ALL POSTS IN Holidays

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Moms are the best. Show yours just how much she’s appreciated by making Mother’s Day all about her.

Mother's Day Tea Party

Host an outdoor afternoon tea party for the girls. Pull out the china, set the table and make a spread of decadent sweets fit for a spring soiree. Get inspired >>

Mother's Day Lunch

Celebrate moms of all generations. Invite family over for a vintage-inspired lunch to celebrate Mom, Grandma and Great-Grandma. Display family heirlooms to set the perfect tone for honoring moms from past to present. Get inspired >>

More Ideas She’ll Love

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Ingredients:

2 Cups Heavy Cream
2 Cups Fresh Mint Leaves
1 Cup Whole Milk
1/2 Cup of Sugar
1/2 Cup of Condensed Milk
1 oz (normal jigger) King’s County Bourbon
1 Tsp of Bourbon Vanilla
1 Pinch of Salt

Yield: 1 Quart

Instructions:

1. Place the mint leaves in the bottom of a large bowl and coat with a small amount of the sugar. Gently muddle the mint macerating it slightly. Add the heavy cream and whole milk to the bowl and stir gently. Place the bowl in the refrigerator and let the mint steep in the cream mixture overnight. [Alternative: If you want a quicker way to extract the mint you can heat this mixture over the stove for 5 minutes and then move to the next step; however, steeping the mint provides a unique and superior flavor.]

2. Stir the mixture thoroughly. Pour the mixture through a strainer into a 4-quart saucepan and discard the mint leaves. Heat the mixture over medium heat. Whisk in the remaining sugar, condensed milk, vanilla, and salt. Heat for 5 minutes stirring frequently. Remove from heat, add the bourbon, and then place the mixture in an ice bath and let cool for approximately 30 minutes.

3. Add the ice cream base into an ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer’s instructions. We have used a KitchenAid stand mixer with their ice cream attachment here. Setup KitchenAid stand mixer with ice cream attachment (Note: you must leave the ice cream attachment in the freezer overnight for the product to freeze properly). Turn the KitchenAid to the “Stir” setting and pour the cold mixture into the ice cream attachment. The product should begin to thicken within 20-30 minutes and once the attachment begins to slip is when the product is ready to be removed.

4. Remove the product from the mixer into a storage container. Cover with a piece of plastic wrap and place in the freezer until firm, about four hours. The flavor contains bourbon so the consistency will naturally be slightly softer than a normal vanilla homemade ice cream, but it should be firm and hold shape when scooped.

**Recipe by Steve’s Ice Cream

More on Derby Week:

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I may have technically outgrown an Easter basket in my family circle, but that doesn’t mean I don’t spoil myself with bag(s) of candy. But then, of course, my eyes are bigger than my stomach and I’m left with loads of leftover Milky Ways, Cadbury Creme Eggs, jelly beans and Peeps just staring at me. Before, my solution was to pawn it all off on other people, but these ideas are much, much better.

Cadbury Egg Cupcake Recipe

Cadbury Egg-Stuffed Cupcakes: I literally have ZERO words to describe this. Except that I can’t stop looking at it, and I want it right now. GET THE RECIPE HERE >>

Butterscotch Bird Nests Recipe

Butterscotch Bird Nests: Sweeten pretzels with a yummy butterscotch coating, then top with chocolate eggs. They’re adorable and delicious! GET THE RECIPE HERE >>

Easter Bunny Bark Recipe

Easter Bunny Bark: Take all your leftover Easter candy, crush it up and turn it into a mouthwatering dessert that’s perfect for packaging as spring gifts … or hoarding. I choose the latter, personally. GET THE RECIPE HERE >>

Candy Bar Blondies Recipe

Candy Bar Blondies: Use your favorite leftover candy bars (assuming there are any left) to make these quick and easy blondie bars. They’re gooey, chewy and oh-so-chocolate-y. GET THE RECIPE HERE >>

Peep Smores Recipe

Peeps S’mores: Turn those leftover chickies into candy-colored s’mores in seconds. GET THE RECIPE HERE >>

Jellybean Cocktail Recipe

The Jelly Bean Cocktail: Here’s a grown-up way to enjoy a classic Easter candy. Plus, you can create all the colors of the rainbow by substituting various liqueurs. (Vodka, Midori and sour mix will create a nice shade of green, for example.) GET THE RECIPE HERE >>

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Like many people, it wasn’t until I moved away for college that I realized how much my mom did for me. Suddenly her frustrations about not having enough hours in the day to go to work, keep the house clean and figure out what to cook for dinner every night make a lot more sense. And I don’t even have kids yet!

I’m not sure how she did it, but I’ll be eternally grateful. So even though there aren’t enough gifts and cards in the world to show my appreciation, I figure these are a good start. Check out what made our 2014 Mother’s Day gift guide and tell us what you’re planning to do for Mom this year in the comments below.

P.S. Don’t forget stepmothers, grandmothers and in-laws! They deserve your appreciation, too!

Get gift ideas!

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My favorite Easter activities include decorating eggs, filling baskets with yummy treats and surprises, and my all-time favorite  — eating brunch with my family. Whether you’re hosting an extravagant brunch or making a simple meal for your family, we have easy, sweet and savory recipes that will please even your pickiest of guests.

Hatching Chick Egg

Great for the kids’ table, transform an ordinary hard-boiled egg into an adorable hatching chick.

How to Make a Hatching Chick Egg

Get the Full Recipe Here>>

Flatbread Pizza With Eggs, Tomatoes and Arugula

This healthy, protein-packed flatbread is a perfect main course for brunch.

Brunch Flatbread

Get the Full Recipe Here>>

Carrot Cake Cookies

Spread the cream cheese frosting between two cookies to make a sandwich. Just do it, trust me.

Carrot Cake Cookies

Get the Full Recipe Here>>

Ham and Cheese Breakfast Casserole

You can assemble this casserole the night before, giving you more time to spend Easter Sunday with your family.

Ham and Cheese Quiche

Get the Full Recipe Here>>

Easter Egg Cookies

I’m obviously on a cookie kick. These are so easy to make — just bake your favorite cookie recipe and place dyed shredded coconut and egg-shaped candy on top.

Easter Egg Cookies

What are your favorite Easter recipes?

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I’m sure you’ve thought of a plethora of clever items and creative eggs to fill your kids’ Easter baskets with, but have you thought of the actual basket? Sure, an ordinary pastel wicker basket filled with shredded basket filler is cute, but here at HGTV, we don’t take the boring route. We have ideas ranging from edible baskets (yes, you read that correctly!) to free printable baskets.

Paper Flower Basket (With Free Printable Pattern)

Paper Flower Basket

Get the Full Instructions Here>>

Get More Fun Basket Ideas

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Easter is this Sunday, and if you celebrate it I would bet you have plans to do some egg decorating this week. Vibrant dyes make quite an impact, but did you know you can get amazing colors with fruit and vegetables? Head to the crisper and put a pot of water on to boil, it’s time to make some natural Easter egg dyes. Watch the video to see our favorite colors:

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I still can’t get over the deep teal color that boiling red cabbage gives you. Who knew that Easter egg dye doesn’t have to come from a bottle or a tablet?

DIY Natural-Dye Easter Eggs

Want even more great egg-decorating ideas? Learn how to make Baker’s Twine-Wrapped Eggs, or check out how your favorite HGTV Stars decorated eggs this year!

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There’s not a single hue that makes me think of Easter more than robin’s egg blue (or eggshell blue). The name itself is so synonymous with spring and post-winter rejuvenation. What’s your favorite way to use this sweet shade of blue?

Mood Board Monday: Robin's Egg BlueTop, L to R: BHG, Dustjacket (both) | Middle, L to R: Etsy, Green Wedding Shoes, The Paper Mulberry | Bottom, L to R: Etsy, Elizabeth Anne Designs, Soel Boutique

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

Robin’s-egg blue inspiration from HGTV.com:

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Egg Carton Easter Basket

Spring is one of my favorite times of the year. I love the blooming flowers and much-needed warm weather. Easter traditions mark some of my greatest spring memories with friends and family. Who can say no to deviled eggs, dip-dyed eggs and egg hunts? But let’s be honest, we dye, boil and devil eggs then toss the egg carton out. After a particularly egg-ridden dinner party I was staring at my leftover egg cartons and wondering how I could incorporate their fun and funky shape into my Easter season this spring. Then I came up with a plan to transform the egg cartons into Easter gifts stuffed with all treat essentials.

Follow These Three Steps

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St. Patrick's Day Crafts

There are always a few holidays that get discarded around my house when it comes to decorations. It’s not that I don’t adore the firework magic of the Fourth of July or the festive hearts around Valentine’s Day. Honestly, I wouldn’t even know how to decorate for Groundhogs Day if I had the time and energy. Some years I feel like the one holiday that doesn’t get enough appreciation is St. Patrick’s Day. A celebratory toast and a green shirt seem to be the limit to our festivities in years past. But not this year! Nope, this year I am going to celebrate with a little St. Paddy’s Day dinner with my husband and toddler (so it’s going to be a real party up in here). To make the evening really fun, I wanted to create special place setting tags for my lucky guys and I am going to teach you how to make some of your own, too.

Get Started

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We’ve got you covered on what cocktails to make for St. Patrick’s Day, so now it’s time to figure out other details of your party. Most of you probably don’t throw a party for this popular drinking holiday, but you may change your mind after looking through our Irish-inspired recipes. Plus, it’s fun to think of an excuse to throw a shindig!

Naked Rainbow Layer Cake

Naked Rainbow Layer Cake

Impress guests by making this easy naked layer cake — the rainbow layers double as something sweet and as an eye-catching centerpiece (Sorry, there isn’t a pot of gold at the end of this rainbow).

Get the Recipe>>

More St. Patrick’s Day 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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Mardi Gras is next Tuesday, March 4, so now’s the time to make your way to the Big Easy to catch the most popular parades before Fat Tuesday. And if you can’t make it down to New Orleans this year, then I can almost guarantee your city will have a sampling of Bourbon Street in celebration. Joyeux Mardi Gras!

Mood Board Monday: Mardi Gras 2014From left: Costume | Masks | Beads in Tree | King Cake | Entrance | Print | Balcony | Float | Shots | Dog

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

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We celebrate the third Monday of February each year, known as President’s Day, to honor George Washington, the first president of the United States. (February 22 is George’s actual birthday, though.) Across the country we use this day to celebrate and remember all of our nation’s presidents, including Abraham Lincoln, whose birthday also falls in the month of February. Happy birthday, Abe and George!

(I’ll happily take all of the below to add to my vintage presidential collection.)

Mood Board Monday: President's DayGeorge Sculpture | Print | Terrarium | Office | Bookends | Figurines | Blocks | Pillow

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

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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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Nerd Valentines Printable

NoBiggie.net

I wouldn’t really call myself a nerd, but I have spent many a Friday night with my nose in a book and I may or may not have dressed up as a Hogwarts student for the Harry Potter midnight movie premieres… But who hasn’t done that, right? So whether you’re an old-school Trekkie or a new Big Bang Theory fan, you’re sure to love these free Valentine’s Day printables that are simply “adorkable!”

Star Wars and Star Trek Valentine Printables
Star Wars and Star Trek Printables From The Dating Divas

More Nerdy Valentines

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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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A month ago, I spent New Year’s Eve in downtown Nashville, trying to keep my nose defrosted long enough to watch the giant guitar drop at midnight. This weekend, I’m prepping for a more comfortable New Year’s celebration – the Chinese New Year. The Chinese New Year is all about taking time away from school and work to focus on family and cleansing your home before another year.

There’s also some really delicious food involved. Dumplings, spring rolls and long noodles are all good luck symbols for wealth and long life. Nian gao, a sticky rice cake, is the traditional dessert served on the Chinese New Year, but I couldn’t pass up sharing these adorable cookies from The Sweet Adventures of Sugar Belle made with sugar cookie dough, a few Christmas cookie cutters and icing. They might not be traditional, but they’re a perfectly festive way to bring in the Chinese year of 4712.

Are you making anything special for the Chinese New Year?

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