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Eat, DRINK, and Be Merry!

8 Dec

Candy Cane Vodka

Candy Cane Vodka 3

‘Tis the season for families, decorating, giving back…and holiday parties.  Nothing like acting casual around your neighbors/coworkers while trying to ensure you did not indulge into much eggnog.  A majority of parties are held at people’s homes.  Being at someone’s house automatically started the crafty-Christmas mind spinning.  What to bring for a hostess gift?!  It needs to be something different to show people how you appreciate them and their kindness for opening up their home to you.  Wine is always good, and you can dress up the bottle with personalized tags or little wine bottle outfits.  Another idea is to make your our infused liquor.  It’s actually ridiculously easy.  And you know what they say, ‘once you go infused, you never go back.’

The How-to

This is so easy and cost-effective if you have multiple recipients.

You will need:

  • Vodka (make sure to use mid-shelf or top-shelf– it does make a difference) Any size depending on how many bottles you are making
  • Candy Canes
  • A funnel for putting the vodka into the bottles
  • Bottles that can be sealed without leaks
  • Printer for labels
  • Paper and full-page labels
  • Any holiday doo dads to decorate the finished product

Candy Cane Vodka 1

Begin by measuring your vodka and pouring it into the containers.  The glass flask was purchased at the Container Store and holds 8.5 oz.  There are some recipes out there that will tell you to pulverize your candy canes into a dust then add that to your vodka and shake.  That is a fast alternative, but this recipe is more of a day or two recipe.

For this recipe, I found that I used 5-6 candy canes per 8 oz.  You will need to taste them to ensure there is enough sweetness to peppermint ratio.  It is all about personal preference, so you can increase or decrease as required.  Using 6 candy canes in my bottles created a sweeter drink that actually tasted pretty darn good by itself.

Open the candy canes and break apart.  Place into the glasses and THEN add the vodka.  I did it the other way around and I neglected to remember that whole water displacement thing and had to pour some vodka out (hence the second bottle seen below).  Also, when the candy canes get wet from the vodka, they are very sticky and hard to move around.

Candy Cane Vodka 2Once you have all your candy canes and vodka together, you’re done.  No, seriously.  That is all that needs to happen for this awesome homemade gift.  The process of the candy canes dissolving is relatively quick.  The flask was made about 20 minutes before the bottle on the right. I did just let them sit over night and agitated them a few times to make sure there were no pieces left inside.

Next, add a label to personalize the bottle.  I went with a rustic theme because it seemed to fit my homemade vibe for this project.  Here is the label and tag I created.  The fonts are available at DaFont.com (Main titles, text).

Candy Cane Vodka Label

Candy Cane Vodka Label TagI also picked up some little ornaments from a big box store to add a little flair to my bottle.  All in all, this project is super easy and economical.  I plan on getting about 8 presents done with one 1.75 liter bottle and 48 or so candy canes.  I might pair this gift with two hot chocolate packets just for something extra and to encourage them to try it right away.  Oh- and did I mention that I slightly abhor liquor and this I actually enjoy it straight with nothing added.  I can only imagine how amazing the coffee or hot chocolate version tastes!

Candy Cane Vodka 4

For more recipes that you could include, visit here.

 

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Snowman Cookies!

15 Jan

Definitely wish I  stumbled upon these quirky melted snowman cookies a month ago!   Crazy Domestic has a great tutorial that will give step-by-step instructions on how to create these little guys.  Although the season is over, these will be awesome for next year (I couldn’t wait a whole year to share these)!  [Photo courtesy of Crazy Domestic]

Festive Treats

25 Dec


Here are some last-minute cookie ideas that are what you would call “semi-homemade.”

  • Salted Carmel Turtle Squares (The caramel will melt off at room temp, so make sure to cut, then refrigerate prior to serving.  Even though they were messy, people loved the play of the cookie bottom, the caramel top, and the salt on the top)
  • Cake Batter Cookie Stacks (need I say more at how amazing these were?)
  • Choco-Lumps of Coal (My coworkers loved these! The are made from coco-puffs for an extra surprise!)

Christmas Countdown!

23 Dec

With all the hectic, festive activities that will consume your time this year, it is nice to have a reminder why you are sweating over three dozen elf shaped cookies at 11 pm Christmas Eve.  This Santa’s Belt Countdown Pillow available at Kohls, can be your sanity check.  Move the numbered belt under the belt buckle to mark the days until Christmas.  Now you can merrily and comfortably decorate knowing your big deadline.

ps– Since I found it last week, they have sold out, however, this would be a great “go-to” gift next year for an unexpected guest!

Warm Welcomes

17 Dec

It is that time of year when the holiday parties are coming in droves.  Each weekend has (or will be) claimed from here until New Years.  If you are lucky enough to host your own, you want to make sure to welcome your guests right at the start!  Here are some fun, festive, and quirky front door mats that will certainly impress, if not begin, some chatter at your party.  Most listed are made from coir (coconut husks) and are environmentally considerate.

Fun & Festive

 …festive doormat depicts red birds and white branches against a blue sky. Simple, silhouetted shapes make for a modern design, while sustainable and absorbent coir minimizes damage to both the environment and the doorstep.

…leftover birch twigs and branches that would otherwise be burned and slice them into cross-sections to expose their growth rings and beautiful, natural coloring. The disks are sanded smooth and mounted on a water-resistant backing. (INDOOR USE ONLY)

…A peaceful forest of evergreens is dotted with white snowflakes on a natural background. This easy-care, durable doormat is a great way to welcome guests to your home.

 

…Crafted from coir, a sustainable material made from the husk of a coconut, this durable Reindeer Doormat is great for high-traffic entryways.

Quirky

…This natural coir doormat tells your guests to “beware of dog,” right down to the bite taken out of the corner. The 100% natural coir mat if fade resistant and vinyl-backed…

…Give guests a laugh with this good-humored, mind-boggling doormat that reads differently depending on whether you are walking in or out of the house. Carefully designed letters read “Come In” from one angle and “Go Away” when flipped…

Christmas in July!!

28 Jul

I usually start dreaming up my Christmas newsletter around this time– mostly because I purchase all of the next year’s cards the day after Christmas the preceding year. Can’t beat the deals! And then I know how to make all my labels/letters match the themes of my store purchased cards.  I personalize everything from the letter to the address labels.  Usually this the only way some of the, non-Facebooking, older family/friends can keep up with my Hubs and my life.  Here is a sampling of my work the past few years.

Address Labels

This was done by just finding clip art on the internet and then using a program to turn the words the correct way.  I placed them on the envelopes vertically.  They all mailed without any problem!  I printed these on Avery clear labels— only put these on white envelopes if that is the look you want.

Newsletter

I like to create a different format for each one.  I like the snowmen because I got to try my hand at digital graphic design.  I typed in the message and attached a photo on the backside of me and Hubs.