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Toni’s Homemade Holiday Spice Sangria

The Holidays Enjoyed

Christmas Eve.  New Year’s Celebration.  Hostess Gifts.  Last-Minute Holiday Entertaining.  My recipe for Homemade Holiday Spice Sangria is perfect for all holiday occasions.

Homemade Holiday Sangria

Eat, Drink and Be Frugal

If you enjoy serving wine to guests for the holidays, the cost for bottled wine can certainly add up.  Having a batch of this holiday wine elixir on hand is not only more affordable, it makes a visually stunning holiday presentation and is absolutely delicious.

Homemade Holiday Sangria

Toni’s Homemade Holiday Spice Sangria Recipe

Toni’s DIY Holiday Spice Sangria

Toni’s DIY Holiday Spice Sangria


  • Basic Red Table Wine- I use a gallon of a basic red wine that I find in bulk at Costco. Trader Joe’s also has great deals for basic red table wine over the holidays.
  • Cranberry Juice- 1 bottle
  • Brandy- a little more than half a bottle (save some for your eggnog!)
  • Oranges- 3 or 4 large; sliced and halved (into half-moon shapes)
  • Pears- 3 or 4 large; sliced
  • Cinnamon Sticks- 4 or 5 whole
  • Cranberries, fresh- 12 oz.
  • Whole Cloves- put into a tea bag


  1. Combine ingredients in large mason or Sangria Jar
  2. Let this mixture “steep” for a 2-3 days in a cool place. If you live someplace cold, you can just leave it outside, unless it will freeze.




Homemade Holiday Sangria recipe


This year I found the perfect carafes from Rubbermaid to bottle my sangria in to give to friends, neighbors and family.  It made great hostess gifts this year for holiday parties I attended.

Homemade Holiday Sangria


Simply add a ribbon with a gift tag and you have a beautiful hostess gift for holiday parties.

homemade holiday sangria recipe from Toni Spilsbury The Organized Cook

homemade holiday sangria recipe from Toni Spilsbury The Organized Cook


For an added touch, place a copy of the sangria recipe on the back of the gift tag card.  To download a copy of the recipe for your gift tags: DOWNLOAD SANGRIA RECIPE

homemade holiday sangria recipe from Toni Spilsbury The Organized Cook



Serve and Enjoy!  Merry Christmas and A Happy New Year To You!



Toni Spilsbury, The Organized Cook




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Crafty Halloween Treats

Crafty Halloween Treats

For years I’ve been making my popcorn Witches Hands and Sucker Pumpkins for school parties and home entertaining.

Here are a few ideas for crafting Halloween treats and entertaining:

Sucker Pumpkin

With cake pops being all the rave this year, this sucker pumpkin would be perfect to hold Halloween Cake Pops as well as suckers.

I made one of these pumpkins for my daughter’s preschool a few years ago and they still use it every year around Halloween.

Simply take a craft pumpkin (I found mine at Michael’s) and drill holes about two inches apart using a drill bit the size of a sucker stick, approximatly 11/64 of an inch.

Halloween DIY Crafts


Witches Hands

I use food handler gloves (non latex) found from Smart & Final or anywhere food service supplies are sold, and fill with candy corns for the fingernails, popcorn and tie off with black string.  Then I use a spider ring to decorate the ring finger.

Halloween DIY Crafts

Witches Hands


Spooktacular Punch

Spooktacular Punch Ingredients:

  1. Kool-Aid Grape or Ghoul-Aid mix- 2 packets
  2. Agave Nectar- 1 cup
  3. All Natural Lemon-Lime Soda
  4. Orange Peels

Halloween DIY Crafts

Halloween DIY Crafts


For Halloween Dinner Fun- Dinner In A Pumpkin Recipe:

Dinner In Pumpkin

Dinner In A Pumpkin


Weekly Meal Planning for Busy Families

Weekly Meal Plan



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Betty Jean’s Boutique

I have a grandma- “Grams” whose name is Betty Jean.  Grams was with me during those difficult years when Connor was so sick, and she helped take care of his twin sister, Cassidy.  Now she visits us about once a month for a week.

Today, I helped Grams take photos of her latest creation- the Playing Cards Cozy.  When Grams is here visiting, she’s always telling the latest stories of her friends at the Senior Center.  Betty Jean has a close-knit group of friends, and- to listen to her talk about them- they sound like a gang from high school, like the Pink Ladies.  They play cards two to three times a week ritually while they snack on food they’ve each brought to share.

Hours of card playing over the years has caused cramps in Grams’ fingers, so she created her Playing Cards Cozy.  Immediately, she was the trendy girl at the Senior Center with her fancy colorful card organizer, and all of her friends wanted one.  Now, they’re like the coveted Pink Ladies jackets- only their gang has them and everyone else is envious.  If you have a “Grams” in your life who could use a Playing Cards Cozy, you can find them in her Etsy Shop called “Betty Jean’s Boutique“.

And I just had to share the photos because I think they’re adorable.  That’s my Grams!


Playing Cards Cozy


Stay tuned, because Betty Jean has promised to show me step-by-step how to make this adorable craft to post for all of my DIY friends out there!


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How To Make A Pinata

How To Make A Pinata At Home

Looking for a fun project to make at home for Cinco de Mayo?  The girls and I decided to make a pinata at home for the first time and had a blast.

How To Make Pinata

How To Make A Pinata At Home

Here’s what you’ll need to make your own festive pinata at home:

  1. balloon
  2. newspaper
  3. 1 cup flour & 2 cups water mixed together for paste
  4. scissors
  5. kite string
  6. crepe paper to decorate
  7. glue
  8. candy

Here is a step-by-step tutorial:


Step 1:  Lay down some newspaper because it’s going to be messy!  Then tear some of the newspaper into strips.

how to make a pinata

tear newspaper into strips


Step 2:  Blow up a balloon

pinata tutorial

blow up balloon


Step 3:  Dip newspaper strips into paste an layer onto balloon leaving 3-inches open around the tip of balloon.  You’ll want to have at least 3 or 4 layers, and there’s no need to allow each layer to dry individually- just pile it on!

dip newspaper strips into paste and layer onto balloon


Step 4:  Allow balloon to dry overnight.  You can use a medium-size bowl to prop your balloon up.

this is what your pinata should look like drying overnight


Step 5:  Once paper is dry, pop the balloon and pull it out.

pop the balloon


Step 6:  It’s time to decorate!  Using crepe paper and glue, create any design on your pinata.

time to decorate


use scissors on crepe paper to create fringe


7.  Fill the bottom of the pinata with crumpled crepe paper to help with better distribution of candy

crumpled crepe paper allows for better distribution of candy


Happy Cinco de Mayo!

How To Make Pinata

time for candy!

For dinner ideas this Cinco de Mayo visit:

cinco de mayo recipes




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