Tea and Chocolate from the J’AdoreVoxBox

Based on the lack of posts, you can probably tell that things are at a slow crawl lately. That, and I just haven’t been in the frame of mind for blogging. If I remember correctly though, last year was pretty uneventful until March, so fingers crossed that when spring…and the better weather hits…I’ll have more blogtivity.

The excitement for today was that my J’AdoreVoxBox from Influenster arrived!

It's like Christmas, but for Valentine's Day
It’s like Christmas, but for Valentine’s Day

There is some pretty great stuff in there, and hopefully I’ll have the chance to blog about all the things. Today, I started with two of the items…the consumables. Because how hard is it to tear the package open and get to chomping and drinking, right?

Red Rose Tea sent four tea bag samples for my drinking pleasure. Within ten minutes, I was sipping on a cup of their delightful Creme Caramel.

2014-02-15 12.30.10I love tea, but like other things, I go through phases where I drink a lot of it, then switch to something else, like water or coffee (or soda, but I’m trying to curb that habit). I can drink iced tea all year round, but my hot tea moods come and go. However, after trying the Creme Caramel, I think I might be entering back into a hot tea phase. It’s so good! Only slightly sweet, not too rich, and it’s a taste that just makes me happy. I drink tea plain, no cream or sugar, but I can see how this flavor might taste good with a little dash of something else. Having said that, I’ll probably still enjoy it fresh and unadorned.

In the category of things that I love all the time, no phase needed, is chocolate.

The best...or worst thing...ever
The best thing ever

This bag of Hershey‘s kisses is huge! I usually prefer dark chocolate over milk chocolate, but Hershey’s are a huge exception. Their milk chocolate is the best, in my opinion, likely even better than most of the gourmet chocolate brands. Kisses are great because they’re easily portioned controlled, and one little Kiss packs a punch.

Serious side note: my relationship with food has changed greatly over the past couple years. Nothing is off limits, I don’t berate myself for eating sweets and treats, and I’ve realized that the quickest way to binge on something is to deprive myself of it. I also try not to negative self talk when it comes to food, though sometimes I let things slip (old habits die hard). However, I do know that I tend to feel yucky after consuming too much sugar, but if it’s in front of me, I’ll eat it.

Hence, the Kisses will be shared with Jon, and have been put into a bowl and stuck in the fridge to serve as a sweet treat over time, not all at once. I did, of course, already have a healthy serving size before writing this review. No regrets. They were delicious! If I get to feeling bakey, I can also add them to cookies or use them in a bunch of other recipes. But I think they’ll be most effective for a quick craving killer.

Samples, tea, and chocolate…seriously not a bad way to kick off a Saturday.

All products were received complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes. All opinions are my own. 


To-Do Lists and a Box of Goodies

Though lacking in excitement, the day was a really productive one. I managed to get several things off my to-do list over lunch and after work, and though I still have plenty of projects to keep me busy through the rest of the month, I feel a little bit better knowing I’ve finally got a few things off my shoulders.

At lunch, I went to drop the laundry off to Jon, and we used our remaining time to go grab a nearby geocache, marking our first time geocaching on our lunch. My main goal in getting this one, since it was near the cemetery, was to drop off my zombie travel bug. She’s now in the wild and will hopefully move on to big adventures. Since that didn’t take long, we made a quick trip to Kinko’s to grab some boxes to ship some things to people.

After work, we took advantage of yet another nice day and went to walk the rec center track. Unfortunately, tonight’s walk wasn’t great. My mission had me running from zombies straight from the start, and instead of restarting to get my warm-up, I went with it. I had some ankle cramps and my thigh muscle felt strained, so we called it after about a half hour. I didn’t finish my mission, but I’ll redo it next time. It was a good one. Very intense.

When I got home, my Jolly VoxBox from Influenster had arrived, and I opened it right away to see what kind of cool products I would have the chance to review this month.


2013-12-16 18.11.29

I’m going to be trying out all of those things over the next few weeks and will be reviewing everything individually as I get the chance to use them. As you may have guessed, those Skinny Cow chocolates have already been sampled.*

Possibly better than regular peanut butter cups....
Possibly better than regular peanut butter cups….

I spent the evening finishing up the writing project for my mom, which I think came out okay. Sadly, I didn’t get to revise the next chapter of my Nano, but that’s a good project for tomorrow. I also just realized I forgot to put laundry away. As much as I like to get that done, I’m feeling tired, so it might have to wait for tomorrow night.

Time to shower, read, and sleep…in that order.


*I received these products complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes

Tallgrass Brewery in Manhattan, KS

I posted on Facebook last week that I’d thought up a surprise outing for me and J. I’d planned it for later in April but decided to go ahead and do it sooner, as our original plans fell through due to places we wanted to see having closed.

The surprise outing was a trip to Tallgrass Brewery in Manhattan. J likes beer, and though he doesn’t drink it a lot, he has a deep appreciation for the taste and the process. I, on the other hand, have turned into a wine drinker. But I remember the days when beer was my thing, and I figured going to an old fashioned beer tasting and tour would be fun.
Let me say first that we didn’t actually get around to the tour part. We’d wanted to, but at that point, my foot had already started to hurt, and I didn’t think I was up for the walk. Instead, we sat down at one of the tables and started with the tasting.
Tallgrass tours are free, but for tasting, you pay five dollars and get a sampler glass and six tickets for samples. Tours start at 2, 3, and 4 on Saturdays and go for about a half hour. The rest of the time, you can sit in the sampling room or stand at the bar and taste away.
The atmosphere was good and the staff was friendly. The stool type chairs were a little uncomfortable for my big butt, but they weren’t horrible. Sitting on the outside edge was better, especially when people started coming in. Because when they did, it got crowded in there really fast.
I’ll be honest…I don’t even remember what I sampled. Not because I got drunk (I was driving, after all), but because I really have lost my taste for beer. I know there was a grapefruit beer that I didn’t like at all. The last one I tried was actually really good and suited my taste buds. Tallgrass makes a brew called Buffalo Sweat, and the sample was a Vanilla Bean version of that stout. I really liked it. J said that even if I’m not a beer drinker in general, I may have an affinity for stouts.
J had a great time and really enjoyed most of the beers he tried, which was what I was aiming for. We had fun sitting and chatting and people-watching. Before we left, we met another couple who were out for the day. We visited for awhile, then decided to take off to hang with some friends for the rest of the evening.
We’re definitely planning on going again, though I’ll likely curb my drinking to a stout or two and then volunteer as designated driver. Next time, we’ll also take the actual tour. If any Manhattan friends want to join us, it’s definitely the kind of place to have a good friendly gathering.