That first week back to the real world after a nice, relaxing vacation can be so hard. It’s hard to get back into the swing of answering emails, running errands, cleaning, and all that normal stuff that you can avoid when you’re on a beach seemingly a million miles from home.
If you’re in the US, don’t forget that this is the last weekend for the current Costco US coupon book. Plus, you might want to do a bit of planning ahead because next Sunday is Mother’s Day (May 10) and Costco has a lot of lovely things for mom’s, but if you’re thinking of ordering flowers or a gift basket through Costco you’ll need to have them ordered by midnight on May 4 or they won’t get there in time.
Brothers Natural Choice Organic Fruit Ice Lollies – These are the perfect treat for warm summer days. Or, moderately warm spring days as we are having now. In this package at Costco, you get 18 ice lollies (that’s popsicles to those in the US) in three different flavours: strawberry, mango, and coconut. The mango is obviously my favourite because I just love mango. However, all three flavours were really good. You can’t tell as much with the mango, but the strawberry and coconut flavours both have chunks of their respective fruits in them. Now, with the strawberry that is good because the strawberries are tender and the pieces are quite small, so you barely notice them really. Unfortunately, the texture of shredded coconut isn’t really a benefit to something like this, especially since it all seems to have congregated around the bottom of the ice lolly and you get it all right at the end. Aside from that one little issue, we really like these. The coconut just really says “summer”, probably because it tastes like a bottle of Hawaiian Tropic tanning oil smells – super duper coconutty. The good thing about these is that they are made with organic fruit and cane sugar with no dairy and are suitable for vegans or those with gluten issues. And they are fairly low in calories for a sweet treat: strawberry has 77 calories, mango has 88 calories, and coconut has 115 calories. You get six of each of the three flavours and they are a decent size, not seeming too big or too small. I always find myself wishing that people who make these types of things would find something aside from a wooden stick though because inevitably that taste of wooden stick is the ending flavour instead of the delicious fruitiness (or whatever the flavour is for your icy treat). I hope we can find these at Costco again for the summer because these are great after I’ve had a hot workout or run. Since these are from a company in California, I’d guess that you should be able to find these in Costco US locations as well. 18, 2.75 ounce ice lollies for £6.49. Item #: 0168635.
Riemann P20 Once a Day Sun Protector – We picked this up for our trip to Maui where there’s lots of sun and people as pale as me shouldn’t be out in it without some serious protection or a coat. We’ve bought this before and found it to be pretty much the best sunscreen in the world (or at least of the multitudes that I have tried). When I use this, even in very heavy sun, I miraculously don’t burn. And since I can burn my skin on an overcast winter night, that’s pretty amazing. This year we bought two different types, an SPF 20 that you pour out and rub on in the normal way and then an SPF 30 version with a spray. They both work really well and gave us the desired protection. The spray is a pump sprayer so it doesn’t seem to blow around as much as some of the other spray on sunscreens; we never had the big useless cloud of floating sunscreen like some of our fellow beach goers. I would say though that generally the spray stuff is really only a good idea inside or on days where there isn’t a breeze because you want to make sure it gets on your skin, not just blowing around in a cloud in the vicinity of your skin. What’s great about the Riemann sunscreen is that it protects you from UVA and UVB, plus it lasts for 10 hours, and is “Very Water Resistant” which means that you can swim away and still be covered. There really is an actual scale of sunscreen water resistance and that “very” means something; I think with this you can stay in the water continuously for something like 90 minutes. So, if you’re just doing casual swimming during the day, you’re good to go, as long as you don’t vigorously rub yourself dry with a towel when you get out of the water or soap up while you are in the pool (soap and scrubbing will both remove the sunscreen). The Riemann sunscreen doesn’t have added fragrance, colorants, or preservatives, so it doesn’t cause skin irritation like I sometimes get with the creamy sunscreens. It goes on clear what seems like a thick oil with a slight alcohol-like smell, which might make you worried for your skin, but it dries in no time and doesn’t leave your skin feeling like you have much of anything on it; it’s not oily, it’s not tight, and it isn’t irritated. All you end up with is this seemingly invisible layer of protection against all of the bad rays from the sun. We both love having a sunscreen that dries so quickly without a yucky residue, white marks, or an unpleasant smell. It’s even safe to use on your face (though as always, test it on a small area first just to make sure) and light enough that you won’t mind it or even notice it is on there. And all of that means that you can spend more time enjoying your sunny holiday rather than slathering on more sunscreen or sitting in the shade with crispy burnt skin. SPF 20/SPF 30 – 200 ml for £12.79. Item #: 0187562 or 0084008.
Govinda’s Fresh Juices Hawaiian Super “C” Juice – As you might guess from the name of this juice, this is something we bought while we were in Maui. The juice is a combination of lilikoi, guava, pineapple and orange juices. For those of you that are like “what’s lilikoi,” it is the same thing as passion fruit. The juice is very fresh tasting and is indeed super high in vitamin C. An eight ounce glass of this juice provides you with 300% of your RDA for vitamin C. What really drew us to this juice though was that unlike almost every other juice you’ll find in a supermarket, this is incredibly made with 60% juice. In our quick comparison, I think the next highest was just 20%. The taste was a really yummy blend of all of the juices and didn’t seem to be overwhelmed by either the orange or the pineapple. It was amazing how fresh squeezed it tasted too, like you were at a really good restaurant or took the time to do some juice making at home. What I have since found out is that one of the ways that they maintain that fresh squeezed taste is through skipping the heat pasteurizing or flash-pasteurizing of their juice in favour of UV treatment. The use of UV doesn’t destroy the vitamins or essential enzymes, and doesn’t alter the fresh natural taste, but does provide the same level of food safety as pasteurization. So, in the end you get super fresh tasting juice that is still packed full of all of the vitamins and goodness. This juice was the perfect morning wakeup for Hawaii because it just tasted so fresh and like a little bit of sunshine in a glass. Delicious! I’ve seen on the Govinda’s Juice website that you can find their watermelon juice at Costco in Hawaii now too. I wish we had seen that because I would have certainly picked that up too. This juice was certainly more expensive than other juices, however, it’s much healthier and you are getting actual juice instead of just a bunch of water, so we felt like it was worth it. 1.89 litres/1/2 Gallon for $8.61. Item #: 886698.
Delici Sea Salt Caramel Desserts – Okay, this doesn’t scream “Maui” or anything, so it might not have been the best island themed dessert we could have picked up at Costco, but it was good. If the mango cheesecake hadn’t looked so big, we probably would have gotten that instead ($14.99 for an 82 ounce cheesecake) since I love mango so much and it looked very tempting. But then I saw these and they seemed more reasonable for two people, so sanity prevailed. These were actually a perfect little dessert after a hard day of lounging by the pool. You get six little glass cups that are a bit like a big shot glass and they are filled with three layers of goodness: crushed cookies and fleur de sel caramel on the bottom, with a cream caramel mousse in the middle, and a dark chocolate ganache on top. For the best punch of flavour, you really need to dig your spoon in all the way to the bottom and get all three flavours. The caramel on the very bottom is really good and it definitely brings the best out of the mousse and ganache, probably because of the little touch of salt. These are by no means a huge dessert, which makes them ideal in my mind. You just need a little something sweet after dinner and this definitely fits that bill. Honestly, I think that if they were any bigger it would be too much because they’re not without a certain level of richness. The kind where a little goes a long way, but in a good way. These are actually made in Belgium so I would think they might also be available in other Costco locations in the US. Unfortunately, even though Belgium is really close to us here in the UK (certainly closer than it is to Hawaii), I’ve never seen these at our Costco location. 6, 2.68 ounce cups for $11.39. Item #: 869380.