The holidays may be over, but for many of us the cold weather is here to stay. At least for a little while.

I am a big fan of bars. Not so much the alcohol-drinking kind – but food bars. And candy bars. And today – a hot chocolate bar.

How fun is this idea?

How to make hot chocolate barWe have had a candy bar in the dining room for the last few years, which has been a fun treat for the kids. And adults. And since they are big fans of hot chocolate, I thought “hey! hot chocolate bar!” Why not, right?

The table I use for these infamous bars was one on my parents’ patio for years. They offered it to me for my patio when I moved, but Maggie-Peyton and I saw another use for it. With a can of our favorite spray paint, it was like new and has served us well ever since.

This was probably one of the most simple projects I’ve assembled. It consists of some of their favorites to make “fancy hot chocolate” as the little one refers to it. Other than the ingredients we already purchase for this sweet treat, it didn’t cost a penny.

Hot Chocolate BarWhat to include on hot chocolate bar

 

 

Ideas for Hot Chocolate Bar Supplies::

(because you know you are about to throw one together)

  • Your favorite Hot Cocoa
  • Marshmallows – any and all sizes. the more the better.
  • Chocolate chips or white chocolate chips
  • Peppermint candies or candy canes
  • Toffee Bits
  • Cinnamon
  • Finely chopped nuts
  • Whipped Cream – this is the most important ingredient according to the 6 year old
  • Flavored syrups – chocolate, strawberry, caramel
  • Sprinkles – because they make all things in life better
  • Bailey’s Irish Cream, Kahlua or other favorite spirits – hello? the hot chocolate doesn’t have to be just for the kids!
  • Pretty straws or spoons – or just simple stainless spoons or plastic straws from your kitchen drawer (spoiler: they work just the same)
  • Your favorite mugs – because – the obvious

Here are a few other fun ideas I have saved for a Hot Chocolate Bar on Pinterest ::

 

Do you have some ideas for a Hot Chocolate Bar? Tell me in the comments or tweet me.

 

 

 

Did y’all have your Powerball winnings all planned out last week? I’m not going to lie – we did.

In our minds, we had already built a fence and put in a pool. Then JC decided we were going to move but stay in the same neighborhood. He joked and said we would just “move to the back road” (that’s where all the big houses are). I had plans of giving money to both Compassion and to the Koinonia Ministries in Belize. They both have such a big piece of my heart.

But as far as new stuff, I had just planned to buy a new MacBook Pro, pay off our vehicles, and get my eyebrows waxed. Ya’ know, simple stuff. Ha!

Needless to say, we still have car notes, and I’m still rocking along typing on my Toshiba. (for which I am very grateful!) But it’s fun to dream, though, isn’t it?

“Dreaming, after all, is a form of planning.” ~Gloria Steinem

I believe the world needs more dreamers. More creative people.

Granted, my dad probably thinks some of my ideas are far-fetched at times and that I have my head in the clouds. But I believe the world needs more people who dream big and get lost in the world of possibilities because that is where the big ideas are formed. That is where the next big thing is created.

It’s for sure not going to be found thinking small and living with doubt and believing “that could never happen.”

Steve Jobs didn’t think small while he was designing the Apple I. He was a dreamer. Many thought of him as a “hippie” – but he stayed true to whom he was regardless of how many critics he had.

He kept dreaming.

Just remember – the key to success isn’t dreaming.

It’s taking action.

Dreaming is a form of planning

 

 

School was back in session for us on Tuesday. (and the angels sang!)
Not really. But almost.

There were moments over the 2+ week break that I was ready for that 8 o’clock bell to ring on Tuesday, and there were other moments I missed the flexibility of homeschooling and dreaded the morning drill.

But ‘you know what? That’s our reality now. The public school route. And I am forever grateful that she is excelling and has adjusted so well.

Our mornings are like clockwork. My alarm usually goes off at 4:30AM. The kids get up between 6:00AM and 6:30AM. Breakfast is served at 7:00AM. And we are in the car 7:30AM-ish. Amen.

Except for last Wednesday. Tuesday? We rocked it. I think we were ready to find our groove again. But by Wednesday? We were missing the days of no alarm clocks and pajamas being allowed at all hours. It was only the second “real” day of our week, but Wednesday brought on lateness for us. For me. Mainly me.

We made it out the door – clean, dressed, fed, and on time – #SUCCESS – but I felt so behind. I hadn’t checked all the tasks off my list that I usually do by that time of morning. I felt like I was losing the race and it wasn’t even 8AM.

I did the school drop off, and I kicked it into high gear. I felt so off-my-game, but I just kept going and did what I needed to do. I may have been out of sync from my normal “order” – but I was in motion.

And by the end of the day? It was a total success. The day proved to be more productive than I could have ever planned.

This was an in-my-face reminder that no matter how “behind” we may think we are in life, the point is to just get started.

A lot of you emailed me this last week with what you would “like to do” in 2016. I’m excited to hear your success stories for 2016! But if you missed January 1 getting started on a goal – who cares if today is January 9? Just start. Not everything that we accomplish in life will happen in the order or in the time frame that we originally plan. Very seldom will it, actually. #AskMeHowIKnow

Winston Churchill once said, “Success is not final, failure is not fatal; it is the courage to continue that counts.”

We are all bound to feel uncertain, unprepared, or unqualified from time to time. But let me assure you of this: what you have right now is enough. You can plan and plan and revise all you want – (read: procrastinate) – but trust me, what you have now is enough to start.

What I have right now is enough to start.

What I had on that late-to-me Wednesday morning was enough. I had the entire day before me. I only had to choose to use it and not wallow in the feeling of failure from a late-morning that consisted of cereal and milk.

“The key to success is to start before you are ready.” – Marie Forleo

So whether you are wanting to start a business, lose weight, write a book, or achieve any number of goals – maybe even just clean your house? – who you are, what you have, and what you know right now is good enough to get going.

That is my challenge to you this week, friends: get going.

If something starts to go not as you had planned, don’t get discouraged. One of the greatest tennis players ever known, Arthur Ashe once said, “Success is a journey, not a destination. The doing is often more important than the outcome.”

The key to success

So this week, just do it, my friends.

Get going.

I’m cheering you on!

 

 

 

One of my goals the last couple of years has been to remember others’ birthdays and anniversaries.
I love my perpetual calendar that came with my Life Planner from Erin Condren, and I have actually been using it. :: confetti ::

My goal is to mail birthday or anniversary cards for the month at the first of the month. I too try to keep a stash of small gifts on hand for those special people in my life on their special days. But I have a horrible habit of having the need to run to the store for a gift bag or wrapping paper.

So when Maggie-Peyton and I were at Target last week, I found the solution. In the Dollar Spot, y’all!

:: three cheers for Target Dollar Spot ::

There are always such good finds in that section, and I could have bought one of everything offered in this line of products.

Stocking Wrapping Station

The colors just drew me in.

Target Dollar Spot

Target Gift bags

I snagged the basics for gift wrapping – bags, tissue paper, tags, and a couple of rolls of fun twine.
Red and turquoise are still one of my favorite combinations.

Wrapping Station Gift TagsWrapping Station Gift Tags

To have choices and not have all of our gifts look the same throughout the year, I chose a mix of patterns and colors.

Who am I kidding? I couldn’t pick just one. They all just jumped in my basket. It was like nothing you had ever seen!

{That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.} 

These tags are just too fun.

Gift tags at Target

With another check mark on my list for the new year, we now have a stocked wrapping station.

Well, it’s more of a wrapping drawer. I cleared out a drawer in the dining room just for wrapping supplies.

How to stock a wrapping station
:: Since they aren’t used throughout the year and due to limited space, our wrapping supplies for Christmas are packed with our Christmas decor.

I have numerous of other supplies that can be used for gifting like tags, cards, stamps, and ribbon in our craft closet – which currently needs an overhaul. But the basics for gifting are all right here – conveniently in one place. And I can easily see what needs to be re-stocked.

Considering we are just entering the second week of January, and we have already celebrated three birthdays since Christmas, I am sure this area will get much use!

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Related :: Gift Ideas