Wednesday, July 24, 2013

My Name is Erika, and I'm a Coffee Addict

Hey ya’ll! I hope your summer is going awesome! We’ve been insanely busy. Not one weekend has passed where we have not been into something. To be honest, I think I'll rather enjoy this weekend of absolutely nothing. Except for finishing the chicken coop, curriculum planning, completing a few projects that have to get done, finish getting together my fourth bedroom since my MIL is moving in, and selling all the crap we don’t need. Yeah, well at least I’ll be in the confines of my own home. Or at least on my own property. Anyway, I’m not here to make myself feel better about being non-existent this summer. Really. Don’t buy that either? Hmm.

Well I did come bearing gifts! That always helps! Something I used to do frequently was to review the monthly subscriptions I got to various boxes. You remember my recaps of my Birchbox and Beauty Army? Well since then, I’ve noticed about every kind of monthly box imaginable pop up. They’ve got out ones for puppies, kids, fashion accessories, organic products, and so on. You’ll be happy to know that I’ve successfully stayed away from them. Okay, I lie. One did snag me. But wait! No eye rolls or mutterings just yet! Are you ready? What if I told you there is a new box in town that delivers fresh, gourmet coffee beans from small “mom and pop” type of coffee houses around the U.S., also known as artisian shops? Have I at least stirred the coffee beast within you?

A few months ago, I had an offer from House Party. They were giving a subscription to company known as MistoBox at a price of buy one month and get one free. Knowing me and my husband and how most days of survival depends on coffee, I jumped on it. Four months later, we still love it and I have genuinely felt bad for not sharing this with my fellow coffee lovers sooner! J  

How it works: So MistoBox works just like other monthly subscription boxes. There are two levels you can buy into. The first level is 15 dollars monthly and you receive four handpicked, freshly roasted coffee samples. The second level is 30 dollars a month and you receive larger samples. However, the first level has worked out great for us. It's the perfect size to see if we enjoy it or not. 

Here is the July box in all it's glory. 

Upon receiving your box, you will see a little guide inside that tells you about your coffee for the month. As MistoBox describes it, they "curate monthly guides that give you insight to each coffee with tasting notes and roaster bios." Yep, that's accurate. Notes of honey and nougat, anyone? How about "opening up to a dark fruit sweetness and finishing with a dark chocolate astringency"? Oh, the power of suggestion. 

 All four of your roasters for the month are listed and details are given on the beans. The location of where the beans are harvested is listed at the top of each bio section. Then you have the name and location of the roaster, followed by details of maybe the region in which it was roasted, special details on what makes the coffee and region unique, and a more in depth take on the notes you can expect to find in the coffee. YUM!

Each individual sample of 1.7 ounces (15 dollar box sample size) of whole beans from a single origin is packed in a resealable pouch. On the front is a breakdown of the coffee, including the roasting date, which is always just a week or less from when you order! 
Some potential downsides:
1)While 1.7 ounces doesn't sound like a lot, I'm here to tell you that it is plenty. My husband and I get 4 cups out of a single package on a medium grind. 

2)Speaking of the grind, you will notice that I have mentioned whole beans. Which means, yes you need a coffee grinder. You can get one of those through Mistobox along with a coffee press as well. All of which are decently priced.

3)You may be like me and have a Keurig. No problem. They offer a cup you can purchase to put your freshly ground coffee beans into. Or, if you feel like saving a bunch, we know an individual that saves and cleans out used K-Cups, refills them with coffee and places a piece of aluminum foil over the top to reseal. Works like a charm. I've also seen at Walmart and Target where they have reuseable K-Cups for about 5-7 dollars, as opposed to the 20 it would take for you to purchase one from Kuerig. 
So there really are no downsides, in my eyes! You don't even have to worry about getting the same coffee twice. The tasters try over 50 new varieties each month and you may receive a coffee from the same shop, but never the same coffee. Even if I did, you wouldn't hear me complain. I have yet to receive one I haven't enjoyed immensely!
I hope I've redeemed myself today and you have enjoyed this little review and info on Mistobox! Definitely worth a try if you are a coffee lover or you are looking and enjoy new tastes. They have a special right now where you can get your first box for five dollars. If, during your exploration of new, amazing, exotic coffees, you find one that you have to have more of, go log back into your Mistobox account and order a whole bag. 
The prices are great, the quality is incredible, and the experience is uniquely enjoyable. 

If you do, let me know! I would love to hear how you like it!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

After Some Adjustments....

Six months. That’s how long it has been since I’ve put thought on blog paper. 6 months! Wanna know what happened to create such a hiatus? The public school system here in my part of the country. Absolutely terrible. About 5 things happened in the month of October that pushed me over the edge. So October 23, I went into the office of my daughter’s school and told them to remove her from their roll and I needed to fill out the paper stating she would be homeschooled. The secretary looked at me like—well I’d like to say something really dramatic here like “she looked at me like I had six heads”, but unfortunately, I can’t. Here’s the rest of that thought—it happens all the time. That should tell you a little about our area right now. All she asked was, “Starting when?” To which I replied, “Now”. So, without a plan in the world, and no idea where to start, I started 1st grade and preschool at home. Thankfully, I have incredibly intelligent children and they have made teaching very easy. They have had their moments, of course. Never once, though, has Kade mentioned going back to public school.

So with that, school for myself, orders to fill for various things, and still being a great and consistent Mom and Wife (or attempting to), I started to feel like blogging was a chore. I know many bloggers say that sometimes it gets to that point and I’ll feel that way. This is my outlet, though, and I didn’t like that feeling; So I took a step back to adjust to my new way of life. Thankfully, I’ve had so many other homeschooling mom friends and friends that are teachers that have pointed me in the direction of lots of resources. I’m very thankful for them!  If you happened to be one of those people reading this, I appreciate you dearly!

The only other super exciting thing you missed was another Disney trip! Yes, we went to Disney again already. We went for Christmas and it was amazing! I definitely recommend that to anyone interested in going to Disney. Experience Christmastime at Disney once.

These past few weeks, I’ve really started to miss writing. Then I realized not only did I miss writing, but I missed sharing as well! I absolutely love sharing recipes, diys, and great products with people. So it’s time to get back to the sharing and random thoughts J

I said all that to say this: some of the things I have that I need to share are as follows Shredded BBQ Crockpot Chicken for tacos that I pair with my Fire Roasted Corn Salsa (since it’s almost Cinco de Mayo!); Chicken Parmesan Alfredo (because it mixes two of my favorite Italian dishes); some homeschool experiences and ideas; a very cute and simple DIY bed for American Girl (or any other) dolls [Daddy pending]; our version of a home management binder that works well for us. So stay tuned!

I’ll leave you with some pics of the past six months that speak much louder than words~

 Our Fall trip to the Saint Louis Zoo. Great zoo...and it's free!

And while we were there, orangutans were kissing. All together, collective "Awwwwwwwwww". It was pretty stinkin' cute!!

The view of the from across the pond at the American Pavilion @ WDW

The castle with Christmas lights! Beautiful!

Someone didn't want pictures.

These cake orders!

Crochet orders...lots and lots of crochet orders

Father/Daughter Ball. She lost her first tooth that day!

See! She has since then also lost the one beside it J

Which spawned the making of this to hang on her door for the Tooth Fairy!

Until next time!