New Uses For Old Wine Corks

If you are like me, you have a few old wine corks lying around the kitchen. Don’t throw them out…use them as decor! Here are a couple “corky” ideas for the next time you entertain!

Place Cards Holders: Take cork, cut a slit along the side, and insert a name card. Tip: If the cork won’t stand on it’s own- put a square of double-sided tape underneath it.

Centerpiece: Fill up a glass vase or jar with all of your old wine corks…simple!

Other idea: Instead of using the corks as place card holders, use them to create labels to identify your dips or dishes. Think wine and cheese party! Fabulous!

Sip It :: Coffee Martini Recipes

Now that the holiday season is around the corner, there is no doubt you will be hosting your share of dinner parties and festive get-togethers. One important part of every holiday menu are the drinks.

If you are like me, you love coffee…. anytime of the day. Why not wake up your guests and serve one of these coffee inspired cocktails during your next party? Here are two great coffee martini recipes:

Coffee Martini

Mochatini:

A dream for sweet lovers. This sugary infusion of chocolate, vanilla, and

coffee is sure to please any cocktail connoisseur.

1 shot Starbuck’s Dark Liqueur
2 shots Starbuck’s Light Liqueur
1 shot Vanilla Vodka (I use Absolute Vanilla Vodka)
5 Ice cubes

Rim a martini glass with white chocolate and sugar (Make it stick using egg whites on rims). Next, shake all ingredients with ice and then strain into the martini glass

espresso martiniEspresso Martini

1 oz. espresso
1-1/2 oz. vanilla vodka
1-1/2 oz. Kahlúa
1 oz. crème de cacao

Fill a shaker with ice and combine 1-1/2 oz. vanilla vodka, 1-1/2 oz. Kahlúa, 1 oz. crème de cacao and a shot of espresso. Shake well and strain into a cocktail glass.

 

 

After dinner just ask “coffee anyone?” Guests will be pleasantly surprised with this simple {yet fabulous} treat!

How to Style it Right with Photos

Do you love photos in your home? I know I do- but like so many, I am just not confident about my display choices. Thank goodness I know someone who is a “photo-guru” if you will. Jill at Cool Photo Ideas has given us the how-to when it comes to displaying our cherished photos or prized art pieces in our homes.

Jill says,

IT’S ALL IN THE PLANNING

“Give thought to the space you want to liven up. Once you have an area picked out then you can measure the area and get a general idea of sizes of pictures you may want to incorporate. Generally speaking anything smaller than an 8″ x 10″ tends to get lost on a large wall, so be sure to think those things through!”

Oh and this is my favorite tip:

STICK IT TO ME

“Once you know your sizes, lay your frames (or if you don’t have frames yet, you can get a general measurement by taking the size of the image and add about 4″ for the width of the frame. So if you would like to hang an 8″ x 10″ image, trace out a 12″ x 14″ frame) on a roll of kraft paper and trace around them. Cut each frame out separately. You now have “frames” that you can hang on the wall with blue painters tape (which will not peal paint off your wall), to gauge where you will hang your final framed images.”

STAY IN THE LINES

“Keep moving your paper frames around until you love the look! Be sure to allow approximately 2″ between your frames. Then you can finish up your project with ease by simply hanging your frames over the paper spots as shown. The sample shows a great way to create a display, buy drawing an ‘imaginary’ line and then working above and below the line to create an organized look. Perfect for the beginner!”

Love this design tip from Cool Photo Ideas? There are many more where this came from! Check out:

STAGGERING IMAGES & SYMMETRICAL DISPLAYS

Jill knows how to solve your “fear of putting holes in the wall only to find you hate the way the portraits look when they are hung.” Cool Photo Ideas is full of solutions.

This fabulous e-zine is filled with ideas, sources, articles, contests and more – all photo related of course!

Tell me, what area of your home would you like to decorate with photos? Come on, everyone has that empty wall…..

How to Save Money & Still Have a Fabulous Wedding


Are you planning a wedding? Don’t waste your money on these 3 things that guests could care less about!

1. Trinkets as Favors– The majority of wedding reception favors are left behind once the night is over. Why? Well who really needs one silver 3×5 frame or one heart shaped place card holder? For your favors, consider an adorable edible gift. I do not mean a tulle bag of Jordan almonds either- there are so many options these days. Change to an edible favor and I bet that not too many will be left behind. Bonus- edible favors typically costs less which will allow you to increase your budget on more important things…..like flowers!

2. Personalized Embossed Cocktail Napkins– Yes, I had these at my wedding. Why? I have no idea because it was not 1980. Take it from me, save the $150 and put it towards something else (did I mention flowers would be a good place?). The solid, standard cocktail napkins will do just fine.

3. 200 Ceremony Programs– If ceremony programs are important to you, go ahead and have them. Just please, don’t order one for each guest. Order one for every couple (or just divide guest list by 2). Not every guest will even read your program and after your 20 minute ceremony, the ground will most likely be scattered with tossed programs anyway.

Hostess Tip- To avoid “running out” of programs, have your ushers or site staff place one program on every other ceremony chair rather than handing them out as guests arrive.

I hope these simple ways to save money help you stretch your wedding budget when you are planning your fabulous day!

Polka Dot Parties!

This year when you find yourself planning you child’s birthday party, stop stressing and simply think…Polka Dots! This fun and colorful pattern is a hot trend right now, and in good reason. Polka Dots are versatile, allowing you to be as creative (or basic) with the color selection as you dare. With this simple theme you will be able to create an impressive and thoughtful party in a snap! Just start thinking in circles, and you’ll soon realize what I mean when I say, Polka Dots are SIMPLE!

My Tips- Choose 2 colors and go at it! Above: Hot Pink & Lime

All items above can be found at Polka Dot Market!

Head on over to Sally’s Polka Dot Birthday Blog to get great tips on throwing that perfect polka-dotted-party! She has all the tips, ideas, and goods!

Pumpkin not just for pie!


Pumpkin Shakes

These pumpkin shakes are such a festive {and simple} treat for the fall season. An easy treat to whip up for a festive snack – try this pumpkin shake recipe.

To make this simple shake:

Mix 1/2 cup pumpkin puree

1 cup vanilla ice cream

1/2 cup milk

a pinch of cinnamon

Told you it was simple!

Recipe from Martha Stewart

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