Christmas Decorating & Gingerbread Cookies/ Hot Chocolate Recipes

by - November 18, 2015

Hey guys!

How was your weekend?

Mine was great! My mom came over and visited which was the best thing EVER because I live so far from her and hardly ever get to see her. Not only that, but she also decided to help me put up my Christmas decorations and we did some other Christmasy related things as well.

I know, I's only November and we haven't even celebrated Thanksgiving yet, but I couldn't wait til Dec. 1.. I want more than a couple of weeks to enjoy Christmas!!!

I love all the modern/ chic Christmas themed trees a lot of people are doing this year, but for me personally, it's all about tradition. I like a traditional themed decor set up with your greens, reds and golds.

(I also want to apologize for the quality of the photos. Still stuck using my iphone camera at the moment)

Starting in my bedroom, I kept with the red, green and gold theme and decided to go minimal with decorations on the mantle and keep the focus on the gorgeous Merry Christmas banner I got from an Etsy shop. I'm really sorry to the owner, I couldn't remember the name of the shop, but if you go on to Etsy and type in Christmas banner into the search you'll probably find it.

The silver glittered deer is from Target a year ago and the for the Christmas themed print, I just went onto Pinterest and printed off a cute little Christmas quote I found and put it in a black frame I already had.

Also in my bedroom, on my dresser, I have a white mini Christmas tree I got a couple of years ago and it has a mixture of green, white, and red balls that I also got from Target.

The noel santa sign I've had for a couple of years and I can't really remember where I got it.

(Ok, I want to mention that I have a fireplace in my bedroom and living room and they look identical so I didn't want you to get confused.)

Now, in the living room on my fireplace, I have my three santa stocking holders that I've had for a few years and the stockings I think came from Target except for the middle one.

The other little Christmas knick knacks in the background have been in my Christmas storage box for years, so I don't really remember where I got them.

Finally, my FAVORITE part!! My Christmas tree!! Ok, so I know it probably looks much prettier and more put together to have a themed tree with color coordinated balls and decorations, but I'm really traditional when it comes to a tree as well, so I went with a classic tree. Not only is it tradition for me, but I'm really sentimental about this one too.

Every single ornament and balls has a significant meaning and memory attached to it. From my birthday, to my first Christmas, to a family trip, this tree holds so many wonderful memories that I couldn't imagine my tree being any other way.

Probably the only new thing on this tree is the tree skirt, because something happened to my other one and I had to go out and buy this one.

Fun little fact: every year, we always go pick out one new ornament to place on the tree.

These are not just some random mice I threw in here. These are my absolute favorite Christmas odd and ends that I love discovering every year when I open up my Christmas storage container.

My mother has held onto these for so many years now, and there origin is a mystery to me, but I adore them!

On to the best part of the season!! Cookies!!!

My mom and I decided since we were feeling all festive, we would bake some cookies and there is nothing more that I love this time of year than gingerbread cookies!

These cookies we so soft and chewy and full of could feel the warmth of the season every time you bit into them.

*Side note* - I may have been inspired to make these after using the Lush Yog Nog soap.

Gingerbread Cookies

Recipe Type: Dessert

Recipe from:


  • 6 cups all purpose flour

  • 1 tbsp baking powder

  • 1 tbsp ground ginger

  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg

  • 1 tsp ground cloves

  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon

  • 1 cup shortening, melted and cooled slightly

  • 1 cup of molasses

  • 1 cup of packed brown sugar

  • 1/2 cup water

  • 1 egg

  • 1 tsp vanilla extract


  1. Sift together the flour, baking powder, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, and cinnamon; set aside.

  2. In a medium bowl, mix together the shortening, molasses, brown sugar, water, egg, and vanilla until smooth.

  3. Gradually stir in the dry ingredients, until they are completely absorbed.

  4. Divide dough into 3 pieces, pat down to 1 1/2 inch thickness, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 3 hours.

  5. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

  6. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out to 1/4 inch thickness.

  7. Cut into desired shapes with cookie cutters.

  8. Place cookies 2 inches apart onto an ungreased baking sheet.

  9. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes ( It may be sooner depending on how fast your oven cooks, my cook in 7 minutes).

  10. When the cookies are done, they will look dry, but should still be soft to the touch,

  11. Make sure to let completely cool before icing.

This hot chocolate is the perfect thing to warm you up and delight your taste buds when it's nippy out.

I added a Hershey's chocolate candy cane for an extra Christmasy touch. Yum, Yum YUM!!!


1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

3/4 cup white sugar

a pinch of salt

1/3 cup boiling water

3 1/2 cups milk

3/4 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 cup half and half cream


Combine the cocoa, sugar, and pinch of salt in a saucepan. Blend in the boiling water. Bring this mixture to an easy boil while you stir. Simmer and stir for about 2 minutes. Watch that it doesn't scorch. Stir in 3 1/2 cups milk and heat until very hot, but do not boil!!

Remove from heat and add vanilla extract. Divide between 4 mugs. Add the cream to the mugs of cocoa to cool it to drinking temperature. For a last touch, I added whipped cream and a sprinkle of cinnamon, but you can add any topping you want such as marshmallows.


Thanks for reading!! Happy Holidays!! Tell me your favorite Christmas tradition below!!

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  1. Oooh this just made my day! I'm so ready for gingerbread EVERYTHING! Move over pumpkin! :)

  2. love your Christmas decorations! So jealous! I am not putting any up this year!! I will definitely be doing the gingerbread men though!

  3. Thanks so much Angela! They are very delicious ;)

  4. Thanks Liz! I have to say that Gingerbread makes me really happy lol

  5. Your decorations are perfect! I love them :) You're making me get all excited for Christmas now lol.

  6. Oooo... Your decor is SO cute!!!! <3 I'm so ready for Christmas!

  7. Ahh! I love all those festive decorations! :]!! I haven't decorated anything in the longest time. :x

    The gingerbread + hot chocolate recipes sound delicious! <3

  8. Loooove your decor! Those cookies look yummy ♥

  9. Thanks Farrah! I've been really craving those gingerbread cookies lately lol