Tuesday, June 28, 2011

There's a New Reusable K-Cup in Town - The Ekobrew - June 28, 2011

You already know how much I love and adore my Keurig, and I've written extensively about my love for the resusable K-cup called the Solofill - I even ran a giveaway for it because I love it so much! So I was very intrigued to find out (via the Single Serve Coffee forums - yes, there are forums devoted to the whole concept, and yes, there is a message board for anything you can think of) about the latest entry into the reusable, refillable single-serve K-cup market - the Ekobrew.

Here's what I know so far - the Ekobrew is a similar price and a similar idea to the Solofill, with a metal mesh filter surrounded by a plastic body that's the same size as a K-cup (so you don't have to do anything to your Keurig to use it - you just pop it in like a regular K-cup and brew). But this system has a flat bottom (I have to fiddle with the Solofill when I fill it - being able to put the Ekobrew down on the counter would be much nicer), a different way of dispersing the water into the coffee, and a few other tweaks.

Why do I say "so far"? Because I remembered what my mother always told me - "the worst thing they can say is no." I requested an Ekobrew to test out and review for my loyal readership (*waves* the things I do for you guys), and the company said yes. I hope to have it soon, and I will give you my honest thoughts and impressions both as it stands alone and side-by-side with the Solofill.

So there you have it. NEW GADGETY THINGIE! If nothing else, it's always nice to have options, and K-cup prices just went up again so it's always nice to have less-expensive options. And for whatever it's worth, I've found that using the Solofill takes about 30 seconds to a whole minute longer than using a K-cup, including filling and dumping. (Not including rummaging through my pantry to find the ground coffee, figuring out what flavor I want, finding a spoon....but still. When K-cups are 55 cents and up per cup, I'll spend the extra time.)

And while I'm rambling about my Keurig love, I also wanted to share that I won second prize in the Barista Prima contest on Facebook. I'll be getting a Keurig milk frother and a box of Barista Prima "House Blend" K-cups. Both of these things are too pricey for me to have ever bought on my own, so I'm really excited - I've been using a $3 Ikea milk frother that works just fine, so we'll see how much better a $75 machine is. Hooray for prizes!

And finally, I had a chance to try the Island Coconut limited-edition K-cups while I was on vacation and they. are. amazing. Delicious hot, and I bet they would make a yummy iced coffee or frappe too. So if you want to buy me a present...

(This is my referral link. I get a small kickback if you click through and sign up for Amazon Prime.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Yard Sales in Connecticut - June 26, 2011

While I was on my vacation (visiting family and friends), I managed to sneak away from the husband and kid and hit a few yard sales near my friend's house. It was more about us having a minute to chat than the shopping experience - really! - but I did score a few fun things.

$1 each - I haven't seen Lars or Corpse Bride yet, I loved Enchanted, couldn't resist.

My kid is much too old now for NCSS, but it's an amazing book and it was only a dollar so... The book beneath has these gorgeous cut-out images and is about colors. I paid a quarter. Not shown (will update when I find it - I put it...somewhere), a Japanese/English picture book/dictionary that I also got for a quarter.

Impossible-to-photograph ring holder that I may use to display my rings if I table at any of the local shows. A quarter. And it has a fish in the base. Mostly it's ridiculous.

Flowy skirt that actually fits. Part of 3-for-$1 clothes haul...

...and this...

...and booty shorts that I don't think I'll actually be wearing (but they sort of fit).

SCORE OF THE DAY. So here's my story - a billion years ago, when Beanie Babies were just cute little random stuffed animals, before they were "worth" anything, my friend and I were shopping and we saw a bunch in a basket. She bought me the spider (which wound up being worth money, apparently, I guess) but I had also wanted the stingray and figured I'd go back and get it sometime. By the time I got around to looking for it, the whole OMG BEANIES crap had exploded and the stingray was selling for far too much money. Cut to now, when Beanies are just toys again, and I found my stingray in a bin at a yard sale for $3. I love him. The end.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Find Me on Pinterest - June 16, 2011

I've joined Pinterest and am slowly figuring out how to shape it to be what I want. I still need to add new boards and shift things around, but it's coming together slowly. It's a cute site, and I'm getting sucked in. I love reading other people's pinboards, so feel free to follow me and I will follow you back:


I'm off on a family vacation - and by that, I mean I'm visiting family and it's not really a vacation...

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

A Trip to CVS (isn't as much fun anymore) - June 15, 2011

I look back fondly at 2008 and 2009, when I would go to CVS weekly and spend pennies (or nothing, when the ECBs took care of the sales tax too!) and come home with bags and bags of toiletries and things we needed. Sigh. At some point I spent all my Bucks on some things we needed (better to do that than to spend cash, but it sucked) and the appealing deals started to dry up and my time/ability to sneak out before the kid woke on Sunday mornings dried up too.

So yesterday I went to CVS for the first time in forever to take advantage of a deal - my husband's preferred razor on sale for "free" after ECBs and coupon. And it was back to the old "I actually spent money to get something for free" thing, rather than "I spent my ECBs and it really was free!" It still was a decent deal though.

First, I bought the razor. It was on sale for $7.99, and you got back $4 in ECBs. I had a coupon for $4 off. So I spent $4 plus tax out of pocket and got $4 back. Then I used that $4 immediately - rather than saving it and rolling it and getting in the game again - to buy a hair product my husband asked for as well as a bottle of dishwashing liquid. I spent about 50 cents that time and got back nothing. Oh and I got another scan on my Green Bag Tag, so at some point I'll get another $1 from that (that's a great deal - 25 cents per visit for using your own bags!).

We're headed on a trip to visit family shortly. I'm both excited - seeing family and friends, possibly getting to see the ocean and/or the lake - and dreading it - a two-day drive each way, a kid who whines about every other song that comes up on the iPod (all songs that she likes anyway)...

Maybe I'll update while we're away...

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Musing on Memes - June 9, 2011

Last night, something flickered across my Twitter feed. A 15-year-old girl dying of cancer wants to be a trending topic! Retweet! Now! Yes! And oh, the retweeting - I saw it over and over again, from famous and non-famous people alike.

Then Neil Gaiman, always the voice of reason, poked through. He noted that the girl in question actually never said anywhere on her blog that she wanted to trend on Twitter. In fact, she never mentioned Twitter at all. (I don't know how Neil found her blog, nor do I have a clue how ANYONE found it. I do sincerely hope it's real and not a hoax, by the way - I believe it's real, I just have been taken before...) The girl had a wish list, but it was devoid of Twitterage - instead she wanted to spread awareness for bone marrow donation, get an iPad, and meet a band, among other things.

But no, nobody wanted to hear that. They wanted to click retweet and have a hashtag "trend." A hashtag that didn't mention the girl's last name. A retweet without the all-important blog URL attached. Did anyone know where she was from? (She's in the UK somewhere, apparently.) Did anyone know what kind of cancer she had? No. Just hey, click and retweet! Make her happy! But...did anyone care if she was even REAL? Apparently not, as the tag did trend, and as I saw people pat themselves on the virtual back for helping to make it happen.

Martin Luther King Jr. "said" something and whoosh, it spread all over the Internet like wildfire, with the only sources being random quote pages that took their information from...misinformation. And then in situations like this, I look like the ass, because I took 5 extra seconds to dig into the story and find out what the reality is. And then I get all frustrated because TEH INTARWEBZ ARE WRONGZ! (Admittedly, it's easier to get angry at THIS sort of harmless-ish misinformation than it is to get worked up about crap like breastfeeding myths or people using the R-word willy nilly - those actually hurt...) I usually try to correct it for a few minutes and then walk away. (Sure. I really do. I swear.)

I don't know what I'm trying to say. Just venting a bit. I was about to retweet too, by the way. I'm not perfect, I would've thought "Oh, this kid will be pleased as punch to see a hashtag referencing her name!" But a famous author stopped me in my tracks and made me realize that there was more to the story, and more that the girl actually wanted, and an awareness that actually COULD be shared and spread about a cause that was actually important. And in fact once he tweeted that, he got TONS of people sharing bone marrow donation information - and THAT could hopefully make a difference.

And some people did correct the retweet, and some tweets did contain her URL. So she DID get attention and awareness spread. But the vast majority of people will never know what was behind that tag.

The Internet makes things happen so quickly. I'm hopelessly addicted and yet I wish I could just go away from it for a month. But I'd miss so much...

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Driving Driving Driving - June 8, 2011

I do not like driving. I do not like it one tiny bit. I dislike it so much that from age 18 or so until age 30-something, I simply Did Not Do It. I feel like I wrote about this all before - if not, I will address it more in depth in a future post. I think. Probably.

Anyway, when I was pregnant I took some road lessons and little by little over the years I've been making progress facing this fear and dealing with it. Today, I drove three different places. To the farmers market, home. To a restaurant for lunch, home. To the co-working/playspace, home. Yesterday I drove to the pool. Tomorrow I'll drive to the pool, home, and then to the co-working/playspace again.


Maybe in a few months I'll be ready to try to drive to some of the places on my wishlist - places others would laugh at, because they're so close, but they're....still so far. But I'm doing it.

Go me.