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How to Create a Cozy Hot Cocoa Bar

November 27

The moment cool temperatures set in…it’s time for hot cocoa!  Even on a chilly summer evening my family has indulged on the toasty drink to warm our bones!  But now hot cocoa season is in full swing and it can be so easy to serve this sweet, warm treat to family and friends on a blustery day!  I often keep a tray filled with the fixins’ for the chocolatey sip in my kitchen at all times during the fall and winter, making it easy to serve up a quick cup…and it looks festive too!  Today I’d like to share some fun ways to create a pretty cocoa station with the help of my friends at Oriental Trading!  The holiday season and hot cocoa go hand in hand…you can have so much fun adding some festivity to a simple cup of cheer to make spirits bright!  So get ready for some easy DIY projects from the craft room and the kitchen to create a winter treat that won’t disappoint! Get warm & cozy…

toast the season with a hot cocoa bar!

Simple Hot Cocoa Setup!

September 14

Hot cocoa is a favorite drink at my house…and when the first cool breezes blow I break out the fixin’s for a do-it-yourself cocoa station to take the chill off and satisfy tummies!  Whether you’re hosting an autumn party or just want to create a sweet surprise for your family, a hot cocoa buffet can be really easy to set up in a pinch!  I often keep the basic cocoa supplies in my kitchen all year long…it’s a chocolaty sip that’s even a favored drink on a cool summer evening!  But now that the unofficial end to summer has come and gone, it’s almost that time for sipping on warm drinks and snuggling around a fire!  I hope you can find some inspiration for your hot cocoa stations…no matter where you put them!

it’s hot cocoa time!

Cocoa & Cookies!

December 21

Well, the big day is almost here and I FINALLY feel fairly prepared for all the celebrations!  Since the last day of school is today, we can soon start baking cookies and getting ready for all the holiday callers!  And it’s a fact that we will be loaded with plenty of gingerbread, sugar, and other varieties of Christmas cookies, so we NEED to have a warm and toasty drink to go with them!  One of my favorite sips during the holidays (and actually all winter long) would have to be hot cocoa!  We serve it up often when the cool winds begin to blow, but there’s something about Christmastime that give us the opportunity to doctor them up in holiday style!  At our annual Christmas Eve Gumbo I usually prepare the hot drink…but this year I thought a Cocoa and Cookies bar was in order!  It’s a perfect opportunity to make it special with plenty of friends stopping by all evening for a cup of soup…AND some sweets and hot chocolate to wash it all down!  If you caught the Holiday Hop last week, you got a good dose of inspiration…including some festive cocoa displays!  Lucky for me, I also soaked in the wonderful ideas that inspired my own cocoa station for my family and holiday guests!  Hot cocoa is easy to make and you really don’t need much to go with it to create a treat table that will delight kids and adults alike!  So with a few days left before Santa arrives, you still have plenty of time to create a holiday treat for whoever may come calling!  Have a peek at what I’ll be serving up on Christmas Eve…

hot, hot, hot chocolate!

Hot Chocolate Time!

November 28

On a day that gave us a record temperature for November, what was I doing?  Setting up a hot chocolate bar of course!  Even though it was a little on the warm side, the weather couldn’t have been more perfect in the evening for enjoying some cocoa and goodies with friends on the patio!  Honestly, I just couldn’t wait any longer to start setting up some Christmas cheer in my home!  And being blessed with such wonderful weather, on a weekend no less, gave us the opportunity to have the best of both worlds!  And then the very next day…it snowed!  I don’t know about you but I have to admit I loved both days!  But the reality is that hot cocoa weather is now here to stay and it’s easy to warm up with some…

cookies and cocoa!

Cocoa Cart

December 10

With cold weather upon us it seems fitting to break out the hot cocoa to warm hearts, tummies, and frozen fingers as they hug the toasty mugs filled with fudgy goodness!  (is “fudgy” a word?)  So many varieties of the chocolate treat are available in stores and coffee shops…and you can simply melt the real stuff in hot milk for a decadent indulgence!  A deserved reward for shoveling the walk, building the best-ever snowman, or a hard day of chilly play…whatever the reason hot cocoa is a winter tradition and delight–an easy way to bring smiles to the faces of those you love!  Grab some favorite containers and fill them with the makings for this sweet, warm treat…have a cocoa station at the ready for anytime guests arrive or kids come in from the cold!  This year a bar cart holds all the mugs & fixins…but a space on the counter will always do and looks so festive during the holiday season!  A treat that will be well received all winter long–so celebrate hot cocoa…

a simple pleasure!

Hot Cocoa Anyone?

October 8

This morning when I woke up it felt more like mid December than early October!  The first frost always gets us ready to snuggle by the fire and hunker down for the winter–why not start with a toasty cup of cocoa!  Most of us associate hot chocolate with tailgating and Christmas but how about dressing it up for Halloween?  A simple treat can always be spruced up with seasonal toppings that you may already have in your cupboard or in a candy jar.  How about this idea for an after school treat that is just a fun to create as it is to consume!

Cocoa Bar

CocoaStrawsCocoa DisplayMarshmallowsSprinkles

Holiday Decor…Last-Minute Easy

December 21

Christmas is just a few days away and hopefully all your holiday decor is up and ready to go…but if you’re like me, there’s always some little details that I don’t get finished until the very last days!  The good news is that there’s still a little time left to add some holiday cheer to our homes…even if it is getting close to the big day!  If you’ve got Christmas guests arriving soon and need some quick and easy last-minute ideas, I’m sharing some of my favorite decorating details and Christmas decor that might inspire you…AND won’t break the bank!  So take a peek at some of my go-to ideas that are perfectly last-minute EASY!

in-a-pinch holiday decor!

Holiday Cookie Swap!

December 4

Cookies and Christmas go hand in hand…and now that the holidays are upon us it’s time to let the celebrations begin!  I don’t know about you but it wouldn’t seem like Christmas without a cookie swap!  It’s the perfect reason for hosting a party and offers guests a platter full of sugary goodness to take home for their own festivities!  I love having cookies ready all month long…not just for parties but for those unexpected situations when friends pop in!  Today I’m so excited to share some merry fun with plenty of ideas on how to host your own cookie swap party and I’ve partnered with several amazing businesses to bring you this sweet fun!  From the cookie station, to holiday sips, and treats & favors for the guests, this party is packed with the makings for wonderful memories!  Let’s get ready to ring in the season with favorite traditions, celebrations…AND cookies!

Christmas cheer with a cookie swap!

Easy Ideas for Outdoor Entertaining

September 18

Happy Monday friends!

…and welcome to the first day of the 2017 Fall Blog Hop~celebrating all things autumn!

Fall party hop

I’m so thrilled to join 17 other completely talented and inspirational bloggers to bring you a week long celebration of one of my favorite seasons!  You can kick off the Hop beginning with my friend Deanna from Mirabelle Creations!  She is our host and organizational genius behind the festivities…so make sure to check her out and start all the fall fun from the beginning!  And if you’re popping over here from Giggle Hearts…I’m sure you loved her inspiring & creative Halloween crafts you can do with your kids!  If you missed it check it out here…and make sure to grab your free printable!

Giggle Hearts

I’m so happy you’re here on the first day of the hop…let me share with you some easy ideas for outdoor entertaining to celebrate the new season!

an outdoor celebration to welcome fall!

“Souper” Spooky!

October 25

My family loves soup!  And I’m so happy they do since it’s an easy meal that’s perfect for taking the chill off when autumn arrives…not to mention the kitchen smells heavenly while it’s simmering on the stove!  We used to host soup parties, often times with other couples helping to brew up some tasty varieties for guests to sample!  And as fun as those large gatherings were, we decided this year to forgo the big bash–keeping it small and simple.   Since my husband and I both love to host AND cook we decided to have several little gatherings throughout the season so we can reconnect with all our friends in smaller settings!  Autumn is here and Halloween is around the corner so this first of hopefully many soup soirees needed to fit the season…we just had to serve up some PUMPKIN CHILI!  Such a yummy recipe (and yes, I will share)…easy to make and so perfect for fall!  It would go great with leftover turkey so keep it in mind for your Thanksgiving festivities too!  Today I’d like to share our simple gathering to celebrate friends, the season, and Halloween!

warm your bones with steamy soup!