Hot Chocolate Station Essentials

hot chocolate station essentials for everyday and parties

 

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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

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hot chocolate station essentials for everyday and parties

The Secret Dinner: A Night to Inspire

The Secret Dinner party table setting

It’s hard to believe that this evening- The Secret Dinner– was almost two weeks ago already. After months of preparing and planning, the evening celebrating the launch of the Captured In Squares website (the photo styling company I run with friend and blogger, Janette of Ava to Zoe) came and went in a flash- don’t the best kind of nights always go by too fast? A lot of love and time went into planning what Janette and I hoped would be a creative way to launch our website and we’re sharing some of the details on our blogs.

The catch of The Secret Dinner was that hostesses and location would be kept a secret until the last minute (hence the name), but hints were dropped on the event’s Instagram page so guests would have some idea of what to expect. I had the task of taking Janette’s idea of a secret dinner (all credit goes to her for the idea) and bringing all the details together while she hustled away on getting the website ready for the launch. Inspired by a wall of dreamcatchers, we wanted to go with a style that was a little bit boho/ rustic/ vintage with a white, gold, green colour scheme with accents of dark red for drama/ contrast. Let the pinning marathon begin! 

The theme of the evening was ‘a night to inspire’ and we wanted to use it as an opportunity to bring together some of our supporters and clients since starting Captured In Squares as a way of saying thank you. It was a chance to enjoy an al fresco meal in good company while swapping stories and experiences from being in business. Hose d’oeuvres from Fork & Knife Catering and flatbread from Rocky Mountain Flatbread were served alongside wine from Evolve Cellars, followed by a show- stopping naked cake by The Cake Mama.

We wanted the dinner to be outside to make the most of the last of the late Summer nights and our date in August didn’t disappoint. As a final way of keeping everything a secret until the last minute, guests had to walk down a path to enter the dinner area, turning a corner to see the set up. We opted for a low- lying palette table set with white and gold, vintage wine glasses, and wooden cutlery; menus were placed at each setting topped with a fresh sprig of greenery from my parent’s garden. Pretty finishing touches included a table- length runner of fresh seeded eucalyptus (Budget Blooms) from placed on top of sheet music and fabric, tea lights (Canvas Candle Co), the words ‘inspire’, ‘ignite’, ‘achieve’ in gold calligraphy (Paper + Parties Co) at each place setting, and a notebook topped with a mini dream catcher (Shop Ava to Zoe) for each guest. Since it was a low table, piles of cushions and blankets surrounded the table so the ladies could lay them out as desired and sit comfortably. 

We kept the decor simple, using a palette to display a selection of the photos from Impressed App we’ve taken since starting Captured In Squares, and decorating the food table in a vintage lace tablecloth and fresh flower bouquet provided by Budget Blooms. Fresh greens and a dream catcher (another Shop Ave to Zoe piece) served as a backdrop, with a vintage magazine wrack as a wine holder on the table. The cake made for a pretty focal point, finished with fresh flowers from Budget Blooms and a gold ‘Captured In Squares’ calligraphy cake topper from Paper + Parties. 

We ended the evening with prize bags contributed by some of the event’s sponsors: The Handpicked Home, Canvas Candle Co, Kristina Benson Art, Marsh&Mallow, and Budget Blooms, and a heartfelt thank you to the ladies in attendance. The notebooks and mini dream catchers from the table were sent home with the guests along with a swag bag of goodies as our way of showing our appreciation for everyone who came. And just like that, the evening was over. Janette and I couldn’t have been happier with how everything came together and how we marked the milestone of launching our website. It was a heart full moment and we are both so grateful for everyone who helped us bring it together and attended. For more details about The Secret Dinner, see below and visit this post on the CIS website. 

The Secret Dinner party table setting

The Secret Dinner party table setting

The Secret Dinner fresh greens table runner

   The Secret Dinner party table setting  The Secret Dinner party table setting

The Secret Dinner party table setting

The Secret Dinner Shop Ava to Zoe mini dream catchers

The Secret Dinner white flower bouquet

The Secret Dinner party decor Shop Ava to Zoe dream catcher

The Secret Dinner Evolve Cellars Wine

The Secret Dinner Fork and Knife Catering appetizers The Secret Dinner Fork and Knife Catering appetizers The Secret Dinner Rocky Mountain Flatbread

The Secret Dinner flower bouquet by Budget Blooms

The Secret Dinner naked cake by The Cake Mama

The Secret Dinner Paper + Parties gold calligraphy cake topper The Secret Dinner naked cake by The Cake Mama

The Secret Dinner palette photo wall

The Secret Dinner palette photo wall

The Secret Dinner fresh greens decor

The Secret Dinner fresh greens decor

The Secret Dinner swag bags from Essential Packaging The Secret Dinner guests with balloon garland from Paper + Parties Co

Thank you to these sponsors for helping us bring together The Secret Dinner 2017!

#SecretDinner2017

Photos & Styling by Captured In Squares

Food & Refreshments

Appetizers: Caprese Skewers, Lemon & Garlic Chicken Skewers, & Prosciutto and Mint Wrapped Melon Skewers- Fork & Knife Catering | Facebook | Instagram

Selection of flatbreads: Fig & Brie, Parma, Classic, & Tomato Basil- Rocky Mountain Flatbread | Facebook | Instagram

Naked Cake- The Cake Mama | Facebook | Instagram

Wine- Evolve Cellars | Facebook | Instagram

Decor

Balloon garland, gold striped plates, cake topper + gold words (on cutlery)- Paper + Parties | Facebook | Instagram

Florals & greenery garland (on table)- Budget Blooms | Facebook | Instagram

CIS photo prints (displayed on pallette)- Impressed App | Facebook | Instagram

Invitations (emailed to guests)- A Little Love Creative | Facebook | Instagram

Swag Bags + Prizes

Bags & tissue- Essential Packaging | Facebook | Instagram

Gift tags- A Paper Life | Facebook | Instagram

Prizes

$30 Gift card- The Handpicked Home | Facebook | Instagram

$100 e- gift card- Kristina Benson Art | Facebook | Instagram

$50 candle gift pack- Canvas Candle Co | Facebook | Instagram

Floral bouquet- Budget Blooms | Facebook | Instagram

Gourmet marshmallows- Marsh&Mallow | Facebook | Instagram

Swag

$10 coupon codes- Kristina Benson Art | Facebook | Instagram

Set of free photo prints- Impressed App | Facebook | Instagram

Mini white dream catchers- Shop Ava to Zoe | Facebook | Instagram

Individual gourmet marshmallows- Marsh&Mallow | Facebook | Instagram

Sparkling Lavender Lemonade Popsicles

sparkling lemonade popsicles 1    

Last week I posted about the Lemonade Stand Party that a group of us got together and organized and I wanted to follow up this week with the lemonade popsicles I made. These popsicles are super simple to make and you can either make them with homemade lemonade or use a mix like I did (I used a Lemon Lavender cordial from The Handpicked Home). For a pretty finishing touch I added a fresh sprig of lavender from my garden and used sparkling water instead of regular to make them bubbly.  We’ve still got a few weeks left of Summer and these are a perfect sweet treat to cool down with, or serve them up as a refreshing addition to a dessert bar at your next party.

sparkling lemonade popsicles 3

Ingredients

Homemade lemonade or a lemonade mix made with sparkling water instead of regular water or

Fresh sprigs of lavender

Optional: slices of fresh lemon 

Directions

  1. Mix up your lemonade to your desired sweetness, using sparkling water instead of regular
  2. Pour into popsicle molds, leaving a little extra room at the top so you can add lavender sprigs and/ or lemon slices, plus the popsicle sticks
  3. Freeze overnight, pop out, serve, and enjoy!

That’s it, told you these were easy to make! 😉

Tip: serve in a container with ice to keep them from melting as fast 

Sparkling Lemonade Popsicles 2

Sparkling Lemonade Popsicles 4

Sparkling Lemonade Popsicles 5

See more from the Lemonade Stand Party here.

Popsicle flatlay photo- OHP

Party photos & styling- Captured in Squares

Meyer Lemon Lavender Cordial- The Handpicked Home

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Cheers! A Grown Up Lemonade Stand Party

Driving around in the Summer, you can’t go too far without seeing a lemonade stand with kids offering up cups to quench the thirst of passersby. It’s a staple for many a childhood and most of us probably set one up as a kid. It’s what inspired this Summer collab, and together a group of us had a great time sipping, eating, and spending some quality grown up time together as we shot the photos. Just because we’re not kids anymore doesn’t mean we can’t still have some fun and put a grown- up twist on this Summer classic, right? 

We took things a step further than the classic lemonade stand and added some lemony treats and a grown- up lemonade mimosa to accompany the classic drink, plus added some pretty details to finish this lemonade stand themed party. The stand was made from upcycled pallets and is as simple as it gets to make (note: also a fun excuse to use a hammer and tools 😉 ), and the rest of the furniture we used was from my thrifting adventures.

For decorations we went with pops of pinks and yellows to build on the lemonade theme- think the classic + pink lemonade- included fresh flowers to add a grown- up feel, and fun decor like the pink ‘party’ balloon and flamingo ring toss (I had been eyeing up the flamingos at the dollar store all Summer and thought this was the perfect excuse to finally buy them). This theme would be perfect for any number of celebrations, and easy to adapt to set up indoors (ahem, pallet bar anyone?). Just grab some lemons, a splash of vodka, and a party straw and sink in for some citrusy party fun with friends. Hope you like this idea for your next party!

 

        

  See below for bloggers & brands involved in this party:

Photos & styling- Captured in Squares

‘Party’ ballon, paper cups + plates, treat boxes (used for candy boxes)- Joonie & Joe

Florals- Sophie’s Flower Shop

‘Lemonade’ sign- Pacific Coast DIY

Lemonade stand print- Love Designs

Watercolour lemon candy tags- Emily Cuthbert Designs

Lemon Squares- The Lemon Square

Lemon marshmallows- Marsh&Mallow

Wine (in lemonade- Evolve Cellars

Meyer Lemon lavendar Cordial (used in popsicles)- The Handpicked Home

See the other blog posts from this collab:

Sparkling lemonade lavender popsicles- OHP

Lemonade Mimosas- Ava to Zoe (coming soon)

Pink Lemonade + Lemon stamped bunting/ napkins- Discovering Parenthood (coming soon)

Candy Treat boxes- Claire Krista (coming soon)

Lemon Ice Cubes- Raising Jay and Abel

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Canada Day Bunting Printables

Want to add some patriotic decor to that Canada Day BBQ or party you’re having this weekend? I’ve got you covered with these printables! Hang inside on a wall or outside above a patio to add that pop of red and white. Just print, cut, add some string, and hang! Oh Canada? Oh yes! 😉

I’ve got a few options to choose from, so you can pick your favourite: red with white lettering, white with red lettering, a combo version, and a bunting template with stick- on letters (use the shape as a template to cut out your own bunting from paper and then glue on the letters or just print the letters and tape onto twine/ string for a smaller garland). There has definitely been a patriotic theme here around OHP this week and I couldn’t resist sharing something to help celebrate day- of! Big or small, I hope your Canada Day celebrations are full of fun! See below for instructions. T- minus 2 days until Canada Day!

Printing tip: make sure to select ‘fit to page’ to ensure the bunting templates print as they appear. You can also scale the size down if you’d prefer smaller bunting pieces (I scaled down to 35% for letter garland).

 

     

TRIANGLE ‘HAPPY CANADA DAY’ BUNTING

Here’s a sample of what the different styles look like:

 

  

Click on the option you’d like to print below:

Canada Day Bunting- Red with White Letters

Canada Bunting- Red & White

Canada Bunting- White with Red Letters

‘HAPPY CANADA DAY’ LETTERS + BUNTING TEMPLATE

Here’s a sample of what the letters look like:

Click below to print:

Canada Bunting- Round

 

  

Looking for more ideas to celebrate Canada? See the links below!

Canada Day Strawberry Chia Parfait

#RedandWhite Pop Up at The Local Space: Post a Photo to Win!

Oh Canada: 10 Ways to get Your ‘Eh’ On for Under $75

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