Category Archives: Holidays

Santa Hat Cheesecake Squares

Santa Hat Cheesecake Sqaures

Santa Hat Cheesecake Sqaures

Want a fun and festive idea for Christmas dessert?  Try these Santa hat cheesecake squares. (For that matter, you could do this with brownies or almost any kind of cake if you prefer – Strawberry Shortcake would be an obvious choice!). This is such an easy way to delight your guests and show off what a creative hostess you are.

Here’s How:

Start with your favorite cheese cake recipe.  See further below for the king of cheesecake recipes if you don’t have a favorite yet  – or even if you do, you’ll probably still want to try this one because its Fabulous (yes, with a capital ‘F’!); its also EASY which is a major bonus.

  • Cut the cake into little squares, just a little larger than the diameter of the largest end of the strawberries you are using.
  • Slice of the stem-end of the strawberry and place it on top of the mini cheese cake square.
  • Then fill a pastry bag (or you can use a Ziploc bag and cut a small tip off the corner) with sweetened whipped cream and pipe white frosting around the base of the strawberry to create the fluffy white fur trim on Santa’s hat.
  • Pipe a tiny dollop of frosting onto the top of the strawberry for the pom pom.

    You’re guests will think they are adorable.

The King of Cheesecake Recipes (and its EASY!)

This cake is easy to make, and it’s so delicious. Everyone that’s tried it has said it tasted just like a deli cheesecake! You’ll love it. And its guaranteed to impress your guests – big time.

Makes one 9-inch cheesecake in a springform pan.

Ingredients:

15 graham crackers, crushed

2 tablespoons butter, melted

4 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese

1 1/2 cups white sugar

3/4 cup milk

4 eggs

1 cup sour cream

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a 9 inch springform pan.
  • In a medium bowl, mix graham cracker crumbs with melted butter. Press onto bottom of springform pan.
  • In a large bowl, mix cream cheese with sugar until smooth. Blend in milk, and then mix in the eggs one at a time, mixing just enough to incorporate. Mix in sour cream, vanilla and flour until smooth. Pour filling into prepared crust.
  • Bake in preheated oven for 1 hour. Turn the oven off, and let cake cool in oven with the door closed for 5 to 6 hours; this prevents cracking. Chill in refrigerator until serving.

Credits: Photo by CookingClassy. | Recipe by Taliesen

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DIY Glittered Mason Jar Candle Holders

GLittered mason jar candle holders for Christmas

GLittered mason jar candle holders for Christmas

Mason Jars Go Glam!

These glittered mason jar candle holders would look totally terrific on the Christmas table, on the mantle, or outside the front door with battery operated votive candles inside. Or on the front steps to greet guests as they arrive, or…..

You get the idea, they’re awesome.  So many things you can do with these babies. And they are so easy to D-I-Y.

Here’s How:

Just use spray adhesive or brush craft glue on to the portion of the jar you want to glitter. Then simply dust with glitter in the color of your choice. Personally, I think either gold or silver is classiest, but its up to you.

Here’s a variation on the same idea, using a smaller jar, for a votive or tea light candle holder.  You could do a combination for your  holiday season table. Go with mason jars for the centerpiece, and then use the tea light candle jars at every place setting. Let your guests take them home as favors if you like. Either way, your table setting will  *S*P*A*R*K*L*E*.

Awesome idea for New Year’s Eve entertaining too.

And of course, there’s nothing to say that these glamorous little candle holders need to be reserved only for the holiday season. They’ll be awesome any time of year, when the mood calls for a bit of casual-glam.

Photo Credits: Mason Jar | Tea Light Holder

DIY Glitter jar tea light candle holder

Colorful Christmas Sugar DIY

Colorful Christmas Sugar

Colorful Christmas Sugar

Here’s a sweet and super-clever idea for your Christmas table – sprinkle some colored decorating sugar (the kind you use for decorating cookies and cakes)  into you sugar bowl and mix it in.   Suddenly your sugar bowl is transformed into a festive conversation piece.

Talk about getting creative right down to the very last detail!

Your guests will be impressed that you thought of everything, and kids think its super-cool.

You can use the same idea for your Easter and Thanksgiving celebrations. For Easter, use pastel sugar sprinkles, (pink, purple, yellow) and for Thanksgiving you can do orange, yellow, and red.  So fun!

Photo Credit

Make Christmas Light Balls

Make Christmas Light Bals

Make Christmas Light Bals

I’m in love with Christmas Light Balls – have been since I first saw some stunning light balls hanging from a huge spruce tree when taking a Christmas light tour of my neighborhood  about a decade ago.  Since that moment, I have totally had a thing for any type of light ball. And these massive ones are a-mazing!  Oh my, if Christmas wasn’t a mere month away I’d so be doing this. But it’ll have to wait for next year – I’ll get started in August!  Just too much to do at this time of year!

These light balls are completely DIY – you make them using chicken wire. The green one stands 2 feet high, the blue one is 4 feet.

This project comes courtesy of ChristmasLightsEtc  where you can get the lights required to pull this off.

Love, love, love this.

Make Christmas Light Balls

Required Materials

Required Materials

First, gather your supplies. For this project, you’ll need chicken wire, small wire cutters, a measuring tape, gloves, and our LED mini lights.

Measure the Chicken Wire

Measure the Chicken Wire

Roll out the chicken wire and measure out the dimensions. To create a spherical shape, the chicken wire must be twice as long as it is wide. We are creating a 2′ Christmas light ball, so our chicken wire was 2′ x 4′.

Cut Chicken Wire

Cut Chicken Wire

Cut the chicken wire at the measured area. Because chicken wire can be sharp and hard to handle, gloves come in handy when manipulating the wiring.

Put Sides Together

Put Sides Together

Once the chicken wire is cut, place the two cut sides together and connect by twisting the wires around each other.

Twist Wire to Hold

Twist Wire to Hold

As you can see in this picture, we created a bond by twisting the wire.

Create Funnel

Create Funnel

Now you’ll have a funnel of chicken wire. This is where the shaping process begin.

Shape into Ball

Shape into Ball

Begin pushing the funnel’s sides together and twisting the wire together. Pleating as one would cloth, or folding the circle into each other, begins to create the round shape. Snip the wire with the wire cutters and twist it together to make sure it will hold.

Shape into Ball

Round into Shape

Continue to sculpt the chicken wire to make it as round as possible. Pushing in the curves and pulling on the ends helps to create a more spherical shape.

Leave Male Plug Exposed

Leave Male Plug Exposed

Once the ball is completely circular, it’s time to wrap with lights. Take your first string and wrap so that the male plug is exposed. This allows for the chicken wire ball to be plugged in and to power it.

Wrap with Lights

Wrap with Lights

Wrap the lights around the ball, in and out of the wire, to secure it. When one string has gone as far as it can go, plug the next string in to create end-to-end runs. For this 2′ ball, we used 3 LED light strings. Once the lights are fully wrapped around the chicken wire ball, it’s ready to be plugged in.

Christmas Light Balls

Popular Outdoor Christmas Decorations

Dress Up Your Entry: Wire Frame Christmas Trees in Urns

Wire Frame Christmas Trees in Urns

Wire Frame Christmas Trees in Urns

I wanted to do something different this holiday season for the urns at my front entry.  I normally do small pine tress in tall Roman-style urns on either side of the front door and light them up with clear twinkle lights.  Very classic, elegant.

But this year I thought I’d change things up a bit by switching out the urns for some more contemporary square pots that really glisten and shine with a dark brown glaze.

Trouble is that when hubby parks his HUGE Ram truck in near the front door in curved driveway, the new glazed contemporary urns sit so low that he blocks the view of my Christmas display from the street. That won’t do.

So I’ve had to look for other options and found an idea I love.

Lighted wire frame holiday season trees in pots

These wire frame trees are decorated with strings of clear mini lights which have white frosted globe light-covers interspersed among the lights. Keep in mind that the light covers are not placed on all lights, only every several lights apart, for a randomized effect. By combining the globe covers, with the uncovered mini lights, you create a sense of dimension that adds terrific visual interest.

If you can’t similar min-light covers in stores, you can make your own frosted shades similar to the ones in the photo.

Here’s How:

Spray clear glass or plastic (a better idea since this is outdoors) Christmas balls with a white frost paint, available at craft stores,  and then dust with white glitter or even epsom salts.

Afix them in place on top of the lights.  I’d suggest pulling the little hanger-doo-hickey  off the Christmas ball, and then slide it on top of the mini-light. A little dab of hot glue should do, but of course, you’ll never get the globe off again – when the lights burn out you’ll have to toss the whole string. But isn’t that what most of us do anyway?  Its really not worth the trouble of replacing bulbs when its so much easier, quicker (and sometimes more cost effective) to buy a whole new string of lights.  Wasteful, I know. I plead guilty, but I know I’m not the only one!

Anyway, just keep in mind that to get the look in the photo, you don’t need a shade over every light – its a more random, scattered effect.

The urns pictured are designed by landscape designer Deborah Silver of Deborah Silver and Co Inc in Detroit.  What a fabulous look for the holidays!

I can really envision how well this would work  for my front entry since it is very similar in appearance to that of the house pictured, right down to the brick, the style of lanterns on the pillars, and the rounded front steps.  Neat-o.  I’m really excited to give this look a try.

lighted-christmas-pots-with-metal-frame-trees

lighted holiday season trees in pots
Photo Credits Deborah Silver of Deborah Silver and Co Inc in Detroit.

 

Easter Decor Idea – Bunny in Nest

Easter bunny in nest - deor idea

Easter bunny in nest - deor idea

I fell in love when I saw this photo. What a great idea for Easter decor – really different from anything I’ve done in the past.  A ceramic bunny is nestled amongst the grass  and hyancinth in his comfy little bed of twigs. This charming arrangement is all put together on a big old plate, and then displayed on a weathered old chair. A great way to attract the eye at Easter time.