Chocolate, Chocolate Everywhere!

Chocolate.  Mmmm.  One of my favorite sweets.  It seems chocolate has been popping up in my life quite a bit here lately….

First there was Halloween.  We took our boys trick-or-treating in the same neighborhood we visit every year.  And each year we seem to get a pretty balanced mix of candy – 1/3 fruity chewies, such as Starburst and Skittles; 1/3 hard candies, such as lollipops and jaw-breakers; and 1/3 chocolate goodies, such as Snickers and Milky Way.  This year we somehow ended up with about 90% chocolate goodies!  I let myself nibble on quite a bit of it, but there’s still tons of chocolate goodness left in the boys’ buckets.  I plan on taking it to work and putting it in our candy bowl for students so I won’t have it in the house anymore.

Next there was the onset of cool, crisp fall weather.  Each fall when cooler temps arrive, it stirs up a craving for three things: 1) flannel pajamas, 2) snuggly blankets, and 3) hot chocolate.  I discovered that Swiss Miss makes “diet” hot chocolate that tastes really good.  Only 25 calories and 2g of sugar, so it’s not a costly treat.  (My only complaint is that it doesn’t dissolve quite as nicely as regular hot chocolate.)  I’ve been making a cup nearly every morning at work.  Random Fact: Hot chocolate is the ONLY form of chocolate that my husband likes.  Go figure.

swiss miss

Finally, the women’s ministry group at my church sponsored a fabulous retreat called Café Chocolat.  That’s right – a whole retreat and Bible study based on chocolate!  We spent the night at Camp Paron where we participated in Bible study, sang worship songs, sewed a cozy fleece wrap, and ate TONS of chocolate.  I never dreamed it was possible to have too much chocolate, but I think I got very close!  The bible study was a comparison of chocolate to God’s extravagant love and extravagant grace.  It was definitely a “sweet” time of fellowship!

cafe chocolat

As much as I love chocolate, I think I’ve about reached my quota for November…and we haven’t even had Thanksgiving yet!  Guess I’ll just have to focus on pumpkin cheesecake and sweet potato casserole instead.  I’m very much looking forward to Turkey Day, knowing that I will be saving all my splurge calories that week for the biggest meal of the year.  Here’s to turkey, dressing, and cranberry sauce!  Bring. It. On.

Candy Corn is Beckoning

Reese’s and Snickers and Twix!  Oh my!  Halloween candy is here!

Halloween candy

I went grocery shopping tonight, and I had to fight with every muscle in my body not to grab a bag of Candy Corn, my all-time favorite Halloween candy.  One thing I love about this time of year is the seasonal baking display that our Wal-Mart sets up every year.  It is stocked with cookie, cake, and pie-making goodness.  I did give in and grab a mix for pumpkin muffins…yum!  But I can use self-control eating muffins.  Not so much with Candy Corn.

One reason I’m glad I started my weight loss plan this summer is that I wanted to see some significant weight loss before the holidays.  I have lost 12 pounds so far – woot! woot! – and I do not want to see all that hard work undone during the holidays.  Thinking about those 12 pounds got me safely through the candy aisle today.  Phew!  And that is really amazing since I saw a big bag of the new White Chocolate Candy Corn M&M’s.

I am so excited that tomorrow is the first day of fall!  I am beyond ready for changing leaves, jackets, scarves, apple cider, pumpkins, mums, and all the cozy things that accompany the season.  Happy Fall, everyone!