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I just returned from an incredible visit to Disney World where I represented HGTV at The Epcot International Food & Wine Festival. It was an experience of a lifetime and I feel so lucky to have been included in this event. Now through mid-November, several other HGTV personalities will be at the festival sharing other fabulous ideas for holiday entertaining.

For my presentations, I shared “5 Fabulous Ideas for Dressing Up Your Holiday Entertaining.” I went with a non-traditional holiday color scheme of red and aqua. During the presentation, I shared examples of fresh color schemes for the holiday season, some basic tips for creating a pretty dessert display, as well as five specific ideas for holiday gatherings.

1. Peppermint Cake: Use a round double-layer cake with bright white butter cream or whipped cream frosting, purchased from the store or bake at home. Place on a pretty cake stand. Use whole peppermints around the edge to create a base. Crush peppermints in a plastic bag using a mallet or hammer. Use the palm of your hand to pat them onto the side of the cake. Top with a mini paper bunting. Download Bunting Template (PDF)

2. Dressed Up Cupcakes: It’s easy to dress up store bought or plain cupcakes with cupcake flags and wrappers. Download Cupcake Flags (PDF), Cupcake Wrapper Template (PDF) and Damask Cupcake Wrapper Paper (PDF)

3. Easy Flower Arrangement: This simple arrangement is perfect for a table centerpiece or to add color to your dessert display. Use a 4″ or 5″ glass cylinder vase. Cut one rose so that it lays just above the rim. Cut the rest of the stems the same length. Add roses to create the outer circle and then fill in the middle. Add a strip of paper around the vase to tie in with the rest of the paper decor.

4. Sugar Rimmed Cocktails: Match your signature cocktail to the color scheme of the party. You can purchase sugar sprinkles at the grocery, craft or baking store. Sprinkle the sugar on a shallow plate. Dip the rim of each glass in water then in the sugar. So easy and festive!

5. Hot Chocolate Bar: A hot chocolate bar filled with various flavors of hot cocoa and toppings is perfect for holiday gatherings. We used crushed oreos, mini marshmallows and crushed peppermints served in simple white bowls with mini spoons.

Here is a video featured on the Disney Parks Blog with a peek of my presentation details.

YouTube Preview Image

I had such a wonderful time meeting Kelley Walters, our editor here on Design Happens. She was there supporting me through all of the presentations and we also had the opportunity to share a few “screams” on some of the best rides, with the help of our sweet tour guide, Samantha.

The trip was nothing short of fantastic and my husband and I were thrilled to have our children join us for a few days at the parks after the presentations were complete. We decided to stay through Halloween and had such a fun time at Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party.

I experienced the ride, The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, for the first time and it was incredible. My new favorite!

photo courtesy of disney

Thank you so much HGTV and Disney for such an amazing opportunity!

PS Ever wanted to take an all-access tour of a Disney™ Dream Cruise Ship? Tour the Disney™ Dream photo gallery then enter for the chance to win a magical vacation on Fantasy’s preview cruise.



5 Responses

  1. Kristin says:

    Beautiful! I love the food and wine fest!

  2. Kori Clark says:

    What a great experience! Thank you for sharing it and taking time out for a quick meet up while you were there!

  3. B Kaylor says:

    Many years ago HGTV aired a series called Party at Home. It was one of my all-time favorites. While I love reading your blog it would be great to see your ideas come to life on a show. Thanks for all of your party inspirations.

  4. [...] at The Epcot Food and Wine Festival HGTV Design Happens Wed, November 2, 2011 8:15 PM UTC HGTV Design Happens Rate this story Share this story (function(){var [...]

  5. Nate says:

    Okay, I'm officially jealous of your trip. Sounds like you had a great time. This time of year is probably the best time of year to go to Disney World too. I was there in July and it was sweltering.

    I didn't catch this in your blog post. Where was your presentation set up at?


    Nate J.

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