NYE — A little re-branding

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I can’t believe 2017 is coming to a close. It’s been such an amazing year. Although you wouldn’t know this from reading my blog (because I think I’ve only posted once or twice this year), there have been so many great changes that took place this year.

My husband and I purchased our first home, adopted a dog, and had an all around great last 365 days.

I’ve had so many observations over the last year that has led me to wanting to make some changes when it comes to my blog. Pinch Plate Party was originally supposed to be a food, entertaining, and lifestyle blog. At the end of the day. It hasn’t really been much of anything.

I want to do better. And I know I say that every year. But I do. This isn’t really a resolution — I just want to blog about my everyday life. This could turn out to be a failure, but, my blog is already a bust so why no try something new.

Niagara Falls

Niagara Falls

Get ready to see a lot more content… and a lot more random content about my everyday life.

Most likely my content will focus on life, thoughts, finances, food, DIY, and some travel. Really just a compilation of who I am. If you know me personally, you know I’m always moving a mile a minute and constantly have SO MUCH going on in my head.

Niagara Falls

Niagara Falls

Over the last year I’ve made observations about my own finances, my friends finances, and just general observations around millennial finances. I want to create some conversations around that.

Since buying our home I’ve done some small remodeling projects around the house. I’d love to share my successes and failures around that as well.

I still cook a lot, but I’ll be honest, I’ve subscribed to a food box because as life gets more hectic, I don’t always have time to grocery shop and create recipes from scratch. So there will be some variety around the food aspects as well. And don’t worry… We still eat out too.

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And travel… AHH. I love to travel. I already have two trips planned for 2018 and I can’t wait to share those travels and many more with you as well.

Milan, Italy

Milan, Italy

So as I said. Just get ready. This could be a hot mess. But my attempt to stay “on-brand” has just kept me from being creative. I love writing and I love creating and I love sharing a little bit of me with you.

I hope you enjoy what is to come.

Cheers to a new year!

My Sweet Valentine – Dark Chocolate Dipped Strawberries

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This Valentine’s Day will be my and my husband’s first Valentine’s day as a married couple. This year will be very special because the holiday not only falls on a Saturday, but it also falls on the weekend William has off from work (and if you know someone who works in retail, you understand why this is a big deal).

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As I sat on my couch I was trying to come up with something special to make William that brings back great memories of us together. The first thing that came to mind was the food we had on our honeymoon. William’s parents had chocolate covered strawberries delivered to our room and we devoured them in minutes. They were absolutely delicious and really bring back great memories of my and William’s honeymoon and first trip together. I knew that making these would be a great idea!

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My chocolate covered strawberry recipe is easy to make and trust me, they cost a lot less than buying them from a store or having them shipped in online. I purchased my strawberries and chocolate from Aldi and combined, the ingredients cost less than $4.00. I had some white chocolate in my pantry that I used for a drizzle. I also had some slivered almonds in my pantry so I chopped those up and used them as an additional topping.

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My husband really appreciated these strawberries and I’m sure your valentine will as well! Treat your special someone to a home made treat that is sure to make them weak at the knees. These can be made ahead of time and last up to 3 days in the refrigerator. Feel free to use additional toppings such as sprinkles or sugar crystals. I dipped my strawberries in dark chocolate (85% cocoa) but these can also be made with a sweeter milk chocolate or white chocolate.drizzle

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  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Recommended Specialty Cookware: Ramekin

Ingredients:

For the Dipped Strawberries:

  • 12-16 Medium strawberries, washed and dried.
  • 4 oz Dark chocolate (milk chocolate or white chocolate work as well)

Optional Toppings:

  • Chopped almonds
  • Melted white chocolate

Directions:

  1. Line a cookie sheet with parchment or wax paper and set aside.
  2. Finely chop 4 ounces of premium dark chocolate and place in a microwave safe ramekin.
  3. Microwave chocolate in 15 second intervals until the chocolate is melted.
  4. Individually dip each strawberry in the chocolate leaving the top of the berry and leaves exposed.
  5. Let the excess chocolate drip from the strawberry and place on the cookie sheet.
  6. Gently push the strawberry forward on the cookie sheet to keep the chocolate from forming a “foot”.
  7. Repeat the dipping process with remaining strawberries.
  8. If topping with chopped nuts — gently sprinkle nuts on all sides of the strawberries using the melted chocolate as an adhesive.
  9. Refrigerate Strawberries for at least 30 minutes or until chocolate has set.
  10. If using chocolate or white chocolate as a drizzle — place melted chocolate in a sandwich bag and cut the very tip of the bag off to create a piping bag. Carefully drizzle the melted chocolate over the chilled berries to create a zig zag design. Refrigerate again until the design has set.

Strawberries will keep in the refrigerator for 3 days. Keep refrigerated until serving. Strawberries pair well with champagne. 

Bread. Salt. Wine. — Three Items to Warm the Home

“Bread, that this house may never know hunger. Salt, that life may always have flavor. And wine, that joy and prosperity may reign forever.” — Mary and George Bailey (It’s a Wonderful Life)

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One of my dearest friends recently celebrated 3 very large milestones in less than a month. She graduated from college, moved out of her parent’s house into her own place, and started her very first “big girl” job. I’m so proud of her and was so excited to hear that she found a quaint place to call home. I knew I wanted to bring a little something over during my first visit to bless her home and wish her the best as she transitioned into life after college.

One of my favorite holiday moves is It’s a Wonderful Life. In the movie Mary and George Bailey bless their friends with a housewarming gift. Mary and George give bread, salt, and wine as representations of what they hope their friends experience in their new home and new life. I took the thought from this move and made my own version of this traditional housewarming gift basket.

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All of the items came from TJ Maxx, Aldi, and the dollar store, and I don’t believe I spent more than $25 for all of the items. I love that I was able to put my own twist on this gift and show my friend how proud I am of her. I wish for nothing less than the best for her and my prayer is that she never knows hunger, always enjoys the flavor of life, and lives a life of joy and prosperity!

Anyone can bring a coffee table book, a bottle of wine, or some cutting boards to a friend’s house but I promise a Bread, Salt and Wine basket will be appreciated as well. If you’re interested in knowing how I created my basket, feel free to follow the steps outlined below.


Items Needed: 

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Steps:

Remove any wrapping from the floral foam. and make any cuts as needed so that it fits inside of the basket. The floral foam is used to elevate the contents in your basket and give your gift a fuller look. I used a few plastic bags to fill in extra space in my basket at well (gift tissue would probably be best).

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Figure out the look that works best for the dimensions of the basket. I found that the bread looked best in the middle with the two glass bottles to the side.

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Carefully place your personalized note to make sure that it’s featured but does not take away from the basket. Once all of your contents are in place fill the extra space with decorative shred.

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Use the decorative sting to create a focal point for the basket. This will serve as your bow and will also allow you to fix your decorative tag to eye-catching location.

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This is a quick and easy housewarming gift that will always be appreciated.

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