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Alternative to High Calorie Sodas (n__n)

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Hello everyone !  Happy Tuesday !! Before I start I wanna say my Heart and Prayers go out to Oklahoma especially Moore, OK but mostly to ALL of the South/Southeastern US which are all in Tornado season. I pray that God keeps you safe and protects you from the fury that is a Tornado.

Ok, so now on to the blog. I know I haven’t shared any CR8TiV craft topics lately but I’m working on the back burner of my mind and will blog about them soon. But today I want to share with you a beverage that was served to me on my Birthday. My Sister served me a Strawberry soda made of sparkling water and this Torani syrup. After first sip I was in LOVE !! \(♥ D ♥)/ It tasted so good ! And later she made me another one with Lemonade and Strawberry Torani syrup.

I was hooked !! I had to get me a bottle but I forgot to ask her where she got it from. I went to Target looking for it and Walmart looking for it but didn’t find fruit flavored Torani syrups just flavors you’d add into your coffee like Vanilla, Hazelnut, Cinnamon, etc. On Mother’s Day I went to my Mom’s to celebrate her special day and asked my Sister where she got the Torani syrup from. She told me Smart & Final and got me a bottle while she went shopping for Mother’s Day dinner ingredients.

I cannot get enough of drinking this stuff. Each 1 oz. *2 Tbsps* of the Torani syrup is about 80 calories and most Sparkling water has O calories. But the calories vary depending on the flavor you chose. For the Strawberry syrup it’s 80 calories but I bought a Cherry and Green Apple Torani Syrup and the Green Apple is 100 calories still less than the average Coke or Pepsi can but go easy with drinking it. The Cherry is 70 calories a little less than the Strawberry but both are just SOo.. good !!

So what you do is you take 1 oz. *2 Tbsps* of the Torani Syrup into a glass … you might need a bit more depending on how large your glass is. My cup I use is an 8 oz. cup so 1 oz. is enough cuz this syrup is very potent and a little goes a long way. After you pour in the syrup … add ice … then fill to the top with the Sparkling water. Take a straw or spoon and give it a stir then Enjoy !

I like mint in my drinks whether it’s plain iced water with a squeeze of lemon and mint or Lemonade with mint or soda with mint. But my husband bought me a muddler so I can properly extract the mint flavor without tearing the leaves or pulverizing it as I was with my fork before. So I muddle in a bit of mint into a Lime flavor Sparkling water then Cherry Torani syrup. I believe that Taco bell uses Torani Syrup in their Lime/Cherry-Lime Sparklers. They just use Sierra Mist soda in replacement of the Sparkling water which is a healthier choice.

Now for the Sparkling water. I found I like the taste of the Crystal Geyser Sparkling Mineral water and you can find them cheap for 99¢ @ the 99¢ Only Store. I bought one in Lime, Lemon, and Mixed Berry flavors. I normally don’t like the taste of Mineral water but this one isn’t so bad that I can actually drink it on it’s own. But of course it tastes great with the Torani syrup added in. It’s O calories with a small amount of sodium so majority of your calories going into the soda would be from the Torani Syrup so chose a syrup in the calorie range of your choice. I think as long as it’s not the same or over the calories of a regular soda then I’m ok with that.

So give it a try and comment what you think about the Torani Syrup soda alternative. Some might call it Italian soda but to me it’s the best tasting Soda alternative that’s alot better than Pepsi, Coke, or any regular soda out there. I’m hoping to try other flavors real soon. Cherry-Lime is my next one I hope to try.

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Monday Craft Review : AMACO Clay Machine

404lgHappy Monday my fellow CR8TiV people !! Today I’d like to spend time on reviewing my recent Craft purchase with Birthday money I had received from my family. I am reviewing the AMACO Clay Machine or as some call the Clay Pasta Machine. If you are a clay crafter the Clay machine is a great MUST-HAVE to making even thickness sheets of clay and to soften *newly* opened packs of clay. I’m not saying I’m an old lady with Arthritis but I have to admit some of the *newly* opened packages of clay are pretty hard and hand softening before I got this clay machine was a chore that left my hands sore and achy. You still have to work the clay a little before shoving it through the clay machine but very light work to just squish into a semi-flat slab then let the machine do the rest.

Now if you were to go to a site like Amazon.com and look up this product you’ll come across alot of negative reviews. I wouldn’t give this such a negative review. I mean I would give it probably 4 outta 5 stars on minor technicalities like the handle which you use to turn the machine tends to pop out while you’re cranking, the non-slip pads on the bottom aren’t neatly trimmed but rather blobby squares glued into each corner, and the clamp is practically useless. But like I said these are minor issues ! Otherwise the clay machine is solid and does it’s job nicely.

For the minor issue they can easily be addresses with a trip to a Hardware store like Home Depot. You replace the non-slip grip squares with something more neater. Home Depot sells alot of different non-slip grip sheets which you can easily cut to size with scissors or an exacto knife. As for the useless clamp that comes with the clay machine … replace it with a industrial use wood-working clamp or an all-purpose clamp. Make sure to find a clamp that has some cushioned pads between the clamp heads so that it doesn’t mark/damage your table or work surface.

One suggestion I found when working with clay that you might wanna grab during your trip to the Hardware store is a Marble tile. A fellow clay crafter said the clay does not stick to the Marble tile surface and being it’s a non-porous surface the colors of the clay with not stain into the surface. It’s easily cleaned by a wipe of a damp sponge and for a full cleaning just take it to your sink to give it a wash with soap and water. If you have any hardware recycling centers/builders recycling centers you can get a Marble tile or even a size as large as a cutting board for just pennies. A cheaper option is to buy a cheap non-stick cutting mat and dedicate it ONLY to clay.

Umm … I’m straying a bit from the review. Sorry about that ! (=_=”) Mainly this seems like a solid clay machine that I have not had any major issues with. This brand was recommended to me by a very skilled sculptor and I myself would recommend this clay machine. It requires a few minor changes to make it more sturdy like the replacement of the clamp, non-slip feet, and finding way to keep the crank handle from popping off. I just wrap some masking tape or electrical tape around the end of the crank so that it tightens the grip inside and take the tape off when I’m done with the machine. Overall it’s the brand I think is most best to buy.

 

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