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Have you enjoyed our holiday party posts so far? We have so much more to share with you! Last week, we talked all about the fireplace design in the rustic party space at Knoxville’s gorgeous Botanical Garden. This week, we’ll share our DIY project ideas for creating a perfect holiday table. Today, read on to find our top 8 tips to help you plan and create a table setting that sets a festive mood — without making you pull your hair out. But first, here’s a peek at the finished design:

Holiday Table Setting Ideas From HGTV and DIY Network

Let decorations do double (or triple!) duty. When we started planning a holiday celebration for the Design Happens and Made + Remade crews, we shied away from traditional colors. Why? Apart from the fact that we just wanted something a little bit different for our table design, using a plum and turquoise palette with lots of metallics makes these decorations feel perfectly appropriate from Thanksgiving all the way through New Year’s Eve. One set of DIY projects for the whole season? Yes, please!

Holiday Table Setting Ideas From HGTV and DIY Network

Low centerpieces keep the conversation flowing. We chose a short-in-stature, tall-on-style centerpiece (how-to video coming to tomorrow’s Weekday Crafternoon!) made from a length of gutter and winter florals, plus a hanging branch centerpiece strung with dried cockscomb. That left eye level open, making it easier for guests to chat and enjoy the party.

More Holiday Table Setting Tips

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Are you looking for an easy way to update your home for the holidays? Try re-styling your bookshelves for a fresh look with a festive feel. For the Design Happens/Made + Remade holiday party, we went all out with bright metallics, rustic accents and a touch of glamour. University of Cincinnati design student Jill Roebel was in her element as she styled each and every shelf to make it holiday ready. And lucky for us, she’s shared her top pieces of advice!

Holiday Bookshelves

5 Tips for Styling Holiday Bookshelves

Evaluate the visual weight, color and size of every object you plan to use. If it looks like one shelf is pulling all the weight, rearrange for a more balanced look, varying the size and textures to add visual interest. Keep in mind visual weight does not directly correspond with actual weight. For example, a small object in a bright color or metallic sheen can hold a lot of visual weight, as it has a tendency to draw the eye more than a larger, less interesting object would.

Don’t stick to traditional rules. Collections of objects don’t have to be centered on the shelf. Push them to one side or the other, and lean a few books on the other side for balance.

Rethink the way you shelve books. A fresh new way to display books is to stack them horizontally and place an interesting object on top. Try this for one or more of your shelves.

Holiday Books Stacked

Ornaments aren’t just for the tree! Add a few shiny bulbs to give your shelves some sparkle. And since metallics are inherently festive, work them throughout your shelves for a splash of holiday glitz.

Don’t forget holiday greenery. Add a few pieces of greenery or holly around objects to instantly give them a holiday makeover.

Holiday Greenery

That’s all it takes, folks. So, turn up the Christmas music, and let the decorating begin! For even more tips for throwing the perfect holiday party, keep up with all of our party posts 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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With autumn in full swing, you can not only infuse your food but your cocktails with everything from apples and cranberries to pumpkins and pears. Bring the season’s most abundant flavors into your Halloween, Thanksgiving and holiday gatherings by mixing these fruits with a bottle of bubbly and other yummy ingredients. Troy Sidle, master mixologist from NYC hotspot Pouring Ribbons, shares his favorite seasonal cocktails you’ll want to try, too.

Ruffino Atunno

Fall Cocktail

Ingredients

6 ounces Ruffino Prosecco
1/2 ounce apple brandy
small scoop cranberry puree
cranberry skewer, for garnish

Instructions

Stir the apple brandy and cranberry puree over ice. Strain into a serving glass. Top with Ruffino Prosecco. Serve in a coupe or champagne flute, and garnish with a cranberry skewer.

Ruffino Elisir Magico

Fall Cocktail

Ingredients

6 ounces Ruffino Moscato d’Asti
1/2 ounce black walnut liqueur
dash angostura bitters
orange twist, for garnish

Instructions

Add black walnut liqueur and bitters into a wine glass over ice. Top with Ruffino Moscato d’Asti. Serve in a wine glass with an orange twist.

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Halloween may still be more than a week away, but it looks like some are already planning ahead to the next big event: Thanksgiving. According to Yahoo! web trend expert Carolyn Clark, regular potatoes are being outed by their sweeter counterpart. Sweet potatoes are spiking in search, particularly when it comes to all the different ways this nutrient-rich food can be cooked. From sweet after-dinner bites to tasty side dishes, check out our favorite ways to cook with sweet potatoes.

Whipped Sweet Potatoes and Bananas With Honey

Whipped Sweet Potatoes and Bananas With Honey: Get the recipe >>

Mashed Sweet Potatoes

Chipotle Smashed Sweet Potatoes: Get the recipe >>

Sweet Potato Hand Pies

Sweet Potato Hand Pies: Get the recipe >>

7 More Sweet Potato Recipes

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I love any day that gives me an excuse to eat sweets, including today, National No-Bake Dessert Day. No-bake desserts are my favorite because 1. they’re delicious, 2. they’re easy to make and 3. it frees up the oven so you can make other delicious food for guests. I’m sure everybody’s tried Sarah’s ever-so-popular no-bake peanut butter pie recipe, but here are a few other recipes that are worthy of trying.

Pumpkin Cheesecake Tiramisu Recipe

We added a fall twist to this classic Italian dessert with pumpkin puree and espresso. Yum!

Pumpkin Tiramisu Recipe

Get the Recipe>>

Try More No-Bake Desserts

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Pumpkin lattes, pumpkin bread, pumpkin pie, pumpkin pancakes, pumpkin ale — you name it, I love it. It’s the season for pumpkin-flavored everything, and it doesn’t get much better than that. What’s your favorite pumpkin-infused recipe for the fall?

Pumpkin Recipes, Growing Pumpkins and Pumpkin Decorating Ideas >>

Mood Board Monday: PumpkinsPancakes | Tray | Muffins | Fashion | Stack | Domes | Smoothie | Table Setting | Picking

Come back every Monday for an inspirational mood board. Miss a day? See all the posts here.

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The changing season means I can start reaching for hot toddies instead of ice-cold libations. And there’s nothing I love more than a spiked chai tea or an Irish coffee to pair with dessert at night. What are some of your favorite seasonal cocktails? Share them with us!

ORANGE SPICED CIDER

Orange Spiced Cider Recipe

Created by James Labe for Numi Organic Tea

Ingredients

1 Numi Orange Spice tea bag
8 ounces apple cider
2 ounces dark rum
1 cinnamon stick, for garnish

Directions

Heat cider until very hot. Steep tea bag directly in cider for five minutes, covered. Uncover, add rum and stir. Garnish with a cinnamon stick.

PEAR HONEYBUSH

Pear Honeybush Recipe

Created by James Labe for Numi Organic Tea

Ingredients

1 Numi Honeybush tea bag
2 ounces bourbon
4 ounces fresh pear juice
maraschino cherry, for garnish

Directions

Infuse tea bag in bourbon for thirty minutes, then remove bag, squeezing out excess. Pour ingredients into a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into glass. Serve with a maraschino cherry.

HOT APPLE CIDER

Hot Apple Cider Recipe

Created by celebrity caterer Andrea Correale

Ingredients

2 ounces tuaca
hot apple cider
cinnamon stick, for garnish
cranberries, for garnish
whipped cream (optional)

Directions

Pour two ounces tuaca in an Irish coffee glass and fill with hot apple cider. Top glass with whipped cream (if desired) and garnish with a cinnamon stick.

Pumpkin Pie Martini

Pumpkin Pie Martini

Created by celebrity caterer Andrea Correale

Ingredients

1 ounce coconut rum
1 ounce coffee liquor
6 ounces milk
1/3 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 to 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie filling (depending on desired taste)
candy corn, for garnish

Directions

Mix all ingredients together in a blender with a few cubes of ice. Serve in a martini glass with a candy corn garnish and a sprinkle of cinnamon on top.

Credit: Orange Spiced Cider and Pear Honeybush recipes courtesy of Numi Organic TeaHot Apple Cider and Pumpkin Pie Martini recipes courtesy of Elegant Affairs Caterers

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Last week everyone had cookies and apples on the brain. But this week, it seems people are ready to hop into fall by cooking with one of the season’s most popular fruits: pumpkins! According to Yahoo! web trend expert Carolyn Clark, the most popular recipes this week are pumpkin soup, pumpkin muffins and pumpkin chocolate chip cookies. Yum! What’s the first pumpkin-y recipe you’re going to make? Browse through these delicious picks and give one (or all!) a try this fall.

PUMPKIN SOUP WITH CHILI CRAN-APPLE RELISH

Pumpkin Soup

Get the recipe for pumpkin soup from FoodNetwork.com >>

PUMPKIN STREUSEL MUFFIN

Pumpkin Muffins

Get our recipe for pumpkin streusel muffins >>

PUMPKIN CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

Get the recipe for pumpkin chocolate chip cookies at FoodNetwork.com >>

GET MORE EASY PUMPKIN RECIPES

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If I could keep only one thing from my kitchen, it would be my slow cooker. Mainly because it’s hard to mess up a slow cooker recipe, but I’m also too lazy to cook sometimes. And, as if you needed another reason to use it, the recipes are virtually limitless, including dessert and drink options galore. I searched the interwebs for my favorite recipes and came up with a list that I think is perfect for fall weather.

Sausage, Bean and Pasta Stew

Placing a parmesan rind in the slow cooker while the rest of the ingredients cook gives this stew a bold flavor. To tone down the spiciness, use sweet Italian sausage instead of hot.

Crockpot Stew Recipe

Get the Recipe>>

More Slow Cooker Recipes

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