Coca-Cola Tic Tacs are a Bust

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.

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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.

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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!

#4 – ClassPass Kicks Our A** for a Month

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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#2 – Impossible Vs. Real Meat: Which is Better?

Alex and Stef explore the world of Impossible meat. Listen along as they explain the background behind this plant-based “meat”, compare the Impossible and regular Whopper, and compete in a What’s In My Mouth? challenge.

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#1 – Spilling the Tea on Starbucks w/ a Former Barista

Alex sits down with co-host and former Starbucks barista Stef to discuss the honest truth behind Starbucks products. Follow along as they rate the best and worst drinks, explore life as a barista, and smash or pass on popular secret menu items.

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Starbucks Secret Menu Drinks:

My First Thoughts on Starbucks’ Irish Cream Cold Brew

After the wild success of the Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew, Starbucks has added the Irish Cream Cold Brew to the lineup of holiday beverages. Now, I loved the Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew because it was such a great alternative to the classic Pumpkin Spice Latte. Most of the holiday drinks at Starbucks will cost you over 400 calories for a grande so I definitely appreciate that Starbucks offers other lower calorie options that I can choose instead.

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According to Starbucks, this drink features, “Irish cream syrup, topped with vanilla sweet cream cold foam and a strike of cocoa powder.” A grande Irish Cream Cold Brew will cost you 200 calories, which amounts to about half the calories of any other holiday drink on the menu. If you need a jolt of caffeine, one grande Irish Cream Cold Brew will provide more bang for your buck. Compared to a grande Caffe Latte which contains 150 milligrams of caffeine, the Irish Cream Cold Brew contains 185 milligrams.

I never tried the original Cloud Foam Cold Brew when it debuted because I thought that the cold foam took up significant real estate in the cup, meaning you received less coffee at the end of the day. Boy, was I wrong. Since there is more caffeine in the cold brew than a regular latte, this drink makes me extra jittery. The Irish cream syrup adds rich, almost chocolaty notes of flavor to the cold brew and the vanilla cream cold foam tops it all off.

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Honestly, I could sit and eat a cup of the cream itself. The vanilla sweet cream cold foam is light, fluffy, and delicious. It compares to fresh whipped cream in my opinion, adding and extra bit of sweetness to the beverage. The sprinkle of cocoa powder on top adds a nice touch to the overall beverage and compliments the rich taste of the Irish cream syrup. Not to mention, the cream mixing with the cold brew is very aesthetically pleasing.

This marks yet another win for Starbucks in my book. The collection of cold foam cold brews are my favorite new menu items by far. I am curious to see how Starbucks will continue to innovate with this concept of cold foam. Possibly a Gingerbread Cream Cold Brew in the future? I don’t know maybe I am just missing the gingerbread latte, but I do see so many opportunities for this amazing drink. Head to your local Starbucks to try the Irish Cream Cold Brew for yourself!

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My Experience with the iPhone 11 Pro

In the last two years I graduated from college, launched my career, and began a new life completely on my own. I think any budding adult can relate to the fact that moving out and severing ties with your parents bills can be a huge feat. Last weekend, I finally made the switch to my own phone plan, which means I am now totally self-sufficient.

Months after its release, I finally upgraded to the iPhone 11 Pro. I am generally not one to freak out over the new iPhone or wait hours in line for a product that I can get a few weeks after release. The same applies to the iPhone 11 Pro. Previously, I had an iPhone X which I upgraded to in early 2018. My phone still worked properly and I did not have any other issues; however, the new phone plan meant a new phone.

I made the switch from Galaxy to iPhone over 6 years ago now simply because it was more universal and my family used a lot of Apple products at the time. My first introduction to iPhone was with the iPhone 6 and I have stuck with iPhone ever since. From the iPhone 6 I transitioned to the iPhone X which was a HUGE difference; most notable difference being the lack of a home button. Nevertheless, I had to make many adjustments when I switched from the iPhone 6 to the iPhone X.

Changing from the iPhone X to the iPhone 11 Pro provided a much different experience. Gone are the days where your service provider would hook up your old and new phones to a machine and transfer all your data. With Apple’s iCloud, all of your contacts, settings, and apps are backed up meaning you simply have to log in to the new device and transfer data through the cloud. In my previous experiences with new iPhones, I always had to re-download apps and sign back in to everything, but this time my user interface looked exactly the same as my iPhone X.

The biggest difference between the iPhone X and the iPhone 11 Pro is the camera. Apple focused heavily on the enhanced camera features in all of the advertisements. The iPhone 11 Pro features a triple-lens camera setup which offers a better zoom, ultra-wide angles, and increased quality. I have taken a few pictures so far with the new camera and I am excited to try out all of the new features.

Aside from the enhanced camera features, I do not notice many differences from the iPhone X. It appears that innovation between the iPhone models has begun to slow. I think Apple made the huge adjustments in previous models and now we will start to see incremental changes between each iteration rather than rapid change. The iPhone 11 Pro definitely does not disappoint, but do not expect any major differences from the iPhone X when you go to upgrade.

REVIEW: Harry London S’mores Snack Mix

I’m a tried and true Costco fanatic. In fact, I worked at Costco for two years during college before starting my career. Throughout my time at Costco, I witnessed the sheer volume of product that traveled in and out of the store. Pallets upon pallets of snacks, food items, produce and more; Costco really has it all. I personally loved all of the seasonal products, especially the sweets that would come in around the holidays.

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That brings me to the topic of today’s post; the Harry London S’mores snack mix. This S’mores mix is the latest addition to Costco’s seasonal section. As the package describes this products is comprised of, “Crunchy cereal and fluffy marshmallows coated in milk chocolate.” As a self-proclaimed S’mores lover I knew I could not leave the store without this mix.

Harry London S'mores Snack Mix

Each piece of graham cracker and marshmallow is covered in rich chocolate. I absolutely love marshmallows; and the ones in this mix are perfectly soft underneath the chocolate shell. The graham cracker pieces, or Golden Graham cereal, provide the additional crunch to balance out the soft marshmallows.

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The Harry London S’mores Snack Mix is insanely delicious and worth the $10 per bag. However, with the holidays right around the corner, this mix inspired me to create my own version. Make your own S’mores mix for friends and family this holiday season in a few simple steps:

Homemade S’mores Mix

  • 1 box Golden Grahams
  • 1 package Jet Puffed mini marshmallows
  • 1 bag semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 bag white chocolate chips
  • Milk chocolate melting wafers

Directions:

Cover a sheet pan with parchment paper or a nonstick mat. Melt the chocolate wafers in the microwave for one minute. Stir the chocolate and continue microwaving in 30 second intervals until fully melted. Spread some of the melted chocolate on the sheet pan to create a base for the other ingredients. Save the rest of the melted chocolate to drizzle on top.

Pour the Golden Grahams and marshmallows on top of the melted chocolate so they are evenly distributed. Then, add both chocolate chips to the mix. Use the melted chocolate and drizzle over the top of the S’mores mix to hold all of the pieces together. Allow the chocolate to harden, about one hour. Enjoy!

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Trying Out the New Pillsbury Sweet Biscuits

The all-new Pillsbury Sweet Biscuits combine parts of three fan-favorite Pillsbury products; biscuits, muffins, and cinnamon rolls. These sweet biscuits make for a quick, 15-minute breakfast treat or dessert. Pillsbury recently launched two varieties of the sweet biscuits: Blueberry and Chocolate Chip.

Each container of Pillsbury Sweet Biscuits contains eight biscuits and a small container of icing, similar to Pillsbury Cinnamon Rolls. What I enjoy most about Pillsbury products is that literally anyone can make them. No additional ingredients are required; you simply place the biscuits on a sheet pan and pop them in the oven.

In addition, Pillsbury offers an abundance of recipes to transform these products even further. For example, you can create monkey bread, pull-apart bread, and even biscuit waffles with these Pillsbury Sweet Biscuits. The same applies for any other Pillsbury products, but don’t just take my word for it, go check out the website!

Pillsbury Blueberry Sweet Biscuits

I decided to buy the blueberry-flavored sweet biscuits and baked them as the package instructed. In just under 15 minutes, I opened the oven to perfectly browned biscuits. Next, I drizzled the glaze over the biscuits, but not nearly as well as depicted on the packaging.

To be completely honest, these Pillsbury Sweet Biscuits were not my all-time favorite dessert. While I enjoy biscuits and dessert foods separately, I cannot see myself consistently choosing biscuits as a dessert. The biscuits did not taste bad by any means. In fact, I enjoyed the fluffy blueberry inside accompanied with the taste of sweet icing. However, I prefer a muffin of cinnamon roll over a biscuit if I am searching for a dessert.

I do plan on trying the Chocolate Chip Pillsbury Sweet Biscuits in the future, but this time I want to attempt one of the recipes on Pillsbury’s website. Aside from my personal preferences, I think these sweet biscuits are pretty tasty and they smell great while baking. Check out the Pillsbury Sweet Biscuits on your next grocery run!

REVIEW: Chipotle’s New Carne Asada

Oh Chipotle. Home of burrito bowls, mountains of guacamole, and now carne asada; well at least for a limited time. This quick service Mexican restaurant giant operates nearly 2500 locations worldwide and consumes 57% of the market share of “limited service Mexican restaurants” in the United States (Statista).

As reported by the Nation’s Restaurant News, Chipotle’s carne asada is, “Seasoned with spices including cumin and coriander and finished with lime and chopped cilantro.” Carne asada is the newest protein to grace the menu since chorizo, which joined the menu for a limited time in September of 2018.

Over the years, I have lost my affinity for Chipotle. In Texas, we have a local chain called Freebirds, which essentially provides the same offerings as Chipotle, but at much higher quality in my opinion. Due to the better offerings and sheer convenience, I tend to visit Freebirds much more frequently than Chipotle. However, the introduction of carne asada at Chipotle could be just the thing I needed to change that.

Chipotle introduces carne asada to the menu

My traditional Chipotle order consists of a burrito bowl with steak, so carne asada was not much of a stretch for me. In fact, I love carne asada and frequently order it at restaurants or buy it pre-marinated at the grocery store. On this particular Chipotle run, I ordered my regular burrito bowl with carne asada and a side of chips before sitting down ready to review it.

Immediately, I could tell that this meat was drenched in salt and lime juice. The lime taste overpowered all other spices on the meat and in the bowl itself. This is more of a personal preference, but I also prefer the meat to be cut in cubes like the traditional steak, not strips. When compared to the regular steak, Chipotle’s carne asada is more tender and does not have the fat and gristle like the other offering.

Overall, I was quite underwhelmed. I really wanted this carne asada to give me reason to return to Chipotle, but it just wasn’t enough. The lime juice on the meat completely masked all other spices and flavors in my burrito bowl. If Chipotle changed the carne asada marinade to reduce the lime and showcase all the other great spices, I would consider giving it another try. Until then, I will stick to another source of protein for my Chipotle burrito bowls.

Save Damaged Hair with Pantene Intense Rescue Shots

Let’s face it ladies, we put our hair through a lot. From coloring to styling, our hair loses nutrients over time becoming rougher and duller in the process. The new Pantene Pro-V Intense Rescue Shots set out to repair over-styled and over-treated hair. According to the website, “Pantene Intense Rescue Shots provide deep conditioning [and] noticeably repair extreme damage in just one use.”

The instructions are very simple; shampoo and condition as normal, spread the rescue shot throughout your hair, then rinse. It does not specify on the bottle how long to leave the product in your hair. I made sure to apply the product evenly and waited a couple minutes before washing it out. Even after a good rinse, it felt as if I had leftover conditioner in my hair, but I decided to let my hair dry and see the results.

After my hair dried, I could immediately tell it looked more healthy. My hair is naturally wavy but after using the Pantene Intense Rescue Shot I had little ringlet curls. In addition, the rescue shot tamed my normally frizzy hair, making it much easier to manage. I noticed the biggest difference on the second wash after using the rescue shot. My hair appeared more sleek and shiny. I decided to put my hair to the test against the flat iron, and to my surprise, I found less breakage and my hair looked great after styling.

If these Pantene Intense Rescue Shots were available when I was in high school, I could avoided so much hair damage. Since I did so much damage to my hair years ago, I have used many deep conditioners and other hair treatments. These rescue shots actually work and I found a noticeable difference in my hair after just one use. Personally, I can see myself using this product every 2-4 weeks, but they can be used more often if needed. For about $2 per rescue shot, this is a much easier way to achieve a deep condition without taking a trip to the salon.