Monday, 30 December 2019

11 Fun New Year’s Eve Party Ideas for Food, Games & Decorations

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Picture a great New Year’s Eve party at your home with all your friends: Sparkling decorations and candles all about. Your guests take hilarious photos, dance with loud, crazy noisemakers, and enjoy a selection of appetizers. When the clock strikes 12, you toast with champagne and feast on a midnight supper.
This scenario has to cost a fortune, right? Well, not necessarily. With a few money-saving tricks up your sleeve, you can host a great New Year’s party on a budget that people will be talking about for a long time to come. From food, to refreshments, to games, you can cut costs everywhere without sacrificing any of the fun! And if your New Year’s resolution is to save money, this is a great place to start.
Host this years New Years Eve party without worrying about cooking. Order food from your favorite restaurant through DoorDash and you’ll receive $0 deliver fee on your first order.

Party Food Ideas

1. Make It a BYOA Affair – Bring Your Own Appetizer

Phone your invitees and inform them that it’s a BYOA event. There are a number of cheap and easy appetizers that your guests can bring, but if someone doesn’t know how to cook or what to bring, suggest raw veggies and hummus, a fruit and nut platter, or a cheese and crackers plate. If someone claims that even those are too difficult, ask them to bring a container or two of mixed nuts – you can provide the bowl!

2. Serve Champagne Sangria for Midnight Toasting

This is an easy and delicious way to cut down on champagne costs that will be appreciated by all! To make champagne sangria, simply use these ingredients and follow the instructions below:
Ingredients:
  • One 32-ounce bottle of apple juice
  • One 12-ounce can of frozen cranberry juice concentrate
  • One cup of orange juice
  • One-and-a-half liters of champagne (or ginger ale for a non-alcoholic version)
Directions:
  1. Keep items chilled (or frozen) until use.
  2. Combine the apple juice, cranberry juice concentrate, and orange juice in a large bowl. Stir well.
  3. Add sliced oranges, kiwi slices, and any other fruit you like.
  4. Slowly add the champagne or ginger ale at the last minute to keep it bubbly.
This recipe serves 12, but you might want to double up for thirsty guests!
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3. Have a Midnight Supper

After the midnight toast, close the bar and invite everyone to take part in a midnight supper. A baked potato bar is easy, fun, and inexpensive. Bake the biggest potatoes you can find, and follow with dessert!
  • Put potatoes in the oven at 400 degrees at about 10:30pm. They should be done in about an hour.
  • Set out as many toppings as you like: sour cream, bacon bits, chopped scallions, salsa, shredded cheese, jalapenos, chives, steamed broccoli, butter, mushrooms, chili, and anything else you’d like. Let everyone fix their own potato, as loaded as they want.
  • For dessert, serve chocolate cake from a mix with white icing and colored sprinkles. Serve with ice cream and a little hot fudge sauce.
  • Be sure to provide coffee with dessert for the drive home.
This menu will cost about $2 per person, which is very reasonable for a hearty supper. If you want to spend more, make a cheesecake instead for a rich finish to your meal.
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4. Remember That Timing Is Everything

Since you want to keep the party hopping until (and perhaps well past) the midnight hour, consider starting around 10pm. But if you prefer to start much earlier, have the potato bar ready at around 10pm so guests don’t go hungry.
If your group wants to spend five to six hours together, plan on having a full-scale potluck early in the evening. You can skip the appetizers in this case, but still prepare your midnight supper.

Fun & Games

5. Ask Guests to Bring an Unusual Noisemaker

Have a “craziest noisemaker” contest and be sure to shoot video! Replay each person with their noisemaker for the crowd and vote on who wins. Provide a prize to the winner, such as earmuffs. Then, get everyone together for the big midnight countdown and create your own symphony of racket, clatter, and boom.

6. “Hire” a Photographer

Ask one guest to serve as the “official” photographer to take before and after photos, or do it yourself. As guests arrive, invite them to pose with one person seated and the other standing next to a chair (like an old-time photo – no smiling allowed). You could provide old-fashioned hats, and maybe a shawl or scarf for props.
Later, take “after midnight” photos of your guests in their holiday party outfits showing off their noisemakers. Post all the photos online to share.

7. Ask Guests to Write Predictions for the New Year

Have your guests sign their predictions and place them into a bowl or a box. Then, during supper, take turns reading the predictions while everyone guesses who wrote them. It can be surprising how difficult it is to guess your friends’ predictions – and it’s a great way to wrap up the night!
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Decorations & Atmosphere

8. Hang Handmade Paper Snowflakes From the Ceiling

White printer paper snowflakes in varying sizes, plain or accented with silver or clear glitter, can be hung from different lengths of thread or ribbon for a festive effect. You can even scatter some over a table for easy decor. If you glitter them, remember that less is more.

9. Hang Lengths of Curled Ribbon for an Iconic New Year’s Eve

Curling ribbon is very easy, but it looks great everywhere. Try to find the wider variety, about a half-inch thick. You can hang it from light fixtures, doorways, lamps, mantels, even on the bathroom mirror. Scatter a few curls between dishes on your midnight buffet as well.

10. Use Metallic and Glittered Christmas Ornaments

Glittery Christmas ornaments look wonderful in a bowl as a centerpiece. You can also hang plain ornament balls from a light fixture over a table using varying lengths of ribbon in your theme colors. They also look nice hung in front of a mirror.

11. Set Out All the Candles You Own

Set out every candle you can find in your house, and consider buying a cheap bag of votives, which can be put into glasses, canning jars, or even apples.
You can also find inexpensive votive holders at the dollar store. You can frost them by simply using glue and epsom salts. Mix regular white school glue with water (three parts glue mixed with one part water) and paint the mixture onto the sides of the votive holder. Then, roll it in a plate full of epsom salts from the grocery store. Once it dries, you’ll have a sparkling frosted votive holder! Place these wherever you want to add a little glamor; they look especially nice place atop a mirror or in front of one.

Final Word

Have a blast at your New Year’s party, but remember, no matter what, never allow anyone to drive home impaired! Not only do you want to keep your friends safe, but as a host, you could be legally liable for their drunk driving. These are known as “social host” laws, and many states have them.
To protect everyone, have a sober person drive intoxicated friends home, call a cab, or take their keys and let them sleep at your place. A simple bacon, eggs, and coffee breakfast will be fine for these overnight guests.
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Are you interested in selling or buying your home in the next few months? Work with award winning realtor, Carmen Leal and her team that specialize in Real Estate Vancouver and have qualified Buyers that are looking for a home in your area!   604.218.4846 & www.carmenleal.ca


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      This communication is not intended to induce breach of existing listing agreement.

Thursday, 26 December 2019

10 Yoga Poses For A Happy Holiday Season



Whether you're a yoga teacher looking to bring a bit of Christmas sparkle to your classes, a parent who wants a fun way to keep the kids active over the holiday season, a yogi who wants to inject a bit of festive spirit into your practice, or anyone just interested in seeing what kind of Christmas-y shapes they can pull with their body, then these poses are a great place to start.

Whether it’s flexibility, core strength, or balance, each pose provides a different challenge, so approach them all with a playful attitude and use your imagination to see if you can create any other festive poses.


1. Christmas Tree

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Begin standing with your feet together and come up onto your toes. Slowly lower yourself down into a squat, squeezing your buttocks to open your hips as wide as you can. Lift your arms above your head and join your palms. Hold for 5-10 breaths.

2. Dancer

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Bend your right leg behind you and take hold of the outside edge of your right foot of ankle with your right hand. Gradually press your foot into your hand, extending your spine and reaching your left hand to the sky. Hold for 5-10 breaths, release your leg and repeat on the other side.

3. Prancer

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Begin on all fours, bring your forearms to the floor and straighten your legs. Raise one leg at a time so that you're balancing on your forearms, and then bend one leg forward and one back so they look like reindeer horns. Hold for 5-10 breaths, release slowly and repeat with your legs the other way around

4. Star

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Begin in a high plank position and lift your right arm and right leg. Keep your hips lifted and buttocks squeezed. Hold for 5-10 breaths, release back to plank and repeat on the other side.

5. Partridge In A Pear Tree

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Bring your right foot up to rest on your inner left thigh or bring the leg behind the shin. Bring your arms across your chest to left side, interlock your thumbs, and spread your fingertips to make a bird shape. Hold for 5-10 breaths.

6. Roast Turkey

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Start in a crouched position with your forearms on the ground in front of you. Snuggle your knees into your armpits, engage your core, and lift your toes off the floor. Balance here for 5-10 breaths and lower yourself back down to the ground.

7. Candy Cane

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Stand with your feet together, hands raised about your head in prayer position and fold to the right. Aim to keep your elbows glued to your ears and shoulders relaxed. Hold for 5-10 breaths, come back to center on an inhale and repeat on the left.

8. Snow Plow


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Begin lying on your back and bring your toes up and over your head and your hands to your lower back. See if you can touch your toes on the floor, or if not, just keep your legs parallel to the ground. Try releasing your arms to the mat, keeping most of the weight in your shoulders. Hold for up to 3 minutes, return your hands to your back and slowly lower yourself to the ground.

9. Snowball


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Begin in Snow Plow pose and bend your knees to rest on your forehead with your toes pointed to the sky. Slowly wrap your arms around your legs, keeping your weight in your shoulders or go to advanced level and repeat the pose as shown on the picture above. Hold for up to 3 minutes, bring your hands to your lower back and roll back down to the ground.

10. Prayer


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Join your palms behind your back, letting your shoulders roll forward if need be. If you can’t quite reach, bring the backs of your hands together or take hold of your wrists, drawing your shoulder blades toward the midline. Hold for 10 breaths.

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Are you interested in selling or buying your home in the next few months? Work with award winning realtor, Carmen Leal and her team that specialize in Real Estate Vancouver and have qualified Buyers that are looking for a home in your area!   604.218.4846 & www.carmenleal.ca

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      This communication is not intended to induce breach of existing listing agreement.

Wednesday, 18 December 2019

Christmas Appetizers for your house party!!!


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Christmas party is the feast everyone looks forward to all year long. Serve your loved ones the ultimate holiday spread with these delicious appetizers, drinks, sides, and desserts - if you do, we guarantee they'll be back again next year.



1. Cranberry Brie Biscuit Dip

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This creamy, cheesy appetizer just may steal the show from your Christmas ham. 


2. Deviled Eggs

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These easy-to-make apps have all the holiday flavors you crave:, like smoked paprika, bacon, and fresh green herbs.


3. Antipasto Squares

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Combine all of your favorite antipasto pieces into one delicious appetizer.


4. Feta and Spinach Tartlets


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These savory tartlets are inspired by flavors of the Mediterranean. Reminiscent of Greek spanakopita, they combine spinach, feta cheese, and fresh dill for a crunchy phyllo dough shell.


5. Roasted Tomato and Garlic Tart

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Made from layers of rolled and folded dough, these puff pastries are buttery and flaky and can rise to eight times its original thickness. For this tasty tart, you can also cut it into smaller bites to create a party-ready appetizer.
6. Stuffed Shells

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Paired with a creamy b├ęchamel sauce, these stuffed shells are sure to make their way into your regular dinner rotation, but you should definitely add them to your holiday spread this year.
Get recipe here


7. Italian Roasted Mushrooms and Veggies

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Get your fix of veggies with this Italian-style baked side dish. With cauliflower, tomatoes, and cremini mushrooms, this dish is full of flavor and texture.
Get recipe here



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Are you interested in selling or buying your home in the next few months? Work with award winning realtor, Carmen Leal and her team that specialize in Real Estate Vancouver and have qualified Buyers that are looking for a home in your area!   604.218.4846 & www.carmenleal.ca

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      This communication is not intended to induce breach of existing listing agreement.

Tuesday, 17 December 2019

15 Perfect Couple Gifts for Christmas

Christmas shopping for one person can be hard enough. Finding the perfect gift for two… definitely harder. To start, think about how long this couple has been together, whether or not they live together and what types of things they enjoy doing. From there, all that’s left to do is browse through these handpicked gift guides for couple-friendly presents that they’ll love.


1. Set of 2 30 oz Stainless Steel Tumblers

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If they both start their day with java, try His and Hers tumblers for coffee lovers on the go - Shop Here


2. Wicker Picnic Basket


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Here's an all-in-one pack to enjoy the perfect picnic: just add treats, sweets, and a bottle of wine - Shop Here


3. Personalized Galvanized Beverage Tub


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This galvanized iron bucket will get plenty of use displaying beer, wine, or water for all their gatherings - Shop Here


4. Personalized Family Name Embroidery
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This vintage home decor looks anything but old or out of style - Shop Here


5. Chocolate & Wine Pairing Set


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They can play sommelier at their next date night by learning proper chocolate and wine pairings - Shop Here


6. Open-Minded Couple Mugs

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These adorable clay mugs also make great engagement gifts for couples - Shop Here


7. Metal Monogram Ornament

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Monogrammed ornaments prove to be a foolproof Christmas gift for couples - Shop Here


8. Forever Together Photo Coasters

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These marble coasters capture moments in polaroid style, also making it a perfect wedding gift for couples - Shop Here



9. Polaroid Snap Instant Digital Camera

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This Amazing Camera will catch the best moments and make so much fun - Shop Here


10. Indoor Herb Growing Kit

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Let their green thumb grow (and their cooking dishes prosper)


11. Himalayan Salt Tequila Set

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These Himalayan salt shot glasses and cutting board set look pretty in use or on display - Shop Here


12. Monopoly Game: Rustic Series Edition


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Your favorite childhood game gets a rustic update with a wooden box set and brass game pieces - Shop Here


13. Scratch the World Travel Map



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If your friends are travelers - that is exciting gift for them - Shop Here


14. Spa Gift Card (like Scandinave Spa - Whistler)

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Soaking in soothing outdoor warm and cold baths with refreshing waterfalls can melt away the worst of situations.


15. Tickets for Event

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Are you interested in selling or buying your home in the next few months? Work with award winning realtor, Carmen Leal and her team that specialize in Real Estate Vancouver and have qualified Buyers that are looking for a home in your area!   604.218.4846 & www.carmenleal.ca


 Top-Vancouver-Realtor-Carmen-Leal

      This communication is not intended to induce breach of existing listing agreement.