Ditch That Horrible Sweater #HolidayHangover

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What do you do with the horrible sweater your boyfriends mom gave you, or the smelly perfume your aunt that you would love?  Easy, you throw a re-gifting party.  Chance are you have old presents that are about to be returned or work their way to the back of your closet. Before they go to the land of forgotten gifts or worse a landfill why not throw a re-gifting party and put that Holiday Hangover to good use.  If you're looking for party supplies check out the gift guide for The Girl Who Re-Gifts Everything

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Grab your bad gifts, wrap them up in the leftover wrapping a paper and unload them on your girls.  For the drink just use all the leftover bottles of holiday cheer, and serve the holiday nibbles that are crushing your willpower, while crowding your kitchen.  The best part about this party is, you get to clear out all the leftover holiday junk, perfect for those of you getting ready to head back to work and don’t want to clean your house.  Plus you might find something you like in the pile of bad gifts.  That big old birdcage that I mentioned earlier was a re-gift and I love it! For fun take a vote on the worst present and give the winner a special little gift, like the holiday lights that are currently sitting in a big unmanageable ball.  

What To Do With Your Leftover Holiday Stuff #HolidayHangover

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Even though the holidays are not over, it's a good time to start planning what to do with all the leftover crap.  Once you've thrown your parties, popped the champagne and it's time to deal with the aftermath. Here are a few tips to get you through your holiday hangover.

Wine - I currently I have more than my share of random bottles with bits of leftover wine.  Instead of drinking it all, which has crossed my mind.  I've frozen them for later.  These little wine cubes make the perfect addition to a crock pot brisket.  

Candy Canes - I've taken all the leftover candy canes and crushed them into a fine little powder, and stored them in an air-tight container.  I can now use them for all of my baking, candy and cocktail concoctions.  I'm currently infusing a little leftover vodka with my candy canes.  Leaving me with a great peppermint vodka to add to a little hot cocoa.

Tissue Paper and Ribbon -  I've gather all the extra tissue paper and I'm currently flattening it out in some heavy coffee table books.  For the ribbon I've wrapped it around paper towel rolls and already have my DIY eye on the plan for it.   If you've got leftover crepe paper make your own mini prize balls and store them for next christmas.  By the time you open it will be a time capsule surprise ball. 

Gift Boxes - Toss the flimsy ones and keep the sturdy ones.  Study boxes can be painted, glittered, sequined, hodge podge, and turned into fashionable storage. 

Club Soda - Use the flat club soda to water your plants.  Most club sodas contain a phosphate that promotes growth.

Holiday Lights - Every year I put them away neatly, something happens over the summer and they become a tangled ball.  This year I'm threw them in a box.  Who knows they just might come out perfect come next November.  My best friend Jenny is a big fan of always buying the cheap 99 cent lights, so at the end of the holiday season she just throws them away.  If tangled lights are an issue for you, this might be the route you want to go. If you happen to have a big decorative birdcage laying around you can fill it with lights and display it all year long.  I know what you're thinking, “Who in the hell, just happens to have a big decorative birdcage laying around?”  You would be surprised.

Hangover - If you are still feeling a little woozy. One you drank way too much.  Two you are going to want to snack on egg sandwich on white bread.  The amino acid in eggs break down a toxin produced when alcohol is in the liver which adds to your hangover. 

Holiday Cards - As for your holiday card collection, scan them onto your computer and toss them.  The last thing you need is more clutter piling up.  And now you will always have the memory.

Home For The Holidays: Thanksgiving Worksheet

Thanksgiving is only 10 days away.  Let me say that again Thanksgiving is only 10 days away.  If you are hosting Thanksgiving you have a lot of work ahead of you.  Below is a breakdown of what you need to do, for Thanksgiving Day survival.  

Recipe Box Figure out which recipes you want to make.  Look for recipes with similar cook temperatures and times.  It will make the oven shuffle that much easier.

Test Bake If it’s something you’ve never tried before and you are worried about how it will turn out, do a test bake.  If you don’t have the time to do a test bake, make sure you have a backup plan ready.  Example: If you are trying to make rolls for the first time, have a store bought option in the freezer just in case things don’t go as planned.

Read Over: Even if it something you’ve made a thousand times before, stop and read the recipe again.  See if there is anything you can do in advance and add all items needed to the grocery list.

Talk Turkey If you are hosting Thanksgiving Dinner it’s time to talk turkey.  Spend the next few days getting your head count for dinner locked down.  Once you have a good idea of who is coming do a little Turkey Math and place your order.  Hint: 1.5 pounds of uncooked turkey for each person coming to dinner.  Don’t worry you will have plenty of leftovers.

Order Your Turkey Ordering a turkey from the grocery store is great, because those are often not frozen.  It will save you space since you won’t be slowly defrosting a turkey for days on end in your refrigerator.   Hint: If you are buying a large bird, make sure it fits in your stove and fridge.  If not opt for two smaller birds.

Take an inventory  Make sure you have enough  dishes, silverware, bake ware, and serving items for the big day.  If you don’t see if you can borrow from guests that are eating at your place.  If you don’t have enough check out stores like Ikea.  They often let you buy individual items instead of having to get a large set.

Make Multiple Shopping Lists Certain stores have certain things, which means you might need to hit up a few places to get everything you need for Thanksgiving.  So, start with one long list, and break it into sections based on store.  This way you don’t have to spend one day running around the city, you can do the shopping in stages.

*Bonus Tip  For those of you who just realized hosting duties means you might need to upgrade your dining room check out Havertys.  My personal favorite dining room set its the Whitney.  The Whitney features a balance of white marble, mahogany in an espresso finish and dark brown upholstery sets a flawless scene. Felt–lined drawers and wine bottle storage make the server or bar a convenient addition to any dining room. Drawers are constructed with English dovetails.  The Whitney collection even features a Bar, so you can drink your way through the awkward family moments.  

Now that you have your to do list print a out copy of the Thanksgiving Survival Cheat Sheet get to work.   If you’re looking for our original Holiday Prep Worksheet print out your copy here.  For those of you who want to add a little fun to Thanksgiving Dinner check out Home For The Holiday Days Thanksgiving Edition of Survivor.  

Whether you are looking for the perfect couch or an accent piece to tie the whole room together, Havertys has everything you need to prepare your home for guests this holiday season!

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

Home for the Holidays: Houseguest 101 #Freixenet

Home for the Holidays: Houseguest 101 #Freixenet

Traveling can really take a lot out of you.  From the long lines, the uncomfortable seats, and all that cabin pressure, your guest may be wound pretty tight when they arrive to your house.  Before you give them the run down of your house, celebrate their safe arrival, pop some bubbly and have a little snack on hand. Think of it as a mini welcome party.  Popcorn is my go to snack, since everyone I know loves popcorn.  Instead of going with the basic kernels and butter, I like to sweeten the deal with white chocolate and sprinkles.  Nothing says festive like sprinkles. Holiday Popcorn is super simple to make plus, you probably have all the ingredients in your pantry.  So, you can use this for unexpected guests as well.  

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