Friday, November 30, 2012

The post where I blog about coffee.

I never used to be much of a coffee drinker. I much preferred my caffeine come from a bottle of Dr Pepper. I loved the smell of coffee, not so much the taste. Sorry to all you Starbucks lovers out there, but that stuff is overpriced burnt nastiness. I think that's what turned me off of coffee for so long, the one time that I tried to drink Starbucks. Blech.

The flavored cappuccino from Sheetz slowly began luring me over to the Dark Side: Italian Creme Cake, Vanilla Spiced Chai, and the holy grail of cappucino, CAKE BATTER. Still, I wouldn't call myself a "coffee drinker."

This summer I tried an iced coffee from Dunkin' Donuts for the first time. I love everything about DD and their delicious, delicious coffee, especially in the summer when I can get it over ice and be refreshed and energized at the same time. I love that they offer free flavor shots; I love it even more that one of those flavors is coconut. (Tangent: Coconut is one of those things that you love or hate, and I am firmly in the camp of love. I wish everything everywhere tasted like coconut all the time.)

Still, coffee was an occasional treat, not an everyday requirement. I never wanted to be one of those people that stumbled around in the morning, zombie-like, grumbling and growling at every unfortunate soul who happened to cross their path before they brewed that life-giving elixir.

Then I was introduced to the wonder that is a Keurig machine. This brilliant little device brews single cups of coffee, and the cups come in dozens of delicious flavors. You can even make hot chocolate, hot apple cider, or tea. Between this genius machine and the magic that is flavored coffee creamer (umm, hello, Heath bar? Almond Joy? Salted caramel mocha? Yes, yes, and drooool.) I was hooked. I'm certainly not a snarling zombie without it, but I do enjoy the morning pick-me-up.

My friend Mandie told me about this site called BzzAgent -- you sign up, fill out some surveys, and they send you free samples of stuff to "buzz" about. (Word-of-mouth marketing campaigns.) It sounded perfect for me--I love free stuff, surveys, and I'll tell anyone who'll listen when I find a product I like.) So I signed up and was matched almost immediately with the Green Mountain Coffee Wellness Collection campaign.

There are two different brews in the collection: Focus Blend, which contains 50 mg of L-Theanine per serving, and Antioxidant Blend, containing vitamins C & E. I was a little skeptical before trying the coffee that it might have a weird "vitamin-y" taste to it, but I was pleasantly surprised. Both blends (medium roast) have a smooth, mellow taste that isn't overpowering or bitter. (And serve as the perfect vehicle for some flavored creamer.)

I can't speak to the clinical effectiveness of either brew, because, well, I'm not a scientist. But I can say that every other person in my family had awful nasty colds last week, and I never got so much as a sniffle. I have no idea whether the antioxidants in the coffee contributed to that or not, but either way it was delicious.

One of the things BzzAgent sends in your BzzKit is a coupon for the product to hand out. So if anyone feels inspired to try the Wellness Collection, here's a code for $3 off:

Go to or and enter code GMCBEWELL

(I don't get any money from BzzAgent or Green Mountain for reviewing their product. Just the delicious coffee that came in my BzzKit.)

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Top 10 Christmas Movies

10: Frosty the Snowman

Because who doesn't love seeing that jerky magician get scolded by Santa? I love watching this with my kiddos and listening to them sing along. Hocus the rabbit is pretty cool too.

9: The Family Stone

Rachel McAdams is perfection, as usual. 

8: Mixed Nuts

If you've never seen this movie, put it on your Netflix queue and thank me later. t's delightfully bizarre. Madeline Kahn is a national treasure. (Side note: my first memory of her is singing with Grover on Sesame Street.)

7: Love Actually

Sigh. A new classic, with an all-star cast and concentric interlocking plots.

6: Home Alone

This never gets old. Keep the change, ya filthy animal.

5: How the Grinch Stole Christmas

The cartoon version, not the Jim Carrey abomination. My Allie reminds me of Cindy- Lou Who.

4: National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation

Nothing like a good old-fashioned family holiday-induced nervous breakdown. 

3: Elf

Another new classic. I saw this 3 times in the theater. Even if you don't like Will Ferrell (in which case, we can't be friends) you will love this movie. And Zooey Deschanel, whom I adore and want to be BFFs with, is Buddy's leading lady.

2: A Christmas Story

It's not Christmas until the 24-hour marathon is on. I have a special place in my heart for this movie because of the villain, Scut Farkus. My maiden name is Farkas and that is usually the first thing people reference when they hear it. "Oh, like A Christmas Story?"

1: A Charlie Brown Christmas

This special edged out A Christmas Story as my favorite Christmas movie of all time for this scene alone:

Favorite TV moment of all time.

You may have noticed that Rudolph is conspicuously absent from this list. That's because after seeing this special as an adult, I realized what a horrible, horrible movie it is. Donner is an a-hole, Santa is a jerk, and all of the other reindeer are bullies. Everyone is only nice to Rudolph after they realize that they can use his "disability" to their advantage. Then they're all, "ohhh Rudolph, we looove you!" Bunch of users.

Honorable Mentions:
The Wizard of Oz
Harry Potter and the Sorceror's Stone
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

While not strictly Christmas movies, they tend to air during the holiday season and put me in the Christmas mood.

Friday, November 23, 2012

I've been saying for a while that I wanted to start blogging, but was never sure what exactly to blog about. I didn't want to be exclusively a "mommy blogger", although I will definitely blog about my kids. I thought craft blogging would be fun, but I didn't want to pigeonhole myself into just that. Food blogging is great, but most of my cooking consists of pinning a thousand recipes to Pinterest and calling it a day.

Then Thanksgiving inspired me. You have all these delicious, separate foods: turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, corn, broccoli: but you put gravy over the whole delicious plate. This blog will be made up of a little bit of everything: my kids,my random observations, whatever craft I've decided to learn that week, maybe some recipes if I ever get around to actually cooking.

I'm new to the whole blogging thing so hopefully eventually I can jazz it up a bit.

Pass the gravy!