Thursday, December 31, 2009

Champagne wishes...

These favors were made for someone who was married on New Year's Eve. The theme of the party was champagne, of course. Inside each champagne glasses I tucked a recipe (printed on silver paper) and a nip to make a champagne cocktail. I renamed the cocktails so that they were more personalized for the couple. This one was called the "Costa Rican Rum-ba" a nod to the couples honeymoon destination. These would also be fun favors for a New Year's Eve party!

May all of your Champagne Wishes come true in 2010!
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Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Christmas Tree cupcakes

These were inspired by ! Thanks for such a great idea.... I brought them to a play date today and the kids loved them. I used mini cones and green icing for the trees and the presents are starbursts, not fondant.
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I LOVE the holidays, so when it comes to decorating I don't just stop with the living room. I want to make it fun and festive for my kids too so they each have feather trees in their rooms. My son's room in Tiffany blue with accents in brown and orange so his tree is winter white with orange ornaments. I also found a fun white feather wreath that I put on the wall above the bed. My daughter's room is pink and green so she has a pink feather tree with green ornaments. I also put up stockings and throw around some ornaments to make it extra fun.

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Teacher Gifts

For me nursery school is all about the alphabet...learning about it, singing it endlessly. So, it was the obvious inspiration for our teacher gifts this year. It started with this mug from Anthropologie. I found the ornament gift tag at Pottery Barn and put a black & white copy of my daughters school picture on the back. I also included a mother goose cookie in the red box and attached our Christmas card to the inside lid. I finished it with a gift certificate to a local bakery for a cup of coffee on us. What did you give to teachers this year?

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Sunday, December 20, 2009

recipe for Cranberry - Champagne Punch

6 c. cranberry juice cocktail

1/2 c. freshly squeezed lemon juice

2 c. freshly squeezed orange juice

2 bottles champagne

Combine all ingredients except champagne. Chill well. Pour chilled juices into punch bowl. Add champagne. Serves 20.

I floated fresh cranberries on top and also made ice cubes with the left over cranberry juice to keep the punch cold throughout the night without watering it down.

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Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Kids Christmas Party

My husband and I threw an Open House party for our friends. Since we have children, and most of our friends do too, we wanted to make sure that we had activites and food that would allow everyone (big & small) to enjoy themselves. This post shares some of the things that we did to make sure our littlest friends felt special. We asked our guests to bring hats, mittens or a scarf to our party which we donated to our local women's and children's center. I used this old shutter and wooden clothespins to attach mitten cookies made by Art Girl Cookies. When guest arrived with their donations I instructed them to exchange them for the mitten cookies. For a special drink we offered out littlest friends a hot cocoa bar. I put out some cocoa powder, mini marshmallows, and chocolate/peppermint shavings in bowls, added a can of whipped cream (which I covered in red and white gingham paper) and some snowman mugs. In the basement I created a gingerbread wonderland... This included a miniature Christmas tree decorated with some of our pretend sweets from Pottery Barn Kids and a puppet theatre that I turned into a gingerbread house with brown craft paper, rickrack, and a construction paper roof. I put some miniature aprons and chef hats in the back along with some tiny cookie cutters, rolling pins, and cookie pans all for some pretend play. We also left some activities out for the kids like the game Candy Land, gingerbread men cookies to decorate and candy themed coloring pages. We also invited our little guests to bring their pajamas and we threw on some of our favorite Christmas movies. The party was a great success for big and fact, I am not really sure who had more fun!

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Sunday, December 13, 2009

Jubilee Events

I was thrilled to have my b&w Christmas decorations mentioned on Jubilee Events Blog...You can find it here and while you are there check out all of the other creative winter inspiration from Candice. You won't be disappointed!
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Tuesday, December 8, 2009

decorating with b&w for the holidays...

Most people think of red & green for Christmas. As I mentioned in a previous post, my dining room is b & w. For Christmas this year I wanted to try and keep this color scheme in my dining room for my holiday decorating. I used clear Christmas ornaments that I found at a craft store to hang from the chandelier. In each one I placed something small and white, like buttons, glitter, or a single feather. It was an easy way to add dimension and interest to the decor, and I didn't have to run out to get any of it. I used things I had in the house. I was able to find black candy, wrapping paper, and ornaments at most of the local stores. These accents along with a white poinsettia and twinkle lights transformed the room into a festive place to gather with friends and family.

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Sunday, December 6, 2009

hot cocoa

Every year on the day after Thanksgiving we go with a bunch of our friends to get our Christmas tree. It has become such a fun tradition. This year it was a little rainy and cold so I decided to bring along some homemade hot cocoa to warm us all up. As a child my mom always used to make me homemade cocoa and there is absolutely no substitute, and it really isn't that hard! You can find the recipe on the side of a box of Hershey's Natural Unsweetened Cocoa . Here it is:
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup Hershey's cocoa
dash salt
1/3 cup hot water
4 cups milk
3/4 tsp. vanilla extract
Mix sugar, cocoa and salt in a saucepan; stir in water. Cook and stir over med. heat until the mixture boils; boil and stir for 2 minutes. Stir in milk and heat. DO NOT BOIL. Remove from heat; add vanilla.
I lined a basket with some red/white striped napkins and threw in a bowl of mini marshmallows and candy canes. I even found some adorable ceramic snowmen mugs. For the adults, I brought along some peppermint schnapps. This would also make a lovely gift basket for someone you know this holiday season. Enjoy!
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Thursday, December 3, 2009

Bottle of Red....

Here is a photo of one of the gift baskets that went out of the studio this month. Inside an old wine crate I put a mini barrel of Red Truck wine, two chalkboard wine glasses, and some festive paper cocktail napkins. In keeping with the theme I also tucked in a red truck t-shirt.

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This is a gift basket that was made for one of my favorite little gardener friends. Inside a Terra cotta pot is nestled a favorite book called "Paperwhite," an oil cloth Cath Kidson gardening apron that I picked up on a trip to Ireland, and a hot pink watering can filled with paperwhite bulbs. I love to give gifts that include an activity and this one will hopefully bring a little bit of Spring to a long New England winter.
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