Browsing Tag

christmas party


Dairy and Sugar Free Eggnog Recipe and More

Eggnog recipe

Eggnog recipe

Whether you choose to add rum or not, eggnog is a classic beverage best accompanied with a fire, a blanket and a holiday movie. Heat it up to greet guests as they come in from the cold or serve it with brunch on Christmas day.

To ensure even those with dietary restrictions can enjoy this once-a-year rich and creamy treat, pass on the carton you’ll find at the corner store and try this dairy and sugar-free version, adapted from Alton Brown’s recipe by Domestifluff.

Eggnog recipe

Inspired by Domestifluff’s recipe, I collected a few other egg nog alternatives. Check them out in the sourcing section. The common substitute for heavy cream, milk and eggs seems to be coconut and almond milks. They add flavor, but reduce the calories – so you can still enjoy a Christmas cookie alongside your cup.
+ Dairy and Sugar Free Eggnog recipe from Domestifluff
+ Eggnog recipe from Alton Brown
+ Vegan Eggnog recipe from Post Punk Kitchen
+ Almond Milk Eggnog recipe from All Day I Dream About Food


Printable Holiday Photo Booth Accessories | Etsy Find

Printable Holiday Photo Booth Accessories by Paper and Cake on etsy

Printable Holiday Photo Booth Accessories by Paper and Cake on etsy

DIY photo booths are a popular, budget-savvy solution for weddings and parties. They provide both an ice-breaker and entertainment for guests, while capturing the special and hilarious moments from the event.

Many families use the holidays as an opportunity to update families photos, so why not consider staging a DIY photo booth as a smart alternative for the overdone, and often embarrassing, traditional portrait.

The printable holiday photobooth accessories from Paper & Cake include Santa’s hat and beard, Mrs. Claus’ glasses, reindeer antlers, Rudolph’s red nose and other backdrop decorations. They’re sure to guarantee smiles for the photo and for the photo’s recipient.

+ Printable Holiday Photo Booth Accessories by Paper & Cake $9.95 USD on Etsy
+ via Hostess with the Mostess


Merry Christmas!

yule log cake :: three chocolate mousse

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays, everyone! I hope you are having a great time with your family and loved ones. I did! This is the three chocolate mousse yule log that I bought for our Christmas eve party. It was as delicious as it looks.

If the ski condition is great, I will be back on the slopes tomorrow. I am looking forward to ski again. I may publish a few posts during the Holidays.


Stylish Christmas Crackers

Gold Berry Crackers at Cox and Cox

A tradition in my family is to put Christmas crackers on the dinner table. But lately, the challenge has been to find ones with gifts that will not be thrown away immediately after the dinner. It seems that even the upscale North-American stores gave up on producing worthwhile versions. I am sad about that fact. We inherited this tradition from Britain.

Therefore, I looked across the Atlantic to see if we can still find chic and wonderful Christmas crackers in UK. I found lots of options down there. Maybe next year, I would see if I can order online mine from UK. Let’s look at my favorites.

Cox and Cox

musical crackers at cox and cox

This UK catalog store continues to impress me. Their Christmas crackers concentrate on providing entertaining for your guests. Cox and Cox sells 3 models of Christmas crackers this year, including the Musical Crackers. Each handmade Gold Berry Cracker contains a chocolate and charade to be played as a party game.

Fortnum & Mason

luxury christmas crackers by fortnum and mason

Founded in 1707, this upscale retailer is the specialist of luxury Christmas crackers. At £100 for a pack of 6, their Classic Christmas Crackers package contains the traditional paper hat, an entertaining scroll, a satisfying snap and silver-plated gifts such as a coffee scoop, wine pourer, wine stopper, salt & pepper shakers, magnifier with chain and mirror compact.

It is not only for the rich and famous. You can find more affordable options at Fortnum & Mason, like the Saucer Crackers at £8.50 for a box of 6.


christmas crackers by highgrove

This a shop of the Prince’s Charities of which The Prince of Wales is President. Profits goes to the foundation. They sell individual luxury Christmas crackers presented in a nice gift box. Each luxury Christmas cracker contains 10 Organic Champagne Truffles, a joke, an inspiring comment and a traditional Christmas hat. For a party, opt for the 6-pack where each cracker  contains a hand embroidered mini decoration, one Organic Champagne Truffle, a joke, an inspiring comment and a traditional Christmas hat. This is what I call a treat. Unfortunately, they will not ship outside the EU.

Fill Your Own Christmas Crackers

fill your own christmas crackers by classic crackers

The most sensible idea is definitively the Fill your Own Crackers from Classic Crackers. They handmade the crackers for you. All you need to do is to buy gifts that fits in to the tube. They leave one end open for you to drop in your gifts. Close the end with the ribbon that comes with the Fill Your Own Christmas cracker.

Know that if you wish to make your own crackers from scratch, you need cracker snaps to get the bang. Classic Crackers sell them but at this time, they are out of stock.

A Montreal Maker

christmas crackers by walpert industries

Jane Van der Voort, who set up the live chat that I gave yesterday on The Toronto Star, wrote an excellent article on Christmas crackers. From her, I discovered that Walpert Industries, here in Montreal has been making Christmas crackers since the 1960s. You will find the 2009 collection on Walpert’s Web site. But sadly, their site does not elaborate on what is inside their Christmas crackers and it fails to give us a list of retailers. At least, thanks to Jane’s article, I discovered that the Rudolph their Red-Nosed Reindeer Crackers (not shown) are available at Walmart.

+ Musical Crackers £12 for pack of 8
+ Gold Berry Crackers £12 for pack of 6
+ Christmas Crackers at Fortnum & Mason £8.50 to £500
+ Luxury Silver Cracker by Highgrove on sale at £14.95
+ Luxury Christmas Crackers on sale at £39.95 for pack of 6
+ Fill Your Own Christmas Cracker £2 each
+ Walpert Industries


Twice in the Toronto Star | Sharing Potluck and Entertaining Tips

my article for the toronto star

Yesterday, for a great day for me. I wrote an article of the printed edition of the Toronto Star about how to Make potlucks stylish. You can read my article online at I wish I could show you the printed version, which has my picture on it but a mishap at the newspaper stand here in Montreal meant that I was unable to grab a copy yesterday. Do not worry, my dear friend Eden Spodek of Barganista is sending me two copies.

live chat about holiday entertaining on the toronto star

After that, I was interviewed during an one-hour live chat by the public and Jane Van Der Voort of the Toronto Star.


Holidays Tabletop Giveaway

style at home : Holiday Decorating and Entertaining tips

If you like magazines, you could win the December 2007 issue of Style at Home.

This issue of a Canadian Home décor magazine is packed with Holiday Decorating and Entertaining tips.

My advice

The two tabletops are from an article called Dress up the dining table. Overall the tabletops look great but they are some faux pas:

  1. The water glasses are missing. Serving water is a must at every meal. Whether the people drink it or not is irrelevant. Table manners are clear on that subject: everyone has a water glass.
  2. If you wish to go with the face to face look, make sure your table runner is 24 to 30 inches wide. The one used on the gold table is clearly too narrow.
  3. For the Holidays, placemats feel too casual in my view. You cannot go wrong with a nice table cloth, especially if you wish to dress up your table.

How to participate?

Note on October 5th, 2007: I simplified the question before anyone posted an answer because the previous question was too vague.

To have a chance to win, you must write a comment before Monday, December 10th, 2007 11:59 Eastern Time. Your comment must answered the following question:

In what color(s) will you decorate your Holiday dinner table this year?

Learn more: Style at home magazine – December 2007 issue


My Christmas party tips on Clin D’Oeil

Glam Christmas : Clin d'oeil decembre 2007 issue

I wish to share one moment of success with you. The columnist Marie-Julie Gagnon interviewed a few event designers and planners from the Montreal area. The subject was How to host a glam Christmas in 10 steps?

Her 3-page article is published on the December 2007 issue of Clin D’Oeil, the premier Fashion & Beauty magazine in Quebec. I feel honored to be featured alongside a talented group. Everyone has excellent tips to share.

Basically, my tips can be summarized like this:

  • More than a theme, you should try to recreate the Magical ambiance of Christmas
  • If you wish to use traditional colors why not use different tints like a lime instead of the Christmas green?
  • For the fashionista, why not use the trendy colors like Purple, Aubergine, Sage and Charcoal?
  • The perfect Christmas cocktail is my signature Surubaotini, a raspberry martini
  • Games let people of different ages socialize more. Play Wii Sports to burn some calories. The game come bundled with the Nintendo Wii console. What is incredible with the Wii is that people who never play video games before cannot stop playing. The Wii is always a hit at parties.
  • For movie fans, a sure bet is Scene It? Lights, Camera, Action for the Xbox 360 console. The game is shipped with four wireless Big Button Pads, so each player has his or her own buzzer. People that played the game so far enjoy it a lot, including the columnist Marie-Julie Gagnon.

There is no need to buy the consoles right away. Video rental stores rent the consoles and the games. Beware that after you play the Wii once with friends, I predict you will want your own.

Nintendo still cannot supply enough Wii one year after its launch. If you live in the United States, good luck to find a Wii without extra games that bring up the price. In Canada, you can buy the console without extras but the stocks are low. It would be wise to reserve one as soon as possible if you wish to have one by Christmas.

wii party

Tips on how to host a Wii party from Nintendo

Nintendo Canada Web site provides useful tips on How to plan a Wii friendly gathering. You get recipes for food and drinks when reading Host to host a dinner & Wii party. I suggest that you create the Mii of every player in advance. This way you have more time to play. There are Wii invitation themes on Evite.

For francophones

If you or someone you know read French, Marie-Julie Gagnon has a beautiful book called Cartes postales d’Asie that would make a beautiful Christmas gift.

December 14th, 2007 Update: If you wish to read the story online, visit

Learn more: Web site of Clin d’Oeil 
For Canadians: Nintendo Wii with Wii Sports at Future Shop – price: $269.99 CAD
Buy online: Cartes postales d’Asie de Marie-Julie Gagnon on – price:$19 CAD