Monday, December 26, 2016

Add a Little Extra and Your Holiday Table Will Look Even More Polished



The two pictures below show the same tablescape except for a few slight changes. I added a table runner to pull the whole theme together. I also added a chartreuse garland of ornaments to create interest. 












Here I added a pop of color, with an holiday dessert plate, and  I added two ornamental trees. Place cards finished off the look. What do you do to polish your holiday table? Post in the comments below.









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Saturday, December 24, 2016

Time to Celebrate the Season


Happy Hanukkah & Merry Christmas Eve one and all! Bloody Ceasars to celebrate 🍅🌶🦐
4 oz Clamato Juice
2 oz vodka (Tito's of course) 
1 T lemon juice
1 t Worcestershire sauce
.5 t horseradish
.5 t hot pepper sauce
ice
Caesar Rimmer
Celery, jalapeña pepper, olives, lemon vanish
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6 Tips for Creating a Festive Holiday Tablescape


Even if you rarely have dinner parties, the holidays are the right time to perfect your tablescape decorating talents. Setting a lovely table is one of my favorite things to do and the holidays afford me the opportunity to pull out some of my seldom used pieces.

1) Begin by choosing an inspiration piece. Here, I chose a large silver ornament and placed it on top of a vase surrounded by votives. I filled the vase with more silver ornaments. Silver candlesticks add height to balance things. Small decorative packages are scattered around the table. 2) Decorative salad plates add whimsy.


3) The buffet is decked with a variety of serving pieces. White dishes always make the food pop. 4) Always use linen napkins and napkin rings. 5) Placemats and/or chargers are a must. 6) A variety of glasses for wine and water finish off each table setting. Follow these 6 tips to create your festive tablescape. Happy holidays!!




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Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Just What the Doctor Ordered ~ 8 Essentials to Get You Through Cold & Flu Season


The holidays are right around the corner and you're feeling under the weather. It's easy to get desperate and try a variety of over-the-counter medications but these 8 essentials are guaranteed to provide comfort until you're back on your feet.

1.  Hot Tea - A hot cup of tea is just what the doctor ordered because you’re getting extra fluids, which your body needs desperately when fighting off an illness, and breathing in the steam vapors can also help loosen up any congestion you may be experiencing. 

Here's what you will need…

-Tea of your choice
-A spoonful of freshly grated ginger
-A pinch of cinnamon 
-A pinch turmeric
-A dash of cayenne pepper (optional)
-A spoonful of raw honey 
-A lemon wheel
-Freshly boiled water

2.  Nasal Decongestant Spray - XLEAR Natural Saline Nasal Spray is my go to spray to alleviate congestion and relieve sinus pressure. Nasal sprays can help ease congestion but don't overdo it. 

3.  Cough Drops - My go to brand is the Halls Honey Lemon drops. They still have the menthol kick I need to cool my nasal passages and the cough suppressant soothes my sore throat. 

4.  Lip Balm - A stuffy head always equals chapped lips because I'm trying to breathe through my mouth.  Blistex Medicated Lip Conditioner soothes and heals chapped dry lips.

5. Tissues - Spare no expense on tissues! Nothing is worse than a rosy red nose. Kleenex is a must.

6.  Snuggly Pajama - Kensie Thermal Pajamas are so comfortable and cute. 

7.  Vaporizer or Humidifier - A vaporizer or humidifier can make the difference between coughing all night and a good night's sleep. They both disperse moisture into the air which can comfort congestion. I prefer the cool mist ultrasonic humidifier

8.  Chicken Soup - As soon as the first sneeze is heard in our house my husband has a pot of homemade chicken soup on the stove. Chicken soup is naturally full of electrolytes that help you retain more fluids than water alone does. 

What are your cold & flu essentials? Comment below. 

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Tuesday, December 13, 2016

'Tis the Season for a Christmas Coffee Cocktail




This coffee cocktail is not for the faint of heart. It's delightfully strong so you won't even care if you get snowed in. Begin by brewing a strong pot of coffee. You'll need 4 oz. of coffee per glass.  I prefer to use my french press for this coffee. I picked up this press from Amazon. It's the Sterling Pro French Press and runs around $30. For this recipe,  I used Gevalia Espresso roast.



Ingredients

4 oz strong coffee
1.5 oz Amaretto
1.5 oz Kahlua
1 oz Butterscotch Schnapps
1 oz Creme de Cocoa
Fresh Whipped Cream
Grated Chocolate or Cinnamon



Share your favorite coffee cocktail in the comments.


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Sunday, December 11, 2016

Glitz and Glimmer ~ Decorating on a Dime



Decorating for the holidays doesn't have to break the bank. By combining some of your traditional "old" decorations with some "new" ones you can create an updated look for only pennies. This artificial tree needed a makeover since most of the lights no longer were working. After a quick stop at Walmart I was able to get a deal on boxes of 300 lights. The feather accents add just the right amount of whimsy to my tree. The sparkly placements were a dollar each from A.C. Moore. The silver matte chargers cost a whopping $1.50 each from Michael's.


A quick change from summer drapes to winter royal purple drapes was easy thanks to Gabriel Brothers. A pair of silk drapes only cost $5.99.  The sparkly snowflakes catch the light in the windows and are attached with Command Strips or just placed on the window sills. The large ornaments and mercury glass candlesticks create a wintery theme. 


The table centerpiece features a large apothecary jar filled to the top with shiny ornaments. My best purchase of the season were strings of copper fairy lights.  These battery operated lights look fantastic in the jars, bowls, and laced between candles. 


Silver ornaments were placed throughout the shelves and in glass serving bowls. White on white always looks clean as the first fallen snow. 


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Saturday, December 10, 2016

Christmas in the House ~ Making Memories and Celebrating Traditions



3 Tips to Make Your Holiday Decorating Effortless


After a brief hiatus, I am back to blogging and what better time to return than Christmas! Thanksgiving came and went in the blink of an eye and I raced to the basement to grab the Christmas decorations to begin the annual tradition of decorating. My mother and I have been sharing this tradition for as long as I can remember.  This was the first year to have colored lights on our trees and I must say I am still rather undecided if I can get used to them. 

Tip #1 

If you are anything like me and want to change up your holiday decor, why not put both colored lights and white lights on your tree? By keeping the strings separate we have options... 1) colored & white, 2) just colored or 3) just white. Attach the cords to a remote plug like X10  and switching is quick and simple.
Tip #2

Natural wood or gas fireplaces don't have to be a hassle. Add some electric twigs and the glow will please just about anyone. Place a Woodwick Crackling Candle on the mantle and sit back and enjoy. 

Tip # 3

Your local tree farm is the place to find fresh cut trees. Buy a tree slightly taller than you need and have the staff cut the bottom off.  You now have a perfectly sized tree PLUS all the greenery you need to create wreaths and swags. The price will undoubtedly be fresher and less expensive by doing it this way rather than spending the extra amount for previously cut greens. 





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Berry Mango Smoothie Bowl

Ingredients Combine in a blender 1/2 cup Vanilla Greek Yogurt with 1/2 cup coconut milk and 1 cup frozen berries. Top with sliced mango and ...

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