A Month For Being Thankful

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NYC Soda Girl has been busy. SO much going on  – SO much to be thankful for. Of course I am always thankful for my beautiful family.  We recently moved (gotta love NYC schools rezoning our last apartment right after we moved in! So, we moved again to be zoned for the school we want). I am thankful to have a home and 60 boxes surrounding us – even when unpacking is eating at my soul.  I’m thankful to be planning my youngest daughter’s 2nd birthday party (coming up VERY soon)….and this past weekend I was beyond thankful to attend my college sorority’s reunion brunch.

This year I celebrate 20 years of Sisterhood. At the brunch women ranging from the sorority’s founders, to current undergraduates met at Forcella Park Avenue. It is very hard to put into words how much being a part of this amazing organization means to me. It is a true extended family that loves, respects and supports each other no matter what our differences are. To see this group continue to assemble, YEARS after I graduated college, and have the same spirit and love instilled in everyone, seriously makes you feel good about humanity’s potential. My words are not doing enough justice.

The brunch was delicious and a really good deal too!

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Our tables filled with the unlimited bellinis, bloody marys & mimosas…but as you’ll see…I always stay true to my Diet Coke.

(photo credit goes to an amazing sista!)
(photo credit goes to an amazing sista!)

I usually don’t like fruit garnish on my soda, but it came with a lime and a little dripped in – amazingly, I didn’t mind it!  It made me have a flashback to someone giving me a Lime Diet Coke years ago, and that time too – I was surprised I actually enjoyed it!  Lemons I HATE. As for limes, I may need to Coca Coca Freestyle myself a batch and see if it’s something I may want regularly!

As for my meal, I had the Margeritha Sandwich (their spelling) without the pesto (no tree nuts for me) and it was delicious. It also came with a cold corn salad and a side of breakfast potatoes. LOVE.  The Diet Coke was standard, no complaints. The atmosphere was perfect. We had the upstairs room which overlooks the downstairs seating and bar.  I’ll be back!

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NYC Soda Girl’s Rating

 

Forcella Park Avenue

377 Park Avenue South

Diet Coke with ice, included with brunch

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Boo Brew – CocaCola Freestyle

Best NYC soda, beverages, Halloween, mom, New York City, NYC, soda, soda fountain, Uncategorized

The husband and I got to have a night out about two weeks ago. His friend was receiving an award and we went to the gala celebration. It was a lovely night – they served Pepsi, which I forgave due to the fact that during the cocktail hour I was able to walk around with this in my hand:

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What a perfect set up – right? (I think these are similar…I may need to get some if I ever get my act together and throw a party – the handle feature is KEY!) 

Anyway, I was meeting my husband at the venue which was almost an hour away from our home. I settled into my Uber and started catching up on Facebook and emails. All of a sudden my phone made the craziest sound (ok- just different from my regular alert tone, but it did startle me). I didn’t know what was going on. I checked my texts, email,alarms … and then I saw it. My CocaCola Freestyle app had messaged me! WHAT?!?! It wanted me to know about its latest featured soda mix!

OK- I had NO IDEA it could do that. I’ve never even tried a CocaCola Freestyle machine for more than a Diet Coke, but being NYC Soda Girl, about a month ago I figured I should one day give it a more sincere try, so I downloaded the app. Holy moly.

Fast forward to this week and I finally got around to trying the BOO BREW my app had messaged me about.

(Screen shot from App)
(Screen shot from App)

I went to a local Walgreens that the CocaCola Freestyle site said had a Freestyle machine. It was decked out for Halloween – perfect for my Boo Brew!

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Let me say that I really didn’t research how to use this machine. I figured it would be simple enough. Maybe it is for others. Maybe I over think things. But this is how it went down for me:

I approach machine. I start the process. I begin to think: Oh jeez, this recipe shows percentages…I want ice…if I put ice in then I won’t be able to accurately figure out the ratio of the mix…is this cup wider at the top than the bottom…no…ok good…that helps…really they have people figuring out percentages to make the soda?…I don’t mind percentages, but how do I control the speed of the flow and stop exactly when I need to…let me just start…I won’t use ice…if worse comes to worse I’ll bring it home and add ice there…I guess after I mix it I can dump some and add the ice…no, adding ice will just splash all over…I’ll take it home…ok let me just start.

Selecting the different soda components is easy. First you choose a brand:

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Then you select the variation of the brand you want and press the pour button:

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Boo Brew had 40% Fanta Orange (ok, slightly less than half the cup – check), 35% Hi-C Orange Vanilla (ok, slightly more than half of the remaining space in cup, check) and 25% Sprite Vanilla (remaining space, check).

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I just stared at the warm-ish cup of glowing orange for a moment. I almost didn’t drink it – but I had to – for you my dear readers.  I took a sip. It had a sharp orange taste with a filmy vanilla aftertaste.  I took 2 sips and decided to bring it home to try with ice.  I wanted to give it a fair shot.

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Take two was equally as bad. DUMPED IT.

I think the idea of the Freestyle machine is cool. You can make over 100 different individual flavors and those can be combined to make even more potentially tasty beverages.  I’ve since learned that you can use the app on your smartphone to somehow scan something on the machine and that will prepare the mix for you.  Still not sure about how much ice you’re supposed to use – I messaged CocaCola Freestyle on Facebook about how much ice is suggested, but they haven’t written back. I will try a different mix soon and report back how using the app went. I wish their website had a full video showing how to use it. Maybe it does and I just can’t find it, lol.

Oh well. For now, I’d pass on the Boo Brew if I were you.

NYC Soda Girl’s Rating

CocaCola Freestyle

Various Locations (see website)

Boo Brew – I paid $1.99

rating cup

 

 

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Tale of Two Sodas

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The debate over soda is not news. NYC almost had a law passed where soda servings couldn’t be larger than 16oz??!

In October, NY Times writer, Margot Sanger-Katz wrote a piece titled The Decline of ‘Big Soda’ saying that “The drop in soda consumption represents the single largest change in the American diet in the last decade.” You can read the whole article here.

and then there’s this awesome woman:

 

That video is from ABC, but I originally learned about the 104 year old from this article by CBS (read here).

Hands down, I’m team Elizabeth!

What about you NYC Soda Girl Readers? Leave your thoughts in the comments below!

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Crafty Crafty!

Best NYC soda, beverages, DIY, Halloween, mom, New York City, NYC, soda, Uncategorized

Halloween is upon us and there seems to be a ton of pre-Halloween celebrations everywhere. My kids are all set in their store bought costumes. I’ve made sure they have every accessory needed – even if I had to go to Etsy and get special hand crafted touches. I dream big for their costumes – but I always need to find someone/someplace else to make it a reality.  This past week I have been BLOWN away with the home made parade of costumes I saw. So unique. So well made. Sigh.

I have always wanted to be crafty…always wanting to make something out of nothing.  Through the years I’ve found I’m more artistic…I’ve done a few oil paintings I’m proud of; designed a mosaic table; and have sketched a few decent portraits.  None the less, every time I walk into a Michael’s Arts & Crafts store – I light up and start dreaming about what I could do with a hot glue gun.

I’ve had many crafting fails – starting with my 8th grade “school bus” costume (made from a refrigerator box and yellow spray paint: 1 it didn’t look like a bus, and 2 it disintegrated in the rain 5 minutes outside of the car) and most recently with the bow holder I tried to make (using large wooden letters, hot glue and ribbon)…I mean how hard could that be?!?

Anyway – I’m clearly in awe of those who can look around their house – see junk – and turn it into something awesome.  I found the Whats Up Moms website and this cool and crafty video:

 

Which is your favorite? Mine is the DIY soda can caddy. Hoping to give it a try next summer!   Leave me a comment with your fave!…or a craft you’re especially proud of.  If you’ve made any soda inspired crafts let me know – I may just feature you on NYC Soda Girl!

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Throwback Thursday: Older Cousins Have the Coolest Stuff

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OK- You all know it’s true…Growing up, your older cousins were the COOLEST people you could ever imagine living – they were! OK, maybe my younger cousins didn’t think that about me, but whatever, lol.  So it is no wonder that one of my earliest “GO THERE FOR SPECIFIC SODA” memories has to do with my cousins.

This particular set of 4 cousins (yeah, I have 17 first cousins, plus now most are married and many have kids and we are all still close – it’s quite a scene) lived about an hour away in New Jersey. I vividly remember the drive to their house, how their exit on the turnpike was closer to Six Flags than ours was, and then driving down the long main street and seeing their house on the corner of the side street as we turned into their driveway. I’m not sure we ever went through their front door – I’m sure we did – but my memory is of getting out of the car, walking past the garage and down the tree lined path to their backyard. Right at the end of the path, on your right, was the “beverage table”…and the beverage I always looked for was RC Cola!  They drank it so I knew it had to be the best. I did not know another group of humans alive who drank the stuff (which came in handy as I was the only person in my group of friends who knew the RC stood for Royal Crown) but about 4 times or more a year- I drank it!  I have no idea of what the soda tastes like now. I’ve considered ordering it (feel free to here) but I’m almost afraid to! What if it’s gross?! I don’t want the magical memory ruined!

I may go ahead and give it a shot – I feel I must keep you, my dear NYC Soda Girl readers, fully on top of all soda experiences – even ones that may have happened over 25+ years ago. (Did I just say 25? Jeez…and truthfully it may have been longer.)  Plus, many other “totally 1980’s cool stuff” I still think are/were great! My cousins had it all: The Ghostbusters Commodore 64 game, a badminton net in their yard AND the other thing I looked forward too at their backyard parties – CROQUET!  I really thought that was the best game ever!  Again – no one else I knew had ever played it (or at that young age had never told me)…but I really think they hadn’t because when I finally saw the 1988 cult classic “Heathers”, I had to explain the game to more than one person-thanks big cousins!

So while I haven’t kept up with the RC Cola, video games or badminton, I have taught my children a kiddie version of croquet. Melissa and Doug made a set and during the summers we bring it to my dad’s and play on his lawn 🙂 (I don’t know if they still make that exact set, but this other set seems to get good amazon reviews:Children’s Croquet Set if you’re interested.)

Alright- comment below and tell me your “cool older cousin” stories…AND please, someone tell me if they’ve had an RC Cola lately!

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Don’t forget, you have until 10pm EST Saturday to enter NYC Soda Girl’s $20 Hillstone Gift Card Contest. Enter here!

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