Happy Hour: Holiday Hot Chocolate

Dec 14, 2012

Having a holiday party often means playing bartender to dozens of guests.  If you want to have a bartender-free function, spiked crock-pot hot chocolate is the way to go.  

This decadent concoction from How Sweet It Is uses sweetened condensed milk, coconut milk and dark chocolate to create the richest cocoa you have ever had in your life.  If coconut isn’t your thing, here is a non-coconut recipe that you could leave plain or spice up with some peppermint extract.  And if you love Nutella, try this recipe.

White House, Black Market Off the Shoulder Metallic Sweater ($98)

Looking for a cozy, festive sweater that doesn’t involve reindeer embroidery or sparkly, stitched-on jingle bells? This off-the-shoulder sweater is lovely and has just a hint of metallic sheen.

I also adore this sequined wrap sweater.  This burgundy sequin cowl neck is also very nice.  And if you prefer lurex to sequins, this ivory v-neck is perfectly classic.

Plus size? I like this grey sweater and this metallic colorblock sweater is stylish but basic.

Happy Hour

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  1. Kay says:

    Belle, how is it being a lobbyist for the National Rifle Association now? Hope you can sleep easy paying for your DFW shoes and Ann Taylor suits. I stopped reading your blog a long time ago because, fashion or not, your politics and work disgust me.

  2. gingerr says:

    There isn't anything in the world that's got sweetened condensed milk in it that I don't love.

  3. Kitty says:

    Kay, I came here to see if this had been addressed as well. My feelings 100%. The second-best thing to do ( after not reading) is to not click through and reward this NRA lobbyist with any extra pennies from our landing on promoted sites.

    I am sickened, and I too have no respect for Belle or whoever.

  4. Josephine says:

    Hear hear, Kay. When I found out Belle's true identity, I was horrified and stopped reading here. I stopped by today to see if she had taken a break from her snotty, snobby posts over meaningless superficialities for a moment to reflect on what she does for a living. What a surprise — not a word. Vile.

  5. Rory says:

    Belle did not kill those children. The NRA did not kill those children. A mentally ill individual killed those children. He was going to get a gun one way or another, be it legally or theft. Gun bans nor more extreme gun laws would have prevented him from getting his hands on those weapons.

    Ideally, the answer would be better mental health services, but the United States simply doesn't have the capabilities. If you don't have access to health insurance, your options are extremely limited or non-existent. There's also the old saying “you can lead a horse to water but you can't make it drink.” We can force people to go to mental health counseling but if they don't work with the therapist what else can we do?

  6. EmilyD says:

    I came over here as well to see if Belle had addressed what happened. Honestly, I am full of rage and would love to leave some vitriolic comment. But that would feel good for about 30 seconds and then I'd be full of rage again. We should just take the time we'd spend venting here and use it to donate a few dollars to the Brady Center.

    I'm sure Belle isn't free to comment, and even if she were, I don't think she is obligated to do so. This is just a blog about pretty clothes. And we all like pretty clothes, or we wouldn't be here.

    Americans have got to stop turning on each other.

  7. LK says:

    What do you expect Belle to say? What would sate those of you who are angry enough to tell Belle she has blood on her Jimmy Choos? What makes you think that she isn't just as sad and angry as we are?

    I met Belle at a WCSA event and she went out of her way to help me (a Democrat) write my resume and find work in the Senate after my internship ended. I don't know the person some of you are so angry with, I know a person who helped a complete stranger from the opposite side of the aisle find a job. So I will keep reading here, and keep telling my friends to read here.

  8. EBT says:

    Wow, y'all. Let me start by saying that I am a pacifist and in favor of significantly greater gun control in this country. However:

    A) Belle writes posts well in advance and schedules the postings, so she likely wrote Friday's posts earlier in the week. B) Given who she works for, she's probably not in a position to post anything about what happened on Friday. C) For heaven's sake, this is fashion blog, not a political blog. You come here to read about outfits and beauty products. You can't possibly expect political commentary, that's not what this is for.

    Asking how Belle would feel if her grandmother had been killed by a mentally ill child with a gun is both cruel and completely tasteless. I'm looking at you, Heather. YOU should be ashamed of yourself.

  9. Kael says:

    I don't love what Belle does for a living. I think guns are nothing but tools of violence…BUT…

    Like many of us, I work on Capitol Hill. I signed a work contract when I took my job that said I would never publicly speak about the policy issues related to my job. And I'm the scheduler!

    I can respect Belle's position. Even if she wanted to say something, I bet she can't without losing her job and REALLY damaging her chances of finding another one. I don't think many offices or companies would be racing to her door if she spoke against her current employer and then was fired. I don't blame her for keeping quiet, and since blog posts can be scheduled in advance, we have NO WAY of know when this post or any of those that followed were written.

  10. SJ says:

    I think it is your duty as a lobbyist for the NRA to address what happened today in Connecticut.

  11. Stephanie says:

    I agree with SJ. I ask apolitically, as a fan of your writing and as someone who spent the afternoon crying at her desk. I welcome your opinion.

  12. Sad Mommy says:

    I am disgusted by what happened today and think that you are way too smart to pass off today's horrific events as it only having to do with a sicko and that our very lax gun laws did not play into this. I'm sure you were very busy at work today being on the defense which is why there were so few posting today. I thank you in advance for not erasing my comment. But for at least a shred of decorum, maybe something alluding to todays events in an above the fray manner?

  13. judy says:

    Disgusting. It makes me sick to read this blog now.

  14. I'm leaving this blog too says:

    NRA.org hasn't posted any articles or commentary since 11/27/12 and here's an article about their Twitter inactivity after the Connecticut tragedy: https://www.salon.com/2012/12/14/nra_twitter_goes_silent/

    Strategic silence after 20 innocent children died today. This was the 7th mass shooting this year and her client is freaked out that the tide is going to turn on gun policy. People want more than candlelight vigils and floral wreaths.

    I'm abandoning this blog too. Enjoy your hot cocoa, Belle.

  15. Genny says:

    I have been a long time reader of this blog and have always enjoyed “Belle's” fashion advice. A few months ago I learned who you really are and had a huge internal struggle about if I should keep reading CHS or not. Anyone whose “dream job” is to be a lobbyist for the NRA is no one I want to associate with. But … I kept coming back now and then, because you do give great style advice.

    But after what happened yesterday? No more. This is the last pageview you will profit from from me. I have a 5 year old, who is in kindergarten, and I cannot stop thinking that she could have been one of those children … I cannot even begin to imagine how scared those small children were yesterday before their lives were taken by guns you work so hard to protect.

  16. kartasi says:

    I echo the comments above, especially the desire to hear a response from you, as an NRA lobbyist, about Friday's shooting.

  17. pinky says:

    I just want to echo the sentiment above. I cannot in good conscience support this blog any longer.

  18. Done says:

    How can somebody's dream be to work for an entity that promotes so much evil? Enjoy your designer clothes and extravagant lifestyle belle. I'm over you and your snark.

  19. Jenny says:

    I genuinely wish that you and your loved ones never have to endure the suffering and heart-crushing loss like the families and friends of the victims of the Newtown massacre.

    Please, find another job. Do some soul-searching and be better than this.

  20. Yellowrose says:

    Belle, when/if you address this issue also provide stats on the those that have utilized guns for their own self defense. The killer was also mentally ill. Seems some of your EX readers forgot that fact.

  21. Kate says:

    I can't think of anything more important for an NRA lobbyist to be posting about this weekend. Congratulations on your career and your pretty clothes.

  22. tanya says:

    Please consider donating some of your NRA money to any one of the victim relief funds

    https://www.crowdrise.com/shsrelief

  23. Kit says:

    I don't normally post any comments, but I have to say that I am so shocked by the outpouring of hateful comments here. First and foremost, this is a time when much of the nation is grieving with the residents of Newtown. Surely it's better to direct your good wishes to those suffering, rather than attack others, regardless of how vehemently you may disagree with their opinions.

    It is certainly the right of all the people posting above to cease reading this blog if they find Belle's politics distasteful. But it hardly serves anyone, nor does it make anyone sympathize with you and your cause, to post vicious personal attacks.

  24. Julie says:

    I'm another formerly avid reader regretfully signing off, Belle. After yesterday's events, I can't ignore your affilliation with the NRA any longer. I am incredibly disappointed in your silence on this blog and on Facebook. You will not receive another penny from my clicks.

  25. Josephine says:

    Mentally ill people are able to obtain guns in this country with more ease than any industrialized nation in the world. Don't be so naive. These straw arguments are not flying anymore. Why don't you also trot out the one Erick Erickson trotted out — it's the decline of the nuclear family? Except that the divorce rate in the U.S. is the same as most other Western countries, so how does that work?

    No one is buying these NRA-fuelled justifications anymore. The truly mentally ill people are those who believe against all logic and reason that they need to be armed to the teeth in case the government comes for them. Or the ones who believe that teachers should be armed. Those are the people who are mentally ill, and they care more about their right to bear arms than they do the lives of innocents.

  26. amy says:

    Why is this blog called Capitol Hill Style when she works for the NRA??? Shouldn't it be called K street style?

  27. M says:

    To all of those who are looking for political commentary, please remember this is a FASHION BLOG! I am disgusted by all the hateful comments. Just because she may not agree with your political views or she works at a place you do not approve of, she does not deserve these vicious attacks. Give her a break, readers! She has a fabulous fashion sense and her “true identity” does not make her any different. Belle, please continue to be yourself and don't let these haters bring you down.

  28. Marty says:

    Seriously. Singing off. The chickens have come home to roost, and I sincerely hope that you are soon unemployed. Fashion or other wise, it must be miserable when you look in your glorious mirror each morning.(plus, your tips are increasingly crappy). Adieu!

  29. Marty says:

    Seriously. Singing off. The chickens have come home to roost, and I sincerely hope that you are soon unemployed. Fashion or other wise, it must be miserable when you look in your glorious mirror each morning.(plus, your tips are increasingly crappy). Adieu!

  30. Marty says:

    Oops. “Signing”, not “singing.'”. And, yeah, M, I've tried distancing the two in the past, but when you look at those kids' faces and know their bodies were riddled numerous times and Lanza's mom was a “gun buff” who involved her kids in target practice, well….

  31. Marty says:

    Oops. “Signing”, not “singing.'”. And, yeah, M, I've tried distancing the two in the past, but when you look at those kids' faces and know their bodies were riddled numerous times and Lanza's mom was a “gun buff” who involved her kids in target practice, well….

  32. A says:

    https://m.cbsnews.com/storysynopsis.rbml?pageType=world&url=https://www.cbsnews.com/8301-202_162-57559179/china-school-knife-attack-leaves-23-injured/&catid=57559179

    We aren't the only country w a lack mental health resources that's paying the price. Oh…and no guns here…just a mentally ill man and a knife.

  33. Dana says:

    Wow… Belle, you should haver really just remained anonymous.

  34. Josephine says:

    M: You're a buffoon. Anyone who works, lobbies for or has otherwise affiliated themselves with the NRA is complicit in these shootings and every other shooting, including the self-inflicted death of a three-year-old boy this weekend when his family's firearm discharged and killed him. The NRA has created a deadly gun culture. It exists nowhere else in the world. The woman who profits from this blog works for them. Open your eyes.

  35. Heather says:

    A: Twenty-three INJURED. Do you get the difference? Chinese children who will go home to their families soon. You have proven the point of gun control. You cannot kill dozens of people within minutes with a knife, no matter how crazy you are.

  36. Claire says:

    As a long-time reader and fan, I too was disappointed to see no response from you to the events in Newtown. A few months ago, you posted a lovely remembrance of an older man in your neighborhood who died in a tragic accident. Since you do use the blog to share personal reflections, I expected to see your thoughts, especially given your position. How could you write this post and not think about 20 kindergartners who will never drink a cup of hot cocoa again? This will be my last visit to your site, and I thought you should know why. Although I am an advocate of gun control, I was open to reading your thoughts, but in some way silence is worse than whatever you might have said…

  37. Robin says:

    Just wanted to say to everyone looking for Belle to say something, if ou notice she hasn't commented on the blog since Thursday. As a personal friend of hers, I wanted to say that he probably hasn't even visited the blog this weekend because she is at her grandma's funeral. She likely hasn't seen this post.

  38. ER says:

    Just wanted to post that Belle lost another avid reader, and I hope others will follow suit. To all those wondering, “Belle”'s day job is NRA lobbyist. Kit and M, this post is not hateful..really I'm just sad, and I think that her readers should know this information.

  39. B says:

    I, too, came over here to see if Belle had posted something on what happened in Newtown. As a European, I have an almost natural inclination to “blame” a lot of what happened on the US's lenient gun laws. Granted, we have school shootings too – one particularly awful one happened close to my hometown a few years ago – but gun-related crime in general is lower here than in the US. I believe it's essential to make access to guns as difficult as possible.
    Since finding out about who “Belle” is in real life, I've also tried to separate her fashion advice, which I (mostly) like from her day job. But I haven't been able to completely look past it and so at some level I'd also expect her to take a stance.
    BUT. Two things. a) Hateful comments à la “shame on you” don't help too much. It just makes pro-gun folk go on the defensive. I very strongly disagree with Belle's political position, but even in the face of what went on last Friday, I believe we should have a civilised exchange of arguments. And b) she probably honestly can't say something about it on her personal blog, and if she can, it will be the official NRA position. After all it is her job to work in favour of said position.
    So let's keep it civil and not expect too much in the way of a personal statement. Just sayin'.

    P.S. Belle, very sorry to hear about your Grandmother. Hope you're OK.

  40. Kerry says:

    I won't be reading here anymore, but I wanted to defend Belle on two points: there are not many bloggers who would allow these comments to exist, I think most would delete them. And she has written in the past that she is not allowed to talk about her job on here, most companies and government offices have policies regarding that.

  41. Gal says:

    I suspect that the reason there had been no post is because the official approach of the NRA to this situation is “radio silence.” Which, for me, isn't a reason to read on, but yet another reason to sign off. Adieu, la belle et la bête!

  42. Tory says:

    I have been reading this blog for years and had come to enjoy it. I kept reading because I liked the content, other than the times when you were rude to your readers when they gave you feedback that you solicited in “state of the blog” posts. But after Friday's horrific tragedy and discovering that you work for the NRA, I will not be a reader anymore. I'm unfollowing you on all other social media and I encourage others to do the same. This blog disgusts me and I want nothing to do with it.

  43. Yellowrose says:

    Well said LK. Belle, Im very sorry about the loss of your grandmother.

  44. emc says:

    Long-time reader and fan of this blog. Belle, I admire your writing because you have shown yourself to be a smart and independent woman – and I sincerely hope you can bring that kind of independent and sensible thinking to your employer after Friday's tragedy. I can't imagine that you haven't been shaken by the massacre in Newtown. But unlike me and so many of your readers, you are in a position to actually do something positive and constructive that can help prevent future incidents like this from happening in the future. I hope that you will.

  45. RS says:

    I am astounded by the comments this post. I don't agree with the NRA's positions, and I would like to see stronger gun control laws, but I am not going to stop reading a fashion blog because the woman who writes it has a political position I disagree with. Good grief, folks – get a grip.

    Belle, know that there are people out there who disagree with you politically but continue to appreciate your blog. Sorry for the loss of your grandma.

  46. hnc says:

    Like others, I don't think the hateful comments towards Belle are useful. As Belle and others know however, where we put our eyeballs and our cash matters (which is why I'm a fan of Belle's recommendations on produts made in America). In that case, it makes perfect sense that some people don't want to read this blog because of her position. And it's also perfectly ok that they let Belle know why they aren't reading her blog. I don't see it as any different as choosing to not buy from a company which uses child labor.

    Personal attacks however aren't really useful and don't do anything for furthering the incredibly necesary discussion we need to have in this country about gun control.

  47. H says:

    Belle, really sorry to hear about the loss of your grandmother. I went through that last year, and it really sucks.

    I think it's easy for people here to leave hateful comments. (I don't mean the ones about “I can't support the NRA, so I'm not reading anymore.” I mean the actual hateful ones.) There's no requirement to post a name, so they feel free to spill their vitriol about someone whose opinions they don't like. What these ladies don't realize is that their hatefulness is no different than anyone else's hate, even though they believe their intentions are good. It's still hate, and that's the root of the problem with what happened on Friday. Blame guns, blame autism, blame lonerism, blame whatever. I think there were a lot of factors that contributed. Ultimately, though, the man who did this had tremendous hate in his heart, and we should strive to be nothing like him. Please keep that in mind as you comment.

  48. sp says:

    Belle, you seem like a smart, empathetic person. Perhaps you can be the voice of reason within the NRA office.

  49. Heather says:

    I wonder if Belle would rethink her line of work if her grandmother had been gunned down with 19 other elderly people at an old-age home by a mentally ill kid toting his rich mother's assault weapons? Seriously, if you work for an outfit like the NRA, like it or not, your work defines who you are. Would I read the blog of an America-hating al Qaida operative? No, I would not. And the NRA for all intents and purposes is a terrorist organization if you go by body count and the absolute lunacy of its propaganda. Wake up. It's not her “political beliefs.” It goes WAY beyond that.

  50. MidWestChic says:

    I just wanted to say that THIS is the EXACT reason Belle wanted to remain anonymous, yet 99% of you who are commenting these crude and unnecessary remarks are those who wanted to know who the real Belle really was. Shame on you!

    I respect you, Belle, for the work you do on this blog and the work you do in your real life. Don't let these people get you down! There is PLENTY of coverage about the sadness that occured in CT. And I am confident that if you want to make a comment, you will when you feel ready. We have no way of knowing how this has affected you, but kudos to keeping your head held high when many commenters are acting cold and ludicrous.

    I am a constant reader and supporter of yours, and I will continue reading your fashion blog regardless of the political commentary you wish to share, or not share.

    God bless, Belle!

  51. maddening says:

    This blog has nothing to do with politics. To those shallow enough to stop reading and post a public sign off because of Belle's beliefs or workplace, well, congratulations – you're really making a difference in the world!

    Belle, keep doing what you're doing. I'm sorry about to hear about your grandmother.

  52. S says:

    I've been a huge fan of your blog but after these tragic recent events I can not support someone like you, someone whose job helped make the killing of twenty children possible.
    Your lack of comment on the tragedy(with continued updating of the blog) just makes it all the more worse.

    You and the NRA should be ashamed.

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