Holidays

Camera Roll Highlights - Days in December

I have not blogged in a few weeks. This is because every moment of free time I have to use my computer, I have used to work on my dissertation. However, I have taken some time over the past few weeks to enjoy the holiday break. While I love decorating for Winter, I didn't have time to do a whole lot around the house but managed to put up a few items. Here are some of my favorites:

I got this wire wreath in Lincoln Park in Chicago at CB2. You can do anything you want with it. Put ornaments in it, clip photos to it, or hang lights on it. It is only $12.95 now and you can get one  here .

I got this wire wreath in Lincoln Park in Chicago at CB2. You can do anything you want with it. Put ornaments in it, clip photos to it, or hang lights on it. It is only $12.95 now and you can get one here.

I added lights around the fireplace. I may keep them up all year because they add a little something.

I added lights around the fireplace. I may keep them up all year because they add a little something.

We discovered duraflame this year.

We discovered duraflame this year.

Greenery in a growler.

Greenery in a growler.

I went to many of the holiday events that Iowa City had to offer. I attended a holiday party at my hair salon where my hair stylist dressed like Santa and gave free blowouts. I went to a few holiday food and wine tastings, art shows, saw an ice sculpture artist, and even hosted a small winter dinner party for a Bennett's fellow residents. Bennett and I both got the last week off of work and spent time at our parents' homes to celebrate the holidays. In Larchwood, IA with his parents, we had a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Themed Christmas (inspired by our Ninja Turtle enthusiast nephew Jack) where we all wore Ninja Turtle attire and played with everything related to Turtle Power. We also held the 4th annual Poss Reindeer Games where we competed over a variety of board games as well as Minute to Win It types of games. Bennett took home the grand prize for the second time, I came in last. We ate good food, caught up with old friends, and relaxed. Bennett and I even managed to get away to get pedicures. Then we headed to Sioux City where we ate even more good food, had a present opening frenzy, and spent a lot of time laughing over playing Just Dance on the Wii, a creativity board game called Disruptus, and scratching off holiday scratch cards hoping to win (a tradition). We came home with a car full of incredible and thoughtful gifts feeling thankful for being able to spend time with our families even though it was only for a few days. Here are a few of the highlights from my Camera Roll.

That's My Jam - Coffee Talk

Happy National Coffee Day.

It is no secret that I love coffee. In honor of National Coffee Day I thought I would post some coffee related thoughts.

Every morning I drink a cup (at least) of black coffee. In the words of Zooey Deschanel "Oh, me? I'm not 80% water. I am 80% coffee, and a little bit of sass. "

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While I like making coffee at home in my french press, I really enjoy going to get coffee at a coffee shop before work in the morning. It gives me something to look forward to when I get out of bed. I love the hustle & bustle of a coffee shop in the morning and the conversation. It calms me. In high school I used to go to a local shop between morning dance practice and school and the same people were always there. One day, a regular told me that he likes going there every morning because it ensures him that his day will start out right; it is a treat for himself. I feel the same way. 

When I go to put in my morning order, I am always tempted to instead just say "I need a coffee the size of my head." It is a line from an episode of Sex and the City where Carrie says that before going to a morning photo shoot after being up all night. The photo from the shoot on the episode (pictured below) depicts how I really feel each morning.  

Here are 6 useful coffee apps from Mashable ---- Coffee App List.   I personally like the Beanhunter app to find local, independent coffee shops when I am search for one in the morning or anytime.


While I love hanging out a coffee shop (and simulating one in my home using the coffitivity website), I do still make coffee at home.  I also love the free Instant Barista pro app from the Mashable list. It has lots of recipes and even has a portion called 'latte art' where it helps you learn how to etch designs into your latte. I always love when there is a foam heart in lattes and found this video that makes it look so easy to do.

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I enjoy hearing about the medical benefits of drinking coffee, it reinforces my addiction. I used to even clip out magazine articles that described recent research on the topic. Now infographics do a better job of summarizing those results. Here is one of my favorites.

So drink a cup of coffee, it is good for you.

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