Don’t drink the water

It’s dirty.

It looks like watery sweet tea, usually has mysterious floaters, and is just kinda existing but making no impact.  It’s, regrettably, Candace Coffee.

It sickens my Mister because, Hubs, he digs REAL coffee.  Like, in a very major (and almost alarming?) way.  He snubs the pre-ground flavored crud that sloshes out of my crusty mini coffee maker each morning.  Not to make matters worse but I suspect that percolator of mine is harboring an army of composting coffee grounds and on the lam sea monkeys.  Seriously.

In fact, Hubs considers my coffee making habits criminal and has been warning the far and near to not drink the “water”, for fear they’ll catch a Bad Case of Candace Coffee Complacency.  Also, apparently I got on the Alliteration Train and never got off at my stop.  Sorry.

So, want to see what really good coffee is all about?  Let’s learn together (and get tshirts made so we can be reminded of this cherished time).

It starts with green beans.  Not those.  But, these ones:

I was tempted to put them in a soup with a ham bone but Hubs got agitated by the suggestion.  He buys these wonderful beans from Sweet Maria’s – a great little company that hand selects the finest coffee farms (in a morally conscious way) and sells them to fanatics like my other half.   He then takes these green nuggets of fortune and roasts them.

Today’s roast: Ethiopia Wet Process Guji Oromo

The roasting does a few things.  It caramelizes the sugar in the beans,  encourages the strong oils to journey outward and causes the moisture to escape.  Also, the ‘husk’ of the bean (called the chaff) burns off.

And, that burning chaff, my friends, smells slightly disagreeable.  No, actually, it reeks.  It smells like burnt popcorn and has the tendency to linger like my break outs.  That’s why I kindly request he does his roasting in our garage, which he finds very glamorous.

Ooh, they are all done getting their roast on.  Now, they must rest.  I rest too, just because.

After a little while and some trashy TV, Hubs packs his goodies away.

I know this may have caught you off guard, but you have just now time traveled to the next morning.

Hubs takes his freshly roasted beans and grinds them up.  I admit, they smell ridiculously good.

Finally, the step our caffeine headache has been yearning for: making the actual coffee.  This is an involved hobby, no??  Hubs uses the Aeropress.  It’s like the French Press but from outer space.  The difference (and why the Hubs decided to go with it) is the Aeropress has an extra filter for the cholesterol-raising oil that is known to sneak through the French Press.  This makes me happy because I am planning on kickin’ it with the Hubs for a lifetime.  And I want that lifetime to be long and cholesterol friendly.

The glorious sweet first sip!!

The moral of my story:  Let the Hubs brew you up something special and politely decline if I wander in and offer to share the concoction  living inside my travel mug.

But, love me anyway because sharing is still sharing, mmmkay?

Flashback Friday

The birthday week boy as a baby.  Sooo cute.  It looks as though he may be wearing pink pajamas, but I won’t judge if you won’t.

Be sure to have a good weekend and it wouldn’t be the worst idea in the world to eat leftover birthday cake for dinner tonight.  Just a thought.

A birthday boy

Guess who turned the big fat 3-0 today?

This guy.

Handsome, right?

In celebration of this very important milesone birthday, I scheduled a dentist appointment for him in the morning and will be taking him out to dinner with a giftcard that we got for Christmas tonight.

Happy birthday, Hubs!  I’m eternally indebted to your sweet mom for birthing such a nice person.

Please send him some mega bloggy love because he deserves it!!

Your birthday cupcake baker and adoring fan,


Candace’s Three Things

That’s right.  Remember our little Christmas deal in an effort to save Benjamins?  Well, we got working on those “gifts” of quality time to each other and actually had ourselves a pretty peachy time.

First on the agenda, Christmas cookie baking and bonding over empty calories.  You remember.  We enjoyed our blizzardy weekend of recluse by baking goodies and consuming said goodies.

And, because we are over achievers, we baked a different kind the next day.  I pulled out my Santa hat just for the occasion.

If I must say (and I must), those were some fine tasting cookies.

Cost: $baking supplies.  But thinks I was buying groceries to make actual meals instead.  Ha, what a patsy!

Next up, we hit the slopes.  Well.  No.  They were more like groomed gradients that offered some very rugged xcountry skiing.

Although new to the sport, our perfect form was undeniable.

And you know I got my hot chocolate afterward even though Hubs was a hater and opted for coffee.

Total cost: $15 (ski rental)+ 2 falls = a nice and sore time.

Lastly, if you remember, Hubs and I were supposed to…

Run a 5k together.  These might be hard to come by since the Hubs teaches class on Saturday mornings, when most of the races are scheduled.  But, I’ll keep a lookout.  The alternative is to take a run downtown and hit up breakfast afterward.

We picked a snowy Sunday morning for our Old Married Folk Running Date.  Hubs was woefully under dressed, but I, the winter running veteran, was prepared.  I had my trusty snowflake knee highs on and was ready to take on any adventure.

We ran along the beautiful frozen river and let the snowflakes dance and melt on our cheeks.

But little did we realize, underneath that crystalline blanket of beauty lay a frozen sheet of menacing ice just looking for innocents to take down.  And down we did go, reminiscent of a Torvill and Dean ice dance.

We dusted ourselves off and decided that breakfast seemed like a better idea.

The hot coffee and sweet rolls were waiting for us…

And even better?  We had a giftcard from my sweet Grandma, making this little excursion $FREE.

To sum it all up:  $Baking supplies hidden from amongst real groceries + $15 ski rental + 2 falls + $free breakfast + $butt bruises = $15 and injuries that will plague us into our 60s.  How about that!  A pretty good deal, I’d say!

Flashback Friday

Girls Night, 2004.  It really wasn’t that long ago but this was pre-pregnancies, pre-babies, pre-marriage (mostly), pre the big 3-0 milestone (and beyond for some of us, ahem), as well as before I decided that using sunscreen on a daily basis was an insanely good idea.  So much has changed for good, bad and in the middle that this seems like a world ago.

It’s Friday, folks.  So, party on and don’t forget to look back fondly on the years that came before now.

Back in it to win it (hopefully)

Guess who put their wee little house back on the market, after a (very cold) winter hiatus?  That’s right folks, we are back in the game of real estate and are hoping to fare better than the three showings TOTAL we had last summer.  Cross your fingers for us because the prospect of keeping our house show ready for months on end is just not my idea of a jolly good time.  This go around, we made a few more changes to perk up our digs: she got a chemical face peel and a boob job!

Last week, we got our ceilings painted because they were gross, especially by the vents where Grunge Particles would fly out and catch on that silly popcorn ceiling.  They kinda looked like Taylor Momsen Eyes, which, as she knows, is not leaving a great impression on anyone.

*Update.  Because every good blog post has a picture.

Image courtesy of:

Anyhoo, the painters came while I was at work and saran wrapped the entire downstairs (leaving the Hubs trapped upstairs outside the temporary plastic castle) and they worked their magic.  A couple hundred bucks later and Hilary the House was looking oh so fine.  Why we didn’t get this done years ago is beyond me.

In addition, I painted our mega scuffed up master closet, did more random touch up painting around the house, filled in cracks and nail holes, and started obsessing over all of the items I could secretly Craigslist while the Hub’s attention is averted watching basketball…

But, we still have work to do.  We have a lot of cleaning and sorting and cleaning and purging and more cleaning to do.  You’d think that we would have had this all under control since we were on the market last year, but no.  It’s an ongoing battle.  Am I the only one that has a Paper Proliferating Problem?  I wake up to more and more paperwork each day and it makes me suspect something funny is going on in the office when we’re asleep.  Please advise.

Wish us loads of good luck house selling vibes, ok?

Have a happy one.

Have an out of this world romantically sweet time on this very special/lovely/fake/made-up holiday designed to make single people feel unfairly glum and the newly dating feel ridiculously smug and the old married folk feel unnecessary pressure and the rest of the people that didn’t know it was Valentine’s Day, well, they just feel confused (obviously).

I’m going to work all day and then I’m going to go home and eat bean burritos with this guy.  We were made for each other.

Have a happy one.  It’s Monday, after all.

Flashback Friday

I was a new student counselor for my college.  Basically, I was in charge of welcoming in sweet and impressionable freshman.  I did just that, wearing a hideous tie dyed orange shirt.  Obviously these freshman did not get off to a fair start but I really hope things got better for them after I skipped out of their life.

Have a tie dye free weekend. Please.  Do it for the children.

Wore Zone

I’m back, fighting fashion faux pas in the Wore Zone.  Also, I’m three inches shorter in the blonde locks department.  If you are wondering why the heck I am doing this, read here.  Also, check out this blog – she is wear (hehe) I first saw this type of post and maybe she’s the originator?

  • Brown cardi:  Maurices, $32 (I think.  I need to figure out how to start couponing better at this place – anyone have any tips??)
  • Peach lace top: Wet Seal, $16.99.  It’s ultra feminine with the high collar and ruffles.  But,  I don’t like this store because you can’t return items (even with a receipt), which I think is a terrible policy.
  • White tank:  AE, $8ish
  • Jeggings:  AE, seriously comfy.  Can’t remember the cost but I always use a 15% coupon and tag team it with sales.
  • Long gold necklace with pink pendant:  AE clearance, $6
  • Silver hoop mainstays (from Herbergers) and wedding bling (you know who I got that shiny hunk of fabulousness from)

The cardigan is a little wimpy for a February outfit though, so I may have to stash it away until spring.  Anyone out there tried the jeggings and if so, are they a yay or no way?

Here is my winter wear addition/edition:

  • Hat:  Aeropostale, a very sweet $5!
  • Scarf: Bought it before Xmas and it was $FREE because it was on sale for $9.99 and I used one of those very yummy $10 coupons from JCPenney on it.  SCORE.
  • Wool coat: AE clearance 8 years ago.  The cool thing about it is that it’s reversible.  All business in the front.

And homeless person on the inside.

Here is what I wore to work that day.  Pretend that my scissor hands are cool in some small way.

  • Cardi: New!  Nordstrom clearance, $12!
  • Lace shirt: Charlotte Ruesse, ~$20, bought it a few years ago and I love the detailing.
  • Black pants:  Express.  They run about ~$40 with a sparkly coupon.
  • Polish: NYC in Manhattan (from Target)
  • Bracelet:  New York & Co, $7.50 (wore it on my wedding day!)
  • Earrings:  Lia Sophia, $22 (one of the most expensive pieces of jewelry that my cheap a** owns).

Isn’t a cardi and lacy shirt the easy and always works outfit?

Super Lame XLV

The Superbowl.  It’s the climax of the NFL season and the perfect reason to kick back with a room full of friends, stuffing your face with fried goodies and beer, handing out high fives and taking in empty calories.  It’s always a titillating time, right?

No, not this year.  You see, it kind of sneaked up on us.  Lately, life has been running us over and we were finally forced to declare a “reboot weekend.”  We needed to stay holed up at home doing very lame but important To Dos such as collecting up our tax stuff, scrubbing our grimy bathtub, working (blech), paying bills, getting my crappy car fixed, grocery shopping, and going to bed early.  Hence, setting the tone for our very Super Lame XLV.

Hubs tried to make it special by making cheese curds, chips and guacamole, and ordering pizza.  But, we still spent the majority of the game like this:

We did have a Pizza Draft with the leftovers, in which we carefully selected the slices for our next week’s lunches in alternating order.  So, you know, that was a pretty exciting 30 some seconds.  My first round pick was the pepperoni with green olive, just in case you were curious.

Our Superbowl was a nice and quiet and yes, lame time.  It was just what we needed.

But even so, you know I totally hid in the kitchen and called out (to no one) as Hubs was paying the pizza delivery guy, “Hey guys, pizza’s here!”.  Oh yes I did.  I couldn’t help myself.

Please tell me you were not squares like us and did something fun?