Archive | Holiday Hospitality 101

canvas fun {holiday hospitality 101}

holiday hospitality 101

My sweet friend Ann {and mentor mom at our MOPS} came up with this very creative project. Ann is the closest person to Martha Stewart that I know. She sews, cooks, bakes, crafts…she is an amazing Grandma and just knows how to do a lot of things that most of us cannot seem to get around to learning. I hope you enjoy this project she came up with. The possibilities are endless. Make them with holiday art, sheet music, family pictures…whatever you can imagine! This would make a great activity for older kids, a nice hostess gift or simply a nice way to decorate your own home. Have fun creating! HERE is another great canvas tutorial method with photos if you need further inspiration. {P.S. Be sure to print images from the internet that you have been given permission to print…there are several site like the graphics fairy that have tons of free vintage images. You just don’t want to “steal” someone original work…so just check your sources.}

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Canvas Fun: Make Your Own Holiday Wall Art

Mod Podge on Canvas

Materials needed:

White Artist Canvas 8 X 8 or size you prefer

Picture of your choice, printed on an ink jet or laser printer

{in the same size as your canvas}

Mod Podge (I use Matte finish)

Paint Brush or Foam Brush

Acrylic Paints

Glitter Glue

Embellishments

Directions:

  1. Using a paint brush or foam brush, lightly coat the surface of the canvas with Mod Podge. Be careful to completely cover the canvas, but don’t apply too thickly.
  2. Turn your picture over to the wrong side, apply a thin layer of Mod Podge. Again, do not apply too thickly but cover entire surface.
  3. Place wrong side of picture on top of canvas and smooth out with your fingers. Don’t press too hard as this can cause damage to the print, but try to get all of the bubbles out.
  4. WAIT! This is the hard part! You have to wait until your canvas is completely dry before you put your next coat of Mod Podge on. I usually wait at least 6 hours or overnight.
  5. Once canvas is dry, put a light coat of Mod Podge on the top. Let dry and repeat this process. Two to three coats will do the trick.
  6. Make sure your canvas is dry before you start embellishing. This is the fun part! Be creative and use whatever you want to enhance your picture.
  7. When you’re done embellishing you can apply a spray-on Acrylic finishing coat if you wish (EnviroTex High Gloss Sealer)

Homemade Glitter Glue

{that won’t flake off}

Materials needed:

1 T Mod Podge

1 T Glitter (I prefer the fine glitter, but both will work)

Popsicle stick

Directions:

Mix the Mod Podge and Glitter using a popsicle stick. It will look somewhat thick and opaque. Use a paintbrush and adhere to the surface you want to cover, as you would paint. Don’t worry about the opaqueness while applying. It will dry clear and sparkly!

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ADVENT ideas {holiday hospitality 101}

adventI know it’s the 6th…but I am just getting around to filling our little advent Christmas house with fun activities & candies for the month. We love anticipating the sweet birth of our JESUS and the joy and promises he brought on that unusual night in Bethlehem. We love the fun and magic of the season and while I may be a little behind I figure better late than never. If you need some advent ideas this month I hope you feel inspired by these ideas on my pinterest board found HERE.

Also, I get to brag about my friend Jessica again {find her blog HERE}. These are some of the things she brought to our MOPS meeting to show how her family celebrates the Advent season. She is so talented and is now getting into photography. She took some awesome picture of my kids this summer. Love her take on life, her DIY ideas, her little family {3 babes in a row} and devotion to the things & people she loves.

jessica advent ideasCheck out how she made her Advent Pocket Calender HERE.

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more decor ideas {holiday hospitality 101}

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A few years ago I had the pleasure of helping a team of ladies decorate for a Christmas Brunch that our church hosted. The theme was: Jesus…Light of the World so we decided to decorate with candles, natural elements {that we could gather for free} and metallic accents. We used a ton of found objects and inexpensive ornaments {and lots of creativity}. Twigs, pine cones, moss and cranberries to name a few. And we all gathered whatever mercury glass we could find around our own homes to make the candle light reflect beautifully.

My friend Laura figured out how to create the beautiful sparkly letters, burlap cones and sheet music cones.

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The sparkly letters were cut out, glittered and added to metallic frames that had Christmas sheet music framed inside. It turned out simple and lovely.

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The burlap cones were huge and so simple. She took garden tomato vine cages {that her parents had around} and turned them upside down, loosely wrapped small strands of lights around them and then loosely covered each structure in burlap {I hope that makes sense}. We gathered them together on stage in groups of three or more. Here they are pictured on a table after the event was over. The lights twinkled and the whole thing just looked amazing!

She also discovered that its easy to buy a huge roll of garden burlap at a smaller cost if you need a lot of it {found in huge rolls at the garden section of the hardware store}. We knew it would make great table runners and while it was messy when cut {and the weave is not as tight as normal burlap fabric} it did the trick! We used it everywhere.

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As a team we also decided that we wanted cones made of sheet music with Christmas carols {that I had stashed away}. At first we couldn’t find an affordable solution for making them because Styrofoam and cardboard cones were too pricey for our budget. Laura bough just one Styrofoam cone mold, covered it in plastic wrap & figured out how to paper-mache several more cones out of newspaper from that one mold. She then covered each one with the sheet music {using mod-podge}. The result turned out so pretty and the detail of Christmas carol sheet music made it simple & special. This was my favorite project of all!

DSC_0724  DSC_0829   DSC_0852   DSC_0725 DSC_0714 DSC_0842DSC_0851And here are some other ideas that I have taken pictures of the last few years {like the first two below from Jessica} at the Christmas Tea Parties that I have been to at church and MOPS. Again, sorry for the blurry pictures but I think you get an idea of how things looked and can use them as a jumping off point for your own table decor!

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I think my friend’s Genis and Stephanie did this one…so gorgeous!

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Genis and my mom did the next table. There was a gorgeous twig sculpture in the middle that they hung ornaments from. Lots of sheet music and natural elements. Genis is fabulous with mixing colors, textures and layers along with adding levels and small details to everything she decorates!

DSC_0739 DSC_0740And why not dress up the buffet table as well. It never hurts to switch things up and do a few round tables for your potluck/buffet table if you have the space.

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egg casserole {holiday hospitality 101}

holiday hospitality 101

The season of brunch is upon us. I love these simple egg dishes because they can be made the night before {Christmas Eve I usually make one} and simple popped in the oven in the morning. Give your self plenty of time for cooking these as sometimes the eggs just don’t want to cook {or “set-up”} in the middle. This can also be made at the beginning of a busy week and warmed up for a few days {if there are any leftovers…wink,wink}.

Egg Casserole

::Ingredients::

8 slices bread, crusts removed (optional) cubed or torn into bite size pieces (you can butter the bread first if you like)

½ chopped onion

2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese (or whatever you have on hand such as Colby or Monterey Jack)

8-10 large eggs

2 cups milk

::Directions::

1. Mix bread, onion & cheese. Add salt & pepper to taste.

2. Put mixture in 9×13 pan that has been sprayed with cooking spray or buttered lightly.

3. Add additional ingredients such as meat, veggies, etc.{see optional addition notes}

4. Whisk eggs and milk and pour over mixture.

5. Bake uncovered in a 350 degree oven for 45-50 minutes until set

*You can do steps 1-4 at night and refrigerate over night. Simply cook in the morning allowing a few extra minutes in case the eggs do not “set-up” well. Also, if the edges or top begin to brown but the eggs are not completely cooked {“set-up”} cover with foil.

Optional Egg Casserole Additions:

Country Breakfast– cubed ham, cooked sausage {crumbled} or bacon

Mexican– cooked chorizo sausage, small can of chopped green chilies

Potato– substitute 1  16oz. package of frozen has browns for the bread; breakfast meat such as bacon or cooked sausage

Stuffed French Toast– basic egg casserole recipe omitting the onions and cheese and using cinnamon bread instead plus 8oz. cream cheese, cubed and 1 large apple.

Gluten-Free– sub out gluten-free bread instead of the regular bread {may need some extra liquid if it get’s too dry}

Cheesy Casserole– basic egg recipe with another ½ cup of cheese added to the top (be sure to add foil-removing half way through cooking time)

Veggie Fun– cooked veggies such as butternut squash or cooked bell peppers can also be added or swapped in {great addition to the Country Breakfast version above}

Get creative…there are no limits to how you can make this base recipe!

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FALL dessert {holiday hospitality 101}

holiday hospitality 101I hope everyone had a lovely THANKSGIVING holiday! There is so much to be grateful for in life! I hope you felt a taste of that and enjoyed the company of loved ones.

fall dessertI have talked about making delicious coffee & ice cream floats before HERE. I love this simple and rich sweet treat. It only requires 3 ingredients, a cute mug & a spoon. For this Fall version I simply used Pumpkin ice cream {it was rich and had a nice spice to it}. Start with a small scoop of the ice cream in a mug. Add strongly brewed coffee over the top of the ice cream {or try different combinations such as vanilla ice cream and hot chocolate for the kids}. Garnish with dark chocolate covered espresso beans {or chocolate shavings or caramel} and serve with a spoon. See pictures below and get creative with your favorite ingredients! The possibilities are endless!

{P.S. This is a great dessert option if you don’t like to bake {like me} or made a more complicated meal and need something simple to throw together for sweets. Also, this can be really easy to bring to a small gathering. Just be sure to brew the coffee at home and bring in a carafe that will keep it hot or ask your hostess if you can brew the coffee there. And make sure they have room in their freezer! Enjoy!}

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