Here’s How to Make the Best Hot Chocolate in a Slow Cooker

YouTube // @joyfoodsunshine

Winter wouldn’t be complete without hot chocolate topped with marshmallows and whipped cream. But did you know that this drink tastes best when made in a slow cooker? It’s true, we’re sharing the recipe that will be an absolute game-changer for your hot chocolate nights with your loved ones.

Tips and Tricks

This recipe is best with regular whole or low-fat milk. However, if you decide to go for a plant-based option, choose something creamy like oat milk. Depending on your preferences, you can use semisweet, milk, or dark chocolate chips. Heavy whipping cream will make the hot chocolate creamy and rich. Sweetened condensed milk is also a must for this recipe and you can find it in all supermarkets. Finally, vanilla adds extra flavor and uniqueness to your drink.

YouTube // @joyfoodsunshine

When it comes to serving, a variety of toppings work well. Try whipped cream, candy canes, caramel sauce, cinnamon sticks, or even peppermint bark to add something special to your cocoa (although it’s also delicious on its own!). We recommend trying a new topping each time to figure out which one is your favorite. You can even make a toppings buffet if you’re making the hot chocolate for guests.

How to Make It


  • 6 cups milk
  • 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 ½ cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1 (14 oz) can of sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
YouTube // @joyfoodsunshine


  1. The first step is to combine all the ingredients in a slow cooker. It just doesn’t get any easier than that!
  2. Cover and cook on low heat while stirring occasionally. You want the chocolate chips to be completely melted to a smooth texture. The whole process should take you about two hours.
  3. Add any toppings you see fit and enjoy your delicious cup of hot chocolate!

From A Fallen Teen Star To A Fashion School Graduate, Amanda Bynes Has Managed To Find Her Calling

Amanda Bynes

There have been many young stars that we have watched grow and blossom on our screens. From the likes of Lindsay Lohan to the Sprouse brothers and everyone in between, many of us feel like proud parents as we get to watch their career go from strength to strength. Unfortunately, it seems as though their lives aren’t always filled with the glitz and glam that many of us believe comes with a life in Hollywood. Amanda Bynes once appeared to be everywhere we looked. However, fans of the star have been left wondering what happened to Amanda after all these years…

The Beginning

Back in 2002, the world got to learn a new name: Amanda Bynes. The actress was the star of Big Fat Liar, and it seemed as though her career was about to go from strength to strength.

Photo by Featureflash Photo Agency // Shutterstock

She had everything a young star starting out in Hollywood needed to climb to the top. Amanda was passionate about her work, determined to work hard, and had the likeability that many fell for. Sadly, it wasn’t long before things seemed to change…

Taking A Turn

In 2019, it seems as though Amanda Bynes has all but disappeared from the limelight. She was once at the top of her game, so what happened?

Facebook // Amanda Bynes Official

The media has been filled with rumors and stories about her life away from the screen, but it seems as though it could have all started earlier than we once thought. Although Amanda had the makings of a permanent mark in Hollywood, it wasn’t long before things changed…

Earning Her Degree

It turns out that Amanda has still been working hard, but not on her acting career. No, it seems as though Amanda’s life is set to take another turn as the former actress has recently received a degree in fashion after studying at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in Los Angeles.

Facebook // SupportingAmandaBynes

However, it seems as though Amanda had to work a lot harder than many of her other classmates, as the star has been battling many personal struggles, too.

Dedicated To Learning

Amanda first enrolled at the school back in 2014. However, she was kicked out of her class at the beginning of her studies. Thankfully, she later returned to complete the rest of her course.

Twitter // @oasorbo_P

It turns out that Amanda has been enrolled in a rehabilitation center for the last few months of her studies as the star works to overcome her personal demons and get her life back on track. She might have once seemed to have it all, but things changed…

The Start Of It All

It wasn’t long after Amanda broke onto the acting scene that she was cast as the star of the sketch show The Amanda Show.

Photo by Featureflash Photo Agency // Shutterstock

The show first premiered in 1999 as Amanda took on a whole host of roles and sketches, including Judge Trudy, Blockblister, Moody’s Point, and The Girl’s Room. Who could forget the dancing lobsters? It was everything that youngsters needed to pass the day as Amanda brought a new passion to the screen.

The Amanda Show

It all started when Nickelodeon producers told Bynes that they envisioned her as a star of her own show, and wanted to create an entire series centered around her, inspired by The Carol Burnett Show.

Facebook // The Amanda Show

The Amanda Show — was an instant hit and cemented Bynes as one of the funniest and most promising performers of her generation. After just three seasons, it felt like it was time for her to move on, and Bynes began transitioning into other shows and films.

Moving Forward

Sadly, it seems as though all good things must come to an end, as the writers of the show wanted to pursue an idea with fellow stars of the show, and Drake and Josh was born.

Facebook // Warner Archive Collection

Thankfully, Amanda soon had What I Like About You. The show was a huge success after it debuted in 2002, and this was only the beginning. It wasn’t long before Hollywood wanted more, and Amanda was there to keep the fans happy.

Starting The Spiral

The best bit? Amanda was soon moving from the small screen to the big one as the actress took parts in the likes of She’s The Man and Hairspray.

Facebook // Penny Pingleton – Hairspray 2007

Hairspray went on to become one of Bynes’ most successful movies at the time, and she was featured on the Hairspray soundtrack, which recieved a Grammy nomination. Bynes would return to her role in Hairspray 2, but the sequel was unfortunately canceled.

Indefinite Hiatus

She was initially set to star in the comedy Post Grad, but dropped out with no reason revealed and was replaced by Alexis Bledel, aggravating rumors that she was in personal trouble. However, the star’s final acting credit was back in 2010 when Amanda took one of the leading roles in Easy A.

Facebook // Amanda Bynes Official

She was supposed to star in Hall Pass but later pulled out after she was unhappy with her appearance in the trailer for the movie. In July 2010, Bynes announced an indefinite hiatus from acting.

What Now?

After her announcement that she was taking some time off from acting, Bynes found herself feeling adrift, having quit what had been, up until that point, a lifelong pursuit. She found that she had no purpose in life.

Photo by Featureflash Photo Agency // Shutterstock

All her life had been acting and performing, and now she was doing nothing. With all that time on her hands, she would end up staying home all day. It was around this time, Bynes said she started “hanging out with a seedier crowd, and I isolated a lot…”

Struggling to Find The Right Man

Another challenge of Amanda Bynes’s life has been her difficulties in finding a stable relationship. Over the years, the former actress has been romantically linked with a number of actors and people in the entertainment industry.

Photo by Dfree // Shutterstock

From 2001 to 2002, Bynes dated SNL‘s Taran Killam, who of course, is now married to Cobie Smulders. A few years later, she dated Nick Zano and a few years after that, she dated Doug Reinhardt for a couple of months.

The Odd Couple

Some celebrity couples just look kind of odd together and this is what happened when Amanda Bynes was spotted out on the town one evening with Seth MacFarlane, of all people.

Fanpix // Kapriz

In 2008, the two were seen together and rumors started to spread that the actress was dating the Family Guy star. This conveniently happened shortly after Bynes lent her voice to a character in the classic animated series. However, for one reason or another, the rumored romance quickly fizzled out.

Sorry For Going Too Far

It seemed like it was too late before Amanda Bynes realized that she had messed things up with ex-boyfriend Kid Cudi. After over-sharing information about their blossoming relationship on social media, this completely backfired on her and the rapper was out.

Photo by Tinseltown // Shutterstock

After describing his talent as “questionable,” she apologized to him. “I want to apologize to Scott Mescudi,” she tweeted Tuesday (June 4). “My account was hacked, I didn’t call him ugly. He’s not ugly. He’s gorgeous and we dated. I loved him.”

Changing Her Behavior

Unfortunately, it looked as though this was the beginning of the end for Amanda. Many noted how the star was never able to break from the goofy and loveable characters that she had played throughout her teenage years to the mature actress that she wanted to be.

Facebook // Amanda Bynes Official

To top it off, many professionals said that Amanda was starting to behave erratically on sets and was no longer a person that people wanted to be around while working.

She Didn’t Like How She Looked

It turns out that Amanda’s worries all started back when she was 16 years old. She started taking illegal substances after She’s The Man hit the big screen.

Twitter // @Bgaytion

“When the movie eventually came out, I went to see it,” Bynes said in an interview, “I went into a deep depression for a few months because I didn’t like how I looked dressed as a boy.” She elaborated that seeing herself with short hair and sideburns was a bizarre and surreal experience, putting her into a funk….

She’s The Man

The modern take on Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night that saw Bynes play a teen girl dressing and acting like a boy to impersonate her brother, led to an unusual experience after filming. // Jane Caffrey

The star later confessed that she was unhappy with the way that she looked when she was playing a male character and wanted to find a way to help deal with her new emotions. For Amanda, falling for banned substances appeared to be the easiest answer to move forward.

Own Worst Critic

Although Amanda was struggling with her body confidence, the actress wanted to continue appearing in many films. That was, until her bad habits started to take more effect.

Pinterest // MTV

Amanda admits that her mental health took over for many months, while the banned substances began to make it hard for her to remember her lines. Amanda became her own worst critic as she says that she was no longer happy with her performance on screen. It was something she couldn’t ignore.

She Started Working At 7

When you take into consideration that Amanda Bynes started working in the entertainment industry at just seven years of age, some of the issues she has been through later on in life make a bit more sense.

Facebook // SupportingAmandaBynes

Any child who starts acting in movies and TV shows at age 7 is bound to have an unconventional childhood and Amanda was a prime example of that.

How Her Career Began

Bynes began acting professionally at the young age of seven, first appearing in a TV advertisement for Buncha Crunch candies. During her childhood, she also performed on stage in renditions of Annie, The Secret Garden, The Music Man, and The Sound of Music.

Twitter // @amandabynecomb1

A few years later, she went to an acting camp at the Los Angeles Laugh Factory before being spotted by a network. Bynes began to rise to prominence, however, there is one important detail about her childhood that has benefited her in the long run…

Designer Dreams

Although her childhood was dominated by her life as an actress, Amanda Bynes never let go of her dreams of becoming a fashion designer one day.

Photo by Jose Gil // Shutterstock

At home, she would draw clothes in her notepad and loved nothing more than putting together illustrations. Her parents knew she was talented and had many strings to her bow from an early age and that is why they let her pursue her dreams. Little did she know though that she would eventually make that dream come true decades later…

A Change Of Pace

At 25 years old, everything was about to change. Amanda decided to retire from the world of acting altogether and head out partying instead.

Facebook // SupportingAmandaBynes

It was here that her pull to these substances grew stronger, and her thoughts became public knowledge. Amanda would often take to social media where she ranted about her feelings toward presidents, other celebrities, and about how the illegal substances were now a huge part of her life – whether we liked it or not.

Moving Forward

Now, Amanda’s social media profiles are rarely updated, as the star prefers to keep her personal thoughts to herself. In fact, the actress admits that she wishes there was a way that she could take back everything she said.

Photo by Featureflash Photo Agency // Shutterstock

Amanda lashed out toward many other celebrities along the way and says that she even lied about some of the things she posted over the years. However, Amanda never wants to go back to that place and wants to move forward instead.

A String Of Accidents

One of the first major incidents that the world got to learn about was Amanda’s DUI charge back in 2012. All of a sudden, Amanda was arrested and charged after the star apparently hit another car while she was driving.

Facebook // SupportingAmandaBynes

Although she was charged, Amanda got back behind the wheel just four days later. Sadly, things weren’t to last. Amanda allegedly hit another car on the highway and drove off before a handful of other incidents occured over the next few months.

Creating A New Life

There were soon a handful of other strange incidents, including sending harsh messages via social media, getting accused of living out of her car, and getting thrown out of her spin class after the teacher allegedly said that Amanda was behaving erratically.

Facebook // SupportingAmandaBynes

However, things were all about to change. Amanda announced that she would be heading to New York to work on her fashion degree and that she would no longer be acting. That wasn’t all…

Reinventing Herself

Amanda’s management team decided to drop the star as Amanda no longer wanted to be a part of Hollywood. Many of us have tried to reinvent ourselves over the years, and it seemed as though the star was no exception.

Pinterest // People

However, no one had any idea that Amanda would take things so far. Amanda uploaded several snaps to social media, where she showed off her new wig collection as well as her facial piercings. The Amanda many knew and loved was gone.

Taking It Back

It once seemed as though Amanda blamed her parents for a lot of her downfall. To top it off, the star wanted to let the world know that she didn’t want either of her parents to have access to her funds.

Photo by s_bukley // Shutterstock

Amanda worried that her parents would try to live off of her earnings. However, the star now says that her mom and dad have been fundamental in getting her help, and they were a huge part of her recovery.

By Her Side

Back in 2014, it was Amanda’s parents who placed the actress in a rehabilitation center. The media had spent years following her every move in a way that had rarely been seen before.

Facebook // SupportingAmandaBynes

We have seen other stars have come into tough times over the years, but the news always took a few days before it reached the media. However, Amanda was sending out messages and giving the world a live update on her journey every step of the way.

Too Much Time

Amanda admits that it was her sudden free time that led her down the dark path in the first place. The star had always been so busy with her acting.

Twitter // @amandabynecomb1

However, that all changed when she stepped away from the spotlight. In fact, Amanda says that she needed something to fill her days, so she started to hang around with a seedier crowd and eventually changed her life. All of a sudden, she was no longer the goofy actress.

At Its Peak

It seemed as though everything culminated in 2014. After many years of trying to get her life back on track, Amanda posted several updates about her family that were later proven to be untrue.

Facebook // SupportingAmandaBynes

However, Amanda said that it was the microchip in her brain that caused her to post all of the accusations in the first place – a chip that had apparently been ordered by her dad. It wasn’t long before Amanda was back at a rehabilitation center.

Snarky Comments on the Internet

The Internet and various social media platforms may have become much more sympathetic to celebs navigating substance abuse or mental health issues over the past few years. But before that, the Internet was a lot snarkier and a lot more speculative.

Facebook // SupportingAmandaBynes

“It isn’t fun when people diagnose you with what they think you are, that was always really bothersome to me,” Bynes said when discussing the many headlines over the years that attempted to put a label to her behavior.

Continued Support

Thankfully, Amanda has put the past behind her, as the star has been sober for the last four years. As well as thanking her family for all of their help, it looks as though Amanda is also taking a break from social media and working more on her personal life instead.

Facebook // SupportingAmandaBynes

That doesn’t mean that things are simple. Amanda has continued support from her rehabilitation centers to try and ensure that she doesn’t head back down the same path again.

Her New Relationship

Bynes’ Instagram account, only active since September 2019, has been filled with selfies, and it’s rare that she mentions or features anyone else. But early this year, on her Instagram page, she announced her engagement to Paul Michael. A few weeks later, there were rumors that they broke off the relationship, but these reports were later revealed to be false.

Instagram // @justjared

Michael and Bynes stated that their Instagram accounts had been hacked. In March 2020, they announced as a couple that they were expecting their first child.

I’m Sorry

There is no denying that Amanda Bynes said some terrible things on social media over the years. Ultimately, her use of illicit substances had a part to play in that and she is regretful for what happened.

Instagram // @rlamandabynes

“I’m really ashamed and embarrassed with the things I said,” she said. “I can’t turn back time but if I could, I would. And I’m so sorry to whoever I hurt and whoever I lied about because it truly eats away at me.”

A New Spokesperson

Many of the professionals have spoken about Amanda’s recovery and how the star has experienced the worst of the world but has learned how to come out the other side.

Instagram // @rlamandabynes

In fact, they believe that Amanda now has an entirely new outlook on life as a result. They now feel that Amanda is a great spokesperson for young people who could be tempted by illegal substances as she has been there and seen what they can do.

A New Passion

It turns out that Amanda already has some experience in fashion. The young star teamed up with Steve and Barry’s back in 2007 as she helped to design a range called Dear.

Photo by Featureflash Photo Agency // Shutterstock

Letting go of acting meant that Amanda had a lot of time on her hands – time that she needed to fill. Amanda started to watch The Hills and realized how much fun some of the stars were having at their fashion class, so she decided to sign up herself.

The Future

After many years in the program, Amanda is now a fully qualified designer. It looks as though the world is her oyster. Amanda admits that she wants to focus on the future and recreating the person that she knows she is rather than the one that many people have grown to know over the years.

Instagram // @rlamandabynes

However, that’s not all. It seems as though Amanda also has hopes to return to acting. That’s right; Amanda would love to get back in the saddle.

Under a Conservatorship

Following a 2013 incident in which Amanda Bynes allegedly set fire to a driveway, the actress was put under a conservatorship. If this term sounds familiar, it is because another former child actress has also been put under one – Britney Spears.

Photo by Joe Seer // Shutterstock

A conservatorship is when a judge appoints a trusted guardian or a protector to manage the everyday life or financial activities of a person deemed unable to. The actress remains under conservatorship almost a decade later.

A New Year, a New Start?

Though many of us associate Amanda Bynes with her roles as a child actress or teen, she is actually in her mid-thirties. While it may seem like the past decade or so has been filled with everything from substance abuse to strange social media posts, her lawyer hopes that the actress will find some inner clarity.

Instagram // @rlamandabynes

He told one media outlet that the actress is living by the beach as she attends classes and that she fills her time with meditation and spinning classes.

A Promising Music Career

Fans of the actress know that she has some serious musical talent. Not only did she act in the film adaptation of Hairspray, but she also contributed two songs to the film’s soundtrack. In January 2021, she shared a snippet of her rap song called “Diamonds”.

Photo by Tinseltown // Shutterstock

The song featured her fiancé, Paul Michael rapping under the stage name Precise. Though the song was a departure from the songs featured in Hairspray, fans were still supportive of her burgeoning rap career.

The Night That Changed Everything

By 2013, Amanda Bynes had already shown signs of mental health struggles and issues with substance abuse. Little did fans know that things were about to get worse for the troubled star. That July, Bynes was placed under an involuntary psychiatric hold known as a 5150 hold.

Facebook // SupportingAmandaBynes

The actress was spotted near a canister of gas and a driveway on fire. Believing she could be a danger to herself or to others, she was held for up to 72 hours. Following this incident, she was also placed under a conservatorship.

Love Is Hard

While Bynes’ erratic behavior and social media posts have typically been the center of attention, her love life has also been making the headlines. After announcing her engagement to Paul Michael in 2020, the two have been involved in an on-again-off-again relationship for years.

Instagram // @rlamandabynes

With both taking a break from social media, fans have turned to paparazzi shots of the couple to understand their relationship status. As of late 2021, the couple is still together.

In it Together

Many believe that one of the reasons why Amanda Bynes and her fiancé, Paul Michael, have such a strong bond is that they have both faced similar struggles. Bynes met Michael while the two were living in a sober living home.

Facebook // AOL

After dating for just three months, Michael asked the star to marry him. Even as the two work hard to maintain their sobriety and relationship, Michael is very supportive of Bynes calling her his “best friend.”

Cryptic New Ink

In addition to sporting a heart-shaped face tattoo, the former star showed off some new body art with a very cryptic phrase. In the summer of 2020, fans spotted her new ink which reads, “See you on the other side” in small cursive letters.

US Magazine // Mariah Cooper

While many speculate that the tattoo can symbolize a variety of different things, many feel that it may have a darker meaning as the phrase is often used in the context of death or a breakup.

More Than Just a Pretty Face

Although she was an internationally-recognized star when she enrolled in Los Angeles’ Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising, she still had to work hard. Many of Bynes’ classes involved learning more about the business side of the fashion industry.

Behance // Dear by Amanda Bynes

One of her favorite courses was her Merchandising Math class in which she learned about retail mark-up, retail value, and pricing merchandise. Though she was never a fan of math, the course changed her mind.

Her Teachers Loved Her

While Bynes wasn’t getting the best praise from social media followers or the paparazzi, the former actress made a positive impact on her professors. Kathi Gilbert, an assistant dean of admissions at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising told Paper Magazine, “Instructors love her. Love her,” and that she was an “amazing student”.

Facebook // Amanda Bynes Official

After earning an Associate’s of Arts degree in Merchandise Product Development, the actress announced that she would like to continue studying in order to earn her Bachelor’s Degree.

She Helped Make Channing Tatum a Star!

Many recognize Hollywood heartthrob Channing Tatum from Magic Mike, but the actor’s early roles were actually far tamer. Tatum got his big break in Bynes’ comedy, What a Girl Wants. Bynes revealed that she “fought for Channing [to get cast in] that movie because he wasn’t famous yet.”

Facebook // SupportingAmandaBynes

Though producers worried Tatum was too old for the role, Bynes apparently told them, “This guy’s a star — every girl will love him!” It turns out that she was right, Tatum is one of the most in-demand actors at the moment!

Back On The Gram

Amanda Bynes’s resurgence was in full effect when she returned to Instagram in explosive fashion after reopening her account and sharing an awesome selfie. Gone are the days when she sported blonde hair.

Instagram // @PopCrave

Instead, she is now rocking a bright pink look and the internet went crazy. In less than 24 hours, she accumulated over 50,000 followers. Bynes is also wearing a hip nose ring. And it didn’t take long before Bynes added another photo, sending fans crazy again!

Graduation Goals

As previously mentioned, Amanda Bynes has been loving life ever since graduating from FIDM as a qualified designer. Shortly after relaunching her Instagram account and racking up tens of thousands of followers, she posted a selfie of her with one of her co-students during that unforgettable day.

Twitter // @amandabynecomb1

There is no denying that this was one of the brightest periods in Amanda’s life so far and she is ready to sink her teeth into the world of fashion design. That’s not all she posted though…

From Pink To Purple!

It seemed like fans were struggling to keep up with Amanda Bynes’s hair color. With each photo she posted on her Instagram account, her hair appeared to change color!

intouchweekly // Instagram // @rlamandabynes

This time, she simply posted a photo of herself with purple hair and out of nowhere, it generated over 15,000 likes and thousands of comments. It was clear that her sheer presence captured the imaginations of many fans. However, the photo that got the most reactions was just around the corner…

She’s Getting A Tattoo?

Before her fans got the chance to react to her pink locks, Amanda Bynes posted another photo of her reverting back to her blonde hair!

Instagram // @rlamandabynes

However, she was quick to confirm that it was taken before she dyed her hair pink. This time, she was taking a photo of herself in a tattoo shop, making fans wonder if she was going to get a tattoo or not. “@ the tattoo shop before I went pink! With the amazing @tattoosbyspooky,” she wrote.