There’s no denying that the past year has been a LOT for all of us. One thing after another has challenged us, with seemingly no end in sight. But there have been some good things, too. More time for the ones we love, less “calendar pollution” and for me, I have a renewed purpose in living with intention – and making even the seemingly little moments in life special.
I’ll be honest – Valentine’s Day has never really been much on my radar. My husband and I laughingly call it “amateur night” because it feels like the night that couples go out on dates that are way too long overdue and end up enduring long waits, less than optimal service and prix fixe dinners. We typically stay in on Valentine’s Day and just do a fun date on a less crowded night.
This year, however, I’m unusually excited about Valentine’s Day, I think because we all need a little more fun and a lot more love in our lives. I’m here for the pink and the red and the glitter and the hearts like never before. It just feels joyful! From the crafts the kids are doing for school (homemade Valentines for their classmates and decorated boxes in which to receive them) to the way I’m choosing to get dressed in the mornings, I’m having fun with it – and I hope you are as well!
I also wanted to share a few of my favorite pieces to help make your Valentine’s Day more special. Whether you’re buying a little something fun for one of the gal pals in your life, getting a gift for your daughter or your mom, sending a wishlist to your husband or boyfriend or snagging a little bit of sparkle for yourself, here are some options that I think are worth getting all “heart eyed” for!
Have a question about something you see? Drop us a line here and we’ll get right back to you! Buying a gift? Let us know and we’ll wrap it up special so it’s ready to gift.
However you are celebrating Valentine’s Day, I hope that it is special and filled with much joy!
Happy National Hot Chocolate Day, friends! Did you know this was a thing? I must admit that I didn’t until last week, but it’s absolutely something that I can get excited about. I loooooooove hot chocolate on a cold winter’s day!
When my family goes skiing, one of my happiest spots is fireside, sipping a hot chocolate after a day on the slopes with my bigs or making snowmen with my littles. It just feels so cozy – and delicious! Since I’m on a quest to bring simple, happy moments to the every day, I’ve started having hot chocolate at home more often and it’s such a fun treat. In fact, we set up a hot chocolate bar in my house every winter now and it makes the experience even more fun for my boys.
In my mind, all you need is a delicious hot chocolate recipe and a mug that feels comfy in your hands and makes you smile. If you can add fun toppings and a cozy fire and blanket, all the better! Since not all hot chocolate is created equal, I wanted to share a few of my favorite recipes with you all – and some links to our FAVORITE toppings that make the hot chocolate station extra fun. Hope you enjoy them!
If you’re looking for a gourmet hot chocolate recipe and have the time to pull out ingredients and make it right, this is one of our favorite recipes over at Annie’s Eats. It’s decadent, delicious and is a major treat! Also fabulous if you’re entertaining and want to wow your guests!
However, as a mom of four boys who owns her own business, I’m typically pressed for time, especially in the kitchen. I want to create special memories more often, even when pressed for time and I want it to taste like I spent time on it. (Sorry, but I can’t stand the taste of your average hot chocolate mix from the grocery store!) For our “everyday” hot chocolate recipe, our go-to favorite is this one from I Am Baker. It is rich, velvety and delicious – and only really requires four quick and easy ingredients – milk, sugar, vanilla extract and a good quality cocoa (this is key!) That alone makes a delicious cup of hot cocoa, but if you have the time to include the fifth ingredient in the recipe – miniature marshmallows – and let them cook into the hot cocoa, you will definitely be rewarded for your patience! It. Is. Delish! Highly recommend.
My boys also love the little spoons that you can stir into hot milk and make your own hot cocoa – it’s just easy + fun! We also LOVE putting whipped cream on top of our hot chocolate. There’s something extra delish about the cool + hot together. We typically keep a can of whipped cream in our fridge. It’s a quick, easy add to hot chocolate and my kids also love a dab of it atop strawberries as a dessert after dinner. And sometimes we add it to our favorite waffles on the weekends with a few chocolate chips for a special treat. When we have time, we use this crazy whipped cream contraption, which we LOVE. It’s expensive, yes, but it’s great for whipped sauces and soups and such as well. Of course, if you won’t use it enough to justify it, there are lots of less expensive options!
I hope that helps you get started on making some sweet memories with your family with some tasty hot chocolate on a dreary winter’s day – or a hot chocolate “bar” for a fun Friday night treat or to last throughout the season. Any way you do it, I hope that it brings you a little extra joy!