In contrast to our quiet New Year’s Eve celebration last year, our send-off for 2021 was buzzing with party music, disco lights, and lots of chit-chatting and laughter. For one, my mother-in-law flew from Australia to Manila in the middle of the pandemic to spend the holidays with us. Also, my sister Alexa just got back from the Pinoy Big Brother House. I have neither seen nor spoken to her for two months since she joined the show, so we were all really looking forward to hanging out with her again. She and my mom got to ring in the New Year with us – their first time ever to do so in our condo. There were really so many reasons to party like it’s 2022!
Being stuck at home for too long must have fueled my love for organizing home parties, and planning our Media Noche was an exciting personal project for me. I was determined to make it special because our family is complete – and that’s something that is a luxury these days!
Our New Year’s Eve tablescape
Rose gold paper plates, paper cups, cutleries, and table runner
I wanted to make my dinner set-up a little fancier than the usual, but I didn’t want to spend New Year’s Day washing the dirty dishes. The solution? DISPOSABLE tableware, but make it pretty! These are definitely an upgrade from those bland white and brown paper plates and generic plastic cups, spoons, and fork! Even my mom and my mother-in-law were gushing at how cute and classy they look! They said, “These are disposable?! They look so nice! I don’t want to throw them!” Haha! The rose gold table runner also added a touch of sparkle to our setup!
Rainbow letter board
There’s nothing like rainbows to give you instant happiness so I put this rainbow letter board with the words ‘Happy New Year’ on display. Happy happy!
Link to: rainbow letter board
Media Noche Food
I chose to order from restaurants that are fairly close to our home just in case it was going to be hard to book a rider. I was happy that I discovered Planas Pantry. Their dishes were super affordable and their customer service was great! They would text and call me just to confirm my orders and they also took care of the delivery for me so I didn’t need to stress about that part anymore. I got their Hickory BBQ Ribs (which came with a generous side of corn), Lengua, and Pesto Rice. Everything was really delicious, even the rice! The servings were huge and there was definitely more than enough for 6 persons! Their meals are great as comfort food but also ideal for special occasions.
Another one of my new food discoveries is Our Plates, which is also located in Mandaluyong. When I saw photos of their Squid Al Ajillo online, I had instant cravings! (Darn you, Instagram ads!!!) It turned out to be one of my favorite New Year’s Eve dishes! It was drowning in garlic, just the way I like it! Alexa also said that it was really good, and it reminded her of something she ate at Mesa. Their Gambas and Chorizo Al Ajillo was also amazing, and it was my mom and my mother-in-law’s favorite dish that night. Their other dishes look so tempting too. I’m already eyeing their Lengua Sevillana for next time!
My mother-in-law had a last-minute request for palabok, and luckily, I found a palabok place within the Mandaluyong area. They have their own delivery service so that was one less thing to worry about. Apparently, Aling Tonang’s has been around since 1971! Whoa! It’s even older than me! (Don’t ask how old I am!). Their dishes are crazy cheap! The Palabok, which was good for 5-7 persons, was only PHP 270, and it was really packed with ingredients! The minimum order amount to avail ourselves of the free delivery was PHP 500, and I even had a hard time making our total bill reach PHP 500 because everything was so cheap! Haha! In the end, I just added Pichi Pichi in Niyog (Coconut) and Cheese flavors (only PHP 72 and PHP 78 respectively for 12 pieces) and Lumpiang Shanghai (PHP 80 for 4 pieces).
Our cute and colorful 2022 New Year cupcakes from MBakery made our simple dessert station look and feel more celebratory! Basically, I had their Confetti Cupcakes customized so that they had vanilla buttercream frosting in Very Peri, which is the color of the year for 2022. I love all the vivid colors!!! And of course, MBakery cupcakes are known for their yummy cupcakes, so I loved every decadent bite, even if they were a little too sweet.
Alchemy by Meryl
It’s considered good luck to eat round food for the New Year, so I ordered a box of 16 French macarons from Alchemy by Meryl. These macarons are really exquisite, not to mention, really pretty! They have really interesting flavors such as Chai Spice, Mandarin Orange, and of course, the usual favorites like Salted Caramel and Ube. My mother-in-law said that these macarons are even better than the ones she’s had in Sydney. Mike also ate them like Pringles… once he popped, he couldn’t stop!
Because… New Year! Haha!
We are fortunate enough to live in a space where we get the most stunning views everyday, which is even more spectacular every New Year’s Eve. We get to have an unparalleled bird’s eye view of the amazing fireworks from the comfort of our home.
I’m Feeling (20)22!
2021 wasn’t quite what we all hoped it would be (i.e. completely Covid-free) but I do believe that many of us have learned to find the beauty in the midst of chaos and uncertainty. We’ve adapted pretty well and proved to ourselves just how resilient and strong we are.
Will 2022 be awesome or will it be a b*tch? I don’t know for sure, but I’m just trusting that we’ll have a better, brighter, and happier year ahead!
Happy 2022, everyone!