Cheers To A DIY Christmas Stocking With A Wine Spout

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‘Tis the season for holiday parties, gift-giving and all things merry and jolly! We pour more wine around the holidays with all the parties, dinners and let’s face it, stress. So, wine was on our minds when we crafted our next DIY Christmas gift idea.

For this DIY, we’re changing the classic line from the Twas the Night Before Christmas poem that reads, “…the stockings were hung by the chimney with care, in hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there,” to instead say, “…the stocking were hung by the bar with care, in hopes that friends and family soon would be there.” Yes, we’re hanging our families stockings in the living room like we always do for Santa, but we’re hanging a few extra in the bar this Christmas, and giving them to friends to spread good cheer. Christmas is all about making spirits bright, right?

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This DIY wine stocking makes for the perfect gift for friends, neighbors and family. Plus, it’s a really fun topic of conversation whether you’re at a party, or having a quiet night in with the girls.

Anyone and everyone can (and should) make these DIY Christmas stockings. Here’s how we made the ultimate stocking stuffer.

Materials:

  • Stockings, .98 cents at Wal-Mart, or other great options at big name retailers
  • Felt
  • Scissors
  • Boxed wine (we used Bota Box)
  • Hot glue and hot glue gun

Directions:

Step 1: First, we upgraded the stockings with about a $3 plaid fabric investment. We didn’t use a needle and thread – just scissors and a hot glue gun. Before the plaid, there was a thick strip of white felt.

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Step 2: Cut out letters for the fun quotes. We went with, Drink Up Grinches, Santa’s Helper, He Sees You When Your Drinking and Dreaming of a White Christmas. We had black letter stickers and just traced as we cut with the scissors. You can freehand the letters though, maybe even using good vinyl stickers to save yourself cutting time all together.

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Step 3: With a hot glue gun, glue the letters to the stocking.

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Step 4: Cut out a small hole in the front toe part of the stocking. If it’s too big, you can always hot glue the fabric tight around the wine pull tab.

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Step 5: Insert the wine bag in the stocking and pull the wine tab through the hole in the toe.

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Step 6: Hang and pour. Cheers!

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diy-red-christmas-stockings-with-a-wine-spout-making-spirits-bright-holiday-bar

 

DIY Red, White and Blue Ice Bucket

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It’s about that time when red, white and blue are just about the only colors on our minds. Yes, one of our favorite holidays, July 4th, is coming up, and this year we’re adding a DIY fruit ice bucket to our party to do’s.

A DIY patriotic ice bucket is the perfect July 4th accessory, and it’s so easy and cheap to do. Guests will love the extra touch of red, white and blue, and they will enjoy their chilled beverage.

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red-white-blue-ice-bucket-july-4th-wine-cooler

Materials:

  • water
  • large bucket, we used a plastic one from Party City
  • small buckets {small enough to fit inside large bucket and large enough to fit a wine bottle or beer can}
  • blueberries, fresh or frozen, at least 2 cups
  • strawberries, fresh or frozen, sliced, 2-3 cups
  • weight, such as a rock
  • wine or beer

Directions:

Fill about 1/3 of the large bucket full of water, then drop in all the strawberries. Freeze for at least 5-8 hours.

strawberries-in-a-bucket

Place 2 small buckets on top of first layer of ice, add weight inside {we used a rock}, and fill another 1/3 of the bucket with water. Do not get water inside the small bucket because it will be more difficult to remove the buckets from the ice. Freeze for about 5-8 hours.

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For the final layer, fill the remaining 1/3 of the container fill of water, and then drop in blueberries. Freeze for 8 hours.

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Remove from the freezer. Pour boiling water inside the small buckets and gently twist to remove from the ice. Additionally, run the outside of the large bucket with  hot water from the sink faucet. After about 15 seconds on each side, the ice cooler will be easily removed, and the layers should look like this.

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Carefully flip the ice cooler out from the bucket with your hands and set on a tray. Fill the holes with wine or beer. We couldn’t decide because beer, well, it’s all-American and those Budweiser cans are so patriotic and awesome. But, the vino lovers that we are couldn’t resist the taste and look of the red and blue Relax Wine bottles of wine.

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Cheers!

Important Note: We took photos of this DIY ice bucket with wine we had in the liquor cabinet, and after review of photos, while the wine was good, for the ultimate patriotic post, the wine bottle {and beer} needed to be more festive in color. Enter, Relax Wines and Budweiser beer! However, the ice bucket had to be re-frozen during a several hour photo shoot intermission, and a thin ‘film’ of ice formed over every layer, so the color of the DIY ice bucket was dulled, and the lines of the red, white and blue blurred. You win some, you lose some. Either way, we love our bucket, but honestly, it will be more vibrant than our photos if you have the right alcohol the first time around. 

How to Make the Best Antipasto Platter

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We’re Italian and proud of it. We love our heritage and the Italian culture…and of course, the food! Our mouths water with the site of a good Antipasto Platter.

But, how do they do it? How do people create that savory “before the meal” plate that can bring people together and satisfy their cravings? What’s the secret to a beautiful and delicious Antipasto Plate?

We know an expert who can tell us…because we know a place that does everything right when it comes to Italian food and ambiance.

Parisi.

Christine and Simone successfully recreated a little piece of Italy in Denver, Colorado. If you haven’t been, you need to go. And, if you don’t live in CO, you need to add a visit to CO to your bucket list, and add Parisi to your must-eat list.

Here’s owner Christine’s tips for a delectable Antipasto Platter.

- Make sure there’s a balance of olives, cheese, cold cuts & toasted bread with topping.
- Include a mix of soft and hard cheese.
- Tempt the palette with new flavors because people always like to try new things, but also intermingle with a few familiar flavors.
- Keep the toppings simple for the Bruschetta using seasonal veggies. It’s nice to add a little sweet balsamic to the mix to balance out the savory.

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And, what about the essential sidekick to a yummy Antipasto Platter, otherwise known as wine? Christine has us covered there too.
“Reds are a good choice for heartier antipasti plates such as a San Giovese blend {San Giovese is the grape used for Chianti and so many of the Tuscan faves),” she said. “But a refreshing Pinot Grigio isn’t a bad choice for those who insist on white.” 
She added, “Oh, and then there is one of my favorite red Italian blends from the Veneto region:  La Cappuccina’s Madego.. it’s organic and so smooth, but not boring. But I am all for blends these days…I can’t commit to just one grape.”
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The list of ingredients from the mouth-watering plate Meredith Moran of Meredith Moran Photography snapped for us at Parisi includes…
Drunken Goat (harder goat cheese immersed in red wine)
Fresh Asiago
Pecorino Picante
Prosciutto di Parma
Finocchiona salame (with fennel)
Castelvetrano & Kalamata Olives
Mortadella
Pancetta
Bruschetta with an artichoke topping & a cherry tomato topping
parisi antipasto platter_jsorelle
Now are you ready to impress your guests with the most amazing Antipasto Platter ever? Of course, if you need some authentic Italian food for inspiration, a great sandwich for lunch, an impressive place to bring a special date, or you just want to indulge yourself because you deserve it, stop by Parisi. If you want to eat for hours like the Italian’s do in a more intimate setting, make a reservation right below Parisi at Firenze a Tavola {same owners}. I promise, you will want to go back for more. It’s special to us, not only because Florence is our love affair city, but also because Jenna and Will celebrated their rehearsal dinner at Firenze a Tavola, and that was just the beginning to a wonderful life together.
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Thanks to Christine at Parisi and Meredith Moran for making this post possible.

building hope around the world

My husband is a builder and an Ambassador for Habitat for Humanity of Eagle and Lake Counties. Every year Habitat for Humanity hosts a Carpenter’s Ball in celebration of their mission of bringing people together to build homes communities and hope. It’s their signature fundraising event, and after attending 3 prior Ball’s, this year was my absolute favorite. They mixed things up from their standard cocktails/silent auction and ceremony/sit-down dinner…and it was a fabulous time!

This year’s annual ball, “Building Hope Around the World,” brought people together in a festive way – each guests received a Passport to experience food and drink from regions around the globe where Habitat is making a difference offering housing solutions. Here’s why I think this international wine and food tasting worked and was a success:

It allowed everyone to mingle and not be stuck at one table.

Guests really learned about Habitat and the places they make a difference around the world, not just by reading it in a program or hearing it from the President of Habitat during a speech in a ballroom, but by ‘visiting’ stations inspired by the locations, along with interesting facts about the specific location.

We were able to try all kinds of new and delicious foods inspired by cultures from around the world, along with paired beverages. The talented Chef Richard Hinojosa of Larkspur Restaurant designed six, three course tasting menus paired with great wine and other beverages. From Braised Fennel Citrus Sea Scallops to Little Larkburgers at the USA station. Shrimp Pad Thai to Steamed Pork Bao in Asia & Pacific. Crème Fraiche Pierogi {my personal fave} and a Hungarian Risotto with Spring Pea Pancetta created the European flavors with Veuve Clicquot to compliment the cuisine at that station.

Opportunity to bid on unique auction items.

Great, live music.

Being a DIYer, I was impressed with the construction-themed DIY details Elyse Howard, Development Director at Habitat Humanity, and her team executed beautifully. Some of my fave DIYs were the nuts and bolts in mason and hob nail jars, real ladders that we use at the job site and wood for auction shelving, burlap runners and habitat hard hats with mints and labeled lotion and soap in the bathrooms. They also used biodegradable bamboo “vessels” for the food which you can find here.

Lighting, which I’ve come to believe really sets the tone for a party, was warm with amber up lighting around the room, and custom gobos added a personalized touch. And a wow factor was the exposed lightbulb chandelier, which exuded an elegant work site feeling.

Can’t wait for next years party, Elyse. Thanks for sharing this year’s photos with us.


{this was my favorite display – food and wine lined up along wood planks {anchored at each end with different sized wood blocks} at different heights to appear ‘stepped.’}

Habitat for Humanity brings people together to build homes, communities and hope.  Habitat builds simple, decent, affordable homes in partnership with local families in need.  Founded in 1995, Habitat for Humanity of Eagle and Lake Counties has served 42 families to date housing over 120 children. To learn more about Habitat, or how to become involved, visit http://www.habitatvailvalley.org/.

VENDOR LOVE

Photography: Joe Kania from Axel Media Solutions
Annual Event Operations/Production and Planning
: Highline Sports & Entertainment {special thanks for Katie at Highline for her help in planning and DIY projects}
Decor: Pink Monkey Solutions {chandelier, gobo light, lounge areas, burlap pipe and drape, burlap runners, hob nail and mason jar centerpieces, food station decor and overall look and feel}
Venue and Food: Larkspur Restaurant
Photo Booth: Patrick at Go Photo Booth
Invitation: Bahan Design
Entertainment:  My Brother’s Keeper Band
Alcohol: Veuve Clicquot, Grand Marnier, Milbrant Vinyards, Crazy Mountain Brewery
Auction tablet software/smart phone bidding: AES  Solutions

Sponsors:
ANB Bank
Amanda Precourt
Hermes Resort Properties
Alpine Bank
Beck Building
Bob and Sue Baker
First Bank
Gallegos
George Schaeffer Construction Company
Land Title
Laureen Hopkins Interior Designs
Remonov & CO
Ron Byrne & Associates Real Estate
Ruggs Benedict
Slifer Smith and Frampton
VAg, inc Architects and Planners
Vail Board of Realtors
Vail Daily
Vail Resorts
Veuve Clicquot

to: dad

We found some great gifts for the men in our lives, as we celebrate them on Sunday, Father’s Day. Cheers to dad! I know we have the best dad in the world, and I know my kids are blessed to have my hubby as a dad too.

Billy Jealousy Shave Cream, Nordstrom
{my husbands fave}

The Mantry
sold in one month, 3 month and 6 month subscriptions. Each Mantry includes 6 full size artisan food products delivered to your door and packed in a handmade wooden crate, along with a custom manual detailing product stories and recipes.

Corkcicle Chillsner
Corkcicle impressed us with the wine Corkcicle, and now they are pleasing the men too, the first in-bottle, drink-through beer chiller. Perfect for those hot summer days where no one wants a warm beer in hand.

Cigar of the Month Club
For $24.95 a month, plus $5 shipping, your dad will receive five hand-rolled premium cigars from the world’s top producers, along with a newsletter with tasting notes, cigar profiles and alcohol pairings. Shipments will be sent monthly, every other month or every 3 months.

Horseshoe Set, LL Bean {$69}

Brew2Go, The Product Farm
Hopefully you bought mom a Vino2Go for Mother’s Day, so now Dad can be a part of the cocktail action too with a Brew2Go.

Star Trek Wine, VinPort
If your dad is a cool Trekky like ours, he will love this bottle of wine that celebrates the series.

Men’s Santa Cruz, Crocs {$55}
my dad loves these

{image via Corkcicle, The Mantry, Cigar of the Month Club, Crocs, LL Bean, VinPort, The Product Farm}