Friday Favorites: Hot Cocoa, Gingerbread Houses & Holiday Traditions

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Hi Friends! I’m back linking up with Erika, Narci and Andrea for another edition of Friday Favorites! I can’t believe it, but we only have three Fridays left to go in 2017! Today I’m recapping my week which included hot cocoa, gingerbread houses and holiday traditions!

After School Hot Cocoa Station

This week I surprised the kids with an after school hot cocoa station! It was a total hit and I’ve already had requests to recreate again! I am all about doing little things for the kids that make a big impact. This hot cocoa station was so easy to create and I was able to use all things I had at home. If an after school treat is not possible, this would be a great activity on a cold weekend afternoon when the kids have been playing outside!

Buffalo check blanket | White Cake Pedestal | Similar Appetizer Plates

Read here about how I made this station and also find out how to make a yummy treat to go with the hot cocoa that looks festive and fancy!

Gingerbread Houses

On another afternoon this week, the kids made their gingerbread houses. This activity is a favorite yearly tradition! This year we opted for individual small houses. I will admit that we decided we liked making bigger houses better. It was hard to get the candy pieces on these tiny houses! Either way, we had fun!

** Mom Tip: Build the houses and let them set before the kids get home from school or the night before you are making them! It’s important for the houses to set for a few hours before you start decorating!



Sad Side Note: This little guy loved making his house so much. However, he decided to carry it around with him after he was done making it. Well, he left it unattended for a few minutes and our DOG ate it! #EPICFAIL I’ll let you imagine how he was feeling after that happened!! Not a favorite moment of the week!

In addition to making gingerbread houses, we also went to see gingerbread houses at the Cleveland Botanical Gardens as part of the Glow exhibit. It is a magical place to be in the winter! There are hundreds of gingerbread houses, both novice and professionally made. Usually we go to this exhibit and see the gingerbread houses before we make our own to get some inspiration for our houses.

Holiday Traditions & a Bingo Game

We are checking things off of our Christmas activity to do list this week!

Another tradition on our list is driving around to see Christmas lights. We get the kids in pajamas and make some popcorn to bring along for the drive.  I print out a Christmas lights bingo for the drive to make things a little more fun! This version from My Frugal Home is great for older kids and this version from I Can Teach My Child is great for the little ones! I usually print out a bunch of copies of these cards and then throw into my Christmas bins so that I don’t have to find new ones the following year!

Holiday Outfits

Lastly, I talked earlier in the week about coordinating kids’ Christmas outfits. You may or may not agree, but I enjoy the challenge of finding outfits that color coordinate but not necessarily match! It can be a big challenge to coordinate one girl and two boys!

My daughter and I spotted this adorable velvet jumpsuit at Target so I think the color scheme is going to be based around her outfit. We did also get this traditional plaid skirt from J Crew Factory. It will be a tough decision!

I typically don’t attempt to match my husband and I with the kids, but once it a while it just happens.  I shared this picture of my boys and  on Instagram.

Plaid Pajamas | Plaid Woman’s Top


This time of year will is a mix of busy but magical! I will be sad to see it come to an end so I’m trying to soak it up while I can. Hope you have a wonderful weekend and see you back here next week!



  1. December 15, 2017 / 7:16 am

    That hot chocolate station is so cute! What a great idea! We love going to Glow every year too. Have a great weekend!

  2. December 15, 2017 / 7:26 am

    Okay so many things I am loving in this post! LOVE the idea of the cocoa station- will need to try that. I LOVE your plaid top- you look beautiful AND I am inspired. We do the Jammie Christmas/night out to look at Christmas lights in our PJ’s so we definitely need to try the bingo game- thanks for sharing!

  3. Mary Carol Klemenc
    December 15, 2017 / 12:58 pm

    Love reading about you and the pictures are great!!!

  4. December 15, 2017 / 4:28 pm

    These are some pretty great ideas! Looks like your home is the place to be around the holidays!

  5. Katie
    December 16, 2017 / 1:54 pm

    Awww, all so cute! More great ideas! Those 3 are so lucky to have a fun mom with cool things like these to make the holidays even more special. You are nailing it!

    • Jaclyn
      December 19, 2017 / 1:58 pm

      You are TOO kind my friend!

  6. December 17, 2017 / 8:40 pm

    I absolutely LOVE these traditions! We build a gingerbread house every year. It’s a disaster, but I love it.

  7. December 18, 2017 / 12:48 am

    I love that plaid top!!! And good tip on the gingerbread houses, we’re making some this week I’ll be sure to let it set ahead of time!

    • Jaclyn
      December 19, 2017 / 1:57 pm

      Have fun making the houses Merichelle! It’s a festive holiday tradition!

  8. Eryka
    December 18, 2017 / 8:57 am

    This is why I love the holidays! so many fun family things to do!

    • Jaclyn
      December 19, 2017 / 1:56 pm

      TOO many fun things to do!

  9. December 18, 2017 / 11:10 am

    That cocoa and those Holiday outfits are perfect! So festive!

    • Jaclyn
      December 19, 2017 / 1:56 pm

      Thanks Stephanie!

  10. December 23, 2017 / 12:40 pm

    Oh my god these houses are so pretty!! Whenever I used to make gingerbread houses they would never come out looking that good haha!

    • Jaclyn
      December 24, 2017 / 8:17 am

      Ha! Right? Gotta love pre-made houses!

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