If there’s anything I’ve learned from my days of being a broke college student, it would have to be finding ways to entertain myself on a budget. There are not a lot of differences from that mindset and the practice of social distancing. While I cannot browse stores for fun at the moment, I have found plenty of ways to stay busy while staying safe at home.
Read a Good Book
I have acquired plenty of books over the years that look really nice on my bookshelves, but I have failed to take the time to read most of them. If you are like me, this is a perfect time to finally pick up that book you have been waiting to read. From nonfiction to fantasy, there are plenty of genres out there for all types of readers. Need a book recommendation? Check out Goodreads to find the perfect book for you.
Take a Walk Outside
This time inside the house shows that I have truly taken for granted the joys of nature. Although we have battled rain over the past two weeks, I have made an effort to take a brisk walk around my neighborhood when possible. A breath of fresh air and a hint of sun really helps to lift my spirits when I have been cooped up in the house for hours on end. Plus, it’s a great opportunity to get your steps in!
Listen to a Podcast
Podcasts have definitely increased in popularity over the last couple years. Nowadays, there is a ton of content to consume wherever you find your podcasts. Comedy, Entertainment, and even True Crime; I guarantee there is a podcast out there that will strike your fancy. Generally, I rotate between several podcasts all in different genres. Podcasts provide a great opportunity to catch up with your favorite influencers or learn something new. My favorite podcasts include: Crime Junkie, Stuff You Should Know, and Business Wars.
Do a Home Workout
Like many others, this whole social distancing/quarantine period has gotten in the way of my normal exercise routine. All gyms that I frequent have been closed because they are non-essential and a health concern. Rather than lose the progress I was making before this pandemic, I have found resources to help me workout from the comfort of my home. From YouTube videos to virtual classes on the ClassPass app, I am now finding ways to work up a sweat while staying safe inside. You can find all kinds of workouts for free online to help you work up a sweat while the gyms are closed.
Learn a New Recipe
It’s been quite the balancing act of keeping my distance from people, but also figuring out what I am going to eat. In normal circumstances, I frequent grocery stores several times a week simply because I don’t plan my meals accordingly. Now, I have limited my grocery store runs and am trying to utilize food I have in my pantry. Use this time to get creative with the food you have or learn to cook something new. Once I finally took inventory of my pantry, I realized so many combinations I could create with items I already own.
If you haven’t already heard, Dr. Pepper recently introduced a new version of this fan favorite soda called Dr. Pepper & Cream Soda. As Taste of Home reported, “The new drink initially debuted at the 2019 National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS) annual trade show,” along with Coca-Cola Energy. I passed on the hype about Coca-Cola Energy, but Dr. Pepper mixed with Cream Soda? That sounded like something to get excited about.
I must say, the rollout of this drink seemed very smooth; however, I have to take into account that the stores I shop at are in close proximity to the Keurig Dr. Pepper corporate headquarters. Nevertheless, I have seen Dr. Pepper & Cream Soda in both cans and bottles at Target, Walmart, and Tom Thumb stores.
Generally, I drink Diet Dr. Pepper because I enjoy the taste a bit more than the regular version. I wish that Dr. Pepper Ten were more popular, but I rarely see it in stores near me anymore. I found the regular Dr. Pepper & Cream Soda in stores first, so of course I bought what I could.
Did it taste good? Oh 100%! You still get a sense of the original Dr. Pepper taste, which is famous for combining 23 flavors. The added cream soda flavor makes this drink taste like a Dr. Pepper float without the physical ice cream. I can only imagine what it would taste like with a hefty scoop of Homemade Vanilla Blue Bell (It’s a Texas thing). Dr. Pepper & Cream Soda is honestly a match made in heaven. I hope that this drink becomes a mainstay in stores near me because I’m already hooked!
Since buying the regular version of Dr. Pepper & Cream Soda, I have also come across the diet version. Again, I prefer Diet Dr. Pepper over the original and this is no exception. The Diet Dr. Pepper & Cream Soda is just as delicious without all the calories and added sugars. Although I don’t actually drink a ton of soda, I like diet soda because it’s not as thick as regular soda. If I’m not mistaken, most soda is sweetened with cane sugar which makes the drink too sweet for me to consume on a regular basis. Diet soda contains artificial sweeteners that make it more enjoyable in my opinion.
Dr. Pepper & Cream Soda makes me look forward to warm summer days where I can indulge in an ice cold soda. The cream soda perfectly accents the fan favorite taste of Dr. Pepper. Whether you enjoy regular or diet soda, Dr. Pepper & Cream Soda comes in both varieties. Dr. Pepper & Cream Soda is now available in nationwide.
Are you a fan of the Nitro Cold Brew at Starbucks? If the answer is yes you are in luck because Starbucks recently launched Nitro Cold Brew canned coffee drinks! The Nitro Cold Brew canned drinks come in three flavors: Black, Dark Caramel, and Vanilla Sweet Cream.
I found all three flavors of Starbucks Nitro Cold Brew cans in the refrigerated case at Target. Prior to seeing posts on Instagram about these drinks, I had no idea that Starbucks planned to release cans of Nitro Cold Brew. I know that Nitro is a popular drink choice at Starbucks but I was not expecting it in cans so soon.
According to Bustle, “Each 9.6-oz can is infused with nitrogen to give it the same velvety smooth taste that you get from Starbucks’ in-store Nitro Cold Brew.” Whenever I order Nitro in stores, I always get the flavored cold foam on top, so I was curious to find out how these coffee drinks tasted. I chose to buy the Dark Caramel and Vanilla Sweet Cream varieties since I do not drink black coffee.
Overall, I was pleased with both the Dark Caramel and Vanilla Sweet Cream flavors. Nitro Cold Brew always seems much more smooth than regular espresso drinks. I used to purchase the Starbucks Doubleshot Energy Drinks if I needed a quick pick-me-up, but I may finally convert to the Nitro cans. These premium coffee drinks offer a balanced ratio of coffee to added flavor. Not to mention, the Nitro packs a punch of caffeine to give you an extra energy boost.
Let me be the first to say, I had really high hopes for these Tic Tacs. When the limited edition Coca-Cola Tic Tacs were announced, I could not wait to get my hands on some. I’m one of those people that actually enjoy those cola-flavored gummy candies, jelly beans, and Bottlecaps. For whatever reason, they provide me with some sort of nostalgia. Nevertheless, I hoped the Coca-Cola Tic Tacs would offer that same great taste.
Unfortunately, I was wrong.
Before I get into the overall taste, I want to focus on the packaging and product. The Coca-Cola Tic Tacs are actually adorable. Tic Tac did a fantastic job of capturing the Coca-Cola brand on a tiny breath mint. Each white Tic Tac features the Coca-Cola brand stamped in red. I purchased the large container of Tic Tacs which contains 200 breath mints so I had plenty to share with family and friends.
The Coca-Cola Tic Tacs passed the appearance test, but can they pass the taste test? In my unpopular opinion, no. I am deeply saddened to report that I did not enjoy the taste of the Coca-Cola Tic Tacs. When the breath mints hit my tongue, I immediately experience a sour taste. Coca-Cola is quite acidic but the Tic Tacs took it to a new level. These mints are reminiscent of drinking a flat Coca-Cola but I do not believe they capture that signature taste like other candies have.
In addition to the sour taste I experienced, these “breath mints” also have a horrible aftertaste. Honestly, I did not expect Coca-Cola to freshen my breath in the first place. I eat Orange Tic Tacs like they are candy and those aren’t the most effective mints either. Let’s be honest; the only Tic Tacs that can truly be considered mints are the original freshmints and wintergreen. All other Tic Tacs are basically candy.
I guess the joke is on me because now I have a huge container of Tic Tacs that I cannot bring myself to eat. I’ve tried countless times to pawn them off on my significant other to no avail. Although I enjoy the packaging and appearance of the Coca-Cola Tic Tacs, they lost me on taste. Have you tried these? Let me know your thoughts in the comments section!
Stef and Alex recently joined ClassPass, an app that allows you access to all kinds of fitness studios and classes in your area. Follow along as they describe the program, pricing, and determine whether or not it’s worth signing up for.
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