Archive for November, 2010

How Keurig Changed My Life

Have you ever seen a product and though, “Sure that’s cool, but I’d never need it.”?  Well, that is how I felt about the Keurig coffee brewers when they became uber popular about three years ago.  They definitely seemed cool, modern, and life simplifying but I never really thought that I needed one.  Funny thing is, that Christmas, my mom bought Scott and I one.  I was pretty excited about it but still had my reservations.  We’d always been traditional coffee pot brewing people and already had a pretty sweet coffee maker with programmable features.  I didn’t realize on that day just how much the Keurig brewer would change my life.

Scott and I latched on to it pretty quickly.  We loved the ease of it and the ability to brew just a single cup of coffee whenever we wanted in the “flavor” of our choice.  I had always been a French Vanilla lover while he preferred Hazelnut (gag!).  But with the traditional coffee maker we always just brewed regular coffee and then sometimes added a flavored creamer. The Keurig changed all that.  It pretty much changed our lifestyle in terms of home coffee brewing.  We used to prepare our coffee maker the night before by measuring the coffee and water and setting the programmable timer to have it brewing as we were waking up.  Now we simply choose our preferred blend, pop in the KCup, and within 60 seconds, we have a fresh cup of coffee.  Now that is genius!

You can imagine our heartache when this morning Scott went to brew his morning commute tumbler of coffee and the Keurig did not work.  It was as if a part of us had died.  We both just looked at each other not knowing what to do.  Then we fumbled with the machine to try to get it going.  We refilled the water reservoir, changed the KCup, unplugged and replugged in the machine, powered it on and off… nothing worked!  We felt truly defeated.  With no other coffee option in the house, Scott left empty handed.

After being out for the morning, I came home determined to get the Keurig working again.  I searched Google for help and consulted the owner’s manual, but nothing has worked.  I called Keurig and they really were not much help either.  I was told that the machine is out of warranty and that I really don’t have any options.  Someone is supposed to call me back and I was told that they may offer me a discount on a new brewer but seeing as it’s an “older” machine, it may just be done.  So is that it?  Three years out of the coffee maker and time to buy a new one?  I was hoping that we’d get more life out of it.

Now I sit here, unable to have my afternoon coffee fix, wondering what to do.  Should we buy a new Keurig or go back to the old days of brewing coffee in our traditional coffee maker.  We’ll likely go back to the old coffee pot for the time being as a new Keurig just isn’t in the budget right now.  It’s definitely not going to be easy!  I might cry.

Tuesdays with the Old Ladies

Every Tuesday Nora and I go for a morning coffee and munchkin while Brinley is at dance class. You see, Brinley’s dance class is only and hour long and it’s just far enough away from our house where it doesn’t make any logical sense for us to try to come home and do anything.  Once we got here, we’d just have to turn right back around to go pick her up.  So, Dunkin Donuts it is (not that I’m complaining or anything).

The Dunks that we go to doesn’t have a drive-thru.  In fact, I don’t think the entire town has anything that is drive-thru except for maybe a bank.  It’s one of those towns.  Anyway, I don’t mind going inside because it’s a good way to kill some time while Brinley is dancing.  I wish I could wait in the waiting area and watch my tiny dancer, but Nora makes that quite impossible since she feels the need to touch everything!  I spend the first few minutes of class watching her prance around and then return to catch the last few minutes.  Anyway, back to Dunkin Donuts…

So every Tuesday there is this same group of old ladies sitting with their morning coffee (small black) and old fashioned donut.  I don’t know if they just come on Tuesdays or if it’s a daily thing.  Each Tuesday they smile as Nora and I come in and wave to us.  Nora says Hi and we proceed to order our goods (this time of year it’s a medium gingerbread hot coffee with milk and one sugar for me and she gets 2 munchkins).  Typically we’ll sit down for a few minutes if there is a free table.  This particular Dunks is always packed with {old} people.

Yesterday we were enjoying our treat sitting at the table next to the group of old ladies.  Every so often I eaves-drop on their conversation just because I think old people talk about the funniest stuff.  The topic of conversation this week: bone density, osteoporosis and calcium supplements.  It was basically a round table discussion on which supplement/medication was the best in combating bone loss, and man where these ladies getting heated!  Most of the women seemed to prefer the once a month versions where one woman was adamant about the shot that you get once a year.  Then of course was the two who thought that the once daily supplement was simply the best way.  I can not believe how much they argued about this.  Granted Nora and I were only there for about 10 minutes but this was apparently a very serious topic of conversation.

After Nora had devoured her munchkins I grabbed our things and we headed out the door.  I was almost afraid to walk by the table where the old ladies were sitting.  I hurriedly walked by only to be stopped by a tap on the arm from one of the old ladies.  “Bye, dear,” she said to me as she waved and winked at Nora.  Then, “I hope you take your bone density seriously!”  I just smiled and walked out the door.

I can’t wait to hear what they’ll be talking about next week!

Holiday Gift Giving, Part 2

In addition to some joint gifts, my girls will each be getting gifts of their own this Christmas.  Though I am almost positive that they’ll end up playing with each others toys regardless of how age inappropriate they may be.  Case in point: Nora loves to play with Brinley’s LeapFrog Scribble and Write even though she doesn’t know the right way to use it and Brinley is equally excited to play with the shape sorter and ball popper even though she’s four.  Anyway, I digress…

It’s a little difficult to figure out what to get Nora for Christmas this year.  We’ve already got most of the toys that kids her age play with because we had them for Brinley.  Sure, they’re hand-me-downs in a sense but it doesn’t bother her (thankfully).  However, Nora is interested in a lot of things that Brinley never liked.  You see, Brinley was (and mostly still is) a very passive player.  At Nora’s age, Brinley enjoyed books, puzzles, coloring and flash cards (I kid you not!).  Nora, on the other hand, prefers to throw, break and destroy said things.  She’d much rather be climbing, running, dancing and generally causing trouble.  So, in that sense, there are many things that she’ll like that Brinley never had.

Here is a list of some of the things that I think we’ll be getting Nora for Christmas..

First is the Playskool Sit N’ Spin

The funny thing about this toy is that we had one for Brinley (it was handed down to us from a friend) and she never could figure out how to use it.  She’d sit on it and try to her hearts content to get going, but just couldn’t manage.  It frustrated her so much that we eventually gave it away.  Nora, though, loves it.  There’s one at the playgroup we attend and she got on it one day and started spinning and spinning.  I was so amazed that she was able to figure it out so fast.  A perfect gift for her, for sure!

Next up, a ball hopper

This one has Disney Princesses on it but I may opt for a  more generic one.  Nora is not really into princesses yet, but Brinley might like it :-)  This is another one of those toys that Brinley didn’t care for that I know Nora will like.  She loves to bounce and jump and even if her little legs won’t quite reach the ground yet I know she’ll love for me to bounce her on it.

Then comes the toy vacuum

Nora loves to mimic what I am doing.  She’s always grabbing the broom and walking around saying “dirty, dirty”.  She loves to sweep and wipe up messes which is nice since she’s so great at making messes!  I think she’d get a kick out of having a vacuum just her size.  I haven’t decided if I want to get one of the working toy ones or not.  I’m torn between thinking it would be helpful and thinking it’s child labor :-)

And finally, the Fisher-Price Classic Record Player

This gift might be more for me than her :-)  I had one of these when I was little and I remember playing with it all the time.  I loved it!  I think it will be so cool  to see my girls playing with it.  Ah, nostalgia!

That about wraps it up.  I’m sure there will be some other little trinkets and stocking stuffers (and gasp! clothes) thrown in but those are the “big” things.  Stay tuned for Brinley’s list in the next week or so.  What will you be getting your 18ish month old for Christmas this year?

Holiday Gift Giving, Part 1

Do you realize that there are only 46 shopping days left until Christmas?  This year has just flown by!  Anyway, there is no time like the present (pun intended) to start thinking about gifts and what will be bought.  I know there are some who have probably already started their holiday shopping, but I prefer to wait until at least November.  Last year I took the Black Friday plunge for the first time and managed to complete all of my kids’ Christmas shopping that day. I woke up at 3am (and I’m NOT a morning person!) and stood in line in the freezing rain at Target to snag some good buys. It was a crazy experience but I totally intended on hitting up the Black Friday sales again this year!

I already have some running lists for the girls.  This year they will be getting a few joint gifts and then a few things for each of themselves.  Hopefully this will work out nicely and there won’t be too much fighting.  They’re at ages where they both want to be playing with the same things or if one has something, the other wants it.  I really hope my gift ideas are a hit.  Here is a brief list of some of the joint gifts I plan on getting them.

The BIG joint gift will be the Fisher-Price Loving Family Grand Doll House Super Set

Not only does it include the doll house but it also includes furnishings for the kitchen, living room, bedrooms and bathroom.  It also includes the mom, dad, big sister, and twin babies.  Other furniture is available for the house and this will give me something to suggest to grandparents/aunts/uncles for gifts for the girls.  The super set is only available at Toys R Us and is currently $159.99 so hopefully it will go on sale or be a Black Friday deal!

Next up, the Melissa & Doug Baking Cookies Set

Both of the girls really enjoy playing with pretend food, hosting tea parties and bringing me make believe treats.  They love the Melissa & Doug cutting food as well as their plastic kitchen food.  We’ve played with this set at a friends house and it was a huge hit.  I know the girls will love it.

The Disney Princess Dream Castle Ball Pit is next on the list.

Being stuck inside during the winter is going to be rough with my girls.  They both love being out and about and will need an outlet for all of their bottled up energy.  Hopefully this will do the trick.  It’s small enough to keep indoors but can also be used outside.  It only comes with 30 balls so I’m sure I’ll have to buy one of those extra 100 ball packs to go with it.  It’s a decent size compared to some of the other blow up ball pits I’ve seen.

My list is ever growing (and occasionally changing) so I’ll be posting more of my gift ideas for the girls here and there.  Any reviews or opinions on my selections?  What are you planning to get your little ones this holiday season?

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