Gingerbread Hot Chocolate

Gingerbread Hot Chocolate
I used this recipe for the spices, not for the hot chocolate itself.

I wanted to try a holiday drink recipe that we could enjoy as a family on Christmas Eve. Last year Thomas opened up a gift on Christmas Eve and it was a pair of Christmas pajamas. Kevin and I enjoyed some hot chocolate and we all watched a Christmas movie in our pj's. It's something we hope to make a tradition every year and as Thomas gets older he can enjoy some hot chocolate as well. 

This year I thought it might be nice to make the hot chocolate a little more Christmas-y and this recipe was perfect. A little hack is to just use a hot chocolate mix and add the holiday spices to it. That's what I did (only so I could test out the hack, not because I was feeling lazy) and it was delicious. I had to add some extra spice though because I found the amount in the recipe a little mild but it's easy to adjust to your taste.

A couple more drink recipes I'm hoping to try over the holidays are a Cranberry Mojito >>Recipe<< and a Mulled White Wine >>Recipe<<. I'm normally just a white wine gal so I thought a Mulled White Wine would be really nice. I also thought a holiday mojito would be delicious because a traditional mojito is my favourite summer time drink.


Red Lip Holiday Makeup ft. Aliciafashionista

I still remember the first time I wore a red lip. I was in New York going to a show with my family and I decided I wanted to try a red lip. I then immediately decided I couldn't pull it off and stressed over the decision for way too long. I remember putting on the red lipstick and then taking a handful of photos of myself to see how ridiculous I looked. Maybe it was the magic of the Big Apple but I took the plunge and wore my new lipstick out in public and I remember waiting for people to outright make fun of me for attempting such a bold makeup choice. Obviously no one cared, no one I knew even noticed I was wearing something different and I'm pretty sure no one was looking at me at all. It was New York. I could have worn a Halloween costume  and I doubt anyone would have blinked twice.

I’m glad I finally gave my red lipstick tube some time to shine because now I love a red lip. I was so sure that everyone would notice and laugh at me for not being cool to pull it off but as always, no one cared about what I was wearing as much as I assumed they would. (Apparently the world doesn’t revolve around my choice of lipstick... who knew?)  If you're someone who has been wanting to try a red lip but you’re at all nervous, I think the holidays are a great time to start!

I am not an expert so I am not going to give a tutorial, but a few preferences I have when wearing a red lip are: I like to keep my eyes simple. Sometimes I'll go for a vintage look with bold black liner but usually I'll just keep my eyes really subtle. With this look I put a tiny bit of light gold shimmer eyeshadow on my lids to give it a holiday look. I don't like a rosy cheek if my lips are a bold colour. I add colour to my face with some bronzer (not a beachy bronzer look) and the tiniest bit of blush to add some life. I always wear a lip liner with my red lips. I am 35 and I've definitely noticed over the last handful of years that my lipstick bleeds if I'm not wearing liner. I also find it really helps with the longevity of my red lip. 

 I personally prefer a satin finish to my lipsticks versus a mat lip. I have tried a few mat options because they don't transfer and it's easier when I'm around Thomas but I just don't like them as much. I just don't wear a red lip when I'm out with him and save it for times when I'm baby free. Smashbox has a great matte red lip (in the colour Bawse) if you're wanting to try something mat that doesn't transfer at all.

Products I'm wearing for this look
Contour, blush, eyeliner and eyeshadows are all from this palette
Tarte Amazonian Clay Bronzer in the colour Navigate
Tarte Amazonian Clay Blush in the colour Carnation Pink
Tarte Amazonian Clay Eyeshadows in the  colours Trinket and Craft 
Tarte Sex Kitten Eyeliner
Mac Amplified Heartless Lipstick (unfortunately it's discontinued) but this lipstick in the colour everyday diva looks great!
Nars Velvet Lip Glide in the colour Poppy Red

Remember that gorgeous cousin of mine? She also put together a holiday look using a bold red lip and as usual she looks absolutely stunning. To see the products she used to put her look together head over to her blog.


Pinterest Recipes Tested - Christmas Addition

I decided to keep the theme of these recipes "really quick & easy". It's such a busy time of year and making treats from scratch feels daunting when you're trying to decorate, Christmas shop, wrap presents and all while spending time with your family. If you're someone who loves to bake Christmas treats this post might not be for you. But if you're someone who is looking for a yummy, quick and easy treat to make for a holiday party or potluck, hopefully this will provide some inspiration!

Rudolph Brownies

These brownie Rudolph's are super easy and really adorable. I took the "easy" one step further by purchasing pre-made brownies. I used candy eyes from the bakery section at the grocery store, red m&m's for the nose and mini pretzels for the antlers. I melted a little bit of milk chocolate in the microwave and used it as adhesive. Ta-da! I think these turned out really cute and they were easy and quick to put together.

White Chocolate Dipped Shortbread

This recipe was actually for chocolate dipped gingerbread but it inspired me to dip shortbread. If you're looking for an easy way to elevate store bought cookies, this is it. I used sprinkles on half of the cookies and crushed up candy canes for the other. If you're no a fan of white chocolate I think dipping them in milk chocolate would also look nice as long as you used the right sprinkles.

My only note is that I don't recommend using the microwave to melt the white chocolate like the recipe suggests. I always use the double broiler method to make sure the chocolate doesn't burn.

This made me think of the scene in Bad Moms where she's being shamed for bringing store bought cookies to the bake sale. Dip those store bought cookies in chocolate, put them on a plate and you'll have everyone asking you for the recipe ;)

Christmas Rocky Road

This stuff is very very very sweet and that's coming from a gal with a sweet tooth so I recommend cutting them into pretty small pieces. I also altered the recipe a little bit because I didn't see the need to add butter and corn syrup. Ultimately it's melted white chocolate (in a double boiler) mixed with marshmallows and topped with more sugary candy. It's a cavity in a dessert so if you need a sugar kick to get you through the holidays this is a great option lol. Admittedly these weren't my favourite right after I made them and I love white chocolate. After storing them in my fridge overnight and giving them another try the next day I ended up really enjoying them. When I brought some of these treats into work these were the most popular as well.

The most convenient recipe is the white chocolate dipped cookies, the cutest recipe is the Rudolph Brownies and the dessert voted most likely to cause a small child to pass out during a sugar crash is the rocky road.

 All of these options are perfect for a last minute dessert. I even think giving a plate of these as a little hostess gift would be a really nice way to say thank you to the person in your life hosting all of the dinners!