Can wine get better? Yes, yes it can!

disclaimer: this is not a sponsored post. All opinions are my own. 

I know, I know. What a promising title have I picked for this blog post! Ha! But really, I did find a way to make wine just a bit (or a whole lot) better: by turning the wine bottle into a beautiful chocolate pineapple.

It was one of my closest friends’ birthday a couple of weekends ago. For the life of me, I could not think of anything good enough to get her. Of course, I could have gone with the conventional gift card and balloons with flowers, etc. etc. But, I felt I should get her something a bit more thoughtful. Of course, me being me, felt like getting a little crafty with her gift. As per ush, I logged on Pinterest and typed “gift ideas for friend”. And lo and behold, hundreds of gorgeous ideas popped on my feed. One idea, in particular, caught my eye- a gorgeous pineapple made from Ferrero Rocher chocolates. At first glance, it looked like a bunch of chocolates placed to form the shape of a pineapple. When I clicked on the actual post, I realized it was a wine bottle covered in Ferrero Rocher chocolates and BOOM! I decide to re-create a wine-pineapple-bottle for my dear friend. I used different materials from the ones listed on the blog post I came across, but the idea is just the same. Scroll down for the Pinterest blog post.

Here is what you need:

  1. Wine of your preference. I picked a bottle with curves because I felt it’d give the final product the proper pineapple shape.
  2. Ferrero Rocher chocolates, I used 52 chocolates for my bottle.
  3. Raffia Ribbon
  4. Rope Ribbon (optional)
  5. Gold metallic paint (optional) I ended up not using paint on the final product.
  6. Glue Gun
  7. Real leaves from a tree/plant that needs trimming. I used sago plant leaves
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Materials

Steps:

  1. Begin by gluing each chocolate on the wine bottle. Add a drop of hot glue to the base of each chocolate and start placing them on wine bottle from the bottom, up. Stop gluing once you get to the neck of the wine bottle. About 2-3 inches from the lid. Tip 1: Ferrero Rocher chocolates are wrapped in gold foil that is glued to mini paper baking cups. Make sure you add a bit of extra glue between the gold wrapper and the paper baking cups. This may be a bit time consuming, but if you skip this step the chocolates will begin to fall off the paper baking cup once they’re glued onto the wine bottle. Tip 2: start gluing chocolates from the bottom, up. This way, chocolates glued on top of the bottle have extra support from chocolates glued at the bottom.
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    You may cover wine label if you wish. I chose to leave it open so my friend could see what kind of wine she got.

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    Completely covered in chocolates wine bottle.
  2. Begin to glue leaves onto the neck of the bottle. You can play with the placement of leaves to your liking. Tip 1: If you are using real leaves like I did, I suggest to use hard leaves. Hard leaves are long lasting and can handle the heat from glue gun a lot better. You can also create your own paper leaves, click on blog post link below for a guide to paper leaves.

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    Add glue to the lower part of the stem.
  3. Once all your leaves are glued onto wine neck, it’s time to cover those babies with raffia ribbon. Wrap the ribbon all around until you no longer see glued stems. You will use a lot of ribbon, FYI.

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    Add as much ribbon and rope to the neck of pineapple, tie it, and voila!

Optional Steps:

4.Add rope ribbon for a bit more texture and detail. I added this on the top of raffia       ribbon, I think it adds a nice accent on to the final look.
5. Spray gold spray paint on the leaves. I left this step for last and actually skipped it              because there was enough gold going on with all the chocolates. Ha. But, I am                       including here because it’s an option.
6. Gift this beautiful gift as it is, without wrapper, without gift bag. Whoever you give            this to, they will be surprised as it is since they won’t know a wine bottle is underneath         all that chocolate goodness.
7. Enjoy!

This was the perfect gift for my friend, since she’s a wine lover and of course chocolate lover, too. I was so happy to see her so pleased with her gift. It took me roughly 2 hours to complete it, probably less. Quite frankly, it was one of the easiest projects I have ever created. I wasn’t sure I wanted to create a blog about it since I know several people might benefit from a gift like this. *wink*. Hehe. But alas, I had such a great time doing this! If your significant other, or close friend love wine and candy, this might be the perfect gift for them. You can even use this as home decor. Remember, there is no limit to your creativity.

Do you have any creative gift ideas? If so, share them with me below! I am always on the lookout for DIYs.

Thank you for stopping by!

-Sirene

Blog post from Pinterest: http://www.handimania.com/diy/pineapple-champagne-bottle.html

 

The Sunflower Bakery & Café- The Sunflower of Galveston

Little gem in Galveston, Texas! The Sunflower Bakery & Cafe

Recently, my boyfriend and I had the opportunity to brunch at the delightful Sunflower Bakery & Café, located on Galveston Island.  We were in G-town for one of my dear friend’s wedding (beautiful wedding, btw), and being the opportunists we are, we made the event a mini get away for us.

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Look at all those goodies!

We live in Houston, so naturally we have been to Galveston often, but never on a staycation. We both know of Galveston’s gastro reputation; we know there are plenty of big chain restaurants, as well as local gems, such is the Sunflower Bakery & Café.  The bakery/ café was established in 1999 (rebuilt in 2008 due to IKE) and has been serving fresh food created from scratch ever since. They take pride in making and baking all of their menu items from scratch, and specialize in making their dishes and desserts using local and seasonal ingredients.

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Sunflowers every where!
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Their own pancake mix! Yum!
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Sunflower Granola Mix

The experience:
When we walked in to the restaurant, I was a bit confused because there’s the restaurant sitting on the right side and a cool small shop on the left side- the Bacon Farm. This small, unique shop carries all kinds of cool stuff! Anything from antiques, to furniture, to great collectibles.  Nevertheless, after some re-orientation, we were welcomed by the hostess who proceeded to sit us right away. We were fortunate to get a table in front of the dessert pantry.  Like kids in the proverbial candy store, we were both gawking over the pastries tugging at our eyes and hearts. Soon enough, we were greeted by our polite and agreeable server, Serghei, who was very knowledgeable about the restaurant.

One of the things my boyfriend and I pay close attention to when visiting a restaurant for the first time is the menu selection. If a restaurant has one too many items on their menu, it makes us wonder what can they cook really well, since they have so many dishes to focus on and prepare “well”.  Can they focus on cooking all dishes deliciously without having a few of them being cooked half-heartedly? What is their specialty dish when they have so many dishes on their menu?  Not to our surprise, the Sunflower had a good handful of items in their brunch menu: not too many, not too few. And they are all brunch-relatable items that align with the culture of the restaurant- A cozy, home-cooking type of place.

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One of the sweets pantries.

Our food:
We ordered the Big Breakfast and the Eggs Benedict. Both dishes were served in a timely manner, they were both very delicious, and were both hot and right out of the kitchen onto a plate. The Big Breakfast included freshly made pancakes from the Sunflower’s own pancake recipe. I personally don’t fancy pancakes much, but my boyfriend does. Let me tell you, he was in pancake heaven. The pancakes were steaming, soft, and cooked thoroughly. Not to mention they tasted delicious. He claims they make Le Peep pancakes…weep, and IHOP pancakes drown in their own syrupy sorrow.  Our Eggs Benedict was worthy of a Michelin star (if Michelin ever gave stars for breakfast); eggs perfectly poached and the sauce culled from the Hollandaise gods. The coffee was proper and so fresh; a perfect accompaniment to our perfect breakfast foods.

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Eggs Benedict, Big Breakfast & Coffee
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Season greetings
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Life really is SWEET!

Over all:
We loved The Sunflower Bakery and Café! For as long as it’s been in operation, my boyfriend and I couldn’t believe we hadn’t made the trip to dine there sooner. It’s evident that they care about who they hire and what they cook. The food was peerless, coffee was spot-on, and customer service was 5 stars.- thanks Serghei!  The Sunflower Bakery & Café is the perfect place to enjoy a sunny seaside brunch whether you’re a flip-flopped, vapin’ bohemian or a hungry hungover sailor.  We encourage all Texas visitors to make the trip to dine here, you will not be disappointed!

Till next time!

love,
Sirene

More beautiful than scary, Mt. Raineir

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Mount Raineir is the tallest peak in the Cascade Range in Washington. This 14,400+ Ft. tall, active mountain is one of the world’s most massive volcanoes. Although this may be the main attraction in Mount Raineir National park, it is hardly the only one. The park is filled with fields of wildflowers and wildlife. We spotted three deer within a few feet from us as well as different species of birds and a pool of tadpoles (and yes, i became extremely excited to see animals i can other wise find here, in Houston). May I also add that the smell of this place is magnificent. It’s a combination of floral, rainy, icy, warm and piney scents within each breath. Simple, pure, raw and clean.

As I stood right in front of this place, I repeatedly said how it felt like a gorgeous, well-done wallpaper behind all the pine trees. The beauty of this place is breath taking and dreamlike. Enjoy the photos!

-Sirene

The Pie Goddess

If you are ever in Enumclaw, WA, you must make a quick stop by The Pie Goddess! The pies were home-made tasting, fresh, and reasonably priced considering each slice of pie can feed up to three people. Customer service was friendly and fast.  Everything about this bakery makes it a fun place to stop by. They have fun little trinkets too! From pies, to raw honey, to book bags with with their The Pie Goddess logo. I made sure to stuff my face with pie and take several small souvenirs home.

Strawberry Rhubarb & Coconut cream pie
Strawberry Rhubarb & Coconut Cream pie
Fixes everything
Fixes everything
Did you know?
Did you know?
pie
Enough is when you run out of pie!

-Sirene