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DIY Unique Christmas Ornaments

This is the season for gathering around the tree! Buying your Christmas decorations might be convenient, but when it comes to decorating the most festive Christmas tree for your home, everyone knows that homemade Christmas ornaments are the best way to ensure a tree full of holiday cheer. Getting crafty by creating homemade Christmas ornaments is a fun project that the whole family can do together - even little kids can be included in the project. And don't be afraid to put your own spin on these handmade Christmas ornaments, the more personalized they are, the better. Soon enough, they will become some of your family's favorite pieces to put on the tree each year.
  

Styrofoam Ball Cupcakes

These beautiful Styrofoam Ball Cupcakes also make thoughtful DIY Christmas gifts if you require a few. Plus, you don’t need to be a pastry chef to whip up a batch of these tempting treats for the eyes. The best part? They are 100% calorie-free, so you can indulge to your heart’s content.

Things you need:

  • 2 1/2″ Styrofoam Balls
  • Heavy-duty foil cupcake liners
  • Iridescent White Soft Snowflakes
  • Berry Spray (color of your choice)
  • Craft Glue
  • Paint Brush or Foam Sponge Brush
  • Hot Glue Gun and Glue Sticks
  • Scissors
  • Ribbon or decorative string for hanging
  • Skewers or Dowel Rods

Things to do:

Step 1: Press a dowel rod into each Styrofoam ball, and coat a little more than half of the top of the ball with a generous layer of craft glue.

Step 2: Roll the glue-coated Styrofoam ball in a shallow pan filled with artificial snowflakes, then use your fingers to press the flakes securely to the surface. Tap gently to remove excess flakes, and prop in a coffee can or mug to dry. Try to wait patiently because if you try to glue liners on before the styrofoam balls dry, the sides won’t stick. If you are having little hands help you with this project… they will LOVE this step!

Step 3: After glue sets and dries, add a generous dollop of hot glue to the bottom and the top inside of each foil cupcake liner and press the Styrofoam ball in firmly. Be sure to carefully press the sides of the foil - so the liner is tightly glued on. Also, keep in mind that you may not want to push the styrofoam ball down too far, or the bottom will curve, and your cupcake will not sit flat (not a big deal if you are planning on hanging them though). If you are having little hands help you with this project… be sure to only have big-kids or adults handle the hot glue step.

Step 4: Snip the berries from the branch, leaving about an inch of stem, and cut lengths of ribbon or decorative thread for hanging. Add a dollop of hot glue to the top of each Styrofoam ball, pressing the tails of the ribbon (if you are wanting to hang your cup and berry into the Styrofoam. You can also flip your cherry around with the step showing upwards to make it look like a cherry stem! Allow drying thoroughly before displaying.

 

These Styrofoam Ball Cupcakes are also perfect for adding a unique, super adorable, and sweet decorative touch to the wedding reception, birthday party, baby shower, or bridal bash. You can create a mouth-watering centerpiece by dangling these sweet decorations from a tabletop ornament tree, or make a sweet bouquet by inserting dowel rods into the bottom and displaying them in a festive vase. While you are at it, be sure to make an extra baker’s dozen to share with family and friends.

Aren’t these DIY Christmas Ornaments fun!? Do they get you in a festive mood? I hope you love making them!
 
 

Yummy Fall Drink Recipe

 Cran-Apple Crush 

It's not a crush. It's real love when it comes to this apple drink delicacy. 

Cran-Apple Crush Cocktail Recipe by Smarty Had A Party

 

They say when one good thing ends, something even better may be just around the corner! So, yes, beloved summer with your icy cold beverages that we love to sip outside under clear, sunny skies, you are missed, but fall brings with it that cozy ambiance. Think: walking under falling leaves, filling ourselves with heartwarming indulgences that keep our tummies satisfied, and staying snug sipping cider on these cool, crisp Autumn days. Leave it to Smarty to kick off the season with deliciously apple-sizing drinks!

 

 

Cran-Apple Crush Ingredients:

  • ½ oz simple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • ½ oz lime juice
  • 10 cranberries (fresh)
  • 2 oz infused vodka **
  • 2 green apple slices
  • ice

 

    Directions:

    1. Combine simple syrup, brown sugar, lime juice, and 6 cranberries in a shaker
    2. Add infused vodka and ice, then shake
    3. Strain into Crystal Clear Hard Plastic Rock Glasses
    4. Garnish with thin apple slices and remaining cranberries

     

    * To make simple syrup:
    1. combine 1 cup sugar and 1 cup water (or any equal amounts)
    2. Let water boil
    3. Stir mixture
    4. After sugar has dissolved, let cool

     

    ** To make Infused Vodka:
    1. Using a double boiler on medium-high, cook 1 liter of vodka, 3 cloves, 5-star anises, 1/2 cinnamon stick, and 10 green cardamoms for ten minutes
    2. Cover the mixture with plastic wrap and let cool
    3. Keep refrigerated
    Cran-Apple Crush cocktail recipe by smartyhadaparty.com

    Complementary Smarty Disposable Party Plasticware:


    Party on, Smarties! With love Smarty had a Party!

    Grilled Apples with Sweet Sausage Stuffing

    I love this time of year when the supermarkets bust out the big bins of deliciously fresh apples and fill one after another. Days become shorter, colder and our appetites change as well. We start to crave cozy, heartier, meatier, comfort food recipes, warming to both body and soul. So Smarty Had A Party has prepared a delicious recipe for you - Grilled Apples with Sweet Sausage Stuffing! Enjoy Smarties!

     

    Ingredients:

    • 4 large Gala, Rome, or other large baking apples
    • 1 cup apple cider
    • 2 tablespoons nut liqueur
    • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
    • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage
    • 4 small cipollini onions, peeled
    • 3 large garlic cloves, skins left on
    • 1 tablespoon olive oil
    • ½ cup walnuts
    • 6 ounces loose sweet Italian sausage
    • ¼ cup finely chopped celery
    • 4 teaspoons poultry rub (recipe below)

    Poultry rub

     

    Directions:

     
    For poultry rub: Mix everything. Store in a tightly-closed container for up to 1 month.

    Step 1: Light a grill for indirect medium heat, about 350ºF

    Step 2: Cut the onions in half through their equators, and then toss with the unpeeled garlic and oil in a bowl. Brush the grill grate and coat with oil. Grill the onions, cut-side down, and the unpeeled garlic directly over the heat until the onions are tender and the garlic is charred in spots, about 5 minutes, turning once or twice. Squeeze the garlic from its skins, and then chop along with the onions.

    Step 3: Put a large cast-iron skillet or heavy-duty roasting pan directly over the heat. Add the walnuts and toast until fragrant, about 5 minutes, shaking occasionally. Remove the walnuts from the pan and chop.

    Step 4: Add the sausage to the pan and cook until lightly browned all over, 5 to 8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove and set aside. Add the celery to the drippings in the pan and cook for 4 minutes, stirring now and then. Add the onions, garlic, sausage, and the poultry rub and cook for 1 minute. Scrape the stuffing into a bowl.

    Step 5: Cut the apples in half crosswise and remove the core from each half with a melon baller. Put the apples, cut-side up, in the skillet or a roasting pan. Fill the center of each half with the sausage mixture. Mix the apple cider, liqueur, vinegar, and sage and pour around and over the apples. Cover the pan with foil and put the pan on the grill away from the heat. Cover the grill and cook for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and cook until the apples are tender, 15 to 20 minutes more.

    Step 6: Let cool for 10 minutes before serving. Drizzle the apples with the cider syrup from the pan and serve.

     

    Complementary Smarty Disposable Party Plasticware:

     

    Valentines Chocolate Soup for Two

    A very basic chocolate soup recipe with marshmallow cream cheese topping. I’ve lightened it with low-fat or no-fat ingredients.

    Read more

    Spring Brunch Events

    Why not toast to guest of honor by serving Kir Royals!? These are made with champagne and a splash of Chambord, a raspberry liquor, with a small lemon peel in a champagne flute. A fruit punch* could be the main drink which guests could serve themselves throughout the event. Smarty champagne glasses that match the punch bowl and cups that could all be displayed together on their own serving cart or table where guests will be gathered for most of the event. To make your guests feel even more pampered, how about adding a coffee and tea buffet, complete with several flavors of teas and coffees; complement them with brown sugar, white sugar cubes, honey, sugar substitute, chocolate shavings, cream, vanilla, lemon wedges - displayed in their own miniature bowls and miniature spoons along with a couple of bottles of Bailey’s Irish Crème and Kahlua on the side. Finish the meal with petit fours and/or cupcakes. Place this buffet in an out of the way area so that people can progress to it later. There are so many ways that you could decorate this party. I was at a wedding recently and they matched the flowers and aspects of the bridal party to the beautiful stained glass in the church. Since then, I have become a big fan of using purple and green together with touches of bright pink. I think these color combinations would look good at springtime brunch events too. On the tables, as well as buffets, you could use Smarty’s beautiful tablecloths and chair covers with the 3-ply napkins. A bouquet of purple and/or pink hydrangeas, lilacs, or even Gerber daisies with a little green foliage in the center of each table would be gorgeous! For the buffet tables, use the same color linens but make the centerpieces about 3 times the size as those on the dining tables. Remember you want the buffet centerpieces to include flowers or plants that contain a “thriller” (tall and showy), a “filler” (such as ferns, baby’s breath, small flowers), and a “spiller” (ivy or other hanging greenery). Some of your favorite soft jazz tunes or piano music playing in the background will complete the event. *A tried and true fruit punch recipe consists of a 2 liter bottle of ginger ale, a liter bottle of cranberry juice cocktail, one frozen concentrated sleeve of limeade and one frozen sleeve of lemonade (both without adding the water). Mix together and serve cold.