3 Tips For Your Holiday Party

December 19th, 2010  |  by Veralyn Williams |  Published in Blog, My Two Cents  |  1 Comment

Homemade Raspberry Cupcakes

The holidays are here!! And I love this time of year because it gives me an excuses to catch up with friends and get to know a few new people along the way… and since Thanksgiving I have been doing just that. This year in particular has been especially fun because I have picked up of few Holiday tips that I want to share.

Here are 3 tips for the holiday party YOU have coming up!!

Tip 1 – Holiday Cocktails: At my friend Alli’s house gathering… her boyfriend Jovis was assigned to drinks- and he really went all out. He made us all the following:

Hot Toddy

What’s in it? Steamed Milk (Which Jovis work REALLY hard to make happen without a steamer, by warming up the milk and whipping it in a mixer), Jameson Irish Whiskey, and Butterscotch Liqueur

Was it good? STRONG but tasty





My Sleigh Bells Are Ringing

What’s in it? Peppermint Schnapps, Vanilla-flavored Brandy, Caramel Baileys, and a Chocolate covered candy cane

Was it good? Very good! Smooth and delicious!


My Sugar Plum

What’s in it? Moet Champagne, Raspberry Stoli, and Sugar Cubes soaked in Chambord Liqueur

Was it good? A little strong for me (I’m a light weight)- but others loved it




Rosemary is a Fresh Girl

What’s in it? St-Germain, Tequila (Jovis insists this should ONLY be made withInocente Platinum Tequila), Prosecco White Wine, Rosemary and Cranberries, Rosemary syrup, and Fresh lime juice

Was it good? YES!! This is my new favorite drink- it hits all the right taste buds… In fact I was so busy sipping this drink- I only took this pic- as Jovis handed it to me… :)



Tip 2 – A White Elephant Gift Exchange: This game is a great way to spice up the same ol’ grab bag you’ve been doing with friends and co-workers year after year. I just played this for the first time…

Here is how it works: Everyone brings a gift (wrapped) that costs ten dollars (Or whatever price range you want to set). It can be an absurd, cool, useless, useful, or even recycled gift. When you bring it, the host then puts a number on it and puts the same number on a piece of paper with a letter.

When it’s time for gifts everyone draws a piece of paper with a number & letter – out of a bowl or bag. You then get to open the gift that corresponds with your number… Now here is the fun part… well fun depending on who you ask…

Once everyone knows what everyone got- the person with the highest letter in the alphabet (So if there are 10 people playing– the person with letter “J”) gets to exchange his/her gift… for the gift he/she wants…

So if you got a really un-useful gift:

You can exchange it for something you really want:

And then the person with the next letter exchanges and so on– until the person with letter “A” gets a choice of ANY gift he/she has been eying. And Yes – you can take a that was already taken from someone.

When I played- I was letter “E” and was able to exchange the bookmarks I got for an I-Tunes gift card. Thankfully everyone after me wanted this hand-knitted hat- and I got to keep it!




Tip 3 – Homemade Candied Yams: My holiday will never again go without this dish. My aunt made it for Thanksgiving and I asked her for the recipe. I just made it last week and it’s so easy to make! What I love about it is– its savory yet sweet– so it’s the best kind of dessert. (Though some people eat it with the main course.)

Here is the recipe:

5 lbs yams
1 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup chopped pecans pieces (from Trader Joes) If you do not have this the recipe is still good without them
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ginger (if you do not have this, the recipe is still delicious without it)
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup boiling water

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Lightly butter a 9×13-inch baking dish
Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the sweet potatoes. Cook until tender, about 25 minutes (if you would like the final dish to be mushy like at thanksgiving, cook a little longer). Drain. Rinse under cold running water until cool enough to handle. Peel the sweet potatoes.

In a medium bowl, combine the sugars, pecans, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger. Slicing the sweet potatoes into 1/2 inch thick rounds as you go, layer about one of third of the sweet potatoes in the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle the sugar/pecan mixture over it and repeat until all potatoes and sugar/pecan mixture are in the baking dish. Pour the boiling water into the dish, around the sweet potatoes, not over them. Cook for 45 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes. Serve hot.

Feel free to deviate as needed- for example I peeled the yams before I boiled them.


  1. Brad says:

    December 4th, 2012at 7:24 pm(#)

    Do you have the actual recipe with measurements for the Rosemary is a fresh girl drink?

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