The Perfect Hot Cocoa Bar

Winter is the season of decadent sweets like hot chocolate. This year I set up a hot chocolate bar for Christmas. It’s cute but also practical since my husband and I love hot chocolate.

Below is everything I used to create this dreamy hot cocoa bar.

Santa Mug

The Peppermint Hot Chocolate is from Williams Sonoma but currently sold out. You can either use the Classic Hot Chocolate from Williams Sonoma or this peppermint hot chocolate.

Similar Mini Christmas Trees

Candy Canes

The marshmallows I use are peppermint marshmallows from Trader Joe’s. Kraft also makes peppermint marshmallows.

The Hot Cocoa sign is from Target but is currently sold out. I scavenged the internet for you to find this hot cocoa sign and this one.

Holiday Outfit Ideas

This holiday season is going to look very different from past years. Typically I’d share some formal and cocktail appropriate outfit ideas for holiday parties. Unfortunately in most parts of the world holiday parties are more like small casual get togethers with your inner circle. Below are some casual outfit ideas for your holiday season.

Paige Jeans H&M Sweater Tasha Double Pom Beanie J.Crew Booties

Unique Vintage Cardigan Zella Leggings Vince Camuto Sweater Caslon Booties

Paige Jeans Mango Sweater Nutcracker Earrings J.Crew Pumps

20 Festive Things To Do During The Holiday Season

The holiday season is here! I for one need more holiday cheer than normal. This list is created in an ideal, non-pandemic world. I am by no means encouraging anyone to get out and about unless it is safe. Most of these things are pandemic friendly with a few exceptions:

Nutcracker performances are unlikely to happen in person this year but you can always watch them on TV. As with the Nutcracker performances, any Christmas event is unlikely to happen in 2020 BUT if you live in the Denver area I highly recommend checking out the Botanic Gardens Blossom of Lights or the Zoo Lights. As of right now, the Denver events I mentioned are still happening but with restrictions. Having a huge dinner party is ill-advised right now but you can still make a holiday feast for your inner circle.

Happy Holidays!

2020 Gift Guide Gifts for Him

It’s that time of year! Time to start shopping for Christmas! Too soon? Well if you plan to shop online I suggest doing it soon. Below are some gift ideas for the men (or anyone really) in your life.

1. Larq Water Bottle 2. Philips Hue Light Strips 3. Philips Hue Light Strip Extension 4. Tulip Whiskey Glass Set 5. Bose Speaker 6. Hiking Pants

Some dupes & more affordable options

1. Simple Modern Water Bottle 2. Tulip Glass Set 3. Light Strip 4. Hiking Pants

Christmas Preparation Timeline

It is officially the holiday season! That means we all need to start preparing for Christmas. Below is a simple timeline to guide you through the preparation process.

Some Extra Tips…

When you are creating a list of everyone you need to shop for, write down a few gift ideas next to each person’s name and the store that you can purchase it at. Also inlclude a few extra generic gifts that anyone will love just in case you forget someone.

Shipping this time of year can take longer than expected so it’s important to order the gifts that need to be purchased online first. I would cut off online shopping after the first week of December. Any later than that would almost guarantee it won’t arrive on time unless you pay for expedited shipping.

I suggest sharing your holiday calendar with everyone in your household.

As soon as you receive your holiday cards, start addressing them. Try to address a few each day so it’s not tedious.

Waiting until just a month before Christmas to decorate might be grinchy to some, but I genuinely love the way my home looks without decorations. I personally find that if I decorate any earlier, it takes away from how special it feels to have the decorations out.

Before you shop for gift wrap supplies check to see what you already have. Just because something doesn’t scream Christmas, doesn’t mean that you can’t incorporate it into wrapping Christmas presents. For example, I ALWAYS have black or white ribbon on hand that I use with some of the Christmas gift wrap.

I suggest starting your in store shopping no earlier than a month for the sake of gift receipts and returns (most stores have a 30+ day return policy). HOWEVER, if you are confident in the gifts you are buying and want to forgo including a gift receipt then I suggest shopping earlier to avoid crowds.

I like to set aside a large amount of time to wrap gifts but if you are busy, try to wrap a few each day.

When you are planning your holiday menu make sure to coordinate with your friends and family on what they plan to bring.

When you are creating a list of serveware you need make sure to include serving utensils. The day before, I like to pull out all the serveware and put a sticky not on it with what items will be served on it. This helps me stay organized and helps my husband or anyone else know where to put things.

Immediately before you go grocery shopping make sure to give your pantry and spices one more look to make sure you are not missing anything.

A Home Gym for Under $2,000

Last month my husband and I decided to get a home gym. We are so happy with it, and it was surprisingly less expensive than I thought it would be.

Some Background

We bought our first home almost a year ago. Typically when you buy a new build you get to choose all the finishings, unfortunately we came in really late in the building process when we made an offer so all the finishes had already been chosen by the builder. There was only one decision we were involved in, and that was an unfinished room. We had the option to either have it turned into a bedroom, or knock down a wall and have a 3 car garage. We didn’t like either of these options so we asked that they leave it unfinished.

For about a year we went back and forth on what to do with that room, until we decided to turn it into a home gym.

A Tour

The first thing we did was the floor installation. We laid down high density carpet padding, then put interlocking gym mats on top. We had to cut the gym mats to fit snug against the wall. The flooring is comfortable to workout on and provides stability for the equipment. The mats are all technically black, but they come from different dye lots so they don’t match perfectly. Don’t waste your time trying to find ones that are the same shade because you will spend a lifetime on it. We purchased the gym mats here.

The most expensive part of the gym is the elliptical. We were adamant that we wanted an elliptical for the gym because it’s my favorite way to get in cardio and it is low impact. The elliptical we bought is a Schwinn 430. We like that it has a fan, speakers, and options for different user settings.

I primarily like to do at home Pilates. I’m thrilled that I have enough space to keep my yoga mat out on the floor. Yoga Zeal is hands down my favorite brand for yoga mats. They are comfotable, have great grip, cute patterns, and last for years. You can order the yoga mat here.

My husband insisted on getting a small set of weights and weight bench to start. The weight bench is sturdy and surprising comfortable. We decided to start with 20 and 25lb weights for my husband and 5lb weights for me.

Future Plans

We wanted to start with just the necessities for the gym and expand as we felt needed. We do have a TV for the space to go in front of the elliptical, but we need to hire and electrician before we mount the TV. We also plan to add more weights/weight accessories.