Friday, December 23, 2011

Christmas Eve Eve

How is it already December 23rd? Somehow I have managed to keep up with the hustle and the bustle of the holidays in the past month even while I was working lots of extra hours.

Some of those extra hours came from a trip I made to Germany for business. While on the way back to the States, I had a layover in Amsterdam. The Dutch had some pretty magical decorations...

Check out this wreath, it's a pretty simple concept, just a mass of decorations on one side of a wreath, leaving half as a simple version of itself. The photo doesn't illustrate it well, but the wreath is more flat than it is round... please forgive me, as I snapped this while walking to catch my connecting flight. And it has a very thick form (i.e. the center hole is very small in proportion to the overall size).
It would probably be a pretty easy DIY, I'll have to give it a try next year... hopefully I can score some supplies during after-holiday sales! My plan is to cut a donut shape from a piece of heavyweight cardboard.

Then wrap the shape with simple garland to create a stylized version of a wreath. Once all the cardboard is covered, attach strings of beads, ornaments and other festive oddities to half of the wreath. Seems pretty simple, eh?

I've been snapping photos of commercial decorations around town all season for inspiration.
This is another decoration in the Amsterdam airport... a small tree made to feel tall in a vertical planter. This is a great way to add height to a short tree, not to mention it allows you to use your tall planters all year long and saves some dough since you're only decorating half a tree!

I snapped these three photos at Sears while I was shopping on Black Friday. Sears sure has stepped up their game. Check out these chic decorations! I planned to paint some fallen sticks in my yard to add to my tree, but never got to it before the weather got too cold. The wooden trees would be pretty easy to cut if you had the right power tools. And those "snowballs" in the galvanized tub are too cute! I'm keeping all these ideas in my back pocket for Christmas 2012!

Where do you find holiday decorating inspiration? Magazines? Commercial spaces? The internet?

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Wonderful Winter Cocktail

I stumbled upon the yummiest winter cocktail last week and just had to share.

I met some friends for drinks at Bonefish Grill for happy hour. When I arrived, they all had cloudy-white martinis in front of them. I knew I would be joining the bandwagon as soon as I read the cocktail menu.

So what was the drink? A Winter White Cosmopolitan. It was delish to say the least. So delish that I snapped a photo of the menu so I would remember to buy the liquors and try to make this myself!

One google attempt and I found a recipe and photo! The photo above is from This Teacher's Lounge, who also loved the drink in 2010.

And here is the recipe from

1-1/2 ounces cranberry vodka (Bonefish uses Stoli Cranberi)
1/2 ounce Cointreau
1 ounce fresh lime juice
1 ounce white cranberry juice
3-4 frozencranberries as garnish

1. Combine ingredients over ice in a shaker tin. Shake and strain into chilled martini glass. Float frozen cranberries on top for garnish.

I'm considering taking the ingredients for this drink to a holiday party in a few weeks as my pitch in for food/beverage. Put the bottles and garnish on a chic serving tray with the directions in a small silver frame so guests can help themselves!

Do you have a favorite wintertime cocktail? Do you serve signature cocktails at your holiday parties? Have you ever taken the ingredients and directions to make a cocktail with you to a party? Seems like a creative pitch-in item to me!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Is it winter already?

Once again, much. too. long. between posts.

What brings me back? Probably the fact that I get all crafty-pants when the holidays roll around and I always want to share my DIYs for others to try out. Last winter I posted about the Holiday Door Decor I DIY'd for my boyfriend's front door. This year I hope to post a few items I plan to make.

First, though... today the feeling of the holidays finally set in. I had lunch at Traders Point Creamery with a friend and we saw their advertisement for "Christmas on the Farm". It's an event they hold two weekends in December. Activities at the farm include hanging with Old St. Nick and live Elk, Sleigh-Hayrides around the farm, live music and carolling, and craft-making opportunities for children. You know I'm making my boyfriend go with me!

I snapped this photo as I was walking to my car after lunch. 

Doesn't the Land Rover look like such an expedition vehicle? I was so surprised to see it in Indiana. On a farm! Now Traders Point Creamery is on my list for a warmer-weather outing as well. A tour of the farm in that machine sounds excellent. I've heard when you take a tour you have the opportunity to milk a cow - what an experience!

Point in case? If you're in Indianapolis, or ever here visiting, you should swing by Traders Point Creamery. I swear this isn't an advertisement. I just love it there and wish I would take advantage of being so close to it, more.

Do you have fun plans to celebrate the holidays aside from family dinners? Do you have any out-traditions in November or December? Every weekend until 2012 is full on my calendar. How does that happen every year?

Monday, May 16, 2011


Wow, it's been a long time since I've posted. A long time.

News on the homefront: I got a new job [almost 2 months ago, now] and I'll be packin' up and calling a new place home in another 2 months. Lots o' changin'!

I've decided I'm going to start fresh with a few items in the new place. This weekend I began the adventure with some fabulous new silverware from TJ Maxx. And now, I stumbled upon some plate-goodness this morning. Not sure I'll be purchasing these, but a gal can dream... right?

These Silhouette Plates over at BHLDN are so so pretty. I think they would make every-day dinners feel extra special.

How did you choose your everyday tableware? Did you stumble upon it or search high and low for the perfect pieces? Did you go with a classic pattern or something more trendy? How about color for dishes... do or don't?