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Holiday Magic: Get Your Mind Ready!!


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Welcome to the blog!!


If you're new here...welcome!! If you're a seasoned reader...I am finally settled into a good flow. Thanks for bearing with me as I was navigating through my visions across the year. I have settled into a groove now...so life is good and all is well. Stability...is something that we all grow into. Christmas is one of my favorite times of the year, and I really take the time regardless of budget...to enjoy the season. One of my favorite things to do, is to add personal touches to my activities, in order to make the holiday special. Making gift baskets is something that I started doing way back in high school. All those bake sales somehow birth your inner event planner and decorator.


In today's article...we're going to create a gift basket...and start stocking our bars for the holidays. If you don't drink...don't worry...next week...I'll stock a non-alcoholic bar. Walking around any supermarket...the drink options cover all tastes...so I'm trying where possible to include the peripheries of the millennial woman. For those who love to create like me...let's get started.



Exhibit A above...is our beautiful demo basket. In reality, this is last year's Christmas basket, so I recreated some of the elements that I utilized in creating this package. In last year's blog, I'd indicated that at some point...my family did the all out Christmas...but since we've grown and some of us as children have moved out...we currently celebrate the toned down version of Christmas. When I have my family...I'll replicate the grander events (I even want to do a family Christmas at Disney...lol) As I was given...so shall I give.


For now though...Christmas decorations are simple lights on the living room bay window, sprigs of willow practically everywhere... and the Christmas presents are laid there and on the living room coffee table. We do poinsettias everywhere...so there are still elements of the season without the previous fuss. In the middle of the presents, I do my gift basket. This basket is an element that just adds a special touch, and allows all of us to be treated.


My demo above...was recreated by what was in the bar and pantry. To give you a fair idea of what I placed in it:


1) One case of Appleton Rum (more details below)

2) One pack of chocolates (Toblerone always works. Since it's Christmas I tend to go for glitz...so while I love Cadbury's for everyday...I tend to go for packaging that is gold or silver at Christmas). Additionally, I do for things like Butterscotch which are always cute...and always affordable.

3) Fancy Teas: Celestial Seasonings or similar brands won't fail you in this regard. They tend to have products that I absolutely love. Things like blueberry tea, or any sweet tea that resembles wine is always good for Christmas. If I can...I'll check what's in stock at Megamart, and feature them on the blog in the weeks to come. As it gets colder... (and yes...even though I'm currently in Jamaica...I'm in the hills and am "freezing" up here)...things like hot cocoa and pumpkin spice lattes are always welcome.

4)Something for the household: Towels and kitchen items are always welcome. Last year, I'd gotten some gardening gloves and placed them in the basket as well. They are still brand new...in 2019...so I feel like I'll claim them. I'd gotten black and silver towels for the downstairs powder room. The kitchen towels above are a demo.

5) In the bottom right nook of the basket is some ground coffee. I'm in coffee central...so always include this in my gifting. Additionally, you can do things like place some really nicely packaged spices. In Jamaica...from time to time, I get things like Jerk Seasoning, and jams for pretty good prices. Additionally, if you're in places like the UK...the really large Tescos have these types of items in their International Food section. When I was in Leeds, I got my Christmas items from Tesco.


Of course...I arranged the items nicely, wrapped the basket in a clear and gold wrapping, a gold bow...and we were good to go!!! It was the perfect center piece for the window. This year...I'll do another basket, but change the colour scheme. Now back to the rum!!!


The Estate Daiquiri

Ingredients:

1 ½ parts Appleton Estate Reserve Blend

1 part fresh lime juice

1/6 part simple syrup

Garnish: Orange peel or lime


Serve: Shake all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice and strain into a chilled Coupette or martini glass.



I do endorse drinking responsibly. Those who know me know that I can't really manage more than 2-3 drinks in a night (just enough to get the buzz)...and I love including alcohol in my menu if I'm hosting an event. #DrinkResponsibly. Expanding on the internals of the basket, I thought now would be a good time to showcase the first item in my 2019 Gift Guide - Appleton Rums. They say that we are drawn to attractive packaging...and yours truly is that woman who embodies that. I love for everything to be well put together. The bottle alone with a color coordinated bow is enough...lol. When it comes to Jamaican alcohol, yours truly grew to love the Appleton Estate Rums. Appleton has their factory out in St Elizabeth as mentioned in a previous blog article, and visitors and locals have the option to tour the facilities.


Through the years...Appleton rebranded their image, and came out with this gorgeous packaging, which the household recycles after we have finished a bottle. The tin to the left now houses ground coffee. With different options available for gifting...you have the option of giving your loved ones either the Reserve (Gold and White), the Estate 21 year rum (Blue) or the Estate 12 - The Rare Blend. I threw in the Amaretto bottles for aesthetic. I'm sure we're not the only household who can't throw these away.


As the season unfolds, I thought I'd restore the root of my channels and focus on the more fun things in life. I tend to visualize the year...and with about six weeks away till Christmas, I've decided to start envisioning what you'd appreciate in your homes for your Christmas tables and households.


Have a good weekend!! Like NappyFu said..."Y'all know I'm shameless!!". Here's some shameless Christmas music for you to listen to. There was a movie I watched recently where one of the actors asked..."Who was N Sync?"


XOXO

**Dr T**


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