There are just some things that taste better when they are homemade. Chocolate syrup is one of those things. It’s richer, sweeter in a better way, thicker, and more chocolaty with no aftertaste than the ones sold in stores.
I like making it on a regular basis and finding ways to switch it up. The original recipe calls for vanilla, but I have added cayenne pepper or cinnamon or almond or even coconut flavors to the syrup. Really, this is just a decadent topping for anything you can think of: cakes, ice cream, pies, milk, cocoa, coffee. It’s so good and easy to make. I hope you find it useful!
Homemade Chocolate Syrup
1 Cup cocoa
2 Cups Sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 Cup water
1 Tbsp vanilla
Add all ingredients except the vanilla and bring to a boil. Cook for 5 minutes (stir it all the time!) and then remove from heat. Once it’s cooled enough not to burn you, stir in the vanilla. That’s it! As it cools, this becomes a luscious syrup consistency that is so much better than the squeeze bottle you buy at the store.
Every year, we have a schedule to make up for our school year. The summer months at first, seem a relief from the busy days, but honestly things run more smoothly when everyone has direction.
By everyone, I also include myself. There is something so freeing, about waking with purpose for the day. Now, I am all about having time to ponder life, just not too much time. Honestly, I ponder all I need to, when I am working on something else. I don’t need it to be quiet to do so.
So back to scheduling. I found this gem at the thrift store last week:
At $4.00, I think I can make this work. I have never used a reward system with the children, but I do love lists. We check them off for our daily chores, class lists, meal plans, gift buying..you name it. This year, I am anxious to tighten up some areas that could use some work, i.e. some bad habits that need fixing.
I really believe that having a visible list of expectations is so much nicer than nagging, don’t you? This chart will probably become that list. The cute little magnets will end up gone, but a dry erase marker will work great.
What do you use to keep your family on track? I also found some great printable ideas:
Confessions Of A Homeschooler – This is an amazing, printable chore chart, complete with chore chart cards to print.
Growing Up Gabel – has a pretty little printable, a chore chart for us moms. Now, that is something I need! There are quite a few in her post, so you can pick and choose what works.
For more of a homeschool schedule chart, I am embarrassed to admit that I am sooo old school. I wrote up some basic pages years ago, and laminated them. Now, I just print out a fresh page (I like a month at a time). Here is a peek:
A 4 day school week, for 3 kids
Our monthly calendar, for appointments, days off, etc.
See what I mean? Not pretty. 🙁 But I have been using it for so long that it works for me. The point is, if it is written down and visual, it’s not overwhelming.
It is fun to see how the kids have progressed, and it really helps me to see that we have accomplished something, especially in March, which tends to be our burnout month. Every day is a challenge. We often take a break, just to appreciate the school schedule once again.
Well, the kids are hungry, so I had better finish up. I would LOVE to see how you organize your lives. If it is printable and free, all the better. Have a fantastic day!
This is how much fun shopping at thrift stores can be. For 15.00$ I found this vintage play kitchen. Bekah is in love, and I am enjoying her baby chatter as I work.
In other news, my office resembles a daycare.
All the work, the sweat and the cursing has come to pass. Now my garden is giving back. Every morning and night, as I walk the rows, veggies seem to ripen before my eyes and finally, we have fresh produce.
I love all the things that are growing, since I planted them from seed. The packets were marked at the end of last season, and carefully stored all winter, with the days counted down on the calender until it was time to plant again. When you start growing your garden in your head…in December, it takes a loooong time to eat that first tomato.
If I had to name the most important reason for gardening without chemicals, I would have to say the kids. Not some romantic hippie notion of living in a sustainable ecosystem that we help support (although that is part of it), but mainly so the children can follow me up and down the rows, picking and eating vegetables straight off the plants.