Friday, December 16, 2011


   This diy comes from www.pearls-handcuffs-happyhour.blogspot.com.  Everyone has some kind of chandelier that needs a little decorating.

Now, you must know that my holiday decorating style is a little traditional. Nothin' too fancy or funky {boring, I guess?!?! HA!!}...lots of reds, greens, & golds mixed in with TONS of greenery, berries, Santas, and trees. I really wanted to incorporate that into the dining room somehow and I was SO flippin' excited when I saw the funnest little show on HGTV the other day where they were spotlighting different ways to dress up your chandelier/light fixtures for the holidays. SCORE! SO...I immediately headed to Hobby Lobby to pick up what I needed and overall, this is my favorite so far!!! This is my take on a "Chandelier Tree"...


Whaddya think?! Do you love it?! Not gonna lie you guys...I reallly do!!!

Definitely my favorite chandelier decoration so far!

Wanna make your own?!

This is what you'll need:

A plain wreath

A strand of garland



And anything else you can think to use to decorate it!!

First, you'll need to start with the wreath. You'll need to place the wreath upside down underneath the base of the chandelier.


I had to secure my wreath with ribbon. I tied the wreath to the base on each stem of the chandelier. Of course, this clearly took a joint effort so Mr. Spouse had to lend a helping hand :)

NOW...take your garland and wrap it around the chain of your light fixture.

chandelier4 chandelier5

It's gonna look pretty plain, so you'll wanna {or maybe not} dress it up just a bit!

I took some red & gold ribbon and curled it down the sides of the garland, kinda like I would do on a Christmas tree. Once that was in place, I filled in the gaps with some ornaments & berries & then attached a fun & frivolous tassel {I freakin' LOVE tassels} to the center of my chandelier.


I really do love it! And the best part about everything?!! ALL of my supplies were on sale!

Wreath: $4

Garland: $4

Ribbon: $4

Ornaments & Berries: Free {cuz' I already had 'em on hand :)}

Total Cost: $12 {That's like a Thursday night dinner at Sonic}

Knowing that I have a brand new light fixture arrangement to look at, I had to have a new centerpiece for the table, too! Y'all. I'll be honest. I'm just excited the table isn't covered in drop cloths & paint supplies. This is the first time I've seen the table in MONTHS.


   This comes from www.theknottybride.com.  Alot of neat diy projects in one neat little package.  Take an afternoon to yourself and get into the zen of paper folding and cutting!

Happy holidays TKB readers! It’s Lauren from Lauren Elise Crafted again and today I am back to share a special holiday version DIY. {Note: each of these projects could be employed as décor elements for a lovely winter wedding! … Especially if it’s holiday-themed!}


Christmas is in just a few days! Are you ready?

As usual, I am running a bit behind and if you’re like me, you’ll be scrambling for a few days trying to get everything done. Every year I tell myself that things will be different, that I’ll be organized beforehand but it never seems to play out that way. As much as it plagues me to say this, I am contributing to that holiday rush.

I am here today to help ease the holiday madness and show you some quick décor options!

I have pulled together a small table scheme that you could recreate for Christmas dinner or for making your house look more festive! I pulled this look together in just a few hours and you could do the same since the supplies are fairly common. The idea is to have something cute and Christmasy ready to display quickly so that you can focus more of your energy on the rest of your to-do list.

What you’ll need:
  • x-acto knife & metal-edge ruler
  • scissors
  • thick white and/or grey posterboard and cardstock for the Christmas trees {1-ply or 2-ply will work – just remember that the thicker it is, the harder it is to cut through}
  • Christmas tree template {or draw a tree and create your own template}
  • tacky glue
  • paper ephemera for star garland & paper pinwheels {vintage or new – I used kraft paper, paper doilies, manila folders, corrugated paper, and the index pages of an old book
  • pencil
  • scotch tape
  • double-sided tape
  • white thread for garland
  • small square, white porcelain dish {I bought mine at Crate & Barrel}
  • sprigs of Christmas tree
  • washi tape with grid print
  • sparkle Christmas snow {I bought mine at Anthropologie}


To make the Christmas trees:

° Print out the Christmas tree template at the desired size or draw your own tree. Trace the template onto the posterboard and/or cardstock {image a}. Use an x-acto knife to cut out the trees {image b & c}. Then cut a narrow slit down the center of the trees, making the slit as wide as the paper’s thickness {image d}. Slide the two parts of the tree into each other. Glue the ends together for stability {image e}. The completed tree should stand freely {image f}.
To make the pine tree favors:
° Buy white porcelain square dishes. For added decoration, wrap the dishes with washi tape and stick to the edge {image g}. Cut sprigs of pine tree branches. Cut down to about the size of the porcelain dish {image k}. Place a handful of the pine sprigs into each dish. Adorn with paper stars if desired. Each favor acts as a mini Christmas tree. Hand them out to guests so that they can smell the great pine scent.

To make the star garland:
° Draw a star freehand on some thick cardstock and cut it out. This star will become your template {image h}. Trace and cut out the star from a bunch of types of paper ephemera (kraft paper, graph paper, manila folders, vintage book pages, etc) {image i}. The amount of stars will vary on the desired length of the garland. Use scotch tape to stick the thread to the stars {image j}. When hanging the garland, make sure to turn the tape side away from view. Hang your garland.
To make the book page pinwheels:
° Cut book pages down to about 5”x10” for a 5” diameter pinwheel {image l}. Create a ½” fold going the long way {image m}. Continue making these folds, accordion style {image n}. Fold the entire piece of paper {image o}. Fold the accordion strip in half {image p}. After folding, tape the two halves together {image q}. This will create 1/5 of your entire pinwheel {image r}. Fold another 5”x10” paper and follow all the same steps. Create four more of these {image s}. Put tape on the edges {image t} and stick the pinwheel pieces together {image u}. After taping all five pieces, you will have a complete pinwheel {image v}.

Create a wintry scene with all of these elements and sprinkle with some sparkle Christmas snow!


   Here are the many different ways to say "Merry Christmas", from Afrikanns to Yugoslavian.  Try a couple of them out and see which sounds the best to you!

Afrikaans: Geseënde Kersfees
: Een Plesierige Kerfees
African/ Eritrean/ Tigrinja
: Rehus-Beal-Ledeats
:Gezur Krislinjden
: Milad Majid
: Feliz Navidad
: Shenoraavor Nor Dari yev Pari Gaghand
Azeri: Tezze Iliniz Yahsi Olsun

Bahasa Malaysia: Selamat Hari Natal
: Zorionak eta Urte Berri On!
: Vesele Vanoce
: Feliz Natal
: Shubho borodin
: Nedeleg laouen na bloavezh mat
: Tchestita Koleda; Tchestito Rojdestvo Hristovo
: Bon Nadal i un Bon Any Nou!
: Feliz Navidad

Chinese: (Cantonese) Gun Tso Sun Tan'Gung Haw Sun
: (Mandarin) Kung His Hsin Nien bing Chu Shen Tan (Catonese) Gun Tso Sun Tan'Gung Haw Sun
Yukpa, Nitak Hollo Chito
: Feliz Navidad y Próspero Año Nuevo
: Nadelik looan na looan blethen noweth
: Pace e salute
: Rot Yikji Dol La Roo
: Mitho Makosi Kesikansi
: Sretan Bozic
: Prejeme Vam Vesele Vanoce a stastny Novy Rok
: Glædelig Jul
: Christmas-e- Shoma Mobarak
: Vrolijk Kerstfeest en een Gelukkig Nieuwjaar! or Zalig Kerstfeast
: Merry Christmas
: (inupik) Jutdlime pivdluarit ukiortame pivdluaritlo!
: Gajan Kristnaskon
: Ruumsaid juulup|hi
: (Amharic) Melkin Yelidet Beaal
Eritfean/ Tigrinja
: Rehus- Beal- Ledeats
: Gledhilig jol og eydnurikt nyggjar!
: Cristmas-e-shoma mobarak bashad
: Hyvaa joulua
: Zalig Kerstfeest en Gelukkig nieuw jaar
: Joyeux Noel
: Noflike Krystdagen en in protte Lok en Seine yn it Nije Jier!
Faeroese: Gledhilig jol og eydnurikt nyggjar!

Fyrom: Sreken Bozhik 

Galician: Bo Nada

: Nollaig chridheil agus Bliadhna mhath ùr!
: Froehliche Weihnachten
Greek: Kala Christouyenna!

Greenlandic: Juullimi Pilluaritsi!

German: Froehliche Weihnachten

: (Creole) Jwaye Nowel or to Jesus Edo Bri'cho o Rish D'Shato Brichto
: Barka da Kirsimatikuma Barka da Sabuwar Shekara!
: Mele Kalikimaka
: Mo'adim Lesimkha. Chena tova
: Baradin ki shubh kamnaaye
: Barka da Kirsimatikuma Barka da Sabuwar Shekara!
: Mele Kalikimaka ame Hauoli Makahiki Hou!
Hungarian: Kellemes Karacsonyi unnepeket

: Gledileg Jol
: Selamat Hari Natal
: Idah Saidan Wa Sanah Jadidah
: Nollaig Shona Dhuit, or Nodlaig mhaith chugnat
: Ojenyunyat Sungwiyadeson honungradon nagwutut. Ojenyunyat osrasay.
Italian: Buone Feste Natalizie

: Shinnen omedeto. Kurisumasu Omedeto
Jiberish: Mithag Crithagsigathmithags

: Sung Tan Chuk Ha
: souksan van Christmas
: Natale hilare et Annum Faustum!
: Prieci'gus Ziemsve'tkus un Laimi'gu Jauno Gadu!
:Wjesole hody a strowe nowe leto
: Priecigus Ziemassvetkus
: Linksmu Kaledu
Low Saxon: Heughliche Winachten un 'n moi Nijaar

: IL-Milied It-tajjeb
: Nollick ghennal as blein vie noa
: Meri Kirihimete
Marathi: Shub Naya Varsh

: Merry Keshmish
Norwegian: God Jul, or Gledelig Jul

Occitan: Pulit nadal e bona annado

: Bon Pasco
Papua New Guinea
: Bikpela hamamas blong dispela Krismas na Nupela yia i go long yu
Pennsylvania German
: En frehlicher Grischtdaag un en hallich Nei Yaahr!
: Feliz Navidad y un Venturoso Año Nuevo
: Maligayan Pasko!
: Wesolych Swiat Bozego Narodzenia
:Feliz Natal
Pushto: Christmas Aao Ne-way Kaal Mo Mobarak Sha

(Easter Island): Mata-Ki-Te-Rangi. Te-Pito-O-Te-Henua
: Bellas festas da nadal e bun onn
: (sursilvan dialect): Legreivlas fiastas da Nadal e bien niev onn!
: Craciun Fericit
Russian: Pozdrevlyayu s prazdnikom Rozhdestva is Novim Godom

: Buorrit Juovllat
: La Maunia Le Kilisimasi Ma Le Tausaga Fou
: Bonu nadale e prosperu annu nou
: Hristos se rodi
: Sretan Bozic or Vesele vianoce
: La Maunia Le Kilisimasi Ma Le Tausaga Fou
Scots Gaelic
: Nollaig chridheil huibh
: Hristos se rodi.
: Subha nath thalak Vewa. Subha Aluth Awrudhak Vewa
: Vesele Vianoce. A stastlivy Novy Rok
: Vesele Bozicne Praznike Srecno Novo Leto or Vesel Bozic in srecno Novo leto
: Feliz Navidad
Swedish: God Jul and (Och) Ett Gott Nytt År

: Maligayamg Pasko. Masaganang Bagong Taon
: Nathar Puthu Varuda Valthukkal
: (Micronesian) Neekiriisimas annim oo iyer seefe feyiyeech!
: Sawadee Pee Mai or souksan wan Christmas
Turkish: Noeliniz Ve Yeni Yiliniz Kutlu Olsun

: Srozhdestvom Kristovym or Z RIZDVOM HRYSTOVYM
Urdu: Naya Saal Mubarak Ho

Vietnamese: Chuc Mung Giang Sinh

Welsh: Nadolig Llawen

: E ku odun, e ku iye'dun!
Yugoslavian: Cestitamo Bozic


The very first cups of hot chocolate was drank by the Mayans over 2000 years ago. They ground cocoa seeds into a paste and mixed it with water, cornmeal, chile peppers and other ingredients. The drink was also said to have magical healing powers and was heavily popular amongst the Oltecs, Mayans and Aztecs*.

For this recipe, I used the a fine quality cocoa powder called Valrhona –this cocoa powder is among the richest, darkest “dutched” cocoa you can find. It is considered by many chefs and gourmands around the world to produce the finest chocolate that contains no added fat or butter oil, resulting in less calories than most chocolate.

The best part about this hot chocolate recipe is that it’s healthy for you (minus the whipped cream). With no added sugar or minimal fats, this deep-bodied rich chocolate drink will excite your senses and leave you feeling happily satisfied. With cocoa being richer in antioxidants than even red wine and green tea, you’ll feel anything but guilty for enjoying a hot mug of this hot chocolate.

For thousands of years cocoa has been used to treat fatigue, fever, diarrhea, chest ailments and several stomach disorders. Cocoa beans is especially rich in antioxidants called Flavonoids — which are beneficial to arterial health by reducing blood platelet buildup and shielding blood vessels from free radical damage*. It is said by heating the chocolate, more antioxidants are released and makes absoprtion easier for the body. According to the American Assoication for Advancement of Science, drinking hot chocolate helps you think better too by increasing blood flow and oxygen to the brain.

Ingredients for Spicy Hot Chocolate: Serves 4; prep time: 5 minutes total cooking time: 10 minutes
  • 4 cups organic skim milk
  • 1/4 cup Valrhona cocoa
  • 4 77% Dark cocoa discs
  • 1 teasponn cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon cardamom
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
  • cocoa nibs and whipped cream for garnish
Heat the milk in a medium suacepan at medium high heat. Heat until milk is scalded or almost boiling, about 2 minutes. Mix in the cocoa powder, spices and chocolate discs and let it sit for 1 minute. Using a whisk or hand blender, whisk the mixture until frothy. Serve hot and top with whipped cream and sprinkle generously with cocoa nibs.
Garnish with hot chiles if desired.

I love this recipe, I could drink endless cups of this hot chocolate — the richness of the cocoa, the tiny bite that settles on your tongue at the end, and the cocoa nibs…YOU GOTTA ADD THE COCOA NIBS! (I found all of my ingredients at Central Market). So there you have it, I’ve found the magical drinks of the gods and it’s healthy, packed full of antioxidants and ridiculously fantastically DELICIOUS. Yep. You’re welcome :)

   The next one comes from www.atasteofkoko.com.

Hot chocolate

"There's nothing better than a good friend, except a good friend with Chocolate" Linda Grayson

This is my take on 'Hot Chocolate'. Instead of the typical cup of steaming hot chocolate, these cups are made 100% out of chocolate. Perfect for a party to entertain your guests. They'll get a kick out of the velvety smooth mousse and edible cup that holds it.

The 'hot' aspect comes from the addition of cayenne pepper, which pairs nicely with chocolate. Don't be afraid of the heat!

You get a cold creaminess from whipped cream, sweetness and crunch from chocolate cup, and heat from the cayenne pepper.

Prepare to have your taste buds dancing to a sweet and spicy tune!

I seem to be doing more social media now a days but I still enjoy baking up a storm in the kitchen. Lots of things happening this month! Check out Ghirardelli, I'm featured on there every month. I will be baking for the Austin Blogger Bake sale to raise money for Japan and the online bake sale for Japan. Check back for posts on those. And I will be going to the Texas Wine & Food Festival. Nevertheless, hopefully it's not too late for hot chocolate! I know some of my friends who are in the northern States are still experiencing cold weather. Thankfully it's been warm and sunny in Austin Texas.

Hot chocolate.

Chocolate cups.

To make these chocolate cups, melt about 4 ounces to make 3 cups. Allow the chocolate to cool to slightly lukewarm but before the chocolate hardens up again. This is very important unless you want to see a balloon covered with chocolate exploding on you (don't ask me how I know).

I suggest using a high quality melting chocolate. I recommend using Ghirardelli baking bars. You can either use the double boiler, direct heat, or microwave method. Remember to break the chocolate bar into small pieces to ensure even melting.

Place the chocolate covered balloons on a pan covered with parchment paper.
You can either let the balloon sit for 30 minutes or stick them into the fridge to harden up faster.
Be careful when you pull the balloons off the parchment paper. And don't hold them to tight or else the sides will crush in and that's not fixable. If there are slight cracks along the sides or on the bottom, fix them with a piping bag filled with melted chocolate

Chocolate Mousse.
Adapted from Alton Brown

3/4 cup whipping cream
6 ounces quality semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 ounces espresso or strong coffee
1/2 tbsp dark rum
2 tbsp butter
1/2 tsp flavorless, granulated gelatin
pinch of cayenne powder
  • Chill 1/2 cup whipping cream in refrigerator. Chill metal mixing bowl and mixer beaters in freezer.
  • In top of a double boiler, combine chocolate chips, coffee, rum and butter. Melt over barely simmering water, stirring constantly. Remove from heat while a couple of chunks are still visible. Cool, stirring occasionally to just above body temperature.
  • Pour remaining 1/4 cup whipping cream into a metal measuring cup and sprinkle in the gelatin. Allow gelatin to "bloom" for 10 minutes. Then carefully heat by swirling the measuring cup over a low gas flame or candle. Do not boil or gelatin will be damaged. Stir mixture into the cooled chocolate and set aside.
  • In the chilled mixing bowl, beat cream to medium peaks. Stir 1/4 of the whipped cream into the chocolate mixture to lighten it. Sprinkle in cayenne powder and fold in the remaining whipped cream in two doses. There may be streaks of whipped cream in the chocolate and that is fine. Do not over work the mousse.
  • Makes 3-4 servings.

Fill first with chocolate mousse

You can also add a topping of fresh whipped cream and garnish with a dash of cocoa powder.


   This comes from www.mymadisonbistro.com .

Peppermint Hot Chocolate

Peppermint Hot Chocolate

We got our first measurable snowfall yesterday – only a couple of inches, so it was a nice way to start off December. Nicer, still, because I didn’t have to go anywhere. You won’t see me fighting the crowds at the mall or swearing at the driver who cut me off, in an attempt to get a parking space I wasn’t even interested in.
Instead, I was able to hang out in my pajamas for a little longer than normal, my cat curled up on my lap, a cup of coffee by my side, and enjoying a phone conversation with an old friend. I watched the snowflakes fall, knowing I was in no rush to go outside to brush the snow off my car.

Peppermint Hot Chocolate

Unfortunately, the predictions were that the temperature would soon be falling. What better way to get cozy than with a mug of peppermint hot chocolate? The best thing about this recipe is that it’s bursting with chocolate flavor without being overpowering. Even better, it’s both kid and adult-friendly: the kids get peppermint hot chocolate, the adults get hot peppermint paddy’s, if that’s their desire.

Peppermint Hot Chocolate and Hot Peppermint Pattys
3 1/2 cups milk (2% or whole)
1 1/2 cups half and half
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
2 ounces milk chocolate, chopped
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon pure peppermint extract
for garnish:
Whipped cream*
red sugar
mini candy canes
for Hot Peppermint Pattys:
Peppermint Schnapps
Heat milk in large saucepan over medium heat until just below a simmer. Add chocolate and whisk until melted. Add half and half, whisking to combine. Remove from heat.
Whisk in vanilla and peppermint. Pour in mugs and top with whipped cream, red sugar, and mini candy canes. For extra peppermint flavor, drop a candy cane in the mug as well.
For a peppermint patty: Add a splash of peppermint schnapps to the mug, stir, then top with whipped cream.
*To make whipped cream, whip cold cream just until soft peaks form. Mix in powdered sugar to taste.
   This comes from www.ourbestbites.com .
S'mores Hot Chocolate
I know. I have issues. A slight addiction to warm chocolaty drinks. I just posted some of my favorite specialty flavors, but this one needed its own post! If you’re in the SLC area, you can tune into KSL’s Studio 5 this morning and watch me whip this up live. Cross your fingers I don’t burn myself or over-do the marshmallows and catch the studio on fire. Not that that would be anything like me

This drink has all the elements of the toasty fire-side (or oven-side) treat, but in a drinkable form! It’s out of this world. Try it in mini-cups for an after-dinner treat or a big ol’ mug after playing outside in the cold.First up, the graham crackers! How do you include graham crackers in a beverage? First dip the rim of your mug in melted butter. I use salted butter because I like how the salt cuts the sweetness of the drink. Then dip the mug in crushed graham crackers.

Gorgeous, right? Next, the chocolate. I’m using a classic Hershey’s bar, but you can use any chocolate you like. I personally like using the dark Hershey’s bar, cuz that’s just how I roll….

Break up those chunks and put them right in your mugs

Now to make the chocolate into hot chocolate, just pour in hot milk. I always use whole milk when I do special drinks like this because, well, it tastes good. And it’s kind of naughty. And I’m always secretly jealous of my babies when they get to drink whole milk every day.

Use a pitcher with a good spout on it so you don’t mess up your pretty cracker rim. Just pour, don’t stir. It’s doing magical things in there.

Leave those mugs there and prepare the marshmallows. You can’t have a s’more without a toasty marshmallow, right?

Place them on a baking sheet. You don’t have to line it with parchment like I did. I just like to waste paper.

Place them under a broiler on low heat and sit there and stare at them. Really, don’t go anywhere, just stare. I don’t care if it makes them feel awkward, you’ll be happy you did when you don’t start a kitchen fire.
When the marshmallows are done, carefully stir up your hot chocolate. I like to partially stir so I still have some chocolate goo at the bottom to eat. Just like a real s’more.

Top each mug with a couple of marshmallows, and drizzle with chocolate sauce for pizazz. Yes, I just said pizazz.

These are super cute and delicious in mini mugs as well. Bring a tray out after dinner, or for a party and your guests will literally fall at your feet. Tell them to get up and try your amazing hot chocolate.

One other thing I will mention is that this syrup is amazing. I haven’t seen it in stores, I’ve just had it at the coffee shop in my hot chocolate, but if you’re a fan you could order some, it’s amazing!