It’s the Saturday before Christmas, and I’m officially pronouncing it the weekend to lounge. Whether curled up by a fireplace, vegging out in front of classic holiday movies, or making a cozy dinner at home, I expect to see some serious relaxation out of you guys today (and that’s an order!) It’s the weekend that separates the madness of holiday shopping and tying up loose ends at work before the break… and the busyness of the holiday itself, often consumed by travel and spending time with family and out-of-town friends. I’m certainly doing my part to embrace the lounge-y vibe, sipping hot cocoa in my favorite pair of fair isle sweater leggings as part of our latest post in our Gap Styld.by collaboration. Do you have a favorite pair of lounge pants? At this time of year, it’s an absolute necessity to find that perfect pair that you never want to take off, and paired with a soft v-neck and cozy moccasins, they can take you from breakfast in bed to sprawled on the couch with a stack of magazines in the afternoon. These are so comfortable, I’ve found myself looking for ways to wear them as frequently as I can get away with. (I drew the line at wearing them to the grocery store, but hey! Maybe with a long tunic and tall boots… My other winter afternoon necessity? The perfect cup of cocoa, and not surprisingly, Phoebe has developed as much of a passion for sipping one as her mama. It’s a little indulgence that is so worth giving into at this time of year, and using high-quality real chocolate (no powdered cocoa!) makes a huge difference. I like to make a bit pot of it in my tea kettle and keep it warm on the stove so that anyone who stops by can pour themselves a cup. I’ve included my favorite recipe at the bottom of the post, along with my favorite links from the week! And a few great links you’ve got to checkout on this final weekend before the holiday:

Last week I surprised the team with a day at Lake Austin Spa as our “company holiday party,” and it was essentially heaven on earth. The gorgeous hill country landscape, delicious healthy food, and blissful treatments made it a truly unforgettable day. If you still need to check a few “impossible to buy for” people off your list, a gift certificate to this magical spot would be the perfect treat.

A roundup of fun holiday crafts to make with your kids (or little nieces or nephews!) this week.

Gluten-free pizza doesn’t usually speak to me, but this brussels sprouts version looks way too good to pass up.

The 40 most groundbreaking albums of all time. (do you agree?)

Amazing holiday party appetizers to whip up this week.

15 best gift wrapping ideas — I want to try them all!

Hope you find some ways to treat yourself extra well this weekend, and for loads more outfit inspiration, be sure to checkout Gap’s Styld.by site for some amazing looks worn by creative people around the globe.


Perfect Hot Cocoa

Serves 2

Cozy By the Fire (& Weekend Links!)

By Camille Styles

Ingredients

  • 2 cups milk (sub almond milk if you want, but if you can tolerate dairy, now is the time to go with 2% or whole!)
  • 2 ounces high-quality dark or bittersweet chocolate
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla or peppermint extract (optional)

Instructions

  1. In a medium saucepan, stir together 1 cup milk, chocolate, cocoa powder, and sugar until barely simmering.
  2. When everything is dissolved, add remaining 1 cup milk and extract (if using), then pour into 2 mugs, top with marshmallows and sip in front of the Christmas tree!
8 comments
  1. 1
    Stephanie Vanderbilt | December 21, 2014 at 7:39 am

    Love this weekend update as I read it when its all quiet in the house. I am a new commenter but a long time follower way out in Boston! I clicked on link for leggings and brought me a black pair. I am a huge fan of red and grey and would love these for Christmas. Gap has a 51% sale up til midnight tonight so maybe they are sold out. Would love to get the red ones if you can share link. Thanks so much and happy relaxing!

    Reply
  2. 2
    Nan | December 21, 2014 at 8:53 am

    What a perfect cozy outfit for the holidays! I love all these links! The gift wrapping ideas are so inspiring..and I have still yet to wrap any of my gifts..woops! So i might have to try some of those ideas out.
    That rolling stones article about the most groundbreaking albums is such a great find! I love looking at how things change over the years!
    xo Nan – Simply Elegant Blog

    Reply
  3. 3
    Caroline @ Shutters and Sunflowers | December 21, 2014 at 1:44 pm

    How lovely to be encouraged to do nothing especially when there is so much to do! I am sitting by my fire (althou’ it’s hardly cold enough in San Francisco!) and twinkling tree experimenting with different looks for tying my Christmas napkins, what a lovely way to spend a morning!! Thanks for all your lovely suggestions!

    Reply
  4. 4
    Molly Bridget | December 22, 2014 at 5:26 pm

    That cocoa sounds like warm heaven in a cup! My niece, Quinn, requested some when I babysat and we resorted to the Keurig version but spiced it up by making it s’mores flavor with graham crackers on top. Inspired from my Trail of Lights tour night before in Austin!

    Reply
  5. 5
    preppyandfunny | December 22, 2014 at 7:55 pm

    so so cute!
    preppyandfunny.wordpress.com

    Reply
  6. 6
    Courtney Conway (@BreakfastVogue) | January 2, 2015 at 12:34 am

    That recipe sounds so good! And those pants look so cozy!

    https://breakfastatvogueblog.wordpress.com/

    Reply
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