Friday, April 30, 2010

Hockey Friday: Sharks v Detroit

Going into last night's Sharks v Detroit game, there were two main reasons I (and any Sharks fan) had to dread it.
  1. They tend to lose the first games of any playoff series.
  2. Their record against Detroit is less than stellar.
Both teams were excellent and the Sharks didn't play like Detroit owned them. But it was still nerveracking. Playing the Wings usually is. We won by 1 goal and had the lead almost the whole game, but I think held my breath the entire time. It's not that Detroit is particularly good - it's that they never go away. There's probably a life lesson in there, but I'm not sure I care about that right now.

Thursday, April 29, 2010


Twilight is a guilty pleasure for us at This Charming Candy. So when New Moon came out, we had a blast creating Pacific Northwest-centric flavors for our Love Triangle lollipops (and personifying the lollipops to Edward, Bella, and Jacob).

The next movie in the quartet* - Eclipse - is coming out on June 30th. If you're planning a Twilight party, may we suggest that our lollipops would be an excellent party favor. The lollipops themselves are scrumptious and the packaging is lovely.

If you want to place a large order, please contact us about bulk discounts.

* Though also possibly quintet - they're talking about splitting Breaking Dawn into two movies.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

I Heart Indie Crafts on May 2nd

Has it been too long since you ate some of our yummy lollipops? Why not come out to I Heart Indie Crafts on Sunday May 2nd and have one? Susan will be there selling our Spice Rack, Celebration Time, Adventure Pack, and Love Triangle lollipop collections. She'll also have single lollipops in case there's a flavor you want to try before buying a pack, and single flavor 12-packs, including the ever-popular Salted Caramel.

What: I Heart Indie Crafts
Where: Lake Street Bar & Nightclub at 15 Lake Street in Kirkland, WA
When: Sunday May 2, 12pm - 4pm

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Lollies on the Beach

One of our wonderful customers posted this lovely picture of our Celebration Time lollipops on Facebook awhile back. No clue which beach this is, but I love it!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Salt Does What?

I'm a fan of Good Eats. It's just about the only cooking show I watch (America's Test Kitchen is the other). Alas, I'm constantly behind on the new episodes - but hey, that's why I have a TiVo.

I finally watched The Ballad of Salty and Sweet this weekend, and was completely fascinated by his description of what salt does to your tastebuds. You know how you have different tastebuds for different basic flavors (e.g. sweet, bitter, sour)? So, it turns out that not only does salt turn up the flavors that all the tastebuds sense, but, because of the chemistry that happens when salt hits your saliva, it may actually *block* the tastebuds that sense bitterness. Since bitterness usually tastes bad, blocking bitterness makes food taste better. That kind of blew my mind.

Maybe that's why adding salt to dessert makes it even yummier?

Friday, April 23, 2010

Hockey Friday: The Playoffs

How are This Charming Candy's 2 favorite NHL teams doing so far in the playoffs?

The Flyers beat the Devils 4 games to 1 to be the first team to move on to the second round. The Sharks have played 4 incredibly close games and 1 not-close-at-all game against the Colorado Avalanche - they're up 3-2. Seriously, how good has the Avs goalie been to have the series that close when the Sharks have been outshooting them on the order of 45 -20 shots per game? Though hopefully we're wearing him down. :)

The Sharks-Avs play again tomorrow night. Go Sharks!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

How My Mom Inspires Me

This is my mom. Doesn't she look fabulous?

My mom made most of my clothes when I was a kid. They were the best clothes any kid ever had. I still have a couple of clothing items she made for me - a kimono and a skirt - and they are incredibly well made and incredibly precious to me.

When I was a kid, we'd spend two hours at a shot in the fabric store, choosing patterns for clothes and looking for the perfect fabric for it. I learned how to squeeze fabric to test how wrinkly it would get (and how much you'd need to iron it), how to separate the line of a garment from its fabric and color, and so, so much about different kinds of cloth and stitching and how to take care of your clothes.

Handmade came to equal quality: machines made mass-produced, boring clothes that anyone could wear and would probably fall apart years before anything she made. Being able to be part of a company that makes high-quality handmade goods means that I get to (hopefully) spread the same vision of quality.

Mother's Day is May 9th.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Adventure Travel Questions

To promote the Adventurer's Pack last month, we asked our customers about some of the more adventurous things they'd done. My two favorite questions that we asked were: what's the most exotic or adventurous place you've been, and what's the furthest from home you've ever been. My favorite (clearly North American-centric) answers are:
Rio de Janeiro
New Zealand
South Africa
Georgia (the country, not the state)
Gili Trawangan
Agrigento, Sicily
I now have many, many new places I want to visit.

photo from the Gili Trawangan page on Wikipedia

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Nearly 300 Etsy Sales!

Woo-hoo! We're at 294 Etsy sales (as of this writing...). We gave the person who had our 100th sale a free lollipop of his choice and the person who was our 200th sale a free lollipop of her choice, so it only seems fitting to do it again. If you buy our 300th sale, we'll include a free lollipop in whatever flavor you want. Honey-Jasmine? Or Salted Caramel? Or Nutmeg-Creme? Or whatever.

Come visit This Charming Candy on Etsy today!

Monday, April 19, 2010

5th Annual Flying House Art & Craft Sale

Susan will be selling our delicious lollipops this weekend at the Flying House Art & Craft sale in Issaquah. The Flying House Art & Craft sale happens every year at Becky Brooks' house - it features some great local artists specializing in everything from fused glass to paper cards to lollipops!

Here are the details:
What: 5th Annual Flying House Art & Craft Sale
Where: 270 NE Birch St, Issaquah, WA
When: 11am - 5pm on Saturday April 24th & Sunday April 25th
Why: To see some awesome art and get some delicious lollipops!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

In Case You Were Wondering

gold, teal, and avocado green lollipops on a granite bench We occasionally get asked whether people who observe certain dietary restrictions can eat our delicious handmade lollipops.
We’ve checked with our suppliers of flavors and colors, and confirmed that our lollipop ingredients are definitely gluten-free. However, our colors are not vegan (though we're working to understand exactly how).
As far as allergies go, you might want to know:
  • We spray the lollipop molds with oil that contains soy lecithin. If you’re allergic to soy, you might need to steer clear of our lollipops. We’re looking for a soy-free alternative so that we can lift this recommendation!
  • Birthday Cake flavor contains adorable neon candy confetti pieces as decoration. These contain soy.
  • Some flavors, such as Hazelnut-Coffee, contain natural nut flavors. These are noted in the applicable Etsy store listings, so you know which flavors to avoid if you are nut-allergic.
If you have other questions about our ingredients and your dietary restrictions, please ask!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Attention Etsy Shoppers: Changes to Checkout

Etsy is hard at work making improvements to their site. We wanted to let our blog-reading customers know about some upcoming changes to the Etsy Checkout system.

According to Etsy’s blog post about its plans for March & April,

… The biggest change is that a buyer will go to PayPal and authorize the payment, then come back to Etsy in order to actually complete the transaction. For more info, see this flowchart on PayPal’s info page.

If you shop on other sites with PayPal, you’re probably used to this, because it’s how most other sites do it.

It sounds like a bigger improvement is in the works from PayPal. This one’s really exciting, in my opinion:

Our ideal Checkout is to have a single payment cover all purchases, even those from multiple sellers. This is on the horizon, as PayPal readies their split payments feature for Express Checkout.

We don’t know exactly when any of these changes will go ‘live’ on Etsy. If you’ve placed an order and have questions about whether your payment has been recorded, you can use Etsy’s convo system to contact us.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Hockey Friday: The Playoffs

We haven't written a Hockey Friday post in awhile, but since the NHL Playoffs are starting next week, I thought it was high time that we did.

My favorite team, the San Jose Sharks, have had their playoff berth locked up for awhile. The only thing that remains to be seen is whether they end up first or second in the Western Conference. (Just please don't let them end up playing the Red Wings in the first round.) Susan's favorite team, the Flyers, is on the cusp. Their next couple of games will determine if they make it to the post-season. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for her and them!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Celebration Time: Alternate Photo

As always, we experimented with a few different backgrounds for our Celebration Time trio photos. You’ve probably seen the one we’re using on Etsy:

brown, yellow, and pink lollipops in foreground, fireworks in background

We just love how cheerful and upbeat this looks. The fireworks background seems well matched with the fun flavors in this collection, and the background doesn’t upstage the lollipops.

One of the backgrounds we rejected was a blue sky with soap bubbles floating in it. What I like about this photo is the staggering of the lollipops. But we thought the blue background affected the color of the pink Bubble Gum and the yellow Birthday Cake lollipops in unwelcome ways. Do you agree?


photos by Kevin Keeker

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

A Hard Lesson Learned

While I was making the custom lollipops for the LICK art opening, something went seriously wrong with one of the lollipop colors. The lollipops in question were supposed to be orange-flavored and a sparkly-flesh color (Caucasian flesh, to be specific). Unfortunately, they turned out disappointingly orange, like the color you might turn with a too-aggressive application of self-tanner or something.

After playing a few rounds of Food Science Detective back at home, I realized that part of the problem was that during the design iterations, I’d never actually made a version that combined the color and flavor ingredients that Catherine, our client, had requested. I’d made test versions of the color, and test versions of the flavor, but never together in the same batch.

It turned out that the orange flavor and the citric acid that I added to heighten the flavor were affecting the colors I was using.

From now on, when working on custom projects, I will always remember to make a final test batch that uses all the correct ingredients before proceeding to the professional kitchen!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Salted Caramel Lollipops, 4 Month Subscription

A few weeks ago, we posted the following question on our Facebook page and in our Twitter feed:
Q about an all Salted Caramel lollies of the month club: We send you 12 Salted Caramel lollies each month for 4 months. Yes/no?
The overwhelming response was: yes! So, here you go: a four-month subscription of Salted Caramel lollipops. For 4 straight months, a dozen Salted Caramel lollipops shows up on your doorstep for you to eat or share with your best friends. Yum!

Photo by Kevin Keeker

Monday, April 5, 2010

Family Lollipop Collection of the Month

When we created the Lollipop Collection of the Month, we thought about people who want to share the lollipops. Six lollipops a month is wonderful if you're the only one eating them. But what about people like me, with a family? Six lollipops will last about 3 days in my house.

So we created the Family Lollipop Collection of the Month. You get two lollipop collections every month - which means a dozen delicious, uniquely-flavored lollipops delivered to your door every month.

Month 1: Adventurer's Pack, Sweet Valentine
Month 2: Celebration Time, Ginger Jewel Lollipops
Month 3: Spice Rack, Love Triangle
Month 4: Breakfast Tray (still under development!), and subscriber's choice

Wouldn't it be lovely to automatically satisfy your sweet tooth every month?

Photo by Kevin Keeker

Friday, April 2, 2010

Lollipop Collection of the Month

Susan got an email from a friend last week saying that she often wanted to buy lollipops but kept forgetting. She wanted a way for the lollipops to magically show up on her doorstep at the beginning of every month.

We ended up creating a lollipop collection of the month subscription. It lasts for six months, and you get one of each of our collections:

Month 1: Adventurer's Pack
Month 2: Ginger Jewel Lollipops
Month 3: Celebration Time
Month 4: Spice Rack
Month 5: Love Triangle
Month 6: Breakfast Tray (still under development!)

Just think about it: you could always have a supply of lollipops. Worth thinking about, no?

Photo by Kevin Keeker

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Limited Edition: Jewel Lollipops For Sale

coconut-ginger and peach-ginger lollipops

We liked them, so we’re selling a limited run of the lollipops that we made for the LICK art opening. Each pack contains

  • three white Coconut-Ginger, and
  • three sparkly Peach-Ginger lollipops.

Tropical Coconut and sweet Peach are excellent matches for the spicy kick of Ginger, which is in the red “jewel” that’s embedded in each lollipop. These are very unusual, gorgeous, and delicious!

Order them while they last from our Etsy store: 6 Jewel Lollipops. Let us know if ginger blends should become part of our regular rotation!

Photo by Kevin Keeker