Monday, December 30, 2013

2 Sisters & A Brother

The Christmas holidays for 2013 are over, but  oh the memories that were created in every family!

I received this today, and it warmed my heart to see little Ben, Lily and Evie all dressed in their Christmas outfits from Adorable Baby Clothing.

Ben is wearing the Red Plaid Vest and Pant Set (LTC565) which comes in sizes 6-12M up to a Boys 7.  It's an awesome little set that includes everything except your little guy. 

Lily and Evie are wearing the coordinating traditional styled Red Plaid Dress (LTC813) that has a gorgeous black velvet sash at the waist and comes in sizes from 4 to size 12.  

Both the vest set and dresses are also available in a green plaid.  No matter the occasion, at Adorable Baby Clothing, you'll find a large selection of clothing for both boys and girls that can be color coordinated or uniquely their own.  Every season brings a new array of amazing suits and dresses.

We invite you to come and visit the site, to see for yourself how dressing your little ones 'picture perfect' can be so easy!  Click here to visit now  Adorable Baby Clothing.
You can also preview our line at one of our new videos below!

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Introducing another of our new videos - "Timeless Boys Suits"

We're proud to introduce another of our new videos, and we're already planning for the next one!  

However.....we need pictures........
so, if you've purchased one of our suits 
for your little guy, send us a picture 
and we'll feature him in our next video!

Then, you can download the video and have a keepsake of your little guy all dressed up!  

We'll also send you a Gift Certificate 
for $10.00, to spend on our website.

Friday, December 27, 2013 Video - Be In Our Next One!

We're proud to introduce our first video, and we're already planning for the next one!  

However.....we need pictures........
so, if you've purchased one of our suits 
for your little guy, send us a picture 
and we'll feature him in our next video!

Then, you can download the video and have a keepsake of your little guy all dressed up!  

We'll also send you a Gift Certificate 
for $10.00, to spend on our website.

What's the Strongest Muscle in Your Body?

Depending on your level of physical fitness, the answers to the question would all be the can that be!?  The answer is quiet simple.......the strongest muscle in your body is your tongue.  It has the ability to make grown men cry.....make incredible women give up and declare defeat.......and change a young child from a happy, optimist, who doesn't  know any limits, into a timid defeated creature that has given up before their lives have even begun. 
Since it's the end of the year, I've been thinking about the old "new year's resolution" know where we all come up with a list of things we rarely achieve.  Then it dawned on me that if we could/would each learn to tame our tongues when we speak we could literally change the world.  We have the choice to praise, curse, heal or harm and it boils down to each of us choosing what we will use our words for.  Every day of our lives, our words have a power over others, and we can use that power to build up lives, or tear them down.

There are many of us who do not realize the affect our words have on the lives of other people.....even when we don't mean to be mean.  Then there are those who masterfully use their words to hurt or demoralize others to intentionally destroy the other person. It's a way of maintaining their own self-righteous power, or keeping others away so their frailities aren't seen.  No matter the reason, it's unwarranted, and like a double edged sword cuts both ways.

This new year is about the embark, so why not make a resolution to change how you speak to others.  It is a matter of the will, and choosing to use your words carefully and to enrich lives rather than tear them down.  In the end, we are all flawed, and in the end we all have the ability to be someone others admire rather than despise.

 Posted first on Blog


Tuesday, December 24, 2013

A Christmas Challenge

Last night a dear friend of mine and I attended the pre-Christmas eve service at the church we attend.  Our pastor just lost his son about 2-weeks ago, and was able to find the will and strength to be there and lead the service.  It was nothing short of awe inspiring to see this man after suffering such  devastation just a short time ago.  Of course, Dr. Hunter has always been an inspiring person to us all, and every week he preaches we walk away feeling renewed and ready to take on the challenges that we'll each face in the coming week.

Afterwards my friend Judie and I decided to get dinner together.  We were sitting on the patio of the restaurant we'd chosen and were just finishing our meal, talking over Christmas plans with our families, when a lady slowly walked up to us.  She asked in a very quiet voice if we could spare a dollar.  Judie and I both looked at each other, and at first we were both trying to find a reason not to give her anything, and then we both handed her a few dollars.  I think it was Judie, who asked her if she was hungry and if we could buy her dinner.  

The lady refused at first, and then she paused saying, "Will "they" bother me?"  I think what she meant, is will the restaurant management make her leave.  That broke my heart for her.  She wasn't dressed very well, her clothes stained and looking soiled.....her hair a bit unkempt.......but a face so beautiful.  We both assured her they would not, and insisted we buy her dinner.  

 We escorted her into the restaurant, and let her pick what she wanted......she appeared a little over-whelmed at being able to choose whatever she wanted.......but finally settled on a ham and cheese sandwich with a bowl of pasta.  We sat with her trying to make small talk as she took a few bites, and then suddenly she asked if she could take her food and leave.  Not wanting to make her feel uncomfortable, we got the food boxed  for her, (Judie even went and bought a dessert for her to take).  As she rose to leave, she thanked us, and then we both hugged her, wishing her a merry Christmas, watching as she left in the dark......

My point in even writing this is to  first admit that initially I didn't want to give this total stranger money, much less buy her a meal.  I have to be honest......panhandling in Florida gets a little crazy, especially this time of year.  However, it was something I could do, and it is not up to me to worry about whether the woman's need was real......for Judie and I, it was a random act of kindness that presented itself to us, and we both felt it was such a tiny request, we could not ignore or refuse it.

 My challenge for all of you who may read this, is to find one person today.....maybe someone you know, or even don't know, and do something of kindness for that person.  We have no idea what goes on in others lives, and your act of kindness may be the one little thing that gives them courage, or hope.  Be that light in someone's life have no idea how far it will shine.

 And to Siene......the beautiful lady I met last night.....thank you for giving me the opportunity to help in a very small way.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Last Minute Stocking Stuffer Ideas

 Where has the time gone!!??  Here we are....4-days until the great anticipated event and maybe like me, you've found yourself still lacking a few fabulous gifts to stuff those Christmas stockings.  The temptation is run to the local pharmacy or discount store and buy the really cheap stuff.  But wait!!  Why shouldn't the little gifts in those stockings be just as meaningful?  Here are some ideas that might help.......... most people love some kind of candy.  These days you can find everything from singles to bulk quantities of just about everything.  Consider buying a few of the singles (you know it always tastes better when there's a limited amount !) and put them scattered throughout the rest of the little gifts in the stocking?

 Miniatures..........I don't mean live things here!  How about miniature bottles of someones favorite liquor or liqueur?   If they are a cook, the little tiny bottles of wine or liqueurs can be just the thing they'll need for one of those fabulous recipes they make and invite you over to share!


Sparkly!  Who doesn't love something sparkly.........and the possibilities are endless--especially with all the sales going on right now.  Look for something unusual (not white elephant gift unusual!) and wrap it to put in the stocking.

Something to wear.........okay, this is where you put the socks and scarves!  Even in  Florida, we have a few days every year where a scarf is a must have, or gloves or fabulous warm socks.  Choose according to the personality of the person you're giving to, and it's sure to be a hit.

Beautification know they say, you can never have too much money, or too much fingernail polish or lipstick!  I'd think the lipstick is kind of hard to buy unless you know exactly what that woman wears, but fingernail polish......the sky's the limit.  There's every color in the world available, and here's a great opportunity to give them something they might not buy for themselves.

Travel sized games........these are great for the person who's on the go and may end up sitting in a terminal somewhere killing time.  They're easy to stuff in a purse or pocket, and great when you are bored out of your mind.......and again, these days there seems to be a pocket size version of so many games.  This is also a great way to maybe share a gift certificate for a game app for their smart phone or I-Pad or Kindle!

Gift Certificates.......I know, I know.......the poor gift certificate gets "poo-pooed" a lot, but honestly, what a great way to give something they can use to buy what they want!  Just be careful that if you choose this option, you know what the exchange policies are, and whether or not there's an expiration date.  You can always include these details in a little note with the GC.

Perfumes & Colognes........if you know the kind they love then get one of the little bottles of their favorite scent and wrap it up.  Also, most major perfume companies sell a huge variety of scented accessories to go with their candles, body lotions, soaps......just amazes me how many ways these companies think of to sell their products to us!  But this is good at Christmas time because you can be creative...... a word of caution......most people are very particular about the scent they wear, so don't go buying some "new fabulous" smell just because the ad on tv told you to.......again......make it personal and stick with what you know they like! & Craft items........I can't think of a better way to tell someone how much you admire their talent in a particular hobby or craft, than by giving them something to help them when they're working on that project!  If they're into needlework, check out someone like TJBDesigns for accessories that will not only make the next project easier, but they'll be thinking of you when they're using it!  No matter what they love to do for a hobby or craft, this is the perfect opportunity to give a really special gift that they'll remember you always for.

The main thing is.........think outside the box when it comes to stocking stuffers.  Don't think $1.00 item necessarily, but rather "special & unique"!

Merry Christmas everyone!!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Flower Girls - Choosing the Perfect Dress for Her

Flower girls......who doesn't love them!  This is a special element to any wedding that brings the "ooo's and aww's" out, and a heart warming touch to the bridal party.  Choosing what she'll wear doesn't have to be difficult either....if you've chosen the right retailer!  At Adorable Baby Clothing, we offer some of the loveliest dresses, constructed with amazing details, high quality fabrics, and one of the largest array of sizes you'll find anywhere.  So we're confident when we say, we can dress them "picture perfect" for that special occasion.  

Whether you're having a traditional wedding, or one with a more contemporary theme, you want your flower girl to stand out in her starring role, but be comfortable in the dress she'll be wearing.  Keeping her age, size and height in mind, choose a dress that not only compliments your theme, but is age appropriate for her.  

Comfort -- Elements of the dress itself are important.  You need to know the dress is going to be comfortable, and that at the end of the wedding she's not going to be begging to take it off.  The flower girl dresses you'll find at Adorable Baby Clothing, have taken all that in consideration, from the types of fabrics, to the ever important construction details, to the sizing.  
  • You won't get a dress that's scratchy; 
  • you won't get a dress that's skimpy on details; and 
  • you most certainly won't get poor quality!  
Each dress is designed for style, but made to wear.   

  • Fabric -- The fabric is as important as the style too.  Depending on the climate where your wedding will be, and whether it's an outdoor wedding and reception, or indoor, you have to keep those details in mind when selecting the dress.  A nice element that can be added to virtually any dress, is a bolero style jacket that can be slipped over the dress if it gets chilly.  Our fabrics are all blends so they'll 
  • "move" with the little ones, 
  • hold their shape really well, and 
  • they're more resistant to wrinkling.  
Natural fibers are great, but on an occasion like this, you want her to look as good at the end, as she did when she walked down your aisle, and the cost factor can be significant.  Even the Shantung Silk fabrics are amazingly affordable, but give the look of the real thing.

Style -- Whether you're going to dress your flower girl as a "mini you", or choose something that is uniquely for her, keep the length of the dress and her age in mind.  The younger the flower girl, the safer you'll be with a tea-length or shorter dress.   Many brides choose flower girl dresses that are complimentary to their over-all theme, but there's really no rule that says you have to.  The flower girl can wear virtually anything you like, and sometimes a contrasting style adds that perfect 
"pop" to those ever important pictures.

Color --  Again, there is no rule about the color of a flower girl's dress.  Most brides seem to prefer white or ivory, but that shouldn't stop you from expressing your own preferences when choosing the perfect dress for your little ones.  At Adorable Baby Clothing, you'll find a wide variety of dresses that can even be customized to fit into the color scheme you've chosen.  Remember though.....adding that little touch of color doesn't have to be just a sash or can be the entire dress if you're comfortable with that. 

You're invited to come see for yourself, the amazing flower girl dresses 
at very affordable prices at Adorable Baby Clothing.  
Be sure to check out our amazing Flower Girl Baskets, and 
all the other accessories we have to complete her outfit perfectly.  
If you have questions about sizing,  quality, or colors, 
please don't hesitate to let us know via email 
at , 
or call us between 10AM-5PM EST at 407-252-8749.

Monday, December 16, 2013

No Matter How You Say It....It's A Merry Christmas!

 The holiday Christmas, is celebrated around the world.  Although every country has it's own traditional way of celebrating the holiday, for most children, it's a time of anticipation of what presents they'll get from good ole' Santa......for adults, it's a time of celebrations, remembrances, and anticipation of a new year beginning.  New clothes, presents, and foods we don't get on a regular basis, become the norm during the Christmas holidays!  Regardless of how you celebrate, I think it's great to know that the people of the world are linked together in so many ways.......not the least of them the Christmas holidays.

 Finland: 'Hyvää Joulua!'

Many Finns visit the sauna on Christmas Eve--which sounds like a great idea to me!  Families gather and listen to the national "Peace of Christmas" radio
broadcast. Another charming custom is  to visit the grave sites of departed family members.

Norway: 'Gledelig Jul!'

Ever wonder where the Yule log originated?  Norway!  The word "yule" came from the ancient Norse word "hweol, meaning wheel.  They believed the sun was a great wheel of fire that rolled away and towards the earth, causing the seasons to change, and used in in their celebration of the return of the sun at the winter solstice.

Central America

The primary decoration in most southern European, Central American, and South American nations is a manger scene.  The first living nativity in 1224 to help explain the birth of Jesus to his followers was created by St. Francis of Assisi.

Greece: 'Kala Christouyenna!'

In Greece, many people believe in kallikantzeri, goblins that appear to cause mischief during the 12 days of Christmas. Gifts are usually exchanged on January 1, St. Basil's Day. 
The kallikantzaroi spend most of their time in a kind of subterranean limbo chopping away at a tree that only has the job of holding up the entire world. There must be something about the spirit of Christmas that drives the kallikantzaroi crazy  because during the 12 Days of Christmas these goblins rise above the surface of the Earth. Oddly, this takes place just about the time that they are almost about to slice through that tree and it is this nearly fortnight-long celebration of the birth of Christ that actually renews the tree!  A Christmas baby for the Greeks meant that conception occurred around March 25. March 25 is the Day of Annunciation or when the angel appeared to the Virgin Mary to inform her she would be bearing Jesus. They believed there was a very distinct danger that a child born on Christmas could become a kallikantzaroi.  Extreme steps were taken to protect the baby unfortunate enough to be born on the Day of Annunciation. Greek parents actually strapped down their newborn babies with garlic cloves tied together, and then singed their toenails to obstruct their infants from turning into a kallikantzaroi.  Well.......that would be enough for me to move to another country!



Ukraine: 'Srozhdestvom Kristovym!'

In the Ukraine, families prepare a traditional twelve-course meal. A family's youngest child watches through the window for the evening star to appear, a signal that the feast can begin.



Germany: 'Froehliche Weihnachten!'

A part of the German winter solstice tradition has always included decorating evergreen trees. The first "Christmas trees" explicitly decorated and named after the Christian holiday, appeared in Strasbourg, in Alsace in the beginning of the 17th century.  In the 1820s, the first German immigrants decorated Christmas trees in Pennsylvania. Once Germany's Prince Albert married Queen Victoria, he introduced the Christmas tree tradition to England. Finally, in 1848, the first American newspaper carried a picture of a Christmas tree and the custom spread to nearly every home in just a few years.

Mexico: 'Feliz Navidad!'

An American minister to Mexico, Joel R. Poinsett, brought a red-and-green plant from Mexico to America in 1828 . The new holiday plants, which were called poinsettias after Poinsett, began appearing in greenhouses as early as 1830. In 1870, New York stores began to sell them at Christmas. Because of their red flower and dark green leaves, they quickly became a universal symbol of the holiday by 1900.  Paper mache sculptures called pinatas are filled with candy and coins and hung from the ceiling throughout Mexico. Children then take turns hitting the pinata until it breaks, sending a shower of treats to the floor. Children race to gather as much of of the loot as they can.

England: 'Merry Christmas!'

 England is a country known for it's long standing traditions.  Americans have adopted many of them.

  • An Englishman named John Calcott Horsley helped to popularize the tradition of sending Christmas greeting cards when he began producing small cards featuring festive scenes and a pre-written holiday greeting in the late 1830s.
  • During holidays in the Victorian era, the English would hang sprigs of mistletoe from ceilings and in doorways. If someone was found standing under the mistletoe, they would be kissed by someone else in the room, behavior not usually demonstrated in Victorian society.
  • Plum pudding is an English dish dating back to the Middle Ages. Suet, flour, sugar, raisins, nuts, and spices are tied loosely in cloth and boiled until the ingredients are "plum," meaning they have enlarged enough to fill the cloth. It is then unwrapped, sliced like cake, and topped with cream.
  • Caroling also began in England. Wandering musicians would travel from town to town visiting castles and homes of the rich. In return for their performance, the musicians hoped to receive a hot meal or money.
  • In the United States and England, children hang stockings on their bedpost or near a fireplace on Christmas Eve, hoping that it will be filled with treats while they sleep.  This tradition can be traced to legends about Saint Nicholas. One legend tells of three poor sisters who could not marry because they had no money for a dowry. To save them from being sold by their father, St. Nick left each of the three sisters gifts of gold coins. One went down the chimney and landed in a pair of shoes that had been left on the hearth. Another went into a window and into a pair of stockings left hanging by the fire to dry.

France: 'Joyeux Noël!'

In France, Christmas is called Noel. This comes from the French phrase les bonnes nouvelles, which means "the good news" and refers to the gospel.  In southern France, some people burn a log in their homes from Christmas Eve until New Year's Day. This stems from an ancient tradition in which farmers would use part of the log to ensure good luck for the next year's harvest.




Italy: 'Buon Natale!'

Italians call Chrismas Il Natale, meaning "the birthday."  Babbo Natale (Father Christmas) gives presents on the main day for gift giving which is Epiphany on January 6, the 12th day of Christmas when the three Wise Men gave Baby Jesus their gifts.  Presents are brought by La Befana, who arrives in the night to fill children's stockings.   A long standing Italian tradition is a meatless dinner is eaten on Christmas eve with the family, followed in many places by a living nativity scene and midnight mass. In many parts of southern Italy a seven fishes dinner is the tradition served on Christmas Eve. Bonfires are often held on Christmas Eve in the main square of town, especially in mountain areas. Dinner on Christmas day is usually meat based.

You're invited to visit Adorable Baby Clothing to see what beautiful high quality clothing we offer for any special occasion you may be celebrating with your little ones.  Whether it's a suit for the little guy, or a beautiful dress for your little princess, you're sure to find the picture perfect outfit for them.   As always, we offer FREE Shipping on any minimum order of just $50.00, within the USA.
If you have questions, please don't hesitate to contact us at, 
or call between 10AM-5PM EST 
at 407-252-8749

Friday, December 13, 2013

Do You Believe in Santa Claus?

Regardless of how you think of Santa Claus, he does have a history....and an interesting one at that!  His early beginning can be traced by as early as 280A.D., in an area called Patara, which is now what we call Turkey.  Back then his name was officially St. Nicholas, and legend told of his great kindness.  He supposedly inherited a great deal of wealth, and gave it away to the poor and sick around his countryside.  Eventually his legend grew to establish him as the protector of children and sailors.  Supposedly he died on December 6, and this was the day originally set to celebrate the anniversary of his death.  Even after the Reformation, St. Nicholas was revered, and no more so than in Holland.

Fast forward to 1773.......and St. Nicholas began making his debut in the New World.  A New York newspaper reported that groups of Dutch people were gathering together to celebrate the anniversary of his death.   By 1804, St. Nicholas's name had evolved into Sinter Klaas (Dutch for Saint Nicholas) to the name we know so well today, Santa Claus.  The first known gifts given in America were from John Pintard, a member of the New York Historical Society.  He handed out woodcuts of St. Nicholas at the society's annual meeting. The backgrounds of these engravings contained familiar Santa images including stockings filled with toys and fruit hung over a fireplace. Then in 1809, Washington Irving helped to popularize the Sinter Klaas stories when he referred to St. Nicholas as the patron saint of New York in his book, The History of New York.

Following is a time line of historically significant influences of Santa Claus here in America:

1620 - The English separatists in America were so orthodox in their Puritan beliefs that from
1659-1681, you were fined five shillings if you celebrated Christmas in Boston.  Maybe this is where Ebenezer Scrooge got his beginnings!

In contrast, the settlement of Jamestown actually openly celebrated the season. 

1820 - Stores in America began to advertise "Christmas" shopping

1822 -  Clement Clarke Moore, an Episcopal minister, wrote a long Christmas poem for his three daughters entitled "An Account of a Visit from St. Nicholas."

1840 - American newspapers began to creating separate sections for holiday advertisements, which often featured images of the newly-popular Santa Claus

1841 -  Thousands of children visited a Philadelphia shop to see a life-size Santa Claus model

Early 1890s -  The Salvation Army needed money to pay for the free Christmas meals they provided to needy families. They began dressing up unemployed men in Santa Claus suits and sending them into the streets of New York to solicit donations.  Also in the 1890s Christmas ornaments were arriving from Germany and Christmas tree popularity was on the rise around the U.S.

1914 -  During World War I, on and around Christmas Day 1914, the sounds of rifles firing and shells exploding faded in a number of places along the Western Front in favor of holiday celebrations in the trenches and gestures of goodwill between enemies.

1931 - The first Christmas tree was erected by construction workers in the center of construction of the Rockefeller Center in New York. 


1939 - Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer appeared on the scene!  Robert L. May, a copywriter at the
Montgomery Ward department store.  He wrote a Christmas-themed story-poem to help bring holiday traffic into his store. Using a similar rhyme pattern to Moore's "'Twas the Night Before Christmas,"

Over the years retailers and people have adapted and capitalized on the spirit of Santa Claus and Christmas.  Perhaps the most important thing to remember is the spirit of St. to others in need.  Too often we make the mistake of thinking we have to spend, spend, spend to make Christmas meaningful, when in fact, it should be a time of gathering together to celebrate the blessings we each have.    

So whether you believe there is a Santa Claus or not, in spirit I think there is.......
and the magic of the season isn't what we call it, but rather what we do with it!

The History Channel has more videos on various facets of Christmas and Santa Claus, 
and I've included the link to that page.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Holiday Drinks for Everyone!

Winter and the holidays brings a plethora of seasonal drinks everyone loves.  In this post you'll find a few of the favorites with the recipes to keep and share!  Some may be familiar, and some new, but there's something for everyone!
Enjoy & if you have a favorite, share with us!

Wassail Recipe  (The Original Recipe)
from The Williamsburg Cookbook

As traditional and familiar as most any English Christmas carol, the song is among the season's more anachronistic, an evocation of a holiday custom that pretty much puzzles modern celebrants: wassailing. 

For a complete history of how this came to be, visit here-->

(20 servings)

1 cup sugar
4 cinnamon sticks
3 lemon slices
2 cups pineapple juice
2 cups orange juice
6 cups dry red wine
½ cup lemon juice
1 cup dry sherry
2 lemons, sliced

Wassailing is an ancient English custom, part of the feasts and revelry of New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day, which have been revived in Colonial Williamsburg. The master of the English household drank to the health of those present with a bowl of spiced ale, and each in turn after him passed the bowl along and repeated the Saxon phrase “Wass hael,” which means “be whole” or “be well.”

Boil the sugar, cinnamon sticks, and 3 lemon slices in ½ cup of water for 5 minutes and strain. Discard the cinnamon sticks and lemon slices.

Heat but do not boil the remaining ingredients. Combine with the syrup, garnish with the lemon slices, and serve hot.

Hot Chocolate Ingredients
  • 2 cups Milk
  • 2 cups Half-and-half
  • 1 cup Good Semi Sweet Chocolate Chips
  • 1 teaspoon Sugar (optional)
  • VARIATIONS: Orange Rind, Orange Syrup, Cinnamon Sticks, Raspberry Syrup, Abuelita Chocolate, Mint Extract, Peppermint Patties, Whipped Cream, Chocolate Shavings (
  • See a full discussion at "The Pioneer Woman" )
Preparation Instructions
  • To make the basic hot chocolate, combine milk with half-and-half in a small saucepan. Warm over medium-low heat, then stir in chocolate chips. Stir until melted (though there will still be lovely particles of chocolate throughout.) If it's too chocolatey for you, splash in a little more milk. If it's not quite sweet enough for you, add 1 teaspoon sugar. Serve in mugs with whipped cream.
    Orange Hot Chocolate: Add 4 slices of orange rind as you warm the milk mixture. Add a splash of orange syrup if you have it, but it isn't necessary.
    Raspberry Hot Chocolate: Add 3 tablespoons raspberry syrup to the hot chocolate. Drop a couple of raspberries into each cup.
    Mint Hot Chocolate: Drop 1 to 2 miniature peppermint patties into each mug before adding hot chocolate. Stir to melt.
    Mexican Hot Chocolate: Substitute 2 discs of Abuelita chocolate for the chocolate chips. Simmer cinnamon sticks in the saucepan with the hot chocolate. Add 1 cinnamon stick to each mug before serving.
    Garnish any and all variations with whipped cream or chocolate shavings.

    Hot Apple Cider Recipe
    2 quarts 100% apple juice
    1/2 cup brown sugar
    1 apple, unpeeled and cut in half
    1 small naval orange, unpeeled and sliced into 1/4-inch slices
    2 tsp. whole clove
    2 cinnamon sticks
    1/2 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
                                                          1/2 tsp. allspice
    Directions Carefully insert the whole cloves into the apple on both the flesh and skin sides (see picture above).
    Heat apple juice over medium heat in a large pot or dutch oven. Once heated, add the brown sugar and stir to dissolve. Add the remaining ingredients. Bring to a simmer and let simmer for 15 minutes.
    Promptly remove the apple halves, orange slices, cinnamon sticks and any clove remnants from the pot.  Serve hot.

    You can see a full discussion of this recipe at "a sweet pea chef"

    Hot Buttered Rye


    • 1 cup heavy cream
    • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
    • 1/4 cup rye whiskey 
    • 6 tablespoons hot water
    • 2 tablespoons ginger liqueur
    • Freshly grated nutmeg


    1. Beat heavy cream and maple syrup with an electric mixer at medium speed 2 minutes or until consistency of softened butter. Cover and chill 1 to 24 hours. Pour rye whiskey, hot water, and ginger liqueur into a 6-oz. heatproof cup. Top with about 1/4 cup maple-cream mixture and freshly grated nutmeg.  

    Featured on Southern Living's My Recipes

    Merry Berry Christmas
    Make the kids feel like a part of the festivities with this mint and berry "mocktail." With fresh raspberries, blueberries, and blackberries, Merry Berry Christmas! party beverage is great in the summertime as well, but its vibrant red color makes it ideal for Christmas.


    • 5 fresh raspberries 
    • 4 fresh blueberries 
    • 2 fresh blackberries 
    • 1 1/2 tablespoons light agave nectar
    • 5 fresh mint leaves
    • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
    • 1 cup crushed ice
    • 6 tablespoons water
    • 2 tablespoons ginger ale 
    • Garnish: halved fresh raspberries and blackberries (optional) 


    1. Muddle 5 fresh raspberries, blueberries, 2 fresh blackberries, light agave nectar, mint leaves, and lime juice in a cocktail shaker. Stir in crushed ice and water. Cover with lid, and shake vigorously until thoroughly chilled (7 to 10 seconds). Pour mixture into a 16-oz. glass, and top with ginger ale. Garnish, if desired.  

    See this and more at Southern Living online
    Legend has it the Kahlúa Espresso Martini was created in the 1980s by a London cocktail guru late one night for a famous supermodel. The mixologist had the brilliant idea of combining a shot of espresso and vodka with our coffee and cane spirit to create a martini like no other. Perfect for a brunch with friends, an after-dinner cocktail or before a big night out.


    1 1/2 parts KAHLÚA
    1 part Absolut Vodka
                                      1 fresh brewed espresso

    How to mix it

    Fill a shaker with ice, add Kahlúa, Absolut Vodka and a fresh brewed espresso. Shake vigorously, and strain into a chilled martini glass.

    Pearman's Toddy 

    Laced with cinnamon, lemon, and Angostura bitters, this gin-based drink from Fletcher’s Brooklyn Barbecue is a brisk, warming twist on a toddy.

    Ingredients (MAKES ONE COCKTAIL)

    • 1½ cups sugar
    • 4 cinnamon sticks, plus one for garnish

    • 2 oz. gin
    • 1 oz. cinnamon simple syrup
    • ½ oz. lemon juice
    • Dash Angostura bitters


    1. Make the syrup: Combine 2 cups water, sugar, and 4 cinnamon sticks in a 2-qt. saucepan; simmer for 10 minutes until sugar has dissolved. Discard cinnamon sticks and set syrup aside. Makes about 1½ cups; syrup will keep, refrigerated, for up to two weeks.

    2. Make the cocktail: Heat gin, syrup, lemon juice, and 2 oz. water in a 2-qt. saucepan. Remove from heat and add bitters. Serve in a mason jar with a cinnamon stick as garnish.
    This recipe and more featured on Savuer

    Angel's Delight

    Cream, triple sec and gin combine for an interesting cocktail delight. The Angel's Delight is a wonderful dessert cocktail to serve at a dinner party. The one caution I have for this drink is to be sure not to over do it on the cream because just a little too much can easily ruin an otherwise great cocktail. The pale pink color is a result of the grenadine, which you can make your self.

    Prep Time: 3 minutes  Total Time: 3 minutes  Yield: 1 Cocktail



    1. Pour the ingredients into a shaker with ice cubes.
    2. Shake well.
    3. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass

    Find this recipe and more by mixologist Colleen Graham at

    Eggnog dates all the way back to the 17th century. In Britain, it was a drink for rich landowners, as they had access to milk and eggs from their farms that city dwellers in London didn’t have and couldn’t afford. The American colonists, however, had plentiful access to farms, and therefore milk and eggs, so the drink became more popular here and eventually transformed into a holiday staple.
    The following recipe can be used with any type of alcohol, though I don’t recommend clear liquors like vodka, gin, or light rum. A cup of dark or spiced rum, aged whiskey, or brandy (or combinations of them) all can make this drink shine.
    • 6 eggs
    • 3/4 cup of sugar
    • 1 quart of half & half
    • 1/2 cup bourbon
    • 1/2 cup brandy
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
    Separate the eggs, set whites aside. Beat the yolks with a mixer with 1/2 cup of the sugar, then stir in the half & half, bourbon, brandy, and nutmeg. In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites with 1/4 cup of sugar, until it thickens and you get “stiff peaks.” Fold the whites into the yolk/booze mixture, then refrigerate. When ready to serve, spoon into a mug and sprinkle nutmeg as a garnish.
    If you’re looking for a tasty variation on traditional eggnog, try the Tom and Jerry. It has nothing to do with the cartoon cat and mouse. Rather this classic drink was invented in 1821 by journalist Pierce Egan as a way to promote his book with one amazingly elongated title: Life in London: The Day and Night Scenes of Jerry Hawthorn, Esq. and His Elegant Friend Corinthian Tom, Accompanied by Bob Logic, The Oxonian, in their Rambles and Sprees through the Metropolis. Warm, whipped, and made with brandy and rum, the Tom and Jerry was a holiday staple and popular wintertime belly-warmer up through the 1950s. Because the batter that makes up its foundation is more difficult to produce in a pre-packaged, ready-to-serve form, it was supplanted by eggnog which could be easily sold at the local grocer (though you can sometimes still find Tom and Jerry batter for sale in the Upper Midwest). But if you’re looking for a unique and classic drink to offer your guests, it’s a recipe worth dusting off and serving up in its traditional vessel — a gold-rimmed mug emblazoned with the Tom and Jerry name.
    Obligatory warning about raw eggs: if you don’t want to use raw eggs, you can buy pasteurized eggs, which have all the scary bacteria neutralized. If you want to use raw eggs, use fresh, unblemished eggs with a thick shell.

    See this and more at "The Art of Manliness"