Posts Tagged ‘Holiday Party’

Spiced Apple Cider with Rum Recipe


If you need a toasty drink to serve at your upcoming holiday parties, this is the perfect one! Keep it basic for the kids, add a spike of rum for the adults, and I promise it will keep everyone warm and happy!



  • 2 quarts apple cider or apple juice
  • 3 star anise
  • 1 whole nutmeg
  • 6 cloves
  • 4 cinnamon sticks
  • 20 black peppercorns
  • 1 orange
  • 1 cup of rum


Crack the nutmeg and break the cinnamon sticks in half. Add the spices to a saucepan and cook on medium heat for a minute or two, until the smell of the spice starts to develop.

Add the apple juice. Quarter the oranges, squeeze the juice into the pan, and throw the rind in as well. Turn up the heat until the juice starts to simmer, then turn to low and cover for 30 minutes.

Remove the saucepan from the heat and add 1 cup of rum. Serve hot!

Makes about 10 servings.

Total time: 30 min

Rum spiced cider recipe

TRENDS: Wintery Blue Holiday Parties

If you're thinking that you don't want to do a party in traditional Christmas colors this year, take some inspiration from these fresh wintery blue parties... Brrrrrrr.

Chris N's Let It Snow Ladies Night Gift Exchange -- I love the hanging silver snowflakes on the navy blue backdrop and the use of white and silver desserts.

Pamela S's Elegant Blues Holiday Party I love the use of the simple cake bunting and thosed iced mitten and present cookies are gorgeous.

Candace M's Winter Woodland Party -- Again I love the use of the hanging snowflakes, plus the silver dove, white reindeer, and white mountains as table accents give it a cool snowy feel.

Tiffany C's 2009 Girls Cocoa Party -- Again, hanging snowflakes, this time from the chandelier (great idea).  Plus all the desserts are in white or baby blue, and simple teal ornaments and white snowballs give the table some visual punch.

To add a little inexpensive polish to your party, we're giving away a free Christmas printables collection designed by The Inspired Occasion that would fit great with a wintery blue party. The printables  include Christmas party invitations, cupcake toppers/decorative circles, a large “Celebrate Christmas” bunting banner, food label tents/place cards, drink flags,  and my personal favorite… a cake bunting banner.

If you throw a wintery blue holiday party, I'd love to see it. Please add it to our site so I can show it off.

How to Throw an Intimate Event on a Budget

So many of the parties I write about are big parties, so it was fun talking to party planner Chris Nease, owner of Celebrations at Home in Richmond, Virginia, about some of the smaller events she throws, and the creative things she comes up with to make her parties special.

She just put together a candy table for a preteen's birthday, and her inspiration... a shower curtain.  She wanted to do something fall and fun, so when she saw the $16 red and brown shower curtain at Walmart she knew she was onto something.  Using the colors as her guide, she included chocolate milk (in recycled Starbucks frappuccino bottles), chocolate bars, licorice, Whoppers, Hershey's kisses, and chocolate covered donuts.  But the best part, it looked professional and fabulous and cost less than $150 for the whole shebang.

Candy table in red and brown
Candy table in red and brown

Chris says her favorite kinds of parties to throw are cocktail parties -- drinks and appetizers.  In fact, she just threw a Ladies Night "Let it Snow" Christmas party for 13 of her closest girlfriends, where everyone brought an appetizer or bottle of wine and she provided a dessert/favor bar.  Simple, yet fun.  Here are a few pictures from the event.  See more pictures on her Catch My Party page.

The dessert and favor bar
The dessert and favor bar

The wine glasses with snowflake stickers
The wine glasses with snowflake stickers

The centerpiece was a manzanita tree spray painted silver
The centerpiece was a manzanita tree spray painted silver surrounded by poms and carnations

As Chris says, she's a regular person on a budget, so she understands how to throw parties with that warm, stylish, creative touch, while not blowing the bank in the process.  Check out her blog to get many more fresh, inexpensive ideas.

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