Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Ring in the New Year Right!

If you still haven't decided what to serve for your New Year's Eve party, check out these super simple drink ideas. And yes, all of them include Chambord.

French Summer
3/4 oz Chambord
3 oz soda water
1 slice lemon
1 slice orange

Pour chambord into a wine glass filled with ice. Add sparkling water, squeeze in a slice of lemon and orange and stir.

Dr. Raspberry
1 part Chambord
2 parts Dr. Pepper soda

Pour Dr. Pepper into glass and add Chambord. Stir to mix and serve chilled.

Chambord and Champagne
4 oz chilled Champagne
1/2 oz Chambord

Pour the Chambord into a champagne flute. Add the Champagne and serve. *Be sure to add the Champagne after the Chambord so you don't flatten the champagne.*

Monday, December 28, 2009

Don't mind me . . . I'll just be over here drinking.

I must admit that I had never tried Chambord prior to the fab party that we were invited to in San Francisco. Well, I sure was missing out. This stuff is amazing! And check out the beautiful bottle that it comes in, - I'd like to hang it on a Christmas tree!

I like my Chambord with some club soda and a bit of ice. Yup, that's it.

Maybe I'll have Chambord with champagne for New Year's. How about you? What's your drink of choice?

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Happy Holidays!

We're exhausted from all of the holiday excitement.

Wishing all of our readers a happy and healthy holiday season!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Last minute decorating on the cheap

If you're like me, you're always looking for new ways to decorate without spending too much money. Our style definitely is not over the top and we like to stick with cleaner lines and not too much fuss. That's why these simple decorations are perfect for us.

The only thing I needed to create this sparkly beauty was some branches from the yard and some spray paint. Yup, just a handful of birch branches and a can of silver spray paint. Then, I plopped them into my favorite vase and put them on my shelf.

And all I did here was put some pretty glass ornaments inside a vase that holds a candle. Simple. Cheap. Pretty.
What are your tricks for decorating on a dime?

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Christmas Decorating Cents

There are so many ways to decorate for Christmas without spending a fortune. These arrangements were put together for just a few dollars. Check 'em out.

This arrangement includes three poinsettia plants that were purchased on Black Friday for a dollar a piece. Then I just plopped them into a cute tin that I already had.
This "Forest in a Basket" (as my sister likes to call it) is super simple and cheap! I used tree trimmings from one of our Christmas trees, pine cones that I spray painted gold and a few acorn ornaments all placed in a basket that I've had for years. Then I lit the branches with a string of white Christmas lights. Easy, right?
This arrangement is my favorite. I have to admit that this arrangement is not cheap, but easily could be. The sparkly, silver plate was purchased on sale for $2.99 at Michael's. The tree trimmings came from one of our trees and the silver ornaments were recycled from a past Christmas. The candles themselves were purchased on sale for a dollar a piece. These candle holders are Vera Wang and were a wedding gift, but anyone can find pretty silver candle holders for a steal. You can even use spray paint to recycle some old candle holders.
How do you decorate on a dime? Do you have any great tips to share about how to save during the holiday season?

Saturday, December 12, 2009

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

We were fortunate enough to be invited to a fabulous holiday party at The Palace Hotel in San Francisco a few days ago. The decor definitely got us into the Christmas spirit. Check out these pics.

Here is the beautiful ballroom where the party took place.

We took a stroll around Union Square the next morning. Even though Union Square is best at night during Christmas time, it was pretty "Christmasy" in the morning too.

Ever checked out CB2? It's one of our favorite stores. We live about an hour away from San Francisco, so we usually have to do our CB2 shopping online. Needless to say, we were super excited to do some in-person shopping!
What do you do to get into the holiday spirit?

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Merry SITSmas!

Merry SITSmas! In case you don't know what I mean, please check out the link!
The Secret is in the Sauce is a community of bloggers and today we are having a Christmas celebration . . . well, really it's a SITSmas celebration. I have to admit that I am a bit ill-prepared, as I have no current Christmas photos to post. I was SO hoping to post a picture of our finished tree, but it's just not finished. I guess I'm a slacker! So, here's a glimpse into what I can show you so far:

And a picture of us from a past Christmas celebration. Ahh, how time flies!

Merry SITSmas!

Monday, December 7, 2009

What kind of Christmas Decorator are you?

Do you shake things up and go modern?

Or do you keep things traditional?
We like a little bit of both. This year we have more than one tree to decorate, so we're mixing things up. I'm hopeful that we will be able to post pictures of our trees later this week.

So, which are you? Traditional or Modern? Or do you mix things up a bit, like us?

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Crafty Christmas Part 2 - Wreath Edition

Who's ready to make a wreath?
I make an ornament wreath every year.
Take a look, - I'll show you how.

Here's what you'll need:
A Styrofoam Wreath
A glue gun

Fishing wire (this one is optional).
Wire Edged Ribbon, (the dollar store has a ton). And of course, plastic ornaments (not pictured).

Begin gluing the ornaments on the Styrofoam. Leave the back of the wreath empty. (This part will sit against the wall or door when you hang it). Work your way all the way around the wreath, leaving a 2 inch section empty.
Tie your bow in the empty 2 inch section, using the wire edged ribbon. Once the ribbon is tied around the wreath, fill in the empty space with ornaments. I use the fishing wire to hang the wreath on a hook. This part is easy, - just tie it right around the wreath, wiggling it between the ornaments. and leave a little loop at the top to hang it on a hook. Use a ribbon or string if your prefer.
Ta Da!!

This wreath hangs on our master bathroom door.
What can I say? We decorate the WHOLE house!

I'm feeling warm and cozy . . . .

We may be up to our knees in Christmas decorations, but I'm still enjoying a hot toddy!

Deck the halls with mugs of brandy. Fa la la la la la la la la.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

It's a Crafty Christmas!

Ready to make some ornament trees?

Here's what you'll need:

Styrofoam cones.

A glue gun . . . (a crafter's best friend).

Some dollar store berry sprays.

Plastic ornaments in whatever color or colors you decide would be best for your tree. Get these at the dollar store too!
Let's get started:
Start at the base of your Styrofoam cone. Glue a row of ornaments as closely together as possible. Continue to glue rows of ornaments until you reach the top of your cone. Next, use scissors to cut berries off of the "spray". Leave an inch or so of wire attached to the berry. Use the berry to cover any Styrofoam that you can still see through the ornaments that you just glued onto your cone. Use the wire on the berry to anchor it to the Styrofoam cone. Use the glue gun if necessary.
And there ya have it.
Ooooooh. Pretty.
Send me pictures if you make your own ornament tree. I'd love to see your creation!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Deck the Halls!

We are knee-deep in Christmas decorations, how about you?
Here's some eye candy to serve as inspiration if you haven't started your decorating just yet.

Aren't these carnation wreaths beautiful and different? A very modern twist to holiday decorating!
How gorgeous is this? This look would be amazing for New Year's as well. I wonder if I could duplicate this look, but on a much smaller scale.
We have a surplus of pine cones in our yard, (thanks to a neighboring tree) so we have been making a ton of pine cone crafts this year. Maybe I'll give the pine cone ball below a shot.
This photo is so inspiring to me!
We too have a tree in our dining room this year (a total of 3 in our house) so the photo below gives me the warm and fuzzies.
How about you? Do you try something new every year or do you stick to tradition?

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Baby Time!

Dear friends of ours recently transformed their guest room into a nursery. Take a look at what they did to a plain, pine wardrobe.

After coating the entire piece with primer, they painted the whole piece white.

Then they "antiqued" the corners and edges with sandpaper.

And of course, replaced the old hardware with beautiful crystal knobs. So cute!

Perfect for a baby girl!

After being inspired by what they did, we have a very similar wardrobe in our guest room. We'll share pics very soon.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The Return of Nook Madness

A while back we blogged about nooks. Our nook is finally complete and we are ready to share it with you. First, we need to show you the ugly state the nook what in before it was ours.

Yup, when we bought our house, this is what it looked like. The entire house was in complete disarray. Nobody had loved it in quite sometime.
After some much needed love, our nook now serves a purpose. It houses our wine!

Those hanging candles are from CB2 and we love them!

The black cabinet previously looked like this. After some black paint and new hardware, it was ready to hold our wine.

What have you done with a space that was previously unloved? I'd love to hear stories about changes that you've made to a home or piece of furniture that needed a little bit of extra attention.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Autumn Flower Arrangements

Fresh flowers are mandatory when throwing a party, so when we began planning our housewarming party I knew that we would have to do something special. I wanted to make sure that our flower arrangements were appropriate for the season. But most importantly, I wanted the arrangements to be easy to make! This idea would be perfect for a Thanksgiving centerpiece. Take a look.

We bought pumpkins at a farmers market for just a few bucks. Joe carved the top of the pumpkins and scooped out all of the seeds and other gunk. (I didn't want pumpkin guts under my nails for our big party).
Then I took a bunch of small branches from our maple trees and began to assemble a bouquet of carnations, pom poms and astromerias that I purchased from the store.

Then I put a small vase filled with water inside my pumpkins. (A small candle holder will work well in pumpkins that are tiny).
Then I plopped a bouquet in each pumpkin and was finished. How easy was that?!