Posts tagged ‘coffee’

March 27, 2014

My New Kitchen Gadget – A Coffee Frother!

 

 

This week, I have a review on a product I have been wanting to try for a long time. I love drinking lattes and cappuccinos on occasion but hate the limited milk options (I don’t drink dairy milk) and the expensive price for a cup of coffee. So recently I researched electric milk frothers and bought the Secura milk frother/warmer.

The Secura milk frother is so easy to use. Basically plug in, pour milk, and hit a button and within a couple of minute I have light frothy almond milk for my latte or cappuccino! Its so simple to use and only 1 part to clean up! I highly recommend it! I bought mine here. 

http://www.amazon.com/Secura-Automatic-Electric-Frother-Warmer/dp/B0094KTKOO/ref=sr_1_1?s=home-garden&ie=UTF8&qid=1395931626&sr=1-1&keywords=secura+milk+frother

Now, next on my list mastering some fun coffee art designs for an extra treat!

http://www.womansday.com/food-recipes/cool-cappuccino-foam-art-70416

 

 

 

Kathy

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May 22, 2013

Coffee Chats and Simple Facts

Morning-Routine

Stretching is best when muscles are warm, so consider jogging or jumping in place to wake up and get blood flowing to muscles.

morning-routine1 MorningRoutineCards1You know the drill… alarm goes off, you hit the snooze. Alarm goes off again, and you realize you’re ten minutes late and start brainstorming up-dos to compliment the “casual, professional outfit” you’re now putting together in your head. You run upstairs and start doing jumping jacks before you’re even completely awake. It doesn’t matter though–jumping actually masks the pounding in your head. After a set of fifty, you stop, grab a drink of water–rather chug as much as you can, not realizing the depth of your thirst. Okay, you’re awake. After you select your “upbeat” playlist, you hit the weights for today’s workout. An hour later, you’re in the shower, trying to not get your hair any wetter than it is. You justify not shaving because you’re wearing leggings today (part of the casual professional look you’ve designed in your head.) You complete a few deep breaths and realize today’s a pretty busy day. All good–you got your workout in, you feel stronger, and you can do everything! I love that feeling post-workout shower.

After packaging yourself into a sassy, just put together, yet stylish attire and putting the last hair pin into your up-do (just as the YouTube tutorial instructs,) you check your iPhone calendar to see what’s on tap for the day. A few meetings, a few errands, and a few reports needed by dinner time, which will be spent entertaining clients, so you better eat a snack before hand, so you don’t overindulged. This is truly the snapshot of the type of morning which usually fills my work-week. I’ve heard folklore about women waking up to quiet time, a reading nook of their home, and to a ceramic coffee mug full of a fine Cinnamon roast. Who are these women? I’d love to meet one some day. Meanwhile, a congested trail of thought continues to run through my mind as my Doberman jumps onto my lap to plant a wet one on my face. I can’t be mad. Besides my step-children, my fur-babies ( a word I swore I’d never use which taught me I should never again swear) are my only children. Unconditional love runs rampant among my Doberman, Maximus, and my Dachshund, Samson.
I immediately begin talking to my pups as I rub out the paw marks on my leggings and reapply my powder, and gloss. We have several songs we sing in the morning, but I’ll spare you for now, as I have another point to make with this blog. As I serve breakfast to the pups and to myself, I jot down notes for my day and sing one of our jingles. After we complete our morning routine, it’s time for me to trade my “pup-mom” hat in for my “business-woman” driving glasses. And I’m off to my first meeting of the day. Fast-forward five hours later, I’m “meeting fatigued” and returning to my home office for some reporting, blogging, and editing before sprucing up for the evening’s dinner. Alas, I am greeted by the most-grateful and loving pups that ever lived. I’m “guilted” into playing with them outside for a bit, ignoring my phone, emails, and followup items. Once we give adequate attention to each other, I hit the keyboard to close out my day and become entertaining again. The evening goes on without a hitch. Excellent conversation, new connections, amusing stories and ideas. Driving home, I start to replay the day, what I accomplished, and what will need to be tackled tomorrow.
As my head hits the pillow, I review my agenda book and see a note that is repeated several times throughout my agenda book. “Call Grandma Lucy.” I look over at the clock and it is 10:08 p.m. Grandma Lucy is a morning person, and probably half way into her second dream by now. Darn it. Another day lost, another conversation missed. I go to sleep, disappointed because I know I missed out. Grandma has the best stories. Her perspective is a refreshing change from the world my generation created, knows, and lives. She’s pretty funny too. She thinks everyone is too busy. “Too busy to talk on the phone,” she says. “I don’t like texting and emails. Oh but I do like that Facebook thing for the photos.”
On Tuesday morning, I woke up with a “thought hangover” about Grandma Lucy and my missed call. I decided to forgo my usual routine, grab a cup of coffee (in a ceramic mug) and dial Grandma’s number. She’s a morning person, and is probably up having her second cup of coffee at this point.
I drink my morning coffee out of a real, ceramic mug. It makes all the difference.

I drink my morning coffee out of a real, ceramic mug. It makes all the difference.

But what about my morning workout? My morning appointments? My obligations? They all got done… just a little later than usual. I brushed aside thoughts of being behind and late all day long, because I know I made Grandma Lucy’s day. I learned how attached to my routine I was, and it worried me a bit. It made me think about other missed opportunities I’ve had  because I was running through my day; hurried through my routine. My challenge for this summer is to implement: Summer of Daily Simplicity. A simple phone call. A simple cup of coffee. A simple hair-do. A simple kiss for my husband. A simple (and nourishing) breakfast. A simple prayer. The concept is that we overdo ourselves with schedule, routine, obligations, and eventual stress and health risks. With creativity and flexibility, I’ll get up earlier and slow down my morning routine . “But I have obligations, Lacey!” Indeed, and you can’t ignore obligations. But you can be creative, rearrange, and be kind to yourself when you don’t get it all done one day. If you just don’t see how, let’s chat. I have some suggestions. Be kind to yourself–you’re the only YOU we have. Grandma Lucy reminded me of that!
Consider what success looks like to you. Keep it simple and make it substantial.

Consider what success looks like to you. Keep it simple and make it substantial.

May 14, 2013

Coffee please…..

I love the smell of coffee….there is something about waking up in the morning all groggy eyed, turning that coffee maker on and not only listening to the sounds of it brewing, but smelling the aroma wafting through the house. When I was a school teacher, it became part of my morning ritual to walk around my class in the morning with my travel sized mug. I hardly ever even finished the entire cup, but I loved the warmth around my hands. For me, coffee is more about ritual than it is about caffeine. I still drink one cup every morning, though, I don’t NEED it. There are many mornings, especially when I travel, that I choose to skip it. But I wanted to talk for a bit about coffee, what’s good and what’s not so good, and caffeine addiction. 

 

Coffee itself isn’t all that bad. Its what you put into it that makes the difference. I used to like just a little coffee with my creamer! I would try out all the fancy creamers that the grocery store had to offer AND put two sugar substitutes in it on top of it. Talk about sugar overkill! As I got more serious about my training, I decided that all the things I read said I could drink a cup of coffee before training, but that I had to aim to drink it black. ICK!!! I didn’t know if I could do it…so I started slowly. 

First I cut out the fancy creamer and switched to almond milk. I was already dairy free at this point, yet, I would allow myself that creamer, which certainly there was nothing Paleo friendly about that. Once I got used to drinking it with almond milk, I tried lessening it and lessening it until one day I was drinking it black with 2 stevia. Okay, I conquered that, and boy did I feel so “cool” going to a restaurant and saying, “Coffee, Black please!”. 

 

So the next step was to cut out the added sweetener. Even though Stevia is a healthier option because it comes from a root, your body still recognizes it as sugar and treats it as such. So, I tried it one morning with nothing and had to spit it out. It tasted like hot, bitter,water. But that is because I have trained my tastebuds to require it sweeter. That’s what added sugar does…convinces your body that natural food isn’t sweet enough the way it is. So I cut it down to 1 packet, and that is where I am at right now. i am hoping to eventually drop that last packet of sweetener soon. 

If you have a daily coffee habit, I am not telling you to quit it. I just want to make sure that you have control over it.

 Image

 

November 10, 2012

Anybody Up for a Little NaNoWriMo? What?!?

Hi, there, HH Family and Friends! This is Brooke with a question for you—how many of you have ever wanted to write a novel? You know, a real, honest-to-goodness piece of fictional genius that will show the world how truly clever you are and give insight into the human condition unlike anything that’s been published before? This lofty goal seems relatively unattainable and is pretty much b.s. anyway. But if you really love writing, have a burning desire to write a book, but lack the motivation to put pen to paper or even rear to chair to get it done, I have a solution for you. . . NaNoWriMo!

NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month, a literary phenomenon that began quietly 14 years ago and has since spread all over the world. Chris Baty, founder of NaNoWriMo, and some friends were casting about for something to do, so they decided, “Hey, let’s each write an entire book! And let’s do it in only one month!” Although November is now the official month for the contest, the first NaNoWriMo began at 12:01AM on July 1, 1999, and ended promptly at 11:59PM on July 31, only 30 days later.  The group settled on a minimum of 50,000 words (175 pages) of completely new material to be finished by the end of the month—yikes! The careful preparation and dubious solemnity that normally surround the event of (cue angelic singing) Writing a Novel were mercilessly stomped out—just a crazy group of Gen X-ers wired on caffeine and junk food throwing good judgment, healthy living, and personal hygiene out the window, for a short while. And they did it! Well, a few of them anyway. The first group had 21 participants and 6 winners (winners: those celebrated few who reached 50,000 words by the stroke of midnight). Fast forward to 2011’s NaNoWriMo magical month of creation: 256, 618 participants and 36,843 winners—wow!

The breathtaking pace and severe time limit of this venture force extreme mental focus and stifle the soul-killing perfectionism inevitable to many creative pursuits. Because I often wrestle unsuccessfully with perfectionism and have a gnat’s ability to focus long-term, and because my dearest dream to write a book has to this point been unfulfilled, I’ve maintained a long, envious flirtation with NaNoWriMo. But I’ve never committed . . . until now. Eek!

Ok, my fellow closeted authors out there, here’s how it works: (from the NaNoWriMo website, http://www.nanowrimo.org/about/hownanoworks/)

  • Write a 50,000-word (or longer!) novel, between November 1 and November 30.
  • Start from scratch. None of your own previously written prose can be included in your NaNoWriMo draft (though outlines, character sketches, and research are all fine, as are citations from other people’s works).
  • Write a novel. We define a novel as a lengthy work of fiction. If you consider the book you’re writing a novel, we consider it a novel too!
  • Be the sole author of your novel. Apart from those citations mentioned two bullet-points up.
  • Write more than one word repeated 50,000 times.
  • Upload your novel for word-count validation to our site between November 25 and November 30.

Since its inception, this contest has spawned more than 500 chapters of members around the world, many of whom gather together each November in literary “block parties” or fall upon various Starbucks like locusts to bask in shared creative energy and sleep-deprived community. Over the years, NaNoWriMo has partnered with Room to Read, an international children’s literacy program, to build and outfit libraries for children around the world without access to reading resources. Another wonderful offshoot is the Young Writers Program, a NaNoWriMo challenge for kids ages 17 and younger. This program has been an enormous success, spreading across hundreds of classrooms, and by 2011, boasting an astonishing 50,000 young writers who participated!

For any of you who have harbored deep and unspoken yearnings to finally break free of yourself and get that #%&@ book written, I encourage you to check out NaNoWriMo (http://www.nanowrimo.org/) and join in the fun ASAP! Yeah, November is rapidly unraveling, but panic and adrenaline can be your best friends—they’ve never let me down!

Good luck and blessings,

Brooke

P.S. If you decide to take on this adventure in literary craziness, be sure to drop me a line at brooke@healthyhousewives.com and let me know how you’re doing!