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Posts Tagged ‘coffee’

Un Mundo Cafe

Whenever I visit my hometown, a trip to Un Mundo Cafe is an absolute must. I’ve been to a LOT of coffee shops in my life, but this one is my absolute favorite. They offer great coffee and an even better mission. Not only do they support the growers of the coffee around the world (read more in their blog), but profit from the coffee shop goes to support a Christian after-school program for local children.

I started frequenting this particular shop when it opened just a few blocks from my office. It was in a nondescript old building in a fairly seedy part of town. I probably never would have known it existed if not for the volunteers who dropped brochures off in our office just prior to their grand opening. The first time I tasted their coffee, I was hooked. Obviously it tasted great, but reading their literature and talking to the staff inspired me to learn more about where my coffee was coming from. I actually credit Un Mundo Cafe with sparking my passion for fair trade. The shop recently relocated to a much more prominent downtown location and business has picked up. I get so excited every time I walk in and see that business is booming. The new location is actually right across the street from my old office. It’s probably a good thing I don’t work there anymore. I likely would have spent every dime I made on coffee, pastries and absolutely gorgeous handmade coffee mugs.

When I visit, it’s always a toss-up for me between a toasted marshmallow skim latte or a plain, black coffee. On this visit, I opted for black coffee because the name intrigued me and I was fairly sure it was one I’d never tried.

I couldn’t pass up a pastry. This fruit tart was as delicious as it looks. Trust me.

All of the baked goods are locally made and the ingredients are posted right in the displays. No mysteries and I can defintely pronounce everything on these lists.

I’ve heard the tea is amazing. I can just never make it past the coffee. 🙂

What’s the best place to eat or drink in your hometown?

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Hello fellow bloggies! I cannot tell you how much I’ve missed you all. I’m planning a baby shower for my BFF and it’s turned into quite the ordeal. The original guest list was around 35. Very manageable. There were a few additions here and there which blossomed the guest list to 75. Then there’s the group invitation that was extended to the women of her church and looks like will result in another 20-25 guests. I’m trying not to panic and just keep plugging away at my to-do list. It’s turning into a full-time job which hasn’t left much, if any, time for blogging, reading and commenting.

BFF is on bedrest because of some minor complications so Peanut and I loaded up in the car and drove up to visit her last week and help around the house. We really couldn’t chat or hang out much because she’s working from home, but I was glad to pitch in because I know she’s stressing about the state of the house while she can’t do anything about it. I would go every day if I could. Unfortunately, she lives an hour and a half away. 😦

On the way home, I decided to stop at my very favorite grocery store in the entire world, Dorothy Lane Market. Sometimes I wish we lived in a big city so I’d have access to more fresh, healthy food options like this. Other times I’m glad we don’t because I’d probably put us in the poor house. LOL

Half of the store is a traditional grocery layout while the other half houses cases of fresh foods including a deli, bakery and my personal favorite…a sushi stand! Not one place near us sells sushi so I decided to take advantage of being in the “big city” and pick some up. I love how the people who actually make the sushi come right out to the case and help you make your selection. After much deliberation, I settled on spicy tuna with brown rice and a container of spring rolls. I ate all the sushi and 2 of the spring rolls, taking the rest home to savor later. Since I can’t eat and drive, I partook in a front seat picnic while Peanut slept soundly in the back seat.

Actually, I need to rewind a little to get to the title of my post. I paid for my sushi, but couldn’t pass up the Boston Stoker coffee cart on my way out. I’ve had a lot of coffee in my 27+ years, but theirs is hands down the best. I have to get my fix anytime I’m near one which isn’t often enough. 🙂

I hopped in line behind an older gentlemen and talked and played with Peanut in her car seat while we waited. After placing his order, the man turned around and said “…and I’d like to pay for whatever this young lady is having.” I looked behind me thinking maybe I had separated a party in line, but the man was talking about ME. I was flabergasted and it took me a minute to catch my breath. I thanked him for his generosity, but told him he didn’t need to do that. The man persisted and said that he goes to that coffee cart every day. Each week, he randomly picks one person and pays for their coffee. I finally gave in and ordered a small iced skinny latte. Before the barista could get started, the man laughed and said “She’ll have a large.”

I thanked the man about 642 times while the barista made our drinks. I was absolutely floored by his generosity. I know I’ll probably never see him ever again, but that small act of kindness had the biggest impact on me. I can’t afford to buy coffee for someone once a week, but I’m making it my mission to pay it forward every chance that I get in ways that don’t cost a dime. Thanks to Mr. Unknown, I enjoyed this beautiful specimen of coffeehood on my drive home:

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Today’s post will be a quickie.

I was running a little behind yesterday morning so I only had time to either snap a picture of my lunch and snacks pre-pack OR stop for coffee.

Guess which one I chose?

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Don’t worry. You’re not missing much. The snacks were a repeat of Monday and lunch was leftover angolotti topped with leftover zucchini from Monday’s dinner.

Dinner was a request from my husband. We happened to have all of the ingredients so I happily obliged as it fit with my theme for the week.

Baked Spaghetti with whole grain pasta, lean ground beef, four cheese sauce and topped with 2% mozzarella cheese. Not rocket science. It was quite tasty and not too bad nutritionally as long as the portion is kept under control.

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Our home phone became Grand Central Station just after I snapped the above picture so I didn’t get a picture of the small salad I had on the side.

Inspired by Sarah‘s wonderful post earlier this week, I did the Love Your Body workout from FitPregnancy.com after cleaning up the kitchen.

That makes 2 days into my goal of 15 minutes minimum strength training every day this week. I’m already feeling an increase in my energy level and resdiscovering muscles I’d nearly forgotten I had. Hello hip flexors and triceps! It feels good to do something a little more “workoutish” than just the walking I’ve fallen back on lately.

Tea for 2?

My caffeine intake has been creeping back up into the “not okay” category over the last few weeks. I’m working hard to bring it back down and have decided that I need to restock my supply of tea. It has a much lower caffeine content than coffee, but still fills that hot beverage need that I have almost every morning at my desk.

The problem is that my doctor has deemed herbal things off limits during pregnancy. As much as I love my herbs, I’m choosing to err on the side of caution and heed his advice. Unfortunately, this means many of my favorite teas of the herbal variety have been banished to the back of the cabinet.

Anyone have any recommendations for non-herbal teas? Any favorite brand?

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I have a love/hate relationship with Wednesdays aka “Hump Day.” Part of me is really excited because it marks the halfway point of the week. The other part of me is just wishing it were closer to the weekend.

Lately I’ve been hit or miss with my morning exercise. I’m trying hard to get back into that routine. Yesterday I was awake early. Instead of laying there and snoozing I decided to get up, see my husband out the door for work and then do a little yoga.

My selection was the free 20 minute (actually 25 minute) Prenatal Yoga class from YogaDownload.com. It was incredible. This sounds strange, but the best way I can describe the way I felt when I finished is “healthy.”

Another coffee day at work which meant a frozen skim white mocha. Yum! I swore I took a picture. Either I’m crazy or my camera ate it. Oh well.

I was completely unhungry (is that a word?) until lunchtime so no morning snack. My lunch was homemade egg salad on a La Tortilla Factory Tomato & Basil Softwrap with just a little bit of shredded 2% cheese.

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A few coworkers and I pulled a great April Fools joke over on my boss that left me giggling all afternoon. I didn’t expect him fall for it, but he did. Hook, line & sinker! I have to watch my back now because he’s sworn revenge on all of us.

Later in the afternoon I had some more Stoneyfield Farm Oikos yogurt (honey flavor) with Bear Naked Fit granola and unsweetened coconut flakes. This time I knew to stir it up before I added my toppings.

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I couldn’t hit the door fast enough at 5PM. The sun was shining and I couldn’t wait get out for some fresh air. I picked up the pooch, chatted with my mom for a bit and then headed home. My husband was staying out of town so it was just me and the puppers.

For dinner, I decided to make stir fry. My husband doesn’t like Chinese food (or anything ethnic besides Mexican) so I don’t have it very often. Mine last night was pretty quick and easy. I just steamed a bag of frozen veggies, cooked some organic whole wheat pasta and topped the whole shebang with a mixture of Tastefully Simple Sweet Sassy Mustard Sauce and reduced-sodium soy sauce. Yes, I do realize that rotini isn’t exactly Chinese and thin spaghetti or rice noodles would have been more appropriate.. I had a partial box that I wanted to use up before I opened anything new.

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I had good intentions of magazine reading and painting my nails after dinner, but I pooped out early and just wanted rest. I talked on the phone with my husband for a while and then turned on Jon and Kate +8 while I curled up on the couch with a cozy blanket. That’s where I fell asleep and didn’t wake up until this morning when my husband called to say “Good morning.” I got more sleep than usual, but I still feel tired. I also have a nasty crick in my neck. Next time, I’ll make myself go to an actual bed when I get that sleepy. 🙂

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  • The average American uses 150 gallons of water every day.
  • 1 in 6 people on Earth do not have access to safe drinking water. 😦

How can you help?

  • Drink tap water instead of bottled water. It helps our planet and gives you a really great excuse to buy a cute, reusable bottle. WIN-WIN in my book! 😀
  • Be conscious of the water you use and try to reduce your consumption.
  • Share information about water conservation with your friend.

In honor of this special day, Nubius Organics (LOVE ’em) is offering 20% off all reusable bottles, including those that are already on sale. Just enter promo code WWD20 at checkout. The offer is good through March 23rd, so hurry!

Here’s a recap of my eats from the past two days:

Friday

I woke up STARVING because I didn’t eat much of a dinner last night. Two Kashi waffles with a little butter and lite maple syrup filled me right up. I’d really like to start posting pictures of my first-thing-in-the-morning meals. It’s still dark when I leave the house so I can just never get the lighting right.

I ate the last bit of my strawberries after getting settled in at my desk.

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I ate what was supposed to be my lunch about an hour and a half before workout time. Morningstar Farms Spicy Black Bean Burger, a wedge of Laughing Cow Light Swiss cheese and lettuce all on a La Tortilla Factor EVOO Tomato & Basil Softwrap. Here it is pre-rollup.

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I was trying to decide what to do about being lunchless when my coworkersaid she was calling in an order to the fancy hotel bistro across the street and would pick it up after our workout. Clearly, it was meant to be. 🙂

Our workout at work today had tougher cardio stations than normal and I could feel the burn. My favorite exercise today was the BOSU trainer plank. I was grateful to have food on the way when I returned because I was hungry.

I had the spicy vegetarian rice rolls. All I can say is HOLY WASABI! They came with a veggie blend (tossed in balsamic vinegar) and their homemade chips. I ate everything except the onions from the veggie salad and about 1/2 of the chips. I’m a little worried that these will become an addiction. They were sooooo good.

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I had an afternoon craving for something sweet, but the only thing available in the office was candy. I ran over to the cafe across the street for a chocolate chip oatmeal cookie and ended up with a cup of unsweetened raspberry iced tea, too.

It always feels so good to leave work on a Friday evening. There’s just something so exciting and freeing about knowing you have those 2 days ahead of you for fun. I called a few close friends and family members during my commute to share our baby news. Everyone was thrilled and offered lots of encouragement.

I wasn’t even a little bit hungry for supper. I had toast with butter and jam at some point, but no photo because I was really into the Ohio State vs. Siena basketball game. The outcome didn’t help my bracket any, but man that was a good game! I’m not usually a big fan of basketball on TV, but that’s changed a bit since I’m in the office pool this year. 🙂

Saturday

I slept in a little and was worried that the grocery would be crazy busy since I was going a couple hours later than normal. I ate some Kashi waffles and was out the door.

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The grocery was actually quite peaceful. I had freedom to browse without being crowded or pushed along by the flow of cart traffic. This resulted in some new products which I’ll be reviewing here soon.

After the grocery, I stopped at the bank and then the local coffee shop for a light iced java chip frappe. It’s one of my favorites.
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By the time I’d put groceries away, I was hungry for lunch. I tried something new and made my organic whole wheat couscous in the microwave per the directions from the box. It worked perfectly! Actually, I think it turned out even better than on the stovetop. I added some black beans and Tastefully Simple Mild Red Pepper Salsa.

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I also had VeggiePatch Veggie Nuggets with mustard for dipping.

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After lunch, I headed outside to do some reading for my Nutrition & Wellness Consultant at-home study. That’s where I spent most of the afternoon into early evening. The sunshine felt great! We didn’t have an “official” dinner. I just did a repeat of lunch because it was so yummy and then hung out with my husband until time for bed.

Just FYI, this is where I’m blogging and blog reading today:

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I have some water (in my reusable bottle of course) and fresh iced sun tea for refreshment. Those are clothes drying on the line in the background. That’s one of my favorite parts of warm weather. I love the way they feel and smell. The real perk is that it’s more eco-friendly than the dryer. Plus, it cuts down a LOT on our electric bill.

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Yesterday was a frustrating day for a few reasons. Luckily, it ended on a great note.

I splurged all of my caffeine allowance for coffee day and ordered a large frozen skim latte with sugar free hazelnut syrup and a scoop of protein powder. I drank it pretty fast and definitely felt the buzz.

Breakfast was where things got frustrating. Well, it actually started on Tuesday and just continued into my Wednesday. For some reason, my coworkers all suddenly feel the need to critique my food and tell me how gross it is. Tuesday, it was tofu. No fewer than 6 people stopped me on my way from the microwave to my desk. The conversations all went something like this:

Coworker: What IS that?
Me: Tofu. Would you like to try a piece?
Coworker: Gross! Yuck! Disgusting! Nasty! Gag! How in the world can you eat that?
Me: Have you ever tried tofu?
Coworker: No! I can’t even imagine. It’s awful.
Me: *walking away*

Very few people in my office have any concept of healthy eating or exercise nor do they care about either. Most of them are female and older than me by at least 20 years or so. Several of them have health issues which could benefit greatly from a more healthy lifestyle.

Save three of four people, my coworkers aren’t the easiest to get along with and they tend to be extremely nosy. I try to be pleasant, respectful and cordial at all times. While I do often notice their unhealthy food choices, it’s none of my business and not for me to judge. I can’t imagine walking up to someone and telling them how disgusting the food they were about to eat looked. I just wish they would show me the same courtesy.

…which brings us to breakfast yesterday morning. I made up a packet of Quaker Simple Harvest Vanilla, Honey, Almond oatmeal. Then, I stirred in a couple handfuls of blueberries and some unsweetened coconut.

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One coworker was pouring herself a cup of coffee while I was mixing this up in the work kitchen. She turned her nose up and asked, in a disgusted voice, “What IS that?” I tried not to sound annoyed and replied back simply. “It’s oatmeal.” “Oh,” she said. “That’s not what it LOOKS like.” She then huffed away, mumbling under her breath, and proceeded to tell other people how gross my food was. Of course, they all had to come over, check it out and share their opinions. My boss said it looked like “horse food.”

Vent over. Just needed to get that out there.

Around noon the IT people came down to swap out my hard drive. This left me computerless until about 3:00. While it was down I took a brisk 15 minute walk to soak up the sunshine, filed, wiped my desk down, wrote my to-do list and tidied up my office.

Somewhere in there I ate my lunch of leftover buffalo chicken, a Laughing Cow Light Swiss cheese wedge and lettuce all on a La Tortilla Factory EVOO Tomato & Basil Softwrap.

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I also had a snack. Kashi TLC Roasted Vegetable crackers and another Laughing Cow Light Swiss cheese wedge.

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Shortly before I left, I had a juicy plum to hold me over until dinner.

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Dinner was a rare weeknight meal out. I met a friend at Dakota’s Roadhouse. We were so wrapped up in conversation that I forgot to photograph my house salad with bacon tomato dressing and a baked potato with cheese, bacon & sour cream. We were all geared up for dessert, but they only had 3 choices and nothing looked good.

I got home a little before 9, watched Criminal Minds with my husband and headed to bed. That show always creeps me out and then I have trouble sleeping.

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As expected, we were blasted overnight with a pretty nasty ice storm. Here are some pictures I took as soon as the sun came up:

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I went back inside and made called in to work to let them know I wouldn’t be there. Ice is pretty, but not very conducive to driving an hour and a half on mostly back roads. My husband didn’t go to work either, but he slept in. I fixed myself a nice hot bowl of oats with some maple syrup, a little brown sugar and unsweetened coconut. I swear there wasn’t that much syrup. It just looks like it in the picture because it got all hot and oozy.

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I also had half of a delicious grapefruit

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…and some steaming hot coffee in another of my favorite mugs. Little did I know how that quote would come to reflect my day.

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I even broke out a placemat!

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So there I am sitting at the table sipping my coffee and admiring the winter scape when BAM…power goes out. I checked the breaker to make sure it wasn’t just us. Nope. The power company was busy so I used the automated system to report the outage and then broke out the flashlights and candles.

My husband got up a few minutes later. We listened to a Jillian Michaels podcast I had saved on my laptop until the battery died. Then we sat. And sat. And sat. It’s so funny all the things we take for granted that use power. I kept flipping light switches when I went in and out of rooms. I got the vacuum out of the closet and unwound the cord before realizing that it was futile. Finally I just bundled up on the couch and read a book.

Around noon we still didn’t have power or any word about when it would still be on. My coffee had gone cold in the pot and I had no way to reheat it. My husband was starting to get cabin fever. We decided to ride in (all of 2 blocks) to the only gas station in our teeny tiny town. It’s kind of the gathering point so it was packed with people swapping weather and power stories. While we were there we also realized we were hungry and that there wasn’t much at home that didn’t require a heat source. We ordered subs at their little deli counter and I fixed myself a cup of coffee. My sub was a toasted 6″ turkey on wheat with lettuce, tomatoes, black olives, pickles, mustard and just a little bit of mayo.

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I found bags of something called Pogos. I’m not a big fan of most things you’d find in a convenience store “grocery” because of the nutritional information so I was surprised when I read the back of the bag. The nutrition information wasn’t too bad, the ingredient list wasn’t horribly long and there was only 1 thing on the list that wasn’t easily recognized.

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They ended up being just okay. They didn’t have much potato taste and the Jalapeno Cheddar flavoring tasted a bit chalky. I might buy them again, but only in a pinch.

After our “adventure” we went home and ate our lunches. The power came back on as we were cleaning up the table. We flipped on the TV and watched all the weather reports for our area. The joy was short lived. It went back off about an hour later.

I bundled up again and went back to my reading. That’s pretty much all I managed to accomplish until the power came back on permanently about 5 hours later. I reheated some Lemony Shrimp leftovers from yesterday for dinner. I don’t think I’ve ever been so grateful for our microwave. 🙂

We’re skipping the gym tonight because on-street parking is the only option there and they’re asking people not to do that so the plows can do their thang. I’m trying to get caught up on all the things I wanted to do today that require electricity and I’m thinking about an early bedtime. I know this storm was a big one so I hope everyone is staying safe and warm no matter where you are.

What’s the last book you read?

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