ALL POSTS IN Holidays

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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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Sure, holiday decorations are nice (and so pretty), but let’s be real: It’s not a party without festive food and drink. A buffet table allows guests to flow through the food line  — perfect for the casual vibe of our holiday party.  Want to create your own? Follow these tips for success.

Find the right spot to set up your table. Food tables are kinda like real estate: that is, all about location, location, location. You want an out-of-the-way spot that still allows for an entry and exit point.  Skip spots like a kitchen island that create a bottleneck for a large group.

Holiday Food Table Setup Tips

Dress up a temporary table. You don’t need a dining room or even a buffet table to make this party setup work. We used a fold-up party table topped with a covering made from a dropcloth (!!!) and a small, hemmed piece of gorgeous marbled fabric.

DIY Holiday Tablecloth From DIY Network

Create a starting spot. Placing the plates and napkins at one end of the table creates a clear entry point. Copper string lights inside a footed cloche draw attention to the beginning of the line.

More Buffet-Table Tips

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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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Okay, first, I should come clean and confess that while I love all things crafty, sewing has never been my forte. My mom is a whiz and has tried to instruct me in the ways of the force many times (I even took Home Ec in high school and made an almost wearable drawstring-waist skirt) but all the math and measuring — ugh — too hard!

But, recently our friends at HGTV Home offered up their on-trend fabric from JoAnn if we wanted to do some holiday crafts and, of course, we jumped at the chance even though some of us, like me, are decidedly sewing challenged. 

So, now I had yards of beautiful fabric and no way to magic it into a viable project. Enter fusible web, which is seriously one of the greatest inventions of all time. All you need is a hot iron to permanently join 2 pieces of fabric — no sewing machine required. It’s fabric magic which helps you create easy ornaments as cute as this:

No-Sew Fabric Christmas Ornament as a Gift Topper *This fabric is HGTV Home’s “Ring Around Peacock” in turquoise — available at your local JoAnn store.

I’m in full-on handmade-gift-fabrication mode right now so I decided to use my ornaments as colorful gift toppers. The recipients can then hang them on their trees:Handmade Fabric Ornament on White Christmas Tree *This fabric is HGTV Home’s “Jigsaw” in turquoise — available at your local JoAnn store.

 Or use them to top another gift:No-Sew Fabric Christmas Ornament as a Gift Topper*This fabric is HGTV Home’s “Turtle Shell” in turquoise — available at your local JoAnn store.

Ready to make your own no-sew fabric ornaments? Our free printable templates make it a snap. Get crafting with all my tips and complete step-by-step instructions>>

Fabric Ornaments and Printable Templates

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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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Well guys, the countdown to Christmas is on, have you started wrapping your gifts yet? If not, I have a suggestion: skip the pricey gift wrap and grab an inexpensive roll of brown kraft paper. With this as your base, I have three simple ideas to dress it up on the cheap. Check out our video:

What do you think? My personal favorite is the copper Mylar tape, but the polka dots and craft paint are a close second.

Kraft Paper Gift Wrap

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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If you’ve been following our holiday party coverage, then you’ve seen everything from how to prepare a cheese plate to how to hang a branch chandelier. We’re not just showcasing holiday food and decor over here, though. We’ve got festive party attire that’s perfect for upcoming shindigs. As a matter of fact, my sister borrowed the handmade glitter shoes I debuted last week to wear to a holiday party.

Walk in the door sparkling from head to toe with an easy-to-make, ’20s-inspired headband. You may even have everything you need on hand for this project.

Home for the Holidays: '20s Headband

Photo by Jeff Romaniuk

DIY '20s Headband

Here’s what you’ll need:

one yard neutral grosgrain ribbon
assorted ribbon trim
feathers (optional)
brooch (optional)
hot glue gun + hot glue sticks
scissors

First, measure the grosgrain base ribbon around your head and make sure you leave enough excess to tie. Cut the ribbon’s ends at a neat diagonal. After your headband ribbon is measured, you can apply your assorted ribbon trim as freely and creatively as you like. I glued my three favorite pieces of metallic trim onto the ribbon and allowed them to dry before applying the brooch embellishment. Since our party hues included plum and mixed metallics, I thought this brooch was a perfect fit. Pin on your embellishment, tie on your headband and that’s it!

More holiday attire you can make:

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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I. Love. Plaid. It brings a classic holiday touch to modern spaces and instantly warms up any space. And let’s face it, as much as we tried to forget about plaid years ago, it’s a cold-weather staple that will truly never go out of style.

Mood Board Monday: Tartan PlaidScarf | Deer Print | Throw | Table Setting | Pants | Gifts | Blazer | Table Setting | Cat

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

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Congratulations to Christina F. on her Pottery Barn win!

Happy Friday, everyone! I hope you all had a magnificent Thanksgiving holiday last week (and that this workweek has treated you well). And here we are — December 6th — just look at us — in a little over two weeks we’ll be celebrating Christmas! Buckle up, this month is going to speed by.

Here on the Home for the Holidays front, the team at Design Happens and Made + Remade focused their attention this week on everything from holiday fashions (you gotta look good at your party!) to easy DIY holiday decor (super easy stuff, I promise!).

Home for the Holidays Recap

From recipes to holiday fashions, Design Happens has it all.

This week’s topics included:
Gingersnap Cookies With Pumpkin Pie Dip
Budget-Chic Party Fashion
How to Make a Light-Up Holiday Star
How to Make an Antiqued Mirror Tray
Easy Ombre Glitter Nails
How to Make Sparkly Swizzle Sticks
How to Make a Magnolia Garland

Now to our giveaway! To help make your home even more festive, we’re calling on Pottery Barn. From their holiday collection, we’re giving away 1 medium-sized Mercury Glass Tree (see below). They are currently sold out, but we have one just for you! Leave a comment below to enter for a chance to win. This giveaway’s question: In one sentence, tell me — how do you decorate your Christmas tree?

Mercury Glass Christmas Tree

Silver Mercury Glass Trees From Pottery Barn

You may only comment once to be considered, and you don’t have to purchase anything to win; a purchase will not increase your chances of winning. Odds depend on total number of entries. Void where prohibited by law. Only open to legal residents of 50 U.S., D.C. or Puerto Rico, and you must be at least 18 years of age to win. All entries (comments) must be entered between 9:00 a.m. ET on December 6, 2013 and 12:00 p.m. ET on December 9, 2013. Subject to full official rules. By leaving a comment on the blog, you acknowledge your acceptance to the Official Rules. ARV of the prize: $39.50. Sponsor: Scripps Networks, LLC, d/b/a HGTV, 9721 Sherrill Boulevard, Knoxville, TN 37932

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Most of us probably still have a lot of holiday shopping left to do. I always leave the men for last because they’re the hardest to buy gifts for, and I tend to procrastinate. Does he really need another sweater? Do I really want to spend a lot of money on the newest gadget? I’ve learned over the years that making something is the best route to go. Bonus: You can skip the crowds!

However, handmade gifts for guys can be a bit tricky — you want to make something useful but also something he can brag about to his friends. While we’re at it, let’s make it really easy to make (Nobody has time to spend hours crafting!).

Here are our top 5 DIY holiday gifts for the men in your life:

 Felt Gadget Case

How to Make a Felt Gadget Case

He may already have the latest gadget, so get him a felt cover to help protect it. If you don’t have basic sewing skills, try this project with fabric glue!

Get the Full Instructions Here>>

4 More Gifts For Guys

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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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I’ve been wanting to glitter shoes for a while now, but I didn’t have a pair I was willing to transform just yet. It wasn’t until that last toe-stubbing moment I couldn’t shine out that I decided these heeled loafers were ready to be beautified.

I decided to go for a wintry, metallic color scheme that would look perfect with my cream holiday dresses, plum accents (like those tights) and even black. They made their debut at our uber-festive holiday party a few weeks ago and I can’t wait to wear them again! The best part? I’m a perfectionist and I was done with this project in less than an hour.

Home for the Holidays: DIY Glitter ShoesPhoto by Jeff Romaniuk

Here’s what you’ll need:

shoes
Mod Podge Gloss-Lustre Finish
ultra-fine glitter (in desired color)
painter’s tape
paintbrush with synthetic bristles
polyurethane spray
plastic container (for mixing glitter + glue)
drop cloth
ribbon for laces (optional)
spray paint (optional)

Get the complete step-by-step instructions here >>

Check back next week for more holiday party fashion you can make before your upcoming soiree.

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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Contest is now closed, congratulations Wendy!

Have you finished your holiday decorating yet? Or are you just getting started? Me, I fall somewhere in the middle. The tree is up and trimmed, the mantel is mostly done (I think it just needs some greenery), and I have a few finishing touches to add to the rest of the house. One thing I can’t wait to hang is this Light-Up Holiday Star. It’s kind of amazing. Watch the video below to see how to make this project for yourself, and then read on to win some Pottery Barn stockings!

This show stopper of a star looks great indoors but since it’s made of foam and LED lights you can use it outdoors as well! It would look great next to your front door, don’t you think?

Hanging Light-Up Holiday Star

Faux Fur Stockings courtesy of Pottery Barn

Now on to our giveaway! Here is your chance to deck your halls in style, thanks to our friends at Pottery Barn. Leave a comment on this post and you’ll be entered to win two Faux Fur Stockings and two Faux Sheepskin Stockings, each trimmed in gorgeous ivory velvet.

You may only comment once to be considered, and you don’t have to purchase anything to win; a purchase will not increase your chances of winning. Odds depend on total number of entries. Void where prohibited by law. Only open to legal residents of 50 U.S., D.C. or Puerto Rico, and you must be at least 18 years of age to win. All entries (comments) must be entered between 11:00 a.m. ET on December 3, 2013 and 12:00 p.m. ET on December 9, 2013. Subject to full official rules. By leaving a comment on the blog, you acknowledge your acceptance to the Official Rules. ARV of the prize: $98.00. Sponsor: Scripps Networks, LLC, d/b/a HGTV, 9721 Sherrill Boulevard, Knoxville, TN 37932

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Welcome to December, friends! From festive string lights lining the city streets to holiday tunes jazzing up local shops, this month couldn’t get any better. What’s your favorite part of the holiday season? Eggnog? Gingerbread?

Mood Board Monday: Christmas HollyHair Clip | Vintage Cat Card | Vintage Kid Card | Holly | Cake | Cupcake| Cocktail | Garland

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

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Congratulations to Yolanda C. on her Pottery Barn win!

Here we are — the eve of Thanksgiving. Am I the only one who feels like 2013 just began? After tomorrow, we’re on the fast-track to Christmas. Crazy! Anyhoo, this week the team at Design Happens and Made + Remade focused their attention on holiday bar set up and cocktails. If you’re hosting a party, you’re going to want signature drinks presented in a fabulous setting. We can help with all of it.

Holiday Bar

This week’s bar topics included:

Decorating a Holiday Bar
How to Stock Your Bar
Festive Cocktails for Your Party
Delicious Cranberry Recipe
Cranberry-Walnut Relish Recipe
Make the Perfect Cheese Plate

Now to our giveaway! You too can have a lovely bar with help from Pottery Barn. From their collection, we’re giving away 1 Rye Bar Tool Set (see below). Leave a comment below to enter for a chance to win. This giveaway’s question: Do you have a signature cocktail for your holiday parties? What is it? 

You may only comment once to be considered, and you don’t have to purchase anything to win; a purchase will not increase your chances of winning. Odds depend on total number of entries. Void where prohibited by law. Only open to legal residents of 50 U.S., D.C. or Puerto Rico, and you must be at least 18 years of age to win. All entries (comments) must be entered between 9:00 a.m. ET on November 27, 2013 and 12:00 p.m. ET on December 2, 2013. Subject to full official rules. By leaving a comment on the blog, you acknowledge your acceptance to the Official Rules. ARV of the prize: $60.00. Sponsor: Scripps Networks, LLC, d/b/a HGTV, 9721 Sherrill Boulevard, Knoxville, TN 37932

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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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Marianne showed you how to set the perfect cheese board (and how to actually make a rustic board) for the holidays, but what to serve with the cheese? Setting out cheese accompaniments is as much about presentation as it is complementary flavors. Include the obvious — like bread and nuts — and add fall fruits, like figs and sugared cranberries. To bring in more flavor and color, include a relish with your selections.

 

Holiday Cheese Board

A cranberry-walnut relish adds just the right amount of color and tartness to perfectly complement cheese. The piney flavor and scent of chopped rosemary in the relish is a reminder that the holidays are finally here.

Cranberry-Walnut Relish

 Get the Full Recipe Here>>

Check back with us later to get more ideas and recipes from the rest of our holiday menu.

 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.

All photos by Jason Kisner

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