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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

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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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  • As seen on HGTV's "Property Brothers At Home"