Ode to caffeine…

Just walking to work clutching my umbrella and coffee. No biggie.

Just walking to work clutching my umbrella and coffee. No biggie.

Oh, coffee.

Caffeine.

How do I love thee, let me count the ways.

Really, my love affair with caffeine is long-standing. I discovered the magic of a mocha latte during my early days as a college newspaper reporter. I fell in love with local coffee shops in my hometown (also my college town.) I discovered Starbucks, where my favorite drink for many, many years was a mocha light Frappuccino.

As I’ve grown up – and needed more caffeine in my life – I’ve fallen even more in love with espresso. Now my go to drink is a grande skinny mocha. Fall brings a tiny bit of toffee nut added. Winter brings a little peppermint. You’ve got to spice things up.

I like warm {coffee}. And hugs.

I like warm {coffee}. And hugs.

As I’ve tried to make my love for coffee a little healthier over the past few years, I’ve been making more of my own drinks at home. I’m armed with both a Keurig Vue and a Keurig Rivo, so I’ve been experimenting more and more on my own.

Now that my favorite Coffee Mate Sugar Free Peppermint Mocha is out of season, I’ve to to find my next favorite for plain brewed coffee. Stay tuned. I’ll be reviewing my attempts.

In case you don’t believe my love of caffeine…. so I’ve included just a few snapshots of my recent coffee escapades at home.

What’s your favorite way to drink coffee? Any great, light creamers you love? Share!

A quick stop to Fresh Market on a lunch break for their divine dessert coffee.

A quick stop to Fresh Market on a lunch break for their divine dessert coffee.

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We “Let It Go” alright…

So a couple of weeks ago, we hopped into the car with our BFFs and headed off to Arendale. Well, it was more like the BJCC arena, but you get the picture.

It was one seriously awesome afternoon of all my favorite things and people.

To kick things off, we lunched at Cantina Laredo in Birmingham’s Uptown. Y’all. Best. Mexican. Ever.

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With that food and drink, can you tell we were happy? I’m also the only one who didn’t dress in theme…

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I needed a pick me up after that delicious – but heavy – lunch… and guess what fab coffee shop was right across the street? I got an Octane fix!

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The actual show, Disney’s Frozen on Ice, was awesome. I don’t think any of us quit smiling the entire time we were there. Well, maybe when some little kids sword wouldn’t stop strobe-light-flashing at us… that wasn’t much fun. But we got over it.

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Aside from the ice castle being built in the picture about during “Let It Go” – my favorite part was watching Sven and Olaf skate. It was just hilarious.

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It’s been the summer of entertainment so far. I’ll be back with more soon! Here’s to fun times with favorites until then!

I quit Starbucks…

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If you have known me for any amount of time, you know the love I have for Starbucks. After falling in love with a Mocha Light Frappucino and other fun frothy creations in college when I was trying to make it through late nights working at our campus newspaper, I was hooked.

Now, my love of coffee has only grown. It’s ingrained in my soul – and for the last decade or so, it’s been putting a major dent in my budget as well.

(Really. About $5 a day… for that long… DON’T DO THE MATH. I repeat. DON’T DO THE MATH.)

So, let’s take things back to mid-April, when I wound up with a Keurig Rivo thanks to a happy accident. I’ve already got a traditional Keurig brewer that has been parked at work for a few years, because I just don’t love plain coffee.

I won a Keurig Vue thanks to hosting a House Party a few years ago. That ones has lived in my kitchen. It’s fun, and I use it to make hot water for tea quite a bit.

But nothing has ever come even close to matching my love of hot mochas. From the Toffee Nut edition to sugar free on days I’m really trying to watch it… I love my variations, and I just can’t make them at home.

Until now.

My Keurig Rivo has been incredible.

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{via Keurig}

So good in fact… that I quit my daily trip to Starbucks. I know begin enjoying my lovely coffee creations at home early in the morning, and I usually make one for the road to enjoy each morning at the office.

In the words of my husband: “We got a raise. A big one.”

I’m about six weeks into my love affair with the Keurig Rivo. The Rivo is the espresso brewer, with a built-in milk frother. I add some sugar-free Hershey’s syrup for the mocha infusion. Two shots are brewed in about a minute. And then I froth my milk, and pour it in. A quick stir, and just a smidgen of whipped cream later, and I’m good to go. For under $2 a day for my 1-2 drinks

I haven’t crossed Starbucks out of my life by any means. I’ve hit up Starbucks about once a week, usually while strolling through Target or for a date with a friend. It is just no longer my only source of delicious caffeine.

So, if you are trying to break the Starbucks habit, try saying hello to the Rivo. I definitely wasn’t disappointed.