With the holiday season in full swing, decorating can get overwhelming and stressful! We are so excited to have Mandy Sticos with us today to share her tips on simple holiday decor ideas. Whether you don’t want to have a huge tree in the middle of your living room or you are throwing together a dinner at the last minute, you will be the hostess with the mostess! Just to make you more excited, Mandy is sharing her delicious Italian Hot Chocolate recipe with us and it looks absolutely delicious. From garnishing your drinks to creating place settings, your friends and family will no doubt be impressed. Read on below for her tips and recipe:


Take the stress out of decorating for the holidays with these simple festive ideas for your home, without having strands of lights or even a tree! Create a simple wreath with thin wire and a strand of corner store greenery. Adorn all of your beverages with a thin slice of lemon, although this is very simple, it takes your table to a new level. Dress your tables with a fine linen table cloth and linen napkins, and leave a greeting at every place setting. To avoid any crazy messes during your dinner, place your candles in canisters to keep wax from getting on the table. Get creative with your herbs and add greenery to a dish, this only looks like it takes a lot of effort. When it comes to serving hot chocolate at the end of the meal, use teacups for a fun twist! Another small detail that we love is typing gift tags on a typewriter for a fun touch. You can also dress up simple gift wrapping with silk dupioni ribbon, and be sure to display your gifts on a faux throw or in a stocking!









Make: 2 cups of very thick, rich hot chocolate


  • 2 cups of milk (whole milk preferred)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon of cornstarch
  • 4 tablespoons of white sugar (if using semi-sweet chocolate, reduce to 2 tablespoons)
  • 2/3 cup of chocolate chips
  • Optional Toppings include whipped cream and marshmallows


  1. Whisk together half of the milk and all of the cornstarch.
  2. Bring the other half of the milk and all of the sugar to low boil on stove.
  3. Add in the milk and cornstarch mixture while continuing to stir until smooth.
  4. Remove from heat and drop in chocolate.
  5. Stir until chocolate is completely melted.

Tip: Add additional milk to adjust thickness to taste. Recipe may call for trial and error depending on your personal sweet tooth and type of chocolate used. Have fun and top with marshmallows or whipped cream!


Concept & Styling by: Mandy Forlenza Sticos
Photography by: Maria Doka Photography
Vintage Props: Little Vintage Rentals
Ribbon: Midori Ribbon
‘With Love’ Greeting Card: Lion in the Sun

Join the Party

  • 1 Comment
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest
  • Email
  • Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    Join in on the fun!

    1. Pingback: Simple Holiday Decor Ideas on Best Friends for Frosting | Pretty Little Inspiration from Mandy Forlenza Sticos of Little Vintage Rentals