The soft, warm glow of the tree lights brightening up the room.
Sinking into cozy fur rugs and blankets.
Lounging on soft plaid flannel pillows.
Playing simple classic wooden games like checkers or tic-tac-toe.
Relaxing near a roaring fireplace.
And sipping on the most delicious, richest, creamiest homemade candy cane hot chocolate. The rich creamy flavour of warm chocolate mixed with just the perfect hint of fresh, crisp mint.
A perfect combination…
I’ve been reading about the Danish concept of Hygge lately and trying to apply some of the principles in our own lives. Winter where we live isn’t always super cold or snowy, but it is definitely long, dark, and very foggy and wet.
We go weeks without really seeing the sun. So along with insanely high taking daily doses of oral Vitamin D, we need to embrace the cozy in order to weather the dark winter months. And that’s what Hygge is all about.
For this cozy family games night, my boys immediately planted themselves on our new cozy fur rug. Did you notice it in our Christmas living room tour?
Normally rugs that size are much more expensive, so I was thrilled to snag this one at a steal for under $100 at HomeSense. It is about 4×6, so both boys can easily lounge and cozy up on it in front of the fire. They also absconded all of our coziest throws and the plaid flannel pillows that I also picked up at HomeSense for under $25 each…
And don’t you love these vintage feeling wooden games? We’ve got pretty strict rules about tech time in our house as I try to encourage my boys to live beyond the IPad. I want them to know there is more to the world and that sometimes the simplest things bring us the most enjoyment.
Having a few of these wooden games on our coffee table is the perfect way to encourage spontaneous (non-tech) play on a cozy winter evening. They were also a great value at HomeSense at around $10 each (I even bought a few extra as Christmas gifts!).
The best part of any cozy, family evening? The treats, of course! So for this occasion I brewed up some of the most delicious, creamy, rich hot chocolate that I could possibly manage and added a fresh hit of peppermint. For the kids, use peppermint extract, and for the adults you can add the flavour with a shot of peppermint schnapps.
We call it Candy Cane hot chocolate around here; and topping it with whip cream, candy cane sprinkles, and even a few marshmallows makes it look as amazing as it tastes…
These gorgeous mugs are also a fab HomeSense find; they are from the Colin&Justin home collection. Did I ever tell you that I spotted Colin and Justin in the flesh one day while I was walking down Robson Street in Vancouver?! I couldn’t quite get over it for the whole day!!
I have always been a hot chocolate mix kinda girl, until I tried the real thing. Truly, there is nothing like it. So rich, creamy, and incredibly delicious.
Definitely worth it for that extra feel of cozy.
You’ll love this Candy Cane Hot Chocolate, I’m certain!
- 3.5 cups whole milk
- 0.5 cups half and half (optional - or switch out for whole milk)
- 1 cup milk chocolate chips (I used the tiny ones as they melt faster)
- 1/4 - 1/2 tsp peppermint extract to each
- 1 - 1.5 ounces peppermint schnapps per drink
- Warm the milk and cream on the stove, until nearly boiling. Add the chocolate chips and whisk until fully melted and mixed. Add the peppermint to the mugs (based on your choice). Top with the hot chocolate mixture and gently stir. Top with whipped cream and crushed candy canes bits.
- Optional garnish: peppermint kisses and/or mini marshmallows
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Disclosure: Thanks to HomeSense Canada for collaborating with me on this post. All opinions and ideas are 100% my own.