At-Home Celebration Guide | New Year’s Eve

December, 30, 2020

New Year’s Eve may look a little different this year. You’re likely hunkering down and spending the holiday at home, but that doesn’t mean fun can’t be had. We have found many different ways to stay entertained and get in the NYE spirit. From virtual events, cocktails and treats, to game ideas; we have just what you need to keep the party going safely for all ages.

Virtual Events & TV Programs

Many yearly events are still happening, virtually, along with the tried-and-true TV broadcasting specials. Get comfy at home, grab your drinks and snacks, and enjoy the many virtual celebrations to choose from for the last pandemic-style holiday of 2020.

Bay Area Virtual Events Here

New Year’s Eve TV Specials Here

Cocktails & Food

Whether you’re staying up ’til the wee hours of the morning and are looking for something caffeinated to get you through the night or you want something bubbly to spice up an otherwise casual evening at home, these cocktails bring a festive touch for ringing in the New Year in style. Below you’ll find recipes to jazz up champagne, or stay warm with spiked coffee and hot chocolates.

Easy New Year’s Eve Drink List

Ringing in a New Year tends to call for some serious celebrating and usually includes festive and tasty food. Many of us will be cozy and staying in this year, and we believe that is the perfect setting for your favorite appetizers and snacks. These New Year’s Eve appetizers below are easy and impressive—and even better, most can be made ahead of time. Whether you prefer sweet or salty, crunchy or creamy snacks, we have you covered.

Easy New Year’s Eve Appetizer List

What pairs better with champagne and party hats than an eye-catching board filled with your favorites? 2020 has been the year of the charcuterie board, beautiful boards have shown up all over the internet. These can seem intimidating to make at first, but we have found a great guide to help make a New Year’s themed board below.

*Quick Tip: if sweets are more your style, you can make a dessert board with cookies, candy, pastries, etc. Add some fruit in for color, and some sprinkles or edible glitter to give it a festive feel.

New Year’s Themed Charcuterie Board Here

Games & Activities

Help enliven the night with some New Year’s games and activities. Whether you want to elevate your social distance hang with some friends, or you’re looking for ways to keep the kids entertained, we found a great resource with NYE games and activities to try this year. Most of the ideas listed require little or no prep work, and most are free. Some even come with free festive printouts. From charades to a new year’s fortune telling printout, these will sure to keep the night entertaining.

List of NYE Games and Activities Here

We would love to hear how you and your family are celebrating this year! Let us know below.

At-Home Ways to Celebrate

December, 14, 2020

Like many things this year, the holiday season has been impacted by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The Centers for Disease Control has officially stated that minimizing social gatherings, especially for the holidays, is recommended due to health and safety concerns. Even though you may not have the same exact holiday plans as you did in year’s past, this doesn’t mean you can’t get into the festive spirit at home. In fact, there are so many different ways to stay entertained and get in the holiday season. It’s time to get creative this year and come up with some new traditions so we can keep one another safe as we head into the new year. ‘Tis the season!

Bake & Decorate Cookies

Store-bought or homemade, enjoy baking and decorating cookies however you please. Many grocery stores have pre-made decorating kits, or of course, you can bake your favorite recipe. Gather some icing, sprinkles, and candy to let the creative side out.

Easy Sugar Cookie Recipe Here

Movie Marathon with Favorite Treats

Everyone has their favorite movies to watch this time of year. Why not make a day of it? Line up everyone’s go-to movie, get comfy, watch, and enjoy. No movie marathon is complete without your favorite seasonal snacks. Break out those decorated cookies, pop some popcorn, and warm up some hot cocoa or cider.

Top Holiday Movies List

Drive-Thru Holiday Lights Show

While many events have been canceled this year, the holiday spirit has not! Many people are still decorating their homes and bringing magic to the neighborhoods. Take a drive in your neighborhood and town and enjoy the displays. Play some holiday music, and have the added bonus of staying warm in the car.

Top Bay Area Light Displays

Top Big Island Light Displays

Decorate | Go Big!

Since most of us are spending more time than ever at home, why not go all out this year? Put out your tried-and-true decorations to enjoy, and even craft some new ones. Buy a wreath or garland strand from your local tree lot and decorate it with ribbons, ornaments, glitter, etc. Make some new homemade ornaments to jazz up your tree. or even craft homemade cards to display at home and send to loved ones.

Festive Home Decor Ideas

Holiday Nature Walk

Go on a nice, brisk walk or hike, spending time outdoors, while social distancing, is a great way to help break up your day. Many trails and parks are still open or simply take advantage of a walk in your neighborhood. While doing so you can gather pinecones, leaves, branches, to add to wreaths, tables, or trees and decorate the home even more for free.

Bay Area Park and Trail Updates

Big Island Park and Trail Updates

Virtual Party with Contests

Holidays are usually the time of year you can count on getting together with the ones you love. This can still be achieved this year, virtually! You can hop on a virtual video call and have an “ugly sweater” contest, holiday trivia, or best cookie or gingerbread house decorating contest. Keep the video streaming, socialize, and even vote virtually.

Holiday Virtual Party Ideas and Tips

We would love to hear how you and your family are celebrating this year! Let us know below.

Holiday Cocktails to Enjoy at Home

With many areas facing more stay-at-home restrictions this year as the holidays approach, it can be hard to get into the spirit. We have just what you need to help keep the festivities going! No holiday celebration is complete without a tasty signature drink. Whether you choose to serve up a festive candy cane cocktail or a warming cider punch, these seasonal cocktails are sure to help you celebrate the holidays in good spirits — with the help of a couple of good spirits.

Cranberry Mimosas

Bottomless mimosa’s do not have to be reserved for brunch. Bring the fun home, with this seasonal twist. Cranberries and rosemary sprigs top off the festive drink.

Mimosa Recipe Here

Driven Snow Cocktail

Rum, white chocolate liquor, and crushed candy canes come together in this fun après-ski style cocktail, paired perfectly with a delicious gingerbread cookie or house.

Driven Snow Recipe Here

Warm Tea-and-Cider Punch

The weather has been cooling, and there is nothing better than a nice warm drink to help you cozy up. Made on the stovetop this can be a great brunch or late-night drink additon.

Tea-and Cider Punch Recipe Here

Cranberry Gin Fizz

Pair red and green with this festive gin fizz, featuring a refreshing cranberry twist and a sprig of fresh thyme. This recipe even gives you the directions to create fresh homemade cranberry syrup.

Cranberry Gin Recipe Here

White Holiday Margarita

Dreaming of a “White Christmas” or Holiday this year? This coconut creamy version can help get you there, without even leaving your home.

White Margarita Recipe Here

Holiday Mule

When you add cranberries and rosemary to a Moscow mule, you’ve got the most festive drink on the block. Copper mugs are optional but so adorable. This festive twist updates the traditional Summer refresher for cooler weather.

Mule Recipe Here

Apple Pie On-the-Rocks Cocktail

A festive, boozy treat that’s spicy, cool, and easy-to-make. A quick tip: add some crumbled up graham crackers and brown sugar rim. This recipe provided plenty of substitutes to fit any taste.

Apple Pie Cocktail Recipe Here

Cranberry Sangria

Sangria season is still in full swing even when the temperature drops. This seasonal spin uses cranberries and apples with your favorite white wine to make a refreshing drink.

Sangria Recipe Here

White Holiday Mojito

Say hello to this creamy coconut white Mojito and it’s snow-topped appearance. The mint pairs perfectly with the creamy texture, topped off with some fresh pomegranate seeds.

White Mojito Recipe Here

Slow-Cooker Peppermint Bark Hot Chocolate

We turned our seasonal obsession — peppermint bark and hot chocolate — into an easy cocktail. Serving tip: Use a slow cooker to make the hot chocolate and keep it warm during the festivities.

Hot Chocolate Recipe Here

We would love to know if you try any of these recipes, and what you think of them. Leave a comment below!

Make This Your Best Ever Thanksgiving Tablescape

November, 19, 2020

This year, Thanksgiving may feel a bit different. Your get-together may be a little smaller and more intimate. This does not mean you can’t still make it memorable and festive with some creative Thanksgiving table decor ideas and tips. You might prefer a traditional feel, minimalist touch, rustic farmhouse, or perhaps glam accents call your name. Use these easy to pull off tips for your gathering.

Set the Table Using What you Have

You don’t have to buy anything new, though holiday decor shopping is always fun, to design an eye-catching Thanksgiving table setting. A good starting point is with basic dishware, white or any solid color, then add contrast with dark or printed napkins. Pick a color scheme for dishes and decor and start getting creative.

Pumpkins and Greenery

Have leftover pumpkins from October? Those can be perfect for your centerpiece or accents to top off your plates. Keep them natural, or paint them your preferred color to match your decor. Add some glitter or gold to your pumpkin if you are looking for a more luxurious look. Add in some green leaves to offset natural or minimal looks, or use some pinecones. Pinecones can also easily be painted your desired color for a fresh look.

Set The Mood- Lighting

Simple candles, whether on their own or in a holder are a quick and easy way to add to the centerpiece. And if you are looking for more light, twist in some string-lights within your centerpiece. Quick tip, use unscented candles to get the right light without interfering with the delicious meal, and use LED lights that won’t heat up around your decor.

Crave-able Centerpiece

If food is absolutely at the center of your gathering, a charcuterie board can make a great and delicious addition to your tablescape. Choose your favorite meats, cheeses, fruits, and crackers to create a visually appealing appetizer piece. Spruce this up with some jam, honey, or chocolate to add a sweet accent.

Can’t Forget About the Kids

It is easy to forget about the kid’s table. That said, kid’s Thanksgiving table decorations don’t have to be too kitschy or complicated. An inexpensive roll of craft paper stands in for a tablecloth— little ones will love that they can doodle on their placemat before dinner, and your clean up will be a breeze. If you’d like to take it one step further, you can download templates of name cards, straw toppers, and menus, so setting the cutest table is as easy as printing and placing.

We would love to hear how you and your family are celebrating this year! Let us know below.

Cocktail and Food Pairings to Spice Up Thanksgiving

Many people are facing scaled-back holiday celebrations this year, and we see this as a great opportunity to add a few new special touches to the day. These crisp fall cocktails and tasty food pairings will be sure to make your Thanksgiving memorable.

Apple Cider Mojitos

Mojito’s do not have to stop when summer does, a little apple cider turns this into the perfect fall refresher. Mint + cider may sound strange at first, but it ends up very refreshing. A small tip – to make it even more Autumnal, try rosemary or thyme instead of mint.

Mojito Recipe Here

Suggested Pairings

Cheese & charcuterie board, with that fresh taste, this would be great paired with an appetizer

Chips, crackers, and light dips (salsa, hummus, etc.)

Turkey dinner, the refreshing mint twist pairs well with poultry.

Spiced Mexican Hot Chocolate

What is the Holiday season without hot chocolate? With this recipe, cinnamon sticks and a splash of bourbon will change the way you look at hot cocoa for good. We recommend enjoying this cocktail with dessert.

Spiced Hot Cocoa Recipe Here

Suggested Pairings

Best to stick with sweet treats for this recipe

Peppermint bark

Shortbread or sugar cookies

Pecan pie

Apple Cider Sangria

Another spin on a summer drink, this spiced and sparkling punch made with apple cider, brandy, and a splash of Prosecco packs big flavor with fresh lemon, ginger, orange bitters, and sliced seasonal fruits.

Cider Sangria Recipe Here

Suggested Pairings

Turkey dinner, the fresh fruits help this pair well with poultry

Spinach and artichoke dip

Fresh baked apple pie

Cinnamon sugar dusted doughnuts

Mulled Cider

Of course, the colder weather calls for a comforting hot cider. This spiked version is easy to make and budget-friendly to serve at holiday gatherings. The cider base can be prepared beforehand and refrigerated up to 2 days — when ready to heat, simply add the rum of your choice.

Mulled Cider Recipe Here

Suggested Pairings

Appetizers, especially any with beef or pork

Pigs in a blanket

Bacon wrapped dates

Marinated or breaded mushrooms

We would love to know if you try any of these recipes, and what you think of them. Leave a comment below!