Planning to celebrate New Year's Eve with your guy? No need to stress about fun date options, because we've got you covered with 22 sweet and sexy ideas. A cozy, intimate night in, a fancy evening out in your favorite party dress — whatever you have in mind, these suggestions are sure to help you ring in 2013 with a bit of romance. Check out these creative New Year's Eve date ideas to kick off the year with your sweetheart!
Holiday festivities are neither the time nor place for a drink that requires an extensive ingredient list or excessive time spent mixing each drink. Instead, turn to a classic category, champagne cocktails, when looking for a drink whose wow factor far exceeds the effort expended, so you can get on with the celebration at hand.
Crisp sparkling wine is elegant and festive enough on its own; a splash of mouth-puckering pomegranate liqueur and a fragrant lemon twist simply elevate it to the next level. It's sure to start your night off right, whether you choose to make these cocktails to order or decide to place the requisite ingredients next to the simple recipe for a self-service cocktail bar.
We're in the final push of the holiday season, but there is still some celebrating to do — a few champagne toasts included! That being said, ring in 2013 on a healthy note with Giada De Laurentiis's favorite healthy indulgence: fruit-filled Bellinis. In an exclusive POPSUGAR interview, Laurentiis shared a few tips and tricks on how to enjoy this tasty treat during the most tempting time of the year.
The champagne- and fruit-filled Bellini, unlike most sugary cocktails, is a low-calorie option (only 78 calories per four-ounce serving), while fruit is filled with fiber and antioxidants. You can have the best of both worlds by blending a bag of frozen fruit with two tablespoons of sugar in a food processor, then adding a spoonful or two to a flute of champagne. If you are hosting guests, then consider making a Bellini bar with a a variety of fruit purees. Giada recommends raspberry, blueberry, and the classic mango. Finish off your party with light appetizers that aren't bread-heavy, like this spicy chipotle hummus dip served with veggies. Cheers!
Like many, Peeps played an integral part in the Easter celebrations of my youth. Almost too cute to eat, and with a pleasantly spongy texture punctuated by a dense and crackly coating of sugar, they were the treat I yearned for year-round. So it was a touch bittersweet to discover a few years back that Just Born (the Peeps parent company) had decided to spawn seasonal sweets for nearly any occasion. Sure, I could get my fix at a moment's notice, but as with many treats with a limited season, when their availability escalated, their sparkle diminished.
Given my aforementioned feelings, I was a bit unsure how to feel about their latest offering, spiced gingerbread men. Would they be a welcome addition to the chubby chick and cheery bunny fold, or would they fall flat? Moreover, would Peeps translate well beyond the classic vanilla flavor?
If you're stuck yet again this holiday season with a surplus of cranberries, then consider infusing any leftover fresh berries you have in vermouth to create the makings of a spirited martini.
This sophisticated cocktail, which is perfect for any party, has just a touch of sweetness and tang from fresh cranberries without overpowering the flavor of a true martini. All that's needed is a bit of prep work, and you'll be ready for shaking up — or stirring — some festive holiday martinis.
Keep reading to learn how to make a vermouth-infused cranberry martini.
I don't know where I was or what I was looking for, but I stumbled upon a Joy the Baker recipe that sent my heart in a flutter of wild palpitations. It involved puff pastry, brie, and preserves, and I knew I had to create my own version.
Instead of puff pastry, I opted to use pie crust. I envisioned creating little Pop-Tarts pastries, filled with brie and fig preserves. Rather than cut the rectangular shapes by hand, I used a round cookie cutter, because it makes for an easier, faster prep than measuring and hand-cutting the dough squares.
Pie dough thaws fast, so you really need to cut it quickly and throw the pieces back into the fridge to firm up before stuffing and closing them.
The round shape, fork crimping, and "X" on the top give the impression that these are miniature pies! Upon biting into the flaky, layered crust, the salty brie and sweet fig preserves ooze out. It was everything my fluttering heart had hoped for, and these bites disappeared quicker than they were made. Now it's your turn to make these adorable brie bites.
Mariah Carey and Nick Cannon took their kids, Moroccan and Monroe, to Aspen for the holidays. The couple shared personal pictures from their holiday getaway, including a fun sledding outing, sweet moments by the tree, and Christmas-morning gift opening. Mariah and Nick have made a tradition of spending the season in Colorado, after traveling there in 2008. They're just a few of the celebrities who have showed off snaps from their Christmas celebrations as the year winds down. Make sure to take a look back at all the best of 2012 content as we head into the new year!
It was a "Mele Kalikimaka" for the first family yesterday, who enjoyed some down time in Hawaii. On Christmas Day, Michelle and Barack paid a visit to a Marine Corps base, where they wished a Merry Christmas to the troops enjoying their holiday meal. The Obamas and their girls left Washington DC on Friday for a warm-weather Hawaiian holiday. Now the president is already heading back to work on the fiscal cliff talks.
The holiday season has been a jam-packed one for the first family, as the Obamas — including Barack, Michelle, Sasha, Malia, and perhaps the favorite family member, Bo — took part in the many Christmastime traditions at the White House and beyond. On Christmas Eve, the first lady chatted with children across America by phone and helped track Santa Claus with NORAD.
Back in Washington, the busy season began with Michelle and the girls accepting the official White House Christmas tree, a 19-foot Fraser fir, upon its arrival by horse-drawn carriage. Then Michelle took part in another first-lady holiday tradition by hosting the debut of the White House Christmas decorations, along with this year's theme, "Joy to All." Next up was the 90th annual national Christmas tree lighting on the White House lawn, where the Obama family had a sing-along with Neil Patrick Harris and Modern Family's Rico Rodriguez. And then Barack, Michelle, and their daughters attended the Christmas in Washington charity concert, a star-studded event featuring performances by Diana Ross, Psy, Demi Lovato, and more.
See all the photos of the first family enjoying seasonal soirees now.
Now that the Christmas rush is over, you might be less than giddy over some of the gifts you received. Every year, millions of dollars are wasted on unwanted gifts, but that doesn't mean you should let your own unwanted present go to waste. If you're eyeing a certain gift with distaste, here are a couple of options you can take:
- Exchange or return it to the store: If the kind recipient was thoughtful enough to include a gift receipt, use the opportunity to trade the present in for an item that you actually want or to get a refund. Remember not to take too long when returning the gift, because there usually is a time frame for when the store will accept a return. Also, check the return policy to see if you're allowed to get a full refund or if you're only allowed to trade the item in for another.
- Sell it online: Sell the unwanted gifts on sites like Craigslist, eBay, or Amazon. If you don't have much experience with online commerce, ask a savvy friend who's well versed in selling items on the web to help you out. If you're creating an account, try not to pick a username that's too obvious or your recipients may spot you reselling their unwanted gifts. If the item has been personalized for you, be honest and mention that in the description. You might also want to offer up a discount if the gift has your name engraved on it.
- Regift it: You can also give the present to someone else if you follow regifting rules, such as making sure you aren't giving the gift back to the same recipient and that you're thinking about the recipient and not giving another unwanted gift. If the gift isn't Christmas-themed, you can perhaps give it as a thank-you gift at a New Year party if it's appropriate.
- Donate it: When all else fails, you can always donate it so the gift will hopefully be used by someone else. Call local charities to see if they're willing to accept the type of item you're thinking about donating. Use Charity Navigator's advanced search feature to look for suitable charities near you. Remember, you can deduct this donation on your income tax return, so try to do this before the end of the year!
While you're trying to decide what to do with your unwanted gifts, keep this rule in mind: try to get rid of them as soon as you can. The longer you leave your gift sitting there, the longer it'll be part of your clutter, and you might start procrastinating and delay dealing with it.
Every year, the kids' clothing industry grows and grows, with new lines popping up to suit every style and every budget, and 2012 was certainly no exception. From pint-sized designer duds by the likes of Oscar de la Renta, John Varvatos, Marni, and Dolce & Gabbana to Burts Bees Baby's affordable, organic layette line, and Snapping Turtle Kids' specialty swimsuits, there was no shortage of kiddie shopping opportunities this year. With so many options, it's easy for parents to spend as much time cultivating their little ones' wardrobes as they do their own. Which of the following took the top spot in your tot's closet?