Easy Caramel Macchiato Recipe (without using an espresso machine)

 

You wake up Saturday morning.

The sun is shinning, the birds are singing, and you’re instantly craving a delicious cup of hand-crafted coffee. Sounds like the setting of a Folgers commercial, am I right?

Then, those bright clouds darken when you suddenly remember… you don’t own an espresso machine. Not to mentioned that beloved local Starbucks is oh-so far away. We know exactly how you feel. We’ve been experimenting with how to make those fancy coffee drinks you’ve been craving (you know, like the ones they make at Starbucks) without having the expensive equipment or leaving the comfort of your kitchen.

The recipe below is our version of a caramel macchiato and, to be honest, it tastes just as good as what you can purchase at an actual coffee shop. The only struggle we faced in this experiment was getting the milk frothed properly. Other than that, it’s a very simple drink to create. Hopefully, with our detailed how-to, you’ll be able to enjoy your own homemade macchiato!

What you’ll need:

  • Dark Roast or Espresso Roast coffee (we used a dark roast k-cup)
  • Milk
  • Vanilla Syrup
  • Caramel Sauce
  • A Seal-Tight Container

How to prepare:

-First, you’ll want to start prepping your milk as this process will take the longest. We used about 6 oz. Pour the milk into the seal-tight container. It’s important to note that your container is only half full. If the container is completely full, the milk won’t froth properly.
-Shake the container vigorously for a least 60 seconds.
-Next you’ll want to get your coffee started. If you’re not using a Keurig, you can brew your coffee first. We used a Keurig and we selected the smallest cup option.
-While your coffee is brewing, take the lid off of your container. Put the milk in the microwave and warm for about a minute. Keep an eye on it while it heats as it will overflow if it gets too hot.
-Once your coffee has brewed, add a splash of vanilla syrup and stir.
-Add the milk to the coffee and make sure to get the froth out as well.
-Top your macchiato off with caramel and enjoy!

 

Have you experimented with coffee concoctions before? Let us know your favorite recipes down below!!

 

Columbus Underground Presents Best Bites: Tacos Review

At the end of the night, we were prompted to vote for our favorite vendor of the evening. Our favorites are presented below!
 
Danielle and Renee voted for Local Cantina’s CrunchWEEZY Double Decker Taco which consisted of a soft flour shell overlapping a hard corn shell. The shells were filled with queso dip, guacamole, black bean corn salsa, brisket, lettuce, chipotle cream, and queso fresco. Local Cantina came in 5th place for the evening.
Lindsay’s favorite of the night was Nada’s Hot Chicken Taco. The ingredients of this taco are a lot more simple but the flavor was incredible! It was a soft flour shell with a spicy piece of chicken breast, topped with pickles and coleslaw. Nada was voted 2nd place out of 11 vendors.

If you live in the Columbus area, we highly recommend checking out Columbus Underground! Maybe we’ll see you at their next event!

Top 10 Beach Essentials for your Summer Vacation

We’ve all been there…

You excitedly pack your belongings for the perfect beach day and rush off to get the fun started. You settle down on the sand and realize you’ve forgotten one of your beach essentials. Here’s our list to ensure you never forget the necessities again!

  1. Sunscreen:

    It is so important to protect you skin. We both have fair skin and we burn easily so a good sunscreen is a must! For added protection, bring chap stick for your lips as well!

     

  2. Sunglasses:

    Sunglasses are the perfect accessory to take to the beach. Forever 21 has a great selection of trendy styles for an affordable price. It also doesn’t hurt to protect your eyes from the sun!

     

  3. Reading material:

    Bring something to read, whether it’s a novel (check out our book of the month section for ideas) or a magazine. It’ll be nice to have something to do when you don’t feel like splashing around in the water. Plus, the background noises at the beach provide a relaxing ambiance.

     

  4. Water bottle:

    It’s important to stay hydrated in when you’re spending time outside. Consider investing in something that keeps your water cold for hours, such as a Corkcicle tumbler.

     

  5. A beach towel:

    Once you get out of the water, you’ll need something to dry off with!

     

  6. A chair:

    This one may not fit in your beach bag but it’s a good idea to bring something to sit on. You’ll be glad you did so you don’t get immensely sandy. Once you get out of the water, sand seems to stick ten times easier. Bringing a chair will decrease the amount of mess you’ll have to deal with.

     

  7. Flip flops or sandals:

    Trust us, you do not want to wear tennis shoes or heels to the beach. Just don’t do it.

     

  8. Beach accessories:

    You’ll have tons of fun playing beach volleyball or building sand castles. Buy a cheap boogie board at a tourist shop and have a blast in the water! You’re never too old for these things!

     

  9. Nail Polish:

    After all, sand is the perfect exfoliate! Give yourself a pedicure on the beach. Essie or NYC makes great polishes that last a while. Their color selections are endless! 

     

  10. Friends and/or family:

    Another thing that won’t fit in your beach bag but you won’t want to forget it! The beach will be a lot more enjoyable if you spend your time with your loved ones.

What are some of your beach essentials? Let us know by commenting below!

Spicy Strawberry Pineapple Margarita

Summer is in full swing and that means blistering hot temperatures.

Luckily for you, we’ve been working tirelessly to bring you a cocktail recipe that will be sure to keep you cool and refreshed this season! We searched Pinterest relentlessly to discover a unique combination to try. We quickly realized that we liked certain things about many of the drinks we found and decided to add each of those aspects to our own creation. It’s no surprise that we decided on a margarita cocktail as this is our go to beverage. We enjoyed making the Spicy Strawberry Pineapple Margarita and we hope you love it too!

What you’ll need:

1 oz Strawberry Juice
1 oz Pineapple Juice
2 slices of Jalapeño
1 oz Tequila
3/4 oz Triple Sec

A squeeze of lemon or lime

How to prepare:

First take your jalapeño slices and put them in your shaker. Muddle the jalapeños so you get that spicy flavor in your cocktail.

Next you add ice to the shaker, about halfway full.

Add in your strawberry juice, lemon or lime, pineapple juice, tequila, and triple sec.

Shake the mixture well.

Strain your drink into a margarita glass with ice.

Garnish the drink and enjoy!

What’s your favorite summertime cocktail?
Comment below if you’ve tried this concoction before!

Book of the Month: Riveting Reader Reviews | August 2017

Book of the Month|August 2017

The Disaster Artist

The Disaster Artist by Greg Sestero and Tom Bissell. We understand this is a change from our typical blog aesthetic and an unusual choice for “book of the month” pick, so let us explain. 

Our initial impression:

About two years ago, we were enjoying the company of some close friends when one of them suggested we watch the movie, The Room. Initially, we were hesitant as this movie comes with quite the reputation (an infamous one and often referred to as the “greatest bad movie” ever made). Despite our protests to watch something more critically acclaimed, we inevitably found ourselves captivated by the terrible acting, substandard green screen, and raw emotion of Tommy Wiseau (or at least we think).

At the conclusion of this absolute trainwreck of a featured film, we agreed it was the worst movie we had ever been forced to endure. And yet, this cinematic flop has found its way into an infinite amount of inside jokes among our friends. 

A Simple Synopsis:

Our intrigue in Tommy Wiseau and The Room had dissolved until recently (when we stumbled upon a movie trailer entitled The Disaster Artist starring James Franco). From the first few seconds of this trailer, we knew instantly that this impending release was paying homage to the movie that had given us numerous cheap laughs and poor jokes.

So imagine our delight when we discovered that Franco’s new film is actually based upon a book. Written by Greg Sistero (one of the actors in The Room), The Disaster Artist provides its audience with first-hand insight into the peculiar and questionable mind of Tommy Wiseau. 

We are thrilled to read Sistero’s perspective on the mysterious Tommy Wiseau and the cinematic disaster he created. 

Be sure to read along with us this month and let us know your thoughts in the comments below! If you have read The Disaster Artist before, let us know what you thought!

Pistacia Vera- German Village

Julia Child once said, “in France, cooking is a serious art form and a national sport”.

After our enchanting visit to Pistacia Vera, we adamantly agree with Mrs. Child. Nestled along the serene brick-streets of German Village, Pistacia Vera beckons eager coffee connoisseurs to explore its confectionery oasis. With a brisk stroll through the door, we approach the bakery case filled with delectable, vibrant macarons (among other equally appealing items).

Never having tried macarons, we select a variety from their selection along with a latte (of course). Needless to say, we were not disappointed and our future expectations for macarons have been heightened significantly. The fresh, delicate design mixed with unique, palatable flavors gave these particular macarons the winning combination.

We also selected a pastry from the case to share. It was challenging to pick just one as they had many different options to chose from. The apple galette  (our final selections) was deliciously crispy with the perfect amount of sweetness.

Of course, we both had to try a latte. One thing to note is that Pistacia Vera does not offer syrups for their beverages. However, our patient and helpful barista informed us that they do offer a honey latte that adds a little sweetness to the drink. We tried one regular latte and one honey latte and they did not disappoint! Not only were they aesthetically pleasing, they were incredibly delicious. The honey latte is a great option for those of us who like a little flavor in our lattes.

We sat for hours (literally hours) at the small, marble cafe table in complete repose. While some coffee shops present a bustling energy from increased business, Pistacia Vera’s tranquil atmosphere was never disrupted despite the influx of enthusiastic customers.

With a tinge of melancholy (we could have stayed there all day), we left Pistacia Vera with the promise of return to this quaint, blissful cafe.

Location:

541 S 3rd Street,
Columbus, OH 43215

Disclaimer: We are not affiliated with any place that we write about. We are not professional reviewers, we just like to share our favorite places and things with anyone willing to listen.

A quick glimpse at the drink selections.
A stunning selection of pastries.
Pistacia Vera’s Apple Galette
These macarons delightful and delicious!

Five tips for Creating the Ultimate (yet, Simple) Vacation Bucket List

With summer winding down, there is still time to plan that last minute vacation. A quick trip to the Caribbean? Yes, please!

With the numerous online travel sites, booking lodging and airfare has become a simple and hassle-free task (for the most part). As a result, the complicated part of planning a vacation becomes the task of deciding what to do once you arrive at your destination. As realists, we know we can’t accomplish everything we’ve excitedly pinned on our “Vacay 2017” Pinterest board. Therefore, we’ve come up with five tips for creating the ultimate vacation bucket list as a guaranteed way to achieve the vacation you always dreamed of sharing all over Instagram.*

1. Pick your interests. If you hate being physically active and the thought of encountering swarms of insects makes you cringe, then it is wise to eliminate hiking from your interests list. However, maybe exploring a local shopping complex is right up your alley. Make a list of activities you actually enjoy and begin your research there.

2. Research. Explore what your travel destination has to offer. Remember to stick to your interests or you will start traveling down the Pinterest rabbit hole of aesthetically pleasing photographs (and ultimately, end up overwhelmed).

3. Make a short list (we recommend ten things). Now, it’s time to make the list of things you want to accomplish. Personally, for a week-long vacation, ten items is an appropriate expectation. Consider what you researched and bullet-point the list in your phone, planner, or even on the classic option, a piece of paper.

4. Schedule the necessary items. Once you have your list, make sure you call and schedule appointments for any necessary events. If your list includes kayaking in the ocean, make sure to book a time-slot so you don’t miss out. We recommend that you do this at least two weeks before you leave for your trip (if not earlier).

5. Check your list often. Congratulations! You have made it to your destination. Make sure to check your list often to ensure you are not forgetting anything important.

*Note: This blog post is recommended for our Type A, “I have to have a plan for everything” readers. We get it and we’re here to help!

Now, since we have shared our helpful tips, here are our simple vacation bucket lists in action:

Continue reading “Five tips for Creating the Ultimate (yet, Simple) Vacation Bucket List”

Book of the Month: Girls in White Dresses Review

Our Overview…

We stumbled upon Girls in White Dresses by Jennifer Close as we were searching through Pinterest, for the perfect novel to dive into.

We were immediately intrigued by the title and we wanted to learn more. The brief description we read was short and simple but it captured our attention. Girls in White Dresses is a novel following three women in their 20’s, struggling in many aspects of their lives while everyone else seemed to have it all together. 

Our Opinions…

Girls in White Dresses was admittedly entertaining. While it was a quick read, it is a story that we instantly connected with. 

We found ourselves identifying with a lot of the characters and their experiences. It was fun to see how some of the characters actually represented a lot of people in our own lives as well. 

We felt that the book accurately defines what it’s like to date as a twenty-something in today’s society. It also accurately describes the struggles of being unmarried while it seems that all of your friends are walking down the aisle. 

Overall, we would recommend this book. We had fun reading it and we hope you enjoy it as well! It would be perfect to bring on your summer vacation! 

Have you read Girls in White Dresses? If so, let us know in the comments what you thought! 

Disclaimer: We are not affiliated with any books that we write about. We are not professional reviewers, we just like to share our favorite places and things with anyone willing to listen. 

Fox in the Snow Cafe

With the heat of the summer upon us…

We are convinced that there is no better way to cool down than to visit Fox in the Snow Cafe. While we have previously visited this quaint coffee house, we thought their delectable pastries and unique (almost conservatory-inspired) aesthetic was worthy of mention.

Upon our arrival at Fox in the Snow Cafe, we were amazed (but not completely surprised) at the abundance of eager coffee enthusiasts trailing from the glass-paneled doors. Our suggestion to combat the craziness? The earlier you venture out for your morning cappuccino, the better!

However, despite the lingering lines, the pastry and alluring latte did not disappoint. Even though Fox in the Snow Cafe is bustling with business, they certain accommodate for it with plenty of additional seating (inside and out). As we sat outside, enjoying the crisp breeze, we couldn’t help, but notice how the cafe invokes a soothing (yet energetic) atmosphere.

If you’re looking for artisan-inspired pastries while strolling around Columbus, we recommend making a quick stop at Fox in the Snow!

Location:

1031 North 4th Street

Columbus, OH 43201

Disclaimer: We are not affiliated with any place that we write about. We are not professional reviewers, we just like to share our favorite places and things with anyone willing to listen. 

          Danielle’s Blueberry Scone & Latte
Lindsay’s Recommendation? The Cinnamon Roll.
Danielle enjoying a blissful moment with her latte.

8 Beauty Products Under $10 (We Can’t Live Without)

We know of the all too familiar struggle.

The moment you wander aimlessly through the beautiful glass doors of Sephora. As you drift by, your eyes catch the beautiful glistening palettes, the vibrant lip stains, and the somewhat costly price tag. However, we have learned over time that our favorite makeup items don’t have be accompanied by an outrageous price tag.

The items below are our personal picks for makeup “must-haves” that won’t break the bank.*

 

Danielle’s “must-haves”

  1. L’Oréal Hydrafresh Toner $7.99 

I didn’t know I needed toner until I tried this one! I use it once in the morning (before makeup application) and once before bed. It keeps my skin hydrated and my complexion brighter!

  1. E.L.F. Illuminating Palette $6.00

I had been searching for an affordable highlighter before finally giving this a try. It has four different color options. I love it, and for the price, you can’t beat it!

  1. Maybelline Instant Anti-Age: The Eye Eraser $7.99

The purpose of this product is to reduce the appearance of dark circles under your eyes and it works great! I tend to use it on blemishes as well. It has definitely become a staple in my beauty routine.

  1. Essie Nail Polish: Fiji $8.99

This color quickly became one of my favorites! It’s vibrant and great for spring. Essie is one of my favorite nail polish brands, in general, because their polish lasts longer than other polishes I’ve tried. Not to mention, they have so many colors to choose from!

Lindsay’s “must-haves”

  1. Neutrogena Shine Control Powder $9.99

I have struggled with having oily skin my whole life. For a long time, I used other powder compacts to treat the problem. When I finally stumbled upon this shine control powder, I was instantly impressed. I love how the translucent powder doesn’t effect my contour and keeps my face oil-free.

2. NYX Micro Brow Pencil $9.99

This brow pencil has greatly simplified my makeup routine. The pencil creates fine lines that keep me from “over-doing” my eyebrows and the attached spoolie corrects any mistakes.

3. E.L.F. Poreless Face Primer $6.00

With the poreless face primer, I quickly learned that a little goes a long way. However, once I adjusted to using this product, I was amazed with how it smoothed the inconsistencies in my skin. By applying the primer before my makeup every day, my skin has been able to keep its fresh appearance all day long.

4. E.L.F Expert Liquid Liner $2.00

Before the E.L.F. liquid liner, I would spend $15-$20 on name brand eyeliner pens (that would quickly dry out after purchase). Discovering this liner has allowed me to save some extra cash while using a quality product!

What are some of your favorite, affordable beauty products? Let us know by commenting below!

* Disclaimer: We are not affiliated with any cosmetic company mentioned in this blog post.