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A simple blog about seeking the Lord, savoring life and joyfully serving.


Thursday, December 19, 2019

☕️ 5 CHRISTmas Favs, Cozy Cocoa Recipes & Last Minute Gift Ideas


Christmas is next week, y'all! I am so excited! I wish we could have three more weeks of celebrating though. I love squeezing all of the fun advent activities into our days. I will keep up the baking and fun projects but it will not quite be the same. Here are a few Christmas Favs for ya...




1. Josh Garrels Christmas Album. Go here for the full album on YouTube. It's definitely different but so beautiful & relaxing, perfect for a quiet morning. I've mentioned how much I enjoy Josh Garrels before so when he released his Christmas album a few years ago we bought it and have loved it every year since. This is one of my favorites.




2. Cozy Cocoa Days.


I LOVE a Cozy Cocoa party...Everybody wears their cute Christmas pajammies and we set out our bar with our triple crock pot full of a delicious variety of flavored hot chocolates.

I also have wassail in a kettle for those who prefer a healthier option. I put out fun toppings like whipped cream, toffee chips, mini chocolate chips, and of course marshmallows.



My three fav flavors are Mint White Chocolate, Almond Milk and Honey Mocha and the classic Creamy Hot Cocoa.

Mint White Chocolate
For the recipe click here 
(to make this vegan friendly simply replace honey w sugar), I would triple this recipe.


Almond Milk and Honey Mocha
6 cups almond milk
6 Tbsps. raw honey
3 Tbsp. coconut oil
3 Tsp. vanilla 
1 1/2 Tsp. pure mint extract
(to make this vegan friendly, replace honey w sugar)
Mix well and simmer for an hour or two.

Creamy Hot Cocoa Legit, the BEST Hot Chocolate EVER, my kids said so :)
6 cups whole milk
1 1/2 cups whipping cream
1 can of sweetened condensed milk
1 Tsp. vanilla
2 cups chocolate chips (you could do half dark and half milk or all milk or all dark depending on how intense you want your flavor)Mix well and simmer for two hours.
Add mini marshmallows 15 minutes before serving so they get melty. Spoon into cups and add more mini marshmallows on top. *butter beer variation: replace the chocolate chips w butterscotch chips, add 3 Tbsp. butter and use whipped cream drizzled w caramel as a topping. 



I like to whip my ingredients using this blender in the crock pot. I bought this immersion blender in 2015 and it's STILL going strong! 

 3. Christmas Cookie Decorating. 

My kids won this at our youth Christmas White Elephant gift exchange. These aren't quite as tasty as the ones we make but they are certainly cute!I enjoy making assorted shapes and decorating sugar cookies that taste divine.

4. Watching Christmas Movies EVERY NIGHT!
A few of the best ones are
A Christmas Story
Elf
The Grinch (all three)
It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year
Santa Clause (all 3)
The Star
The Nativity
Nester (hard to find but a family favorite)and my all time #1 fav is

It's a Wonderful Life.



Mary Hatch is a beautiful inspiration to me. She is a hard worker, supportive wife and a kind, loving and gentle mother.

5. Last Favorite is Christ Centered Christmas Activities



One of my favorite things about Christmas is how easy it is to find crafts that point to Jesus. We have made baby Jesus ornaments, cross ornaments, Names of Christ Signs, Names of Christ Paper chains, three wise men pictures and the list goes on.



It's always important for us to teach the children young how to see Jesus is the True meaning of Christmas. We find Bible verses and crafts that coincide with those verses or sometimes vice versa. The most important thing is that we are doing something together that solidifies what is truly important, the most perfect Gift, Jesus.



I hope my favorites give you some fun ideas to celebrate with your family. 
Now onto last minute gift ideas...


Gifts under $10


Perfect for your UPS driver! I got mine the big one because he always goes above and beyond for us! I filled it with two oranges and a stack of homemade chocolate chip cookies. Make sure you add a little bag of cookies for his helper, too!


Yesssss, this gorgeous, thick, high quality sweater is UNDER $10! I have it in this color and its perfect w flares and booties or skinny jeans and OTK boots. I wear mine as a boatneck and get many compliments on it. I was pleasantly surprised at the thick and comfy fabric. Really a screaming deal. The navy one is only a few dollars more and I just purchased it. 
Fun gifts to have on hand for a white elephant gift or last minute gift for a child. Add a fluffy blanket for a fun gift for your neighbor.
 

Unique gifts
I would love this lovely bird fountain to sit outside between our chairs on our porch. I love the tranquil sound of water and would enjoy sitting in my chair listening to the peaceful sounds of water trickling.
 
I am trying to think of unique yet useful gifts this year and I always love giving gift baskets w a theme. How beautiful would this vinegar and oil set be in a gift basket w an elite balsamic vinegar and lovely olive oil, a rosemary plant and a fresh loaf of sourdough bread? 


Another cute gift idea is a homemade batch of loose leaf tea mix (I like red raspberry mixed w edible lavender). Add the tea balls (under $4 for two!) and this gorgeous mug ( just under $8) that has a fav Scripture of mine (I've given these out as gifts twice).

Have you already finished up your Christmas shopping. I'm nowhere near close but I am not stressing. I have the hard ones taken care of ;)I hope all of you have a wonderful Christmas and enjoy spending time with your loved ones. Please remember to be gentle on yourself, you don't have to feel bad if you cannot make every festive function you are invited to. It's ok to take some time to rest, refresh, recover and give yourself some space. I find that I need to take a few days so I don't let my home get disorganized and I can take the time to reflect on my blessings and make sure I am not getting flustered. I want to remain gentle and loving in my actions towards others and I find if I am too busy, I become frazzled easily. I hope you are filled with joy and peace this Christmas. Many blessings to all of you. 

Grace and peace,
Adoring Family
































2 comments:

  1. Love cocoa bars and this sounds like a great recipe. That sweater sounds like such a good deal. Fab Friday favs my love! Have a glorious weekend!

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    1. Thank you for stopping by, sweet friend. I hope you have a wonderful Christmas!
      xoxox Sharon

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