Salted Turtle Candies | Inspired by Charm

There’s something sweet in store for Day 11 of the 12 Days of Christmas. Welcome back!

Salted Turtle Candies | Inspired by Charm

Other than the Pink Velvet Yule Log, we haven’t celebrated with a sweet treat during this year’s 12 Days of Christmas. To rectify the situation, today I’m sharing a recipe for these super easy Salted Turtle Candies!

Salted Turtle Candies | Inspired by Charm

You know I liked to mix things up here on IBC, but when it comes to Christmas cookies, I’m a big fan of the classics. Last year I shared the recipe for Cream Wafer Cookies, my absolute favorite. As I may have told you, if they were the only cookies I had for the holidays, I’d probably be OK with that. Of course, sometimes I do crave a frosted sugar cookie or a peanut butter blossom or a cornflake wreath. Because I stick to tradition, it’s rare for me to share Christmas cookie recipes here. (If you’re looking for unique cookie recipes, check out Fall Cookie Week. That’s where I like to get creative!)

Salted Turtle Candies | Inspired by Charm

With all that being said, I do try to make at least one new cookie every Christmas. And while these Salted Turtle Candies technically aren’t cookies, they’re my something new for this year.

What I love about this recipe is that you get all the flavors of a turtle candy without all of the work. Sprinkled with a little flaked salt, the flavor combination is on point.

Salted Turtle Candies | Inspired by Charm

Salted Turtle Candies | Inspired by Charm

But don’t worry, if salt on a cookie seems odd to your family, sprinkles work just as nicely and add a pop of color.

Also, this recipe calls for semisweet chocolate, but if you prefer milk or dark, use that instead.

Salted Turtle Candies | Inspired by Charm

Salted Turtle Candies | Inspired by Charm

For this recipe I opted to use the standard square candy caramels. However, if I was making these again, I would use the Lancaster soft caramels because I prefer a softer caramel. The only thing to note here is that if you do use the Lancaster caramels, you may need double the number of caramels since they are smaller.

Salted Turtle Candies | Inspired by Charm

Salted Turtle Candies | Inspired by Charm

Not only are these a delicious “cookie,” but they will add visual impact to your cookie tray. Mixing different shapes, sizes, flavors, and textures when presenting your cookies is always a great idea.

Let me walk you through the recipe.

Salted Turtle Candies | Inspired by Charm

Salted Turtle Candies

Makes 25 pieces

2 1/2 cups pecan halves (75 total halves)
25 wrapped caramels, unwrapped
12 ounces semisweet chocolate (or milk chocolate or dark chocolate)
2 tablespoons vegetable shortening
Flake sea salt and / or sprinkles

Begin by preheating your oven to 350 degrees F. Then line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.

Place three pecan halves in a Y-shape on the parchment paper- lined cookie sheets. Repeat with the remaining pecans.

Then, with your fingers, flatten each caramel and place one in the center of each pecan Y. Bake for 5-6 minutes until the caramel is just melted. Remove from the oven and allow the caramels to cool on the pan.

In the meantime, add the chocolate and vegetable shortening to a microwave safe bowl. Microwave in 30-second intervals, stirring in between, until the chocolate is melted.

Spoon the chocolate on top of the caramel. Let the chocolate stand for about 2 minutes, then sprinkle with sea salt flakes or sprinkles. Allow the chocolate to set completely. Pack and store in an airtight container.

Print

And that’s it. Homemade turtles don’t get much easier than that, right?

Salted Turtle Candies | Inspired by Charm

Salted Turtle Candies | Inspired by Charm

I’d love to know what your favorite Christmas cookie is. What new cookie recipes have you tried that have become a yearly must-make for you?

Now, in the spirit of baking and cookie making, let’s talk about today’s giveaway.

Salted Turtle Candies | Inspired by Charm

One of my favorite stores to visit during the holiday season is Williams-Sonoma. There’s something about that store this time of year that always puts me in the mood to cook and bake (and buy all new kitchen supplies). Today, I thought a $200 Gift Card to Williams-Sonoma would make a fabulous prize!

That’s right, one lucky IBC reader will win a $200 Williams-Sonoma Gift Card.

Salted Turtle Candies | Inspired by Charm

To enter to win, use the entry form below. (Those viewing this on a blog reader may need to visit the actual post by clicking here.)

 


 

This giveaway is open to readers in the United States. You must be 18 or older to win. Void where prohibited. This giveaway will end at 11:59 pm ET on Wednesday, December 21. The winner will be randomly selected, contacted by email, and announced at the top of this post.

Good luck and happy baking!

See you back here tomorrow for the final day of the 12 Days of Christmas.

 

12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS 2016

There’s something sweet in store for Day 11 of the 12 Days of Christmas. Welcome back! Other than the Pink Velvet Yule Log, we haven’t celebrated with a sweet treat during this year’s 12 Days of Christmas. To rectify the situation, today I’m sharing a recipe for these super easy Salted Turtle Candies! You know […]




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DIY Oversized Wood Bead Garland | Inspired by Charm

Welcome back to the 12 Days of Christmas here on Inspired by Charm. ‘Tis the season to DIY!

DIY Oversized Wood Bead Garland | Inspired by Charm

That’s right. For Day 10 of this series, I’m sharing a fun and colorful DIY that you can use to decorate your home for the holidays and beyond. Check out my DIY Oversize Wood Bead Garland.

DIY Oversized Wood Bead Garland | Inspired by Charm

For the past year or so, I’ve been seeing these wood bead styling strands pop up on some of my favorite blogs and in home decor magazines.

DIY Oversized Wood Bead Garland | Inspired by Charm

In essence, the strands are oversize wood balls on a string that you can use to decorate a shelf, style a coffee table, etc. Because of their size and shape, they add texture and movement to a vignette. And during the holidays, they can double as a beautiful garland. On their own or tucked in pine, they bring a rustic modern element to your decor.

DIY Oversized Wood Bead Garland | Inspired by Charm

DIY Oversized Wood Bead Garland | Inspired by Charm

Typically, these wood bead styling strands are left natural. However, because I like more color in my life, I decided to paint a few of the beads to give the strand a little holiday spirit. I was also itching to paint because my friends over at Fusion Mineral Paint sent me samples of their new color collection. The Bayberry, Fort York Red, and Cranberry were just begging to be used in my holiday decor. (Stay tuned to find out how you can enter to win a collection of paints from Fusion Mineral Paint.)

I’ve been a big fan of their paint after using it several times this year for projects like my Coffee Tray, DIY Serving Board, and Fall Colorblock Cork Table Decor.

DIY Oversized Wood Bead Garland | Inspired by Charm

DIY Oversized Wood Bead Garland | Inspired by Charm

So, with all of those ideas spinning around in my head, I got to work. Let me show you how I put this together.

DIY Oversized Wood Bead Garland | Inspired by Charm

For this project you will need:

Round wood ball: 2-inch, 1.50-inch, 1.25-inch1-inch
Square wood cube: 1.5-inch
Leather cording
Drill
3/16″ drill bit
Scrap piece of wood
Gripping pliers
Sand paper
Fusion Mineral Paints
Paint brush

To begin, gather a variety of wood beads. (The ones I used are linked above.) You can use any combination you like. My finished strand was five feet long and contained 49 wood beads.

DIY Oversized Wood Bead Garland | Inspired by Charm

Next, drill a hole in each bead. Grip the bead with a pair of pliers and drill into the center using a 3/16″ bit. Use a piece of scrap wood below the bead to protect your surface.

DIY Oversized Wood Bead Garland | Inspired by Charm

(This drill bit makes a hole that allows the cording I used to slide through nicely. However if you choose a different cording, you may need a different size drill bit.)

With all of your holes drilled, use a piece of fine grit sand paper to clean up any rough edges.

DIY Oversized Wood Bead Garland | Inspired by Charm

Now, you’re ready to paint. I selected four coordinating seasonal colors from Fusion Mineral Paints. They include Bayberry, Fort York Red, Cranberry, and Lamp White.

DIY Oversized Wood Bead Garland | Inspired by Charm

For easy painting, I threaded the beads on a wood skewer and then inserted the skewer into the side of a cardboard box. This allowed me to paint the entire bead without getting paint all over my hands.

DIY Oversized Wood Bead Garland | Inspired by Charm

I gave each bead two coats.

Once the beads are dry, string them on your leather cording. Again, you can choose any order you like. I made a repeating pattern with the smallest beads at the end. The painted beads are evenly spaced on the garland.

DIY Oversized Wood Bead Garland | Inspired by Charm

Once the beads are strung, leave a couple inches of cording on both ends and finish off each end with a knot. (The extra cord will ensure that there’s some give in the strand so that it’s flexible and easy to shape.)

And with that, your project is complete!

DIY Oversized Wood Bead Garland | Inspired by Charm

Now, you can enjoy styling the garland all over your home.

DIY Oversized Wood Bead Garland | Inspired by Charm

DIY Oversized Wood Bead Garland | Inspired by Charm

As I said above, it looks great strung on the mantel, just lying on the coffee table, or spilling out of a bowl.

What I love about this project is that when the holidays are over, you can easily replace the colored beads with ones that fit the new season or your everyday decor.

DIY Oversized Wood Bead Garland | Inspired by Charm

This is a decorative piece that easily transitions from season to season, allowing you to use it all year long.

Plus, with dozens of wood bead shapes and sizes and lots of colors from Fusion Mineral Paints, the options are endless.

DIY Oversized Wood Bead Garland | Inspired by Charm

What do you think? Will you give this DIY Oversize Wood Bead Garland a try?

If you do, you’re going to need some paint. That’s why my friends over at Fusion Mineral Paint were super excited to join in on the 12 Days of Christmas fun!

DIY Oversized Wood Bead Garland | Inspired by Charm

Today I’m giving away a $250 credit to Fusion Mineral Paint to one lucky IBC reader! That will make for quite the paint supply, don’t you think!?

DIY Oversized Wood Bead Garland | Inspired by Charm

To enter to win, use the entry form below. (Those viewing this on a blog reader may need to visit the actual post by clicking here.)

 


 

This giveaway is open to readers in the United States and Canada. You must be 18 or older to win. Void where prohibited. This giveaway will end at 11:59 pm ET on Tuesday, December 20. The winner will be randomly selected, contacted by email, and announced at the top of this post.
 

Best of luck to everyone!!

Don’t forget – there are two more days in this special holiday series. See you back here tomorrow for more festive fun!

 

12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS 2016

Welcome back to the 12 Days of Christmas here on Inspired by Charm. ‘Tis the season to DIY! That’s right. For Day 10 of this series, I’m sharing a fun and colorful DIY that you can use to decorate your home for the holidays and beyond. Check out my DIY Oversize Wood Bead Garland. For […]




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Personalized Holiday Gift Wrap Ideas | inspiredbycharm.com
This post is sponsored by Tiny Prints. As always all opinions are my own.

It’s time to wrap all those gifts you’ve bought. Welcome to Day 9 of the 12 Days of Christmas!

Personalized Holiday Gift Wrap Ideas | inspiredbycharm.com

I couldn’t let this series go by without talking about holiday gift wrapping, right? (You can check out previous gift wrapping posts here and here.) That’s why today I have some Personalized Holiday Gift Wrap Ideas for you.

For this post, I’m teaming up with the fine folks over at Tiny Prints. Not only did they hook me up with awesome wrapping paper, stickers, and holiday cards, they are joining in on the 12 Days of Christmas giveaway fun today by offering $100 credit to two lucky IBC readers! How great is that? First, let’s talk gift wrapping; then, we’ll get to the giveaway.

Because Tiny Prints has so many ways to personalize anything from gift wrap to stockings, I thought it would be a fun focus for this post. And, because time is precious during the holiday season, all of these ideas are pretty simple to put together.

1. Stick with a Color Scheme
Although I’ll be showing you wrapping with a variety of colors, I often find it helpful to have sort of a color scheme when it comes to gift wrapping.

Personalized Holiday Gift Wrap Ideas | inspiredbycharm.com

If you’re anything like me, it’s easy to be tempted by all of the pretty papers and ribbons. Having a color scheme gives you a focus and eliminates a lot of decision making when you’re selecting paper, ribbon, etc. This will save you time and stress.

2. Add Personalization
Did you know you can personalize wrapping paper with your name!? Tiny Prints sells fabulous gift wrap that you can customize with your very own holiday greeting.


Personalized Holiday Gift Wrap Ideas | inspiredbycharm.com

Personalized Holiday Gift Wrap Ideas | inspiredbycharm.com

While all of your paper doesn’t need to be personalized, it’s one way to add a unique touch to your gift giving.

3. Layer Ribbons
As I’ve said in years past, my go-to ribbon for gift wrapping is satin. Nowadays, you can find it online in almost any color and width. To get the best buy, I recommend purchasing a spool of 50 yards. (If there is extra, you can use it year round for gift giving. I do!) A single satin ribbon looks classy, but also try layering a couple ribbons for depth and contrast.

Personalized Holiday Gift Wrap Ideas | inspiredbycharm.com

Personalized Holiday Gift Wrap Ideas | inspiredbycharm.com

I’m clearly not the only person obsessed with ribbon. The array of ribbons at home stores and super stores today is crazy. I’ve been buying them up all season. (My mom thinks I have a problem. There might be an intervention soon.)

Personalized Holiday Gift Wrap Ideas | inspiredbycharm.com

Again, work within your color palette, and you can’t go wrong. Pick a ribbon with a touch of metallic, and you’re likely to get the “this -is-too-pretty-to-open” response. (Congratulations, you just won Christmas.)

One more thing about ribbon: When trimming the ends, take a few extra seconds to make a V cut. Just fold the end of the ribbon in half lengthwise and make a diagonal cut from the folded edge out. It’s that simple, and it gives a finished look to the entire presentation.

4. Gifts on Gifts
What’s better than one gift? A gift on that gift. Last week I shared festive ideas for creating holiday gifts in clear glass ornaments. Why not add one of those to the top of your gift? Not only does it make the package look amazing, but the recipient will be super excited to receive a bonus gift.

Personalized Holiday Gift Wrap Ideas | inspiredbycharm.com

5. Add an Ornament
This year my sister-in-law decided to change up her tree. As she was contemplating donating / tossing the outdated ornaments, I suggested that she keep them for embellishing presents.

Personalized Holiday Gift Wrap Ideas | inspiredbycharm.com

Adding an ornament to a wrapped gift is probably one of my favorite ways to personalize it and make it extra special. Not only does the ornament make your gift stand out, but it’s something the recipient can hang on his or her tree and remember you by throughout the season and for years to come. (Or, they can do what my mom does and save it for next year to tie onto someone else’s package. Ha!)

Personalized Holiday Gift Wrap Ideas | inspiredbycharm.com

Recycle ornaments that no longer suit your decor or, if time permits, DIY a few. Check out my Concrete Ornaments, Wood Slice Photo Ornaments, or Painted Scallop Ornaments for inspiration.

6. Don’t Wrap
I get that many of you might not be as excited as I am about wrapping. That’s okay. Thanks to fabulous boxes and stickers, you don’t have to be.

Personalized Holiday Gift Wrap Ideas | inspiredbycharm.com

Personalized Holiday Gift Wrap Ideas | inspiredbycharm.com

Here, I used a plain black box tied with ribbon, and embellished with a personalized sticker from Tiny Pints. That’s it. No wrapping required. How easy is that? Thanks to the sticker, you get that personalized touch sans paper.

Personalized Holiday Gift Wrap Ideas | inspiredbycharm.com

Personalized Holiday Gift Wrap Ideas | inspiredbycharm.com

And yes, you can still get creative. Here I used a kraft paper Chinese take-out container to achieve the same look. With a simple ribbon, the adorable gift tag becomes the star of the show. (You can find the stickers I used here and here.)

7. Bring on the Twine
For years, I’ve been using baker’s twine as the piéce de résistance when wrapping gifts. Although it does take a bit more time, wrapping a simple piece of twine around a package is a beautiful finishing detail. The twine can double as a way to tie on an ornament, gift tag, piece of pine, etc.

Personalized Holiday Gift Wrap Ideas | inspiredbycharm.com

Personalized Holiday Gift Wrap Ideas | inspiredbycharm.com

I’m especially loving the twine with metallic thread, but with the huge variety of options available, you’re sure to find something to suit your style.

8. Gift a Card
Sometimes the right gift during the holidays is just a card. That works for me. Whether your sending this festive greeting by mail or handing it to someone in person, Tiny Prints has hundreds of options to make it special and personal.

Personalized Holiday Gift Wrap Ideas | inspiredbycharm.com

For the past several years, I’ve tried to keep my cards personal, and this year was no exception. Since I don’t have a family to feature on my card, I opted for several of my favorite holiday images from last year.

Personalized Holiday Gift Wrap Ideas | inspiredbycharm.com

A picture of my dining room worked well with this letterpress design. I paired it with printed envelopes for the perfect combination.

Personalized Holiday Gift Wrap Ideas | inspiredbycharm.com

My marshmallow wreath is the star of my second holiday card. I wanted a card to go with these “special delivery” envelopes, and this looked great. The red foiled “Merry Christmas” was the perfect greeting.

Personalized Holiday Gift Wrap Ideas | inspiredbycharm.com

As you know, I like to embellish my cards, too. Holiday stamps are a must. And a simple strip of washi tape seals the deal (envelope).

Personalized Holiday Gift Wrap Ideas | inspiredbycharm.com

Whether you have a picture of your dining room to share, an image of your pets, or dozens of family photos, Tiny prints will have a card option to suit your taste.

Personalized Holiday Gift Wrap Ideas | inspiredbycharm.com

And that’s it! Another round of fabulous, festive, and personalized ways to gift holiday cheer.

Now, let’s talk about that giveaway!

Personalized Holiday Gift Wrap Ideas | inspiredbycharm.com

Thanks to my friends over at Tiny Prints, two lucky IBC readers will each receive a $100 credit to Tiny Prints!

Personalized Holiday Gift Wrap Ideas | inspiredbycharm.com

To enter to win, use the entry form below. (Those viewing this on a blog reader may need to visit the actual post by clicking here.)

 


 

This giveaway is open to readers in the United State. You must be 18 or older to win. Void where prohibited. This giveaway will end at 11:59 pm ET on Sunday, December 18. The winner will be randomly selected, contacted by email, and announced at the top of this post.
 

Best of luck!!

The 12 Days of Christmas continues through the entire week, so be sure to stop back every day for more inspiration. If there’s something you’ve missed, catch up on all the posts linked up below.

 

12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS 2016

This post is sponsored by Tiny Prints. As always all opinions are my own. It’s time to wrap all those gifts you’ve bought. Welcome to Day 9 of the 12 Days of Christmas! I couldn’t let this series go by without talking about holiday gift wrapping, right? (You can check out previous gift wrapping posts here […]




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O Christmas Tree | inspiredbycharm.com

Happy Monday, and welcome back to more holiday fun on IBC’s 12 Days of Christmas!

O Christmas Tree | inspiredbycharm.com

It’s Day 8 of the 12 Days of Christmas series, and today I thought we’d take a closer look at two of the Christmas trees I shared during my 2016 Holiday Home Tour. Since there was so much happening in that post, I wasn’t able to give them the attention they deserve.

(If you’re interested in more details about my flocked tree, you can check out that post here.)

Let’s start with the small tree in my living room.

O Christmas Tree | inspiredbycharm.com

This tree came about more or less by accident. One of my friends on Facebook posted a picture of a beautiful slim flocked tree. I got the source from him and ordered one. (You can find it here, in case you’re interested.) However, because I sometimes do not pay close attention, I did not realize how slim the tree is. My intention was to use it in my office (where my other flocked tree is), but it looked completely out of place. It was just too small.

O Christmas Tree | inspiredbycharm.com

However, my mistake proved to be serendipitous. I had long wanted a tree in my living room, but could never find one that worked in that space.

O Christmas Tree | inspiredbycharm.com

That is until this tree came into my life. It fit perfectly!

O Christmas Tree | inspiredbycharm.com

I tried a variety of ribbons and ornaments on the tree before settling on the final design. Much of my inspiration came from these wood ornaments from Tree Hopper Toys. I’d never heard of this brand until I saw one of their ads on Instagram a few days before Thanksgiving. I clicked on over and immediately picked out my favorites.

O Christmas Tree | inspiredbycharm.com

O Christmas Tree | inspiredbycharm.com

I especially like this #SantaSelfie ornament. You know I love a little quirky in my decor, and this ornament gives me that and more.

O Christmas Tree | inspiredbycharm.com

And I couldn’t resist the Log Cabin Puzzle to match.

O Christmas Tree | inspiredbycharm.com

You may also have noticed the wood trees and stars as well as the clear ornaments with gold trees. They’re from H&M. In fact, I ended up picking up a lot of holiday decor at H&M. Their selection is killer, and the prices are hard to beat. My tip: They sell out quickly, so gobble up the good stuff whenever you see it.

O Christmas Tree | inspiredbycharm.com

The rest of the ornaments were ones I already had on hand. I strung ribbons vertically to add softness and tie it all together.

O Christmas Tree | inspiredbycharm.com

It’s wonderful to have the glow and warmth from this tree when I’m cozied up on the couch watching TV.

Over in the dining room, I tried to go a bit more rich and modern which is why I opted for gold and black. That’s one of the great things about having four trees, I have a chance to try new things and have fun. (The downside is the amount of money I spend on tree ornaments.)

O Christmas Tree | inspiredbycharm.com

The first thing I put on the tree was a faux fur garland I picked up at Pier 1. Even though I loved it, it proved to be a design challenge. Because the tree is dark, the white garland created too much of a contrast. Since I refused to get rid of the tree or the garland, I decided to add white flocked pine branches I found at a local home store. Along with these white marbled ornaments I got at Target, they really brought it all together.

O Christmas Tree | inspiredbycharm.com

O Christmas Tree | inspiredbycharm.com

With that part complete, I packed the tree with black ornaments and a variety of gold and copper ones. I also brought in some green for a bit of color.

O Christmas Tree | inspiredbycharm.com

O Christmas Tree | inspiredbycharm.com

O Christmas Tree | inspiredbycharm.com

These gold sequined unicorns (from Target), coupled with a feathered owl tree topper, were perfect for an unexpected touch of whimsy.

O Christmas Tree | inspiredbycharm.com

For a tree skirt, I used this plaid sequined beauty from CB2. As I mentioned previously, this Designer Lit Tree from Grandin Road has over 6,000 mini LED lights. When lit, the sequins on the tree skirt sparkle like you wouldn’t believe! It’s pretty stellar!

O Christmas Tree | inspiredbycharm.com

O Christmas Tree | inspiredbycharm.com

All in all, I achieved the look I was after with this tree. I think it works well with the rest of the details in this space.

O Christmas Tree | inspiredbycharm.com

Sidenote: Since we’re in my dining room, I wanted to let you know about a post that I just put together for my friends at HomeGoods. In it, I talk about my place settings and tablescape. The holiday decor in this space was partially inspired by this stunning dinnerware I found, so it couldn’t go without mention. Head on over to the Design Happy blog to read more about how I styled the table.

O Christmas Tree | inspiredbycharm.com

And that’s it, my friends! Now that you’ve had a closer look at all of my trees, which is your favorite?

Since we’re already halfway though December, I realize that changing up your entire tree this year might not be an option. I also know from experience that buying all new ornaments can be ridiculously expensive.

That made me think that a $250 Visa Gift Card might come in handy for shopping those after-Christmas sales in order to deck out a new tree next year.

O Christmas Tree | inspiredbycharm.com

So for today’s giveaway, one lucky IBC reader will win a $250 Visa Gift Card from me.

O Christmas Tree | inspiredbycharm.com

To enter to win, use the entry form below. (Those viewing this on a blog reader may need to visit the post by clicking here.)

 


 

This giveaway is open to readers worldwide. You must be 18 or older to win. Void where prohibited. This giveaway will end at 11:59 pm ET on Monday, December 19. The winner will be randomly selected, contacted by email, and announced at the top of this post.
 

Best of luck to all, and happy tree trimming!

 

12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS 2016

Happy Monday, and welcome back to more holiday fun on IBC’s 12 Days of Christmas! It’s Day 8 of the 12 Days of Christmas series, and today I thought we’d take a closer look at two of the Christmas trees I shared during my 2016 Holiday Home Tour. Since there was so much happening in […]




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Christmas in the Kitchen | inspiredbycharm.com
The giveaway has ended. Congrats and Happy Holidays to the winner, Suzy R.!

The 12 Days of Christmas is back. Today we’re celebrating Christmas in the Kitchen with holiday decor ideas and a sweet yuletide treat.

Christmas in the Kitchen | inspiredbycharm.com

I’m so excited to be joining the Blogger Stylin’ Holiday Home Tour for Day 7 of the 12 Days of Christmas. Lindsay of The White Buffalo Styling Co. has invited me back for another year, and I couldn’t be more thrilled to join in the fun. If you’re currently on the tour and coming from Megan Pflug Designs, welcome! I’m so happy to have you. If this is your first stop on the tour, and you want to visit all of the bloggers’ homes, you can click here to start at the beginning.

Christmas in the Kitchen | inspiredbycharm.com

Last week I was honored to share my Holiday Home Tour with you (You can find it here in case you missed it). If you’ve been following IBC for some time, you probably noticed that a few rooms were missing from the tour. Today, I’m going to give you a look into my kitchen. Plus, *sings* since I knew you were coming, I baked a cake! Well, not a cake exactly, but a Pink Velvet Yule Log. Wait ’till you get a closer look at this beauty!

Now, let’s get this tour started!

Christmas in the Kitchen | inspiredbycharm.com

Before we head to the kitchen, I thought you might want to see my front entryway. I don’t use this door much, but I felt it needed a touch of the season.

Christmas in the Kitchen | inspiredbycharm.com

I decorated my coat rack with a bit of holiday bling and and some scarves.

Christmas in the Kitchen | inspiredbycharm.com

Christmas in the Kitchen | inspiredbycharm.com

On the opposite wall, I decided to tuck new artwork into my mirrored frames. I found these snowy pine tree prints on Etsy and thought they’d be perfect not only for Christmas, but for the entire winter season.

Christmas in the Kitchen | inspiredbycharm.com

I also replaced my colorful bench with a more neutral piece I picked up at HomeGoods. With a few seasonal pillows and a throw, this space is looking quite welcoming.

Christmas in the Kitchen | inspiredbycharm.com

Over in the kitchen, I kept things simple with just a few colorful touches for Christmas.

Christmas in the Kitchen | inspiredbycharm.com

I don’t think I told you that I purchased a real tree so I could cut greens from it to decorate my mantel. The top of the tree looked so perfect that I decided to chop it off, put it in a vase with some water, and set it up in my kitchen. It wasn’t that I needed a fourth tree in my house; I just couldn’t let that top go to waste.

Christmas in the Kitchen | inspiredbycharm.com

Christmas in the Kitchen | inspiredbycharm.com

On my bench I added this Merry and Bright pillow (For details about it, visit Shop IBC.)

Christmas in the Kitchen | inspiredbycharm.com

Christmas in the Kitchen | inspiredbycharm.com

Just behind it on my windowsill is one of my favorite Christmas decorations. These little plastic deer are from my grandma and hold lots of beautiful holiday memories.

Christmas in the Kitchen | inspiredbycharm.com

Above the cabinet which hides my microwave, I added modern wood houses I found at HomeGoods. I also tucked in lots of adorable tea lights from Finding Home Farms around my kitchen for an evening glow. The little jars are just too cute, and I love the Joyeux Noel scent.

Christmas in the Kitchen | inspiredbycharm.com

Christmas in the Kitchen | inspiredbycharm.com

Christmas in the Kitchen | inspiredbycharm.com

Christmas in the Kitchen | inspiredbycharm.com

The cabinet next to my bench, which houses all of my white servingware, is adorned with mini lights and a few bottle brush trees.

Christmas in the Kitchen | inspiredbycharm.com

Christmas in the Kitchen | inspiredbycharm.com

Christmas in the Kitchen | inspiredbycharm.com

Sidenote: If you are new to IBC and are wondering why I have old cabinets and pink formica countertops, you can check out this post here. It’s where I talk a bit more about my vintage kitchen.

Christmas in the Kitchen | inspiredbycharm.com

Christmas in the Kitchen | inspiredbycharm.com

Christmas in the Kitchen | inspiredbycharm.com

On the opposite side of the room I added a few mini wreaths to my DIY pegboard organizer which pairs nicely with a Buddy the Elf print from Lindsay Letters.

Christmas in the Kitchen | inspiredbycharm.com

Christmas in the Kitchen | inspiredbycharm.com

Elsewhere in the kitchen, Santa mugs, peppermint sticks, and pine give a seasonal touch.

Christmas in the Kitchen | inspiredbycharm.com

My DIY marshmallow wreath also made it’s way into the kitchen this year. I can’t believe this is three years old and still looks as good as new!

Christmas in the Kitchen | inspiredbycharm.com

Christmas in the Kitchen | inspiredbycharm.com

Christmas in the Kitchen | inspiredbycharm.com

As you can see, in this space, pops of bold reds bring it all together.

Christmas in the Kitchen | inspiredbycharm.com

Christmas in the Kitchen | inspiredbycharm.com

I’m still loving the lighted Christmas ball and pine garland on my banister.

Christmas in the Kitchen | inspiredbycharm.com

Christmas in the Kitchen | inspiredbycharm.com

It’s quite the showpiece! You can see more of that here.

Now, I don’t know about you, but all this home touring has worked up my appetite!

Christmas in the Kitchen | inspiredbycharm.com

Thankfully, I’ve prepared a Pink Velvet Yule Log to fill our bellies and warm our hearts. Let’s eat!

Christmas in the Kitchen | inspiredbycharm.com

If you can believe it, I’d never made a yule log before. I’m certain I broke all of the rules with this pastel pink version, but I couldn’t stop myself.

With a swirl center, piped “bark” frosting, chocolate “mushrooms,” and a lot of sprinkles, this is a festive and magical treat. It actually turned out much better than I ever expected.

Christmas in the Kitchen | inspiredbycharm.com

What do you think?

Christmas in the Kitchen | inspiredbycharm.com

For more details on this Pink Velvet Yule Log and the recipe, I’ve created a Bonus 12 Days of Christmas post! You can check that out and get the recipe here.

Christmas in the Kitchen | inspiredbycharm.com

However, before you go, it’s a tradition in the 12 Days series that we have a giveaway, so let’s do that!

Christmas in the Kitchen | inspiredbycharm.com

My friends over at ZWILLING were feeling super generous and have provided a ZWILLING Pro 7-piece Knife Block Set for me to give away. I actually have a set of their knives and love them. (Did you see the knife block in my kitchen!?) In fact, I used one to slice up my yule log.

Christmas in the Kitchen | inspiredbycharm.com

For today’s giveaway, one lucky IBC reader will win a ZWILLING Pro 7-piece Knife Block Set.

To enter to win, use the entry form below. (Those viewing this on a blog reader may need to visit the post by clicking here.)

 


 

This giveaway is open to readers in the United States. You must be 18 or older to win. Void where prohibited. This giveaway will end at 11:59 pm ET on Friday, December 16. The winner will be randomly selected, contacted by email, and announced at the top of this post.

 

As always, best of luck! Thanks again to ZWILLING for being so amazing and offering this knife set to the winner of this giveaway.

 

Thank YOU for joining me today for Christmas in the Kitchen. Again, for that Pink Velvet Yule Log recipe, click here.

Christmas in the Kitchen | inspiredbycharm.com

Also, I’m the final stop on the Blogger Stylin’ Holiday Home Tour. If you’re looking for more holiday inspiration, you can visit all of my 12 Days of Christmas posts linked up below.

 

12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS 2016

The giveaway has ended. Congrats and Happy Holidays to the winner, Suzy R.! The 12 Days of Christmas is back. Today we’re celebrating Christmas in the Kitchen with holiday decor ideas and a sweet yuletide treat. I’m so excited to be joining the Blogger Stylin’ Holiday Home Tour for Day 7 of the 12 Days […]




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Christmas in the Kitchen | inspiredbycharm.com

Happy 12 Days of Christmas! I love you all so much, and my Christmas spirit is soaring so high, that I decided to add a bonus post to the series with this Pink Velvet Yule Log.

Pink Velvet Yule Log | inspiredbycharm.com

Inspired by my Christmas in the Kitchen tour, I thought we needed something sweet to celebrate.

Pink Velvet Yule Log | inspiredbycharm.com

Since I’d never made a yule log, but had long wanted to do so, this seemed like the perfect opportunity. And, since nothing can be typical around these parts, I wanted a yule log with a twist.

Pink Velvet Yule Log | inspiredbycharm.com

With touches of pink all over my kitchen (including my fabulous pink countertops), a pink velvet yule log only made sense. To make it feel festive and sparkly, I added lots of sprinkles, sugar pearls, and coarse sugar.

Pink Velvet Yule Log | inspiredbycharm.com

I’d say we have something worthy of Suzy Snowflake. Right?

Now, if you’ve never made a yule lug, it can be a bit time consuming, given all of the ornamentation. However, despite how it looks, I kept things pretty simple.

Christmas in the Kitchen | inspiredbycharm.com

To start, you’ll prepare two pink velvet Swiss rolls. The cakes are baked thin on a large sheet pan lined with parchment paper.

Pink Velvet Yule Log | inspiredbycharm.com

Once out of the oven, they are immediately rolled in a confectioner’s sugar-dusted towel to cool. Doing this prevents the cake from cracking when it is filled with frosting and rerolled.

Pink Velvet Yule Log | inspiredbycharm.com

After the cakes have cooled, they are spread with a cream cheese and white chocolate frosting and are rolled back up.

Pink Velvet Yule Log | inspiredbycharm.com

Pink Velvet Yule Log | inspiredbycharm.com

Once they’ve set up in the refrigerator, you’re ready to assemble them. The reason you’ve baked two of these rolls is to make the main yule log and have extra pieces to create branches. You can see how I’ve sliced my cake up below.

Christmas in the Kitchen | inspiredbycharm.com

You’ll have to slice the cake with some curves so they fit somewhat snuggly to the main roll.

Pink Velvet Yule Log | inspiredbycharm.com

However, don’t worry too much. The nest step is using more of that wonderful frosting to pipe lines all over the cake to create a wood grain effect. (I used white and pink for a bit of variety.) During this process you can also fill in any gaps where your cake pieces connect. Once your yule log is complete, you won’t notice the joints. Frosting covers a myriad of mistakes.

Christmas in the Kitchen | inspiredbycharm.com

Now you’re ready to decorate. Traditionally, yule logs are adorned with meringue mushrooms. However, I don’t have much meringue experience, so I just created mushrooms by piping white and pink melted chocolate onto wax paper. Sprinkled with sugar and candies before the chocolate sets, no one will even miss the meringue mushrooms.

Christmas in the Kitchen | inspiredbycharm.com

(I also piped trees, but they didn’t work as I thought. However, I did tuck them around the base of my yule log to mimic leaves.)

 

Once all of that was complete, I just sprinkled the entire thing with more coarse sugar and sprinkles to create a festive and heavenly confection.

Pink Velvet Yule Log | inspiredbycharm.com

It’s the perfect pink holiday treat.

Pink Velvet Yule Log | inspiredbycharm.com

Pink Velvet Yule Log | inspiredbycharm.com

For my first yule log, I’m pretty pleased with how it turned out. I also had a blast putting it together.

Pink Velvet Yule Log | inspiredbycharm.com

However, with all that work behind me, I think it’s time for a taste.

Pink Velvet Yule Log | inspiredbycharm.com

Pink Velvet Yule Log

Serves 20-24

Here's what you will need:
2 cups all-purpose floor
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
8 eggs
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/4 cup canola oil
1/4 cup buttermilk
2 teaspoons white vinegar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract
Pink gel food coloring (about 4 drops)
Confectioner's sugar for dusting

Filling / Frosting:
3 packages (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract
3 cups confectioner's sugar
15 ounces white baking chocolate, melted
Pink gel food coloring

You will also need:
Sprinkles, sugar pearls, coarse sanding sugar
Additional melted white chocolate (in white and pink) piped into mushroom and tree shapes

 

Begin by preheating your oven to 350 degrees F. Grease two 15x10x1" pans with baking spray, cover with parchment paper, and then spray again.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the eggs on high for 3-5 minutes, until pale in color. Continue beating as you slowly add the sugar. Once combined, add the oil, buttermilk, vinegar, vanilla extract, and almond extract. Beat to incorporate. Add pink gel food coloring to achieve desired color. Mix to combine. Finally, beat in the dry ingredients until just combined.

Divide the batter evenly between the two prepared baking pans. Tilt the pan (or spread with a spatula) to even out the batter.

Bake for 12-15 minutes or until the cake springs back when touched.

While the cakes bake, lay two tea towels out on your countertop and sprinkle each towel with powdered sugar.

When the cakes are done, immediately invert them onto the prepared towels. Remove the parchment paper and then roll the cake in the towel starting at the narrower end. Set on a wire rack to cool completely. (This step is important because it will prevent your cake from cracking later when you reroll it after it's cooled.)

In the meantime, prepare your filling. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the cream cheese, butter, and salt until smooth. Add the vanilla and almond extracts and beat to combine. Gradually beat in the confectioner's sugar and white baking chocolate until smooth. Divide this frosting evenly into three bowls.

Once your cakes have cooled, unroll them. Using two of the three bowls of frosting, spread one bowl over each of the cakes to within 1/2 inch of the edge. Roll them up again, without the towel. Place both onto a large platter seam side down and refrigerate until the filling has set. This will take about 2 hours.

Once the cakes have cooled, trim of the edges of each cake. Set one cake onto a platter, then cut the second cake to create branches off the first. Trim the cake branches so they fit snuggly.

Divide your final bowl of frosting into two bowls. Use a touch of pink gel food coloring to dye one half pink; leave the rest white. Put each frosting into separate piping bags, cut off the tips, and pipe lines onto the cake to resemble bark. Fill in any areas where the cake connects.

Garnish the yule log with sprinkles, sugar pearls, and coarse sanding sugar for sparkle.

To create chocolate mushrooms, put melted white chocolate (one white and one dyed pink) into two piping bags. Pipe the desired shapes onto wax paper. Sprinkle with coarse sanding sugar or add sugar pearls to the mushrooms before the chocolate sets for added interest. Allow the chocolate to cool completely, and then tuck them into your yule log.

Print

Tada!

Christmas in the Kitchen | inspiredbycharm.com

Christmas in the Kitchen | inspiredbycharm.com

Yes, creating a yule log is a process. However, if you enjoy baking, it’s fun, and the results speak for themselves.

Pink Velvet Yule Log | inspiredbycharm.com

Pink Velvet Yule Log | inspiredbycharm.com

I love how mine turned and may have just started a yearly tradition. What do you think?

Christmas in the Kitchen | inspiredbycharm.com

Now, this is a bonus 12 Days of Christmas post so there is no additional giveaway. However, be sure to visit today’s official post, Christmas in the Kitchen, and enter to win a set of ZWILLING knives!

For more 12 Days of Christmas festivities, check out the posts linked up below.

 

12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS 2016

Happy 12 Days of Christmas! I love you all so much, and my Christmas spirit is soaring so high, that I decided to add a bonus post to the series with this Pink Velvet Yule Log. Inspired by my Christmas in the Kitchen tour, I thought we needed something sweet to celebrate. Since I’d never […]




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Very Merry Ornamentini | inspiredbycharm.com
The giveaway has ended. Congrats and Happy Holidays to the winner, Lizzy F.!

We’ve made it halfway through the 12 Days of Christmas! That deserves a cocktail.

Very Merry Ornamentini | inspiredbycharm.com

Welcome to Day 6 of the 12 Days of Christmas here on IBC. I’m so happy to have you with me for this merry series. In celebration of reaching the midway point, I thought a cocktail was in order. Today we are making a Very Merry Ornamentini. Plus, there’s a spectacular giveaway thanks to our friends over at Grandin Road. (If you’ve been dreaming of adding a bar cart to your home, then this is the giveaway for you!)

Let’s start things off with the cocktail.

Very Merry Ornamentini | inspiredbycharm.com

As you can imagine, it’s a lot of fun to brainstorm ideas for this series, but it can be a bit stressful, too. (You can read more about my creative thinking process here.) When planning 12 Days, I knew I wanted to include a cocktail. With the success of my Jingle Juice Holiday Punch last year, I had some big glasses to fill. Literally. My initial thought was to make a Hot Cocoa Martini, but a quick web search revealed that it had been done many times over.

Then, as I was putting together my clear glass ornament gift ideas a few days ago, it hit me. Why not make a holiday martini, but serve it in a glass ornament!? I loved the idea, but wondered if had been done before. After a quick Google and Pinterest search, I was thrilled to see it hadn’t been tackled. #winning

Very Merry Ornamentini | inspiredbycharm.com

Following some experimentation and decision making, the perfect seasonal martini recipe was born. Thus, I present to you the Very Merry Ornamentini!

Very Merry Ornamentini | inspiredbycharm.com

Tell me that this isn’t one of the most festive and fun martinis ever. I’m certain Buddy the Elf would approve.

Very Merry Ornamentini | inspiredbycharm.com

First, let’s talk about the actual cocktail. I opted to create a variation on a classic cosmopolitan. With vodka as the base, I added cranberry juice, cherry juice, orange liqueur, and a splash of freshly squeezed orange juice.

Very Merry Ornamentini | inspiredbycharm.com

Very Merry Ornamentini | inspiredbycharm.com

Very Merry Ornamentini | inspiredbycharm.com

Adding cherry juice and substituting orange juice for lime juice is what makes this drink different and seasonal. The cherry juice gives it a beautiful deep red color and the orange juice suits this time of year. The resulting flavor combination is deliciously classic with a twist.

Garnished with a few of those sugared cranberries I taught you how to make here, plus a sprig of fresh rosemary, this martini is Christmas AF.

Very Merry Ornamentini | inspiredbycharm.com

Now, you’re probably wondering how to serve this.

You could pop a straw in the ornament or drink directly from it. However, I don’t love either of those ideas. That’s not how to enjoy a martini.

Very Merry Ornamentini | inspiredbycharm.com

My suggestion is to serve the cocktail in the ornament and invite each guest to pour the cocktail over the cranberries into a glass. Or if you’re hosting a dinner party, you can present it and pour it for your guests.

Very Merry Ornamentini | inspiredbycharm.com

Sidenote: As you can imagine, ornaments weren’t designed for pouring liquids. What I’ve learned is to only fill them about 90% full and to pour slowly into the martini glass. This will help prevent spills.

These martinis do take a little longer to prepare, but they can be made in advance. Mix up the cocktails several hours before your party (or the morning of) and portion them into the ornaments. Pop them in the refrigerator and pull them out when it’s serving time. That way there’s no fuss during the actual gathering.

Very Merry Ornamentini | inspiredbycharm.com

Very Merry Ornamentini | inspiredbycharm.com

Christmas cocktail perfected. What do you think?

I’d recommend these for a party of up to 10 people. If you’re serving a crowd, definitely check out my Jingle Juice Holiday Punch.

Very Merry Ornamentini | inspiredbycharm.com

Very Merry Ornamentini | inspiredbycharm.com

Let’s shake up a few!

Very Merry Ornamentini | inspiredbycharm.com

Very Merry Ornamentini

Makes 4 martinis

Here's what you will need:
1 cup vodka (I prefer Tito's.)
1/2 cup orange liqueur (I prefer Cointreau.)
1/2 cup cherry juice*
1/4 cup cranberry juice*
1/4 cup orange juice, freshly squeezed with pulp removed
Sugared cranberries (recipe HERE) and fresh rosemary sprigs to garnish

*Use 100% juice. I found mine in the juice aisle at Walmart. It should be readily available.

Pour all ingredients into a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake vigorously.

Using a funnel, pour the mixture into four 3-inch clear glass ornaments that have been rinsed. Replace the topper on each ornament.

Add sugared cranberries and a rosemary sprig to four martini glasses. Set the ornament in the glass to serve. Before drinking, slowly pour the contents of the ornament onto the cranberries.

Print

Very Merry Ornamentini | inspiredbycharm.com

I know I say this a lot, but this might be my new favorite thing. I vow not to drink a cocktail this holiday season unless it’s served in an ornament. Haha!

Very Merry Ornamentini | inspiredbycharm.com

Cheers, friends!

Very Merry Ornamentini | inspiredbycharm.com

Throughout this post, I hope you’ve also been admiring my new bar cart. I shared it with you in my Holiday Home Tour, but wanted to give it a little more attention today. (Hint. Hint.)

Very Merry Ornamentini | inspiredbycharm.com

Very Merry Ornamentini | inspiredbycharm.com

It’s the Oak Park Bar Cart from Grandin Road. It’s definitely a big upgrade from my previous bar cart which was an old metal stand I picked up for $8 at Goodwill many years ago.

Very Merry Ornamentini | inspiredbycharm.com

Very Merry Ornamentini | inspiredbycharm.com

Naturally, I filled it with some seasonal and staple liquors as well as lots of fun accessories, trays, glassware, and holiday touches. I even found room to hang a plaid and sequined stocking that matches my tree skirt. (I’ve linked up a few of my bar cart accessories like the cocktail shaker, brass pitcher, and ornaments on SHOP IBC. Click here for links.)

Very Merry Ornamentini | inspiredbycharm.com

Very Merry Ornamentini | inspiredbycharm.com

All-in-all, I’m loving the change and rich look it gives my dining room. My friends at Grandin Road thought it looked pretty fabulous too and have generously offered to allow me to give away an Oak Park Bar Cart (valued at $599) as part of the 12 Days of Christmas! Yay!

Very Merry Ornamentini | inspiredbycharm.com

That’s right, today I’m giving away an Oak Park Bar Cart to one lucky IBC reader.

Very Merry Ornamentini | inspiredbycharm.com

Per usual, to enter to win, use the entry form below. (Those viewing this on a blog reader may need to visit the actual post by clicking here.)

 


 

This giveaway is open to readers in the United States. You must be 18 or older to win. Void where prohibited. This giveaway will end at 11:50 pm ET on Thursday, December 15. The winner will be randomly selected, contacted by email, and announced at the top of this post.

 

Best of luck to everyone!

I hope you enjoyed this unique and festive cocktail and are as excited as I am about today’s giveaway. A big thanks to Grandin Road for being so generous.

Very Merry Ornamentini | inspiredbycharm.com

Join me back here tomorrow for Day 7 of the 12 Days of Christmas when I’ll be showing you around my holiday kitchen and sharing a delicious sweet treat.

 

12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS 2016

The giveaway has ended. Congrats and Happy Holidays to the winner, Lizzy F.! We’ve made it halfway through the 12 Days of Christmas! That deserves a cocktail. Welcome to Day 6 of the 12 Days of Christmas here on IBC. I’m so happy to have you with me for this merry series. In celebration of […]




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Holiday Gifting with Clear Glass Ornaments | inspiredbycharm.com
The giveaway has ended. Congrats and Happy Holidays to the winner, Diana P.!
This post is sponsored by merci. As always all opinions are my own.

The 12 Days of Christmas continues with some ideas for Holiday Gifting with Clear Glass Ornaments.

Holiday Gifting with Clear Glass Ornaments | inspiredbycharm.com

Welcome to Day 5 of the 12 Days of Christmas here on IBC. For those of you who are new to the series: I’m sharing 12 festive ideas along with 12 fabulous giveaways over the span of 12 days. Check out the end of this post for links to all of the merriment!

Holiday Gifting with Clear Glass Ornaments | inspiredbycharm.com

Today, I’m teaming up with my friends at merci® (and their delicious chocolate) to give you some holiday gift ideas for the people in your life who you’re especially grateful for. By giving merci (“thank you” in French) you are truly saying “thanks”! #givemerci

Holiday Gifting with Clear Glass Ornaments | inspiredbycharm.com

In case you haven’t heard of merci, they’ve been making rich, European chocolate from the finest ingredients since 1965. Their slim, stylish boxes (featured below) contain eight unique, individually-wrapped flavors: Milk Chocolate, Coffee and Cream. Hazelnut-Almond. Hazelnut-Créme, Marizpan, Dark Cream, Dark Mousse, and Praline-Créme. Yum!

Holiday Gifting with Clear Glass Ornaments | inspiredbycharm.com

merci has made gift giving easy this year by providing a merci List that easily allows you to check off people on your holiday gift list. merci also offers custom holiday inserts for stylish and custom gift giving. Who doesn’t love a free printable!? Visit givemerci.com to download them. (There are coupons there as well. Win-win!)

Holiday Gifting with Clear Glass Ornaments | inspiredbycharm.com

 Holiday Gifting with Clear Glass Ornaments | inspiredbycharm.com

Inspired by merci, I immediately thought about those individuals in my life who provide a service – the mailman, the girl who cuts my hair, the server at my favorite restaurant, etc. I so appreciate their excellent service throughout the year. During the holidays, I’m always looking for different ways to thank them rather than just handing them cash in a card. I prefer something a bit more personal.

Holiday Gifting with Clear Glass Ornaments | inspiredbycharm.com

That’s why today, I’m sharing six clever and cost-effective ideas for creating a unique gift using a clear glass ornament. There’s no doubt that the recipient will feel appreciated with your extra effort and creativity. Paired with a box of merci, your gift truly says thank you. Let me show you what you might do.

Holiday Gifting with Clear Glass Ornaments | inspiredbycharm.com

We’ll begin with the basics. What goes better with chocolate than more sweet treats? Try filling up an ornament with small candies. Your recipients will think of you every time they shake out a little snack.

Holiday Gifting with Clear Glass Ornaments | inspiredbycharm.com

Holiday Gifting with Clear Glass Ornaments | inspiredbycharm.com

Need a small gift for the baker in your life? Then fill an ornament with sprinkles. Folks who enjoy baking can’t get enough of them. Trust me, I know.

Holiday Gifting with Clear Glass Ornaments | inspiredbycharm.com

For an added festive touch, tie on a seasonal cookie cutter!

Holiday Gifting with Clear Glass Ornaments | inspiredbycharm.com

Sidenote: To get your goodies into the ornament, use a funnel. It makes things a breeze. Also, these clear ornaments are available in glass or plastic. Use what works best for your application.

Holiday Gifting with Clear Glass Ornaments | inspiredbycharm.com

If your recipient leads a busy life or has a stressful job, these next ideas are for you.

Pick up some of your favorite bath salts (or make your own) and add them to an ornament. Pair it with a small sponge-on-a-rope and chocolates, and you’ve given the gift of relaxation!

Holiday Gifting with Clear Glass Ornaments | inspiredbycharm.com

Holiday Gifting with Clear Glass Ornaments | inspiredbycharm.com

Looking for another gift for someone who needs to unwind? Try filling the ornament with loose leaf tea. Tied up with a mesh tea ball, the recipient can enjoy your gift cozied up on the couch with chocolate and a Christmas movie. Who wouldn’t love that?

Holiday Gifting with Clear Glass Ornaments | inspiredbycharm.com

Holiday Gifting with Clear Glass Ornaments | inspiredbycharm.com

And for those hard-to-buy-for people on your list – lottery tickets.

Holiday Gifting with Clear Glass Ornaments | inspiredbycharm.com

To get them in an ornament, roll them up and tie them with a piece of twine. Tuck a few inside, add tinsel, and you’re set!

Holiday Gifting with Clear Glass Ornaments | inspiredbycharm.com

Last but not least, double the chocolaty goodness by giving the gift of hot cocoa!

Holiday Gifting with Clear Glass Ornaments | inspiredbycharm.com

Funnel a few servings into an ornament, top with marshmallows, and your gift is ready! (If you’re looking for delicious homemade hot cocoa recipes, click here.)

Holiday Gifting with Clear Glass Ornaments | inspiredbycharm.com

Pretty, fun, and unique ideas, right?

I hope you’re feeling inspired to recreate one, two, or all six of these ornaments this holiday season to thank those special people on your holiday list.

Holiday Gifting with Clear Glass Ornaments | inspiredbycharm.com

Holiday Gifting with Clear Glass Ornaments | inspiredbycharm.com

For more information about merci or to grab the free printables visit givemerci.com

To help your gift giving efforts even more, I have another giveaway!

Holiday Gifting with Clear Glass Ornaments | inspiredbycharm.com

Whether you have a specific gift in mind or want to pick up supplies to create these filled glass ornaments, I thought a $200 Amazon gift card could come in handy. Plus, in the spirit of giving, I’m throwing in some delicious merci chocolates.

Holiday Gifting with Clear Glass Ornaments | inspiredbycharm.com

That’s right, one lucky IBC reader will win a $200 Amazon Gift Card and an assortment of merci chocolates.

To enter to win, use the entry form below. (Those viewing this on a blog reader may need to visit the actual post by clicking here.)

 



 

This giveaway is open to readers worldwide. You must be 18 or older to win. Void where prohibited. This giveaway will end at 11:59 pm ET on Wednesday, December 14. The winner will be randomly selected, contacted by email, and announced at the top of this post.
 

Wishing you all the best of luck and a delicious holiday.

IBC’s 12 Days of Christmas continues tomorrow with more holiday fun!

 

12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS 2016

The giveaway has ended. Congrats and Happy Holidays to the winner, Diana P.! This post is sponsored by merci. As always all opinions are my own. The 12 Days of Christmas continues with some ideas for Holiday Gifting with Clear Glass Ornaments. Welcome to Day 5 of the 12 Days of Christmas here on IBC. […]




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Tuesday Tunes / 18 - Folksy Christmas
The giveaway has ended. Congrats and Happy Holidays to the winner, Tracey R.!

“The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear!” – Buddy the Elf

Welcome back to the 12 Days of Christmas here on IBC! I hope you’re enjoying the series this year. I’m having a wonderful time sharing the joys of this holiday season with you.

Tuesday Tunes / 18 - Folksy Christmas

For Day 4, I have more holiday tunes to keep your spirits bright. Plus, in today’s giveaway, I’m excited to be gifting a collection of my 15 favorite holiday albums so you can enjoy more of the sounds of the season in your home this year.

During the past couple weeks, I’ve been sharing some of my favorite holiday songs as part of my Tuesday Tunes series. We’ve covered Classic Christmas and Country Christmas. Today, it’s my favorite Folksy Christmas tunes.

If you’ve been following along with my music selections over the past year, you know that while I love a variety of sounds, there’s something about the folksy singer-songwriter style that will always have my heart. Think artists like Brandi Carlile, Mumford and Sons, and The Lumineers. With this style of music being near and dear to me, naturally I had to put together a playlist of holiday Tuesday Tunes.

Tuesday Tunes / 18 - Folksy Christmas

Although it’s not necessarily a Christmas song, one of my favorite tracks on this list is “Winter Song” by Sara Bareilles and Ingrid Michaelson. I love a song that can somehow make you feel both happy and sad at the same time. Other favorites include “River” by Sarah McLachlan, “Christmas Time is Here” by Shawn Colvin, and anything by She & Him.

I hope this playlist allows you to feel the spirit of the season as you reflect on the year.

 


 

You can use the playlist above to listen to these festive tunes or play them directly on Spotify by clicking here.

I have two more holiday playlists to share this season. You can get a sneak listen to them (and lots of other music) by subscribing to my Spotify profile here.

 

TUESDAY TUNES LIBRARY

 

Now, on to that giveaway I was talking about.


Tuesday Tunes / 18 - Folksy Christmas

I thought it would be fun to have a unique and personal giveaway this year. That’s why I’m excited to give away 15 of my favorite Christmas albums!

Tuesday Tunes / 18 - Folksy Christmas

While I plan to keep a few of the albums a secret, the giveaway will most definitely include, A Very She & Him Christmas, Wrapped in Red: Kelly Clarkson, That’s Christmas to Me: Pentatonix, The Hotel Cafe presents Winter Songs, Gold and Green: Sugarland and more! They are truly great albums you are sure to love!

One lucky IBC reader will win all 15 holiday albums. This giveaway is open to readers worldwide. (The winner will have a choice of CD or digital album.)

To enter to win, use the entry from below. (Those viewing this on a blog reader may need to visit the actual post by clicking here.)



This giveaway is open to readers worldwide. You must be 18 or older to enter this giveaway. Void where prohibited. This giveaway will end at 11:59 pm ET on Tuesday, December 13. The winner will be randomly selected, contacted by email, and announced at the top of this post.
Best of luck to all! Feliz Navidad, my friends!

Good luck!!

I’ll meet you back here tomorrow when the 12 Days of Christmas continues!

 

12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS 2016

The giveaway has ended. Congrats and Happy Holidays to the winner, Tracey R.! “The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear!” – Buddy the Elf Welcome back to the 12 Days of Christmas here on IBC! I hope you’re enjoying the series this year. I’m having a wonderful time […]




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Sugared Cranberries and Gingerbread House Cake | inspiredbycharm.com #IBCholiday
The giveaway has ended. Congrats and Happy Holidays to the winners, Heart Spun Creations and Louise F.!

Welcome back to the 12 Days of Christmas here on IBC. Before we dive into a new week and a new day, I want to thank you for all the love and kind words about my Holiday Home Tour. I cannot express how much your comments (both on the post and social media) mean to me. From the bottom of my heart, thank you!!

Sugared Cranberries and Gingerbread House Cake | inspiredbycharm.com #IBCholiday

The 12 Days of Christmas continues with a festive and tasty little treat. I know I’ve been teasing you with it for a week or so, but today I’m finally going to share the details on my Gingerbread House Cake, plus teach you how to make Sugared Cranberries.

Sugared Cranberries and Gingerbread House Cake | inspiredbycharm.com #IBCholiday

Back in October I stumbled across this gingerbread house bundt pan at HomeGoods. (If you don’t have a HomeGoods near you or can’t find the pan in your store, you can also get it here.) After having so much fun with a similar skull cake pan for Halloween, I had to give this a try for Christmas.

That’s exactly what I did.

Sugared Cranberries and Gingerbread House Cake | inspiredbycharm.com #IBCholiday

Using a delicious gingerbread cake recipe packed with seasonal spices like nutmeg, cinnamon, clove, and ginger, I got to work baking up a beautiful gingerbread house cake. And because one was not enough, I also purchased this pan and made some smaller houses, thus creating a little gingerbread village.

Sugared Cranberries and Gingerbread House Cake | inspiredbycharm.com #IBCholiday

To keep the look simple, I opted to just add green cream cheese frosting to the trees and dust the entire house with confectioner’s sugar.

Sugared Cranberries and Gingerbread House Cake | inspiredbycharm.com #IBCholiday

Sugared Cranberries and Gingerbread House Cake | inspiredbycharm.com #IBCholiday

For a few seasonal touches, I brought in gingerbread men and candy cane icing decorations.

Sugared Cranberries and Gingerbread House Cake | inspiredbycharm.com #IBCholiday

To finish off the cake, I tried my hand at making sugared cranberries. I’d seen these sparkly beauties floating around the internet over the past few years and finally had to whip up a batch myself.

Sugared Cranberries and Gingerbread House Cake | inspiredbycharm.com #IBCholiday

Sugared Cranberries and Gingerbread House Cake | inspiredbycharm.com #IBCholiday

Sugared Cranberries and Gingerbread House Cake | inspiredbycharm.com #IBCholiday

Used as a garnish for my gingerbread house cakes, they added a delightful candy-coated touch of red.

Sugared Cranberries and Gingerbread House Cake | inspiredbycharm.com #IBCholiday

Now, if you want my gingerbread cake recipe for these houses, plus a few more details on how I put them together, head on over to the HomeGoods Design Happy blog. Every month I share two posts on their blog, and this Snow-Covered Gingerbread Cake Village is my latest. You can find it here.

Sugared Cranberries and Gingerbread House Cake | inspiredbycharm.com #IBCholiday

I also wanted to show you how to make the sugared cranberries.

Sugared Cranberries and Gingerbread House Cake | inspiredbycharm.com #IBCholliday

Not only are they great for decorating gingerbread houses, but they have other uses around the holidays as well.

Sugared Cranberries and Gingerbread House Cake | inspiredbycharm.com #IBCholiday

Sugared Cranberries and Gingerbread House Cake | inspiredbycharm.com #IBCholiday

To start, they are delicious on their own served in a bowl alongside your holiday cheese board. The sugar coating perfectly complements the tart cranberries, making them a tasty snack. Serve them up with a plate of cheese and pepperoni and you’re in business.

Sugared Cranberries and Gingerbread House Cake | inspiredbycharm.com #IBCholiday

Sugared Cranberries and Gingerbread House Cake | inspiredbycharm.com #IBCholiday

They also make a shimmering addition to your holiday cocktail. I like to slip a few on a wood skewer and set it on top of the glass. As you might expect, the sugar will dissolve when it comes in contact with the cocktail. This method allows them to shine. I think they would look especially wonderful with my Cranberry Bourbon Cocktail or Jingle Juice Holiday Punch!

I most recently used them when I made my Very Merry Ornamentini!

Very Merry Ornamentini | inspiredbycharm.com

Sugared Cranberries and Gingerbread House Cake | inspiredbycharm.com #IBCholiday

Sugared Cranberries and Gingerbread House Cake | inspiredbycharm.com #IBCholiday

Beyond those ideas, you can use them to garnish your cookie tray or any seasonal appetizer. Let me show you how easy they are to make!

Sugared Cranberries and Gingerbread House Cake | inspiredbycharm.com #IBCholiday

 

Sugared Cranberries

Here's what you will need:
2 cups sugar, divided
1/2 cup water
1 (12-ounce bag) fresh cranberries

In a medium sauce pan over medium heat, combine 1/2 cup of sugar with 1/2 cup water. Stir until the sugar is dissolved (2-3 minutes). Remove from heat and stir in the cranberries until they are well coated. Using a colander, drain the liquid from the cranberries. Transfer the cranberries to a wire rack and let dry for at least an hour.

Working in small batches, roll the cranberries in the remaining sugar until they are well coated. Let them dry for at least one hour on a wire rack.

Store the cranberries in a bowl without a lid. Enjoy as a snack within two days or use as decor for up to two weeks.

Print

Sugared Cranberries and Gingerbread House Cake | inspiredbycharm.com #IBCholiday

Sugared Cranberries and Gingerbread House Cake | inspiredbycharm.com #IBCholiday

Pretty simple, right? It’s easy to see why these little guys make the perfect holiday garnish. Now you’re ready to tackle the holidays with a delicious dessert recipe (that doubles as an adorable and festive village), plus some sparkly cranberries you can use in a variety of ways.

With all that yumminess out of the way, it’s time for today’s 12 Days of Christmas Giveaway!

Sugared Cranberries and Gingerbread House Cake | inspiredbycharm.com #IBCholiday

Inspired by my love for all things HomeGoods, today I’m giving away two $100 Gift Cards to HomeGoods. Yes, TWO lucky IBC readers will each win a $100 Gift Card to HomeGoods.

Sugared Cranberries and Gingerbread House Cake | inspiredbycharm.com #IBCholiday

To enter to win, use the entry form below. (Those viewing this on a blog reader may need to visit the actual post by clicking here.)



This giveaway is open to readers in the United States! You must be 18 or older to win. Void where prohibited. This giveaway will end at 11:59 pm ET on Monday, December 12. The winner will be randomly selected, contacted by email, and announced at the top of this post.
This giveaway is not sponsored by HomeGoods.

As always, good luck and Happy Holidays!

Sugared Cranberries and Gingerbread House Cake | inspiredbycharm.com #IBCholiday

IBC’s 12 Days of Christmas fun continues tomorrow! In case you’re just joining us, catch up on the fun by visiting more of the 12 Days of Christmas below.

 

12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS 2016

The giveaway has ended. Congrats and Happy Holidays to the winners, Heart Spun Creations and Louise F.! Welcome back to the 12 Days of Christmas here on IBC. Before we dive into a new week and a new day, I want to thank you for all the love and kind words about my Holiday Home […]




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Lowe's Gift Card Giveaway | inspiredbycharm.com
This post is sponsored by Lowe’s Home Improvement. As always all opinions are my own.

Hope you are having the happiest of holiday seasons. Welcome back to the 12 Days of Christmas here on Inspired by Charm! In case you missed the start of this holly jolly series, you can click here for Day 1: Holiday Home Tour.

Fun, Festive, and Flocked Christmas Tree | inspiredbycharm.com

For Day 2, I’m so thrilled to be back today to give you a closer look at the Fun, Festive, and Flocked Christmas Tree in my office. While you got a little peek at it yesterday, you didn’t get the full experience of this tree, so that’s what I wanted to share today. Plus, I’m going to pass along some of my tree trimming tricks. Let’s get to it.

Fun, Festive, and Flocked Christmas Tree | inspiredbycharm.com

As you may have noticed, flocked Christmas trees have become increasingly popular in recent years. It’s easy to see why. You get the look of a Christmas tree (obviously), but it also has a magical snowy white glow. Plus, flocking on a pre-lit tree covers the lights, making them and the wires almost undetectable when it’s not lit. It’s genius.

Fun, Festive, and Flocked Christmas Tree | inspiredbycharm.com

Fun, Festive, and Flocked Christmas Tree | inspiredbycharm.com

This year, I decided to invest in a quality flocked tree. This is the GE 7.5 ft. Pre-Lit Alaskan Pine Full Flocked Artificial Christmas Tree from Lowe’s. I saw it in-store around Halloween, and then when Lowe’s asked me to decorate a tree for them, I knew this was the one I had to get. (It also has a surprise feature, but we’ll get to that in a second.)

Fun, Festive, and Flocked Christmas Tree | inspiredbycharm.com

Once I had the tree set up, I added colorful plaid ribbon. A couple tips about ribbon: First, get more yardage than you think you’ll need. For this tree, I used about 25 yards. Second, start at the top and let the ribbon flow as you work it down and around the tree. In some spots, tuck it in, and in other places, let it billow out. Twist the ribbon as you work around the tree to give it some dimension. Work in a pattern around the tree, but let the ribbon do its thing. This will give you a much more natural look rather than having horizontal stripes across your tree.

Fun, Festive, and Flocked Christmas Tree | inspiredbycharm.com

Fun, Festive, and Flocked Christmas Tree | inspiredbycharm.com

For ornaments, I began with the beautiful collection of faceted ornaments from allen + roth. I used the White Finial Ornament, White Ball Ornament, and the Red Finial Ornament. The minute I saw this collection from allen + roth, I knew I needed them all. (I even used the copper ball ornament on my dining room tree.)

Fun, Festive, and Flocked Christmas Tree | inspiredbycharm.com

Fun, Festive, and Flocked Christmas Tree | inspiredbycharm.com

With those ornaments on the tree, I pulled inspiration from the ribbon and my office space to fill the tree with beautiful color. I’m a fan of glass ornaments, and Lowe’s has almost any color you could want. From their Holiday Living collection, I ended up using the Pink Ball Ornament Set, Blue Ball Ornament Set, Green Ball Ornament Set, and Red Ball Ornament Set. For a tree this size, I used three packs of each color.

Fun, Festive, and Flocked Christmas Tree | inspiredbycharm.com

I finished things off by adding a few ornaments from my personal collection and a felted ball garland.

Fun, Festive, and Flocked Christmas Tree | inspiredbycharm.com

Fun, Festive, and Flocked Christmas Tree | inspiredbycharm.com

To say I’m in love with this tree would be an understatement.

Fun, Festive, and Flocked Christmas Tree | inspiredbycharm.com

I also picked up a few other items at Lowe’s to decorate the rest of my space, Including these Holiday Living Tabletop Trees (two small and one large) and this Holiday Living Pink Mercury Ornament Set.

Fun, Festive, and Flocked Christmas Tree | inspiredbycharm.com

Fun, Festive, and Flocked Christmas Tree | inspiredbycharm.com

Okay, so we covered festive and flocked. What about the fun? Are you ready?

Tada!

Fun, Festive, and Flocked Christmas Tree | inspiredbycharm.com

Fun, Festive, and Flocked Christmas Tree | inspiredbycharm.com

This tree has color changing LED lights! Surprise! It goes from warm white to multi-colored with a click of a button.

Fun, Festive, and Flocked Christmas Tree | inspiredbycharm.com

Even though I’m usually not a fan of colored lights on a tree, there’s something about the tone / hue of these lights with these decorations that I’m totally digging.

Let’s have a look at that color changing action one more time.

Fun, Festive, and Flocked. Mission accomplished!

Fun, Festive, and Flocked Christmas Tree | inspiredbycharm.com

I hope you enjoyed this colorful tree and got a few ideas for decorating your own. You can grab everything you need to recreate this look at Lowe’s.

Now, before you run off, since this is 12 Days of Christmas, CLICK HERE to get all of the details on today’s giveaway. (Yep, I’m making you work a little bit harder to today’s giveaway.)

Fun, Festive, and Flocked Christmas Tree | inspiredbycharm.com
click-here-to-enter

I’ll meet you back here on Monday for Day 3 of the 12 Days of Christmas. I’ll be teaching you how to make a beautiful and tasty treat for the holidays, plus I’ll be sharing all of the details about those gingerbread house cakes you’ve seen in my posts.

Fun, Festive, and Flocked Christmas Tree | inspiredbycharm.com

See you then!

 

12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS 2016

This post is sponsored by Lowe’s Home Improvement. While product has been provided to create this magical winter wonderland, all opinions are my own.

This post is sponsored by Lowe’s Home Improvement. As always all opinions are my own. Hope you are having the happiest of holiday seasons. Welcome back to the 12 Days of Christmas here on Inspired by Charm! In case you missed the start of this holly jolly series, you can click here for Day 1: […]




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Holiday Home Tour | inspiredbycharm.com
The giveaway has ended. Congrats and Happy Holidays to the winner, Donna P.!

Well, friends. This just might be one of my favorite days here on IBC. Not only am I sharing my Holiday Home Tour 2016 with you, but today marks the official beginning of 12 Days of Christmas!

Holiday Home Tour | inspiredbycharm.com

Now, if that’s not exciting enough, I’m also honored to be participating in Jennifer Rizzo’s Holiday Housewalk. I’ve watched with wonder as she has hosted this tour for several years now. When I received an email from her asking me to join the seasonal fun, I was filled with holiday cheer. This year, more than 30 bloggers are sharing their homes. Each blogger has a unique style so it’s inspiring to check out all of the homes and their festive decor.

Holiday Home Tour | inspiredbycharm.com

If you’re currently on the tour and coming over from Ella Claire, welcome to Inspired by Charm (or IBC as we call it around here). Kristen of Ella Claire is amazingly talented, so it’s an honor to follow her on this tour. Wasn’t her home stunning? Check it out here if you missed it.

Also, if you have no idea what the 12 Days of Christmas is, you can read more about that here. Basically, it’s 12 Days, 12 Ideas, and 12 Giveaways. Which means, when you’ve finished checking out my Holiday Home Tour, be sure to enter today’s giveaway. Details are at the bottom of this post.

Okay, now that we’ve taken care of the preliminaries, let’s get on with the tour! (I recommend listening to one of my holiday playlists to set the mood while browsing. You can find them here.) We’ll start in the living room.

Holiday Home Tour | inspiredbycharm.com

Holiday Home Tour | inspiredbycharm.com

As you might have noticed, thanks to a new rug, this space has a different look. Last year I celebrated the holidays with cool blues, teals, and greens. This year, things are feeling warm and cozy.

Before we go any further – I know how much many of you liked my previous rug. I loved it, too. However, I was ready for a change, and this rug from RugsUSA offered me just what I needed.

Holiday Home Tour | inspiredbycharm.com

Holiday Home Tour | inspiredbycharm.com

With the new rug in place, I opted for traditional reds and greens to create a warm and cozy space that’s ideal for enjoying a Christmas movie on the couch with a big cup of hot cocoa in hand.

Holiday Home Tour | inspiredbycharm.com

Holiday Home Tour | inspiredbycharm.com

I also managed to squeeze a tree into this space. I found this slim flocked pencil tree that fit perfectly next to my couch. Decorated in hues to match the room, it’s the perfect festive accessory.

Holiday Home Tour | inspiredbycharm.com

Holiday Home Tour | inspiredbycharm.com

Holiday Home Tour | inspiredbycharm.com

The star of my mantel this year is this pair of elk antlers that I scored at a local thrift shop. I actually live in Elk County, PA so the antlers are quite fitting. In fact, one of largest roaming elk herds is about 30 minutes from my house.

Holiday Home Tour | inspiredbycharm.com

Holiday Home Tour | inspiredbycharm.com

Adorned with fresh greens, copper ornaments, and acorns, my mantel is dressed for the season.

Holiday Home Tour | inspiredbycharm.com

My DIY wood stockings also made a return this year. You can learn how to make those here.

Holiday Home Tour | inspiredbycharm.com

Side note: Be sure to check out Shop IBC if you’re looking for product links. I’ll try and link up most things there to make it easy to find and shop for products.

Holiday Home Tour | inspiredbycharm.com

Since I eliminated the aqua from this area, I also picked up a new lamp to better suit the space. I also couldn’t resist this #naughty pillow from Grandin Road.

Holiday Home Tour | inspiredbycharm.com

Now, let’s turn on those twinkle lights. I tucked a dimmable strand of LED wire lights into the greenery around my mantel. They are awesome. You can find them here.

Holiday Home Tour | inspiredbycharm.com

Holiday Home Tour | inspiredbycharm.com

Holiday Home Tour | inspiredbycharm.com

Holiday Home Tour | inspiredbycharm.com

My tree adds such a magical glow to this space. I’m so happy I was able to finally have one in this room. Those adorable wood ornaments are from Tree Hopper Toys.

Holiday Home Tour | inspiredbycharm.com

Holiday Home Tour | inspiredbycharm.com

Holiday Home Tour | inspiredbycharm.com

Okay, let’s head over to the office.

Holiday Home Tour | inspiredbycharm.com

If you’re new to IBC, my house layout is a bit weird because it used to be a bed and breakfast. At one point this living room / office space combo was sectioned off by a bathroom. Then it became a gift shop. At this point it’s just a big fun space for me.

Holiday Home Tour | inspiredbycharm.com

Holiday Home Tour | inspiredbycharm.com

This is where the blog magic happens.

Holiday Home Tour | inspiredbycharm.com

Over by my desk, things are looking the same. However, I found a new home for my printer (It’s in my closet thanks to wifi printing.), so I had a bit of extra space for decorating.

Holiday Home Tour | inspiredbycharm.com

These trees LED candles from Grandin Road look great on a wood tray embellished with fresh pine. The geometric himmeli wreath over my Stendig Calendar was a HomeGoods find! I love it.

In this room I added yet another tree next to my office table.

Holiday Home Tour | inspiredbycharm.com

Holiday Home Tour | inspiredbycharm.com

I create a entire post on this Fun, Festive, and Flocked Christmas Tree. It actually has a little surprise to it. If you want to check out it’s secret, you can do that here.

Holiday Home Tour | inspiredbycharm.com

This tree is mostly decked out in ornaments from the allen + roth collection at Lowe’s. They are carrying these beautiful geometric ornaments this year, and I just couldn’t get enough of them. That beautiful plaid ribbon was a HomeGoods find! It’s perfection!

Holiday Home Tour | inspiredbycharm.com

Holiday Home Tour | inspiredbycharm.com

I also baked up this beautiful gingerbread village with a cake mold I found at HomeGoods. That’s another little sneak peek at things to come during this years 12 Days of Christmas! (So many things to look forward to, right? I’m such a tease!)

Holiday Home Tour | inspiredbycharm.com

My favorite nutcrackers returned to my perfectly pink dresser. Paired with the newest Elf print from Lindsay Letters, it couldn’t get more perfect. “Buddy the Elf, what’s your favorite color?

Holiday Home Tour | inspiredbycharm.com

As we move into the dinning room, you’ll notice I filled a white vase in my entryway with fresh winterberry. This stuff is just gorgeous. I want to put it everywhere. This is the first year I’ve used fresh pine and berries in my home. I’m not sure I can go back to faux!

Holiday Home Tour | inspiredbycharm.com

I also picked up two of these gold peace signs from CB2. Given the state of the world these days, I couldn’t imagine a better way to greet my guests than with a sign of peace.

Holiday Home Tour | inspiredbycharm.com

I tied them up with black satin ribbon and more fresh pine.

Holiday Home Tour | inspiredbycharm.com

Over in the dining room I opted for metallics, black, and just a touch of green.

Holiday Home Tour | inspiredbycharm.com

Going with mostly blacks and golds made me a little nervous since black isn’t a traditional Christmas color. However, with lots of sparkle, it came together better than I could have hoped.

Holiday Home Tour | inspiredbycharm.com

Holiday Home Tour | inspiredbycharm.com

A few years ago, I never would have mixed gold, silver, and copper. This year, I broke the rules and just went for it.

Holiday Home Tour | inspiredbycharm.com

The inspiration came from various sources, but it all started with this Designer Lit tree from Grandin Road. It’s unique in that it’s lit with over 6,000 tiny LED lights. That’s not a typo. It really has 6,720 lights to be exact. (Unfortunately, it’s currently sold out for the year.)

Holiday Home Tour | inspiredbycharm.com

Holiday Home Tour | inspiredbycharm.com

I’m not an expert at beautifully capturing Christmas tree lights (The the dreary gray weather wasn’t helping either.), but this is a stunner.

Holiday Home Tour | inspiredbycharm.com

Holiday Home Tour | inspiredbycharm.com

Holiday Home Tour | inspiredbycharm.com

Pure magic!

It’s definitely not traditional, but when you’re decorating with gold and black, tradition kind of goes out the window.

Holiday Home Tour | inspiredbycharm.com

Holiday Home Tour | inspiredbycharm.com

Along with lots of glimmering metallics, this tree has gold sequined unicorns, faux fur ribbon, and an owl tree topper. I’m so lucky I get to experiment with new trees every year. I honestly never expected a tree like this, but I couldn’t be more excited to celebrate around it.

Holiday Home Tour | inspiredbycharm.com

Over in the opposite corner of the room, I upgraded my $5 thrift store bar cart to something a bit more refined and larger for serving up holiday cocktails. (More about that soon! I’m trying to get one to giveaway!)

Holiday Home Tour | inspiredbycharm.com

Holiday Home Tour | inspiredbycharm.com

Holiday Home Tour | inspiredbycharm.com

Holiday Home Tour | inspiredbycharm.com

I’ve set the table with a variety of things I found at HomeGoods. From the big mercury glass trees to the faux fur table runner to the dinnerware, black, white, and metallic never looked so chic. I’ll be posting more about this tablescape in the coming weeks over on the HomeGoods Design Happy blog.

Holiday Home Tour | inspiredbycharm.com

Holiday Home Tour | inspiredbycharm.com

Holiday Home Tour | inspiredbycharm.com

Holiday Home Tour | inspiredbycharm.com

I’ll also probably pop back in to talk more about this tree. There’s just so much holiday cheer. I can’t fit it all in one post. I did tuck a few presents under the tree topped with my free printable gift tags and DIY concrete ornaments.

Holiday Home Tour | inspiredbycharm.com

Holiday Home Tour | inspiredbycharm.com

Holiday Home Tour | inspiredbycharm.com

Last, but certainly not least, I wanted to try something totally new this year.

Holiday Home Tour | inspiredbycharm.com

Holiday Home Tour | inspiredbycharm.com

I decided to style my staircase banister with garland. This is something I’ve always wanted to do, and I’m crazy in love with it. I chose the soft pine garland from Grandin Road which has battery operated LED lights, complete with timer. Set it and forget it. (I’m sad to report that this garland is currently sold out for the year. However, you can check out some of their other garlands HERE.)

Holiday Home Tour | inspiredbycharm.com

With the green garland in place, I simply wrapped it with another garland of Christmas balls. (You might remember that I used it on my flocked tree a few years ago.)

Holiday Home Tour | inspiredbycharm.com

Two simple steps yielded this dramatic, colorful, and festive garland. If you come and visit me, you might find me sitting on the stairs gazing at it. (Please bring me a cocktail because I’m not moving.)

Holiday Home Tour | inspiredbycharm.com

I’d say my first staircase garland was a success.

Holiday Home Tour | inspiredbycharm.com

And that’s a wrap for my Holiday Home Tour 2016! I have a couple dedicated posts coming up where I’ll show you around my kitchen and take you upstairs, so please stop by in the coming weeks. The festive fun continues!

Holiday Home Tour | inspiredbycharm.com

Now, don’t forget to continue on the Holiday Housewalk. Next up is The Yellow Cap Cod. Sarah is such a talented decorator. You’re going to love how she’s decked her halls for the season. Head on over and check it out.

Holiday Home Tour | inspiredbycharm.com

Oh wait, before you do that. It’s time for the first 12 Days of Christmas Giveaway.

Holiday Home Tour | inspiredbycharm.com

Given that this post is all about home, I was thinking about ways to make the home function better. That made me think that an Amazon Echo would be a fabulous giveaway to start off the series! In fact, I just ordered one for myself. A friend told me that you can set it up to turn on all your Christmas lights with one simple command. Count me in! (You can read more about it here if you have no idea what it is.)

Holiday Home Tour | inspiredbycharm.com

Anywho, today I’m giving away away one Amazon Echo (your choice of color) to one lucky IBC reader. (This is open to readers worldwide!) To enter to win, use the entry form below. (Those viewing this on a blog reader may need to visit the actual post by clicking here.)


 

Because Amazon ships internationally, this giveaway is open to readers worldwide! You must be 18 or older to win. Void where prohibited. This giveaway will end at 11:59 pm ET on Thursday, December 8. The winner will be randomly selected, contacted by email, and announced at the top of this post.

This giveaway is not affiliated with Amazon. I’ll be purchasing the Echo myself.
Good luck to everyone!

Holiday Home Tour | inspiredbycharm.com

Thank you so much for joining me for all the festive fun today. If you want to see more of my home or how I decorate for other seasons, you can find all of my home tours here. If you’re on the hunt for more holiday inspiration, click here for those posts.

Happy Holidays to my friends both old and new!

 

12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS 2016

The giveaway has ended. Congrats and Happy Holidays to the winner, Donna P.! Well, friends. This just might be one of my favorite days here on IBC. Not only am I sharing my Holiday Home Tour 2016 with you, but today marks the official beginning of 12 Days of Christmas! Now, if that’s not exciting […]




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DIY Concrete Ornaments | inspiredbycharm.com

As I mentioned in a post a few weeks ago, back in October I was part of a group of bloggers and designers who got to travel to Napa and San Francisco with Zephyr (makers of the quietest kitchen range hoods on the market).Throughout the trip we had a chance to learn about their range hoods, meet with Zephyr designers, and of course, take in some of the wonderful things that California has to offer (including a sip or two of wine.)

One of the designers we met was Fu-Tung Cheng. With an impressive list of skills (designer, architect, and artist), he partnered with Zephyr to create the Cheng Collection of range hoods. (You can check out the collection here.) Fu-Tung’s artistic and modern vision makes him the perfect person to design for Zephyr. The resulting range hoods are beautiful and artistic elements in a kitchen rather than necessary but unsightly accessories.

DIY Concrete Ornaments | inspiredbycharm.com

zephyr-range-hood

Beyond the Cheng Collection, Zephyr offers a wide variety of range hoods, including some of the quietest ones on the market. They even have a new range hood called Lux Island, which is mounted into the ceiling, so that the views in your home are not obstructed. Until my visit with Zephyr, I never thought much about range hoods, how important they are, or how stylish they can be. If you are shopping for a new range hood, redoing your kitchen, or building a home, be sure to check out what Zephyr has to offer.

DIY Concrete Ornaments | inspiredbycharm.com

Now, you’re probably wondering what all of this has to do with DIY Concrete Ornaments. Right?

Well, remember Fu-Tung Cheng? Among his many talents, he’s known for his innovative uses of concrete in architecture and industrial design. In fact, he was the first person to pour a concrete countertop in his own home.

Because Fu-Tung enjoys working with concrete so much, he’s created a product called ShapeCrete for crafters like you and me. This product is a shapable concrete that can be rolled, molded, or poured into almost any shape imaginable.

As soon as Fu-Tung mentioned it, I was on my phone ordering a tub of it because I knew I could come up with something creative to share here on IBC. And that’s exactly what I did. I made these DIY Concrete Ornaments.

DIY Concrete Ornaments | inspiredbycharm.com

DIY Concrete Ornaments | inspiredbycharm.com

When it comes to holiday decor, they are a bit untraditional and modern, but that’s exactly what I love about them.

DIY Concrete Ornaments | inspiredbycharm.com

Let me show you how to make them.

DIY Concrete Ornaments | inspiredbycharm.com

First, pick up a tub of ShapeCrete.

DIY Concrete Ornaments | inspiredbycharm.com

Then, grab an old plastic container or bucket. To get the clay-like consistency you will want for this project, mix about 4 cups of ShapeCrete with 1 cup of water. Add the water slowly until you get that clay-like consistency. I recommend mixing this with your hands.

DIY Concrete Ornaments | inspiredbycharm.com

Next, roll out a piece of parchment paper and scrape the mixture out of the bucket onto the paper. Top it with another piece of parchment paper and roll it flat with a rolling pin. You’ll want the concrete to be about 1/3 -1/2-inch thick.

DIY Concrete Ornaments | inspiredbycharm.com

Use cookie cutters to cut out your ornaments. Be sure to press the cutter all the way through the concrete. Then, with the cookie cutter still pressed into the concrete use a toothpick or wood skewer to make a hole near the top for a ribbon or ornament hook. Doing this with the cookie cutter in place will help prevent the concrete from cracking.

DIY Concrete Ornaments | inspiredbycharm.com

DIY Concrete Ornaments | inspiredbycharm.com

Do not remove any of the excess concrete because this might crack the ornaments. Let the concrete set as-is for about 24 hours (or overnight at a minimum).

The next day, break off the excess concrete so that you’re left with your ornaments. Use a piece of sandpaper to smooth the edges and remove any extraneous bits of concrete.

Finally, you’ll want to create a glittered edge. Using tacky craft glue, paint the side of your ornaments with a paint brush. Then dip them in the glitter.

DIY Concrete Ornaments | inspiredbycharm.com

DIY Concrete Ornaments | inspiredbycharm.com

Once the glitter is dry, your ornaments are complete!

DIY Concrete Ornaments | inspiredbycharm.com

Pretty cool, right? I bet you’ve never seen a concrete and gold glitter ornament before. These look great on a tree, but I also love adding them to packages for a one-of-a-kind, modern touch.


DIY Concrete Ornaments | inspiredbycharm.com

DIY Concrete Ornaments | inspiredbycharm.com

I hope you enjoyed this unique and festive project. A big thanks to Zephyr for hosting a fabulous trip and educating me on range hoods.

As I mentioned in a post a few weeks ago, back in October I was part of a group of bloggers and designers who got to travel to Napa and San Francisco with Zephyr (makers of the quietest kitchen range hoods on the market).Throughout the trip we had a chance to learn about their range […]




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Holiday Home Tour | inspiredbycharm.com

It is with great excitement that I’m announcing the return of the 12 Days of Christmas on Inspired by Charm! Jingle your sleigh bells because the fun is about to begin.

If you’ve been following IBC for a while, you’re probably familiar with my 12 Days of Christmas series. It has evolved over the years. It’s kind of hard for me to believe, but this will be its fifth year. (You can visit previous years HERE.)

If you’re new here and have no idea what I’m talking about or you just need a little refresher, please let me explain. During my 12 Days of Christmas series, I share 12 unique holiday-inspired ideas over 12 festive days. What makes this series extra special is that each post in the series also includes a giveaway.

To sum it up: 12 Days, 12 Ideas, 12 Giveaways.

This is my favorite series on Inspired by Charm. I love the holiday season, and this series is my way of giving back to you, my wonderful readers. Throughout the year you’re so gracious with your comments here on the blog, shares on social media, responses on Instagram, etc. Without all of you, I would not have IBC and the opportunities it brings, so thank you from the bottom of my heart. (If it were humanly possible, I would have thousands of giveaways so each of you could win.)

12 Days of Christmas 2016 | inspiredbycharm.com

This year’s 12 Days of Christmas will function very much like last year’s. However, I did make one slight change. You’ll notice in the image above that the series runs from December 1 through December 16. That’s not a typo. While producing 12 days of content and hosting 12 giveaways by myself is a joy, doing it without a break is not. So this year, I will only be posting on weekdays, thus extending the time frame. It’s still 12 days and 12 giveaways, but it’s spread over a longer period of time.

12 Days of Christmas 2016 | inspiredbycharm.com

And now we’re ready for the fun to begin. Be sure to come back tomorrow for Day 1.

Oh! One more thing. If you’re inspired to make or recreate anything from this series (or even previous IBC holiday ideas), be sure to share them on Instagram. Tag me (@inspiredbycharm) and use the hashtag #IBCholiday. I love seeing your creations.

Thanks in advance for joining this magical tradition. Happy Holidays!

 

12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS 2016

It is with great excitement that I’m announcing the return of the 12 Days of Christmas on Inspired by Charm! Jingle your sleigh bells because the fun is about to begin. If you’ve been following IBC for a while, you’re probably familiar with my 12 Days of Christmas series. It has evolved over the years. […]




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Shop IBC: Holiday Shopping Simplified
This post is sponsored by Square Cash. As always, all opinions are my own.

‘Tis the season for holiday gift guides. If you follow blogs, spend time on Pinterest, or are active on social media, you’ve probably seen dozens of these guides floating around the web.

While I did participate in one gift guide a couple weeks ago, I’m not a huge fan of sharing lots of them on IBC. Personally, I’d rather spend my time creating, baking, and decorating. However, today I wanted to remind you that there is still a wonderful and easy way to shop items you see on the blog. Plus, I’m also sharing my go-to for paying back friends and family this holiday season. (Hint: it’s the NEW Square Cash app!)

Okay, first things first. Let’s shop.

A couple years ago when the layout and design of IBC was reconfigured, I made sure to include a SHOP page. Because I love shopping and decorating my home, I wanted to have a way to share my favorite products with you.

Shop IBC: Holiday Shopping Simplified

If you don’t often visit the SHOP page, you might not notice that I change the selection every season to keep things new and fresh. Last night, I spent a couple hours updating the page with some of my all-time favorites and lots of holiday goodies.

I also added a “Shop IBC: My Home Decor” section, so that you can shop various products that you have seen in my home. It’s one-stop shopping, friends!

Shop IBC: Holiday Shopping Simplified

In case you need decorating inspiration or want help with your holiday shopping list, click on over there and take a gander. I hope the selection of products helps you deck out your home or decide on a gift for a friend or family member. Why head to the mall when you can shop from home in the comfort of your pj’s. Right?

Shop IBC: Holiday Shopping Simplified

Speaking of holiday shopping, have you ever been in a situation where you’re splitting the cost of a gift with someone but don’t have the cash on hand to pay that person back? You promise to get the money to the person, but inevitably forget about it until several months later. Or have you been on the other end of this, and you’re still waiting to be reimbursed by a friend or family member? (Yeah. We’ve all been there.)

I have the solution: Square Cash!

Shop IBC: Holiday Shopping Simplified

What is Square Cash? In a nutshell, it’s the easiest way to pay back your family and friends.

Here’s how it works. Say you and your sibling are buying Mom a new laptop for Christmas. (You’re very nice kids, btw.) If your sibling is the one purchasing the gift, and you owe him half, you begin by typing in his contact information. You can use his name from your contacts, his Square Cash $Cashtag, SMS number, or email address. Once you’ve added his name, you type in the dollar amount to pay him. It’s that simple.

Shop IBC: Holiday Shopping Simplified

The money is transferred from the debit or credit card you have listed in the app, and the transaction is complete.

No need to write a check or run to the bank to withdraw cash. It doesn’t get much easier than that.

What’s especially nice is that if you have siblings or friends who are a bit forgetful, you can even request money from them through a friendly reminder. Best. feature. ever!

As you can imagine, this app comes in handy in a variety of situations, including reimbursing a friend who bought concert tickets for the group, finally paying back the colleague you owe $20 for last year’s gift for the boss, or splitting the cost of dinner out during the holidays. Sharing the bill with friends and family is easy with Square Chase. (Of course, sharing your food still has its challenges.)

Shop IBC: Holiday Shopping Simplified

You can download the Square Cash app for free from the Apple App Store or Google Play Market (Android). You can also find them on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

I certainly hope that Shop IBC and Square Cash are two tools that will lessen your holiday shopping stress.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Square, Inc. The opinions and text are all mine.

This post is sponsored by Square Cash. As always, all opinions are my own. ‘Tis the season for holiday gift guides. If you follow blogs, spend time on Pinterest, or are active on social media, you’ve probably seen dozens of these guides floating around the web. While I did participate in one gift guide a couple […]




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Tuesday Tunes / 17 - Country Christmas | inspiredbycharm.com

I’ve been listening to Christmas music every day for the past week, and I still can’t get enough. If you love this season as much as I do, then you’re in luck today because I’m back with another holiday-inspired Tuesday Tunes playlist.

This week we’re getting out the guitar and singing along with some country Christmas favorites. If you’re not a fan of the genre, you might not agree with me that it’s perfect for the holidays. Like most holiday songs, country tunes tell a story. Country music also makes me think of home, and as the song says, “I’ll be home for Christmas.”

Tuesday Tunes / 17 - Country Christmas | inspiredbycharm.com

Before we get to the playlist, I wanted to point out a few favorites. First, Dan + Shay’s take on “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas” is incredible. I also adore Michael W. Smith and Carrie Underwood’s cover of “All Is Well.” I’m talking full body chills, people. And because I will forever be a fan of LeAnn Rimes, her rendition of “Carol of the Bells” is crazy good. (All of those songs above are linked to YouTube videos which are worth a watch.)

I hope you enjoy my second Christmas playlist. In case you missed the first, you can check it out here.

 

 

You can use the playlist above to listen to these holly jolly country tunes or play them directly on Spotify by clicking here.

For a sneak listen to my upcoming holiday playlists, (Yes, there are a few more coming!), subscribe to my Spotify profile here.

Do you enjoy country Christmas music? Who are your favorite artists? Let us know in the comments below.

 

TUESDAY TUNES LIBRARY

I’ve been listening to Christmas music every day for the past week, and I still can’t get enough. If you love this season as much as I do, then you’re in luck today because I’m back with another holiday-inspired Tuesday Tunes playlist. This week we’re getting out the guitar and singing along with some country […]




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Spicy Ranch Pretzels | inspiredbycharm.com
This post is sponsored by Glad Food Storage and Hidden Valley Ranch. As always, all opinions are my own.

During the holidays I’m always looking for yummy snacks that I can make and share with family and friends. That’s why today I’m showing you how to make these Spicy Ranch Pretzels.

Spicy Ranch Pretzels | inspiredbycharm.com

No matter the time of year, when I go to my brother’s house, my sister-in-law always has these pretzels. As delicious as they are on their own, they also pair nicely with homemade mustard, mini cheese balls, or even just a cheese and pepperoni tray. Who doesn’t love a go-to snack?

I was thinking these pretzels would likewise make a fun gift or treat to bring to a holiday gathering. You’ll never again show up empty handed when you can easily whip up a batch or two of these guys.To make things even better, I created a free holiday gift tag printable. We’ll get to that in a bit.

Spicy Ranch Pretzels | inspiredbycharm.com

Spicy Ranch Pretzels | inspiredbycharm.com

If you’ve never made these, let me assure you they are quick and easy. First off, you’ll need some pretzels. I prefer square snaps because they have lots of edges to hold the spicy ranch flavoring.

Spicy Ranch Pretzels | inspiredbycharm.com

Next, is the ranch flavor packets. I’m using this Hidden Valley® Fiesta Ranch Dip Mix. It gives the pretzels a bit of a Tex-Mex flair. However, traditional Hidden Valley Ranch Dip Mix works just as well.

Spicy Ranch Pretzels | inspiredbycharm.com

These dip mixes are great for adding flavor to holiday appetizers. You can find them in the dressing aisle at Walmart while your shopping for all your holiday entertaining must-haves.

Side note: The recipe calls for 1 and 1/2 envelopes of Hidden Valley Fiesta Ranch Dip Mix for the best flavor. I recommend doubling the recipe. You’ll then use three envelopes and not waste half of one.

Spicy Ranch Pretzels | inspiredbycharm.com

The dip mix gets whisked together with other spices, including garlic salt, garlic powder, and cayenne pepper. The recipe below calls for a teaspoon of cayenne. In my opinion, this gives the right amount of heat, but feel free to add more or less based on your own preference.

Next, drizzle this spice mixture over your pretzels.

Spicy Ranch Pretzels | inspiredbycharm.com

To make sure the pretzels are evenly coated with all that goodness, here is a little trick I use. Place a piece of Glad® Press ‘n Seal on the top of your bowl. (That stuff is magic.) Stretch it around the edge of your bowl to get a tight seal; then shake, shake, shake.

Spicy Ranch Pretzels | inspiredbycharm.com

Spicy Ranch Pretzels | inspiredbycharm.com

I love Glad Press ‘n Seal for sealing in freshness. It creates a tight seal on paper, plastic, glass, metal, and wood.

With your pretzels evenly coated after all of that shaking, they’re ready for the oven. Pop them in on low heat for about 1.5 hours and you’re good to go.

Spicy Ranch Pretzels | inspiredbycharm.com

Once the pretzels are cooled, you can store them in an air-tight container or package them up like I did to make small gifts.

Spicy Ranch Pretzels | inspiredbycharm.comSpicy Ranch Pretzels | inspiredbycharm.com

I found some clear bags at Walmart and then created some holiday gift tags to finish them off.

Spicy Ranch Pretzels | inspiredbycharm.com

I was so pleased with the gift tags, that I decided to make them into a printable you can download for free! (Sharing is caring, my friends.) Click here for the printable. I recommend printing the tags on white card stock.

Spicy Ranch Pretzels | inspiredbycharm.com

Spicy Ranch Pretzels | inspiredbycharm.com

Tie up the bags with ribbon and these tags and you have a gift that’s easy, delicious, and as cute as ever. What’s not to love.

Spicy Ranch Pretzels | inspiredbycharm.com

Spicy Ranch Pretzels

Makes about 3 quarts

Here's what you will need:
1 pound (16-ounce bag) mini pretzels
1 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 envelopes Hidden Valley® Ranch Dip Mix (Original or Fiesta)
1 teaspoon garlic salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Begin by preheating your oven to 200 degrees F. Then add your pretzels to a large bowl and set aside.

In a small bowl, whisk together the oil, Hidden Valley® Ranch Dip Mix, garlic salt, garlic powder, and cayenne.

Pour this mixture over the pretzels. Cover the bowl with Glad® Press 'n Seal, seal it tightly, and then shake until the pretzels are evenly coated.

Bake in a 13 x 9" pan for about 1.5 hours, stirring every 20 minutes.

Allow the pretzels to cool completely. Store in an airtight container or package in sealable bags for gifts.

Print

Spicy Ranch Pretzels | inspiredbycharm.com

As you can see, this is simple but tasty recipe. These Spicy Ranch Pretzels can be served in a variety of ways during the holidays or simply gobbled up on their own. For more holiday entertaining tips and recipes, be sure to check out www.walmart.com/holidayfavorites!

Enjoy!

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Glad & Hidden Valley Ranch. The opinions and text are all mine.

This post is sponsored by Glad Food Storage and Hidden Valley Ranch. As always, all opinions are my own. During the holidays I’m always looking for yummy snacks that I can make and share with family and friends. That’s why today I’m showing you how to make these Spicy Ranch Pretzels. No matter the time of […]




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My Favorite Cream Cheese Frosting | inspiredbycharm.com

As I was working on a cake recipe today, it struck me that I don’t have some of my favorite go-to recipes on the blog. You know, those basic recipes that you rely on over and over again. For some reason I assumed that “easy” things like a frosting recipe weren’t “post worthy.” However, to make sharing recipes easier, and to give you some tried-and-true recipes for your own cooking adventures, I’m going to start posting more of my go-to recipes. I’m kicking things off today with My Favorite Cream Cheese Frosting.

My Favorite Cream Cheese Frosting | inspiredbycharm.com

If I could only eat one frosting for the rest of my life, it would be cream cheese frosting. (Well, that or the frosting my aunt makes, but we’ll save that for another day.) There’s just something about a really good cream cheese frosting that gets me every time. Maybe it’s the blend of tangy cream cheese, rich butter, and subtle sweetness.

My Favorite Cream Cheese Frosting | inspiredbycharm.com

My Favorite Cream Cheese Frosting | inspiredbycharm.com

Of course, this frosting works great on things like red velvet cake and carrot cake, but I’ve used it on plain vanilla cake as well.

I also like that you can adjust the flavoring to make the frosting even more complex. In the fall and winter, cinnamon and nutmeg can give it a seasonal touch. For a touch of spring freshness, you could add some grated lemon zest.

This is a recipe that you can use for lots of things and make in lots of ways. I hope you like it as much as I do.

My Favorite Cream Cheese Frosting | inspiredbycharm.com

My Favorite Cream Cheese Frosting

Frosting for a double layer cake or about 20 cupcakes

2 packages (8 ounces) Philadelphia cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
6 cups confectioner's sugar

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the cream cheese, butter, and salt until light and smooth. This will take about five minutes.

Blend in the vanilla and almond extract. Beat to combine.

Add the confectioner's sugar slowly, about one cup at a time, and mix until smooth.

Note: While this recipe probably won't need it, you can add a splash of milk for a thinner frosting.

Print

My Favorite Cream Cheese Frosting | inspiredbycharm.com

This truly is perfection on any cake. Happy Baking!

As I was working on a cake recipe today, it struck me that I don’t have some of my favorite go-to recipes on the blog. You know, those basic recipes that you rely on over and over again. For some reason I assumed that “easy” things like a frosting recipe weren’t “post worthy.” However, to […]




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christmas-decor-ideas

This past weekend I set up a two trees and got a good start on a third. I also began more detailed planning for my holiday decor. (I included some pictures in this post if you’re interested in a sneak peek.)

A few months ago, I mentioned to my mom that I wanted to decorate for Christmas this year using things I already had on hand. As much as I love shopping, a part of me was a bit tired of the influx of new “stuff”.

Inexpensive Christmas Decorating Ideas | inspiredbycharm.com

Well, so much for intentions. Because of my job and desire to share something unique with all of you (That large gold Santa did help either.), I succumbed to the allure of the new and different. Several exciting and beautiful items have now made their way into my home. Maybe one of these days I’ll be able to resist.

With that being said, I do realize that not everyone is a blogger or has the resources to style three new Christmas trees each year. And don’t feel like you have to do that. A big part of Christmas is tradition. I love my job, but there’s definitely a side of me that would prefer to set things up the way I always have, thus eliminating the stress of creating something new each year. (I do crank up the holiday tunes and enjoy the decorating process, despite being bit anxious about how things will turn out.)

Inexpensive Christmas Decorating Ideas | inspiredbycharm.com

Inexpensive Christmas Decorating Ideas | inspiredbycharm.com

Inexpensive Christmas Decorating Ideas | inspiredbycharm.com

In fact, there are many ways to decorate and celebrate the season on a budget.That’s why I put together Six Inexpensive Christmas Decorating Ideas as my latest post for the HomeGoods Design Happy blog.

So, if cash is tight (or you prefer to “Reduce, reuse, recycle,”) check out those ideas here. I hope you’ll find a few of my tips to be helpful.

You can also click through my Holiday archives here on IBC to see DIY projects I’ve shared over the past several years. As I mentioned in my post, making things at home can be a great way to save a buck or two this time of year.

(If interested, the mercury glass trees are from HomeGoods. The Gold Santa can be purchased HERE. The Owl Tree Topper can be purchased HERE. For more holiday favorites, check out SHOP IBC by clicking HERE.)

Inexpensive Christmas Decorating Ideas | inspiredbycharm.com

And stay tuned for even more festive inspiration in the weeks to come. (If you’re in the US, have a fabulous Thanksgiving week!)

This past weekend I set up a two trees and got a good start on a third. I also began more detailed planning for my holiday decor. (I included some pictures in this post if you’re interested in a sneak peek.) A few months ago, I mentioned to my mom that I wanted to decorate […]




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Cranberry Bourbon Cocktail | inspiredbycharm.com

Is Thanksgiving really this coming Thursday? It seems like I only blinked, and now November is more than halfway over. Does anyone else feel this way? Or are you more than ready for the Christmas season to be here? No matter how you’re feeling, you’ve survived another week and in my book, that calls for a drink. Today I’m teaching you how to make this Cranberry Bourbon Cocktail.

Cranberry Bourbon Cocktail | inspiredbycharm.com

Whether you’re celebrating Thanksgiving, Friendsgiving, Christmas, or none-of-the-above, this cocktail is perfect for this time of year. The bourbon and herbs make it fall friendly and the cranberries add a touch of holiday.

Cranberry Bourbon Cocktail | inspiredbycharm.com

Cranberry Bourbon Cocktail | inspiredbycharm.com

As I’ve told you, even though I’m not a big fan of bourbon, I’m totally on board when it’s mixed with the right ingredients. That proved to be the case with my Apple Cinnamon Hot Toddy. And it’s true with this cocktail as well.

Cranberry Bourbon Cocktail | inspiredbycharm.com

The base of this drink is mainly bourbon and cranberry juice in equal parts. By itself, that combination makes for an exceptionally nice, easy-sipping cocktail. However, you know me – I like to step up my cocktail game and fancify things a bit.

Cranberry Bourbon Cocktail | inspiredbycharm.com

For this recipe, I made a rosemary sage simple syrup. Yes, it sounds elaborate, but it’s actually very easy. You just combine a cup of water with a cup of sugar and toss in a few sprigs of rosemary and sage. Let that simmer for 5-8 minutes until the sugar is dissolved. It’s really that simple.

The syrup adds a fresh, seasonal flavor to the cocktail that works wonderfully with the bourbon and cranberry.

Cranberry Bourbon Cocktail | inspiredbycharm.com

To finish things off, squeeze in a bit of fresh lemon juice.

Since I had extra herbs, I created a garnish by tying a few pieces together with string. Isn’t it pretty? I know it’s over the top, but I thought the holidays called for something special.

If you like these glasses, you can find them here. From what I gathered, they are the same glasses Ina Garten uses. They are even prettier in person.

Cranberry Bourbon Cocktail | inspiredbycharm.com

Cranberry Bourbon Cocktail | inspiredbycharm.com

This is a libation I’d be proud to serve and wouldn’t mind sipping myself. Maybe I’m developing a taste for bourbon after all!?

Cranberry Bourbon Cocktail | inspiredbycharm.com

Cranberry Bourbon Cocktail

Makes 1 cocktail

2 ounces bourbon
2 ounces cranberry juice (100% juice, unsweetened)
1/2 ounce rosemary sage simple syrup*
Splash of lemon juice, freshly squeezed
Fresh rosemary and sage for garnish

In a glass filled with ice, add the bourbon, cranberry juice, rosemary sage simple syrup, and a splash of lemon juice. Stir to combine.

*Rosemary Sage Simple Syrup: In a medium saucepan, combine one cup of sugar and one cup of water. Toss in a couple sprigs each of fresh rosemary and sage. Bring to a boil, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. This will take 5-8 minutes. Strain the herbs from the simple syrup and allow it to cool completely before using.

Print

Cranberry Bourbon Cocktail | inspiredbycharm.com

This truly is a stunning cocktail and one I’m certain you will enjoy.

Cranberry Bourbon Cocktail | inspiredbycharm.com
Happy everything!

Is Thanksgiving really this coming Thursday? It seems like I only blinked, and now November is more than halfway over. Does anyone else feel this way? Or are you more than ready for the Christmas season to be here? No matter how you’re feeling, you’ve survived another week and in my book, that calls for […]




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