Coffee and tea–rivals since 1773 (when drinking tea was considered unpatriotic in America after the Boston Tea Party), but that’s all behind us now, although, there are people who fancy one over the other for personal preference.
I am more of a coffee drinker, but I usually like to drink tea at night because it feels more cozy and easy on my stomach. This then brings me to another latte recipe—london fog–an earl gray tea latte. Here’s my recipe:
INGREDIENTS: Bigelow earl gray tea bag 1/2 cup hot water 1/2 cup milk 1 tsp honey (or to taste) 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
STEPS: 1. Steep your tea with 1/2 cup of hot water
2. While tea is steeping, froth milk: Using Nespresso Aeroccino
Using frothing wisk: heat milk, honey, and vanilla in saucepan but not to boil. Use wisk until milk foths. Using french press: Heat milk, vanilla extract, honey in microwave and pour warm milk in french press. Pump up and down with plunger until it froths.
3. Pour frothed milk in a stainless steel creamer pitcher or something you can easily pour with (if you used the French press, you can just pour from there, but just remove the lid). I like to use a SS creamer pitcher because it pours the froth better).
4. Express tea bag in the cup with a spoon to make sure you have a good concentrate of tea in the water. Throw tea bag and pour frothed milk slowly.
Valentine’s Day is around the corner, and what better way to celebrate it than with good ol’ Mr. Cuppa Joe.
Here’s how to make a beautiful Valentine’s latte.
Note: If you don’t have a frother, you can use a french press, but I’ve linked an inexpensive hand-held, easy-to-use frother from Amazon.
What you will need:
Freshly brewed espresso (or dark roast coffee)
Starbucks Caramel Syrup or Vanilla extract
Pink and/or red crystals for garnish (if you want to make it fancy)
Whipped cream (again, fancy factor)
Red food coloring (actually important)
Clear coffee mug (fancy factor AND important)
Step 1: Measure liquids. You’re only going to use 1/3 of your coffee mug for brewed coffee, and the rest is milk. Set your coffee aside in something you can pour with later, preferably with a spout. Place the milk in a sauce pan.
Step 2: Add 3 pumps of Starbucks Caramel Syrup and 3 drops of red food coloring. Slowly mix and heat the mixture, BUT NOT TO BOIL!
Step 3: Once the milk mixsture is hot, pour it in a french press (if you have a frother, you can use the frother in the saucepan). Swiftly pump up and down with the plunger for about 30 seconds. You will notice the milk mixture start to foam.
Step 4: Once you have frothed the milk mixture, REMOVE FRENCH PRESS LID (so you don’t separate the foam) and pour it in your coffee mug.
Step 5: Pour the coffee SLOWLY in the coffee mug. Use the round end of the spoon to help pour it slowly.
Step 6: Whip out that whipped cream and garnish with the pink sugar crystals!
The Cracked Mug—aesthetically pleasing and a peaceful place to grab a cup of joe. It is located in The Shops at Old Town Helotes, fitting perfectly well amongst quaint local shops like a winery and an ice cream shop. One of the main reasons why I enjoy visiting local coffee shops is because every shop has a different atmosphere. The Cracked Mug has a fusion of “The Secret Garden” meets “American Pickers” vibe. The shared courtyard is open and cloaked by tent of trees with just enough room for crepuscular rays glistening the courtyard.
It’s not a coffee shop I approve of without it being dog friendly. They have an awesome staff, who are JUST as into pups as I am—two of them even have huskies!
The menu is small, yet simple-you can have a cup of coffee to sit and relax without having the need to order something else to “fulfill” your visit. On the contrary, if you feel like having something light to fill your stomach to satisfy your hunger, they have a simple, straightforward menu and still not feel like you’re eating in a busy restaurant. Of course, I always go for the signature lattes—a Willie Nelson, why not?!
If you get a chance, stop by Old Town Helotes, enjoy this rustic town (more about this town later) and don’t forget to grab your coffee.
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For many centuries, hair has always been part of our culture to express class and personality. Every beauty routine always incorporates hair–either styling or care. I’ve always had issues finding the right shampoo/conditioner. I have sensitive scalp and my hair–although straight–still very hard to manage. My hair can get very dry to very oily, so it’s always hard to find the product that can maintain my hair and scalp. Another thing I look for in a hair product is the scent. Sometimes something that’s good for your hair can smell like medicine, and sometimes something that smells really good can be as good as WORTHLESS.
I have had the opportunity to collaborate with Forumulate to try their hair care products. Formulate creates products customized to your haircare needs and goals. What I love about this company is that their products are paraben free, sulfate free, preservative free, and cruelty free!
QUICK FACTS ABOUT THE COMPANY
They customize shampoo based on your hair and environment–styling, routines, and surrounding environment. Their products are not by subscription, but just pay as you go.
4 oz bottles costs $14.95
14 oz $44
What’s great about this is that if you’re not satisfied with their product, they will work with you as long as they need to perfect your formulation–at no extra charge.
Their app is easy to use, and a great way to track your progress and update your hair profile to revise your product. You can also send friends referral codes, and if someone you referred purchases the product, you earn reward points that can be put towards more product!
I was working with Caroline, a PR rep from Formulate. She reached out to me and was very professional, informative, and made sure I was familiar with the product.
To get started, you build a profile of your hair to help their chemists “formulate” a shampoo that can target your issues and goals. I love this because it not only tries to eliminate problems, it also can achieve your hair goals at the same time!
Here is my profile:
Day 1-3: The scent I chose initially smelled nice, (at dawn) but it was too strong and it smelled more like a lotion than a shampoo. The first day, my hair felt weighted and stiff–almost like the texture of when you have day old hairspray and it’s starting to wear off and feel powdery. I thought it was just because it was the first day and my hair needed to adjust to the formulation. Day 3 came, but it still felt the same. I reached out to Caroline, and she recommended a scent (Green with Envy) and adjusted my formulation.
My new formulation came in a few days. It smelled a LOT better–even better, my hair felt great! After day 1, my hair felt silky smooth. A huge obstacle for my hair is my scalp. Of course, healthy hair needs a healthy scalp. I have scalp psoriasis, so I’ve always had a problem finding shampoos that work, and I really didn’t want to spend hundreds of dollars to see a dermatologist. I’m so glad Formulate was able to address my scalp problem, because it was my most concerning issue.
I’ve been using for a little over a month now. My hair and scalp feels absolutely amazing! If you haven’t checked Formulate yet, you should! Head over to their website, very informative and aesthetically pleasing.
As much as I love Christmas, there’s always the ever-looming-Christmas shopping situation. Although spending more than expected is inevitable–even if you think you’re getting a good deal on sales–it always feels good to know you can still save a few dollars. Here is how I shopped for Christmas that saved me a few hundred dollars.
ONLINE SHOPPING: Black Friday, Doorbusters, sound like great deals, but from my experience, I don’t save much. First, there’s the hustle and bustle, and you’ll be lucky if you got what you wanted. I always find myself opting for the cheap knock-off that’s supposedly “marked down.” I love online shopping because you can really plan your shopping and shop smart by easily comparing prices at different stores with the click of a button.
CASH BACK SITES: One word. EBATES. Ebates is my GO-TO for shopping online. I never shop online without going through Ebates first. Their cashback percentages vary every day, but every cent counts and WILL count especially during the Holiday shopping season. Here are my top stores to shop on ebates with pretty good cashback percentages:
Ulta Now these sites are my everyday go-to online shopping for clothes and miscellaneous items because their cashback steadily stays around 5%. However, during the Holidays, cashback on other stores tend to raise their percentages significantly, so KEEP A LOOK OUT! Macy’s and JC Penny have gone up to 12-15% cashback, so I jump on that pretty quick. TIPS: FOR EACH STORE, SEE IF YOU CAN GET CASHBACK ON GIFT CARDS—E-CARDS ARE EASY TO SEND, FAST, AND NO SHIPPING!
TRAVELING? THERE ARE BOOKING SITES FOR FLIGHTS AND HOTELS! EXPEDIA, HOTELS.COM, BOOKING.COM, AND MANY MORE!
JOIN EBATES NOW! IT’S FREE. NOTHING TO LOOSE, ONLY TO GAIN!
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