Every time we drive to the cabin I ask D to take the slightly longer route so we can stop at the taqueria shop on Ramona Expy. They make a mean champurrado – a Mexican hot chocolate thickened with corn flour masa. It’s pretty amazing. Here’s how I make it back at home:
2 cups of water
3 star anise
3 cinnamon sticks
1/2 tsp fresh nutmeg
1/2 c. corn flour masa
4 c. milk
1 Mexican Abuelita (or Ibarra) chocolate tablet (chopped)
1/2 cup piloncillo (unrefined whole cane sugar) or sub with brown sugar
In a large pot, combine water, star anise, cinnamon and nutmeg. Boil. Cover and simmer for 15 min. Slowly add corn flour masa stirring to remove clumps. Add milk, chopped Mexican chocolate and piloncillo. Stir until the chocolate is melted and the sugar has dissolved. Let simmer over low heat for 10 minutes. Stir occasionally. Serve hot!
Every year Newport Beach has a boat parade in December to celebrate the holiday season. Everyone decorates their boats with lights and Christmas decorations. We have gone for decades…Mom would dress us up in the fluffiest winter jackets when we were little. I would complain about looking like a Michelin man (think Ralphie’s little brother in The Christmas Story – I can’t put my arms down), but I was warm. We would drink hot cider and sit on a friends boat to watch the parade or some years we’d be lucky enough to be in it! This year our friends Monica and Evan invited us to watch the parade from their sailboat at the Bahia Corinthian. I love the Christmassy feelings when we watch the parade. I love our home sweet home and this fun Christmas tradition.
Pics from our weekend at the cabin. We were supposed to go camping in Morro Bay. The waves were good and the boys were excited to get some chilly surf in. I had visions of jiffy-pop around a campfire and wine tasting with Av, but the weather turned grumpy and tent camping in mud didn’t sound fun anymore. We decided to switch it up and head to the mountains instead of the beach. It turned out to be a magical weekend; with a hike to the grotto, the first snow of the season and an unexpected town center Christmas tree lighting complete with hot cider and caroling. It was a perfect way to kickstart the December feelys.
^Av, Dan and Kelsso leading the way to the grotto.
Made it to the top! What a view of the valley!
Lumberjack Dan (with boardshorts) haha. We hiked down to the grotto. In the springtime the snow melts and fills the grotto with icy cold water. It’s mostly dry during late summer and fall, so there wasn’t much flowing. It was fun to check it out and feel that cold breeze rush down the canyon crevasse.
Big dark storm clouds rolled in the next day and brought snow – perfect timing for the town Christmas tree lighting! Mike showed us how to play with flashlight photography.
On our way to the town center for some festivities!
Waiting for the Christmas tree lighting and huddling around the town fire pit, trying to keep warm and shield the kiddos from the wind and snow. Light that tree, light that tree! I can’t feel my feet.
We ran into the local grocery store to warm the kids feet and order hot pizzas for the walk home.
Let the holiday countdown begin! We spent the weekend at the cabin enjoying a hike and the first snow of fall/winter! I needed a snow storm and the town Christmas tree lighting to kickstart the holiday-feels. December is just days away and the gift-giving season is here! This is a little “Gift Guide for Her” your mom, sister, friend etc. Last week I posted a “Gift Guide for Him” to give you a few ideas to run with! Happy Holidays!
I can’t wait to get our Christmas tree next week! The holiday season is upon us and with that comes gift giving! It can be hard to find the perfect gift for your guy… so I’ll be posting gift ideas for both men and women this week. The Hub helped me curate this one, so here are some fantastic gift ideas approved by an actual guy! Great gifts for the men in your life (husband, brother, father etc). Links are listed below.
And Enter Here for a chance to win $75 towards a wooden watch by Jord. There is still one week left to enter the contest! Ends Dec 3rd! Just enter you email — super easy! Good luck!