ALL POSTS IN Holidays

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The only thing that can complete a perfect pumpkin spice latte or a warm caramel apple martini is a good ol’ fashion horror flick. As a life-long devotee to horror movies — or anything Halloween related — October is somewhat of a month-long horror-binge-a-thon for myself (and anyone else I can drag along).

So to help spread the Halloween spirit — FrontDoor has featured a few of the most iconic horror movie homes.

Friday the 13th
OK, so it isn’t actually a “house” but it is the filming location for Friday The 13th, one of the most recognizable American horror franchises. Can anyone really think about camping without imagining Jason?

Amityville Horror
Interestingly, the terrifying “eye windows” that made The Amityville Horror so scary were removed after filming. I guess since this is an actual home that someone might actually need to sell — that may have been a smart move.

Texas Chainsaw Massacre
We all know the story of Leatherface — at least I do; he robbed me of about 40,000,000,000 hours of sleep. This was the home of the cannibalistic clan in the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre film. It was later relocated and opened as a restaurant. Eat at your own risk.

Rosemary's Baby
Recently remade as a television miniseries, Rosemary’s Baby was pretty terrifying when first released in 1968. Would you put up with it for such a beautiful New York City apartment? (Kidding)

The Shining House
Finally, The Shining. I still remember Jack Nicholson’s face popping through that bathroom door when I was just a little nugget. I think this may have sparked my love of the entire genre. I would definitely stay here — you know — if I skied.

While October is my excuse for binging on gore, it’s really just an opportunity to snuggle on the couch and drink cider, chocolate, or whatever I want. So wrangle up a few old horror flicks — because they are the best — for a countdown to a fun and spooky holiday.

What are your favorite scary movies? Do you have any plans to celebrate Halloween? Tell us about your favorite Halloween traditions or plans you’ve already made!

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I don’t really care that the calendar says the official start date of fall is whenever the Pumpkin Spice Latte becomes “a thing.” I personally enjoy the flavor throughout all seasons — my post-run smoothie always employs the use of pumpkin. Nonetheless, I do enjoy this time of year when the rest of the world embraces my affinity for the obligatory orange squash.

However, this year #PSL momentum has suffered an early blow with the news that it contains zero actual pumpkin, and is stuffed full of chemicals and unnecessary additives. While some food scientists have objectively defended the drink’s absence of actual pumpkin, some of us are left searching for a more natural alternative to our favorite seasonal swig.

HGTVGardens answered our prayers with their very own Pumpkin Spice Latte recipe. It is far more nutritious, uses fewer ingredients and contains actual pumpkin (WOO!). Plus, I would bet my yearly fall-flavored-grocery budget that this recipe is more affordable.

PSL

Makes 1 PERFECT #PSL:
1/2 to 1 cup milk (I use vanilla almond milk)
2 tablespoons canned pumpkin
1 to 2 tablespoons of natural maple syrup or sugar (try brown sugar or black strap molasses if you’re really in the mood)
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice
1 to 2 shots of espresso or 1/2 cup of coffee (the stronger the better in my opinion)
whipped cream for added #nomnoms

Here is all you have to do:

Whisk together milk, pumpkin and sugar in a saucepan set on low, stir until the mix is steaming. Remove the mix from heat, stir in the vanilla extract and spice and whisk until frothy. Next step, pour your new heaven-sauce mixture into a large mug, add the espresso, and enjoy. Guilt-free, chemical-free and “waiting-45-minutes-in-line-while-you’re-already-late-for-work”-free.

A latte isn’t enough for you? Click here to see every pumpkin idea, recipe, and tip our editors have to get your fix.

Have your own favorite latte recipe? Share it with us, or tell us your thoughts on the #PSL.

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Casual summer weekends are a great time to break out vintage scarves to create a fun hairstyle with virtually no effort. But now that the days are getting cooler, here’s another scarf use to consider: year-round gift wrap.

Furoshiki is a Japanese fabric-wrapping technique to add reusable, eco-friendly style to everything from packaged gifts to vases to food. Techniques can get pretty intricate, but today I’m showing you some of the basics. Take a look:

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You can find traditional furoshiki-style wraps online, but the thrift store is a great place to stock up on vintage scarves for those last-minute gifts. Bonus: Your friend can reuse the scarf to wrap another gift or spice up her wardrobe.

Small Furoshiki Wrap

What do you think? Would you ditch rolls of paper in favor of pretty fabric this year? Tell us in the comments below.

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The unofficial end of summer is (sadly) here (sad face). It feels like we were just talking about ways to start up the grill for summer cookouts. As another season approaches, it seems only right we close out the most carefree time of year with a few refreshing concoctions. Whip up these cool and colorful drinks by Cooking Channel’s Alie Ward and Georgia Hardstark as you soak up the long weekend.

Izze Cocktail Recipe

Photo + Recipe: IZZE Sparkling Juice

Vanilla Clementini

Throw it back to childhood snow cone days with this adult version that’s also a martini. (!!!)

Ingredients

1 1/2 ounces vanilla vodka
1/2 triple sec or orange liqueur
3 ounces IZZE Sparkling Clementine
2 cups finely-crushed or shaved ice
2 tablespoons sweetened condensed milk

Instructions

In a glass, combine vodka, triple sec and IZZE Sparkling Clementine and stir lightly. Pour over shaved ice and top with a drizzle of sweetened condensed milk. Serve with a spoon (and be prepared to make seconds).

Yield: 1 serving

Izze Cocktail Recipe

Photo + Recipe: IZZE Sparkling Juice

Grapefruit Lavenderita

Put a spin on the Paloma with a dash of lavender.

Ingredients

2 ounces lavender-infused tequila
1/2 Campari
3/4 fresh-squeezed lime juice
6 ounces IZZE Sparkling Grapefruit

Instructions

Add first three ingredients to a tall glass filled with ice and stir. Pour IZZE Sparkling Grapefruit over and stir. Garnish with a fresh lavender blossom and tell someone that you got them flowers.

To infuse tequila, add one tablespoon of dried lavender flowers to 8 ounces of tequila and let sit for 1 hour. Strain and store tequila in a sealed jar or bottle.

Yield: 1 serving

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Happy Bastille Day everyone! I must admit, I’m feeling pretty nostalgic. I was lucky enough to watch the fireworks erupt behind the Eiffel Tower on Bastille Day last year (take me baaack), so I’m having a serious case of wanderlust today. Even if we can’t all go to Paris to join in traditions like watching the fireworks or attending the Military Parade on the Champs-Élysées, we can certainly celebrate this historic day in our own way here in America. Here’s a few HGTV takes on La Fête Nationale traditions:

Bastille Day Ideas: Red, White and Blue Decor
All Things Blue, White, and Red
Remember all those cute Fourth of July decorations you put so much thought into two weeks ago? Good news: Bastille Day gives you a reason to re-use your festive red, white and blue pieces. Just remove anything involving stars and stripes and voilà — your home is ready for French festivities.

MORE BASTILLE DAY IDEAS

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UPDATE: This poll is now closed. Thanks for spending Christmas in July with HGTV Magazine.

christmas in july

Get a head start on the holidays! Browse the Christmas in July hub where our hgtv.com editors have found the best ideas for handmade gifts and decorations, kids’ crafts, greeting cards and more. But first, take a second to answer the question below. HGTV Magazine is already prepping for this year’s December issue and asks for your input on the long-standing Christmas tree debate: real or fake?

Christmas decorations

The holidays will be here before you know it.

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Fireworks are normally the main attraction of a Fourth of July party, but it’s time for the menu to take center stage. It’s easy to come up with creative menu items for this holiday because it’s so festive, and the main course revolves around my favorite — the grill. These patriotic recipes will surely be the talk of your party.

Panna Cotta Shooters

You can’t get any more patriotic than these adorable shooters. Layers of red, white and blue creamy panna cotta and edible gold stars make this a true patriotic treat.

Panna Cotta Shooters

Get the Full Recipe Here>>

Try Our Patriotic Recipes

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While you embrace the Fourth of July with tasty seasonal fare and vibrant fireworks, don’t forget about a festive, signature party beverage. With the summer heat bearing down, these icy concoctions will certainly hit the spot.

Fourth of July Recipes

Courtesy of Cornelia Guest

Star-Spangled Spiked Smoothie

Ingredients

1 ounce vodka
1 cup mixed berries (fresh or frozen)
1 8-ounce container vanilla yogurt
coconut flakes, for garnish

Instructions

Combine vodka, berries and yogurt in a blender and blend until smooth. Garnish with blueberries and coconut flakes.

More Recipes to Try >>

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It’s officially summer, and for some of you that means throwing a Fourth of July party. A patriotic vibe is the first thing your guests will notice, so set the bar high when it comes to decorations. To help you, I’ve rounded up my favorite easy decoration and activity ideas your guests will love.

Paper Flower Wreath

Give your home a patriotic feel even before your party guests walk in the door with a crepe paper flower wreath. Choose unconventional Fourth of July colors like coral, cobalt blue and ivory, or go with the classic red, white and blue hues.

Paper Flower Wreath

Get the Full Step-by-Step Instructions Here>>

Ombre Party Linens

Dyeing basic white table linens in an ombre pattern is a modern way to show your patriotism. Despite how intricate this looks, these are easy to make.

Patriotic Ombre Party Linens

Get the Full Step-by-Step Instructions Here>>

Get More Patriotic Ideas

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You’ve done it again — you waited until the last minute to get a Father’s Day gift, and now it’s too late to order his favorite gadget online. If you aren’t the crafty type this can really limit your gift options. Well, what if I told you you could make him an inexpensive, custom gift with zero crafting skills? Yes you heard me correctly — all you need to make the T-shirt below is our free printable pattern and an iron. It’s super easy, and it’s something Dad will love and actually get use out of.

DIY Father's Day T-Shirt

Get the Full Step-by-Step Instructions Here>>

And if a T-shirt isn’t his thing, use our printable to make him a custom tote bag. Download it here>>

Happy Early Father’s Day to all the wonderful dads out there!

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free father's day printables

Happy Father’s Day to all of the dads out there, and happy scramble-until-you-find-the-right-gift to the rest of us. You know dad just wants us healthy, housed and capable of paying our own bills, but for Father’s Day we want to show him just how much we appreciate his perfect grilled chicken, the way he always says “take your time” when you are driving somewhere, and that his pep talks always involve the words “put your game face on.” So here is a round-up of handmade gifts you can give to your dad to show him just how much he is loved and appreciated.

free father's day printables-2

Handmade Charlotte has you covered with 5 different *free* printables for dad.

Chalkboard organizer

Give dad a place to organize his keys and shades with this Chalkboard House Organizer that I made on HGTV Handmade.

Wood and Faulk's leather camera strap

Is your dad always saying cheese and capturing “the moment?” Then he might dig a handmade leather camera strap for his special day via Wood and Faulk.

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Julia shows us how easy it is to make a custom pint glass for dad in this great video.

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If dad is a coffee lover, make him a custom dishwasher safe mug, like I do for my dad on HGTV Handmade.

More Daddy Day Gift Ideas

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It’s his turn — time for you to show your favorite guy how much you really appreciate him. The man in your life (whether it be your dad, grandpa or baby-daddy) most likely selflessly gives 364 days out of the year. June 15th is his day to do and get whatever he wants, and we are here to help you make that happen.

Get Him Gifts He Wants

He probably has enough ties — make him the ultimate grilling accessory instead or a personalized catchall tray for him to keep his things at hand.

BBQ Tool Belt

More Handmade Gift Ideas for Dad>>

Get More Father’s Day Ideas

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Memorial Day Cocktails

I have pretty routine Memorial Day weekends year after year. I like to be by the water, whether it’s on a friend’s boat or at the pool. It doesn’t really matter which one (or both!), but I like to be feet away from some sort of cool-down option with a refreshing cocktail in hand. To me, there’s no better way to kick off summer. Here’s what I’ll be concocting over the break.

4 Refreshing Cocktails to Try

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Mother's Day Lunch

As handmade cards, floral perfumes, silk scarves, and mimosa filled afternoons are harvested by mothers around the country, I recommend flipping to the “B” side of the annual celebration record. Make plans to skip brunch and serve a delicious lunch instead. Try making this delightful menu composed of a soup, salad and open faced sandwich. It retains a lot of the delicious flavors of the standard holiday meal, just minus the eggs and syrup.

Get the Full Menu

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I know a lot of people “dipped” into the guacamole and tequila early and celebrated Cinco de Mayo over the weekend, but it’s not too late to gather your friends and whip up a festive Monday night fiesta. Or you can simply make a batch of homemade fiesta-ready cocktails. Either one sounds good to me.

Mood Board Monday: Cinco de MayoTop, L to R: HGTV.com, HGTV.com, Domaine | Middle, L to R: Lulu the Baker, HGTV.com, Spoonflower | Bottom, L to R: HGTV.com, The Glitter Guide, HGTV.com

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

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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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