Coffee Abroad; Newnan’s Own Leaf and Bean

Hey there, everyone! For my Coffee Abroad adventure this time, I headed to Newnan, Georgia! I would like to rave on this adorable little town for a moment, if I may. It’s a completely charming town about half an hour outside of the big ATL, and it avoids the terrible traffic of the big city. I went for a more business-oriented trip, but really found myself completely enamored with this little town. The downtown was altogether too cute!
 
    The coffee shop I visited, The Leaf and Bean, was right next to the Alamo, which of all things served, Pizza! The location was perfect, because the weather was terrible and I was dreading driving around to find my planned restaurant. Luck was on my side when I pulled in front of my main attraction to see that it was right next to my dinner. I want to acknowledge this was totally not due to my own planning, but more a stroke of dumb luck. I adored the aesthetic of the shop- it had this lovely industrial feel with exposed bricks and you guys know how I love that style.
 

 

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

At @theleafandseed_ in Newnan! You guys know I’m OBSESSED with the whole aesthetic! . . #coffeeshops #coffee #trydaycameearly #newtownnewstuff

A post shared by java and jeans (@java_and_jeans) on

 

    
    I ordered kind of a staple for me, Vanilla/Caramel- it arrived at my table in its hot variant. The lovely ladies were great sports and corrected my order, I got the opportunity to try both today!
 
    The cold Latte was a touch on the over-sweet side for my taste, while not bad in the slightest- it was just a little beyond my sweetness threshold. It did require that I mix it, and after a hearty stirring, it was reminiscent of coconut milk. The earthiness of the espresso was tempered by the caramel, making it a strange harmony that I can’t quite place. Once the flavor began to fade, the vanilla made an appearance and created a more unique experience than I was expecting from my staple.
    Once I grew used to the sweetness of this drink, it really started to grow on me. I was a little ambivalent at first, truth be told. But after a few sips, I was really starting to feel this beverage on a spiritual level. If you’re a fan of saccharine sweet flavors, you may enjoy this one.    
    In a strange turn for the unexpected, I find myself greatly preferring the hot variant. The flavors in this sibling drink are much more toned down and subtle, rather than being offensively sweet it maintains a level of richness. It feels quite a lot like a macchiato, with a touch of earthy bitterness to savor and watch the rain drizzle in the world outside. I feel like both of today’s selection(s) were made with a dark roast, due to the bite of the espresso in each. It’s a perfect drink for days like today when the sun just doesn’t want to shine and the rain keeps coming. It makes me remember coffee shops from days gone by and makes me strangely nostalgic.
 
    The aesthetic in this shop is impeccable, it feels warm and welcoming with the fairy lights gracing the exposed steel in the ceiling shining placidly on the exposed red brick. I love the inviting feeling and the coffee set-ups scattered about to lend a homey atmosphere. The chairs near the back of the long interior look plush enough to get lost in, unfortunately, I deemed it not a good idea to try one with how tired  I was. 
 
    I really hope that even more places like this crop up, I am absolutely enamored with this entire atmosphere. I literally can’t get enough of it. And is it really any wonder?

Hometown Cravings; Raspberries and Cream

      Hey there, guys! I’m back with another coffee post while I prepare some content for you guys over the next couple of weeks! Today I’m at Origin Coffee, enjoying a drink idea that worked out well for me! I wanted to make a raspberry and cream drink, and just raspberry and vanilla wasn’t cutting it. So I figured, why not add another creamy flavor and see how that pans out? I mean, chocolate and vanilla pair well, despite being opposites. The Be Mine latte proves that. So, with that in mind, I tried White Chocolate, Vanilla and Raspberry and I think that works!

 

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

Another day, another moody coffee picture! This one is from @origincoffeecolumbus and my drink of choice was a fantastic raspberry and cream iced latte! . . #coffee #coffeeaddict #coffeeshop

A post shared by java and jeans (@java_and_jeans) on

     The chocolate and vanilla mingle and blend in such a way where neither is identifiable alone. You might think that’s a bad thing, but it really makes the creaminess stand out. I thought it was going to be more like a chocolate dipped berry with some vanilla tones. But what happened instead was almost a decadent creaminess with raspberry offering tang and standing out. 

     The creamy flavors in this almost completely drown out the bitterness lent by the espresso, and it’s rather nice. I’m picking up a little bit of acidity that lingers for a few seconds after the raspberry flavor fades from the back of my tongue. It might not be a seasonal drink, but it’s really good. 

     It feels a little more Christmassy rather than fall, and it kind of puts me in a festive mood. I might recommend this for someone who enjoys just a little bit of bitterness in their drink. While there’s not much, there’s enough to be noticeable. It’s really a fantastic choice for a warmer day, since I prefer iced. But, it’s also fantastic as a hot latte, if a little more creamy.

If you can’t tell by now what my rating would be for this one…

Taste; /5

     They really deserve a 5/5 for this drink. It’s the perfect creamy drink with just a lingering bite of berry goodness. We made a very solid bet for a holiday drink, if you’re not feeling any of the delicious holiday drinks we’re featuring next month!

Cirque Italia; multicultural water circus!

Cirque Italia; multicultural water circus!

The walkway to the stage looked so cool!

    Hey Guys! I’m bringing you fresh news today! Over the past week, I was told about this thing I’ve never heard about. Cirque Italia.  A water circus. What? I was invited by a co-worker, and quickly jumped on the chance to have a new experience. I would have loved to show you guys some stills from the show, but unfortunately, I couldn’t get a pass to take pictures.

Image result for cirque italia pictures
Picture borrowed from Knoxnews

    The first act that I recall featured two ladies. It actually may have been the same ones pictured above. I honestly can’t even imagine the strict training regimen that these people must go through to get to this point. These ladies must have near superhuman strength. I still spent most of the time being concerned for their well-being.

Image result for cirque italia pictures
Picture borrowed from Jersey Family Fun

       The second act in Cirque Italia that resonated with me is the above. At first, the gentleman was inside of the hoop, but ended up on top of it. Since there was an inflatable landing pad beneath him, I thought this was the safest thing they had done. But they proved me wrong, by introducing a jump rope. Seriously, this one made me a little upset that I was so close to the action, yet unable to actually take pictures.

Image result for cirque italia pictures
picture borrowed from Yelp

    Since I don’t want to spoil too much of this event, simply for the fact that I want to encourage you to attend if it comes to your area. I will say that at a point, they had a very good dinosaur costume that attendees could take pictures with! It wasn’t free, much to my dismay it was 10 dollars. Sadly, I didn’t have ten on me.

If you attend and you want to take pictures with the cast of Cirque Italia, don’t fret! You can after the show!

I was so thrilled to find that I could get a photo with the performers and let them know that they were fantastic. I’m still so in awe.

October Beauty Unboxing and Catchup!

Hey guys, welcome to another beauty post in a one week period! This time I decided to catch up on the beauty boxes from last month since we’re nearing December. I think I prefer this format, honestly, because this time I played with the items! What I did, and plan to continue doing, is this: I created a full face using items from all of the boxes together. I’ll put the complete look down at the bottom! Now, let’s go ahead and get started!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

     The first one I’m going to go into is Lip Monthly. It’s a $12.95 a month subscription service that offers 5 full-size products each month. While I think samples are adorable, I rather like full-size because I get more bang with that. This was my first Lip Monthly shipment, and I was so excited! Not only about the prospect of full-size products, but also the super cute bag!

     This first Lip Monthly bag was stocked with a Nude Lip, an Orange Lip from Stiks Cosmetics, a Lip Oil, holographic lip gloss from Bella Pierre and an orange lip pencil. The Nude, is, of course, good with any look. The lip oil is perfect for the cooler weather we’re getting and I didn’t even know there was lip oil. The holographic lip gloss is self-explanatory, and the orange pair is odd and was perfect for the spooky times. I thought this bag was great. I’d give my first Lip Monthly a 5/5 for variety!

   Next up, we had Sephora play! I’ve been so many people on reddit.com/r/beautyboxes get this subscription and I wanted in on the fun. Especially since I discovered Sephora close by. My first Sephora play provided a few essentials for a full face. Dr. Brandt pore minimizing primer, which I was really excited for. I recently came across from Dr. Brandt cleanser at Marshall’s and realized that it’s pretty up there in price. Sephora also gave me a moisturizer, foundation from Makeup Forever, Clinique lip crayon and Urban Decay All Nighter.

     I’ll include a quick review on the items I chose below, so let’s move right along! My first Sephora play box gets a 4/5, because of the foundation being the wrong shade. Not a bad rating by any stretch!

     Allure is up next! This is another one I’ve been envious of for while, and finally decided to get. This first box included a dry shampoo, lip balm/treatment, Hourglass mascara, cleanser, lotion, glitter gel and Claudelie serum. I think this box performed pretty fairly, with it’s counterparts. Hourglass is a brand I’ve been curious about for a time, but have been unable to find locally. I was pretty hype about the First Aid Beauty lotion, becaus I had a great experience with them years ago!

      My first Allure box gets a 4/5 for usability! I can’t justify a 5 for these items, sadly.

    For the last new box, we have Birchbox. Birchbox has always been really hit or miss with me previously. Don’t get me wrong, I like Birchbox. I don’t love it though. The items I got in October was a leave-in conditioner, small bar of natural soap, winky lux cream highlight, a facial moisturizer and nail polish. 

     Some of this will be useful, but I was generally underwhelmed by this box. I think I’ll throw the conditioner into a travel bag with the dry shampoo from allure. For the rating, I think this one gets a 3/5 because I was unimpressed but it did have some usefulness.

   I did include ipsy in that slideshow above, if you want a quick rundown of those items, click here

The Winners!

Alright! We got that out of the way! Like I said, I did decide to do a full face of makeup with just the items from these boxes. From Lip Monthly, I picked the orange lip and pencil duo, because  I thought that color was so unusual and pretty. I’ve never worn orange- that changes now. From sephora, I borrowed the primer and foundation. The primer was tinted a tan color and the scent was somehow medical? It was a fairly strong scent that I wasn’t too crazy about. I will say that a little goes a long way though. The foundation was the incorrect shade, but did seem to blend out nicely with a beauty blender.

From allure I took the ritzy Hourglass mascara, I felt so fancy! It had a great lifting and curing effect on my lashes that I absolutely love. I might end up splurging and ordering this offline! 

     I took the bronzer, eyeko liner as well as both shadows from Ipsy. The Winky Lux highlight from Birchbox. 

     The pink shadow was almost a mousse, the texture was really interesting to play with since I’m so used to pressed powders. I swept that onto my lid with my finger and followed that with some of the Nomad blue shadow in my crease and at the outer corner. I made an attempt to wing my liner- the eyeko liner performed very well.  Honestly, I was thrilled- not by my ‘wing’ though.

   As I said, the mascara was amazing. Though I’m kind of wishing that I had gone more crazy with the colors on my eyes to make the black pop more.  

     For my face, I used the moisturizer from Birchbox first. It was unscented and my skin seemed to love it, and it felt nice and hydrating. I dabbed on the Dr. Brandt primer which is when I noticed the smell. At first I liked how rejuvenating it smelled but quickly decided I didn’t actually like it. I quickly layered the foundation on top of it and I’m thrilled to report that I didn’t notice any heaviness on the skin like I do with some foundations. The only thing I notice is that it’s a bit too bronze for me.

    I swept on the Bronzer. I like how it’s subtle and not too pigmented. It gives me a little bit of a sunkissed look that I’m enjoying. I think my second favorite thing from this entire haul is probably the high light. The highlighter is pretty much right up my alley. I love it. Just look at that highlight. I’m still learning, but I’m definitely pleased with the application. It blended out beautifully and applied flawlessly. Because my cheeks still looked naked, I patted a little bit of the pink eyeshadow onto my cheeks and blended it outwards. I think I actually kind of prefer the eye shadow as a blush.

     The rest is just the lips, which I lined and followed up with the orange lipstick. I’m sure you can tell that I didn’t leave it at that- I used my favorite lashes that I talk about all the time to finish off the look. 

     Let me know what you guys think of this type of posts. I really enjoy tooling around with makeup and sharing these boxes with you! Do you guys have any subcriptions that you’d recommend?

[Haul] My Fabulous Black Friday Haul!

    Hey guys! I hope this Monday finds you all well (and not terribly broke, with Black Friday and Cyber Monday coming back-to-back). I know that Black Friday is the perfect time to not only make questionable choices, but also score some ah-mazing deals, I went out and did just that! 

Beauty Products

    My first steps into this (holiday?) event, was straight to Ulta. I promised myself I was there for lotion, but quickly broke that promise upon entering as I saw all of the Sale signs. I ran all over the store, careful not to trample the other guests, and found what I was low-key there for. Three words: Ten. Dollar. Mascara.

   I was hopeful that my recently discovered holy grail, lights camera lashes was apart of this promo. But it wasn’t- so I ended up grabbing Maneater and Troublemaker to test out. I had my arms full, but unfortunately was unable to actually drop the dough to get all that I wanted. I even had to leave a backup pair of Eyelure #005 lashes.

Black friday part one!
Isn’t it beautiful?

    The rest of my trip at Ulta for Thanksgiving’s early shopping, was Laura Gellar Highlighter, and Urban Decay’s Petite Heat Palette. I also managed to get my hands on apparently, the last James Charles x Morphe palette that they had. I’m pretty sister shook that they even had it, since the app told it was out of stock.

   And you guys know, I couldn’t just leave it a one day thing, I went back Friday to see what was left and managed to snag the Tarte Life of the Party clutch for 20 dollars. I got one more thing from Ulta this year that I had been dying for! The Dream Glow Palette from Anastasia. I adore the microglittery, ethereal look that these hi-lighters have, and I had to have them since they were 45%-ish off.

Black friday part two!
Because I don’t know how to stop…

   Since I really like a deal, I took myself over to TJ Maxx and continued my hunt. I came across two Cargo Palettes, both of which I’ve heard great things about, All that Glitters and Wanderlust. I’m pretty sure I have some of the colors duped in my current dragon’s hoard, so I’ll probably be doing a comparison.

   The last thing from Friday was a 4 pack of Anastasia lippies in different berry pink hues- I’ve been wanting more pinks since I more or less default to reds and deep colors. 

Anastasia Swatches
A little pink for my taste, but I kinda like it.

 

    Then, because, I’m not kidding, I don’t know when to stop. I took myself to the mall on Saturday. You probably know where this is going by now, but I didn’t. I had it in my head to grab some work-appropriate clothes. Instead, I got sidetracked by lots of makeup. Again. I meandered into Sephora, and grabbed yet another Glitter Flip for my growing stash, and the Becca Glow and Primer kit.

   When I walked by Bath and Body Works, I saw that there was another sale. Every body mist was $5.50. Are you kidding me? I love body spray. So, I grabbed a few!

Black Friday Body Mist
My favorite of these is the Hot Cocoa- it literally is such a warm scent! 

    After wandering around looking for clothes (cheap ones) I was unimpressed and made my way back to the car. First, I noticed an Anastasia Vanilla Lip Gloss (in Luna), at Dillard’s. I swear, I wasn’t really looking, but it kind of jumped out at me.

Mall Friday Mall feat Java
My Mall Loot- featuring Java!

    I love vanilla- so I needed it. I began the treacherous walk through Dillards… Again.  And toward my car. I was rushing by the M.A.C. counter with my will starting to waver. You know? I’ve never really looked at M.A.C. products? I always kind of associated it with the… elderly? Somehow? I don’t get the association- but I had it. A worker came up and let me know that if I needed help, just to ask and I felt obligated to at least look (or pretend to). I pretended too hard and found this gorgeous liquid lip gloss in the shade ‘it’s just candy“. Of course, it’s a red.

    Then I found this amazing liquid eyeshadow in diamond crumblesGuys. Guys. Guys. It reminds me of unicorns. Of course, I swatched it. I loved it. I brought it home. 

    Even more stuff in tow. I was in the home stretch. On my way through JC Penny, when I found two more things. A makeup caddy and a cup. Each for 5 dollars. I gotta organize this stuff, y’know?

 

Fashion

Since I kind of went a little trigger happy with the beauty aspect of my haul, that left me with limited room to splurge on the fashion side. I did drag myself into the Posh Peach on Saturday to see what they had going on. Though Black Friday is technically over, they have their 20% on the entire store still, as well as adorable cookies.

Posh Peach Cookies for Black Friday
Yum!

    Walking into their shop is a dilemma for me, almost immediately. I pretty much love everything I lay my hands on. To my surprise, I found another rainbow cardigan, this one fuzzy and warm feeling. I almost bought that on principle, who doesn’t love a good rainbow cardigan? I meandered over to their Last Ones rack and found this adorable ombre` sweater dress in pastels. I don’t have anything similar, so I opted for it.  Since I had to spend 50 dollars, I decided to pair it with a pair of mildly cat-eye sunnies. I think I’ll match this up with my neutral brown booties from Clothes Mentor!

    Since I spent just over 50 dollars at the Posh Peach, I got to pop a balloon. Again, I got the 20% off coupon, which went straight into my wallet for next time. I think I’ll use that on that rainbow cardigan if it’s there next time!

Announcement

I have some big plans in regards to some of this loot- be on the lookout for an update on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram! I don’t want to say too much here until I’ve figured a little more out, but suffice to say, I’m both nervous and excited!

 

Unboxing; Let’s Ipsy again!

Unboxing; Let’s Ipsy again!

     Hey, guys! It’s time for another Ipsy unboxing! Ipsy has been my favorite subscription box for a couple of years, and they hold that title still. To be perfectly fair, I wasn’t able to post about this particular bag sooner due to the 7 days of Halloween and after that I had content planned. So, we’re going to start our catch up with this.

     

     Okay, so that’s what we got in the bag this month. I’ll go in order of excitement and end on my #1 item! We got that vampy nail polish, it’s the brand Sundays in #18. I haven’t had a chance to test this, but I’ll come out and admit that it’s what I’m the least excited about. I’m not too big into nail polish right now, because I’m using acrylics. But, even if I were using polish this color is way too dark for me. I may throw it into a giveaway or something, once I get more items!

     I think if I had to pick my next least favorite thing, I’d have to go with the sleep masks. I’m getting into masks lately, and my skin is grateful. But, I’m not sure how I feel about sleeping in one. I tend to toss and turn in my sleep, so I’d have it all over my pillows. I’ll still try it, because I do love masks. These are my favorite kind too! Mud masks are my jam! So aside from the whole sleep thing, I’m at least a little excited for these!theBalm Bronzer in Oliver

    They also sent me bronzer from Thebalm. This is a brand I’m not really too familiar with. I know that my best friend owns one of  their palettes that she likes quite a lot. I will say that I do like the way they do their designs. It looks almost like a booklet. I believe that they gave me a really good shade for me. I played with it a little bit and di make it looks okay (by my standards, at least). This is something I was a little hype about, because I really want to figure out contouring.

     Nomad shadow in Norrsken N04Okay, so, the shadow. I looked at the app so I could cheat and see what I had coming, I saw that they were sending me another eyeshadow. If you guys could see my bathroom, you’d know that I love shadows. Ipsy has a bad habit of sending me pink shadows that I typically don’t wear. When I saw there were two possible colors I could get, my immediate thought was that I was going to get another pink. But, they picked better this time! This blue is a beautiful cerulean color, seriously, just check it out. On second thought, it might be a little less cerulean and more plain ol’ blue. I think I’ll actually be using this, and I was actually really excited to see that it was blue and not pink this time!

     Are you sitting down? This next thing knocked my socks off, no joke. Or, well, it would have had I been wearing socks! I’ve been considering buying Tarte’s shape tape concealer but can’t stop buying palettes long enough to grab it. That and apparently the price tag is a little steep to me for a small tube. Now, I know why the hype. This is fantastic. Not only is it the product I’ve been looking at for a few months, but it’s the perfect color for me. Once this sample is gone, I may be able to finally justify the purchase!

     Quick update time! I do plan to begin doing unboxings on Youtube so I can expand my reach a little. I’m brainstorming other things I can do there, too. So keep an eye out for updates on that! Also, I did just add a whole new page to the site! If you click on my Discounts link, you’ll find my affiliate codes. You guys can score some pretty good loot at a discount, so be sure to check that out!

   I also got Allure, Sephora Play!, Lip Monthly and I want to say there’s another, off the top of my head, I want to say it was Yes oh Yas.Those will be in an October Masterpost that is planned to go up before the end of the month but after my Black Friday post!

 

VIP Treatment with Wine Women and Shoes

VIP Treatment with Wine Women and Shoes

   Greetings, everyone. I hope you guys have your opera glasses and champagne (assuming you’re 21 or older). On November the 8th, I splurged a lottle (like a little, but a lot) and went to Wine, Women and Shoes– and guys, you know I had to be extra. I went all the way and went for the VIP treatment. VIP guests got the same perks as those who got the general admission:     

General Admission tickets include entrance to the marketplace, wine tastings, culinary bites, a seat at the fashion show, plus a swag bag and wine glass to take home. *Price increase on September 16 to $100.

    There was a slight difference between the VIP and general admission.

VIP tickets include all of the perks of a general admission ticket plus premier seating during the fashion show so you can kick up your heels and enjoy the show. In addition to the swag bag and wine glass to take home, there will also be a little something extra waiting for you at your seat!

     When I first walked into the venue, I noticed how crowded it was. I think it took me 20 minutes to get my ticket situated. I’m pretty happy that they were able to have such a great turn out for this event, they certainly deserve it. There was a woman perched in the air making languid movements while balanced in a ribbon, I’m probably butchering what was actually happening, but I thought she was perfect for the ambience. I wanted to commend her on not losing her grip and taking a tumble, because I’m fairly certain that I would!

 

 

     The fashion show bit didn’t begin until about 8 PM, so I had plenty of time to peruse the vendors that were kind enough to come show their support for a good cause. There were several booths selling gorgeous jewelry, some of which was out of my price range, which broke my heart. There was food, but as I had been ill most of the day I decided to completely forego even getting within smelling distance of it in favor of indulging myself to grab a whole new outfit. These were the vendors I was able to photograph! There were some others, but I didn’t want to get a photo with the guests and risk getting a photo with an unwilling model. I will link all merchants at the bottom, for the curious!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

    

     

     Once I was done wandering around the impressively large library filled to the brim with vendors, I made my way outside to the large tent that would be housing the main festivities. It was really a little surreal for me as I made my way to my table. I’ve never been to a fashion show of any sort, let alone as a VIP sitting right by the stage. It was an incredible feeling!

 

   I wanted to make sure to get you guys some pictures worth looking at of the gorgeous models, you can check out the models in the slideshow below! Don’t worry, I got permission from the hosts to bring my camera! These are (almost) guilt-free photos! I have them in a random order down below, because I didn’t realize that they did the fashion in blocks of retailers. It hit me that there were 2-3 outfits per shop when I looked at a model and thought “Huh… that reminds me of the style of the Posh Peach.”

     My obliviousness aside, enjoy the photos and fashions!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

      I know you may be wondering what was in the goody bag, and what my special VIP surprise was! I’ll end the intrigue here and tell you! The goodies were a Tsys wine-bag, that was stuffed with pink tissue paper. Under the paper was a wine spritzer, bath bomb and loofah! I passed off the wine to my partner, but he’s not getting the bath bomb. 

    When I saw this event was coming, I knew I wanted to go. I wasn’t sure what to even wear. I’ve never even been to a Fashion Show, I’ve never been a VIP or anything. What do people even where to those? Am I even fancy enough? Can I be? I went on the hunt for the perfect dress, and the search was a month long. 

     

The one photo I got of my dress- I had another person take it, and it came out super dark. I swear I tried to salvage it.

     I eventually settled on sporting emerald green, I wasn’t sure on the cut of the dress. Glamorous? Casual? I ended up going to elegance. Guys, this dress made me literally so happy the moment I saw it. I knew it was the one, and it was so fairly priced at 18.99! 

    My gorgeous, and affordable, dress was paired it with black shoes. For my makeup, I settled on a red lip from NYX and a smokey eye courtesy of Urban Decay’s Naked palette with accents from my Jaclyn Hill Morphe Palette. The gorgeous ladies over at Ulta trimmed my do so I could look as sleek as possible- I think they did a great job! 

     All in all, the Wine Women and Shoes event was fantastic! I did end up shopping just a little, and to be honest it was a little less than I thought I would buy. I was so excited to see Sassy and Southern there, since I never got to go back for the dress I loved. I ended up grabbing two items from them! A cold-shoulder black shift dress, and some suede tan booties. I did have to throw on some tights and my favorite Marshall’s cardigan to make it feel more work appropriate, but I adore it! I also grabbed a wine colored scalloped skirt that’s definitely too short for work, once I pair it with the perfect fall top I’ll share it with you!

Vendors!

Sassy and Southen

Robin’s Nest

Psherrod

Behind the Glass

Bent by Courtney

Dena Lyons Couture

Misayo House

Tuli Rita

Winter Wish; A New Take on Thin Mint

      Hi there, everyone! Welcome back to another very special Winter Wish with one of my all time favorite haunts! Today, I visited UniqExpressions once again, for something a little different from my usual fare from them. I tried their Dark Chocolate-Mint latte, as my Girlscout cookie fans may remember, the Thin Mint combo.

    I know I covered a Peppermint Mocha already, from our very own Midtown Coffee. But I really felt like this one stood on it’s own as a separate thing, mainly due to the presence of the biting darkness from the dark chocolate.

Thin Mint Latte
I love their cups- though like I mentioned last time, they don’t hold up to liquid for very long. No problem, the coffee won’t last that long anyway!

Like with the ever-popular Thin Mint cookies that Girlscouts faithfully peddle to those of us with a love for mint, the mint chimes in with a pleasant, subtle, cooling sensation. That same refreshing coolness tempers down the bitterness from the dark chocolate. If I may be bold, I almost feel like I prefer the drink version to the original. 

     Hear me out, guys. With the cookies, I know that I, for one, am prone to just devour the entire supply. No worries of that here! This latte is a great bit of portion control, but it did leave me with a “where did it go?” feeling.

    I really feel like Peppermint Mochas are a staple of he holiday season, more so than the controversial Pumpkin Spice of Thanksgiving and Fall. I really love what UniquExpressions did by adding Dark Chocolate instead of the usual sweet mocha. 

     This one may be more for people who are getting used to a little bit of bite in their coffee, because this one does have a little bit of roughness around the edges. There’s an earthy undertone that complements the bitter-sweet balance going in with the rest of the drink.

    I can see this particular drink being enjoyed during the heart of Winter, held in mittened hands. I kind of wish I had asked for whipped cream (and sprinkles!). That would have made this drink more perfect for hanging out around the fireplace!

     If you live nearby to UniquExpressions and haven’t gone, what are you doing? If you’re looking for a charming and homey coffeeshop experience and some of the nicest Baristas I’ve met, come try any one of their Signature Lattes.

     

Check the map above to see their location! They’re located in a small, charming little town. Blink and you’ll miss it! For being a more under-stated town, they have their fair share of gold. From the Gardens to the treats, Pine Mountain is definitely worth the trip! 

If you would like to see some of the photos I’ve captured in my favorite sleepy little town, check out my photography at Live in Colour Photography!

Taste; /5

   I know I throw out a lot of 5 Ratings for taste, especially to this specific shop. Rest assured, it’s only because I love it so much. Seriously, all the times I’ve been and I’ve never tasted anything that was a disappointment. I highly, highly recommend them!

      

Winter Wishes: My Wish is a Farmer’s Tan

Iron Bank menu
Farmers Tan
Sporting my Farmer’s Tan at W

 

The days have gotten so much colder that anyone who’s brave enough to venture out without a jacket (or two) will be frozen to the core in short order. The only farmer’s tan possible, or safe, is this particular one. 

You can see the specialty menu above- the farmer’s tan isn’t peppermint mocha, which I’ve done already. But rather, white chocolate and caramel. People who don’t order the usual peppermint, typically opt for this, according to the lovely lady behind the counter.

I’ve tried this once before, in the iced variant. Frankly speaking, the hot version is leaps and bounds better. I firmly believe that this is a drink that begs to be served hot. The warmth radiating from the cup really lends to the richness and weight of the coffee and makes it a genuinely pleasant experience.

This is a somewhat weighty drink that settles on the tongue and leaves a lingering sensation of white chocolate. The caramel, while usually being an overwhelming flavor, is quite pleasant. It’s the very first flavor I notice, but it does fade out and let the white chocolate have some screen time. It has a lovely harmony that just works. It is rather rich, however, so it may fill you up if you drink it before a meal. 

An interesting thing I noticed with this particular latte is that I picked up some fruity notes underneath the predominant flavors. It takes nothing from the drink but adds some wonderful dimension to the texture. It added a great counterpoint to any residual bitterness left from the espresso. I didn’t notice the same with the Be Mine latte, strangely enough.

 

taste; /5

  I feel like Iron Bank deserves another 5/5 for this Winter Wish. This was delicious and makes a great Latte to drink up to Christmas. Seriously, if the Thanksgiving and Hugs is for November, the Farmer’s Tan is the time leading up to the big day. It’s a modest flavor of coffee that’s timeless and done well. My only wish right now is that I had more.

 

Winter Wishes: Thanksgiving and Hugs (in a cup)

The weather is getting colder and the nights are getting longer, the holiday preparations are either a bit behind (like in the Java household), or in full and festive swing. To make up for my decided lack of holiday spirit, I visited one of my favorite coffee haunts in the Downtown Columbus area- our very own, Fountain City Coffee. Whose warm and inviting interior begs to have it’s patrons linger for a while and enjoy the soft ambiance of indie music and the calming buzz of conversation. Whether you want to blog or mingle with the locals, this a perfect place to just relax in the charming heart of Columbus. 

 I visit them quite frequently for my favorite drink of choice, the heath freezer, which is my top pick no matter the weather. I usually don’t care about the weather and just get what I like, or try something new on ice. But, it’s entirely too cold for that, especially with the wind whipping between the buildings downtown. No, today I was feeling a little sentimental for the days when I would join my extended family for the celebration of Thanksgiving and Christmas with delicious food. 

I was recommended the “Thanksgiving and Hugs” latte, which is just about a 4-course meal of nostalgia. It’s got everything, really. Chai, pumpkin, vanilla and cinnamon and the smell is divine. It smells so enticingly like pumpkin pie that I may have to bring some into the house this Thanksgiving. This is the one single time of the year when I allow myself to indulge in rich deserts and loads of meat, I may have found a new piece to add to my list of traditions.

The Thanksgiving and Hugs latte is delicious. I honestly wasn’t sure if it would be, or if it would even be up my alley. This does not disappoint in the slightest. I said that the smell was like a warm pumpkin pie, and the flavor closely mimics it. This is one of the smoothest latte experiences I’ve had in a while. Guys, I literally don’t even like chai. I love this drink. It has a nice full richness that goes down slow and smooth. It’s perfect to just hold in both hands and sip, while looking forlornly out the window like a protagonist of a Winter love story. Was that too sappy?

The chai isn’t overpowering and is in a gentle harmony with the pumpkin and cinnamon in equal parts. The vanilla chimes in as a soft whisper of flavor that briefly lingers on the tongue. I went with the warm variant of this beverage and I really think that was the right call. Even if it wasn’t freezing out, it would be the right call, because this is a drink best served hot. Or, in my humble opinion anyway. I feel like their cups don’t do it justice, I just want to get it home and throw it into one of my festive mugs.

Fountain City has long been a personal favorite of mine, and held a high ranking against so the coffee shops of the past and will most likely hold their spot against many future competitors in ranks. That goes double if they continue to grace my existence with drinks of this caliber. Honestly, this drink may be an annual staple for me and it’s an absolute travesty that I didn’t try it before now.

Needless to say, onto the rating! It should be evident, by how much I love this drink what sore it deserves.

Thanksgiving and Hugs Taste; /5

  The Thanksgiving and Hugs latter deserves a 5/5, and is a spectacular holiday drink to get you in the spirit. I’m feeling much, much more festive now. Thank you, Fountain City Coffee for introducing me to something new for Christmas!