Tag Archives: entertaining

Jessica | Balsam Hill Designer

Elegant Christmas Party Must-Haves: A Feature Post by Elizabeth Copeland

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Earlier this year, we asked our fans to share how they prepare a perfectly elegant Christmas party for their friends and family in our Balsam Hill Blog Contest. Elizabeth Copeland responded with not only wonderful decor ideas, but also recipes for delicious party treats that will be a hit with your guests. Reposted from her blog, Water Rolls Uphill, read on to find out just how this mother of three throws a simple, pitch perfect Christmas gathering that is a feast for both the spirit and the senses.

Elegant Christmas Party Must-Haves
by Elizabeth Copeland of Water Rolls Uphill

Last year, my Christmas tree fell three times. Sad, isn’t it? Imagine my despair as I stood surrounded by pine needles and shattered ornaments (three times!), and I’m sure that you will agree that my last thought was how to have the perfect Christmas soiree.  However, as  I sit relaxing and enjoying company, I am reflecting on how to share a wonderful Christmas evening with friends and family.  I also threw my hat in the ring to win an extravagant $10,000 shopping spree at Balsam Hill (you can enter on their Facebook page). [Editor's note: This sweepstakes ended on December 12, 2012.]

My parents have a very pretty, stable Christmas tree with a lifetime of cherished heirloom ornaments on it. I unfortunately, do not, but that won’t stop me from finding and creating new memories with the help of my family this year. My tree decorations might be sparse, but I’m full of great ideas for celebrating the season!

My parents’ Christmas tree, as I don’t have one up yet.


The simply Elegant DIY Christmas Party:

  1. Invite plenty of people you love and enjoy.
  2. Beautiful decorations – you can find some great wreaths and garlands at Balsam Hillglitter pillar candles, a beautiful ruffled tree skirt (use a circle skirt pattern and sew strips together to achieve the required lengths necessary, leave one side seam open to add ties to for ease of opening/closing), a Jesse tree.
  3. Tasty treats: spinach artichoke dipsausage balls, bruschetta, hollowed cucumber cups with hummus or tzatziki dip, mini quiches, smoked salmon with baguettes, cheese tray, Honey Baked Ham and yeast rolls, broccoli salad, and a fruit bouquet (these are easy to make with floral foam and bamboo skewers).
  4. A great finale: Chocolate cake with peppermint bark frosting with vanilla ice cream on the side (butter cream frosting with a bit of peppermint oil and broken up peppermint bark.
  5. Pretty things for the hostess: Boogie Woogie cocktail dress and black stilettos.
  6. Something pretty to share with your guests: simple glitter ornaments, layer a cursive initial for the guest’s last name over the silver glitter with a second color.

Elizabeth also kindly agreed to participate in an email interview with us, which will be published on Christmas Eve. In it, you can learn how her family is celebrating Christmas this year. You can also find out more about Elizabeth on her blog, Water Rolls Uphill.

Jessica | Balsam Hill Designer

How to Create an Elegant Place Card

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Place cards are great decorative additions to parties, providing a personalized touch to the occasion. This season, impress your guests with this classy home-made place card idea inspired by The Frugal Crafter.

Image courtesy of Pixomar | FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Items you need:

Card stock
Decorative ink stamps
Scoring board and scoring knife
Decorative punchers

Step One:

Select card stock in a color that goes well with your table décor. For an autumn-inspired table setting, you may want to choose pastel shades of orange, yellow, or red. A winter-themed dining table is best complemented by shades of off-white. Stick to paler shades as they highlight the decorative details of the card. Cut the card stock into 4×4 inch squares, or larger depending on your table arrangement. Score them down the middle to make folding easier later on.

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Jessica | Balsam Hill Designer

Elegant Party Appetizers

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A party is never complete without a flavorsome array of appetizers to initiate lively conversation and bring guests together. Do away with the usual fare of cheese trays and pigs in a blanket, and incorporate these scrumptious culinary treats into your next dinner party.

Caviar Canapé

Nothing embodies sophistication more than caviar. For a classic appetizer, toast mini-brioches and top them off with a teaspoon of crème fraiche and your favorite caviar. You may even give your guests options by allowing them to select the caviar of their choice. For an added visual twist, cut the brioche into various shapes to match the party theme, like an autumn leaf to match an autumn dinner party. Garnish with your favorite fresh herbs.

Layered Puff Pastry Squares

Puff pastry appetizers are one of the easiest things to prepare when you’re in a rush. You can purchase a large quantity of pre-made puff pastry dough from your local supermarket and bake it at home as needed. Dress up the puff pastry by layering it into mini sandwiches with an array of fillings. From sweet fig jams to savory pâté, your puff pastry appetizer plate will offer a delectable range of choices for your discerning guests.

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