Travel Makeup

DSC_0400DSC_0405 DSC_0409Happy Thursday, everyone! How are ya? I’m doing exceptionally well, thanks for asking ;).

Today, we’ll be talking about one of my favorite things–makeup :P. In particular, vacation makeup. (Speaking of vacation, last week at this time we were touring Williamsburg. Was it really only a week ago?) 

When you’re on vacation, you don’t really have the time or the need to spend hours blending the perfect smoky eye, or chiseling your cheekbones with twelve shades of contouring powder, especially not if you plan to spend the day poolside or sightseeing. Plus, storage is limited, so all of the makeup I’ve listed down below can fit in that little green-and-blue bag you see in the pictures (I’m serious!). 

Base

Simple Exfoliating Wipes // Aveeno Protect + Hydrate Lotion Sunscreen // Bobbi Brown Corrector “Light/Medium Bisque” // Neutrogena SkinClearing Blemish Concealer “Buff” // L’Oreal True Match Powder “Natural Beige” // E.L.F. Studio Blush Brush // Real Techniques Setting Brush

While on vacation, I think it’s a good idea to take some extra time to take care of your skin and be kind to it, hence the exfoliating wipes, sunscreen, and very minimal color cosmetics. Ditch the foundation in favor of something lighter that lets your skin breathe, like a tinted moisturizer, or a dab of concealer under your eyes and on any spots you might have. Powder is kinda necessary, especially if it’s hot and you’re prone to oilier skin (a la moi)–just because it’s minimal makeup doesn’t mean you want it going anywhere! 

Cheeks & Lips

Bourjois Chocolate Bronzer // Josie Maran Coconut Watercolor Cheek Gelee “Pink Escape” // E.L.F. Studio Blush Palette // NARS Blush “Tribulation” (highlighter) // L’Oreal Pop Balm “Caring Coral” // MAC “Please Me” // Makeup Forever Rouge Artist Intense “34” //  E.L.F. Studio Blush Brush

I’ve gotten really into cheek products lately, and I think the assortment of products above is a testament to that. Bronzer on vacation is kind of a given, as well as highlighter. The one listed above, by the way, probably is my favorite highlighter of life. Just sayin’. 😉 Cream blush is also great for a weightless glow to your cheeks, but the powder blush palette is inexpensive and gives you so many options :D–all of this, by the way, from bronzer to highlighter, can be applied with the brush linked above (it’s $3!). I limited myself to three lipsticks: a matte pink that lasts allllll day, a vibrant raspberry for when we went out to dinner and I wanted to look all dolled up without the effort of getting all dolled up, and a sheer coral balm to throw in my purse. This is the most complicated part of my look by far! 

Eyes 

Milani Eyeshadow Primer // Rimmel Exaggerate Smoke n Shine Gel Eye Liner “Copper Bling” // Tweezerman Eyelash Curler // Almay Get Up and Grow Mascara // NARS Velvet Shadow Stick “Goddess” 

After the most complicated part comes the simplest part. I’ve been loving a simple swipe of coppery brown eyeliner all summer long, especially for vacation. A bit of eyeshadow primer underneath makes sure that despite how much sweating goes on (we all know it’s bound to happen when it’s 90 degrees out and humid), your liner won’t transfer one bit. Plus, it takes no time at all, but it just makes your eyes *pop*, especially when paired with huge lashes (au naturale, of course–who has time for falsies, really?). An eyelash curler and your favorite mascara are all that’s needed, right? A light-colored eyeshadow stick is a great thing to bring along to, because it’s simple and easy to blend out, but if you want to take your eye game to the next level, that pencil from NARS can get you there. 😛

That’s all for today, folks! I hope you enjoyed, and I’d love to hear in the comments below what you’re vacation go-to’s are! Have a great rest of your week–tomorrow is Friday, after all :). 

– Grace

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How to Survive a 15-Hour Car Ride

roadtrip DSC_0419DSC_0421spotify // instant camera

Happy Monday, everybody!

How are you? How was your week? Did ya have a good weekend? I’ve been out of the loop since I was on vacation, so I’d really like to hear :D.

As for moi, I had an  a m a z i n g  week out in D.C. and Williamsburg and am kinda of alarmed at just how fast it went. (If you’d like to hear more on that, as in, a whole post on the trip, comment below! 🙂 ) Also, the fact that school starts in three weeks and I still am barely half way done with my homework. I digress. 😛

Back to vacation. So we drove, all seven of us in one black minivan, out to D.C., and we did it in one day. From where I live, it totaled to be about fifteen hours from start to finish. We had breaks, of course, but a twenty minute bathroom break at a gas station in small-town Kentucky does not do much to make the time go by faster. 

This was not our first rodeo, however, lemme tell you. We’ve driven out to Wyoming (most. boring. drive. ever.), Niagara Falls, Atlanta, New Orleans, and Vero Beach (in Florida), just to, y’know, name a few. 😉 Because of all of these hours spent in the back seat of a car, I’ve got a few tricks up my sleeve for how to make the time go faster (or at the very least, make it a little more enjoyable!). 

  1. Read. This may seem a bit obvious, but it works! Check out a book or two from the library, bring along the novel you’ve got to read for school, and heck, throw a textbook or two (okay, maybe just one. They’re kinda heavy) in the mix to get some reading out of the way. If it’s a good book, it’ll suck you in and the hours will fly, and if it’s more of a chore, reward yourself at little checkpoints with a small snack or a nap. After reading twenty pages about fifteenth century European expansion, I took a forty-five minute nap. It works out, right? 😛
  2. Food. This one’s kinda strange, but having a couple of fun snacks that you wouldn’t normally have (it is vacation, after all) makes it more enjoyable. A bag of peanut m&m’s, some fruit snacks, those frosted animal crackers with sprinkles (so good), whatever you like! Also, eating lunch or dinner in the car is almost better than stopping and eating, because you’re still driving and making progress while you eat your food. It’s a win-win. 
  3. Music/Podcasts. With a good playlist and some noise-canceling headphones, time can go by like that. If you’re driving through a pretty area (Pennsylvania is gorgeous, by the way), the music acts as your own personal soundtrack. Fun, right? Or, some relaxing music can help you fall asleep and cancel out the giggles and shouts and other noises made by your four siblings in the car with you. Spotify is my favorite app by far for this. If you don’t have it, definitely check it out! A podcast can be great, too, because it doesn’t eat up data the way a movie or video streaming can, but it’s just as entertaining. We listen to a lot of Jim Gaffigan and Brian Regan in the car–both are hilarious. 
  4. Taking pictures. It might be fun to take a picture every time you cross into another state, or the different places you stop, especially if you get to use a camera like my little instax. It breaks up the time, too. 😀
  5. Napping. Sometimes, plain ol’ sleep is the way to go, especially when you have to wake up at five in the morning. Like I said, some noise-canceling headphones and a blanket can go a long way. 🙂
  6. Get crafty. Be it making friendship bracelets (who says you’re too old for that?), drawing, making a collage, or, in my case, crocheting, creating something handmade while in the car can serve as a souvenir of sorts. Also, you’ve got all that time on your hands–why not pick up a new skill? I’m working on a granny-square-turned-blanket that I’ve taken with me not only on this trip, but when we went to Mexico over spring break as well. 😀 
  7. Play a game. You can play the classic roadtrip games (punch buggy was banned because it got a little out of control, if you will), or you can do what my siblings and I did, which was download them onto the iPad and play until it died. The Game of Life was a fave, as well as checkers, oddly enough. 

Those are all my tips so far! I’d love to hear how you guys pass the time in the car, or on an airplane. Any suggestions are much appreciated–there’s definitely more roadtrips in my future!

Have a great day! 

– Grace

 

 

Baked (Peanut Butter Cup!) S’Mores Dip

smoredip2DSC_0399I love a s’more as much as the next person (as evident in this post, this postand this post), but they’ve never been my absolute favorite

That is, until someone suggested I put peanut butter on them. 

Magic, I tell you. Irresistible with a capital “i”. 😀

So naturally, when my mom Facebook messaged me a short little video demonstrating the recipe above, it was calling my name. Super-duper easy, bakes up quick, looks kinda gorgeous, tastes amazeballs, and is perfect for parties. What’s not to like? Plus, if you’re allergic to peanut butter (or don’t like it :P) you can substitute your favorite brand of chocolate instead (*cough* Ghiradelli *cough*). 

If you’re still not convinced, just look at the pictures above. Yep. Keeeeeeeeep looking. Those golden, melty marshmallows mixed with gooey chocolate and peanut butter, served warm on a crispy graham cracker with a tall glass of milk. Mmmhmm. That’s about right. 

Recipe below! 😉 

Oh, and feel free to comment your favorite way to make a s’moreCharred marshmallow, or barely toasted? Milk, dark, or white chocolate? Chocolate chip cookies instead of graham crackers? A rolo instead of a square of chocolate? The possibilities are endless! 😀

[yumprint-recipe id=’21’] 

A Short Rant on Summer Homework

I sit here with a slightly throbbing hand after just completing over five pages of history notes and reading about twenty-three pages of tiny text. I now can cross off one chapter from my list of summer homework, leaving two more chapters to read and take notes on; five themes to analyze and summarize; fifteen current events to find to go along with those themes; not to mention a lengthy book I’m supposed to read (I’m actually kind of excited about that)–oh, and there’s questions to go along with that, too. 

What exactly will I gain from all of this? 

That remains to be seen, but I’m guessing a healthy participation grade in class and a good grade on a test we’ll be taking the second week of school. 

Now, depending on who you are and where you go to school and what courses you’re taking, this may seem like nothing, or it may seem like a lot. Either way, the effectiveness of this method of summer homework seems to be questionable, at least in my eyes. 

Don’t get me wrong–I understand why it’s assigned and the arguments for it.

  1. It’s a harder course so there’s a larger workload, there’s more ground to cover, just can’t fit it all in, etc.
  2. It’ll give you a head start next year.
  3. Can’t let your brain get out of shape over the summer!
  4. It’s great preparation for college!

As sarcastic as those sound, I do understand that there’s legitimate reasoning and logic behind it. 

But. 

At the same time, people go to school for a reason–they can’t teach themselves. I will most likely forget most of what I read and took notes on in the space of a few days, if that. Reading something and scribbling down the main ideas and important figures and dates is not learning the information. If I’ve got questions, I’m going to Google it, click the first or second link, and go with it. I didn’t gain a new perspective on that time period, or really grasp the concepts in the chapters because all it is is black type on a white background. Wouldn’t it be better to maybe cover less content but really learn the information that we do cover throughout the school year? Quality vs. quanity? Ah, but that’s a different debate for a different day. 😛

Plus, to add insult to injury, it’s a gorgeous day outside, one that I’ve spent hunched over my desk in my room, lit by the light of a fluorescent bulb, trying to cram as much as I can because we’re leaving for vacation this weekend and I know I have to work all day for the next couple of days. Yes, I know I’ve had all summer to do this, but, between camps and family trips and working and doing everything you can’t do during the school year, y’know, like having a social life and blogging and being fifteen–there’s not a whole lot of time left for homework, is there? 

And I know this isn’t that big of an issue and that I’ve got a pretty darn amazing life that I wouldn’t trade for the world, but it’s something that kinda makes me frustrated.  #firstworldproblems

Welp. I guess it’s best to just get it done. In the mean time, though, I’d love to hear about how you guys are handling your summer homework (if you have any, that is–if you don’t, lucky duck!) and your thoughts on it. 

Enjoy your summer, folks! 😀

– Grace

 

Cat Eyes & Coral

bobbibrowncollageblush palette // highlighter // lippie // eyeliner // chocolate bar palette // naked basics palette

Hello, everybody! As you might’ve guessed based on the copious amount of beauty vloggers I follow on YouTube (check out the full list here), I’ve kinda got a thing for makeup–which is why, when I came across this post on Instagram, I felt the need to recreate the look on yours truly. 😀

Utter perfection, no??

The main components of this look are the corally glow to the cheeks and lips, the black liner, and the bold brows au naturale, so I focused on those elements and kept the rest fairly bare. Tailor it to the way you want it to look–makeup is all about emphasizing your natural beauty, right? 🙂

Base

For my base, I skipped a foundation and just used concealer (if you’re in the market for a lightweight base, however, Laura Mercier’s oil-free tinted moisturizer is my fave!) under my eyes and on any spots or redness around my chin and cheeks. I then used the the shade Naked 2 from the Naked Basics palette as my bronzer under my cheeks, jawline, and forehead. I followed that up with a mixture of the corally-sparkly shade and the terra cotta color in the blush palette on the apples of my cheeks. I finished by sweeping a light dusting of a peachy highlighter on the tops of my cheek bones and back towards my temple.

Eyes

Since the model in the photo has such full (but very neat!) brows, I tried to get a similar effect by combing my own and brushing through the sparse parts with a light mixture of Faint and Crave from the Naked Basics palette with an angled brush. For the eyes, I used a black liquid liner to draw a thin line on each eye before flicking it out at the ends–which, as always, took forever. The model in the picture also has a coppery, golden shade on her lower lashline, so I mixed Hazelnut and Creme Brulee from the Chocolate Bar palette and placed that on the outer corner of my own lower lashline. To finish the eyes, I followed that up with a coat of mascara on my upper and lower lashes. 

Lips

This Neutrogena lippie is quite possibly the most comfortable lip product I own. It’s super smooth and hydrating, and it’s the perfect complement to the cheeks. A quick swipe of this and you’re done!

I hope you like the look as much as I do (I’ve been wearing it a lot these past couple of days!)–I’d love to hear what you think! Have a wonderful weekend, everyone! 😉

– Grace 

 

What to Watch: YouTube Subscriptions

Good afternoon, everybody! For today’s little bit of brain candy (that sounds really gross… :P), I thought I’d share with you my YouTube subscriptions, give you some ideas for what to watch as you’re laying in bed at 10 at night, unable to fall asleep, or during your break time at work. (Or, if you’re like my brother, something to pass the time while you’re…erm…taking care of business, shall we say?). Rationale aside, let’s get into it. 

Beauty

Bailey B – she’s really great for makeup reviews that are short, to the point, and well done, as well as beautiful tutorials that I wish I was talented enough to do! She was my first YouTube subscription, as it turns out, and is still to this day. 😀

emilynoel83 (and Beauty Broadcast Express) – one of my most favorite beauty YouTubers out there has got to be Emily. She’s so much fun to watch, her videos and tutorials are fantastic, and her baby daughter Belle is just too stinkin’ cute! The product reviews she posts on her other channel (Beauty Broadcast Express) have helped me build my current makeup stash, which I am in love with–I wholeheartedly trust whatever is recommended on that channel. 

Claudia Sulewski – the difference with her is that she’s younger, more on the teenage spectrum, so the way she applies makeup and the cost difference in the products she uses (because you’re not gonna be paying for that Dior foundation, no matter how good it is, with babysitting money) is much easier to adopt into my own routine. Plus, she’s super relatable. A win in my book!

eleventhgorgeous (and TeeAndEss) – hands down two of my favorite YouTubers of all time. They’re funny (the How-Not-to-Wear-Makeup series 😉 ), they’re great at what they do, and their taste test videos on their TeeAndEss channel are my absolute faves. Check it out. 

ItsKeerstin – she may be a beauty channel, but she’s hilarious, too. If you need a laugh or something to put a smile on your face, I highly recommend checking out her channel!

Jaclyn Hill – I kinda feel like this ones a given. She is the YouTube beauty tutorial queen, and she’s just a whole lotta fun to watch. Though the contouring videos might be a little much (just how much makeup am I applying??), all of her makeup looks are perfection. 

MakeupbyAmarie – gorgeous makeup looks. Absolutely flawless. ‘Nuff said .

MakeupbyTiffanyD – Between the bea-u-ti-ful eyeshadow tutorials, charming southern accent, and adorable baby girl Olivia, she’s ticked every box. Subscribe now. You won’t be sorry!

Tati – If you ever need to know what’s new at the drugstore, or a review on just about every product under the sun, or how to get flawless skin, Tati’s got it. Daily posting, too! And her little dog is just too cute. 🙂 

KathleenLights – She’s got perfect hair, perfect brows, and easy-to-follow, gorgeous tutorials. Her personality is what makes her channel great, though!

Nerdy 

CrashCourse – This YouTube channel alone is probably the reason I did so well on my bio final. And why I was able to hold my own in a very tough world civ class. John Green (the author of The Fault in Our Stars and Paper Towns) covers the history side of the channel while his brother, Hank Green, does all of the science-related videos. Though they may talk a little quick (it takes some getting used to!) they break down even the most complex of ideas (*cough* photosynthesis *cough* cellular respiration) into a short, easily understandable, and quite humorous video. Every student should be subscribed to this channel!

SciShow (and SciShow Space) – This is kind of a spin off of CrashCourse, run by Hank Green and a couple other people. These daily videos are all sorts of weird or interesting scientific topics, like why pepper makes you sneeze, or the science behind The Dress (you all remember that, right??). Plus, if you ever go on a trivia show, this is the kind of stuff you’ll need to know for it. Jeopardy here you come. 

vlogbrothers – I watch lots of the Green brothers, I’m just realizing now. This is their personal channel, where they post vlogs of just about anything. My personal favorite are Hank’s rants. I laugh hysterically every. Single. Time

Vsauce – Along the same lines as SciShow, Vsauce covers topics you wouldn’t really think about, and then melts your brain with the explanations behind certain things or the tangents he goes off on. I never thought of what color a mirror was before–and now I can’t stop. Or, have you ever wondered what the speed of dark was? Check out the channel if you’re curious. I know you are. 😉 

Random

BastilleVEVO – If you’re not aware, my favorite band of all time is Bastille, so of course I’m subscribed to their YouTube channel. They’re music is as flawless as lead singer Dan Smith’s quiff, so, y’know, they’re worth a listen! 🙂

RosyMcMichael – Okay, so technically she’s a beauty channel, but she speaks Spanish, so that’s why I put her in the “random” category. I take Spanish in school, but I’ve read online that the only way to truly learn a language is through immersion, and I figure for the most part I can understand what’s going on, so…yeah. If you’re bilingual (or attempting to be so, in my case) you might as well check out her channel. 😉

The Lizzie Bennet Diaries – Pride & Prejudice is reimagined into a vlog-style, modern-day scenario told from the point of view of grad student Lizzie Bennet that is Emmy-winning and–I  kid you not–moved me to tears. If you’re a Darcy fanatic, please, please watch this series. There’s only 100 episodes, each fourish minutes long, and each one is utterly engrossing and totally worth it. 

*I also have a love of America’s Got Talent & X Factor audition compilations. They’re definitely a fave!

Alright, so you can probably tell what I like by my YouTube subscriptions, but that doesn’t mean I won’t watch others! Leave a comment below telling me your favorite YouTubers and channels–I’d love to hear them! 

Until next time, lovelies! 

– Grace 🙂

 

Iced Coffee Break

coffee2coffee1coffee4book // glass // shirt

When it’s 80 degrees, sunny, and you’re in between shifts at work, sometimes you just gotta take a little break outside with a good book and a tall glass of iced coffee. 

Especially when that glass happens to be filled with a homemade iced vanilla latte. Oh, yes. We’re gettin’ crafty here because sometimes Starbucks is just a little too expensive (it’d be $4.15 for a grande–who does that?). 

Plus, with this lil’ homemade version (which takes two minutes and virtually no skill, other than knowing how to work a Keurig), there’s no syrups or bug juice involved (we all saw that story, right?), and it can all be done from the comfort of your own home. 

To make, use your favorite regular coffee (not decaf, because we need that caffeine! We’re in between shifts, remember? 😉 ), and pop it in the Keurig. Brew about eight ounces, and pour over ice. Add in a quarter cup of milk (skim, 2%, half and half, it’s up to you), a tablespoon of sugar, and a teaspoon of pure vanilla extract. Stir. Sip. Smile. You’re done!

After making this simple little drink, fulfilling the “iced coffee” portion of an “iced coffee break”, plop down in your favorite sunny spot outside with your drink in one hand and your current read in the other. Right now, I’m digging this book called Etiquette & Espionage, which is steampunk meets Austen-era gentry meets Secret Service. All done in petticoats and corsets. Pretty darn cool, right? I love having a stack of books to read during little breaks like this–if you guys have any suggestions, please, feel free to leave a comment below. I’d love to hear what you’re reading!

[yumprint-recipe id=’20’]Until the next iced coffee break ;), 

– Grace

 

Getting Organized

planner3planner1planner // colorful flare pens

With a new blog schedule comes a new need to be organized, and a new excuse to go out and splurge on some cute organizational, erm, necessities, we’ll call it.  😉 Hence the adorable planner. I mean, how could you resist? It’s Kate Spade. Let’s be real. 

Back to being organized. So, for me, I need to write everything down. Everything, or else it goes in one ear and out the other, and I have a feeling I’m not alone on that front–especially when it comes to school. Over the past couple of years, I’ve honed in on a strategy that works pretty darn well for me, and though I’m not in school as of now (woot woot), I thought I’d show you all how it works, what with school less than a month away and everything (I know, I know 😥 ). 

In colorful flare pens (I’ve read it helps with memory retention–we’ll see about that), I outline my class schedule on each of the spaces, with a miscellaneous line at the bottom. Kinda self-explanatory, I know. If I have any tests, quizzes, field trips, big projects due–you get my drift–I write that in black pen & highlight it next to the date. Any other social events and whatnot (though they’re few and far between during the school year, but it’s what I use my planner for in the summer!) get noted in a similar fashion. 

Now that your planner’s all set up, how do you keep it all nice and organized? Again, it’s taken me quite some time to figure out this handy-dandy system, but it’s kept me on track so far, so here goes nothin’: 

  1. Carry it with you. Everywhere. At (almost) all times. You won’t remember that you typed in that date on your phone, or that the homework assignment is on the back of your hand.  Stick it in your backpack, or better yet, keep it out on your desk where you can see it (during school, that is). You come to rely on it more than you think!
  2. Write it down the minute you get it. Be it the textbook reading for that night (those page numbers get mixed up real fast) or your practice schedule for field hockey, if you take the minute or two to jot it down, you won’t ever run into the oh, crap moment of forgetting something, or double-booking yourself. 
  3. Use the front pocketThis may seem like kind of a random tip, but I know I use it more than you’d think. Most planners come with a little paper pocket that seems useless at first glance–but it’s not. If your planner’s always on you, it’s a good place to keep important sheets that you don’t want to lose–business cards, field trip forms, invitations, school I.D.’s, etc. 
  4. Don’t let it fall to the wayside. Stay on top of it, because it can only help you. It’s like organizing a giant stack of mental paperwork into neat little file folders; it’s a breath of fresh air. 

I am not the most organized person on the planet, lemme tell ya, but if someone had given me this at the beginning of freshman year, I think it would’ve helped me learn to juggle life in general just a tad better. My younger brother is going to be a freshman this year (future blog post? Inside the mind of a freshman boy? 😛 I digress), and it just made me think of the little things I wished I would’ve known when I started high school–like how to organize my planner. 🙂 Everyone has their own way of doing things, and you can tweak this method until it suits you best, but it’s a starting point, right? 

Enjoy your weekend! 😀

– Grace

 

Switching Things Up: Sweet Grace’s Life 2.0

Good afternoon, folks! 

So, as you might’ve noticed, I’ve done some redecorating.

Like, majorly. 

I bet you’re looking around, wondering what on earth a “tidbit” is and what that has to do with chocolate chip cookies. What happened to the dark (chocolate!) side? 

Well. 

It all has to do with a birthday and a talk with my mom over some chili. I’ll explain. 

The Back Story: 

So this blog is gonna be two years old in about two weeks, and I’ve been feeling kinda lackluster in the direction that it was going. I love this little corner of the interweb, don’t get me wrong, and all of the creative freedom that this platform gives me, but what with my job and a host of other things, I wasn’t able to put in the effort that I wanted to, and the long, wordy posts filled with a multitude of painstakingly edited photos took a good day or two to put together, and it just wasn’t working. The posts were starting to feel insincere, and it made me sad. So, one night over bowls of chili & guac, my mom and I pieced together a new direction for SGL, filled with, as the new tagline suggests, style, school, beauty–and, of course, food.

And thusly, Sweet Grace’s Life got a makeover.

How It’s Going to Work: 

Every post on SGL (the food ones, at least 🙂 ) is archived under the Sweet Eats category, and the others under the Tidbits & Tangents page. Future posts will be archived under the four categories that you see in the navigation bar–Style Snaps, Sweet Eats, Tidbits & Tangents, and Brain Candy. 

As far as posting frequency goes, I’m hoping to post much more often–to the tune of 4 or 5 times a week. Now, granted, these are not going to be super in depth, wordy posts, filled with a hundred pictures and whatnot. They are going to be Sweet Life Bites–sweet, short, and to the point. 😉 On weekends, I’m thinking about putting together longer, more in-depth posts, but as far as weekdays go, that’s the plan. 

I think. 

This is totally a learning process–new writing style, new schedules, new photography style, new blog layout–so I’m just gonna ask you to bear with me. 😀 You guys who read this blog have stuck with it through the crazy irregular scheduling and all,  so if you have any comments, suggestions, thoughts for improvement, anything at all, please leave a comment or send me a quick note. It’s all very much appreciated. ❤ 

Enjoy your day, lovelies! Thanks so much. 

– Grace

Chocolate Party Bark

DSCN2824

Hello, lovelies! I come to you on a bright Saturday morning with an equally bright, colorful recipe (and a fun name to boot!)–chocolate party bark.

That’s right, folks. 

A smooth combination of some good ol’ Ghiradelli semi-sweet and dark chocolate over crunchy, salty pretzels, and topped with a motherload of all things sweet and salty–popcorn, peanut m’n’m’s (not advised if you have a peanut allergy :P), sprinkles, and, of course, some peanut butter (which, as I found out, does not freeze. It kinda just stays peanut-buttery). 

Par-tay, amiright? 😉

DSCN2827

 

DSCN2834

So I call this party bark for two reasons: 

1. Because of all of the texture and flavor and craziness that’s going on in one little snippet of this bark, it’s like a party in your mouth *cue party emojis*.

2. This kinda combines all of the snacks you’d find at a social gathering–a.k.a. a party–in one go–you’ve got your salty snacks covered with the pretzels, the quintessential popcorn, and your sweet treats (the m’n’m’s and the chocolate). It’s kinda mindblowing if you think about it–so much crammed into something so simple. 🙂

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Random tangent, but on the topic of things that are mindblowing, I found this website that puts everything in perspective, if you know what I mean. Not in the moral way where you realize how you literally have no real problems because there are kids going hungry in the world while you’re sittin’ here with a bowl of party bark at your fingertips–

Ahem. There’s a time for all of that, but that time is not now. Back to perspective. 🙂

It’s in the physical aspect, meaning that this website takes very smallest piece of matter known to man (the proton nucleus of a hydrogen atom, if you were interested) and the largest thing we know of (the observable universe, naturally) and puts both of these on a sliding scale with everything in between, from the Statue of Liberty to the Virgo Supercluster to a blue whale. It’s mind-boggling to me just how huge everything is and, at the same time, how there’s practically a separate universe underneath our fingertips that’s microscopically, almost inconceivably small. I love this kind of stuff, and thought I’d share it.

If you want to check it out, you can find that website here, and a video from Buzzfeed with a similar mind-boggling theme here. I recommend both! 

Now. 

If you’re anything like me, after watching these, your mind is utterly melted and you’re stumped by the complexity of it all. So, to give our fried brains a break, let’s get back to something a bit simpler–party bark! 

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Like I said, these are pretty darn simple to make–you’re looking at all of the ingredients you’ll need right here (minus the peanut butter. I added that later. Oh, and the sprinkles, too!). To make these, you need a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper, a bowl filled with 3 cups of your favorite chocolate chips (I used a combination of semi-sweet and 60% dark), some popcorn, a bag of pretzels, a handful of m’n’m’s, and some colorful sprinkles to make it look pretty. All you gotta do is melt the chocolate, line the parchment paper with a couple of pretzels, pour the chocolate over the pretzels, making sure it’s smooth, even, and not too thick, and then top with whatever you please until your heart’s content. You then pop it in the freezer for oh, half an hour or so, and bam. Chocolate party bark. 

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I mean. 

Can we just. 

Glorious. Simply glorious. 

Before we get into the recipe, I’d like to say something about the PB. I don’t recommend using it, because it doesn’t freeze right, and though it tastes delicious, it feels kinda greasy when you’re holding a piece. I’d recommend using white chocolate or something instead. That’s all. 😀

So. Let’s get into it, shall we? 

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