Each March, tens of thousands of music lovers, tech geeks, and cinephiles descend upon Austin for the annual SXSW festival. This year, the event takes place March 9th through 18th.
If you’ll be coming to Austin for SXSW this year, here are 6 things you can do whenever you need a break from the festivities:
1. For the ultimate tourist: Go on a walking tour of our city
From “Dirty 6th” to “SoCo,” our eclectic street districts have a lot to offer. Make sure you’re Instagram-ready. You’ll want to take plenty of photos of our famous street art, funky restaurants, and effortlessly weird people.
2. For the outdoors person: Take a dip in Barton Springs
Our underground-fed natural swimming pool attracts hipsters, families, and topless sunbathers alike. Cool down from the concerts with a dip in the 68 degree water. It’s closed Thursdays for cleaning.
3. For the academic: Learn about Texas history
President Lyndon B. Johnson hails from Texas. Learn all about his presidency at his presidential library located on the UT Campus. For more about Texas history, check out the Bob Bullock State History Museum located behind the state capitol (which is also worth checking out!).
4. For the aesthete: Visit our many art museums
If art’s your thing, you’ll have no shortage of it in Austin. Street art abounds in this city, especially at HOPE Outdoor Gallery. But we also have many art museums, including the Blanton Museum of Art at UT, the Contemporary Austin Jones Center, and Laguna Gloria.
5. For the wine or beer lover: Explore the Hill Country
Many wineries and distilleries are based in Austin, including Deep Eddy Distillery, Real Ale Brewing, Jester King Brewery, Thirsty Planet Brewery, and, of course, our partner vineyard Becker Vineyards! Why not schedule a tour? You can sip your beverage and enjoy the scenery out in beautiful Texas Hill Country.
6. For the gourmand: Taste local flavors for free
At Delysia Chocolatier, many of our chocolates are made with local ingredients. Our Taste of Austin chocolate truffle collection is a city tour for your taste buds! Enjoy pepperoni mushroom from Home Slice Pizza, a Kerbey Lane Cafe pancake, or Austin Eastciders blood orange cider – all wrapped up in chocolate. Join us for one of our complimentary chocolate tastings at our Culinary Center to try it for yourself.
February is all about celebrating the ones you love and spoiling them with the gifts you know they’ll cherish. Here at Delysia Chocolatier are hard at work this month, creating special confections that we know your sweetheart will enjoy. We’ve released our seasonal Valentine’s Day truffle creations, the Sweetheart and Lovers chocolate truffle collections, which make the perfect gifts this season. It’s a busy time for us, but we love knowing that we can help spoil your Valentine and make the holiday more special.
You may not believe it, but giving chocolate as a gift on Valentine’s Day is a relatively new phenomenon. According to the History Channel, the idea of giving sweets to your sweetheart dates back to the 1840’s. During that time in England, Victorians started showering their loved ones with gifts for the holiday. That’s when British chocolatier Richard Cadbury made a name for himself. He began creating chocolate confections that no one had ever seen before. Now, I find it hard to imagine this holiday without boxes filled with flavorful, indulgent chocolate treats.
But Valentine’s Day falls in the middle of the week this year, and that may make it tough to spend some quality time with your loved one. To help you make the most of the holiday, we’ll host special “Last-Minute Luxuries” tasting events on the Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of Valentine’s week. You can bring in your loved one or just some good friends to indulge in flavors like Raspberry and Rose petal chocolate truffles. To make those events even more special, we’ll pair our chocolate with complimentary wine tastings. It’s the perfect way to spend a mid-week date night with your Valentine.
We’re also excited to partner with Becker Vineyards for their annual Merlot and Chocolate Tasting events in Fredericksburg, Texas. We’ll pair our chocolates with Becker’s wines at the vineyard and its newly-opened tasting room in downtown Fredericksburg. We’ll be at both locations on Saturday, February 10th and Sunday, February 11th. We love partnering with Becker for this event each February, so we hope you join us!
Don’t let this Valentine’s Day pass you by. Celebrate your loved one this season with our complimentary chocolate tastings. Take advantage of the holiday and cherish the fleeting moments this February. We look forward to you joining us.
Impress multiple senses with one of Delysia’s molded chocolate creations. Both your loved one’s eyes and their mouth will ooh and ahh over our Bride & groom molded chocolate cake crown, available in milk, dark, or white chocolate. It may have been designed for weddings, but the gorgeous 12-inch sculpture celebrates love on any occasion.
Want to go even bigger? Take a look at our gift boxes. Is your wife a kid at heart? She’ll love the s’mores, ice cream, and peanut butter flavors of our Kid-at-heart box. Is your new man still a bit of a mystery? Get him our crowd-pleasing Gentleman’s collection, filled with chocolate truffles inspired by his favorite adult beverages.
While everyone appreciates a gift, the real beauty of Valentine’s Day comes from spending time with someone you love. Instead of (or in addition to) exchanging chocolate gifts, give the experience of making chocolate. Delysia regularly offers chocolate-making classes. Become chocolatiers together, and treat each other to your confections afterward.
However you choose to celebrate Valentine’s Day this year, as long as you include a bit of chocolate, you can be sure it will be a special day. Happy Valentine’s Day!
There’s nothing new or resolutionary about New Year’s Resolutions. In fact, people have been making (and breaking) them for at least 4,000 years.
Ancient Babylonians were the first resolutionaries on record. They celebrated their version of the New Year in March, coinciding with spring and the planting of crops. During this time, the Babylonians made promises to gods as a means of ensuring divine intervention in times of trouble. Popular resolutions included returning borrowed items and repaying debts.
Two thousand years later, the Romans created the month of January to honor the god Janus. Janus was said to have two faces. One looked back (at the past year), while the other looked forward (to the year ahead). In keeping with this new calendar, January 1 became the date upon which Romans made resolutions to Janus that they promised to keep throughout the new year.
Almost another 2,000 years passed before the modern-day version of New Year’s Resolutions took hold in North America. In 1813, the expression “new year’s resolution” was mentioned for the first time in a Boston newspaper. Over the next century, the tradition became steadily more popular. By 1940, an estimated 25 percent of Americans ushered in the New Year by making resolutions. By 2000, the number had climbed to over 40 percent.
Resolutionary Studies and Stats
Today researchers study why people makes New Year’s Resolutions and what kind of resolutions they make. They also look at how successful they are at keeping them.
Currently, close to half of all Americans ring in the new year armed with fresh resolutions. Among the most popular resolutions: becoming healthier, spending less and saving more, and enjoying life more fully.
Despite such good intentions, research indicates that only 12 percent of those who make resolutions successfully follow through with them. The biggest reasons for failure include setting unrealistic goals and not monitoring one’s progress.
Experts believe that having an incentive helps you to stick to your resolutions. And what better incentive to meet your goals than to reward yourself with a proven source of pleasure, energy and well-being – such as Delysia chocolate?
Now is your chance for a fresh start to the new year. On January 1st we have a clean slate. Resolutions are made and we’re eager to make positive changes in our life. For most people, the goal is to do more, but doing less could be what you really need.
If you’re overworked, stressed and frazzled a fresh start to the new year is nearly impossible. After a busy holiday season, resolving to relax more is a resolution worth making.
Take Time to Enjoy the Small Moments With Loved Ones
One thing we can never get back is time. We fool ourselves into thinking we can make up for lost time with family and friends, but the truth is moments pass.
Taking time for small moments with loved ones is crucial for building strong bonds. Sometimes it’s not special events or holidays that matter most. A quiet afternoon sharing a box of chocolate truffles and good conversation with a loved one can be more memorable.
No matter how busy your schedule is, make time for the people you care about on a regular basis so you don’t have regrets later on down the road. And remember, quality matters more than quantity. Give loved ones your full attention to make every minute count.
All it takes is five minutes a day to see the benefits of mindful meditation. This simple act helps us visualize positive outcomes and can provide a new perspective on things. Meditation is an all-around stress reliever that has the power to improve stress-related conditions like IBS and a suppressed immune system.
Resolve to Get More Rest
Are you among the 35% of American adults that are chronically sleep deprived? Skimping on sleep is never a good idea since it can wreak havoc on your mental, physical and emotional health.
Getting at least seven hours of sleep helps boost concentration, improves mood and reduces the risk of diabetes, heart disease, stroke and high blood pressure. The good news is if you’re relaxing more during the day it will help you sleep at night.
Another benefit of getting more sleep – reduced risk of obesity. You can rest a little easier after indulging in Delysia Chocolatier’s artisanal chocolates when you know you’re going to get a good night’s sleep.
Starting fresh this New Years is all about clearing out clutter and focusing on what’s to come for the next 12 months. I understand that the toughest part about a New Year’s resolution, is actually keeping them.
First, you need to brainstorm and reflect on what you want to change in your life. Then, you need to create a plan of how you will accomplish your resolution. What diet will you choose? What gym is the most convenient for you? Where is your next family get-away?
All of these questions can end up leading to stress and quitting your overall resolution. Giving up on what you believe in and dream is something we can’t let go of, especially now.
I want to offer a few helpful and simple resolutions I’ve been able to overcome these past years. Baby steps, right? Read on and comment if you have any input or if you have resolutions that you have accomplished.
New Year’s Resolution #1: Stick to your diet
While this sounds counter-intuitive, it’s true!
A University of Copenhagen study found that dark chocolate is more filling than milk chocolate, and can reduce cravings for salty or fatty foods that are bad for you. The same researchers found that even just smelling dark chocolate can reduce appetite levels. Chocolate candles, anyone?
New Year’s Resolution #2: Promote a healthy heart
Harvard University reported that eating more chocolate correlates with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease. The lowered blood pressure from flavonoid consumption helps lessen your risk for heart failure.
To enjoy similar health benefits, you can happily snack on a square of dark chocolate a day. Combine that with a regular exercise routine and you’ll be well on your way to a healthy heart.
New Year’s Resolution #3: Reduce your stress levels
It’s scientifically proven: chocolate simply makes you feel good. Chocolate contains phenylethylamine, the same chemical your brain releases when you’re falling in love. This explains that happy feeling you get when you enjoy a piece of delicious chocolate.
Plus, multiple studies have shown that people who enjoy a small amount of dark chocolate (an ounce or so) in their daily diets have lower levels of anxiety and a better sense of overall calmness.
New Year’s Resolution #4: Be kinder on your skin
In addition to moisturizing and wearing sunscreen regularly, consider incorporating chocolate into your daily skincare routine. The same flavonoids found in dark chocolate responsible for increasing blood flow also help lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels. As a result, eating antioxidant-rich chocolate makes your skin feel smoother, healthier, and more resistant to sunburn.
Celebrate a fresh start to the New Year with our decadent treats. We can ensure you our chocolate truffles are a great way to reward yourself for getting the clutter cleared out!
From the Black Friday deals to the feasts prepared and enjoyed with family and friends, Thanksgiving is a favorite holiday for many. It may not be too long before its little brother, Friendsgiving, earns its rank among quintessential winter holidays.
Friendsgiving came to prominence in the past few years as a way for those living away from their families to still feel the warm spirit of the holiday, eat well, and be merry with their friends. In fact, Friendsgiving has become so popular, that many people celebrate it in addition to Thanksgiving!
The perfect Friendsgiving menu – with chocolate
When it comes to food, Friendsgiving has all the classics of Thanksgiving: turkey, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, stuffing, and of course, dessert!
Today we’ll focus on our favorite here at Delysia Chocolatier: dessert. Here are three fun ways to sweeten up y0ur Friendsgiving with chocolate this year.
1. Set the scene with chocolate turkeys
Delysia’s Turkey molded chocolate come in dark, milk, and white chocolate and sit under 3 inches tall. Place them at each seat and you’re sure to hear chuckles as everyone gathers round the table.
2. Enjoy all the flavors with different chocolate truffles
When it’s time for dessert, Delysia’s chocolate truffles give you an efficient way to serve everyone’s favorite winter flavors, but in perfect little bites. Our Autumn collection chocolate truffles offers the tastes of spicy apple cider, sweet pecan pie, and creamy pumpkin spice into ganaches blended with chocolate.
Looking for something a bit more? Our Thanksgiving gift box includes the Autumn collection chocolate truffles, as well as several pumpkin and turkey molded chocolates.
3. Enjoy a post-dinner drink of hot chocolate
Is there anything cozier than sipping hot chocolate when it’s chilly outside? You’ll find something for everyone with Delysia’s drinking chocolate flavors, from Christmas-y peppermint to classic dark chocolate. Don’t forget the marshmallows.
November begins a very busy and productive time for the Culinary Center. We release our seasonal Winter product line while also working with our customers to create new and unique gifts for families, friends, and clients during the fast season of gifting.
Autumn is by far my favorite time of year. It’s the time where leaves change colors, we are finally allowed to wear our scarfs for the weather and our taste buds start craving the warm flavors of Fall.
Cooking for the family is one of the most cherished activities I embrace during the holidays. It’s rewarding to witness my family get together and destress from work or school after a long week. Dessert time also brings the opportunity to sip on drinking chocolate as we sit cozily by fires or taking in the fresh air on a walk around the neighborhood.
We are nearing towards the end of the year and we must remind ourselves to take some time to enjoy the each and every moment. Especially if that involves some gifting chocolate or quick homemade treats you want to create for your co-workers and friends.
Chocolate bourbon treat
A popular recipe I always enjoy using for last minute gifts are the infamous Chocolate Bourbon Balls I source from Betty Crocker. Follow these simple and easy steps to form the ultimate treat for your guests during the holidays.
½ cup semisweet chocolate chips
2 tablespoons honey
1 ½ cups finely crushed vanilla wafer cookies
½ cup ground walnuts
1 tablespoon bourbon
Mix chocolate chips honey in 1 ½-quart microwaveable casserole or bowl. Microwave uncovered on High 1 to 2 or until chips can be stirred smoothly.
Stir in crushed cookies, walnuts and bourbon. Shape into 1-inch balls. Roll balls in candy decorations.
Store in tightly covered container at least 4 days to develop flavor, but no longer than 4 weeks.
So indulge in a little chocolate. Appreciate the people around you that make life worth living and send a little love their way.
As a boutique business that’s partnered with other likeminded companies, Delysia Chocolatier fully understands the importance of corporate relationships. A surprisingly important way of building bonds is through corporate gift giving.
For as long as industry has existed, corporate gift giving has been a way of showing appreciation for the other professionals that support your business. They could be partners, clients or advocates. Either way, the right gift can make an amazing impression.
Before you create your gift list for the upcoming holiday season, make sure every dollar is well spent by learning the three essentials of nailing corporate gift giving.
Customize Corporate Gifts
A little bit of customization goes a long way with corporate gift giving. Gifts that are made to reflect the business’s brand are sure to be appreciated. It shows that you took the time to make the business something special that can’t be found sitting on a store shelf somewhere.
Of course, the quickest way to win us over is with chocolate, and we’re not alone. At Delysia Chocolatier we’re known for doing the unexpected, and our branded corporate gifts are no exception. We make it a gift to remember by creating a custom design that features the business’s logo and other identifiable imagery. We can even create a custom 3D chocolate mold that’s inspired by the gift recipient.
You can also choose to do the opposite and create chocolates with your company logo to give out to employees, clients, prospects and partners.
The gift itself is just one element of corporate gift giving. The attractiveness of the packaging is also an important factor. We’ve all received gifts that are so beautifully wrapped we’d rather look at them than open them! It gets you so excited you don’t even care what’s inside.
When you’re giving corporate gifts you want to put your best foot forward. That means taking presentation into consideration. It’s also another opportunity to incorporate your brand colors or imagery for everyone to see.
Know the Corporate Gift Giving Policies
Before you show up with an oversized gift basket, it’s a good idea to check the company gift policies. In some industries, companies are actually barred from taking any gifts. Corporations also sometimes voluntarily choose not to receive gifts or prefer that donations be made to a cause in lieu of a gift.
It’s also proper etiquette to hold off on gifts if you’re in the middle of a bidding process. The token of appreciation can be misinterpreted as trying to give your company an edge.
Ultimately, as long as you keep the points above in mind and focus on quality, you have a very good chance of giving corporate gifts that make a lasting impression.
October 28 is National Chocolate Day. So is July 7. Not to mention December 28. Yes, the United States celebrates not just one, but three National Chocolate Days a year!
Big Chocolate Expenditures
That chocolate is so frequently feted throughout the year reflects its widespread popularity across the U.S. According to recent statistics, Americans outspend all other nations on chocolate. In total, we fork out over $18 billion a year on chocolaty delicacies. This represents almost 20 percent of all the world’s chocolate expenditures!
Chocolate’s status as a national treat is hardly surprising. From earliest colonial times, chocolate has played in an important role in American life – and history.
Our National History of Chocolate
The earliest mention of chocolate in North America dates back to 1641 when a Spanish ship delivered crates of it to St. Augustine, Florida. In 1670, Dorothy Jones and Jane Barnard of Boston opened America’s first chocolate shop. The enterprising ladies sold chocolate imported from Europe. Meanwhile, subsequent records of cocoa being shipped from Jamaica to the colonies suggest that by the late 1600s chocolate was being made in America.
Early American chocolate was produced artisanally, on a small scale. By the 1730s, however, hand-operated machines were being used to keep up with popular demand. Around this time, a Massachusetts inventor invented an engine to grind cocoa. As a result of such technology, drinking chocolate became affordable to all Americans and was often savored in public coffee houses. Indeed, in 1785, Thomas Jefferson dared to declare that chocolate would become America’s favorite beverage – more popular than coffee or tea!
Jefferson wasn’t the only notable early American to tout chocolate. George and Martha Washington enjoyed “cocoa tea” made from cacao shells. John and Abigail Adams were both fond of hot chocolate at breakfast. Then there was Benjamin Franklin. At his Philadelphia print shop, he sold “very good chocolate” along with books, bibles, pencils and paper.
Franklin also made sure that soldiers going into battle during the French and Indian War received 6 pounds each of chocolate. Inexpensive and energy-boosting, chocolate came in easily transportable, non-perishable blocks. As such, it became an essential military provision for American troops during many battles, including the War of Independence, and later, World War II. By this time, drinking chocolate – which was how chocolate had been traditionally consumed – had been replaced in popularity by smooth, aromatic, mass-produced solid eating chocolate.
A Chocolaty Present – and Future
In the 21rst century, the production and enjoyment of chocolate in America continue to evolve while drawing on centuries-old traditions. At Delysia Chocolatier, we honor the nation’s chocolate past by offering classic American treats such as drinking chocolate and s’mores. At the same time, we strive to contribute to a national chocolate future that’s as innovative as our pecan cayenne chocolate bark, as multicultural as our Indian, Italian and Latin truffle collections, and as sustainably sourced as all of our ingredients – from fragrant lavender to crunchy crickets!
Such national traits are worth celebrating – with chocolate – on October 28th and throughout the year.