Hot Cocoa Station Free Chalkboard Printable

 hot cocoa station free printable

The evenings are getting chilly here in Washington, and the kids keep asking me when we are going to make hot cocoa.
Not just the packet (which tastes really good too!) but the works.

Hot chocolate, whipping cream, caramel syrup, marshmallows, sprinkles, candy canes…oh the possibilities!

And the excitement.

I think that’s one of the reasons that I love this time of year so much.
It’s probably not the rain, and the muddy paws.
The sun we don’t see for a while, or the occasional ice storm.
Those all seem to just go along with winter in our neck of the woods.

But the part I love, cherish and encourage in my kids is the magic. [Read more…]

19 Homemade Recipe Mixes + Pantry Staples You Can Make


make your own mixes homemade recipe mixes


One of my all time favorite ways to keep an eye on how healthy we are eating and keep my grocery budget in line
is making my own mixes and staples that I use the most each month.  Some people are far better at this than I,
and have it down to an incredible, organized science.  I am not that organized but I sure do love to make my own
coffee creamer for pennies, and gluten free mixes that keep tummies happy.

And of course, watching that budget never hurts either!

Here are a few of my recipes, and some of my favorite homemade mixes and recipes out there, check them out!!

[Read more…]

10 Minute Peppermint Hot Cocoa Mix In A Jar + A grocery cart race too

I’m sure you finished your shopping weeks ago.
And your aren’t frazzled.
Your gifts are probably all wrapped.
And you may even have a turkey thawing already in your refrigerator.  
You probably have your Christmas dinner menu all planned out.
You’re so organized like that, I really am aspiring to have my stuff together
one of these years…but in the meantime…
You and I might see each other on Christmas Eve with grocery carts full,
squealing around the corners of each aisle like the grand prize depends
on how fast we get to the checkout.  

Our cars are full of half filled out cards, empty Starbucks cups, and enough bows

and tape to last a lifetime.  
And the drive home involves a little (ok A LOT) of talking to yourself and singing loudly
to your favorite Christmas songs, knowing they won’t be playing on the radio much longer.
Because Christmas friends, is just about here.
And I LOVE every hectic, late night, sugar and flour covered kitchen moment of it!
So, just in case you need a few last minute gifts, or something for that special hostess
this is what we whip up every year.  Don’t forget to make a couple jars for yourself
Peppermint Hot Cocoa Mix
makes 3 quart size mason jars

3 cups of powdered milk
3 cups of granulated sugar
3 cups of unsweetened baking cocoa
dash of salt
3 cups of mini marshmallows
12-16 can canes 
1 cup of chocolate chips
I used three wide mouth mason jars for this project, and the recipe fit perfectly.  Begin 
by combining the powdered milk, sugar, baking cocoa and salt in a large bowl and using 
a small measuring cup or funnel to distribute the mixture evenly between the three jars.
Wipe the insides of the jars carefully to remove the cocoa mix from the sides, this will 
keep your layers looking good from the outside.  Next add a 1/2 cup of mini marshmallows 
to each jar.  Follow with a layer of chocolate chips (1/3 cup each jar) then 1/3 of the crushed
candy canes per jar, and top of with remaining marshmallows.

We had a small gift exchange recently and I shared a few of these with family, they were a
hit.  I use a fine tip sharpie to write the instructions on the bottom of each jar, and decorate
with a bit of ribbon or twine around the neck of the jar.  To make one cup of hot cocoa mix
add 1/4 to 1/3 dry mix to a cup of hot water.  Stir and enjoy!!


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Make Your Own Chai Drink Mix

I saw a survey recently asking what one thing that would be very difficult to live without.
Some people answered wine, or chocolate.  
Mind you, these are not about our loved ones, etc…just stuff we like, a lot.
My answer was coffee and internet. 
And my smart phone, ok that’s three things. But they are all important. 

I am going to assume I am probably not alone in my deep love for coffee and tea.

If you and I were out junking or looking for the next great find, we would stop for
what is called a Dirty Chai here in the Pacific Northwest.  We are a couple hours from
Seattle, therefore we have been reared on strong coffee.  
Coffee comes before everything else.  
Coffee understands, and it cares.  It really does.
And a chai around these parts goes hand in hand with all things coffee. 
What makes a dirty chai? 
Oh just a shot of espresso thrown in.
I am giddy just typing it out, I LOVE THEM.

I just whipped up a new batch of this today, the spices and tea make it smell
so holiday-ish and wonderful.  In fact, I think I am going to have a cup right now!

Chai Drink Mix 
recipe makes about 6 cups of dry mix 

1 c. vanilla sugar (mix one cup of sugar and one t. vanilla extract well, spread out on a plate
and allow it to dry for a few hours. Try it on oatmeal!)
2 c. Splenda or sugar
1 c. dry milk
1 c. instant unsweetened tea
1 c. non dairy creamer
1 t. ground nutmeg
1 t. allspice
2 t. ground ginger
2 t. cinnamon
1/2 t. ground cloves
1/2 t. cardamom (I really suggest using the cardamom, it’s the spice that gives Chai Tea is extra pop and is worth the expense. A little goes a long way)

Combine all ingredients and store in an airtight container.

Add about 3 to 4 T to a large mug of warm milk for a hot spiced chai.  For an iced chai, prepare
the same but pour over ice when cooled and serve.  I like to add whipped cream and a little
cinnamon or nutmeg to it either iced or hot!

I hope you enjoy this as much as we do, have a wonderful weekend friends!

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Thank you so much for reading, and as always, may your heart and home be full of everything you love! xo, Tanya         linking up to: And these awesome parties: