ALL POSTS IN Holidays

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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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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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With Thanksgiving around the corner and the holiday season in sight, ’tis the season for fresh cranberries. Sure, they make a mean cranberry sauce or upside-down cake, but if you’ve tried one straight from the bag, you know cranberries are nothing short of pucker-inducing. So, I was skeptical when I first heard that sugared cranberries made a great snack. As the kitchen investigator I try to be, I had to see for myself.

You guys. These things are addictive. Soaking cranberries overnight in a maple-scented simple syrup transforms them from pucker-worthy to perfectly sweet-tart. Rolling them in superfine sugar adds a satisfying crunch. As pretty as they are tasty, they make a great cake or cocktail garnish. Make a double batch and wait for the rave reviews.

Sugared Cranberry Recipe on HGTV.com

GET THE SUGARED CRANBERRIES RECIPE

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There’s nothing like a classy beverage to make a holiday party feel more festive or to whet everyone’s appetite for small bites. My husband and I are cocktail enthusiasts, but as much as I love drinks with lots of exotic ingredients and elaborate garnishes (hello, flaming limes!), we’ve found it’s best to keep it simple behind the bar when you’re entertaining for a large group. It’s also a good idea to keep drinks on the low-alcohol end of the spectrum so guests can sip the night away without feeling the negative effects the next morning. So, what do you mix when you’re looking for something simple, low-alcohol, festive and tasty? Enter the shim!

The Pleasant Evening cocktail on a tray

TWO TASTY COCKTAIL RECIPES TO TRY

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