Posts Tagged ‘candy’

12/15/14

How to Host the Coziest Holiday Party for Friends

In my book, the best party to host during the holidays is one with close friends.

Why? With friends, you don’t have to put on a show or pretend you know how to cook a glazed ham to perfection—there’s no big production necessary—which means hosting a fantastic holiday party will be a cinch, even if you’ve never hosted a get-together before.

All you really need to remember for hosting a holiday party with friends is this one basic rule: keep it casual. Aim for creating a casual, cozy, and completely comfortable environment, and you’re golden. Pretty easy, right?

How to Host the Coziest Holiday Party for Friends

And speaking of easy, here are 3 tips for helping you achieve that casual vibe for the perfect laid back holiday party…

1. Set the tone.

I love doing something unexpected for a casual party, like low seating, for example.

Pull up a large coffee table for everyone to gather around or make your own using stacks of books and plywood. Then add comfy pillows and blankets and invite everyone to kick their shoes off and get comfy on the floor. Bonus points if you can situate the table in front of a fireplace.

2. Delicious Treats.

You’re not going to want to slave away in the kitchen while guests are in another room entertaining themselves. And they don’t want you to, either. So, make things easy in the food department and go heavy on the appetizers instead of a big feast. Try this pear + goat cheese crostini recipe or any of these holiday appetizers if you’re feeling stuck. You can make everything ahead of time and keep each app warm in the oven for guests as they arrive.

Don’t forget something sweet. After guests have had their fill of appetizers, be sure to have some sweets for them to nibble on for dessert. Lindt LINDOR’s Peppermint White Chocolate Truffles are a great option. If you’ve ever had these truffles before, you know their melting centers are irresistible – making them a super simple, indulgent dessert.

3. Keep it light.

Plan something fun and lighthearted for everyone to participate in after the meal, to keep the party going. Card games and/or board games would be perfect for something like this. I found an awesome set of Bingo cards from J Crew and a backgammon game from Paper Source if you’re looking for suggestions.

How to Host the Coziest Holiday Party for Friends

How to Host the Coziest Holiday Party for Friends

How to Host the Coziest Holiday Party for Friends

And that’s it. With these quick tips, you’ll be a holiday party pro in no time.

Have your own tips to share for throwing a holiday party with friends? I’d love to hear how you make the holidays cozy and fun for your friends.

This post is sponsored by Lindt and originally appeared on Momtastic. Be sure to check out Lindt Chocolate on Facebook  and Lindt.com for entertaining tips, decadent chocolate recipes and more.

12/08/14

Tips for Giving Awesome Gifts During the Holidays

Holiday gift giving really isn’t as hard as it may seem. But I totally understand that it can be stressful to find the perfect gift for everyone on your holiday list.

So I partnered with Lindt to share my tips for perfect holiday gift giving and have some specific gift ideas to share, as well, for anyone who may be especially stuck.

So let’s jump into my four tips for giving the perfect gift…

1. Remember Who You’re Buying For: This sounds like a silly one, but you’d be surprised by the number of people who forget this. Example: We all have our own personal style. Right? But, your style is not necessarily everyone else’s style.

SO, when you’re buying a gift for someone that practically lives in pink flowy bohemian skirts and dresses, you probably shouldn’t get her a black t-shirt with biker studs running down the sides. Sure, you may like it, but she may not.

2. Think Hobbies + Interests: Does your mom love to cook? Is your husband obsessed with brewing his own beer? These hobbies and interest will lead you to a perfect gift idea. Just make sure to think back to number one, remembering the particular style that the giftee gravitates toward as well, and you’re golden.

3. Listen Up: You know that notoriously hard to buy for person on your list? Well, they’re probably not as difficult to buy for as you think. You just have to listen. Pretty much everyone mentions things that they want to buy or things they’ve really been liking lately at some point or another. You just have to pay attention when you hear them speak of an idea that would be gift-worthy. I learned this one from my mom. Thanks Mom!

And if said person legitimately never talks about that kind of thing, you can easily work it into the conversation casually. “Have you seen XYZ that just came out? Man, I want one… Have you seen anything cool lately that I should check out?”

4. Go Undercover: When I’m searching for gifts for friends and even some of my family members, I troll their Pinterest boards to see items that they’ve most recently pinned. I did that recently with a friend of mine and it turned out great. The giftee gets exactly what he or she wants, and is completely surprised at the same time. Win-win!

You can do this with wish lists on sites like Amazon and Giftry as well, if Pinterest isn’t your thing.

And if those 4 tips don’t get your gift-giving juices flowing, here are 6 specific + thoughtful gift ideas to get you started…

Awesome Holiday Gift Ideas for the Cook

1. Gift for the Cook: Know someone that likes to cook? Put together a little care package with cool kitchen items they’ll love, like a giant handmade spoon or a colorful mini strainer.

Awesome Gift Ideas for your Neighbor

Awesome Gift Ideas for your Neighbor

2. Gift for your Neighbor: Not sure what to gift your neighbor this year? How about a box of premium chocolates, like a box of Lindt LINDOR truffles. Chocolates are always a hit! And when they’re packaged with a cool wrapping paper, like this shibori print gift wrap, it makes it all the more special.

Add a holiday ornament gift topper for a two in one gift idea.

Awesome Gift Ideas for the Crafter

3. Gift for the Creative: Creative people can always use another notebook. Sure, they have plenty of notepads stacked up already, but a new one is always better, right?

Add a few other supplies, like decorative washi tape, tiny transparent envelopes, and a fun pair of scissors, and you have a really great gift package to give.

Awesome Gift Ideas for your Hip Friend

Awesome Gift Ideas for your Hip Friend

4. Gift for your Hip Friend: Plants never go out of style, especially succulents, air plants, and cacti. They’re pretty affordable, so you won’t break the bank with this gift idea. Just make sure to snag an interesting vessel, and you’re good to go.

I bought this planter separately from the succulents and then arranged them myself in the new container to make the gift a little more special.

Awesome Gift Ideas for your Neighbor

5. Gift for the Coffee Lover: A bag of coffee may seem like a pretty typical gift. But what if it’s a bag of coffee from the recipient’s hometown or a city that they love? Now, that’s thoughtful!

I checked a few specialty shops in my area before finding a coffee made in Savannah, for my friend who went to SCAD and misses Savannah now that she’s moved to Michigan.

Feel like that’s not enough? Include a cool coffee mug that suits the personality of whomever you’re giving the gift to, and you’re in business.

Holiday Bouquet Idea with Pink Ranunculus

DIY Hostess Gift // Tea Towel Wrapped Holiday Bouquet

6. Gift for the Cool Hostess: If you’re headed to any holiday parties this year, be sure to try this DIY gift idea. A small bouquet of flowers, like ranunculus mixed with evergreen branches, looks great and is pretty inexpensive. Plus, you can make it yourself, which adds more thought and care to the gift.

Wrap the finished bouquet in a uniquely printed tea towel and this gift pulls double-duty as two gifts in one.

This post is sponsored by Lindt and originally appeared on Momtastic. Be sure to check out Lindt Chocolate on Facebook  and Lindt.com for more amazing holiday gifts.

08/04/14

Mini Donut Shaped Candy DIY

Over the weekend, I made these tiny candy donuts and I thought I would share the tutorial this morning to kick off the week.

They’re really easy to make and look just like mini donuts, but they’re not the real deal… They’re made of of chocolate (and peanut butter chips) instead. Fun, huh?

These little candies would be great party favors for birthday parties and other special occasions. Or on a dessert table, just as they are. Want to make your own? Here’s how…

Mini Donut Candy

Supplies + Ingredients:

mini donut silicone mold (available right here on Amazon) // microwave safe bowls in various sizes (for melting chocolate) // small spoon // bamboo skewers (optional) // 1 bag of white chocolate chips + 1 bag of peanut butter or butterscotch chips // food coloring (gel or liquid) // sprinkles

How to Make Mini Donut Chocolate Candy

How-To:

1. Start by creating your donut base. Melt peanut butter and white chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl, in 20-30 second intervals (stirring in between) until melted.

You can play around with the chips ratio here…I made some donuts strictly from peanut butter chips (for a darker donut base) and some that were a half and half mixture of white chocolate chips and peanut butter chips (for a lighter donut base).

2. Next, pour or scoop the melted chips into the mini donut mold. Then, pop the mold into the freezer for about an hour to harden.

3. Remove the donuts from the mold and let them warm to room temperature again.

4. Next, in three separate bowls, begin melting white chocolate chips the same way you did in step one. Once melted, add a small amount of food coloring to each one (I used pink, purple, and green) and stir, to create the donut icing. Then, using a small spoon, pour the chocolate over the donuts to create an iced donut look. *Work fast for this part – if the chocolate cools to much before pouring, it won’t look like donut icing. If you’re having trouble, you can add a little bit of vegetable shortening to thin out the chocolate a bit more.

5. Add sprinkles, then place the finished candy donuts back into the fridge or freezer to harden. Once hardening, pull the candies out and poke through the center of each donut shape with a bamboo skewer if any chocolate has covered up the hole. If you’re using a cooling rack, that probably won’t be an issue. But if you’ve set your donuts on a plate, like I did, you have a few holes to re-poke.

Note: If you use the same mold that I have, you’ll be able to make roughly three batches of mini donuts with two bags of chocolate chips. Which is 54 candy donuts.

DIY // Teeny Tiny Donut Shaped Chocolate Candies

Make mini donut chocolate candies

Teeny Tiny Donut Shaped Chocolate Candies

Mini donut candies made of chocolate

Mini Donut Candy Ice Cream Sandwiches

Other ideas for these candy donuts… Decorate a plain cake or turn them into the mini version of my donut ice cream sandwiches.

Concept, photography, and styling by Brittni Mehlhoff