Origin Treats us to Christmas Coffee!

     

     Hey guys, we’re T-Minus 1 day to the big event! I’m so excited! Are you guys ready? We already broke some major ground here on the blog with yesterday’s video and I gotta tell you, that was definitely new. I’m hoping to have more content that you guys will be legitimately into as we move on into the new year! After yesterday, all I’m in the mood for is coffee. 

    The little local place I’m veritably obsessed with, Origin Coffee right here in Columbus has this amazing latte just in time for the Holidays. I thought that the Be Mine from Iron Bank was my Chocolate milk look-a-like, but I hadn’t met this one yet. 

     This one is Mocha, Marshmallow, and Peppermint and it’s absolutely amazing. I opted to get it a little extra sweet, because I have a problem with my sweet tooth. It was exceptionally smooth, I could scarcely tell I was drinking an espresso beverage at all. The bitterness was completely nonexistent.

    My favorite part about the holidays, if you may recall from one of our earlier posts, is peppermint. I love peppermint and what it does for my coffee. Coffee, as we all know, has an earthy flavor that is fairly bitter and grounding. I love how peppermint is able to add some coolness and subtle sweetness. I always knew I liked peppermint, what I didn’t know was how much I love marshmallow.

    Marshmallow being in this particular drink is amazing. It attaches to the espresso and tempers it. Makes it soft and decadent. The richness of the chocolate was magnified and it was made sweeter, somehow. If you’re in the area, I highly recommend this to you if you’re into Hot Cocoa or even Chocolate Milk. This is another one for those who don’t appreciate the bitterness of coffee.

    If you guys aren’t local, and there’s a big chance of that, this one is a good one to order custom from your favorite local place. Your experience may vary slightly, but this is one that I feel will translate well from other Cafe`s.

 

     I’ve been really utilizing our Christmas tree the last couple of days, mostly because we just managed to get our first tree and partly because I’m just really feeling the aesthetic. I also want to give a huge hello to our new readers! I hope you guys stick around! I’m happy to announce that I have some big plans for us here that I hope you like!

   Come back tomorrow for our last day of Christmas post!

Early Christmas Gift with Allure December 2018 x Nikkie Tutorials

 

Hey guys! I know this one is going up a touch later than I usually post. I’m not going to lie, I crashed hard last night. We had a dinner party with our close friends, so I had scarce time to prep today’s post! Today is going to be slow day, kind of revisiting beauty boxes. On that note, I did get my December Allure Box, which I was so excited for. In case you may be out of the loop with Allure, they did a Collab with NikkieTutorials, a huge beautuber. Needless to say, I was excited

     If you click that link, it’ll take you to her December 2018 video where she discusses this particular box! She’s currently doing her own blogmas sort of event on her channel that I highly recommend if you’re into festive Beauty content. And guys, she goes all out.

     Nikkie is the girl that turned me on to Ofra highlights, so I was hoping I would be getting one this month. Seriously, I just knew I wanted more Ofra. So I got the email sometime last week that my box had shipped. Excited, I kept checking the tracking history until the big day!

Isn’t that beautiful? In this box, I got a tiny The Nubian palette from Juvia’s Place, Nyx Lip Lingerie, Ren Clean overnight moisturizer, a single Neutrogena makeup remover, LaSplash Architect liner, and the Ofra All the Highlight highlighter.  On first glance, I was pleased to see that all of the items in this month’s box are cohesive.  I knew that my girl Nikkie would take care of us.

    The Nubian Palette has loads of warm neutrals that I was so excited to play with. Juvia’s Place has really affordable products at high quality that I had previously only heard tell of.  You can find Juvia’s Place Palettes at Ulta at around 20 dollars, give or take a couple dollars. Or click the image below for more information about this particular product

I think with the appropriate face products you could make a passable holiday face with these items- which is exactly what I did end up doing. Though, since I am just getting really started with cosmetics, it’s not exactly what I wanted it to be. But, I do think I did a decent job! 

The Nyx Liquid Lip looked a little warmer in the tube, but on application it cooled significantly to a subdued brown. I thought that color wasn’t particularly holiday approved, so I tapped on some KVD Everlasting Glimmer Veil in Gold Skool to liven it up just a little. 

   Before looking closely at the eyes, I thought that the liner was better. That is purely a user error. I did find that the liner performed well and was somewhat easy to work with. I’m still getting my bearings with liquid liner, I’m sure I’ll get there eventually! One thing I will say is that I was pretty proud of the way these lashes came out. I tried full-strip lashes for the first time since I failed with the magnetic ones. These are the Ardell Studio Effects custom lashes, these things definitely have a learning curve and I’m still not sure how to get the glue off of them afterward. 

    The last thing I’ll bring up is the highlighter. Wow. It’s definitely something. My gripe with it is that the deepest copper tone is almost too pigmented and didn’t look right on my skin tone. I had to go over it with the remaining foundation on my beauty blender and then put on a little concealer before it chilled out. Even then there was still some obvious highlight showing through. I think my mistake was that I did mix all of the colors for my highlight and it’s a mistake I won’t be making again. I’ll definitely be trying this again to get a better feel for it.

  I know today’s post is a little lacking in the Christmas Spirit, aside from the cameo appearance of our first Christmas tree in the photo of my loot. I do hope you guys are having a great Holiday break and that you get everything on your wish list. I’m still crossing my fingers for that Tatcha Primer on my end!

On that note, I’ll leave you guys until tomorrow where we get one day closer to Christmas!

On the 4th day of Christmas Starbucks gave to me (roundup!)

     Who doesn’t love seasonal treats that only come out once a year? Everyone has their favorite Christmas Guilty (or, not so guilty) pleasures. Mine, as well as a host of others, love Starbuck’s seasonal offering. As displayed by my Halloween Coffee post, I love Holiday drinks! So of course, I took myself to Starbucks to try each of their seasonal brews!

Caramel Brulee

     This is my number one pick from the current line up over at Starbucks. I love sweet things, and by that logic, I love caramel. Which definitely accurate. This drink is a great substitute if you’re tired of the same old peppermint. I never thought I’d be tired of the peppermint mochas, despite loving them so so so much. 

     This drink has a nice smooth finish, the majority of the flavor is caramel but that tapers off into a mellow espresso flavor. It’s a delicious winter drink that I can’t recommend enough if you fit these two requirements:

  1. You love any and all things Starbucks
  2. You’re like me, and you love sweets

This would be a great drink to sip as you hang out with the girls, or a relaxing night in by the fire with your partner!

Toasted White Chocolate Mocha 

      This one, I didn’t manage to grab a picture of. But as you’d imagine, that’s far from a travesty being that so many of the drinks look the same and taste so different. This one, to me, was not really -good- different. I generally don’t enjoy fruity flavors in my coffee, I’m cream all the way. This latte has a dusting of cranberry sugar on top, and the mingling flavors of caramel and mocha. Strangely, this one is actually too sweet for me and the surplus of sugar comes across bitter somehow.

If you’re really, and I do mean really into sweet coffees and enjoy a touch of fruitiness in your coffees for the holidays, this might be for you. And I think I’m going to let you guys have this one.

Gingerbread Latte

One of the ones I was excited to try this year was the Gingerbread latte, despite not being too huge on gingerbread. I did try this as a frappe a while back, which you can see below. I made the mistake of thinking that I liked Gingerbread a lot. Oh boy was I was wrong. It was too much. During a raining evening after work, I decided to give with the hot variant a try for this post! 

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Really feeling festive here lately! It’s not quite time yet, but why not break out the #gingerbread ? . . #coffeelover #coffeelife #coffeeholic #caffeine #coffeebreak #instacoffee #coffeelovers #coffeeaddict #coffeelove #coffeeoftheday #coffeetime #coffeecup #coffee #morning #yummy #drink #starbucks #gingerbreadfrappe

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While this isn’t my usual thing, it’s not bad at all. Each sip has a nice spice to it that is brought down by the somewhat harsh espresso. I’m not sure that I’ll be getting this one again, because I really don’t care for ginger. It’s pretty true to what it’s based off it. I think it’s a loving homage to a traditional Christmas treat. It’s not my favorite thing on this list, but it’s also not my least favorite. It’s squarely in the middle. If you guys want to enjoy a Gingerbread cookie without the hassel of… y’know, eating it, this is for you! I will add really quick, that I did really like the frappe. I would not recommend pairing it like I did, unless you love ginger.

Juniper Latte

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It’s beginning to taste a lot like Christmas! I was finally able to drag myself over to @Starbucks to try the #juniperlatte that I’ve been so curious about! Look for it in one of the upcoming posts for the #12daysofchristmas . . #coffeelover #coffeelife #coffeeholic #caffeine #coffeebreak #instacoffee #coffeelovers #coffeeaddict #coffeelove #coffeeoftheday #coffeetime #coffeecup #coffee #morning #yummy #drink #holidaycoffee

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I know this post is a little late to the party with the Juniper Latte, but guys, life. That’s all I have to say. Times is hard, in the immortal words of Ms. Lovett.

via GIPHY

    Anyway, I did make it in to taste this unique brainchild. Of course, I sniffed it first to see what the smell was like. It smelled almost savory, which is not a thing I associate with my coffee. The overall flavor is woodsy. It’s sprinkled with sage, so it has a bit of an herbal taste as well. I made the mistake of taking a large swallow, thinking it was coke, and holy. crap. Immediate regret. It has a sharp, earthy aftertaste and not even the good bite of espresso. My question to Starbucks is this: why. Why would you market this? Come on. I guess I understand, it’s a unique idea. “Hey, let’s make a coffee that tastes like a tree,” because of course, we have to try it.

I’m a little rusty on my coffee reviewing skills, and guys, I took a sip and that aftertaste hits hard. I don’t think I’ll be getting this again. Literally, all I can say now that I couldn’t say before is “I drank tree flavored coffee”. And is that a bragging right I really want to have?

I was really hoping to wrap this post up on a positive note. I was hoping it was going to have more a piney, vaguely evergreen vibe. How wrong I was. If you guys took one for the team, what were your thoughts? Will you be buying it again? 

With that trainwreck, we wrap up another day of our countdown! We still have more on the schedule, so be sure to check back tomorrow! Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to find some coffee to hold me over til tomorrow!

Christmas Tag: Sweater Weather!

     Hey there guys! We’re cresting another day of Blogmas! (Sorry to switch up the names on you!) For today’s adventure, I found this adorable Christmas related tag! Honestly, I encourage you guys to do this one too and share it with us in the comments below! I found this over at Louise Rose’s blog, you can check out her responses hereI did change a few things about this, since they pertained to Thanksgiving and Fall, to be more Winter inclined.

 

 

1. Favourite candle scent?

You guys may remember from Yesterday’s post that I’m totally obsessed with vanilla scents and associate it with pretty much every good thing that’s ever happened to me. I really like the French Vanilla from Yankee Candle and Mainstays has this delicious smelling Hazelnut candle that smells like coffee. So, my favorite is definitely one of those two!

2. Coffee, tea, or hot chocolate?
Do I have to choose? I love all of these. You guys know that for me, Coffee is literally all the time. I do really enjoy tea on ocassion and cocoa is fantastic during this time of year, especially.

3. What’s the best fall memory you have?
This is the first difficult questi9on for me to answer. I guess if I had to choose, it would be when I was child. My mother dressed me as  ghost for Halloween and the entire house smelled like vanilla. I remember the coolness on the air and the promise of candy. As children we really tend to take those mundane moments for granted.

4. Which make up trend do you prefer: dark lips or winged eye liner?

Oh goodness. Another toughie. I really love a dark red lip. A lot. But wings also look really great. I think if I could master wings, those would be my pick. But I think I’m going to have to give it to the lips this time. 

5. Best fragrance for fall?
I really like warm spiced scents for the fall and for the winter my favorite scents go more towards sweet and warm… like vanilla. I did recently find a wonderful Hot Cocoa body spray over Black Friday that I love for this season!

6. Favorite Christmas food?
Probably desert! I don’t know if I can really pick one. Maybe my all-time favorite dessert in the world; cheesecake!

7. What is winter weather like where you live?
Fickle, to say the least. This morning it was in the 30s and tonight it’s closer to 70. This is why I get sick, guys! I guess that’s what I signed up for staying in the south. It’s really for the best, because I have no idea what to do with snow.

8. Most worn sweater?
I don’t really have too many sweaters that I default to, other than light cardigans. My usual over-clothes-heating-solution is ordinarily one of my two black jackets. One of which I’ve had for 2 years and has seen better days, and the other a newer acquisition from JCPenny.

9. Must-have nail polish this winter?
I favor lots of Gold and metallic colors for the winter. Especially lighter ones with Holo flecks. Gold, Silver and Bronze are somehow perfect for the cooler seasons!

10. Football games or jumping in leaf piles?
I’ll totally jump in the remaining leaf piles!

11. Skinny jeans or leggings?
Leggings! Because I feel like skinny jeans can have a tendency to accentuate things I may not want them to. Also leggings can sub for pants when you want to wear a skirt!

12. Combat boots or uggs?
Combat boots! BecauseUggs aren’t really my style.

13. Is pumpkin spice worth the hype?
In my opinion… not really. I generally despise chai or spiced flavors in my drinks or anything. I think the only time I like pumpkin spice is in pumpkin pie.

14. Favourite Winter TV show?
I don’t really watch too much TV. I generally just watch Youtube videos or Hulu. Most of what I watch is true crime or beauty oriented. Sometimes I get sucked into the latest Gossip in the Beauty community.

15. What song really gets you into the Winter spirit?
If I had to pick just one, you know it has to be All I want for Christmas is you! That’s an absolutely must for this season!

Thank you again to Louise, for giving me this idea! Somehow these Christmas related posts are more difficult than I had anticipated!

Please do tweet me or comment below to let me know if/when you complete this tag post. I’m looking forward to reading your answers!

Keep an eye out for tomorrow’s post guys! We’re getting closer and closer to the big day! 🙂

Three of the Best Things About The Holiday Season

    Hey there, guys! Let’s get today’s Blogmas rolling! Yesterday I talked about recapturing the Holiday Spirit, this one is for those of you who’s Holiday Cheer never left! I really don’t want to give the impression that I hate the holidays. To the contrary, although some Christmas songs tend to grate on my nerves. Since I grew up, I had to rediscover my love for the holiday season. 

     The best thing about trying to rekindle that spark in myself is finding new things to love about this most festive time of year!

 

Family (blood, and not)

   Like I went into a little in the last post, I was raised with a large extended family that loved the holidays. Every holiday was a huge event where family from all over would congregate in my hometown. Since I left, I haven’t celebrated but once. And the one time that I did, didn’t really leave a good taste in my mouth. I opted to not celebrate again and my Cheer up and left. 

     This year is different. I did find a new job, partner, friends… Even the coworkers start to feel like family when you’re with them so much. I love the sense of togetherness that this season affords us. Really, I would even be happy without the promise of presents and food, though of course, those are perks. I just love where we are for the most part. 

     I’m discovering that one of the best parts about this season is celebrating, not with exclusively the family you were born with but opening your heart to the family that you have the potential to meet. Family has the potential to be everywhere around you, you just need to look around and be open to forming those connections. Righ now, I’m just at a very grateful (albeit semi-stressful) place. And, in case anyone is wondering if I consider them family; Absolutely. 

 

The Five Senses

Sight

I did briefly go into this yesterday, as well, but the sights are stunning. Depending where you are, you may have snow (lucky) or you may have the remnants of fall shaking themselves free from the sparse branches. Either way, it’s sure to be made stunning by those unsung heroes who decorate and really channel that Christmas feeling. I know in particular, my neighbors go a little crazy with the decorations. It’s nearly impossible to be upset while looking at Christmas lights and decorations. I always found myself begrudgingly enjoying the gorgeous colors, even when I was adamant about not celebrating.

Sound

This is an easy one; the music. I know every word to so many songs even if I haven’t listened to it in years. There’s something so timeless about Christmas music. Not only that, have you ever tried to not sing along with All I Want For Christmas is You? I fail that challenge every time. The other one that always gets me is Last Christmas. I mean, I absolutely can’t not belt out his heartbreak. Some of my other absolute favorites are down below!

  1. Christmas (Baby Please Come Home); I found the one on again while watching an ABC Family Christmas movie years ago and I made a note to memorize the lyrics so I could find it again. I LOVE this one so much.
  2. All I want for Christmas; This one brought to us by Vince Vance and the Valiants was always so hard for me to find before I memorized the name of the band!
  3. Mary’s Boy Child; I’m not particularly religious, nor have I ever been, really, but I have always loved this song. It has a tropical, islandic feeling that’s like summer in the middle of the harsh winter. I loved this song for so many years! It has a heck of a hook.

Taste

This one is also a rehash of the last post in a way. I love some of the tastes of the season, namely peppermint! I also love the inventive flavors of coffee and cocoa that come out. When we were shopping last week we found some amazing flavors of cocoa in a set. We have plans to go back and grab them to enjoy for our Second Christmas together! I’m legit pretty excited, especially for the caramel flavors.

   I’ve also come across some pretty amazing Christmas coffees too, like the more fall oriented one from Fountain City! Check out the local places to you to see what kind of unique drinks you can find before they’re gone!

Tactile

What does Christmas feel like? Christmas feels like warmth, and being wrapped in soft fluffy fabric. The entire affair, despite being in the dead of winter feels very warm to me. That feeling of warmth and love is something I’ve found myself yearning for over the year.

Scent

One of my favorite things about his season, hands down. Which isn’t remarkable, as that’s what this whole post is about. I love the scents I associate with the holiday. I primarily associate the scent of evergreen with vanilla and the smell of wood from the fireplace. The vanilla in my memories is sometimes interrupted by the smell of cocoa or coffee that became more prevalent as I got older. But vanilla is a smell I associate with almost every precious memory.

 

Tradition

     Another thing I love about this season is that despite the evident prevalence of tradition that permeates time, is that none of it is set in stone. The holidays have the capacity to mean so many different things to so many different people. To some, it can mean what it used to mean to me, large parties with the extended family and making long road trips. Or it can fall more in line with what it means to me recently, solitude with my future husband and enjoying this new family I’ve found. 

     This is the year that we’re trying to start out own traditions together. We’re getting our first tree, figuring out the staple foods and festivities and generally just figuring out what it means to us. Do we want to celebrate with friends? Without? Do we want to partake of cliche` ideas? Gingerbread houses? Stereotypical color coordination? Stockings? 

In short- heck yeah. The beautiful thing is that no matter what you choose one year, you’re free to change your mind next time. The tradtions you build are yours to find comfort in as you please and there’s something so beautiful about that to me. 

This post actually went on a little bit longer than I thought it would to be honest. I guess I’m relieved to know that I was able to find some love for a holiday that ceased to move me years ago. I’m finding the ability to enjoy the nostalgia and the closeness with those around me extremely cathartic. I’m looking forward to making new memories about these times, this year and the in the years to come.

What are you guys looking forward to in the coming holiday?