Monday, August 11, 2014

Chocolate - Need I Say More?

Never satisfied with a simple Hershey's Special Dark or a Snickers bar, one day while I was gliding through the sweets aisle in the grocery (because don't you just glide through the store when you are doing your shopping?), the packaging on the Chuao Chocolatier bars caught my eye.  I'm not sure whether it was the bacon on the Maple Bacon bar or the marshmallow on the Ravishing Rocky Road, but I think I stood there for at least a minute just looking at the pictures.  Then I bought one of all of them, announcing, "We will do a taste test.  What a wonderful way to finally do a blog post again."  Justification 101. are the results.

Ravishing Rocky Road - I do not like nuts in chocolate.  I know that you either are in one camp or another on this one, and I'm clearly in the no nuts camp, and so is everyone else in the family.  I had no expectations for this one, so we tried it first.  Another strike against it, milk chocolate as most of us are the darker the better in our chocolate tastes.  This has caramelized almonds, so it was a step up from just plain nuts.  The marshmallow bits are really good though.

Pop Corn Pop - A had had this before she admitted when we opened it.  In reading the description on the bar, I took it literally that the pop was the popcorn, but no, there are Pop Rocks mixed in the bar.  It's a flavor combination of corn chips, fruity Pop Rocks, milk chocolate, and salty puffed rice that sounds completely gross but is actually quite appealing.  Especially good if you like salty sweet, this one is a little more sweet because of the fruity flavor.

Potato Chip - I had tasted this one before and remember being disappointed with it at the time.  All of the Chuao bars are rather thin, and when I had this the first time, I only had one thin square and remember thinking it was rather unsubstantial for a chocolate bar.  Maybe it was being able to have a second square, but this time I quite liked the salty, crunchy milk chocolate.  At this point though, I was still searching for The ONE.

Honeycomb - Finally dark chocolate, and I had high expectations for this one because honeycomb has been my favorite candy since I was a kid.  The honeycomb pieces are so fine that you get the flavor but none of the hard chewiness that I love so much about chunks of honeycomb.  I think I expected too much from this one.

Maple Bacon - This bar had a great flavor, but to me at least, the bacon was not crisp but rather soggy.  Maybe it was just the piece I had.  The bar has a salty, sweet maple flavor that everyone liked.

Our favorite is not pictured and our grocery store doesn't carry it.  About two days after doing the taste test, I was in CostPlus and saw that they carry the bars too, but there they have the Orange-A-Go-Go bar.  It is a dark chocolate bar, which besides the Honeycomb bar, is severely limited in Chuao's options, so I picked it up.  This was by far everyone's favorite.  The orange is little pieces of candied orange suspended in the dark chocolate.  Maybe it's because it's the simplest flavor combination or it is just the old-faithful combination of orange and chocolate, or maybe it's just because it was a dark bar in a sea of milk, but we all loved this one.  On our next trip to CostPlus, they didn't carry them anymore, making us wonder if it's been discontinued.  It's probably a good thing because this bar could be dangerous.

Friday, February 28, 2014

Office Supplies

A few weeks ago, I lamented the fact that I had not been taking full advantage of my time, and I vowed to get out my agenda and start scheduling my tasks to get things accomplished.  I pulled out my beautiful Whitney English Day Designer and started pulling myself together.

The very first thing I worked on was finally actually creating an editorial calendar for the blogs.  My biggest accomplishment for getting this together was actually taking the time to think about the tasks for each type of blog post.  I had to say to myself, "Plan each post like a small project.  What are the dependencies and milestones?"  I know, Project Manager nerd I am.

I am a huge list maker, and although the Whitney English planner has one column for appointments and one for To-Dos each day, it actually didn't have bough lines for me to break down all of my tasks for three blogs, a YouTube channel, our real estate to-dos, A's schedule, and my normal household stuff, not to mention keeping my recent upsurge in interviews and recruiter calls (yay) organized.  I decided to keep the Whitney English just for blog and YouTube  and to try to find something that I could use for jobs, A, and life in general.  A quick trip to Staples came up with this Daily/Monthly planner, which is working out great.

The rest is just fun stuff I've pulled together to keep me organized and on track with my planning but to have it be fun and cute at the same time.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Date Night

Maybe I'm just getting old, but more and more often lately my favorite date night with my husband is one where we stay in, open a bottle of wine with some cheese, and watch whatever we have been DVRing  Some of our favorites are Elementary, Sherlock (notice a trend there), Person of Interest, and Game of Thrones.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Cozy Mysteries - Turkey Day Murder

They are my guilty pleasure.  My beach read.  My no-brainers.  And I'm not ashamed to admit it.  I love cozy mysteries.  Give me a whodunnit set in a bed and breakfast/ English country house/ museum/ university/ small town/ bakery/ tea shop/ book store/ library with an amateur sleuth who has no skills or training but always figures out the bad guy before the police, and I'll choose it every time.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Express Yourself with Kleenex Style

Recently when I was walking down the aisle of my grocery store, this box of Kleenex caught my eye.  The first thing that attracted me, frankly, is that it's not a box.  Now I know it is a container and what else are you going to call it but a box, but it's not square.  Somehow I feel like that needs to be capitalized…IT'S NOT SQUARE.  It's not a cube.  What the heck?  Of course the next thing I realized was that it's really pretty as in wow look at that cool thing on my dresser.  What is it?  Why, it's a box of Kleenex.  

These are the shelves of my grocery store right now.  Frankly these are not your mother's Kleenex boxes.  When did this start happening?  Little did I know but to celebrate Kleenex’s 90th anniversary, they’re bringing you The Kleenex® Style Studio. It’s a way to discover more of the Kleenex® Brand designs and products you love. And maybe even a few that’ll take you by surprise.  Just click on the link, and you'll be able to see all of the great box designs that are available now and how you can weave them into your room decor.  There's also a fun quiz to test you on how well you know fashion vs box designs.  I have to admit that one of the questions tricked me.

Kleenex actually was invented as a facial tissue to remove makeup, and honestly I use them the most at my vanity.  When I spritz my brushes with cleanser every day, it's a Kleenex that I'm using to wipe off the residue.  So the fact that I can now have a really beautiful box sitting with my playthings on my vanity only makes it better.  The oval box is really handy too because it doesn't add bulk and clutter things up.  

To let you join in the celebration, Kleenex is hosting a sweepstakes.  If you click on the link and go to the landing page, just click on "Sweeps" in the upper right hand corner.  Then just click on "Play to Enter," and you could win a trip to NYC and $5000.  Kleenex would also love to hear your feedback in a short survey.   Just follow this link to take the survey.  I would love it if one of you were to win the trip, so please let me know if you join the sweeps and especially if you win.

This post has been sponsored by Kleenex, but I love the brand and have been using it my entire life.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

It's the Little Things

Somedays I feel like I'm so busy doing busy work that I never have time to just look around me and see what is there in front of me.  I check my Instagram and envy the people who find beauty in their midday cup of coffee.  Do you ever feel that way?  Like you are rushing out of the house in the morning before light, dropping off the kids at school, getting caught in traffic, working in a cubicle all day, then doing the reverse until you are home?  When I vowed to take advantage of my time before getting back into the rat race, I started looking around me.  I've noticed clouds and trees, and then out of the blue, there was this little guy just sitting on the lawn one morning.  I hate to admit it, but I think I might have missed him a few weeks ago in the rush to get from the car to the house.  It's the little things like this butterfly that make me hope I remember to keep looking wherever I end up in the next few weeks.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Happy Valentine's Day - Last Minute Gift Guide

5 Pillow Talk Hepburn Paris Pillow

Valentine's Day is generally pretty low key in our house.  I gift my husband with a hoard of any Reese's Peanut Buttercup candy I find at Target, he usually buys me roses, I pick up some treats to show the girls we are thinking of them, and we never dare to go to a restaurant to avoid the craziness.  This year we had planned on going to Ruth's Chris for an early dinner a few days before the big event, but my husband wasn't feeling well, so I canceled our reservations, and we stayed in and picked up Lebanese food.  It was delicious, and we ate in front of the TV in our most comfortable clothes.  I hope to do a repeat tonight.  I love this round up of gifts because there is something for everyone in your life.