ALL POSTS IN Entertaining

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Prime picnic weather is here and the unofficial summer kick-off is right around the corner. But before we totally jump into the sweltering summer months, let’s enjoy one more vibrant spring picnic inspired by the season’s hottest hues and flavors.

Host a Spring Picnic

1. Wear This: Printed Empire-Waist Maxi Dress + Everyday Cardigan. Across the country, the weather is beginning to feel nice and toasty. We love this soft, sleeveless maxi dress in a pretty paisley print. The shades of green and turquoise are perfect for spring but take us right into summer, too. And we know spring and summer nights are super fickle; sometimes they’re humid and sometimes they’re bitterly cool. This everyday cardigan is perfect to throw on when the sun goes down.

2. Listen to This: x by Ed Sheeran. If the sun is shining and cocktails are flowing, then the day surely needs a soundtrack. I suggest something upbeat and edgy with a flow like Ed Sheeran’s ‘x’. Kick off your shoes and dance in the grass for this album. If anyone stays seated, then you may need to rethink your guest list next time.

3. Sip This: Lemonade SparklerWhen you need a boozy refresher, combine fresh lemonade with vodka, triple sec and cranberry juice, then (and here comes the fun part) rim the glass with Pop Rocks candy for a fun embellishment. I bet you can’t even remember the last time you had Pop Rocks! Get the recipe >>

4. Decorate With This: DIY ArrangementMaking your own flower arrangements is so much easier than you think. Use inexpensive grocery store blooms or flowers straight from your garden, and follow these quick tips to get professional-looking centerpieces in minutes. Our stunning arrangement was made by simply upcycling an attractive vegetable can.

5. Eat This: Light Spring Fare. When it’s warm outside, the last thing you want to have at a picnic is hot, heavy food. Keep fare light; think bite-size sandwiches, salads and fruit. You can even switch up the classic cheese and meat tray by creating sandwich kabobs with meat, cherry tomatoes, basil, cheese and bread. Kids and adults both will love these savory treats.

6. Make This: Watercolor Tablecloth/Picnic BlanketCreate a stylish conversation starter among guests with this hand-painted watercolor tablecloth (or picnic blanket!) made from a canvas drop cloth and water-based paint.

Brought to you by J.Jill. Helping you feel good and look great is what we do. We design easy, relaxed, inspired style for Misses, Petite, Women’s and Tall. You could say we make getting dressed a breeze.

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Your classic margarita goes as follows: tequila, triple sec, (fresh!) lime juice, ice and salt for the rim — simple with a kick. This year, we’re celebrating Cinco de Mayo by taking the classic margarita and transforming it with the season’s most enticing fruits, vegetables and spices. From coconut and blood orange to chopped mango, we’ve got six new ways to amp up your margarita game.

Pomegranate Lava Margarita

Photo and recipe courtesy of Cantina Rooftop Restaurant & Lounge

Mixologist and tequila expert Jay Silverman uses a delicious blend of summer fruits to give this margarita both a savory and fruity taste.

  • 2 ounces blanco tequila
  • 1 ounce pomegranate molasses
  • 1/2 ounce blood orange juice
  • 1/2 ounce pomegranate juice
  • 1 ounce lime juice
  • 5 ounces Mandarine Napoleon
  • smoked gray salt, for rim
  • lime wheel, for garnish

1. Rim a rocks glass with smoked gray salt.

2. Combine fruit juices, Mandarine Napoleon, pomegranate molasses and tequila in a cocktail shaker. Shake well.

3. Serve over fresh ice in the glass.

4. Garnish with a lime wheel.

FIVE MORE SIMPLE + DELISH MARGARITA RECIPES

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Derby Day is upon us! Once you’ve found the perfect Derby hat or seersucker suit, it’s time to tackle another Churchill Downs staple: the Mint Julep.

Mint Julep Recipe  + Tips - HGTV Design Blog Design Happens
This classic Kentucky drink seems simple, but a few simple changes will take your julep from basic to best-ever. Here’s how to kick it up this year.

Find the right mint: Any type of spearmint will yield a delicious cocktail, but Churchill Downs officially sanctions the “Kentucky Colonel” variety in its Derby Day drinks. Check your local farmers’ market for live plants or herb bunches.

Flavor up your simple syrup: Making simple syrup is, in a word, simple. For a basic variety, combine equal parts sugar and water in a saucepan, then cook over medium heat until the sugar has dissolved completely. Add more flavor to the mix by adding chopped mint leaves before you heat. Once the sugar is dissolved, strain the mixture and refrigerate until ready to use.

Muddle, muddle, muddle: Muddling the mint in the bottom of the glass helps release the oils in the herb, yielding a more flavorful cocktail. No muddler in your kitchen? Use the handle of a wooden spoon or a chopstick.

Pick the right spirits: This is where personal preference comes in. Bourbons are typically made from rye or wheat, with the rye varieties having a spicier bite and the wheat varieties developing a smoother, sweeter finish. (Read more about the best bourbons for mint juleps here.) The sweeter (wheat) varieties, especially those on the younger side (read: aged 5 years or less) tend to work well for this type of drink. For tradition’s sake, it’s always a good idea to select a bourbon made in Kentucky for this cocktail.

Make better ice cubes: Freeze distilled water for perfectly clear ice cubes that won’t affect the flavor of your cocktail as they melt. Crush the ice in the blender and fill your cups halfway with ice before stirring up your drinks.

Get the right serving gear: Silver julep cups are most traditional — the best versions have a copper core to keep the drink frosty as you sip. No julep cups? Serve in a highball glass.

Make juleps for a crowd: To make this drink for a group, set out an ice bucket filled with crushed ice, a carafe full of mint simple syrup, fresh mint leaves, and the bourbon of your choice. Write out your mint julep recipe on a card or chalkboard to empower guests to be their own bartender.

Save your simple syrup: Celebrating derby day solo? Keep your mint simple syrup fresh for the next spring cocktail. Try this tip from our friends over at DIY Network’s Made + Remade: Add a little vodka. It doesn’t affect the taste, and will help prolong its life in the fridge.

What are your tips for better mint juleps? Leave your bar advice in the comments below.

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I’ll be embarking on my 7th journey to sunny Mexico in three weeks (eek!), so I’m currently obsessed with all things taco and tequila. But to be honest, I adore everything about Mexican culture; the people, the crafts and of course, the food. So needless to say, I’ll be going all out for my Cinco de Mayo celebrations on Tuesday with a full day of cooking and eating. Join me in celebrating with these fiesta-worthy recipe ideas for breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert and more!

BREAKFAST: PIONEER WOMAN’S HEARTY BURRITOS

Image courtesy of Food Network

¡Buenos días! Get your day going with a hearty breakfast burrito that’s just spicy enough to wake you up. This recipe from The Pioneer Woman, Ree Drummond, kicks off the festivities with hot sausage, Monterey Jack cheese, jalapeños and crispy potatoes. Get the recipe here >>

LUNCH: CARNE ADOBO SKEWERS + AVOCADO FRIES

Carne adobo skewers and avocado fries

Set the patio table and gas up the grill for a lunch of fresh carne adobo skewers paired with some crispy avocado fries — a unique take on Mexico’s most famous fruit.

APPETIZER: QUESO FUNDIDO

Quick and easy queso fundido recipes

Switch up the plain queso this year with these three easy and flavorful queso fundido dips that will satisfy meat lovers, seafood fans and vegetarians alike. Simply serve them with warm tortillas chips. Get the recipes here >>

Tortilla chips also pair great with this go-to guacamole >>

More Fiesta-Worthy Bites

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Alright, D-Hap readers. I need you to go way back in your memory banks for a minute. Back in 2012 and 2013 we shared some beautiful design vignettes created by our Home Studio interns that focused on both current and iconic design trends. Aspiring interior designer Justin DiPiero spent two quarters as an HGTV design intern and I’ve been shamelessly Insta-stalking him ever since he left.

Fast forward to 2015 and Justin is now a Homepolish interior designer in New York City. But finding the perfect job came with a bit of a nightmarish task — house hunting in the Big Apple. After finding the perfect spot in Brooklyn, he wanted to throw a city-style housewarming party to thank his friends for hosting him during his search. Certainly one of the perks of being an interior designer is being able to source beautiful products and inspiration to throw a killer soiree on a budget, and that’s just what he did. We love how he infused coastal style with elements found in NYC’s Chinatown. Check it out:

Justin’s Party Tips:

I tried to bring my two worlds together. Since I went to school in the South and identify myself as Southern, I wanted to pay tribute to the past but also inject some of the present; that’s what led the look and decor for the party.

Homepolish Housewarming Party

Homepolish Housewarming Party

Chic + Budget-Friendly Party Ideas

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Editors’ note: Today, we’re welcoming wedding designer and HGTV.com contributor Michelle Edgemont to share her wedding-planning savvy in a new series we’re calling Wedding Survival Guide. Recently engaged? Read on for advice from Michelle, and from couples who have planned a wedding — and lived to tell the tale.

You’re engaged…now what? You’ve shared the news with friends and family, so now it’s time to start some serious wedding planning. It can be very overwhelming to plan what is probably the biggest party of your lives. Learn from those who’ve done it before by consulting with newlyweds. A few of my past wedding design clients have kindly shared their tips for what to do first after the proposal.

DECIDE WHAT’S IMPORTANT

brooklyn bride and groom at liberty warehouse

Hart and Sol Photo

Liz and Tim were married in an open loft venue, Liberty Warehouse, in Brooklyn. Liz says, “Our decisions were based on what had been important to us throughout our ten year relationship. Brooklyn was where we fell in love and lived together in our first apartment.” Use her advice and make a list of anything and everything that is important to you both or had a huge impact in your relationship. This brainstorming session can help you decide what city to be married in.

CHOOSE YOUR EVENT SIZE

modern indian wedding ceremony

Our Labor of Love

In a multicultural event, Nisha and Brendan were married in a modern, Hindu ceremony. “We both really wanted an outdoor ceremony. Afterwards, we moved the party to a beautiful indoor reception space. The space perfectly accommodated our number of guests,” Nisha says.  Nisha makes a great point here about guest count. The number of loved ones you invite is going to make a huge impact on your ceremony and reception venue choices. Some spaces can’t hold over 200 people, while others might have minimum guest counts on weekends that wouldn’t allow for small weddings. Knowing a rough guest count before you start your venue search is key in finding the right event space for you.

DON’T OD ON INSPIRATION

colorful modern indian wedding reception

Our Labor of Love

Nisha, an Indian bride planning a colorful, whimsical wedding, loved looking at inspiration online right after she was engaged. A few months into the design process, she realized it was better to stay true to what they wanted as a couple instead of constantly looking at all of the wonderful wedding images online. I love this advice! After you get engaged, spend some time getting familiar with classic wedding decor by browsing blogs and magazines. Then, discuss what types of decor are important with your fiance. Make a list, stick to it, and cut your wedding blog browsing down to once a week in order to avoid getting overwhelmed with inspiration.

REAL TALK: TIME TO BUDGET

pink escort cards

brklyn view photography

Ah, the budget. This step is the most uncomfortable and the most important. How much money do you have to spend? Whether you are eloping or having a 300-guest black tie affair, your wedding is going to cost at least the amount of your marriage license. Decisions cannot be made in the planning process unless you know how much money you have. Talk with your fiance and both sets of parents about the amount of cash everyone is able and willing to contribute. No one likes to talk about money. It might be awkward. Someone might get upset/angry/disappointed. But, when the conversations are over, you’ll have an amount to work with. It could be $5,000 or $50,000. Either way, you’ll know where you stand, and what you can afford.

You’ll be glad you spent the time thinking about what you really want and can afford when the process gets rolling.

So tell me: Which of these steps have you taken? What wedding questions are stumping you? I’m here to help.

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Let the kiddos get in on the food prep this Easter with these fun, easy and super adorable recipe ideas that require minimal ingredients and no baking. Plus, each recipe contains either fruits, dairy or protein presented in a fun way for little ones with picky palates.

BUNNY PARFAIT

Bunny Parfait

Photo and recipe courtesy of Yoplait

Hop into spring with a tasty parfait made with layers of just three simple ingredients.

Yield: 1 parfait

  • 1 Yoplait Original French Vanilla Yogurt
  • 1 small can sliced peaches or fresh sliced peaches
  • 1 handful Annie’s Honey Bunny Grahams

1. Layer yogurt and peaches in a bowl.

2. Top with a handful of bunny grahams.

HATCHING CHICK EGG

Hatching Chick Egg for Easter

Eggs — hard-boiled, deviled, dyed and plastic — are an Easter staple. But you can take a simple hard-boiled egg to the next level with a few simple materials and ingredients. Seriously, this is adorable.

Get the step-by-step instructions >>

More Fun Bites for Kids

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You’re never too old to decorate Easter eggs! So, while the kids are having their fun, you can have yours — cocktail in hand.

CHERRY PEEPS COCKTAIL

Cherry Peeps Cocktail Recipe

Photo and recipe by Michelle Edgemont

An unexpected take on a dessert cocktail, this creamy beverage is garnished with your favorite Easter treat — Peeps!

Get the recipe >>

DEW DROP COCKTAIL

Easter Dew Drop Cocktail Recipe

Photo and recipe courtesy of Jung Lee and Clos du Bois

Serves One

  • 4 ounces Clos du Bois California Chardonnay
  • 2 ounces gin
  • 2 ounces grapefruit juice
  • 1-2 ounces simple syrup
  • grapefruit slice, for garnish

1. Create a simple syrup by adding water and sugar to a small saucepan; bring to a boil. Stir until the sugar completely dissolves, then remove pan from heat.

2. Shake all ingredients with ice, and serve in champagne coupes or vintage tea cups. Finish with a grapefruit slice.

4 More Spring Concoctions to Try

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I love celebrating Easter with a delicious brunch that celebrates sunshine, flowers and all things spring, but I’m terrible when it comes to planning ahead! I’ve been thinking about throwing an Easter brunch for my friends this year, and was looking for some tablescape inspiration (because like any true Southern gal who entertains, I take my table settings seriously), when I remembered a beautiful yet casual brunch setting by ladies at Caitlin & Caitlin from the sophisticated Los Angeles loft that was the winning entry in our Fresh Faces of Design contest.

Caitlin McCarthy and Caitlin Murray aren’t just a talented design duo; they also know how to entertain in style! The best part of this setup is that it’s elegant while managing to be casual and easy to pull together at the last minute, so it’s just the kind of inspiration I need to get my act together.

Loft Kitchen and Dining Room

Design by Caitlin & Caitlin

The dining area is located in a pass-through between the kitchen and bedroom of Caitlin McCarthy’s 725-square-foot loft located in a 100-year-old former office building. This spot was once a bathroom, and the tile floor below the table is original to the space.

Dining Table Made From Garden Trellis

Design by Caitlin & Caitlin

The table is made from a garden trellis set on a table base and topped with glass cut to fit the frame. Rather than opting for perfectly matched chairs, Caitlin McCarthy collected a variety of chairs she loved in various styles and colors. This look can work whether the mismatched look is intentional or not, which means it’s easy to accommodate as many friends at brunch as you can given your space and number of chairs.

Brunch Table Setting

Design by Caitlin & Caitlin

I absolutely love this table setting. It’s another example of how items don’t have to match one another, as long as they complement each other. And see that flatware? Looks like hints of last month’s Color of the Month!

Brunch Decor and Grapefruit Cocktail

Design by Caitlin & Caitlin

Host the Perfect Easter Brunch

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Congratulations to the giveaway winner, Ashley!

Welcome to Spring Essentials, a Design Happens mini-series where we’ll highlight our favorite products to help you get your home ready for spring. The fourth installment: Kitchen tools that will help you turn spring produce into a delicious feast. See our product picks, then enter for a chance to win one of these tools for your home.

Felicia has you digging in the garden in style, so you’re going to need to do something with all the fresh greens, asparagus, peas and other fresh spring produce that sprouts from your soil. Using the right kitchen tools makes a world of difference in making cooking with fruits and veggies easy and enjoyable. Grab these tools and get cooking so that you can take advantage of the beautiful spring bounty!

Spring Kitchen Tools 2015

1. Chef’n SpinCycle Salad Spinner: Give your greens and herbs a good wash to get them fully clean, and then rid them of excess water to keep them crisp with this handy salad spinner. The Chef’n SpinCycle comes in a cute spring green color and lays flat for handy storage. ($25)

2. KAI for Williams-Sonoma Chef’s Knife, 8-inch: Every good chef has a quality knife, and a chef’s knife is the perfect workhorse for slicing, chopping and dicing just about anything — especially spring produce. The 8-inch KAI for Williams-Sonoma Chef’s Knife comes in a bright, bold red that is perfect for spring. ($19.95)

3. Cuisinart MultiClad Pro Triple-Ply Stainless Universal Steamer With Lid: Steaming is one of the healthiest and easiest ways to cook fresh produce, and it’s a great way to make veggies easier to eat without losing their bright flavors. This universal steamer from Cuisinart fits inside 2-, 3- and 4-quart saucepans so that you can choose the cooking vessel that works best at any given time. ($34.99)

4. Full Circle Fresh Air Compost Collector: If you’re cooking with veggies and fruits, you’ll end up with scraps which you’ll want to compost and use to add nutrients back to your garden (circle of life!). The Full Circle Fresh Air Compost Collector allows oxygen to easily flow through your organic waste, reducing odor and preventing fruit flies. A win for everyone! ($29.95)

5. Kate Spade New York Melamine Collection: When you’re done preparing your meal, how about serve your delicious culinary creation to friends and family on the back patio? The cute dishes in the Kate Spade New York Melamine Collection come in fun colors with festive sayings and won’t shatter if dropped. ($14-$40)

Are you ready to start cooking? One lucky Design Happens reader will win a Full Circle Fresh Air Compost Collector, just in time for Earth Day. 

To enter for a chance to win, leave a comment below. This giveaway’s question: What spring vegetable or fruit have you been looking forward to eating the most?

You may only comment once to be considered, and you don’t have to purchase anything to win; a purchase will not increase your chances of winning. Odds depend on total number of entries. Void where prohibited by law. Only open to legal residents of 50 U.S., D.C. or Puerto Rico, and you must be at least 18 years of age to win. All entries (comments) must be entered between 4:00 p.m. ET on April 2, 2015 and 6:00 p.m. ET on April 3, 2015. Subject to full official rules. By leaving a comment on the blog, you acknowledge your acceptance to the Official Rules. ARV of prizes: $30. Sponsor: Scripps Networks, LLC, d/b/a HGTV, 9721 Sherrill Boulevard, Knoxville, TN 37932.

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Congratulations to the giveaway winner, Jennifer H.!

Believe it or not, Easter is the second highest candy-consuming holiday in America — right behind Halloween, of course. It’s no wonder, with several popular candy brands featuring Easter editions every year. Who wouldn’t love egg-shaped chocolates covered in pastel-colored candy coating? If you aren’t quite sure which candy to fill your kids’ (or your own) baskets with this year, we’ve listed our favorites you can buy — or if you’re feeling ambitious — DIY!

DIY: Chocolate Coconut Candy

These white- and dark-chocolate covered coconut balls have a delicious filling made with real raspberries. Place them in your kid’s Easter basket, or wrap them in cellophane for guests to enjoy after Easter brunch.

Chocolate Coconut Candy

Get the Recipe>>

MORE CANDY TO BUY OR DIY

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As you guys have probably figured out by now, I just love a pretty dining table. But let’s be real: who can afford to completely trick out their table for every major holiday? I certainly can’t. With this in mind, I set out to create a fresh, pretty Easter table setting made from materials you can find at the grocery store for literally just a few bucks: Coffee filter flowers.

Make Your Own Coffee Filter Flowers

Want to make this project for your Easter table? Click through to learn how to make this project.

DIY Coffee Filter Flowers

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smoothies
Spring is right around the corner, and by right around the corner, we mean tomorrow. “Wait, what?!” That’s right. Even though it may not feel like spring is in the air, warmer weather, sunshine, and yes, shorts and swim suits, will be a reality before you know it.

So as we adjust our closets from cable knits to maxi dresses, let’s make some changes in the kitchen, too. These healthy smoothies are just the light and fresh recipes to help you make the transition.

Get the Recipes

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Happy St. Patrick’s Day, party people! I couldn’t pass up this holiday without sharing some downright mouthwatering cocktails that just happen to be — you guessed it — green. (Or, topped with green sprinkles at least!)

SOMETHING DECADENT

Irish Root Beer Float Recipe

Photo and recipe courtesy of Elegant Affairs

  • 1 ounce Root Beer Schnapps
  • 1 bottle root beer soda
  • 1 ounce Bailey’s Irish Cream
  • 3 scoops vanilla ice cream
  • ice
  • whipped cream, for garnish
  • green sugar crystals, for garnish

1. Mix all of the ingredients in a blender, except for the soda.

2. Pour into a frosted beer mug or an Irish coffee mug, then pour in the soda.

3. Top with whipped cream and green sugar crystals for a sweet and festive touch.

SOMETHING REFRESHING

Lucky Leprechaun Cocktail Recipe

Photo and recipe courtesy of SVEDKA Vodka

  • 2 ounces SVEDKA Vodka
  • 3/4 part fresh lime juice
  • 3/4 part simple syrup
  • 4 mint sprigs
  • green sugar crystals, for garnish

1. Create a simple syrup by adding water and sugar to a small saucepan; bring to a boil. Stir until the sugar completely dissolves, then remove pan from heat.

2. Muddle mint at the bottom of a Pilsner glass and build your drink on top over crushed ice (except for bitters, mint and sugar crystals).

3. Agitate with a spoon (or swizzle), making sure not to disturb the mint at the bottom.

4. Top with ice, rim with green sugar crystals and garnish with mint.

SOMETHING HEALTHY

Green Leprechaun Kale Cocktail Recipe

Photo and recipe courtesy of Sakara Life

  • 4 ounces tequila (or any spirit you prefer)
  • 1 ounce ginger juice
  • 1/2 cup pineapple juice
  • 1/2 cup kale juice
  • 1/2 lime
  • ice, for shaking
  • frozen pomegranate seeds, for garnish

1. In a cocktail shaker, combine ice, liquor, ginger juice, pineapple juice, kale juice and lime.

2. Shake until all ingredients are mixed together and drink is chilled from the ice.

3. Strain and pour into a cocktail glass.

4. Top with frozen pomegranate seeds and an extra squeeze of lime.

What festive recipes are you whipping up today? Let us kn0w (aka share your yummy secrets!).

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So, I’m with Marianne. I don’t love St. Patrick’s Day. I do, however, adore the color green and love a good party, so cheers! With only a few days until the BIG day, you’re probably looking for ways to celebrate. Luckily, everything we have is green and filled with Irish charm.

St. Patrick's Day Party Ideas

1. Wear This: Felt Shamrocks. As I’ve gotten older, my fear of being pinched on March 17 has dissolved. However, I love sporting at least a little bit of green for the sake of tradition. These felt shamrocks are simple to make and you can rock them in your hair, on your shirt or any other way you can think of. Seriously, once you make one, you won’t be able to stop.

2. Listen to This: The Irish Rovers. I don’t reserve Irish and Celtic folk music just for St. Patrick’s Day. These traditional Irish songs will have you on your feet and clinking mugs in no time.

3. Sip This: The “Kiss Me, I’m Irish” Cocktail. I said it last year and I’ll say it again: no green beer. It just doesn’t look right. But green cocktails? Now that’s something I’ll always nod to.

4. Decorate With This: Cute Dessert Toppers. Everything looks better with a little embellishment, even double-chocolate cupcakes (I know, right?). Download these (free!) printable toppers and add that extra touch to your dessert setup.

5. Eat This: Naked Rainbow Cake. I’m not sure what to say other than: make and devour this NOW. I mean, there are six (SIX!) layers of vanilla cake with six layers of vanilla buttercream frosting in rainbow hues. Glorious.

6. Make This: Lucky Party Banner. In reality, your party guests care about two things: booze and bites. If you want to add some festive flair to your digs, this banner is perfect. Download our (free!) printable banner template, cut out, add some twine and you’re all set.

More St. Patrick’s Day Inspo:

What are your St. Paddy’s Day party plans? Do you take part in any Irish traditions? Let us know in the comments below.

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You scream, I scream, we all scream for ice cream. And, what could be more scream-worthy than an ooey-gooey ice cream sundae that tastes just like a favorite St. Patrick’s Day cocktail?

Seriously, with a decadently delicious whiskey-infused hot fudge sauce, coffee ice cream and a healthy dose of Bailey’s, this cocktail-meets-dessert recipe is one you gotta try. Bonus: You can start with store-bought ingredients and add as little or as much alcohol as you’d like to whip up these tipsy sundaes in a snap.

St Patrick's Day Boozy Irish Coffee Sundae
Ready to enjoy a rich and creamy taste of the Emerald Isle? Get the recipe –>

Let us know in the comments below: What’s your go-to St. Patrick’s Day recipe?

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Welcome to a special St. Patrick’s Day edition of #HGTVWeekend and a fresh new list of projects, recipes and other fun things to try. With the festive Irish holiday coming up on Tuesday, this weekend is the time to celebrate. Pour a cold mug of your favorite stout beer and learn how to spruce up your coffee table for guests, take a tour of Ireland and host a green-themed movie night!

If you try out these projects (or tackle some of your own), tag your project photos #HGTVWeekend on Instagram and Twitter and we’ll share some of our favorites right here on Design Happens. And make sure to check back every Friday for more fun to-dos!

Here’s what’s on tap this weekend:

Make Over This: Your Coffee Table

Has your coffee table become a catchall for keys, remotes and other miscellaneous items? Take back your table with these easy design tips and give your living room a focal point to be proud of. The best part? You can use items you already have around the house! Click through to check out our quick tips.

3 More Fun Weekend To-Dos

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I’m not a huge fan of stout beer, but I’ll tell you what I do love — food infused with stout. Up until recently, I didn’t know it tasted so delicious as a food ingredient in both sweet and savory dishes. This St. Patrick’s Day, go beyond the bottle and incorporate stout in everything you’re serving at your party.

Salted Stout Caramel Popcorn

Salted Stout Caramel Popcorn

Stout enhances the crunchy, salty taste of this homemade caramel popcorn. Serve it alongside beer or Irish whiskey to bring a true pub feel to the party.

Get the Full Recipe>>

Get 4 More Stout Recipes

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I love food holidays. I’m not talking about those cold-weather holidays where you gain 10 pounds in the course of a month. I’m talking about that random rainy Tuesday that gives us National Peach Cobbler Day, and that sunny Saturday that celebrates National Doughnut Day. Or, that very special day that I happily toast to every morning: National Coffee Day. (I love you, java.) In short, every day is a food holiday and I’m happy to celebrate them all (well, mostly the sweet ones).

Today, we’re honoring National Pancake Day with a trip around the world. Get your pan and spatula ready for these tasty breakfast treats.

North America: Buttermilk Pancakes

Pancakes Recipe

Photo and recipe from FoodNetwork.com

Classic American pancakes are best when they’re fluffy on the inside and crispy on the outside. Keep them classic by topping with butter and drizzling with warm syrup. Or, take your pancakes to the next level by mixing in a variety of fresh fruit, chocolate chips, bacon, spices, nuts and more. Get the recipe at FoodNetwork.com >>

Venezuela: Corn Cakes With Cream or Cheese (Cachapas)

Corn Pancakes With Cheese

Photo and recipe from Food.com

Corn griddle cakes are popular in Venezuela and Colombia. They’re often served for breakfast with a topping of queso fresco. Get the recipe at Food.com >>

France: Blueberry-Lemon Crepes With Custard Sauce

Blueberry Lemon Crepes Recipe

Photo and recipe from FoodNetwork.com

Crepes are thin, delicate pancakes typically made from wheat or buckwheat flour. The beauty of crepes is that they can be filled and topped with anything you like. From sweet to savory, the possibilities are endless. And making them at home is easier than you think. This sweet breakfast or dessert crepe features a fruity filling with a custard “dipping” sauce. Get the recipe at FoodNetwork.com >>

More Sweet Treats to Try

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