ALL POSTS IN Entertaining

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Okay, so I obviously didn’t take these photos at a beachside cabana, but I imagine this cart fitting in perfectly on an exotic beach. I stocked the bar with the essentials — libations, glasses, stirrers and lemon and limes. A nifty carafe keeps white wine chilled and frees up the ice bucket for other drinks.

 

Beachside Cabana Bar Cart

To give it a beachy feel, I made a CHEERS banner using wrapping paper, glittery miniature clothespins and scrapbook paper in coastal-inspired colors. I kept the bottom level simple, filling the ice bucket with sparkling water and the acacia wood wine holder with a few bottles of choice.

Outdoor Bar Cart Banner

A few simple additions include a square jar filled with seaglass and books on — you guessed it — cocktails and beer.

Outdoor Bar Cart Sea Glass

However, I think the bright polka-dot straws in a gold pencil holder steal the show because of the bright contrast. I filled a gold candle holder with disposable stirrers, while a simple tray holds the lemons and limes. I filled a small wood serving tray with sand and topped it with crisp white bowls filled with one of my favorite snacks, Goldfish Crackers. To finish the look, I placed fresh flowers on one end of the cart and artwork on the other end. It’s 5 o’clock somewhere, right?

Beachside Cabana Bar Cart

How can you make your next party sizzle? Shop Target’s newest spring decor and entertaining products (available in store and online now) to bring coastal inspiration and create a summer beach house look with a little French Riviera.

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A few months ago, Target asked Design Happens to host a Blogger Challenge in which five bloggers — four regular D-Happ contributors and one from our sister blog, Made + Remade — would shop, style, photograph and then pitch their design ideas for the outdoor entertaining setup at HGTV Spring House. The HGTV Spring House team shared their ideal color palette and style inspiration with each blogger, and they created true or faux bar carts using products from Target, among other items.

We’re all friends here at Design Happens, but things can get a little competitive when it comes to design. (I mean, you’ve seen our Color of the Month series, right?) It was fun to see how a spring color palette and “casual,” “coastal,” and/or “nautical” inspired a slew of different design styles.

HGTV Spring House Exterior BeforeHGTV Spring House: Here’s the Atlanta bungalow’s back deck before its makeover, waiting for some spring entertaining action.

Each week, from now until April 1, we’re going to share the five bloggers’ spring-inspired bar cart designs with you. Check out a teaser of each one below:

HGTV Spring House Bar Cart

Unfortunately, we have to keep a secret from you for a few weeks. You’ll have to wait until April 1 to find out whose winning design inspired the outdoor bar cart design at HGTV Spring House. Womp, womp.

Until then, keep checking back each Tuesday and Thursday for a bar cart project reveal from your fave bloggers.

How can you make your next party sizzle? Shop Target’s newest spring decor and entertaining products (available in store and online now) to bring coastal inspiration and create a summer beach house look with a little French Riviera.

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I was that girl with the Barbie™ mansion, pizza shop, post office, supermarket, boutique, classroom — I mean, should I really continue? I was the mayor of Barbieville™. So, when I found out that party stylist and HGTV contributor Kim Stoegbauer of The TomKat Studio partnered with Barbie™ in celebration of the iconic doll’s upcoming birthday, I immediately took a turn down Memory Lane.

To kick off Barbie’s™ month-long birthday celebration (starting March 9!), Kim styled this glamorous girls’ birthday party. Read on for Kim’s ideas and party inspiration.

Barbie Birthday Party

Following Barbie’s™ classic style, Kim chose a black, white and pink color palette.

Barbie Birthday Party

Oversized balloons, ribbons, striped table runners and cupcake stands keep the table chic and stylish but simple to re-create.

More Glam Party Ideas

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St. Patrick’s Day — a holiday where I can add stout to, well, everything (even pancakes!) and wear an excessive amount of my favorite color. But most importantly, a day where I can say no to green beer and yes to Irish-inspired or just true green cocktails that are in the spirit of the holiday. Plus, let’s be honest, they just taste better.

Bloody Rosemary

Bloody Mary Recipe

It’s not green, but just LOOK at it.

Get the recipe >>

Kiss Me, I’m Irish

Kiss Me I'm Irish Cocktail Recipe

Ingredients

2 1/2 ounces VOGA Sparkling
1 ounce Midori melon liqueur
1 ounce vodka
1 1/2 ounce lemonade
lemon slice, for garnish

Instructions

In a shaker, combine ice, vodka, Midori and lemonade. Stir gently and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Top with VOGA Sparkling. Garnish with lemon slice.

Green Cocktail Recipes to Try

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Award season concludes Sunday with the most glamorous of them all, The Oscars. I’m eager to tune in, not only for the red carpet fashion, but also because I actually made a serious effort to see the Oscar-nominated films this year. When it comes to Oscar night, I have three words: glitter, champagne and girlfriends.

How to Host an Oscar Night Party

Oscar Night Party

Oscar Night Party

Create a “Golden Age of Hollywood” theme in your home by using all white linens and incorporating bright pops of gold. Metallic gold confetti and white blooms create an elegant and sophisticated tablescape. Get More Oscar Party Ideas >>

Oscar Night Party Recipes

Whip up these glam recipes for awards night:

Blood Orange Dates Almond Salad
Duck a L’Orange
Chocolate Panna Cotta

Oscar Night Party

You’ll already be pointing out his tux choice and her OMG-worthy dress, so why not turn the night’s most memorable moments into a game? Download Our Free Printable Bingo Cards >>

Happy viewing!

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If you’re as obsessed with peanut butter as I am, then I’m sure you already know that tomorrow is National Peanut Butter Lovers Day. I don’t need an excuse to eat one of my favorite foods, but it’s nice to have a day designated to eat as much peanut butter as I want. My favorite peanut butter treat is simply spreading it on a salted cracker and drizzling chocolate syrup on top — it’s the perfect salty and sweet bite!

To celebrate, try this easy, no-bake peanut butter pie or one of our other favorite peanut butter recipes below (We even have a recipe for your pooch!):

Coca-Cola Cupcakes With Peanut Butter Frosting

Coca-Cola Cupcakes With Peanut Butter Frosting

Get the Full Recipe Here>>

Peanut Butter Dog Biscuits

Peanut Butter Dog Biscuits

Get the Full Recipe Here>>

Peanut Butter Pie With Pretzels and Caramel

Peanut Butter Pie

Get the Full Recipe Here>>

What is your favorite peanut butter treat? Tell us in the comments below.

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So, Saturday is National Margarita Day. According to the official website, “We pay tribute and honor the margarita on this special day of celebration. We so deeply respect and value its place in our history that we have set aside February 22 of every year as National Margarita Day.” Well said.

So, whether you prefer a classic ‘rita, one with a little spice, one with absolutely NO tequila or ideas for adding a fun kick to entrees, give these margarita or margarita-inspired recipes a try. You know, for the sake of celebrating … of course.

First, Your Classic Margarita

Margarita Recipe

Get the Recipe: Classic Margarita >>

Then, Onto the Margarita Twists

Melon Margarita Recipe

Get the Recipe: Tom’s Mellow Melon Margarita >>

Jalapeno Margarita Recipe

Get the Recipe: Jalapeno Margarita >>

More Margarita-Inspired Recipes to Try

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Happy Valentine’s Day, friends! Top off the evening with this fruity concoction from mixologist John deBary of New York speakeasy PDT (Please Don’t Tell).

Valentine's Day Cocktails

BLVSH Cocktail

Ingredients

1 1/2 ounce SKYY Infusions Vanilla Bean
1/2 ounce SKYY Infusions Moscato Grape
3/4 ounce lime juice
1/2 ounce simple syrup
1/2 cup organic raspberries

Instructions

Combine all ingredients in a shaker. Fill shaker with ice and shake vigorously for 10-15 seconds. Pour into a coupe glass.

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We’re all looking for ways to live a healthier lifestyle, especially when a new year rolls around and we start to assess the changes we want to make moving forward. Like many, my weakness is carbohydrates but not the good ones like beans and whole grains; I’m talking about the bad boys: refined grains, baked goods and the occasional soda. It’s a tough battle. When Yahoo! web trend expert Lauren Whitehouse shared that users were searching for healthy carb substitutes, like zucchini, I thought this was the perfect time to start bookmarking some smart recipes for myself to try at home. Here are a few favorites I’m adding to my recipe book, STAT.

Grilled Zucchini

Recipe: Grilled Zucchini With Fresh Herbs and Goat Cheese >>

Zucchini Crisps

Recipe: Zucchini Parmesan Crisps >>

Zucchini Pizza

Recipe: Whole Wheat Cherry Tomato + Zucchini Pan Pizza >>

More Healthy Recipes to Try

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On Friday, I wrote a cocktail post called “Love Stinks, So Let’s Drink.” While at least once every few weeks I do believe that quite passionately, Valentine’s Day is so much fun to celebrate. Pink, red, hearts, Cupid, chocolate … choc-o-late — love is truly in the air right now, along with my appetite. Whether you’re a V-Day cynic or counting down the days until February 14th, we have all the crafts, recipes and design ideas you need to get ready for the sexiest holiday of the year.

Valentine's Day Phrase Pillow

Craft up something special for your sweetheart or yourself. Let’s be honest, this pillow would look fab on your sofa. Try out this easy project or one of the other 20+ ideas we have.

EASY, HANDMADE VALENTINE’S DAY CRAFTS >>

Handmade Valentine's Day Cards

We’ve all been there: that awkward moment when you like/love someone but you don’t know how to tell them. The. Worst. That’s what handmade cards are for, and card-making parties filled with friends to talk you through it.

10 HANDMADE VALENTINE’S DAY CARDS >>

Valentine's Day Recipes

Going back and forth on the perfect gift? Homemade treats are always the answer. You can’t go wrong. Try one of these delectable and from-scratch recipes.

VALENTINE’S DAY SWEETS FOR YOUR SWEETIE >>

More Valentine’s Day Ideas

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For some, Valentine’s Day is a time to celebrate love, but for others it’s a time to binge-eat chocolate and trash your ex. If you’re in the latter group of V-Day celebrators, mend that broken heart with a few delicious cocktails from celebrity caterer Andrea Correale of Elegant Affairs.

This February 14th, grab your pals and toast to being single — or single and looking — with Andrea’s fruity Bloody Valentine cocktail coupled with blood orange infusions and her Devil’s Spiked Tea, which will put any of your sweet tea concoctions to shame (the secret is in the tequila).

Valentine's Day Cocktails

Devil’s Spiked Tea

Ingredients

4 ounces Lipton Tea and Honey Strawberry Acai Tea
1 ounce Tanteo Jalapeno Tequila
Prosecco
mint
strawberries

Instructions

Muddle mint and strawberries in a cocktail shaker. Add iced tea, tequila and ice in a shaker. Strain into a glass. Top with Prosecco and serve.

Bloody Valentine Cocktail Recipe

The Bloody Valentine

Ingredients

3 ounces orange juice
2 ounces tequila
1/2 ounce grenadine
1/2 ounce blood orange syrup
blood orange slice, for garnish

Instructions

Pour tequila, orange juice and blood orange syrup into a rocks glass with ice. Stir. Slowly pour grenadine around the inside of the glass. (It will sink and slowly rise to mix with other ingredients naturally.) Spear a blood orange slice with a toothpick and lay across the top of the glass.

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Who are you rooting for in this year’s Super Bowl game? I think it’s safe to say that most people at HGTV headquarters are rooting for the Broncos since our beloved Peyton was a former UT quarterback here in Knoxville. We don’t know who’s going to win Sunday’s big game, but we can help you win over your party guests with these easy and filling recipes.

 

Dip Trio

Dip Trio

Serve a dip for everyone on your guest list. You can’t go wrong with guacamole, black bean salsa, and drunken pico de gallo (that’s infused with tequila!).

Get the Full Recipes Here>>

Try 6 More Recipes

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Just in case your calendar’s not up to speed, Sunday is National Popcorn Day. Either head to a movie and give in to the aroma, or make your own popcorn snack at home. We have nine sweet and salty recipes you can make in a snap — or a pop!

SWEET

Caramel Popcorn Balls

Recipe: Caramel Popcorn Balls from FoodNetwork.com

Marshmallow Popcorn Balls

Recipe: Marshmallow Popcorn Balls

Maple Nut Popcorn

Recipe: Maple-Nut Popcorn

More Gourmet Recipe Ideas

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Tonight’s the big game! This year’s BCS National Championship game will pit the Florida State Seminoles against the Auburn Tigers at California’s Rose Bowl Stadium. Throwing a watch party? Ditch the store-bought chips and salsa and give one of these handmade recipes a try. [Prepare for nervous eating by making more than you need.]

Pub-Style Pretzels and Beer Cheese Recipes

Get the Recipe: Pub-Style Pretzels and Beer Cheese >>

Pizza Hand Pies Recipe

Get the Recipe: Pepperoni and Cheese Pizza Hand Pies >>

Eggplant Chips Recipe

Get the Recipe: Eggplant Chips With Cilantro Pesto >>

Get More Party-Perfect Recipes

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Home for the HolidaysWhen it comes to hosting, I’m all about making the party look like a million bucks without putting a significant amount of effort into it. Your company is likely coming because of you and those around you, so the food and drinks are just a bonus. Hence, today’s post: dressing up a store-bought bottle of champagne with tasty garnishes … in seconds. I’m serious. I prepped most of these the night before, then popped them in the glass right before our holiday party shoot. Voila! You’ll basically have five fun drink options for your guests right from one bottle.

Home for the Holidays: Champagne Garnishes

Our Five Garnishes:

Star Fruit
Gold Sugar Sprinkles
Candied Cranberries, Raspberries + Blueberries on Skewers
Rosemary Sprigs + Pomegranate Seeds
Rock Candy

Home for the Holidays: Champagne Garnishes

Keri sips on champagne garnished with rosemary and pomegranate, while Kristen drinks the party’s signature cocktail.

For the Star Fruit Garnish: Slice the star fruit while on its side into 1/2-inch thick slices, and then cut a slit halfway down the middle so the star can sit on the rim of the champagne glass.

For the Gold Sugar Sprinkles: Sprinkle gold sugar onto a plate. Wet the rim of each champagne glass, then dip into the sprinkles so the rim is entirely covered.

For the Candied Fruit Skewers: Skewer assorted fresh fruits (cranberries, blueberries, raspberries) on a small wooden stick. Rinse with water, then generously sprinkle with sugar. Freeze until ready to use.

Home for the Holidays: Champagne Garnishes

Marianne drinks champagne flavored with orange rock candy.

For the Rosemary and Pomegranate: Sprinkle a few pomegranate seeds into the champagne, then top with a fresh sprig of rosemary.

For the Rock Candy: Put a rock candy stick or rock candy crystals (any flavor you desire) into a champagne glass. Pour champagne over the rock candy in the glass. Watch the drink fizzle and the color change. Soon, the drink will take on a sweet, candy-like taste.

Get more ideas from our holiday bar:

We’ve teamed up with our friends over at DIYNetwork.com’s Made + Remade to throw a holiday party, and you’re invited!

Follow along as we craft the party decor, set the holiday table and cook up the menu. Along the way, you’ll get the step-by-step instructions and tips to throw a great party in your home. Catch up on all the posts here.

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Homemade gingerbread houses can be a bit intimidating, but you don’t have to be a professional baker or create a three-story Victorian house to get in on the fun. I make a gingerbread house almost every year — from scratch — but I don’t aim for perfection. Here’s a mini house I made this year:

Make Your Own Gingerbread House

Sure, the mortar is a little bit oozy and the roofline isn’t quite straight. Do I like it any less? Of course not! It’s about the process more than the result. (And its flaws give it character.) No matter what your baking skill level, all gingerbread houses start with a great gingerbread recipe, lots of royal icing and a pattern. Here are 5 houses to try out this weekend.

Five DIY Gingerbread Houses

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Did you know that December 24th is not only Christmas Eve but National Eggnog Day, too? In 1826, U.S. soldiers smuggled inexpensive whiskey into the barracks at the United States Military Academy to make eggnog for Christmas Day, an event now known as the Eggnog Riot. Originally crafted in Europe centuries ago, eggnog eventually crossed the Atlantic and made its way into our hearts, becoming a holiday staple across the country.

Keeping the holiday tradition alive, the mixologists at Mulberry Project in New York combined classic family recipes with their expertise to create a delicious adult eggnog recipe.

Eggnog Cocktail Recipe

Eggnog Cocktail

Ingredients

1 ounce white port wine
2 ounces white rum
1 whole egg
2 tablespoons superfine sugar
3/4 cup milk
dash vanilla extract
cinnamon, for garnish

Instructions

Dry shake for 2 minutes, and then shake with ice for 1 minute. Lastly, sprinkle the edges of the glass with cinnamon. Drink up and enjoy!

Eggnog Cocktail Recipe

Photos by Monica Muller of Mulberry Project

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home for the holidays mantel
The holidays are upon us, and for the editors blogging for HGTV’s Design Happens and DIY’s Made + Remade, that means it’s party time! If you’ve been keeping up with our Home for the Holidays party how-tos, then you already know what it takes to throw a fabulous holiday bash. We’ve shared delicious recipes, stylish ensembles, stunning decor and more. But sometimes, don’t you just wish you could attend our holiday shindig? Well, now you can – virtually, that is.

Join us tonight on Pinterest for a real-time Q&A, where our editors will answer your questions and share even more secrets about what it takes to pull off the perfect party. You’ll meet co-hosts Liz Gray and Made + Remade’s Kelly Smith Trimble, who will be joined by several other editors to give you the ultimate scoop.

Here’s your official invite:

Pinterest party invite

Not sure how to join the party? No worries. We can walk you through it here. If you don’t have a Pinterest account, now’s the time to get one. Just sign up here using your email or Facebook account. Then be sure to join us at our Home for the Holidays board at 8 p.m. Trust me, you don’t want to miss this!

Now, let’s recap.

What: A Pinterest party where you can talk with our editors about all their holiday projects. Repin your favorite ideas while you’re at it!

When: Thursday, Dec. 12 from 8-10 p.m. ET (That’s today. Don’t forget it!)

Where: Our Home for the Holidays Pinterest board.

We can’t wait to see you there!

We’ve teamed up with our friends over at DIYNetwork.com’s Made + Remade to throw a holiday party, and you’re invited!

Follow along as we craft the party decor, set the holiday table and cook up the menu. Along the way, you’ll get the step-by-step instructions and tips to throw a great party in your home. Catch up on all the posts here.

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We’re in the midst of the holiday season, so it’s time to plan out your party menu. Dessert and drinks are must-haves, along with delicious starters like a cheese board and soup. Serving soup as part of the menu is great because you can make a large batch and it will fill your guests up without having to serve a fancy entree.

This sweet potato pear soup is filled with fall flavors and is easy to eat when served in glasses. Set up a soup toppings bar or sprinkle them on before serving. We sprinkled ours with roasted butternut squash seeds, paprika and shredded coconut.

Sweet Potato Pear Soup ShootersPhoto by Jason Kisner

 Get the Full Recipe Here>>

We’ve teamed up with our friends over at DIYNetwork.com’s Made + Remade to throw a holiday party, and you’re invited!

Follow along as we craft the party decor, set the holiday table and cook up the menu. Along the way, you’ll get the step-by-step instructions and tips to throw a great party in your home. Catch up on all the posts here.

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From the decorations to the food, planning for a holiday party can be pretty stressful, but it can also be fun and rewarding. But where to begin? Follow our simple steps to help you get started on throwing the best holiday party of the year.

Step 1: Start with a theme. It can be a cookie swap, an elegant dinner party or even one for your pup!  Once you figure out your theme, picking out decorations and a menu will be a breeze.

Cookie Swap Holiday Party

Holiday Party Theme Ideas>>

3 More Holiday Hosting Tips

Latest Pins on Pinterest

  • As seen on the HGTV series, House Hunters Renovation

  • As seen on the HGTV series, House Hunters Renovation

  • As seen on the HGTV series, House Hunters Renovation

  • As seen on the HGTV series, House Hunters Renovation