A Simple Hot Cocoa Station

When my kids were really little, the days spent at home with them were mostly awesome. I wouldn’t trade them for anything in the world. But they were also exhausting. Really, really exhausting.

Being home alone with young children day in and day out can be both very fulfilling and very isolating.

hot cocoa station with skis


So by the time the weekends rolled around, I couldn’t wait to get out and enjoy family activities together. I was always on the lookout for the latest happenings and we had so many fun adventures!

This was particularly true during the holiday season. We would pack the weekends with every kind of festivity we could find. Watching Santa arrive by train at Riverfront Park. Driving around to every light display. Zoo lights. Christmas parades. You name it, we’ve done it!

hot cocoa station details atthepicketfence.com

But life is different these days. Really different.

These days, as our kids are getting older, we feel as though we are getting less and less time with them. The long days spent at home together have been replaced with shuttling them to and fro and feeling like sometimes the only one on one time we get with them is when we are helping them with homework. And we all know how super fun that is! 😉

winter cabinet decor

Lately, we just crave being home. We crave downtime together with nothing on the agenda except maybe a nap.

And we’re finding this to be especially true during the Christmas season.

Suddenly, we’ve found ourselves longing to create different kinds of memories. Ones that are a little bit more relaxed, more simple.

cinnamon sticks in a jar

And the cherished moments seem to be happening in less contrived, less ‘planned out’ ways. Like when my daughter begged to help me make the banner to hang over the hot cocoa station. She stood there in her PJ’s and fuzzy, bed head hair and all I could think about was how quickly time was passing and how thankful I was that I said ‘yes’ to her request.

daughter helping with craft

Especially since she added her own little special touch to the banner.

simple pennant hot cocoa banner

They say that when you are raising children, the days are long but the years are short. And in those early years of motherhood I didn’t really understand that because frankly, those days just felt SO LONG!

But, now I get it. I get how quickly those years fly by.

And I get that they are only going to fly by faster and faster.

Christmas tabletop display vignette atthepicketfence.com

So I’m embracing a Christmas where the treasured moments are quieter, less overt.

Where something as simple as doing a puzzle together feels almost sacred.

vintage scale with pine tree on top atthepicketfence.com


Oh, we’ll still go driving around looking at light displays and join in some of our favorite activities here and there.

But, we’re being more selective, more protective of this precious time together. And we’re realizing that even without the lights and the activities and the parades, Christmas will still come.

And we will welcome it not with exhaustion and whatever energy remains, but with joy and reverence.

Cottage style Christmas decor atthepicketfence.com

And a cup of hot cocoa! :-)

Vanessa signature


I’m so thrilled to be joining my fellow bHome friends this week as we share some of our favorite Christmas ideas and inspiration!

bhome tour pic


All the bloggers you will see on this tour are on the bHome App and we are honored to be partnering with D. Lawless Hardware to offer a $150.00 Gift Card to one lucky winner. To enter just download our bHome App by clicking HERE. Our app is available to both iPhone and Android users. If you have already downloaded bHome, you will automatically get a message to TAP to enter. D. Lawless offers international shipping so this giveaway is open to anyone. Winner will be notified on or around December 14, 2015.

bHome Christmas Event | Day 1


Garden Therapy | Cedar Hill Farmhouse | Bright, Bold & Beautiful | Cupcakes and Crinoline

Southern Hospitality | Little Farmstead | Shabby Art Boutique

bHome Christmas Event | Day 2


Redhead Can Decorate | Jennifer Rizzo | Our Southern Home | Maison de Pax | Rooms for Rent

Cherished Bliss | Homemade by Carmona | Everyday Enchanting | My Soulful Home

 bHome Christmas Event 2015 | Day 3


Savvy Southern Style | Shabbyfufu | Housepitality Designs

Debbiedoo’s | StoneGable | Love of Home | Setting for Four | On Sutton Place

 bHome Christmas Event 2015


Buckets of Burlap | Cynthia Weber Design | Edith & Evelyn | Lilacs & Longhorns

Confessions of a Serial Do-It-Yourselfer | At The Picket Fence | Duke Manor Farm


  1. says

    What a great idea to place that cocoa station in that cabinet!…Love the banner and treasure the moments when your children want to help with projects…as they get older, you know where their focus will be…and it won’t be helping us with these sort of things….She will be hanging out with her friends at the mall!…:)
    The banner is adorable!….Have fun with the kiddos…they grow up way too fast! Have a great weekend Vanessa!
    Shirley@Housepitality Designs recently posted..My Christmas Home TourMy Profile

  2. says

    Wow I am feeling the same way these days! My oldest is 13 and I can feel our precious moments together starting to slip away as he didn’t want to go help pick out an ornament to make with me this year like we always do. So yes, enjoy every precious moment you do have with them! Beautifully written, and your daughter did a great job on the banner! Merry Christmas! XO
    christy @ Confessions of a Serial Do-it-Yourselfer recently posted..Outdoor Christmas Tour & Easiest DIY Holiday Wreath EverMy Profile

  3. says

    The cocoa station is absolutely precious! Love it set up in that cabinet! You’re absolutely right about the kiddos growing up so fast, my three are all out of the house now, and oh how I wish I could turn back the clock. Cherish each moment with them. The banner is perfect!

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