Wow - Sandra Marek makes this look easy! I wanted a properly exposed portrait of Kristi with Christmas light bokeh in the background. "Properly exposed" was a lot harder than I expected! I ended up pointing my off-camera flash up and behind me to bounce off the ceiling and wall - here are the settings I used with my 50mm lens: ss 1/80; iso 100; f/2.8. I'm actually quite happy with the results now that all the messing is done.
If I had had more than one string of lights that worked I would have gotten a few more in the background - especially on the right side of the frame - but there ya have it. I need the LightKeeper!