The family got together for a little New Year’s Eve shindig at our house this year which was just so relaxed, warm and well, overflowing with laughter and love.
A mush-ball of a sentence I know, but so flipping true.
You know those nights you just want to bottle up forever so when life feels a little shizzle-ified you can look back on that evening and relive the joy a little.
We made a lot of those memories really this Christmas and it’s been a pretty awesome time for us all-a time to unwind, chill out, cuddle on the sofa and simply ‘be’….
Anyway back to the big night-
Papa G was doing his rounds at his restaurants (the Olive Tree) that evening (one of the busiest nights of the year for the branches) but he stopped by for a little glass of bubbles beforehand and to wish us all a Happy New Year. Getting this shot took about three takes!
This was also the first time in years that my brother, Solos, had a NYE’s night off, leaving his Italian restaurant Giorgios in the capable hands of his manager and staff, enjoying the night with his lovely girlfriend Lucy (or Juicy as Xander calls her-ha) and us of course!
The gorgeous couple-
After the photo-call it was time to eat-
Mum and I were Head Chefs for the night, rustling up homemade tomato soup for a starter (Alexander declared it ‘super soup’) with gluten free bread (the latter was bought, we weren’t that prepared), baked salmon with garlic, chilli and organic vine tomatoes and for those who eat it, a roast chicken, sweet garlic bulbs and tonnes of oregano and lemon.
Our soup’s number 1 fan-
Sides included roast potatoes, new and sweet (we don’t mess around here, people), brussel sprouts (at my request after weirdly forgetting to eat any on Christmas Day and I honestly love those little green balls of loveliness) followed by Marks & Spencer trifle and wheat free Victoria Sponge. I think I might still be full from that night in all honesty.
…Peter enjoyed the fizz a little too much I think as he managed to get a few shots of us before dinner but none of the actual food.
Poor guy, he’s always behind the camera and it was New Year’s Eve after all so he deserved a night off! You’ll just have to imagine the food shots #instafail.
Tellingly, he did get a shot of the champs being opened! Pop!
And now for my outfit. Hmmm. As you can see, I opted for some wet look leggings for the night, bought in what I think was now a moment of utter madness in River Island in the summer.
As ‘staying in’ is the new going out on NYE, I figured just because I’m not actually hitting a dancefloor doesn’t mean I couldn’t channel some disco queen meets Studio 54 style glamour.
However I’m undecided they even pull off School Disco aged 12, forget the late 70’s New York Bianca Jagger vibe- and I think they might well be going to some (lucky?) recipient at my local charity shop.
I paired them with my beloved fitted silk mix blouse with statement shoulders c/o Fever London and a vintage YSL (now Saint Laurent) necklace picked up in Paris yonks ago, a gift from my rock star of a Mama (so the top half works at least).
Oh and I like the heels by Mode in Pella too… So, all in all I think it’s safe to say you won’t be seeing the outfit on my style blog anytime soon and quite frankly these pictures have given those leggings quite enough screen time already…Moving on…
Once we’d eaten, I swiftly got into a leopard print Primarni onesie (good job Peter had put his camera away really wasn’t it?!) and we relaxed in front of the telly with two excitable children who eventually slept at 10pm before Jools Holland and pretty much all of my favourite singers -hello Ed Shereen and Ellie Goulding (bit awks) serenaded us into the new year.
I must admit I left a little something out there…I’m so rock ‘n’ roll that after drinking more than my ‘merry not drunk’ quota of 3 glasses of champagne, I actually nodded off at 11.15pm and woke up at 11.50 staying wide awake until 2.30am.
My husband missed the midnight kisses too as he’d fallen asleep himself. Pete!!!!
I think I only got a few hours sleep in the end too as the kids woke us up bright and early shouting ‘Happy New Year’…what happened the theory of late to bed, late out of bed?!
…Inhaling smoked salmon scrambled eggs and wheat free toast, we pulled on warm coats, hats and scarves and headed to our happy place, the Yorkshire Sculpture Park for fresh air and a four mile walk, of which two miles, little Alexander insisted on walking too.
Happiness is a run in the park…
And a little tree climb (or jump)-
Before a tree hug of course-
Thanks Muddy Puddles for the wellies!
Mr Alexander loved exploring too-
Is it a plane?
It’s a- conservatory and inside stood a fountain which the boys found captivating. The heat inside and the soothing trickle of water soothed us into submission-
After all that, we seemed to have worked up a mammoth appetite (yes this family is TOTALLY obsessed with food, did you notice?) and found ourselves ready for yet another feast, this time at The Olive Tree Headingley where mixed seafood, Greek dips, baked sea bass with spinach and feta, moussaka, beef stifado and chicken hydra in a creamy and white wine sauce were ordered-
As pescatarian Peter and I stuck to fish and seafood and we loved this assortment of calamari, scallops and king prawns in a delicate chilli and garlic sauce
Dad tucked into Beef stifado-
And here is Lucy’s lovely Chicken Hydra!
…The next day we headed to my folks’ house for lunch (I’m not sure we’re ever not eating or planning to eat in this family) and here the boys are rocking some pieces kindly gifted by my darling friend Nomita, brilliant blogger of Ebabee and founder of the most chic kids’ e-shop ever-aren’t the spotty trousers on Alexander and khaki jacket Oliver wears, just so uber-stylish?
Please do check out her store for girls and boys’ clothes you’ll love!
Striking a pose-
…After a prawn stir-fry, some bouncy fun on the trampoline in my folks’ garden (that I like to hog myself), we headed home to simply lounge around. We’ve done a lot of that and eating this holiday and it was fabulous, darling!
…They do say the festive season is meant to be the most wonderful time of the year and in 2014, for us, it really has been.
Surrounded by close family and friends, it was pretty much one big magical love-fest, folks.
I feel so lucky and grateful for my precious little family and I feel the most content I think I’ve ever felt (and I’m a pretty happy chick most of the time).
These last few calm but fun weeks have proved to be the perfect foundation for bringing in the new year, offering me greater clarity and a renewed sense of vigour to face the future with.
2014 taught me so much (about how beautiful but how fragile life can be, to follow my dreams, to be kinder to myself and others and to cherish life, always)…and I just can’t wait to see what 2015 will bring!
Happy New Year you lovely lot, thanks so much for your friendship, love and unwavering support-you all rock.
I would love to read what you’ve all been up to too in the comments…