Hot Cocoa Cupcakes

Well, everyone, we’re winding down into the home stretch and I only have one thing for you today. Cupcakes.

These Hot Cocoa Cupcakes are SO easy and such fun. Bring them to the class holiday party, serve them for the holidays, or make them all winter long! #recipe

I thought I’d have more to say, but after three busy jobs, two loud kids, and staying up WAY too late last night after Cassidy’s company holiday party (with only a cranberry/pineapple mocktail under my belt), I’m just DONE. DONE.

It’s probably good DONE, but it’s a DONE. The only prescription now is long bubble baths, Hallmark and Lifetime Christmas movies, and a weekend without working too much. I can’t wait to take actual time off. I’m not quite there yet, though.

And so I’ll give you what we’re working on here:

Hot Cocoa Cupcakes

Ingredients

  • 6 Chocolate Cupcakes, prepared and unfrosted
  • 1 Can Vanilla Marshmallow Frosting
  • ½ cup Mini Marshmallows
  • ½ cup Mini Chocolate Chips
  • 8 Mini Candy Canes
  • Christmas Sprinkles


Directions

  1. Use a piping bag and tip to put a swirl of frosting in the middle of each cupcake to resemble whipped cream on the top of hot cocoa. You can put a dollop with a spoon if you don’t have a piping bag. Just make sure to leave the edges of chocolate cake showing.
  2. Sprinkle on some chocolate chips and marshmallows.
  3. Take 2 of the candy canes and crush them into fine pieces. Take the other 6 candy canes and cut off about 2 inches of the straight end, so you have the entire rounded part left (Scissors work great when cutting the candy canes).
  4. Sprinkle a little of the crushed candy canes or Christmas sprinkles on top of the frosting.
  5. For the cup handle, hang one of the candy cane pieces onto the side of each cupcake. Press one end to the candy into the top of the cupcake on the edge and let it hang down on the side of the cake liner.
  6. These cute little “cups of hot cocoa” are a great fun holiday treat!


These Hot Cocoa Cupcakes are SO easy and such fun. Bring them to the class holiday party, serve them for the holidays, or make them all winter long! #recipe

Do you feel very DONE too?

These Hot Cocoa Cupcakes are SO easy and such fun. Bring them to the class holiday party, serve them for the holidays, or make them all winter long! #recipe

Wassail Hard Lemonade: Best Festive Drink Ever

This post is in partnership with Mike’s Hard Lemonade. MIKE’S IS HARD. SO IS PRISON. DON’T DRIVE DRUNK® PREMIUM MALT BEVERAGE ©2017 MIKE’S HARD LEMONADE CO. CHICAGO, IL

This is the most festive drink ever! We use our favorite Mike's Hard Lemonade and then we use awesome juices and spices #ad #MikesHard #DrinkOnTheBrightSide

When you’re through reading this post, I hope you ask for one thing under your Christmas tree:

My parents had their annual holiday party at the farm over the weekend.

holiday party

It was the second time in eight years that we had made it to one of their “famous” parties. Maybe I should say infamous, because they generally end with my dad blasting rock music as loud as it can possibly get – until it doesn’t sound like music anymore – and then the generation above me (and below) rocks themselves to sleep. It rocks, so to speak, and I’m happy to say that after all this time, my parents still party like the best of them! I went to the farm because I had three photo shoots lined up for one weekend in NJ. One perfect weekend with new babies, photos, and an awesome party (with drinks)!

Back to the party, though! It was our first holiday party of quite a few this December, and I was in charge of beverages. I LOVE being in charge of beverages. That way I can go and charm my parents and their friends with these beauties:

This is the most festive drink ever! We use our favorite Mike's Hard Lemonade and then we use awesome juices and spices #ad #MikesHard #DrinkOnTheBrightSide

We had such a nice time, until well after midnight, and one of my parent’s good friends asked to use my phone camera at the end because, as he said, “These are the beautiful moments that matter. These are the moments you want to remember.” Indeed. So let’s talk about the drink. It’s Wassail Hard Lemonade. I’m not sure you can get better than that?

That’s why I love Mike’s Hard Lemonade. Not only is it pretty much amazing, in all of its flavors, but you can dress it up and make it festive for the holidays and wow your loved ones! Here’s what you need to make this delicious Wassail Lemonade:

INGREDIENTS:

1 quart apple cider
2 cups pomegranate or cranberry juice
1/4 cup sugar (if even, adjust to taste)
1 cup orange juice
1 cup Mike’s Hard Lemonade
3 cinnamon sticks
1 tsp cloves
1 tsp allspice
Chopped ginger (optional)

Combine all of the ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium-high. Cook for 1 hour, stirring occasionally. You can also serve it over ice as a punch and have it cold. I personally like it cold even better!

This is the most festive drink ever! We use our favorite Mike's Hard Lemonade and then we use awesome juices and spices #ad #MikesHard #DrinkOnTheBrightSide

Since I’m a photographer, here are my five favorite party photography tips:

#1 – Try using props. People will know exactly what to do with them! I promise.

#2 – Take portraits at parties. You will see such intriguing sides of people – having fun, letting go, and being in the moment. If they’re having a good or bad night, it will show. Either way, it makes for poignant memories.

#3 – Get candid. It can be tricky to be truly candid because once people see your camera, they may change their behavior or demeanor. Sometimes, I just work with that. Often, I creep around and get as sneaky as I can!

#4 – Look for action shots. Eating, drinking, dancing, laughing. My favorites!

#5 – Observe, get those details, and have fun! You never know what’ll you see.

Find out more about Mike’s Lemonade here.

How would you like your Wassail Lemonade? Hot or cold?