Friday, December 31, 2010
Minted offers some fabulous photo card options. Check these out:
Stop by Minted now through January 10th to and recieve 20% off all of their New Year cards. No more excuses!
Thursday, December 30, 2010
* Always pour the mixers in first, then top off with Champagne to avoid fizzy overflow. *
This one's a brunch classic. Increase the flavor by using a 1:5 ratio of freshly-squeezed orange juice to Champagne. Then add a splash of triple sec.
The fancy cousin to the made-with-white-wine Kir, the Kir Royale consists of a dash of creme de cassis (currant syrup), topped off with Champagne.
Invented at Harry's Bar in Venice, the Bellini is best when made with ripe peaches. If peaches aren't in season, try creme de peche (peach syrup). Use a 1:4 ratio of syrup to prosecco.
This is an easy and strangely delicious drink with a 4:1 ratio of Champagne to black Irish stout.
Death in the Afternoon
Traditionally made from absinthe, a spirit now illegal in the United States, in a 0.5:5 ratio to Champagne, you can probably substitute pastis or another anise-flavored liqueur.
For a holiday brunch, make Poinsettias: a 1:4 ratio of triple sec to Champagne, with a splash of cranberry juice added for color.
Named for the British Admiral George Nelson, this makes a great, if slightly morbidly-named, party drink. The recipe calls for a 5:1 ratio of Champagne to tawny Port.
Moving on to the slightly more complicated ones...
Classic Champagne Cocktail
Soak a sugar cube in bitters, drop it into a flute, fill the flute with Champagne and garnish with a twist of lemon. This classic drink dates back to at least the mid-19th century.
There are a number of French 75 recipes floating around; the only thing people agree on is that it's a serious drink with serious ramifications. Here's the classic: a splash of simple syrup, a bigger splash of lemon juice, an even bigger splash (about an ounce) of gin, topped off with a glassful of Champagne.
What better way to get the party started than with a great Party Hat! Provide the kids with craft paper, sequence, stickers, markers, string, and any other fun supplies that could be used to create their own hat for the party. For directions on how to make this party hat and others, click here.
photo from Martha Stewart
Provide party guests with confetti and noisemakers to help celebrate when midnight arrives. Fill small glassine bags with confetti and use double-sided tape to attach a noisemaker to each bag and seal shut.
photo from Martha Stewart
While you're toasting the New Year with champagne, let kids celebrate with a Spanish custom: eating 12 grapes at midnight for good luck all year long. Fill a champagne flute for every child older than 3 with a dozen grapes; they can eat one for every chime as the clock strikes midnight.
Keep the memories alive from your New Year's celebration by creating a photo booth for your guests. By hanging a festive backdrop and purchasing wooden numbers from the craft store (or even cut some out of card stock) to use as a prop, you can create a fun and simple way for your guests to look back and remember what a good time they had celebrating the New Year with their friends and family for years to come.
photo from Family Fun
Wednesday, December 29, 2010
Thanks for the inspiration Chirs. It is beautiful! You can see more of Chris' work at Celebrations at Home.
Monday, December 27, 2010
Midnight Clock Wine LabelHappy New Year! Wine Label
Visit Better Homes and Gardens here to download these printables and several others as well.
Friday, December 24, 2010
I love Christmas Eve. The kids are super excited, my Christmas "work" is complete, and we are able to relax and really enjoy this special holiday as a family. We traditionally bake Santa's cookies on Christmas Eve. Do you have any special traditions?
Picture from Martha Stewart
I hope that you and your family have a wonderful holiday and that Santa is good to everyone!
Tuesday, December 21, 2010
Photos taken from Family Fun
1. The Wrap 'n' Stack Sandwich Tree is made from mini sandwiches and trimmed with colorful vegetables, a healthy alternative to the usual array of holiday sweets.
2. Tree-Trim Trail Mix, inspired by the traditional holiday garland, turns a medley of good-for-you ingredients into a delicious cinnamon-scented treat. Boasting fiber, antioxidants, and omega-3 fatty acids, it's wholesome enough to please parents and tasty enough to distract kids from all those candy canes!
3. Forget the front door. These bite-size Mini Bagel Wreaths--whimsical enough to appeal to the smallest (and finickiest) guests--are meant to deck your plate. To make them, spread mini bagel halves with cream cheese (plain or tinted green with herbs or food coloring), then sprinkle on red, yellow, and green bell-pepper confetti.
4. Dress up your cheese and crackers this holiday season with a Christams Package Cheese Snack.
5. A Pine-Tree (made from a pineapple) laden with colorful fruit kabob branches would make a great edible centerpiece.
6. Holiday Cucumber Cups are the perfect accessory for your holiday spreads and dips. Using a vegetable peeler, create decorative stripes on the sides of cucumber and then slice cucumbers into 3/4 inch thick rounds. Scoop out cucumber seeds, fill with desired spread, dip, or hummus, and serve.
Sunday, December 19, 2010
Frosty Milk: A glass of milk takes on new deliciousness with doughnut-hole snowmen heads. Outfit powdered doughnut holes with eyes and a nose made of edible food clay. Pierce a hole through the center of the doughnut using a skewer and fit in a straw. Make a miniature scarf for the glass.
Frosty Beverage Bowl: Creamy eggnog- the adult or child-friendly version-takes center stage in this Frosty vessel made from a large rose bowl. For a temporary design, paint the inside of the glass with melted orange and black chocolate coating. Or, to use the bowl and glasses, next year, use glass paint from the crafts store to add the faces to the outside of the glass.
White Frosty Cupcakes: Fill a large cake plate with white-frosted cupcakes and then fill in details of a snowman face with more orange and black frosting. Sprinkle the cupcakes with white cake sparkles for a snow-crystal finish.
Friday, December 17, 2010
The Party at a Glance:
How it works: You provide wrapping supplies and food. Ask each guest to bring some presents to wrap and one roll of paper so you have a variety.
Whom to invite: Three to five friends. It’s the perfect time to catch up―and escape nosy family members.
Invitation or e-mail? E-mail. Or, even better, Evite.
What to serve: Real Simple suggest Red Pepper Frittata Squares and Oven Fries With Garlic Aioli, which are satisfying and need little hands-on time. You can pull them together the night of the party.
Sounds like a lot more fun than hiding out in your closet, wrapping an endless mound of gifts into the wee hours on Christmas Eve night. Just saying...!
Thursday, December 16, 2010
For more creative ideas, visit Real Simple, here.
Wednesday, December 15, 2010
Using just a few basic supplies, you can transform metal storage tins into a fun (and super creative) version of the traditional advent calendar.
Magnets can be arranged on the fridge or any other magnetic surface. Place in rectangular numerical order, in the shape of a tree, or arrange them randomly for added hunting fun!
Stop by Twig & Thistle for the complete DIY instructions.
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
Amazing, right? I love ALL of the details, colors, and originality. What a lucky little girl! For more pictures and all of the details about this party, visit Chubby Cheeks Photography, here. Shalonda, I can't wait to see what you come up with next!
Monday, December 13, 2010
Friday, December 10, 2010
The Railway Cake Pan
The Gingerbread Man Cakelet Pan
The Gingerbread House Bundt Cake Pan
Have your picked your favorite yet? Visit Williams-Sonoma to find the featured cake pans as well as others.
Thursday, December 9, 2010
You can find the step-by-step instructions on how to make these Bakerella cupcakes here.
And while you are there, check out all of Bakerella's other fabulous ideas. There's lots of them!
Wednesday, December 8, 2010
Don't wait until the last minute to wrap your present's this year. Here's a little creative Holiday Wrapping Inspiration to get you going.
Use left-over yarn and ribbon to decorate your gifts this year (photo from Martha Stewart)
Make a good "impression" with your gift-wrapping by using stamped paper to cover your gifts. Find instructions and tips here (Martha Stewart).
This Eco-Friendly Paper Gift Wrap inspirations come from Martha Stewart. Easy to find and work with, vintage and repurposed papers add pop to presents. Layer several colors and textures, or add vintage beads for a finished look.
Clockwise from top left: Vintage wallpaper; Chinese newspaper topped with colored paper; recycled map; grocery bag with Japanese beads.
Monday, December 6, 2010
Sunday, December 5, 2010
Thursday, December 2, 2010
When I think of Christmas, peppermint follows closely behind. Why not bring this nostalgic treat to your beverage cup with some Peppermint Hot Chocolate.
By skewering Mini Doughnuts onto coffee spoons, you can turn a cup of joe into a delicious and satisfying dessert (AND they look AdOrAbLe!).
This Apple-Pie Cider is sure to be a crowd-pleaser on a cold winter day. Seasoned with the same spices you would use in a pie -- cinnamon, allspice, ginger, cloves, and nutmeg -- this cider will taste almost as good as a slice of the real thing. Add a cinnamon stick to each mug for stirring and if you'd like, pour in brandy for the adults.