Review: Treatsie February Subscription Box

I heard about Treatsie from a fellow I follow on Twitter, @noahphex. He had posted a picture of a “Popbar” which is essentially hot chocolate on a stick. Sounds amazing, right? He told me he got it through Treatsie which is a start-up company that ships delicious treats to it’s subscriptions on a monthly basis for about $20 including shipping. The treats are all from artisanal candy and chocolatiers, which is a pretty amazing concept. I wish I had thought of it. I read that Treatsie got their start with the help of crowd funding, too. 2014 is a pretty dope time to be alive, I think.

Artisanal gets thrown around a lot these days, doesn’t it? Before I go touting whether these treats really live up to their name, I want to be clear about what artisanal means. Artisinal: High quality products made, usually by hand, in small quantities by traditional methods.

It’s taken me a while to post about the contents of the February box because we promised ourselves if we were going to spent $20 on 6 -7 treats we wouldn’t gorge the day the box arrived but enjoy a couple of pieces every week. We like to torture ourselves like that.

February's Box

February’s Box

While I wasn’t underwhelmed by the contents of the box, I guess I was expecting slightly larger pieces. The chocolate bars were 1oz, they’d fit nicely in the palm of your hand. For $15 before shipping, I’d like them to add an additional piece of candy in the box. That being said I am impressed with the quality of the candy.

My favourite candy in order:

1) Raley’s Confectionary Love Mix – these hard candies are made by hand in Florida by a dude who dropped out of medical school to make candy. They were so flavourful and had adorable little love sayings on them. I plan to order these again on my own because we enjoyed them so much. We’d enjoy just a few candies after dinner one week and it was the perfect treat. I didn’t like the cinnamon flavour so if I got one of those I’d promptly take it out of my mouth and hand it to Richard. I’m classy like that.

2) Eclipse Chocolate Cinnamon Brown Sugar Bar – WOW. I loved this chocolate bar. I don’t think I’ve ever had a cinnamon flavoured chocolate bar before and this was the perfect introduction. I wanted more! I hated having to share this one with Richard. Read this and tell me you don’t want to order this bar: Milk chocolate flecked with muscovado sugar, cinnamon bread crumb & ginger sea salt.

3) Neo Cocoa – We split the contents of this package. I enjoyed a rich almond butter truffle topped with smoked sea salt and Richard had the lime one. So rich! I’d love to try some of the other flavours and will probably order more from these chocolatiers too. Basically I’m going to get really fat.

4) Eclipse Chocolate Salted Dulce De Leche – I used to only ever eat white chocolate. Seems weird right? These days dark chocolate *is* my go-to but this chocolate bar reminded me how great and undervalued white chocolate is. Slightly crunch, probably because of the pretzel, and sweet.

5) Eclipse Chocolate Sea Salt Nib – This was my least favourite of the box. Not saying it was bad, I mean it’s delicious chocolate, but I think I’ve had other sea salted chocolate bars that are better.

So there you have it, Treatsie’s February subscription box. We’re signed up for March’s box which will arrive in a couple of weeks and you best believe I’ll be reviewing that one too.

New Favourite Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

I made cookies a couple of weeks ago for my coworker Maggie’s 26th birthday and they were a hit! Perfectly crunchy on the outside and chewy on the inside. I adapted a recipe that I found on All Recipes based on a bunch of different tips other bakers had posted. I’m going to keep playing with this one to see if I can improve it any but I think it’s pretty awesome as-is.

1 cup softened butter – I used salted and will maybe try again with unsalted. Difference between the two butters? SALT. DUH.
1/2 cup white sugar
1 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
2 eggs
3 tablespoons vanilla extract
3 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

1) Cream butter, white sugar and brown sugar in mixer bowl
2) Beat in eggs
3) Sit in vanilla
4) Whisk together flour, baking soda and salt in medium bowl
5) Add flour mixture slowly to the butter mixture until JUST combined.
6) Stir in chocolate chips
7) Spoon rounded tablespoons onto ungreased baking sheet and baking for 10-12 minutes (oven dependent) at 315 Fahrenheit.

Image

100 Happy Days: Week 3

I’m a little behind in posting these but THAT’S OK because I get to go back through my photos and remember what made me happy that day.

15/100 January 27th 2014 – HOT CHOCOLATES! Sheils aka Mommy bought Richard and I fancy Godiva Hot Chocolate kits complete with MUGS, marshmallows, cinnamon powder, and hot cocoa. We added freshly whipped cream because if you’re going to indulge you should do it right.

15/100

15/100

16/100 January 28th 2014 – My coworker Maggie gave me some Starbucks coupons she had because she knows I like treating myself to a latte every now and then. She is beyond sweet.

16/100

16/100

17/100 January 29th 2014. What makes me happy is seeing something RIDICULOUS like this on my way to work. RUB ANN ARBOR? REALLY?

17/100

17/100

 

18/100 January 30th 2014 – New jewellery! Gotta love Piperlime.

18/100

18/100

19/100 – January 31st 2014 Very very very VERY happy Richard does all the shoveling. Thanks, Ricardo! You’re the best.

19/100

19/100

20/100 February 1st 2014 – CUTEST. NEPHEW. EVER.

20/100

20/100

21/100 February 2nd 2014 – Getting my coffee ready for Monday morning. I love Roos Roast which is local to Ann Arbor – Lobster Butter Love is my favourite blend. I’m happy that I can buy this stuff within 5 miles of my house.

21/100

21/100

My Running Playlist

Taking Aparna’s lead I thought I’d share my running playlist. I’m on Week 6 of Zen Lab’s Couch to 5K and my music (and Aparna’s encouragement of course) really helps to keep me going. I am not at the stage where I can watch a TV show or movie while I’m pounding it out on the treadmill. I will pass out and I can only presume die if I don’t have music to focus on. Aparna and I are both in agreement that Britney’s “Work Bitch” is *the* work out song of 2013 and so far 2014. If  Work Bitch isn’t currently on your playlist you need to remedy that ASAP.

You wanna look hot in a bikinni? YOU BETTER WORK, BITCH.

You wanna look hot in a bikinni? YOU BETTER WORK, BITCH.

My Running Playlist:

WARM UP MUSIC:

Track Lies – Otto Knows Remix
Artist – Burns

RUNNING:

Track: Baby Got Back
Artist: Sir Mix-A-Lot

Track: When I Grow Up
Artist: The Pussycat Dolls

Track: Work Bitch
Artist: Britney, BITCH!

Track: POWER
Artist: Kanye West

Track: Fighter
Artist: Christina Aguilera

Track: Turn Me On feat. Nicki Minaj
Artist: David Guetta

COOL DOWN:

Track: Scary Monsters and Nice Spirites
Artist: Skrillex

Be sure you leave me your favourite work out songs in the comments so I can mix up my list!

100 Happy Days: Week 2

Here’s what made me happy from January 20th – 26th.

08/100 January 20th 2014- Andy Boo waking me up by just being his sweet self.

08 Jan 20

09/100 January 21st 2014 – Skype date with Ellie. Her smile <3

09/100 Jan 21

09/100 Jan 21

10/100 January 22nd 2014: Knowing Andy and Dexter can be best friends makes me pretty damn happy.

10/100 Jan 22

10/100 Jan 22

11/100 January 23rd 2014 – Running doesn’t make me happy, but knowing I’m capable of dragging my ass out of bed super early to meet my goals does. I took this photo on or around 615am after yet another week of the Couch to 5K program. 

11/100 Jan 23

11/100 Jan 23

12/100 January 24th 2014 – Drinking wine. Chillin’ with my boys.

12/100 Jan 24

12/100 Jan 24

13/100 January 25th 2014- Spending time with Richard and friends, including Not A Leaf. We took in another EMU Basketball game. The Eagles lost but I think everyone had fun. Plus, Richard got a Beat/EAT Ohio shirt.

13/100 Jan 25

13/100 Jan 25

14/100 January 26th 2014 – Our room has been soooo messy so we spent some time cleaning it up. My reading nook is actually ready for reading! I love this nook. I’ll love it even more when I get an ottoman.

14/100 Jan 26

14/100 Jan 26

and that’s all folks.

100 Happy Days.

Aparna shared a challenge she came across called “100 Happy Days.”  I’ve done so many photo challenges before — Project 365 and Project 52 specifically — and I’ve failed at both. While I’m not “officially” participating in 100 Happy Days — I will be doing my own version on my blog. I hope to be updating every Monday or Tuesday with the previous week’s photos.

The gist is this: Take a photo of something that made you happy that day for 100 days. The theory is that the project will help you notice positive things everyday and that in turn will improve your overall quality of life…. Seems easy enough. Fun Fact: I’m grumpy while writing this post. Ha!

01/100 January 13th 2014: I’m happy for this every single day. Richard making me dinner! If he didn’t cook I’d wither away.

01/100

01/100

02/100 January 14th 2014: We got these sweet light up glasses for being one of the first 500 people at the EMU Basketball game. I’m not sure why I am so white and look angry, but I can assure you I am very happy to be wearing these glasses.

02/100

02/100

03/100 January 15th 2014: Met up with Lisa for drinks at Bigalora in Ann Arbor. I hadn’t seen her since I left Citibank in August… we had much to catch up on.

03/100

03/100

04/100 January 16th 2014: Started a new book. Finished it not much later. 2014 is the year of reading. 20 days in to 2014 and I’ve already read 6 books. Not too shabby.

04/100

04/100

05/100 January 17th 2012: Celebrating Gryff’s birthday with the sweetie boys.

05/100

05/100

06/100 January 18th 2014: Relaxing at the library with Aparna. I love my library!

06/100

06/100

07/100 January 19th 2014: Catching up with a friend on a very special day.

7/100

7/100

My First University Basketball Game

In an effort to “get out and do more stuff” in 2014, Richard and I braved the cold and a snowstorm on Saturday to see a university basketball game. Richard has been really into basketball lately. He’s all about it. Because I’m a good wife I’m also trying to get into it.

I’ve been anti-basketball for most of my life. Let me clarify, unless you’re asking “Who invented basketball?” (ANSWER: A CANADIAN!) I am not interested in basketball. I just don’t get the appeal. Lots of running back and forth, scoring, some dunking, and squeaky shoes. My biggest qualm- with so much scoring, how does anyone get excited about it! Plus, they’re so tall and the basket is right there… Shouldn’t they be able to get it in? They’re 2 feet away from the hoop. I think there should be a league for regular sized dudes.

Me watching basketball on TV:

“Oh, he’s go the ball! He shoots! Yay! Go team!”
30 seconds later
“Oh, he’s go the ball! He shoots! Yay! Go team!”

(Don’t I sound fun to be with at basketball games? Ha!)

You get the idea. I’ve always been on the edge of my seat watching hockey because it’s fast paced and high scoring games are rare so seeing the few goals your team gets is *SO* exciting. Everyone freaks out. You hug people you don’t know. You just lose your shit in general. I’ve never seen basketball fans really freak out every time their team scores.

Before I share my experience at my first US basketball game, I need to disclose something: I was for a brief period, a dark chapter of my life…a basketball referee. When I was in elementary school I was approached by the principal who asked if I wouldn’t mind refereeing intramural basketball games during lunch. I’m not sure why she approached me, maybe because I was tall? Either way I accepted and proceeded to ref a handful of games. I didn’t know the rules and didn’t care. I had a whistle and that was powerful. Ask my brother – he played in a few games I officiated and I would call fouls on him just because I could. I knew barely any rules but it didn’t matter, I was drunk with power. I digress…

I headed to the game with an open mind and I’m glad I did – it was actually fun! The EMU Eagles played the Rochester College Warriors at the EMU Convocation Center. It was surprisingly new! I was expecting something akin to my high school gym (which isn’t bad, I went to a brand new high school) but it was much more impressive. There wasn’t much of a crowd which made yelling loudly – something I can do really well – not much of an option but the players brought a lot of energy. Seeing the game in action with my husband explaining what rules he does know made me not only NOTICE but appreciate the nuances. I guess it’s not all “Running back and forth and scoring” like I thought it was. For example, did you know there is a thing called a “Shot Clock.” Once a team gains possession of the ball they have to shoot within 35 seconds. WHO KNEW!?

I also saw cheerleaders. IN REAL LIFE. I thought cheerleaders only existed on TV and in movies. I think my high school had cheerleaders but they sure didn’t do 10 back handsprings in a row or acrobatics. At one point they did some flips still holding onto their pom-poms and I lost my mind.

We’re going to go to another game soon. This Tuesday, in fact. Below are some pictures I took from Saturday. For $6 I had a fun afternoon with my husband, got to experience something new and the Eagles have gained 1 more fan, even if I am still completely clueless about the sport. GO EAGLES.

Treat yo' self.

Treat yo’ self.

Cheerleaders!

Cheerleaders!

Our view from section 207.

Our view from section 207.

Half time hi-jinks.

Half time hi-jinks.