Food Ideas for Valentine’s Day

I love creativity, especially when it comes to

food design ideas during the holidays!

The following are some creative ideas I found on the internet and Pinterest, for Valentine’s Day.

They inspired me so I’m sharing them with you… 

Enjoy the Creativity!

EILEEN

2814818487426916_QNY20VSb_b

Red ice cubes in a white drink, or…

valentine-drink2

white ice cubes in a red drink?
Either way, it’s heartfelt! LOL

add a marble for heart shaped valentine cupcakes

Add marble before filling to create heart-shaped cupcakes

val cocoa

Cocoa with Marshmallow Heart –
cut from the large Kraft
s’mores marshmallows

courtesy of Bakarella

cookies

Cut slit in cookie prior to baking

cinnamon-hearts

Cinnamon Hearts made from slices of refrigated cinnamon rolls

courtesy of Land o Lakes

courtesy of Land o Lakes

heart eggs

My kind of breakfast!

pizza in heart shape

pizza hearts

Valentine's Day Recipe - Salad with tomato hearts

Valentine's Day Recipe - making heart tomatoes

Directions for making heart-shaped tomato

vday-cookies-sm425x270

FUDGIES_COMPLETE_CLOSE

These are mine!
Look for the simple, easy directions
under my RECIPE tab.

val fruit

val day fruit

plate

Advertisements

Cozy New Year’s Eve Dinner Party (at home)

[As always, click on any photo for a larger view]

A few years ago, my hubby and I decided to start celebrating New Year’s Eve at home…. just the 2 of us.  But, instead of eating our dinner in the kitchen, I decided to create the feel of a cozy restaurant by placing a small table in front of the fireplace and Christmas tree in the Living Room…  the perfect setting for a romantic evening for two.  The dinner, decor & party favor ideas I created this year could also be used for a party of more than 2, so I’m sharing in case you’re up for an easy-to-do celebration!

PARTY FAVORS

These were soooo easy to create!   Collect empty toilet paper or paper towel rolls, to wrap, using gold, black or silver paper (it’s ok to use leftover holiday paper if it matches your color scheme), ribbon, candy, party confetti, scratch-off lottery tickets and create a personalized horoscope for each person attending (copy these from the internet & remember to keep it positive! LOL)…
s_cracker ingreds
Cut a length of gift wrap wide enough to wrap completely around the empty paper roll (I used toilet paper rolls) and 2 inches longer on each end…

s_cracker roll up

Roll up the toilet paper roll in the paper and tape closed…

s_cracker_rolled

Squish (technical term, in case you were wondering) one end and tie it closed with ribbon so you can fill the tube…

s_cracker_ribbon curled

Place inside: a scratch-off lottery ticket, the recipient’s personal horoscope (according to their Zodiac sign), a bit of the confetti & candy in the other (open) end…

s_cracker_insert ingreds

s_cracker_inside

Squish the remaining end & tie it closed with curled ribbon also.  Add self-adhesive, glittered letters to the outside, spelling out each of your guest’s names, making it easier to hand them the correct horoscope.  And if you find that some of your guests have longer names, you may want to go with their initials/monogram instead (both options show below)…

s_crackers_done

PARTY PLATES!

At Target, I found some plastic black plates (under $2.00 each) & a package of 8 clear plates for around $3.00.  I placed self-adhesive, number stickers (representing the incoming year – 2013) and some silver, mylar confetti in the center of the black plate.  Then, I turned the black plate into a charger by covering it with one of the clear plastic plates.  I held the clear plate in place using 4 glue dots…

plate assembly

HELPFUL HINT:  I love this idea because, next year, I can simply peel off the last number (3) and add the new number (4) and place a fresh clear plate on top to recycle the whole look!
And just look at how great these inexpensive items look on my cozy New Year’s table…

s_plate on table

My Christmas tree and fireplace garland was super easy to transition into a look for New Year’s because of the color combination and theme I chose this year.  So, if you’re planning a New Year’s gathering, keep that in mind when you’re decorating for Christmas.
To turn my Christmas decorations into a”New Year’s” feel, I removed: the Christmas tree candles & SEASONS GREETINGS sign from the mantle.  I added: more candles, New Year Party Hats, a “2013” I drew & cut out of a small piece of foam core board & painted gold, a few “Happy New Year” plastic light covers (to the wreath & garland) and floated 4 gold balloons on black ribbon in front of the fireplace, covering the balloon weights with gold, mylar basket shred from the Dollar Tree…

s_table best

s_balloons base

HELPFUL HINT:  If you can’t afford or don’t have time to get your balloons filled with helium, use packing tape (rolled into a circle so it will stick to the back of your balloon and a 2nd, flat surface) to keep a balloon, in place, making it appear to be floating!
To the Christmas tree, I added black, gold and silver horn cardboard blowers, a few of the “Happy New Year” plastic light covers and some cool clock ornaments I found a few years ago.  HELPFUL HINT:  Clock ornaments are in stores every year, so keep an eye out for them.  You will only need to purchase around 7 clock theme ornaments to add a New Year feel to your tree.

s_tree top

So, on a small OR large-scale… enjoy your party!

Wishing you a safe and HAPPY NEW YEAR

 and thank you for your support of THE SEASONAL HOME,

Eileen

s_full_best

2012 Christmas Holiday Home Tour Video

Our 2012 Holiday Home Musical Video is ready to provide you with some inspirational holiday spirit! 

Click below, to view:

If you’d like to watch it in HIGH DEFINITION QUALITY, click on the “GEAR” icon (this will appear in the black bar once you hit the PLAY button) and then, click on 720p.

Don’t forget to turn up your speakers, fix a cup of cocoa, put your feet up to…

Enjoy the Creativity!

MERRY CHRISTMAS

Eileen

My sincerest thanks to the talented Production Staff at THEM FEELINGS MULTIMEDIA for creating our video each & every year, simply to support a small business!

CHRISTMAS 2012 – the year of the New Puppy!

[As always, click on any photo to enjoy a larger view]

Christmas decorating at The Seasonal Home had to go in a slightly different direction for 2012, thanks to the addition of a new family member.  Meet Miss Lilly Grace, who sometimes looks more like a Teddy Bear…

    

She’s a very sweet girl who didn’t mind posing for her holiday photo…

And just this week, those cute little puppy ears turned upward (to help her listen for Santa!) and I think she looks more like a fox…

Whatever our little girl turns out to be, because she can get into things (as most puppies do), I had to out-fox her by creating some clever holiday decor.  So, if you have a new, young one around this Christmas, whether on 2 or 4 legs, I hope my ideas help you out too!  Also in this blog post, you’ll find unique & budget-friendly decorating ideas as well as DIY tutorials, so make yourself a cup of cocoa and enjoy the creativity!

THE FRONT PORCH

Because I created such a large display last year (click HERE to review), I chose to keep things simple outside, utilizing my trusty footed urns (you’ve seen these before! lol) again to hold natural, preserved wreaths, with a large red ornament in the middle of each.  The berry garland is actually 3 separate (4-foot) pieces.  HELPFUL HINT: attaching several smaller (less expensive) lengths together is easier than trying to find one, (expensive) long berry garland:

I found myself in a “Holly and Berries” mood, this year and it began with my outdoor bench.  HELPFUL HINTS:  Don’t hesitate to decorate outdoor furniture with garland (adding lights too!)  because it welcomes your guests with the “unexpected”.  And the mossy gift (on the bench seat) is simply a white box that I covered in moss, using glue… easy!

I love my Goat Cart!  And it turned out to be a great investment because it holds larger decorations, for every season!  Also, I’ve used it in my garden, yard and now, on my front porch.  How versatile is that?!! 🙂

The final front porch touch is an old sled I display every year (found years ago, at a local yard sale… in FLORIDA, no less! lol).  I usually add a “PLEASE SNOW” sign to it, but I think I’ve finally given up on that dream and added holly, berries and a skate to it instead.  In Florida, we CAN do ice! 😉

THE FOYER

The Holly and Berries snuck right in the front door and laid out beautifully in the Foyer also…. welcoming Christmas, with a little help from Santa, of course!

And here’s where the “clever” part comes in, for the first time.  Anyone who’s been a fan of The Seasonal Home for a while is probably familiar with the 2-tiered table that is usually in the foyer.  Knowing that a puppy (or child) could easily AND quickly clear off a shelf of easy-to-reach decorations, my idea was to temporarily shuffle some of my accent tables to new locations (in the home) for the season.  Check out how nicely a cabinet from the kitchen also fits under the mirror in the foyer!

THE LIVING ROOM

The Living Room is where the first tree went in The Seasonal Home.  I knew any tree I displayed would need to be elevated (out-of-the-way) to keep our little pup safe, so the unique & inexpensive idea I came up with is a Drum Stand tree base!  The total cost to make this was around $20 and here’s the DIY instructions:

CLICK on photo to better view the instruction details

I chose a color theme of black & gold along with frosty and musical (under the stars) accents.  If you look closely (at the tree below), you’ll see that I recycled the black branches from Halloween 2012, adding them into the tree for texture.  I also reused 2 silver drums from Christmas 2010 by cutting & adding a length of the black & gold reindeer gift wrap (used on the drum tree stand) and gold cord (to hide the gift wrap edge) so they coordinate, when added to the tree.

It’s so hard to find large, quality glass ornaments in black! Check out Seasons on the Web link (right hand column of this blog) to check out their huge ornament inventory!

And here’s the rest of the room!

HELPFUL HINT: boxes, gift wrapped in coordinating paper & ribbon make an inexpensive room accent for the holidays!

THE FAMILY ROOM

In the Family Room, I couldn’t place too many decorations or snow on The Seasonal Home hearth because of our new pup and her thieving ways.  And because she thinks she can carry away just about ANYTHING in her tiny mouth, I had to be sure I used something too large for her to consider… these lighted, faux gifts appear to be just perfect… so far!  (lol)

And here’s the rest of the Family Room

I’m starting to notice a “puppy” theme in this room (LOL)

And I simply can’t let a Christmas go by without highlighting a series of my ornaments, like these (Hallmark Windows Series) that feature children peeking into shop windows at Christmas time.  A cabinet or sideboard (with shelves) is the perfect place to display a collection.  HELPFUL HINT:  If you also have a collection of ornaments, consider trying something new by displaying them together (for maximum impact) instead of spreading them around the tree… it’s incredibly fun!

Here’s some close-ups so you can see how much fun adding small details (like snow & trees) can create!

THE KITCHEN

Another Christmas tree to be elevated!  And, of course, it should also make sense with the theme I chose –  Snowmen and Holiday Sweets to create the Frosty Sweet Shop!

I was inspired by a $500 Cupcake (themed) tree stand I saw at my holiday wholesaler.  Although it was beautiful, the cost to make mine was only $10.

Here’s the directions:

Once you place the Cupcake liner around your basket, it’s time to add frosting.  Lightly spray-paint polyester fiber fill (comes in a plastic bag at craft & discount box stores) and shape like frosting dripping over the edge of the Cupcake liner.  I used a light pink color of spray paint.  Finally, add small (matte or glitter-finish) ornaments to the fiber fill to create a look of candy sprinkles on the frosting.  I found a pick of several glittered ornaments at Target for only $2.00 and because each one was already on a piece of wire, it was easy to slip them into the fiber fill batting, individually.

And here’s the finished look –

The rest of the room –

HELPFUL HINT: Large foam snowflakes (Dollar Tree) make great winter-theme placemats!

HELPFUL HINT: the 6″ plastic snowflakes I found at the Dollar Tree this year fit perfectly into the chandelier to create instant ice-bling!

Light and motion collectible house by Department 56

KIRKLAND’S has wonderful holiday art… this one lights up!

HELPFUL HINT: Use holiday cards to help you decorate inexpensively! I used 3 inside the openings of this photo display & coordinated a little scene below them.

You’ll find even more details and decorations in this year’s HOLIDAY TOUR on YouTube… here’s the link:

Enjoy the Creativity!

Eileen

SPRING, in the Recycled Garden!

GARDEN FOCAL POINT! One day, I realized that the corner of my yard simply looked boring, so I started looking around for something to hang from a large oak tree limb that protrudes over this area.  While shopping at a country store, I found a vintage farm house window, they were selling for a very reasonable price.  I brought it home & hung it from the tree limb on metal chains, using s-hooks to connect the chain to the existing window hinges.  I always feel good when I recycle things, but it is a HUGE bonus when it looks so great.  My new window not only turned out to be a superb focal point that brightened up a bland corner of my yard, but it has also proved to be a unique conversation starter for friends & family who visit.  I like to call it my very own “window to the world!”

LAYER YOUR GREENS! If you happen to have an old, outdoor container that is no longer able to be used for its original purpose (see my old birdbath in photo at right), please don’t throw it out… RECYCLE IT!  Whether it’s a clay pot or birdbath that’s developed a hole or a rusty wheelbarrow, simply use it to add another layer to a garden display.  In my back garden, I needed a display with some height, so I added a clay pot to the center of my old birdbath.  Then, I filled both the inside of the clay pot and the surrounding area (in the birdbath) with dirt.  I planted flowers that grow vertically inside the clay pot and creeping flowers that love to dangle in the remaining birdbath area.  Don’t forget to water frequently (especially after first planting your new display) and cover the soil with mulch to keep moisture from evaporating too quickly.

Alternative Ideas: Fill a large clay pot 2/3 full with soil & place a medium clay pot in the center of that.  Then, fill the medium pot 2/3 full with soil & place a small clay pot in the center of that.  Fill all 3 pots with strawberry plants or an herb garden.  There’s simply nothing better than fresh mint in your iced tea or fresh oregano in your spagetti sauce, especially when you’ve grown it yourself!