Sunday, July 7, 2019

Coffee and a Classic: Don Quixote

Better late than never, right? My Coffee and a Classic box for June came at the very end of the month and I'm just getting around to sharing the pics. I particularly like this month's box, though I'm a little bummed about the treat. But, we'll get to that. I cannot believe how absolutely blown away I still am with these boxes, even after 7 months. I'm still so thrilled when they come each month. Even Matt's interested in the unboxing each month. The Christmas subscription he got me has long expired and I've renewed twice more since then (3 months at a time). And, while I'm canceling a lot of unnecessary subscriptions right now (including FabFitFun), I will certainly not going to be cancelling this one. As you can see, June's book is Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes.

This month's box included a lovely Word Cloud Classics Flexibound edition of Don Quixote. The lovely card that says what's in the box, of course, a bookmark, liquid absorbent car cup holder coasters, a mug with a quote from the book, a notebook, spiced cocoa, and a spicy trail mix treat.

The box is a gorgeous burnt sienna kind of color and has one of those sinky leather-ish covers. I absolutely love it. When I cracked the book open, the print is absolutely minuscule. It's 840 pages long and the print is so tiny, I'm not sure I'll actually read this one. But, I read it in college, so if I don't get back round to this edition, that's totally okay. If you haven't read this book, it's a must. I recall it making my best friend really sad, though.

The bookmark in the box is very thinly sliced wood. I got one of these one of the other books, they look so fragile, but are actually quite sturdy and make a nice addition to the book. I love the picture on this one, it really expresses the feel of the book. I have it stored inside the book, on my shelf, as I've done with almost all of my books.

This cocoa is so great. It comes from McStevens, as some of the others have, and made about mugs of cocoa. I'm not sure what the spices are, but it was a nice way to warm up on a cool June evening. It's been struggling to warm up here this year, we're just getting up to around 80 degrees in the middle of the afternoon. As with all things about these themed boxes, the picture on the outside of the cocoa packet is such a nice detailed touch to the box's theme.

"Finally, from so little sleeping and so much reading, his brain dried up and he went completely out of his mind." That, I think, is about how every avid reader hopes to go! Ha! The mug is so neat and not like anything else in my cabinet. Getting these mugs is seriously one of my favorite things about these boxes.

I actually had no idea what this was when I first saw them. Thankfully, it says what they are on both the back of the package and the neat little insert from the box. They are coasters for the car! Since my cup holders in my car always get sort of gross, I love this. I put them in my new car and they look great!

See, that's pretty neat, right? Please disregard the mess in my cup holder. The car only has 400 miles and yet, somehow, I have managed to get the cup holders gross already. I hope that it helps keep it from getting any more gross.

As a person who collects journals, even if I rarely write in them, this was a neat surprise. It's hard to tell in the picture, but the cover is bright teal. I love the embossed picture on the front. The notebook has lined pages and, in the back, there's a pocket. It's made by JournalBooks, who makes custom embossed notebooks.

I didn't actually eat the last thing in the box. I put one Spanish peanut into my mouth and then spit it out, it was so spicy! So, Matt ate the goodie from this month's box. He says it wasn't spicy, but he and I have different ideas about what's spicy. It did smell good and the picture on the front, like with the cocoa, is a lovely touch.

Overall impression of this box, very nice! I really liked this month and so did Matt. The July box sneak peek is up on their website, if you're interested in. No spoilers here. I'm looking forward to the next box, but there's nothing new there.

I have all the boxes, which are very nice photo boxes, stashed in a book shelf. I'm not sure what I'll do with them, but I can't see throwing such sturdy, lovely boxes away. There will be a lot of them around here soon, I hope I figure it out before I'm overrun!

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

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

I'm a Mess

So here's a couple of things you might not know about me. I suck at willpower. Maybe everyone does sometimes, but I suck at it all the time. I'm bad at forming good habits, but I'm still trying. I'm terrible at eating at home, especially when Door Dash makes it so damn easy not to. I have no impulse control. I hate to clean, so my house is kind of a mess and I don't have enough energy to care.

All of that means one thing... I am shit with money. Like, really, really shit. If I want something, I buy it. I can't seem to save money and maybe the cost of eating out doesn't help with that. I sign up for subscriptions and forget about them and money comes out that I don't even notice until I need it. I'm a little bit of a mess.

So, in order to be less of a mess, I signed up for one of those services that tell you what subscriptions you have and how much money you spend. It was awesome, because it allowed me to close out some subscriptions that're costing me a lot. But, it's also kind of brutal because it does it's job and tells me how much money I spend which, makes me feel like even more of a mess. Wait, no, it allows me see that I am a mess.

Like, today my summary said that between May 24 and June 24th I spent wasted about $370 on random crap (dice, amazon, audible, and Starbucks). The only one of those I can even come close to justifying is the Amazon because, like, Father's Day. But the rest of that is on me. That's a a lot of hours worked on to buy random crap I didn't so much need and that doesn't even count how much it costs us to eat out every month. The app says that I spent $685 eating at restaurants in June. I spent almost $1000 on absolutely nothing in just one month.

Told you I was a mess.

I'm sitting around here looking at our budget, wondering where all our money went. Um, hello! Heeelllloooo!! Such a mess.

But... there is a silver lining. Watch me be positive and look for a way to learn from this... Seeing that I waste that much money, in black and white with cute email graphics, means I can absolutely make a change.

I'm going to try, that's the most I can do, right?

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. 

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Dinnertime Drama: Rant Edition

I'm in a curmudgeonly mood today...

It's a little bit after four o'clock in the afternoon and I was just sitting her thinking that Matt would be home soon and then... queue the dinner time drama. And, you know, I kind of dread it. Okay, more than kind of. I dread it. I would almost do anything to avoid this nightly ritual where he looks at me like I'm somehow the party responsible for all domestic responsibilities, including but not limited to cooking dinner. Because that look is always followed closely by disappointment that I didn't thaw anything out and then expectation that I'll do something about it.

Every single goddamn day, we go through this dinner time dance where we go back and forth about what to eat. He asks what we have, I say I forgot to thaw anything out, and we try to decide what we're going to do instead. He never wants to go out to dinner anymore, though he never had a problem with it when we lived in Texas. A few days ago he went so far as to tell me he doesn't like to eat out and never has... which is absurd in a way that's shocking to think he even said it.

Tonight is not going to be any different. I didn't take anything out and we need to get groceries. So, we're going to have to either have something ordered, or I'm going to have to talk him around to going out to dinner. Since he spent half the early morning hours throwing up today, he's going to be particularly picky about what he wants to eat (as he should), which is going to make figuring out what to eat even more difficult. This is seriously a waste of a good hour of our time every single fucking evening. Every single one.

I know this is something all married couples go through once in a while. In fact, there are memes about it all over the internet. Yes, hilarious. But after 20 years it's starting to not be so hilarious. And, while I know that I could prevent it just by cooking dinner... I just don't want to some nights. I work too. I'm tired. I want to chill, rather than spend my evening cooking and cleaning up the mess. I don't want to. Simple as that. I should not have to be responsible for dinner every single night.

And, he's home... time to go to war over dinner.

Friday, March 22, 2019

2019 Veloster N

I went out this morning to get groceries. It was raining and when I turned on my wipers, one of the blades was torn, so I decided to get the car serviced and have them change the wipers. Because I have no idea how to change my wipers, and I needed an oil change anyhow, I drove across town to the Hyundai dealer. The wait was an hour and a half, so I settled in with a book, but the tv in the waiting area was too noisy for me to focus on the book. The news was on, talking about college admissions scandals, so I wandered around a bit. Stopping at the book that has info for each of the models, I flipped through to info about the 2019 Veloster and the 2019 Veloster N.

I scanned the features, checking out both models. Not going to lie, the first time I saw a picture of the new Veloster and Veloster N, I didn't love it. It was so different than mine and change makes me grumpy. But, since then, it's very much grown on me. It's so sleek. So much more aggressive than the older models. When curiosity took me over, I asked one of the sales guys, Jon, if they had one on the lot. Not only did they have one on the lot, they had it inside on the sales floor... where it was dry. Let me tell you, it was love at first site. This car is gorgeous!

I stalked around it, checked out it's features, talked with the sales guy about it. He took a look at my 2014 Veloster and worked on a trade-in quote. He drove my 14 Velo and got some info about how it runs (really well!) and checked the milege (really low!). Then we talked some more about the 19 Velo. We took it for a test drive (he drove, I rode). It's a 6-speed manual transmission and I haven't driven a stick-shift in almost 5 years, since we had the Sunfire.

I told him I'd take it, if they would give me financing. He said it wasn't a problem. About an hour later, I was signing the paperwork. Half an hour after that, I was deciding on gap coverage and a protection coverage package that would seal the undercarriage and scotch guard the seats. Twenty minutes later, I was leaving, in my 14 Velo to go get Matt to sign the paperwork. I also went to get groceries.

When Matt got off work, we went to pick up the 2019 Hyundai Veloster N that I bought today.

Can you see the happiness? I am so happy! This pic does not do this car justice, so here're some more pictures that also don't do it justice. It's raining today, so the pics just aren't great.

This pic and the one below were taken before I bought the car, when it was still on the showroom floor. The lighting in there was okay, but the pics were taken really quick so I could send them to Matt.

After we picked her up, we drove around a little bit while Matt got used to the feel of the clutch. It was still raining and the roads were slick, and everyone and their mothers were getting off work, so I was a little bit nervous the whole ride, but I still had a good time. Then we headed across town to get our favorite for dinner, Maymoes, a cajun food restaurant here in Logan. 

When we got home, I took some more pics...

Side view from both sides (above and below), which is significant because it looks different from the left than from the right. It has a door on the passenger side that doesn't exist on the driver side. 

The color is called Chalk White. Do you see all those red accents and the red brake calipers? *swoon* And that grille, the Veloster N is a turbo, so it's got the turbo grille.

I also got another pic of the back, straight on. I think I said so before but, it's a hatchback. Don't mind the big, dead bush to the left of the pic. We're constantly having to cut that damn thing down and it grows back like a weed (which it probably is).

And since it's raining, I got this cool pic of the N logo on the back...

What's really neat about this car, other than how it looks, is that it's actually powerful. The older Velosters looked great, but they had no power. It was fine for around town, but trying to go over the mountain pass was a rough. This car has a lot of kick. It's also fairly limited edition, they didn't make a ton of them. The dealer said they made only about one per dealer. I got the only one in Cache Valley. I'm so thrilled.

I haven't driven it much. Just pulled it into my garage, but I'm going to spend some time practicing my stick-shift skills in the near future. I hear it's like riding a bike, it comes right back to you. Let's hope so.

The only thing I intended to buy today was groceries. ♥

Friday, March 15, 2019

Coffee and a Classic: The Last of the Mohicans

A little late on this one, but I got my February Coffee and a Classic box around the first week of March (since February is a short Month, I suppose) and, I feel like a broken record saying so, but it was absolutely gorgeous. I look forward to this box every month because opening it is such a joy. One of the things I love most, aside from the obvious, is that if Matt's here when it comes, he enjoys the unboxing almost as much as I do. He truly is great a gifting!

February's book is The Last of the Mohicans by James Fenmore Cooper. Every month they have a sneak peek of the book, so you can change your selection to classic children's lit or classic non-fic if you like. When I checked it out in January, I was slightly surprised by this choice for February. Being that Valentine's Day is in February, I expected a more obvious classical romance. Having never read the book, nor even seen the movie, I had no idea that this one is a romance!

Matt knew, though, and when the book was out of the box he turned it over and handed it to me. "Read this," he said.

I swooned. I did. I'm not too old for that and a good love story is my Kryptonite. I am an absolute sucker for a good romance. But, I will say, this book is quite a lot harder a read that I thought it would be. It's been a long time since I've read anything too complex, so this one is a challenge. Especially since I'm currently reading it aloud to Matt so we can experience it together. Being a dyslexic, reading aloud is a pretty good exercise for my brain, even when I stumble here and there. Matt's a gentle listener.

The book comes from Paper Mill Press and the cover is this lovely heavy black paper. Last month's book also came from this press. The books are just gorgeous, even though the words are pretty tiny. Or maybe I'm just blind? Either way, the lovely golden embossed embellishment makes this book really beautiful. It also means I'm doing doubly careful with it as I read so I don't bend the spine. Not the easiest thing.

The bookmark in the month's box, pictured above next to the book, is actually wood. It's very thinly shaved wood with a picture printed on the front. It's lovely and not as fragile as I thought it might be. Even though the book has a ribbon bookmark, I'm using this one to keep my place.

As with all of these boxes, my drink choice is cocoa. This one is sort of like a Mexican chocolate, but the spice is a little bit more diverse. Since I love Mexican hot chocolate, I really enjoyed this one. The only thing I would have liked was instructions. Which sounds crazy, but doing a little bit of research about last month's Earl Gray Hot Chocolate, I learned that it's supposed to be made with milk, rather than water. So, I don't know if this one should, too. The powder sank to the bottom when I made it with water, so I'm guessing it should be.

The cocoa is from COCOA SANTÉ whose cocoa is both organic and responsibly sourced. On their website, this cocoa is called Kashmir Spice. It can't be purchased directly from them, but I'm definitely going to have to get some more! And looking into it, it can be made with either milk or water.

And this month's mug...

Isn't this mug pretty? I just love how much their mugs always fit the theme of the box so beautifully. I'm never completely sure if they can be put in the dishwasher, so I just handwash them. I've begun collecting mugs in the last few months and this is a lovely addition to my collection.

The other goodies in the box included a dream catcher--not pictured here because I jumped the gun and whisked it off to hang above my bed--and a candle that smells really clean and pretty. The candle has this lovely wilderness-y design around the outside.

The last thing in the box was, of course, the month's sweet treat. Chocolate candy rocks in a neat burlap sack.

They're gone now because, well, chocolate. But, I would have you know I took some time to admire each one before putting it into my mouth. It's uncanny how much this candy really does look like rocks. They tasted really good, too, so there was that.

All in all, this box definitely did not fail to meet my expectations. Like the previous two I've gotten before it, I was so pleasantly surprised. Since I didn't expect to love this one as much as I did the two before it, imagine my delight to find out I've enjoyed it every bit as much, if not more. The book is turning out to be quite good, even though we've only just begun.

I can't wait for March's box. I resubscribed for another three months, so I have three more boxes to look forward to! I've already checked the sneak peek section of their website and will admit to some loud squealing, as well as a bit of jumping up and down when I saw what March's classic lit was going to be. If you're interested, you can check it out on Coffee and a Classic's Sneak Peek page. If you're not much into spoilers, I wouldn't want to ruin the surprise. ♥

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

Friday, March 8, 2019

Happy International Women's Day

FabFitFun sent out this cute graphic to celebrate International Women's Day and posted this quick little writing prompt to celebrate the day. It's so fun, I thought I'd write about it here instead...

I feel most confident when _______.
Women are _______.
My favorite quote: _______.

I feel most confident when... I get everything on my to do list done. When I finish a good book. When I straighten my hair and toss on a touch of makeup. When I'm taking some time out for mindfulness meditation and self-care. When I know I've done a damn good job.

Women are... capable. This seems like a weak adjective, but for me it's most apt. So many inequities for women come down to one single thing, that women are still seen as incapable. Women aren't often found at the highest levels in business, no woman has been president, women are see as less capable and earn less pay. Women are no less able than men. We're strong, independent, and most of all capable.

My favorite quote... there are actually several, but I'll share two with you. Both by strong women writers that I admire.

“Give a girl an education and introduce her properly into the world, and ten to one but she has the means of settling well, without further expense to anybody. ” - Jane Austen

"Keep a light, hopeful heart, but expect the worst." - Joyce Carol Oates

Finally, to all the strong women in my life, thank you for making me better. To my lovely Grandmother, Wilma, who made the best pie I've ever eaten and who loved me unconditionally. My beautiful mother, Cheryl, who always believed in and loved me, even when she didn't always agree with my choices. And who taught me strength come from within. My sister, Candi, who always makes me smile and blows me away with her creativity.

June 2018
To my amazing college professors, Dr. Mallory Young and Dr. Julie Chappel, without whom I would never have been introduced to some of the strongest women's voices--their's included. Who pushed me to grow in ways I would never have been able to without them, to think critically, and to understand feminism and feminist criticism.

With Dr. Mallory Young, August 2012
To my best friends, Melanie and Amanda, who've been there to cheer for me, listen to me complain, and given me a shoulder to cry on when that was necessary. Both women have show me over and over again that sisterhood doesn't have to be about blood.

Melanie (left) and Amanda (right), both taken in 2018
To my oldest friends, Jodi and Shannon, who've shown me that friendship is as much about wanting to share a connection as it is about sharing common interests. And, who've shown me that forgiveness and understanding can rebuild what might have otherwise been lost.

Oldest picture, ever. Mayra, Julie, Shannon, Jodi, Shannon T, & Me... Maybe 1995?
And to the rest of the very lovely women in my life. Friends who I haven't seen forever like Jenn and Marsha, or the ones I've met online and become friend with, like Phoena, friends from grad school and from jobs over the past few years, you're all amazing.

I love you all. Happy International Women's Day!