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It's been a looooong and tough year for me and I know that I've had friends and colleagues that have said the same about 2017 -- it was just "one of those years", I guess! Exactly one year ago, we packed up a U-Haul truck and made the journey up north from the South Loop of Chicago to the East Side of Milwaukee right before Eddie started his new role. Sure, it's only 1.5 hours distance, but when all you've known for the past 10+ years is Chicago and you have zero connections in your new city, it feels like light years away. It was freezing cold outside and I was recovering from having the flu on Christmas (awful) but we unpacked everything, rested and Eddie suggested we ring in the new year in our new city ...and I'm so glad we did! We had a great time celebrating --even though we were beyond exhausted -- at The Iron Horse Hotel, one of the places we stayed before we committed to moving here.
I'll spare you all of the details but I feel like I've been on a roller coaster ever since. Trying to navigate through a new city, new friends and a new career path that I wasn't sure about, I've definitely been a ball of emotions. A few months back, I was in the thick of it and had never felt myself so....not me! That's when I knew it was time to break out of my rut and start working on my own creative personal projects with the things that I loved -- events and weddings!
As I started reaching out to connect with industry people in the area and vendors, my positivity increased and I decided to finally get what I started in Chicago back up and going. No more reasons to make excuses of "being in a new city," "not knowing the market," and everything else that I had said to distract myself over the past 9 months. So as I got this up and going, I was determined to kick it off right...and what better way than a New Year's celebration here in Milwaukee!
I have to say that over the past year, two things that have remained strong and steady are 1) my relationship with Eddie and 2) the great, supportive friends that we have individually and together. Those are exactly the people that I wanted to usher in 2018 with, as well as share the kickoff to my new venture... and so save-the-date texts went out, followed by some invites that Eddie quickly whipped up.
We wanted to do a get-together for the day to celebrate the new year even though we knew everyone had to drive back to Chicago to work the next day so we pulled a nooner, which has quickly become one of my favorite type of adult parties. Start at noon, full + happy by 4pm and in your pjs by 7 ...it's definitely win/win! I had been working on my branding for Canvas over the past few weeks and wanted to keep it informal but a little modern so I could create this blog. So, yes, this was rushed but the love I put into hosting my friends was still there. Once I settled on black and white, I immediately had the idea of grabbing a chalkboard runner to have our friends write their 2018 resolutions on the table.
This was a great tie-in and really good inspiration since it all matches my primary color palette for Canvas: white, black and copper with hints of green. So of course my next thought was to pick up some copper Moscow Mule mugs, which I've been wanting to add to our bar for far too long anyway. I actually lucked out at Target when I came across quite a few in the clearance section from the Project 62 line [ you can find similar from World Market here] and also this brushed copper bowl, which I turned into a vase for the floral centerpiece. I was also able to get my hands on these black + white appetizer plates from Joanna & Chip's Hearth & Hand line. Since champagne should always be the star of the show on New Year's, I also gave those bottles a shot of copper spray paint and added some modern type letters to a ribbon, which matched the table settings.
Don't think those mugs went unused! I swapped out the usual Tito's and grabbed some Smirnoff Vanilla vodka, some Trader Joe's ginger beer, limes, blackberries and mint. I muddled the blackberries, mixed it all in, added a squeeze of lime and garnished with mint and blackberries...and voila! Blackberry Vanilla Mules - so delicious!
Hanging out with our friend crew is always such a good time, whether we're out or keeping it casual at home. So, of course, after the champagne was popped and everyone was stuffed -- the 90s playlist was turned on and there was a room full of Mariah Carey wannabes singing into empty bottles and spoons! I couldn't imagine a better way to bring in a new year than with these crazy folks that I love so much. To check out the rest of the day, visit the gallery here. *Side note - I know I'm forgetting tons of little details here (like the champagne gummy bears you'll see on the table) but this was not only more of a personal event but also a learning experience, that involved some quick turnaround so moving forward, my posts will definitely be more detailed.
As 2018 enters, I feel like the old Sharris again and am beyond ready for what's next. I'm thankful for the great people in my life that kept me motivated and look forward to seeing what awesome things they will all do this year as well. Looking forward to this fun journey and wishing everyone peace and blessings in 2018 and beyond!