Where in Colorado? - Evergreen Crafters

Every year downtown Evergreen has a holiday walk. The cutest, happiest, most festive small town event EVER! The entire street is closed to traffic as Santa and Mrs. Claus arrive perched atop a fire truck with lights and sirens blazing. The choir sings as they light the huge Christmas tree and the walk has begun! Fire pits cozy up every chilly corner. Choirs and musicians sing their hearts out on every block. And twinkling lights illuminate the fantastic shops and restaurants along our quaint main street. 

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And look where I found my book! In Evergreen Crafters! The quintessential store for everything and anything Colorado! 

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I love shopping here because they have the sweetest staff and so many beautiful items. Stunning handmade jewelry by Colorado artisans. Colorado gourmet foods. Colorado souvenirs including T-shirts, sweatshirts and hoodies, ball caps, and PJs. Moccasins, candles, purses, stuffed animals, wind chimes, pottery, Christmas decor, and so much more! You are certain to find perfect gifts for so many on your list. Please tell those sweethearts I said, "Hi!," and happy shopping! 

Where In Colorado? - Mountain Daisy

Look who has my book! The fabulous Mountain Daisy in Evergreen, Colorado! 

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Need cute and sassy jeans? They have them!

Need tops for all your holiday parties? They have them! 

Need a cozy sweater to curl up in? They have it!

Need cute activewear to work off that milk and cookies? They have it!

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Mountain Daisy has a little of everything- clothing that fits an active mountain lifestyle, the cutting edge of women’s fashion trends, and, of course, my book! The Night Before Christmas in Ski Country!

Have fun shopping and please tell them I said "HI!"

Vanilla Poppy Seed Cupcakes with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting

These are the cupcakes I served at my Sparkle Party for my birthday. The lemon zest in the cream cheese frosting really highlighted the vanilla and poppy seeds in the cupcakes.

AND they were fabulous with champagne! :)

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Vanilla Poppy Seed Cupcakes

Makes approx. 36 mini-cupcakes
 
12 Tbsp Butter, unsalted, room temp
1 1/4 cup Sugar
2 1/2 cups High-Altitude Flour
1/2 tsp Baking Soda
3/4 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Salt
1 cup Skim Milk
1 Tbsp Vanilla Extract
3 Eggs
1 1/2 Tbsp Poppy Seeds

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare cupcake pan with liners. 
2. Cream butter and sugar in mixer until smooth and light. 
3. Mix in eggs, one at a time.
4. Mix flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Add 1/3 to bowl, and mix. 
5. Add vanilla to milk. Add 1/2 to bowl, and mix. 
6. Add 1/3 flour mixture and mix. Add rest of milk mixture and mix. Add rest of flour and mix well until all combined. 
7. Fold, or gently mix in poppy seeds. 
8. Bake 6-9 minutes.

Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting

1 stick Butter, unsalted, room temp
4 ounces Light Cream Cheese, room temp
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
2-3 cups Confectioner's Sugar
zest from 1 large lemon

Cream butter and cream cheese in mixer until smooth. Add vanilla. Slowly add sugar to taste. Use 3 cups if you like your icing sweeter. Add zest. 

A Sparkles & Champagne Birthday Party

You all know how much I LOVE birthdays! And that I always throw myself a party. Well, this year my hubby wanted in on the action. He debated making it a surprise, but since he knows how much I love planning a party, he asked for my help. 

This year was all about sparkles and champagne!

We used Paperless Post to design our own invitation using all our favorite sparkly quotes. We also printed them and scattered them on tables all around the party. They looked so festive with these fake icy crystals I got on Amazon

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We had two kinds of sparkles. Veuve Clicquot - my favorite champagne! And prosecco from Cupcake Vineyards. 

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We set up a prosecco bar with various juices, ginger beer, and sparkling water. 

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As well as fresh mint, raspberries, blackberries, limes, lemons, and fresh lavender (not pictured).

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We foods that pair well with champagne like shrimp cocktail, BBQ chicken (weird but true!), sweet and sour meatballs, artichoke-spinach dip, and a couple of platters with various cheeses, crackers, grapes, marcona almonds, figs, and dried apricots. And we made these Vanilla Poppy Seed Cupcakes with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting (RECIPE) which paired deliciously!

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The party was sparkly! Our friends were sparkly! And now I have beautiful, happy, sparkly birthday memories. What more could a birthday girl ask for?  :)

FOODS to SERVE with CHAMPAGNE

Shrimp
BBQ Chicken and potato rolls
Sweet and Sour Meatballs
Artichoke-Spinach dip
Platters with various cheeses and crackers, grapes, marcona almonds, figs, and dried apricots
Dark-Chocolate covered Almonds
Spring Rolls
Sushi
Sweet Potato Chips
Vanilla Poppy Seed Cupcakes with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting (RECIPE)
Lemon Tarts
I'm Loving Chocolate Cake (RECIPE)