The Chronic Consumer

I buy things — all the time!

Frey Chocobloc White

I recently received something called Chocobloc White in a gift basket from a friend. It is made by Frey, a Swiss company, and is fine white chocolate with almond and honey nougat. Let me just tell you: this stuff was divine!

I am not much of a chocolate person, so I don’t really know the difference between Swiss chocolate, Belgian chocolate, etc. I don’t know gourmet stuff from dollar store stuff, basically. But with Chocobloc White, I could tell the quality was better than usual.

The white chocolate was thick and creamy, and the almond and honey nougat added additional texture and flavor.

The only setback to Chocobloc White is the calorie count, which is listed as 574 calories per 100g. I received a huge 400g package, so that’s more than 2,000 calories right there. Even spread across a whole week, it had an effect on my waistline.

Oh, well, it was definitely worth trying once!

Need a new scent

I’ve been wearing the same fragrance for many years and am ready for a new scent now. The thing is, I hate shopping for perfume at a department store because all the scents start to blend together until I can’t tell one from the other. Maybe I should just buy online this time — without smelling the stuff first.

It sounds a bit risky to choose a perfume based on written descriptions alone, but other people do it without a problem. I know several women who regularly buy perfume from thefragranceshop.com (including new scents that they’ve never tested before) and love everything they get. Maybe it would work for me too. There’s only one way to find out, I guess!

Personal Blender

I’ve been wanting to get back to drinking smoothies as part of a healthy breakfast, but I just hate the idea of wrestling with my huge kitchen blender, having to clean it daily, etc. But after browsing around on Amazon for a little bit today, I saw this Hamilton Beach Personal Blender that looks very promising.

This is a “single-serve” blender that is perfectly sized for mixing smoothies and other beverages for one person. The blending jar doubles as a travel container/drinking cup (there’s a spout in the lid), which is super convenient. Plus, the container and lid are dishwasher safe so I don’t have to worry about cleaning.

The reviews on this one seem fairly good (average 4 stars with 618 ratings on Amazon) and the $15 price tag is just right. I’m putting this on my Wish List for now, but have a feeling I’ll be ordering it very soon!

Knife for Plastic Models

My son has recently become interested in plastic models of airplanes and military vehicles. He has put together a few basic ones already and is now looking to move up to some intermediate projects.

The intermediate projects are a bit more intricate and might require some cutting and trimming, so I was looking through some Martor USA box cutters and utility knives to see if I could find an appropriate tool for my son.

I did come across this Hobby Cut knife that looks good. The blade is small, sharp, and angled, which allows it to make precision cuts even in tough-to-reach areas.

I’m going to keep looking around for similar tools, but if I don’t find anything else, I’ll likely end up purchasing this Hobby Cut.

iPad Mini

The iPad Mini was officially announced today, though there have been months of rumors and speculation already. Many people thought this product would be priced to compete with the Kindle Fire and other tablets (around $199), but no… Apple went and set the price at $329 for the entry-level 16GB model.

I like the idea of a smaller iPad because I think the current size is a bit too big for everything except pictures and videos. But there’s no way in hell I’m paying $329 for it. I’d take my chances on a competitor’s product first. I’m sure these will sell out anyway, though….

Kindle Paperwhite Early Reviews

Last month when Amazon announced their new Kindle Paperwhite product, I was excited about it — but decided to wait to see how the early adopters felt about the product before actually buying it for myself. It’s a good thing I did.

Early reviews seem to be fairly mixed. A lot of people have given it 5 stars on Amazon, but there are way more 1- and 2-star reviews than I’m comfortable with. The biggest complaint seems to be about the backlight distribution, with many folks saying the the light isn’t even across the whole screen, there are dark spots, etc. I don’t like the sound of that. Plus, other folks say the product feels like a beta version rather than something that should have been released. Clearly, that’s not a good sign.

Since there’s absolutely nothing wrong with my Kindle Keyboard (third generation), I guess I’ll hold off until the next gen Paperwhite comes around. There’s obviously room for improvement in the next iteration.

iTunes Customer Service

Buying things from the iTunes store is usually a smooth, problem-free experience. I’ve been on iTunes almost from the beginning and have never had an issue until recently. I purchased a song that wouldn’t download properly to my computer, so I had to contact customer service to find out what was going on.

I first submitted an email, which they responded to in less than 12 hours. Their response contained some troubleshooting suggestions. Those didn’t work for me, so I replied to let them know that. They promptly offered to refund my purchase, with no further questions asked.

I was surprised at how hassle-free the experience was. Sometimes when dealing with a massive, global corporation, it can be hard to get real answers. But Apple/iTunes customer service was efficient and effective, which was a very nice surprise!

Ritter Sport Milk Chocolate with Whole Hazelnuts

I try to stay out of the candy aisle as much as possible (for obvious diet-related reasons), but the last time I went to the grocery store I just couldn’t resist. That’s when I saw a product called Ritter Sport Milk Chocolate with Whole Hazelnuts. It looked and sounded delicious, so I bought it.

Now, I know Ritter Sport has been around for ages, but this was the first time I ever knowingly ate one of their products. And let me tell you — it was fantastic! The milk chocolate is so creamy and rich, with just the right amount of sweetness and the hazelnuts added a nice, contrasting, crunchy texture to the mix. I love this chocolate!!

The drawback, of course, is that there are about 630 calories per 100g bar. I guess this will just have to be a once-in-a-blue-moon treat instead of something I buy regularly. Oh, well, it’ll give me something to look forward to, I suppose!