Sarah Hearts

Christmas Citrus Sangria

December 10, 2014

Serve this festive winter version of sangria that uses fresh citrus juice, pear, apple and cinnamon syrup at your holiday party.

Sangria seems to be everyone’s favorite cocktail and because it can be made by the pitcher, it’s one of my go-to party drinks. This season, I’ve updated my favorite sangria recipe by swapping summer berries for pear and apple and added a bit of spice with cinnamon infused syrup.

Like most sangrias, this recipe can be made a day ahead and actually tastes better the longer it’s chilled. Because who wants to spend the entire day cooking on Christmas? The fresh fruit adds such a refreshing flavor to the drink and the cinnamon syrup add a little bit of a kick.

Serve up this holiday sangria with skewers tops with glitter ornaments. So festive and so delicious!

Christmas Citrus Sangria
Servings 6-8 glasses

Ingredients:

Supplies:

  • 6” wooden skewers
  • Glitter foam holiday balls, can be found in the seasonal section of craft stores
  • Hot glue gun

Directions:

  1. Pierce a glitter foam ball with the flat end of a skewer. Remove the ball and place a very small amount of hot glue on the end of the skewer. Place the glitter foam ball back on the skewer and hold for a few seconds until the glue hardens. Repeat the the other skewers.
  2. Heat sugar and water in small saucepan over medium heat until the sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and place cinnamon sticks in the syrup. Allow it to steep for 5-10 minutes.
  3. Pour orange, lemon and lime juice in a large pitcher. Add bottle of red white and stir to combine.
  4. Remove cinnamon sticks from syrup and add 1/4 cup of the pitcher and stir. Add orange wedges, pear and apple slices to the pitcher. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to overnight.
  5. Just before serving, add ginger ale to the pitcher and stir. Thread a piece of orange, apple, and pear onto each skewer and serve the sangria in cups over ice.

Note: If you prefer your sangria a little less sweet, swap the ginger ale for club soda.

Your guests will love this Christmas version of sangria. It uses fresh citrus, pears and cinnamon syrup for a delicious and easy cocktail.

Looking for more holiday ideas? Check out my Christmas page.

This recipe was originally created for Natalie’s Orchid Island Juice. Thanks so much for supporting the brands that help me make delicious recipes like this one.

Host and Hostess Gift Ideas

December 9, 2014

Not hosting this Christmas? Be sure to bring a host/hostess gift! Here are some great ideas in every price range.

If you’re not hosting Christmas (or New Year’s) this season, don’t go to dinner empty handed—be sure to bring the host/hostess a gift. Here are some great ideas at various prices that would be sure to make any hostess glad they invited you.

1. Homemade Decadence | 2. 2015 Calendar Tea Towel | 3. The Kinfolk Table | 4. Dauville bud vase | 5. Agate trivet and coasters | 6. Gold dipped porcelain ornament | 7. Woodland creatures wooden spoon | 8. Owl’s Brew assorted cocktail mixers | 9. Retro-inspired canister

If the host/hostess loves to cook, my go-to last-minute gift idea is to snip fresh herbs from my garden and wrap them up in parchment paper with pretty ribbon. If you don’t have a garden, head to the grocery store and pick up a potted herb plant. You can often find them in the produce section and all you need to do is place it in a pretty pot for an easy gift.

DIY Mystery Supply Challenge: Paint Dipped Ribbon Ornaments

December 8, 2014

11 bloggers created ornaments using the same basic holiday craft supplies! Loving Sarah Hearts paint dipped version with velvet and glitter ribbon!

Remember last Monday how I told you I was participating in a holiday DIY challenge? Well today I’m excited to share my creation! If you need a refresher, myself and ten other bloggers all started with the same basic supplies:

- 1 pack of clear glass/plastic ornaments (I bought both onion and round ones, but ended up going with the round ones)
- 1 Sharpie paint pen (I chose gold)
- 1 bag of faux snow (I went for the matte, white kind)
- 1 roll of ribbon (I chose gold glitter ribbon)

We were able to add in any other supplies we had on hand. So I added some velvet ribbon in magenta, pale mint, and teal and also used some white and teal craft paint I had.

11 bloggers started with the same basic supplies and created 11 different ornaments. This would be a fun challenge to do with your girlfriends!

I started by mixing white craft paint with a drop of teal paint to create a pale mint color. Then I removed the metal ornament tops and poured about a teaspoon of paint in each glass bulb. Then I tapped the ornament on my palm, while rotating it, so the paint would cover the bottom half of the ornament. Once I finished this step, I set them upright in the plastic tray they came in and let them dry for a couple hours.

I used a gold oil-based Sharpie to make the metal tops gold. I was really surprised at how well this worked. The paint went on evenly and was so much easier (and cleaner) than using spray paint. Just make sure you let the metal tops dry for a bit before putting them back on.

Then I filled the paint dipped ornaments with the faux snow. This is messy. Like really messy. And there’s no easy way of doing this; you just have to pack a little bit into the ornament at a time. I recommend doing this over a large bowl so you don’t get snow everywhere (like I did). After they are all filled, cut a piece of ribbon that’s long enough to drape over the entire ornament. Place it on the ornament and then add the painted metal top back on, making sure each metal prong is on either side of the ribbon. Then trim the ends with scissors are you’re ornament is ready to be hung on your tree.

Sarah Hearts's paint dipped ornaments are filled with faux snow for added texture. The metal tops are made gold with a quick coat of a gold Sharpie paint pen.

Painted dipped ornaments get a makeover with a little faux snow and some pretty velvet ribbon.

Wondering what the 10 other bloggers made with the same supplies? Check out their blogs today to find out!

Brittany Makes
Burlap and Lace
Desert Domicile
DIY Playbook
Dream Green DIY
Fabric Paper Glue
Homey Oh My
Makely Home
Vintage Revivals

A big thanks to Caitlin for creating and coordinating this fun DIY challenge!

Get more Christmas DIY inspiration over on my Christmas page.

Homemade Gift: Turtle Candy in a Jar

December 5, 2014

Layer chocolate chunks, caramel squares, and pecans in a jar for a simple and sweet homemade gift. Click through for printable gift tag and directions.

I love the holiday season and I really love holiday sweets. Though I’m a fan of all things peppermint and pretty much every seasonal flavor, anything with pecans has my heart. I mean, who can’t say no to a giant slice of homemade pecan pie? Or who can resist freshly baked chocolate pecan cookies? But my all time favorite pecan treat are turtles. Yummy pecans layered with chewy caramel and dark chocolate to be exact. Oh, and add a sprinkle of sea salt and I’ll eat a dozen.

Now you can share this yummy treat with your friends this Christmas. All you need is a few jars, Diamond of California Shelled Pecans (you can use chopped pecans too), caramel squares, and your favorite chocolate. They are so easy to make and are the perfect homemade gift to assemble with friends. Just don’t try and eat all the candy while you fill the jars like we did!

Download the printable gift tags here.

Give your friends and family something sweet this holiday season and make them turtle candies in a jar. They make great teacher gifts too.

Layer Diamond pecans, caramel squares, and dark or milk chocolate chunks in a jar to make turtles in a jar. Print out the gift and direction tags so the recipient can make their own turtle candies.

Invite your friends over for a gift making night! All you need is a few ingredients and supplies to make these adorable turtle candies in a jar.

DIY turtle candy in a jar—such a fun idea for holiday gifting!

Supplies:
Printable gift tags
- Printer
- Colored cardstock
- Glass jars (I used 16 oz. jars)
- Scissors
- Baker’s twine or thin ribbon
- Hole punch

Ingredients:
- Diamond of California Shelled Pecans (shelled or pieces)
- Caramel squares, unwrapped
- Chocolate bar, broken into approximately 1″ pieces

Directions:

Step 1: Start by downloading the printable gift tags and print them on colored paper. I printed mine on kraft card stock, which gives it a rustic look. You can also use another light colored paper; mint green or even bright pink would be so cute! Cut out the tags and punch a hole in the upper left corner of each one.

Step 2: Place several pieces of chocolate in the bottom of the jar until it’s 1/3 of the way full.

Step 3: Add the unwrapped caramel squares to the jar until it’s 2/3 full.

Step 4: Top the remaining third with pecans. Add the lid.

Step 5: Wrap twine around the lid of the jar and add the gift tag and direction tag. Now your gift is ready to be gifted!

Love the idea of making layered turtles in jars for simple, homemade Christmas gifts. The printable gift tags make it so cute!

To make homemade turtles:

1. Arrange pecans in small piles on a parchment lined baking sheet or tray.

2. Place caramels and 1/8 cup heavy cream in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave in 30 second increments, stirring each time, until the caramel is melted. Add a spoonful of caramel on top of each pecan pile.

3. Place the chocolate in a microwave safe bowl and microwave in 30 second increments, stirring each time, until the chocolate is melted. Drizzle the chocolate on top of each pecan and caramel pile. Add a pinch of sea salt if you like and place candy in the fridge. Allow it to harden then enjoy!

Have your girlfriends over for a gift making party! Click through to download the printable gift tags and directions.

Give your friends something sweet this season and make them turtles in the jar. All they need to do is heat and assemble them for a fun treat.

This post was created in partnership with Diamond of California. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Thanks so much for supporting the brands that allow me to create authentic and delicious content like this on Sarah Hearts.