~ Starbucks ~ Easley, SC ~

On a cold and rainy night in Easley, SC, my daughter and I decided to stop into Starbucks for a hot coffee beverage.

I have been to Starbucks half a dozen times in my life. My main take away was that the drinks were either too bitter or sweet for my taste.

The decor is great at this location. It feels like you’re in the place to be. We had a lot of drinks to choose from but chose pretty readily. I ordered a hot butterscotch latte. The barista asked about my taste. From my reply, she said she would use one shot of syrup instead of two in my drink. It was tasty and the right amount of sweetness for my palate. My daughter loved her caramel macchiato, as well. Great job with the drinks.

The place had a fairly steady stream of customers, but it was not overcrowded or uncomfortable. Speaking of comfortable, we took the two comfy chairs at the front.

The two of us were enjoying our drinks, talking to each other, and I was leisurely writing on my laptop. I was feeling pretty inspired, which I think was mostly to do with the change of environment. We were appreciating this visit tremendously.

Before long, a woman sat beside me and started talking to us. We started talking about the coffee and the location. We talked about a variety of subjects. Before we knew it, it was about closing time and we’d conversed for hours!

Before we parted ways, we exchanged phone numbers, so that we could keep in touch and go for coffee again sometime. How many places do you think you will get a hot beverage and come away with the bonus of friendship.

I cannot wait to go again.

 

 

 

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~ Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers ~ Easley, SC ~

My daughter and I have been to Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers in Easley, SC several times in the last six months. We have had a great experience whenever we’ve stopped in.

The place is a bit retro like an old-fashioned burger and ice cream establishment. The other patrons seem to be having a wonderful time too. It’s a fun place all-around.

The employees are friendly and helpful.

The food has a bit more going for it than most burger places. The burger has a Steak-Umm quality to it. Our normal order is either the Double Steak Burger or the California Steak Burger. Both are delicious.

The fries are thin, almost like matchsticks. My taste on fries runs to liking them as thin as possible. My daughter enjoys steak fries, however. We both agree that they taste excellent. The seasoning that comes with them adds to their flavor. We both enjoy the regular and the jalapeno fry sauce, too. We tend to mix them together for more of a kick without it being too spicy. One of these days we will buy a bottle for at home. It’s that good.

I think the real star for us, though, are the custard sundaes. The coffee syrup is my favorite topping. You will find a number of them that appeal to you I am sure. They also sell concrete, but we have yet to try them. Maybe next time.

 

 

 

The Oriental Organic – Jasmine Green Tea

This Premium Jasmine Green Tea by The Oriental Organic comes in a 2.82 oz recyclable cylinder of loose leaf tea that makes upwards of forty cups, depending on your cup’s strength. I use one level teaspoon of the leaves and get a perfect cup every time. I drink mine plain, but you can easily use cream and sweetener according to your taste. This Jasmine feels wonderfully refreshing, hot or cold, so it is excellent no matter the season. I find it thoroughly delicious whether paired with something or on its own.

This tea is a Chinese origin Jasmine, grown organically in the mountains of the Yunnan province, where it is hand-picked. It is lead-free. Green tea is especially full of antioxidants which get rid of free radicals in your body for your continued good health.

The Oriental Organic offers a 60-day money back guarantee, so there is no risk.

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Should you wish to learn more about this Premium Jasmine Green Tea by The Oriental Organic, here is the Amazon product page.

Lightlife’s Smart Dogs

I have tested a few brands of Veggie Hot Dogs over the years. These Smart Dogs by Lightlife stack up well against the other contenders in that class – which is where they belong– if you ask me.

They look like a hot dog, smell somewhat like one, but they do not cook up the same. On my low-fat kitchen counter grill, Smart Dogs bubble up oddly.

Honestly, this product will not likely wow meat eater or most kids. These, taste-wise, just do not have the flavor of a regular all-beef hot dog. The Smart Dogs are a bit more reminiscent of a turkey dog, perhaps. Adding the usual condiments to these and placing them in buns did nothing to make it seem more like the typical Frankfurter. In fact, the addition was a detraction in my opinion.

When I stopped trying to make them taste like all-beef hot dogs, then I enjoyed them much more. I made a suitable marinade for them consisting mainly of blended veggies. They were better when I thought of them as another entity entirely. I highly recommend a bit of experimentation. It was fun exercising a bit of creativity, too.

Bottom line, I would have given these Smart Dogs a 5 or 6 rating as a knockoff hotdog. As a healthier, lighter, non-meat product, I give it an 8 or 9. Maybe you have a family reunion or other event going on soon. Do not be afraid to offer these to Vegans, Vegetarians, or the health-conscious, etc.

These Lightlife Smart Dogs are good sources of protein, vegan-certified, and non-GMO. I love that these have healthier ingredients than do the castoffs of the meat-packing industry! I rarely eat hot dogs for concern for quality and safety. #AD #GotItFree #Healthier #Lightlife #SmartDogs #SocialNature

 

Aicok Single Serve Coffee Maker

This Aicok Single Serve Coffee Maker has a stainless steel body design. It is durable and sturdy and should be around for years. The Aicok is also BPA free.

The machine is compatible with Keurig’s 10oz coffee pods. I have been enjoying many cups now with no issue. I used to have a Keurig maker in the past, but I gave it away to a loved one. It is surprising to me how much I like having one again. It is incredibly handy! I save money often by using a reusable pod filled with coffee my family enjoys.

The size of this machine is so compact that I am toying with the idea of putting it on my desk for even more convenience. At only 8.5 x 4.9 x 9.1 inches and not even 2.5 pounds, it’s got a small enough footprint for sure for all but the tiniest desks. I still love my French press, but this is excellent for those times that only one person wants coffee. If we both do not want coffee, we generally will not make a pot, as we do not want to waste any. This way, we get coffee whenever we like regardless whether the other person is in a java mood.

The cartridge is removable and is top rack dishwasher safe, which makes it easy to keep it pristine. I would not use the sterilizer cycle to be on the safe side, however. It is a definite plus to me that most of my travel mugs fit s

The one button operation makes it simple for even the most bleary-eyed to make their morning brew. This machine has an auto-shut off and protection against overheating. It is UL certified.

The Aicok Single Serve Coffee Maker has a 100% guarantee, as well as a 24-month manufacturer warranty, so there is no risk.

If you are interested in getting your own compact coffee brewer, here is the Amazon product listing.

Should you wish to see my original review, it is here. I hope you find it helpful :-).

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Oskri Almond Cranberry Dark Chocolate Protein Bars – 55g – 5 Pack

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SIMPLY DELICIOUS!

These Almond Cranberry Dark Chocolate Protein Bars are among my family’s top three bars ever. This ranking says a lot, as we have a bar of some sort and coffee at least once a day. That is a lot of bars over the years! I appreciate that these are made in Wisconsin right here in the US.

This box has a five-count supply of healthier protein snacks which are coated with delicious dark chocolate, which is just slightly bitter. Inside there are dates, raisins, and rice syrup, but the taste is more like a nougat. It reminds me of a healthier version of a Milky Way with almonds and cranberries and dark chocolate. The texture is amazing. My daughter and I love varied textures, and this one is loaded with them. The taste pairs so well with coffee that I love my morning ritual particularly when I get to have this variety.

The protein is ample, with 16g, and the fiber content is 4g in these 55g beauties. The carb content is 25g, which is considerable. I feel good about this bar nonetheless, as it is packed with real food and quality ingredients. This is clean eating at its finest. There are companies out there that make many health claims about their products, but later the truth comes out about them. Then some products you try and the taste is something akin to tree bark. These gluten-free bars taste better than most candy bars! I highly recommend them.

Here is a link to the product on Amazon if you are interested in checking them out further.

This is my original Amazon review.

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