Interior Design| Our 12 Favorite Christmas Cookie Designs and Holiday Treats 2014 2

Wishing everyone a beautiful holiday season, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from our home to yours!  This year we have included special yummy Holiday Treats to Our 12 Favorite Christmas Cookie Designs.  We hope you enjoy our selections for 2014.

Ho, Ho, Ho!

Corinne Gail

Nutter Butters on a stick. CUTE.

www.iheartnaptime.net Nutter Butter Reindeer Cookies

Haven't made these in years!  Have your kiddos help make these no-bake cookies by adding the red cinnamon candies and their favorite sprinkles!

www.bettycrocker.com No bake Christmas Wreaths

Mini Santa Hat Cheesecakes Recipe ~ An adorable addition to your holiday party!

www.bakedbyrachel.com Mini Santa Hat Cheesecakes

DSC_1231A

www.thedomesticrebel.com Salted Carmel Butter Bars

Vanilla Bean Shortbread Cookies with a simple holly decoration. Perfect for a Christmas party when things are busy!

www.sweetlavenderbakeshoppe.com Vanilla Bean Shortbread Cookies with a simple holly decoration.

Eggnog Truffles, smooth eggnog and white chocolate centers, would be perfect as a Christmas/hostess gift!

www.shugarysweets.com Eggnog Truffles, smooth eggnog and white chocolate centers.

Red Velvet Crinkle Cookies | Cooking Classy

www.cookingclassy.com Red Velvet Crinkle Cookies

How to Make Olaf Cookies

www.suzdaily.com Disney Olaf Cookies

Peppermint Meltaways Recipe

www.therecipecritic.com Peppermint Meltaways

www.sugarbelle.com Christmas Tutorial ~ Easy Poinsettia Cookie Platter

Recipe: Snowy Chocolate Pinecones (made from nutella and cereal) - so cool!

www.handmadecharlotte Snowy Chocolate Pinecones made from nutella and cereal.

Interior Design | How to Create a Designer Garland Reply

December 1st is here at last. . .

“Trim up the tree with Christmas stuff like bingle balls, and whofoo fluff. Trim up the town with goowho gums and bizilbix and wums. Trim every blessed window and trim every blessed door. Hang up whoboohoo bricks, then run out and get some more!”

Dr. Seuss is one of my favorite children’s author and the world’s most genius wordsmith (yes, I do believe he is). You may remember learning to read from some of his classics like, “Green Eggs and Ham” , “The Cat in The Hat” or “Oh, the Places You’ll Go!”, but my all time favorite has to be, “How the Grinch Stole Christmas”. It seems like yesterday when we couldn’t wait to watch the annual television presentation of “How the Grinch Stole Christmas”. I enjoyed watching every scene, singing every song, and following along with the script out loud! Even today, that green grumpy Grinch continues to be a part of my family’s Christmas tradition. I wonder, could it be that that’s where my passion for decorating for Christmas comes from…or as in Who-ville, it’s just because I like Christmas a lot!?

It’s clearly evident that I like Christmas a lot, and I look forward to decorating for the holiday inside and out. This year we are changing things up from our traditional white light decor to adding festive color and more, more, MORE! Sorry, I couldn’t resist adding that little “Seuss-rhyme”.  I’ve been designing 27′ of colorful lighted garlands and a new wreath for the front entry, and wanted to share with you how-to create your own designer garland. Although sharing an actual video would be nice, it’s only 5:30 a.m., 17 degrees out with snow on the ground, and I’m staying in my bathrobe . . . you’ll just have to bear with me while I use my words!

Step 1: Gather Your Garland Supplies

What you will need: Garland (artificial or fresh, with or without lights), floral wire, scissors, wire cutters, assortment of ornaments (non-breakable is best for storage), pine cones.

Step 2: Get Organized

If you are using wired artificial garland, stretch it out and fluff up the limbs to look natural before adding decorations.

20141129_064523

Sort ornaments by color, size, style and finish. I purchased a 70 piece variety set in red, green and gold for each 9′ garland.

20141129_064552

Step 3: Create Your Floral Picks (picks are items wired for attachment)

Wire up your pine cones. Cut a 8-10″ fine floral wire and wrap and secure by twisting around the base of the pine cone.  Layout your pine cones spacing them out using an odd number of cones (traditionally 3, 5, 7, 9, etc.). Attach wired pine cones to the garland when you are happy with the layout. Tip: Wear lightweight gloves when handling pine cones, they can be prickly and difficult to handle!

20141129_064647

20141129_064513

Organize ornaments into small groupings of 3. I like mixing different colors, styles and finishes to create my ornament picks.  Wire them together. Tip: You may have single ornaments left over that we will use later, go ahead add wire to them.

20141129_073000

20141129_072947

Step 4: Assemble the Garland

You should have all of the pine cones wired onto the garland before adding ornaments (see above). Begin adding the ornaments. Start with the largest ornaments making sure to space them out evenly along the garland length.  Remember to use odd numbers if possible. Tip: Layout your ornaments before wiring to garland. Once you are happy with the layout, go back and wire them in.

20141129_070514

Layout your sets of 3 ornaments next to the pine cones and large ornaments. Wire in when you are happy with the layout. Tip: Stagger the ornaments so you don’t end up with a straight line of color.

20141129_085148

Continue adding clusters and individual ornaments to open needy spaces on the garland.

20141129_102609

Fluff up the greenery for a more natural look.

20141129_085217

Congratulations. . .you are ready to deck the halls! Tip: If you are installing your garland outside and want to add ribbon, be sure to use wired ribbon appropriate for outdoor use.

I hope you enjoyed learning about my inspirational roots to Dr. Seuss and my passion for Christmas decor.  Whether you choose to decorate a little or a lot this holiday season, you can save significant money by building your own designer decorations such as garlands and wreaths*. Click here to learn how-to build a designer Christmas Wreath.

Well, it’s time to push back from the keyboard, get dressed, and hang our designer garland!  I want to leave you with one of my favorite lines from “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” that helps keep me grounded amongst the hustle and bustle of the season, “Christmas…It came without ribbons!… it came without tags!… it came without packages, boxes, or bags!”

Welcome Christmas, welcome indeed!

Corinne Gail

Interior Design | Happy Valentine’s Day… Reply

2014 Flowers

Have a wonderful Valentine’s Day!

Corinne Gail

Interior Design | Merry Christmas, and joyous holiday Greeting. . . Reply

Ma in her kerchief and pa in his cap, are just settling down for a long winter’s nap. . .Wishing you a very Merry Christmas and joyous holiday season!

600x470-Christmas-Tree-Fireplace-1024-127315Look for our featured Before and After projects segment coming soon!

Cheers!

Corinne Gail

Holiday Entertaining and Design | Our 12 Favorite Christmas Cookie Designs Reply

The stockings were hung by the chimney with care in hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there . . .  Be sure to set out a plate of cookies for Santa on Christmas Eve.  Here are our 12 Favorite Christmas Cookie Designs!

Pasta Princess and More

Pasta Princess and More

Lizy B Bakes.com

Lizy B Bakes.com

ChristmasCookies2

JeanneBenedict.com

JeanneBenedict.com

SheKnows.com

SheKnows.com

BigFatcook.com

BigFATcook.com

Cookies by Design.comCookies by Design.com

3857_Delicious-Christmas-cookies-in-the-shape-of-stars

BigFATcook.com

BigFATcook.com

Hungry Happenings: Betty Crocker Recipes

Hungry Happenings.com

YumSugar.comYumSugar.com

YumSugar.com

YumSugar.com

For the ambitious architect in all of us…what a beautiful Gingerbread castle!

Rollingout.com

Rollingout.com

Pretty cool, huh?  Happy baking to all, and to all a good night!

Tis’ the season. . .

Corinne Gail

*We do not receive compensation for products or services mentioned in this article.

Interior Design | Create a Designer Christmas Wreath 1

Deck the halls with boughs of holly…fa la la la la, la la la la!  Turkey day is over and now it’s time to embrace the warmth of the Christmas season.  Did you know designer wreaths cost upwards of $300?  And did you know that you can make your own designer wreath for a fraction of the cost?

Here is an easy to follow guide to help you create your own Designer Christmas Wreath.  Make one for your home, one for a friend, or donate one to a special family in need!

You will need a wreath, wreath decorations, wired ribbon, floral wire & tape, wire nippers and a hot glue gun. Visit your favorite local craft store or check out Michaels or Hobby Lobby for complete floral supplies.

How to 1

How to 2

Final Wreath1

Have fun creating your Designer Christmas Wreath! Send us your Christmas decor photos, we would love to see them.  Be sure to visit us on Pinterest for more fun and creative Christmas decor ideas!

Tis’ the season!

Corinne Gail

*We do not receive compensation for products or services mentioned in this article.

Design Soup| 2013 Thanksgiving Wine Selections 2

Over the past few weeks we have designed a beautiful Thanksgiving tablescape using burlap, set the perfect place setting, and created fancy folded napkins in preparation of our holiday feast.  This week we will be cooking up the most delicious Thanksgiving dinner for our family and friends, but you may be wondering which wine to serve with your menu.  Not a wine connoisseur? Not a problem.  We asked our friend and wine expert Adam Japko of Wine-Zag.com which wine selections he recommends for you!

Whether you pop the cork on a red wine, white wine or bubbly for your holiday feast, we hope that you will give at least one of these wonderful selections a try.

1) These Cabernets are moderately priced and great red wines for California wine lovers:

Liparita-and-Hoopes-e1382664309646

Photo courtesy of WineZag

2009 Liparita Oakville Cabernet Sauvignon, pleasantly mid weight with anise flavor. With medium tannins, the wine is a wonderfully elegant young California Cabernet.

2010 Hoopes Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon is a wine of greater richness, with deeper fruit.  It remains seamless wine with noticeably refreshing lines of acidity coming through as it begins to finish. The wine’s complexity intensifies with its step up in weight, making for a more familiar classic California Cabernet experience.

2009 Yountville Cabernet Sauvignon is the clear big brother of this set of wines. With deep purple color it delivers a big, fat palate impression. It will be a favorite for fans of the classically bold and more modern California Cabernets.

2) 2010 Copain Tous Ensemble, Mendocino County

copain 2010

2010 Copain Tous Ensumble from California, a delicious Syrah and bargain at $23.  A beautiful and gorgeous purple red color, sweet oak, and gorgeous floral notes.

3)  2010 Huet Clos du Bourg (Sec), Vouvray

2010 Clos Du Bourg

2010 Huet Clos du Bourg (Sec), Vouvray $32.This white wine is extremely versatile on the thanksgiving table because of its residual sugars and acidity while still being a semi dry wine.  And, that’s why I like it for Thanksgiving. Savory and sweet, no matter, this wine will stand up to all. I can not recommend this wine enough and am hard pressed imagining too many white wines for $32 that will provide as much stunning drinking pleasure.

* Veuve Clicquot Brut Yellow Label

veuve-clicquot-brut-l

Adding to Adam’s recommendations here . . . I wanted to sneak in one of my favorite champagnes, Veuve Clicquot Brut Yellow Label! This delicious bubbly is usually available in most local market places (Costco, World Market) with a moderate price point ~$49.  For those who like the bubbly, this is a festive addition to any holiday feast.

I am far from an expert in the wine world, but I do appreciate good wines and I would like to thank Adam for his expertise and sharing this year’s 2013 Thanksgiving Wine Selections with us today!

Be sure to check out Adam’s wine blog at Wine-Zag.com!

Which selection will you be serving at your Thanksgiving table?  Send us your Thanksgiving feast photos, we would love to see them.  Be sure to follow us on Pinterest for more fun and creative ideas!

Have a blessed Thanksgiving!

Corinne Gail

*We do not receive compensation for products or services mentioned in this article.

Design Soup | Impress Your Family with Napkin Folding 101 1

Last week you learned how to set the perfect Thanksgiving table.  This week it’s all about the details and how to impress your Thanksgiving guests with creative napkin folding 101! You can create the wonderful folds shown here using paper napkins as well, but for today we will focus on how to fold a formal cloth napkin for your holiday dinner guests.

First off let’s start with a little history. . .luv-a my history!  Did you know that cloth napkins first made their appearance sometime around the Renaissance?  Back then the napkin was more like the size of a table cloth that everyone used at the table while dining.  Over time the communal cloth (yuk! and not a pleasant visual I might add) was replaced with individual sized cloths we use today.  Who knew!?

With the evolution of the napkin also came etiquette rules and protocols, some you should be familiar with.

  • After you have been seated. Wait for your host to pick up and unfold the napkin before you do the same with yours.
  • Remove the napkin from your place setting, gently unfold it, you are not flagging cars in at the Daytona, and place it across your lap to protect your lap from spills.
  • If the napkin is larger than your lap, fold it so it just covers your lap.
  • Use the napkin to dab (a gentle touch or stroke) your mouth.
  • DO NOT blow your nose with your napkin! Gross, gross, gross! Who does that?! Please excuse yourself from the table to take care of your runny nose in private!!!
  • If you need to leave the table during the meal, place the napkin loosely folded on the table to the left of your plate, never on the seat for the simple reason if the napkin were soiled it could damage someone’s clothing or your host’s seat covering.
  • When you are done dining. . .again, place the loosely folded napkin to the left of your plate, never on the plate.

Now for the fun stuff . . .Napkin folding 101 from basic to complex.  I found this great website for step-by-step instructions on how to fold formal cloth napkins.  Check out www.napkinfoldingguide.com for more complete “how to” directions!

Basic Napkin Ring Stuffer by napkinfoldingguide.com

Basic Napkin Ring Stuffer

napkinfoldingguide.com

The Fan Fold

Bishops Hat Fold by napkinfoldingguide.com

Bishops Hat Fold

If you are a little more ambitious, try one of our favorite napkin folds found at MarthaStewart.com the Turkey Centerpiece!

Marthastewart.comMarthastewart.com

Although this creation will involve 3 napkins, aluminum foil and some time…it is an adorable display for any Thanksgiving table!

turkey napkin how to

Buzzfeed.com

We also enjoyed reading the post by Buzzfeed.com showcasing some really fun napkin folds you can do in minutes. . .Check them out!

Next week we will be serving up “The Perfect Wine for Your Holiday Dinner”.  Our friend Adam Japko of WineZag will be sharing with us his favorite Thanksgiving dinner wine selections! (more about Adam)

Send us your creative Thanksgiving napkin photos, we would love to see them.  Be sure to follow us on Pinterest for more fun and creative ideas!

Have a design dilemma?  Email us your questions, we would love to help…

Go fold something!

Corinne Gail

*We do not receive compensation for products or services mentioned in this article.

Design Soup | Set the Perfect Thanksgiving Table 2

Turkey, mashed potatoes, sweet potato casserole, homemade sweet rolls, relish tray, turkey gravy…my mouth is watering just thinking about our delicious Thanksgiving dinner!  The food will be fabulous and so will your table setting by following these tips on how to set the perfect Thanksgiving table.

brown tablesetting TG

Are you planning a formal or casual Thanksgiving gathering for friends and family?  Creating the perfect place setting doesn’t have to be confusing. . .

1. Space dinner plates about 2′ o.c. (on center) to allow for comfortable elbow room between guests.  Place bread and salad plates to the left and include a butter knife.

2. All glasses are placed on the right side of the plate, as well as coffee cups.

3. Silverware is placed 1″ from the edge of the table. Silverware should be placed in the order of use from the outside in towards the plate, first course such as salad to main course entree.

4. Forks should be placed to the left of the plate, knives and spoons to the right. Knives should be placed with the cutting edge towards the plate. Be sure all the handles line up!

5. Napkins should be cloth and placed to the left…follow us next week as we explore the art of napkin folding!

6. Optional if you have space for dessert silverware during dinner: Silverware for delicious pumpkin pie should be placed above the plate with the fork handle to the left and the spoon or knife handle to the right.

Here’s a simple cheat sheet to help you set the perfect place setting for any occasion.

Table-Setting-Layouts

Don’t miss next week’s blog…”Impress Your Family with Napkin Folding 101″.  We have some fun napkins you can learn to fold just in time for the holiday!

Send us your Thanksgiving table setting photos, we would love to see them.  Be sure to follow us on Pinterest for more fun and creative ideas!

Have a design dilemma?  Email us your questions, we would love to help…

Cheers,

Corinne Gail

*We do not receive compensation for products or services mentioned in this article.

Interior Design | Design a Thanksgiving Table with Burlap 7

Hard to believe we are talking holidays already with Thanksgiving just around the corner!  We are seeing lots and lots of burlap used in home accents from table tops to pillows and more. . .Take a look at a few beautiful burlap Thanksgiving tablescapes to help inspire your own holiday creations.

country livingthehighheeledhostess

From simplistic charm to elegant dining…burlap sets the perfect Thanksgiving stage.

confusions of a plate addict

Style your tablescape with burlap!

Burlap Table Runner with Fringe Edge

Burlap Table Runner with Fringe Edge

Design in Layers.  Layer your table with linens…Use a neutral table-cloth for the base.  This allows freedom to embellish the table top with many different textures, colors, and patterns.  Incorporate a burlap table runner to add a natural element and interesting texture to your tablescape.

PRO-1204445_Default_1_200x200cooper paisley napkin

Sur la table

Accents are key. Select cloth napkins that add a festive pop of color and pattern.

Sur la table

Sur la table

Purchasing a set of themed salad plates to coordinate with your existing place settings is an inexpensive way to add holiday charm.

Sur la Table

Sur la table

We are loving these Fall themed set of spreaders!

Corinne Gail Interior Design

Corinne Gail Interior Design

Don’t be afraid to mix & match plate shapes, colors and styles!

vintageprettypearl.blogs

vintageprettypearl.blogs

Finishing touches. The most beautiful tablescapes incorporate nature.  Include seasonal fruits, plants and flowers and a couple of candles into your table centerpiece!

InJoy designing with burlap.  Send us your photos, we would love to see them.  Be sure to follow us on Pinterest for more fun and creative ideas!

Have a design dilemma?  Email us your questions, we would love to help…

Cheers,

Corinne Gail

*We do not receive compensation for products or services mentioned in this article.