Starbucks Molten Chocolate Coffee

It’s Valentine’s Day! Did you get your Starbucks Molten Chocolate yet? I am, alas, riding the single train this year, so my Valentine gets to be two of my favorite things:  coffee and chocolate. So imagine my supreme happiness when I got the app notification about the special that Starbucks was having. In fact, I went ahead and got two, one as a soy latte and one as a frappuccino. I will be up half the night, but the beautiful blend of my two favorite things will make it all worthwhile.

Take your espresso which is on top of dark chocolate chunks, blended with mocha infused milk, and then drizzled with chocolate espresso sauce and topped with mocha-infused espresso whipped cream. OMG yum.

I got a hot one as a Starbucks Molten Chocolate latte made with soy that had no whipped cream on it. Or perhaps it melted because I had one other stop to quickly make before going back to the office. And then I was so eager to sample it that I forgot to take a picture of it until I had already gulped some down. Sorry! But look at all of that chocolate goodness that awaited me at the bottom of the cup.

And because today is the last day, I also had to get it frappuccino-style. Just look at those layers! The taste of it is like the jamocha shakes that my grandmother used to get for me at Rax. (Do you remember Rax? We had it before Arby’s came along and knocked them out of business.) It is so good!

I can already hear a few of you grumbling about the number of calories. Seriously, it’s a holiday. Calories don’t count. And if you can’t let yourself indulge every once in a while, then life is no fun. I’m eating a salad for lunch, anyway. (Although, I think of that meme about coffee and chocolate both coming from beans, and beans are healthy, so therefore…  😀 )

There is also the Starbucks Molten Chocolate Hot Chocolate available. Basically it is the latte, but with no coffee, and all mocha infusions are done with decaf espresso. It is very tempting to have as a dessert on my way home from work, before dinner, because chocolate. But that may be overdoing it, even for me.

And I just looked down at my shirt and somehow have chocolate on it. I guess you can say that I am just displaying my love on my chest. Or something.

So that is my Valentine’s Day gift to myself. May your day also be filled with coffee, chocolate, and lotsa love.

Chick-Lit #BookBlast and $10 Sephora #Giveaway

Raise your hand if you’re a fan of chick lit! I can’t help myself, I’m a sucker for a good one, and this series looks really good. It’s even more intriguing because the main character is also a blogger and writer. I have a feeling I could relate quite well. So check out this series and then you can also enter to win a $10 Sephora gift card. I know many of you like their products! Good luck!

novelistagirlbookblast

BloggerGirl front under 2mb“Sassy, sexy, endlessly entertaining, and full of laughs (as well as some heart-wrenching moments), Blogger Girl is one of those books that keeps you up at night because you can’t wait to see what happens next.” – Tracie Banister, Author of Mixing It Up

What happens when your high school nemesis becomes the shining star in a universe you pretty much saved? Book blogger Kimberly Long is about to find out.

A chick lit enthusiast since the first time she read Bridget Jones’s Diary, Kim, with her blog, Pastel is the New Black, has worked tirelessly by night to keep the genre alive, and help squash the claim that “chick lit is dead” once and for all. Not bad for a woman who by day ekes out a meager living as a pretty, and pretty-much-nameless, legal secretary in a Manhattan law firm. While Kim’s day job holds no passion for her, the handsome (and shaving challenged) associate down the hall is another story. Yet another story is that Hannah Marshak, one of her most hated high school classmates, has now popped onto the chick lit scene with a hot new book that’s turning heads–and pages–across the land. It’s also popped into Kim’s inbox–for review.

With their ten-year reunion drawing near, Kim’s coming close to combustion over the hype about Hannah’s book. And as everyone around her seems to be moving on and up, she begins to question whether being a “blogger girl” makes the grade in her offline life.

Buy on Amazon / iBooks / Nook / Kobo

Novelista Girl front under 2mb
“A great chick lit book: a strong and confident heroine, a sexy boyfriend you can crush on, supportive friends, and plenty of conflict leading to comical results, culminating in a very satisfying ending.” – Erin Brady, Bestselling Author of The Shopping Swap

Feisty New Yorker Kimberly Long runs the most popular chick lit book blog on the web, loves playing house with her sexy lawyer boyfriend, Nicholas, and is finally pursuing her lifelong dream of becoming a published author. At first glance, her life is worthy of five pink champagne flutes. But is there more to the story than meets the eye? After hearing the phrase “chick lit is dead” more times than she’s read The Devil Wears Prada, Kim is driven to desperate measures, seeking advice from up-and-coming chick lit author, Hannah Marshak, her high school nemesis and resident “mean girl.”

As if Kim doesn’t have enough on her plate balancing her secretarial duties with her blog, Pastel is the New Black, shrugging off the growing pile of agent rejections, and keeping her best friend from turning green over Kim’s budding friendship with Hannah, Nicholas is so blinded by his career ambitions, he doesn’t see that their home sweet home could use more than a dash of sugar.

This is the year when all of Kim’s dreams—professional and romantic—are supposed to come true, but will her story have a happily ever after or will Kim end up unpublished and all alone?

Buy on Amazon / iBooks / Nook / Kobo

About the author

A born and bred New Yorker, Meredith Schorr discovered her passion for writing when she began to enjoy drafting author_photo_1401work-related emails way more than she was probably supposed to. After trying her hand penning children’s stories and blogging her personal experiences, Meredith found her calling writing chick lit and contemporary women’s fiction. She secures much inspiration from her day job as a hard-working trademark paralegal and her still single (but looking) status. Meredith is also the co-founder of BookBuzz, a live author/reader event held annually. She is a loyal New York Yankees fan and an avid runner. Novelista Girl is her fifth novel.

Follow on Social Media Blog / Facebook

Enter to win a $10 Sephora Gift Card from Author Meredith Schorr. Open to US residents 18+

Valentine’s Day Hot Cocoa

It’s February, so it is cold outside. Hot chocolate always sounds good when it is like this. What is more fun right now than planning some Valentine’s Day Hot Cocoa for yourself or to give as gifts? Here are 20 ways to enjoy it for the holiday.

Valentine’s Day Hot Cocoa

Here are some hot cocoa recipes that enhance the chocolate flavor in some way.

Chocolate Cherry Hot CocoaA Cultivated Nest likes to serve up this homemade hot chocolate in heart mugs. Use cocoa powder, chocolate chips, a bit of vanilla extract, and some maraschino juice for the cherry flavoring when you mix it in milk.

Chocolate Covered Cherry Hot Chocolate Tastes of Lizzy T starts with maraschino juice and then brews a K-cup of Starbucks hot chocolate. Top it off with whipped cream, shaved chocolate, and a maraschino cherry.

Red Velvet Hot Chocolate – Red velvet cake is fantastic, so you know this hot chocolate also will be. In fact, My Recipe Magic uses a bit of red velvet cake mix for the flavoring.

Strawberry Sweethearts CocoaTwo Peas and Their Pod uses strawberry ice cream for added flavor in this drink, making it like hot cocoa and a strawberry milkshake had a baby!

French Hot Chocolate – When you think of France, you think of romance. And chocolate over there just tastes better. This recipe from Well Plated uses whole milk and heavy cream to make the melted chocolate even creamier, and recommends espresso powder for an added kick and flavor.

Hot Chocolate on a Stick – Milk chocolate, honey, vanilla, and your choice of milk are melted together and then frozen in a mold with a stick in it. Sugar and Charm has then stirred the sticks into all kinds of milk and then added different toppings along the way.

Cardamom Hot Chocolate with Rosewater Marshmallows – Add cardamom to your hot chocolate for a bit of an added kick. Then The Baking Bird teaches you how to make your own marshmallows made with fresh rosewater.

Valentine’s Day Hot Cocoa White Chocolate

White chocolate is the perfect alternative to darker chocolate, and is actually preferred by many people. These are a few fun white hot chocolate recipes that will hit the spot this holiday.

Raspberry White Hot Chocolate – Use raspberry extract to give the melted white chocolate a fruity kick in this recipe from Sweet Lil You.

Conversation Heart CocoaSmart Schoolhouse uses strawberry Nesquick and white chocolate chips as the white hot chocolate base and then dips the rim of the mug in crushed conversation hearts.

Strawberry Hot Cocoa on a Stick – I love this idea on Betty Crocker. Melt white chocolate chips and mix with strawberry mix before letting the mixture cool in silicone molds with spoons. When you’re ready to make your drink, you stir them into hot milk.

Pink Velvet Hot Chocolate – This one by Dorky’s Deals gets its velvet flavor from strawberry syrup or strawberry puree and cream cheese all mixed with the white chocolate. It just sounds fantastic.

Valentine’s Day Hot Cocoa Gifts

Chocolate is meant as a symbol of love, so what greater gift to give for Valentine’s Day? And because it is cold outside, I would definitely go for a hot cocoa gift. I mean, practicality is just as much of a good idea.

Cupid’s Cocoa – Make a baggie that holds a packet of hot cocoa, pink and white marshmallows, and then top it off with this printable from Nellie Bellie.

You Warm My Heart Valentine – Dip spoons in melted chocolate and sprinkles to put in a bag with a packet of hot cocoa and marshmallows. And then this one can be topped off with a printable from 11 Magnolia Lane.

You Warm My Heart – Make a homemade hot cocoa mix that you place in a mug and add this printable from Unexpected Elegance.

Valentine’s Day Hot Chocolate Mix Mason Jar Cutefetti has these layered jars that also include pink sugar.

Valentine’s Day Hot Cocoa Bars

A new trend is setting up a hot cocoa bar in your home, so that people can make their hot chocolate the way that they want. Here are a few ideas for inspiration.

Valentine’s Day Hot Chocolate BarStone Gable Blog set up a rustic looking area, complete with bandannas as cozies. After pouring hot chocolate, use a chocolate spoon for added chocolate and then top it off with sprinkles, candy hearts or marshmallows. You can see her recipes and tutorials on her site.

Valentine’s Day Ideas for a Hot Chocolate BarSweet and Simple Living likes to set this up for when the kids come home. She likes to do things like cutting out heart shapes from jumbo peppermint marshmallows and then filling them in with melted chocolate. You can also coat marshmallows and spoons with chocolate. Use her free printable to tie it all together.

Valentine’s Day Hot Cocoa Bar With Pink Hot Cocoa Dukes and Duchesses sets up a hot cocoa bar with whipped cream, heart shaped marshmallows, red hots, and sprinkles. Follow her instructions for some fun decorations in the background, as well as other fun hot cocoa bar ideas.

Hot Cocoa Bar and Marshmallow DIY Oh Happy Day sets up her bar with four different flavors of hot cocoa, lots of toppings, and plenty of homemade marshmallows. She teaches you how to make striped marshmallows right at home for a customized fun topping.

Hot Cocoa Bar for Valentine’s Day – There are so many things that you can put on top of your hot cocoa, like peppermints, peanut butter cups, more chocolate. ReMarkable Home has all kinds of fun ideas, plus free printables to help you label your bar.

12 Valentine’s Day Cocktails

So many of us like to celebrate the Valentine’s Day holiday with our loved ones and a special cocktail or two. The holiday is a great time to try out something new. Here are a few fun new ones to try out.

Martini Inspired Valentine’s Day Cocktails

Whether it’s actually a martini or a drink that is served in a  martini glass, all of these vodka-based cocktails are fruity and flavorful and of course properly colored for your Valentine’s Day celebration.

Love Potion Number 9 Martini – Love berries? The Cookie Rookie has a Triple Berry Martini made from Chambord (black raspberry liqueur), strawberry vodka, and pomegranate juice. Garnish with heart-shaped strawberries. She even tells you how to safely use dry ice, to give it that truly smoky potion appearance.

White Chocolate Cranberry Pink Martinis – The name of the game is pink on Valentine’s Day, and I do love white chocolate. I have never tried it with cranberries, but am sure the two would balance each other nicely. 3 Yummy Tummies makes it with whipped cream vodka, Godiva white chocolate liqueur, and cranberry juice with a touch of grenadine.

Tickled Pink Valentine’s Day Cocktail – Use sugar-free raspberry preserves mixed with vodka and poured over Prosecco for this cocktail by Style Estate.

French Kiss Martini – The name is perfect for Valentine’s Day. This is simply vodka, raspberry liqueur, and pineapple juice. I would likely make it stronger than Confessions of a Cooking Diva makes it, but I like stronger drinks. She also said that she has tried it with gin, which I think would also be interesting.

Champagne Based Valentine’s Day Cocktails

Raspberry Pink Champagne Floats – I love champagne. I love all of the different flavors and creations you can make with it. Serve some up as a dessert this Valentine’s Day. The Cookie Rookie pours pink champagne over raspberry sorbet.

Sparkling Strawberry Float – A similar idea comes from Five Heart Home, with prosecco poured over strawberry sorbet. You can also make it as a mocktail.

Strawberry-Peach Moscato Mimosa– Try mixing up flavored sparkling wines with your orange juice and garnish with a heart-shaped strawberry, like my mimosa recipe. I also have collections of grapefruit mimosasvariations on orange juice mimosas, or even a pomegranate mimosa, which can be used to kick off any romantic day.

Bailey’s Valentine’s Day Cocktails

If you know me at all, you know that I have a serious thing for Bailey’s and all cocktails made with it. Here are a couple of gems for Valentine’s Day.

Bailey’s Cool Raspberry – Take your simple Bailey’s over ice, but pour it over middle raspberries, instead, for a lovely flavor, as shared on the Bailey’s website.

Chocolate Pomegranate Martini– Make your Bailey’s into a martini by pouring it over pomegranate juice in a glass dipped in chocolate. I am drooling.

Strawberry Blow Job Shot – I’m not even going to explain to you how this particular tasty shot could be a lot of fun to enjoy on Valentine’s Day. I will tell you that it is layers of grenadine, Kahlua, and then Bailey’s, topped with whipped cream. You can read the list on the Facebook page for Tipsy Bartender or watch the video on YouTube.

Valentine’s Mudslide – Oh how I love the mudslide, though I must admit in my “old age,” I can’t handle always including the ice cream. (According to my bartenders, you can still call it a mudslide even without the ice cream in it.) Amanda’s Cookin’ gives it a holiday twist by blending fresh strawberries with the Bailey’s before topping with the Kahlua and vodka.

Creamy Kiss – This one from Drinks Mixer layers amaretto, Bailey’s, peach schnapps, and cream before gently stirring.

Want even more Valentine’s Day Cocktails to try? I have a collection of 10 recipes from last year. You can also check out this dozen over on the parent site at My Crafty Life.

50 Printable Valentine’s Day Cards

Valentine’s Day is upon us, but you still don’t have treats ready to pass out? Fear not, I have found 50 printable Valentine’s Day cards for you to whip out at the last minute and enjoy the day in style.

Food Printable Valentine’s Day Cards

You’re a Great Catch!Mission to Save has a cute goldfish-themed Valentine that says, “You’re a Great Catch!” to affix to the top of little bags of Goldfish crackers.

Treat Bag Toppers – Do you have some candy on hand to pass out? Let these toppers by Generations of Savings inspire what goes in the bag and make them extra special. They’re so fun, she also has this second set available.

You Make My Heart Pop – Grab some bags of popcorn and attach these printables from Creative Simplicity.

My Heart Pops For You Mom’s Confession has another idea that will make your valentines pop when you add these printables to lollipops.

Capri Sun Toppers – Grab a box of Capri Sun and use the punny printables from Amber Nicole with them. She also gives some tips for a Valentine’s Day party on the cheap.

Hostess Toppers – Hostess treats bring back fun childhood memories. Mission to Save has some cute toppers to go with these treats, I think my favorite is the Minion one to go on top of Twinkies.

Star Wars Themed Printable Valentine’s Day Cards

Dark Side Star Wars Printables – Calling all Star Wars fans! Do your tendencies lean more toward the dark side? Desert Chica has you covered with these adorable printables Valentine’s Day cards.

BB-8 Valentines – Or if you prefer characters like BB-8 from Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Desert Chica has you covered there, as well.

Star Wars ValentinesThe Joys of Boys has six valentines all based on favorite Star Wars characters. You also can make a simple light saber out of Smarties to attach to the card!

Star Wars Valentines with Light Sabers Everyday Savvy has a series of Star Wars valentines that also feature favorite characters, plus you can make simple light sabers out of glow sticks!

Star Wars Valentines With PicMonkey – I love PicMonkey. You can very easily create your own Star Wars valentines that feature your own child. Desert Chica walks you through how to use this free program to make them.

Free Star Wars Printables – This collection from Tips From a Typical Mom includes nine different patterns and sayings.

Star Wars Valentines Wit and Wander created this set of printables that have adorable kid-like versions of the characters on them.

Outer Space Valentines – These printable cards from Momerish may not be Star Wars, but they are related with a space theme and very cute!

Out of This WorldThe Joys of Boys keeps the space theme alive with this collection of six cards in three different sayings.

Superhero Printable Valentine’s Day Cards

Superhero Valentines – Are you a fan of the Hulk, Iron Man, Captain America, or Thor? Generations of Savings made a set of MARVEL Avengers cards just for you!

Avengers Valentines – Want even more Avengers? Check out these printable valentines from The Joys of Boys.

Lego Batman Toppers – Did you see Lego Batman yet? All of the kids in my life are going crazy over this movie. Simple Made Pretty created these printable Lego Batman toppers that you can attach to any kind of treat bag. She managed to find Lego shaped candy to fill hers.

Super Hero Valentine PrintableRockin’ Boys created this printable as a super hero valentine that you can put into a frame for your favorite super kid, but you could even use these to make valentines or stickers to pass out for the holiday.

Super Mario Printable valentines – Or if your superhero favorites run more along the video game lines, Over the Big Moon has these fun printable valentines based on the Super Mario characters.

Disney Printable Valentine’s Day Cards

Baymax Valentines – Who didn’t fall in love with Baymax in Big Hero 6? Desert Chica loves him as much as you do and has two different varieties available to print. And then your child can color in these Big Hero 6 printables for a personalized touch.

Frozen Valentines – Frozen is still really hot with kids. Desert Chica took some of the movie’s best quotations and turned them into pretty printables for you to pass out.

Frozen Free Valentines – Those who love Princess Anna and Elsa will love these printables from LinnieP.

You’re One Cool ValentineSimple as That Blog has two printable valentine cards that feature Anna and Elsa or Olaf.

Finding Dory – Finding Dory is such a sweet movie that is getting a lot of play on my Netflix account. Download the valentines from Mommy’s Bundle to share.

Disney Inspired Valentines – Flash back to the classics with these printables from The Momma Diaries, featuring inspired pieces like Dumbo, Snow White, and more!

Inside Out – I think Inside Out is still one of my all-time favorite Disney movies ever. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve watched it. Disney Family, of course, has a collection of valentines available to print.

Mary Poppins – Mary Poppins is one of my other all-time favorites that I have seen dozens of times. Restless Risa made these cards that you can add to coated spoons.

Disney FairiesDisney Family also has printable valentines that feature your favorite fairies!

Moana Valentines – Did you see Moana yet? Embrace the latest Disney classic with these inspired printable toppers from Best Toys for Kids.

Adorable Disney Valentines – Beauty and the Beast is a hot one right now with the upcoming film. Mommy Scene has a printable one, along with other favorite Disney movies, such as Up, Little Mermaid, and so many more.

Other Printable Valentine’s Day Cards

Noncandy Treat Labels – Are you skipping the candy this year? Maybe try some art supplies or small bottles of bubbles. Generations of Savings has toppers and cards to go with those!

Minecraft Valentines – Minecraft is still huge with kids. Appeal to their love of the game with these free printable valentines from The Joys of Boys.

Free PrintablesLife is a Lullaby has three simple sayings on little cards that you can use either just as a card or attach to a small gift or treat to pass out.

Harry Potter Valentines – Harry Potter is another favorite that doesn’t seem to go out of style. Momerish made these bookmarks that you can send out as cards or laminate for them to use for a longer time.

You Color My World5 Minutes for Mom made these printable cards that your child can color in and attach to coloring supplies to show how much we all brings beauty and color to each other’s worlds.

You Are Dino-Mite – Calling all dinosaur lovers! Use these printables by Creative Simplicity to attach to little dinosaur toys or simply to pass out.

Lego Valentines – Legos were a favorite when we were kids and now they are more popular than ever. The Joys of Boys has some Lego themed printable valentines that you can pass out.

You’re Fintastic! – This one is for the shark lovers out there and comes from Crafts on Sea.

Animal Valentines – These simple cards from Generations of Savings feature the birds and the bees, a beautiful children’s version, that is.

Monkey Valentines – These little printable cards from Beauty Through Imperfection are sweet and simple.

Valentine’s Placemats – If you really want to do something different, Coffee With Us 3 has a printable placemat that you can share with friends. It’s available in black and white to be colored in. Or to save time, print one already in color.

Scratch Off ValentinesDollar Store Crafts has these cute printable valentine riddles. To find out the answer, you have to scratch off. Complete tutorial included!

Valentine’s Day Jokes – For even more laughs, you can use these free printable joke cards from Capturing Joy.

Printable Valentines for Boys – Okay, I admit that I hate dividing up valentines between the sexes, because I think kids can go either way in their tastes. But I do love this collection from Brain Power Boy. Get pirates, robots, aliens, and superheroes all in one spot!

Woodland Animals Marvelous Mommy has the most precious valentine toppers using puns based on favorite woodland animals. You can attach them to the top of your treat bags! She also has a sweet set that can be printed to use for Valentine pencil holders.

Valentine’s Day Treat Toppers – I am also madly in love with these adorable penguins in the printable from Just Peachy Designs. They are just so cute!