Valentine’s Day Candy Molds!

Hi guys!

So, this semester is supposed to be my craziest one yet. So far it is, but not for the right reasons.

I’m taking almost all psychology classes, and I have a job with a psych professor (I assume you’re all applauding) BUT since the very first day of classes after winter break, we’ve been bombarded by snowstorm after snowstorm after snowstorm. There have been almost as many snow days as class days (and we’re expecting another storm today, of course). That might sound fun, but I’m soooo not about it anymore. And I’m not the only one, either. My cousin made this her profile picture on Facebook:

Plus, I’m one of those people who can’t function without structure, and so Wednesday and Thursday both being snow days seriously made my brain hurt.

My friend Alli and I are alike in that way, so we’ve been suffering together, spending endless hours in the library doing work that hasn’t been assigned yet. Everyone off campus has supposedly lost power from this last storm, and they even made our Health Sciences building into a shelter for residents of our town. We had figured it was too dangerous to leave, until we hit rock bottom on our boredom scale. We had to get out, and naturally we ended up at the craft store.

Our friend Jill has a car on campus, so we took the bus down to the parking lot where she keeps it. The temperature was that painful level of cold where your eyes tear and then the tears freeze to your face, and we missed the first bus so we had to wait for another one. When we got there, her car was buried under like, three inches of snow and a layer of ice above it. The people in the parking spot across from her were also trying to dig their car out, and it kind of turned into a ruthless competition of who was going to get out first. The two girls kept giving us looks from the backseat of their nice warm car while the three of us hacked away at Jill’s car and their guy friend handled theirs. In the end, they got out first. But we were there first so technically we still win.

It pretty much felt like we were in the middle of “Frozen,” and I was starting to get really nervous about the roads. I got into a bad accident a few years ago because of black ice, so it freaks me out a lot. But as soon as we got out to the highway, everything was dry as a bone. There were no trees down, no wires down, and I only noticed a few buildings that seemed to be out of power. The Michael’s that we go to is in a giant strip mall (it’s really like a series of strip malls…it’s like an adorable little neighborhood full of every store you could ever want. I love it there!) and everything seemed to be up and running. I don’t really understand how we ended up in a state of emergency and all this stuff. 

We ended up in that section of the store for cake decoration and candy making. They have molding chocolate (well, most of them are vanilla flavored, but they also had chocolate and peanut butter) in every color and you can choose which ones you want and a mold to put them in. They have molds for lollipops, pretzels, or just plain candy, and they’re super cheap. There was a package with like hundreds of shapes in it for $9.99, and the candy wasn’t bad either. 

We got back to campus without incident, and here’s the best part of this project: We didn’t have to sign out the kitchen! You can literally do this right in your dorm room. Here’s what ya do:

1. Melt the molding candy stuff in the microwave the way it says on the package. Don’t deviate from those directions, because if you do it too long, it’ll burn. When it burns it smells bad and can start a fire and gets chunky, not liquid-y. We got red and pink candy, and here’s what it looked like before and after melting (we mixed colors for fun, but yours will be a solid shade if you use one color)

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2. Put the melted candy in the molds. We used a spoon, but they suggest a piping bag because it’s more precise. We’re dorm chefs, we don’t have piping bags sitting around. We’re lucky if we have spoons lying around, actually. 

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3. Once all of the molds are filled, you can even off the tops if you want to, but we didn’t bother. We put them right in the freezer and waited for a while until they had hardened back up. 

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4. Once they’re solid again, you can pop them right out and eat them right away! Here’s how ours turned out:

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They’re not all perfect, but we are first-time candy makers. I can’t wait to try this again, because they can be so impressive but it’s so so so so easy. We did this in like a half hour in four easy steps. Then, we went around our building offering them to our friends and even some strangers 🙂 It was a lot of fun!

So if any of you are as single as I’m going to be this Friday, there’s still something you can do. Make these cute little guys and spread some Valentine’s Day love to everyone around you. Candy is much better than boys anyway 😉

Oodles and oodles of love,

Nicole ♥

Day 6: Peppermint Christmas Tree!

Today I took on a rather painful project.

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It was seriously painful to not eat these mints. I love them so much. I’m that sneaky bitch who takes a whole handful at restaurants. Wanna know what I learned though? Shop Rite sells them by the bag, and sometimes they have specials where you can get two bags for $3 :O

But you actually need three bags. Actually you only need like six mints from the third bag which is so frustrating because GUESS WHO ONLY BOUGHT TWO BAGS?

But guess who was also really proud to be a sneaky bitch who takes a whole handful at restaurants 😉 I ended up scrounging up enough JUST enough to finish the project. I had one to spare, actually.

So, for today you’ll need a few things. Those Starlight mints, a cone shaped Styrofoam thingy from Michaels, and hot glue. Here’s a picture of my setup:

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It was a little intimidating for me to start this one. There’s something that just seems so wrong about gluing food to Styrofoam. I got over it though, and once I did the first one I found a rhythm of unwrapping and gluing, unwrapping and gluing………

unwrapping and gluing……………………………………..

THEN after I got all the way to the top (this includes the hunt for floater mints around the house) I realized that the top looked really dumb. It just seemed to end really abruptly, and I couldn’t figure out what I’d done wrong to make it not look like the pin. Then I looked at the pin again:

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AND I THOUGHT I WAS A SNEAKY BITCH! They oh-so-conveniently left the whole awkward top part out. So, I improvised and found myself a present bow to stick on top like a star at the top of a real tree 🙂 My version doesn’t look quite as polished as the original, clearly, but I still think it came out really cute. I wish I had a cute candlestick thing like they did, but I really think it looks fine without one. I guess it depends on how classy you’re trying to be, and a dorm room is not exactly the picture of sophistication. To bring that point home, let me show you really quick how I transported this creation back to school with me:

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Ta-daaaa! Well, there’s day six for you. Sorry about the delay in posting. Hopefully days 7-25 go a little more smoothly, but eeehh I can’t make any promises. I’ve always been the kind of person who gets really excited about a new endeavor and then is disheartened and frustrated 30 seconds later.

Obviously that would never happen here. I’m patting myself on the back right now for ending this post on a high note.

Wait! I have a high note: HAPPY FRIDAY! Now that’s how you end a blog post.

Love always,

Nicole ♥

Day 5: “Seasons Greetings” Wall Art

Happy Day Five, pinaholics!

(I know it’s day six…I screwed up less than a week into this project. Don’t worry, another post is coming.)

Today I’m going to show you a really popular way to make cute wall art. This doesn’t necessarily have to be Christmas themed, and it also doesn’t necessarily have to be wall art, so don’t be fooled by the title! Here’s what mine looked like:

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You’ll need:

Alphabet stickers- make sure you get enough for the words you want to write. It’s not impossible if you don’t have enough (I didn’t, of course) but it makes it a lot harder and it’s unnecessary drama.

Two colors of paint

A canvas- I actually used one of those wood things they sell at Michael’s, and it worked great except the knots in it were hard to paint over. It’s not a huge problem, it just makes it look a little more rustic than it might otherwise.

To make one like mine you’ll also need glue and glitter. And a hairdryer if you’re as impatient as me. But that’s up to you.

Now take your canvas or whatever you’re using and paint it WITH THE COLOR YOU WANT YOUR LETTERS TO BE. For example, if you look at mine, my letters are red. I painted the ENTIRE canvas red for the first step. Although that’s probably obvious since the whole thing is an odd shade of pink instead of white. Now, wait for it to dry. If you’re me, you’ll borrow your mom’s hair dryer to speed up the process. Nothing like watching paint dry.

Now, place your alphabet stickers however you want them to look. If you didn’t take my advice about making sure you have enough letters, you’ll have to do this next part in painful shifts.

Paint the whole canvas again with your second color, going right over the stickers. Be messy; it really doesn’t matter. If you’re missing letters because you don’t have enough though, just don’t paint the area where you’re going to put them. When this round of paint dries, peel off the letter you need, move it to the next spot and paint that last area. You may need a couple coats, especially if you’re trying to do a light color over a darker color the way I did.

Now, that’s really all there is to the technique! I did a couple of other things just to spice it up a little bit 🙂 I took a third color, green, and gave the outer edge some color, and a little bit more of a Christmas-y feel. I also added some sparkly snowflakes using Elmer’s Glue and gold glitter.

I am a glitter maniac. You should see my floor right now. At least it’s as festive as the rest of my room now though! 🙂 I even tried vacuuming more than once and that shit’s like ingrained in the carpet. Oops :/

Anyway, that’s all I’ve got for Day Five! Stay tuned for Day Six, ironically coming in a few minutes. Have a great night!

Love,

Nicole♥