Tuesday’s Tip: Keurig, how I love thee…

Best beverage-based invention of the century…  If you have one or have tried one, you know what I mean.

Behold, the Keurig single cup coffee brewer!

I actually bought this little baby on a whim about a year ago, which is not like me at all.  Tadd and I were arguing about something (can’t even remember what!).  I was feeling grumpy about the whole ordeal and headed out for some time to myself and some retail therapy.  I had a Bed Bath & Beyond 20% off coupon, so I decided to get the smallest model, which is originally $100.  The coupon brought it down to $80.  Not bad at all!

I brought it home and immediately any disgruntled feelings between us dissipated as we checked out our new gadget!  We were in love, both with each other and our Keurig!  Awwww…It brought us together.

It’s so simple!  Most models come with a starter pack of 12 or so K-Cups.  You just choose which one you want (there are a million varieties to choose from; coffee, tea, hot chocolate, lattes, iced coffee, iced tea, even hot cider!).

Fill the reservoir in the top of the machine with the appropriate amount of water…

Sorry the pic is so blurry, but you get the idea.

Open up the machine and insert your chosen K-Cup…

Close the machine and push the “BREW” button.  Have your cup ready because soon it will be automatically filled with your choice of delicious beverage!

It’s that easy!  Best of all, it does not require any cleaning between cups.  I rarely made coffee for myself at home before, because it never made sense to make a whole pot just so I could have a small amount.  Even a small pot was usually too much for me and Tadd.  And we could never agree on the type of coffee to brew.  On top of that, I hated cleaning out the coffee maker!  Now we can make as much as we want of whatever type of beverage we want with no mess!  And I love the varieties!  Our favorites are the iced coffees…they are brewed slightly stronger to perfectly counteract the melted ice required to cool it down after brewing.  I want to try one of the iced teas soon too.  Perfect for summer!

Do you have a Keurig?  What are your favorite K-Cups?

Tuesday’s Tip: Chili’s Blackberry Iced Tea

On Friday for lunch, I decided to order Chili’s To Go and got a half turkey sandwich and small salad combo, which I ordered online while at work, and then picked up at the restaurant.  This was my first time doing this at lunch time during a work day and I must say it was pretty convenient.

Now, I am the type that generally tries not to drink my calories throughout the day.  I usually drink water or some other non-calorie drink.  I try to keep the diet soda to a minimum, but if I am going to drink soda, it will be diet.  I don’t usually drink caloric beverages unless there is a specific reason for me to want to (like at Sonic…CHERRY LIMEADE!).  This is, of course, aside from the occasional adult beverage.

Usually at a restaurant, I won’t even look at the soft drink menu…I will just either order a water or a diet Coke/Pepsi.  But of course, ordering online, you have the whole list of beverages in front of you.  For some reason the blackberry iced tea struck my fancy that day.  Not even sure why because I really don’t consider myself to be an iced tea drinker.

click for source

Oh my goodness!  So delicious!  After I finished it back in my office, I sat there wishing with everything in me that I could have a refill.  I think it helps that I pretty much love anything blackberry, but it really was the most perfect blend of blackberry and tea.  Yes, it is sweet, but not ridiculously so.  It’s just plain good.

So, my tip to my readers is…Go, have lunch at Chili’s, use their Chili’s To Go service if it suits you…yadda yadda yadda…  But if you haven’t already PLEASE do yourself a favor and give the blackberry iced tea a try!  I saw on the menu that they also have blackberry lemonade, but I cannot speak for that…yet.

Tuesday’s Tip: Bissell SpotBot

As I have mentioned previously, I have pets.  Two adorable kitties to be exact!  As adorable as they are, they make messes at times.  Logan forgets where the litter box is occasionally.  Stella eats too fast and barfs it up later (and ALWAYS on the carpet).  I also have a clumsy husband who sometimes spills things.  And of course, there are just your average random messes and accidents that happen occasionally to everyone.

In my experience, the best remedy for all the issues highlighted above is the Bissel SpotBot Deep Cleaner.  My parents bought it for us for Christmas last year and it has been a lifesaver for us.  I wish we had gotten one sooner.

You just fill it up with some cleaning solution & water, bring it to the stain, plug it in, and push a button.  A few minutes later, it will beep, and your carpet will be stain-free.  Magic!

There are two settings…one for surface stains and one for deep-set stains.  We find that the surface stain setting is better because it uses less cleaning solution and does just as good of a job.  It seems like the deep-set stain setting is just a longer cycle.  There is also a manual hose & attachment for scrubbing out the stains yourself, if you choose.  This is good for if the stain is slightly bigger than the spot cleaning area.  You can have the SpotBot clean the center of the stain, and then use the manual attachment to get the edges.

It’s a bit of an investment at slightly over $100, but well worth it, especially if you have pets, kids, or clumsy husbands!

By the way, just as a disclaimer, I am NOT being paid to offer these tips…These are just products and items that I have tried that I love and want to share.  🙂

Tuesday’s Tip: Talenti Sea Salt Caramel Gelato

So here we go…A non-alchoholic tip for a Tuesday.

This is not one of those “put on your grocery list every week” sort of items.  This is much more of a special occasion, once-in-a-while item.  Something to pick up if you really want to treat yourself.

Talenti Sea Salt Caramel Gelato

Talenti Sea Salt Caramel Gellato

Tadd, being the thoughtful sweet husband that he is, bought this as a treat for me when he went grocery shopping with his brother on Sunday.  Let me warn you, it is pricey…  They come in 1 pint plastic containers as pictured above, and Publix had this on sale this past week at 2 for $8.  So $4 for a pint, on sale.  But I think $4 or even $5 for an every-so-often indulgence, in the grand scheme of things isn’t too bad.  It’s better than spending $50-$100 treating yourself to a new purse or shoes, right?

This stuff is simply amazing.  It’s hard to even describe, but I will try…  It’s just really really really really good.  It’s the kind of good where you THINK you could sit and eat the whole thing, but you really just need a few spoonfuls and you are good to go.  Gelato is much denser and creamier than ice cream, and they really get the taste of caramel just right.  With the heaviness of the gelato and the intensity of the flavor, you really only need a little bit to feel satisfied.  The salt note gives it a complexity and sophistication that you just don’t get with regular ice cream.  It doesn’t taste salty, but you can still taste what the salt does to the caramel.  Also, mixed into the gelato are chunks of salted caramel truffles.  So good.

So next time you are having a bad day, or want to celebrate something, or just want to treat yourself…This is my suggestion.  If you give it a try, let me know your thoughts.  Talenti has several other flavors that I want to try too, but it will be hard to choose those flavors knowing that I would be passing up Sea Salt Caramel!


Tuesday’s Tip: Jam Jar!

Hopefully it doesn’t reflect poorly on me that I am now 2 for 2 on adult beverage-related Tuesday’s Tips.  I promise next week’s tip will be alcohol free!

I just wanted to share with you a new wine I tried over the weekend; Jam Jar!

Jam Jar Wine

Jam Jar Wine

This is a sweet shiraz by Cape Classics Fine South African Wines.  I think it should be THE red wine for summer!  It’s light and sweet, but not too sweet.  I found my bottle at Total Wine on Saturday and couldn’t resist opening the bottle early on Monday evening.  I think the bright graphic packaging was calling my name.  It was a little pricier than the wines I normally buy ($11), but worth it for something extra special for the holiday weekend.

If you like sweet but not too sweet, this is the wine for you!

Tuesday’s Tip: Orlando has a hometown liquor distillery? What?

Starting another of what I hope to be one of my weekly structured posts…Tuesday’s Tip.  Every Tuesday I hope to share with you a tip.  It could be something new I just found out about that I would like to share, or it could be something that has helped me many times in the past that might help you!

Today’s tip is more for people in Orlando than anything else, and something I just discovered that I want to share with you.  Did you know that there is a whisky and vodka distillery in Orlando?  Well, there is!  Check it out:

Winter Park Distilling Company

How cool is that?  I had no idea this even existed until this morning.  I haven’t tried any of their stuff yet, so I have no idea if it’s any good, but I plan to try it and will report back here on Sunshine and Some Tea.  The distillery does not seem to be open to the public, but the website lists several local vendors that carry their stuff.

Maybe it’s silly, but I am so proud of my city!  I used to hate living in Orlando when I was growing up.  In high school and college I couldn’t wait to get out because I thought Orlando was so dull and lifeless…A city of transplants…No culture of its own…etc.  But as I have become an adult and time has passed, it seems to have gotten much more exciting.  Now there is ALWAYS something new going on, and something interesting to try.  We now have trendy food trucks, new and interesting restaurants with lots of different and fun concepts and gimmicks, a myriad of festivals year-round, and apparently even liquor distilleries.  And now, despite the ridiculously hot weather for 9 months out of the year, I think I can say that I love living here. Why would I want to leave?  My family and friends are (almost) all here, and there is SO much to see and do all the time.  Such a 180 degree turn from where I was 10 or 12 years ago.

So there you go, Orlando…Your tip of the week.  If you try the vodka or whisky, let me know what you think and I will do the same.

And have a great Tuesday!