Hot Chocolate Station Essentials

hot chocolate station essentials for everyday and parties

 

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15

Who else is whipping up lots of hot chocolate right now? Ari’s two favourite things right now are tea parties and hot chocolate (with lots of marshmallows), and she got me thinking about the idea of a hot chocolate station.  They’re a fun addition to holiday parties or to have set up with everything you need for your favourite warm bevvies when you come in out of the cold (you can also add tea, coffee, maybe some Irish cream or Kahlua…;) ). I love the idea of setting up a station, but if you’re limited for space you can go vertical (use a tiered stand!) or stock a basket or container with your favourite essentials and tuck onto a shelf or into a cupboard and pull it out when you have guests coming over- or when you’re craving a hot sweet drink! 😉

Another twist on this idea is to put together a gift basket that includes everything you need for a deluxe hot chocolate- think a yummy mix, marshmallows (the gourmet mallows from Marsh&Mallow are the best), sprinkles, and some pretty cups – or add essentials to a cute togo cup like this one). I just realized I didn’t include a seasonal essential- candy canes!!!- but hopefully this post gives you some ideas. Side note: how cute with this be to have set up on Christmas for when you’re opening gifts? Add a few snacks and you’ve got a cute buffet!

I’ve included a few ideas from some of my favourite local shops in this post (see # 1, 2, 5, 6, and 9) + some easy to shop online ideas.Have you ever set up a hot chocolate or beverage station? What did you include?

Check out some local shops featured in this post!

Victoria Senges | Dainty Sprinkle Co | Paper + Parties Co | Marsh&Mallow

Disclousre: This post contains affiliate links

Like it? Pin it!

hot chocolate station essentials for everyday and parties

Dried Orange Christmas Garland

Dried Orange Christmas Garland DIY

If you’re looking to add a little pop of colour to your holiday decorations this year, this dried orange Christmas garland is a pretty homemade addition and can be adapted to suit your decorating style. Go for simple with all- greens, or add in extras like ornaments, pinecones, cinnamon sticks, etc for a fuller option. Since we’re now officially counting down to Christmas I thought this would be the perfect DIY for the first weekend of December!

To dry the oranges you can you use a dehydrator or dry slices in the oven. Once they’re dried simply string them onto some twine or ribbon, or attach to a greenery garland; I used twine and a hot glue gun to make a small fresh greenery swag and added pinecones along with the orange slices for mine. To hang, either glue or tie on some ribbon or twine. You can also use the dried oranges to make pretty ornaments or a wreath (they’d also be cute tied on to gifts!). I like that this is a more traditional decorating idea, but one you can adapt to suit your home and decorating style. Enjoy a cozy afternoon whipping this up with a cup of eggnog by your side and some festive music.

Here’s how I made mine.

Materials

– 1- 2 medium oranges

– fresh greens

-ribbon and twine (tip: florist wire might also come in handy if you have it on hand)

-additional decorations such as pinecones, cinnamon sticks, ornaments, etc

Dried Orange Christmas Garland DIY

Directions

  1. For the dried orange slices: Slice your oranges approximately 1/8″ thick and place on some paper towel. Pat them dry on both sides to remove excess moisture. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet or onto the racks of a food dehydrator (I have a round one like this and love it). If you’re drying them in the oven set it on low (about 250°) for a few hours hours. Check them every hour or so and flip them so that they dry evenly on both sides. If you’re drying them in a dehydrator, you’ll probably need to do them overnight. You’ll know they’re dry when there’s absolutely no moisture left and they’ve turned a golden orange shade instead of bright orange.
  2. For the garland: Start by laying out your greens to see how you want to build your garland. Once you have the garland laid out, use a hot glue gun and some twine and/ or floral wire to attach it all together. Tip: the hot glue will help hold the shape/ structure- especially in the center (see below).

Dried Orange Christmas Garland DIY

2. Once you have constructed the garland, start adding in the decorative items. I opted for pinecones and some cream ribbon, along with the orange slices. 

Dried Orange Christmas Garland DIY  3.To hang, use a picture hook, thumb tack or removable hook (if you’re looking for some pretty options check out here and here).  

Dried Orange Christmas Garland DIY  Dried Orange Christmas Garland DIYDried Orange Christmas Garland DIY Dried Orange Christmas Garland DIY   

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.

Like it? Pin it!

Dried Orange Christmas Garland DIY

Cyber Monday Sales

Cyber Monday sales- housewares and home

Who’s planning on doing some Cyber Monday Shopping today? I’m rounding up a few of the sales you can find online + some of home items that caught my eye. It’s a great time to pick up gifts on your list and maybe even something for yourself! 😉 What’s on your Cyber Monday shopping list??

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12

Cyber Monday Sales- fashion and accessories

13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25

 

CYBER MONDAY SALES

Indigo | 40% off Jamie Oliver Cookware | 25% off S’well | 25% off Le Creuset + more 

Amazon– various

Topshop– 50% off + free shipping

H&M– 20% + free shipping with code 3095

Old Navy– 50% off entire site including clearance (discount applied at checkout)

Gap– 50% off + free shipping with code GAPCYBER

Joe Fresh– 40% off when you spend $100 | 30% off everything + free shipping

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links

 

 

 

Simple Greenery Holiday Wall Hanging

Who’s starting to decorate for Christmas? Add a fresh festive touch with this simple greenery holiday wall hanging. All you need is some floral wire, fresh stems, and ribbon (maybe add a Christmas movie in the background ;). Choose a favourite festive word or phrase and enjoy a fresh addition to your holiday decorations. 

This wall hanging isn’t too tricky to make, it just takes a little time and patience. Pour a glass of wine, put on some Christmas music and get into the holiday spirit with this pretty DIY.

Materials

  • fresh greenery of your choice (something with a flexible stem and not too much foliage is ideal)
  • floral wire
  • ribbon
  • tape (to help hold the shape of the words)

Directions

  1. Start by wrapping a stem in the floral wire- approx 1″ twists. 

2. Bend the wire to create the shape of the letters. Add in stems as needed, bending the wire to form the shape of the letters. Tip: you may have to break/ cut the stems rather than bend them to form the letters.

3. Use tape to hold down the design as you go to keep the shape. Once you’ve completed the design, go back and smooth out the shape; twist in more wire where needed to help hold the shape of the letters.

4. Add ribbon to hang and enjoy!

 

What are your favourite ways to decorate for the holidays? Share below!

Like this DIY? Pin It!

Candy- Free Christmas Advent Calendar

    

Advent calendars are a fun holiday tradition, and even though we usually think of them as being filled with chocolate and sweet treats, I wanted to create one that combined the fun of receiving gifts with the joy of giving them. 

Instead of chocolates and other sugary treats (because we all know there’s going to be enough of those in the coming weeks!) I wanted to do something that the whole family would enjoy, including little gifts, and activities that we could enjoy doing together leading up to Christmas. I didn’t want it to become too expensive or over- the- top, but something I’d have fun putting together and we’d all look forward to each morning. 

While there are a few gifts mixed in, the main idea behind this advent calendar is to bring the family together, get into the holiday spirit, and teach our kids about kindness and giving- not just at this time of year, but all year. If you’re looking for fun ideas for the family going into the holiday season, I hope this candy- free advent calendar gives you some ideas! ADDED BONUS: Enter to win a prize package including tickets to some Vancouver Christmas events and a few other items to enjoy as a family. Scroll to the end of this post to enter to win! 

For mine I’m using a wooden box I picked up at a thrift store, and used a picture frame for the numbers; nothing too complicated but something that the kids can open- like a traditional candy advent calendar- and that will be big enough to fit small items in. The fun thing about advent calendars is that there are so many styles and ways to put them together, the hardest part is deciding what to put in them.

For ours I’ve rounded up a few little gifts to open throughout the month, items/ materials for activities (ie sprinkles for cookie decorating), and good deeds to do leading up to Christmas, along with 12 random acts of kindness to perform each month throughout the year ahead. For some days there will a note or envelope with an activity or good deed written on it, for others there will be little gifts the kids can open. While I love the advent calendars with candy, I liked the idea of trying out this style and may include some sweet treats in future years (plus we all know there will be plenty of candy and chocolate over the holiday season!). This is my first year doing this (Will did something similar last year and I give him credit for giving me this idea) and I hope it becomes a tradition we continue.

If you like this idea and want to try it with your own family, here are some ideas to get you started with your own advent calendar:

Activities

  • decorating cookies (Dainty Sprinkle Co has some cute ones for the holidays!)
  • making salt dough ornaments
  • kid- friendly crafts (we’re going to be trying out this Fantastic Spinner from Kaboodles)
  • holiday baking day
  • festive family events (check out this giveaway to enter to win tickets to Bright Nights in Stanley Park!)

Little Gifts

  • small gifts for each member of the family
  • books 
  • puzzles
  • games
  • Christmas pjs
  • socks
  • hot chocolate station items
  • snowman kit (carrot, scarf, hat, etc)

Good Deeds

  • picking out a toy and donating to a local charity/ toy drive* 
  • putting together a care package for a family in need
  • shoveling snow from a neighbor’s driveway
  • baking banana bread for a local homeless shelter
  • making dog biscuits/ donating food to a local animal shelter
  • walking a neighbor’s dog
  • 12 random acts of kindness- 1 to perform each month of the year

*Purchase a gift for the Kaboodles Annual Toy Drive and receive 10% off the price + they’ll deliver it for you. All toys donated to the Kaboodles Toy Drive go to the Vancouver Christmas Bureau.

Advent calendar gift ideas- decorating cookies Advent Calendar gift ideasAdvent Calendar gift ideas- art day

NOW ABOUT THAT GIVEAWAY!

Here’s what’s up for grabs:

Family four- pack of tickets to FlyOver Canada 

Two tickets to the Vancouver Aquarium

(Visit Scuba Clause + check out their holiday feature from November 24- January 7! Memberships make a great gift option!)

Fantastic Spinner art toy from Kaboodles Toy Store

12 Sleighs of Christmas + Santa’s Magic Key from Raincoast Books

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Terms + Conditions

Please note the following:

Open to residents of the Lower Mainland/ Greater Vancouver Area

Vancouver Aquarium tickets valid until January 7, 2018

FlyOver Canada tickets valid until April 30, 2018

Prize from Kaboodles must be picked up at one of the 4 store locations

Get more info about the giveaway partners on their websites + find them on social media:

FlyOver CanadaFacebook | Instagram

Vancouver Aquarium | Facebook | Instagram

Raincoast Books | Facebook | Instagram

Kaboodles Toy Store | Facebook | Instagram

Like it? Pin it!

Candy Free Christmas Advent Calendar