Benefits & Effects of Chocolate



benefits of chocolate for womeneffects of chocolate

Nutella & Chocolate Fondue Recipes

Nutella Fondue

1/2 cup cream (half & half, coffee cream or whipping cream)
4 oz. semisweet chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup Nutella

In a small-medium saucepan, heat the cream over medium heat until steaming but not boiling; remove from heat and add the chocolate and Nutella. Let sit for a few minutes, and then stir until smooth. Serve in a small chocolate fondue pot set over a tea light to help keep the mixture melted. Serves 8-12 (depending on appetites).

If you’re not into the Nutella fondue idea, try this simple chocolate fondue, made with milk, dark or white chocolate – your choice.

Classic Chocolate Fondue

1 cup cream (half & half, coffee cream or whipping cream)
1 tsp. vanilla or mint extract (optional)
8 oz. chocolate, chopped (semi-sweet, dark, milk, or white; your choice.)

In a small-medium saucepan, heat the cream (and extract, if using) over medium heat until steaming but not boiling; remove from heat and add the chocolate. Let sit for a few minutes, and then stir until smooth. Serve in a small chocolate fondue pot set over a tea light to help keep the chocolate melted. Serves 8-12.

Fun Adult Options:

1 T Grand Marnier
1 T rum
1 T Peppermint Schnapps
1 T Bailey’s Irish Cream
1 tsp peppermint, orange, coconut, etc. extract
pinch of espresso powder

Popular for Dipping:


Sliced bananas, apples, or pears
Pineapple chunks (I prefer fresh)
Dried fruit such as apricots, papaya and mangoes
Citrus sections
Strawberries, cherries, raspberries, blackberries, blueberries or grapes

Sweet & Salty Things

Angel food cake or pound cake cut into small pieces
Graham crackers or sticks
Marshmallows – there are many kinds such as strawberry regular, and toasted coconut)
Valentine shaped Peeps
Mini brownies or brownies cut into bite sized pieces or heart shapes using a small cookie cutter
Tiny cookies (Store bought or homemade – chocolate chip and peanut butter work well)
Cinnamon bears or hearts
Cheesecake bites (found in the freezer section)
Rice krispie treats cut into bite sized pieces or cut into heart shapes using a small cookie cutter
Mini cream puffs (in the freezer section)
Potato chips

Fondue History Lesson:

National Chocolate Fondue Day

It’s National Chocolate Fondue Day! The word “fondue” is derived from the French word “fondre,” which means to melt. The dish originated in 19th century Switzerland as a way to use up hardened cheese. It became popular for dinner parties in the 1950s, but the chocolate dessert version did not emerge until the 1960s. Chocolate fondue is a wonderful centerpiece for a party. Traditional dippers include fresh fruits such as bananas, strawberries, and tangerines; small pieces of cookie or cake; and miscellaneous goodies like marshmallows and pretzels. Celebrate National Chocolate Fondue Day by inviting some friends over to dip your favorite fruits and snacks into a delicious chocolate fondue!


Healthy Foods for Glowing Skin

Healthy, glowing, radiant- adjectives we all want to make use of when describing our skin. But when you’re like most women, you probably have a problem with stubborn skin issues. Nutrients in a few foods can improve the skin we have from the inside out. Common complaints among women would be the tone, texture, evenness, and clarity of the skin. By eating the right foods you are able to nix these issues and even combat aging process such as wrinkles, thinning skin and dryness.


Avocados are full of vitamins and mono unsaturated fats that whenever eaten in moderation, may help improve skin elasticity, smoothness, and lower fluid retention. Adding just a couple slices a day to a salad or sandwich is sufficient to reap the benefits.

This green veggie may be the at top of the list with regards to beauty foods. Kale is filled with antioxidants that are a great way of reducing wrinkles simply because they slow down the ageing process. Kale also includes Vitamin A, which is essential for the healthiness of your skin. It has been proven to be useful in averting a host of skin diseases too.

Cherries get their bright red coloring from anthocyanins, an all natural amino acid that has been shown to protect against the effects of oxygen, nitrogen, and Ultra violet rays. Cherries contain melatonin, too, which has been proven to help delay the aging process.

Dark chocolate contains more of those free-radical-fighting antioxidants which help keep your skin looking younger. And, eating chocolate is likely to make you smile – and everybody looks better when they smile.

Carrots are not only seen good for your eyes but which are also amazing for smooth skin. The skin we have is up against a lot of environmental factors every single day like sun radiation and toxins, which coupled with stress, leads to weakened defense against damaging toxins that attack our skin. Carotenoids, present in carrots, are your protection from these everyday pollutants and can prevent wrinkles.


Chocolate Covered Bacon Recipe


6-8 slices thick cut, best-quality bacon
12 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
4 ounces white chocolate, melted, optional for garnish


  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F.
  2. Place the bacon on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake in the oven, until bacon is cooked to your liking. 15 minutes for soft bacon, 20 minutes for crispy bacon.
  3. Let bacon cool on the parchment paper for 5 minutes then transfer to a plate lined with paper towels.
  4. Meanwhile set up a double boiler. Heat a large saucepan filled with water over high heat until boiling. Reduce heat to a simmer.
  5. Set a heat-proof bowl over the simmering water. Add the chocolate chips and stir with a fork until smooth and completely melted.
  6. Cover another baking sheet with parchment paper.
  7. Using tongs, carefully dip the bacon into the melted chocolate turning to coat all sides in chocolate. Transfer to the clean sheet of waiting parchment paper. Repeat with remaining slices of bacon.
  8. Drizzle with the white chocolate, if desired.
  9. Refrigerate until chocolate is hard.
  10. Once cool, enjoy!



About the Author:

Beauty Writer & Lifestyle Blogger April M. Monterrosa is a Proud Latina from San Antonio, Texas, a Military wife, the mama of a dachshund, a licensed Cosmetologist of 18 years, Owner of The Lil Spa Room, & a Nuskin Skin Care Distributor. With beauty & blogging being such passions, Shine Beautifully was born. Shine Beautifully will feature beauty tips, home remedies, quotes, poetry, recipes, personal stories, travel adventures, & an array of other topics. Don’t forget to subscribe!

National Milk Chocolate Day & DIY Facial Mask Recipe

July 28, 2013 is National Milk Chocolate Day! Chocoholics unite—it’s National Milk Chocolate Day!How is milk chocolate different from other chocolates? It’s a mix of cocoa solid and either dry or condensed milk. While dark chocolate is traditionally used as a baking ingredient, this sweet treat is used to make chocolate candy bars, hot chocolate, and many delicious desserts.Did you know that chocolate actually has mood-enhancing benefits? That’s right—chocolate can make you happy! This is due to the fact that it contains a stimulant called theobromine and a compound called anandamide. Now that’s a reason to celebrate! Today, enjoy milk chocolate your favorite way. Happy Milk Chocolate Day!
Enjoy some chocolate goodness while you treat your skin to antioxidants!


Here’s a DIY recipe:

1 tsp cocoa powder
1 tsp yogurt
1 tsp honey

1: Blend the cocoa powder with the honey and yogurt. Cocoa powder can be difficult to blend, so be patient with this step. Keep mixing until the mixture looks like melted chocolate.

2: Clean your face with lukewarm water. Dab dry and then apply the mask evenly all over your face except the eye and lip areas. Relax for 15 minutes and let the mask do it’s magic.

3: Wash off with lukewarm water and dab dry. Apply your favorite moisturizer. You’re done!

*Using food ingredients on your skin will provide similar benefits to when they are eaten, but there are always some minor differences. Here are the benefits that you can expect from this DIY chocolate yogurt mask:

Cocoa: Brimming with antioxidants, cocoa can help fight sun damage and provide you with anti-aging benefits. How can you refuse a chocolate without calories?

Yogurt: Because yogurt contains lactic acid, it acts as a natural exfoliant when applied onto the skin. The zinc found in yogurt can also fight pesky blemishes and may even shrink the appearance of large pores.

Honey: It has been popping up in various beauty products recently because of its ability to calm inflammation, soften dry, cracked skin and aid in skin healing and regeneration.


Hope you enjoy!

Organic Chocolate-Honey Facial

I’ll admit to having a bit of a sweet tooth. Two of my favorite sweet flavors are chocolate and honey. What’s not to love? They are both a glimpse of heaven when you taste them. With Valentine’s Day coming up, chocolate is kind of a big deal. So I thought it be fun to come up with a unique facial treatment with some of my favorite ingredients. My goal for your skin after I give you this delicious facial to provide powerful protein filled anti-oxidants, soften, reduce wrinkles, nourish & hydrate your skin, along with gently removing dead skin cells for a more rejuvenated tone. The two main recipes of this facial is the exfoliant and the masque, I will gladly share those recipes with you after my facial special. For now, I will go over a few of the ingredients in my mixtures, why I chose them, and what they do for your skin.


Cocoa is very nourishing to the skin. It contains calcium, potassium, sodium, magnesium, iron, zinc, copper, vitamins A1, B1, B2, C, D, E, phosphorous & chromium. In addition to this, it also contains a polyphenol called epicatechin which is a natural antiseptic, anti-inflammatory & anti-oxidant that helps to guard cells from free radical damage which causes skin to age.
Basically – the higher the cocoa content the more polyphenol, the healthier it is for you on the inside and out. (This is why I am using an organic cocoa) Some people believe that chocolate causes acne but according to dermatologists acne is caused to those people who consume chocolate which has milk in it and not the chocolate itself.


Honey has antibacterial and antiseptic properties, which helps in fighting acne and pimples. It reduces infection and is very effective home remedy to treat acne. When honey is diluted with water, it produces hydrogen peroxide. Hydrogen peroxide is an antimicrobial agent and is used as a mild antiseptic; therefore it’s useful in treating cuts, wounds, and abrasions. Used in facials, it hydrates as it cleanses, because it soak ups impurities from the pores of the skin, leaving your skin clear, clean, and radiantly moisturized. Since honey is enriched with antioxidants, it’s a natural remedy to prevent wrinkles and fight skin aging and damage.

Baking Soda: bakingsoda

Baking soda is great for breakouts; it can loosen tough skin around blackheads and soothe inflammation around pimples. Baking soda also “calms” the skin. In the very topmost layers of cells in the epidermis, the tough outer layer of the skin, small amounts of bicarbonate from the baking soda can enter the skin. The bicarbonate encourages the transportation of sodium into these cells. Their metabolisms slow down so they go into their normal life cycle, dying about 21 days after they are formed in the basal layers of the skin. As the top layers of skin flake away, newer and healthier skin cells can come to the surface. They add more natural color to the skin, and they loosen the skin around tight pores.


Oatmeal is one of the best natural treatments for dry skin. It can be used to make a gentle and very effective natural skin cleanser, facial scrub, and soothing facial mask. Oatmeal helps to relieve dryness, restoring natural moisture balance to aid in healing minor irritations due to the many causes and sources of skin sensitivities. Oatmeal actually absorbs and removes surface dirt and impurities while providing very gentle exfoliation, leaving skin smooth, soft, and clean, without irritating and drying out skin. The best thing about oatmeal in my opinion is it effectively removes dead skin cells, to reveal smoother looking skin and provides the bonus of a natural, healthy glow. So now that you know what all the ingredients used in my organic chocolate honey facial do, let’s get you into my warm spa bed and have you enjoy all these yummy goodies! Spa la la

Organic Chocolate-Honey Facial-$30 (45 min-For a Limited Time)
Book Yours Today!

<3April M. Monterrosa is the Owner of  The Lil Spa Room , PCA Skin Certified, a Nuskin Skin Care Distributor, Founder of  Wonderfully Wise Women, & a Writer for SAXtreme Magazine. Just a simple &  Proud Latina from San Antonio, Texas, a Marine Corps wife, Mama of a Dachshund, & a licensed Cosmetologist of 17+ years, blogging about things I love most…Beauty, Love, Life, Spa, Wine, and everything else in between! Check out my other Blog at:

Clarifying Chocolate Mask Recipe

What you’ll need:

3/4 of a cup of lukewarm water. 1 cup of instant oatmeal. (The oatmeal will soak up excess oils while being used as a mask and will double as an exfoliant when the mask is washed away.) 1 tablespoon of honey. (The honey will help to refine your pores while killing surface bacteria and reducing inflammation.) 1 tablespoon of chocolate syrup. (The chocolate polyphenols in the syrup will help to ease fine lines and wrinkles…and smells fantastic!)


Stir all of the ingredients until well-blended. Apply the mixture to your face using a clean brush or a spoon. (Try not to use your fingers because you not only want to avoid bacteria but you also want the smoothest application possible…which your fingers can’t acheive.) Allow to sit for 15 minutes and lightly scrub the mixture with lukewarm water.