Be Rosy is about my adventures, ideas, and tips on the three topics that ignite me: unique, out of this world events; home décor and organization; and healthy, happy living. Need a little help from an event expert? Click here to learn how Rosy Events can help.
While “avoiding procrastination”, I ran across this slideshow highlighting random, un-ball like items dropped to ring in the new year. As it turns out, having a NYE ball drop is soooo 1907. Note: per America’s food obsession, every item on the list is edible. (Way to get creative, folks.) Seriously though, if Lebanon, PA can drop a 200 lb bologna anything is possible.
Then I thought to myself, what an awesome idea for an annual NYE party! Every year, select something new to drop and watch your guests squeal with delight as they realize what’s going down at midnight. Leftover Christmas turkey? Drop it. Craft project gone awry? Drop it. Positive pregnancy test?!?! Drop it.
I’ve included these personally drawn drop installation instructions above just for you. If you really want to have some fun, hide your item and have a “Guess the Drop” game.
When the clock strikes midnight, you have two choices: elegantly lower your ball to the ground or let ‘er rip and enjoy the destruction that follows.
Can’t decide? Don’t worry, we have a whole year to get ready for this one. In which case, I should probably wait to get started and take a quick nap instead. (DOH!)
I adore holiday cards. They make me feel all warm and fuzzy. Plus, it’s nice to find something besides junk mail in the mailbox for a few weeks a year.
Now a days, photo cards seem to be the standard. And as much as I love seeing pictures of your child/dog/cat/vacation, I really appreciate the simple beauty of a traditional holiday card. I find myself hoarding these tokens of Christmas past because they’re just too pretty to throw away.
Last year, I thought ahead and packed them away with all the holiday wrapping stuff. When I pulled them out, I was reminded of how my mom always reused last years holiday cards as this year’s gift tags. It’s such a simple way to upcycle and adds a unique touch to your gifts.
I used three methods to create these tags.
- The Old Fashioned Circle Punch – Otherwise known as tracing the rim of a glass over the picture and cutting it out. (Yes, by hand.)
- The New Age Circle Punches – I wouldn’t go less than a 2″ diameter unless you are just trying to dress up a plain package with a fun dot pattern. (Hmmm, what a great idea…)
- Fiskar’s Rotary Cutter – Every house should have one of these. I can’t tell you how many weddings in which this thing has been a vital tool. It should get an honorary bridesmaid dress.
The cards can be cut to any shape you like, as long as there is an area on which you can write the recipient’s name. Alternatively, if the back of the tag is blank you can write the name there and attach the tag to a ribbon on your package.
Believe it or not, it is actually a fun task to sit down with your cards & tools, revisit last year’s wishes, and prep for the impending holiday season.
Do you use an unusual item or technique in your holiday gift wrapping? I’d love to hear about it!
Why? Because it’s the holidays and they’re festive and they’re really, really cheap. Plus, if I fill our candy bowl with them instead of chocolate maybe we can avoid at least one of the five pounds the average american gains this time of year. Because let’s face it… “I just can’t stop eating these mints,” said no one ever.
Last year, I decided to put all the mint candies to good use and make Christmas centerpieces out of them. This year, my super talented friend Jenny over at BOOK Event Design used them to make an awesome wreath. And that got me to thinking. What else can we do with these forever left behind candies?
Well here it is. Your very minty DIY round-up!
Candy Cane Holiday Vases from Be Rosy
This was a super easy project. After unwrapping all your mints, grab your glue gun and go to town. When the vase is entirely covered, seal it with a crystal clear acrylic spray. (I learned the hard way that the mints get sticky and can “sweat.”) Then, finish it off with some fun ribbon.
To create the super full floral look, cut floral foam to fit your vase and start sticking flowers in. I also added taper candles to give the room a warm glow.
Peppermint Wreath from BOOK
Check out BOOK’s blog for a tutorial on this project. The amazing Jenny Gailey, the lady behind BOOK and this awesome wreath, is one of my favorite people with whom I collaborate.
Peppermint Tray from Tutto Bello
Candy Cane Sign Holders from Industrious Genius
Emily at Industrious Genius came up with this clever idea. These are perfect for table place cards or menu cards for your buffet. Or you could use larger candy canes and display some of your favorite Christmas cards or pictures with Santa.
Candy Cane Sleighs from Ellyn’s Place
What a clever way to make a bunch of candy a super fun gift. There’s a great tutorial over at Ellyn’s Place on the whole project. They’d make perfect gifts for teachers, the mailman, newspaper deliverer, etc.
Peppermint Martinis from Martie Knows
I’m thrilled to be going home for Christmas for the first time in nearly five years. I am NOT thrilled that Matt and I will be sharing a room with my seven-year-old niece and nephew because my sister lost her mind and had four children (not necessarily in that order), and her two-year-old requires her very own bedroom. Of course, as long as the fixings for this peppermint martini are behind the bar, I’m sure we’ll survive it. (Ahem, ahem, Mom…)
Everyone needs a little TLC after the holidays. Winter leaves our skin feeling like an alligator’s without the bonus of basking in the sun for hours. My homemade Vanilla Brown Sugar Scrub (recipe below) does the trick to get me feeling like it’s all going to be ok. The sun WILL come out
tomorrow in May.
To spread the love, I decided to make a big batch for some of the ladies in my life. Throw in a pair of warm, cozy socks and a bottle of nail polish and you look like the smartest, most thoughtful, soft-skinned girl on the block.
I was stoked to find the adorable bag tag available for download on Our Best Bites. Using the same colors, I made coordinating labels for the sugar scrub. You can download the sugar scrub labels here. Happy holidays to you!
Vanilla Brown Sugar Scrub
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 cups unpacked brown sugar
- 1 cup oil (Any type of oil will do. However, I recommend not using olive oil though since the scent is little strong.)
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- Vitamin E – optional (it works well to just break into a capsule of vitamin E and dump it out)
It is SO hard to shop for men. Power tools, Best Buy gift certificates, dress shirts… Boooooooooooring.
I was racking my brain for the right gift for my many brothers (biological, in-laws, and step-in-laws). And then it happened.
Mindlessly scrolling through pinterest, I happened upon this geniusness. And all my brother gift problems were solved. Reinbeers.
Believe it or not, the hardest part of making this gift is the antlers. Mainly because pipe cleaners, with their super pointy ends, super annoy me. The googly eyes and pom noses went right on with your basic Elmer’s school glue.
I added a wide ribbon around the elegant six-pack sleigh and plan to tuck in little manly treasures such as lottery scratch-off tickets, fast food gift cards, and beef jerky.
Voila, an out-of-the-box gift for any man in your life. Be sure to check back next week for my DIY gift for the ladies. As much as I wanted to, I held back from creating winedeers. 🙂
One Dough, Six Cookies, All Smiles!
I won’t be baking cookies this holiday season. Between moving into a new house, cramping hands from screwing together IKEA furniture, and not having another weekend in town until January, I feel completely justified with this decision.
At least I did before I got this email from my local grocer telling me that I could make FOUR types of cookies with a single dough recipe. Then I got to thinking and came up with TWO MORE TYPES OF COOKIES you can make with this dough. That’s SIX cookies with one dough. How could I pass that up?
Disclaimer: Because I’m short on time, I only tested the two cookies I came up with – Rosy Rudolphs and Reindeer Nipples. (Yes, you read that right… I said reindeer nipples.) But I can tell you without fear that these cookies are AMAZING. So amazing, that I had two for breakfast while photographing them and don’t even feel guilty about it.
What am I waiting for? On to the recipes!!!
Variations on a Dough
Super Duper Chocolate Cookie Base Dough
Makes about 40 cookies
- 10 oz. chopped semi-sweet chocolate (Tip: Save yourself some money and chopping time and just pick up a bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips.)
- 2 ounces chopped unsweetened chocolate
- 1/4 cup butter
- 3 eggs
- 1 cup sugar
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Parchment paper
- Melt chocolates and butter in a double boiler over low heat or in thirty-second intervals in the microwave, stirring often.
- When mixture is melted and smooth, put aside and let cool for 5 minutes.
- Add eggs and sugar, whisking mixture until combined. Then stir in remaining dry ingredients. (I used my handy, dandy mixer for this step and it was super easy.)
- Decide which variation you are making and make additions to dough if needed, then cover and refrigerate for at least two hours.
- When ready to bake, remove the dough from the fridge for about 15 minutes while you preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Roll about 1 tablespoon portions of dough into balls using your hands and arrange about 1-2 inches apart on baking sheet. (If making Peanut Butter Volcanoes or Rudolphs, see instructions for added step here.)
- Bake 8-10 minutes and let cool.
- Roll dough as directed above.
- Using your thumb, make a well in the center of each cookie ball then bake as directed above.
- Once cooled, fill a plastic bag with peanut butter and squeeze into a bottom corner of the bag creating a cone shape. Cut the corner of the bag to create a tip and squeeze out to fill each well with peanut butter.
- Sprinkle the top of each cookie with chopped peanuts, coconut, chocolate sprinkles or any other topping you like.
ROSY RUDOLPH COOKIES
- Follow the directions above for Peanut Butter Volcanoes, but make the cookies slightly larger.
- Once you’ve filled the cookies with peanut butter, top with 3 holiday M&M’s (two eyes and a red nose) and pretzel antlers. To make the antlers, I used Snyder’s Butter Snap Pretzels, breaking each square in half on the diagonal.
- Roll dough into balls as directed in original recipe.
- Pour some additional sugar into a small bowl and roll each ball in the sugar until covered with a light dusting.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 8 minutes on a parchment lined baking sheet.
- While the cookies are baking, unwrap enough Candy Cane Hershey Kisses to have one for each cookie.
- Immediately after removing the cookies from the oven place a Kiss on each cookie.
REVERSE CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES
- Add in approximately 1 cup white chocolate baking pieces or chips before chilling dough.
- Bake as directed.
HAZELNUTS ABOUT CHOCOLATE COOKIES
- Bake cookies as directed in original recipe and let cool.
- Spread the bottom of one cookie with Nutella or other hazelnut chocolate spread.
- Top with another cookie to create a sandwich.
MINT IN YOUR MOUTH COOKIES
- Bake cookies as directed in original recipe and let cool.
- Make peppermint filling by mixing 3 cups powdered sugar, 4 tablespoons milk, and 3/4 teaspoon peppermint extract until smooth.
- Top the bottom of one cookie with a heaping tablespoon of the filling mixture.
- Place a second cookie on top to create a sandwich and gently squeeze the cookies together to push the filling to the edge.
- Crush approximately 2 cups candy canes or starlite mints. (I like using a hammer and a plastic bag. It helps get out the holiday frustrations.)
- Roll the edges of the cookies in the crushed mints to cover.
Even though it feels like the end of the world in our new house full of moving boxes and chaos, the Mayans predicted the world won’t end for at least another two weeks.
And I think that’s just enough time to plan an awesome apocalypse party.
Depending on your general level of optimism, you can decide to throw either an “end of the world” party OR a “beginning of a new era” party. Since I tend to err on the practical side, I’m going total doomsday.
Mayan Apocalypse Celebration: Don’t go down without a party.
Make your dress code doomsday chic. Encourage guests to wear what they’d select if in fact, the world was ending. You know, just in case. Which end of the spectrum do you think your guests will end up on – protective or super fab?
For decor, play off the rich colors of mayan textiles, the square stacking patterns of their temples (I’m thinking square cupcake stands for serving platters), and the earthy tones of hand-woven baskets. If you’re having trouble getting inspired, don’t worry. Party city has you covered.
Create a balloon garland by stringing a needle through the tied end of each balloon. But, before blowing up the balloons, slip a “fate” into each one. Everyone gets to pop a balloon and find out their post-apocalyptic future!
Center your menu around traditional Mayan staples- corn, squash, beans, and chile. Make a fun taco bar using corn tortillas and creative ingredients and toppings. Or serve a hearty, mexican style chili with tortilla chips to keep your guests warm and well fed in case of emergency. (Tip: Make it in the crock-pot so you don’t spend your last few hours on earth stuck in the kitchen.)
For dessert, you’re in luck. The Mayans are believed to be the first people to have cultivated the cacao plant. Consider chocolate fondue served with pineapple and strawberries. If you’re feeling adventurous, whip up a chocolate volcano/lava cake. I absolutely adore this chocolate flood cake from duhlicious.com.
Be sure you keep your bar stocked with plenty of libations. This mexican coffee recipe will keep your guests celebrating well after midnight. Afterall, at least if the world ends you won’t wake up with a hangover.
And finally, what’s a doomsday celebration without depressing music. Emo and country music are obvious choices, along with REM’s “It’s the End of the World as We Know It” and Billy Joel’s “We Didn’t Start the Fire.” Be sure to mix in some fun mexican tunes to keep the mood up.
If you’re doing something special on the 21st, I’d love to hear about it! Leave me a comment below.
I’ve got some good news and I’ve got some bad news.
First, the GOOD news.
And this is BIG, HUGE, HOUSE-SIZED NEWS. As of next Tuesday, we will be the proud owners of our very own 25’X125′ lot of Chicago real estate on which sits a quaint, blue house! Then the magic moving fairy will descend upon our (final!) apartment and briskly transfer our belongings to the new home.
That’s how moving works, right? Wait, you mean I have to pack, move, clean the new house, and the old apartment in only four days?!?! But it’s the Holidays. And Matt has to work. And I have two, count ’em, TWO jobs! AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!
So that brings us to the bad news. As a result of this move (and the AWESOME family wedding I’m a part of in Cleveland next Saturday), I’ll be taking some time off from regular posting for a while. I apologize to the 150 of you (on a really good day) who read this blog. But don’t fret, I will be posting. It just won’t be the regular Monday/Wednesday/Friday schedule.
If you want to make sure you catch my intermittent posts while I’m on break, “like” the Be Rosy & Rosy Events Facebook page. I’ll be sure to share post announcements there. Or, if you never want to miss a post (and who on earth would?), follow my blog using the form/button in the right sidebar.
I am beyond excited to introduce you all to our NEW HOME and share my adventures in home owning, design, and organization. I have a feeling there will be no shortage of content for a while.
Oh, and HAPPY THANKSGIVING! Gobble, gobble!
For many of us Thanksgiving is more than just a time to reflect on the things for which we’re thankful. It’s a time for EXCESS. However, is it really necessary to bake THREE pies just so everyone can tell you they want juuuust a sliver of each one???
This, my friends, is your solution – a tiny little apple pie bite! And you don’t even have to cut them!
Easy Caramel Apple Pie Bites
I thought they’d be a great, unexpected Thanksgiving dessert. Then it occurred to me, these don’t look like they travel very well. I mean, apples have a tendency of, you know, turning BROWN. Ick.
What to do? What to do? Wrap them in butter and pie crust and cinnamon sugar! Yes!!!
4 Granny Smith Apples
1 bag caramels
2 Tablespoons butter, melted
1/4 C (approx.) Cinnamon Sugar
2 prepared pie crusts
Step One: Pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees.
Step Two (Optional**): Peel your apples and follow the directions found here for inside out caramel apple slices. TIP: I found that it helped to trace the area of the apple I wanted to scoop out with the tip of a knife first. And if you’re without a melon baller, a spoon does just fine in a pinch.
FYI: I was so excited to slice into these bad boys and hear my inner Martha Stewart sing. Instead, I got a pinterest fail. The caramel just wouldn’t stick to the inside of the apple, even after letting them refrigerate overnight. Plus, they were just super hard to slice beautifully. However, that doesn’t mean they’ll never turn out. And if it works for you, please let me know the secret!
Lucky for me, it didn’t matter. Onto the pie making!
**NOTE: If you skip the adventure of making the inside out caramel apple slice, just peel your apples and slice them. When you go to wrap them in pie crust, throw an unwrapped caramel in with them. As my mom says, the number one rule is KISS (keep it short & simple).
Step Four: Place the dumplings on a parchment lined baking sheet. Brush the top of each one with butter and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. Bake for approximately 18-20 minutes. Let cool and enjoy!
I’ve been eagerly awaiting the pictures of this soirée from Über-talented photographer, James Holveck of White Night Photography. Andy’s 30th birthday party was so much fun and James did a wonderful job capturing the beauty of a great fall day, amazing friends and family, and a festive birthday celebration. There are so many fantastic pictures that I had trouble deciding which to highlight.
I love all the signs we did around the property. They really added a splash of the family’s fun-loving personality. Since it was late October in Wisconsin, we were prepared with a basket of hats, scarves, and gloves (pictured below) for guests who were feeling the chill of the fall air.
See the Sneak Peek post from this party for a tutorial on the hanging tinsel covered thirty below. It created a stunning focal point above the bar. Added bonus: it was super easy & inexpensive!
To bring some softness into the eclectic barn, we brought the ceiling down with tulle and twinkle lights. We found a pile of twigs from the apple trees on the property and worked those into the centerpieces then placed them on some log pieces for added rustic charm.
Special thanks to Andy and his family for letting Rosy Events be a part of this fantastic celebration of a wonderful guy. I hope we got your 30th year off to a great start!