Wednesday, December 9, 2015


 This comes form www.celebrationsathomeblog.com .  A cool idea to add a little decor to that holiday buffet and to add some color to your holiday table.

This icey bottle cooler as seen on my Holiday Bar Design, is a stylish way to present vodka or white wine on the bar while keeping it cold at the same time. It’s a simple project but you need to give yourself a couple of days to freeze the layers. This works well for vodka because it can go in the freezer without turning solid, and is best served very cold anyway. Here’s how it works…

What you’ll need:
  • A 3-liter empty soda container that you will cut the top off of
  • distilled water for more clarity in your end result
  • fruit such as lemons, limes, star fruit, or cranberries
  • duct tape – only in case your bottle floats up in the water
Place the bottle of vodka inside the 3-liter container and fill with an inch or two of the distilled water – freeze until solid.
When the base is frozen you can begin adding slice fruit or berries around the bottle and fill with more water to just cover the fruit layer - freeze until solid.
Once the first fruit layer is frozen you can add your next layer in the same manner, filling with distilled water enough to cover the fruit. This layer should take you to the top of the vodka bottle – freeze until solid.
Once the cooler is frozen, take it out of the freezer so it can thaw slightly – enough to work the 3-liter container off of the ice (about 30 minutes). You may still need to dip in luke warm water to help ease it off. Once you have the ice cooler out of the container store it in the freezer until ready to set on your bar.
Important Tips:
When setting the ice cooler out on your bar, set it in a shallow dish or tray that is lined with a small towel. This will prevent the icey base from slipping around on the dish, as well as help contain the melting ice. Under normal home temperatures this should last a few hours.
If you would like to use the ice cooler for white wine or other cold drink, just insert an empty bottle (wine bottle or other decorative bottle) into the 3-liter container and follow the same steps. You can add your beverage to the empty bottle inside (using a funnel) after the cooler is frozen


   This coool recipe comes from www.mykitchenaddiction.com .  Make this smooth, cool dessert just for yourself and not anyone else!  Just kidding!.....NO I'M NOT!!

   I have professed my love of the Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte many times. I love all things about autumn, and I wait all summer for the first cool day when I need to wear a jacket. So, when the first pumpkin spice lattes grace the menu at my local Starbucks, I’m there.
   As much as I love my occasional drink from Starbucks, I try to keep them exactly that… Occasional. I think that both my wallet and my wasteline thank me. The drinks are so rich that having one is like having dessert… And, I also don’t think it’s a good idea to have a $4-5 cup of coffee on a regular basis.
   So, you can imagine how thrilled I was when Tracey told me she had a great recipe for Pumpkin Spice Lattes over at Sugarcrafter. I’ve been meaning to make it for a while, but haven’t actually gotten around to it. Here’s the thing… As much as I enjoy my pumpkin spice lattes when I’m out and about, they are more of a special treat to me, and I don’t really have the motivation to make one at home. I’m not much of a coffee drinker when I’m at home.
   I haven’t been able to stop thinking about the flavor combinations, though, so I decided to use Tracey’s recipe as a guide to make some pumpkin spice latte ice cream, instead. After all, I don’t think you can go wrong when you take a coffee drink and turn it into ice cream.
   I used my standard custard base recipe and added all of the flavors of a pumpkin spice latte. The result was a perfectly rich and creamy ice cream, the perfect tribute to the actual drink. I think the only way to top the ice cream is to use it to make a pumpkin spice latte milkshake!

Pumpkin Spice Latte Ice Cream(Makes about 1 1/2 quarts, adapted from the recipe for Pumpkin Spice Lattes from Sugarcrafter)
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 cups half and half (whole milk would be fine, too)
  • 2 tablespoons instant espresso powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree

Beat the egg yolks and the granulated sugar with a hand mixer on medium speed until the mixture is light in color (much like mayonnaise) and falls back into the bowl in ribbons.
Meanwhile, combine the heavy cream, half and half, espresso powder, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves in a sauce pan over medium heat and bring up to a simmer. Gradually ladle about 1 cup of the hot liquid into the egg yolk mixture, beating the entire time, to temper the eggs. Pour the tempered egg mixture into the sauce pan and whisk well.
Add the pumpkin puree to the saucepan, and whisk until the mixture is smooth. Continue to cook over medium-low heat until it has thickened and coats the back of a wooden spoon.
Transfer the custard to a mixing bowl and cover with plastic wrap, pressing the plastic wrap against the surface. Chill the mixture for at least 2 hours, or overnight.
Freeze the custard in an ice cream maker, according to the manufacturer’s directions until the ice cream is a soft serve consistency. Transfer to an airtight container and freeze for 3-4 hours until the ice cream has hardened. If the ice cream has frozen too hard, simply allow it to set at room temperature for a few minutes until it is scoopable.


This is brought to you from one of my favorites, www.lillun.com .  She always has something creative for almost any holiday.  This one is a take on the one that she did at Halloween time.  This one is a little bit of a twist on that one.  Again, a get diy gift for that someone special!

   I made a similar one for Halloween and knew I'd have to make one for Christmas because they're so whimsical and easy!

Here is what you'll need:

- Box/Vase/Cart to use as Centerpiece Base
-Floral Foam (Found at the Dollar Store)
-Paper Shred(Found at the Dollar Store)
-Foam Brush
-Scrapbook Paper
-Hot Glue


1. Begin by picking out your Centerpiece box. I just bought one for a buck at my local grocery store and painted it red. I also cut some vinyl dots and added them to the box, just because I am OBSESSED with polka dots! 

2. Put two strips together and fold back and forth until you are all the way through. Then, hot glue the two ends together as well as the other ends so it makes a circle.

3. Push edges of strips IN to make an accordion flower. Hot glue center and hold, and do the same on back. For another tutorial on these flowers, I used one 

4. Paint skewers the desired color you'd like and let dry. I stuck mine into the floral foam to 


5. I wanted to add a little something to the skewers, so I cut out .2 inch white strips of vinyl and twisted them along the skewer. My hubby is super smart and suggested I stick them in his drill, turn it on, and let the drill do the twisting. It takes seconds (isn't he smart?).
(And don't look at my nasty glue gun - the poor thing has been my right hand man through thick and thin - ha!)

6. Add buttons or other embellishments to your flowers. I also added some scrapbook embellishments I found at Joann's with some vintage Santa Claus pics as well as some scalloped circle punches I made.


7. Hot glue skewers to backs of flowers. I also cut out a 1 inch circle to add to the backs to cover the ugly.

8. Stick skewers through the moss and foam into your base and arrange as desired.

Voila!! A super cute and easy centerpiece. I had most the supplies at home, but with the box, paper, and everything else you could make this for about $7 or less.