Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Coffee and a Classic: Aladdin and the Arabian Nights

My Coffee and a Classic box came a little earlier this month than usual, so I got it during May! When I saw this month's choices, I knew I had to have the children's classic this month. Aladdin and the Arabian Nights was this month's book and it is absolutely gorgeous. The whole box is beautifully curated. This box more than makes up for my slight disappointment with last month's box. So, let's get to it, shall we...

The box includes a hard cover book, Open, Sesame! mug, Chocolate & Curry Hot Chocolate, Almond Jewels, a colorful bookmark, flying carpet mouse pad, and a magic lamp incense burner. Now I need to get some incense.

All the other boxes I've gotten have had softcover books. So, when I lifted this one out from the paper shreds to realize it was hardback, I was very pleasantly surprised. The book is from Barnes and Noble, and the detail on the front of the book, with the gold embossing, is so lovely. The inside of the book is partially illustrated. I can't wait to dig in and read it. I love a good frame story!

The little incense burner is metal and looks adorable on my shelf with the other fun trinkets and things I've gotten from some of the other boxes. It has really pretty detail, too.

I was a little confused by the almond jewels, until I opened it up. They are literally chocolate covered almonds that have been painted to look like stones. They're gorgeous and really tasty.

See?! So pretty! I gave a few to Matt and he was pretty confused, until he put them into his mouth. I don't even love almonds (they're just okay), but cover them in almonds and paint them pretty colors and you have a win. They're almost too pretty to eat... almost.

I probably should have taken the mouse pad out of the wrapping before I took a picture, but there you have it. It's awfully pretty. I'll probably put it on my work desk to replace my orange, company branded mouse pad. It's so much more interesting.

The book mark is cloth and has a neat pattern, with a little tassel. What's neat is that all of the book marks from each box have been completely unique. Several of them have been small metal bookmarks, one was magnet, one very thinly shaved wood. Each of them have been pretty neat.

The month's mug is actually blue, which is a little bit hard to see in this picture. It's also the sturdiest mug I've gotten. Some of them have been pretty fragile. This one is also the largest mug from any of the boxes. I love the little gold "Open, Sesame!" on the side. I can't wait to fill it with this month's cocoa...

Curry & Chocolate Hot Cocoa. I wouldn't have normally bought this flavor, even though I love curry. But, then again, an earlier box had Earl Grey hot cocoa, and though I wouldn't have thought to buy that either, it was delicious. I can't wait to try this one. Like the last two Cocoas, this one is from McStevens. If I like it, might be I'll order it with the Vanilla hot chocolate I've been wanting to order more of.

Overall impression of this month's box, beautiful! I love the rich colors, the pretty hardback book, the neat little bookish items that came with it. I'm sure the other boxes were pretty, too, but this one is wonderful! Five stars! They haven't put up next month's sneak peek yet, but I'm sure whatever they choose will be fantastic.

Friday, May 3, 2019

Coffee and a Classic: Persuasion

April's Coffee and a Classic book box came today. Overall, the box is gorgeous as usual, but I wasn't quite as happy with this month's box as I have been previous boxes. It seems like it's always a bit late, coming the first week of the next month, which I suppose is still okay but many people get them a week or more before mine even ships. This month's box was supposed to be The Great Gatsby, a book I absolutely adore, but they changed it at the beginning of the month. Instead of Gatsby, April's book was Persuasion by Jane Austen. 

One thing I'm not less pleased about is the book choice. Would I have been happy with Gatsby? Of course! But, I'm also happy with Persuation. Have to say, I'm still really excited about this book. I love Jane Austen and this is one I've not read yet. And as you'll see, the book is really pretty. It has one of those lovely, buttery soft covers, embossed with gold accents.

Every single thing in the box is gorgeous, as usual. There were a few things about my box that were different than others who got the same box. The mug was different than most others and the candy was loose inside the box, rather than being in a box, like many others I've seen pictures of. 

All that said, the box was still just so lovely!

The box included a book, mug, salt water taffy, a scrub that smells vaguely of roses, sea salt & caramel cocoa, a book mark, and a book bag. So, it was absolutely filled with nice surprises. 
 
The book is a Barnes and Noble edition and is absolutely beautiful. It does have a few flaws, however, the most notable of them the scuffed up letters on Jane Austen's name. Still, the cover is smooth and soft, and a very pretty shade of pink. 

 The book mark is tiny, like last month's, but still very pretty. I will probably put it up on a shelf so I don't lose it and use the box insert as a book mark instead. 

I cannot wait to open the cocoa and have a cup! I have loved every single cocoa in all the boxes, I suspect this one won't be different. The sea salt taffy is soft and delicious. The mug is pretty, but most other boxes got a white, insulated travel mug. I'm a little bit disappointed not to have gotten that one, even though this gray mug is still very pretty. 

Since I have pretty sensitive skin, I will probably only use the scrub on my legs. It has a very light, soft rose-like scent. Not overwhelming at all, but also not my usual thing. I'm still going to give it a try and, who knows, maybe I'll love it. 

Who doesn't love book bags?! I really like this one. I got a Jane Austen book bag a few years ago for my birthday. I put this one with that one and will use it when I travel. Very pretty bag and a lovely addition to this month's box. 

Overall, my impression of the box is that it's quite nice. It has a lovely salt water type theme, so I'm guessing that the book is set by the shore or on a ship. Having not read it, I couldn't say, but I'm looking forward to finding out! 

Next month's box was a tough one for me, but I believe I'm going to be getting the children's classic box instead of the regular classic lit box because the selection is Aladdin and the Arabian Nights and there's no way I can pass that up! I'll just have to email them and let them know I want to change selections this month. Looking forward to that one!

Friday, April 26, 2019

35mm Mystery

In late 1996 or 1997, when I was just out of high school and thinking I might major in photography, I took a photography class a local junior college. It wasn't very practical, and had a little crush on my photography instructor, a very talented photographer quite a few years older that I was. At that time, I bought a Pentax K-1000 camera at a pawn shop, because I needed a 35mm camera with all manual settings. Although I absolutely loved the class, which taught me technique and how to develop in a darkroom, it was the first and last time I used that camera. It's in my garage, collecting dust. During a manic shopping-spree moment, I replaced it with an expensive digital camera a few years ago, which I also don't use much.

Due to some things happening in my life at that time, I never did finish that photography class. I wasn't much in a place in my life where I cared about things like passing classes. Much to the chagrin of my present self, in addition to being impractical, I was also frivolous. Until this morning, I didn't even remember I took that class. Then, going through an old keepsake box in my spare bedroom, I found a roll of 35mm film still in the canister. The tab is rolled in, so the film has been used.

Shaking it out from inside the plastic canister, the outside of the roll is somehow rusty. Considering it's 22 or 23 years old, that's not too surprising, though I have no idea how it could have gotten like that. The roll is still firmly sealed, it doesn't look like any light has gotten inside. So, I'm thinking it might be able to be developed... maybe.

There are, of course, a few problems with that. The first is a simple matter of where. Where can you get 35mm film developed anymore? I'm likely going to have to mail it somewhere. The other problems are a little bit more complex. I have no idea what's on that roll of film. Zero idea. I'm a little bit afraid of what it might be. I would imagine it can't be anything too risque, but who knows? And what if that film isn't mine? What if it's something from one of Matt's grandfather or mother's old boxes? I wouldn't imagine it is, but who the hell knows? Since the film is black and white, it's almost certainly a relic from that long ago class.

I think I'll write to some people who develop film, send them a picture of the roll and canister, and find out if they think it can be developed. Worth a shot, right? And, at this point, my curiosity is killing me.

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Treat Your Spouse Like a Ten Year Old... Hilarious.

I was browsing Facebook recently when a meme about tricking your kids into doing chores came across my feed. I usually cackle at these things, then move on. Har har, hide your kids phone charger and make them do chores to find it. Hilarious. But this one caught my eye because the person who posted it suggested it might be applicable to getting your spouse to do chores.

While my husband sucks at helping around the house, and I cannot get him to do chores most of the time, he's also an adult. He's a grown man with a high tolerance for mess. He says he doesn't clean because he doesn't care if the house is a mess. He sees the mess, he just doesn't really give a shit. This is something we go back and forth about because the reality is, if he doesn't do it, I still have to. But, he also does a heck of a lot of other things like working 11-12 hours a day, going out to do errands when I'm feeling lazy--he's actually out getting food right now, as I type this--and plans fun things for us to do together.

But again, he's an adult. It's insulting to suggest that a wife should trick her husband by hiding his phone or charger, or make him play little games to get his things back. That's pretty ridiculous. Do I wish he would be more helpful? Of course, I do! Would I demean him by forcing him to go on a scavenger hunt for his Nintendo Switch? No.

Maybe it was a joke and I have no sense of humor. Or, maybe this sort of humor is degrading to adult humans--both men and women. I just don't find it funny. Somethings tells me treating one's spouse like a ten year old isn't conducive to getting said spouse to see one as an equal life partner deserving of sharing equally in the responsibilities of adulthood. But maybe that's just me.

Thursday, April 4, 2019

Coffee and a Classic: The Phantom of the Opera

March's Coffee and a Classic box came at the very end of last month. I only just got around to taking pictures of the boxes contents. I was seriously stoked when I checked the sneak peak last month and discovered that March's story was Gaston Leroux's The Phantom of the Opera. Like everyone else, I've seen and loved both the play and the movie. But, I'd never read the book. I cannot wait to get it started. I'm still working on last month's book, The Last of the Mohicans, very slow reading, but am going to temporarily set it aside until this one is done.

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

The book isn't one of those fancy cover editions, but I'm pretty sure this one doesn't come that way. And you know, it doesn't matter. The book's cover is neat and it's going to be a lot easier to handle than those books with the covers whose spines I'm terrified to mess up.

I just love the picture on the cover! The book mark this month is metal, a musical instrument (accordion) which is fitting but I think I'm going to leave it in the package and put it up somewhere so I don't bend, break, or lose it. Moving on...

Every month the box comes with an insert like this that says what's inside. This month's is particularly fun and fitting. I'll probably tuck it inside the book so it doesn't get lost or damaged. Maybe I'll use it as a book mark. And, now I'm wondering what I did with all the other inserts that came with the previous boxes... time to look for them. I don't want to lose them. Hopefully it's not too late.

This month's goodies include a sleep mask, which I haven't tried because I don't like anything on my face, a air freshener that's shaped like a chandelier (below), and a rose shaped chocolate. It has taken all my willpower not to eat the chocolate rose before I could get this picture of it. I have since eaten it so that I could write about how tasty it is. It was. You're welcome.

How cute, right? I love it. It's hanging on my new book shelf, about five feet from me, and the scent is a little bit overwhelming. I'm pretty sensitive to scents anyway, but this is strong. Once it dies a slow, scentless death, then it'll just be a cute little book shelf ornament. Definitely cannot put it in my car.

And the part I most look forward to other than the book and cocoa... the mug! I've recently started collecting mugs, I think I may have mentioned that in one of the previous posts, and every single bookish mug that comes with these boxes has been lovely. This one is small, only just about exactly 8 ounces, but it's really lovely. First thing I did was wash all the paper shavings out of (the box is filled with paper filler to pad everything) then fire up my kettle and make myself some cocoa (pictured below).

See how it's somewhat bent down on the top? Yeah, that's because I've almost emptied this little pouch. It makes 3-4 mugs of coca, I've just about downed all of them. Of all the cocoa's, this one was my favorite. It's the sweet vanilla cocoa from McStevens. It's pretty inexpensive on their website, but I haven't ordered it because the shipping is almost as much as the tin of chocolate. $8 shipping on a $10 tin of cocoa. Doesn't matter if I loved it, not paying that.

All in all, this months box did not disappoint! The whole thing was just as fun as they've all been. I've already checked the sneak peak for the April box and I am so excited. I cannot wait for the next book. It's one I've read five or six times now, but that I love every single time. I'm feeling all warm and fuzzy just thinking about it! If you're interested, check it out on their sneak peak page.

**Absolutely not a paid endorsement, I pay for this subscription every month. I just love the product.