Stylish Entertaining

Welcome to my blog, A place where I can share my ideas with you. From great tips on entertaining to tasty cocktail recipes that make it all easier for you to host with style in a flash. You’ll find lots of projects to inspire you for your home and garden, friends and family. Plus some kitchen gossip, for good measure of course, because everyone needs a little dish now and then.

So visit often!

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Valentine's Heart Tree

Valentine’s Heart TreeA perfect project for all of your little valentine’s. What child isn’t excited about working with foamies? Soft, safe, and colorful foamy hearts look like works of art swirling from winter’s branches. Set in a glass cylinder in a bed of crystal beads, it is a welcome cheery accent, and a wonderful way to display your child’s work.

You’ll Need:

Foamy sheets in purple, pink, red, and white
2 sizes plastic heart cookie cutters
Pencil
Scissors
Assortment of pre-cut foamy hearts
Hole punch
Ribbon for hanging
Cut branches
Glass beads
Glass cylinder

Cut branches and arrange in the glass cylinder filled with glass beads.

For hearts:
1. Trace cookie cuter template on foamy sheets. Cut out heart shapes and decorate.
2. Punch a hole in the top center of the heart. String ribbon through and tie to a branch.


Hosting a Holiday Cocktail Party with Style and Panache

While the economy has everyone watching budgets these days, you can still host a fabulous cocktail party by taking the smart and sassy approach. Here are a few tips you’ll need to kick off the holiday season in high style without breaking the budget.

First:

  1. Be organized and prepared
  2. Be realistic with your budget and time
  3. Use what you have
  4. Buy in bulk from warehouses and clubs

Start with guest list

  1. Mix it up for interest and added layers with different players

Bar Basics:

Set up stations
This frees you up as a host to enjoy the party, so you can mix and mingle and do other things....I suggest three, a signature cocktail, wine and champagne, and a punch.

  1. Offer a signature cocktail---its fun, people really love them and they add personality to the party.
    a. Move beyond the beer and wine
    b. Makes it festive, have fun with it, chose something colorful with a whimsical garnish.
    c. The basis of the signature cocktail can be a yummy mixer with seltzer for an alcohol free cocktail.

A colorful self-serve punch has great advantages:

  1. Attention getter
  2. Becomes the water cooler of the party
  3. Frees up the host
  4. Economies of scale- made in large batches saves time and money
Champagne
It’s the holidays, so enjoy the bubbles on a budget!
Prepare a mixer that is festive and colorful, my favorite of the moment is the Ladies Blush from my book, It’s 5 o’Clock Somewhere, a delicious blend of vodka, lemoncello, and fresh raspberry puree. Set it out next to the chilling bubbles and you’re all set. Snacks
  1. Anything looks good in a silver bowl—take it out and polish it up. So important to have bites…small bowl of nuts, little chips or pretzels spread around. One of my favorites is flavored popcorn, so easy, and so tasty.
  2. Assortments of cheeses and crackers.
  3. Something hot and homemade, I love to keep pizza doughs and puffed pastry dough on hand. Pinwheels are terrific for a crowd.
  4. I make a quick and very easy, Drunken Brie so easy and quick…saute ½ cup orange juice and ½ cup grand marnier with cranberries until soft. Take a sheet of puffed pastry, a wheel of brie n the center, pour cranberry mixture on top, wrap pastry in a twist on top, and place in a baking dish and bake at 350 for 30 minutes. Serve with bread or crackers.
  5. Don’t forget the classics---deviled eggs, pigs in blankets…these are always crowd pleasers.
  6. Cookies and candy… afterall, it is the holidays!

Ambience

  1. Flowers
    Place bunches of red carnations- found in most grocery stores- in small vases around, they look festive and add panache to the party zone.
  2. Lighting
    Turn it down, and light it up…candles are the play, especially in the colder months, they make spaces look warmer and cozier.

Presentation

  1. Putting it all together, use what you have for instant holiday style.
    Ornaments in glass hurricanes and bowls look festive and chic anywhere, from mantels, to bookshelves, to the kitchen table for a centerpiece that sparkles.
  2. Music
    Start with the holiday classics, then move to non-traditional fun music to really get the party started!

It’s easy to put together a party to remember…

Cheers!


Autumn Delight

Surround yourself with a burst of seasonal color. Golden sunflowers with rich brown centers and bunches of red berries are set against a blanket of green moss; twigs and terra cotta add texture, making this a vibrant autumnal presentation.

This topiary is a perfect seasonal accent for your home. Great for out door entertaining, or indoors on a holiday table. Easy to whip up; make a pair to anchor a long hall table, bookcases, or dining buffet. The best thing about this colorful topiary is that it can go from year to year looking fresh and fantastic.


You’ll Need

2 ½ inch foam ball
1 bunch faux sunflowers
1 stem faux leaves
2 bunches red pepper berries
1 block foam for arranging faux flowers
Wire cutters
Knife
Hot glue gun and glue sticks
Several lengths of grapevine twigs
8-inch terra cotta pot


1. Cut foam to fill terra cotta pot. Glue in place, let dry. Cut the sunflower blossoms from the stem, and use this stem to create the trunk. Push trunk into the foam center until secure.
2. Glue sunflowers onto foam ball. Cover completely. Take leaves and at several points around the ball fold up and glue in place, so that they look tucked in between the sunflower blossoms.
3. Push flower covered ball onto trunk until secure. Glue moss onto foam around trunk. Glue on a few leaves, sunflower blossom, and berry clusters. Push twigs into foam and twist around trunk for a wispy effect.


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Copyright © 2010 Colleen Mullaney, All Rights Reserved.