‘Tis the season! It’s time for hot cocoa, peppermint sticks – and lots of holiday treats!
My kids LOVE hot cocoa. We make it a lot during the winter – and they are used to good, old fashioned, homemade hot cocoa. I decided to start experimenting with a hot cocoa mix this year so that we could have something that was super easy to make on the fly, as well as something we could package up and use as gifts for the holiday season.
So this is a recipe for a dry mix – and it is doubled, so it makes a huge batch. We have been able to use it for after school snacks as well as have enough to make substantial amounts of holiday gifts!
In another post, I will show the labels and 8×10 sign that you can print or buy to set up your own warm beverage bar.
Ingredient for the dry mix:
- 10 cups of dry milk
- 1¾ cups of coffee creamer
- 1¾ cups of cocoa
- 7 cups of powdered sugar (or your favorite natural sugar substitute, like Stevia)
- In a large bowl, combine all of the ingredients with a whisk or fork until all are mixed together. Make sure to store this in an air-tight container, or divide into batches for gifts. This can be used for up to 8 months.
To make a cup of cocoa, carefully whisk 1 cup of very hot water with 1/3 cup of the hot cocoa mix – serve hot with your favorite hot cocoa toppings like marsh mallows or whipped cream. You could also add 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla to your cup of cocoa for a burst of extra flavor.
You can also use toppings like peppermint sticks and chocolate chips – so many options – what are your favorite toppings for hot cocoa? Do you usually use an instant mix, or do you opt for homemade hot cocoa?
To see the free “Hot Beverage Station” printables that go with this recipe, read on!
Happy Holidays! I can’t believe that the 2016 holiday season has already arrived and I hope that this post finds you all doing well!
I am kicking off this season with another round of “Free Download Fridays” – and the first one is a set of printables for a hot beverage station. This year, along with the printables, I am also sharing links to where you can purchase the printables rather than printing them yourself. I know that things can get tricky when dealing with printer settings, or just having to purchase certain papers when you do not have them at the ready.
This set includes:
- an 8×10 “Baby it’s Cold Outside Print”
- 2″ circular hot cocoa mix labels
- 3″ circular hot cocoa mix labels
The 8×10 print is a white graphic over a chalkboard background, and looks great in a white frame.
These glass canisters (as well as the red mugs) were found at my local Dollar Tree! I love the finds at the Dollar Store during the holidays! I used the pre-printed labels for these, but you can print your own if you would like. These are the 3 inch labels, but you can also print the 2 inch files for uses on other types of containers. You can see here that I used an upright jar as well – and this would work with the 2 inch OR 3 inch labels.
Upright mason jar:
The Fiskars circle cutters are great punches for circular labels – you can use the 2-inch cutter on the 2 inch labels, or the XXL much to create a much larger label. (3.5 inch)
Order the 3″ labels here – super easy and I was very happy with the print job!
Baby It's Cold Outside!
Just enter your email address to receive the
Hot Beverage Bar Printables!
I would love to hear how you set up your hot beverage bar this holiday season – you can tag #thechoiceumbrella in your posts! you can see the entire set of pieces here:
Holiday Season is officially here, as today is Black Friday and tomorrow is Small Business Saturday!
As an owner and supporter of small businesses, I am always looking to others for for holiday gift ideas!
Do you have a small business that you recommend or even own? I would love to hear about it in the comments below.
Stay tuned to my blog for lots of holiday DIY ideas, recipes and free printables in the next few weeks to come!
Here are a few of my favorite mugs from my Zazzle store – there are some great discounts this weekend and this site is full of fun and unique holiday gifts!
“Showing gratitude is one of the simplest yet most powerful things humans can do for each other.” – Randy Pausch
Thank for the response on my Stress Management Holiday DIY Kit labels – the messages and posts from you all were so kind and completely filled my bucket! I am posting few more labels today that can be used in similar ways, but I tried to make them a bit more broad so that you can customize the gifts as you see fit. I am also including the template for some labels that you can print out with your contact information, should you need that as well. These will fit on the backs of the gift tags. These are Avery labels, and use the template for the #48860.
Here are some cute ideas for gifting:
To download these labels, see the following links:
As always, I would love to hear how you’re using these – or if you have additional suggestions! You can message me on my contact form or leave a response to this post to share!
Stress Management : ‘Tis the Season for Self Care!
The holidays are quickly approaching and I am hearing more and more people start to talk about the stress of the holidays. The busyness of the holiday season, although fun and festive, can tend to take its’ toll on our bodies and minds.
I am putting together some “Stress Management” DIY projects, as well as blog posts and resources to help keep you calm, mindful and realistic this holiday season!
The first DIY and free printable is for a stress management gift – adaptogens and tea bags. If you are not familiar with adaptogens, you definitely want to read on…
Adaptogens and how they help your body with stress management:
Adaptogens are plant-based herbs that are used to improve the health of your adrenal system, the system that’s in charge of managing your body’s hormonal response to stress as well as promote physical and mental performance. “They help strengthen the body’s response to stress and enhance its ability to cope with anxiety and fight fatigue – slowly and gently, without jolts or crashes. They’re called adaptogens because of their unique ability to “adapt” their function according to your body’s specific needs. Though the effects may initially be subtle and take time to make themselves felt, they’re real and undeniable.” (source)
Adaptogens have been used for centuries in other countries to boost energy and resilience in the face of stress. “Recently, several studies have found evidence to support what those of us in the sustainable wellness field already knew – that adaptogens offer positive benefits —and are safe for long-term use.”(source)
Who wouldn’t want to help their body battle stress?
This will be one of my Happy & Healthy Holiday Gift ideas this season and I wanted to share – because YOU might want to gift yourself, or someone you care about with the ingredients for an amazing cup of stress fighting tea. Simply print out the labels that I have available for download, cut them out, and attach them your favorite jar or coffee mug and get ready to make someone’s day a little healthier. 🙂
Do you know where to find adaptogens? Your local health food store representative should be able to guide you, or I am happy to point you towards the packets that I use and taste great as a warm tea – just message me on my contact form!
Create your own Stress Management Healthy Holiday gift:
Get the "Relax" Bath Salts Labels!
The labels will be emailed directly to your inbox. For personal use only.
I printed these on a kraft card stock, but you can use whatever color you prefer. I use a straight-edge and a blade to cut them out, and then punch a hole towards the top!
If you would like more information about adaptogens and their importance, I would love to share information with you. Just fill out my contact form and I will be in touch!
Stephanie Brewster, fitness professional and transformation expert, is the first honorary member of The Choice Squad! I love how she answered her interview questions via video, enjoy some inspiration from this very wise entrepreneur. You can also view her brand launch by clicking here.
What is 1 consistent daily action that you did this year to help elevate your life and businesses and you would recommend to others?
What is the first thing you would tell someone who was struggling with self-confidence?
How many donuts are you capable of eating in one sitting?
If you could be stuck in an elevator with 1 person for 30 minutes, who would it be and why?
#RealLifeRealSuccess – preach it. I love your hashtag – what does it represent?
Pretend that everyone reading this is in a funk for the day…what is the #1 thing you would tell them to get out of it!
Please leave everyone reading and watching with an inspirational message.
We hope you have enjoyed this very special interview with a bright light in this world. Be sure to check back next month to see who will be featured as our Honorary Choice Squad Member of the month!
While looking through a Halloween book at the library last week, my kids and I decided that we had to try out one of the project ideas inside. The book, Artful Halloween, gave detailed instructions on how to make really creepy eyeball magnets – and we decided that they would be the perfect “BOO” gift to leave on doorsteps and in mailboxes during the week before Halloween.
Luckily, the project supplies were very inexpensive – we got some clear glass beads from the local Dollar Store, and I purchased some black cardboard boxes from amazon.
To print out the eye images, you can either take your own photos or find some free images on the internet. Copy and paste them into a software that you can print from – and print a few sheets so you have plenty of eyes from which to choose!
Cut the eye images out and brush them with a glue that will dry with no color, I used Mod Podge for these and it worked really well!
Place the glass bead on top of the eye and press down to release air bubbles.
When the glue has dried, cut the edges of the printed eye off and glue a small drip of magnet to the back of the bead.
I placed 3 beads in each of these black boxes, but you can wrap yours however you’d like! I tied each box with hemp string and tied this printable tag to each one. We loved how they turned out – and even more, we loved hearing our friends try to guess who left them these creepy gifts!
To download your free printable, click below – I hope you have fun with these!
Free Holiday Downloads and Printables:
Body Butter Label
Not only has it been an honor to work with the very fierce Jessica Glazer, it has resulted in an amazing connection! Jessica is a fitness professional, personal trainer, retreat planner, motivator, educator and all-around inspirational bright spot in the world. When Jessica and I first spoke about rebranding her health and wellness business, I honestly thought that I had her figured out! But as we began to connect more and more about what lights her up, I realized how eclectic, well-read and inspiring she really is! After lots of concepts and discussions, we were able to visually illustrate her edgy flair and her love for straight lines – I will NEVER look at a triangle the same way as it is a shape that symbolizes strength, femininity and wisdom – all words that embody what Jess Glazer is all about! We have enjoyed working together and look forward to a few upcoming projects and collaborations. This is her brand reveal!
Inspiration – see image credits below:
Brand Style Guide:
Social Media & Web:
#WellnessWednesday on the blog today with a tasty, crunchy afternoon snack! Today I am showcasing an easy, yet nutrient-rich snack for the 2 o’clock slump. Chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans, are a member of the legume family and are an excellent source both protein and fiber. Additionally, they are a super source of vitamins A, K and folate. Chickpeas are buttery and smooth and can be eaten whole, or used in dips and spreads.
*Tip – when purchasing canned chickpeas, checking the label can help you to choose the brand with the lowest amount of sodium.
This recipe is super easy and makes for a healthy afternoon snack – I hope you will give it a try – don’t be afraid to change the flavor profile with ranch powders, taco seasonings or other spices!
Those of you who are joining in on the 16 Week Transformation Challenge, this is definitely an approved snack!
1 12 oz can of chick peas, drained and blotted with a paper towel. (I let mine sit for about 30 minutes over paper towels or so to fully drain.)
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp garlic salt
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp fresh lemon juice (for use when they’re done roasting)
1 tsp fresh lemon zest
Preheat the oven to 400 while preparing ingredients. Once chickpeas are drained, place in bowl and mix with other ingredients – reserve some of the lemon zest for when they’re done. Bake at 400 for 30-40 minutes, making sure to jiggle the pan to ensure crispiness on all sides. When they’re done, place in bowl and toss with the remaining lemon zest and lemon juice – enjoy!