Tuesday, December 31, 2013


Here are my best New Year's Eve Party ideas!  You already saw the fabulous buffet idea.  Now here are some ideas for a more intimate party.

Roast beef sliders with some horseradish mayonnaise.  Easy and delicious!

Serve this great soup in some shot glasses and make some toast points.  I used a heart cookie cutter to cut them out and then cut the hearts in half.  Viola!

Chocolate Mousse served in martini glasses!!!  So elegant!!!


Scattering masks and noise makers around the tables is and easy and inexpensive way to decorate.

These champagne flutes are from the dollar store and they are decorated with Sharpies!

The Sharpie can be removed from the glasses with rubbing alcohol after the party!!!  Genius!!!

Using the hats, streamers, noise makers and champagne glasses on your table will make it look so festive!  Keeping the silver theme throughout makes it look very elegant.

I hope these ideas help you have a great celebration to ring in the new year.  If you use any of them, let me know!  If you make any of the recipes, tell me how it turned out!!!

Saturday, December 28, 2013

New Year's Eve Buffet

Well it's that time again!  Time to ring out the old year and ring in the new year.  Here is my idea of how to set up a great buffet and bar for your celebration.

I have a great cut glass decanter that I got at Macy's. I put ice water in it and, if I use a second one, I put iced tea in that one.  I set out a bucket with a bottle of champagne, some sugar cubes in a bowl, and a pitcher of cranberry juice.

This is a twist on a mimosa.  Instead of orange juice, you use cranberry juice and it's called a poinsettia!!!  How cool is that for a holiday party?

I picked up this rectangular tin tray that is actually for a bathroom on a whim.  I decided it would be perfect to hold my silverware for this buffet.

 The table cloths and balloons are from Dollar Tree.

The gold star plates are also from Dollar Tree.

I made roast beef, roast turkey (but you could use roast pork to bring luck on New Year's Day) and gravies to go with them.  I have two crock pots for the meats and one that has three small pots in it for the gravies.  I had a chafer for garlic smashed potatoes and green beans with butter.  

Dessert was Cannoli Dip and Chocolate Covered Marshmallows.  I decided to stud the marshmallows with chocolate chips (both white and milk chocolate).  This proved to be very time intensive.

It was all a huge hit!  Hope this helps to give you some ideas for your celebration.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Chocolate Fever!!

I love chocolate, this is no secret.  So, when it comes to Christmas, it just wouldn't be Christmas without chocolate and a LOT of it!  So, here are the treats that I have made this Christmas. 

P.S.  No baking was involved!

Chocolate Covered Marshmallows with Nonpareils

These are HUGE marshmallows!  The bag actually recommends you cut them in thirds to eat them.  I love how they came out.  One of these wrapped in cellophane with a bow is a nice little treat for your child's classmates.  P.S. No eggs, peanuts, etc.  Not sure of other allergens.

Chocolate Spoon Stir Ins

These spoons are great for adding some flavor to coffee or for just stirring in to hot milk to make hot chocolate.  I put 3 each in a snack size ziploc bag and tied them with some tulle.  I put them on some dollar store tin trays.  Fancy looking and really fun.

The spoons I used are plastic that look like silverware.  So the overall look is really elegant.

And last, but by no means least, Cannoli Dip!!!  Oh my!

This is a super quick and easy recipe and look how great it turns out!  I have this little red wagon that I thought would be a great presentation.  I just used a Pyrex loaf pan to put it in.  Then I have little pinch bowls that I am putting wedges of pizzelles in to use as dippers.  I know this stuff won't last long tonight!

Monday, December 23, 2013

Thankfulness Jar

Last year I gave some family members "Thankfulness Jars".  They are little jars with small note pads and pens.  They were instructed to write down everything good that happened during the year.  Fold up the things they wrote and put it in the jar. Then, on New Year's Eve, read what a great year they had.

Here is our jar from this year:

Rather chock full of things for which we are grateful.  I can't wait to read them!!

I am giving the same folks (hope I remember who they all were) new pads of paper and pens this year to keep up their jars.

People really loved this last year.  It's a very thoughtful and thought filled gift.  You can easily get this together at the last minute.

Legend of The Bayberry Candle 2013

The Legend of The Bayberry Candle is one that came to America with Irish and Italian immigrants.  The Legend holds that a bayberry candle must be burned all the way down without being blown out on Christmas even to bring good luck to the household in the coming year.

Hallmark sells sets of two Bayberry Candles with the legend printed inside the box for about $5.  If you add in a couple of dollar store glass candlesticks, you have a cute little gift for less than $10.  Great for a neighbor, coworker, you name it.  People really love this one!  Here is this year's version that I am giving to my family:

"A Bayberry Candle burnt to the socket brings food to the larder and gold to the pocket!"

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Quick and Easy Gift

I like to give a little something to my next door neighbor.  She's an elderly woman who is recently widowed and I don't really know her well.  But I like to send a little something over.

Here is what I came up with this year:

I found this cute oven mitt and pot holder set at Home Goods a little while ago.  I picked it up not knowing exactly who it was going to, but knowing it would be good for somebody.  Then I put tissue paper in it and added a little not pad and a nice pen.  I think it's a really nice little gift that anybody would like to get.  If you have a Secret Santa at work or you have family Pollyanna and you got your matron aunt who is impossible to  buy for, this is a perfect gift!  Not perfume they will never wear or a scarf they may or may not like, this is sure to be sued and loved. 

Wrap Session

It's that time.  Time to take all of the things you have purchased through all of those hours of shopping online and in stores and WRAP IT!!

 If you are like me, you take this task very seriously!!!  I like my packages to match and/or coordinate.  I want every thing to have some type of bow or ribbon.  I want printed tags for the majority of them.  All tags are in a fancy font on removable address labels.

I actually leave some things unwrapped and, this year, I used one gift as a container to put other gifts in to.  I got my grandson a canvas toy hamper and I put some toys in it.  Win, win!

Jacket for my son, also not getting wrapped.  I mean seriously?  That is just torture and it would not be pretty. 

What I have done to make wrapping fairly easy each year is to take just the LIDS of the boxes and wrap them!  In addition to that, I have used Mylar wrapping paper.  Mylar is sturdy and doesn't rip like paper.  Then I use the removable labels so that the boxes can be reused for many years.  I save the boxes in a closet in my basement from year to year.

I also use tulle instead of ribbon.  Tulle is very forgiving!!  It doesn't fray, it doesn't crush, it is pretty indestructible.

Here is my ultimate Bow Making Tutorial video on how to make some great bows from tulle:

Here is a video with some hints on wrapping gifts.  As I said, I only wrap the lids on the boxes with two pieces.  But here is how to wrap a one piece box:


I hope these tips help you to get your treasures wrapped beautifully in no time!  

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Christmas Eve Box

In our family, we have always gotten Christmas Eve Pajamas.  My kids got them until they moved out.  Actually, they still do except my daughter is pregnant this year and I have no idea what to get her for pajamas.  Also, I was told not to get my son-in-law any more clothes and my daughter-in-law gets pajamas from her family.  So, m grandson is the main focus of the pajamas tradition. 

However, this year, I have stepped up the tradition.  I saw something on Pinterest that really sparked my interest.  It's called the Christmas Eve Box:

I really loved the other items included in this box.  I always get him a movie anyway and the little treats are inexpensive (think Dollar Tree) and will just make it a magical experience.

So here is my version of the Christmas Eve Box.

Now, mind you, I had to get the pajamas a full month before Christmas and they were the very last ones in his size!  They are from Carters if anybody is interested.  My grandson is enthralled with Snoopy at the moment and calls him "Snoofy" which is adorable!  The popcorn cups are from the Dollar Tree as are the hot chocolate and popcorn.  Now, you absolutely do not want to give each child a full box of hot chocolate and/or microwave popcorn!!!  So you will be able to do a few Christmas Eve Boxes with each box.  This will be especially helpful for those of you with several grandchildren.

Now just wrap it in some beautiful paper and a bow!

Be sure to mark the tag so you know which one you want to give your grandchild on Christmas Eve!  I know you will have a big pile of gifts and you are not going to remember which one it is after they are all wrapped!  Merry Christmas!!!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Christmas FREEBIES 2013

Here is a post that was very popular last year and I wanted to update it for this year.

We all love FREEBIES, so here are some great ones.

Let's start with the letter from Santa:

Adorable letters straight from the North Pole!  Several different designs to choose from.  

Next up the Coloring Pages


Print these out and put them on the table with a bunch of crayons to keep the little ones busy while dinner cooks. 

Now for some Christmas Decorations.  A Melted Snowman Ornament.  How cute is this??

Now for a gift idea.
Rein(root)BEER!  I have also seen this done with bottles of actual beer.  Adorable for a guy gift.  

Now for a cute little treat that is easy to make.  Reindeer marshmallow pops.

And, of course, a COCKTAIL to top things off!  The Elf Cocktail, so cute and sounds yummy!

I hope you like this edition of Christmas FREEBIES!!!  Time for this little elf to wrap some gifts!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Where To Put The Cards?

If you are like me, you LOVE your Christmas cards!  You love to look at them and the thought of throwing them away is heartbreaking.  You want them displayed so they can be looked at over and over again and so that the little notes inside can be read over and over again.  But how?  If you stand them up on table or your mantle, they will fall over repeatedly or you won't have enough room for all of the cards that you receive.  So, here are two unique and decorative ways to display them.

First, make a swag with some twine and attach your cards with paper clips.  It's kind of like a laundry line. 

The other idea is to wrap 2 inch wide ribbons around your kitchen cabinet doors and staple the ends together on the inside of the doors.  Then staple the cards to the ribbons. 

I hope these ideas help you to enjoy the beautiful cards that you receive this Christmas Season!

Monday, December 16, 2013

Great Gift Round Up!

This is going to be a review post.  I am going to go through my previous posts and link back to them.  I have a TON of stuff that would be great as last minute gifts to make for Christmas. 

So, if you budget is tight, take a look!!!

Cute little treats for some little friends.  These little Santa Sleds will make your youngest gift recipients very happy!

This link no longer exists as it was on my former blog.  But these are easy.  These glass blocks are sold at Michael's and A.C. Moore.  They have a hold in the bottom.  You put some white lights (make sure the wires are white too) inside (I wrapped the outside with some ribbon) and you put 
 adhesive glitter letters on the outside.  The set is great, but you could put the whole word on just one block. 

This is an obvious one, make some decorative pillows.  But go and looks for some unusual fabrics.  Check out the bins where they sell remnants.  You just might get a real bargain.

Get a couple of wine glasses from the dollar store and paint them with a gold leafing pen.  Then add a bottle of champagne or wine on a tray from the dollar store and wrap it all up in cellophane.

Again, the remnant bin!  I got this "I Love Grandma" fabric in the remnant bin.  Then I added the coordinating fabric and made a little sleeping bag for my grandson.  

Again using the gold leafing pen, get a ceramic ornament and go to town!  I loved this quote and I just had to put it on something, anything!!!

Okay, that's it for this year's edition of last minute gift ideas.  Merry Christmas!!!