Monday, January 24, 2011

January Open House Wrap Up and 500 Follower Giveaway Winner

Thanks to everyone who linked up and made the first Open House of 2011 so much fun! Everything linked up was wonderful so here are just a few highlights from the party and I would definitely check out ALL of the projects! Since next month's party will be after Valentine's Day I'm going to feature some Valentine's related items to inspire you :)

From Carolyn over at her blog homework, this adorable ribbon wreath:
From Christine, at Christine &Co, a great way to count down the days until Valentine's Day:
From Kayla who has a new blog called Breaking Free From Old Ways, look at what she did with a takeout container!
And what would Valentine's Day be without some chocolate goodness? From Jenn at Rook 17, check out these delicious peanut butter pretzel truffles on a stick: 
And last but definitely not least, from Stephanie at Still Waters, these mouth watering Mint Truffle Cupcakes! Oh my, does this just scream "I love you" or what!
Please pick up a featured button from my buttons page if you'd like!

But wait...there's more! I also celebrated reaching 500 Followers with a giveaway. You had to leave a comment to be eligible, and chose #10 :
And that's Bev from Flamingo Toes! Congrats Bev, I'll contact you for your mailing info. 
Thanks again to everyone and hope to see you at next month's Open House on February 18 !

Sunday, January 23, 2011

No Longer In Control

No, not of my mental faculties ( some would argue that point!). My “baby” turned 18 yesterday. Still in denial that this is possible. I certainly gave no consent for this to happen! But happen it did.

Those of you with younger kids, savor the days when you’re totally in control of the party plans and can actually plan a party! Those of you with adult children, I’m sure you’ll tell me that there will again be a time when you can plan. In the meantime….I’ve learned as the teen years have progressed that the friends take over the planning of the social events like birthdays. Not complaining, he has a fantastic group of friends.

Son actually didn’t want to do too much to celebrate this milestone birthday. He and all his friends are exhausted from doing college apps and getting through first semester finals which will be over next week. Teenagers (most) are also notoriously laid back and last minute about planning social things. But finally,late last week, I got a text from one of his closest friends that there were “plans” . She had arranged for a surprise dinner and coordinated all the details. What a sweetheart! I asked if there were after dinner plans and there weren’t so I offered to host a dessert gathering which was a win win, but it just left me yesterday to get things done while trying to keep this a surprise. So, I  whipped up  a birthday banner…that wasn’t something likely to cause suspicion.



Cut out the letters w/ my Cricut using balloon patterned paper and punched some stars out.

Big surprise that Son is a chocoholic like his parents. As soon as he left the house, baked a cake thanks to Bakerella. A chocolate cake with Reeses peanut butter cups in the cake and on top. YUM!




Bakerella’s cake had the sides covered w/ chopped peanut butter cups too but the top is enough let me tell you!


I also did a “build your own sundae” bar with ice cream, hot fudge, and assorted toppings. Since this all came together last minute, I used whatever I had on hand to decorate. I made a table runner out of brown kraft paper, and cut out HAPPY BIRTHDAY and the number 18 out of some more of the same paper I’d used for the banner.


You can put colored pencils and people can scribble birthday messages. I of course forgot to do that!



Sundae toppings: strawberries, almonds, mini chocolate chips, coconut , Reeses pieces, chopped peanut butter cups. Black and white votives to make it a little more “mature”.

The surprise went off without a hitch and we survived 10 teens loaded up on sugar. Still haven’t come to grips with having an 18 year old!

All You Need Is Love Printable

I found the cutest free  font  over at Two Peas In a Bucket (if you aren’t familiar with this site, it’s an amazing place filled with all kinds of wonderful scrapbooking , card making, digital and paper crafting yumminess). The font is called “2 Peas Hearts Delight” and it’s perfect for Valentine’s Day projects.
I couldn’t resist making another printable, this one inspired by the “Fab 4” aka The Beatles:
All You Need Is Natural
All You Need Is Turq
All You Need Is Gray
All You Need Is Pink
They’re .jpg files so right click to save, to your computer import into editing program size to your choice. I just ask that if you download, you also follow my blog.
Love is all you need!

Linking Up At: 

Friday, January 21, 2011

January Open House Link Party!

Welcome to the first monthly Open House link party of the New Year here at The Answer Is Chocolate! I’ve seen some awesome projects around the blogosphere since the New Year began…lots of fresh ideas in home dec and DIY and tons of super cute ideas for Valentine’s Day ( THE chocolate holiday of the year!)

Nothing’s changed since last year. Link up whatever you’ve been working on…jewelry, apparel, papercrafts, cards, DIY, organization ideas, you name it. Please link to your specific post and not your main blog and please, no Etsy stores or businesses. That’s it!
I’m also very excited and honored to be celebrating reaching 500 Followers! That’s just a mind boggling number to me. Since I’m still working on getting into the sponsor thing, I’ll celebrate with a giveaway of something from me to you. I had so many nice comments on my “Upcycled Heart” that brought back my mojo for 2011, that I’ve made one to give away, and I'm also including a Parisian themed altered candle that says "Merci" to show my thanks:
To be eligible, you have to be a follower and leave a comment, whether you link something up or not. I'll use to choose the winner on Monday !

OK time to link up!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Chocolate Valentines

I’d been debating what color(s) to use for Valentine’s cards this year…traditional reds,whites, pinks, or some years I’ve added black and gold into the mix. But I also love neutrals…creams and browns especially deep rich chocolatey browns. So I finally decided and went with the neutrals / browns. I mean Valentine’s Day is one of the chocolatiest days of the year right?!
Of course just as soon as I made up my mind, I kept seeing all these really gorgeous deep red and burgundy papers…I love paper almost as much as chocolate!
I’ve also been playing some more with graphics and digital stuff. I downloaded a great French postcard from Stampington & Co through signing up for one of their newsletters, and “negativized” it in my PrintShop program ( several other graphics programs have similar options). Then I aged it, colored the background, added a vintage heart which I changed the color to match my theme, a fleur-de-lis,  some scrollwork, and the word “LOVE” .
I printed this out on white cardstock, trimmed and mounted on brown cardstock to use as the focal for my cards.  I used various combinations of cream and brown papers to make a few cards, running metallic brown paper through my Cuttlebug, using a Textile folder. This is what the pattern looks like:
I then used the papers for the cards:
Cuttlebug embossed paper, adhesive rhinestone strip, scraps of paper charm borders accented with individual adhesive rhinestones.
Brown diamond pattern paper, Cuttlebug embossed paper, pearl and rhinestone adhesive strips and individual adhesive rhinestones.
Cuttlebug embossed paper corners,pearl and rhinestone adhesive strips, individual adhesive rhinestones.
Linking Up At: 

Paper Issues Blog Design
A Little Knick Knack

We Interrupt Our Regularly Scheduled Blogging

to say that somehow, I reached 500 Followers !

To all of the people who have recently started following The Answer Is Chocolate , THANK YOU. And likewise, to all of you who have been along for ride, THANK YOU!

Now I'm off to think of some fun way to celebrate this! Stay tuned!

Monday, January 17, 2011

CSN Upcoming Review!

I was tickled chocolate when CSN Stores contacted me to give me an opportunity to do a review.  If you are unfamiliar with CSN, they are one of the top online retailers consisting of 250 online stores. Without leaving home, you can shop for everything from Swing Sets (or trampolines, inflatable bouncers, etc.) for your backyard ( Spring is coming...some day!) to housewares, indoor and outdoor home decor, cookware...pretty much anything. Or you can get something for indoors:

Look at this fun fitness trampoline:
Crescendo Fitness - 36" Mini Jump Trampoline in Black
Helps burn off all that chocolate!

I have been fortunate enough to win giveaways from CSN on different blogs and have always been very pleased with the product quality, ease of order and speed of delivery.

I can't wait to do a review of ......well I'll tell you, it will involve chocolate! So stay tuned :)