Thursday

Hot Cocoa Party- Recipes & more printables

12.18.14- 

  Just can't stop thinking about the hot cocoa bar that was up in our back yard last week.  Still so much to share & talk about with you.  This vintage mini bread loaf pan was the thing that started it all & got my head spinning about this hot cocoa bar.  I wanted to fill up each little compartment with the usual toppings to a good cup of cocoa & some unusual as well. 

-From top left to right: cinnamon, big marshmallows, mini tiny marshmallows, cinnamon sticks, sea salt & toasted coconut.  Bottom left to right: Peppermint sticks, more mini tiny marshmallows, mini marshmallows, choc. mint pieces, chili powder & white choc. chips- 

I wanted the girls & their friends to try some new & different combinations to their hot cocoa {or at least think about it} So I wrote up some recipes to have out for them to follow.  You can get the FREE printables yourself, HEREHere & Here



I also offered all sorts of sizes of cups & mugs for the guests to choose.  Having smaller sized mugs on hand is nice because it invites a lot more refilling & trying different flavors & combos.  I love having smaller sized mugs in the cupboard, great for lots of things when you entertain.  You can find them at cooking stores. 

 It was great to just sit back & watch the mixing, stirring & giggling begin.  Love putting a party together & watching everyone enjoy themselves.  


A terrific little topper to the party was creating these word stencils for the kids to stamp their hot cocoa with.  Hot Stuff, sweet, enjoy, yum, yum & let the kids take their pick.  Use a paper cutting machine to cut out the words & then cut out the stencil to the size of the mug for easy stenciling.  
A few tricks to make this work.  


1- You need the hot coca or whip cream filled up close to the top of the mug. Try to have a smooth surface to stencil on. 
2- Use a small sifter to sprinkle on cocoa, cinnamon or chili powder, for a bit of a kick. Be sure not to be standing over the other mix-ins. You don't want chili powder or cocoa all over the marshmallows.  
3- Experiment & have fun! This might not work perfect the first time so try, try again.  Keep sipping & stirring more cocoa.  That's the fun part, right?  


A fun way to put a stamp on a great party.  Love how the ship cream & mini tiny marshmallows 
{you can find them in bottles by the hot cocoa section in the groc. store, I found these at Target} 
 look with the enjoy cocoa stencil.  



Hope this has inspired you to host your own hot cocoa bar & try to make the delicious French frozen hot cocoa recipe.  I'd love to hear what you think. 

Enjoy! 
{M} 

Wednesday

Some big news!

12.17.14- 


So this just happened. The H&H online store is up & open! Excited to be offering some of the things I make, create & collect with all of you. {Year round!} 
  

Shop Hollyhocks & Honeybees is now open over on Instagram.  Please don't leave any comments, questions about ordering on here.  Follow @shophollyhocksandhoneybees to get all the details, info & pics of bundles for sale. HURRY though because each one is unique & one of a kind so when they're gone, they're gone! 


Happy Holidays & happy shopping!
{M}

Tuesday

A rustic, woodsie hot cocoa bar, recipe & FREE printable!

12.16.14-


So excited to share with you something I did in our back yard last week. I embraced the unseasonably nice winter weather we're having & set up a hot cocoa bar outside for my daughters & a few of their friends.  


I looked around the house, grabbed what I could & headed outside to create a woodsie space outside under the pine tree. The perfect spot to set up the hot cocoa station with all the fixings.  Of coarse it all comes down to the details.  Finding the perfect accessories to go along with the theme.  So anything & everything that symbolized winter, outdoors or hot chocolate got pulled from the house & taken outdoors.   This bench was the perfect thing to start with & then just build on top of that.  Stacking a unique piece on top & adding touches here & there made it so inviting.  
-Homemade cinnamon dough balls tucked into an vintage bread pan make the perfect accompaniment to the hot cocoa- 
Loved being able to put to use my vintage thermos collection. {yes, a thermos collection}  Glad all these things that I'm drawn to & have oodles of, comes in handy quite often.  That's the best part of collections, they aren't just for show USE them.  Find ways too, sometimes it's hard but it can be done.  
{Just look at that green thermos with the word holiday on it, perfect for so many things!} 
These giant wooden snowflakes got nestled into the branches of the pine tree creating the perfect backdrop for the hot cocoa bar.  Making some seating areas around the bar was fun too.  Plaid blankets set out to sit on & vintage folding chairs with a wood stump end table made for a fabulous spot to sit, sip & chat!  We're always heard to bring the outdoors in when we decorate but I'm loving bringing the indoors & out & creating party spaces, extended rooms outside to enjoy. Such a fun spin on a party idea.  Try it, I think you'll like it.  


Use elements you have in your home decor & bring them outside too. I used some chalkboards & frames to create some space to the hot cocoa party.  I love both of these things in my home, so why not bring them outside.  


Framed the lyrics to a fun children's winter song that our family likes.  Have you ever heard it before?  We love to sing it whenever anyone is mixing up a hot cup of cocoa.  Thought the words were so sweet & perfect to display at the party.  You can print this out for yourself  to frame, stick on the fridge or display on the magnet board during the winter months.  Better yet print it out & give it to a friend or neighbor this holiday season with a jar of the french hot cocoa. 

Get the FREE printable  HERE 


Now that the stage is set it's time for the good stuff.  Wanted this hot cocoa bar to not be the typical hot chocolate party.  I wanted the girls & their friends to have the chance to experiment, create & enjoy the time it takes to make a good cup of hot chocolate.  So I made up a batch of French Hot Cocoa for them to enjoy.  My friend gave me this recipe years ago & we have made it every winter since.  The only key to this recipe is a little bit of time, you'll see why below but that's what makes it unique & special. 

-These make such a great neighbor gift for the Holidays- 

Frozen French Hot Chocolate recipe 
----------------------------------------------------------
1 c. water 
2 2/3 c. sugar 
1/4 tsp. salt 
6 sq. of unsweetened chocolate 
2 C. whipping cream {whipped} 
1 tsp. vanilla 
1 tsp. almond extract 

Bring water, sugar & salt to a boil.  Boil for exactly 5 minutes, take off burner & cool completely.  Melt the unsweetened chocolate over a double boiler & when smooth & melted, combine into cooled sugar mixture.  Mix together well. Whip whipping cream, vanilla & almond extract together. Fold into the chocolate/sugar mixture.  Once incorporated well, store in an air tight container & keep in the freezer for up to 3 months. Hot cocoa will be ready to serve after a few hours in the freezer or over night.  To serve warm up some milk, pour into a mug & get a heaping spoonful {or two} of the french hot cocoa & mix. {Be sure to use milk, it won't work with water}   Enjoy! 
------------------------------------------------------------
Create some fun by giving lots of options for mixing & experimenting in the mug of hot cocoa. Think outside the box a little on what you bring to the party.  More to come on this tomorrow!  
{yummy, recipes & more prinatables!} 

Such a great simple party to throw together & enjoy this time of year.  Nothing better than hot cocoa on a chilly day.  Glad we got to sit outside & enjoy it a little more than what we would have on a typical December day in Utah.  Such a fabulous day! 



Come back again tomorrow.  Sharing lots more tips, tricks & a few recipes on how to pull this whole party idea together.  

Have a wonderful day, thanks for stopping by.

{M} 

Sunday

& we have a WiNNER!

12.14.14- 

  Thanks to everyone who left a comment on the blog yesterday.  I throughly enjoyed reading each of your comments & hearing what your favorite number was & why you loved it so.  I appreciate you taking the time to share your thoughts, heart & feelings with me.  I've always believed that there was deep meaning & power in numbers & you all proved my point by what you shared.  THaNKS again! 


So excited to send one your way, Heidi. Don't worry I'll send you one that hasn't been through 10 years of wear & tear.  I'll keep these bandaged beauty for me.  I just love it so! 

Ok, off to get some sleep & ready to go to Studio 5 in the morning.  I'll be on Tuesday so please tune in or set your DVR's. Lots of great stuff to share- I'm excited! 

{M} 

Saturday

Happy once in a lifetime day & an H&H giveaway!

12.13.14- 

With a date like today you just have to do something fabulous right?  So that's why I'm doing a GiVEAWAY of one of my all-time favorite most things.  First, I wanted to give you a little background & tell you why I adore them so much.
  

These may look like a pile of old  "junk"y numbers to you & to tell you the truth that's where I found them nearly 10 years ago.  I was at a craft store & for some reason decided to walk into the back & dig through a large pile of cast offs, broken things & rejected, for one reason or another,  projects.  As I was digging something with the coolest curve caught my eye. I pulled on it & out came a #5 from under the pile.  I immediately thought, well there has to be more so I kept digging.  I soon uncovered a 1, 3 a 6 and a 7.  Not knowing what to do with them at the time all I knew was that they needed to come home with me & be appreciated, not thrown into a pile of trash. Not sure where the # 2, 4, 8 went, I tried to find them but they were no where to be seen.  Didn't know what their former life was but determined to create a new one for them. 

The numbers I found from the pile were old, I could tell. Really warn around the edges, a great natural aged patina on the wood & pencil marks all over them a sign of once upon a time being well used & loved.  Some had even been repaired a time or two signs of wood glue & masking tape told the story.  All these things I admired & appreciated about my new found treasures.  













-I left all the markings & the original, you like that, masking tape that came with the numbers.  You can't copy that kind of character!-

Oh, how I have grown to love these over the years!  I decided to add the missing numbers to the group I unearthed from the pile & love they way they all look together. They mean so much more to me than just wood patterns. I have made many things out of them, used them in my home decor, also as birthday party decor, given them as gifts & of coarse used them to create my Hollyhocks & Honeybees signature number sets.  They really have become a symbol for my brand.  
{You can find that in the TaDa Home Decor January Collection, by the way} 
I can't even begin to count the amount I've cut out over the past 10 years.  I still have the originals tucked save away in my H&H headquarters.  I take good care of them!  They come out every once in a while but for the most part are kept in a safe place.  I have really grown to love these wooden numbers & what they mean to my business.  I treasure them & think it's not a coincidence I started digging through that box all those years ago.  

I love numbers!  I like to look at them on license plates, in phone numbers or on the hymn number plaque at the church each Sunday to see what combinations or equations I can come up with to pass the time. 
{Which is very strange because I've never thought of myself as a mathmatician by any means.}  
I still remember my childhood friends phone numbers, cousins birthdays & friends addresses.  Maybe a little weird but for some reason numbers seem to represent & stand for things for me.  I think that's why I love these wooden numbers so gosh darn much! 
-This is my favorite number!  I like it because it represents the number in our family.  I also love a number that's slightly bigger, the #58, more to come on that later- 
So with a day like today 12-13-14 I figured I better have a good GiVEAWAY to celebrate this day.  I'm asking you- 
What's your favorite number & why?  What does it represent to you?  
Leave a comment telling me what it is. One lucky person will get their favorite number {a new one not my originals} sent their way to display in their home how ever they choose.  You can pick the color you'd like it painted or just get the plain wood.  We can discuss the details once you WiN!  

Sound easy enough? Help me celebrate this one in a lifetime day & leave a comment below.  Winner will be announced tomorrow morning- GooD LuCK!
{You only have this amazing day to enter so do it now!}  

{M}

Friday

It's a wrap- the WiNNER is.......

12.12.14- 

  Thanks for following along as I shared 12 of my favorite Holiday things over the past couple of weeks.  What a fun series for me to put together.  Be sure to stop back by tomorrow because I am sharing ONE more favorite thing & giving it away to one lucky person.  
{So excited to share!} 

I loved reading your comments & hearing from you over the last 12 days here & on Facebook.  So fun!  Thanks for participating & entering the GiVEAWAY.  

The WiNNER of the H&H Holiday 5x7 frame is....... 


CONGRaTULATIONS! 
{email me honeybee58@gmail.com your address so I can get this wrapped up & headed your way!} 

"BEE" sure to come take a peek tomorrow at another favorite thing & learn how you could win ONE.  I saved the best for last of my most favorite things.  

{M}