All that Glitters ---Teen Drink Station

At your next holiday party, don’t forget the teenagers. Pull out all the stops with a glittery non-alcoholic specialty drink station. Make sure you use real glass to give it a more sophisticated look. They really enjoy being junior mixologists and creating their own drinks.

PICTURES BY CHLOE BAKER

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 Decorate your Bubbly station with gold and silver. Here we have a gold sequin runner and specialty glasses on silver tray

Decorate your Bubbly station with gold and silver. Here we have a gold sequin runner and specialty glasses on silver tray

 I obtained all the glasses and silver trays from the Dollar Tree store.

I obtained all the glasses and silver trays from the Dollar Tree store.

 Placing a beautiful silver ice bucket with some gold paper straws always adds glamour to any drink station.

Placing a beautiful silver ice bucket with some gold paper straws always adds glamour to any drink station.

 Stock your station with more sophisticated juices and holiday favorites such as cranberry and pomegranate.

Stock your station with more sophisticated juices and holiday favorites such as cranberry and pomegranate.

 As for the bubbly part of the station, add glass pitchers filled with ginger ale, sparkling water, and 7-up.  We printed out the names on regular white paper, cut them out and glued them to black card stock. We attached the custom signs to pitchers with glue dots .

As for the bubbly part of the station, add glass pitchers filled with ginger ale, sparkling water, and 7-up. We printed out the names on regular white paper, cut them out and glued them to black card stock. We attached the custom signs to pitchers with glue dots.

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 Add orange slices to rim the glasses with gold and silver sugar crystals.  You can find these at Michaels or grocery stores in baking section.

Add orange slices to rim the glasses with gold and silver sugar crystals. You can find these at Michaels or grocery stores in baking section.

 Finish off the drinks with fresh fruit garnish.

Finish off the drinks with fresh fruit garnish.

 This has been a great success at my parties in the past. Adults and teens alike enjoy all the added touches that let them know you are happy they are joining the celebration!

This has been a great success at my parties in the past. Adults and teens alike enjoy all the added touches that let them know you are happy they are joining the celebration!

Kid’s Juice Bar

I’m always looking for ways to include the children in whatever occasion we are celebrating. Our kid’s juice bar is a family favorite and always a bit hit. It’s a simple idea that the kids love and delight in making custom “mock”tails through out the party.

PICTURES BY CHLOE BAKER

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 Make this kid friendly by putting on lower table (so kids can reach). Make everything plastic and easy for the kids to help themselves.

Make this kid friendly by putting on lower table (so kids can reach). Make everything plastic and easy for the kids to help themselves.

 Start by putting out plastic cups and a bowl of ice with scoop. I like to put a cloth on the table to absorb anything little hands spill. They can start by putting ice in their cup.

Start by putting out plastic cups and a bowl of ice with scoop. I like to put a cloth on the table to absorb anything little hands spill. They can start by putting ice in their cup.

 Cut up some oranges into slices with slits in middle and put on tray with small bowls filled with colored sugar from the baking section of local grocery store. The kids can rub the rim of their plastic glass with orange then dip rim into sugar (just like you do with salt for a margarita)

Cut up some oranges into slices with slits in middle and put on tray with small bowls filled with colored sugar from the baking section of local grocery store. The kids can rub the rim of their plastic glass with orange then dip rim into sugar (just like you do with salt for a margarita)

 I like to use different colored fruit juices for the kids to pour into their sugar rimmed glasses. Make sure to encourage them to mix different flavors together to create their own speciality drink but don’t fill all the way to the top.

I like to use different colored fruit juices for the kids to pour into their sugar rimmed glasses. Make sure to encourage them to mix different flavors together to create their own speciality drink but don’t fill all the way to the top.

 To make the drinks bubbly, they can add some sparkling water or soda.

To make the drinks bubbly, they can add some sparkling water or soda.

 Include some festive toothpicks, peppermint sticks and fresh fruit for garnishes on a plastic tray. I cut colorful paper straws to fit the smaller cups for the kids.

Include some festive toothpicks, peppermint sticks and fresh fruit for garnishes on a plastic tray. I cut colorful paper straws to fit the smaller cups for the kids.

 This is a fun and easy way to make the kids feel like they are part of the party. It’s great to see their excitement as they make new drink creations. It’s wonderful to see how creative they get and they love sharing their recipes with the other kids.

This is a fun and easy way to make the kids feel like they are part of the party. It’s great to see their excitement as they make new drink creations. It’s wonderful to see how creative they get and they love sharing their recipes with the other kids.

Santa Hat Brownies with milk

with all the holiday parties coming up, why not bring something with some extra holiday spirit? These easy brownies are a big hit. Adding red and white paper straws to your drink table, sets a holiday mood.

Use your regular brownie mix but instead of putting in pan, grease and coat mini cupcake pans with cocoa power.

*TIP. I always use cocoa powder to coat any chocolate cake or brownie pan. It acts like flour and doesn’t leave that white powdery look.

Fill the bins 2/3 full and bake at 350 and bake for 10 to 12 minutes depending on your oven.

* TIP watch the 1st batch, because these are small they bake quickly.

while brownies are cooling on rack, prepare strawberries, wash and pat dry. Cut off green stem and cut a bit of point (better for putting that final dab of frosting for hat.) You can either use the strawberry like this or hull (remove center)

After brownies cool, use your favorite white frosting and either pipe on white M1 tip or smooth on a layer with knife.

Place strawberry on top and dap frosting on tip of strawberry to finish off.

For added holiday fun. Put milk out with a pretty red ribbon, red and white paper straws. I get small glass milk containers at the dollar store in the glass section and put those out for added fun.

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Christmas Traditions

Every season, my mom would put out our Advent wreath on our dining room table to light every night while preparing for Christmas Day. In the middle of the wreath, she would place a small wooden crib. During advent, instead of saying our bedtime prayers in our rooms, we would gather around the dining room table, pray and then put a piece of straw in the crib for every good thing we did or thought we had that day. By the end of advent, the crib was filled with our good deeds and intentions. Before we went to sleep Christmas Eve, my parents would get the beautiful porcelain Baby Jesus out of his box. My Dad would give us long tapered candles, and turn of the lights. All six kids and my parents, would make procession into the living room singing Silent Night, lighting the way for Baby Jesus, before placing him on our crib of good deeds. this is a wonderful way to remind everyone the real reason for the season.

I know that wooden cribs and porcelain Baby Jesus figurines are still available on line. Or make the crib yourself out of popsicle sticks (picture below post) This is something to bring the joy of the season back in your hearts.

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 You can even have the kids make a popsicle stick crib.

You can even have the kids make a popsicle stick crib.

Take a Break with a Good Book

It’s always essential to remember to slow down and just be. Sundays are great for taking the time to sit back with a cup of your favorite tea or some sparkling water and enjoy a good book. Here is one that I just finished and really enjoyed. It’s well written and an easy read.

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Christmas Card Display

What do you do with your old family Christmas cards? Why not frame them and display them every year? I took some frames that I got on sale and painted them red to enhance the holiday feeling. I have christmas cards from George’s 1st year on… Lovely memories and instant holiday cheer.

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Easy Champagne Glass Set

Why drive yourself crazy if a glass breaks. By having different glasses in a group, if one breaks it doesn’t matter. You can get individual glasses on sale and add on at your leisure. Not only do your guests get to pick their individual style but everyone knows which glass is theirs.

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Chocolate Peppermint Martini

After spending time decorating for the holidays, what is a better way to keep the holiday spirit going than preparing this easy chocolate peppermint martini. Don’t have a martini shaker? Use a large glass or jar. Want a less filling cocktail? Use almond milk instead of regular milk. Cheers!

 Holiday Spirit- Cheers!

Holiday Spirit- Cheers!