Stocking Stuffers.

I’m participating in my blogger-buddy Jaime’s annual stocking series this week, and am sharing some of my stocking-stuffer wishlist. Click over to La Vie J’aime to find out what’s on my list!

jinglebells-stocking

All wrapped up.

Wrapping gifts were an Olympic sport, I’m pretty sure I’d be selected to represent my country. I went on a wrapping bonanza this weekend and taped up, tied, and adorned packages for hours. Every year I pick a color palette so my gifts have a ‘theme’ and this year I decided to pick some classic colors — lots of reds and whites, with touches of kraft paper and Christmas greens. I got great papers at Target (the fair isle print is from the dollar-bin, and chevron is from the regular wrapping section!), and added in some accent papers from Paper Source (the wood grain) and TJ Maxx (the plaid — that I’m in love with!). And I mixed up the ribbons with a combination of bakers twines and leftover silk ribbons from years past. I’m so happy how they all look together!

DomestiKatedLife Christmas Wrapping 1 DomestiKatedLife Christmas Wrapping 2 DomestiKatedLife Christmas Wrapping 3

The Blogger Bellini.

I shared my brie and jam pinwheel bites last week from my friend Elizabeth‘s blogger holiday party, and realized I hadn’t yet shared the cocktail recipe we used for the event (brie and pastry dough are delicious, but they’re nothing without a tasty cocktail to wash them down with!). Elizabeth decorated stemless wine glasses with metallic gold dots that looked like sparkly little bubbles, so of course we had to fill them with something bubbly! We added to each glass about an ounce each of pomegranate juice and Grand Marnier signature collection liquor (it’s raspberry and peach flavored, holy yum.), and then filled the rest of the glasses with champagne — and of course, gave them a swirl with a tinsel-topped drink stirrer. I didn’t have a name picked out for this concoction just yet, and one of my fellow bloggers said, I think you should call it the Blogger Bellini! I’ll cheers to that.

Blogger Bellini 1 Blogger Bellini 2 Blogger Bellini 3

Scenes from the weekend.

I dove head first into holiday festiveness this weekend. I finished my Christmas shopping and set up what looked like Santa’s workshop in my kitchen to wrap up all of my gifts. I addressed and mailed out a huge stack of Christmas cards. And celebrated the holidays with all of my best friends with perhaps one too many glasses of champagne on Saturday night, followed by a very chilly home through a snowstorm. If that whirlwind of holiday cheer didn’t get me into the Christmas spirit, I don’t know what else would! And now I’m cruising through the work week and counting down to some much-needed time off to close out the year. photo 1 (3) photo

Brie and Jam Pinwheel Bites.

I got such great feedback a few weeks back about my 3-ingredient appetizer idea  that I decided to try another combination for a little blogger holiday party thrown by my friend Elizabeth this weekend. And for this little snack I chose one my all time favorite cheese, a creamy french brie… yum. I rolled out thawed puff pastry dough (store bought, from the frozen food section!) and spread a thin layer of strawberry jam across the surface, and spaced out the slices of cheese.  Then I rolled the dough over the ingredients and sealed off the edges before cutting it into pinwheel slices. I baked the pinwheels — on baking sheet with a light mist of cooking spray — for about 12 minutes at 400 degrees. Let them cool a bit before removing them from the baking sheet so all of the cheese doesn’t ooze out — you don’t want any of that going to waste! I think this is going to be a new entertaining staple, it took about 5 minutes of prep time and they flew off the plate! Brie and Jam Pinwheels 1 Brie and Jam Pinwheels 2 Brie and Jam Pinwheels 3 Brie and Jam Pinwheels 4 Brie and Jam Pinwheels 5 Brie and Jam Pinwheels 6

Christmas Decorations.

I am totally behind and haven’t brought out a single holiday decoration at my house yet this year. That has to change this weekend, I’m in the market for a cute little apartment sized tree that I plan to wrap up with vintage tinsel and big twinkly bulb lights. But in the meantime, I’m adding a little festive flair to the blog today and rounding up a few of the Christmas decorations I have my eye on! Have you started decorating yet?
CHristmas Decoratoins

Mistletoe print | Pom-Pom Garland | Cheers Tumblers | Holiday Cards | Glitter Ornament | Deer Wine Stopper | Christmas Napkins | Macaron Ornament | Donut Ornament

DIY Holidays: Painted Cork Coasters.

I hate to play favorites, but I think I saved the best handmade holiday gift idea for last this week — painted cork coasters. Using plain cork coasters, I painted stripes and color blocks in pink, teal, and gold, and then finished off the top of them with a matte sealer to keep them waterproof. You could play around with color combinations that match your gift recipients’ home and style to make a customized gift, and pair them with their favorite wine or spirit. Are you trying any homemade gifts this year?

Cork Coaster 1 Cork Coaster 2 Cork Coaster 3

Looking for more DIY present ideas? Check them out here.

DIY Holidays: Cran-Apple Simple Syrup.

This is a DIY gift that I can nearly guarantee anyone would love to receive, homemade simple syrups. Sometimes I wonder, do they call it simple syrup because it’s so simple to make? I think they might!  I used this recipe, and added  apples for my own twist. Then I packaged it up in mini-mason jars and labeled the tops with brown craft paper, bakers twine, and recipe tags. Experiment with flavors and come up with your own mixture (I’ve used this recipe before too) — it’ll make your gift even more unique when you give it your own spin!

Cran-Apple Simple Syrup 1 Cran-Apple Simple Syrup2 Cran-Apple Simple Syrup3 Cran-Apple Simple Syrup4 Cran-Apple Simple Syrup5

Looking for more DIY present ideas? Check them out here.

DIY Holidays: Kitchen Spoon Set.

Today’s handmade holiday idea is all about creating a simple hostess gift. I purchased a few different sizes of  wooden spoons, and taped off stripes at various intervals with painter’s tape, and then painted in the lines with black paint. After the paint thoroughly dried, I peeled back the tape to reveal the pretty stripes. Make sure you add a matte coat of clear finish over the top so that they’re safe to hand-wash.  And of course, presentation is everything — I wrapped the set up in a  shiny silk ribbon to make them gift-giving-ready!

DIY Spoon Set 1 DIY Spoon Set 2 DIY Spoon Set 3 DIY Spoon Set 4

Looking for more DIY present ideas? Check them out here.

DIY Holidays: Rhinestone Ornaments.

Ready for another simple handmade holiday gift? This is another under-5-minutes DIY — glittery rhinestone filled ornaments. To make these, I purchased clear ornaments from my local craft store, and filled them up with rhinestones in various colors, shapes and sizes. Then I added a bright pink silk ribbon to the top for hanging. While I sort of want to keep these shiny little decorations for myself, I think they’d make a great gift for your girlfriends, customized in colors to match their style. Or tie a few onto a wrapped present as a special decoration that the recipient can add to their tree!

Rhinestone Ornament 1 Rhinestone Ornament 2 Processed with VSCOcam

Looking for more DIY present ideas? Check them out here.

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