Roasted Cocoa With Notes Of Vanilla

Rich. Aromatic. Roasted cocoa extract infused with notes of vanilla blended with coffee arabica.

It’s 8a as I finish my last bite of avocado, quinoa and egg breakfast. After placing the dishes in the sink, I take one final sweeping gaze around the condo.

Laptop- check. Keys- check. Chargers- check. Suitcase- check.

Everything appears to be packed and ready to go. So, I grab my phone, pull up the Lyft app to request a ride to the airport.

I’m on my way to Scottsdale, Arizona for a fateful business meeting. Fateful because in hindsight, it was the end of a chapter in my life, and the beginning of another. The app states that my ride is three minutes away, so I grab my belongings and head down the stairs. Shortly after I step outside, a car pulls up that matches the vehicle listed on my phone.

I open the back door and pile my things inside.

“Good morning,” the driver states with a heavy Latino accent. “Would you like to put your bag in the back?”

“No, thank you. I’ve got enough room.”

“Ok! Let’s go.”

I immediately tune into the driver’s whimsical energy. Very fun, almost childlike. I’m about to comment on this when I catch a whiff of a beautiful scent.

I look down in the console in between the driver and passenger seat. Small, billowy puffs of smoke are slowly making its way from the front of the car, back to me. My nose catches a whiff of a smoky cinnamon scent with hints of vanilla and coffee.

“Is that an oil diffuser,” I ask, intrigued.

The driver confirms it is, without any explanation.

Hmmm, whimsical energy? An oil diffuser? Who is this magical creature driving Lyft?

“That’s cool. I have one at home too. Why do you have an oil diffuser in the car.”

I see his deep, dark eyes glance up to the rearview mirror. He pauses to look at me, almost as if he’s assessing to see which answer he should share.

“Well,” he clears his throat. “Oil diffusers attract certain energies. They can aid in cleansing toxic energy, lifting moods and healing old wounds. I’m an energy healer from Peru. Do you believe in magic?”

Located in the high jungle in Norther Peru is a city called Jaen. An 18-hour bus ride from Lima, while it is rarely visited by international tourists, it is one of the top producers of coffee in the world. In 1999, 220 small-scale coffee farmers in Jaen, formed a Cenfrocafe (Central Fronteriza del Norte de Cafetaleros) . An organization designed to provide technical assistance, marketing and business support services to local farmers. With an incredible network of international connections, the organization seamlessly provides direct accessibility to international markets for the coffee farmers to expand their businesses.

Short-term credit, economic workshops, community development programs are a small sampling of what Cenfrocafe offers to its local entrepreneurs - resulting in Peru’s 100% fair trade coffee to be in high demand around the world. The country is one of the top 20 producers of coffee, and the top five export of coffee arabica with a distinct profile of crisp acidity, complimented with notes of milk chocolate, dried fruits, honey and caramel.

Rich. Aromatic. Roasted cocoa extract infused with notes of vanilla blended with coffee arabica.

Nick is out for his Sunday mountain bike ride while I’m at home for a lovely afternoon of indulgent self-care. Earlier that morning, I take a delicious Samba class at the Beat with world-renowned dancer & instructor, Jacque Barnes. In many circles, Barnes is credited with introducing Samba to the Bay Area back in the 1970s.

After class, I take a steaming shower rinsing my hair with LUSH’s Fairly Traded Honey shampoo and spritz my curls with Deva Curl’s papaya extract.

After drying, I pull my hair up in a pineapple and begin my facial. The steam from the shower has opened my pores and prepped my skin for deep cleansing.

I pull out the Lush’s Cup O’Coffee scrub that I just used to exfoliate my body in the shower, and gently apply it to my face.

Rich. Aromatic. Roasted cocoa extract infused with notes of vanilla blended with coffee arabica.

Its vetivert oil (with origins tracing back to my homes in West Africa and Jamaica), yields a smoky earthy aroma, and is restorative and relaxing for the skin. The vanilla beans create a natural humectant to protect the skin from moisture loss, while the coffee boosts circulation and blood flow.

I leave the mask on my skin for fifteen minutes as I listen to Minnie Riperton’s Light My Fire in the background.

Vanilla candles and soft jazz playing. After a week of pore buildup, my skin feels tingly as I sense it releasing congestion built up over time.

Rinsing my skin with gentle lukewarm water reveals a glow that had been masked by baggage accumulated over the week. Baggage I didn’t know I was carrying, but magical liberation envelopes me once it is removed.

Money & Mimosas at the White Sands, New Mexico

“Yes, I do believe in magic,” I quietly shared with my new Peruvian friend.

Little did I know, then, that his energy healing was the magic I needed to heal my soul of ancestral wounds and release baggage I didn’t know I was carrying.

Rich. Aromatic. Roasted cocoa extract infused with notes of vanilla blended with coffee arabica.

 About Money & Mimosas: Money & Mimosas was started as a passion project by Danetha, a former NFL cheerleader turned entrepreneur and financial journalist. After a brunch conversation with girlfriends, Danetha was inspired to launch a resource to explore her journey to achieving financial independence and maintaining financial well-being.

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