Four Festive, Fun and Simple Martini Recipes!

Four festive martinis that are oh so yummy and SIMPLE to make!

Pomegranate Raspberry Martini

3 parts Stirrings Pomegranate Martini Mixer
2 parts raspberry vodka
Garnish: Drop a couple fresh raspberries into each glass

Shake Over ice. Pour into martini glass and garnish with berries.

Lemon Drop Martini Recipe

6 parts lemon-flavored vodka
1 part dry vermouth
Granulated sugar
Lemon twist

Rim a chilled cocktail glass with granulated sugar (optional). Shake over ice. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with lemon twist.

Champagne Martini recipe

2 Parts Champagne
1 part Cointreau® orange liqueur

Shake over ice. Strain into martini glass. Garnish (optional) with fresh fruit of your choice.

Apple Martini

2 oz. Vodka
1/2 oz. Apple Pucker Schnapps or,
1/2 oz. Apple Juice or Cider

Shake over ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

Garnish with an Apple Slice

Hostess Tip:

To keep your hostess duties stress-free, I suggest you chose a festive drink recipe to serve during your party (at the most two) rather than making several different drinks to serve. This will make your bar-tending duties much easier. Also, if you plan to serve a martini recipe, you can make a large batch of drinks ahead of time in a glass pitcher (just measure in cups rather than shots) then when guests arrive you can just stir, and pour into the shaker when needed. SIMPLE!

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Holiday Decor Inspiration: Cranberries

With so many different ways to decorate your home for the holiday, I suggest trying to pick something that you love (could be a color, a theme, or an item) and streamline your holiday home decor around it. Your holiday decor will appear more thought-out and really pop. We loved these holiday decor ideas we found at BHG all inspired by cranberries!

Simple Mantle Decor: Fill glass cylinders with fresh cranberries and white candles. Use different height cylinders and candles for interest.

Cranberry garland decor

String cranberries to make a festive garland. Attach to mantle with small hooks.

Outdoor Holiday Decor

Take the cranberry decor outside! Line your porch or front step with cranberries atop fake snow in a glass cylinder or other vase.

Crannberry table decor

Carry on the theme by freezing Cranberries into ice cubes to keep your holiday spirits cold.

Cranberry Wreath

Simple way to make a bold statement! Glue cranberries to a cardboard cut out of your families last initial. {Tip} Many craft stores sell cardboard letters in various sizes that are very affordable.

Cranberry Centerpieces

Cranberry centerpieces: Glue Cranberries to foam spheres of different sizes. Display atop candle holders, vases, or cake stands.

Do you use cranberries as decor? Share with us your tips. Or let us know what other “theme” inspires you!

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Candy Cane Shot Glasses

These Candy Cane Shot Glasses will make a perfect touch to your holiday dinner or get together. Your guests will surely notice these sweet swirled shot glasses and what a festive touch to your bar setting or table top!

Not serving alcohol? Candy Cane Shot Glasses

Hostess Tip:

Serve up some sweet vanilla ice cream in these candy cane shot glasses. Garnish with a miniature candy cane and dollop of whip cream and sprinkles!

Where to buy: Grab your set of 2 ($8.00) at Like Cool {likecool.com}

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Destination Wedding Inspiration and $100 Giveaway!

Wedding season is fast approaching, and many newly engaged couples will begin planning their big day. Thoughtfully Simple teamed up with Wedding Paper Divas to bring you a fabulous giveaway! If you are considering a destination wedding, this is for you! Thoughtfully Simple is providing you with a little inspiration to get your wheels spinning…and Wedding Paper Divas is giving away one $100 gift certificate for you to purchase your fabulous wedding invitations!

Destination weddings are becoming more and more popular. Not only are they typically more intimate, they are definitely more memorable. From tropical settings to high mountain climates, to lush vineyards…your options really are endless.

Tropical settings

Don’t assume your color palette has to be blue just because you are beach side. Anything can really go, however I suggest colors that will compliment your setting. Here is a fun color scheme to make your wedding “pop” on the neutral backdrop of a beach venue.

Mountain Settings

Outdoor weddings in a mountain setting can be stunning. I recommend really letting nature inspire you if you choose a destination wedding in a mountain setting.

Above: We took one wedding invitation from Wedding Paper Divas and simply by changing the color scheme of that invitation we were able to create two different destination wedding visions. The possibilities really are endless with their fabulous collections!

Feeling inspired? want to win a $100 gift certificate to make your destination wedding vision come true? Take a look at Wedding Paper Divas wedding invitations and start planning now!

Contest Closed

Congrats to Sarai S.!

Here are your random numbers:

5

Timestamp: 2008-12-24 00:56:52 UTC

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Simple Entertaining: Overnight Guests

During the holiday season, many of us find ourselves entertaining guests overnight. Whether it be relatives who have traveled in order to stay with you, or a friend passing through looking for a place simply to rest their head, here are a few simple tips that can help you make their stay more comfortable.

  • One easy thing you can do that will have your guests wanting to return is to make their sleep more comfortable. You may not have the same budget as a luxury hotel, but investing in a couple extra pillows and a really comfortable blanket will leave guests in a sweet slumber. By leaving an extra blanket in their room, your guests can fell just as warm and snugly as they desire.
  • If you are one of those households that have 3 remotes just to turn on the TV, Satellite, Tivo, etc. your guests will most likely be completely lost and intimated to turn anything on. If your guests’ room has a TV, confusing alarm clock, or other complicated electronics…putting together a simple electronics “manual” would be very thoughtful. You can do as little as type a few instruction up and leave it in their room or as much as putting together a small “how-to” binder (like pictured here). This tip is also good for babysitters and house sitters!
  • If your guests will be staying a long period of time, putting together a quick schedule might be helpful. Let them know when you are busy working (and/or attending other obligations) and when you will be home. This will enable them to feel comfortable making their own plans. You can even put together a little “suggestion” list of things for them to do or places to visit if they are not familiar with your area.
  • Make a guests truly feel welcomed by putting together a small care kit for them. Include some sample sized toiletries, extra tooth brush, aspirin, and anything you know they love. For example, a special tea they drink or their favorite coffee creamer for the mornings.

These are just a few simple and thoughtful ideas to help you be a fabulous hostess to your overnight guests. Making them feel comfortable is key…. and of course enjoy their company!

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Simple Holiday Decor: Winter Berry Wreath!

Emily from My Little Window Shoppe shares her simple and creative tips for making an impressive holiday wreath. She proves that it doesn’t take a lot to make something fabulous!

Hello Thoughtfully Simple readers! This is my favorite Winter Berry wreath! I have it at home proudly displayed and since I thought it was so pretty, I took a few pictures of it and put it up on the front page of Little Window Shoppe a week ago. Since posting it up, I have had a lot of questions about it! So, due to popular demand, I wanted to write a quick tutorial with easy steps on how to make your own gorgeous wreath this year.

Supplies
  • An old or new grapevine wreath base (size = your choice). You can buy these at Michaels for about $3 – $6. Mine also has extra dried twigs included in it, in fact you could dry your own twigs and make a base out of it…just secure it together with floral wire.
  • A bunch of your favorite freshly picked Red Winter Berry Stems – (the artificial stems are also found at various craft stores).
  • Floral Wire – to secure everything in place and to make a hanger for your wreath.
  • Scissors and/or a wire cutter
  • (Extra) Ribbon – if you want to add a ribbon to your wreath.

Simple Steps

Once you have your grapevine/twig base and your Winter Berry stems, start weaving them into the base and secure them with floral wire. If you can’t keep it in place with just the wire, you can also use hot glue (I like to avoid glue if at all possible on this project, but it can definitely help hold it all together if nothing else is working).

Finally, once the stems are intertwined and secured, you can use your floral wire to make a hanger for your wreath or to attach a pretty bow. This is a fun and easy little project for the holidays and will help you to save a lot of money too! Many of pre-made berry wreaths are selling for about $20 to $40 (depending on the size). So, have fun and keep your cash this season.

Looking for more festive ways to decorate this holiday season? Check out more ideas using cranberries and how to turn wrapping paper into holiday decor.

 

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