Last Minute New Years Tips and Trips

I used to be a planner. I loved to plan parties weeks, even months in advance…but with two kids under 5, that planning time is taken up by…well…life. This New Years, I decided to host a mini party with our close friends and their kiddos. No frills, ordering pizza, grabbing last minute decorations from Party City, but I wanted to have SOME special surprises even though it is low key! (Really, the party is just an excuse for us all to rehash our holiday season- the craziness, the family drama, the fabulous/insane things our kids did, how much we drank, what we wore…you know, the basics).

If you need some last minute tips, I am sharing my faves right here!

Personal Style


Long gone are the days that I was able to spend an hour meticulously styling my hair. Now I need to get ready in about a quarter of that time, so my hair is usually the last thing on my agenda. I love adding some volume at the crown and top, securing with a clear elastic, and adding some bling in the form of a headband. No headband? Add a favorite necklace and bobby pin the ends at the nape of your neck. Instant hairdo upgrade.

Leftover garland from Christmas? Form it into a headband or halo! The stuff above I purchased at Target for around 30 cents at their after Christmas sale. Wouldn’t that make an adorable headband??


Yeah, yeah, who has time to do their nails. I know. My idea is to add some chunky glitter on top of my basic grey polish. Forever 21 surprisingly has my favorite topcoat- it is a mix of micro and macro glitter so it adds some sparkle without going the tween route.

This base coat is my new favorite- Nonie Creme Colour Prevails in Frenemy. The brush is amazing- it is actually designed so you can paint your opposite hand without looking like you fingerprinted your nails. It is Five Free, goes on smooth, and is available at Walgreens for around $8. LOVE it. I am buying it in (almost- who wants nail the shade of max security prison jumpsuits?) every color.


When it doubt, go monochrome. Black is the new black in terms of formalwear lately, so go black from head to toe. Slimming, chic and impossible to clash, this is the easiest outfit you will ever wear. Make sure to add some snap, crackle and pop with a bright color (Ruby! Cobalt! Emerald!) here and there in the form of a belt or cuff, or statement earrings/statement bracelets. I am moving into the statement earring territory- less expected than statement necklace, and a bit cleaner of a look.

Party Style


Glitter, glitter and more glitter….unless your husband is glitterphobic like mine. I adore champagne bottles dipped in glitter- simply paint the bottles with Elmers glue and roll in glitter.

Image: Pottery Barn Blog

I am making a kids drink with b’lure flower extract– it changes from blue to purple to pink when you add highly acidic ingredients. Experiment with food coloring, leftover Christmas cookie sugar for the rims, and different shaped/colored ice cubes to make it fun. You can also add extra tinsel to skewers for a festive drink stir.

Image: Wild Hibiscus


Want to focus on resolutions? Grab a dry erase board OR plastic plates OR old DVD cases with colored paper folded into the insert OR fancy picture frames, and create a Resolution Photo Booth! Add props like fun hats, necklaces, masks, etc… and use a plastic tablecloth as a backdrop. Let each person write their resolution on the board/plate and snap a photo.


No party crackers? Fill balloons with confetti and blow up- everyone can pop at the stroke of midnight.

I LOVE this game from– New Years game featuring prompts for guests to answer. Download and print out here.



Three words- metallic spray paint. Pick a color- gold, silver, rose gold, etc… and spray paint the heck out of EVERYthing. Old vases, branches, flowers, plastic cups, champagne bottles, balloons, COOKIES (just make sure to buy edible spray paint for this!).


If you have a sitter and are headed out on the North Shore, here are a few fabulous places to celebrate! Take a trip to your neighborhood locale, and enjoy what our area has to offer.

Firefly in Wilmette

The festivities start at 7:30 p.m. and will last until 1:30 a.m. Guests can enjoy a fresh raw bar (oysters, clams, etc…), action food stations (beef tenderloin carving stand, Italian station with mozzarella, tomatoes, pasta, and others), passed heavy appetizers (mini crab cakes, etc…), energizing music, and a champagne toast at midnight. The venue will also include a monitor to display the new year countdown and ball drop. Additional wine, beer, and cocktails will be available for purchase at the bar, and the kitchen will also serve late night snacks before guests head home. 

Tickets are available now on Eventbrite, or by calling 224-408-2464 or emailing Pricing begins at $65 (after December 18) and $70 (at the door). 

Barrel Crossing Tap & Grill in Highroad

Family Celebration with 7pm Balloon Drop
Bring the kids and start the festivities early. Enjoy a special children’s menu, sparkling grape juice, party favors, hats, giveaways, and balloon drop!

Adults will enjoy a specially prepared pre set 5-course dinner menu paired with bourbons, craft beers and specialty drinks ($60) or order á la carte off the full dinner menu. Some of the selections include:

  • Chicken Potstickers with Duck Confit Salad, paired with Tangley Oaks Chardonnay
  • Hot Mess & Pretzel Roll Sliders, paired with Lazy Magnolias Southern Pecan Ale
  • Beet and Green Apple Salad, paired with Bulleit Bourbon
  • Crab Crusted Filet Medallion with Three Cheese Mashed and Bacon Jam Green Beans, House-made Churros with Mexican Chocolate Dipping Sauce, paired with Four Roses Bourbon

Adult Balloon Drop and champagne toast Midnight!

For more information and to book your table, call 847-748-8695 or visit

Taste on Chestnut in Winnetka

Enjoy an exclusive 4- and 3-course and a la carte menu featuring such New Years favorites as Oysters On The Half Shell, Farm Raised MusselsLobster Bisque, White Asparagus Soup,Classic Caesar, Citrus Chili Rubbed Cedar Plank Salmon, Crispy Duck Breast, Pistachio Crusted Lamb Chops and a number of decadent desserts to ring in the New Year in style.

To reserve your table for New Years Eve, call 847-441-0134 or go online to



1 Comment

  1. February 16, 2016 / 5:20 am

    So while it's true that the people make an event (and the people definitely made any event!) this space definitely adds a different dimension to it. Went to NYC venues here for an evening event and I was really impressed.