Nov 27, 2015

After a long day of work, it doesn’t get much better than curling up with a nice steaming mug of cocoa and the people you love. Whether you’re coming home from hitting the stores, slopes, or office, nothing beats being able to relax with a tasty treat and your family. This holiday season, instead of preparing your typical pre-packaged hot chocolate, why not try something a little more luxurious? We’ve combed the internet and found eight delicious, original recipes you’ve got to sample! Sip them with a good book, blanket, and a cookie – or two!

Spicy – Sure cocoa should be hot, but should it be spicy? Short answer: yes! Long answer: HECK YES! Add a pinch of chili pepper to dark chocolate and see how much you like it.

Image via Luvo

Gingerbread – Adding a touch of liquor to hot chocolate can help warm even the coldest hearts. Don’t go straight for the whiskey or brandy though, opting for a sweeter more flavorful style can complement your hot chocolate nicely.

Image via Pop Sugar

Junior Mint – This holiday season, try turning one of your favorite candies into hot chocolate! It can be done (and it’s not even too tricky!).

Image via Picky Palate

Chai – Being on a vegan diet doesn’t mean no more hot chocolate. It doesn’t even mean no more fancy hot chocolate. This chai infused hot chocolate is creamy, rich, delicious, and totally vegan. You’re welcome!

Image via Fit Foodie Finds

Almond Joy – Not a fan of Junior Mints? That’s ok. Here’s another candy-inspired hot chocolate recipe. Friends, say hello to the Almond Joy hot chocolate.

Black Cherry Bourbon - Dark chocolate, cherry bourbon, and a little whip cream? Yes please!

Image via Sugar & Soul

White Fudge Oreo – You may have dipped cookies in your hot chocolate, but have you ever made hot chocolate out of your cookies? It might sound a little backwards, but it tastes delicious!

Red Velvet – We saved the best for last! This is one of the more complex recipes on the list, but man is it delicious. If you love red velvet, this is a must-make treat!

We hope these recipes help keep you warm, full, and happy this winter! Making one of these creative concoctions? Share your best cocoa shots with us on Instagram and Twitter! We love seeing what our fans cook up.

Nov 20, 2015

December is nearly here and with it comes, in our opinion, the start of the holiday season. Now you may have had your halls decked since November (and that’s fine; we’re not judging) but for us, the festive feeling hits in December. For one, December 1st means it’s time to bust out the Advent calendar. And nothing gets you feeling jolly like being met with a new piece of candy or holiday activity each day.

And so, in anticipation of the warmth and fun the countdown to Christmas brings, we decided to share our favorite DIY Advent calendars. This year, instead of going store-bought, why don’t you make something special and unique your whole family can enjoy? Be thoughtful with what each day brings, and make memories that will last for many Christmases to come. 

Pleasant Presents – A bit of Velcro, some cute wrapping paper, fun gifts, and a little vision, and you’ve got yourself one seriously cute Advent calendar. We’re big fans of having the presents make up the tree, but it might start to look a little less festive as you move further into December – so keep filling your house with lots of holiday cheer to offset this.

Image via Brit + Co

Beautiful Buckets – How cute is this craft? The buckets can be filled with almost anything (chocolates, toys, decorations, and more!), and the style of the calendar makes it a great addition to your holiday decor.

Terrific Toilet Paper – We just love how this project turned out! If it’s a little too plain for your taste, give those toilet paper rolls a coat of paint. 

Marvelous Muffin Tin – Making your own Advent calendar doesn’t have to be too hard! Muffin pans are perfect for this little project (as long as you’re using one with 24 wells!).
Enviable Embroidery Wreath – We absolutely love the look of this embroidery wreath and parcels! The embroidery hoop isn’t completely covered in greenery, which adds a nice rustic feel and the brown parcels are subtly festive.

Image via Lapinblu

Playful Pegboard – This simple calendar won’t take up too much space but will certainly add a lot of holiday cheer to your space. Instead of each day being marked with a treat or gift, there’s a different festive activity to be done. You can bake cookies, send holiday cards, do nice things for neighbors, and more!

Image via Country Living

Creative Canvas – Pegboard too small? This canvas Advent calendar may be more your speed. The brilliant details of the tree can really add to your holiday decor, and fun felt ornaments make the perfect day markers.

Image via Oh Happy Day

We hope these fun DIY Advent calendars help you and your family prepare for the holiday season. What are your holiday traditions? Let us know how you get in the holiday spirit by sharing your most festive shots with @HomeShows on Twitter and Instagram.

Nov 13, 2015

There’s less than two weeks until Thanksgiving – are you ready? You may have your menu planned, but that’s not the only important thing that goes on your table. This year set your tables to stun with some simple ideas that are sure to compliment every feast. Check out some of our favorite tablescapes below and get ready to wow friends and family on the 26th

All That Glitters is Gold – Traditional pumpkins and pine cones with a fabulous touch of luxury. We love the effortlessness of this look. It’s easy to recreate and will have a big impact on your table.

Bring the Outdoors In – Bright greens, fragile florals, and a hint of copper make for an excellent combination. Though there are some bold pinks and reds, this mix is fairly subtle and a lovely one to try this Thanksgiving.

Image via Homey Oh My!

Keep it Subtle - If you think gold is more gaudy than gorgeous, this centerpiece will be right up your alley. We’re fans of the burlap table runner and simple mix of earthy colors. This is the perfect setting for a rustic Thanksgiving.

Image via Sand & Sisal

Gourd-geous Vases – Simply put, we are in love with these vases! They’d make a fabulous addition to any table (Thanksgiving or not). The rich oranges, greens, and purples play off each other so nicely, and using a gourd as a vase is such a fantastically creative DIY – we can’t get over it. 

Food for Thought – Why not incorporate some of your Thanksgiving dinner ingredients into your centerpiece? As you can see, artichokes, beans, and asparagus make lovely candle holders!

Rich & Rustic – We’ve got a penchant for plaid, and we’re not afraid to show it! The eucalyptus, walnuts and pine corn create a fantastic rustic scene. All it needs is some turkey!

Image via House And Home

We hope these ideas help inspire you to create a beautiful table this year. We’d love to see your Thanksgiving tablescapes. Share your best shots with @HomeShows on Instagram and Twitter – we love to see how you celebrate!

What’s hot and what’s not when it comes to holiday gifting? Fashion Designer and Style Expert to Mall of America, Christopher Straub says it best, “shop local for the most fun and unique gifts. Not only are you supporting hometown talent but you also can learn more about the creator and get their story of who they are and why they designed it.”

At Kansas City’s Holiday Boutique, discover beautiful, custom-made gifts by local artisan designers. These unique, artist-inspired creations and artwork can’t be found anywhere else!


Coasters to Coasters (Booth 228) - This Kansas City-based, mother-daughter team brings you beautiful and unique tumbled marble tile coasters that feature original photography of city and university landmarks. Their coaster collection features iconic images from Kansas City and surrounding areas, St. Louis, Wichita, the University of Kansas, the University of Missouri, and Kansas State University.

TYPOGRFX (Booth 330) - Custom word artwork, designed from scratch in an array of formats including gallery-wrapped canvases, luster, burlap and wood prints with standard and reclaimed barnwood frames; wood photo boards; metal prints; and keepsake blankets. From start to finish you get to choose the words, colors, style and other custom options for artwork that is truly unique.

Savory Addictions (Booth 818) - Gourmet, high-quality nuts (Cashews, Almonds, Pecans, Brazil, and Macadamia) smoked over real wood and hand-coated with all natural spice for the most sophisticated palates, with no preservatives.

Sapahn (Booth 702) - A handcrafted collection of leather handbags and wallets, silver jewelry, silk and all-natural scarves beautifully crafted by artisans in Thailand. Founder and Local, Brooke Mullins connects the two cultures while creating sustainable jobs in their villages that preserve cultures and traditions. The artisans extract natural color from various tree barks, then mix in mud minerals found at the bottom of a local pond to create exquisitely colored pieces.

Treasure by Shantrel (Booth 57) - Licensed Esthetician, Shantrel concocted an all-natural skincare formula that won’t leave skin irritated with a sticky residue, but instead with a soft and smooth finish. What began as “kitchen chemistry” in her home, later evolved into a complete line of products, including lip balm, foot scrub, and hand and body lotion.

Tommi Crystal Designs (Booth 125)—A fun selection of handcrafted, jewelry that can be created right on the spot for a custom piece. Tommi creates original pieces in her home studio using sterling silver, semi-precious stones, pure metals, and glass.

White Wind Vineyard (Booth 44) - Locally processed, aged, filtered, bottled, and labeled wines crafted to award-winning perfection.

Unique O’s (Booth 612) - Quality, handmade children’s clothing and accessories, baby blankets, pacifier clips, children’s jewelry, placemats and apron’s, sun hats, infant car seat covers, boys ties and many other children’s items made with a little bit of sass and flair.

Grace Art (Booth 601) - Fully customizable, hand-painted canvases of inspirational and personalized sayings and quotes.

Crooked Creek (Booth 1000) - Made from beads, earth substances, antiquities or fibers, each watchband from Crooked Creek is handmade with no two alike. Strong attention to detail and design, make these pieces exceptionally beautiful and unique.

Electrified Cooks (Booth 104) - Slow cookers are popular for dinnertime; however, rarely do people use them for desserts. Slow Cooker Cake Mixes are distinctive and unique, original recipes developed by two local cookbook authors. The Electrified Cooks started their careers in the test kitchen for RIVAL, the local company that first introduced Crock Pot slow cooker to the world. Since then, the Electrified Cooks have been perfecting their recipes for over 30 years.

Heartshine Jewelry (Booth 1307) - Genuine Swarovski crystal jewelry, placed with brass settings purchased from Israel. Vintage Swarovski details are frequently included in each design.

Joy’s Favorite Things (Booth 1219) - Joy uses quality silk, bamboo, cotton, and other fine fabrics combined with handmade dyes to create original scarves, ponchos, and shawls. The dying process so unique it cannot be duplicated, therefore purchases are limited to one to three items.

Jule’s Bling (Booth 210) - Handmade jewelry designed and created with only the best materials—from enameling, metal smithing, wire, and semi-precious stones.

Sticky Spoons (Booth 1230) - Locally hand-selected and picked Elderberries and Sand Hill plums grow are processed into juice to make small batches of jelly, kettle style. Quick bread mixes are made from scratch recipes with locally grown wheat flour.

The Diana Collection (Booth 301) - Geologist and Designer, Diana Abitz handcrafts one-of-a-kind necklaces and earrings. Hand selected stones, fossils, shells and pearls, which are often uncommon, are uniquely assembled to show off Mother Nature’s bounty.

Not sure what to get the person who has it all? Let Kansas City’s local artisan boutiques be at the top of your holiday shopping list to find custom and trendy gifts that can’t be found anywhere else! This year shop local, shop small business, shop Holiday Boutique and give unique gifts that also give back to the local community.

Ticket Deal Alert! Haven't bought your Holiday Boutique tickets yet? Get 2-for-1 when you connect with us on Facebook! Treat a friend or family member to the show - we can't wait to see you there.

NOVEMBER 19-22, 2015.

Nov 12, 2015

We're pleased to have Nerium joining us again at the Holiday Boutique. Nerium offers exclusive products with age-defying ingredients that you can't find anywhere else. This leads to unprecedented results.

This unique company observes the best of nature to find cosmetic skin-care applications and supplements that mimic natural age-fighting mechanisms. Their nature-based approach provides innovative solutions and can have an exceptional effect on the mind and body.

Visit Nerium representatives at the show in Booth 1310 to learn more about the products they offer and how they can help redefine the way you age. But first, check out our brief interview below to get a sneak peek at what you can expect from them at the show.

Please describe your product.

"Age-defying night and day cream, contour cream, and EHT mind enhancement."

What is your price range?

$$$ - $50 - $100

Will you have any featured items?

"Age-defying night cream and EHT."

Why would your products make the perfect holiday gift?

"EHT improves memory and recall."

What is your favorite part of the Holiday Boutique?

"The atmosphere."

Is there any additional info you think folks should know about your company?

"Product for sale in booth."

The Holiday Boutique is your one-stop-shop for all your holiday needs. Find gifts for everyone on your list, home decor, gourmet goodies, and so much more! With Girls Night Out on Friday, November 20th and Country Girl Night on Saturday, November 21st, there's more than just shopping going on! Join us at the Overland Park Convention Center from November 19-22 for the holiday event of the season!

Don't have tickets yet? Buy 'em in advance to SAVE BIG and skip the box office lines! Right now you can get 2-for-1 on Facebook.

NOVEMBER 19-22, 2015.

Nov 11, 2015

We're excited to have Art From Architecture joining us at the Holiday Boutique. Local artist Bernadette "Bernie" Lee started this business in 2015 after almost thirty years as a fine wine professional. A shoulder injury left her unable to lift crates of wine, but she could still wield a pen and paintbrush. Her previous hobby of painting landscapes and drawing custom home portraits has evolved into a passion for creating lasting memories of places that people hold close to their heart.

Visit Bernie and the Art From Architecture team at the Holiday Boutique in Booth 14 to discover beautiful pieces you can surprise your loved ones with this holiday season. But first, get to know this KC artist and her business a little better by reading our brief interview below.

Please describe your product.

"I create lasting memories of places that people hold close to their heart with prints of my finely detailed pen and ink and watercolor paintings."

What is your price range?

$$ -- $20 - $50

Will you have any featured items?

"Watercolor prints of Kauffman Stadium and other Kansas City iconic landmarks."

Why would your product make the perfect holiday gift?

"The Royals World Series Championship makes "The K" matted watercolor print perfect for any fan at an affordable price for the holidays."

What is your favorite part of the Holiday Boutique?

"The excitement of the holidays."

Is there anything else you think folks should know about your business?

"I also draw custom home portraits."

The Holiday Boutique takes over the Overland Park Convention Center November 19-22, 2015. With hundreds of local and national retailers showcasing the latest products in fashion, accessories, home decor, gourmet food, and more, it's the place to get all your holiday shopping done.

Don't have tickets yet? Get 2-for-1 when you visit the Holiday Boutique Facebook page. Treat a friend or family member to the show - we can't wait to see you there!

NOVEMBER 19-22, 2015.

Nov 10, 2015

We're excited to once again have Carly Rae Studio joining us at the Holiday Boutique. This Kansas City artist creates detailed, whimsical artwork to help others express themselves and show the world what they care about and what their passions are. Each painting starts with a pencil outline of a shape and is slowly filled in with tiny watercolor flowers. The paintings are then printed on textured fine art paper.

Artwork from Carly Rae Studio has been featured in stores around the US, including Bed Bath and Beyond, Kohl's, and many local Kansas City shops. Visit booth 637 at the Holiday Boutique to see some of her pieces as well as her KC inspired t-shirts. But first, check out our interview with Carly Rae Studio below.

Please describe your product.

"I create whimsical floral watercolor paintings. They make great decor for homes, bedrooms, nurseries, or offices. I also design unique floral KC t-shirts. Check out my unique artwork online or at the Holiday Boutique in Booth 637!"

What is your price range?

$$ -- $20 - $50

Will you have any featured items?

"Watercolor art prints, KC t-shirts, greeting cards, tote bags."

Why would your product make the perfect holiday gift?

"My prints are unique and detailed pieces of art that allow people of all ages to visually express who they are and what they love. And my shirts are unique, soft, and perfect for cheering on your favorite KC sports teams."

What is your favorite part about the Holiday Boutique?

"I love meeting lots of new people that live in the KC area and introducing them to my artwork!"

With hundreds of local vendors showcasing the latest in apparel, accessories, home decor, gourmet food, and more the Holiday Boutique is the place to get your Christmas shopping done! Find something for everyone on your list - plus a treat or two for yourself!

Ticket Deal Alert! Don't have tickets yet? Get 2-for-1 when you visit the Holiday Boutique Facebook page.

NOVEMBER 19-22, 2015.