Not too long ago, my husband and I were at Whole Foods just picking up a couple of things we couldn’t get at the grocery store near us, and I saw a stack of these discs of chocolate all wrapped in different colors of paper.
I was intrigued, but we ended up not buying any because it was kind of expensive and we were trying to stick to a budget for that trip. Each disc is about $5.00.
Fast forward a month or so, and he said he was picking up some bread to go with the lunch he’d taken to work and he saw some interesting Mexican stone-ground dark chocolate. He really wanted to try the vanilla one, so he decided to buy a couple of flavors to share with me.
He got the vanilla and the Guajillo Chili flavors. When he got home with them, I realized it was the same chocolate we’d seen earlier (yay!).
This stuff is unlike any chocolate I’ve ever had before. It’s not the best chocolate (I prefer Vosges, but it’s even more expensive, so I never buy it), but it is better than your average chocolate, by a lot.
The most interesting thing other than the flavor selection, is the texture. It’s almost gritty, like brown sugar. Perhaps that comes from being stone ground, maybe it has to do with only having three ingredients (organic cacao beans, organic cane sugar, and the flavor, which in my case is either organic vanilla beans or organic chili powder), or maybe it’s a combination.
So far, I’ve only eaten the chocolate plain. It tastes sweeter than typical chocolate to me, and then the extra flavor creeps in (especially in the chili one—it’s sweet, then hits you with a spicy kick).
The packaging says you can use it to make Mexican hot chocolate, too, and I think that sounds incredible. It makes me wish it were cooler outside. I’ll have to buy more later this year. It’ll probably be perfect for the whole family on a snow day.
If you see it, I recommend giving it a try! Spending $5.00 on a small disc of chocolate may sound crazy, but it’s rich enough to last a while. There’s no way I could eat more than one or two sections at a time, so these will last for at least a week, probably more.
Photo credit: Taza Chocolate
I did the math and it’s going on about month six since I last had a trim. Needless to say, my hair’s not a pretty sight right now, with all the dried, bleached ends. It’s been bad for at least a few months.
Because it’s expensive to get my hair cut and the salon I use is just far enough away to make me want to get my color and cut done all at the same time (which means more money), I try to go as long as I can between visits.
One of the ways I’ve been able to keep myself from going completely insane and hacking at my hair myself at the end of a bad day when a DIY haircut seems like the best idea ever, is to use a deep conditioning mask.
I’ve tried underwhelming hair masks before, and even a couple that impressed me in one way or another, but this one is the best. Hands down, absolutely the best. It took me forever to just suck it up and buy it because it costs so much, though–anywhere from $28.00 to $33.00 (I see that you can buy a smaller tube of it for $16.00, but I haven’t seen those in stores near me).
I don’t like to use this the way they recommend using it. I’m not that patient in the shower. I don’t want to stand there for a long time, waiting for the mask to do its magic.
Instead, I get my hair damp, put the treatment on before my shower, put my hair up in a clip, and go read or do things around the house for about 30 minutes. Then I wash my hair and take my shower. This gives it more time to penetrate the hair, plus I’m not standing there bored to death, wasting water in the shower.
When I apply it and leave it on that way, my hair almost feels like I’ve had it trimmed recently. It’s not perfect, but it’s shinier from root to tip and much, much smoother at the bottom. It feels healthier and even a little bit thicker.
When I used it the way the instructions say, I didn’t notice such a huge difference in the way my hair looked and felt.
It has a light, fresh floral type of scent that’s absolutely beautiful, too.
Photo credit: Ulta
Today’s link round-up has a starry lantern DIY, a Tardis headboard, Halloween paper crowns, and more.
Pink When showed us how to make a DIY chalkboard “BOO” garland.
Handmade Charlotte shared some ideas for decorating kids’ rooms with textiles.
Two Delighted showed us how to make a starry lantern.
Polka Dot Chairs showed us how to make Halloween paper party crowns.
Instructables taught us how to make a Tardis headboard.
Mind Body Green shared a recipe for fudgey brownies with fall spices.
Tater Tots and Jello shared some free Halloween printables.
Photo credit: Meatloaf and Melodrama for Pink When and Polka Dot Chair
Today’s link round-up has a cute cake, a DIY Halloween serving bowl, places to visit this fall, and more.
Polka Dot Chair showed us how to make a DIY Halloween serving bowl.
Handmade Charlotte showed us how to make a cake that looks like the sun.
Love, Maegan shared her DIY spooky ghost manicure.
Instructables taught us how to make a berry picker from scrap.
Poppy Talk showed us how to create a marble effect on a vase.
Mind Body Green showed us 10 jaw-dropping places to visit this fall.
Tater Tots and Jello showed us how to make a monster potato salad for Halloween.
Photo credit: Polka Dot Chair and Poppy Talk
Quality kitchen knives are a must for any cook and the KNIFEdock is a handy way to make sure your knives stay protected and neatly organized. Most knife blocks use pre-sized slots, but the KNIFEdock has flexible cork-like dividers. This means the system can accommodate almost any size of knife.
The knives rest vertically in the trays with the blades facing down, so you can easily see what you need. The KNIFEdock is made from bamboo, which is a renewable and eco-friendly material.
I love the KNIFEdock because it makes it a snap to organize different sizes of knives and prevents me from having to waste valuable counter space on storing my most-used kitchen knives. I was able to put nine knives in my KNIFEdock with no problems, although my knives do not have bulky handles and most of them are fairly small blades.
The KNIFEdock is not childproof, however. The knives are easy to remove from the dividers, so you need to be certain it’s located in a spot where curious little ones aren’t going to get to it. (If you need some kitchen babyproofing tips, Baby Center has a great article regarding common safety hazards.)
The KNIFEdock retails for $29.99. It can be purchased at Amazon.com, Bed Bath & Beyond, The Container Store, Crate and Barrel, and Williams Sonoma.
For more information about the KNIFEdock or any of Base 4’s other unique home organizational products, visit www.ebase4.com.
Disclaimer: Product samples were provided by the manufacturer for the purpose of preparing this review.
Photo credit: The Container Store
If you’re looking for a natural facial cleanser that is safe to use when you’re pregnant or trying to conceive, Belli Anti-Blemish Facial Wash is an excellent option.
Pregnancy can wreck havoc on your skin, but many healthcare professionals recommend avoiding salicylic acid, glycolic acid, and benzoyl peroxide while you’re expecting.
Belli Anti-Blemish Facial Wash features lactic acid to cleanse and gently exfoliate acne prone skin; lemon peel oil to act as a natural anti-bacterial and skin brightener; and antioxidant rich cucumber and green tea extract.
The cleanser can be used after Belli Fresh Start Pre-Treatment Scrub or followed with Belli Acne Control Spot Treatment.
I’m not currently pregnant or trying to conceive, but this cleanser is a great option regardless of the reason you’re trying to avoid salicylic acid, glycolic acid, and benzoyl peroxide. It smells wonderful and is especially invigorating in the morning.
It doesn’t dry out your skin, which is a common problem with many anti-acne face washes. It is clear to apply, so you won’t accidentally stain your clothes or towels like you would with a product containing benzoyl peroxide.
You can also use it as an intensive facial mask by leaving it on for five minutes, which means you’re essentially getting two products in one.
If you’d like to try Belli Anti-Blemish Facial Wash for yourself, now is a great time! From now until September 23, Belli is having a Birthday Bash promotion. Visit the Belli website to enjoy 30% savings sitewide on Belli Skincare products with promo code (BDAYBASH30).
Enter daily to win exciting sponsored product giveaways from prestige mom and baby brands. Participating brands include Healthy Mama, Pretty Pushers, Guava Family, Birds & Bees Teas, Angelcare, Swaddle Designs, and Sticky Bellies.
Each day a different prize and/or gift certificate will be featured from a variety of brands. On the final two days of the event (September 22nd and 23rd), there will be registration for a Grand Prize Package which features prizes from all of the Belli Birthday Bash event sponsors. One lucky winner will take home the Grand Prize package valued at over $1,200 in mom and baby products.
Disclaimer: Product samples were provided by the manufacturer for the purpose of preparing this review.
Photo credit: Belli Skin Care
Today’s link round-up has ways to manifest more money, guilt-free chocolate cake, DIY laundry detergent, and more.
Chocolate Covered Katie taught us how to make a 100-calorie chocolate cake.
Mind Body Green shared steps to manifest more money.
Living Well Spending Less taught us how to create a morning routine that works.
My Own Home Blog shared a recipe for laundry detergent that only has three ingredients.
Halifax Bloggers shared how to really get rid of fruit flies.
Mini Monets and Mommies showed us how to make Halloween monster s’mores.
Domestically Blissful shared a recipe for roasted corn white cheddar chowder.
Photo credit: Chocolate Covered Katie and My Own Home Blog
Today’s link round-up has a makeup review, tips for saving on a Disney vacation, tips for staying healthy, recipes, and more.
Tastefully Frugal shared a recipe for eggplant Parmesan.
Mind Body Green has eight tips for staying healthy when you’re crazy busy.
Oh She Glows shared a recipe for raspberry chia seed jam and oat crumble squares (they’re gluten-free).
Living Well Spending Less shared 20 ways to save money on a Disney vacation.
Kenarry showed us how to make a birthday banner.
Pursebuzz reviewed the Urban Decay Naked 2 Basics palette.
Cupcakes and Cashmere talked about how the five love languages changed her relationship.
Photo credit: Tastefully Frugal and Kenarry
Handwritten notes aren’t nearly common enough anymore. Wouldn’t you agree? Unless it’s Christmas or maybe even a birthday, there’s little chance I’m going to see anyone’s actual handwriting.
Don’t get me wrong, I love email and Facebook, but there’s something special about getting a cute little card in the mail with a personalized note inside.
Two years ago, I made an announcement on Facebook. I was going to stop feeling guilty for keeping all that holiday cheer to myself, and I was going to send out Christmas cards. It was a New Year’s resolution. I was going to do better with handwritten communication.
Flash forward two years, and those cards were never sent. Until yesterday.
I picked up a box of 15 blank Mara Mi note cards for around $7.00 (mine are metallic leopard print, but I didn’t see those on the Target website), and I turned those would-be Christmas cards into random “Have an Awesome Day” cards. Not quite the same, but maybe better since they were unexpected.
I’m actually ridiculously happy to have found the Mara Mi selection. I think there’s something there for everyone. There are blank cards, thank you notes, invitations, etc., and there are so many patterns, prints, and colors available. The selection is better in stores than on the Target website.
I like these better than full-size cards because sometimes you just want to drop a quick note in the mail to say you’re thinking of someone, but you don’t have enough to say to fill up the whole empty space inside of a regular blank card.
It seems a little more informal than choosing a card with a fitting picture or even text inside, too. You can just keep a box of the note cards on your desk and send one out when you feel like it, rather than trudging through the drugstore aisles with your kids in tow, hoping the perfect card pops out at you right off the bat.
I wouldn’t send one of these for a holiday or a birthday, obviously, but I love having them around for spur-of-the-moment little notes. I’ll be buying more.
Photo credit: Target