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PP- CHAMPS AND DRINK

With 2014 coming to a close and holiday parties at their peak (oh hello, Christmas in ONE WEEK), our to-do lists seem to be snowballing out of control! If you’re knee deep in online shopping, writing New Years resolutions, and getting those presents perfectly packaged, it may be a tad daunting to ponder just what potent potable you’ll be serving at your holiday soirée this weekend.

Pomegranate PoinsettiaDon’t fret, we have got you covered! The Poinsettia is your saving grace for holiday gatherings! Not those red flowers you see eveeerywhere during Christmas time (they are actually poisonous to animals, so they are not Noodle- or Georgette-friendly decor.) We’re talkin’ about the tasty crimson cocktail. It’s a traditional sipper that fits into the season’s festivities perfectly — spirited and red!

Pomegranate PoinsettiaThe Poinsettia is a holiday classic for a reason — it’s super simple and a real crowd pleaser! There is no vigorous shaking involved and the proportions can be tweaked to your party guests tastes! Spirited folks? Add just a splash of the cranberry & pomegranate juice. Sweet-toothed crowd on you hands? Add a touch more juice and champagne. You can even make a sinless-sipper for the DD. Just omit the vodka and champagne and replace with ginger ale or club soda for fizziness.

Pomegranate PoinsettiaTraditionally, the cocktail calls for plain ol’ cranberry juice, but we couldn’t resist adding cranberry’s sweet-tart cousin, the pomegranate, into the mix. They are so plentiful this time of year and their beautiful seeds are like jewels. We always say fresh is best, but in a pinch, a bottled pomegranate juice will do just fine in this recipe (we won’t tell!)
Pomegranate Poinsettia
The Pomegranate Poinsettia
Ingredients

  • 1 oz cranberry
  • 1oz Pomegranate juice
  • 4 oz champagne
  • 1 oz vodka
  • 2 berry & rosemary ice cubes (recipe below)

Pour vodka into glass. Add the cranberry and pomegranate juices. Stir with bar spoon. Add the champagne. Place two ice cubes in the drink for garnish.

Berry & Rosemary Ice Cubes

Ingredients

  • 1 handful small berries
  • 4  stalks rosemary

Remove stems from berries. Remove rosemary leaves from stalks. Full ice cube trades with water. Add berries and rosemary to the cubes. Freeze until completely frozen.

Pomegranate PoinsettiaWe also jazzed the drink up with rosemary and winter berry ice cubes! The rosemary mimics the fresh evergreens of the season and the berries add another vibrant punch of color. It’s almost like having a wreath in your glass! Gold rimmed coups add a beautiful shimmer to the crimson cocktail. Red and gold are a match made in holiday heaven!

Pomegranate PoinsettiaYou may already have all these ingredients in your fridge which a makes party planning a real breeze. The trickiest part may be finding berries for the ice cubes. Currants & peppercorn berries make for perfect additions to the festive ice and will add a sweet or spicy touch as the ice begins to melt. We found our berries at a local flower shop, but a natural grocers will have a great selection of winter berries.

Pomegranate PoinsettiaReady for refills? Preparation is easy so you won’t be tending bar all night long. You’ll be back cheers-ing to good times in no time!

Happy imbibing!

p.s. get more cocktail recipes here!
recipe by Ashley Rose for Jojotastic. photography by Jojotastic.

all ears // a spotify playlist for traveling home for the holidays

If you’re anything like me, any day now you’re about to hop on some planes, trains, and automobiles to go home for the holidays. To get you through the traffic and queues, I decided to craft the ultimate travel playlist this month. It’s a bit mellow, kind of energetic, and has a feeling of optimism. Oh, and not a single Christmas carol. The way I figure, we’re already heard plenty of that, with even more to come as you make the holiday party rounds. I envision listening to this playlist as my plane takes off, gearing up for the frenzy of family, parties, and travel.

You can play via this widget or add the playlist via Spotify:image via my instagram
listen to more All Ears playlists here

December Donut of the Month_WTG

Though my ideal temperature is that of a desert, there is a big part of me that likes winter. I don’t admit this too frequently, mostly because I would be making that declaration through chattering teeth and purple lips, but it’s true. The major stipulation is this: I like winter when I am just sort of cozily watching snow fall from my third-floor window view. I like winter when the only reason to face the brutal winds is to run around the park like a crazy person with my dog (a big perk of having a dog). I like winter when I’m buried deep under blankets, a candle is flickering, and I’m burning my way through a Netflix series. Thus, not wanting to leave home in the winter is a huge motivator for home cooking and baking.

December Donut of the MonthThe more delicious foods and drinks I am able to prepare at home, the less I need to 1) leave home 2) spend extra money and 3) eat less wholesome ingredients. Thanks to Joanna’s love of donuts, I was inspired to develop this donut-o-the-month series. So content am I with these homemade versions, I no longer need to brave the cold and the lines for the Pittsburgh brunch place that serves the beignets I used to crave. I am one step closer to a complete hermitage this winter, so three cheers for that!

Dec Donuts 02December’s donut was inspired by fluffy snow, gingerbread men and hikes in the park with my four-legged snow lover. I hope these donuts enable you to stay some place warm, sip something hot and dive into the series of your choice.

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printable gift labels with a handmade touch

Wrapping paper is as chic and stylish as ever. From glittery metallic papers to rustic kraft paper, there are tons of awesome options. To complement your gift wrap this year, I designed these gift labels ! I wanted the letters to feel sort of like those fancy patterned tapes, keeping things festive and fun. Plus, once printed on clear sticker paper, these labels are a great add-on to anything, from paper gift tags to Ziploc containers brimming with treats.

printable gift labels with a handmade touch

Head over to Ziploc to see more!

printable gift labels with a handmade touchphotography by Nathan Michael

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Ziploc. I received product and compensation for this post, however all opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that keep Jojotastic going.

what i'm packing for the holidays: oversized knit sweater + a ruffled slip

I’ve already shared my tips on packing like a pro for your holiday travels, but what about the items I’m actually packing? I leave for the east coast for 3 weeks straight, so I’ve got to make my clothes count. My uniform of late has been all about layers, which is totally perfect for traveling for extended periods. Just thing of all the possibilities!

The base is always my favorite pair of distressed jeans, either in blue denim or black. Then I layer on a breezy tunic (like this one from Free People) and a chunky knit sweater for warmth. I also like to switch up my tunic choices. On warmer nights or when there’s more of an ‘occasion,’ a good tunic can double as a dress over opaque black tights.

what i'm packing for the holidays: distressed jeans + a sheer tunicI try to keep my color palette tight and lately I’ve been gravitating towards black, charcoal grey, pale grey, and pale pink. It’s kind of weird, but it’s been working for me.

what i'm packing for the holidays: embroidered silk scarf + bucket baglinks: slouchy crewneck sweater from Everlane // trapeze slip from Free People // cut-edge jeans from Madewell // babydoll dress from Free People // pisces scarf from Datura // mini bucket bagsimilar

casual holiday entertaining tips  #PBwithatwist @potterybarn

When you live in a tiny apartment like me, holiday entertaining can feel daunting. I know the conundrum well: you want to invite over your favorite people for cocktails and small bites, but you feel limited by space. Today I partnered with Pottery Barn to share some casual entertaining tips for the perfect coffee table cocktail party.

casual holiday entertaining tips  #PBwithatwist @potterybarnTo keep things casual, I chose to keep my gathering small and centered around my coffee table. I updated my sofa with a cozy faux sheepskin throw, then added some really sweet holiday pillows. I swapped out my vintage painting for a sparkly garland to make things extra festive, too.

casual holiday entertaining tips  #PBwithatwist @potterybarnWhen it comes to entertaining, two of my favorite elements are the twinkly glow of candles and fresh greenery and flowers. I created a casual centerpiece of sorts with two dramatic mercury glass pillar holders. I used natural twine to tie bits of wildflowers and berry branches onto the pillar holders for more of a bohemian vibe. I also filled a double old-fashioned glass with juniper branches — the smell of pine was so perfect! Also, don’t be afraid to pull inspiration from your kitchen. At the last minute, I decided to add a few pears for an unexpected garnish.

casual holiday entertaining tips  #PBwithatwist @potterybarnI covered my coffee table in a festive table runner and layered on plaid napkins for a pattern-full twist. I also added a bit more twinkle with star-shaped mercury glass votive holders. Don’t you just love the way mercury glass sparkles?

casual holiday entertaining tips  #PBwithatwist @potterybarncasual holiday entertaining tips  #PBwithatwist @potterybarnAnother important party element? Booze! In this case, I served up some prosecco. I opted to use double old-fashioned glasses so my coffee table party felt more casual. To make the cut glass tumblers feel even more special, I used a bit of metallic ric rac to tie on a berried branch and deep burgundy flower. This is the perfect twist to make prosecco extra special.

The next part is the best — sit back, relax, and enjoy some sips with your guests!casual holiday entertaining tips  #PBwithatwist @potterybarncasual holiday entertaining tips  #PBwithatwist @potterybarnTo host your own casual coffee table party, here are some of my top picks from Pottery Barn:

casual holiday entertaining tips  #PBwithatwist @potterybarnOf course, these two couldn’t help but get in on the festive action!

casual holiday entertaining tips  #PBwithatwist @potterybarnPhotography by Ashley Batz 

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Pottery Barn. I received product and compensation for this post, however all opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that keep Jojotastic going.

holiday prep

Where does the time go? I find that is something I ask myself constantly these days. I’m trying not to get too existential here, but it feels like I was 26 just yesterday. Does anyone else have these mini-crises? Sometimes I have to remind myself to sit still and just take in the moment, even if it’s the flicker of candles in my living room. I have the feeling that this weekend will be spent writing my late holiday cards and catching up on some gift shopping.

In case you missed it, here’s what was on the blog this week:

cozy holidaysphotos from Instagram