The Best Craft Cocktails & Bartending With Flair Book Review

The Best Craft Cocktails

{Full disclosure: I received a copy of this book for free. All the opinions are mine. I really do enjoy this book!}

Hello there! I have something special to share with you today. What I am sharing is going to answer a very important question. That question, you ask? What is my signature drink going to be at the holiday party/Christmas brunch/New Year’s Eve bash/New Year’s brunch going to be? I know, I know. This is a difficult question to answer. But as always, I’m am here to make your life a little better. Might I suggest a book? A very creative book of exquisite drinks? Okay then…The Best Craft Cocktails & Bartending with Flair: An Incredible Collection of Extraordinary Drinks.

All That Glitters Craft Cocktail

That is a long title. It is the best though. Written by Jeremy Leblanc and Christine Dionese, this book contains a ton of recipes that will be perfect for your shindig. Now, the drinks aren’t your average drinks. Many of the recipes include ingredients that you’ll have to make special trips to purchase. Honestly, for the drink I’m about to share with you, I had to make a trip to the liquor store the health food store. It really wasn’t a big deal. You’ll find recipes that include fresh fruit and berries, fresh herbs, bitters, and maybe a new liqueur that you haven’t tried before. Trust me, the drinks are worth the adventure! And the recipes are versatile. Play with them, substitute different things. The possibilities are endless.

All That Glitters

All That Glitters
Author: 
Recipe type: cocktail
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1 glass
 
Ingredients
  • 5 slices cucumber
  • 3 wedges candied ginger (plus 1 for garnish)
  • ¼ oz freshly squeezed pomelo or grapefruit juice
  • ¼ oz St. Germain liqueur
  • ice
  • 3 oz champagne
Instructions
  1. In a bar tin, combine cucumber, ginger and juice. Gently muddle. Add St. Germain and 20 pieces of ice. Shake vigorously to a count of 20, then transfer to a well-chilled wide-bowled wine glass. Pour champagne in a circular motion along edges of glass and garnish with 1 wedge of candied ginger.

This recipe is one of my favorites in the book. If you haven’t tried St. Germain liqueur before, I highly recommend it. It’s made of elderflower and is amazing mixed with champagne.

All That Glitters Champagne Cocktail

The Best Craft Cocktails & Bartending With Flair gives suggestions on what type of alcohol to use and tips and tricks of the trade. Trust me, the recipes in this book will make you appear like a classy mixologist. The book is well written and the photos make you want to lick the page.

The book retails for around $20 and I’ve seen it at Amazon and Crate and Barrel.

xoxo

 

 

 

Dress-Up Reindeer Fabric Wall Decals

Dress Up Reindeer from Wallternatives

Hi there! Are you completely wrapped up in Christmas like I am? It’s crazy how fast Christmas hits you… planning your gifts, getting your gifts, wrapping your gifts! Oh and don’t forget decorating. Around here decorating is not an option, and my little girls keep me to task on it. The tree is up and lighted, but not decorated yet. It takes me so long to get it perfect. Although there are easy ways to decorate the walls quickly…decals!

Wallternatives sent me this gorgeous Dress-Up Reindeer Removable Decal Set. Seriously, I’m in love with this guy! He’s a fabric decal, so he’s removable and repositionable. It’s perfect for the girls to dress up each day. Our reindeer has been named Klaus and he is quite the character!
Dress Up Reindeer from Wallternatives

The girls change his accessories multiple times a day, and they still stick to him extremely well. The watercolor effect of the decals are beautiful and very realistic! (So realistic that the dogs keep barking at him!) Additionally, he can be ordered facing either left or right. I have my reindeer left facing so he’s looking at the tree.

Dress Up Reindeer Decal from Wallternatives

Look at that handsome guy! Now it’s time to play dress up…

Dress Up Reindeer Wall Decals from Wallternatives

 

Klaus the Reindeer was super easy to apply. Make sure your wall is clean and dry first, then just peel off the backing and stick on. The decals came with a Wallternatives™ Squeegee, which helps to smooth on the decal, but I found with the fabric decals that I really didn’t need to use it. It just stuck amazingly well!

I saved the backing that the reindeer arrived on as a place to stick the accessory decals when they aren’t on the wall.

Dress Up Reindeer from Wallternatives

Oh and there’s a Boy Meets Girl Reindeer Set too… Ooh La La!!

Wallternatives Boy Meets Girl Reindeer Decal Set

Image Via Wallternatives

xoxo

 **Wallternatives provided me with the free decals, but the opinions are all mine. I really do think they are awesome!**

Almond and Milk Chocolate Ganache Thumbprint Cookies

Almond Milk Chocolate Ganache Thumbprint Cookies

These cookies remind me of ones my grandmother used to make. Except hers had jam in the middle. They are so rich and yummy! And they are awesome while they are still warm.

Almond and Milk Chocolate Ganache Thumbprint Cookies
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 36 cookies
 
Ingredients
  • For the cookie'
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup ground almonds
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup unsalted butter, softened
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • slivered almonds, toasted (optional)
  • For the ganache
  • 1 12 oz bag of milk chocolate chips (I used Guittard)
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
Instructions
  1. Using a medium bowl, stir together flour, almonds and salt. In a larger mixing bowl, use an electric mixer to cream the butter. Add both sugars and beat until light and fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla and continue to beat until combined. Slowly add in the flour mixture. When combined, cover and chill for an hour in the fridge (or 30 minutes in the freezer.)
  2. Heat over to 350F. Using about 2 teaspoons per cookie, roll balls of dough, just smaller than a ping pong ball. Place balls 1.5 to 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet (use a baking mat if you have one) and press your thumb into the center of each ball, leaving a depression.
  3. Bake for 9-11 minutes. If the depression in the middle of the cookies puffs up, use the back of a teaspoon to depress it again. Transfer to wire each and let cookies cool.
  4. Use a double boiler and pour in the chocolate chips for the ganache. Pour the heavy whipping cream on top of chocolate chips, but do not stir. Cover and heat on medium heat until chocolate appears melted. Stir until chocolate and cream are combined. Spoon chocolate into indentation of cookie. Add an almond sliver or two.
  5. Once cool and chocolate ganache hardens, store in airtight container with waxed paper between cookies.

 Some of my favorite bloggers and I have all shared some of our favorite Christmas cookie recipes!  Christmas Cookie Exchange Parties are awesome because you go to the party with one kind of cookie, but come home with tons of cookies to devour! There’s nothing better than seeing all of the cookies out on all of their plates and getting to go around and fill up your bags with other people’s delicious recipes. Here are 40+ delicious cookie exchange recipes so you can find the perfect cookie to take to the party this holiday season!

When you get a chance, check out the Cookie Exchange Pinterest board for more cookie recipe inspirations!

Follow Reasons To Skip The Housework’s board The Cookie Exchange on Pinterest.

40+ cookie exchange recipes cookies 1 Andes Mint Cookies Double Chocolate Mint MnM Cookies Hot Cocoa Cookies cookies 1Peanut Butter Cake Box Cookie Raspberry Almond Meltaways Olaf Nutter Butter Cookies cookies 2 Snowflake Meltaway Cookies Chocolate Turtle Cookie Candy Cane Brownie Blossoms cookies 3 Peanut Butter Chip Cookies Cranberry Almond Shortbread Bites No Bake Eggnog Cookies cookies 4 Double Chocolate Rum Balls Magic Cookie Bars Christmas Molasses Ginger Cookies cookie exchange 2cookies 5 Rosettes Mint Chocolate Truffle Cookie cups Cornflake Christmas Wreath Cookies cookies 6 Christmas M&M Cookies Peppermint Chocolate Cake Mix Cookies Easy Sugar Cookie cookies 7 Jelly “Popper” Cookies Key Lime Pie Bars Gingersnaps with Dark Chocolate Chips cookies 8 Maple Bacon Snickerdoodles Peppermint Shortbread Cookies Christmas Chocolate Thumbprints Cookies cookies 9 Christmas Tree Brownie Pops My Favorite Things Cookies Old-Fashioned Gingersnap Cookies cookies 10 Peanut Butter Cup Cookies Holiday Confetti Sandwich Cookies Lemon Oatmeal Lacies Christmas Cookie cookies 11 Snowball Cookies Healthy Biscochos (Vegan, Raw, & Grain-Free) Almond and Milk Chocolate Ganache Thumbprint Cookies cookies 12 Porcelain Sugar Cookies OREO Dipped Christmas Cookies Rolo Stuffed Peanut Butter Cookies {Gluten Free} cookies 14 Chocolate Mint Cream Cheese Cake Mix Cookies Giant Monster Cookies Crispy Coconut Pecan Butter Cookies cookies 2Candy Cane Sugar Blossoms Candy Cane Frosted Sugar Cookies cookie exchange 4

Easy Upcycled Canvas Holiday Tote

Easy Upcycled Holiday Tote
I really didn’t know if this holiday tote was going to be a craft fail or not. I had this canvas grocery bag, that had been given to me at some point, somewhere. I love reusable shopping bags, mostly because the plastic ones pile up and it’s a pain to recycle them (around here you have to return them to the store.) But I always forget to take them in the store. Plus, I know some are cute, but I really try to avoid flashing brand logos all over the place. It always feels a little awkward taking your Fresh & Easy bag into Trader Joe’s.

So with this lovely canvas shopping bag, I wanted to make it cute for the holidays. Oh and since my craft supply room is overflowing, I wanted to use supplies that I already owned. Errr, except for the stencil, I bought that a couple weeks ago because I had a coupon. (I’m trying not to buy more craft stuff! It’s hard!)

It’s really easy to make, it has held up well and I’ve gotten lots of compliments on it!

Supplies – canvas tote, Americana Chalky Finish Paint in CarbonAmericana Decor Varnish, in Light Satin, two foam brush (3 inch), antler stencil, foam pouncer, liquid gold leaf, Black Acrylic Paint, fabric medium

Upcycled Holiday Tote

Start by painting your whole bag with the Chalky Finish Paint (except the handles). I painted the inside as well, so that you can’t see any white canvas when it’s open. With the handles I mixed the acrylic paint with fabric medium and painted them. I used fabric medium on the handles since they were not getting covered with varnish. Let it completely dry.

Upcycled Holiday Tote

Double check that the paint has gotten in your seams, otherwise you’ll have little hints of canvas showing through.

Upcycled Holiday Tote

Once dry, figure out placement for the stencil. Use the pouncers and the liquid gold leaf to stencil the antlers. Remember to pounce lightly with the gold leaf so that you don’t get too much seepage under the stencil. Oh and do this in a well ventilated area.

Upcycled Holiday Tote

Once the stencil is dry, use the varnish on the painted canvas. I did the bottom first, let it dry, then did the rest.  I hung it to dry in a well ventilated area.

Easy Upcycled Holiday Tote

Let it dry. Now it’s time to use it for all your important purchases!

xoxo

Holiday Shopping with Higgle

higgle pinHey guys! Have you started your Christmas shopping yet? I have. It may be the first time in history that actually have gifts in hand before Thanksgiving. I feel like I have to start earlier because the time just seems to fly by. I’m afraid I’ll wake up tomorrow and it will be New Year’s Day. Yikes!

I’m such a fan of online shopping. If I can avoid having to deal with crowds, traffic, parking, spilt coffee (I always end up spilling something) then I will. Plus, if you can get free shipping, it’s actually cheaper to shop online. No spending on gas, wear and tear on your car, no stops at the coffee shops.

Higgle

Well, my friends, let me introduce you to Higgle. Higgle is a name-your-own price marketplace, where shoppers can discover amazing products, name their price, get others to join in, and buy amazing stuff, all in one place. The name Higgle is a play on the word “haggle,” except you don’t have to haggle with merchants, because Higgle does it for you.

How it works –  Basically you see an item you want. The MSRP is listed and you type in a price that you would like to pay for it. It it’s too low, Higgle will tell you to be fair. If your offer is reasonable then there’s a three-day window to get others to join. Higgle will share it with other people on their site and you can share it with your social network (if you want). If enough people join, the deal is done and everyone wins. If not, everyone will get a counteroffer from the merchant and you can accept individually.

I tried it – So I tried my own Higgle. I found an item (not telling what, since the recipient is most likely reading this) and made an offer. At first I lowballed it and was told to be fair. Okay, so I put in a higher number, that was still a good price. At that point my offer was accepted, and I waited. I did not share on social networks, because the recipient would see it. A couple days later, I received an email that my offer was accepted. Yay! Did I mention that shipping is free?!

Higgle

 

Here are a few of my favorite things from Higgle’s Holiday Gift Guide

Higgle

Higgle

Geoelectric Print, Happy Cloud Dress, Artichoke Dish Towels, Domingo Deluxe City BikeHerb Garden Bundle KitPost Shave Tonic, , Gisella Porcelain Vase

Cute, right?! I highly suggest checking Higgle out. And if you want an even better deal use this promo code for 10% off: 2fb339. The promo code is valid through December 10, 2014.

Check it out and then let me know what you want. Maybe I’ll just join in and Higgle with you!

xoxo



 

 

 

This post is sponsored. All thoughts and opinions are my own. So is the terrible humor. 

Adorable Personalized Holiday Shirts for Kids

I really love dressing the girls over the holidays. It may be the only time of year where the we all can agree on what they are wearing. So when Bright Star Kids offered to send me shirts to review, I jumped at the chance. The girls and I sat at the computer and they each got to pick out a design from a great selection of holiday images. We added their names in and ordered.

They arrived quickly and are so adorable. Both shirts have the feminine puffy sleeves and the designs are so sweet. They are perfect for holiday get-togethers, since people always seem to get the girls confused with each other.

In fact, I would love to order these for all the kids who attend my annual Christmas party. That way we know who is who!

And, the clothes aren’t just for girls! I love the dinosaur and the alligator (this family so needs a little boy!)

Additionally, Bright Star Kids has wall decals, which can also be personalized. They are super fun for for the kids’ room and are 100% removable and won’t harm your paint. And they have more than just holiday themes too…

The wall stickers provide a unique and personalized gift for the kiddos in your life.

Love me some Bright Star Kids!

POST DISCLAIMER

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Bright Star Kids. The opinions and text are all mine.

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Comments submitted may be displayed on other websites owned by the sponsoring brand.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Bright Star Kids. The opinions and text are all mine.