Monday, December 11

PRINT | Let Heaven + Nature Sing Art Print


Well happy Monday, friends!!
I'm popping in to share this "Let Heaven + Nature Sing" sign I created to update my the "Give Thanks" sign I had in this frame.

Since my Christmas decor this year has consisted of a mix of raw woods, whites and a little greenery, this sign just felt SO right. It's "simple + sweet" too which as you know, is my ongoing vibe and theme this Christmas season and this past year.



If you love it, I've created two sizes for you to download, print + frame.
Gift it. Frame it. Use it at your table settings...whatever your heart desires!!


Enjoy!!
Love you guys!!

xoxo,
Jess

KEEPiNG iT REAL
We have officially run out of our first batch of White Chocolate Hot Cocoa Mix
Mixing some more up today AND...I've got a couple of easy gift ideas I'll be sharing with you soon!!

Read more...

Thursday, December 7

RECIPE | Snickerdoodle Hot Cocoa


Oh my sweet, sweet friends.
This super simple Snickerdoodle Hot Cocoa Recipe is what Snickerdoodle dreams are made of.
I am so happy with how it turned out and I just know you are absolutely going to LOVE this!
I even created a cutie foldable recipe card for you to print and keep - because it's an absolute dream!

(folds into a 4x6 - .jpg and .pdf file formats available)


You will need the recipe for my White Chocolate Hot Cocoa Mix to make a Snickerdoodle Hot Cocoa. OR...even though I haven't personally tried it, you can try the Ghirardelli White Chocolate Powdered Hot Cocoa Mix in place of my homemade version.  (if you try this, let me know how it turns out).

If you decide to try the homemade version, there's a cutie recipe card for that one too! *wink*



Once you wipe the smile (and whipped cream) off of your face from trying this, PLEASE let me know how much you love it!!

PS - If you missed the "Simple + Sweet" Hot Cocoa Bar I set up this year - go HERE!!

Enjoy!
xoxo,
Jess

KEEPiNG iT REAL
Man!! That recipe card is just TOO cute.
But seriously - Ella LOVES this Hot Cocoa and J said I could totally package this up and sell it! *wink*

Read more...

Wednesday, December 6

RECIPE | White Chocolate Hot Cocoa Mix


And today....drumroll please....

White Chocolate Hot Cocoa Mix! YEP!!
But why? Why not just stick with the regular ole delicious Hot Cocoa Mix? 

Because you cannot make my super delicious "Snickerdoodle Hot Cocoa" without it. That's why!
Which then means you can't create your own "Simple + Sweet Snickerdoodle Hot Cocoa Bar". duh!
AND...some people prefer white chocolate.
AND...you can add peppermint and other flavors that won't compete with the good ole regular hot chocolate...chocolate. *wink*
AND...it's SO creamy and SO delicious...and...well...you just need to try it. Trust me on this one.

(folds into a 4x6 - jpg and .pdf file formats available)



Now...I know you are wanting to try that absolutely delicious Snickerdoodle Hot Cocoa I mentioned! Because I'm telling you...you are SO going to love it and thank me for forever...
for creating and sharing it with you!  Pinky promise.

So - baby steps.
Yesterday was the Simple + Sweet Snickerdoodle Hot Cocoa Bar - CLICK HERE!
Today is the White Chocolate Hot Cocoa Mix - which you will need to make the Snickerdoodle Hot Cocoa.
Tomorrow?
Well tomorrow is the debut of the delicious Snickerdoodle Hot Cocoa recipe!!
and a super cute printable recipe card too!

Love you guys! See you back here tomorrow!!
xoxo,
Jess

KEEPiNG iT REAL
It took me a few trials and recipe testing to find the perfect White Chocolate Hot Cocoa Mix.
The first couple Ella said were okay but she was missing the "chocolate" she was used to.
THIS recipe? This one is a winner.

Read more...

Tuesday, December 5

STYLING | Simple + Sweet Snickerdoodle Hot Cocoa Bar


Simple. Simple. Simple.
That's been the word + theme I've been chasing over the course of this past year.
With that said, when I was planning our hot cocoa bar for this winter and Christmas season I knew I would totally use the things + ideas I had started dreaming about last year and never had time to execute.

This included creating a delicious Snickerdoodle Hot Cocoa recipe that would take center stage and would be this year's "signature" flavor for our family. (remember the S'mores hot cocoa we did for our "Cabin in the Woods" themed hot cocoa bar?)

I had actually made a couple of weak attempts at the snickerdoodle hot cocoa last year using the Homemade Hot Cocoa Mix I've shared with you all previously. BUT...something just wasn't right. It didn't WOW me. And so...with an anticipated move for our family and so much up in the air it left the holidays spinning out of control last year. I just let the Snickerdoodle dream go.


This year however...we are settled into our new home and I was not about to let the dream go.  Honestly, it had never let go of me.

First things first, I had to perfect a "White Chocolate" hot cocoa mix in order to create the Snickerdoodle Hot Cocoa. You see,  I figured out trying to use traditional hot cocoa just wasn't creating the creamy, snickerdoodly flavor I was looking for. After several fails I finally nailed it.
And I mean NAILED it you guys. It's soooo good. 

Anyway, that's how this "Boho-ish" Hot Cocoa Bar took on a life of it's own. Once I figured out the hot cocoa mix and was able to perfect the ingredients needed to add to the mix to create the snickerdoodle flavor - well...that made the whole hot cocoa bar set up even more simple and I was able to finally envision how to pull everything together.


Pssst....the snickerdoodle hot cocoa doesn't even need marshmallows! Nope. No marshmallows on this hot cocoa bar. *gasp* But I am telling you - you won't miss them with this hot cocoa. Trust me. I'm all about tradition and I love marshmallows in my hot cocoa just as much as the next person but I promise you don't need them. The only topping you'll want or need is cinnamon + sugar on top of your whipped cream. That's it. (perfect cinnamon sugar recipe HERE).

Without all of the usual suspects i.e., the peppermints, chocolate chips, white chocolate chips and other fun toppings...all of a sudden my hot cocoa bar felt perfectly aligned with my "simple" mindset. 


Even the sign I decided on was simple. I used the same background and arrow graphic from the "Cabin in the Woods" hot cocoa bar set up and just simplified the wording. 






White Chocolate Hot Cocoa Mix, Brown Sugar, ground cinnamon, a shaker filled with cinnamon sugar and some cinnamon sticks for cuteness are all you need for this "Sweet + Simple Snickerdoodle" Hot Cocoa Bar.




I really love how it turned out.
I love the copper accents mixed with the wood + macrame details.

I love all of the Hot Cocoa Bars I've done through the years....for different reasons.
This one?
This one might be my favorite! *wink*

The White Hot Chocolate recipe will hit the blog tomorrow, followed by the Snickerdoodle Hot Cocoa recipe. And they both have cute printable recipe cards waiting for you all to print.

I hope you love how it turned out and more than that, I REALLY hope you are inspired to set up your own hot cocoa bar this year.

Love you friends!!
xoxo,
Jess

••••••••••••••••••
Here are all of the details if you are interested...

TOPPINGS USED
Cinnamon Sugar
Whipped Cream
Cinnamon Sticks

NOTES + TIPS + RESOURCES

HOT COCOA MUGS
Copper Mugs - handles get hot so they are perfect for warming cold hands BUT don't get burned.
Ivory Lace Hot Cocoa Mugs - from Anthro

STAY WARM HOT COCOA SIGN  - this one is 20x24 and I had it printed at Walgreens onto posterboard for about $15 - with a coupon. So AWESOME!! I will be making this available in my Etsy shoppe this week.

TABLE - from TJ Maxx - I love the drawers on the front for holding extra napkins, spoons, etc.

CINNAMON SUGAR SHAKER  - I bought a set of THESE copper topped shakers and filled one with THIS CINNAMON SUGAR RECIPE.

ROUND JARS WITH LIDS - from TJ Maxx

MACRAME WALL HANGING - World Market

MACRAME TABLE RUNNER - World Market

COPPER TEA POT - World Market

COPPER PITCHER - Marshall's
••••••••••••••••••

KEEPiNG iT REAL
I really struggled with the set up at first.
I kept trying to complicate things by adding christmas trees and wreaths and stuff to "holiday-ize" it.
But no. Sticking with a simple pitcher of the Eucalyptus on the bottom totally finished it off perfectly.
"Simple!" people. I just. need. simple.

And I'm probably going to gain 10 lbs over the winter sipping on the delicious Snickerdoodle hot 
cocoa. I want one every night. Ha!!

Read more...

Monday, November 27

SUGAR | Our Thanksgiving Pies


I sure hope you all had a "sweet" Thanksgiving.
Yep. Totally being intentional with a corny segway into me sharing the desserts I baked this year.

I invited a cheesecake to my table of pies this year.
Other than that, I stuck with three of my favorites...
In fact, the same exact pies I shared the recipes for last year.

The Only Pumpkin Pie


Chocolate Chip Pecan Pie


Crumb-topped Apple Pie


Our Family Cheesecake
I apologize in advance for no recipe - my mother has forbidden me for years to share the recipe
which is why this is the only time you've ever seen me mention it on my blog. *eye roll*




I figured the cheesecake deserved four photos since it's never made an appearance on the blog before. *wink*

I sure hope you all enjoyed the time with family and friends as you celebrated Thanksgiving.
It was hard sending Ella back to school today and I'm already counting down the days to Christmas break!!

Love you guys!!

xoxo,
Jess

KEEPiNG iT REAL
These desserts look almost perfect, don't they!?
Nope....

1. Pumpkin Pie - seemed too sweet to me this year for some reason? Also, the leaves were a tiny bit overdone. Thank goodness golden browns fit right into the Thanksgiving color scheme. Ha!!

2. Crumb-Topped Apple - the best pie on the planet. Again. Forgot to bring the vanilla ice cream though.

3. Chocolate Chip Pecan Pie - seemed exceptionally chocolatey this year? And it was nowhere as pretty as the pie last year. I couldn't add the pretty whipped cream accents with chocolate chips + pecan for the photos since we were traveling. I knew it would look like doo doo train after a 2+ hour drive. So I left it plain. Boo.

4. Cheesecake - doubled the crust this time to accommodate a new pan I was trying out. Mistake. Way too much crust for even this crust lover and was nearly impossible to slice through. AND...the 2 hours and 40 minutes of traveling to even get to Thanksgiving dinner caused it to soften - even though it was on ice. Oh let's be real people!! I also regretfully admit it's the first time I've ever under-baked a cheesecake - which added to it not setting up properly and being too soft by the time we served it. Wah!  Still tasted amazing though. Ha!

Read more...
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