ALL POSTS IN Holidays

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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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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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We’ve told you all about our holiday party table setup, from Marianne’s gutter centerpiece to Deanne’s rustic-chic place card holders to Dan’s handmade farmhouse benches. But have you looked up yet? When you do, you’ll see one of my favorite projects from the whole party: A chandelier fashioned from a plain old branch and beautiful dried flowers.

Here’s a peek at the finished product if you’ve missed it so far:

Decorate for the Holidays With an Easy Branch Chandelier

I love how it started as, well, a branch (specifically, a drifter that landed on Marianne’s porch) and, with a little embellishment, became something gorgeous. It’s also an affordable holiday update — the branch is free, the other materials inexpensive — that can last throughout the holiday season. Want to make your own at home? I’ve got you covered. Read on.

MAKE YOUR OWN BRANCH CHANDELIER

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Congratulations to Jessica on her Chilewich win!

Continuing right along with our Home for the Holidays franchise, this week the teams at Design Happens and Made + Remade focused their efforts on table settings. Yes, we understand that food is your main priority when you gather friends and family around your table — but, don’t you want all that time and effort spent cooking and baking appreciated not only by taste, but presentation? Let your guests savor their meal surrounded in an inviting atmosphere.

Home for the Holidays Table Setting

This week’s tabletop topics included:

8 Tips for Setting a Festive Table
Make a Holiday Centerpiece (in a Gutter!)
Easy DIY Mercury Glass Votives
Pretty, Rustic Place Card Holders
Hanging Branch Chandelier
Plus: Painted Pine Cone Plaques

Now to our giveaway! You too can have a beautiful holiday table setting with select items from Chilewich (see below). From their collection, we’re giving away 1 Gold Mod Table Runner, 8 Freesia Pink Linen Napkins and 8 Gold Dahlia Placemats/Chargers. Leave a comment below to enter for a chance to win. This giveaway’s question: Do you typically go all-out for your holiday table settings? Or, is that not a top priority?

Giveaways

Left: Table Runner; Center: Linen Napkin; Right: Placemat/Charger

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 22, 2013 and 12:00 p.m. ET on November 25, 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: $211.00. Sponsor: Scripps Networks, LLC, d/b/a HGTV, 9721 Sherrill Boulevard, Knoxville, TN 37932

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When I heard that a rustic-meets-elegant table setting was part of the plan for our holiday party, the first project that popped into my mind was DIY mercury glass votives. I love the timeworn look of the mirrored finish and have been wanting to try out a little trick I know for recreating it with just 2 materials: looking glass spray paint and a spray bottle filled with water. Yep, that’s it, this project is as simple as that – just 2 materials and 2 steps you repeat a few times till you’re happy with the mirrored finish.

But the finished votives don’t look super simple — their subtle mercury glass interiors lend an elegant sparkle to our holiday table:Easy to Make Mercury Glass Votives

Ready to make your own? Get crafting with all my tips and complete step-by-step instructions>>

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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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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Have you enjoyed our holiday party posts so far? We have so much more to share with you! Last week, we talked all about the fireplace design in the rustic party space at Knoxville’s gorgeous Botanical Garden. This week, we’ll share our DIY project ideas for creating a perfect holiday table. Today, read on to find our top 8 tips to help you plan and create a table setting that sets a festive mood — without making you pull your hair out. But first, here’s a peek at the finished design:

Holiday Table Setting Ideas From HGTV and DIY Network

Let decorations do double (or triple!) duty. When we started planning a holiday celebration for the Design Happens and Made + Remade crews, we shied away from traditional colors. Why? Apart from the fact that we just wanted something a little bit different for our table design, using a plum and turquoise palette with lots of metallics makes these decorations feel perfectly appropriate from Thanksgiving all the way through New Year’s Eve. One set of DIY projects for the whole season? Yes, please!

Holiday Table Setting Ideas From HGTV and DIY Network

Low centerpieces keep the conversation flowing. We chose a short-in-stature, tall-on-style centerpiece (how-to video coming to tomorrow’s Weekday Crafternoon!) made from a length of gutter and winter florals, plus a hanging branch centerpiece strung with dried cockscomb. That left eye level open, making it easier for guests to chat and enjoy the party.

More Holiday Table Setting Tips

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Update: Congratulations to Susan, from Georgia, on her Pottery Barn win!

How are you enjoying our Home for the Holidays series so far? This week, our main theme was how to decorate your fireplace and mantel. The projects that the Design Happens and Made + Remade teams put together for this holiday blog franchise are just stunning — and easy! for those of you who think you can’t make anything (you really can!).

We hope these ideas are inspiring you. Stick with us in the coming weeks, we have tons more exciting and beautiful ideas to share.

Home for the Holidays

Thank you to Knoxville’s Botanical Garden and Arboretum for letting us use your facilities.

What have we, along with our friends at DIYNetwork’s Made + Remade shown you so far? Well, let’s recap:

Our Inspirational Moodboard
Create a Festive and Glowing Fireplace (Without the Fire!)
Fireplace Moodboard
Make Your Own Funky Stockings
Bar Moodboard
Dress Up Your Holiday Party Invitations
Dining Table Moodboard
Food and Dessert Table Moodboard
Weekday Crafternoon: DIY Wood-Burned Cheese Board
DIY Felt Ombre Trees
How to Style Your Bookshelves
How to Make Leather-Wrapped Books

Now to our giveaway! Cozy up by your fire this holiday season with a couple of ivory ski-lodge worthy pillows from our friends at Pottery Barn. Leave a comment below to enter for a chance to win. This giveaway’s question: Are you hosting a holiday party this year? Tell us what plans you’ve made.

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 15, 2013 and 12:00 p.m. ET on November 18, 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: $200.00. Sponsor: Scripps Networks, LLC, d/b/a HGTV, 9721 Sherrill Boulevard, Knoxville, TN 37932
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When it comes to holiday decorating, true design junkies leave no space untouched, and that includes the bookshelves. For our fabulous holiday party, we knew we couldn’t make any permanent changes to the shoot location, but with the help of University of Cincinnati design student Jill Roebel, we came up with a gorgeous temporary solution that transformed the bookshelves without permanently affecting the structure.

Holiday Bookshelf Paper Backing

We loved the bookshelves’ rustic combination of stone and wood, but we wanted to lighten the space to better showcase our display as well as coordinate with our overall theme. Instead of applying paint or wallpaper directly to the back of the shelves, Jill got crafty with some foam board and stylish wrapping paper.

“Wrapping foam board in paper prevents you from having to cut the paper perfectly straight to get a clean line in the back of your shelves,” explains Jill. “You can chop away at your wrapping paper, and all those zigzag lines will be perfectly hidden on the back of the board.”

Another great benefit of wrapping foam board rather than adding wallpaper to the back of your shelves is the ease at which you can mix up your design. Just measure the opening of the shelves and cut your foam board to size. Using tape, wrap the paper around the board just like you would for a gift. Re-wrap for different times of the year, and you still only have to measure once. And according to Jill, “If you can wrap a gift you can do this project!”

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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So, as you’ve probably heard by now, we’re throwing a holiday party — and not just any holiday party — a crafty holiday party where we’ll make the decorations, drinks and nibbles then show you guys how we pulled it off.

Our event space has a massive stone fireplace flanked by shelves so I decided to finally tackle a project I’d been planning for a while and cover a few of my coffee table books in leather. As I’ve mentioned before, I’m *all* about antiques and naturally wanted my leather books to look like they’d been around for a few decades so I originally planned on covering them in leather from an old bomber jacket. After unsuccessfully scouring thrift stores for the perfect piece of vintage leather, I decided to just purchase new leather then age it myself using the same tricks I use for distressing furniture.

And, voila, they turned out great — and the process was actually easier than I thought it would be. So easy, in fact, that I may have to make a few of these expensive-looking antique tomes to hand out as handmade holiday gifts: Leather-Wrapped Books

Want to make your own antique look-alike leather books to add a timeworn touch to your home or as a cool handmade gift? Get crafting with all my tips and complete step-by-step instructions>>


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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Are you looking for an easy way to update your home for the holidays? Try re-styling your bookshelves for a fresh look with a festive feel. For the Design Happens/Made + Remade holiday party, we went all out with bright metallics, rustic accents and a touch of glamour. University of Cincinnati design student Jill Roebel was in her element as she styled each and every shelf to make it holiday ready. And lucky for us, she’s shared her top pieces of advice!

Holiday Bookshelves

5 Tips for Styling Holiday Bookshelves

Evaluate the visual weight, color and size of every object you plan to use. If it looks like one shelf is pulling all the weight, rearrange for a more balanced look, varying the size and textures to add visual interest. Keep in mind visual weight does not directly correspond with actual weight. For example, a small object in a bright color or metallic sheen can hold a lot of visual weight, as it has a tendency to draw the eye more than a larger, less interesting object would.

Don’t stick to traditional rules. Collections of objects don’t have to be centered on the shelf. Push them to one side or the other, and lean a few books on the other side for balance.

Rethink the way you shelve books. A fresh new way to display books is to stack them horizontally and place an interesting object on top. Try this for one or more of your shelves.

Holiday Books Stacked

Ornaments aren’t just for the tree! Add a few shiny bulbs to give your shelves some sparkle. And since metallics are inherently festive, work them throughout your shelves for a splash of holiday glitz.

Don’t forget holiday greenery. Add a few pieces of greenery or holly around objects to instantly give them a holiday makeover.

Holiday Greenery

That’s all it takes, folks. So, turn up the Christmas music, and let the decorating begin! For even more tips for throwing the perfect holiday party, keep up with all of our party posts 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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Here at Design Happens, we know how frustrating it can be to see a beautiful home (or in this case a phenomenal party space) and not have any idea how to replicate the design. That’s why we wanted to make sure the food, drinks and decor for our joint holiday party with DIY Network’s Made + Remade were not only gorgeous but also doable. Take these adorable ombre felt trees, for example. Despite the fact that they fit right in with fancier, store-bought decorations, they found their humble beginnings as a DIY project on a holiday episode of Weekday Crafternoon.

Ombre Felt Trees

Mercury Glass Trees courtesy of Pottery Barn

Interested in making your own ombre felt trees this holiday season? Just follow Marianne’s step-by-step instructions. And don’t forget to check back all month long for more tips and ideas to help you throw your own spectacular holiday party!

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 a party, so when I heard about the Design Happens/Made + Remade holiday party, I jumped at the chance to contribute. And I must say, the projects I made for this party are among some of the favorite things I’ve ever made, ever. To kick things off, my sights were set on the food table. I dusted off a wood burning tool and made this rustic modern cheese board — I don’t think I’ve used one of these tools since summer camp!

This cheese board is a simple afternoon project that you will use for Thanksgiving straight through to New Years Eve, and did I mention it also makes a lovely hostess gift?

Wood-Burned Cheese Board

Stick around, in the coming weeks I’ll show you how to top that board with the perfect cheeses, as well as gift wrap, entertaining, and holiday decorating ideas. It’s gonna be fun, y’all.

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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By now you might have heard that the Design Happens crew has teamed up with DIY Network’s Made + Remade to host a handmade holiday party. You’re invited to follow along as we design the invitations, put together our moodboards, plan the menu and make the decorations. And of course, we’ll show you how to create it all in your home.

We’ve already shared our plans for the fireplace and mantel, bar area and main dining table. Now, back to that menu. The party space has a rustic vibe, so we chose casual recipes and in-season produce to match.

Holiday Food Table Ideas

We’ll start with a rustic tree backdrop (1) , then line the table with a wood-burned cheese board (2) , homemade lavash (3) and custom winter relishes (7). A DIY tablecloth made of metallic marbled fabric (4) is the base of the table. We’ll also serve sweet potato soup shooters (5) and a variety of savory galettes (6).

Holiday Dessert Table Ideas
For the dessert table, we went for a mix of refined and rustic. Here’s the plan:

Getting hungry yet? We’ll share the recipes and DIYs for the food and dessert table throughout the month.

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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You’ve probably noticed that we’re starting the holidays a little early this year. That’s because we’re throwing a party with our friends over at DIY’s Made + Remade, and we want to bring all of you along with us! This week, we’re sharing the moodboards that helped us plan the festive look and feel. Now that you’ve seen our fireplace and mantel plans and bar area overview, take a look at our plan for the main event: The holiday table.

If you’re hosting a sit-down dinner like we are, it’s important to add festive touches while still allowing guests plenty of room for food, drink and conversation.

Here’s a detailed look at our table plans:

We’ll also bring plenty of sparkle through metallic accents, handmade mercury-glass votives and more. And, of course, we’ll show you how we made all of the elements for the table in the coming weeks.

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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