{Fab Friday Finds} Trendy Wedding Nail Inspiration

The french manicure is a classic bridal look, but what if you’re looking for
wedding nails that are a little more daring? Personally, I went with dark
chocolate brown nails to solve that problem, but thanks to Pinterest I’m
finding out that there are tons of great and unique wedding nail options. Here
are just a few of my favorites…

**1. The New French.** Put a new spin on the classic french with some color and silver shine like these nails found on [We Heart It](http://weheartit.com/entry/6514098)!

**2. Covered in Lace.** Lace is a key element of most weddings, so why not incorporate it in your nail design like this interesting trend seen on [love polish](http://lovepolish.blogspot.com/2011/03/lace-nails.html)?

**3. Glitz and Glam.** What bride doesn’t love a little glitter? Look seriously glamorous on your big day with these nails as seen on [catbird](https://catbirdnyc.com/shop/product.php?productid=18089&cat=298&page=1).

**4. Newspaper Nails.** Talk about a unique idea! Take a cue from [La Passion du Nail Art](http://www.passionnailart.com/tutoriels/print/print.php) and use the newspaper to create some ultra-unique nail art for your big day.

**5. Ombre.** Remember that [ombre trend](http://theplungeproject.com/design-crush-ombre) we’ve been talking about lately? Now you can even carry the look through to your nails, like these seen on [Belle the Magazine](http://www.bellethemagazine.com/2011/11/trendy-nail-styles-for-brides.html). _**What are some of your favorite wedding nail trends?**_

{DIY} Vintage-inspired Mod Podge Coaster Set

I’ve been experimenting with Mod Podge quite a bit lately, and it’s definitely becoming one of my favorite crafting items. The first project I created were these great, vintage-inspired coasters, which turned out to be a very easy project for the Mod Podge beginner like myself.__ They’re perfect for around your own home or to give as a gift; they would even make a great bridal party present! So…want to know how to create your own coaster set?

### You’ll Need:

* Mod Podge
* Foam brush
* 4″ x 4″ tile (I grabbed mine from [Lowe’s](http://www.lowes.com/ProductDisplay?partNumber=160701-34692-10TV11&langId=-1&storeId=10151&productId=1038603&catalogId=10051&cmRelshp=req&rel=nofollow&cId=PDIO1) for just $.33 per tile)
* Tissue paper
* Cardstock
* A printer
* Tape
* Adhesive felt (either a sheet that can be cut, or dots)

### To Create:

1. Tape a piece of tissue paper around a piece of cardstock. It’s easiest of you tape it around the sheet, with the tape on the back. This is so your printer will feed the tissue paper.
2. Print your 4″ x 4″ photos on your tissue paper and cut them out. You can now discard the card stock.
3. Paint a thin layer of Mod Podge on a coaster and carefully place a tissue paper photo on it. Let dry completely.
4. Once the tissue paper is glued to the tile, paint another layer of Mod Podge on top.

5. Making sure each layer is completely dry before another layer is put on (otherwise, the tissue paper will rip), paint on 4 more layers of Mod Podge.
6. When final layer is dry, spray coasters with clear sealant. Let dry completely.
7. Stick small circles or squares of felt on each corner of each coaster.
…and ta da — finished coasters for you to enjoy 🙂

{Fab Friday Finds} Rustic Wedding Inspiration

I seriously adore a well-done [rustic
wedding](http://theplungeproject.com/category/wedding/by-style/rustic-by-
style), and with spring quickly approaching, I think we’re going to be seeing
lots of really great rustic wedding photos appearing in our inbox soon, at
least I hope so! If you’re in the midst of planning a rustic affair, here’s a
little inspiration to add to your [wedding binder](http://theplungeproject.com
/how-to-build-your-wedding-binder)…

**1. Burlap Table Runners.** If you’re a rustic-inspired bride, burlap should be your very best friend. Not only is it inexpensive, it’s also a great way to carry the rustic-theme through multiple avenues of decor. To create this look as seen on [The Wedding Chicks](http://www.weddingchicks.com/gallery/vintage-chic-wedding- ideas/?nggpage=7&pid=44980), simply cut some long pieces and tie the ends. _Easy, right?_

**2. Mason Jar Lanterns.** Another staple of the rustic wedding is the Mason Jar. Of course, this inexpensive little beauties can be used a million ways in a rustic wedding, but these hanging lanterns as seen on [Tory Larson’s Flickr page](http://www.flickr.com/photos/torylarsondesignstudio/4050884154/) are certainly one of my favorites!

**3. Baby’s Breath & Buckets.** The great thing about a rustic wedding is that you can use some really inexpensive elements to make a really big statement — like these galvanized buckets filled with baby’s breath that lined the ceremony aisle of a wedding featured on [the Knot](http://weddings.theknot.com/Real- Weddings/85011/detailview.aspx?id=85011&type=3)! For more rustic wedding inspiration, be sure to check out [what I’m pinning](http://pinterest.com/prnicolev/rustic-wedding/) on Pinterest!

{Wedding Crafting with Cricut} DIY Pinwheels (+ a Cricut Coupon Code)

Although the groundhog saw his shadow last week, many spring brides-to-be are
busy getting themselves into spring mode and preparing for all the warm
weather weddings that are just around the corner. And with spring weddings
come amazing spring DIY projects, like one of my personal favorites: the
pinwheel! Pinwheels have been popping up in playful outdoor weddings, in event
design, on holiday tablescapes and much more for the past couple years, and
the reason is this: they’re seriously cute! Here are a couple great ways I’ve
seen them used…

Perfection, right?
Ready to learn how to make some fun and playful pinwheels for your upcoming
wedding or event? If you’re a Cricut user, creating pinwheels is actually
really easy!

### You’ll need:

* [Cricut Craft Room Free Online Design Tool](http://www.cricut.com/craftroom/default.html)
* [Cricut Essentials Cartridge](http://main.cricut.com/shopping/detail–Cricut-Essentialsnbsp;–Digital-0-1841.aspx) (there are also a variety of pinwheel cartridges available)
* Cardstock of choice
* Wooden pencils
* Paint color of choice
* Straight sewing pins (with a flat top)
* Bead of choice (for center of pinwheel)
* Wire cutters

### To create your pinwheels:

1. Paint your pencil the color you’d like the pinwheel stick to be. Set aside to dry.
2. Add a bead to the end of a sewing pin. Set aside.
3. Use Cricut Craft Room to create and lay out your pinwheel. Wanting to work with the cartridges I already had, I merged a couple shapes together to create my pinwheel — four of the “corner” images from the Cricut Essentials cartridge (which comes with a new Expression 2) placed into a square shape, a circle for the center and small circles (.097 diameter) where the pin will need to go through. See below…

3. Cut your design on your cardstock of choice, and carefully peel it off the mat.
4. Carefully bend each flap towards the middle, placing the pin through the hole of each flap one-by-one until all flaps are connected. Then place the pin through the center hole.

5. Push the pin through the eraser of your pencil. Test the pinwheel for pin length to make sure it spins, then cut off the sharp point with your wire cutters. Push the now dull edge of the pin flush with the eraser so no one gets poked, and ta-da! You now have a pinwheel!

You can experiment with tons of papers, sizes and more! For a really cool
look, use double-sided paper or stick two contrasting pieces of paper
together. There is really no limit to the types of pinwheels you can create!

### Posts in the Wedding Crafting with Cricut series include:

1. [Cut-out Number Save the Dates & Custom Envelopes](../cricut-cut-out-number-save-the-dates)
2. [Vinyl Name/Monogram Sign](../wedding-crafting-with-cricut-vinyl-namemonogram-sign “Permanent link to {Wedding Crafting with Cricut} Vinyl Name/Monogram Sign” )
3. [Paper Flowers](../wedding-crafting-with-cricut-diy-paper-flowers “Permanent link to {Wedding Crafting with Cricut} DIY Paper Flowers (+ a Cricut Coupon Code)” )
4. [Pinwheels](http://theplungeproject.com/circut-diy-pinwheels)
5. Fifth post TBD

### Cricut Coupon Code

If you haven’t purchased your own Cricut yet or you need to stock up on new
cartridges and other accessories, here’s a coupon code you might be interested
in using! Use the code “_PlungeFree_” for free US shipping on [Cricut
products](http://main.cricut.com/shopping/ProductLanding.aspx) now through
March 1! ![](http://www.theplungeproject.com/images/line.png) _Disclosure:
Provo Craft provided products free of charge in exchange for this series._
_Image credits from top: [As You
Wish](http://asyouwishweddingsandevents.blogspot.com/2010/08/pinwheel-
wedding.html), [Pinwhirl Parties](http://pinwhirlparties.blogspot.com/2010/03
/molly-logan-pinwheels-galore.html), [Rule42 on
Etsy](http://www.etsy.com/listing/92002043/custom-pinwheel-boutonniere-or-
corsage)_

{Wedding Crafting with Cricut} DIY Paper Flowers (+ a Cricut Coupon Code)

Since I’ve been busy crafting away with my Cricut, I’ve also been searching around the internet (mainly Pinterest of course) to gather some inspiration. So when I came across the image below over on the [Cricut blog](http://cricutblog.org/?p=2092), I knew I needed to not only figure out how to make these gorgeous paper flower, but also that I would need to share it with you as part of this series.

**Amazing, right?** So I didn’t go as far as Cecily and her family _(did you know they made 8 bouquets, 25 corsages, 14 boutonnieres, 20 pew bows, 25 table decorations and 1 large church floral arrangement?!)_, but I did test out paper flower making with my Cricut enough to create a couple of these cute little flowers…

### You’ll need:
* [Cricut Craft Room Free Online Design Tool](http://www.cricut.com/craftroom/default.html)
* [Cricut Essentials Cartridge](http://main.cricut.com/shopping/detail–Cricut-Essentialsnbsp;–Digital-0-1841.aspx)
* Cardstock of choice
* Adhesive of choice (I used a dot glue runner)
* Thin floral wire
* Pearl or other bead for center
* Needle

### To create this project:

1. Use Cricut Craft Room to create and lay out your flower petals. Choose one flower type from the Cricut Essentials cartridge, and place multiple sizes of that petal on your mat. Since I made a fairly large flower, I started with a 3″ set of petals and when down by 1/4″ until I filled the mat. I didn’t end of using all the smaller petals, but it was nice to have a variety of sizes so I could experiment.

2. Cut your design, and peel all the petal sets off the mat.
3. Stack sets of petals on top of each other, gluing each piece to the one below it and arranging as they look best.

4. Once all petals are stacked and glued, use your needle to poke a hole through the center of your flower. You might need to wiggle the needle around a bit to widen the hole so your wire fits through.
5. Thread your floral wire through the bead or pearl you’re using as the center of the flower.

6. Thread the wire through the hole.
7. Once the flower is assembled, gently bend your petals up to give it a 3D look.

**What do you think?** Once you have the general idea down, it’s easy to
experiment with different papers, different colors, different petals, you get
the idea! The opportunities are really endless!
![](http://www.theplungeproject.com/images/line.png)

### Posts in the Wedding Crafting with Cricut series include:

1. [Cut-out Number Save the Dates & Custom Envelopes](http://theplungeproject.com/cricut-cut-out-number-save-the-dates)
2. [Vinyl Name/Monogram Sign](../wedding-crafting-with-cricut-vinyl-namemonogram-sign “Permanent link to {Wedding Crafting with Cricut} Vinyl Name/Monogram Sign” )
3. [Paper Flowers](../wedding-crafting-with-cricut-diy-paper-flowers “Permanent link to {Wedding Crafting with Cricut} DIY Paper Flowers (+ a Cricut Coupon Code)” )
4. [Pinwheels](../circut-diy-pinwheels)
5. Fifth post TBD

### Circut Coupon Code

If you haven’t purchased your own Cricut yet or you need to stock up on new cartridges and other accessories, here’s a coupon code you might be interested in using! Use the code “_PlungeFree_” for free US shipping on [Cricut products](http://main.cricut.com/shopping/ProductLanding.aspx) now through March 1! _Disclosure: Provo Craft provided products free of charge in exchange for this series._

6 Winter Wedding Tips & Trends

If you read the Plunge Project on the regular, you already know how much I just adore [winter weddings](http://theplungeproject.com/fab-friday-finds-winter-wedding-ideas-inspiration) — especially those with snow! And since I know some of you are planning cool weather affairs for the coming months, or even in 2013, I wanted to share a couple great tips for hosting a winter wedding…

### 1. Colors

Winter white is definitely in for cool weather weddings. Pair it with silver for an ultra-glam look, or go with red and aqua to reflect the holiday season without going with the more obvious red and green color scheme.

### 2. Attire

Taking photos out in the snow? A cozy faux fur shrug is a great addition to your wedding day attire. Don’t forget your bridesmaids too!

### 3. Flowers

Senior wedding planner Jacklyn McBeth of Atlantic City’s [One Atlantic](http://www.oneatlanticevents.com/) suggests using winter white flowers to convey a chic and classic look. White peonies and white garden roses are popular go-to’s. I also adore the look berries add to a bouquet!

### 4. Centerpieces

Frame your winter white flowers with with frosted or lacey votives to add that warm, romantic vibe to your winter wedding.

### 5. Drinks

Winter weddings call for warm, comforting drinks. Treat your guests with a chai and hot cocoa bar, or consider making your signature cocktail a warm one.

### 6. The Cake

A simple, white cake is great for a winter reception. Dress it up with
elements of the season like snowflakes!

Photo credits (from top): [Hostess with the Mostess](http://www.hostessblog.com/2010/12/glam-winter-table-cool-silver-succulents/), [Luminaire Images Photography](http://www.luminaireimages.com/), [The Knot](http://www.theknot.com), [The Knot](http://weddings.theknot.com/Real-Weddings/59546/detailview.aspx?type=3&id=59546), [Jennie Andrews Photography](http://jennieandrewsphoto.com), [Martha Stewart Weddings](http://www.marthastewartweddings.com/227272/lacy-candle-centerpiece), [Ron Abuelo Rum](http://www.ronabuelorum.com/), In Style Weddings

{Fab Friday Finds} Winter Wedding Ideas & Inspiration

My wedding wasn’t meant to be a winter wedding. Novembers in Knoxville are actually usually still pretty warm, in fact, and the temps usually sit somewhere between 50-70 degrees. As luck would have it, though, a cold front moved in for two days in early November 2010, and Michael and I (along with our brave wedding party and guests) braved the 30 degree weather in style. Had we known our wedding would offer a taste of winter, we may have planned more accordingly — although I must admit the trees were perfectly fall colored 🙂 — and used some of these amazing winter wedding ideas…

1. Winter White Centerpieces – The floral artists at [Junkerman Jones](http://junkermanjonesevents.blogspot.com/2011/06/arkansas-bride-magazine-feature.html) wedding and event design created these simple yet elegant winter-inspired centerpieces. To re-create the look for your own winter soiree, incorporate flowers in shades of winter-white, silver berries and tall branches adorned with Swarovski crystal strands. Complete the look with silver votive holders, and add an even more wintery feel by using holiday lights in the rest of your decor.

2. A Snowy Background – If you’re having a winter wedding and there’s snow on the ground for your big day, use it to your advantage! Have your photog capture a gorgeous moment like [Mary Dougherty](http://www.flickr.com/photos/marydaph/4198457771/) did. Just be sure to have a winter coat or fur shrug on hand and some gloves so you’re not miserable while you’re shooting.

3. Warm Drinks – If you’re hosting a winter wedding, help your guess warm up with a vanilla chai and a cocoa bar like this one seen in a shoot on [Southern Weddings](http://iloveswmag.com/2010/12/23/elegant-winter-wedding-inspiration/). This little touch really adds to the romantic warmth of a winter wedding.

4. Beyond Flowers – If you live in a more harsh climate, flowers might be hard to come by when it comes to winter weddings (or expensive to ship), so why not use what you have? As [Ruffled Blog](http://ruffledblog.com/winter-wedding-obsessions-balsa-wood-and-pine-cones/) explains, the rustic look of pine cones easily lends a vintage feel when combined with millinery flowers or other vintage inspired elements, all of which makes for the perfect vintage winter wedding decor. I’m going to continue pinning my favorite winter wedding ideas over on Pinterest, so if you’d like to see more, [head that way](http://pinterest.com/prnicolev/winter-wedding-inspiration/).

{Wedding Crafting with Cricut} Vinyl NameMonogram Sign

The Wedding Crafting with Cricut series is already off to a great start, and the first post in the series about [cut-out number save the dates](http://theplungeproject.com/cricut-cut-out-number-save-the-dates) received some great reviews. That being said, it’s time to share project no. 2: the vinyl name/monogram sign!

I actually created this one for my mom and her new husband, who married last month. Not only does it work as great reception decor; it also will look lovely in your home for years to come. Don’t you just love wedding decor that you can re-use?

### To create this project, you’ll need:

* [Cricut Craft Room Free Online Design Tool](http://www.cricut.com/craftroom/default.html)
* Desired font cartridge (I used [Storybook](http://main.cricut.com/shopping/detail-department-Cricut-Storybook-Cartridge-0-189.aspx))
* Large photo frame (mine was 12×16)
* 2 panes of glass (I purchased 2 frames to grab the extra glass, but you can probably buy an extra piece separately.)
* [Wall vinyl](http://main.cricut.com/shopping/products-Vinyl-265.aspx) in desired colors
* [Transfer tape](http://main.cricut.com/shopping/detail-Cricut-Supplies-Vinyl-Cricut-Vinyl-Transfer-Tape-265-188.aspx)

### To create this project:

1. Use Cricut Craft Room to create and lay out your design. Be sure to use multiple mat layers (as shown below) to account for different vinyl colors or the size of your Cricut mat. If your mat is only 12×12, you’ll likely need to design the art on the larger mat, then move pieces around on your different mat layers when it’s actually time to cut each layer. Can’t figure out how to split the letter? [Click here to download my Craft Room file.](http://theplungeproject.com/images/WeddingSign.ccr_.zip)

2. Load up your mat with your vinyl color of choice and cut each layer. For me, the settings that worked best were blade depth – 3, speed – 3, pressure – 2. (This will give you a “kiss cut” and not cut through the backing of the vinyl.)
3. When everything’s cut, peel off the excess vinyl from your mat(s), leaving only the design. You may need to place the design in stages as opposed to doing it all at once. I placed each of my layers separately.
4. Apply the vinyl transfer tape to your art to grab it off the mat.

5. Peel off the backing, leaving just the design on the transfer tape. Place your vinyl design on your first piece of glass (make sure to clean the glass first), smoothing out any bubbles.
6. When the whole design is in place, add your second piece of glass over top of the finished design. The vinyl will now be safe and sound in the middle of the two panes. This is not 100% necessary. However, I liked the look better this way.
7. Pop the glass into your frame, and ta da! You now have a beautiful piece of reception and home decor!

### Posts in the Wedding Crafting with Cricut series include:

1. [Cut-out Number Save the Dates & Custom Envelopes](http://theplungeproject.com/cricut-cut-out-number-save-the-dates)
2. [Vinyl Name/Monogram Sign](../wedding-crafting-with-cricut-vinyl-namemonogram-sign “Permanent link to {Wedding Crafting with Cricut} Vinyl Name/Monogram Sign” )
3. [Paper Flowers](../wedding-crafting-with-cricut-diy-paper-flowers “Permanent link to {Wedding Crafting with Cricut} DIY Paper Flowers (+ a Cricut Coupon Code)” )
4. [Pinwheels](http://theplungeproject.com/circut-diy-pinwheels)
5. Fifth post TBD
_Disclosure: Provo Craft provided products free of charge in exchange for this series._

Mixology – 19 Festive Holiday Cocktails

Creating cocktail posts for each season is becoming a favorite task of mine. Not only do I love sampling them all, but I love being able to share some tasty drinks that you may not have heard up before…especially when it comes to the holidays! Because I know many of you are hosting holiday soirees this year, I’m excited to share 19 delish holiday cocktails recipes for you to try, sent in by a variety of restaurants, bartenders and liquor providers.

### 1. Candy Cane Martini

What’s Christmas without candy canes? This tasty treat is sure to
delight those on Santa’s nice and naughty list, sent in by Las Vegas’ own
[Texas de Brazil](http://www.texasdebrazil.com/lasvegas). **Ingredients:**

* 1 1/2 oz. Vanilla Vodka
* 1/2 oz. Peppermint Schnapps
* 1 oz. Club Soda
* Candy Canes for garnish
**Preparation:** Use crushed candy canes to rim martini glass. Fill martini shaker with ice. Add vanilla vodka, peppermint schnapps and club soda. Shake vigorously. Strain into a martini glass, and garnish with candy cane.

### 2. Chocolate Chip Candy Cane Adult Milkshake

Thanks to Las Vegas’ new [Bottles & Burgers by Double Helix](http://tivolivillage.doublehelixwine.com/), milkshakes aren’t just for kids! This adult candy cane flavored shake is sure to delight your wintery taste buds._ _ **Ingredients:**

* Chocolate Ice Cream
* Peppermint Candies
* Peppermint Schnapps
* Godiva Chocolate Liqueur
* Whipped Cream
* Mini Chocolate Chips
**Preparation:** Blend together ice cream, some candies, schnapps and liqueur to taste. Top with whipped cream, mini chocolate chips and crushed peppermint candies for garnish.

### 3. Cinful

Cinnamon stick-infused vodka? Count me in for this delish concoction courtesy
of Frank Caiafa, beverage manager of [The Waldorf-
Astoria](http://www.waldorfnewyork.com/).**** **Ingredients:**

* 1 oz. Cinnamon Stick-infused Vodka
* 1/2 oz. Schoenauer (brown) Apple Schnapps
* 1 oz. Appleton Reserve Rum
* 1 1/2 oz. Apple Cider
**Preparation:** Cinnamon stick-infused vodka can be made by infusing one liter of vodka for 7-10 days with 4 cinnamon sticks. Store bought cinnamon vodka can be used substituted. Shake and strain ingredients into a martini glass. Finish with one scrape of fresh nutmeg and one dried apple chip.

### 4. Cranberry Cobbler Martini

David Cicciarella, general manager, sommelier & mixologist at
Boston’s [Brasserie JO](http://www.brasseriejo.com) at the Colonnade Hotel has
mixed up an inventive new menu of seasonal martinis that are a perfect, adult
way to enjoy childhood favorites like cranberry cobbler._ _ **Ingredients:**

* 1 1/2 oz. Bulleit Bourbon
* 1 oz. Cranberry Syrup
* 2 oz. Cranberry Juice
* 1 oz. Lime Juice
**Preparation:** Fill martini shaker with ice. Add bourbon, cranberry syrup, cranberry juice and a splash of lime juice. Shake vigorously. Strain into a martini glass, and garnish with fresh cranberries.

### 5. Eggnog Martini

Tempe, Arizona’s [Top of the Rock at the Buttes
Resort](http://www.marriott.com/phxtm) knows how important eggnog is to the
holiday season_. _That’s why they mixed up and shared this slightly different
way to enjoy the traditional treat._ _ **Ingredients:**

* 12 Eggs – separate yolks from white
* 1 quart of Milk
* 1 pint of Whipping Cream
* 1 cup of Sugar
* 1 cup of Dark Rum
* 1 cup of Light Rum
* 1/2 cup of Crème de Coco (white)
* 1/4 cup of Vanilla Cognac
* Nutmeg as needed
* Mint Leaf as needed
**Preparation**: Beat the egg yolks. Add in the rum, crème de coco, milk and cognac. In a different bowl, whip the whipping cream, and add 1/4 cup of sugar. In a different bowl, whip the egg whites & the rest of the sugar, until small peaks form. Fold mixture into egg and alcohol mix, then fold in the whipping cream mix and egg white mix. Let the entire mixture chill in the refrigerator of 24-48 hours. Serve up with a hit of nutmeg and a mint leaf.

### 6. Ginger Bread Man

Created by David Nepove, National President, U.S. Bartender’s Guild and sent in by [EFFEN Vodka](http://www.effenvodka.com/), this one’s sure to delight all you gingerbread lovers out there._ _ **Ingredients:**

* 1 part EFFEN® Vodka
* 3/4 parts Kings Ginger® Liqueur
* 3/4 parts Faretti® Biscotti Famosi Liqueur or similar brand such as Frangelico® Liqueur
* 1/2 part Simple Syrup
* 1 part Cream
**Preparation:** Combine ingredients into a cocktail shaker over ice and shake. Strain and pour into a cocktail glass dusted with cinnamon.

### 7. Ginger Snap

Sent in by [Frames Bowling Lounge](http://www.framesnyc.com) in New York City,
this signature winter cocktail promises to satisfy those looking to festively
treat their taste buds._ _ **Ingredients:**

* 1 1/2 oz. Captain Morgan
* 2 oz. Apple Juice
* Ginger Flavored Syrup
* Touch of Champagne
* Cherry for Garnish
**Preparation:** Fill martini shaker with ice. Add Captain Morgan, apply juice, ginger syrup and champagne. Shake vigorously. Strain into a martini glass and garnish with a cherry.

### 8. Gin Nog

Sent in by [Martin Miller’s Gin](http://www.millersgin.com/), the Gin Nog is
another egg nog-inspired cocktail to celebrate the season._ _ **Ingredients:**

* 1 1/2 oz. Martin Miller’s Gin
* 3 oz. Apple Cider
* 1 Egg
* 3/4 oz. Simple Syrup
* 1 oz. Heavy Cream
* Ground Cinnamon Garnish
**Preparation:** Shake with ice vigorously to emulsify the egg, Strain in a large coupe/goblet glass, garnish with cinnamon.

### 9. Hanukkah Miracle

Although I celebrate Christmas myself, I didn’t wanna leave out
my Jewish friends. Sent in by [Purity Vodka](http://www.purityvodka.com/), the
Hanukkah Miracle is sure to delight, no matter what holiday you celebrate!_ _
**Ingredients:**

* 2 oz. Purity Vodka
* 1 oz. Fresh Lemon Juice
* 1/2 oz. Simple Syrup
* Barspoon Overproof Rum (i.e. 151)
* 3-4 Kumquats
**Preparation:** Muddle kumquats in lemon juice and simple syrup. Add Purity and ice, and shake hard. Strain over fresh ice and garnish with a hollowed-out kumquat filled with overproof rum and ignite.

### 10. Holiday Sangria

Sangria is great for any occasion, so I had to include this holiday version
sent in by [VOGA Italia Wine](http://www.vogaitalia.com/). **Ingredients:**

* 2 (750-milliliter) Bottles VOGA Merlot
* 1 cup Pomegranate Juice
* 1/3 cup Triple Sec
* 1 Orange (cut into sections)
* 1 Apple (cut into sections)
* 1 cup of Cherries
* 1/4 cup Pomegranate Seeds
* 1/4 cup Sugar
* 2 Whole Cloves
* 1 Cinnamon Stick
**Preparation:** Combine all ingredients in a pitcher, stirring until sugar dissolves. Cover and refrigerate 4 hours or overnight. Garnish with cherries or cinnamon sticks.

### 11. Hot Buttered Rum

Sent in by Joe Campanale, [eHow Food](http://www.ehow.com/ehow-food/) Rachael Ray Buddy and master mixologist, rum lovers like myself will enjoy this one._ _ **Ingredients:**

* 2 oz. Dark Rum
* 1/2 oz. Simple Syrup
* 1/4 oz. Heavy Cream
* 1 tsp. Unsalted Butter, softened
* 6 oz. Hot Water
* Cinnamon Stick, to garnish (optional)
**Preparation:** In a heat-safe glass or mug, combine the rum, simple syrup, heavy cream and butter. Top the glass off with the hot water and stir to melt the butter. Garnish with a cinnamon stick if desired, and serve.

### 12. Kahlúa Peppermint Mocha Hot Chocolate

The [Kahlúa](http://www.kahlua.com/) Peppermint Mocha Hot
Chocolate is great to warm up on a cold night, with the festive peppermint
flavor to get you in the holiday mood. **Ingredients:**

* 2 parts Milk
* 1 part Drinking Chocolate
* 1 part Kahlúa Peppermint Mocha
**Preparation:** Bring milk to a simmer. Whisk in drinking chocolate. Simmer for 30 seconds while stirring. Add Kahlúa Peppermint Mocha. Garnish with peppermint stick and marshmallows.

### 13. Midori Peppermint Kiss

Sent in by [Skyy Spirits](http://www.skyyspirits.com/), this one’s
sure to help you relax during the oh-so-stressful holiday season._ _
**Ingredients:**

* 1 oz. Midori Melon Liqueur
* 1 oz. SKYY Vodka
* 3 oz. Pineapple juice
* ¼ oz. fresh lemon juice
* ¼ oz. Peppermint Schnapps
* 6 Basil Leaves, gently torn in half, (to release oils)
**Preparation:** In a chilled shaker glass, add all the above ingredients. Add ice, shake for 15 seconds, and then strain into a Collins glass. Garnish with a basil leaf and one raspberry sitting in front of basil in glass.

### 14. Naughty Reindeer

Sure this one’s cute, but don’t
let its look fool you; this reindeer drink sent in by the [Aurea, Stanford
Court Hotel San Francisco](http://www.aureasf.com) is actually pretty
naughty._ _ **Ingredients:**

* 1 part Absolut Vodka
* 1 part Disaronno Amaretto
* Anise Syrup
* Chocolate Moose Peep for garnish
* Maraschino Cherry for garnish
**Preparation:** Stir together vodka, amaretto and anise syrup. Garnish with chocolate moose Peep and maraschino cherry.

### 15. Salted Mocha Caramel Kahlúa Milkshake

Is it just me, or is salted caramel all the rage this year? If you love it,
you’ll love this adult milkshake sent in by Las Vegas’ new [Bottles &
Burgers by Double Helix](http://tivolivillage.doublehelixwine.com/).
**Ingredients:**

* Kahlúa
* Espresso
* Chocolate Syrup
* Caramel Sauce
* Vanilla Ice Cream
* Sea Salt
* Whipped Cream (optional)
* Chocolate-covered espresso beans (optional)
**Preparation:** Blend above ingredients together to taste. Top with whipped cream and chocolate-covered espresso beans for garnish.

### 16. Smirnoff Marshmallow Fluff Hot Chocolate

I know, I’ve written on
[warm drinks](http://theplungeproject.com/10-cool-weather-cocktails) in the
past, but I just couldn’t resist including this hot chocolate treat sent in by
[Diageo](http://www.diageo.com/en-row/Pages/default.aspx), one of the leading
premium drinks businesses. **Ingredients:**

* Instant or Homemade Hot Chocolate
* 1 oz. Smirnoff Marshmallow Fluff Vodka
* 1 Peppermint Stick or Candy Cane (optional)
* Whipped Cream (optional)
**Preparation:** Prepare packaged or homemade hot chocolate as directed. Add Smirnoff Marshmallow Fluff Vodka. Serve in a tumbler with any or none of the optional garnishes.

### 17. Smoretini

I saved one of my favorites for almost-last! Sent in by [DUO Restaurant &
Lounge](http://duonewyork.com/) in NYC, this smoretini is sure to have you
begging for s’mor ;)_ _ **Ingredients:**

* 2 oz. Ketel One Vodka
* 1 oz. Crème de Cacao
* Chocolate syrup
* Crushed graham crackers
* Marshmallow crème
* Marshmallow for garnish
**Preparation:** Rim a martini glass with chocolate syrup and crushed graham crackers. Combine Ketel One Vodka with Crème de Cacao, shake vigorously with ice and strain into the martini glass. Top the martini off with a scoop of marshmallow crème (such as Fluff), a drizzle of chocolate syrup and a marshmallow.

### 18. The Bell Tolls

For all you tequila drinkers out there, you’ll love this one sent in by
[Patrón Spirits](http://patronspirits.com/). **Ingredients:**

* 2 oz. Patrón Añejo
* 2 oz. Herbal liqueur
* ¾ oz. White grapefruit juice
* 1 ½ oz. Cane syrup
* ½ oz. Thai basil sprig for garnish
**Preparation:** Combine all ingredients into an ice-filled shaker, shake and strain into a rocks glass filled with ice. Garnish with a sprig of Thai basil.

### 19. The Rudolph

Simple and festive, this cocktail sent in by [Canadian Club
Whisky](http://www.canadianclubwhisky.com/) is great for big holiday get-
togethers or as an after-work wind-down._ _ **Ingredients:**

* 1 part Canadian Club Classic 12
* 3-4 parts Cranberry Juice
* Splash of Grenadine
**Preparation**: Add ingredients over ice in a tall glass. _**So…which cocktail are you excited to try first?**_

{Wedding Crafting with Cricut} Cut-out Number Save the Dates & Custom Envelopes

If you’re friends with [the Plunge Project on
Facebook](http://facebook.com/plungeproject), you may have seen me talking
about a cool partnership I’ve been working on with Provo Craft — you know,
the awesome people who make the Cricut. Well, I’m super excited to announce
what we’ve been teasing about for the past couple weeks: a DIY wedding series
I like to call _Wedding Crafting with Cricut_! I got my new [Cricut Expression
2](http://www.cricut.com/expression2/) in the mail a couple weeks ago, and I
haven’t stopped playing with it since! It’s amazing [how much you can do with
it](http://www.cricut.com/tv/?utm_source=create&utm_medium=tv&utm_campaign=cre
ate); I wish I had this thing when I was planning my own wedding! Not only
could it have saved me some major money when it came to a lot of the decor,
but it totally could have expanded my wedding crafting abilities. _(If you
haven’t gotten yours yet, be sure to do so at any craft store near you or on
online at the [Cricut
store](http://main.cricut.com/shopping/ProductLanding.aspx) — It’s also a
great present to ask for for the holidays! I promise you’ll be pleased.)_ So
over the next couple months, I’m going to be exploring those crafting
abilities and sharing five Cricut crafting projects for the DIY bride! First
up? **Unique cut-out letter save the dates and custom envelopes!**

I originally caught this idea on [Martha Stewart
Weddings](http://www.marthastewartweddings.com/), but until I had my Cricut, I
didn’t have the capabilities to do it on my own. Now, I’m able to create
everything you see above, including the envelope. _And yes, I did use my own
wedding date although it’s over a year past ;)_

### To create this project, you’ll need:

* [Cricut Craft Room Free Online Design Tool](http://www.cricut.com/craftroom/default.html)
* Cricut Craft Room Basics (free when you download the Craft Room)
* [Cricut Alphabet](http://main.cricut.com/shopping/detail–Cricutreg;-Alphabet-Cartridge-0-1355.aspx) (comes pre-loaded on the Expression 2)
* Cardstock of choice
* 1/8″ thick ribbon of choice
* Large eyed needle (at least 1/8″ tall)

### To create the envelope:

The envelope is created by welding together a few shapes within the Cricut Craft Room Basics cartridge:

1. In the Craft Room, start with a 5″ x 3.5″ rectangle in the middle of your mat.
2. Add a 3.542″ x 3.5″ rounded rectangle to the left and right of the original rectangle, allowing the rounded corners to hang over the edge of your original rectangle.
3. Rotate a square into a diamond shape, stretch it to 4″ x 3.361″, duplicate it so you have two and add one to each side of your envelope.
4. Finally, use a 5.208″ x 3.5″ scalloped heart for the top and bottom of your envelope.
5. Make sure everything is welded together correctly so you have the exact outline of your finished shape, and cut!
6. Peel your envelope shape off the mat, then fold the corners in and attach it all together with a couple pieces of double stick tape. Your finished envelope should come out to be 5″ x 3.5″.

### To create the save the date:

The save the date itself is the easy part! To create it, open Craft Room and follow these instructions:

1. Add the numbers you need to your digital mat. I made mine all 2″ tall.
2. Add two 0.4″ x 0.125″ rectangles to the top of each number for your ribbon to go through. Don’t weld the shapes.
3. Add a larger 4.5″ x 3″ rectangle to your mat for the actual save the date card and cut everything on your mat.
4. Peel your shapes off the mat.
5. Now, you can print your actual save the date text on the 4.5″ x 3″ card you cut. I simply used my home printer to do this.
6. Once you have all your pieces ready, you’re all set to assemble the final save the date! Start by threading your ribbon through the save the date card, as shown below.

7. Tie a bow around the card, leaving long tails so you have enough extra ribbon to attached all your numbers.
8. Thread the ribbon through each number to create your wedding date.
9. Tie a bow at the end to finish it off, and ta-da — unique save the dates!

### Posts in the Wedding Crafting with Cricut series include:

1. [Cut-out Number Save the Dates & Custom Envelopes](http://theplungeproject.com/cricut-cut-out-number-save-the-dates)
2. [Vinyl Name/Monogram Sign](../wedding-crafting-with-cricut-vinyl-namemonogram-sign “Permanent link to {Wedding Crafting with Cricut} Vinyl Name/Monogram Sign” )
3. [Paper Flowers](../wedding-crafting-with-cricut-diy-paper-flowers “Permanent link to {Wedding Crafting with Cricut} DIY Paper Flowers (+ a Cricut Coupon Code)” )
4. [Pinwheels](../circut-diy-pinwheels)
5. Fifth post TBD

_Disclosure: Provo Craft provided products free of charge in exchange for this series._