chardonnay wishes and candy land dreams

Last weekend was my delicious niece’s first birthday, Ella. I usually exaggeratedly roll my eyes whenever anyone speaks of their children, nieces/nephews or grandchildren as if they were a giant ice cream cone being eaten by a dozen puppies…because that’s deliciously cute. But once my first nephew, Brody, entered this world I have never been more inclined to do so; talk “baby”, take 300 pictures of a baby in adult sunglasses or shoes or try so hard for their first sentence to be “Can I have a glass of wine?”. But I am in love with all 3 of them, and only for a moment do I wish I could bring one into the world. Literally, only a moment. Because usually, once that moment has passed, one of them screams in my ear or punches me in my face and I remember why I love being the “Cool Aunt” that can give them back. Needless to say, birthday’s and Christmas are crazy and fun (and not the way they use to be, there’s usually no one drunk doing body shots, I try to keep that hidden from the kiddos). So when my sister-in-law told me her theme was going to be “Candyland” I knew to make sure I had a good buzz going so I could tolerate keep up with all the kids and their candy high. There is literally nothing cuter than a baby running around in a tutu and birthday crown stuffing her face with her first taste of sugar. It brought back fond memories of High School.

I was asked to help with the candy bar and seeing that I know a thing or two about getting and giving a good buzz, I was in. I love candy bars, their perfect for all parties but especially for the kiddos; honestly what’s a good party without some type of bar? My mom and I went nuts in the candy isle (of course) at Walmart. Smarties and Skittles and Starbursts galore! There were no boundaries, bags of candy for less than $10 each was all we cared about. We spent 45 minutes trying to pick out the perfect ribbon that would match the colors on the “Candyland” board and which candy would go with what ribbon! It was all very exciting. I know I nerd out a lot when it comes to home decor or DIY’ing myself silly, but this was on a whole other level. I was nerding out over a candy bar, a bar that due to the resolutions the New Year brings with it, most people were probably going to over look. But as I was sitting in my living room, obsessing over coordinating candy, I noticed I had probably eaten half a bag of skittles without even thinking! I forgot how good it tasted. Who, over the age of 14, thinks about candy enough to buy it and enjoy it?…I want to say no one, but then I remembered my dad sneaking M&M’s every night after everyone had gone to bed…so I’ll say most people don’t think about candy that much… unless it’s right in front of you! Even more reason to love and use candy bars at every party I have from now on.

Everything was going well, the ideas were flowin’.I just wasn’t there yet, really all I had done was dump all the candy into bowls and snacked a few or 30 pieces.

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When it comes to dressing myself, decorating my home, or making any quick decision…well it’s never a quick one. I moved the chair in the living room every week for 3 months until I finally found the perfect spot for it. And our “gallery wall” is slowly withering away because I keep finding new and better homes for the frames that once hung there. And until something comes out exactly how I imagined it, don’t expect me to put the nail and hammer down. That was how I felt about this candy bar. I wanted it to be so cute and girly and fun…it was her first birthday, one she will obviously remember forever! It had to be perfect.

I took over the dining room table. Josh made me take a few breaks to watch TV with him, but the entire time I was imagining switching the ribbons on the tall jar to the fat jar and putting the skittles and smarties in the same jar. It was driving me crazy not being able to sit there and play with candy. I would cop my head just a little bit so my eyes could look back at my work in progress. I would get up to “get some more wine” and take a few minutes to stick a lolli here and stuff a few peppermints there. He never knew. And after a few hours of obsessing, snacking and drinking I was finished.

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Or so I thought. Of course the next day a million other ideas ran through my head, many were just not able to get done in the time I had, unless I could somehow make a candy sculpture of my niece in 24 hours, giant lollipops were the most realistic. But where on earth was I going to find those. I definitely did not have time to make a stop at Disneyland, nor did I have $100 to spend on mouse shaped candy. Luckily one day on my break, aimlessly wandering around thinking of ways to decorate candy, I was mesmerized by a huge display of rainbow…they were lollipops! It was a candy shop! Just around the corner from my work, this entire time! I thought they only existed in my dreams. So for $3 each, I bought 10. I really wasn’t sure what I was going to do with them, I figured no one would want to eat one, and those that would want one would not be allowed too. But I bought them, and I was going to make them work.

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They were perfect! Just what I needed. Once I unwrapped these bad boys I was on a roll. A few more glasses of wine and a dozen trips to the sink to wash my hands every 30 minutes to prevent them from permanently being covered in sugar and sticking to themselves and I was really done. And proud. And excited. I had fun making this candy bar. It gave me a rush to get new ideas and be able to play around with the theme (or more realistically the sugar and/or wine). But either way I finished, I was proud and I only gained 1 lb…ish.

I don’t have any pictures from the party, I was busy chasing a bunch of 3 year olds around in a red Mercedes toy car…but here is what I do have. A few cellphone shots Josh so willing and lovingly took for me………….

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These aren’t the best pictures, but just imagine a bunch of already energetic children running around excited about a bouncy house, a candy bar and cupcakes…then times that by 13 for when they got their hands on their candy bags.

Anyways, the party was “a hoot and a half” as my 80 year old co-worker would say, the birthday princess was just that, a princess and the candy was flowin’. Again reminds me of high school, except the candy was drugs and the bar was a variety of water bottles full of our parents alcohol (Disorono, warm vodka, and rum…a few of the usuals).

Happy Candy Bar-ing!

Or for most of you…happy bar hopping

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