Saturday, December 24, 2011

A Hot Hit!

When I heard the words "Hot Chocolate Bar", this Christmas season, I knew it was something that sounded so wonderful and sounded like something I wanted to try.

We were having the choir from our church and their families over after Sunday night service for a donut fellowship.  I thought this would be a great time to try out a Hot Chocolate Bar as well.  I figured everyone needed a sugar rush ever once in a while! 

So, because I had never actually seen a hot chocolate bar, I had to look it up online.  It was rather late on Saturday before I started looking, and I was a little intimidated at first at the beautiful Hot Chocolate Bars I saw.  I kept looking and got some ideas that I knew was "do-able", for me, anyway!   So this is what I came up with for the Hot Chocolate Bar for the choir, and then the second set of pictures shows how I changed it up a bit the next day and made it "grand kid friendly"!  (mainly replacing glass with plastic~!)

To make the peppermint stirrers, my daughter, Sarah, and I stuck marsh mellows on the end of the peppermint cane and then dipped them in melted white chocolate.

The hot chocolate mix is from a recipe I also found on line, but ended up having to add a store bought mix to it to make it "rich" enough.  So you might as well go ahead and buy a huge thing of mix and save yourself some trouble.  Nesquik is just as good, especially with whole milk. 

Speaking of milk, you may be wondering how I served the milk for the hot cocoa.  I used 2  of those large thermal pumps.  I borrowed them from our church kitchen.  I'm not sure what they are called.  You can see a picture of them at the very end of this post.  They worked great!  I just kept interchanging an empty one for a full one as I heated the milk on the stove top.  For the grand kids, I just used hot water.  They loved it just the same!

Now for the Grand Kid Hot Chocolate Bar!  Just a simple switch from glass containers to plastic ones, and adding their favorite thing in the world, I think, WHIP CREAM!  They love for me to just squirt a big old glob of it in their mouth!  Oh the joys of being a grandmother!  This hot chocolate bar was a huge success with the grandchildren!

Yummy stirring spoons made my Aunt Sarah!
Abby helping me put it together as we waited for Aunt Leah and Jackob to arrive from Mississippi on Monday night of the week before Christmas.  She was so excited!

Oh yes! It was a hot hit! 

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Christmas at "My Old Kentucky Home"

Welcome to Christmas tour 2011!  This is not exactly a candle light tour of "My Old Kentucky Home" at Christmas.  As a matter of fact, I was really thankful for a beautiful, sunny day a few days ago that allowed me to get these picutures. 

What I thought I would do is start at the front door and work my way through.  So, there may not be a lot of explaining, maybe just captions under the pictures telling what room it is.  I know you ladies are busy touring all the other houses out there in blogland.  Occasionally I might say something about an idea that is orgingal with me.  Most of the ideas are from someone's blog or straight from Pintrest.  I don't mind that.  If it's something I like, and I know they don't mind me being a copy cat, then I use it.  I would hope that others would find a little bit of inspiation when they visit me. 

So come on in ya'll!

Front Door...ugly cord and all!  Can you guess what is on the back of the two chairs?  Hint:  most people would wear it, not cut it up and use it as a decoration!  It acutally was an out of style skirt; out of style as far as the design, but not the fabric.  Red and black and white plaid never goes out for Christmas.  Right?  I was contemplating getting rid of it, then had a light bulb moment!


Nativity scene, designed by daughter, Hannah who was helping me clean and get ready for a Christmas get together.  This is on the piano which sets in the foyer (picture above this one).

Thw stairs to the left of the piano.  I ususally decorate with greenery and lights, but this year since I am going with a more simple approach, I used these "swags".  They are made from greenery and berries from the yard.  Can't get much cheaper than that!

Back to the foyer and to the right of the piano, let's go into the Living/Dining Room:

Music notes ornaments from the girls' piano teacher many Christmases ago.  Still love them.  Hoping to make a bunch of these.  I've been seeing them a lot lately on different blogs.

I love to decorate with sticks out of the yard!  Couldn't get much cheaper than that!

This pictures the other direction looking at Dining Area into the Kitchen.
 Holly cut from a holly tree at the church.  Cheap, again!

A little Christmas touch in the hutch.

Decorations on the buffet.  These may change.  I love how some have set up a hot chocolate center.  I would like to do this for a Ladies Sunday School Class get together here on Sunday.  So, if I do, I'll try to do a post about it.  For now, it looks like the above picture.

From the dining room to the kitchen......

and from the Kitchen looking back into the Dining/Living Room

The following are pictures of the Kitchen taken from different angles:
This is actually an early Christmas present for which I am very thankful.  We have gradually been updating our appliances  (see some of this here) from when we first built the house 18 years ago.  We just updated the stove with this one.  I sorta like it!

Some Christmas Kitchen Close-ups

A Christmas gift from last year that I love!

Saw this idea of the candy canes hooked over the edge of a container, on a blog, but I did it before I saw it on the blog....promise! 
Little trees in buckets on  each side of the know I did not come with this on my own!
A quick "cover-up" for and unfinished update on the island.

Now, for the last room, we will go from the kitchen to the Family Room.

  The fireplace actually separates the kitchen from the Family Room.  So here is one side (before you go, though, look closely at the doilie (real close!, because it's white like the wall), inside the picture frame over the mantle.  This is a doilie that my mom made me several years ago.  I love to use it at Christmas because I think it looks like a snow flake.  Guess I'm for sure the only one with this idea!)

and here's the other side when you're standing in the Family Room.

Guess you thought we didn't have a tree!  We do, and another piano!  We love music around here!  This piano does not work...only for looks!
The tree and the shutters that I have had for a long time and used in several different places, but think the best use for them is to place Christmas cards on them. 
Also, if you look closely you can see where I used scarves for garland on the tree.  Since scarves are so popular right now, I thougt this was kinda cute.  It definitely is an original.  I'm sure no one else would even think of doing this!

The scarves!

Love using cranberries to decorate and to garnish with!  You can see this here.  Beautifull with some snow!
The special gift from last year (click here to see.)  Can't wait to exchange with the girls this year.  Rebecca will get mine and I will get Hannah's, I think.
The red sled that I found in October at place in West Virginia.  I have been wishing for one for a while.  I had to give it a fresh coat of red paint and think it turned out OK.  It sets at the back door.

Well, there you have it, the 2011 Christmas tour of "My Old Kentucky Home"!  I sure have enjoyed having you.  Wish you all come for a real visit! 
Ya'll come back anytime to visit!