Author Archives: jnn7575

First day of school and a loss in the family

I woke up to pictures of my beautiful Lu on her first day of 8th grade. 

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And my little diva in the making Blair bear. She’s starting pre-school.  I know it’s cliché but seriously, where does time go?

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I miss my family so much so it’s nice to be able to keep in touch through Facebook.

Mike had to get his learn on too.  He went to the bay area to get mart and then to work after.  It was a crazy long day for him but I’m so happy he’s home chilling out with me.  Okay mostly drinking all of the coffee and pointing out boy stuff online.

Earlier this week a nice guy came by and asked if we need our windows washed and as much as I love to clean & organize this girl can not wash windows.  They look like a melted Hershey bar when I’m done.

So anyway Bam & I hung outside and waited for my stomach to settle so I could go for a run before he got here.  It’s been a punk off & on all week.  IBS and running don’t always go well together.

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Then took selfies.  You are welcome.

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Eventually the ole stomach decided to cooperate for a short run.  Unfortunately my camera only wanted to focus on the Jack butt & my watermelon(!) Nuun.  At least he’s cute.

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I played the how long can I sit in sweaty, gross workout clothes before I’m disgusted with myself.  Turns out 1:22 was the magic number.  I made it to 5:33 the day before. I know.

I ran a few errands and one of them happened to be a stop at Bath & Body Works for hand soap.  Coincidence? 

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Mike asked me to trim the bushes in the backyard, so I gave it a Mohawk.  Pretty sure I got out of this chore in the future.

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Just kidding, the Type A in me couldn’t leave it.  Plus I love doing yard anyway.

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On a sad note my mom got a puppy, Spot a couple weeks ago.  Spot somehow escaped the yard and a Sheriff passing through accidently ran her over.   

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At least we’re happy to know where she is and that it probably wasn’t painful, but I’m feel so bad because I saw how happy she made my ma.  As sad as it is, there are tons of other pups that need to be rescued so she’ll have to get another furry friend.  Winking smile

Do you hang out in sweaty workout clothes or take them off right away?

It’s funny because I usually take them off right away.

Yard work, yay or nay?

YES!!  I’ve always loved working outside and after living in an apartment & condo for almost 2 years it’s so nice to have a yard to work on again.

What is your favorite scent(s) ever?

I love anything coconut.  Oh and vanilla

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All freaking smiles & giveaway winner

If you follow me on Instagram then you probably already know that this pretty lady is one of my favorite IG friends ever.  She is so uplifting and inspiring I can’t even handle it.  She is currently training to run for 24 hours straight on a treadmill in San Francisco next month.  Yeah little miss crazy pants indeed!  My point in telling you this besides the obvious coolness factor is that I love her #allfreakingsmiles hash tag, so I jacked it.

Anyway, welcome to my new riding/running digs!

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I finally had the chance to kick off my first training ride for the Mermaid Duathlon on the Coastal Recreation Trail or Rec Trail as the locals call it, but I don’t feel like one quite yet. 

I started in Seaside and rode south to Monterey.

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Through Fisherman’s Warf.

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I stopped to check out a couple cars that will be at the Concourse d’Elegance Pebble Beach this weekend.  Despite my begging Mike vetoed my idea of attending.  He said something about selling all of our worldly belongings & Bam not having a job.  Winking smile

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Anyway I made my way to Cannery Row and then to Lovers Point in Pacific Grove.

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I did 10 easy miles with a big goofy smile on my mug the entire time. 

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I couldn’t help but think about how lucky and thankful I am to be able to live the life I have.  I never ever take it for granted and tell Mike how thankful I am for him and everything we have all of the time. 

Overall I am pretty darn happy with life right now.  I think some of us, including myself want to live a content and happy life, but struggle to embrace our surroundings and appreciate the things we already have.  Maybe I’m easy to please, but I’ll never loose my passion for being thankful for the simple things.

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Sometimes I feel a little bad about having a positive, happy life.  Since when did happiness become so cliché?  Don’t get me wrong, it’s not always sugary sweet with rainbows and unicorns shooting out ma butt.  We have rough spots like everyone else.  Heck, sometimes the thought of sending Mike to an adult daycare has crossed my mind.  And he tells his buddies “she’s like the tea cups at Disneyland, she looks like a fun ride, but she will make you sick.”  Ha I can’t even lie, sometimes it’s true!

Sarah pointed out the other day that blogging is often times, one dimensional and girlfren speaks the truth.  I don’t always showcase everything that’s going on in my life because I consider myself a positive person and strive to always see the positive in every situation.  I do try my best to keep it real around here even when things get a little rough.  Cough**the move**cough.       

Holy crap since when did SCB become so girly?  Don’t you worry, I’ll be back with something sarcastic to say tomorrow.

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The winner of the Heart And Sole 26.2 giveaway is  JB!! 

Heart And Sole 26.2 book review   giveaway   Skinny Chick Blog

Email me your info at skinnychickblog @ gmail dot com

Thank you everyone for leaving valuable advise & entering!  I’ll have anther giveaway soon.

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Change is inevitable, progress is a choice

Good Tuesday morning friends!  How’s your week so far?

I’ve talked about my dislike for change, even when I know it’s a good thing, but I’m actually getting better with it. 

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We have moved 3 times within the last year and a half which is so, so crazy for me.  Growing up I only remember moving twice.  Man, I live under a rock.

Then Mike & I lived in the same house for 8 years.

Although it’s rough, I always seem to grow a little more each time.  I am stuck in my ways, poor Mike ha!  But I’m always happy to break out of my little bubble of consistency & content.  Let’s be real, breaking out of your comfort zone is how we grow as a person.

Now that I’m out of my comfort zone, it’s time to get into the groove of life again.

Yesterday was a perfect start!  I went for a 3 mile run on a new {to me} trail. 

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Y’all know my love for exploring and this was no exception.

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The Spartan race was in town over the weekend so it was fun watching the clean up crew.  I bet that was a fun race.  Has anyone every done a Spartan race?

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It was a lot warmer than I anticipated but I am not complaining at all – I LOVE the warm weather & sun!

As soon as I got home, I did a round of strength training exercises and a plank.  If I don’t do it right away, coffee & other things sound much more appealing.

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I came home to Mike smoking the best grilled chicken ever.  He saw the recipe on the Grill Next Door a couple weeks ago and he finally got a chance to make it.  If you dig salty-sweet, this recipe is for you!

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I sautéed zucchini and had a slice of sourdough.  It was a perfect post workout meal.

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Followed up with some fresh afternoon juice. 

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It’s my favorite combo, but for some reason it was on the bitter side.  Maybe it was the spinach?  I don’t know.

On another note, last call to enter the Heart And Sole 26.2 giveaway.

How many times have you moved? 

What is your “normal” day look like?

Tell me 5 things you want to accomplish this month.

Run & ride consistently, take my probiotics every day, get in more fresh produce, take Bam to a dog beach, run the beach trail.

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Fall race’s and coupon codes

Good morning!  Or afternoon for my east coast readers.  I’m a little late posting today and my only excuse is…well I slept in.  And it was everything I thought it would be.  I guess all of the moving and exploring caught up with me.

It’s a good thing that I am well rested, hydrated and caffeinated because today it my first day of fall race training!  I am stoked!!

I told you guys about the Mermaid Duathlon in the beautiful beach town of Capitola I’ll be doing in October last week.  I still swear they designed the course with me in mind. 

If you want to become a Mermaid with me, use coupon code SKINNYCHICK10 {all caps} for 10% off your entry fee.

MS Promo

They just released the official race shirt and I am digging it big time.  A major plus that it’s designed for women, so it doesn’t look “boxy.”  Did I just make up a new word?  Just roll with this one mmmkay.  Winking smile  Oh and the fact that it’s pink is a major bonus.

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Well I am uber excited to add another half marathon to the list, Iron Girl in Santa Rosa, CA.

I am officially ready to redeem myself from my last half.  If you are interested in torturing yourself with me, use coupon code SKINNYCHICK for $10 off your entry fee. 

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Which is probably why you may have seen this badge on my sidebar.  Winking smile

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What’s on your fall race schedule?

If you could design a race shirt, what would it look like?

I’m a sucker for tanks & obnoxious colors, so a neon pink/yellow tech tank.  Oh and if budget wasn’t a problem, I’d let the folks at Lululemon make it for me. 

Do you have training cycles or do just train all year?

I typically like to train all year and stay in half marathon shape.  I’m hoping to build back up and having something to train for is a huge motivation.

Just ask the locals

Mike came home last week really excited about the new sandwich shop his boss took him to, Ike’s Love & Sandwiches.  He even said something crazy: they rival our beloved Stacked in Grover Beach. I know.

So I had to check it out.

The best way to learn about gems like this is to ask the locals.  Or go to the restaurant with the longest line.  Okay I’m done telling you all of my secrets.

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Gotta love a menu with cool names.

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I had the vegetarian Sesame Street that I totally screwed up by adding bacon.  Best decision ever!  And Mike had the Nacho Boy which was really good too!

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They even give us free caramel apple suckers for dessert.  I think I’m in love with this joint!

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Then we went for a drive on highway 1, but this time we headed south to Moss Landing.

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And looped back around to Seaside.  I adore this little church.

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And the incredible, breathtaking views!

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When we came home Bam wanted to show Mike where the last gopher sighting was.  It was quite interesting…for Bam at least.

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skinnychickblog on Instagram

Tell me about the last scenic drive you went on!

What are you feeling thankful for today?

What is your favorite restaurant in the history of ever?

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A new life lesson

Hi friends!

I spent the day bumming around Monterey.  It was a gorgeous day to be at the beach.

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I learned a new life lesson-if we’re going to live by the beach, I need to keep a pair of flip flops with me at all times.  I am almost positive I took half of the beach home with me.  I mean it’s not necessarily a bad thing but you know.

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One of my favorite things to do is hop in the car to explore.  I love getting lost and finding cool stuff like this lake/inlet with a really cool dirt path around it.  I can’t wait to run around it!

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Oh and I found Trader Joe’s so now my life if pretty much complete. 

I spent the afternoon hanging out at with Michele

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She has ran 6 marathons and 23 half marathons.  Um, holy amazing!

I already know we are going to be good friends because she suggested we meet at Starbucks and we talked about running, life, our love of baking and races for 2 hours and didn’t even realize it was 2 hours later.

I came home and hung out with Bam outside for awhile.  Mr. Energy missed me so we played for a bit and then Mike called to say he was on his way home from work early!!  Our favorite part of the day is when he comes home in case you were wondering.  Winking smile

We got dressed and went out for dinner at Famous Dave’s.

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Griselda was our server and she freaking rocked!!  This girl can put up with Mike so that automatically makes her uber cool. 

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Everything sounded delicious, we had a hard time deciding so we ordered it all. 

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Best decision ever.

What was the best life decision you recently made?

What is your favorite thing to do at the beach?

Lay in the warm sand, stare at the waves, find an awesome running trail & go boogie boarding.

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Heart And Sole 26.2 book review & giveaway

Who’s doing the Friday dance with me?  What are your plans for the weekend?  I have no idea what we’re up to, but I’m looking forward to bumming around with Mike and making fun of him.  I’m a peach.

Let’s kick off the weekend with a book review and giveaway, shall we!

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And yes, I read in the tub, doesn’t everybody?

I was contacted by a representative for author Melinda Hinson Neely to do a book review on Heart And Sole 26.2 how 26 ran their first marathon (and you can too).

I’m not much of a reader unless it involves magazines, and don’t plan on running a marathon anytime soon, but this book is all about running.  And we all know running’s my favorite and I’m so happy I took the time to dive in.  It’s a fast read for folks like me.

I thought it was a fantastic read for runners of all levels, especially beginners.  I loved reading how 26 non-super human normal people like you & I trained their butts off, overcame injures, battled weather and pretty much anything training throws at you to cross the finish line of their first marathon.  You will definitely be inspired!

The other really cool thing about this book is that Melinda offers relatable, useful tips along the way from her expertise and experience.  She has multiple marathons under her belt and is also a Boston qualifier.

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Bam wants you to know that he enjoyed reading it too but wishes they would have suggested a belly rub, a nap in the sun and some cookies for recovery.

I really enjoyed the book and thought you guys would too, so I asked Melinda’s team if they would be willing to do a giveaway.  I was stoked they agreed!  So one lucky winner will score signed paperback copies of “Heart and Sole” and Melinda’s other book, “Eat In, Not Out”.  Plus a 30 minute consultation to do an assessment of a your one week “healthy diary” (e.g., food/fitness/etc).  How cool is that!?

All you have to do is leave a comment sharing your best running tips and/or advice!!

Extra entries if you share this giveaway with your social media friends, blog or write it in the sky.  Be sure to hop back over here & let me know.

**Edited because this blonde is clearly under caffeinated and forgot to add the giveaway will end Tuesday August 13 and the winner will be announced the following day.**

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Finding the new normal and visiting The Farm

One of the cool things about relocating is finding new running routes.  I see so much more on foot than I do driving around so it’s been fun exploring. 

In the past I never drove anywhere to run, but this time I’m driving a bit to find my new favorite route.  Well with the exception of yesterday – I didn’t have much ground to cover.

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It’s been awhile since I did any strength training so yesterday I jumped back into it.  Man it felt so good to be back!  I try to strength train 3 to 4 days a week.

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Sperry’s are totally the new cross training shoe of choice. 

Let’s be real, I was too lazy to change shoes. 

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And ended the workout with a wall sit.  My quads were on fire at the end – I love that feeling!

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Yesterday’s adventures took me through the countryside (shocking, right!) to a place called The Farm.  I saw it from the freeway when we were looking for a place and knew I had to go check it out.

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The Farm is 100% certified organic and they grow a wide variety of fresh produce like strawberries, several types of lettuce, squash, tomatoes, pumpkins and a lot more that I can’t remember.   

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I didn’t pick up anything as I just went to the grocery store the day before, but I can’t wait to go back.  Fresh picked produce is one of my favorite things ever.

I’m sure Mike would love to spend his Saturday picking flowers with me.  Winking smile  Maybe they should consider offering beer and a man chair.  Hah!

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The field of flowers to choose from is a dream!

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I’m off to do some more exploring and unpacking.  Yeah, there are still several boxes staring at me but having fun is more of a priority these days and that’s just fine with me.

Do you drive to run or just stay around your neighborhood?

How do you feel about organic foods?

I tend to spring a little more to buy the “dirty dozen” organic if possible.  Though I think some things like bananas are not worth the extra price tag.

I’m just throwing this out there -  are there any regulations on distance between conventional farms and organic farms?  We have only lived out here for a little over a week and have seen several crop dusters flying around and who’s to say the wind doesn’t carry the pesticides to another field? 

Just my thought for the day.

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Scents that take you back

Good morning!  I hope you are having a wonderful, sunshiny week.

Yesterday the sun came out, so naturally Bam & I had to soak it all in.  It doesn’t come out as much as we’re used to so we enjoy it when it does.

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I did actually do a little work too.  I love planning and organization but the move cramped my style a bit, so I’m playing catch up.  Thank you so much for hanging in there with me during the transition.  Smile

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Bam & I decided to check out the fruit trees in the 2nd backyard.  Okay well one of us only cared about hunting for gerbils and sniffing cactus.  We have an acre to explore so there are lot’s of adventures to be had.

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I saw several fruit trees: oranges, lemons, apricots, apples, tangerines & nectarines. 

I’m not sure what these little guys are.  Figs?  Does anyone know?  

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And these too?  Apples or pears?

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Then I decided to hit up the grocery store for dinner, Nob Hill which we call snob hill since we are 4. 

I took the back roads through wide open spaces and farmland with big beautiful mountains in the background.  I’ll never forget that drive today.  I felt so free…free as I’ll ever be…

I had the top down to take it all in.  My hair blowing in the wind, not a care in the world for the first time in a very loooong time. 

I caught a whiff of peppers that instantly took me back to my grandma’s old house that was torn down years ago.  I practically grew up there and spent countless hours playing in her yard.  I can’t believe it was the same exact scent I remembered as a kid from her house.  Part of me misses those days, even when I was board.

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Be still my country loving heart.

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Gosh now I miss home and grandma even more.  It’s a good thing we live even closer now.

I am also digging these coastal trees.  I love how they grow in the direction the wind blows.   

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What scent(s) remind you of something or someone?

City, country, coastal, mountains-pick one!

A nice warm, sunny beach.

What’s the first thing you do when you get home?

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I need your help & the best butterscotch cookie recipe ever

Um, so it’s August and I’m wearing hoodies & Uggs.  Pretty sure this is a first.

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This weather is going to take a lot of getting used to.  I am a sunny, summer girl so I expect this move to build…character and maybe round my corners as my dad would say. 

But it’s perfect running weather!  I set out for a 5K but got lost in my new neighborhood so it was a little longer.  I am totally okay with this.

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The sun eventually came out and called my name so I sat out back and watched gopher hunt 2013 take place.  And what do ya know, not a single person yelled at him for I don’t know, being a dog.  Winking smile

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Then I decided to be domestic.  I’m not a fan of cooking, but baking, oh baking I freaking love.  I wanted to welcome Mike home from his first day with his favorite butterscotch cookies. 

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I told him they were made with a lot of love and butter.  He definitely approved!

They were nice and chewy on the inside and a little crunchy around the edges.  Just the way I like ‘em.

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I followed this Toll House recipe but only made half of a batch and added a little extra salt & vanilla.  

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In other news I was really looking forward to giving our new Cuisinart Coffee Maker Grind & Brew a great review, but we’re really not a fan. 

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We thought there was something wrong with our first one as it would stop brewing half way through and we had to fight with it to work again.  So I exchanged it and now the new one is doing the same thing.  The only way we can get it to brew without suddenly stopping is to rig it like this. 

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And you know that’s a major coffee crisis in this house.  We would surely die without coffee.  <-you think I’m joking.

That leads Mike to think there’s a design flaw in the lid sensor. 

Plus there are quite a few parts that need to be cleaned after every brew cycle.  #notfun

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We really like the taste of the coffee as it’s brewed at a higher temp than our old cheapy coffee pots, and doesn’t require a paper filter, but I don’t think it’s worth the hassle.

So we are now accepting coffee maker recommendations.  Please let us know if you have one you love.

What is your favorite dessert?

Cheesecake!!

Do you enjoy having seasons or would you like the weather to be consistent year round?

I think I like having seasons, but I’m looking forward to giving the more consistent weather a shot.

What are you looking forward to this fall?

Exploring my new area, baking and getting ready for the holidays!  Eeek how many of you did I just freak out by saying the “h” word?  Winking smile

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