Sweet Critique: Torani Flavored Syrups

Torani flavored syrups

Torani flavored syrupsFlavored coffee is all the rage nowadays.  So many folks can’t live without it.

When I do drink coffee {which seems to be more frequent as I get older}, I want it flavored so I don’t actually taste the coffee.  All the power, none of the taste.

Aside from flavored creamer, I never attempted to flavor my coffee with anything other than sugar and cream.  You know, a sweet creamy flavor?  But there’s so  much more to try, like Torani flavored syrups.

Torani Syrups


I’ve heard about Torani flavored syrups for years {they used them at the restaurant I used to work at}, but never bought any to try.  I’m not sure why…

I recently had the opportunity to give a couple of the syrups a try, and I’m amazed.  Really.

Quite honestly, I wondered just how good a syrup can be.  I was worried they’d be “flat” and syrup-y sweet.  And sugar free?  Oh man, I was scared…

I was so wrong.  These things have such deep flavor, that’s what really stuck with me.  It has great depth of flavor that really adds a great flavor to coffee.

I think the fact that it’s sweetened with Splenda {and not a chemical} really helps with that.  I liked the slight vanilla aftertaste it left, kind of like the slight warmth of chili-spiked chocolate.

Torani has over 100 flavors {that’s crazy!}, and you can read my review {as well as reviews my others} on SheSpeaks.

I just saw that they have a peppermint flavor; I think that’s next on my list!!

I’ve got a coupon code to share with you guys so you can purchase a bottle or two or 12 for yourself:  shespeaks.  You can use this code on Torani.com to receive 10% off your order!

Do you use Torani flavored syrups in your coffee?  Which flavors do you like?


Babydoll’s Four Letter Word: Grammar

Growing with Grammar

Growing With Grammar Level 3, Grammar Book When we started homeschooling, I quickly realized that Babydoll could not stand grammar.  She loathes it.  We’ve tried our boxed curriculum’s grammar program, some online programs, and a few other things here and there and nothing quite seemed to click.

The boxed curriculum just drug it out way too much.  I even got confused, and I like grammar.  The online programs worked well, but I didn’t feel it was complete.  I liked it for review and reinforcement, but not a curriculum.

We started the year with editing worksheets, and that seemed to drive points home, but again, it wasn’t new teaching.

What to do?

Growing with Grammar


Enter Growing with Grammar.

I don’t remember exactly how I found this program, but I did, and I decided to take a chance on it.

It looked fairly basic, and short.  You know, not a ton of verbiage and worksheets and other stuff.

And it’s child-led.  Score!

You know what always made grammar worse?  The fact that I didn’t know how to teach it to Babydoll in a way that made it understandable.  So, I was all for something that she did on her own.

I’m not gonna lie, though.  I had my doubts.  I couldn’t imagine something like grammar being done without my help.

But, again, sure, let’s go for it.  We won’t be any worse off…

How Did It Work Out?


Growing with GrammarFreaking wonderful!!  It seriously is like night and day.

Babydoll almost enjoys grammar, and I haven’t had to do anything!  She sits there, reads through her lesson, and then does the workbook practice.

The program does a great job of building on what was previously learned without making it seem so unbelievably repetitive.  I also like the way the program gives positive encouragement in the form of little “points to remember.”  I think this gives Babydoll just the right amount of confidence to get to the point where she doesn’t even realize she’s applying the rule anymore.

I know all of us learn in different ways, but I wanted to share our experience with this program and how happy we’ve been.

Do you have a grammar program you use that you love?

Also, be sure to check out Jimmie’s 10 days of language arts for tons of great info!

I wasn’t asked to do this post or compensated in any way; we just use it and love it!

Ten Long Years…


Today is our ten year wedding anniversary.  I was just kidding about the “long years” though.

They’ve flown by, and they’ve been filled with tears, laughter, underwear pulled over heads, vomit, moves, the Grand Canyon, and tons of other stuff.

We’re not terribly sappy with each other, so I don’t want this to turn into a big gush-fest, but I will say that I’m glad we’ve made it through all the ups and downs.

Marriage is hard work.  You don’t just automatically like someone for the rest of your life once you get married.  You have to work at it.  You have to make time for it.  You have to want it to work.  Most of the time it didn’t feel like work, it felt like fun.

Well, we apparently wanted ours to work, and we’ve made it work.  We’ve lasted much longer than many other 30 year olds do.

Dear, let’s rock out another ten; it’ll be totally rad.

Sweet Cause: When Someone Shows You Who They Are, Believe Them

Oprah says:  “When someone shows you who they are, believe them.”  I believe she learned that lesson from Maya Angelou.

What the heck does this have to do with anything?

Well, people show you who they are, eventually.  Many of us spend quite a bit of time trying to ignore their very blatant signs.  Fact still remains, though, that they’re still showing us who they are.

If someone you love {and who “loves” you} is hurting you, either physically or emotionally, they are showing you who they are.  And it is imperative that you listen.

Often, though, it is difficult for someone in an abusive situation to get out of that situation on his or her own.  What can you do to help?

Ways You Can Help


  • Don’t assume you’re wrong or that it’s none of your business.  It’s better to be safe than sorry; if you suspect someone is in an abusive situation, go with your gut.  You may be the only chance this person has for escaping the relationship.
  • Talk to the individual in private.  The last thing this future survivor needs is to be pointed out in public.
  • Express your concern and point out warning signs you’ve noticed.  If you judge the individual, they are more likely to close up and resist your assistance.  Gently point out things you’ve noticed that you feel portray a potentially abusive situation.  Sometimes people aren’t even aware of the situation they’re in until it’s pointed out to them.
  • Listen.  Sometimes simply listening to the individual and offering validation is all that is necessary to enable the person to open up to help.
  • Offer assistance.  Learn about the domestic violence resources available in your area and offer specific assistance to the individual.  Inform them of safe houses, hotlines, and other resources and ask if they’d like further assistance in conjunction with these.  Here are a few resources to get you started:  Domestic Abuse Hotline for Men and Women, Domestic Violence Awareness Handbook, National Domestic Violence Hotline,and the State Coalition List.
  • Respect their decisions.  You can’t force someone to leave an abusive relationship.  Judging them and ignoring them if they don’t do what you think they should will not help them.
  • Build the person up.  The individual is likely suffering from low self-esteem.  Help the person see his or her worth and courage.
  • Help the person protect themselves and think about what they can do.  Help the person devise an emergency plan, develop a code word for when things have escalated, find out what legal and law enforcement options are available, or help prepare an escape bag.
  • Offer practical assistance.  Offer to cook meals, watch the children, or any other things he or she might need assistance with.
  • Maintain regular contact, even after the person is out of the situation.  They need help through all phases of the process.

Remember, knowing what to do before you ever find yourself in this type of situation is important; you could help save a life.

Do you have any advice for assisting someone who is in an abusive situation?

Sweet Side: Yoplait Smoothies

We were recently sent a Yoplait Smoothie Prize Pack which included a coupon to try the new Chocolate Banana flavor.  The prize pack was awesome and included a neck pillow, a smoothie tumbler, a lavender eye mask, and a coupon for a free package of the chocolate banana smoothie.

We’re big fans of the smoothie tumbler; it’s a nice big cup with a fancy schmancy straw.  Yes, we get excited about lots of things.  Still, the cup is good quality and a nice size, and I like that.

I didn’t try the smoothie because I hate bananas.  There, I said it.  They’re gross and disgusting and I hate them.

Babydoll, however, loves bananas.  And chocolate.  And smoothies.  We’ve had the Yoplait smoothies before and love them, so I was sure she’d like this one.

I was right.  She enjoyed the smoothie.  It was quick and easy for her to make {and you know I’m all about her doing for herself} and she liked it a lot.  She also said it was really filling.  Now, I don’t know how accurately she measured, but she thought the smoothie was a bit thick to start with, so she added a bit more milk and it was perfect.

I’ve got a Yoplait Smoothie Prize Pack to give away so you can experience the uber cup and try the smoothie for yourself.  Be sure to enter below!

True Confessions:  I was provided with the prize pack to help me with my review.  All opinions are my own.  They didn’t tell me to talk up the cup to you guys, I really do like it that much.  The Yoplait® VIP Coupon, information, and giveaway have been provided by Yoplait through MyBlogSpark.

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