Best Holiday Pins

Have I mentioned before that I love Pinterest?  What did we ever do without that amazing site?  I have seen so many wonderful Christmas and Holiday pins – crafts, cooking, décor – you name it!  I wanted to share some of my favorites.

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So does my elf….

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Holiday Book Case Styling

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My holiday décor mostly consists of red and white with greenery thrown in.  It’s simple and to the point.  I like it that way.  Besides, red is my favorite color.  You can’t go wrong with RED!

When it came time to decorate our new home, I realized how much space I have to work with.  I mean, having never decorated this house before it was almost like a blank canvas!  I had no thoughts of “I put that there last year.” or “this is where the tree always goes.”  You know what I mean?

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Cocktail, Anyone?

The new year is fast approaching.  Hold on to your hats, it’s 2013!  How are you going to celebrate?  For most people it will be spent among friend and/or family eating and drinking until midnight.  The usual beer and wine will be served along with a champagne toast at midnight.  But if you are hosting one of these soirees, why not jazz it up a bit?  Check out these festive cocktail recipes sure to start your new year with a BANG!

** Disclaimer: please drink responsibly and always have a designated driver.  There’s even a non-alcoholic beverage in here for them! **

Pomegranate Prosecco  Pomegranate Prosecco

  8 sugar cubes

  1 cup pomegranate liqueur

  2 (750-milliliter) bottles Prosecco

(From Coastal Living)             Garnish: pomegranate seeds 

Put 1 sugar cube in each of 8 Champagne flutes; add 2 tablespoons pomegranate liqueur to each glass. Fill glasses with Prosecco (about 3/4 cup each). Garnish, if desired.

  Winter Solstice Cocktail

  1 1/2 ounces orange vodka

  1/2 ounce orange-flavored liqueur, such as Cointreau

  1/2 ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice, preferably from Meyer lemons

   (From Martha Stewart)         Ice cubes

                                             Club soda, chilled

                                             1 mint leaf, for garnish

                                             1 raspberry, for garnish

In a cocktail shaker, combine vodka, orange liqueur, lemon juice, and ice; shake until well combined. Strain into a chilled martini glass; add a splash of soda. Carefully fold mint leaf in half lengthwise and place the stem end into the opening of the raspberry. Float on top of cocktail and serve immediately.

  Italian Sparkling Citrus Punch

1 Cup vodka

1 1/2 Cups simple syrup

1 1/2 Cups limoncello

(From care2.com)                                       1/2 Cup lemon juice

                                                                 1 Bottle prosecco

In a large punch bowl, mix all ingredients except prosecco . Cover and refrigerate for about two hours. When ready to serve, pour prosecco into the punch bowl with the limoncello mixture and add ice.

Hard Cider Sangria

  Hard Cider Sangria

1 cup quartered and thinly sliced unpeeled green, yellow and red apples

1 navel orange—quartered and thinly sliced crosswise

1 cup apple juice, chilled

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

(From Food and Wine)                  1/4 cup apple brandy

                                                    One 22-ounce bottle hard apple cider, chilled

                                                     Ice

In a pitcher, combine the apples with the orange, apple juice, lemon juice and brandy. Just before serving, add the hard cider. Serve in tall glasses over ice.

Sparkling Peach Sunrise

  Sparkling Peach Sunrise (non-alcoholic)

3 ounces fresh peach juice

3/4 ounce grenadine

lemon-lime soda to fill

Pour the peach juice over ice in a highball glass.

(Found on About.com)           Fill with soda.

Slowly pour the grenadine into the drink – it will sink to the bottom and slowly rise, integrating into the drink.

Enjoy and be safe! 

Festive Table Settings

It is 6 days until Christmas and I hope you all are ready.  I know I am.  This Christmas is a little strange for our family since most of our belongings are still in boxes as we wait to find just the right house to call our home.  And Christmas decorations are no exception, including all of my Christmas china.  Needless to say, I am aching to set a festive table for Christmas, but I can’t.  My wonderful friend, Alissa, is hosting Christmas dinner this year because I can’t fit everyone in our rental house.  So I find myself scouring Pinterest and Google for inspiration for next year.  Check out what I have found!

I love the simplicity of this one.  It could be used for any winter dinner party, not just Christmas.

I just love a red and white table for Christmas.  Love the idea to tie in the chairs to the whole table setting.  Beautiful!

Check out this beauty from The Material Girls.  Anything with Hydrangea makes me happy.

I think anyone could achieve this one.  Very simple yet fully seated in the holiday spirit.  Ornaments?  Check!  White dishes?  Check!  Tree branch with some lights?  Check!

 

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Add some sparkle!  I adore the glittered chargers.  Image via Flickr.  (on my Pinterest board)

 

Christmas Table Setting Ideass

And, of course, just let it snow with a white table setting and a hint of sparkle. 

 

I have so many ideas for next year.  I think I will have to host Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and New Year’s just to use them all! 

O, Christmas Tree! O, Christmas Tree!

‘Tis the season for Christmas decorations!  My family and I love this time of year.  The house feels so cozy when its all aglow with twinkling lights.  We trim as much of the house as possible.  My children get all excited at the notion of Santa, baking cookies and snow!  (We rarely get snow down here in the South.)  It’s just a wonderful time of year.  But as much as I enjoy it, I know there are many people who do not enjoy it.  The thought of lugging the tree out of storage, or the woods, depending on preference, setting it up, decorating it and taking it all down in a month is just exhausting.  And then there are others who want their tree to look like it came out of a magazine but don’t know how to do it.  And still others who just don’t have the time to mess with it.  I understand all of you, whichever category you fall in to.  I have some very simple tips that I follow and I will share them with you. 

 

1.  Keep in simple.  Some of you are not going to like this, but I have a fake tree.  A 7′, pre-lit stunner that I spent a fortune on.  It is an investment, but I waited until very close to Christmas, got it for 30% off and it has a 10 year warranty.  There are 800 twinkling lights already in place.  If a light goes out or it malfunctions in any way, I take it back and get a replacement.  It stores easily in a bag in the attic and goes together in 5 minutes.  I light a Yankee Candle Balsam and Cedar scented candle and you could swear I have a real tree in the house!  Simple.

2.  Choose just 3 colors. That’s my rule for ornaments.  My tree is green, white and red.  I only use white lights.  You can use any 3 colors.  For a coastal look use blue, white and silver.  For a woodsy look use brown, red and white.  Think snow, burlap and cardinals. 

Feeling Blue 

  Image via Coastal Living                                       Image via Google

 

3Theme-less is timeless.  Nobody says that your tree has to have a theme.  Glass ornaments do the trick.  You can buy them by the dozen in all different shapes and sizes and colors.  Glass ornaments never go out of style.  I use glass ornaments all over the house.  I have bowl of them just sitting on the kitchen table as decoration.  My tree has tons.  I have been known to even hang them from chandeliers.  And since they are so affordable, I don’t cry if one breaks. 

                                                    Image via Ebay

4.  Don’t be too type A.  Coming from me, that is quite a statement because “Type A” is my middle name.  But seriously, your tree should be a reflection of you and your family.  It’s a time to celebrate each other,  our blessings and our love.  Enjoy trimming the tree together and it doesn’t have to be perfect.  It should just make you all smile. 

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