Keep the Holiday Spirit Alive with This Signature Drink!

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We love soaking up as much holiday spirit as humanly possible! That’s why we’re keeping the spirit alive with this delicious eggnog drink. While some consider eggnog more of a Christmas beverage, we think that you can (and should) enjoy it all winter long! That being said, we love this drink and it’s perfect for large gatherings -- think New Years Eve and beyond. Enjoy!

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Chocolate Stout Eggnog

  • 3 quarts Eggnog

  • 1 quart Chocolate Stout (we recommend Samuel Smith)

  • ¼ cup Chocolate Syrup, or to taste

  • 6 oz Bourbon

  • Chocolate shavings for garnish

If you’re looking to go really fancy, try making your own eggnog instead of using store bought! We love this recipe from Tastes Better From Scratch! Cheers!

Patriotic Weddings That Will Have You Swooning

Happy 4th of July! In honor of today’s holiday, we put together some of our favorite inspiration images for patriotic weddings. Whether you served in the armed forces or just love a good Americana event, a patriotic wedding may be for you! You color palette is pretty easy -- the classic red, white, and blue of course. Incorporate fun little American classics like mini Coca Cola bottle with blue ribbons tied around the bottlenecks. Sparklers are a must-have, too!

Our Favorite Ways to Set the Easter Table

Image Source: HGTV

Image Source: HGTV

It’s hard to believe that Easter Sunday is only a few days away! Falling early this year, we’re caught slightly off-guard and in need of some major tablescape inspiration for this weekend’s festivities. Whether you’re hosting a mature adult gathering, or looking for something a bit more family-friendly, these beautiful tablescapes offer something for everyone! From soft, neutrals to bold and bright spring colors, Easter-intensive or more general spring-like, these tablescapes create a beautiful setting for your meal and will wow your guests. If a full tablescape isn’t in your capacity, try picking specific smaller details that you love and incorporate them where possible. For example, we love a bright table runner with some simple florals and candles. The best part of simple decor additions such as these? You can reuse them for various holidays and events! Regardless of how your table is set, we are wishing you a very Happy Easter filled with family and love.

St. Patty's Day Party Guide

St. Patty’s Day is one of the biggest drinking holidays of the year, which means one thing: it’s crucial to plan the perfect party! We’ve got you covered beyond just the cocktail recipes, though, from start to finish. We’ve put together everything from our favorite decor ideas to the tastiest Irish recipes!

Image Source: Star Stream Design

Image Source: Star Stream Design

Invites

St. Patty’s Day invites are super easy to come by online, and getting custom printed ones can be affordable if you order from the right place! Incorporate some sparkle into your party invites with this adorable one from Etsy, or go for a more classic approach with something like this!


Image Source: Chef Savvy

Image Source: Chef Savvy

Food

It wouldn’t be St. Patty’s Day without some potatoes, so make sure to incorporate some Irish classics into your recipes! Your guests would be drooling over these Irish nachos, made with small, sliced potatoes and cheese and bacon. Serve your nachos with some guac for a little pop of green! Don’t forget the sweets either, though. Dip some strawberries in white chocolate and have some fun decorating them for your guests, or try out this mouth-watering recipe for Mint Andes Brownies!


Image Source: imbibe

Image Source: imbibe

Drinks

It’s one of the biggest drinking holidays of the year, so don’t be afraid to step your drink game up! Don’t forget to serve up some sweet Irish Coffee cocktails, topped with whipped cream and some green sprinkles. If you’re looking to offer another sweet-tasting cocktail, try out the Grasshopper Martini - it’s a classic, and it’s basically just an alcoholic, mint chocolate milkshake! To really get the party going, make some cute and clever shots to leave out for your guests. If you’re feeling confident, test out your bartending skills with this adorable Irish Flag shot!


Image Source: Babble

Image Source: Babble

Decor

It’s easy to opt for the obvious when it comes to St. Patty’s Day decor - a thousand different shades of green is usually the go-to. Make your party a little more sophisticated by going with the same consistent shade of green decor with glamorous gold accents! We also love the idea of adding a little rainbow touch to your party to break up all the green. A great decor option is filling up mason jars with some gold chocolate coins, and then top it off with tons of layers of rainbow skittles. Not only does it add a pop of extra color and fun to your decor, but it doubles as a delicious party favor for your guests, too!


Image Source: Pizzazzerie

Image Source: Pizzazzerie

Tablescape

St. Patty’s Day isn’t just about Irish pride and celebrating with friends - it’s a sign of spring, too! Incorporate some fresh, colorful florals into your tablescape to really embrace the time of year, but add little touches of green and gold so you don’t totally lose the holiday in your place setting. Bring in some more of that lucky Irish touch with some trendy gold plates or silverware, and add some green centerpieces and napkin rings to tie the look together!

Our Favorite Valentine's Day Date Ideas!

IMAGE SOURCE: STYLE ME PRETTY

IMAGE SOURCE: STYLE ME PRETTY

There is always added pressure to get your Valentine’s Day date right; it needs to be the most romantic date of the year, but sometimes it’s hard deciding what to do! To help, we’ve rounded up a bunch of date ideas sure to create memories, romance, and an atmosphere for your love to grow!


Stay in if you want - no one ever said Valentine’s Day had to be glamorous! Do the opposite of what you and your significant other always do. If you’re the kind of couple that stays in and watches Netflix in your old Christmas pajamas year round, try that new restaurant in town that everyone’s been raving about instead of the same old takeout! If you’re the kind of couple that’s always moving, always on the go, and you never get the opportunity to unwind together, then an easy movie night in could be the best Valentine’s date ever.

IMAGE SOURCE: ELANALOO

IMAGE SOURCE: ELANALOO

IMAGE SOURCE: SHOP STYLE

IMAGE SOURCE: SHOP STYLE

If a night in isn’t for you, be spontaneous! Head to a city or town nearby that you’ve never been to. If you want to avoid V-Day crowds, consider making it an earlier day and check out the local breakfast places. Romance doesn’t have to be a candlelit dinner with flowers galore - coffee works, too! Take the time to walk around and enjoy being in an entirely unknown place together. Window-shop the stores you come across, and enjoy exploring somewhere new with your love hand in hand!

If you’re not feeling confident about your cooking skills but you still want to impress your S/O with something homemade, check out the cooking classes offered in your area. They’re not too expensive, and not only will you learn something new, but you’ll get to do it with your love and eat a delicious meal afterwards!

IMAGE SOURCE: MELISSA JILL

IMAGE SOURCE: MELISSA JILL

IMAGE SOURCE @WAHOOBAYBEACH

IMAGE SOURCE @WAHOOBAYBEACH

You might feel a little guilty indulging in a massage for just yourself any other time of year, but a couple’s massage or spa day is the perfect environment to get the two of you relaxed. And get that facial you’ve been dreaming about while you’re at it! You’ll be feeling confident, stress-free, and ready to enjoy the night together.

For a little more romance, recreate your first date, or take it back to where you first met. If you spent it at the movies, go to the same theater and get the large popcorn you were too nervous to get on your first date. Take a walk around the park that you met in, or enjoy a nice meal at the restaurant you first fumbled over conversation in. Reminiscing can be very romantic, and chances are, your S/O will be impressed with all the thought that went into it!


Gift Wrapping Guide

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Do you have that odd shaped gift you need to wrap but don’t know how, or do you simply want to step up your wrapping game to impress your in-laws? This year, we decided to tackle these dilemmas head on and share our tips with you to help ease your mounting holiday stress! We will cover everything from what wrapping paper to choose, to making your own gift tags, to adding that little extra something to make the recipient awed. So grab a glass of wine, clear a large working space, put on your creativity hat, and get wrapping!


WHEN TO WRAP VS. GIFT BAG
 

If your gift is in a nice rectangular box, wrapping it with paper is the most obvious and elegant choice; however, not all presents are packaged in neat boxes. Your first thought will be to put it in a gift bag, but you don’t have to! Just because the gift does not come in a box does not mean you can’t put it in a gift box! Gift boxes are readily available at craft and hobby stores during this time of year! They come in every shape, size and color you can think of If you are crafty or have extra time, opt for a plain gift box and decorate it with holiday stamps, stickers, or doodles. And remember, when purchasing the gift, never hesitate to ask if gift boxes are available! They usually are and will save you the trouble of having to purchase an extra one.

When your gift is heavy, slightly too large, cumbersome, or you can’t find a gift box, then it is then appropriate to use a gift bag! Use a festive bag and tissue paper or decorate your own bag (as seen below)!


WHAT KIND OF WRAPPING PAPER SHOULD I USE?

Wrapping paper should always be beautiful, festive, decorative, and fun! Here are seven kinds of paper and wrapping paper alternatives!

Kraft Paper

Kraft paper is a form of cardboard that is typically designed for packaging because of its high tear resistance. This paper is great for the crafty gift wrapper who wants to add her own designs! Since it is a blank canvas you can stamp it, draw on it, add stickers or adornments! It is also perfect for those who have to send gifts through the mail. Wrap your presents in kraft paper and place into a shipping box. It is less likely to rip in transit!

Gift Wrapping Paper

Gift wrapping paper is the wrapping paper we all know and love. It comes in millions of colors and designs to cater to the gift recipient. Choose gift wrapping paper if the gift is for kids (because of the bright and bold illustrations), you want a lot of color, you want to make a bold statement, or find a pattern you absolutely love. Make sure to buy at least two gift wrapping paper patterns if wrapping multiple gifts to add dimension under your tree!

Newspaper

For a sentimental look, use newspaper! The black and white colors look classy, and are a great juxtaposition for a bright bow. Plus, it’s environmentally friendly to recycle! Be sure to layer at least two pieces of paper together so you can’t see through to the gift.

Paper Grocery Bags

Paper grocery bags are a budget and environmentally friendly alternative for kraft paper! Use the same way you would kraft paper.

Old Maps

Have a bunch of old maps laying around or shoved into your glove box? Now you have a perfect way to recycle them! It is great for travel related gifts or gifts for your favorite adventurer!

Fabric

If you have some large fabric scraps you don’t know what to do with you now do! Fabric makes a great gift wrap for round presents; you can simply bundle the gift up in the wrap and tie with a ribbon. Or you can traditionally wrap a gift with fabric, it just takes a little finesse.

Wallpaper

Wallpaper can be used as an alternative for any of the paper product wrapping papers, but it should be noted that it is easiest to use on box shaped gifts because it is so stiff. Wallpaper is an amazing wrapping paper option because it has fun textures you won’t find with any of these wrapping paper options!


WHEN TO USE TISSUE PAPER

Tissue paper is like the supporting actress, important for the project as a whole but not the starring role (that’s the wrapping paper or gift bag). It is especially fun to use for the holidays because of the holiday designs printed on it! Tissue paper can be used in two ways:

As Fluff for Gift Bags

A proper gift bag always has a bunch of tissue paper sticking out from the top. This fluff not only helps hide the gift inside, but also adds the supporting flair to the gift wrapping as a whole. A plain colored gift bag can become more intriguing with bright tissue paper flowing from the top! Or, simple colored paper can be used to highlight the amazing gift bag you chose!

As Protective Cushioning or an Extra Layer:

Tissue paper is also important for protecting fragile gifts. Wrap easily broken presents in a layer or two of tissue to ensure it is safe from chipping or cracking. Wrapping non fragile gifts in tissue paper can act as a barrier against any unknown elements, plus it is an extra fun unwrapping layer for the recipient! Also, use tissue paper to keep items from shifting around in a gift box!


HOW TO WRAP A GIFT OR FILL A GIFT BAG

Before you begin your wrapping adventure make sure to gather all supplies (paper, bag, tissue, tape, & scissors), clear a large working space, and allow yourself enough time to get it done! Once your gifts are wrapped you can begin working on the tags, ribbon, and any other decorations (we will explain how to decorate your wrapped gifts following this section). Note, if decorating a gift bag, decorate it before wrapping the gifts in it.

Wrapping with Paper or Paper Alternative

  1. Cut out a piece of paper large enough to wrap the entire gift and place design side down.
  2. Place gift, front side down, in the center of the cut out paper.
  3. Pull the two longest ends over the gift and tape down
  4. Working on an open end, push the sides of the paper inward to create 45° angle flaps and crease.
  5. Fold down the top flap, then fold up the bottom flap and tape. Repeat with the other end. Make sure you do not have too much excess paper during this step or else your flaps will not match up.

Filling a Gift Bag

  1. Place a layer of tissue paper on the bottom of the bag to keep gifts from shifting inside.
  2. Gently put gift(s) into the bag. If desired wrap gifts in tissue paper first.
  3. Take two layers of completely opened tissue paper, design side up, (here you can be creative and use two different patterns or colors) and pinch the center.
  4. Swiftly lift your hand up so the paper forms a cone shape. Repeat one to four more times depending on how large the gift bag is.
  5. Place the tissue paper into the sides or corners of the bag, pinch side on the bottom, so the gift inside is no longer visible.
  6. Gently fluff the paper to get a voluminous effect.

HOW TO CREATE GIFT NAME TAGS

Name tags are a must-have design aspect for your gift wrapping. This year, try to make your own, or buy a pretty tag to string onto your gift. To make your own you will need card stock, scissors, a hole punch, and markers. Just cut out a gift tag shape in the card stock, decorate with a festive design, and sign the recipients name to it! Punch a hole on the end so you can string ribbon or twine through! You can also decorate your tag with stamps, stickers, adornment, or whatever else your heart desires! If you do not have time or a creative bone in your body there are plenty of beautiful tags already made- you just have to add the name. Or print gorgeous free tags from Gather & Feast!


THAT EXTRA SOMETHING SPECIAL

Now that your gifts are wrapped they need some pizazz! We’ve created a list of ways to add a little extra to your gift, whether it is wrapped with paper or in a bag:

Ribbon or Twine

Ribbon or twine is a must for your gift. Wrap around your paper wrapped gift or tie the handles together on your gift bag. If using ribbon, make the length longer than needed so you can curl the extra on top. String the ribbon or twine through the gift name tag to secure it on the gift!

Bow

Create your own bow with ribbon or buy a big one from the store. Place in the center of where the ribbon is knotted or in the corner of your gift box/bag.

Adornments & Stickers

You can buy adornments and stickers at any craft shop or online. Tape or glue adornments, or place stickers, on to your gift to add texture, a pattern, or just that extra spark of design. Adornments and stickers are a great way to showcase the hard work and thought you put into wrapping the gift!

Stamps

If using kraft paper or a cardboard gift bag, stamps are the perfect way to create your own design. Keep it simple with black ink and one stamp, or go crazy and do multiple colors with multiple different stamps! Whatever you do it will be beautiful. This is also a way to get your kids involved with the wrapping process. Let them stamp a design onto the paper to give to your family!

Festive Items

Festive items such as holly, jingle bells, pine cones, candy canes, tree sprigs, etc. can be added to your gift! String them through the ribbon or twine or tape in place. It will definitely show your thought and consideration! Plus, it looks professional and stunning!


Office Holiday Party Outfit Guide & Inspiration

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Every year we are obligated to go to an office holiday party, and every year we have difficulty deciding what to wear. This season, we’ve created a guide with inspiration to help you choose an appropriate and stylish outfit!


casual dress code

If your daily work attire is casual, you can expect a casual dress code for your office party! Pair jeans with a cute sweater or flannel shirt. Tuck a simple shirt into a fun colored or patterned skirt, or wear a stylish wool coat! Use bright colors and jewel tones to your advantage to make your casual clothes fashionable!


business casual & semi formal dress code

Business casual & semi formal attire ranges from pants to dresses. Pair cropped pants or formal joggers with a bright heel. Wear a flirty dress or skirt, or be bold and try out a jumpsuit! Add a little sparkle to a structured outfit for some holiday spirit!


formal dress code

A formal dress code is the green light to be as fancy as you desire! Where pants are not quite acceptable at a formal party, you can wear a fashionable jumpsuit! Find one that is tailored and monochrome. Skirts should be full, textured, or colorful, and dresses should be knee-length or longer. Since it is a holiday party, your dress should stand out, whether with appliques, color, or silhouette!


Warm Sticky Figgy Pudding

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This holiday season we wanted to recreate a classic (and normally unfavorable) dessert into modern and delicious dish, so we are bringing you some figgy pudding! Dating back to 16th century England, figgy pudding is traditionally a cake filled with raisins, currants, and brandy! To give this dessert a modern twist, the raisins are substituted with figs and a warm sticky caramel sauce is poured over the cake to make it resemble a (bread) pudding by today's standards. This dessert is sweet, savory, and most importantly delightful!


WARM STICKY FIGGY PUDDING


Total Time: 2 hours

Makes: 12 servings

Ingredients:

For the Caramel Sauce:

  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 14 tbsp. unsalted butter

For the Pudding:

  • 1 ½ cups dried & pitted dates, chopped
  • ½ cup dried figs, chopped
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 7 tbsp. Unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup superfine sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 ½ cups self rising flour
  • 2 ½ oz. dark chocolate, grated
  • Butter for coating ramekins
  • Ice cream or whipped cream for garnish
  • Fresh figs, quartered for garnish
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Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350℉.

Add dates, dried figs, and water to a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Remove pan from heat and stir in baking soda. Let cool for 5 minutes, then puree in a blender.

Using a hand mixer, cream the butter and sugar. Add eggs and beat well. Fold in the four, chocolate, and pureed date mixture.

Put the mixture into  buttered ramekins, filling halfway or slightly under. Put in the oven and bake for 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.

Prepare the sauce by stirring sugar and heavy cream in a saucepan over low heat. Simmer until the sugar dissolves. Raise the heat to bring to a boil, then reduce heat to simmer for 5 minutes. Add the butter and stir until incorporated.

Remove the ramekins from the oven and let stand for 10 minutes. They may be served in the ramekins or unmolded onto a serving plate. With a paring knife cut a cross into the top of the puddings for the sauce.

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Pour sauce into the cross in the center of the puddings, then pour more sauce over the puddings and allow to soak in slightly. Garnish with fresh figs, vanilla ice cream, or whipped cream. Serve warm and enjoy!

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Notes & Tips:

Create your own superfine sugar by placing granulated sugar in a food processor and pulsing until sugar becomes fine.

Create your own self rising flour: for each cup of flour add 1 ½ tsp. baking powder and ¼ tsp. salt and whisk until combined. For this recipe add 3 ¾ tsp. baking powder and ¾ tsp. salt to the 2 ½ cups of AP flour.

If you don’t have ramekins, you can make the puddings in a greased Bundt or muffin pan!

To add a little adult flair to your figgy pudding, add 1-2 tbsp. rum extract to your batter in the same step as adding your eggs.


Recipe courtesy of Food Network

Cinnamon Star Bread

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Do you need some food inspiration for that upcoming holiday party you volunteered to bake for? We’ve got the perfect recipe for you! This cinnamon star bread is festive, easy to make, and wow worthy. This bread recipe can either be an appetizer or dessert, and its filling is versatile! In lieu of cinnamon, use some gingerbread or apple pie spice. To make it more savory use jams, cheeses, or pesto! There are endless combinations we hope to inspire you to use for this star bread!


CINNAMON STAR BREAD


Ingredients:

For the Filling:

  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 tbsp. cinnamon

For the Dough:

  • 2 cups AP flour
  • ¼ cup potato flour or ½ cup instant mashed potato flakes
  • ¼ cup nonfat dry milk
  • ¾-1 cup lukewarm water
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp. instant yeast
  • 2 tbsp. sugar
  • 1 tsp. salt
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Directions:

Sift AP flour, potato flour, and dry milk through a strainer into a large mixing bowl (skip the sifting step in using instant mashed potatoes).  Add the rest of the dough ingredients into the bowl and mix and knead using a mixer, your hands, or a bread machine until soft and smooth. (We used a bread machine, which took about 50 minutes.)

Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover, and let rise for 1 hour until nearly doubled in size. Then, divide the dough into 4 equal pieces, shape each piece into a ball, and allow to rest for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, mix together the sugar and cinnamon (filling ingredients) in a small bowl.

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On a lightly floured piece of parchment paper, roll 1 piece of dough into a 10 inch circle (it doesn’t have to perfect!). Brush a think coat of beaten egg on the surface and evenly sprinkle ⅓ of the cinnamon-sugar mixture, leaving ¼” of bare dough perimeter.

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Roll out a second circle, the same size as the first, and gently place on top of the filling covered circle. Brush with egg and sprinkle with cinnamon-sugar as before. Repeat the layering process, leaving the top circle bare. Make sure to reserve some egg to brush over the star once it’s shaped.

Place a 2 ½”-3” round cookie cutter, can, or drinking glass in the center of the dough circle as a guide. Press lightly into the dough to make an imprint and remove it. Using a sharp knife or scissors, cut the circle into 16 equal strips from the outside of the dough to the imprint (be sure to cut through all layers!).

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Using 2 hands, pick up 2 adjacent dough strips and twist away from each other twice so the top side is facing up again. Repeat with remaining strips of dough so that you have 8 pairs of strips.

Pinch the pairs of strips together to create a star-like shape with 8 points. Transfer the star on the parchment paper to a baking sheet. Cover and let rise until puffy, about 45 minutes. While rising preheat the oven to 400℉.

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Brush the star with a thin coat of beaten egg and bake 12-15 minutes until it’s golden brown with dark cinnamon streaks (the center should register 200℉). Let cool for 10 minutes before serving! Dust lightly with powdered sugar if desired.


Notes & Tips:

The dry milk and potato flour/flakes ensure the dough retains moisture. If you do not have dry milk, you can replace the water with lukewarm regular milk. If you don’t have potato flakes, omit this ingredient and decrease the amount of water used to ¾ cups. Your star may be slightly paler in color.

This bread can be baked and frozen for up to 1 month. Once it’s cool, wrap it airtight and store in the coolest part of the freezer. When you want to serve, thaw at room temperature then heat in the oven at 350℉ for 15 minutes until warmed through!

Find a gluten free version here!

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Let us know how your star bread turned out and what flavor inspirations you used!

Recipe courtesy of King Arthur Flour

DIY Holiday Home Decor

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Looking to add a festive pop to your walls? Us too! We love a good, free DIY project to add to the holiday cheer. A beautiful coloring page may not sounds like it would make a huge difference, but add some pops of color, throw it in a frame, and flank it with some framed wrapping paper and you have yourself  some beautiful decor on a budget! One of the best parts of creating your own decor is that you can easily pick whatever colors match your theme best. Coloring has proven to be beneficial to your health at any age, and the holiday madness is the perfect time to take a step back and do something for yourself.

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Be sure to download the PDF version of our coloring page and tag us in your posts, we would love to see how your creations turn out!

Winter Wedding Inspiration Board

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There are endless ways to capture winter and the holidays on your big day. To help you get inspired for your winter wedding, we’ve come up with a variety of winter themed wedding details! This season is all about greenery, dark red accents, and whimsical decor. So, if your wedding is Christmas themed, play up the green and red color palette. If it’s a winter wonderland theme, add more lights and faux snow elements! There is no shortage of winter elements to brighten your special day!



Winter Bucket List

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Need some fun holiday activity inspiration?! We’ve got you covered! Our Winter Holiday Bucket List has 50 winter and holiday themed activities for you and your loved ones to enjoy this season! And download our printable PDF to check off each one as you go!


  • Go ice skating
  • Go sledding
  • Build a snowman
  • Make and decorate cookies
  • Build a gingerbread house
  • Drink hot cocoa in front of a fire
  • Put up decorations around the house
  • Make a fancy winter cocktail
  • Take a drive to look at Christmas lights
  • Wrap gifts
  • Send a holiday card
  • Do random acts of kindness
  • Buy a matching scarf, mittens, & hat set
  • Wear pj’s all day
  • Kiss someone under the mistletoe
  • Donate old toys
  • Watch holiday movies
  • Read a good book
  • Light scented candles
  • Go skiing/snowboarding
  • Go snowshoeing
  • Set goals for the New Year
  • Make a handmade gift
  • Splurge on a party outfit
  • Make s'mores
  • Make a wreath
  • Build a blanket fort
  • Make paper snowflakes
  • Have a snowball fight
  • Drink eggnog
  • Eat a candy cane
  • Start a new tradition
  • Make a bird feeder
  • Make a snow angel
  • Play a board game
  • Have a coffee date with a friend
  • Make peppermint bark
  • Make an ornament
  • Make a popcorn garland
  • Have an ugly sweater party
  • Plant bulbs indoors for the spring
  • Rock a red lip
  • Create a holiday playlist
  • Attend a tree lighting
  • Participate in a Secret Santa
  • See a play or musical
  • Learn to knit a scarf
  • Call an old friend
  • Catch snowflakes on your tongue
  • Have a winter photoshoot

#GivingTuesday

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Today is #GivingTuesday, a global movement on the Tuesday after Cyber Monday focused on giving charitable donations, your time, or gifts to your community. #GivingTuesday is an amazing way to kick-off the season of giving and get involved in something greater. To help you find the right foundation to give back to, we’ve devised a list of amazing organizations which could use your love!  And be sure to share the #GivingTuesday movement on your social media to raise awareness!

Be sure to check out #GivingTuesday's official website  to find organizations in need local to you! Small organizations are often overlooked and can always use the extra help!


ANIMAL ORGANIZATIONS


Wildlife Conservation Network

WCN’s mission is to protect endangered species and preserve their natural habitats by supporting entrepreneurial conservationists who pursue innovative strategies for people and wildlife to co-exist and thrive.

The Humane Society of the United States

HSUS is the leading animal advocacy organization, seeking a humane world for people and animals alike. They combat large-scale cruelties such as puppy mills, animal fighting, factory farming, seal slaughter, horse cruelty, captive hunts and the wildlife trade through education and training of local organizations globally.

World Wildlife Foundation

WWF aims to stop the degradation of the planet's natural environment and to build a future in which people live in harmony with nature, by: conserving the world's biological diversity and ensuring that the use of renewable natural resources is sustainable.

Ahisma House

Ahimsa House is dedicated to addressing the link between domestic violence and animal cruelty. We offer services and assistance to victims of domestic violence with pets and work to raise awareness of this connection in communities throughout the state.

ASPCA

The ASPCA provides effective means for the prevention of cruelty to animals throughout the United States.


ENVIRONMENTAL & NATURE ORGANIZATONS


The Nature Conservancy

TNC conserves the lands and waters on which all life depends. Their vision is a world where the diversity of life thrives, and people act to conserve nature for its own sake and its ability to fulfill our needs and enrich our lives.

350

350 uses online campaigns, grassroots organizing, and mass public actions to oppose new coal, oil, and gas projects; take money out of the companies that are heating up the planet; and build 100% clean energy solutions that work for all.

National Audubon Society

The NAS mission is to conserve of birds, other wildlife and healthy ecosystems by use of science, education and grassroots advocacy to advance conservation.

Ecotrust

Ecotrust inspires fresh thinking that creates economic opportunity, social equity, and environmental well-being. Their goal is to foster a natural model of development that creates more resilient communities, economies, and ecosystems here and around the world.

Rainforest Alliance

The Rainforest Alliance’s mission is to conserve biodiversity and ensure sustainable livelihoods by transforming land-use practices, business practices, and consumer behavior.


HEALTH ORGANIZATIONS


Public Health Institute

PHI generates and promotes research, leadership and partnerships to build capacity for strong public health policy, programs, systems and practices.

Mental Health America

MHA promotes mental health, preventing mental and substance use conditions, and achieving victory over mental illnesses and addictions through advocacy, education, research and service.

Foundation for the National Institutes of Health

FNIH forges public-private partnerships and alliances to advance breakthrough biomedical discoveries that can change and improve the quality of people’s lives. Established by Congress to support the mission of the NIH, the FNIH raises funds, provides scientific expertise and administers research programs for a wide range of health challenges.

MAP International

MAP provides immediate humanitarian assistance and relief aid including medicines and health supplies to people left homeless and without access to basic services and serves all people, regardless of religion, gender, race, nationality or ethnic background.

RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network)

RAINN is the nation's largest anti-sexual violence organization which carries out programs to prevent sexual violence, help victims, and ensure that perpetrators are brought to justice.


HUMANITARIAN ORGANIZATIONS


Nothing But Nets

Nothing But Nets is a global grassroots campaign created to raise awareness, funds, and voices to fight malaria and deliver nets to families in need, along with other crucial malaria interventions like diagnostics, treatment, and training of healthcare workers.

American Red Cross

The ARC provides relief to victims of disaster and helps people prevent, prepare for, and respond to emergencies.

International Rescue Committee

IRC responds to the world's worst humanitarian crises, helping to restore health, safety, education, economic well-being and power to people devastated by conflict and disaster.

American Refugee Committee

The ARC provides opportunities and expertise to refugees, displaced people, and host communities. It’s committed to the delivery of programs that ensure measurable quality and lasting impact for the people they serve.


SPORTS & PLAY ORGANIZATIONS


Special Olympics

The Special Olympics provides year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, giving them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendship with their families, other Special Olympics athletes and the community.

US Soccer Foundation

By supporting the development of places to play, places to grow, and places to learn, USSF's goal is to ensure that children in underserved communities have easy and affordable access to quality soccer programs that support their physical and personal development.

Women's Sport Foundation

The WSF is dedicated to creating leaders by ensuring all girls access to sports.

Stride Adaptive Sports

SAS’s mission is to educate and empower individuals with special needs in life-changing sport and recreation programs to sustain healthy, active and fun lifestyles.

Peaceful Playgrounds Foundation

PPF’s mission is to help foundations and corporations who desired to donate physical activity programs to schools, churches, and other organizations across the country by providing supplies, support, training, and activity kits to organizations after natural disasters.


ART ORGANIZATIONS


Fractured Atlas

FA empowers artists, arts organizations, and other cultural sector stakeholders by eliminating practical barriers to artistic expression, so as to foster a more agile and resilient cultural ecosystem.

Americans for the Arts

AA’s mission is to serve, advance, and lead the network of organizations and individuals who cultivate, promote, sustain, and support the arts in America.

Art in Action

Art in Action provides a high quality, comprehensive K–8 visual arts curriculum. Students learn about works of art from cultures around the world, how to look at art using art vocabulary and concepts, and how to express themselves by creating their own unique masterpiece.

ART WORKS Projects

AWP mission is to use design and the arts to raise awareness of and educate the public about significant human rights issues, and provides visual advocacy tools which produce action on human rights crises at the grassroots, media, and policy levels.

Music for Relief

Music for Relief’s mission is to respond to natural disasters as they occur to help survivors recover and rebuild, and to mitigate damage caused by natural disasters by reducing greenhouse gases and educating the public about climate change.


CHILDREN'S ORGANIZATIONS


St. Jude Chldren’s Research Hospital

SJCRH advances cures, and means of prevention, for pediatric catastrophic diseases through research and treatment.

No Kid Hungry

NKH connects kids in need with nutritious food and teaches their families how to cook healthy, affordable meals. The campaign also engages the public to make ending child hunger a national priority.

The NEA Foundation

NEAF advances student achievement by investing in public education that will prepare each of America's children to learn and thrive in a rapidly changing world.

Make-A-Wish Foundation

Make-A-Wish Foundation grants the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy.

Unicef

Unicef’s mission is to advocate for the protection of children's rights, to help meet their basic needs, and to expand their opportunities to reach their full potential


HUNGER ORGANIZATIONS


Heifer International

HI links communities and helps bring sustainable agriculture and commerce to areas with a long history of poverty. Their animals provide partners with both food and reliable income, as agricultural products such as milk, eggs and honey can be traded or sold at market.

Feeding America

FA’s mission is to feed America's hungry through a nationwide network of member food banks and engage our country in the fight to end hunger.

The Hunger Project

THP’s mission is to end hunger and poverty by pioneering sustainable, grassroots, women-centered strategies, and advocating for their widespread adoption in countries throughout the world.

Rise Against Hunger

RAH’s mission is to end hunger in our lifetime by providing food and life-changing aid to the world's most vulnerable and creating a global commitment to mobilize the necessary resources.

Action Against Hunger

AAH is a global humanitarian organization that takes decisive action against the causes and effects of hunger. They save the lives of malnourished children; ensure families can access clean water, food, training, and health care; and enable entire communities to be free from hunger.


CLEAN WATER ORGANIZATIONS


Love Water

LW’s mission is to provide access to clean water in order to restore health and create opportunity in global communities.

Water Aid

WA’s mission is to transform the lives of the poorest and most marginalised people by improving access to clean water, sanitation and hygiene.

Citizens for Clean Water

CCW’s mission is to bring awareness about the importance of clean water to the world and advocate for change and educate the community on what we can all do to have clean water.

Clean Water for the World

CWW’s mission is to provide simple, adaptable water purification systems, at no charge to communities without access to potable water.

BoatUS Foundation for Boating Safety & Clean Water

BUSFBSCW promotes safe, clean and responsible boating and to reduce accidents and fatalities, increase stewardship of our waterways and keeps boating a safe and enjoyable pastime.


EQUALITY ORGANIZATIONS


Invisible Girl Project

IGP raises global awareness concerning the loss of female lives in India, pursues justice for the lives lost, and assists Indian organizations in the rescue of and care for Indian girls.

Equal Justice Initiative

EJI provides legal representation to prisoners who may have been wrongly convicted of crimes, poor prisoners without effective representation, and others who may have been denied a fair trial.

Planned Parenthood

PP’s mission is to empower individuals to make independent, informed decisions about their sexual and reproductive lives. They provide information and health care, and promote public policies that make those services available to all.

Human Rights Campaign

HRC strives to end discrimination against LGBTQ people and realize a world that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all.

National Center for Equality & Innovation

NCEI offers unique crisis prevention and intervention to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, two-spirit, queer, and questioning youth (LGBT+). They help those who may become or are currently homeless, as well as those experiencing life-threatening issues.They are committed to positive development through action, education, intervention, and creating safer and healthier living environments.


HOMELESSNESS & POVERTY ORGANIZATIONS


The Covenant House

TCH’s mission is to serve youth with absolute respect and unconditional love, to help suffering homeless kids, and to protect and safeguard all children in need.

Care

Care’s mission is to save lives, defeat poverty, and achieve social justice around the globe, especially for women and girls.

Habitat for Humanity

HH brings people together to build homes, communities and hope.

National Alliance to End Homelessness

NAEH’s mission is to end homelessness in the United States. They use research and data to find solutions to homelessness, work with federal and local partners to create a solid base of policy and resources that support those solutions, and then help communities implement them.

National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty

NLCHP is dedicated to ending and preventing homelessness.  It works to expand access to affordable housing, meet the immediate and long-term needs of those who are homeless or at risk, and strengthen the social safety-net through policy advocacy, public education, impact litigation, and advocacy training and support.


MILITARY & VETERANS' ORGANIZATIONS


American Legion

AL is committed to mentoring youth and sponsorship of wholesome programs in our communities, advocating patriotism and honor, promoting strong national security, and continued devotion to our fellow service members and veterans.

Fisher House Foundation

FHF’s mission is to improve quality of life for members of the military, retirees, veterans, and their families, and builds comfort homes at military and VA medical centers and gifts them to the government.

Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund

IFHF’s mission is to support our military community, now specifically those who are suffering from traumatic brain injury and psychological health conditions.

Wounded Warrior Project

WWP’s mission is to honor and empower Wounded Warriors. Their vision is to foster the most successful, well-adjusted generation of wounded service members in our nation's history.

Operation Help a Hero

OHH supports military units and families as they prepare for separation, while they endure the challenges of deployment, and as they transition back to the US.  Their projects uplift our military heroes and send a clear message of support to their entire family. Operation Help A Hero connects communities with service members and provides real opportunities to make a difference in the lives of those who serve our country.


Winter Holiday Signature Drinks

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Winter is the perfect time to cozy up with something sweet in your hand! This season, we’re all about those classic cranberry concoctions, but with some new twists. Whether you like it bubbly or warm, alcoholic or non, we have you covered with our tops picks for any winter gathering.


via The Blond Cook

via The Blond Cook

INGREDIENTS

  • Cranberry juice cocktail
  • Orange liqueur (triple sec)
  • Your favorite champagne
  • Optional: Fresh rosemary sprigs and fresh cranberries for garnish

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Fill champagne flutes ⅓ full with cranberry juice cocktail. Add a splash of orange liqueur. Fill remaining ⅔ of glass with champagne.
  2. Garnish with fresh rosemary sprigs and fresh cranberries, if desired.
  3. Enjoy!
via Sweet and Savory by Shinee

via Sweet and Savory by Shinee

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 orange
  • 10 whole cloves
  • 1 cup (240ml) orange juice
  • ½ cup (100gr) sugar
  • ½ cup cranberries (fresh or frozen)
  • 1-2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 bottle (750ml) dry red wine

 

    INSTRUCTIONS

    1. Cut the orange in half, and then quarter one half. Push 2-3 cloves into the outer skin of quartered oranges. Peel a few strips of orange peel from the other half of the orange for garnish.
    2. In a large pot, combine orange juice, sugar, cinnamon sticks, orange quarters with cloves and cranberries.
    3. Turn the heat to medium high and slowly heat the mixture, stirring occasionally until the sugar is dissolved.
    4. Once sugar is dissolved completely, bring it to a boil and cook until it thickened and reduced by almost half, about 15-20 minutes.
    5. Reduce the heat to low and pour in wine.
    6. Simmer until wine is heated through. Don’t boil, or alcohol will evaporate.
    7. You can strain the wine and pour into a slow cooker to keep it warm. Garnish with orange peel and serve warm.
    via Life in the Lofthouse

    via Life in the Lofthouse

    INGREDIENTS

    • 1 bottle Martinelli's Sparkling Apple Cider
    • 1 (2 liter) bottle Sprite or Sprite Zero
    • 2 cans frozen cranberry juice concentrate, thawed
    • fresh cranberries (optional, for garnish)
    • ice cubes

    INSTRUCTIONS

    1. In a very large pitcher or large drink dispenser (that can hold up to 2 gallons) add the sparkling cider, sprite and cranberry juice concentrate. Gently stir well to combine.
    2. Serve drink in individual cups/glasses over ice and with fresh cranberries as a garnish, if desired.
    3. Enjoy!

    2017 Holiday Gift Guide

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    With the holiday season rapidly approaching, we find ourselves struggling to find the perfect gift for everyone in our lives! Between keeping up with trends, the latest toys, and finding something for that one person that you can never find a gift for… it can be a stressful experience. We’ve put together our top three picks for a variety of personalities to help you find the perfect gift for everyone on your list!

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    Stranger Things Monopoly

    Stranger Things Monopoly

    Quadcopter

    Quadcopter

     
    Nintendo Switch

    Nintendo Switch

     
    thinker-reader.jpg
    Book Embosser

    Book Embosser

    Kindle or Nook

    Kindle or Nook

    Leather Personalized Journal from Etsy

    Leather Personalized Journal from Etsy

    Book of the Month Club

    Book of the Month Club

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    Kate Hudson's New Entertaining Book

    Kate Hudson's New Entertaining Book

     
    Multi-Tier Serving Tray

    Multi-Tier Serving Tray

    Inflatable Movie Projection Screen

    Inflatable Movie Projection Screen

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    Survival Kit

    Survival Kit

    LL Bean Kayak Class

    LL Bean Kayak Class

    Purifying Straws

    Purifying Straws

     
    Snowshoes

    Snowshoes

    artist.jpg
     
    Paint Nite

    Paint Nite

     
    Wooden Easel

    Wooden Easel

    Ellucy Stitches embroidery kit

    Ellucy Stitches embroidery kit

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    Knife Sharpener

    Knife Sharpener

    Cheese of the Month Club

    Cheese of the Month Club

    Cooking Class

    Cooking Class

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    Robe

    Robe

    Charleston Candle

    Charleston Candle

    LL Bean Slippers

    LL Bean Slippers

    Year Subscription to Texture

    Year Subscription to Texture

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    Family Photo Album

    Family Photo Album

    Custom Mug

    Custom Mug

    Glass Photo

    Glass Photo

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    Yeti Tumbler

    Yeti Tumbler

    Perfect Weekender Bag

    Perfect Weekender Bag

    Airbnb Gift Card

    Airbnb Gift Card