Merry Christmas Eve!

We just popped in to wish you a very Merry Christmas Eve! As much as people tend to hate all the hustle and bustle of Christmas shopping and getting every last minute thing done, I love the positive energy that's in the air (even when I worked in retail!)

We'll be spending the next two days wrapping presents, giving gifts, eating, and relaxing. I hope you are doing the same! Happy holidays! 

Cocktail: Apple Cider Margaritas Recipe

Last weekend, Tim and I hosted a Mexican-themed Christmas party and I knew I wanted to make a special cocktail to combine to two themes. This is a cocktail recipe from my aunt, who served this cocktail at Thanksgiving. When I was thinking about an easy cocktail that would be easy to make in a large batch, I knew this mixed the two themes perfectly, and was easy to make. Super bonus.

Apple Cider Margaritas

Makes 1 drink

  • 6 oz apple cider
  • 1 oz triple sec
  • 1-2 oz of tequila
  • dash of Amaretto
  • orange slice
  • cinnamon sugar

In a shaker with ice, add apple cider, triple sec, tequila, and Amaretto and combine. To prepare the rim, use a slice of orange to wet the rim of your glass and dip in a mixture of cinnamon and sugar. Fill glass with ice and pour drink. Throw in a slice of orange for good measure.

I made this cocktail in a batch for our party. So to make 4-5 (depending on the glasses you use) drinks at once: 3c apple cider, 5-5.5 oz tequila, 4 oz triple sec, and a large pour of Amaretto. 

To make everything easy for guests, I precut a few oranges and put out a dish of cinnamon sugar with directions on how to put the drink together. If you are going to give this a try, make sure your directions are straightforward and easy to read. It was a pretty big hit!

Happy celebrating!

DIY Felt Doughnut Ornaments

Another DIY Christmas ornament for you! In case you didn't know, I have a secret (maybe not so secret) love affair with doughnuts. To me, they're my guilty pleasure. So I was looking through my ornament collection and decided that we needed a doughnut ornament to properly represent my love of the doughy goodness. And I came up with this little thing. So cute! Here's how to make your own...

For this project, you'll need pink and light brown felt, matching embroidery floss, a needle, fluffy stuffing, small beads, scissors, and some ribbon or string to hang the ornament from the tree.

Use a jar or container to trace a circle with the brown felt. Then trace a smaller circle  in the middle. Do this twice to create two doughnuts.

Once you have your brown doughnuts, trace one of them on the pink felt and use these boundaries to create your frosting.  

To sew this doughnut together, you're going to need to use a blanket stitch. Here is a very basic video tutorial for that stitch. Once you cut your floss, you'll want to separate two strains to sew with. All five/six strains together is a little too thick. Sew the pink frosting piece onto only one brown piece. Sew around the inside and outside of the frosting.

Attach your sprinkles. I used one long piece of floss to sew all the beads on, just simply going up through the bottom, adding bead, and going back down through. Once you get all your beads on, it really starts to look doughnut-y.

Next, attach the two brown pieces together. Stitch together the two pieces, going all around the inside hole. Move onto the outside, leaving a 2 inch section to stuff it. I told you you needed to improve your stitching.... Here's a super basic photo walkthrough for the blanket stitch.

Leaving the extra floss since attached, start adding your fluff. This takes some patience to work it around. Use your finger or a capped pen to push the fluff around the doughnut. Once it's filled, use that extra floss piece to continue to blanket stitch it closed.

Add some ribbon or decorative string tied around one of the outside pieces of floss and you have yourself a cute little doughnut ornament!

These are great as last minute gifts, or a hostess gift for your favorite sweet-treat-loving friend.  Or you can keep them for yourself like I plan to do...

Traditions

When I look at this photo now, this looks like fake blood. Really it's just melted candy cane...

December is one of my favorite months. Christmas lights and baking cookies with my mom. Getting dressed up and hosting parties. Presents and giving gifts. It's all so lovely to me.  On top of that, I have a good amount of time off from work, which is just simply amazing. My spirits are up and I feel well rested. 

Tim and I don't have a lot of holiday traditions, and I would really love to work on that. Since the first Christmas we've been together, Tim and I have always exchanged a Christmas ornament and I'm so glad we continue that. Each year when we take out the ornaments, I love being able to search through them and remember each year. It's a little something that's just so special to me. But besides that, we don't have a lot of other traditions. I try and take a day to make Christmas cookies with my mom. This was the first year I put together an advent calendar, and I would love to make that a tradition each December. But I'm open and looking for more things to ring in the holiday season each year together. 

What are you're traditions this time of year?

DIY: Confetti Ornaments

Confetti is fun. There isn't really any other way to explain it. It's fun. So when our Christmas tree started looking a little bare, I decided to throw together some Confetti Ornaments to add to our ornament collection. Here's what you'll need to make your own.

You'll need plain glass ornaments, a package of confetti, Mod Podge, and a paint brush.

Start by painting a layer of Mod Podge onto the glass ornament. I painted about 3/4th of the way up, leaving the top 1/4 plain, but you can also paint the entire ball. You'll want to paint a decent coat, not too thin.

Once painted, immediately roll in confetti and set aside to dry. If you are making more than one, repeat that process again with the other ornaments and let them all start to dry.

Don't worry if the entire ornament isn't covered and you can still see some glue through the confetti, we are going to add another coat of confetti.

After letting the ornaments dry for maybe 5 minutes or so, add another coat of Mod Podge over the confetti. Don't worry if the confetti moves around, just press the glue and confetti down and try to eliminate any bald spots. Once you've covered the entire thing in glue, roll it again in confetti and set aside to dry a bit. Repeat with other ornaments.

After another 5 minute drying time, coat the ornaments in another layer of Mod Podge. This is the top most layer, so many sure to eliminate any bald spots and let it dry completely. Once it's dried, you will no longer see any white glue, as it will have turned cleared. I let mine sit overnight.

I love the way these ornaments reflect both the sunlight during the day and the Christmas lights on our tree at night. Packaged in a nice box, they could also make a great hostess present or an easy gift for someone you just need a little something for.