Cheese Boards, Boardgames and some Explosions in the Sky – Happy New Year

Happy New Year!

This year I was in charge of the New Years Eve party, or as I called it the ‘Thank God it’s Over’ party. In general, I get a little over-excited when I have an event or outing planned so I tend to get things organized way ahead of time. On Thursday we went out and got a boatload of food (my last unhealthy grocery shop), cleaned the apartment, and made a pretty hilarious playlist consisting of top 40 hits and a lot of blasts from the past. Additionally, I meticulously organized and re-organized what little counter space we have so all the platters would fit, put together the beverage dispenser so it would be ready for the punch, and got all the cutlery and plates out of the plastic wrap. In short: I was super prepared.

The menu of munchies was a total hit, aside from the crackers which were sorely neglected until the end of the evening. I will admit, I kind of screwed up a little bit (surprise!) and didn’t have everything ready all at once so we sort of ate in stages but no one minded (or at least they were nice enough not to complain). Because I was running around cooking different things I missed out on taking pictures of everything which is really a bummer because the tater tots were fantastic.

The whole menu was this:

Garlic Bread with cheese*
Tater tots with cheese*
Nachos and dip
Assorted cheeses*, crackers and meat
Veggies and dip (had to get the healthy in there somehow)
Devilled Eggs
Meatballs in Diana Sauce

*I have about 5 different types of cheese in my house at any given time so it’s really no surprise so many things involved cheese

Matt also made Golden Graham Squares for dessert which were eaten long before I could steal the camera out of the photo booth to snap a pic.

While this evening (once again) didn’t exactly promote my physical health, it was definitely a good night for my mental health. I haven’t really had the chance to make many friends in the city yet which means most of my friends are up north (and one inconveniently lives all the way in New York City). Having a bunch of friends down for the evening, even though it was kind of a hassle for them to get here (sorry guys!) was rejuvenating and actually had me enjoying a night that I usually just spend at home. We filled the night with pictures, laughter, and a whole lot of fun.

Rather than having everyone selfie all night long we turned our den into a photo booth complete with props and my D-SLR propped up on a bunch of boxes (wrapped to look nice). I also bought some holiday crackers for everyone, mainly because they were on sale and they were really pretty!

The holiday crackers were from Fortinos and I paid under 10 dollars for 12 of them. It ended up that we got so swept up in everything else that we forgot to open them but that’s what New Years Day is for! The props were from Ardene and I bought them on Black Friday so the whole package cost me all of 6 dollars. It was actually a bachelorette set but I just threw out the ‘Bride’ and ‘Bridesmaids’ props and kept the glasses, crowns, moustaches and martinis.

Of course before everyone got there I had to have a bit of a photoshoot for myself, even though I generally prefer being behind the camera and not in front of it. It was a special occasion of course, and it was the first chance I’ve had to wear the Ted Baker London outfit that Matt bought me for Christmas (both pieces were on sale at Nordstrom).

Our group really sucks at getting pictures together (and once again we failed to get a picture of just the 4 girls) but I was really excited to find that we had at least one of all of us by the end of the night!

Then, everything just devolved and the rest of the pictures got silly.

Since seating in our apartment is limited (we have one couch and a bunch of hightop chairs) I decided to blow up our air mattress and turn it into a little cozy corner with pillows and blankets. It was super cute but really didn’t get used that much. Oh well!

The best purchase of the night was the game “Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes”. I had heard about this game in passing months ago, checked it out but never bought it. I’m so glad I went back and found it again (especially because it was on sale)!

The basic premise of the game is that one person (or three in our case since we did teams) can see the bomb but doesn’t know how to diffuse it. The rest of the people playing have a manual that tells them how to bypass different modules on the bomb that they can’t see. So the person with the bomb has to tell the others what they are seeing and the others have to use the manual to figure out what buttons the bomb diffuser should press or which wires to cut.

If you want a bit of a more in-depth explanation you can watch their advertisement below:

I have absolutely zero pictures from us playing this game because we were all far too stressed out. There was a snapchat of it that I watched this morning and it was mainly just us yelling. It starts off really easy and as you go through the levels they make things more complicated and they throw in unexpected obstacles like turning the lights off so you can’t see the bomb or making an alarm clock ring that will legitimately make your heart stop for a moment. We diffused quite a few bombs but in the end I think we were blown up a few more times than we were not.

The game is half price for one more day for $7.49 so if you’re at all interested go grab yourself one!

After messing around in the apartment for a few hours we headed out to get downtown for the NYE celebration at Nathan Phillips Square. TTC service was free for the evening and it wasn’t busy at all when we left the apartment. We weaselled our way out onto the ice rink at Nathan Phillips Square (which I’ve never been on because I can’t skate) and waited for Walk Off The Earth to perform. By far the best moment was when they did a mash-up of songs (from Somebody That I Used to Know to My Girl) on one guitar.

They’re version of Somebody That I Used to Know on one ukele is pretty fantastic too. Check it out:

Finally we had the countdown to 2017 (good riddance 2016) and the fireworks over City Hall. I’ve been wanting to go to Nathan Phillip’s Square for NYE for a very long time and while I’m glad we went I have to admit that Toronto has been disappointing me with fireworks this year. Last year’s Cavalcade of Lights was the best fireworks display I have seen outside of Disney World, while this year Cavalcade was all of 4 minutes and the New Years Eve fireworks were about the same. Still, Toronto’s City Hall is the optimum place for a fireworks display and while it was short it was still quite beautiful.

I do apologize, there are no pictures because I was crammed in like a sardine and couldn’t get my arms up above my head to snap a shot or two. Just trust me when I say it was pretty!

After poorly belting out Auld Lang Syne, we, along with thousands of others, hurried back to the subway to get back to warmth and the comfort of our own homes. After struggling with an air mattress and devouring some chips 6 of the 8 settled into bed in our little apartment, and as per usual I was the first one to wake up.

So, what did you do for New Years?

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