’t give you this recipe because it is one of the secret ones from my private chef. He is very jolly, loves to wear the color green, and we love his broccoli and cheese. As you can see, the meal was very filling and just delicious. I really like everything that I have ever tried from the Pioneer Woman.
To continue my lists for the New Year, I recently got an email from Word Press with some interesting stats in it. My most viewed post was Have Some Soup and Poppers at the Friendly Village. Those poppers are great and another Pioneer Woman recipe.
Right behind it in number of views was Snowy Day and Snowy Table. I love this table, also, and am glad that so many people saw it.
Another popular table was Bargains in Aqua. Thanks, everyone; I like that one also!
Another popular post was Estate Sales and Dishes and Coats, Oh My! Not only did this post tell the story of some of my aqua finds, but it also showed off a wonderful vintage full length faux fur.
I am happy to report that it sold in November and that I made a good profit on it.
There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing, a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away, a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak, a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace. What do workers gain from their toil? I have seen the burden God has laid on the human race. He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end. I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live. That each of them may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all their toil—this is the gift of God. Ecclesiastes 3:1-13
As a final note, I sometimes share scripture when it applies to the topic of my post. I hope to do a little more of that in the new year, and today my devotional reading was perfect for January 1. The scripture for today is one of my favorites, and I hope to consider the approaching of the coming year as an opportunity for spiritual growth. I have two jobs in which I have potential to be a good witness and example, I have a wonderful family to love and cherish, and I have a wonderful church to which I am committed. The year holds many possibilities! Turn, turn, turn!