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I love chocolate. No, I really love chocolate. At work, there’s a drawer filled with those cute Dove bite size chocolate candies. Every afternoon, like clockwork, I come downstairs and grab one. It’s a guilt free way to make it through the rest of the work day.

This past summer, I entered my first story in the Harlequin Heartwarming Write from the Heart contest. This was the first time I had sent my work out to be critiqued by an industry professional, and I was nervous. While I was waiting to hear back if my story made it to the second round of the contest, I opened up a Dove chocolate and saw the message in the picture above – Believe in yourself.

Being plagued by self-doubt, this little chocolate inspiration really hit home. I tacked it to the wall of my work desk as a daily reminder. Believing in yourself costs nothing, but the payout can be huge.

Weeks later, I found out I had made it to the second round in the Write from the Heart contest. I ended up not winning, but I did get some valuable feedback from the Harlequin Heartwarming editors. That, in itself, was priceless.

That little piece of foil is still pinned to my desk. Along with various other fun items.

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What are the little things you do to help feed the seed of belief in yourself?

In honor of my love of chocolate, I’m sharing a recipe for yummy Turtle Brownies.

  • 1 box German chocolate cake mix
  • 1 can (12oz) of Carnation milk
  • 3/4 cup melted butter
  • 1 pkg. Kraft caramels
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 pkg. (12oz) semi-sweet chocolate chips

In a bowl, combine cake mix, 1/2 cup Carnation milk, and 3/4 cup melted butter. Spread 1/2 mixture in a 9×13 inch greased pan. Bake for 6 to 8 minutes at 350 degrees.

Unwrap caramels and place in microwave safe bowl. Melt in microwave for 60 seconds. Add 1/3 cup of Carnation and mix well. Pour over baked dough, then sprinkle pecans evenly over melted caramels. Sprinkle chocolate chips over pecans. Spread remaining dough over the top and bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes longer.