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You know when you wake up in the morning, you need a little something extra to get yourself going on the right foot? I mean, clearly you do… Coffee shops like Starbucks are all over the freaking place. Starbuck, Caribu, Biggby, and Tim Hortons just to name a few…

Well, like most people, I need a little extra help in the morning. But I LOATHE coffee. Love the smell, if I could drink the smell I would. But I can’t, and frankly, I just can’t stand the taste. That being said, however I do generally get my caffeine buzz from tea or every great once in a while I’ll treat myself to a rich, yummy hot chocolate.

I’ve tried them all, Starbucks, Caribu, Timmy’s… They’re good, but $$. So when I was offered the shot to try out this *new* type of hot cocoa, I pretty much leaped out of my chair into my computer screen.

Crio Bru is one ingredient. Ground Cocoa Beans.

I mean, it can’t really get any better than that can it?

Well, lets just say I don’t think Starbucks will be offering me a job as a barista anytime soon. I don’t think I actually brewed it correctly.

Crio Bru is a packet of ground cocoa beans that you actually brew with either a french press (don’t have one…) or a regular coffee machine. You’ll need a gold filter (don’t worry I and to google what that was too) because the paper filters just won’t cut it. I heard from some of my fellow bloggers that tried it in a french press that it turned out better.  So I’m going to take their word for it that I just messed something up big time and that whatever came out of my coffeemaker wasn’t was it was supposed to taste like.

However– When I was doing my research of the product, I noticed that they had recipes that you could use it in.

YOU CAN BAKE WITH THIS STUFF!

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So of course, I baked…

And wouldn’t you know it, the cookies turned out pretty darn good!. I use my Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe with the substitution of 1/3 Cup Cocoa Power & 1/3 Cup Crio Bru Maya and then made the recipe like regular after that.

The cookies came out a bit fluffier, more brownie-like, with hints of cinnamon, vanilla and cayenne. Perfect to get that hint of spice, but nothing over-whelming.

Overall I’m satisfied with the baking aspect of this product, I think I could use it in other recipes and it would turn out pretty well too. Creme Brûlée anyone? Maybe Chocolate Pots? The chocolate itself being ground up Cocoa beans is a bit bitter, but when combined with the sugary sweetness in dessert you get a real rich chocolate flavor without too much sweet.

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More fun facts about Crio Bru and Cocoa Beans taken straight from Crio’s Site:

The cocoa beans used in Crio Brü and Crio Beans are superior to most foods because they deliver so many nutrients that we each need to boost health and wellness*. Here is list of some of the benefits of incorporating cocoa beans into your life:

Boost your immune system

  • Antioxidants fight oxidative damage and free radicals in the body. Cocoa (or cacao) contains the highest concentration of antioxidants of any food in the world, including polyphenols, catechins, and epicatechins. By weight, cocoa has more antioxidants than red wine, blueberries, açai, pomegranates, and goji berries combined. To see the ORAC USDA chart, go to our Crio FAQs page.
  • Zinc plays a critical role in supporting your immune system, liver, pancreas and skin.
Increase energy naturally

  • Cocoa beans contain a natural stimulant called theobromine that is a relative of caffeine. Unlike caffeine, theobromine gives you a noticeable increase in energy without making you feel nervous or jittery. Cacao naturally contains about 1% theobromine.
  • Theobromine is gentle, mild, has a slow onset, is long lasting and non-addictive whereas caffeine is intense, strong, fast acting, short lived and addictive. In short, it gives you healthy energy as part of a healthy diet.
Curb your appetite and lose weight

  • Cocoa is one of the great weight loss foods because within its extraordinary nutrition profile it contains the minerals and molecules that help curb appetite, promote weight loss and healthy living.
  • Compared to soda, fruit juice and other drinks, Crio Brü has a nominal number of calories and only 1.5 carbs per serving with many health benefits making it an incredibly healthy drink and a great addition to any health and fitness program.
Support your heart, digestive system, brain and bones

  • Cocoa has more magnesium than any other food, which supports the heart, aids digestion, balances brain chemistry and builds strong bones. Over 80% of Americans are chronically magnesium deficient.
  • Crio Brü is a 100% gluten free, dairy free, sugar free, fat free food.
  • Crio Beans are a 100% gluten free, dairy free, cholesterol free, soy free and sodium free food.
Oxygenate the blood and maintain healthy blood sugar levels

  • The trace mineral manganese found in cacao assists iron to oxygenate the blood and form hemoglobin.
  • Found naturally in cacao, copper helps build healthy blood.
  • Nearly 80% of Americans are deficient of the trace mineral chromium that helps promote a healthy blood sugar level.
  • This is another reason Crio Beans are truly a healthy chocolate.
Feel great, increase focus, reduce stress and sleep better

  • An endorphin or “bliss chemical” called anadamide is produced by our body after exercise that makes us feel great. It has also been found in one plant – cacao.
  • Our body produces the chemical phenylethylamine when we fall in love and increases focus and alertness. This natural chemical is also found abundantly in cacao.
  • Cacao contains serotonin, a primary neurotransmitter in the body that helps build a “stress defense shield”.
  • Tryptophan is a natural anti-depressant amino acid contained in cacao that transforms into stress-protective neurotransmitters that enhance relaxation and promote better sleep.

So it’s good for your heath too!

Well, maybe the cookies aren’t. But if I can pretend that the Crio Bru made them just slightly healthier for me… well, I might just have a few more…

Toodles!

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Hi guys, it’s Thursday… And I have a WEDNESDAY wish list for you… finally. I apologize for the delay, this week just seems to be one that I can’t get together. I know it looks like I’m not doing anything but I PROMISE YOU I’m doing a lot of work behind the scenes. I have a VERY SPECIAL announcement to make this Sunday and I’ve been working my little tail off to get it ready. Not to mention SYTYC pieces, new campaigns for ENMNetwork (I’ve been given my first TWO!) and specifically blog projects. On top of all that this little blog of mine is in the process of an overhaul. The first part was the site layout and design, next is making sure all those header links actually lead you to the things you were looking for and followed up by moving entirely off work press hosted to my own hosting solution. Thus giving you the opportunity to sponsor ads. It sure is busy around here…

Ok, enough of that talk… lets get down to business. You should have by now received your LOVELY new IKEA catalogue and I’m sharing favorites from the *newly update* Stockholm series. Like that green couch. OMG that green couch. Want.

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Did I pick any of your favorites? What was your favorite item in the new catalogue? I love having an IKEA store literally 15 minutes from my house. Even if going into the store gives me anxiety (all those people…).

Tomorrow I will be posting my Friday favorites like normal, but SUNDAY is when you should check back on my BIG ANNOUNCEMENT.

Ciao,

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523886_10201854326062999_330136647_n**UPDATE** I just found out that this super hunky man is trying to raise $$ to stop human trafficking. Can you jump over to his fundraiser page and pay him a visit? Thanks! ❤ J. 

LINK: http://www.stayclassy.org/fundraise?fcid=255007

DETAILS:

Actor Josh Henderson (From Dallas) is trying to raise $5000 for charity and he is only 70% of the way. The funds will benefit the Somaly Mam Foundation.

The Somaly Mam Foundation is a nonprofit 501c(3) organization dedicated to the eradication of slavery worldwide, with a special focus on Southeast Asia where the trafficking of women and girls is widespread. SMF supports survivor rescue, shelter, and restoration programs (including medical and psychological treatment), as well as empowerment programs that train survivors of slavery to be a force of change in their community. SMF’s awareness and advocacy campaigns shed light on the crime of human trafficking and involve governments and individuals in the fight against modern-day slavery.

He is raising $5000 by Saturday, August 17, 2013 as part of a campaign to raise awareness for human trafficking.

I’m Broke & Broke…

August 6, 2013

Hellllllllo out there. Welcome, welcome. It’s Tuesday (shocker, I know). And today I’ve got some Hollywood news for you.

Before I get too far into the news just a QUICK shameful plug reminder to go vote for the So You Think You’re Crafty Season 17 Auditions. pleasssssse… I’m begging… seriously, on my knees right now (ok, that’s a lie).

Ok, now on to the fun stuff. First, before I go ANY farther… this:ENMNetwork Disclosure

SO. I’m super excited today to bring to you news of a HOT HOT HOT new single camera comedy called Newlywed & Broke. A “modern day” I Love Lucy- like comedy starring Reko Moreno and Kat Castaneda as a newlywed couple struggling with financial hardship, job loss and all the quirks of a new marriage. I watched about 2 minutes of their hilarious promo video on their indiegogo campaign site and immediately fell in love. The MC Hammer reference was ON POINT.

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I can seriously relate to this comedy right now. I might not be married, but I’m a young homeowner that struggles constantly to find a balance between bills, projects and being young and wanting to “live the life”. There are definitely times where I think to myself “If I hadn’t bought my home” I could have gone to Europe, or Peru or somewhere amazing and had a once in a lifetime experience. I have to remind myself that setting money aside for that dreaded property tax bill is WAY more important than new clothes (at least that’s what I’ve been told). 

This new series will be something that EVERYONE can relate to it’s a familiar tale for all of us.  Relationship or not, everyone can grow nostalgic over at least a few ridiculous choices they made when they were broke. Just watch the promo video here. I’m fully standing behind this new show and can’t wait to see what else they can come up with.

Stop by the Indiegogosite (I LOVE how they named their perks as the romance “steps”. The description for the Bachelorette party is SO TRUE, lol!), check out some of the cool broke tips provided by fans and take note that your donation is TAX DEDUCTIBLE because they are partnered with Fractured Atlas –a non-profit arts service organization. 

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As always I will be giving you the latest and greatest up to date information from this campaign. I think the best part of this whole thing is hearing everyones stories! What’s your broke tip? Do you only get gas during a full moon? Maybe you hit up the local bar only during happy hour? Tell me your broke tip! You never know… it just might make it on the show. 

Have a wonderful day everyone, see you back here tomorrow for a Wednesday Wishlist! 

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Monday Morning Mashup

August 5, 2013

SO MANY THINGS TO TALK ABOUT… WHERE DO I START?!

I need a list…

ONE// Today is the VERY first day to vote for Season 17 on So You Think You’re Crafty! I’m auditioning and today until Thursday at 7PM EST you can vote for your top five favorites here. Now, I’d be lying if i said I DIDN’T want you to figure out which one is mine and make it your FAVORITE, but I’m not going to force you… (hard, at least). 

I cannot tell you which project is mine, but hopefully you’ll be able to figure it out.

SO GO VOTE! (please) and spread the word!

TWO// The very lovely Lizzy from Lizzy’s Luggage has not only been nominated for the Liebster Award (it’s an award passed around bloggers of smaller blogs) but she has nominated Creative Life Antics for the award as well! I’m so honored, cant wait to answer her questions and nominate some of my favorite small blogs too! I’ll be answering all her

questions on Thursday, but until then please head over and give her some love and congrats!

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THREE// I’m adding a really sweet new button to my sidebar. This makes things feel SO
OFFICIAL. Today marks the end of The Bounce Back Campaign. I’m so very proud to announce that we raised over $138,000.00 more than the goal of $500k. To say that this is the start of something big and wonderful for myself and many other bloggers is a complete understatement. I’m close to crying, this is a huge journey and a HUGE step for bloggers in general. Thank you to everyone!


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// Today my other very lovely blogging friend is another year older! A very HAPPY BIRTHDAY to the wonderful LEEANN of Join The Gossip.

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FIVE// Don’t forget to enter The Nectar Collective Sponsor Giveaway (I’m a sponsor) get all the details to enter HERE.

I’m pretty sure there was supposed to be another item… but at the moment I can’t quite remember what it is…

Either way, Happy Monday!

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Happy Tuesday everyone. I’m popping in for a quick second to let you in on some MORE great news. Yesterday I announced that I will be auditioning for So You Think You’re Crafty, a ten week blog competition. I’m hoping you will all pop over each week to check out the cool crafts and vote for your favorites (in which I hope mine is included!). But today I have some even more good news that I’ve been keeping a secret…

Everyone reading this by now has know that I was a part of Shemar’s The Bounce Back, (heck- I even mentioned it again yesterday) which has raised over $600k dollars for the film for production. Now anything over the $500k mark goes towards distribution of the film across the US and international theaters. But what they might not know was that Shemar was partnered with a group of 40 bloggers (myself being one of them) that helped push his influence across social media making The Bounce Back the #4 most crowd funded film ever. This movement was all the brain-child of a lovely woman named Erica Pena-Vest from the blog Guide to Military Travel. Erica having been in blogger groups before, knew the influence bloggers could cause and when assigned this project on behalf of Shemar’s team knew that her fellow bloggers would be the right team for this task. She rounded up 40 of us, gave us a task to accomplish and pushed us day to day to make our goal. 

During this process Shemar’s team was so amazed at the movement that Erica decided to create her own network of bloggers to work with other celebs, musicians, actors and directors.

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Enter stage left the Entertainment New Media Network, which I am absolutely excited to announce that I am a part of. After B3 Erica asked the bloggers from the campaign if they would like to continue on as part of the network, giving some new leadership roles (I’m officially now a Team Group Leader! I get a fancy new email address 😉). We are working with new clients on an almost daily basis now and I can’t wait to see where this company could not only take CLA but me (as in Justynn) in the future.

So be prepared… in the mix of my DIY, baking (new recipe this THURSDAY!), crafting, life-antics, and adorable Ziggy pictures… I will now be bringing in some of the latest news from the Hollywood front. Breaking news on new movies, music and more. Lots of giveaways with swag… and of course pictures with hunky men. Heck, I might even go to a red carpet premier or two! You know you want to see me attempting to wear a dress… right? 😉

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With all that above being said I hope you are all going to join me for the ride. I’m feeling very lucky and blessed to have stumbled into such a huge opportunity for my future and look forward to what is to come.

So please, go stop by the indiegogo campaign, the bounce back website and leave Shemar some love. By doing so you are also supporting my new job, and the ENMNetwork!

For now though, Hollywood– OUT.

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