Hello everyone and Happy Valentine’s Day! Last week, I spent a wonderful free afternoon making chocolate with my mother-in-law. This was the second time I have made chocolate with Johnny’s mom and it was even more fun and satisfying than I remember from our Christmas candy session. Johnny finally brought home the end results of our handiwork this past weekend and our Valentine’s Day chocolate came out perfectly, if I do say so myself! Check it out:
Making your own chocolate can be as easy or intricate as you would like it to be. You can take your time and paint details into the molds or you could simply pour the melted chocolate in and call it a day. Johnny’s mom and I did a healthy combination of both methods and the most time consuming project was definitely the pretzel rods. The molds took forever to paint but they turned out so nice that I wasn’t complaining! They were also freaking delicious and are my favorite creation from the batch. 😀
Johnny’s mom is no stranger to making chocolate and used to have her own small candy business with a friend. And, I’m sure if she wanted to, she could open her own candy shop now with her stockpile of chocolate wafers, molds, and supplies. I was surprised to learn that all of her chocolate making gear comes from Mr. Bulky’s, which is a bulk candy store in our area, as the name suggests lol. I had no idea that her craft was so attainable and affordable and it makes me want to go out and buy my own supplies. However, I would much rather spend more time making chocolates together with Johnny’s mom, instead! ❤
I am insanely proud of how my chocolate came out and I am so looking forward to making Easter chocolate at chez in-laws next month. We will also have a special guest because my niece, Val Gal, is going to join us. I can’t wait for her to take part in the chocolate making fun too!
What is your favorite kind of candy? What kind of chocolate do you prefer? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah
Hello!! Last Thursday, I spent what felt like my first free-ish afternoon in forever making homemade chocolate with my mother-in-law. It was SO much fun! Johnny’s mom is amazing at making chocolate and used to have her own small candy business with a friend. We made Christmas chocolates together a few years ago and had plans to do the same this past holiday season. Unfortunately, both of Johnny’s parents came down with a nasty bout of the flu so we opted for Valentine’s Day candy, instead. Take a look at some of my chocolate creations:
When I got to my in-laws after a short shift, Johnny’s mom had all of our supplies ready to go. The chocolate wafers were melting, paintbrushes of every size were procured, and a crazy amount of V-Day molds were in place to make confectionery magic. It had been a while since I tried my hand at making chocolate and, I admit, I was a bit nervous that I had lost my touch. However, I forgot just how easy making chocolate actually is and quickly picked up where we left off the last time.
To start, I decided to make some lollipops while my MIL made salted caramel hearts filled with caramel that I can’t freaking wait to try!! I began with the smaller molds that had the “Love” and heart details. I painted in the small parts of the mold with a tiny brush and colored chocolate, then let it harden in the fridge for a minute or two. Afterwards, all that was left was to add the stick, fill the remainder of the mold with melted chocolate, and stick it back in the fridge. And voila! Once it hardens, you have a handmade chocolate sucker. 😀
I had so much fun with the lollies that I wanted to make more and did the big hearts with roses next. Then, Johnny’s mom suggested that I make the chocolate boxes so we could fill them with little chocolate hearts. While I painted the lids, my MIL made tons of itty bitty hearts to make what I think of as a chocolate treasure chest. I am so excited to give my niece one for a Valentine’s Day surprise!
Although I had free time that afternoon, I was still on a bit of a time crunch and we concluded our time together by making pretzel rods. This was pretty tedious because the molds were quite intricate and required a lot of painting. I just know they are going to turn out adorable, though, with painted on white, light pink, hot pink, and red hearts. I love everything about making chocolate but I can live without waiting until seeing the end result lol.
I had such a blast with my mother-in-law and we already have our sights set on an Easter candy making session. I am even bringing my niece, Val Gal, to join in and I am so looking forward to it! ❤
Have you ever made chocolate before? What is your favorite kind of candy? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah
Helllooooooo everyone and happy almost weekend!!! I’ve had a really fabulous week doing a bunch of fun stuff that I’d love to share with you guys. Maybe these ideas will give you something fun to do this weekend! Let’s discuss!
Cook Your Favorite Meal: Honestly…this one is just for my own personal enjoyment…but everyone likes food so WHY NOT let it be a group effort? During the week I had a really lovely evening with myself preparing my personal favorite meal. For about six years now my mom has made this absolutely delicious pasta salad. It uses red pepper, red onions, sauteed zucchini, mozzarella cheese, garlic, and balsamic vinegar. (You can also add herbs of your choosing and spinach if you’d like!) I could eat this salad for breakfast, lunch, and dinner…well maybe not breakfast…but it’s THAT good…so breakfast? Sure, why not?! I used to really love cooking and I’m not really sure why I ever stopped. (Maybe because my mom’s food is so good! 😉 ) I thought it would be fun to try my hand at making my favorite dish for a change, and I’m so glad I did! I really enjoyed just hanging out with myself, playing some music, and preparing a meal that I know my entire family enjoys. And guess what?! It turned out great! You know how food that you make on your own somehow always tastes better than when other people cook it? That’s exactly the experience I had when I tried out my rendition of my beloved pasta salad. My dad told me that I’ll never starve now that I know how to make my favorite dish…and he’s absolutely right! Here’s a pic of how my pasta salad turned out, and if you’d like the recipe, please let me know!
Make Some Candy: I had a glorious best friend afternoon today with my darling Lea, who you guys know all about! It’s very cold in Akron, Ohio (#REPRESENT) right now. Early this afternoon I heard on the news that it felt like -17 degrees outside. Lea and I were supposed to go sledding this afternoon, but when I heard about this drastic cold I thought “oh hell no!” So we opted for a nice, cozy day indoors cooking up some yummy treats. Once we were armed with Dunkin’ Donuts coffee, we began browsing through Pinterest, our activity destination. After ten minutes of scrolling through pages, we decided on making chocolate truffles. We raided the pantry for the we ingredients needed, then ventured back out in the cold to hit up the grocery story for what we didn’t have. The recipe was very easy to make, literally all you had to do was melt your chocolate and other ingredients together, put the chocolate in the freezer to let it stiffen, and then once the mixture is hard enough you roll them into balls and put whatever topping you would like on them. While our chocolate was melting and stiffening, we played Pentatonixs (or however you spell them), looked up the world’s largest body parts on Google Images, and hung out with Lea’s twin brother Bill. When the chocolates were stiff enough to shape them we had a silly time getting our hands dirty, because the chocolate was still gooey! We used peppermint candy that we crushed with a mallet, cocoa powder, and chocolate chips for the toppings on our truffles. They turned out so yummy! You can’t do much to mess up chocolate! 😉 Here’s a picture of us with our finished product! We’re just a bunch of regular ol’ chocolateers!
Once again…YUM!!!! ^^^
Go See Unbroken: This week I had a lovely date night with my other partner in crime, Kate, who you guys also know all about! We went to see Unbroken, which tells the courageous tale of Louis Zamperini as directed by the stunning and gorgeous Angelina Jolie. In the film we see Zamperini, the Olympic track star survive a plane crash in World War II. Unfortunately he doesn’t land to safety in the crash and ends up stranded at sea with two other soldiers. (One of them happens to be Finn Wittrock, who plays Dandy on American Horror Story: Freak Show!) The sailing in the emergency rafts are anything but smooth, and our heroes end up in a Japanese prisoner of war camp and eventually concentration camps. Zamperini suffers under the hands of a sadistic camp leader, which are some particularly difficult scenes to watch. However, the story tells an amazing tale. The screenplay by Joel and Ethan Coen was fantastic and the cinematography and sound effects in the film were truly awe inspiring. Not to mention my dream woman, Miss Jolie directed the film to perfection. The movie is quite long so I’d recommend peeing a lot before hand. Most importantly, the film really covers some heavy and disturbing issues which might not be suitable for everyone. Fun fact for ya, a man from Stow, Ohio had a few lines in Unbroken, which is a hop, skip, and a jump from where I’m at. So way to represent, Ohio, brother man!! If you’re looking for a powerful and extremely well made movie to go to this weekend, I can’t recommend seeing Unbroken enough!
Listen To Cayucas: I know, I know so typically PacSun-y of me, BUT I CAN’T HELP IT! I love these guys! They’re seriously so beachy fun and I just can’t even. My absolute favorite thing to do is play these guys while I’m taking a bubble bath or shower, because they make me feel like I’m just chilling on the beach with my little toesies in the sand. I’ve never been to the beach before (Lake Erie doesn’t count!) but this group of surfer dudes helps me make believe that I’m there. All of their songs off of their album “Bigfoot” are crowd pleasers, but my particular favorite song is “High School Lover”….and YES we did play it at PacSun, ha! This track is very fun though. It definitely will make you think about that one guy or gal in high school that you wanted to be with so desperately or maybe was the one who got away. A charming sentiment set to a soft surfer rock vibe? It’s a win win. (Soft surfer rock?…I believe I just created my own music genre right there!) 😉
Have A Facial Night: Earlier this week, my sister asked me to give her one of my famous around the house facials, which I happily obliged to. After working at The Body Shop, I developed a love for skincare that will last me a lifetime. Here’s my tried and true step by step guide on how to give a fabulous facial to yourself or a friend:
Remove any facial makeup with one of those terrific cleansing wipes from your brand of choice.
Wet the skin with lukewarm water and if you have a clay, honey and oat, warming ginger, blue corn, or any mask in particular that you like to use, apply and let it sit for the amount of time instructed.
Now it’s time to use a cleanser. If you have a bristle brush, I highly recommend using one of these to give your pores an even deeper clean. If you don’t have a brush, make sure you use circular motions with your hands while using your cleanser.
I like to finish the facial treatment with a scrub. If you happen to use a soft buffer pad I would recommend using a rough, gritty scrub. And if you’re a fan of a more cream based scrub I would opt for an exfoliating loofah pad.
(Apply a toner if you’d like. But I never do.)
After your skin is nice and squeaky clean apply any acne topical treatment you use if needed and a moisturizer.
All of those steps listed above may seem like a lot for the skin to handle all at once, but you have the Lil Red Guarantee that all it can do is help if you use these tips every once in a blue moon! Facials scream “girls night” to me, so plan a fun night of pampering and break out the wine, chocolate, and chick flicks!
Treat Yoself: Annnnnd if you’re looking for a few fun treats to pamper yourself with, here’s a few products from The Body Shop that I’ve been obsessed with lately, which can be found in stores and online at http://www.thebodyshop.com!
Items shown from top to bottom:
Smooth and Renew Loofah Pads
Vitamin C Midrodermabrasion
Warming Mineral Mask
Glazed Apple Bath Jelly
Honeymania Bubble Bath Melt
So there you have it, my Little Red Recommends segment for the week! What are your weekend plans? What did you think about Unbroken? What band should I check out next? I’d love to hear from you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Have a great weekend! -Sarah