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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

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This is the only time of year you can completely indulge in your guilty pleasures and get away with it. If you want to eat 5 cookies after a big dinner, go for it. That’s what the holidays are about — gathering around your loved ones and eating delicious homemade food. Fudge is one of my all-time favorite holiday desserts. It’s a crowd-pleaser, cheap and easy to make and satisfies my chocolate cravings. What’s not to like?

Make big batches and use cute wrapping to gift to friends, or make a small batch for an intimate family gathering or maybe even for yourself (why not?). Our recipe only requires 5 ingredients and 5 steps. Give it a try!

Simple Homemade Fudge Recipe

Homemade Fudge

 

Ingredients:

3 cups semisweet chocolate chips
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
Directions

Instructions:

1. Line a square 8-inch baking pan with parchment paper and set aside.
2. Over low heat, in a medium sized pot, add the chocolate chips, condensed milk and salt, and stir with a wooden spoon until chips are melted.
3. Remove from heat and add the vanillas. (If you don’t have vanilla paste, just double up on the vanilla extract.)
4. Pour into the parchment lined baking pan and spread evenly. Refrigerate for 4 hours until firm.
5. Serve as needed.

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So far, we’ve shown you how to decorate, dress yourself and prepare a cheese board for the holidays. It’s time to move on to the dessert table. This may be the most important part of your party (other than the bar, of course) — especially if you’re having a sweets-only get together.

To help you get started on your dessert table, I’ll share this very simple chewy gingersnap cookies recipe with you. You can make these a day or two in advance because they will still taste fresh come party time! Pair the cookies with an even simpler pumpkin pie dip recipe that’s dangerously delicious. Spread the dip on top of each cookie or spread it between two cookies to make a sandwich. Yum!

Gingersnap Cookies With Pumpkin Pie DipPhoto by Jason Kisner

Get the Full Recipe>>

Check back soon for more dessert recipes, how to style a dessert table and other inspiring holiday ideas.

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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Mmmmm…butternut squash. Sure, it’s delicious when roasted or blended into soup, but have you ever considered incorporating butternut squash into your fall decor? Add this oblong squash to your table in a new way this Thanksgiving — as an easy-to-make, inexpensive vase.

Butternut Squash Vases

It just takes a few minutes to make your own. To make an arrangement like you see above, you’ll want three or five butternut squash in varying heights. The smaller, the better; larger butternut squash have thicker flesh that makes them slightly more difficult to work with. I got these at a local farmers’ market.

Cut and Hollow Out Butternut Squash
After first trying a pumpkin-carving saw, I found that the best tool for hollowing out the squash was a long-handled spoon. Make a circle at the top of the squash’s oblong stem, leaving about 1/2 inch of flesh around the edge. Continue scooping chunks of squash until you reach the seeds. Scoop out what you can, then rap onto a cutting board a few times to remove remaining seeds.

Fall Butternut Squash Centerpiece
Next, add the flowers of your choice. I went with dahlias, sunflowers and cockscomb in purples, yellows and greens. Then, add water and display on your Thanksgiving table!

Turn Butternut Squash Into a Thanksgiving Centerpiece
Get full instructions for this project here, plus find even more Thanksgiving ideas on HGTV.com.

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A couple of weeks ago I showed you how to make your very own Wood-Burned Cheese Board (you’ve made yours by now, right?), and now, with Thanksgiving only a couple of days away, it’s time to shop for the right things to top it with. After all, you don’t want to end up with a plate full of pre-cubed cheddar on the big day, do you? Not that there’s anything wrong with cheese cubes, but why not treat your dinner guests to a perfectly crafted cheese feast?

Just watching that made me hungry! This cheese plate would be a great appetizer while waiting for the turkey to finish roasting, or you can serve it with dessert for any of your guests who aren’t in the mood for pie. As long as you stick to our formula, you’ll always have a perfectly balanced (and gorgeous!) cheese board for your guests.

The Perfect Cheese Plate

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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When Briana asked about the white pumpkin trend in a recent Defend the Trend post, a whopping 81 percent of you said you loved the look. I’m with the majority here — I adore the elegance a white pumpkin brings to the (Thanksgiving) table. Whether you have leftovers from Halloween or are picking up a few just for Thanksgiving, here are 7 of my favorite ways to use these fall gems.

Turn White Pumpkins Into a Fall Succulent Planter
Pint-sized white pumpkins make an adorable vessel for single succulents. Kelly Smith Trimble from DIY’s Made + Remade blog inspired me to use these as take-home place markers at a recent fall dinner party. She used the adorable succulents as part of this modern tablescape filled with assorted pumpkins, squash and sprigs of eucalyptus.

Fall Tablescape With Mini White Pumpkins

More Ways to Decorate With White Pumpkins

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Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday of the year, because I have the most wonderful family to spend it with. Plus, there are some recipes my grandmother and mother only pull out once a year. Annual traditions are what make the holiday so special to me. What are some of your favorite Thanksgiving traditions? What are some you hope to start this year?

Mood Board Monday: Thanksgiving InspirationCider | Natural Decor | Apple Pie | Centerpiece | Cake | Chain of Thanks | Friends | Cranberry Jelly | Table

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

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Home for the HolidaysI hope you’ve enjoyed following along as we share our holiday entertaining ideas straight from our own festive gathering with the DIYNetwork.com Made + Remade team. Each week we’ve focused on a particular area, from the fireplace to the table and now to the bar. You saw the inspiration behind the bar — lots of sparkle, a magnolia garland and an assortment of cocktail ingredients and garnishes within reach. Now, take a look at how the bar came together.

Home for the Holidays: Bar

Made + Remade contributor Hannah prepares our signature drink, the Pleasant Evening cocktail.

Home for the Holidays: Evergreen Swag

We framed some of our childhood Christmas photos (I’m third from the right in the gift box), attached velvet ribbon to the frame and hung each from twine behind the evergreen garland. This served as a perfect backdrop for our bar area. Learn how to make the magnolia garland at Made + Remade >>

Home for the Holidays: Bar

We stocked the bar with a variety of liquors, spirits and garnishes, something every hostess should keep in mind when prepping for an event.

Home for the Holidays: Champagne Garnishes

We wanted to separate the wine and champagne by setting up a bar cart. Here, we set out fun garnishes like candied cranberries, rock candy and starfruit to dress up champagne coupes.

Check back for more ideas on setting up a bar for your upcoming holiday parties.

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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There’s nothing like the threat of company — especially parents, grandparents and mother-in-laws — to create that extra motivation needed to finish those lingering home improvement projects. (Guest bedroom, I’m coming for you.) If you’re hosting Thanksgiving this year, it’s likely you’ve spent some quality time at the local paint store.

Once the drop cloth is up and the rollers cleaned (or safely stored in the garage…no judgement here), why not use up that collection of paint sticks? That’s the humble material this copper-coated herringbone runner started out as:

Make Paint Sticks Into a Herringbone Table Runner

Give them a second life — kind of like Grandma’s vintage coat — as a table runner that will last from Thanksgiving all the way through the holiday season. Read on to learn how to make this chic and affordable table accent.

How To Turn Paint Sticks Into a Table Runner

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Centerpieces are one of my most-requested crafts, and with good reason: they make the biggest impact on your party table, and the wrong choice can seriously impact your good time. After all, there is nothing worse than having a spirited conversation interrupted by a towering flower arrangement, am I right? To add insult to injury, cut flower centerpieces are often expensive and only last for a few days.

With this in mind, I set out to create a lovely, low, and inexpensive centerpiece for our holiday party. I started with a moodboard knowing that I wanted to include velvety dried celosia cockscomb, feathery small ferns for texture, and copper for glamour and warmth. Then it struck me–what better container for a long, low, dramatic centerpiece than a length of gutter? Check out the results in the video below:

The best thing about this centerpiece is that with the proper care it will last from Thanksgiving straight through to Christmas. Here is a total rundown of the materials I used:

  1. aluminum gutter, cut to size with tin snips (be sure to wear work gloves)
  2. gutter end caps
  3. copper metallic spray paint
  4. assorted small succulents
  5. Xerographica air plant
  6. dried celosia cockscomb
  7. flowering kale
  8. lemon button ferns
  9. rabbit foot fern
  10. assorted dried mosses

Be sure to watch this space (as well as our friends at Made + Remade!) this week as we reveal the rest of our holiday table setting ideas. And join me next week for another entertaining Weekday Crafternoon video!

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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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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