Top 4 posts from 2014


As the year is winding down I thought it might be nice to re cap the  four top posts of 201FOUR from the blog.  Lots of great, fun &  yummy ideas that you obviously loved me sharing with all of you.  Enjoy the look back!  Just click on the link below each picture to read the post & get the info & recipes.  Already excited thinking about 2015 & all I want to share with you.  
{Feel free to Pin away!}

Such a awesome, rad party for my girls back in June.  This idea has been pinned over 8,000+ times.   I give you all the details, a few pointers & info on how to plan this colorful bash for your upcoming parties & events.  

Ok, a gluten free cookie that just needs to be shared.  So good!  I love these cookies so much. The recipe makes up a big, big batch so they can be enjoyed & shared for a good long time. 

I grew up on these cookies, earned a Blue Ribbon with them at the County Fair & have been making them ever since.  They are so yummy & it's true what I say. The best cookie dough ever!

I told you about turning your Instagram pics & pics on your phone into books back in June.  I'm still in love with Chatbooks even at the end of December. Makes me feel good getting pictures of my phone & into my hands.  They make great scrapbook, journals & gifts. "Bee" sure to use the code to get your 1st one FREE.

201FOUR was a great year! Have a fabulous day.



Hot Cocoa Party- Recipes & more printables


  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. 



Some big news!


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!


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


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.



& we have a WiNNER!


  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! 



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


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!}  



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


  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....... 

{email me 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.  



Favorite things- Creating an indoor snow storm


Sometimes you just have to embrace the season & bring the outdoors in.  Showing you some ways to create a BLiZZaRD inside your home using things you probably already have.  I'm especially in the mood for some white stuff around since there is absolutely none on the ground outside.  We are having a weird, wacky December in Utah.  Record highs & no snow, so far anyway.  I'm sure it's on it's way, I hope. 

-Snowflake ornaments are fun to put out on display this time of year!- 
The best part about all the ideas I'm going to show you is that they won't melt!  They look as clean, white & sparkly as the real stuff but you can keep it around for a good long winters nap. I'm giving you some ideas to create a winter wonderland in your home just by looking in your pantry, cupboards & craft room, how about that!  

 Create snowy scenes with marshmallows tucked into a tall glass jar {one with a cute handle like this is a bonus- picked up this beauty in Texas earlier this year} pour some cups of all purpose flour into a canning or pickle jar.  Create a woodland scene with some fake snow flakes, a bottle brush & a little deer.  Found this darling felt one at the craft store. 

I put all kinds of glass jars, bottles & canning jars on my kitchen sink ledge during the wintertime.  Gives me something cute to look at all winter long.  Get creative!  If you need some glass jars, clean out your fridge & see what you have.  That is a great place to look if your canning jars are all filled up for the winter.  Plus, you'll have a clean fridge too! 

 This tall vintage Ball canning jar is filled up 1/2 way with just good old sugar.  Like how it glistens in the light too, if you want a bit more sparkle fill a jar with white glitter, that always looks so pretty!  Stacks of sugar cubes look cute too.  Something a bit different but just as sweet.  
{use some embroidery thread to wrap a little cube up with a bow, for added sweetness} 

This next idea was my island centerpiece last year.  Can't wait to set it up all again this year after Christmas is all put away.  This year I'm going to do something a little different, stay tuned.  I'll share pics! I created this snowy scene with just a few bags of flour, little bags come in all colors at the store, so cute. Then I just poured flour all over the bags, my old creeper {so many uses for this thing, I LoVE it!}  & among the bottle brush trees to create some mounds of snow.  
 Such a simple & fun project!  It will such to be the centerpiece of your table, island & a conversation piece for all who enter your kitchen. 

 I recently had the opportunity, with a few other friends, to decorate for a big Christmas dinner/party for our church.  We created a snowy mountain scape for the dessert table.  Since we live in the mountains we thought we would celebrate it!  

It was so simple to make & looked so good with platters & plates of cookies & sweets nestled into the "snow"  We started by putting boxes, of all shapes & sizes, on the table & then just draped & draped it with white table cloths, sheets of fake snow & sprinkled fake snow around the trees.  It was the focal point of the night, everyone loved it! 

If you're looking for more ways to bring the outdoors in this wintertime.  Be sure to check out TaDa Home Decor's January collection.  It is so chilly, calming to look at & so charming!  To order visit their website.  
-Fun to make my H&H #1's for this collection!  Such a fun thing to have out every January to welcome in the New Year- 
Question of the day?- Are you an outdoor person during the winter or would you rather stay inside?  

Whatever your answer is to the question above, hope I've given you some ideas to celebrate what you love to play outdoors in or bring it inside & enjoy the view.  
*WiNNER of the frame announced tomorrow!  PLUS, another GiVEAWAY coming on Saturday, you won't want to miss it!



Favorite things- Retro lights


  Kinda have a thing for these things. Whether they are turned on or not.  This vintage crush goes back to when I was a little girl.  My grandparents, where I spent every Christmas Eve, would decorate the 2 big evergreen bushes in their front yard with these.  I loved pulling into their home on Christmas Eve & being welcomed by those colorful lights.  So last year when we were going through my Grandma's home finding a box of old vintage light bulbs she saved when such a treasure!  So glad I grabbed them & now show them off during the Holidays.  They don't glow anymore but they sure do SHiNE! I display them in an old dump truck.  It was just begging for a cute load to haul around. 

-Precious cargo, some of the bulbs I got from my Grandma's house- 
-An aerial view.  I just put down a good layer of fake snow for the bulbs to rest on.  Don't want any braking on my watch!-

If you want to start a colored bulb collection, go right ahead!  Don't wait to find vintage ones, just make sure to save the ones that burn out on your strand of lights. DON't just throw them away!  You'll have a collection before you know it.  
{Each year my hubby & daughter #3 put up our lights they bring me in the burnt out ones.  Kind of fun knowing the collection spans the years & homes}

If I find a box of them at antique store or estate sale I just can't walk away & leave them behind.  They are great to put in vases to show off, all clustered together in a bowl on a coffee table or left as is in the box.  
{Example below!} 
-Would you just look at those colors & the patina on those bulbs. You can't buy them like this anymore.  They saw a lot of good Christmas' I'm sure & brought a lot of JoY!- 
So glad we use the throw back vintage colored big, bulbed lights outside our home each year.  The child in me jumps up & down every year when they get turned on for the first time or when we turn down our street & I can see their glow. I think they will always be my favorite Christmas color combo. 

Question of the day- What do you have light on your house & trees outside?  If so what kind?  Are you a vintage colored person or white lights? 



Favorite things- It takes a {glittered} village


Every year when I get these out I imagine what little house I would love to live in.  Each is so charming & sweet.  Feel like I'm playing house a bit as I set them all up.  Have to accent them with just the right bottle brush trees & next door neighbors house.  
{Have to be in a good neighborhood, right? } 

I fell in love with these little houses years ago. I started collecting them & receiving them as gifts from family & friends.  I have quite the collection now.  I even took a class at a local scrapbook shop to learn how to make them myself.  Some of the collection are ones I've made, which is a nice part to the collection. I like that each one is different.  So easy to add to collection that is mis matched right from the start.  Don't try & stick to a color, theme or size when starting a collection, it might not go anywhere.  Be open for lots of options. They will always look great together if you do. 

I used to put them up in the top windows of our home, which was very time consuming, so the wire rack is now the home for many of the little vignettes.  The cubbies are the perfect size to fit any kind of house, big or small.  Glad I  have a wide variety of houses & trees to choose from. Love the way this looks in our kitchen nook. 

-I'm quite obsessed with bottle brush trees too.  Just can't seem to get enough of them.- 
The wire rack paired with the table top centerpiece looks so charming together.  A mini winter wonderland in doors.  

-So fun to create a winter, snowy table top scene on one of my old creepers by just sprinkling some fake snow here & there.- 
I decorate high & low in our house.  Finding little unexpected nooks & crannies where I can stash a house or two.  The children's chairs up above our study nook is the perfect place to show some off.  They are sure sitting pretty & on display up there.  Look for those unexpected spaces to decorate in your home.  Creates such visual interest.  

-Notice the music station that I talked about yesterday? - 
Here's another example of decorating high & low.  A lone red chair up above the china hutch got some holiday cheer with this colorful glittered house.  Love how it all looks.  A little unexpected touch!  I also like to stick a house or two on the cake stands inside the hutch.  

When I opened up the mailbox last month & saw this cover staring back at me, I think I gasped.  Oh, that Martha!  {or all the people who work for her ;)} Is this not the cutest stinkin' thing you have ever seen!  I will now be on the hunt for more teeny tiny houses to create something like this next year.  The most adorable thing ever! 

Question of the day?-  Do you have a Christmas Village in your home now or did you grow up with one in your home?  

I didn't grow up with one, not quite sure where my love of glittered houses came from but I'm sure happy that I've enjoyed them for so many years.  Love that it keeps growing every year.  Simply a delightful collection to have. 
*Don't forget about answering the questions on any of the favorite things posts to be entered to WiN an H&H Holiday Frame.  You have until Friday to enter.  Winner announced Saturday. 



My favorite things- Music

Day 8- Christmas Music
One of the best things to fill your home with around the Holidays is music.  Oh, I love all the music, carols & singing that is going on around this time of year.  Wanted to share a few of our favorite CD's with you today to have in your stash of Holiday tunes.  

I like a good mix of music to listen to. The good old timeless classics, the fun songs that we used to remember singing in Elementary School, reverent hymns, songs of praise as well as some twists to the standards we are so used to hearing.  

This is our music station in the house.  I clean out the tray  weekend after Thanksgiving, put everything away that doesn't have Christmas in the title & fill it up with everything Holiday related for the next month. I'm not a listener of holiday music before Thanksgiving, I just can't. It's always such a treat to get them all out & start listening to Holiday tunes the whole month long.   

I try to get at least one new CD each year.  This year it was Idina Menzel {Elsa} Christmas CD. It is great!  I would recommend it if you're looking for a new CD to add to your Christmas music collection. Some of our other favorites Micheal Buble {Of coarse, no one better!}  if you love the timeless classics with a big band feel GET THIS!  One of my absolute favorites.  Found this link to a mix up of his CD, just a sampling.  Love it! {He's also featured on Idina & BNL's CD} 
Of coarse the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, always beautiful.  Just something about listening to the Nutcracker, so Christmasy.  We also have a few "little kids" CD's that we bought years ago when my kids were still little.  They are packed full of the fun songs that kids love to sing, I still like to listen to them too. {I want a hippopotamus for Christmas, I saw Mommy kissing Santa Claus, Rudolph, Frosty, All I want for Christmas is my 2 front teeth.}  The BeST!! 

Ok, this next CD just might be my all time favorite.  Don't be thrown off by the artist or the title, the CD is so FuN to listen too.  The perfect music to play for a festive party you're throwing or a casual get together.  I found this CD when I heard my FAVORITE version, EVER of God, Rest ye Merry Gentlemen playing on the radio station a few years ago.  It has We Three Kings thrown into the mix too, such a great song.  I just HAD to track it down.  So different & unique.  It is a collaboration of Barenaked Ladies & Sara McLaclan & it is A.Mazing!  I just love it so.  Here's a link to take a listen.  

This CD is just a upbeat, quirky, silly at times, get your dancing shoes on party CD.  Our family just loves it.  

Question of the day:  What's your favorite CD to listen to during the holidays? 
I'd love to know what to add to our Christmas music.  


p.s.  Thanks for sticking with me through my blog series, 12 Days of Favorite Things.  This has been such a fun project for me {& a bit hard at times}not for the lack of finding favorite things to share but simply finding the time & making a blog post.  
{I apologize for the pics. I know they are not the best but just grabbing my phone & using that instead of the Nikon just makes things a bit easier.}