Abbi McCollum

"Every hour is happy hour to me."

Abbi is Programming Director of HGTV.com and a contributor to Design Happens. She shares her home with her chef husband - who loves to cook a meal using every pan in the kitchen - and two big black labs. When she's not posting to the HGTV Instagram account or writing happy hour blog posts, she's pinning decorating ideas that she aspires to one day actually accomplish.

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  • a set of four free k
  • Backsplash all the w
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POSTS BY Abbi McCollum

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There are many big issues facing the country on this summer Friday. Obviously, the most important of them all is what to order as your drink of choice when the work bell rings and you head to happy hour. We recommend creating a fruity smorgasbord of deliciousness with a pitcher of sangria. Whether you are a fan of the white wine or the red wine variety, either party can agree that sipping on a tall, cold glass of sangria will eventually lead to happiness, camaraderie and yes, even world peace (or at least peace on your patio of choice).

Foodnetwork.com California Rose Punch

FoodNetwork.com's California Rose Punch

Happy Hour Style: The Beauty of Bar Carts

Foodnetwork.com Tropical Sangria

FoodNetwork.com's Tropical Sangria

Sangria also scores on the fruit front. Drinking a glass comes with a healthy shot of vitamin C from the wine soaked oranges, nectarines and berries. Head to the market and fill up your cart in the fruit aisle and then grab a bottle of your favorite vino. You are set for a sangria summer night.

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It might not have shown up on your calendar today as a date to remember, but August 10 is officially National S’mores Day. What better way to celebrate such a holiday than by roasting up this delicious treat and sipping fun drinks on a glamorous camping trip – otherwise known as “glamping.” We’ve got tips for throwing the perfect backyard camping party and a chocolate cocktail to keep you cool on hot summer nights.

Happy Hour Cocktails: The Full Collection

Glamping Tip 1: Whether you are glamping in your backyard or in the woods, there are a few things to remember when setting up your campsite. Always make sure to pitch the tent on level ground. Clear sticks and stones away beforehand. Pick a tent (or canopy or fort made out of blankets) that fits your needs. Want to set up a table with enough chairs for friends? You’ll need a bit more coverage than if your glamping adventure is a snug little area for two.

Tips for Glamourous Camping Glamping

Glamping Tip 2: Throw an outdoor dinner party during your glamping trip. Invite friends over for a barbecue, buffet dinner, or sit-down dinner – just remember to keep the theme casual and the clean up quick and easy.

Tips for Glamourous Camping Glamping

Glamping Tip 3: Serve a signature cocktail.This twist on a hot chocolate drink is perfect to cool your guests off on a hot summer night.

Texican Tailgate Cocoa Freeze Cocktail Recipe

Cocoa Freeze Cocktail Recipe

So, call up your friends, mix up some drinks and stoke the fire. You’ve got s’mores to make and glamping to do!

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It’s hard to imagine a summer cookout with out one staple item: a tray filled with giant slices of watermelon. This refreshing treat screams summer. But, when you get down to it, it can also scream mess – it’s not the easiest food to eat. The solution for having your watermelon and drinking it too? A watermelon cocktail.

Happy Hour Cocktails: The Full Collection

Whether you prefer frozen or on the rocks, these watermelon libations are the perfect way to update your weekend cookout. Click on the pictures below to get check out these recipes.

Frozen Waterberry Batida

Get the Recipe: Frozen Waterberry Batida

 

Mellow Melon Margarita

Get the Recipe: Mellow Melon Margarita

 

Find more ideas for easy recipes for a summer party.
 

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Bob and Cortney Novogratz are back with all new designs, amazing home makeovers and celebrity guests on the second season of Home by Novogratz. The Novogratzes, a New York-based husband and wife design team, bring their unique sense of style and bold ideas to their latest projects, including transforming a room for Ree Drummond (The Pioneer Woman) and a ski lodge for skateboarding pro Tony Hawk.

Home By Novogratz - Cortney and Bob Novogratz and Ree Drummond, The Pioneer Woman

Bob and Cortney Novogratz with Ree Drummond, The Pioneer Woman

Season two begins with the Novogratzes traveling with their daughters Bellamy and Tallulah to Oklahoma to give The Pioneer Woman’s daughters a brand new bedroom retreat. They face quite a challenge (not that they aren’t used to challenges with raising seven kids) when it comes to updating the long attic room to make it tween friendly.

Home By Novogratz - Cortney and Bob Novogratz and Ree Drummond, The Pioneer Woman

The Novogratz family and the Drummond family

Check out a behind-the-scenes sneak peek of the project below and tune in Saturday, August 4 at 7pm/6c to see the final reveal of the Drummond girls’ new bedroom.

Home By Novogratz - Cortney and Bob Novogratz and Ree Drummond, The Pioneer Woman

The bedroom before the makeover.

 

Home By Novogratz - Cortney and Bob Novogratz and Ree Drummond, The Pioneer Woman

Bob and Cortney plan the bedroom makeover.

 

Home By Novogratz - Cortney and Bob Novogratz and Ree Drummond, The Pioneer Woman

The bedroom makeover in progress.

 

Home By Novogratz - Cortney and Bob Novogratz and Ree Drummond, The Pioneer Woman  /

Bob and Cortney Novogratz

Check out season two of Home by Novogratz starting Saturday, August 4 at 7pm/6c.

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Tonight marks the beginning of the 2012 Olympic Games. Athletes from around the world are gathering in London to compete for personal glory and honor their home countries, after training  for years to get to this point. If that’s not an occasion to raise a glass in their honor, I don’t know what is. Whip up one of the following Olympic-style cocktails for an Opening Ceremonies viewing party, and cheer on your favorite athletes.

Happy Hour Cocktails: The Full Collection

Inspired by the dedicated Olympians who have trained oh-so-early in the morning, the Early Riser cocktail is the perfect drink to sip while you watch their hard work pay off from the comfort of your sofa:

Olympic Early RiserOlympic Early Riser

Early Riser
1-1/2 oz. rum
1/2 oz. coconut flavored rum
1 oz. fresh mango juice
1 oz. pineapple juice
Pour ingredients into an ice-filled cocktail shaker. Shake vigorously and strain into a tall glass. Garnish with maraschino cherries and orange slices.

Or, take a shot of patriotism with the Red, White and Blue Shooter:

Red, White and Blue ShooterRed, White and Blue Shooter

Red, White and Blue Shooter
1/5 oz. grenadine
2/3 oz. sambuca
1/3 oz. blue curaçao
1/3 oz. vodka
Build ingredients in order in shot glass.

Want more summer party ideas? Check out 11 of our favorite low-key summer party ideas.

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Don’t let the title of this blog confuse you – we aren’t saying that as a result of today’s happy hour you should hop, skip and go naked (but hey, it is summer…and it is hot out). Instead, keep your clothes on and enjoy some of this fun summer punch. In addition to having a name that in itself is a great conversation piece, Hop Skip and Go Naked Punch is also a favorite because it has something for everyone. With a recipe that calls for cold beer AND whiskey, you know you can’t lose.

Hop Skip and Go Naked PunchHop Skip and Go Naked Punch

The recipe calls for six cans of beer, a pint of whiskey, a can of frozen lemonade and two liters of soda. In other words, it’s meant to be shared with friends. So whip up a batch and invite the neighbors over, surprise your coworkers with an afternoon treat or be the most popular person at your family reunion.

Happy Hour Cocktails: The Full Collection

The punch can of course be made without the alcohol and the fizzy lemonade mixture would surely be welcome on a hot summer afternoon. However, that drink might just be called Hop Skip Punch because we are fairly sure that that naked part goes hand in hand with the whiskey and beer. Enjoy!

See more tips for summer entertaining including cool drinks, party tips and chic centerpieces.

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The heat of summer can be overwhelming. When temperatures soar into the 100′s, the last thing you want is a warm glass of red wine or a heavy beer. You need to cool off with a fresh, minty treat – a mojito. This simple drink screams summer and is the perfect accessory to relax with by the pool (or on the driveway, on the beach, in a fancy restaurant – it’s very versatile!).

Classic Mojito RecipeClassic Mojitos

Once you’ve made your simple syrup, mix in rum, lime juice and soda water. Head to your garden (or grocery store) for a few sprigs of mint and you have the perfect warm weather refreshment.

Happy Hour Cocktails: The Full Collection

If you prefer to cool off without alcohol, then this mocktail needs to be added to your beverage rotation. The fresh taste of grapefruit paired with mint is a taste that’s not to be missed.

Virgin Grapefruit MojitoVirgin Grapefruit Mojito

So raise your glass to summer and say cheers to mojitos!

Find more great mojito recipes on Food.com.

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It’s Friday afternoon and the work bell is about to ring. We all know what that means – happy hour! It’s that time to grab some friends, your favorite drinks and gather to celebrate having survived the hectic workweek.

Happy Hour Cocktails: The Full Collection

If it’s as hot outside where you are as it is where I am, you may want to consider adding a twist to tonight’s happy hour. Instead of drinks for everyone, go for ice-cold popsicles. “Popsicles?!,” you ask. Oh yes! These aren’t the popsicles you slurped as a child. No, these are specially made for the over-21 crowd. Just look at these tasty treats.

Strawberry Peach Vodka Collins Popsicles: EndlessSummer.com

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Dan Faires, the Design Star season five fan favorite and host of DanMade, presented at the 19th annual Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival presented by HGTV at Walt Disney World over Easter weekend. Dan demonstrated how to plant with a terrarium and how to go vertical with a clever container garden. Check out Dan’s tips for terrariums and vertical gardens:

With Mother’s Day less than a month away, it’s time to start thinking about gifts. If your mother is anything like mine, she will love this Danmade Planterfall. It’s practical, affordable, and is perfect for anyone who likes to garden.

DanMade Planterfall Container Garden

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Dan Faires, the Design Star season five fan favorite and host of DanMade, presented at the 19th annual Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival presented by HGTV at Walt Disney World over Easter weekend. Dan demonstrated how to plant with a terrarium and how to go vertical with a clever container garden. Check out Dan’s tips for terrariums and vertical gardens:

Hi HGTV’ers!

Spring has SPRUNG and it’s great to be able to share some of the latest Danmade gardening projects with you here on the blog. My hope is that you will be inspired and want to jump right in and get your hands dirty this weekend.

This Danmade Vertical Garden is not only simple, it is perfect for anyone with limited green space. It can also be mounted inside on the wall. As a designer, people often ask me what type of artwork to use or what to hang on the walls that will provide an unexpected focal point in the space. The Danmade Vertical Garden is a great addition in any room and it won’t break the bank either.

DanMade Vertical Garden

The steps to creating your very own Danmade Vertical Garden are:

1. Find or purchase any old crate. I literally got this one out of the trash in New York City, but you can usually find them at any flea market or thrift store. The crate I am using is relatively small, but you could expand this principle and make your Danmade Vertical Garden as big as you want!
2. Purchase seed starter cells at any hardware store or nursery. I have chosen these 100% natural fiber cells because they are eco-friendly and absorb moisture well. You could also use plastic seed starter cells.
3. Cut the seed starter cells so that they fit snuggly into the crate.
4. Purchase some chicken wire or wire mesh at your local hardware store. This will serve as a barrier to hold the plants in place when the planter is hung vertically on the wall.
5. Cut the chicken wire or wire mesh so that it fits very tightly inside of the crate. *Remove the wire before proceeding to the next step.
6. Place dirt inside of seed starter cells
7. Install plants into individual cells.
8. Re-insert wire mesh making sure to be very careful with plants. Pull any plants through holes in the wire. For larger plants, cut bigger holes in wire if necessary, making sure to keep the wire as tight as possible. For larger Danmade Vertical Gardens I would recommend stapling the wire in place onto the crate.
9. The final step is to add moss. Wedge the moss as tight as you can in any gaps. This will help the dirt and plant material from falling out until the roots systems get established. It also looks much more aesthetically pleasing and helps absorb much needed moisture for the plants in your Danmade Vertical Garden.

Since everyone loved the animated terrarium how to, I thought I’d include one here as well:

DanMade Vertical Garden

A few important points to note about the Danmade Vertical Garden:
1. This hangs on the wall, just like a picture frame. You can use a cleat, or purchase frame hanging wire from your local hardware store.
2. To water your Danmade Vertical Garden simply remove it from the wall once a week, lay it flat on the ground and soak it with the water hose outside, or inside in the shower. Leave it for 2 to 5 minutes so that the excess moisture drips away, and then bring it back inside to hang vertically on the wall.

If you missed my last blog about terrariums, check it out here to learn how to create this simple container garden.

Have a GREEN day! Be sure to leave any questions or comments below and I will try to answer them as soon as possible. Also, if you decide to make your own Danmade Vertical Garden I would love to see photos!

Daniel Grady Faires
Host of HGTV.com’s DanMade

  • Tell Your Friends

Dan Faires, the Design Star season five fan favorite and host of DanMade, presented at the 19th annual Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival presented by HGTV at Walt Disney World over Easter weekend. Dan demonstrated how to plant with a terrarium and how to go vertical with a clever container garden. Check out Dan’s tips for terrariums and vertical gardens:

As a first time presenter at the Flower and Garden Festival, I really had no clue what to expect. I found myself on stage with an audience full of fellow plant lovers. The response was greater than I could ever have imagined and all of the people who were at the presentations had great questions and feedback.

Dan Faires EPCOT Flower and Garden Show

I covered a lot of gardening tips, tricks, and DIY tutorials including the Danmade Vertical Garden, Danmade Planterfall, and Danmade Terrarium. Many of the visitors asked me to post instructions and photos on HGTV.com so they could use them as a reference and share them with friends and family. I hope that if you missed the presentations, you will still be inspired by one of these three Danmade projects.

Terrariums are currently a very big trend in design and a lot of people in the audience were excited to go home and make one of their own. These easy, miniature gardens are a great way to bring the outdoors in or for anyone who has a black thumb. They make great gifts, and are a great way to get children started with gardening. From a design perspective, terrariums are also one of the best ways to make a bold statement in any space.

The basic steps for making your own terrarium are very simple:
1.) Select your glass terrarium of choice either online or at multiple retailers. Make sure to consider where you will be placing your terrarium in your space because the sizes and shapes are endless.
2.) Add gravel or stone to the base of the terrarium to provide additional drainage if necessary.
3.) Add an inch or two of potting soil.
4.) Insert your plants.
5.) Add green moss, Spanish moss, or mulch to fill in and help maintain moisture.
6.) Enjoy your new “miniature garden” in your home and watch your friends admire your new creation!

Dan Faires Terrarium How To

During the presentation I gave three basic terrarium tips:

1.) Don’t feel like you have to spend a fortune on plants to make your terrarium beautiful. Because these gardens are so small, all you need are a few clippings from your existing garden. Succulents work great for this because you can remove baby sprouts from the mother plant that have small adventitious roots that will soon develop into an entire fibrous root system. If you have time, I would suggest starting your baby plants in seed starter kits so that their root systems can develop a bit, but if not you can plant them directly into the terrarium and watch them thrive.

2.) Moss is BOSS! Cheesy tagline, I know, however this is SO TRUE. Moss will fill the dead space between your plants and add that finishing touch. Moss also absorbs moisture very well and will help maintain the humid environment that will help the plants in your terrarium prosper. You can use any type of moss and can find it at any plant nursery, but also keep your eyes peeled because you don’t need much. I scraped mine off of a shaded cobblestone side-street here in Manhattan.

3.) Invest in a spray bottle. I killed a lot of plants as a youngster by neglecting them for weeks and then trying to over water them. With terrariums, all you need are a few sprays per week to keep your plants happy. The spray bottle spreads the moisture out evenly and prevents over-watering which can lead to root-rot.

Another tip that I would give to those of you who might be discouraged by the prices of these leaded glass terrariums is, get creative. I found a large vase at a thrift store for $3 and it has worked perfectly to display my daffodils that are about to bloom!

I will be posting how-to steps and photos for the remaining Danmade projects – the Danmade Vertical Garden and the Danmade Planterfall – on HGTV.com in the next few days, so be sure to check back.

Dan Faires Vertical Garden Planterfall

Daniel Grady Faires
Host of HGTV.com’s DanMade

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If you haven’t checked out HGTV’s new show, Dear Genevieve, what are you waiting for? It’s one of the network’s newest makeover shows, and it’s hosted by a designer you may recognize. I first fell for Genevieve Gorder when she was an unpretentious, bouncy, barefooted designer on Trading Spaces whose work was almost always wow-worthy. As the host and designer of Dear Genevieve, she’s slightly more composed but just as passionate. From what I’ve seen so far, Genevieve carries her own show with grace and exuberance and offers up plenty of good design and creative ideas to boot.

If you’ve missed Dear Genevieve, here’s a look back and a sneak peek of the episode premiering tonight at 8:30 p.m. On the show’s premiere, Genevieve went above and beyond for a family of six, even taking them to get their first family photos in more than a decade for wall art that’s truly memorable. Genevieve created several storage solutions and activity zones and left this deserving family with a stylish, functional space. Check it out!

Before: A Space Plan That Wasn't Working and a Lack of Storage, Organization and Style

Before: A Space Plan That Wasn't Working

After: Fabulous for the Entire Family

After: Fabulous for the Entire Family

In tonight’s episode, Genevieve takes on a dark, paneled basement.
Before: Boxed-In and Mismatched Basement

Before: Boxed-In and Mismatched Basement

After: Colorful and Current
After: Colorful, Current and Personalized

Like what you see? Get in on it! Upload your problem room(s) here and Genevieve just might knock on your door! Be specific about your design dilemma, and be sure to show off your family’s personality in your video.

And, please. Tell us what you think about Dear Genevieve.

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