Wednesday, October 29, 2014


I am a very lucky lady because I was chosen by Influenster to test the new Keurig 2.0 brewing system!!  I love coffee.  I am completely useless without it, so to say I was excited to be picked as part of this campaign is a bit of an understatement.  I'm already the proud owner of a regular Keurig (and in case you live under a rock, a Keurig brews single cups of coffee instead of a whole pot), and now I own it's big brother, the Keurig 2.0.  Sweet.

What's different about the Keurig 2.0 is that it can brew both single cups of coffee and carafes of coffee (the carafes hold up to 4 cups of coffee).  The 2.0 has smart brewing technology and can tell if you're using a single k-cup or a larger k-carafe and with the touch of a button, you're brewing the perfect cup or cups of coffee.  There's a touch screen display with programmable date and time, plus the 2.0 remembers your preferred settings so you don't have to think too hard pre-caffeine.

 What I really love about the 2.0 is there's a larger reservoir for water, it's quieter when it's brewing (a plus when your sleeping child is just on the other side of the kitchen door), it brews carafes (hello, enough coffee at once for guests), and it's just all around more sleek and futuristic looking (does your brewer have touchscreen technology?).  The only drawback for me is that I can't use my refillable k-cup coffee pod thingy.  Dennis and I have some off-brand of reusable k-cup and we use our own coffee in it instead of the disposable pods - this is for two reasons - 1) it's MUCH cheaper than buying individual k-cups and 2) we're creating less waste.  So to continue to use the 2.0 on a long term basis, we're going to have to find a solution to using our own k-cups.  I admit I haven't even gone out looking for a different variety of refillable k-cups, but I'm sure there's something out there that will work (and if not right now, then somebody will come out with something in the near future, so I'm not too worried about it).

Included in the package were several k-cups and k-carafes, and even though I do like to use my refillable k-cup, the convenience of not having to think or do at all before having my morning cup was pretty nice.  Did I mention how useless I am before my morning coffee?  Pretty damn useless.  I really liked the variety of k-cups included, too, there was everything from flavored coffee (which I really like, but Dennis - not so much - so I'm able to have some fancy coffee while Dennis has his manly black coffee), different teas, and even some cider (which I'm waiting for cooler weather to try - so I might not ever get to try it #houstonweathersucks)

I'll say, Keurig really stepped up their game with the 2.0.  All the convenience of single cup brewing with the added bonus of the ability to brew pots of coffee.  Win-win.  Add in a sleek new design, smart brewing technology, and a fancy touch screen, and you've got me, hook, line, and sinker!  Plus, my cats approve.  You can't go wrong if the cats approve.

You can get your own Keurig 2.0 right here!!!

I received this product for free for testing and review purposes.  All opinions are my own!!!

Monday, September 22, 2014

Blog Conference Fashion 101

Blog Elevated is this weekend, and I've been digging through my closet trying to figure out what to wear All.Week.Long.  I rarely get the chance to dress up, and I would change my outfit for every lecture if I could so I can WEAR ALL THE CLOTHES.  But that would be weird, and I'm not staying at the conference hotel, so taking my wardrobe with me would be....difficult.

The trouble I'm running into (besides still not fitting into some of my clothes) is that I'd describe my personal style as chameleon-like - I dress for the occasion & have stuff in my closet that runs the gamut from goth to soccer mom - and I'm struggling to put together a few outfits that feel like 'me' without being the same few things I wear to work every week (ugh, I am so sick of those outfits), and that also don't look like I'm trying too hard, oh and that fit.  And I'd like to wear heels.  I never wear heels, but I always want to, but they seem impractical when I'm just running to the store for milk while wearing my yoga pants.

Here are  few things I keep reminding myself as I try to pick out my outfits and that might help you if you find yourself in my shoes, and, yes, I have been talking to myself in my head and telling myself these things all week:

This is a blog conference and NOT a runway!!!  We all want to dress to impress, but now is not the time to try out all the newest trends.  Try picking one or two trends or statement pieces to try out if you want to refresh your style a little, but don't go overboard.  Sure, you'll want to look good and be remembered, but not for being a red hot mess of all the trends.  Unless you're a fashion blogger, but if you're a fashion blogger, you're probably not reading this because you already know how to dress yourself - so disregard this whole post.

Don't run to the mall!  I know it's tempting to go out and buy all new clothes for a special occasion, but stop and take stock of what you already have on hand.  You might still need to get a couple of new wardrobe items (see above), but you don't need a complete fashion overhaul.  I know just adding a new pair of pants or shirt to my wardrobe makes me appreciate what I already have even more.  If you're wearing clothes you already love (and know that fit you and look good on you), you'll be more comfortable and enjoy yourself more.

Wear clothes that fit!!!  You'll be sitting in lectures all day, and frantically running around between sessions.  If your waist band is too tight and you can't breathe, you won't be paying attention to the speakers you've paid good money to hear.  If your skirt is too short, you'll drop your phone while tugging at your hemline.  If your shoes hurt your feet, you'll fall on your face in front of all the people you want to impress.  Plus nobody wants to make friends with the weirdo who is constantly pulling/adjusting/straightening/smoothing/fidgeting with their clothes.

Be yourself!!!  Dress in a way that shows off your personality.  Play up what sets you apart from the crowd.  If you're a jeans and t-shirt kind of girl, don't plan to wear dresses, even if you think you need to dress up.  A nice top and cardigan or blazer works well with jeans, too.  Likewise, if you're a girly-girl who loves skirts and dresses, don't think you need to dress down.  If you love NKOTB, rock that concert T, if you're a crazy cat lady, wear that cat skirt with pride!  (I also saw a quote about dressing to match your online identity - GENIUS!)

Comfort!!!  Make sure you're comfortable in the outfits you choose.  And not just that they fit right.  Make sure you don't feel self conscious in what you're wearing (no crazy trends you're not sure about or jeans you think make your butt look too big).  You want to be confident at a blog conference and not feeling comfortable in your clothes can be a major blow to your self confidence.  There's been a time or two I wasn't sure about an outfit but wore it anyway, and I ended up being so preoccupied thinking about what I was wearing that I couldn't do whatever it was I was supposed to be out doing.

So, I hope this little list helps you prepare for your blog conference (or any other conference for that matter).  And if you still don't know what to wear, check out this funny post about what NOT to wear to a blog conference.  In the mean time, I'll still be digging through my clothes because I'm so indecisive.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Pumpkin Cranberry Bread

I love to bake.  And I love all things Fall.  The temperatures here in Houston have been unseasonably cool this past weekend (under 80 - whaaaaaat!), so I used my imagination and pretended that Autumn is actually on it's way and did some baking.   I haven't written about baking here because I usually just make stuff from a boxed mix, but since trying to eat more organic foods, box mixes are pretty much out of the picture.  So what's a girl to do?  Start baking from scratch, that's what!  And I decided to start off with a loaf of homemade, organic Pumpkin Cranberry Bread!

I know baking from scratch sounds pretty intimidating, especially if you're used to using a box mix, but let me tell you, it's super easy and doesn't really take that much more time.  I promise!!!  This recipe took me about 10 minutes to mix (not including the time it took to take pictures, ha!), and then all I had to do was sit back and wait for it to bake.

Here's what you'll need to make your own Pumpkin Cranberry Bread:

  • 1 2/3 cups all purpose flour - I used organic all purpose flour, but you don't have to
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar - again I used organic sugar
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice - I'm sure I could find an organic version of this, but the amount used for this is so small it didn't matter much to me
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda - there's not really an organic version of this (at least not to my knowledge)
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder - again, I'm not sure this even comes in organic
  • 2 eggs - and you guessed it, I used organic free range eggs
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling) - you know, organic!
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil - just pretend I used an organic version of this - I just used what was on hand this time (but plan to replace this with organic when it runs out)
  • 1/2 cup water - orga---wait, nevermind
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries (or raisins)
  • 1/2 cup nuts (optional) I don't like nuts, so I didn't use any

See?  Super easy and fast.  And oh so delicious!!!  I've been enjoying mine with some pumpkin butter I got from Dewberry Farm a couple of years ago, but it's also great plain.  Some other ways to enjoy your Pumpkin Cranberry Bread are toasted with butter, or even as French toast!  I bet this would also be awesome bread for peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, too!  So how are you going to enjoy your Pumpkin Cranberry Bread?

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