Christmas Cocktails and a Holly Ice Bowl

christmas cocktails ice bowlchristmas cocktailschristmas ice bowlchristmas cocktailsI wonder when “are you ready?” entered everyone’s vocabulary around Christmas. Besides Merry Christmas that’s the line I hear the most in December and it seriously instantly stresses me out. As soon as I hear it I have to think, am I ready? I thought I was but maybe not since they asked. They’re right, I could probably do more…maybe they’re being sarcastic because they can’t imagine anyone NOT being ready by now…or, or, maybe they’re being sarcastic because they can’t imagine anyone ACTUALLY being ready so early. I can’t stand that question. I really can’t.

I could stand a Christmas cocktail though. Check out this recipe for a Martha Stewart-style cranberry cocktail with red wine, maple syrup, vanilla bean, pink peppercorns and lemon zest! I also thought this recipe looked yummy if you like sweet drinks, and finally this guy looked pretty simple.

For the ice bowl, place holly leaves in a large bowl and then place a smaller bowl inside of it. Fill up the gap with water (the size of your inner and outer bowl and the gap it creates will determine the size of your bowl) and allow to freeze for at least 24 hours depending on how thick your bowl is. Getting the inner bowl to stay put is a bit tricky. I ended up taking some thin wire and wiring it into place as well as placing a weight into the center of the inner bowl. When you’re ready to use it, run a little warm water over the outside of the bowl if it isn’t popping out immediately. Serve ice in it or put a tea light in the middle. **if you do serve ice, keep in mind holly is poisonous so if you want to be super careful, put a piece of parchment down into the center of the bowl before you place ice into it. This will also keep the ice cubes from sticking to the ice bowl** 

I’ll admit, I’m not ready, not really. But not because I have a million things to do—even though I do–but I’m not ready for December to fly by so quickly and honestly with Thanksgiving being so late I think 2013 is kind of jipping us all a bit. That just means Christmas music and twinkle lights may have to extend a little bit further into January while I ease into the terrible beauty of a new year– sipping my pink peppercorn and cranberry cocktail perhaps.

– <3 A. 

A Homemade K.R.E.A.M. Christmas

vintage christmas

This past weekend, the four ladies who have filled my life with laughter ever since I was six years old gathered for our annual mother-daughter Christmas party. Kim, Reagan, Ellie, myself, and Mckenzie  (K.R.E.A.M.) all decided this year we were going homemade for our celebrations, and we definitely outdid ourselves with creativity. A bread exchange, handmade ornaments, hand-stitched sleep masks, chocolate-ganache and peppermint-creme phyllo cups, and a soup dinner with the ladies I love most made for a pretty fantastic day.

vintage christmas

It’s unspoken, but we all have a sort of (completely friendly) gift-wrapping competition each year. This year was a pretty close one, with the decision to give small gifts, also came the decision to be extra-crafty and everyone came up with the cutest ideas. I decided to make another advent tree for the party to hang all of my mini-gifts on. Instead of numbers though I put the ladies’ initials on each gift. It was so fun to watch them find their initials and unwrap everything, it’s sort of a unique twist on the traditional stocking stuffers:

vintage christmas

vintage christmas

vintage christmas

vintage christmasvintage christmas

christmas desserts

I love my dear friends; they inspire me everyday and confirm that just by being a little creative, you can show someone a whole lot of love. There’s still some time for creating last-minute-homemade-love for whoever you’re celebrating with this year and if you’re feeling inspired, check out “posts like this” for a few ideas. Merry Christmas Eve everyone!

– <3 A. 

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