Sunday, September 19, 2010

What have you been up to lately?

I know, I know. I've been MIA lately! I haven't been blogging, and I've barely been near the computer at all! Call it my unofficial vacation. I needed a break, I guess. The summer months have really worn me out. And the back-to-school stuff has been a whirlwind to keep up with too.

But besides all of that, I've been up to some other things lately that have kept me super-busy. With back-to-school events come those many, many school kick-off fundraisers. All parents/guardians know about those, right? Those catalogs full of overpriced items and gift-wrapping paper that we don't really want to buy, much less sell to others...What a nightmare! Well, we made it through my son's elementary fundraiser - barely.

My daughter's is still in the process. Our family's budget is really tight right now, like so many other families out there. She's in the 8th grade, so there are even more costs that will arise this year for her (besides graduation expenses and all of that, we'll have to worry about the 8th grade special field trips too!) At the end of the school year, the honor roll takes a trip to Disneyland. And then there's the Washington, D.C./New York opportunity as well. We have the chance to raise the money for these trips with some fundraisers that the school offers, along with any fundraising efforts we come up with on our own. My daughter will be working hard with many fundraisers offered by the school, but we're also going to be putting lots of time into our own efforts, much like we did for her summer school classes. While brainstorming, my daughter and I asked my mom for some help.

So here's what we've been up to lately...
My mom came up to Northern California from Southern California to visit for about a week. She taught me how to make some chocolates!!! It's so much fun. I'm in no way talented like she is, but I tried. These were the first chocolates I made. My daughter and I are going to put together boxes of chocolates to sell to friends, family and neighbors during the holiday season.
I learned how to make chocolate creams...Flavors were strawberry (most favorite), apricot, chocolate fudge, coconut-vanilla, and triple berry. They came out all right, but I still need lots of practice. My mom is such the chocolatier - so fast and efficient. I took my time --- but you can't be too slow when working with chocolate! I found that out too, and I should've taken a picture for you to see that (pretty funny stuff). =)
I have such an appreciation for chocolate-makers. It's not easy! It's a true art form. Really.

I also learned how to make chocolate suckers. Here is one that I think is cute. I had to stick to really simple ones, because I'm NO expert! But I think it came out OK.
So my daughter and I will be busy practicing the art of chocolate-making during the next few weeks in hopes that we perfect it just enough to do a small fundraiser for the holidays. I'll be letting you know how it all goes.
We won't be selling on Etsy, because we're not expert enough for that. BUT, if you need a chocolate fix, I've got just the Etsy shop for you to visit! My friend Penny is back in action on Etsy after her summer vacation. She just reopened her shop and her awesome gourmet chocolates have all been listed! Check it out at this link:
And - she's just added some cute new Halloween chocolates that you've GOT to see!!!

Other than that, we took another trip to the beach! Yes, with so much going on, we needed a family retreat. We hopped in the car for Labor Day weekend and headed out to see some waves. Here are
a few pictures of serenity by the sea...

We're working on pictures for our Etsy shop. Doing some time-consuming photo-editing, taking new pictures, working on some new items. So be sure to stay tuned for more info on that coming up!

Thank you all for following my blog and remaining loyal!
I hope you're all doing well. I appreciate all my followers and readers. What have you been up to lately? You can leave me some comments and share what you've been doing for the past few weeks that I haven't been blogging! Have you been stressed out like me? Super-busy with back-to-school stuff too? Learning new things? Let me know! Or, leave a comment just to say hi. =)


Pennie said...

Ohhh Kim!! Thank you so much for letting people know about my Shop here! You are so sweet!!

WOW!!! You guys are so good at making chocolates!! I can see you guys had a lot of fun when your mom came to visit, ohhhhhhhh they all look so YUMMY!! I wanna eat them all! ;)~

What a wonderful thing, making chocolates together, so much fun to do! I am in Heaven when i make mine, I Love doing it, I feel so calm and satisfied during the process. :)

What a great idea to sell to friends and neighburgs, I'll bet they will sell in a snap! People will Lov ethem , they look incredeble!

Thanks again Kim and have fun now making some yummy treats!
Smiles and hugs!! Pennie :)

M.M.E. said...

What a great idea! They turned out lovely and I'm sure they taste even better than they look.

Silver Rose said...

Wow, those chocolates look fantastic! Yummy! Good luck with fundraising...I did a lot of fundraising with my dance team. One thing we did to raise money was cutting coupons to attach food at the grocery store, with a little piece of paper saying you can use or donate to the team. Then the grocery store donates the amount of the coupon to your cause. It worked really well for us but it is a lot of work. Good luck!

Traci66 said...

Your candy looks yummy.

just B you said...

Thank you all for your kind comments! =)

And - Silver Rose - thanks for sharing your fundraising idea. I've never heard of that one, so I'm going to run it by my daughter. She's in leadership class, and maybe we can get the whole class to participate in the work! Thank you.

Warm Hugs Design said...

Hi. The chocolates look so yummy. Great job! I've taken a break from my Etsy shop, the forums and blogging as have been caring for my mom who had a stroke in July. Still doing the farmers' markets (was doing two a week) but recently backed off to every other week. It's a lot of work setting up, but I enjoy the people contact. Have some craft shows coming up here in the Sacramento region I'm looking forward to. Miss you all in the forums. I'll try to get back to the computer when I can...

Warm hugs,

Sarah Nicole said...

The chocolates look beautiful! I always kinda wanted to learn how to make chocolates.

Your ocean pics remind me of where I grew up :) Thanks for sharing.