chocolate workshop

A Chocolate Workshop with Ococoa

chocolate workshop

Do any of you have a soft spot for chocolate? Well, I DO.

Chocolate and ice cream are the culprits of all my wrong-diet-doings (maybe beer, too). If it wasn’t for chocolate I would weight 20 pounds less, but I would also be 20 times unhappier. Food is something that gives me a lot of pleasure, so doing a chocolate workshop with Ococoa was pretty amazing.

Some time ago I met Diana Malouf, one of the owners of Ococoa. I asked her for an interview after trying her delicious chocolates and some of her collaborations with Salt & Straw – Ice cream + chocolate = ideal combination. There is chocolate and there is excellent chocolate and Ococoa is definitely in the latter category, so I was very happy to have Diana and her work partner, Liz, come to teach me and my friends a chocolate workshop. My friends, of course, are always up for having a good time, so it didn’t take a lot of effort to convince them to show up.

What is a chocolate workshop you might ask?

Well, it involves a lot of laughing, crafting and eating (plus drinking lots of mimosas because my friends like life bubbly). While doing this you learn about chocolate, where it comes from, how to temper it (bring the chocolate to the right temperature to work with), and then you make your own wonderful pieces that you take home. Yes, pretty much a dream come true.

 

chocolate workshop chocolate workshopchocolate workshopchocolate workshop After asking an insane amount of questions -my friends are curious- we started making truffles. The idea was to cover the truffles with the tempered chocolate. It was fun and tasty.chocolate workshopchocolate workshopchocolate workshopchocolate workshopchocolate workshopchocolate workshopThose dirty gloves are the defintion of FUN!chocolate workshopAfter that, we used transfer sheets to decorate chocolates. You need to apply the sheets while the chocolate is still warm and leave it there until the chocolate is completely dry. This will leave the design on the chocolate, making it look beautiful. Take a look:chocolate workshopchocolate workshop chocolate workshopFinally, we created mendiants. Diana says this is a fancy word for a simple chocolate with toppings. The idea is to create a base with the chocolate and place whatever toppings you want on top of them. Yum!chocolate workshopLook at this beauty:chocolate workshopchocolate workshop

chocolate workshop

I caught this guy stealing some of the chocolate (love emoji).

My favorite kind of activity is to hang out with friends while laughing and creating something that is why this workshop was so perfect. A nice combination of delicious and DIY, plus a lot of extra information about chocolate I never knew about. We all enjoyed it thoroughly and would do it again in a second…Everybody was happy doing something creative and feeling proud when taking home a big box of goodies.

For more information on workshops, head to Ococoa’s website or contact Diana or Liz here:

Email: info@ococoa.com
Telephone: 800.897.7015
Fax: 323.988.0742

Ococoa In-Store Pickup:
B&K Sugar Arts Lab
2835 S. Robertson Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90034

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glitter easter eggs

Glitter Easter Eggs

glitter easter eggs

Glitter Easter Eggs! They are cute and easy to do, but there are a couple of challenges that you need to know about before getting started. They are related to the glitter you choose. Not all glitters attach to the eggs the same way. I will show you examples below, but before we get there, I want to clarify my thoughts on Easter eggs decorations, because I know you care A LOT!

OK, my belief is that, if you have kids, you need to involve them in Easter Eggs decorations. I am not a fun of young souls helping with DIY projects in general because they are filthy, messy, and disobedient (he!) but in the case of Easter Eggs, I differ.

In my encyclopedia, Easter is a Holiday made for kids. Before I had children, I never celebrated Easter because I am not a religious person, so, now that I have kiddos, I feel is required to have them participate in the egg decorating, don’t you think? These are the ones we did last year.

Of course, if you have your kids help you with this Glitter Eggs project, your eggs will look NOTHING like the final photos I am showing you, but they will still look cute. I have some examples below.

Glitter Easter Eggs

Difficulty (1-5): 1  Time: 1 hour Cost: $15-20 (depending on how many kinds of glitters you want)

Materials

  • Hard boiled eggs
  • Glitter
  • Mod Podge
  • Bowls (One per glitter container)
  • Brush

glitter easter eggs1) After you hard boil the eggs, let them dry. Place glitters in the bowls. One glitter per bowl. Be generous, what you don’t use can be placed back in the container.glitter easter eggs2) Apply Mod Podge to the Eggs with the brush.glitter easter eggs3) Roll the egg around inside the bowl with glitter to cover it completely.glitter easter eggs4) When you are done, the egg might not be 100% covered (see above). You will need to apply more Mod Podge to the places without glitter. Take a look at the photos below.glitter easter eggsglitter easter eggs5) Cover with glitter the empty spots.glitter easter eggs

TIP: My kids mixed some of the glitters, but, when trying to cover the eggs with this mix, we realized they didn’t get covered as well. I am guessing this is because of the different kinds of thickness of the glitter. The result of this method looked like this:glitter easter eggsInstead of like this:glitter easter eggsMetallic glitter stuck to the eggs easily and evenly.

Here is  how the eggs by children looked like in the end:glitter easter eggs

glitter easter eggsHere is how my pro-DIY-expert eggs looked like:
glitter easter eggsglitter easter eggsglitter easter eggsglitter easter eggsglitter easter eggsglitter easter eggsglitter easter eggsglitter easter eggsglitter easter eggs

Not too shabby, but also not perfect. Just the way I like it.

Well, there you go! Glitter eggs DIY for all of you Easter fans. Hope you can make them. And, if you are wondering where to store all these eggs, here is an Easter basket DIY you might want to make, too.

Have a wonderful weekend!

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Easter Basket

A Floral Easter Basket

Easter is almost here! YEAH! Finally I can eat as much candy as I want to for no reason at all other than being alive, very similar to Halloween, another favorite Holiday of mine.

For this post, my friend Ariel from Pmq for Two is hosting an Easter Basket DIY challenge where bloggers try to create a cute Easter basket.

My confidence is high this week so I will let you know from the get go that I totally NAILED this challenge.

Last week, when I was thinking about ideas of what I could do, I decided to do something with flowers because it is Spring and I am being VERY repetitive. You might have seen in my IG stories that I was at the Flower Market in DTLA last Saturday, surrounded by Spring, and wondering if I should do this challenge with fresh and real flowers. My first instinct was to say YES, but my practical and maternal instinct said no. As Pinterest friendly a natural flower decorated basket can be, it would not be practical for real use. My kids would surely destroy it in less than 5 minutes  and natural flowers die quick without water.  I decided to use faux flowers (Sorry, dad!).

I am NOT into faux flowers. Actually, I kind of dislike them deeply (sorry if I am hurting anybody’s feelings). Why? My dad. He was a flower aficionado. There was nothing more important than having beautiful flowers all around our home at all times. He took care of them with patience and discipline. I am serious about this, our home was a small jungle in the midst of the Patagonia, where I am from.  If you don’t believe me, ask my friends.

Well, with this information, I can also tell you that my dad did not like plastic flowers and he taught me to steer away from them, that is until this project came along.

Here are the details:

A Floral Easter Basket

Difficulty (1-5): 1  Time: 1 hour Cost: $60

 

Materials

Twig basket

Plastic flowers

-Heavy duty or pruning scissors.

-Glue Gun

This is how the wicker basket looked before the flowers spiced her up.And the plastic flowers. They look almost real, don’t you think? I was surprised at how cute they are.

Here is Victor helping to prep the flowers by pulling them out of the stems. He insisted he wanted to participate in this project (love emoji).

Prunning scissors

Instructions:

1) Prepare your flowers by pulling them from stems. Cut the stems of the bigger flowers so you can apply the glue and easily press the flower to the basket, without the stem sticking out.

Victor in the middle of “helping” with this process.
2) Apply glue to the back of the flower and press it to the basket where you want it to go. Press it for at least 3-5 seconds, to make sure it stays in place.
3) Keep on going around the basket adding flowers as you wish. Victor’s face when he realized the project was taking longer than he expected. He quit after 30 minutes. Oh well…

Here is the final result:

CUTE, isn’t?

This is one of those projects that turn out super cute with minimal effort! It is like you can’t go wrong, like this planters I made a couple of weeks ago.

Hope you like it. Now I would recommend you go and visit the other bloggers that participated in this Easter basket challenge. There are some impressive baskets in this round-up. I am sure you will love them. The links are below.

Thanks for stopping by!

PMQ for two // That’s My Letter // Jest Cafe // Hey Fitzy // Our Crafty Mom // Domesticability

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flower arrangement

Tips to Create a Romantic Flower Arrangement

flower arrangement

As I have mentioned already, one of my favorite things about being a blogger is the incredible community I have found online. I had never imagined this existed. I have met a lot of people through blogging; we follow each other on SM, participate in FB groups, go to conferences and make real friends. It is a great experience!

One of my first blogger friends was Jess from Domicile 37. We met through ORC, I think. She is usually hosting blogger projects and lets me participate. One of my favorite ones is “Inspired by DIY” which she co-hosts with Kathy from Up to Date Interiors once a month. In these posts we have a designer or creative person that works as inspiration for a DIY project.

Last month, I created these cement planters inspired by Wes Anderson’s style.

This month, we are supposed to get inspiration from Genevieve Gorder, an Interior Designer.

Gorder’s style is hard to pin point because she does a lot of different things. I decided to inspire myself in this photo from a space she designed:

genevieve border

My initial idea was to make a flower arrangement with dark and white flowers. I ended up choosing darker purple and white.

Here are the instructions about how to do this arrangement:

How to do a Romantic Flower Arrangement

Difficulty (1-5): 3  Time: 1 hour Cost: $50

Materials

-Flower vase. I used a wide and short one.

-Chicken wire

-Pruning scissors

-Water

-Flowers. I used 3 purple lilacs, 5 branches of hellebores, 3 magnolia branches, 4 white peonies, 2 white sweet pea, 4 lisianthus, and 2 white pieres japonica.

Here are the steps you need to follow:

flower arrangement1) Cut the chicken wire and place it inside the vase. Fill the vase 2/3 with water. I like to use chicken wire for flower arrangements because it allows to place the branches (specially the first ones) in the exact position you want. You can also use frogs or foam blocks. I don’t like to use foams as much because they are no good for delicate flowers as you have to push the flowers to insert them. Frogs are good but they don’t work for stems that are horizontally placed (those flowers sticking out to the sides).

2)Prepare your flowers. It is good to have your flowers arranged separately to be ready for use. You can have them on a table next to your vase. Remember to cut the tip of the stems before placing flowers in the vase to allow for better water absorption.

flower arrangement3) Decide the height and width of your arrangement. Place three branches that will delineate the space you want to work with. I used 3 magnolia branches. See above.

4) If you want to do a base of greenery, add it to the bottom. You can build up from it. I didn’t want to have too much greenery in my arrangement so I didn’t do this.

5)  Add your focal flowers- those flowers that will be the main ingredient of your arrangement, the focal point. In my case, I chose to use three purple Lilacs.

flower arrangement6) Start filling up empty space with filler flowers. In my case, I used hellebores, , white peonies, white sweet pea, white lisianthus, and white pieres japonica.

7) As you do this, step back and make sure your arrangement is looking the way you want. It is very difficult to shift the position of flowers once you put them in place, doing so might shift the position of the other flowers, so go slowly.

flower arrangement

Some photos of the final result:flower arrangement

 

flower arrangement

 

flower arrangement

I know I have been posting a lot of flowers lately. Sorry for those that are sick of it but it is SPRING! And I need to take advantage of so many beautiful colors popping up around me. Next week I will be doing Easter posts, in case you want to come back to see.

And now that you are ready to leave, I would recommend you to visit the blog of my cyber friends that also participated in this “Inspired by DIY” challenge. Here are the links to all the projects inspired by Genevieve Gorder:

Domicile 37 | Up To Date Interiors | Jest Cafe | 58 Water Street | The Rath Project | Semiglloss Interiors

6 Projects inspired by Genevieve Gorder

Thanks for stopping by!

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A Chair Makeover and Our Dining Room

This post contains affiliate links. If you purchase an item through one of the links, I may receive a small percentage of that sale.  Thank you for making Jest Cafe possible.

I was driving back home a couple of weeks ago when I found this beauty on my neighbor’s front yard:

She was standing alone  and sad so I snatched her. I have been looking for new chairs for my dining room for a while so I thought, why not?

These kind of chairs are not expensive. You can find them on Amazon for $85 a pair, free shipping with Prime.  In any case, I am always trying to find cheap/free stuff with beauty potential so I grabbed it and fixed it up.

Painting a wooden chair is relatively easy, but there are some important tips you can follow if you want it to look “fancy.”

The first tip is to keep kids under 6 away from this project. Kids are no good when it comes to paint and furniture. No matter what they promise, no matter what you say, they will ruin your work as soon as you turn your back on them (or is it only my kids?). Also, spray paint is pretty toxic, which gives you another great excuse to keep them far, far away from this task.

The second tip for painting a chair (and any DIY project) is to have PATIENCE! Don’t hurry up. Wait until you complete each task throughly. No shortcuts! Take your time, please.

Here is what you need to do for a wooden chair makeover:

How to Paint a Wooden Chair

Difficulty (1-5): 2  Time: 2 hours + 2 days to dry  Cost: $10

Materials:

  • Chair
  • Sand paper – Medium grit
  • Small wood block to wrap sand paper around (I used a 2″ x 4″). I also had a sand paper block but you don’t need it
  • 1 can of glossy spray paint in whatever color you want – I used Malachite color from the Montana gold brand. If you can’t find the color you want in glossy finish, buy a glossy clear spray paint to apply afterwards
  • Big rug or plastic – to put under the chair when painting
  • Dust mask – Optional. It will keep you from inhaling a lot of the toxic paint fumes

Instructions

1) Sand the chair. Sandpaper comes in different grits based on the number of sand granules per square inch of paper. A high grit means a finer sandpaper, while a low grit means a coarser sandpaper. Medium grits, such as #120 and #150, are useful for removing old finish or scratches without damaging the wood. I used a medium grit sandpaper for this project.

Wrap the sand paper around the wood block and use it for sanding flat surfaces. This helps to sand only the imperfections that are above the surface.  Use the sandpaper alone (or sandpaper block)  when sanding curved surfaces. Sanding your chair is important because all the details that you don’t easily see before sanding (like holes or bumps) will clearly show up after you paint your chair. Be patient! Pay attention to detail! Don’t rush through this or you will have to come back again to sand back the imperfections that show up after a fresh and smooth coat of paint had been applied.

Rub surfaces to feel for smoothness!

This is how my chair looked after I finished sanding it:

2) Wash the chair with soap and water. Wait until it is completely dry before moving on to the next step.
3) Start spraying. Make sure the spray can is around 8″ -10″ away from the surface you are trying to paint. Don’t start spraying directly into the chair, this could create drips if you apply too much paint (see below). Start spraying by aiming away from the chair and then go into applying smooth strokes to the chair. Again, take your time with this step. You don’t want to create drips with your paint like these ones: Because then you will have to sand down the imperfections all over again! Whatever imperfections show up, you will need to sand them down the day after you spray paint, otherwise the dust will settle on the damp paint.

When painting, you need to get to all the “difficult” places. Turn the chair upside down and make sure no space is left without paint.

4) If you spray painted your chair with a flat finish like I did, you will need to add a coat of glossy transparent spray paint to give it a glossy finish. A glossy finish is VERY important for kitchen furniture, especially. It is easier to wipe down when dirty with filthy children’s food.

Here is the after photo of that (previously) ugly chair:
Here are photos of  the chair in our dining room. By the way, I am taking this opportunity to introduce our little dining room to all of you! I have not shared photos of it before. You might already know that our house is small, so this little breakfast nook works as the dining room, project table, homework space, and many other things. I like how happy and vibrant it is.The Saltillo tile that George installed is pretty charming. It gives the kitchen a rustic look.
The seats work as drawers for storage, too. The shelf has vintage finds and a beautiful plant. Just how I like it.

Some old baby shoes just hanging in there because they look cute. No sentimental reason.

I just ordered 2 more wooden chairs from Amazon so I can paint them and add them to the dining room. The chair I just painted looks cute but lonely. It needs some company, so I will be making some friends for her this weekend.

Have a wonderful day!

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