Fauxbux Passion Iced Tea Lemonade

Yesterday I promised this recipe. If you can even call it a recipe. It is a no brainer, really, but that doesn’t stop me from pulling into the drive-thru and paying $4 for a refreshing cup of this summery goodness.

So this is really more of a method post, than a recipe post.

I start the process when I wake up (or if I plan ahead, right before I go to bed) – boil 8 oz of water and let my passion tea bag steep for 4 minutes. Any more and it will be bitter. Smash bag with a spoon and pop it in the fridge for a few hours. I like to top my cup with a ventilated lid so my fridge doesn’t get covered in steam. If my fridge wasn’t tiny I’d brew up a big batch of tea, but that is sadly not the case.

If you like your tea sweetened you should stir in a teaspoon of sugar before letting it cool. You can also whip up a batch of simple syrup (water to sugar in a 1:2 ratio, boil water, add sugar, and once sugar is dissolved remove from heat. Let cool and store in the fridge.), but I find regular sugar to be just as effective. The benefit to simple syrup is that you can easily stir it in cold drinks.

Once your tea is cold, stir in 1/3 cup lemonade and pour over ice. I like mine with raspberry lemonade. Julie subs the lemonade for pineapple juice, which I think is a brilliant idea!

What is your favorite summer drink?

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Starbucks Faux-ccino

I love coffee. Iced, hot, blended, it doesn’t matter. I prefer local shops to big chains, but sometimes the green Siren calls to me. It might have something to do with the $2 treat receipts, or the fact that I know exactly what I am getting, no matter where I am.

On a hot afternoon I am often drawn to a Frappuccino.

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But I don’t like the $4.50 price point. And even if I am using my $2 treat receipt, I still have to spend about $4 before two p.m. just to get this frozen goodie. While I don’t mind spending a few bucks at the bux when I have a gift card, I do mind when its my own money.

A week from tomorrow is my first day of school (!!), and Thursday is my first official day back, (staff mtgs/Open House). I used to pass a few coffee shops, and two Bux’s, on my way to work, providing multiple opportunities to waste money. But my new route only takes me 5 minutes by foot, where I only pass a church and a hardware store.

So I got creative.

I’ve been making coffee ice cube for years. They are very simple to make: brew a pot of strong coffee, fill ice cube trays, freeze, pop out and store in a gallon sized freezer bag.

Easy, eh?

They are perfect for iced coffee and coffee protein shakes, aka Faux-ccino’s.

Faux-bux Vanilla Faux-ccino

Serves 1

Nutritionals: Cal: 129, Carb: 11g, Pro: 11g, Fat: 4g, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 9g

Ingredients

1 cup Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk (or regular, or soy milk)

1 TBS instant coffee (I used Foldgers)

1/2 scoop GNC vanilla whey protein powder (or protein powder of your choosing)

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

10 coffee ice cubes

1.5 tsp granulated sugar

Directions

Throw all ingredients in blender. Blend.

Enjoy, preferably with a siphoned straw from the bux.

(See book club girls, there IS a reason to have a straw in your purse at all times!)

Loopty-loo-Leila

Like most people, I thrive on routine. Lately my routine has been thrown off due to conference week. Yes, I am probably the only librarian you’ll meet that does parent-teacher conferences.

How do I handle late nights + lack of sleep?

No water soy chai’s + petite vanilla scones,

50% off Amy’s frozen meals (if you must go frozen, you must go Amy’s),

giggling at advertising techniques on my commute home,

breaking out the “white girl” dance moves for spontaneous dance parties with my students in the hallway and backing out of drive-through lines with my co-worker when we’ve already ordered, only to pass the order box and have the girl inside ask if she can take our order.  Tears erupting as we laugh and say, “no thanks, we’re good,” and continue on our way.

Yes, I’m loopy, and am very ready for Saturday, when I can sleep in. But I’m happy to report I’ve powered through and only have one conference left.

How do you power through when you’re lacking sleep and energy?

Hey, you’re that one teacher…

Yes I am.

Or The Librarian.

Or Mrs. Spinach and Skittles.

But that one teacher works too…

That’s what I heard as I exited the public library tonight. Always fun to run into students outside of work…but funny when they can’t remember my name.

I swung by the library to drop off this,

which I couldn’t renew because it had a request in the queue. Boo 😦

I picked up this,

and I am really excited to read it. I first heard of on Cinderella Ate My Daughter on HTP, and then I read an excerpt/listened to an interview with the author on NPR. The excerpt immediately sent me to my hold queue at the public library and I only had to wait a week. I went back and forth about buying it on my kindle, but I guess I just can’t keep myself out of a library, no matter the form. There is just something about free* books I can’t resist.

*free anything, really.

My Tuesday was pretty normal, although I still am hitting snooze more times than necessary. I cannot seem to break this habit. I think the culprit is that I go to bed too late, which is often a result of blog reading eating dinner too late. So I’m re-thinking my mini-goals, and first on the list really should have been:

go to bed on time

On time meaning lights out, (no book light/reading), and in bed by 10 p.m. This mini-goal starts tonight! Once I can master this for 3 weeks, (as it takes 21 days to form a habit), I will attempt the no snooze challenge again.

Until this bed-on-time thing becomes a reality my workouts are going to suffer. This morning I only managed 35 minutes of cardio. And it wasn’t jogging, as I had planned. When arriving on the cardio floor of the Y I was greeted by a wall of sweaty gym goers. Apparently they skipped the New Year’s Resolution bandwagon on January 1, and chose to start two months late instead. Not a single treadmill was open. Grrr.

Upon arriving to work I was greeted with a soy chai from my co-worker, making my bi-weekly* meeting much more fun.

*Not to be confused with bi-polar, oh sorry, I mean bi-winning.


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My soy chai did not induce food poisoning this time, woot! And I paired my spicy treat with a pumpkin quinoa muffin.

Match made in heaven.

For lunch I finished off the last of my turkey Italian sausage orzo soup…

recipe to follow. Yes I use plastic wear at work, but I wash and reuse them. I’m fairly positive I’ve had this red plastic spoon since I was student teaching…a year ago.

I was full, but not the least bit satisfied. This soup is fantastic the night of, and even better the day after. But 5 days later…eh? Not so much. I remembered I had a kiwi in my mini-fridge. Score!

Just what I needed.

Later on I hosted kids in the library until 5, and snacked on some mint tea and cobani.

Upon arriving home I was blasted by the fabulous smell of white bean chicken chili. I loooove this easy-peasy recipe. And love it even more when I plug it into my meal plan word doc and Libb makes it for me.

This is seriously the easiest recipe I’ve ever made, and it is delicious. Pull out your crockpot, scratch tomorrow’s dinner plans, and make this. Now.

I’m off to catch up on 90210 with Libb. Then a few minutes with my new book and off to bed early.

What book are you currently reading?