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Etiquette Tips for Party Goers DIY Decorating Made Easy Simple tips to create your perfect holiday home

Family Traditions Start a new family tradition this year

Make-Ahead Miracle T h i s ye a r, s t a r t c o o k i n g e a r l y




November 2018

zz Spruce Up Your Tree zz The Best Lighting Tips of the Season

Spaces: Home for the Holidays Plus: Stay Safe For The Holidays : Simple Ways To Deter Holiday Thieves



Spaces: Home for the Holidays

November 2018

Table of Contents DIY & Decor


Have Yourself a Homespun Holiday


Go Beyond Lights and Tinsel


On the 12th Day of Decorating

For this year’s decorations, are you ready to make it? You will be with these DIY decorating tips for every level of crafty Take Your Holiday Décor to the Next Level Don’t go all-in on one big decorating day. Gather up your friends and family for these fun decorating projects that will get everyone in the holiday spirit

12 DIY Shrink It Like You Mean It

Crafting Earrings and Ornaments from Shrink Plastic

14 Design On A Dime Holiday decorating on a budget 15 Light It Up

Professional holiday decorators give their tips on how to make the season bright, indoors and out

18 A Holiday Change, from the Top to the Bottom

The anatomy of a perfectly trimmed tree.

19 DIY Wreath-Making For Every Level of Craftiness

November 2018

©2018 All rights reserved Published by

20 Hygge The Art of Cozying Up Your Space Hassle-Free Holidays

23 Plan Ahead for a Stress-Free Meal Knowing what to cook ahead and when to cook it can make

your food taste great — and your holiday meal prep a calm affair. Here’s a guide to what to make ahead, when to make it, how to store it, and how to reheat it

25 Make-Ahead Appetizer Mouth-Watering Mini Crab Cakes

26 Behave Yourself

How To Be A Courteous, Responsible And Interesting Guest At This Year’s Holiday Party

28 Guest Stress How To Prepare Your Home For Overnight Holiday Guests 31 Don’t Advertise

Simple Ways To Avoid The Unwanted Attention of Holiday Thieves

33 Reduce Holiday Stress By Doing What You Love and Cutting the Rest Traditions

36 Holiday Traditions Make Memories to Last a Lifetime 38 Light Up the Night

Festive Holiday Lights Make Joyful Family Traditions

42 Camping Out in (Holiday) Style

Start a New Family Tradition

4770 South 5600 West, West Valley City, UT 84118 801-204-6300 President & CEO Brent Low Project Team Sally Steed, Sr. VP of Advertising Megan Donio, Editorial Director Karen Bechtel, Design Manager Kristy Kuhn, Editorial Manager Amber Ostendorf, Contributing Author Miriam Barse, Contributing Author Katie Porter, Contributing Author Content and images from Utah Media Group, CTW Features, Getty Spaces Magazine is a publication of Utah Media Group. Copyright © November 2018. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any format without consent of Utah Media Group. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information in this publication and assume no liability for errors, inaccuracies or omissions.

Spaces: Home for the Holidays



Transform your home with holiday projects and ornaments without having to break the bank

Spaces: Home for the Holidays

November 2018


Have Yourself a Homespun Holiday For this year’s decorations, are you ready to make it? You will be with these DIY decorating tips for every level of crafty.


he last forkful of Thanksgiving turkey has been gobbled up, the cranberry sauce has been cleared and the green flag now drops to signal the start of the holiday decorating flurry. While interiors dripping with festive frills may warm the heart to see, installing all that frippery can leave one feeling icy. So, we’re here with a reminder that the Christmas season need not be about overthe-top ornamentation, mounds of bright baubles or complicated lighting schemes twinkling in time to the tunes of Mannheim Steamroller. Leave the plethora of blinking bulbs to the Holiday Festival of Lights and the cornucopia of lavish trimmings to the Charleston Place Hotel. In the following pages, you’ll find a bounty of simple do-ityourself decorating ideas that’ll have you cheerily trilling “Fa la la” all season long. Trim the Tree For many, the Christmas tree stands at the center of home holiday decorating, festooned in tinsel, lights, beads and balls and then swaddled in a pretty skirt. Whether your Tannenbaum stretches four feet or 14, creating a festive fir shouldn’t be stressful, it should be fun. Our recommendation: Take your cues from Charlie Brown and don’t get hung up on perfection. When it’s time to gussy up the tree, tune into Bing Crosby, pour mugs of hot chocolate and let the little

November 2018

Spaces: Home for the Holidays


ones loose to adorn your festive fir. Sure, most of the ornaments will be concentrated on the lower half of the tree, but it’s hard to top the sight of children proudly embellishing its branches. Not to mention that these easy and fun craft projects are a great way to involve the kids. Want to spruce up your tree trimmings this year? Here are some ideas to get you started: Go Natural Make keepsake Christmas balls with the kiddos using clear glass or plastic craft ornaments. Bring the outdoors in by using natural finds such as acorns, berries, ferns and dried flowers. Make It Sea-Worthy With their poinsettia-shaped centers and preexisting holes, sand dollars are ideal for simple ornaments. Or glue together a flat stack of five or more starfish, arranged from largest to smallest with the legs turned this way and that to mimic a Christmas tree. And a bit of gold paint elegantly highlights the beauty of bivalves, as demonstrated by local jeweler White Cotton Crafts with their stunning oyster shell nativity scenes ($25$50, We just ask that you please gather only lifeless sea creatures, and be sure to clean them with a bleach or alcohol soak before crafting. Pin It on a Pine Cone Pine cones are also a prize material for DIY decorators. Ask the kids to gather as many as they can from the yard, then dip the ends in gold paint for a color-blocked look or spraypaint white to mimic snow. Design Your Table Scape Most of our time during the holidays is spent around the table, so taking time to adorn the table can be just as joyous as the tree. These tips can help. Magnificent Magnolias Whether it’s a fistful of magnolia leaves, snips of fragrant rosemary, clippings from your tree or holly bundles, backyard greenery makes gold-star holiday dÊcor. Secure loose sprigs or branches into a garland with a rubber band and then cover the band with ribbon, burlap or twine. Smaller bunches make festive additions to candlesticks and inside napkin rings. 4

Spaces: Home for the Holidays

November 2018

And oranges shouldn’t be overlooked, either. Invite your children to decorate the citrus balls with whole cloves to create classic pomanders, and then pile them high in a pretty bowl for an easy side table addition that warms the room with a sweet and spicy scent. Organize Condiments A shiny muffin tin paired with cocktail spoons works nicely as a serving station for condiments or toppings. Dress for Success Folded, a plaid wool blanket becomes an instant winter table runner. Festive Fruits The partridges had the right idea — pears offer scrumptious style for your nest. Pomegranates, apples, cranberries and limes (really, any red or green fruit) also make for delicious décor.

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Make a Magical Blizzard Arm the kids with white coffee filters and scissors to cut flurries of paper snowflakes. Hang them with dental floss from the dining room chandelier to construct your very own winter wonderland.

Make Your Mantel Merry Spread holiday cheer by the warmth of the fire. Hosting Hanukkah revelers? Organize nine candlesticks into a neat shortest-totallest-to-shortest row to symbolize a Menorah. No fireplace? Do some channel surfing and find a televised yule log (channels will vary based on your provider). The broadcast showcases a traditional woodburning fire — the perfect backdrop for tree trimming and cookie decorating. Make It Twinkle Sprinkle Epsom salt into mason jars and tuck in tea lights to form a snowy luminary centerpiece. Holly, rosemary, sage or bay leaves nestled around the edges add a special touch. © CTW Features

Spaces: Home for the Holidays



Go Beyond Lights and Tinsel Take Your Holiday Décor to the Next Level


is the season to deck the halls, but if you just can’t muster the excitement of past years, take heart: perhaps you’ve simply grown weary of the same old décor. Check out these creative ways to move beyond tinsel and lights – and take your holiday decorating to the next level.


Creating a theme for your holiday décor can be a great way to not only express your own unique style, but to create a holiday experience that flows from room to room. It can seem overwhelming to try and choose just one theme for the holidays, but one way to simplify the process is to narrow it down to colors, object or style. Colors There is no hard and fast rule that says you must follow traditional holiday colors like green, red, silver or gold. In fact, by selecting a non-traditional color scheme, you can design a holiday environment all your own. You can create a monochromatic, dual or multi-color scheme. If you are looking for some inspiration, try searching online for a color scheme generator. It will help you see what colors work well together. Don’t be afraid to go outside the box and try a combination of colors unique to you. The key to creating a unified holiday look is to stick to your chosen color scheme and use a variety of objects within that palette.


Object Choosing a theme centered around your favorite holiday symbol, shape, collectible, ornament or hobby is another great way to create a more personal holiday experience for your home. For example, if you love angels, you might try focusing your décor solely around angels. Blankets, candle holders, figurines, ornaments, tree-toppers and dishware can be great ways to incorporate your holiday theme. The key is to avoid going overboard. Keep it simple Spaces: Home for the Holidays

and subtle and utilize colors and patterns to provide contrast to your main theme. Style Choosing a style theme can be a great opportunity to try out something new and create the perfect holiday mood in your home. Often styles have their own general color scheme as well. Want a cozy cabin holiday? Try a rustic theme filled with plaid flannels, distressed wood, pine and burlap. Prefer more of a soft and delicate holiday? Try a French country theme with gold, champagne and ivory accents combined with fresh greenery. The key is to figure out what holiday mood you want to inspire and then select the style theme that matches the mood you want to create.

ADD A LITTLE HOLIDAY FLAIR TO NON-TRADITIONAL AREAS When holiday decorating, we often think about traditional spots such as the tree, fireplace and dining room, but there of plenty of overlooked spaces that provide the perfect canvas for some holiday décor. The key is finding unique ways to make these unnoticed areas come alive with the joy of the season. Here are three simple projects to start you on the right path.

A Staircase of Gifts You may already be planning to add some garland to the handrail on your staircase, but you can easily go beyond the usual this year by adding a little decoration to the stairs themselves. All you need are some empty boxes, paper, ribbon and tape. Wrap a few empty boxes in your favorite wrapping paper, or if you want something a little fancier, try wrapping the boxes with wallpaper. Add some ribbon or a gift tag and place all the boxes at the bottom of the stairs or place a gift on each stair for an easy holiday display. Ribbon, greenery or ornaments can be added to dress up your packages. Add lanterns, additional greenery and lights and you have a complete holiday display. Wall Tree An easy and creative way to dress up an empty wall space is to create a wall tree. Wall trees can be made from lights, branches, garland or anything that you can piece together to create the shape of a tree – it can be fun holiday project for young elves as well! For extra support use twisty ties, zip ties, tacks or tape to help shape and hold your wall tree in place. Finish it off with some small ornaments, ribbon and greenery to complete the look. November 2018

Greeting Card Door Display An easy way to not only dress up your doors, but also solve the problem of where to display your holiday cards is to create a hanging greeting card display. All you need for this project is long ribbon or fabric, flathead tacks, clothespins and washi tape. If you haven’t discovered washi tape yet, make sure to visit your local craft store and try it out – it comes in all sorts of patterns and designs to match your theme. Tack the ribbon at the top of your door. You can either trim the other end and leave it to hang or you can tack it to the bottom of your door. Roll out the washi tape and lay the clothespin on top so the entire face of the pin is covered. Trim off the excess tape and you have decorative pins for your cards. Attach your holiday cards to the ribbon using the pins and you have a stylish but functional holiday display. To complete the display try adding a sign with your favorite holiday message, along with some small ornaments and garland.


Just like the interior of your home, the exterior offers plenty of unique decorating opportunities as well. With just a little bit of creativity, and thinking outside the box, you can inspire Santa to stop at your house first. Mailbox Adding festive greenery, ribbons or even a festive holiday scarf to your mailbox provides an extra holiday treat for those passing by, and it might even brighten your mail carrier’s day during the busy holiday season.

as decoration by your front door. Add weight with rocks to help keep the boots from tipping over. Insert twigs and small evergreen branches. Tie a bow around each boot and drape an evergreen sprig down one side. Old skates, sleds or skis are perfect for creating a ski-themed outdoor scene. You can even dress up old garden equipment with greenery, ribbons and lights to create a rustic holiday theme.


Nothing brings holiday memories to life quite like the scents of the season. The smell of freshly baked cookies, pine from the tree, peppermint candy canes and cinnamon sticks often transport us back to our favorite holiday moments. Adding favorite scents of the season to your home is an easy way to add the finishing touch to your holiday experience. Here are few ideas to get you started. Aromatic fire starters If you have a traditional fireplace, aromatic fire starters can be used to fill your home with your own unique combination of holiday scents. All you need is wax (soy or beeswax), bay leaves, cinnamon sticks, whole cloves, mini pine cones, dried rosemary, cotton wicks, paper muffin liners and a muffin pan. First, place the paper muffin liners in the pan and fill with bay leaves, cones, spices and herbs. Then, place a 1 ½ inch piece of cotton wick into the center of each filled muffin liner. Next, melt the wax and pour it into each liner, making sure all items are

partially submerged in the hot wax. (They don’t have to be completely covered.) Let cool completely, then remove from the muffin tin. Store in a tin or jar until you are ready to use. Pomanders Pomanders are simply oranges pierced by cloves that, when dried, release a nice fragrance – and they are incredibly easy to make! All you need are firm oranges, cloves and toothpicks. Use the toothpick to make small holes in the orange and then place a clove in each hole. As the orange dries it will release a delicate, spicy fragrance. You can arrange the cloves in any pattern you like. To make them last longer, roll them in a mixture of cinnamon, nutmeg and sandalwood oil and let them cure. They should last for years. Cinnamon Scented Pine Cones Cinnamon scented pine cones are the perfect combination of holiday décor and aroma. You can buy pine cones from a craft store or collect them from your backyard, just be sure they are properly cleaned. Spritz the pine cones with a solution of water mixed with essential oils like cinnamon, apple or orange. Finally, seal them in a plastic bag for 24 hours to set the scent. When you take them out to air-dry, the perfume will dissipate into the room. Try a few of these tips today and take your holiday décor from same-old-routine to fun, new and dazzling.

Window Boxes and Planters Don’t miss out on the opportunity to add color accents to your home during the planting off-season. Ornaments, poinsettias, pine trimmings, pine cones, holly, lights and battery-operated candles are perfect for adding that special holiday touch to your window boxes. And don’t forget your planters: you can easily dress them up by adding a ribbon around the base. Porch Creating a holiday porch scene is much easier than you think, especially if you utilize items in your home and give them a second life. Have a pair of old boots you don’t want anymore? Dress them up with twigs, greens and ribbons and place them November 2018

Spaces: Home for the Holidays



On the 12th Day Of Decorating Don’t go all-in on one big decorating day. Gather up your friends and family for these fun decorating projects that will get everyone in the holiday spirit.


Spaces: Home for the Holidays

November 2018

“The clear ornaments are perfect because you can design them for any style or party you’d like,” Hudgins says.


n the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me ... plenty of holiday decorating ideas to make the home beautiful and festive for the season. From new crafts to updates on traditional staples, holiday decorating doesn’t have to be a chore. Take this advice from Linnea Johansson, a chef and event planner for the stars who originally is from Sweden, or as she calls it: the “home of Christmas.” She says, “The thing about the whole process of Christmas is not to be stressed out. Make it a fun thing that goes throughout the month. That’s something my family has always done.” Getting others involved means that decorating becomes a part of the holiday celebration. Homemade projects also can alleviate stress and inject some fun back into the planning process. Crafty projects get the kids involved and the creative juices flowing. So gather your friends and family and prepare some extra holiday treats to get an early start on holiday decorating.

2. Celebration Bulbs Clear glass ornament bulbs are versatile for lots of different projects. Here’s an idea for tree ornaments that double as birthday decorations. Victoria Hudgins, blogger at A Subtle Revelry and contributing writer for “Materially Crafted: A DIY Primer for the Design-Obsessed” (Stewart, Tabori and Chang, 2015) came up with the craft when she was looking for a way to incorporate seasonal décor with a festive birthday party. To make the ornaments, start with clear bulbs, which can be purchased at craft stores, and stuff them with confetti or textured ribbon. “A stack of small candles would be a great inclusion, as well,” Hudgins says. But they don’t have to be birthdayspecific – Allen does a similar Christmas version. She fills the inside of the bulb with liquid glue and then pours glitter inside, so it sticks to the sides. Hudgins has also done a version where she fills the bulbs with hot chocolate ingredients.

3. A Tisket, A Tasket A fun spin on tradition is to use baskets instead of regular ornaments for the tree, says Johansson, author of “Perfect Parties” (Skyhorse Publishing, 2012). They fill the baskets with candy, and when the holidays are over, they invite friends to the house to socialize and eat the candy from the tree. “We call it tree-plundering,” she says. “People will sneak some pieces during Christmas,” she admits, “but the plundering is a good way to keep the celebration going. We are pretty Christmas-obsessed.” 4. Get Your Crochet On Anyone comfortable with crochet should try incorporating the handy activity into their holiday decorations. Alice Merlino, who writes the craft blog Futuregirl, has plenty of Christmas-related crochet ideas. In addition to wrapping presents in crochet – which she suggests for oddly-shaped gifts and as a way to personalize the item – Merlino also suggests crocheting candy cane-colored bunting to hang over the fireplace, stockings for everyone in the family, tree skirts, ornaments in fun shapes (like octopuses!), door wreaths and even homemade Advent calendars. “The great thing about crocheted decorations are that you can wash them to keep them looking fresh year after year,” Merlino says.

1. Wrapped Frames Kara Allen, party planning expert and author of the blog, has a fun idea for sprucing up a standard item: Wrap it! “We wrap picture frames in gift wrap and make them look like gifts and then hang them back on the wall,” says Allen of one of her favorite family tricks. It’s perfect for leftover gift wrap that isn’t big enough to contain a whole gift. November 2018

Spaces: Home for the Holidays


6. Cake Stands and Pastry Dishes Sometimes, new holiday decorations can come from re-purposed household items. Allen suggests using cake stands and pastry dishes to display Christmas objects. “Stack three cake plates in a tier and throw ornaments and Christmas trinkets and gifts on them,” she says. If you have a cake stand with a lid, she says to turn the lid upside down and fill it with ornaments. 7. Stocking Stand-Ins Apart from the tree, the most standard Christmas decoration is the stocking. But if you want to branch out from the traditional thumb-tacked sock on the chimney ledge, Maynes suggests, “Line objects like gumboots or tin buckets beside the fireplace, and stencil names on them to personalize.” Other items that work for stocking stand-ins: hats, vases, gift bags, empty paint cans or vintage jars. 8. Mason Jar Centerpieces The rustic decorator’s darling, Mason jars, can wear many hats in Christmas decorating plans. One idea, from Maynes, is to fill them with candles and group them together as table centerpieces. Allen suggests filling them with white sand or other white and silver decorations – like garland or lights – and to group them together in different shapes and sizes.

5. Homemade Advent Calendars Merlino isn’t the only fan of Advent calendars. Tamara Maynes, an Australian craft designer and author of “The Maker: Beyond Decorating: Crafting a Unique Space” (Murdoch, 2017) also is an advocate. An Advent calendar is a special calendar used to count or celebrate the days of Advent in the days leading up to Christmas. To create your own, Maynes suggests removing the backs from 25 graphic Christmas cards and stamping the numbers one through 25 over the images on the front. “Write a message applicable to Christmas on the back of each and tack [them] on the wall in an organic, clustered style.” Or add a chocolate or treat to each day so kids will look forward to counting down the days to Christmas – if they aren’t already. 10

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9. Decorating with Food Don’t want to stock up on paper or cloth decorations? Try making decorations out of something everyone loves: food. Johansson says that one of her favorite decorating projects is hanging gingerbread hearts, since it’s a multi-step process that allows everyone to contribute. “You make the dough, have to wait a bit, then bake them,” she says. Then others can help with decorating them and writing holiday messages with icing. Afterwards, “we put little holes in the middle and hang them in the windows,” she says. She also decorates with cloved oranges. “Leave the orange whole, and stick cloves into the orange in different patterns,” she says. The orange will dry out and stay good for a few months. “Put them in a bowl on your table or hang them around the house. It smells amazing.”

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The biggest benefit of decorating with food? You can eat the leftovers. 10. Sparkling Silverware If decorating with food isn’t up your alley, maybe decorating with silverware will be. Allen likes to dip the end – the end that doesn’t go in your mouth, that is — of inexpensive cutlery in glitter and use them during parties or to dress tables throughout the season.

Maynes suggests a hand-drawn tree. “Paint a large sheet of lightweight plywood with blackboard paint and draw on a stylized tree, including decorations, in white chalk,” she suggests. Or experiment with colorful chalks to add depth.

Prop up against the wall and arrange presents around the bottom for a simple, easygoing Christmas “tree.” © CTW Features

11. Light it Up While not exactly a craft, one nontraditional way to inject some color for the holidays is to use different colored lights around the house — not just the string lights. Rather than spending money on lights that might not be used again, Johansson recommends buying inexpensive spot lights and covering them with heat-resistant color film. “You can place those spot lights on a bookcase or whatever you want people to look at,” she says. For the general ambiance, “I use a lot of pink light bulbs,” Johansson says. Contrary to people’s beliefs, she says, “it does not create a girly hue, but actually everyone looks 15 years younger!” The “soft pink” light bulbs are available at most hardware stores. 12. Christmas Tree, Minus the Tree One of the easiest ways to free up some decorating time in a creative way is to ditch the tree altogether and look for simple, trendy alternatives. November 2018

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DIY: Shrink It Like You Mean It Crafting Earrings and Ornaments from Shrink Plastic


he holidays are right around the corner, and now is the time to start thinking about gifts and decorations. Finding the perfect gifts for your loved ones can be tough. Shopping with hordes of other people, for hours on end, trying to find something for everyone on your list – preferably something that they’ll love – can be both daunting and expensive. Why not consider crafting your gifts instead? It’s easier than you may think to create gorgeous, custom, handmade gifts that your friends and family are sure to cherish. It’s inexpensive, fun, and the best part: you get to relive your childhood by “playing” with Shrinky Dinks®! This tutorial will guide you through the process of creating both an ornament and a pair of earrings. Use it as a guide, then let your imagination run wild. Shrink plastic is a versatile material that can be used to create a plethora of amazing gifts and decorations, such as ornaments, earrings, key chains, necklaces and more. What You’ll Need:

* Use any shrink plastic of your choice. The tutorial instructions below are for Shrinky Dinks® Shrink Plastic. You can find it at most craft stores. Instructions:

• • • • • • • • • • 12

Foil or baking sheets Shrinky Dinks® Ink Jet Shrink Plastic* A toaster oven (a conventional oven will also work) Designs to print out E6000® (or other industrial strength jewelry adhesive) Mod Podge® or Resin (optional) Ribbon Earring posts and backs Quality cutting scissors A hole punch Spaces: Home for the Holidays

Step 1: Decide on the artwork. You can find artwork online and print it out, or you can draw something yourself. You can also use photos for a more personal touch. Typically, you can fill a shrink plastic sheet with more than one design. Try fitting as many on the page as you can, while leaving enough space between each for cutting.

Remember that your design will shrink down to about one-third of its original size, so make sure your designs are sized correctly to get the result you want. (Your shrink plastic will usually include instructions that can help with sizing your designs.) Step 2: Print your designs. Your pieces will darken in the oven as they shrink, so change the opacity of your images to approximately 40-45 percent before printing them out. Step 3: Cut out your designs. Be careful when you’re cutting, as the shrink plastic can tear easily if you’re cutting it too quickly at a bad angle. Go slow and use quality, sharp craft scissors for best results. November 2018

Follow the instructions on the packaging. Typically, it will require at least 24 hours to fully cure. (Although this step is optional, it is highly recommended, because it will add a high-quality look and feel to your finished product.) Step 8: Add the finishing touches. Add some ribbon to your ornament. Cut a small piece of ribbon and thread it through the hole you cut, then tie the ends in a knot. You now have a finished ornament. Use a tiny amount of E6000®, or other jewelrygrade glue, to adhere your posts to the back of the earrings and place them in a safe place to dry. Let cure for 24 hours.

Step 4: Punch out the hole for the ornament’s ribbon. Once the plastic is shrunk, you won’t be able to go back and punch the hole. Keep in mind that the hole will also shrink. Make sure it will be big enough to fit the ribbon.

use resin instead. You can use any resin you prefer, but ICE Resin®, which comes in a pre-measured syringe, is very easy to mix and apply.

Now that you have successfully completed an ornament and a set of earrings, you can let your imagination run wild and use shrink plastic for other gifts and home décor projects. Instead of spending all your time shopping this holiday season, you can spend it crafting handmade, personalized gifts that your friends and family will cherish for a lifetime. Or make something for yourself: because you deserve it!

Step 5: Time to shrink! Place your cut shrink plastic designs on a clean baking sheet lined with foil or baking paper. You can bake more than one per sheet but leave plenty of space between them – you don’t want them sticking together during the baking process. Preheat your toaster oven to 325°F and bake for 1-3 minutes, depending on size. (Always bake according to the instructions included with your shrink plastic, as it can vary between brands.) Watch your designs closely as they shrink. When they lie completely flat again, wait an additional 30 seconds then remove from the oven. Step 6: Flatten out your designs. Use tongs to get them off the baking sheet and place them on a clean flat surface. While the piece is still hot, place a book – or other thick flat surface – on top of it and press down to flatten any curves that developed while shrinking. Step 7: Seal with Mod Podge®. (Optional) Brush a few layers over the ink side and let it dry for a shiny, finished look. If you want a domed, glossy look to your pieces, you November 2018

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Design on a Dime Holiday decorating on a budget


hether or not you host a holiday party, to really capture the magic of the season, you’ll want to spend some time making your home warm and cozy and get your guests into the holiday spirit. Luckily, you don’t have to spend a fortune, or even that much time, with these tactics: 1. Re-purpose what you already have to make holiday decor Don’t toss your pumpkins after Halloween. Save them and use them as part of your autumn display. Uncarved pumpkins can stay looking good for months, and you can even spray paint them a different color if orange doesn’t go with your holiday color scheme. 2. Bring nature inside  You won’t have to go far to find adorable, seasonal decorations­— just head outside. Gather twigs, leaves, pine cones and other natural beauties to dress up accent tables and mantles. You can also use items from nature for a rustic centerpiece, or add a loop of string to make ornaments for the Christmas tree. They can be easily spray painted a metallic color or left unpainted to add some more seasonal, nature-inspired interest.

Try giving your kids their own area to decorate any way they please with crafts they made, or inexpensive decorations you let them pick out at a store. This could be a small Christmas tree in the corner of a room, or even just a bookshelf you clear off.

3. Get the kids involved Starting a collection of your children’s home-made ornaments, but haven’t quite found the best place to display their creative genius?

That way, your little ones will get to be creative and enjoy the decorating process as much as you do, but you won’t have to worry about them breaking your special keepsakes.

4. Don’t discount the allure of sweets Food as décor? In today’s Pinterest world, food as décor is an appealing trend, especially when you create adorable snowmen, stars, bears, turkeys and more. Make the sweet treats of your choice, decorate them ornately, put them on sticks and create bouquets in decorative jars or vases. It’s a fun family activity that makes your home smell and look like a million bucks. Plus, you can eat them, too. © CTW Features


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November 2018


Light It Up Professional holiday decorators give their tips on how to make the season bright, indoors and out


very year, holiday lighting manufacturers introduce more varieties of bulbs, strands, colors and accessories. Luckily for the seasonal lighting industry (and those who love cruising the neighborhood, looking at lit-up houses), nobody seems to be willing to forgo Christmas lights altogether, no matter their financial woes. Professional decorators say that there’s a trend towards nostalgic, natural-looking decorations rather than the energyguzzling displays of the past. That means that LEDs are getting more popular and the Las Vegas marquee-style house is going extinct. The variety of products available leaves people at a loss when choosing the right lights for the job, so a few lighting professionals have given their tips on lighting each area of the house.

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Front Yard Trees Lit trees in a front yard draw the most attention to a house, says Brandon Stephens, vice president of marketing at The Décor Group Inc. in Lubbock, Texas. Lights on a door or across the roof lining act as a backdrop. If you light a tree, that’s the thing that stops traffic, Stephens says. Using a lot of lights sets a property apart. Since a large tree requires plenty of light, use mini-LED strands. LED lights save energy and thus electricity costs, so they work well for massive outdoor undertakings. To make the tree look full, string the lights through the branches rather than around the outside, says Ric Robertson, Christmas lighting guru, Beverly Hills, Calif. “We don’t want to have to go around the tree and tangle it and make it look like the tree is choked,” he says. Spaces: Home for the Holidays


Divide the tree into sections and then work from the top to the bottom, Robertson says. “That’ll create a nice, full tree,” he says. For a different look, Stephens recommends wrapping mini-LED lights up the trunk and then using larger C9 or C7 bulbs in the canopy. Outdoor Shrubbery The key to making lit shrubbery look nice is making it seem organic, Robertson says. He advises against using light nets, which tend to look too perfect. “As far as bushes go, we lay lights in by hand,” he says. Use mini-LED lights rather than larger bulbs to make shrubbery look full. Clear lights remain the most popular choice in outdoor holiday decorating for 16

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roof and window lines, but shrubbery is the place to use color, Stephens says. Setting up a pattern of clear and colored lights works well, with every few sections changing to green or red. “It’s a popular place for people to work color back into their display,” he says. Indoor Spaces Take a look at where the electrical outlets are, says Bob Pranga, owner of holiday design company Dr. Christmas in Los Angeles. Wandering cords will diminish the look and present a potential hazard. Then determine the focal point of the room, he says. Any lighting should complement it. For example, a foyer with a fantastic chandelier should keep the chandelier as the focus, Pranga says. Lighting should

be set up symmetrically around it. “Do something even and outline the existing architecture,” he says. “That makes it feel warm.” Indoor lighting acts more as an accessory to other holiday decorations than as the primary attraction, Pranga says. He suggests combining some sort of greenery with the lights, such as garlands or wreaths, to hide the cords. “Just stringing up lights in your house, unless you really want that frat house look, doesn’t give it much charm,” he says. “You end up scotch taping them to the walls.” While LED lights save power for complex outdoor displays, they tend to look too harsh for indoors, Pranga says. “They make your room look like a black light palace.” Use incandescent lights instead for a warm and cozy ambiance. November 2018

Christmas Tree Similar to decorating an outdoor tree, wrap lights through branches rather than around the Christmas tree to add a nice depth. Use the same tactic of dividing the tree into three triangle sections and working from the top down. The method not only makes the tree look full, it helps with damage control, she says. It’s really easy to control blow-outs that way. To prevent fuse blow-outs all together, don’t use more than three or four strands, and run an extension cord along the trunk, she says. Use a remote-powered or step-on-step-off power strip at the bottom to simplify turning the tree lights on and off. The experts recommend using strands with 100 lights per foot. “It just adds a really nice ambiance,” Pranga says. But don’t be afraid to accent the tree with a unique light size or color, using mini-lights further into the tree. Traditional trees with lots of sentimental ornaments that range in color will pop with a mix of clear and colored lights. “You can definitely mix up the lights,” Robertson says. “It sounds weird. But it looks nice.” © CTW Features November 2018

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A Holiday Change, From the Top to the Bottom The anatomy of a perfectly trimmed tree.


or many people, Christmas tree decorations don’t change much over the years. Ornaments that have been lovingly collected and passed down from generation to generation get hung on the tree, and that’s that.

instant,” says Cathy Hobbs, New Yorkbased home stager, interior designer and finalist on season six of HGTV’s “Design Star” competition show. “You can give your tree a totally different vibe without touching the ornaments by focusing on the skirt and topper.”

So instead of messing with tradition, try thinking tops and bottoms to spruce up the tree this year.

Not only is this type of updating easy, it’s also inexpensive. “You can spend hundreds of dollars on all new ornaments and garland, but just changing the topper and skirt is much cheaper and is still impactful,” says Gina Luker, editor of the remodeling blog Shabby Creek Cottage.

“Think of your tree as a little black dress that you can accessorize differently to take it from formal to casual in an 18

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Every décor store will have fun options to play around with, but you can also go the DIY route. Here, Hobbs and Luker offer some ideas for finding the perfect topperand-skirt combo, depending on the desired aesthetic. Rustic Get a rustic feel that’s both natural and festive by gathering together pieces of wheat, hay or straw, wiring them together in the middle and tying a bright red ribbon around the wire, Hobbs says. Use that as a topper instead of a standard angel or star. Attach it to the tree with more wire. November 2018

Then, for a coordinating skirt, tuck a big piece of burlap around the base of the tree. For this look, Hobbs notes that decorators should use colorful ornaments so the tree doesn’t appear too neutral. Modern Hobbs suggests a quick trick to create a modern topper: Wrap many white lights around the top of your tree – way more than you have on the rest of it. Once turned on, they will appear like a brightly lit star. Swap out a traditional fabric skirt for a cool looking planter, bucket or box that’s been spray painted in a bold color, Luker suggests. This works particularly well if you have a live tree instead of one that’s been cut down. Traditional For a formal look, Luker recommends tying an oversized ribbon into a big bow at the top, using wire to keep it securely in place. Don’t cut the ribbon too short; let the ends reach all the way down to the bottom of your tree for a stronger visual impact. Balance that with tulle or metallic mesh as a skirt, says Hobbs. Those fabrics will stay nice and full, giving your tree drama and elegance. Personalized This also is an opportunity to get personal with your décor and show off items that have special meaning to you. Hobbs suggests using a large picture frame that’s not too heavy and putting a favorite quote, line from a carol or picture of your family in it. Place your tree in a corner of the room and wire the frame to the top of it. (This works best on an artificial tree, since its top will be nice and sturdy.)

DIY Wreath-Making For Every Level of Craftiness

1. “We have scissors around here somewhere.” This simple project is easy enough even for the kids, who will be overjoyed to hang their own creations from their bedroom doors. Cut a ring from a paper plate and then decorate as you choose. “Greenery” can be crafted from strips of colored construction paper (roll them around a pencil before gluing to get them to curl up), painted pasta, yarn or scrunched tissue paper. Add pom-pom or button “berries,” gold-star stickers or bows to dress up your disc. 2. “Pretty sure I know where the craft store is.” A tubular foam form makes a lightweight foundation for a basic wrapped wreath. Start by using a straight pin to secure the end of a long strip of burlap, craft ribbon or a fuzzy garland to the backside of your wreath and then wrap the material round and round until you’ve covered the entire form. Pin or hot glue the other end on the backside. Glue buttons, pom-poms, holly or other festive embellishments around the front to finish. For a miniature version, similarly wrap Mason jar lid rings with twine, ribbon, rick-rack or lace.

Then pull out a favorite antique quilt, blanket, table cloth or other heirloom fabric that has significance to you, she says. Drape it around your tree as a skirt: It’s better than keeping the cloth hidden in a linen closet. And if you’re worried about it getting ruined, protect the fabric by first covering the base of the tree with a few plastic bags.

3. “I pack a glue gun in my purse.” A flat wooden form provides a sturdier base for more creative wreath construction. Consider crafting with bleached oyster shells, colorful ball ornaments, cookie cutters, petite pretend presents, driftwood or wine corks. Before beginning, determine how you will hang your completed wreath — hammer a small nail, saw-tooth picture hanger or ring hooks onto the upper backside of the form.

© CTW Features

You might also want to paint the wood in a shade similar to your materials to help it blend into the background. Then, using a

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glue gun, carefully attach layers of your accouterments until the form can no longer be seen. 4. “Martha Stewart and I are BFFs.” Wreaths devised of living materials require special care. For a fresh spin in the Fraser fir tradition, turn to magnolia leaves. Begin by soaking a florist’s foam ring in water overnight. Clip an abundance of individual magnolia leaves from your tree and then insert the stems into the form, overlapping the leaves in unidirectional concentric circles until the foam has been covered. For a monotone effect, use all of the leaves face up; for added interest, turn some of the leaves over so that their brown undersides show. Leave the stress of perfection to the professionals. These DIY decorating ideas are a great opportunity to bring the kids together and celebrate your craftier side. © CTW Features Spaces: Home for the Holidays



Hygge The Art of Cozying Up Your Space


erhaps you’ve heard of the Danish/Norwegian word “hygge” [HOO-ge]. According to, it’s all about being in the moment – whether it’s an ordinary or extraordinary moment – and acknowledging it as cozy, captivating or special in some way. The word is evolved from the Old Norse language and is thought to be derived from the Norwegian tradition of creating cheerful, social moments inside one’s homes during harsh and bitter Scandinavian winters.


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Today, the term has exploded in popularity in the U.S. as Americans look to create a similar feeling of togetherness during chilly winter months. The concept can take many forms, whether you wish to create a calming environment to enjoy for yourself or make a merry indoor atmosphere for an enjoyable party with family and friends. With a few quick tricks, you too can feel hygge all winter long. Notice the Simple Comforts Around You While purchasing some new things may help you truly embrace the “cozy and charming” of it all, you don’t necessarily

have to spend money. You will be surprised at how many items you already own that will bring a sense of hygge to your home. Look around you and try to pinpoint special items that bring about feelings of warmth and comfort: pull out the soft, fuzzy sweaters hiding in the back of the cedar chest; set up a hot cocoa station front and center on the kitchen counter; or bring that classic literature collection to the forefront of your bookshelf. Little adjustments that highlight life’s comforting treasures is a great start toward making your interior a cozy, Scandinavian wonderland. November 2018

Allow Yourself to Be a Little Lazy At times the concept of hygge is as simple as sweat pants. Purposefully schedule some time where you are planning to be a bit less productive and find small ways to make that time more memorable. Perhaps you and the hubby have been meaning to watch all the Harry Potter movies but never quite got around to it, or maybe the kids have asked repeatedly for a board game marathon. Set out a little cheese tray, warm up the apple cider and allow yourself to just be lackadaisical for an evening. Your soul will thank you. Invest in Some Small Delights to Create More Coziness For Danish people, candles are an essential component to winter hygge. The soft glow of a flickering candle lends an inexpensive and immediate sense of warm ambiance to any room. suggests that, if nothing else, you buy a handful of classic vanilla candles to elevate your surroundings from the “same old” to something a bit more warm and special. If you’re willing to go a step

further, you might also consider purchasing layered rugs, faux fur throws, winter flowers or plants, pillows, or books. Find New Ways to Connect with People You Love While hunkering down and hibernating during the cold months may seem tempting, remember that hygge was also developed with the intention of creating small sweet moments to share with

others. Host a night for decorating cookies, share a potluck of soups and warm drinks, or simply chat next to a warm fire – whatever you do, just be sure to bring together the people you love and add some distinctive touches to make it cozy. By artfully combining these key elements, you will have beautifully achieved a hygge moment.

References: Beauchamp, A. (2018) What is Hygge? Retrieved from Country Living. (2017, Jan 6) What Is Hygge? Everything You Need To Know About The Danish Lifestyle Trend. Retrieved from Gullestad, M. (1992) “Home Decoration as Popular Culture”. The art of social relations: essays on culture, social action and everyday life in modern Norway. Oslo: Scandinavian University Press. Kloss, K. (2017, Jan 20) 10 Super Cozy Examples of How to Achieve Warm Room Design. Retrieved from

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e e r F e l s s a H lidays Ho Tips and tricks for less stress and more joy this holiday season. 22

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Plan Ahead for a Stress-Free Meal Knowing what to cook ahead and when to cook it can make your food taste great — and your holiday meal prep a calm affair. Here’s a guide to what to make ahead, when to make it, how to store it, and how to reheat it


etting Thanksgiving dinner – or any holiday feast – on the table can seem like a math word problem gone awry:

Question: If it takes 4 hours to cook a 15-pound turkey, and three of the side dishes need something done to them “ just before serving,” how many times will the cook wish there were an easier way without resorting to boxed or “ instant” imposters of traditional favorites? Answer: Probably countless times, and each of them unnecessary because many side dishes can be prepared or partially prepared a day or more in advance. And certain freezer-friendly recipes can be made weeks or months in advance and still taste fresh come mealtime. November 2018

“When it comes to a traditional Thanksgiving meal, everything but a green salad and the turkey can be made ahead, frozen and reheated on the holiday,” says Michele Borboa Stafford, a personal chef from Bozeman, Mont., and author of “Make-ahead Meals Made Healthy” (Fair Winds Press, 2011). “Bread-based stuffings are especially easy to fix and freeze, but you can also freeze mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce and rice dishes, so all you have to do is thaw or reheat and serve.” It’s simply math: An earlier start plus Borboa’s step-by-step instructions equals more time for friends and family over the holidays.

2 Months in Advance Bread-based and rice stuffings can be fully assembled, baked cooled and frozen. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and reheat in the oven. Or, start two days ahead to save time without freezing. Cube and bake bread until lightly toasted, cool, and store at room temperature in an airtight container. For rice stuffings, steam the rice, let it cool completely, and store in the refrigerator. Chop onions, celery, carrots and other vegetables your recipe calls for. Store them in the refrigerator to sauté on the holiday, or sauté them in advance, cool and refrigerate until you assemble the stuffing. If your recipe calls for nuts, toast and store them in an airtight container. Spaces: Home for the Holidays


“On Thanksgiving Day, all you have to do is assemble the prepped ingredients along with broth and any other ingredients” such as herbs and spices, and then follow instructions for cooking, Borboa says. Cranberry sauce can be made up to two months in advance, cooled completely and frozen. One Month in Advance “Raw potatoes don’t freeze well,” Borboa warns, “but mashed potatoes can be made up to one month in advance. Make your favorite mashed potatoes, spread them in a greased casserole dish and cool completely. Place a sheet of plastic wrap directly over the potatoes, and wrap the casserole dish tightly with heavy-duty foil.” To reheat, thaw overnight in the refrigerator and place in the oven for 30 minutes at 350 degrees F. “You may have to adjust the butter, milk and seasonings but the hard work is done well in advance,” Borboa says. Also an advocate of doing as much as possible ahead of time, Chicago event planner Debi Lilly believes quality suffers for certain dishes. “Mashed potatoes absolutely cannot be made in advance. To me, the best texture is when they’re fresh off the stove top,” says Lilly, president of A Perfect Event. “They come out warm and creamy, and they just don’t carry that same consistency when reheated. They get a little lumpier and dry out, and the texture changes.” The gravy that goes on top of them also requires same-day preparation, according to Lilly: “It’s very fatty and tends to separate,” she says. If you’d rather not freeze mashed potatoes, you can save time with this fixahead tip: Wash and scrub potatoes, cut them into chunks, and place in a large pot. Fill with enough cold water to cover the potatoes and add a generous pinch of salt and the juice of one lemon to keep potatoes from browning. Potatoes can stay covered in water, refrigerated, for up to two days, Borboa says. When ready to cook, drain the water and boil in fresh water.


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Two Weeks in Advance “I prefer fresh-baked breads and rolls since freezing them can take away from their taste and texture, but if frozen properly, they can be made two to three weeks in advance and reheated on Thanksgiving Day,” Borboa says. Allow fresh-baked rolls to cool completely, and then place them on a baking sheet. Place in the freezer until just solid. Place rolls in heavy-duty freezer bags, squeeze the air out, seal and freeze. You can simply let them thaw at room temperature overnight and serve them or warm them in the oven. Two Days in Advance “You can’t cook an entire turkey and reheat it without ruining quality and increasing your chances of food poisoning,” Borboa warns, “but you can prep a few ingredients to save time.” A day or two ahead, cut oranges, onions, celery, carrots, herbs and other ingredients you plan to use to flavor the turkey. “I don’t like soggy stuffing so I bake stuffing in the oven and fill the cavity of the turkey with aromatics and shove herbs, spices, citrus, onions and

garlic beneath the skin of the turkey,” Borboa says. “I prep the ingredients ahead of time so all I have to do on Thanksgiving Day is put them in place in the turkey before putting it in the oven.” One Day in Advance “When it comes to salads, I say fresh is best, but you can certainly chop vegetables and other salad ingredients a day in advance and then assemble them on Thanksgiving Day and allow them to chill before serving,” Borboa says. “Always put the dressing on right before serving since vinegar and other acidic ingredients will wilt salad greens.” The Big Day “It’s best to prep fruit salads the day you serve them because the fruit tends to turn brown,” Borboa says. “Even when you have citrus juice mixed with them, they don’t have the vibrancy of being just sliced or diced. I’d wait until right before serving to add bananas since they tend to get soggy when mixed with juicy fruit. © CTW Features

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Make-Ahead Appetizer Mouthwatering Mini Crab Cakes Ingredients: 2 tablespoons olive oil 1 small onion, minced 1 clove garlic, minced

1. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. 2. Add onion and carrot and cook, stirring often, for 5 minutes.

1 pound lump crab, picked over, finely

3. Add garlic and cook, stirring, for 1 minute.


4. Transfer to a large bowl.

2/3 cup light mayonnaise made with olive oil

5. Add crab, mayonnaise, herbs, Old Bay, mustard and 1 cup bread crumbs, stirring well to combine.

1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh dill 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh chives 1 tablespoon Old Bay Seasoning 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard 5 cups whole wheat bread crumbs, divided 2/3 cup all-purpose flour 4 eggs, beaten

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6. Form mixture into 32 crab cakes. 7. Place flour, eggs and remaining bread crumbs in three separate shallow bowls. 8. Dip crab cakes in flour, shaking off excess. Dip in eggs, allowing excess to drip off. Dip in bread crumbs to coat. 9. Set crab cakes on a greased baking sheet and refrigerate for 1 hour.

10. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. 11. Spray crab cakes with olive oil. 12. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until lightly browned. 13. Let cool completely on a wire rack. 14. To freeze, place crab cakes in a single layer on a baking sheet until firm. 15. Transfer crab cakes to a large freezer bag or freezer container. 16. To reheat, place frozen crab cakes on a greased baking sheet in a 375° over and bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until heated through. Serve warm. Make up to one month ahead and freeze until ready to reheat. Yield: 32 crab cakes Š CTW Features

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Behave Yourself How to be a courteous, responsible and interesting guest at this year’s holiday party


ut down the smart phone, close the laptop and bid adieu to that stream of Facebook updates for a few hours. When heading out to a holiday party, it’s time to focus on being a good guest – face-to-face. First, being a great guest and having a


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wonderful party experience starts well before the day of the celebration. “No matter how you were invited, whether by regular invitation or by email, RSVP to it even if it isn’t requested,” says Daniel Post Senning, of the Emily Post Institute, great-great-great grandson of Emily Post and co-author of the 19th edition of

“Emily Post’s Etiquette” (William Morrow, 2017). “Even if you were invited to a party or to see a holiday movie with friends through an event invitation on Facebook, make sure they know you plan on attending.”

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Once a commitment to attend has been made, Post says to make sure to arrive on time. “It’s a small, but important courtesy,” he says. Also, never arrive at an event empty-handed. “Guests should always arrive with a gift for their host, even something small like a bag of coffee, and then send a thank you note after the fact,” says Leah Ingram, author of “The Everything Etiquette Book” (Adams, 2005). “You can send a thank-you gift if you’d like, too.” Now that you’ve arrived, it’s time to mingle. If you’re a bundle of nerves and don’t know how to “work” a party, do not rush in and head straight to the food or bar area, says Dorothea Johnson, founder of The Protocol School of Washington and the author of “Modern Manners: Tools You Can Take to the Top” (Benjamin Press, 2013). Instead, Johnson says that a good guest greets the host first but doesn’t take up much of their time. “You have to be considerate that the host has other guests,” she says. “Then it’s your duty to mingle with the other guests and make your presence known.” Once you’ve greeted your host, it’s time to turn your attention to the other guests. Johnson says she learned a lot from watching former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger at parties. “Kissinger would come in, move to the right and look into the crowd,” says Johnson. “I always thought he was looking for someone, but

he was making sure everyone saw him. He would greet people and move his way around the room until everyone was in the center with him. He made eye contact and never walked away without saying ’excuse me.’ It was brilliant, and everyone should do that.” If you’re great at online chat, but talking faceto-face leaves you tongue-tied, Johnson suggests going straight to someone you know. “But don’t spend all evening with them,” she says Johnson. “You should expand yourself and your knowledge by talking to people you don’t know.” While you’re enjoying the party, Ingram reminds you that you’re still a guest no matter how comfortable you are. “Understand that you are a guest in their house and don’t make demands of the host as if you were staying in a hotel — make my bed, turn down your music, et cetera,” she says. If you’re the one hosting the party, Ingram suggests finding out ahead of time what food your guests like so you don’t find yourself in uncomfortable situations where the guests aren’t eating or complaining about the food (a no-no) because there isn’t anything they like. Together, a great host and great guests are guaranteed to create a great party. © CTW Features

Holiday Hostess Gift Ideas Your gracious host or hostess has invited you into their home to celebrate the holidays. Since a courteous guest never shows up empty handed, use these ideas to get you on the road to selecting the perfect gift: • Bottle of wine, champagne or sparkling cider • Candied almonds or pecans in decorative box • Loaf of artisan bread and jam • Set of coasters • Poinsettia or miniature, decorated tree • Homemade cookies or sweets in a festive box • Holiday-scented candle • Bouquet of flowers • Pure vanilla or peppermint extract • Set of blank note cards • Gift basket of salami, cheese and crackers • Wrapped box of gourmet chocolates • Set of tea towels wrapped in raffia and cinnamon sticks

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Guest Stress? How to Prepare Your Home for Overnight Holiday Guests


xpecting overnight guests this holiday season? Feeling a bit overwhelmed and under prepared for visitors? You are not alone. Hosting overnight guests can be stressful, especially during the holidays when there is already a lot on your plate – both literally and figuratively. But, having house guests doesn’t have to be as overwhelming as it might seem: with this guide, and some advance preparation, you can ace the role of the seasoned host or hostess. Clean and declutter The first and most important step in preparing your home for house guests: clean and declutter. You want to put your


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best foot forward and create a welcoming space. Clean and remove clutter from as much of the home as schedules allow. Take extra care in the areas where guests will spend the most time: the guest room and bathroom. Put freshly laundered sheets on the bed, even if they are technically “clean.” You want the bed to smell fresh, not musty, when your guests turn in after a long day of travel or adventure. And, since everyone’s comfort level is different, be sure to add extra pillows, along with another blanket or two at the foot of the bed. If the room does not have a ceiling fan, consider adding a freestanding fan. Be sure your guests know which towels

they should use by placing a freshly laundered set in the guest bedroom. If guests are using a shared bathroom, be sure to clear off the counter and leave space for their toiletries. Also, clear some space in the bedroom closet and leave empty hangers for their clothing. Be sure to include hangers for shirts, pants, skirts and coats. You may also want to consider purchasing a folding luggage rack. You can get one for under $30 online. Your guests will appreciate the convenience – and it just may save you the indignity of having a travel-weary suitcase splayed out on your comforter or duvet. When the guests are gone, it can be folded and stored neatly under the bed or in a closet. November 2018

Anticipate Needs Try to anticipate the needs of your guests and make provisions. First, and foremost, be sure to stock the bathroom with toilet paper and make it easy for guests to find. No one likes having to ask for toilet paper in someone else’s home. And, on that note, make sure there is a plunger nearby.

Communicate Now that you have cleaned, decluttered and made other necessary preparations, you’re probably thinking it’s time to meal plan and shop – not quite yet. Now is the time to connect. Take the time to communicate with your guests before they arrive. Ask about their plans while staying with you: discuss meals, menu plans, and find out if there are any dietary restrictions. After all, you don’t want to prepare a welcome dinner featuring a walnut-crusted tilapia if someone has an aversion to seafood; or worse, a life-threatening allergy to nuts.

Since many travelers forget at least one item when packing, it’s a good idea to stock up on travel size necessities. Helpful items to have on hand include: shampoo, conditioner, toothbrush, toothpaste, razors, tissues, pain relievers and soap or body wash. You can purchase these items in the travel section of most grocery or drugstores. You can also save money by packing the unused items from your hotel room when you travel. You are paying for them as part of your stay, so there’s no harm in taking them with you for later use. Have fun with the toiletries and place them in a cute basket or tray. You can even include a nice little welcome note. Your guests will appreciate the thoughtfulness, especially if they need something. Finishing Touches It’s always a bit disconcerting to be away from home, sleeping and showering in an unfamiliar environment. It’s even worse to wake in the dark of night, searching for the time and fumbling around for some light. Help make your guests feel more at home by leaving a lamp and an alarm clock within reach, preferably on the nightstand.

Once your guests arrive, you should have a conversation about schedules. Discuss overall schedules and meal times. If they are sharing a family bathroom, find out when they plan to get up and shower. Let them know your schedule as well, especially if you have fixed obligations, such as appointments or work. Things will run much more smoothly if everyone is on the same page.

If the guest quarters are unused on a regular basis, take the time to make sure everything is in order. Go through each item to be sure it works as it should: check light bulbs to be certain they are not burned out, test the batteries in TV remotes and make sure bathroom faucets don’t leak.

Relax and Enjoy A seasoned host or hostess knows that preparation is the key to enjoying time with house guests. Once the preparation and planning are out of the way, take some time to relax, enjoy your company and make lasting holiday memories together.

It’s also a good idea to write down your WiFi name and password. It’s almost certain that every guest will arrive with one, or more, electronic devices in need of an internet connection. Leaving the WiFi information in plain sight will make it easier on everyone. Now, take the time to look around and try to think like a guest: what things do you appreciate when you’re a guest, in a hotel or in someone else’s home? You may want to set out a notepad and pen, bottled water, healthy snacks and magazines. And, be sure to leave a hairdryer where guests can find it. November 2018

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You wouldn’t invite a stranger into your home

— don’t make yourself an easy target for thieves this holiday season.


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Don’t Advertise Simple Ways to Avoid the Unwanted Attention of Holiday Thieves


he holidays are a time of joy and a time of giving. Everyone is having fun, celebrating the season with family and friends, and looking for opportunities to do something good, right? Not everyone. Unfortunately, some people see the holidays as a perfect time to take advantage of others. Thieves are opportunistic and always on the lookout for an easy target. There may be inadvertent things you are doing to draw their attention without even realizing it. The best way to avoid the unwanted interest of a would-be thief or burglar: don’t advertise.

what’s inside your home. You might also want to consider keeping wrapped gifts in an alternate location until the last minute. That way, if someone happens to peek in the window, they will see a tree, but no gifts for the taking. On Social Media Would-be thieves are on social media sites and they are always on the lookout for easy targets. The good news: it’s easy to stay out of their sights by practicing a little social media savvy. If the entire family is doing something

together, such as traveling for the holidays, and the house will be empty, don’t post about it until you return home. You may think that your friends and family would never take advantage of you, and that may be true, but their friends, and friends of their friends – strangers to you – can likely see your posts. Don’t let them know that the house will be sitting empty. And, while you’re at it: don’t post pictures of the expensive diamond earrings you received for Christmas. No matter how excited you are, it’s just not worth it. You never know who is watching.

While Holiday Shopping When you’re out shopping for the holidays, don’t advertise your purchases by leaving them in your vehicle in plain view. “If you buy gifts while you’re out shopping, keep them out of sight,” said Salt Lake City Police Sgt. Brandon Shearer. “Don’t put them on the back seat. Take them home if you have to.” And be sure to lock your vehicle. Thieves will often walk around parking lots trying door handles. If your door happens to be unlocked, they can quickly get away with whatever treasures lie inside. With Gifts in the Window Take a stroll down most neighborhood streets at the holidays and what do you see? Beautifully wrapped gifts placed lovingly beneath glowing Christmas trees: it catches your attention – it also catches the attention of thieves. The glowing tree, right in front of the window, is like a beacon in the night, calling out for thieves to stop and see what treasures await. At the first sign of fading light, close your curtains and blinds. This keeps opportunistic thieves from easily seeing November 2018

Spaces: Home for the Holidays


With Expensive Curb Appeal You don’t want to advertise your new gifts on social media, but you also you shouldn’t be advertising them in front of your home. When garbage day arrives, don’t leave the flat screen TV box intact at the curb. “If criminals have a reason to believe there’s something valuable inside, that increases the chances (of theft),” Sgt. Shearer said. Break down boxes so you can dispose of them in discreet ways. At Your Doorstep More people than ever before are doing some, or all, of their holiday shopping online. Between the deals, the convenience, and the chance to avoid crowds, it’s easy to see the appeal. There is, however, one downside: unattended packages left sitting in plain view on the front porch act just like homing beacons, and they’re calling out to pirates. Package theft has become so common, the thieves have earned their own dubious moniker: porch pirates. According to a 2017 survey by Schorr Packaging Corporation, 31 percent of respondents said they had personally experienced package theft. And, with online purchases rising steadily, that number is likely to go up. You don’t have to stop doing your holiday shopping online, but you should stop advertising your purchases. This can be done in a variety of ways, some of which are simple, and some require a bit more effort. It all depends on how much you purchase and how much time you are willing to invest. Camouflage: Make sure you have camouflaging elements on, or near, your porch. Make it easy for the delivery person to hide your packages, and hard for thieves to see them. In that same survey by Schorr Packaging, respondents felt that the location of the package – being on the porch, in plain view – was the single largest factor in making packages appealing to porch pirates. Consider adding a porch box for deliveries. You can use a decorative box, a secure box that is designed for deliveries, or a porch seat that opens. The point is to obscure your packages from view. To make sure the package is left where you 32

Spaces: Home for the Holidays

prefer, take the extra time to add delivery instructions, which can often be included in your address when the order is placed. Use wording such as “leave in box on porch” or “leave between screen and door.” Be sure to leave a note on the delivery box, or on your door, with instructions for the delivery driver. Track packages: With many online retailers, you can sign up to receive delivery notifications by text and/or email, so you know exactly when your packages are delivered. If you can’t pick up your package right away, perhaps you can call a trusted neighbor and ask them to hold it until you get home. Have packages delivered to your workplace: “If your package is going to be delivered during the day, have it delivered to work or to a neighbor’s house,” said Sgt. Shearer. If this option is available to you, it may be the easiest, and most secure way to protect your purchases. Signature on delivery: This is especially useful if you plan to purchase big-ticket

items. It may be a bit less convenient, since you may have to drive to the nearest distribution center to sign for, and pick up your package, but at least your expensive purchase is not sitting unattended on your front porch. Security camera: If you have a lot of deliveries, or if you want to purchase highdollar items online, you may want to consider installing a security camera that notifies you when there is movement on your porch. One that continuously records and allows you to interact with guests through a speaker would be useful as well. If you decide to invest in this type of system, there are a lot of options to choose from. Obviously, if someone is truly determined to steal something, they will find a way to make it happen. But most criminals are more opportunistic than determined. Don’t make yourself an easy target for thieves this holiday season. “Criminals are looking for opportunities. The best thing you can do is take away those opportunities,” Sgt. Shearer said. November 2018


Reduce Holiday Stress by Doing What You Love and Cutting the Rest


he holidays can be stressful, even for the calmest among us: there’s shopping to be done, gifts to wrap, cooking to do, parties to attend, guests to entertain, and those cookies won’t bake themselves! It’s overwhelming, yet most people believe it’s all a part of the deal and – often begrudgingly – continue to slog through their extensive to-do list. It sounds too simple, but one easy trick can cut your to-do list and reduce your holiday stress, so you can enjoy the season and all it has to offer: do what you love and cut the rest – or at least cut corners. Holiday Decor If you love to decorate your home like it’s right out of a magazine spread, then, by all means, have at it – turn your home into a winter wonderland for all to admire. If, however, you’re no Martha Stewart – and have no desire to put on airs, try to make your décor as easy as possible: Buy a Pre-Lit Artificial Tree Avoid the trip to the Christmas tree lot and untangle the hassle that comes with a wadded-up ball of lights by purchasing a pre-lit, artificial tree. Just pop the pieces together, fluff up the branches, plug it in, and voila! You have a tree that’s ready for as much, or as little décor as you wish to add. Throw on some garland and a topper and call it good. Or not. It’s completely up to you.

Shopping Some people love shopping at any time of the year, but they revel in the unique ambiance that comes with malls and department stores at the holidays: the noise, the crowds, the lines and even the scarcity of parking don’t phase them one bit. For the rest of us – it’s pure torture. If you happen to fall into the latter category, it’s a beautiful time to be alive: Online Shopping Take up online shopping. Yes, it’s good to support local stores whenever possible, but if holiday shopping peaks your stress to unhealthy levels, give yourself a break: throw on some comfortable clothes, hop online and shop in the peace and quiet of your own home. You may have to lower your expectations a bit: perhaps adopt an “If they don’t have it, I don’t need it” attitude, but you can do it. Just remember that no one remembers the gifts anyway. Memories come from treasured time spent with friends and family – you can’t buy that kind of magic anywhere. Shop Less If shopping is stressful, mostly because you can’t afford it, it’s time to reconsider your list. Perhaps you can talk to your family and suggest drawing names so each family member purchases, and

receives, one gift. This is especially useful for individuals and couples who have extended families with lots of children. Even though it’s fun to buy gifts for the kids, it can be hard when you’re buying for multiple people in each family: more people equals more money, more shopping, and more wrapping – no wonder the holidays are stressful. Shop Only for the Kids Let’s face it: the most enjoyable part of Christmas gifting is watching the little ones open their gifts. They’re easy to shop for and you don’t have to spend a lot of money to thrill them. As the age goes up, the excitement goes down. You must spend a fair amount of money to get most teenagers excited and, just as with most adults, it’s hard to know exactly what they want anyway. Consider adopting a new holiday shopping policy of just buying for the little ones. Set the age limit wherever you like: again, it’s completely up to you. As for the adults, you can draw names, make something, or even give a heartfelt card and call it good. The key is communicating with your friends and family ahead of time. Most will understand, and many will breathe a sigh of relief: after all, you just checked yourself off their shopping list.

Create a Family Tradition Make decorating a fun activity and the whole family will love it. Turn on the holiday tunes, pop the corn, don Santa hats and do a little decorating dance – you’ll burn some calories, make some memories and even have some fun. Snap some silly pictures along the way and use them for your holiday cards: bonus points for checking off more than one item from your to-do list! November 2018

Spaces: Home for the Holidays


Gift Wrapping If you express your artistic flair through wrapping gifts like a pro, your friends and family have likely noticed: express your talents with joy. If you’d rather spend your time in a dentist’s chair than wrap gifts for hours on end, try these ideas: Inquire About Free Gift Wrapping Many department stores still offer free, or reduced-cost, gift wrapping with a purchase. It never hurts to ask about gift wrap while checking out. At the very least, they may provide a box or a bag and tissue paper so you don’t have to shop for, and purchase, these items yourself. Paid Gift Wrapping If you have the means, consider paying someone to wrap the gifts for you. Many malls have gift wrapping stands that specialize in making your gifts look fabulous: and no one, but you, must know. Or, perhaps one of your kids would love to earn extra Christmas cash by wrapping gifts. You can even build the cost of gift wrapping into your shopping budget, so you don’t feel guilty, or break the bank, by spending extra on “something you can do yourself.” Your sanity is worth it. Your Friend, the Gift Bag First off: recycle and reuse your gift bags from year-to-year. You will help save the earth, and some money. Purchase the remainder of your gift bags in a variety of different sizes – and shapes, if you can – with tissue to match. Pull out all your gifts and remove, or obscure, the price tag. Next, open and lay out the bags assembly line style. Go down the line and place gifts in the bags, then go back down the line and affix gift tags while you can still see what’s inside. Top each bag with tissue paper and arrange. You should have your wrapping done in a short time and be well on your way to doing something you really enjoy. Have Gifts Shipped Directly With most online retailers, you can have purchases shipped to any address you choose; some will even wrap the gifts and include a message to the recipient. If you’re shopping for far away friends or relatives, consider taking advantage of this option. 34

Spaces: Home for the Holidays

Cooking and Entertaining Sure, holiday pictures show families sitting around a decked-out table featuring a completely perfect meal. Everyone seems happy and there’s not one ounce of stress among them. If, however, your holiday meal is more chaotic than joyful, take solace in these options: Order a Takeout Holiday Dinner or Dine Out Again, if you have the means, this might just be the answer you are looking for. There are a lot of options, and price ranges to choose from. If you opt for the takeout meal, you can always cook the same “signature” dish each year to make the meal feel more like a tradition.

Make it a Potluck You cook the main dish and have each of your guests bring a dish. This will eliminate much of the cost and meal timing issues. Plus, you will be calmer, and you might even get to enjoy some quality time with your guests. If you must still do a good portion of the cooking, check out “Plan Ahead for a Stress-Free Meal” (p.23) for a guide to doing most of the work in advance. Whatever you decide, and whichever items you choose to cut from your holiday to-do list, don’t forget to cut one critical thing – some slack, for yourself. It doesn’t have to be perfect to make perfect memories. So, take a breath, do what you love, and savor what truly matters: time spent with family and friends. November 2018

November 2018

Start a new family tradition this holiday season and make memories to last a lifetime

Spaces: Home for the Holidays



Holiday Traditions Make Memories to Last a Lifetime

TRADITION ­— it’s a word that holds special significance in American culture and, while the word itself holds different meanings and associations for each of us, it generally brings about positive feelings and a sense of nostalgia. Traditions are tied — in a personal way — to country, family and even the holidays.


oliday traditions, or the things you do together every holiday season, create a special family bond that gets stronger with each passing year. They also help to create memories that will last a lifetime. In fact, many people, when starting their own families, will carry forward the holiday traditions of their youth. Since the holidays are upon us once again, now is the perfect time to think about the traditions in your family. Do you have significant holiday traditions that your family can look forward to each year? If you don’t practice any specific traditions, now is a great time to start. And, even if you have holiday traditions in place, there’s always room for one more. 36

Spaces: Home for the Holidays

November 2018

If you need some help coming up with ideas, check out this list of fun traditions to start with your family this holiday season:

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Family Activities • Trim the tree together • See some holiday lights • Make the same, special holiday meal each year • Decorate sugar cookies or gingerbread men • Help your children write a letter to Santa • Create a holiday playlist for the family to enjoy • Decorate a gingerbread house • Watch the same holiday movie every year • Cut snowflakes out of paper and use them to decorate the windows • Buy or make an Advent calendar to countdown the days until Christmas • Leave the same treat for Santa every year • Gift coordinated family pajamas for fun holiday photos • Dress up and take holiday-themed pictures • Give each child an ornament that fits their personality each year

Cultivate Gratitude • Go around the table and list what you are thankful for before your holiday dinner. • Have each child write a thank you note or card to leave with Santa’s treat Acts of Kindness • Donate new toys to Toys for Tots • Donate canned and non-perishable food items to Utah Food Bank • Adopt a family through Sub for Santa • Select an angel from the Salvation Army Angel Tree • Volunteer to serve food at a local rescue mission

Spaces: Home for the Holidays



Light Up the Night Festive Holiday Lights Make Joyful Family Traditions


Utah has no shortage of festive light displays for families to enjoy during the holidays. Since many of them are free of charge, this is one family tradition that is light on cost, but big on memories. Pick one that is best for your family and light up the night!


Spaces: Home for the Holidays

Temple Square Nov. 23-Jan. 1 50 W. North Temple Street, Salt Lake City

The iconic lights at Temple Square have been wowing Utah crowds for more than 50 years. Besides a stunning display of lights and music, visitors can marvel at a life-size nativity display, a massive 75-year-old Cedar of Lebanon tree, then soak up some tranquil vibes at the reflection pond and its floating paper lanterns, bearing messages of peace in multiple languages. Dress warm and wear comfortable shoes for the walk around the temple grounds.

Luminaria at Thanksgiving Point Nov. 19-Jan. 5 3900 N. Garden Drive, Lehi

At Christmastime, Thanksgiving Point turns its Ashton Gardens into a magical holiday display unlike any other. Enjoy this majestic, mile-long stroll through the gardens, showcasing 25 different scenes; each with its own theme, and even its own scent. Guests will marvel at the massive, moving holiday pictures created on a sweeping, 40-foot hill blanketed by 6,500 programmable luminaries, each of which acts as a single pixel. Kids will enjoy playing interactive holiday games and making s’mores at the glowing fire pits. Dress warm and wear comfortable shoes for your magical garden stroll. www. November 2018


Zoo Lights at Utah’s Hogle Zoo Nov. 30-Dec. 31 2600 Sunnyside Avenue (840 S.), Salt Lake City

During the holidays, Utah’s Hogle Zoo transforms itself into a place “Where wildlife meets wild lights!” Visit Zoo Lights and enjoy a dazzling array of holiday lights and activities. You can even pick up a set of hologram glasses for a mesmerizing walk through a 135-foot lighted tunnel. Check out the newest display of ten life-size, glowing animal lanterns then head over to meet Santa and his reindeer. Dress warm and wear comfortable shoes for this wild holiday adventure.

Christmas In Color Nov. 24-Dec. 30 • Salt Lake County Equestrian Center 11161 S. 2200 W., South Jordan • Provo Towne Centre Mall 1200 Towne Centre Blvd., Provo

This drive-through holiday display features mesmerizing lights and tunnels sure to thrill and delight both young and old alike. With a light show that’s perfectly synchronized to Christmas music coming from your car radio, no one will notice if your family decides to make the most of the experience by belting out the songs in unison. And, with two locations – in South Jordan and Provo – to choose from, it’s easier to find one near you. No need to bundle up since you’ll stay warm and dry in the car for this one.


November 2018

Spaces: Home for the Holidays


Tree of Light in Draper City Park Nov. 30-Jan. 1 1300 E. 12500 S., Draper


For most of the year, it’s a large willow tree residing in Draper City Park. But, during the holidays, it’s transformed – over 700 hours, and using nearly 500,000 white lights – into the “Tree of Light.” The tree is so large, and so ethereal when lit, that many visitors have taken to calling it the “Tree of Life.” Whatever the name, it has easily become the centerpiece of this display, which began more than 10 years ago. The park’s other trees, and bridge, are also adorned in festive lights. It’s an outdoor park in the winter, so dress accordingly.

Festival of Lights in Canyon View Park Nov. 22-Jan. 1 3300 E. Powerhouse Rd. Spanish Fork

For 25 years now, the Festival of Lights in Canyon View Park has been one of the most popular drive-through light displays in Utah County. Guests of all ages will marvel at the dazzling display of lights centered around a variety of holiday themes. You can even tune your radio to their broadcast station to hear some festive tunes

while you enjoy the view. You’ll stay warm and cozy in your vehicle, so no need to bundle up.



Spaces: Home for the Holidays

November 2018

Holiday Shopping and Lights Dates vary, but generally run from Nov. 24-Jan. 1 • Gateway Mall 400 W. 100 S. Salt Lake City • City Creek Mall, 50 S. Main St. Salt Lake City • Gardner Village 1100 W. 7800 S., Salt Lake City

If your holiday season is all hustle and bustle and time is of the essence, it’s easy enough to take in some holiday lights with the family and get some shopping done at the same time. Both the Gateway Mall and City Creek Mall in downtown Salt Lake City have festive lights and largerthan-life Christmas trees decorated in stunning glory. The Macy’s at City Creek even has a holiday window display that’s made entirely of candy. If you’re looking for a more local, homespun shopping experience, head over to Gardner Village in West Jordan. But you may want to go before dusk because, although there are lights, this one is more focused on Santa’s elves. They even have a free elf scavenger hunt – with a sweet prize for those who finish – to keep the kids entertained while you shop. You might want to dress in layers for these festive indoor/outdoor shopping adventures.

Neighborhood Light Displays

Dates vary, but generally run from Nov. 24-Jan. 1 •

Taylorsville Christmas Street, 3200 W. Royalwood Dr. (5350 S.)

Sugarhouse Christmas Street, 1500 E. 1735 S.

It’s free, it’s fun and you can stay nice and warm in your vehicle – what’s not to like about your local, neighborhood light displays? Take an evening and drive around nearby locales to appreciate the festive house lights. You can even schedule a destination drive and visit some of the larger, more coordinated holiday light offerings, such as the Christmas Street in Taylorsville, where neighbors work together to tell the story of “Twas the Night Before Christmas.” There’s also a display in Sugarhouse by the same name. November 2018





Camping Out in (Holiday) Style Start a New Family Tradition


t’s a well-known fact that children love a good camp out. Given the chance, most kids will jump at the opportunity to hop in a sleeping bag, tell stories until the wee hours of the night and fall asleep under the light of the stars. Here’s a way you can capture that joy and turn it into a fun-filled holiday tradition that’s sure to delight the entire family: trim the tree together then camp out under the lights while sipping gourmet hot chocolate.


Spaces: Home for the Holidays

Prepare for the Fun Pull out sleeping bags, blankets and pillows for the family and set off to the side • • • •

Purchase a fresh tree or pull out the artificial one Take out and prepare all the lights and ornaments Prepare a holiday playlist Prepare a hot cocoa bar: consider including marshmallows, whipped cream, cinnamon sticks, candy canes, festive sprinkles, chocolate chips and crushed cookies/candy bars

Trim the Tree Together It doesn’t matter whether you start with the perfect, fresh pine tree, or if you assemble a faux version of the same – gather the family, turn on the holiday tunes and trim away. Be sure to help young children so they’re not injured by metal hooks or fragile ornaments. When the tree is perfectly trimmed, and everything is in place, have an official lighting ceremony. Let the kids take turns putting on the tree topper and flipping the switch each year – they will relish being the center of such pomp and circumstance. November 2018

Homemade Hot Chocolate Take your hot cocoa bar from ordinary to extraordinary with this creamy, homemade delight. 1/4 c. unsweetened baking cocoa 1/2 c. sugar Pinch of salt 1/3 c. hot, near boiling water 4 c. mixture of milk, cream or half-and-half

Set Up the “Campsite” Have everyone change into their pajamas and set up a “campsite” near the tree. When setting out the sleeping bags, blankets and pillows, make sure the arrangement encourages family interaction. You may also want to consider putting the tree lights on a timer, so they automatically turn off after the family falls asleep. You don’t want to disrupt the peaceful slumber by having to get up and turn off the lights. Indulge in Hot Cocoa Heaven Fill mugs with hot cocoa and leave plenty of

November 2018

room for toppings. Allow everyone to make their own decadent cup of hot chocolate. Be sure to help younger children so they don’t overfill the mugs and spill – make sure cocoa is not too hot, just in case. Tell Stories Turn out the lights and bask in the glow of freshly trimmed tree. Reminisce together about favorite holiday memories and traditions until the wee hours of the morning, or until everyone falls asleep – whichever comes first.

Directions Mix cocoa, sugar and salt in a saucepan. Stir in hot water and bring to a boil. Turn down the heat and let simmer for two minutes. Stir in milk mixture and heat to the desired serving temperature (do not allow it to boil). Remove saucepan from heat, add vanilla and whisk for one minute. Serve immediately. Makes 4-5 servings.

Spaces: Home for the Holidays


chewy salted caramels 1 CUP DARIGOLD HEAVY WHIPPING CREAM ¼ CUP (½ STICK ) DARIGOLD BUTTER ¼ TEASPOON SALT ¼ CUP WATER ¼ CUP CORN SYRUP 1½ CUPS GRANULATED SUGAR 1 TABLESPOON VANILLA EXTRACT COARSE SEA SALT Line a 9 x 9-inch pan with parchment paper; brush paper with canola oil and set pan aside. Combine whipping cream, butter and salt in a small saucepan and cook on medium until cream is heated and butter is melted (be careful not to scald milk mixture); set aside. Add water and corn syrup to a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan; slowly add sugar into center of pan so it forms a mound. Using a spatula, press sugar into liquid until coated with syrup mixture, being careful that no sugar crystals splatter on sides of pan. (If necessary, brush sides of pan with a damp pastry brush to remove any stray sugar crystals.) Do not stir. Hook a candy thermometer to the side of the saucepan and cook over medium-high heat; the mixture will become very bubbly. When thermometer reaches 300°F, turn off heat and whisk in cream mixture; return to medium-high heat and bring temperature back to 245°F. The mixture will turn golden brown. Remove pan from heat; stir in vanilla. Pour into prepared pan; tap pan on counter to let any air bubbles escape. Let sit 30 minutes on counter; sprinkle with coarse sea salt of choice. Set aside for 3 hours. Remove caramel from parchment to cutting board. Cut into squares or rectangles with a sharp knife. Wrap each caramel in precut pieces (2 x 1½ inch squares) of waxed paper; twist ends closed. Caramels will keep at room temperature for about two weeks. Caramel cut into 1-inch squares will make 81 pieces.

hot caramel wassail 1 GALLON APPLE CIDER 1 12-OZ. CAN FROZEN ORANGE-JUICE CONCENTRATE 3- 4 CLOVES IN TE A INFUSER /BAG 4 CINNAMON STICKS CARAMEL SAUCE Place cider, juice and spices in a large pot/crock pot and simmer on low for 30 minutes. Remove cloves and portion into cups. Stir 1 - 2 teaspoons caramel sauce into each cup. Makes about 30 servings.

Caramel A LITTLE


caramel sauce 1 CUP SUGAR








Add the sugar, water, lecithin, salt and cream of tartar to a heavybottomed pot and cover. Cook over medium heat until the sugar is melted; do not stir. (The liquid will be clear and may start to turn golden.) Combine the cream with the vanilla and set aside. Remove the lid from the pot and continue to cook without stirring. Cook until the mixture turns a nice amber color. Observe continuously while cooking, as the sugar can rapidly change from browned to burned. Add the butter and whisk in completely. The mixture will foam up, which is expected. Turn the heat off and add the cream, whisking as you go. (The mixture may seize up, but will smooth out again.) Turn the heat on again for the mixture to fully combine. Cook until hot. Then transfer directly to a hot, sterilized, pint-sized canning jar and cover with a sterilized lid (following directions for hot-process canning).* Keep refrigerated after opening. Makes about 2 cups (1 pint). * If using immediately, refrigerate in any covered container. TIP: Use as a topping on apples, waffles or brownies.

caramel crispy treat 1½ CUPS (3 STICKS) DARIGOLD BUTTER 2 BAGS (12 OZ. EACH) MINIATURE MARSHMALLOWS 8 CUPS CRISP-RICE CEREAL 1 LB. ANY FLAVOR JULIEANN CARAMELS Melt the butter and marshmallows together over medium-low heat in a stockpot until completely melted, stir-ring frequently. Remove from heat. Stir in 4 cups crisp-rice cereal; gradually add in the remaining cereal, mixing until firm. Line a 13 x 9-inch pan with freezer paper. Wet hands and press one-half of the cereal mixture into the pan. Lay caramel between 2 sheets of freezer paper; roll flat to approximately 13” x 9”. (Soften the caramel in the microwave for a few seconds until pliable.) Lay onto the crisp-rice mixture and top with the remaining cereal mixture. Let cool and cut into squares. Makes 12 - 24 servings. TIP: Top with white chocolate, fresh coconut or crushed peppermint candy.

sumores 2 GRAHAM-CRACKER SQUARES 1 MARSHMALLOW 2 JULIEANN CARAMELS, ROLLED TO ¹⁄8 -INCH THICKNESS ½ CUP SEMI-SWEET CHOCOLATE CHIPS, MELTED ¼ CUP WHITE CHOCOLATE CHIPS, MELTED (optional) Place graham-cracker squares on a microwave-safe plate and set aside. Cut marshmallow in half. Wrap each half in a sheet of caramel; set aside. Place chocolate chips in a microwave-safe dish and heat at HIGH power for about 50 seconds, stirring every 20 seconds or until chocolate melts. Do not overcook or chocolate will seize up. Roll the caramel-covered marshmallow in melted chocolate to cover sides and top; place chocolate-side-up onto one graham cracker. Repeat with remaining caramel-covered marshmallow. Drizzle white chocolate over tops (optional). Microwave on HIGH power 10 to 15 seconds, or until marshmallow begins to soften. Insert a stick if desired. Serve immediately. Makes 2 servings.

“A taste so good, we had to share.” 9493 S 560 W | Sandy, UT 84070 801-783-8324 |

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2018 Spaces Magazine: Home for the Holidays  

2018 Spaces Magazine: Home for the Holidays  

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