Sunday, July 8, 2012

Most marvelous Monday, my 25th birthday (+ giveaway)!

Happy Monday! Today is the most MARVELOUS Monday yet. 

Today, I am 25! I've been in my "early 20s" up till now, or so I say. Now I'm in my mid-twenties... for the next 4 years, right? :)

I didn't want to dissect my life thoroughly, but here's a quick snippet:
  • I've gone through a few chapters in my life already. I'm not exactly sure what I'm doing right now but that's okay. 
  • I'm content with how my career or at least work is coming and while my personal life is stagnant, I'm focused on working on myself. 
  • In the last year, I moved back home after living on my own across the country for 6 years! I changed a lot and in the past 2 years, I've hit a low point and survived. 
  • The biggest thing I've learned is that I did it once, I can do it again. I left a bad situation when I was 18 and made my life much better in college. When I struggled after college, I moved back and have started making some friends. 
  • Little happens overnight. I'm working on life.
  • I miss having tons of "friends." I wasn't really that social in college actually. It was only after college and one or two years that I was crazy social.
Now for the accomplishments! By 25, I have my college degree and teaching credential, I've had some cool jobs, I've gone to a ton of crazy parties, went on amazing adventures, lived on my own successfully, met interesting people in college (miss you guys!), and now I know what I want out of life.

25 15 at 25
  1. Do a mud run/obstacle course run.
  2. Attend a blog conference.
  3. Go camping.
  4. Read 15 books. Good ones.
  5. Pass my CTEL exam.
  6. Apply for 5 teaching positions!
  7. Volunteer for something at the school. Gotta get my foot in the door!
  8. Travel to one of my to-visit cities.
  9. Video blog once a week.
  10. Get my own url and redesign my blog.
  11. Do yoga twice per week.
  12. Try pole fitness.
  13. Make friends through a Meetup group!
  14. Try CrossFit.
  15. Go wine tasting.
I need more! Any ideas? A lot of these are on my Live List (see tabs above), but many of those on my Live List are just unattainable this coming year.

Now for a MARVELOUS birthday giveaway! 

For my health and sweet tooth, I've been eating chocolate every night! My obsession with dark chocolate began last week in Austin. We stayed with a girl who stashed a bag of dark chocolate chips in her freezer. A few chips after dinner was perfect of me and I've stopped craving baked goods! Who would've thought! The chips only get up to around 70% cacao content but bars can be more intense.

The Whole Foods chocolate/candy aisle is hefty. I passed by the Vosges with all their crazy flavors and went straight for the basics: dark chocolate.

The rules: 100%<x<84%. I hope you got that equation.

I headed to a few stores for their great selection and spent quite a bit of money... yet my collection is not complete. Godiva 85%+ could not be found on my trip. :/ Still, these 12 bars will carry you through a few months.

1. Dagoba Organic Chocolate Eclipse Bar (87% Cacao)
Mother's Market $2.79

2. Endangered Species All Natural Extreme Dark Chocolate with 88% Cocoa
Mother's Market $2.79

3. Sweet Riot riotBar 85%
Mother's Market $3.49

4. Green & Black's Organic Dark 85%
Mother's Market $3.69

5. Divine 85% Dark Chocolate 
Mother's Market $3.19

6. Trader Joe's The Dark Chocolate Lover's Chocolate Bar 85% Cacao
Trader Joe's $1.49

7. Alter Eco Dark Blackout 85% Cocoa
Mother's Market $3.89

8. Valrhona Le Noir Extra Amer 85% Cocoa
Trader Joe's $2.99

9. World Market Dark Chocolate 99% Cacao
World Market $1.99

10. Theo Audubon 91% Cacao
Mother's Market $4.29

11. Ghirardelli Intense Dark 86% Cacao Midnight Reverie 
Target $2.33

12. Lindt Excellence 90% Cocoa Bar
World Market $2.79

I can't eat all this chocolate. Okay, maybe I can (slowly), but I'm just a hoarder. I would rather someone with better taste buds test these. This is where you come in!

To enter, all you need to do is tell me what's your favorite chocolate bar, dark chocolate, milk chocolate, white chocolate, and/or flavored. Specify the brand so I can check it out.

For an extra entry, tweet the following or some variation:

"Julie Goes Healthy's Birthday Giveaway: 12 bars of dark chocolate @MsLuong"

I'll pick the winner on Friday, July 13th.
Do you eat dark chocolate or some sort of sweet treat every night?


  1. Happy birthday!! I miss my college days, also. I've left a lot of regrets behind, and I would do anything for a chance to go back and do it all over again. Things would turn out a lot differently..
    Anyway, whoa! that's a lot of chocolate! I like how you roll ;). Are you still in Austin?!?
    Who doesn't love dark chocolate? However, I've come to the "bitter" realization that 85% cacao is the limit for me. I love the Lammes dark chocolate turtle!

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. I'm not in Austin anymore. I haven't tried Lammes or even heard of it! I'll have to look it up.

  2. I love dark chocolate. No specific brand in mind though, I love em all haha

  3. Happy Birthday! I'll be 25 tomorrow! There are so many July birthdays! My favorite chococolate is extra dark with mint ;)

    1. Happy birthday to you too! I never knew many people with birthdays so close to mine.

  4. i love any kind of chocolate, sometimes I want a reeses, sometimes I want a snickers & sometimes I crave the dove chocolate, its so smooth!

  5. i like dark chocolate with sea salt. the salt+sweet combo makes it hard to stop at one....... :)

    1. Sometimes I'll add sea salt to my peanut butter so maybe you can add some on top of dark chocolate bars... does that get the same effect?

  6. Ooh happy birthday! Great snapshot of life - I just turned 27 and remember going through the same list as you when I hit 25. To be honest, I thought back then I should be more settled than I feel I should be NOW so it does get easier, but I know that pressure we all feel in our 20s to get stuff together and in order! I STILL don't have it together, and I STILL feel the pressure, but here's hoping it gets easier as we approach 30!

    My favourite chocolate bar is Lindt's 85% or 90% chocolate. I love super dark chocolate! I am incredibly excited about this giveaway ;).

  7. And for that necessary extra entry...I tweeted!

  8. Happy Happy Happy Birthday beautiful!!! I hope you have a fabulous day! <3

  9. At first, it was hard for me to eat dark chocolate but I have slowly gained a palate for this treat ! I don't have a specific brand; I will try any :) Your collection of dark chocolate looks spectacular !!


  10. Ahhh! Happy Birthday! That is an awesome bucket list for this year!

    I'm absolutely obsessed with dark chocolate. Endangered Species is my favorite right now, but its tends to change on a regular basis. I'm also in love with Justin's Dark-Chocolate PB Cups! So yummy.

    I lovelovelove your blog, by the way! I found it thanks to Anna (The Guiltless Life) and I'm so glad that i did!

  11. Equal Exchange Organic Dark Chocolate Minis are my current favorite fix...though I love any vegan dark chocolate by them, Endangered Species, Valrhona and Theo. You have most excellent chocolate your selection! Cheers!

  12. Happy Birthday! I really love all chocolate, but my favorite is probably dark chocolate! :) No favorite brand in particular, though.

  13. i love green and black with coffee or wine!

  14. That theo audubon sounds incredible!

  15. Happy belated birthday!!! Hope you had a great day. Although I enjoy dark chocolate, my favorite chocolate bar is Milka chocolate (milk chocolate) just because they have great flavors.

  16. Happy birthday!! I love all kinds of dark chocolate! Especially TJs varieties

  17. Trader Joe Dark Chocolate Caramel and Black Sea Salt

  18. Amazing giveaway! My go-to is Green & Black 75% - fair trade and oh so tasty!