9 Drinks to Try this Holiday Season 🎄

Get into the holiday spirits.

Skip the boring beer this year — holiday parties deserve festive drinks like Christmas Sangria and Maker’s Mark® Eggnog.

Check out the below drinks and links to add a little more cheer to your life this holiday season.

1.) White Christmas Mojito

If you like coconut you will enjoy this cocktail!

Click on the author’s name to get to the recipe.

Photo & Recipe By: HalfBaked Harvest


2.) Christmas Sangria

This sangria is the right balance of crisp and fruity, with a slight touch of sweetness!

Click on the author’s name to get to the recipe.

Photo & Recipe By: Cake’n Knife


3.) Peppermint Mocha White Russian

With peppermint, vodka and a touch of milk, this is the perfect post-dinner drink!

Click on the author’s name to get to the recipe.

Photo & Recipe By: With Salt & Wit


4.) Apple Cranberry Moscow Mule Cocktail

The ginger-apple-cranberry flavor combo is so good and are quintessential seasonal flavors!

Click on the author’s name to get to the recipe.

Photo & Recipe By: Heather Christo


5.) Rudolph’s Night Off

Pomegranate | Rosemary | Ginger Beer – Such an easy but impressive cocktail!

Click on the author’s name to get to the recipe.

Photo & Recipe By: Elle Talk


6.) Jingle Juice Holiday Punch

You only need 3 ingredients to create this masterpiece! YUM.

Click on the author’s name to get to the recipe.

Photo & Recipe By: Inspired by Charm


7.) Peppermint & Whipped Vodka Hot Chocolate

Just adding a little twist to this seasonal favorite.

Click on the author’s name to get to the recipe.

Photo & Recipe By: Home Cooking Memories


8.) Maker’s Mark® Eggnog

 This large-batch crowd pleaser is perfect for your next gathering.

Click on the author’s name to get to the recipe.

Photo & Recipe By: Maker’s Mark®


9.) Hot Cranberry Apple Spiced Cider

Spiced Cider is a holiday must. The flavor is perfect!

Click on the author’s name to get to the recipe.

Photo & Recipe By: The Cookie Rookie



My Time with Oglala Lakota Nation: A Photo Essay

“You make a living by what you get. You make a life by what you give.”
-Winston Churchill

I spent my Fourth of July week volunteering somewhere new this year. Last year I worked in Peru but this year I thought it would be good to help in the states with Re-Member. I took my first solo road trip out to Pine Ridge, South Dakota to work along side the Oglala Lakota Nation. With so much going on in everyone’s day to day lives it can be hard to make the time to be aware of the conditions other humans live in and what we could be doing to help. The best way I can think to celebrate my independence every year is to use that freedom to help others and I strongly encourage anyone else to do the same. It’s not about the money or time you have. There’s always a way to help.

Re-Member shares the following statistic:

“From 1980 to 2000, the counties that make up Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota (home to the Oglala Lakota Nation) comprised the poorest of our nation’s 3,141 counties. The 2000 census found them the third poorest, not because things got better on Pine Ridge, but because things got worse on two other South Dakota Indian Reservations. The poverty on Pine Ridge can be described in no other terms than “third world.” It is common to find homes terribly overcrowded, as those with homes take in anyone in need of a roof over their head. Many homes are without electricity, running water, or sewer.

  • Unemployment rate of 80 – 90%
  • Per capita income of $4,000
  • 8 Times the United States rate of diabetes
  • 5 Times the U.S. rate of cervical cancer
  • Twice the U.S. rate of heart disease
  • 8 Times the U.S. rate of Tuberculosis
  • Alcoholism rate estimated as high as 80%
  • 1 in 4 infants born with fetal alcohol syndrome or effects
  • Suicide rate more than twice the national rate
  • Teen suicide rate 4 times the national rate
  • Infant mortality 3 times the national rate
  • Life expectancy on Pine Ridge is the lowest in the United States and the second lowest in the Western Hemisphere. Only Haiti has a lower rate.”

 I took a series of photos to show how beautifully strong and resilient this oppressed culture still is. If you’re looking to take a volunteer trip solo or with a group, or make a donation feel free to learn more at www.re-member.org.

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Contributed by Syd Miles.



All photographs are the author’s own & may not be reprinted or published without express written consent.

Picture This! A Photographer’s Guide to Getting Started

I bet you’re on Facebook, and maybe even Instagram, too, so I know you’ve seen it: the snapshots your friends post of everything from their food to their clothes to their children. Thanks to advents in mobile technology, anyone with a smartphone can be a photographer – and if they use an app with filters (like Instagram), their pictures can look downright artistic. As a professional photographer & graphic designer, I love seeing so many people taking an interest in creating unique, interesting shots to share with friends & family.

But if photography is something you really want to pursue & grow at, put down the cell phone and step away from the Instagram! Don’t get me wrong – they’re great tools – but we shouldn’t forget the value of an actual camera. I can’t speak for all designers and photographers, but I think the best pictures happen when you take your camera off “Auto” and switch it over to “Manual.” Make sure you know these three things about your camera to take unique and more controlled photos: aperture, shutter speed, and ISO.

  •  Aperture (or f-stop) affects your light and depth of field. It’s the opening inside your lens. The more open it is, the more shallow your focus, while a less open aperture extends your focus.  And of course, the more open it is, the more light it lets in, and vice-versa – a narrower aperture means less light. It seems counterintuitive, but if you’re familiar with piercing gauges this rule of thumb may seem familiar: the smaller your f-stop’s number, the bigger the opening.


    I used my aperture to help define my depth of field here.

  • Shutter speed is measured in fractions of seconds. This is a great setting to play with when capturing subjects in motion. A fast shutter speed delivers a more sharply-focused image, while slower speeds can show more motion and blur. If you plan on shooting at a shutter speed slower than 1/60, you’ll want to invest in a tripod! Otherwise, you risk adding additional & unintentional blur – no matter how steady you think your hands are! Like aperture, shutter speed can also contribute to the lighting of your pictures, since slower shutter speeds allow more time for light to enter, and faster speeds provide less time for light to enter.

I used a slower shutter speed here to capture the car & pedestrian in motion on a rainy day.

  • You might remember the days of buying film for your camera, but if you don’t, here is a history lesson: films were sold by their speeds. Most people use digital cameras now, which use a measurement called “ISO.” ISO is the digital equivalent of film speed. Higher ISO’s mean increased light-sensitivity, which makes them ideal for working in darker settings, like indoor photos. Bumping your ISO up from a low number to a higher one – like from 100 to 400 – also enables you to shoot at higher shutter speeds or smaller apertures.


    My ISO – along with my other settings – helped make the rain drops in this shot look clean & crisp.

These are just the basics, and you will find that you learn the most through trial & error, so try out all the combinations you can! I think the beauty of art is that it is subjective – there is no right or wrong way to do it. The most important part is having fun & making your pictures your own. In the shot below, I just decided to let loose & try something new, and the result was this mind-bending photo of a tree – just a regular tree, but seen in a new way. Ignoring “the rules” is what helps us capture the unusual beauty in the every day objects we take for granted in our daily lives.

P.S. Oh, and remember: never set your camera to auto!

Contributed by Syd Miles.

Just Stop.

“I’m always trying to bring unusual content to a different audience – a non-art-world audience.” Jenny Holzer.

I decided to write this blogpost on another one of my favorite female artists, Jenny Holzer.  Advertising is about making the viewer stop. Stop at that one postcard, or stop at that one page in the magazine. I believe that Jenny’s work makes people stop.

I first learned about Holzer’s work in an Art History class I took at UD. What I found fascinating about Jenny’s work was her meaningful phrases and the way that she displays them. Holzer is mostly known for her large-scale public displays that include billboard advertisements, projections on buildings and other architectural structures, as well as illuminated electronic displays. From big to small, Holzer’s work has also been shown on monuments, small posters and T-Shirts. Wikipedia says, “Her main concern is to enlighten, bringing into light something thought in silence and meant to remain hidden.”

Holzer was born in Gallipolis, Ohio and attended Duke University, the University of Chicago and Ohio University where she completed a Bachelors of Fine Arts Degree. She moved to New York City in 1976. In Manhattan, Holzer participated in an independent study at the Whitney Museum and that is where she first started working with language, installation and public art. Some of her contemporaries include Barbara Kruger, Cindy Sherman, Sarah Charlesworth, and Louise Lawler.


Holzer has done many series, but two in particular made me stop. She has a series called“For the Capitol” that she completed in 2007. Projected on the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington D.C, this piece was made specifically for nighttime projection using quotes from John F. Kennedy and Theodore Roosevelt.

I also appreciated her project from 2006 titled “For 7 World Trade” which is one of her permanent LED light installations. It hangs in the lobby of the 7 World Trade Center in New York City. The WTC’s website mentions Holzer’s piece saying, “Holzer, a conceptual artist, created an animated-text installation of prose and poetry that scrolls across a glowing 65-foot-wide, 14-foot-high glass wall behind the reception desk. The work features pieces written by numerous authors – from Elizabeth Bishop and Allen Ginsberg to Langston Hughes and Walt Whitman – whose work evokes the history and spirit of New York City.”

“That’s the test of street art – to see if anybody stops. People would cross out ones they didn’t like and would star others. I liked that people would engage with them.”Jenny Holzer

Jenny Holzer is currently living upstate New York with her husband and daughter. Her art has been shown all over the world and has won many awards. Her work is controversial but I also think it has a way of pulling people in and enticing them. Her displays are in your face and make you think. I find that is needed in good advertising whether it is advertising for businesses or advertising your own thoughts and ideas. If you enjoy Jenny Holzer’s work I also recommend checking out the other artists I mentioned earlier.

Contributed by Crista Kling.








For all the pictures and information in this blog, please utilize the sources below: