Friday, December 14, 2018

The Chocolaterie's Grand Opening!

One sunny morning, Mr Frasier Chocolate took his wife Teri on a stroll around town. It was obvious to her that he was taking her somewhere specific, but he wouldn't tell her where, and that made her very curious.

"Frasier, where are we going?" She asked. "I have so much to do...".
"Just relax and come with me, my darling. I promise you will like what you see. Here, take my hand and close your eyes. Don't open them until I tell you!".

A short while later, after turning a couple of corners, Teri was getting really impatient. Luckily, she didn't have to wait for long.

"You can now open your eyes" Frasier said warmly. a smile on his voice. 
When Teri did, she was amazed by what she saw. A Chocolaterie!
Her husband had been out all day for quite some time looking for the perfect building to rebuild the Chocolaterie they had lost on the natural disaster that had made them leave their old home, and now it was here, right before her eyes!

"But... Frasier, my love, you have built it already!" She said, very surprised, a big smile slowly appearing in her face.
 "Well, it wasn't just me" her husband smiled. "Everyone in the village helped me wallpaper, set everything up and clean. We're still missing the furniture, but I couldn't wait any longer to show you".

Slowly, Teri entered the small shop. The wallpaper was modern, just like the one in the old shop had been, and a menu was already mounted on the wall. It described all the delicious Chocolate cakes and sweets that she and her husband used to make. Her eyes welled up with tears. She couldn't believe this was really happening! The McFarlane family had been kind enough to let Teri and her family live on their home while they got back in their feet, but it was just now that she began to realise that it was truly going to happen, that things were going to go back to normal for them.

"Do you like it?" Frasier asked from the outside. "I'm sorry, maybe I should have told you before so that you could have had more of a say on things, but I wanted it to be a surprise... I know it's smaller than the shop we used to have, but..."

Teri went back to her husband's side and embraced him.

"It's perfect" she said, choking with tears of happiness. "It's just... I love you. Thank you, my love".
"Anything for you, for our family, my darling". Frasier, his eyes bright with happiness and relief that Teri wasn't angry in the least, kissed his wife. There was still a lot of work to be done, but their life was finally looking up again.

Some time and a lot of effort later, the furniture had arrived and it was finally time for the Grand Opening! Teri and Frasier had stayed up late making the delicious swets they would serve in their store: carefully crafted chocolates and macarons in many flavours, as well as Teri's very special and exclusive chocolate sponge cake! They were also prepared to serve hot drinks and coffee to their customers if they asked for them.

"I'm so nervous, Frasier! I can't believe we're doing this again!".
"But of course, my love. Just relax, everything will be fine!".

 Even Freya and Coco were there, ready to help their parents! They carefully set the table and chairs that had been specially ordered for the Chocolaterie.

With the shop open at last, the Chocolate rabbits welcomed their first customers; the Robinson red pandas! Wilbur Robinson immediately made his way to the counter to greet Frasier. He wore a huge smile on his face; Wilbur always seemed to be in a good mood and loved joking around. He was the owner of the village's bar, so he was very popular, and everyone loved his special blackcurrant liquor!

 "The place is looking great, Frasier! And everything looks just delicious. It's great to see you all here at last. Your wife sure looks happy!"
"Thank you, Wilbur. I can't thank you enough for all your help setting everything up in here. Would you like something to eat?"
"Ah, there's no need to give thanks, not at all!" said Wilbur, with a hearty laugh. "But I'd appreciate a cup of coffee, if you would!"
"But of course!"

 Meanwhile, outside, Fliss Robinson was greeting Teri.

"Oh, Teri, I'm so happy for you!  Wilbur told me about what happened to you and your family, and I'm so sorry. But your new Chocolaterie looks wonderful, so quaint and cosy, yet modern!" she said, smiling. Fliss was a very warm, honest and reliable woman; Teri liked her and felt at ease in her company. She smiled back at her.
"Thank you so much, Fliss. But please, do have a seat!"
"Oh, thank you! I will. But where are my daughters...?"

Behind Teri and Fliss, Freya had already seen Frances Robinson and her little sister Cali and was happily saying hello to them.

"Hi Frances! Hi Cali!"
"Hi Freya, how are you?" said Frances in a quiet voice, smiling shyly. Frances was Annabelle McFarlane's best friend, so she knew Freya already, but truth be told, she was a bit intimidated by her. They were practically polar opposites: Frances was soft-spoken and shy, while Freya was loud and boisterous. She had been quite glum when she had just arrived in town, but not anymore.
Still, as they both were Annabelle's friends, they tried hard to get along.

"Sis! I want cake! Chocolate cake!" exclaimed little Cali, quite loudly. She and her sister were quite different as well!
"Sssh, quiet down Cali, we'll have cake in a minute". Frances took her little sister's hand and Cali calmed down immediately. Freya was amazed. She could never calm down her own little sister, Crème, like that!

And so, the Chocolaterie's first customers were finally installed at the table.
Teri went to the counter and came back with an assortment of sweets and macarons, hot chocolate, tea, coffee, and of course, chocolate cake!

"Since it's opening day, please have a sample of several of our sweets! And chocolate cake for the little lady, who I heard was asking for it!"

All three Robinson women ooh-ed and aah-ed at the beautiful and delicious-looking chocolates, and Cali was ectsatic at the big piece of cake in front of her!
In the meantime, Frasier and Wilbur could be heard chatting and laughing at the back while Wilbur had his special coffee, that contained just a bit of chocolate!

It wasn't long before they had eaten everything! Fliss and Frances got up and started getting ready to leave, and Wilbur also went out of the shop.

"That was delicious, Miss Chocolate! I had never had hot chocolate and sweets this good!" said Frances, smiling.
"And I agree, Teri dear! If I didn't know for certain that it's a trade secret, I'd ask you for the recipe of that wonderful cake!" Fliss smiled at Teri and winked at her.
"Cake! Yummy cake! I want more!" screamed Cali excitedly.
"You've had more than enough for today, honey pie!" said her mother, ignoring the little one's protests.
"I'm very happy that you enjoyed our chocolate, please come back soon!" said Teri, smiling warmly and feeling quite contented.
"Here's what you ordered to take home, Wilbur" said Frasier, giving a neatly-packed box to the other man. "Please enjoy it!".
"Thank you, my friend" said Wilbur. "We'll come back for sure. And please, don't be strangers and come visit and join us for lunch sometime!"

The Chocolates promised they would, and the Robinsons left.

Together and in quite high spirits, the family cleaned the table. They were expecting many customers for the Grand Opening, and everything had to be perfect for their next visitors!

... Said visitors, however and for some odd reason, never came. The Chocolate family waited and waited, but no one else came by the shop. They couldn't understand why.

"Did you do as we asked, children? Coco, did you make the flyers?" Frasier asked, raising an eyebrow.
"I did, dad, they and I left them in our bedroom shelf!"
"And you Freya, did you deliver then?" Teri asked her daughter, looking worried.
"But of course mom, of course I did!"

 When evening came, the McFarlanes came by the shop to pick up their friends in order to go home together. They brought Teri's youngest children, who Elizabeth had been caring for during the day, with them.

The ambiance was quite glum, however, as the Chocolates couldn't understand why only the Robinsons had come to their Grand Opening. As Teri went to the shop to finish tidying things up, her baby daughter Crème and her friend Elizabeth both came after her.

 "Mommy!" cried Crème. She had missed her mother very much that morning.
"Don't be so down, Teri" Elizabeth said comfortingly. "I'm not sure what could have happened, but I'll make sure word gets around, and by tomorrow the whole village will come and visit. Maybe it just happened that everyone was busy today".
"Yes, that could be it, I guess... Thank you, Liz. I just... I don't understand. Could it be that the people in Arcfield don't like us after all?" Teri said, sounding quite distressed, fighting back tears. Elizabeth approached her and caressed her arm warmly.
"I promise that everyone in this village already care for you and your family, Teri. If they didn't, why would they have helped Frasier set everything up for you? Do not worry so much".
"Well, yes, that's true, but... Whatever will we do with all this chocolate? It'll go bad by tomorrow, we couldn't possibly serve it".
"Well, I don't think that will be a problem" Elizabeth said, laughing.


And so, they all went home and enjoyed the leftover sweets from the Chocolaterie together! The children were quite pleased, they had never had the opportunity to have chocolate cake and sweets for dinner before!
Both families had quite the good time, and this curious dinner helped the Chocolates cheer up a little.

The following morning, Elizabeth made a few phone calls, and thanks to her and the word of mouth passed by Wilbur Robinson in his bar, the Chocolaterie had quite a number of visitors the following days! In just a few days, the whole village had tried Frasier and Teri's delicious confectionery and sweets, and the place became quite popular, despite the rocky start!

The shop is now doing quite well, and it even seems like the Chocolates might be able to get their own house soon!  

But, even though we have reached a happy conclusion, this isn't the end of the story...

Just a short time after the opening day, Teri entered the room Freya and Coco shared in the McFarlane's house while cleaning.
Freya was inside, moving books and papers around in the shelf.


"Hi darling" she said to her daughter, smiling. "What are you doing?"
"Oh, hi mom! Just looking for some nice scrapbook paper to send a letter to my friend Sabrina!"
"Ah, that's great. I'm sure she misses you as well". Teri smiled. She really enjoyed the quiet moments she and her Freya sometimes had, just the two of them, when she didn't have to scold her or nag at her.
As Teri was getting ready to vacuum the room, something fell from the shelf Freya was standing next to. A bunch of small paper sheets. Teri immediately thought she recognized the colour and the writing, and even though Freya darted to grab them, Teri was faster.

"...Freya Chocolate". Teri said after looking at the papers, her voice slowly and dangerously rising "Are this the leaflets for the Grand Opening of the Chocolaterie...? The ones YOU were SUPPOSED to deliver...?"
"Ehh... Seems like I forgot... Oops...?"
"Don't "oops" me, young lady!" Teri screamed. "And you lied! You said you had delivered them!".

Freya turned around to try and escape her mother's wrath by running down the stairs, but Teri was, once again, quicker!

"Noooo! Don't vacuum me!"


And with this, we reach the end of this story! :D I hope you enjoyed it. I made the Chocolaterie myself out of cardboard, inspired by Cutata's cardboard structures and it was quite the accomplishment for me as I'm not very crafty! I didn't have many figures when I took the pictures, so I had to improvise and think of something for the story. :) I'm sorry, I couldn't resist using the vacuum joke again! It's actually from a show called "Polar Bears' Café" or "Shirokuma Café". It's a relaxing, slice-of-life show about a polar bear who owns a café and the patrons who go there, all with their own stories. It's has quite the Sylvanian feel too, I recommend it!

Here's a link to the video where this joke first appears:

Thank you for reading!

Sunday, December 2, 2018

What's happening near the Christmas tree?

Hello everyone!

It's already December, so today I decided to set up our Christmas tree. It's a small one, since we live in a tiny apartment!
A while after I finished setting everything up, I heard a commotion near the tree! What could be happening?

When I went to check, I saw that the Chocolate Rabbit family had gathered around the tree!

Frasier was saying hello to Father Christmas, who is holding a sign that says "Merry Christmas" in Spanish.

Coco, Crème and Kabe had found the train cart carrying all the presents, and were trying to get their hands on them! Cheeky children, it's not yet time for presents!

Teri was making the most noise, screaming madly while panicking and looking up!

"FREYA CHOCOLATE! Get down here this instant!"

Tsum Tsum Santa Jack seemed mildly amused by the situation. Oh, no, what has Freya gotten herself into this time?

There she is, on top of the tree! How did she ever climb that high? No wonder Teri's so scared!
Not sure if Freya just wanted to climb the tree for fun or if she's trying to tell me I need to get a star for the top! :D
Or maybe she wants to be the star herself, hehe!

I think Freya might need help getting down, so I'm leaving you here. :)

I hope you all have a great December. 
Happy Holidays!