December 2014 Benefit Betties Newsletter
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Keepin' Up With The Betties - December 2014
In this Issue:

  • How to Make a Holiday Wreath
  • Holiday Gift Guide
  • Featured Bettie - Heidi Von hoop
  • Creme De Vie - Cuban Eggnog
  • Birthday Betties
Taylor Sikes, Cherri Von Dame, Leslie L'Amour,
Al E. Cat, Roxie Gee, Hottie HeRo,  Jessie Rox
How to Make Your Own Holiday Wreath
 By Taylor Sikes
1 ready-made wreath (or create your own if you can!)
A hot glue gun with several sticks of glue
Ornaments of your choosing
Other décor elements of your choosing
Twist ties, wire, wire ornament hooks
1 Command strip hook
For my wreath, I selected a ready-made wreath and decided on a blue/silver/winter/snowflake theme. I suggest looking up photos of other wreaths online to solidify your plan. At first, I went to a craft store with no real plan and ended up leaving with nothing because I couldn’t decide! I later researched online and took a couple pictures of what I had in mind to the store. Here is what I came home with the second time:
Step 1: Make a plan for the location of your ornaments
Start by “fluffing” your wreath to the desired width. Most ready-made wreaths have branches with wire inside, just like fake Christmas trees, so you can straighten out the branches and position them in any way you want. Once it is in the right shape, place your ornaments around your wreath until you are satisfied with their placement. Seen here is the layout of the main ornaments.
Step 2: Attaching your ornaments
For the ornaments, I use wire hooks to attach them. The matching blue/silver ornaments were made for hanging on a Christmas tree and have loops at the top to add a hook. Take off the hook attachment and add a couple dabs of hot glue to the inside of the cap, then return it to the ornament. Once dry, this assures the top will stay on your ornament.
Now that the tops are hot glued into place, you can begin attaching the ornaments onto your wreath. I used wire hooks, looping them through the tops of the ornaments and around the inner metal ring of the wreath. When you have attached all of your main ornaments, you can “fluff” the branches again to ensure the wires and tops of your ornaments are adequately covered by the branches. Hot glue the branches into place around the ornaments.
Step 3: Attaching final decorative elements
I used silver glitter covered artificial plants as my other decorations. I pulled some apart and left some whole to place throughout the wreath. Arrange them around the main ornaments and hot glue them in place where the glue will not be visible when dry.
Step 4: Hang it up!
Let your wreath dry overnight to ensure the glue dries properly, then you’re ready to hang it up! I used a Command strip hook on my front door. Congratulations! You’re all done!
Cherri Von Dame’s Gift Guide for the Holidays

Feeling a little more giving this holiday season, but don't know what to get that special in-law, neighbor, coworker, or babysitter? Well, I've thrown together a quick gift giving guide that'll assure you a merry little Christmas and put a smile on their face that'll make your tree look dull. I have listed several suggestions along with their general pricing, and where to find it.

Your neighbor has been there for you for as long as you've lived next to them. They've put up with your loud noises, had that cup of sugar you thought you had ready for your cookies, and kept an eye on the ol' homestead while you were away on a trip. Why not give them something small as a token of your "thanks for putting up with me and being a great neighbor"?
  • Families/Elderly couples/Stressed college student: Bake something sweet for them (not using their sugar, of course). Home baked goods are always a cheap and easy way of being genuine and it gives them something to share with their loved ones. Plus, that stressed college student will probably love you forever for bringing them homemade food to munch on during their finals.
  • Baking ingredients cost in total about $10-$15, but making something yourself is priceless!
  • The Bachelor(s)/Couples: A decent bottle of wine never hurts! It's traditional and classy, and will definitely impress them. And hey, if that said bachelor is single *wink wink*, it gives you an opportunity to share that wine with them and make some small talk.
  • Usually $10-$20, depending on brand and store
Ah, the coworker. The person you see 5 days a week, your bestie at work, the only person you can tolerate (in some cases). Don't make it hard, give them a combination of things you KNOW they'll use.
  • Give them one of those reusable coffee cups (with a straw, or sippable), throw in a sultry shade of nail polish for the holidays, a tinted lip balm, and something sweet (candy cane, Kisses). Perfect for a hard working lady at work!
  • Aladdin Plastic Mason Jar- $4.96 (Wal-Mart)
  • Maybelline Color Show Nail Polish- $1.99-2.99
  • Maybelline Baby Lips Lip Balm- $2.29
She's the sweet, preteen girl who's spent her Saturdays watching your kids while you're out for a night on the town with your beau or your best girls. Skip the gift cards and give them something a little more.
  • Some stores, like Ulta, have deals where you can grab a certain amount of makeup items for $10. Body washes/sprays, bath bombs are also great ideas. They're all things that are sweet, easy to give, and something she'll love using all the time!
Mother/Father In-Law
These can be the HARDEST people to give gifts for, sometimes. Depending on how comfortable you are, will determine what you decide to give them for the holidays.
  • Mother In-Law: She deserves to kick back and relax, so give her something to calm her nerves. Whether it's an edible, or a scented.
  • Father In-Law: Win him over with something to wet his whistle, and top it off with some beef jerky or a salty snack!
  • Craft Beer Build-Your Own 6 pack- price varies by bottle (HEB)
  • Beer Mugs, Set of 2- $7.98 (World Market)
Hopefully these ideas will ease your troubles of buying gifts for people close to you! You don't even need to use my exact suggestions, feel free to create your own and add your personal touch. It makes giving the gift even MORE special. Happy holidays!

Cherri Von Dame

Featured Bettie:
Heidi Von Hoop
By Leslie L'Amour

Hoop goddess, burlesque instructor, Outreach Chairperson for the Benefit Betties – This lady does it all! I had the pleasure of peeking into this lovely gal’s mind to find out just what makes Heather so unique and diverse!
Heather first joined the Betties after the inaugural Benefit Betties Ball, where she performed as a hoop dancer.
Heather: I was invited to hoop dance at the first ball by a former member, so I figured, "I'm already performing, why not join!"
Not only did Heather join, but she eventually took the position as the Outreach Chairperson, organizing several of the Benefit Betties outreach events within our community. From filling backpacks at the Houston Area Women’s Shelter to packing food boxes at the Houston Food Bank, Heather is responsible for coordinating many of the Betties volunteer days.
Heather: My life is so good and I am so blessed, and I just want to do whatever I can to bring some joy to others.
As a novice hooper, I just had to take this opportunity to ask Heather a few questions about her craft.  After all, she makes hooping look so effortless, but it can be challenging for someone new to hooping. I asked Heather to share a few words of wisdom for a novice like me.
Heather: Practice and don't judge yourself by other's skill. It's a journey that has no end. And always remember it's a plastic ring to have fun with, not something serious. :)
In addition to her hoop dancing, Heather is also an instructor. I asked Heather to share her proudest moment as a hooper so far:
Heather: Anytime I see that look on a student's face that says "OMG I got it!" is definitely when I feel like I'm doing something worthwhile. I think adults forget how to have fun, and I'm most proud when I show them that fun is necessary in life.
Who has influenced this gal’s uniqueness, determination, and inner beauty? Who is her icon or heroine?
Heather: My mother! She was a small town girl from Louisiana who moved to Germany as a newlywed to live with my dad, who was born and raised there. She had a child there, started a career, and flourished in a totally different country. I can't imagine how brave she had to be to do that.
As if she couldn’t get more adorable, when asked if she had any hidden talents, she shared that she speaks German fluently and is her league’s Fantasy Football champion! 
So, how would Heather describe her style?
Heather: Oh gosh, I have no idea lol. I love designer handbags and wearing cute dresses and boots, but I also adore cutoffs and Teva sandals. Usually when I shop, the first thought that comes to mind is, "Can I hoop in this?"
Of course, we couldn’t let our December Featured Bettie off the hook without asking a holiday question, so I asked her to share one of her favorite holiday traditions with our readers:
Heather: Riding around looking at Christmas lights! This was always my favorite thing to do as a kid, and while I don't have children of my own yet, my husband has also learned to love it too. Luckily we live in a city that LOVES to decorate!
So, Heather, when your friends and family look back on your life, how would you like to be remembered? 
Heather: As someone who made them laugh :)
Creme De Vie - Cuban Eggnog
By Al E. Cat
A traditional Cuban Christmas happens on Christmas Eve. We call it Noche Buena and it involves food, fun, presents and of course, Creme De Vie. A sweet and boozey smooth concoction that is perfect served by itself or mixed with hot cocoa. I recommend making the night before so it is perfectly chilled when ready to drink.
In a saucepan, make a simple syrup from one cup water and one cup sugar. Add a cinnamon stick to the still unmixed items and stir. Continue to stir as the sugar dissolves and the syrup thickens. Let cool to room temperature. You want to make sure it is not too hot for the next part!
In a large bowl pour in one cup sweetened condensed milk. In the now empty can, pour in the simple syrup and add to mixing bowl. Continue to use the can as your form of measurement and add in a can of heavy cream. With a strainer over the bowl, slowly mix in 4 raw egg yolks. Be sure to strain the eggs through to ensure a smooth creamy drink. Lastly, stir in about half a can of Brandy or Rum - whichever you prefer. Allow to chill.
When ready to serve, top with nutmeg or cinnamon.
Feliz Navidad!!
Miss Kalynda
December 14


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