“She did not need much, wanted very little. A kind word, sincerity, fresh air, clean water, a garden, kisses, books to read, sheltering arms, a cozy bed, and to love and be loved in return.’

-Starra Neely Blade


I came across this quote in one of my favorite Instagram feeds last week. A sigh left my body and mind, with only the word, ‘yes’ coming to mind. Simplicity. Basic needs met with love and peace. Fresh air, a garden and books. It’s all there in those brilliant words.

Somewhere, within the realm of those basic needs, also falls my morning routine. My alarm chimes at the slightly crazed time of 4:50am, to run, to move, to break a sweat.  The ensuing exchange begins in my head, as it does every morning.

“You can do this. The first five minutes are the worst. Get up.”
“This bed is so warm.”
“Every morning you feel this way. After five minutes you’ll be fine. GET UP!”


The drill sergeant in my head wins. It’s always better after the first five minutes, this I’ve come to know. Giving in to the warm covers, rarely means rest. The morning just doesn’t seem to go as smoothly, my mind missing that hour of peace and endorphins before the sprint of wrangling three boys and the day.

Post workout means a cup of hot chai tea and a couple slices of my favorite blender bread with a generous smear of maple almond butter. I catch up on the visual feast of my Instagram feed while the stirring of my sleepy faced children fills the previously quiet kitchen.

I savor the last sip of spicy, warm tea, a bite of toast, and begin to engage the day.


At the first sign of leaves changing, my youngest son breaks out the hot cocoa recipe. For this recipe, I combined our two loves; my chai tea, and his beloved hot cocoa.  The result is a mug of gently spicy cocoa, sure to warm you on the coolest of fall days.

Chai Spiced Hot Cocoa


  • 3 tea bags Vanilla Rooibos Chai Tea, or favorite chai tea
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 3 cups whole milk or half & half
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. Boil 1 cup of water.
  2. Steep tea bags in hot water for 5-10 minutes, to create concentrate.
  3. In a large pot, pour tea concentrate, cocoa powder and sugar.
  4. Stirring gently, over medium high heat, bring tea/cocoa combination to a boil until sugar is dissolved.
  5. Add vanilla extract and milk.
  6. Warm cocoa through to preferred temperature, stirring occasionally.
  7. Serve hot.
  8. Any remaining servings store in an air tight container, in the refrigerator.

This post was sponsored by Equal Exchange.  While they provided the product for this recipe, my words, opinions, love a good chai and morning routine are my own. Enjoy!

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2 Responses to Chai Spiced Hot Cocoa

  1. Breanna Smithson says:

    I can’t wait to try this! It sounds perfect for this time of year. I’m curious about the blender bread. I’ve never seen a recipe like that and wondered if your boys like it?

    • Alison says:

      Breanna, the boys are a split decision on the bread, but it is my favorite. I’ve even exchanged the cashews for almonds a few times, and gotten a little more of a multigrain kind of texture. Really good!

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