Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Sweet Drops Make a Happy Glass

I love water. I love the taste of water. (Yes, it has a taste!) But sometimes, I want to change it up.

Water enhancers/flavorings have been around for years, but I steered clear of them because of the ingredient list. Generally speaking, I try to avoid anything with aspartame or artificial sweeteners. It wasn't until SweetLeaf came out with their own sweetener that I considered using anything like it. We first used SweetLeaf powdered stevia about 2.5 years ago when we started to reevaluate our eating habits at home. It even appeared on the blog before! We are big fans of stevia in this house.

I was (a little too) excited to try Sweet Drops! For starters, it's really fun to receive something to review on the blog that I am genuinely interested in. Also, it may be the female in me, but miniature-sized anything always seems like a good idea, "because I can just throw it in my purse." Easy. I like easy.

So here's the deal. These drops are pretty much awesome. It's stevia, not sugar. It's organic. I can sweeten/flavor my water as much or as little as I want. SweetLeaf has a boat load of flavors to choose from. Out of my samples, I was least excited about Lemon Lime, because I've had plenty of lemon water in my day. It didn't stand out to me, but I really liked Peach Mango (my favorite), Watermelon, and Raspberry Lemonade. And just as my female brain said, it's easy to keep on hand. That is a whole lot of winning in my book.

I want to try Hazelnut and Vanilla Crème next!

Have you tried Sweet Drops yet?
Which flavors did you try?
What did you think of them?

* I received these samples in exchange for my thoughts on the product. All opinions are my own. I'm not just saying that because I have to. I will be using these drops again, and it will be after I buy them with my own money. :)

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Nostalgia on McCalla

I love a good Pottery Barn catalog, truly. But there is something about antique and vintage stores that calls to me. It's always the same. I feel an initial, brief moment of chaos when laying my eyes on aisles and racks that lack the uniformity of a Macy's, but once I start looking at pieces one at a time, I could spend two hours just looking at stuff. And that's exactly what I did at Nostalgia on McCalla.

I went in to look at the vinyl records for sale and spent a good chunk of time thumbing through box after box, rack after rack. I settled on two and continued down the aisle where I found thing after pretty thing that I wanted to buy like a set of drinking glasses with gold detailing in a metal caddy and a typewriter and a stained-glass window and a globe and a rotary telephone and... the list goes on. My husband and I are very good with our money, so I am a professional window shopper, but I did seriously consider buying an old school desk and chair (see photo above). I had a flashback to my first assigned desk in first grade in 1989 which made me all mushy and reminiscent. That place is called Nostalgia for a reason! Had I been pregnant or with a small child, that desk would be in our third bedroom right now. I could hardly stand the cuteness!

After a week that left me throwing my hands up and "checking out of life" (my exact words to my mom), two leisure hours wandering through the place left me more peaceful and only $15 shorter. When making my purchase, a fantastically flamboyant man (a resident vendor, I think) chimed in about the records I bought, and we got to talking about music. I told him I was on the hunt for a certain record which has a song that I want to name a daughter after. He lit up when I said the song title, and he was misty-eyed when I sang the first two lines of the song! Full-on fanning his eyes and choked up. The song isn't sad, by any means, but it reminded me that music is a powerful language. Who knows what emotions that song dug up for him? (And in a world where people are usually quick to judge baby name choices, I felt really proud that three men of varying ages loved the "unique name that [they] had never heard/met before.")

If you love vintage flair (or feel like sharing a fear happy tears with a stranger), check out Nostalgia on McCalla! :)

**I have yet to visit their "big sister" store, Nostalgia, but I'll do that soon!

Are you a vintage or antique lover/buyer/window shopper?

Monday, February 3, 2014

10 Things I Enjoyed in January

Consider this my way of keeping my promise to myself to enjoy 2014. All of it.

  1. Vinyl records. My record player spins on the daily. I've found ten or so records at thrift and antique stores, and while most of them aren't albums I was looking for, they were well worth the $1-4 each. I so badly want Natalie Cole's "Unforgettable: With Love" album on vinyl, but I might have to resort to CD. (Someone lent it to me in 1999, and it's been a favorite ever since.)
  2. Emoji overload. I pulled my best friend Leah to the dark side, and we text each other with excessive amounts of emojis now. We also text about a TV show I'm too embarrassed to name, but that's our little secret.
  3. FaceTime with my sister. Until you've seen us in the same room together, you can't understand the full magnitude of why FaceTime is a godsend for us. Oh, the facial expressions.
  4. E-mails from my MIL. My Wisconsin-residing MIL likes to tease me about my low tolerance for the cold, courtesy of Southern California. I received a few e-mails from her this month with funny snow-related videos and photos, and I have to admit that it made me smile that the e-mails were sent directly to me, not her son and me. Just me.
  5. Starting a new job. Yup! New job. There's just no stoppin' me, people. ;) I'm still with the same company at the same assisted living community, but I started a new position last week.
  6. "Go chase yourself." The funniest stories at work come from the memory care section of the community. I love the elderly as it is, but the elderly with various forms of dementia say the darndest things! They have a very small filter. One of our residents is incredibly sweet... until you ask her to do something. Then, she'll have a few choice words for you, but her best line is a sardonic "Go chase yourself." It's my new favorite line. :)
  7. My trip to Nashville. 'Nough said.
  8. Snow. This city isn't built or prepared for more than a light dusting, but it sure it beautiful!
  9. Food tasting at work. Since my new office is next-door to the main kitchen, I get to taste test some of the veg-friendly food before it is served. I'm not complaining.
  10. Watching movies that most people probably wouldn't. 10 Years. Your Sister's Sister. Ruby Sparks. I've been picking through our movie channels while my husband is out of town, and I really liked some of these movies I hadn't heard of. Have you seen them? (I thought not.)

It was a good month. On to the next! Happy Monday, and happy February!