Making New Year’s Eve a Family Celebration

Bowling Picture From 2010

My family has always stayed at home for New Year’s Eve.  This year, we are going to do things different.  My husband and I thought it would be nice to take the kids bowling.  The local bowling ally is doing a special family New Year’s Eve celebration, from 6:00pm to 8:00, and including a countdown and dropping of the ball at the end.  I think that it is a great idea to have a celebration that includes children, and is early enough that I won’t be dealing with tired and cranky kids.

There’s also an adult party that will start later, but we will not be attending that.  One thing that I know the kids will like about tomorrow night will be bowling with the lights off.  They plan on turning off the main lights, and putting on the disco ball lights.  We will also be joined by a group of friends.  My husband reserved our favorite lanes, as we are expecting the place to be filled to max bowling capacity.

There are a number of events going on around the Carolinas, but that would involve travelling.  I would love to take the kids down to Wilmington.  We’ve attended night time celebrations there in the past, and have had a great time.  They know how to throw a party.  Best of all, the ones we attended were family friendly.

Whether you are staying home, or going out, please be responsible.  Don’t drink and drive.  If you plan on drinking, have a designated driver, or stay the night where you are doing your drinking.  Losing your life, or causing the loss of another’s life, isn’t how you want to end the year.

What are your plans for New Year’s Eve.


Asheville NC New Year’s Eve Events

Are you planning on being in the Asheville, NC area for New Year’s Eve?  Here are some of the events that you can attend.

A New Year’s Celebration 2011

  • December 31, 2011 – December 31, 2011
  • Location: Grove Park Inn Resort & Spa
  • Address: 290 Macon Avenue, Asheville, NC 28804
  • Admission: Packages available. Single event tickets are $60
  • Phone: 800-438-5800
  • Visit Website | View Venue

The Fritz with Duende Montain Duo

  • December 30, 2011 – December 30, 2011
  • Location: Mo Daddy’s Bar & Grille
  • Address: 77 Biltmore Avenue, Asheville, NC 28801
  • Times: 9:00pm
  • Visit Website | View Venue

Old Farmer’s Ball New Year’s Eve Contra Dance

  • December 31, 2011 – December 31, 2011
  • Location: Warren Wilson College
  • Address: Bryson Gym at Warren Wilson College, Black Mountain, NC 28711
  • Times: 8:00pm – 12:30pm
  • Admission: $25 at the door
  • Visit Website

Tressa’s Annual New Year’s Eve Bash

  • December 31, 2011 – December 31, 2011
  • Location: Tressa’s Downtown Jazz & Blues Club
  • Address: 28 Broadway Street, Asheville, NC 28801
  • Times: 7:30pm – until
  • Phone: 828-254-7072
  • Visit Website | View Venue

Wilmington NC New Year’s Eve Events

Wilmington, NC is a favorite destination spot for my family.  There are a number of events going on for New Year’ Eve this year.

December 31
New Year’s Noon Countdown
Join us as we count down the New Year at Noon! Noise makers,
confetti and a good ole’ fashion countdown.
The Children’s Museum of Wilmington
116 Orange St., Wilmington.
Free with admission. 910-254-3534;

December 31
Island of Lights New Year’s Eve Countdown
9pm until Midnight.
A spectacular fireworks display follows the lowering of
a giant beach ball to welcome in the New Year at
midnight. The family evening
festivities include entertainment featuring live music.
Carolina Beach Boardwalk, Carolina Beach
Free. 910-458-8323;


December 31
New Year’s Eve Cruise9pm-12:30am.

New Year’s cruise down the Cape Fear River aboard the Henrietta III Riverboat with entertainment, dancing, hors d’oeuvres, party favors and champagne.
Departs from foot of S. Water St, Wilmington. Advance prepaid reservations required.800-676-0126, 910-343-1611;

First Night Raleigh Celebration New Year’s Eve

If you are in the Carolinas, and are looking for something to do, head over to Raleigh, NC.

 Michael Lowder, Artsplosure’s executive director, today announced the programmatic lineup for the organization’s annual First Night Raleigh celebration.  First Night Raleigh 2012 will feature comedy, dance, spoken word, interactive art installations, and live music from a variety of performers including rock, blues, jazz, gospel, opera, singer-songwriters and more.  The 21st annual New Year’s Eve arts festival will take place on Saturday, December 31, 2011, in a 20-block area of downtown Raleigh.

This year’s First Night Raleigh festival takes on a French-inspired theme.  Many of the celebration’s dozens of performances and activities have been designed to reflect French influences, including the planned installation of a giant 90-foot Ferris wheel, dubbed “La Grande Roue de Raleigh,” in the 100 and 200 Blocks of Fayetteville Street.  Since the early twentieth century, a Ferris wheel has been installed in Paris’s Tuileries Garden leading up to the New Year.  Perennial First Night Raleigh favorites like the African American Dance Ensemble, Transactors Improv Company, Comedy Worx and the Lenny Marcus Trio plan to adapt their First Night performances to reflect this year’s French theme.

For more detailed information, you can visit

Heart Healthy Egg Sandwich

This is a quick and easy breakfast sandwich for those of us that are on a heart healthy diet.  I put it together with a few left overs in the refrigerator, egg beaters and one slice of bread cut in half.



1 slice of Nature’s Own Double Fiber Wheat Bread, cut in half

2 tsps of Prego Veggie Smart Pizza Sauce

1/4 Egg Beaters

Green Bell Pepper and Onions

Spray a pan with non-stick spray.  Pour 1/4 cup of egg beaters into heated skillet.  Add peppers and onions.

Spread 2 tsps of pizza sauce on one half slice of toasted bread.  Add your cooked egg.  Assemble and eat.

This egg sandwich has 120 calories, 1g fat, and 0 cholesterol.  You might be thinking that a sandwich made with one slice of bread won’t fill you up.  This bread is dense.  One slice, with the egg, is filling.  For me, anyways.  You can also add other things to it.  Suggestions:  mushrooms, lettuce, or broccoli.  I hope you enjoy.


Lean Bean Casserole Recipe

I had a simple Christmas Eve dinner with my family at home.  I have to watch my cholesterol, so I had to be careful with what I made for us to eat.  One thing that my family likes is Green Bean Casserole.  I found a recipe on Hungry Girl for Rockin’ Lean Bean Casserole.

I made some changes to the recipe.  The original recipe calls for water chestnuts.  I don’t like them, so I left them out.  It also called for onion flavored soy chips.  I couldn’t find any at my grocery store.  Here is my adaptation of the recipe:


  • Two 16-oz. bags frozen French-style green beans, thawed, drained, and dried
  • Two 10.75-oz. cans 98% fat-free cream of celery condensed soup
  • 1 oz. (about 15 pieces) onion-flavored reduced fat baked onion chips, crushed


Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  The original recipe calls for spraying a casserole dish, but I didn’t do that.

The original recipe states to thoroughly dry the beans before you put them into the casserole dish.  I didn’t do that, and the result was that I had water in the bottom of the casserole dish after I baked it.  I recommend following Hungry Girl’s directions in making shore that the beans are completely thawed, drained, and dried. Then place half of the green beans in the casserole dish.

Layer the green beans and the soup, alternating the grean beans and the soup so that you end up with two layers of each.

Pour 1 can of the soup evenly on top of the layer of green beans. Cover with the remaining green beans and then top with the remaining can of soup.

Bake in the oven for 45 minutes. Top with crushed reduced fat baked onion flavored chips, and return the dish to the oven until crisps turn golden brown, about 10 minutes.

This is a picture of the one I made.  The picture is a little fuzzy, but I wanted to share it with you.

I Miss Big Lots

Back in April of this year, North Carolina was hit by several devastating tornados.  My little town was one of the casualties of a hard hitting tornado.  It swept through our town, damaging homes and businesses.  It was scary for me and my family, because we were just a couple blocks from it’s path.

Lowe’s was destroyed, and Big Lots and Tractor Supply were damaged.  Both Big Lots and Tractor Supply had to close down.    They posted signs that they will be re-opening, but haven’t.  Lowe’s rebuilt and re0opened quickly.  I don’t do any shopping at Tractor Supply, so I don’t miss that store.  I do miss Big Lots.  I want them to re-open or move to a different location.

The park down the street has not had any work done to it.  It was devastated.  I drive by it everyday, and cringe.  Not just because the kids can’t play there anymore, but also because of how unsafe it looks.  It’s also a constant reminder of that tragic day.  Everything twisted and torn apart.  The thought of how quickly the weather can change, and you could lose everything.

Christmas has gone by, the New Year is almost upon us.  This is a time of year that most people reflect on what is past, and look towards the future.  There are still families without homes because of the tornados that hit our states.  There are also other states that still have families that had their lives completely turned upside down by tornados spawned from the same weather system that brought us ours.  I’d like to take this time to send them my prayers and best wishes for the New Year.

Christmas With The Family

Christmas day was great!  We traveled up to the Asheboro area, (home of the NC ZOO), and spent the day with my side of the family.  Before we left home, the kids opened Christmas presents and ate breakfast.  The day started early.  My daughter woke my husband and me up at 6:30.  After sending her out of the room with strict instructions not to open presents, I dragged myself out of bed and had a shower.  The shower was a must to wake me up.  My son was up late last night.  He was so excited about one of the gifts he knew he was going to get. (It’s the drum set pictured below).  Santa couldn’t visit until he was asleep.  My daughter went to bed early on Christmas Eve.

The kids loved all of their presents, but the two winning gifts were LaLaLoopsy and the drum set.  My son isn’t easy to shop for.  He is considered low functioning ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder).  He is also completely nonverbal.  He loves music.  The drum set put a huge smile on his face.  My daughter has been talking about LaLaLoopsy for the past month.  When she wrote Santa, and put it on her list, I had to ask my blogging friends on MomDot what a LaLaLoopsy was.

Christmas Day was spent at my Aunt’s house.  My daughter had a great time playing with her cousins.  The adults laughed and reminisced about past Christmas get togethers.  We observed how the kids weren’t playing with their new toys.  They were happy just playing together outside.  My son spent the day taking a few rides on the golf cart, playing on his new internet tablet that my sister had bought him, and hanging out with me.

It was a relaxing day, which isn’t always the case.  If you have an autistic child, or know someone that does, I’m sure you can understand.  You can not predict how your child is going to react in such a high sensory environment.  We’ve had our stressful Christmas days.  Thankfully, this wasn’t one of them.

We are going to try something new for New Year’s Eve.  The local bowling alley is doing a family night, 6:00- 8:00.  We usually stay home for New Year’s Eve, but I think both of my kids will enjoy this.  What are your plans for the New Year?