Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Day 329 - Valrhona Advent Calendar

This I believe*:  no matter how much you cut corners, save pennies, and sacrifice, there are some moments when you need to TREAT YOURSELF.  Those special treats are what make all of the thriftiness pay off.  I think this is one of my core values – be careful with your money and time, but once in a while, SPLURGE!!

This advent calendar is one such splurge.

Here it is folks - the Valrhona Advent Calendar 2015
Look, we do not NEED an advent calendar.  We are adults and can pretty much count days on our own without needing to open a little window.

Plus, at our house we do not even RESPECT the days as they are presented to us on any given calendar!  No lie – we have a very large pile of UNOPENED gifts that we got for each other from Christmases and birthdays past.  There they are – all wrapped up neatly with bows, and piled high, shiny, smiling at us, waiting patiently to be opened.  Some are years old!  They are like a great archeological site.  Who knows what is in them??  Certainly not us!  When we decide it is an “open a present day” (the mood strikes every once in a while!) the GIVER of the gift is normally equally as surprised as the RECEIVER, because the present has been wrapped so long no one knows what in the world is in there!  It is exciting!!

All of that is to say, even when we get to the END of this advent calendar, it will not be like the starting gun of some race that announces, “This is it!!!  It is time to begin!  OPEN…  THE…. PRESENTS!!!”.   The end of the advent calendar (for us) will be “OH look, a bigger bar of chocolate on this day!”. 

So although we did not NEED an advent calendar, we bought this one.  There was one for a fraction of the cost sitting right next to it on the Trader Joe’s shelf, but we chose this FANCY ONE.  Because we decided the splurge was worth it at that moment.

In our morning attire (and hair dos) TREATING OURSELVES by opening not one but TWO windows on our new calendar
And it was! 

“Wait…” you may be thinking.  “How do they know it was WORTH IT already?  It is not time to open the first window yet!!”.

Did you learn NOTHING by reading the paragraph above that explains that we do not really respect “correct” holiday dates at our house???  J

Plus, we HAD to try the chocolates in this calendar early if I was going to review it in time for you to rush to your local Trader Joe’s and pick one up, right???

If you think the outside is pretty, wait until you open a door and see the wrapping on a chocolate!!
The concept of this product is the same as other advent calendars – you peel open a little cardboard window everyday and reveal a treat inside.  Only, with THIS one, unlike other advent calendars, you are not greeted by a waxy piece of chocolate made in the shape of a reindeer.  No siree.

Nope.  What you find behind the little doors are lovely petite artisanal chocolate bars.  Really yummy ones.  Wrapped in pretty papers.  They are sort of like the SPA of advent calendar chocolates.  They are like taking a mini vacation to France (in your mouth!).

Look, we have only eaten two of these little chocolates, so we have only tasted two of the flavors.  They were amazingly delicious.  They were very high quality chocolate and not the crazy, wacked out flavor blends that some chocolate companies now think everyone loves.   They are rich, complex, DELICIOUS little chocolate squares.  (Spoiler alert – on the last day of this calendar you get a FULL SIZED VALHRONA CHOCOLATE BAR!!)

This product was pricey.  But we are worth it.

And so are YOU!!!!  In this season of rushing about, cooking, writing cards, baking, and buying/wrapping gifts for other people – make sure you take at least a moment to TREAT YOURSELF.  For us, these chocolates are a good way to do that.  Maybe for you it is taking time to read People magazine cover to cover.  Or getting your nails done.  Or going to a hockey game.

Whatever it is, just remember to TREAT YOURSELF.  That, to me, doesn’t by any means you have to spend  a ton of money.  “Treating myself” sometimes means getting a funky bottle of nail polish.  Or buying a cup of fresh squeezed orange juice and sitting down to savor it.  Treating yourself can be ANYTHING.  DO IT!  And when you do, if anyone says you are being selfish or extravagant, just tell ‘em I told you to do it.

Find it at your TJ's with the other holiday products.  GO TODAY - they are selling out.
If you want to get this particular advent calendar, make sure you hustle to your TJ’s today.  They miiiight already be out, but for your sake I hope not.  And if they are out of this particular advent calendar, TREAT YOURSELF to another one of the fancy holiday items there.  Go for it!  Seriously, do it.  J

Here is a link to the Valhrona website where you can see their gorgeous chocolates.  The only thing I wish it had is a SMELL functionality where it wafted the scent of chocolate through your computer speakers.  click here to see amazing chocolate

Price – an expensive $9.99
Rating – 5, rating based on taste, beauty, joy, and the ability to make us feel pampered

*- credit to NPR for the “This I Believe” concept.  If you have not listened to any “This I Belive”s, you must.  They are really powerful and will make you consider what is important to you.  This I Believe


  1. I will have to look for these this weekend. They sound delicious. Here, we have treated ourselves already to the Montezuma's innovative British chocolate truffles that are being sold at Trader Joe's for the holiday. There are 16 truffles in the box for $8.99. If you peel off the ingredient and nutritional information on the back of the box, you can read that these are organic chocolates. They are much less expensive at TJ's than what they are charging in the UK. I love British chocolate and even e-mailed the UK company to tell them how much we are enjoying this product. The box looks like the one pictured here:
    It has milk, dark, and white truffles, so it can satisfy a variety of tastes.

    Come to think of it, we've been treating ourselves to a lot of TJ's chocolate already this holiday season. We also bought TJ's candy coated milk chocolate. It comes in a beautiful glass that looks like the bottles of milk that were delivered at the door by a milkman. It has Trader Joe's etched in the glass. These chocolates were made in Spain and also yummy. Since cutting out a lot of artificial and questionable ingredients from our diets, we have missed an M&M type candy. Someone gave some regular M&Ms to my husband at Halloween and neither of us could eat them, but we used to really love them. It is also nice that these have holiday designs and T's and J's on the individual chocolate candies. My first name begins with T and my husband's begins with J, these chocolates were made for us! I tried to find a photo online, but there isn't an image. What Google does have coming up as an image when I search, is your beloved David holding a chocolate bar from Trader Joe's!

    Happy Thanksgiving and best wishes for your holiday season. I really enjoy reading you each day. Unlike the other comment you received, I save your blog to read last each morning after I read news, e-mails, etc. I have always saved something I savor for last. Even as a child, I would save whatever I liked the most on my plate to eat as reward for eating the other things that I didn't prefer. Your blog certainly cleanses my palate after much of the news lately.

  2. Thank for you commenting here. It made me SO HAPPY to read.

    We have that Montezuma's truffle box, too! :) It is SO PRETTY! The ribbon, the box, and the chocolates themselves are all so well designed. I looked online at the chocolate company's website, too, and was amazed at how CHEAP TJ's is selling these!!! My review of them is going to post soon. :)

    Thank you again for taking time to write. I am honored to be something you savor.

  3. I think i need one of these! For a delicious morning chocolate and smile everyday it sounds like great price to me. Valhrona is really good chocolate!

  4. I was worried that all stores MIGHT be out of these, but tonight we popped into the Omaha, Nebraska TJ's at One Pacific Place and they had loads left! So if you haven't gotten one yet it miiiight not be too late. :)

  5. This post is really nice and informative. The explanation given is really comprehensive and informative..

    advent calendars

    1. Thanks! It was a great advent calendar. We will get it again next year if TJ's carries it again.