Friday, December 30, 2011

A Dandy New Year

Looking for something bold to wear this New Year's Eve?! Take a look at Cotton Treats and choose how you want to ring in the new year!

My favorites so far of Founder, Diana Pham's collection include...

The Dominic

The Nathaniel

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Were you naughty…

and forgot to get something for your friends and neighbors this Christmas?

No worries, check out these adorable personalized “Happy Holidays” popcorn sets at Oriental Trading! I ordered several of these for myself to give to friends and neighbors and it was a big hit.

When it arrives, simply remove the personalized label and adhere it to the included popcorn bag…

and give out as an alternative to holiday cards, as a great stocking stuffer, or as a party favor!

Too late for the holidays? They are also great for 

Personalized Halloween Microwave Popcorn

12 Personalized Black & White Microwave Popcorn

12 Personalized Sweet Treat Microwave Popcorn
or family events!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Christmas Cakes

I enjoy baking and decorating a cake each year for our Christmas Dessert Party. Some of my past cakes include…


This year, in honor of our recent trip to Paris, I decided to try my hand at making a traditional Buche de Noel.

After finding a simple recipe on, I collected my ingredients and began making my “Magic Forest Yule Log Cake.”

While the mixing and baking part was simple, I was a little nervous about rolling my completed cake. I had 30 people coming to our house that night, what if it crumbled to pieces?! Just in case, I had Brian at the ready to make an emergency cake run to the store.

Thankfully, just as the recipe said, it rolled beautifully and I was ready to begin decorating.

To begin, I sliced the cupcakes (made with the same batter) at an angle to use as cut-off branches. I then iced my cake with the homemade chocolate icing and placed the cupcakes on the “log.”

Once, the limbs were in place, I began scoring the icing with a fork to create a bark effect.

photo 3
After finishing the cake, I turned my attention to making some decorative mushrooms. To create my mushrooms, I used white chocolate malted milk balls and mini marshmallows.

photo 4
Cutting the milk balls in half, I “glued” the mini marshmallows onto the “mushroom cap” and then placed them around my cake.

To complete the look, I decorated the cake with fresh holly and greenery from around the garden.

photo 5
When ready to serve, sift some confectionery sugar on the top of the Buche de Noel to create a soft snow effect.

The results are a delicious and beautiful cake to warmly greet your guests. 

Happy Holidays!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Center of Attention…

After I finished decorating our living room for Christmas… with lots of glitter and gold…it was time for the Dandy to give our dining room a little holiday cheer. 

Everything is so shiny!!
I desired a fun…and of course golden…centerpiece for the dining room table, so off I went to take an inventory of the house to collect items that I thought might make an interesting centerpiece.

Out of the various odds and ends I discovered around the house, I chose a pair of silver candlesticks, a large silver tray, two glamorous reindeer and a rich golden table runner.

Using the runner as my base, I placed the silver tray in the center, set the two reindeer on top and scattered faux snow among their hooves. I then placed the silver candlesticks on either side and…instead of using traditional white candlesticks…added black tapered candles for a glamorous edge.

Once I hung wreaths on our French doors, and gave Diana, the Huntress, a little evergreen crown, the dining room was ready to greet our guests!


Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Christmas at Your Fingertips…2.0

Last week, I posted about my Dandy idea of putting all of our indoor Christmas lights on remote controlled outlets.

Reading the article, you may have asked yourself, “Where does the Dandy keep all of those remotes?” After all, one doesn’t want to clutter up their coffee table…where ever would one set their drink?!

Thankfully, I found this faux book box that neatly holds all of our remotes.

ahhh....a place for everything...
Now, they are discreetly out of the way, but always close at hand.

remote book
and everything in it's place

Find your faux book boxes here!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Christmas at Your Fingertips

This past summer, as my readers may remember, I purchased two remote controlled outlets for our water fountains. This ingenious device enabled us to turn our fountains on and off without having to climb into the bushes to unplug them. 

In true Dandy fashion, as we were winterizing our fountains, I realized that the remote controlled outlets would be perfect for our indoor Christmas lights.

Before, on a cold winter evening...when I wanted a little Christmas warmth, I would have to walk over to the tree and turn on those lights, then walk over to the mantel and turn those lights on. Finally, I would then turn each of our individual lamps on around the room. It was a hassle…. But never fear, the Dandy is here! Now with a simple click of a button, all my Christmas lights come on in a glorious instant.
After! It's very exciting!
Now thanks to this Dandy idea, there’s more time for Christmas cheer!!

Purchase your set of remote controlled outlets here!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

The Christmas Fluffer…

What any good Christmas tree needs is a good fluffing.

This past weekend, my husband and I put up our Christmas tree. Brian was anxious to put together all the layers of our faux tree and begin decorating. However, as I patiently explained to him, each branch needs to be fluffed in order to create a beautiful tree…and the time to do this is before you place each layer on top of the other. That way you can get to the back branches with less difficulty.

Now, you may not think the back branches are that important as no one will see them up against the wall. However, when properly fluffed these branches help to make your tree look more dense and full. 

Unfluffed :(

Fluffed and ready to go!

Fluffed properly each branch will stand up and make your tree look thick and full!

When putting up your own faux tree, don’t forget that fluffing is the most important job of all!

Friday, December 2, 2011

FRM...The December Issue

The December issue of Front Row Monthly is out! Check out the Domestic Dandy's article and while you're there read up on Holiday must-haves, Crazy Hot Clothes and Men's Fashion.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

It’s that time of year…

I love decorating for the holidays. The greenery, the sparkling decorations and the lush accessories make a wonderful glowing home for the holidays.

This past Sunday, I began decorating our home. Unfortunately, after 3 hours I didn’t get much further than my mantel...but isn’t that why we begin decorating so early for the holidays… so we can get everything just so!

This year I really wanted a lush look for our mantel, complete with greenery cascading down the sides of our fireplace. Unfortunately, none of our garlands were long enough to create the desired effect. I didn’t want to purchase new greenery, so after a consultation with the husband, we decided to snip one of our pre-existing garlands in half with wire cutters and attach each of those ends to our smaller garland to create a long luxurious look.

Once, the greenery was in place, I began adding golden apples and ornaments to the garland to add some glitter and gold. I loved the look, but it needed something to give it texture and depth. To achieve this, I added pheasant feathers and pinecones.

The brilliant golden browns of the feathers work really well with the shine of the gold ornaments and the gleam of the golden apples and adds a warm and natural touch.

When I was satisfied with the garland, I added golden glass candlesticks and orbs to catch the light and captivate the eye.

Note: To give myself enough room to place items on the mantel, I wired the garland to the front of the mantel using small nails and floral wire. This gives you a nice wide flat surface to work with.

To complete the look, I added classic urns filled with pheasant feathers at the base of each side of the hanging garland and hung strings of golden beads under the mantel.

Now that the mantel is complete, I’ll sip some wine in front of the fire and think about my plans for the rest of our home!
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