crafting :: candy cane + chocolate sleighs

{Edited on 12.20.17 to add new photos … scroll down to see them + a couple of new ideas!}

I saw this video on how to build little sleighs using candy canes and mini chocolate bars, and decided to try making some with our daughter.  It’s a really cute way to spread some holiday cheer to friends, teachers, and neighbors – and they’re simple to assemble.  She provides a helpful video on her website but here are some things that we did differently (plus a couple of things I learned along the way).

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surprise package

I know, I’ve been abandoning the blog lately but I assure you, it’s all for a good reason!  I don’t have time to explain so for now you’ll have to settle for this quick post about a cute surprise package I received at work the other day.

I have to say (real quick!) that I am one of those people who hates to be surprised by something like a surprise party, and yet I’m also the same person that loves to throw those parties and catch people off guard.  (I’m sure many of my friends and my husband can attest to that.)  But who doesn’t love a surprise in the form of snail-mail?  I mean, these days it’s difficult to get someone to write something down on a little Post-it note (or write complete sentences in an email), so anything like a card or a hand-written note in the mail makes me extremely giddy.

So when I received a chunky manila envelope from our mail guy at work last week, I was super excited and ripped it open to find this:

Such a lovely surprise!!

It was a bag of M&M’s for my candy bowl at work from a woman who used to work at the Museums, with a cute little Halloween card and adorable cupcake pin attached to it.  It really made my day!  I especially like how the cupcake has a semi-devilish grin on its cute little face … I think it pairs perfectly with my other pin on my computer monitor, what do you think?  (LOL)


Anyway, a short and sweet post about a super sweet gesture.  Another reminder of how I have some super nice co-workers, both current and former.  🙂

new chocolate flavors

Taza's new flavor: salt & pepper

I think it’s possible that I am the only person that gets excited about new chocolate flavors, especially when it involves Taza. I stopped by Bloc 11 for an afternoon caffeine fix on Friday and came across their display of two new Taza chocolate flavors — coffee and salt & pepper — so I picked up a salt & pepper bar to try.  If you haven’t had one of their chocolate discs before, they come with two per pack and it’s really easy to break them into 8 pie-wedge pieces for easier sharing.  Which is what I did and it was interesting to see other people’s reactions.  Some, like me, really liked the new flavor and the savoriness but others thought it was either a little too salty or a little too peppery.  I know in general, some people don’t like the chalkiness of their chocolate.  I don’t get it all that often but I find that I seek it out when I’m looking for chocolate with a lot of texture.  Of course, in the end, there weren’t very many complaints about free chocolate on my desk and it seemed to do a disappearing act. 

I suppose there are a few other people out there that might get excited when new chocolate flavors come about.  For instance, the lucky people that get to create new flavors of Hershey’s kisses.  (Which, by the way, besides coming up with the names for new crayons, I think that would be a really fun job to have.)

Two new Hershey's kisses flavors: caramel apple and pumpkin spice

Of course, I’m not exactly sure why I’m excited about these two new flavors when I can’t really eat them anyway.  Again, I just think it must be a fun job coming up with the flavor ideas.  I think they should come out with a sea salt and caramel flavor next (that is hands down my favorite chocolate flavor combo by the way) in dark chocolate of course.  What flavor would you create if you could?  I’m curious to see what other people would come up with.

valentine’s day is coming

The proof is in my candy bowl at work!

Thanks to Emily for the idea of using (and for supplying!) the conversation hearts.

a few good things

I had a pretty productive weekend getting ready for SOS, and I still managed to be pretty social too! It’s funny to think back to the days (not so so long ago even) when I used to stay up until 1 or 2 in the morning just to work on scrapbook layouts. I think I was up until midnight on Friday night and even that was a stretch for me. Yikes! I’m really getting to the point where getting even 30 minutes less sleep a night really effects me the next day (read: I’m getting old!).

My brother-in-law, Joe, spent the night after he and Tony went to watch our friend, Jim’s, band (Gene Dante & The Future Starlets) compete in the 2009 WBCN Rock n’ Roll Rumble on Friday night. I cooked dinner for them and our friend, Don, before they left and then I made a batch of the Magic Blondies for a dinner party we went to on Saturday night at Tony’s ex-boss’ house. Then on Saturday morning, we went over to the Sherman Cafe for breakfast. It’s a cute little place in Union Square on Washington Street.

Then somehow I managed to crank out 17 little clutch purses within the next five hours.

Must be something in the latte I had that morning! LOL

Well, I should correct myself and say that I had done all the cutting a couple of nights ago so Saturday was primarily just sewing the pieces together, attaching the elastic closures, and then turning them right side out. But times that by 17 and that’s where you get the five hours. Sigh. And then the buttons were sewn on by hand last night.

Anyway, then we walked over to Jie’s house/mansion. I kid you not! Her house is amazing. And giganomous. Two of his old coworkers were there, too, so it was a nice small group of us. Joey and his fiancee brought some really delicious shrimp and noodle wraps that were so refreshing. Jie cooked us a wonderful Peking duck dish, and we had some chocolate cake that John brought. And lots of wine! I think Tony and I drank the whole bottle of Riesling that we brought, and then Jie whipped out some Prosecco for dessert. Fun time!

Sunday was a super productive day and it was actually good to be indoors in our relatively cool apartment compared to the 80+ degree weather that was outside. I know, that doesn’t sound very hot but it was pretty humid and it felt like a summer day rather than spring. Of course, I’ll take that over any rain or snow storm, but still. Too hot for April!

I managed to put together these little 4-packs of note cards in a variety of colors, I think 14 packs total. Each set contains one each of four greetings, plus the envelopes. I hope they go over well at SOS.

And then today started off in a nice way: one of my coworkers brought me two huge bags of mixed candy that she bought at Costco over the weekend to contribute toward the candy bowl. I still can’t get over how thoughtful that was of her to do! Here’s a shot of the candy after I dumped it into the shopping bag.

Seriously people, this bag weighs a ton! I don’t think we have to worry about the candybowl going empty for a while.

I think this is what it would look like if you were an ant that fell into the bag. LOL

And here’s what keeps people happy at the office: a full candy bowl.

Oh and I ended up using “schooled” as the subject line in the email I sent to Trevor notifying him of my Bubble Spinner score. Tony said he was quite irked and said, “You’re wife is killing me.” LOL I love me some competition fo sho! 😉

Hope you all had a good Monday!