Arm Candy

 No, not that kind!

THIS kind:

I'm really into cuff bracelets these days: they're dramatic, and unlike bangles, not noisy for work. This is one of the more interesting ones I've seen lately. Its made of clay and has a unique look that I've never seen before! Hmmm, I may just have to go ahead and self-gift this beauty!! Do you buy your own jewelry? And not "fun" jewelry, I mean "real" jewelry? I'm a firm believer in not waiting around for someone to buy something that you could just go ahead and get yourself, even if it is something special and sparkly!!

Bath Candy

N and I have lived in our "somewhat" new place since April. We have a beautiful master bathroom, which includes this magnificent tub.

In which, I have taken ZERO baths!!!! Why, you might ask? Well, for one, I'm not big on baths. Second, I don't have the pretty fizzy things (aka bath bombs) that make your bath all delicious smelling!! A few weeks ago, I finally made it into the Lush store at Beachwood Place, and while I didn't end up buying anything, I did notice these:

At about $5 each, it would be an expensive bath, but oooooh, the indulgence!!! What about you? Do you enjoy long baths? Do pretty bath products make you more inclined to take one? Guys, it goes without saying that these would be a great gift for the woman in your life (including as a just-because gift. Serious bonus points for that one!).

Theme of the week: Candy

So I've been sick with this upper respiratory virus thing-y since Wednesday, and it sucks. Luckily, I've started to feel better this evening, although I still have coughing fits that make me sound like an old man. Gross. Now that I've updated you on my weekend activities, here's a look at what I'm looking forward to this weekend. First off, clefoodgoddess and I will be taking on a bunch of Cleveland bloggers including WhyCle?, Hungry in Cleveland, Poise in Parma, and others in the bowl-a-thon to benefit Secondhand Mutts. Saturday, I'm atttending a 30th Birthday Party, and Sunday, N and I are taking the pups to Grateful Dog Bakery to get Clair some birthday treats to celebrate her very first birthday, which is on Valentine's Day!!!

Valentine's day makes me think of candy, and so, in honor of this much loved/hated holiday, my blog theme of this week will be candy.

I have categories of favorite candies, indulgence vs. vending machine. Indulgence candy is one that is not so readily available, maybe you have to go to the international/fancy candy aisle in the grocery store or a specialty store, while vending machine is well, self explanatory. My favorite vending machine candy is Twix. My indulgence candy favorite(s) are a toss up between Ferrero Rocher (the one that has the crispy shelll, and nutella-like filling) and Cadbury Flake, which is, as the name suggests, flaky.

I remember eating Flake as a kid from street vendors in London, who serve it stuck in a vanilla soft-serve (delicious, btw). I'd forgotten all about them until about two years ago, when my coworker found some at World Market!! World Market seriously has one of the best international candy selections!! Flake+ vanilla softserve= heaven!!!!

So here's a question: given a choice, would you rather receive candy or flowers  for Valentine's day. Ideally, I would receive a candy bouquet, but I don't know if those exist in real life!! How about you??

mmmm Licorice. And, a GIVEAWAY!!

So last week, I was contacted by respresentatives of Panda Licorice, who asked if I would review their licorice flavors and blog about it. Being a candy-lover, of course I said YES!! So come Monday, the candy arrived, and I couldn't wait to dig in!

Panda has been making licorice in Finland since 1920, and its been sold in the U.S. since 1963. Over the years, they've definitely perfected their licorice, and it is absolutely delicious!! I was sent a few different flavors: regular black, creme filled black, raspberry, and cherry. Panda licorice is made with natural ingredients, so the fruit flavors are really fruity, and taste a lot like all natural fruit chews. The regular licorice has a perfect balance of licorice flavor; just right, without being overwhelming. I think these make the perfect mid-afternoon pick-me-up snack. Sweet, but not too much; low fat, and for 100 calories, a really delicious treat! These would also make excellent stocking stuffers, and unlike chocolate, would probably not turn into a goopy mess when placed near the fireplace (although I have not tested this theory, so try at your own risk).

I had N taste the licorice too, since its one of the few candy's he will actually eat (the man does not eat sweets. I mean seriously, who does that?!) He was watching football at the time, so I've edited to include only his candy related quotes. Here's what he had to say:
Black licorice: "mmmmm"... "Nice and chewy. Licorice-y but not too much"
Creme filled Black licorice: "surprisingly better than I expected". A few second later..."a LOT better than I expected. Creamy"
Raspberry: "its amazing". "Tastes like real raspberry, doesn't taste fake. I'm looking for the little seeds, it tastes that close to the real thing". This was followed by "I'm taking the cherry to work".

If you would like to try some Panda licorice, you can find it at Trader Joe's, Whole Foods, and also on Amazon. OR, you could enter my Panda licorice giveaway by doing the following:

1. Leave a comment telling me about your favorite candy
2. Follow Cleshopaholic on facebook and leave a comment there
3. Tweet the following:
I entered @cleshopaholic's @PandaLicoriceUS giveaway
4. Follow @PandaLicoriceUS on Twitter

Each of the above will get you one entry, so do them all for a maximum of 4 entries! This contest is open to U.S. Residents only, and winners will be announced the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. Winners will receive the following:

It's really really really good, and I'm not just saying that because they sent me free candy. Even Clair liked it (don't worry, we only gave her a tiny piece).  Good Luck!!!!