Week in Podcasts: The Evil-ness of Technology and Winning Friends

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It’s the weekend! I hope that everyone is having a relaxing and lovely day! Also, I hope my US east coast readers are all staying safe and warm after a pretty crazy Minnesota-style blizzard! So far, I’ve talked to my mom, turned on my new essential oil diffuser with bergamot oil, had a delicious cup of coffee from my Nespresso, worked on coding, watched something for tomorrow’s Lazy Sunday Binge Watch post and cuddled with my adorable cats! I would say that’s the start of a successful Saturday!

This week, I listened to some awesome podcasts, and I would like to tell you all about a few of them!

This week, I listened to two episodes of CodeBreaker. In case you didn’t read my last post about podcasts, I talk about CodeBreaker. It is a podcast with a theme of talking about different aspects of technology and whether or not it is evil. I think that’s such an interesting topic, and I’m happy to say that it has definitely kept my attention through more episodes. The first one that I listened to this week is about the Dark Web. Basically, the Dark Web is a part of the internet that the average person does not access. It offers anonymity to people who choose to go there. It has been home to some illegal activity, such as black markets selling weapons and drugs. Even though it gets a reputation for being evil, this episode did show that it might not be evil by definition, it becomes evil when it’s used for evil purposes. There was one part of the story about a couple that turned to the dark web to buy prescription drugs that the woman needs to live. The drugs were so expensive that they were not able to pay for them, without being unable to pay for other important things like food or electricity. The issue of not being able to get essential medicine is not really the point of this post, but it’s really sad that some people are in positions where they can’t. The point of the podcast was that there could be times where using the dark web, even for illegal activities, is perhaps not evil.

The second episode of CodeBreaker was also really awesome. It was about software updates: are they evil? I honestly have had bad experiences with software updates, so I was really interested to see what the podcast had to say about it. They told one really interesting story about the International Space Station, and how it got a faulty software update, which made it difficult for them to communicate with earth. It is amazing to think that one tiny mistake in software coding could cause such a huge piece of technology to not function properly. The second really interesting story was about people who have pacemakers. There was a malfunction in some peoples’ pacemakers that caused them to shock the person after the wires attached to their heart got loose. Not only would that be painful, it could also be deadly. In order to fix this, a software update was sent out to people with the affected pacemakers so that their pacemaker would start beeping if the wires got loose and the person needed surgery. That is a time when a software update has definitely saved lives. So far, I think this has been my favorite episode of CodeBreaker, and I am really excited to listen to more!

I also listened to an episode of This American Life called How to Win Friends and Influence People, and all of the stories related to friendship in some way. There was a really fantastic story by Paul Feig, who is pretty well known writer. It is about how his dad didn’t think that he had friends, so he made Paul read How to Win Friends and Influence People¬†in order to get more friends. It didn’t really work out well. There was also a story by David Sedaris, who is one of my favorite authors, about the popular kids in school, and what happened when one of them hit David in the mouth with a rock. He is hilarious, and so good at telling a story, so that was a really fun segment to listen to. There was also a really sad story about a guy who lost his wife in a car accident. After that, he started dressing up like a superhero whenever he got the chance. He kind of became a local celebrity, which was really interesting. He took the chance to live life to the fullest, which was inspiring.

I didn’t have much time to listen to podcasts this week, but the ones I did listen to were really fantastic!

Let’s chat!
Do you have any podcasts that you have been listening to? Have any of you listened to any of my recommendations?

Have a happy Saturday!

 

Some of my Favorite Things

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Since it’s so close to Thanksgiving, and since I have been having a kind of rough time lately, I thought it would be good to think about, and write about, some of my favorite things! It’s kind of one of those “fake it til you make it” sort of things, where if I spend my time thinking about things that make me happy, I am less likely to be stressed out! And, it’s actually been working well for me, which I am happy about. So, without further ado, here are 10 things that make me happy!

  1. My Family and Friends: I am so glad that I am surrounded by such supportive and loving people. They are fun to be around, and make life way better!
  2. Learning new things: I have always loved to learn, and now that I am out of school, it can sometimes be hard. I try to learn something new every day, because I think that it’s important to continue to grow and develop. Enriching my life is something that is really important to me, and I am so glad that I have books and the internet to help me learn new things. I also learn a ton from reading other peoples’ blogs, which has been really fun for me!
  3. Autumn: This time of year is my favorite! I love the vivid colors that the leaves change, and I love it when there is a crisp and cool breeze. I love being able to break out sweaters and boots. Plus, my birthday, wedding anniversary, Halloween and Thanksgiving all happen in fall! What’s not to love?
  4. Cooking: I have always been interested in cooking, and really got into it in grad school. It became a way for me to de-stress. Now, I am glad that I love cooking because my husband loves the food that I make. It’s made it easier to adjust to a new way of cooking to help with my PCOS symptoms, without having to eat boring foods or the same thing every day.
  5. Purple: Purple is my favorite color! I love that there are so many different shades, some of them are more springy and fun, while others are richer and more jewel-toned. I think that I look good in purple, and it goes with so many other colors. It brings me peace.
  6. Dresses: I have pretty much always liked wearing dresses more than pants. It because really true when I got to school and had to sit on the floor all the time. Jeans and pants were uncomfortable for me, so I opted to wear dresses! I liked dressing up, and they made me feel more feminine and grown-up. I still would rather wear dresses than pants, most of the time (unless it’s yoga pants or sweat pants!). It means that there are times where I am more nicely dressed than the people I am around, but I don’t really mind, because I am comfortable!
  7. Technology: To me, having grown up with technology, it’s been really interesting to see how things change throughout the years. I remember being in school and having to do research for papers where using the internet was not yet an option. I also remember before cell phones. It’s been so fun to watch what new technology is developed. I am learning how to build websites too, so that’s been really fun!
  8. Feminism: There was a time when I really didn’t understand what feminism was. I thought it was just women fighting for equality, which to me meant being treated exactly like men, including being eligible to be drafted into the military, which I definitely don’t feel brave or strong enough. Now, I understand the importance of feminism. I am thankful for women fighting for the cause. I am proud to be one of them!
  9. My cats: They make me laugh, and cuddle with me at night. They love to chase each other around, which is always fun to watch. It’s fun to have animals that depend on me, but are also independent. Watching them grow up and learn has been so fulfilling.
  10. Coffee: I have loved coffee for so long! I used to take sips of my mom’s coffee when I was a kid, but started drinking it myself when I was in high school. Now, I don’t really like the sugary drinks, I love being able to taste the coffee and the differences in the beans and roasting levels. I love the caffeine, and I love knowing how to brew a mean cup of coffee! ūüôā

That really did help me feel better! What are some things that you guys love? Let me know in the comments!

Review: Nespresso Pixie and Aeroccino

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When my husband and I decided to take the month of August to not have sugar, and not eat at restaurants or coffee shops, the first thing we weren’t sure about was coffee. I worked as a barista for a few years, so I know how to make coffee and coffee drinks, but I don’t like black coffee. So, I knew that August was going to be a struggle for me. For a while, I had been looking into getting an espresso machine for at home. Since I am trained on how to use them, I thought that it would be a good investment. It’s just tough to spend about $1,000 for something like that. In doing research, I discovered Nespresso.

My husband and I were out shopping, and someone was doing a demo of the Nespresso machines in the store. I was impressed with the quality of the coffee, and how quick it was. Nespresso also offers a milk frother (called the Aeroccino), which is a pitcher. You pour cold milk into the pitcher, put it on the stand, and it uses one of the two magnetic attachments to make warm milk or milk froth (hot or cold). To use the Nespresso machine, you put a capsule containing coffee into the machine, put the lever down, and press a button. The espresso comes out pretty soon after pressing the button. When it’s done, you lift the handle again, and the used capsule deposits into a container. The newer machines have barcodes on the capsules, which the machine reads so it can dispense the amount and temperature of water that is necessary for the kind of coffee.

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It only takes 25 seconds for the machine to heat up and be ready to use, which is really fast! It brews in less than a minute, and the Aeroccino makes milk in a little over a minute. The Nespresso machine automatically shuts off after 9 minutes, so there is no worrying about whether or not it was turned off when you get to work.

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There are only a few things about the Nespresso machine that I don’t like. One thing is that it can be kind of loud while brewing. It’s basically because the water is pushed through the coffee capsule with a lot of pressure, so it’s not too bad, just not something to run while someone is sleeping nearby or anything. Another thing is that the Aeroccino basically only holds enough milk for one drink. If more than one person wants to make a drink, they just have to be a little patient. My husband and I haven’t had any problems with the slightly longer wait time. It’s worth it!

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So far, most of the coffee I have had has been really good. It’s maybe not as good as some of the espresso you can get at really fancy coffee places, but it’s definitely better than the espresso served at big corporate coffee places. We buy our coffee capsules from Amazon, and there are capsules available from other companies that are supposed to work in the Nespresso machines. From the comments, it seems like most of the compatible capsules aren’t actually compatible. In some cases, the compatible capsules actually damage the machine, which isn’t good. I did get Nespresso compatible capsules from Rosso Caffe, and they have worked really well so far!

The capsules are a little expensive, at a little under a dollar each, but considering how much money a coffee drink costs, it’s not that bad. You can sometimes find deals on Amazon for the capsules, and there are apparently refillable capsules (I have not tried these, I don’t know if they work). The one negative that I see is that the capsules aren’t generally available in the stores. So it’s not possible to pick them up when you’re getting your groceries, for example. But, Amazon offers free 2 day shipping with Amazon Prime.

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I would recommend this machine for people who love espresso drinks, but don’t like how much they cost from coffee shops and want to be able to control the ingredients. It is easy to use, so it really doesn’t require prior knowledge in making espresso. You can guy Nespresso machines from the company online, or from Amazon.

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Just look at the beautiful coffee drink it makes!

**Note: I was not asked to write this review. I have not gotten any money or products for doing this review, I have reviewed this product simply to spread the word about a product I like!

Next Week in All Things Autumn

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It’s finally Friday!

I have some really exciting posts planned for the upcoming week! Here is a run down of some of them:

I will be posting a recipe! It’s been a long time since I’ve posted one, and I think it’s definitely about time!

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I will also be posting a product review! We bought a Nespresso Pixie espresso machine at the beginning of August, and I am so excited to tell you all about it!

In addition to my regular features (Lazy Sunday Binge Watch, 1001 Words and Deep Thoughts Thursday), I will be doing an update on how cutting out sugar has gone.

October is my favorite month, and Autumn is my favorite season, so I’m really excited for the weekend so I can enjoy it! Have a great weekend, everyone!

New Feature!

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Happy Wednesday! As promised, today I am introducing a new feature for the blog! Starting today, I will be having a weekly post called “1001 Words”.

My inspiration for this feature is the fact that I don’t post many pictures here. And, since they say “A picture is worth a thousand words”, I had a title for the feature! Here’s the concept: Every Wednesday, I will either post a picture with a one word description (this, 1001 words), or a 1001 word post. Should be fun!

1001 Words for today:

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Perfection

Question and Answer Time

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Hey everyone! I’m pretty excited, I was nominated to do this Q&A by Donatella over at Shamelessly Addicted to Caffeine (don’t you just love the title of her blog???).

Here are the rules:
1. Respond and rework: answer all the questions in a post on your blog, except one: replace that question with a new one. Additionally, add one more question of your own.
2. Tag seven other people to do the Q&A!

  1. What is your current fashion obsession?¬†Boots! I’m so glad it’s almost fall!
  2. What is your current makeup obsession? Finding the perfect shade of red lipstick
  3. What are you wearing today?¬†Tribal print tank, mustard yellow cardigan (which I discovered has a hole in it…), black pants, black flats.
  4. Hair?¬†Pigtails (I really need a haircut…)
  5. Morning go to? Caffeine and awesome music.
  6. Why is today special?¬†Since I’ve been in a terrible mood today, my initial thought is that it isn’t, but I did get the evening to myself (my husband had plans), which to an introvert can be similar to winning a jackpot (my husband totally gets this)!
  7. What would you like to learn to do? To code/build websites
  8. What’s for dinner today? Boca burger, rice and salad
  9. What are you listening to right now? Cats playing and my husband playing Batman (welcome home, hun!)
  10. What are your essentials when traveling? Fantastic music, and awesome travel companions
  11. What‚Äôs your style?¬†I’m kind of all over the place. Classics with a modern twist/hippy/dresses worn casually/vintage
  12. What is your most challenging goal right now? Finding a job/career/hobby that is fulfilling
  13. What is your current favorite band/song?¬†“Bright” by Echosmith
  14. How was your childhood?¬†My I think everyone has reason to dislike their childhood (I was super accident-prone), but despite that, it was pretty great! I definitely didn’t enjoy it while it lasted though.
  15. What would you like to have in your hands right now? CHOCOLATE
  16. What would you like to get rid of? Clutter
  17. What are you most excited for? Our 3rd wedding anniversary and my 30th birthday (which fall on the same week)
  18. What is your favorite weather?¬†Fall days when it’s in the 60s, but there’s a cool breeze
  19. Which countries have you visited?¬†US (does that count I’d I live here?) and Canada — I’m don’t travel much.
  20. What do you¬†associate when you hear the word ‚Äúblogging‚ÄĚ?¬†¬†Hard work, meeting people from all over the world, shared experiences, and creativity.
  21. What is something you find fulfilling? Creativity

The seven awesome people I nominate are:

Onyx and Amethyst

Eat, Pray, Clove

Divide Deals

My Kind of Pop Culture

ellerow.

Crafty, Organized & Thin

Instantly Jessi 

I hope you all enjoyed this fun little Q&A!

Where Did April Fools Come From, Anyway?

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As we all know, today was April Fools Day.

I hate April Fools Day! I am so gullible and every year I get tricked by something or someone. It’s only gotten worse since the internet and Facebook have become more popular.
For example, last year, a coffee company I follow on Facebook got me so good I am still embarrassed to tell the story. But I will anyway! So, last year, on April 1st, I was taking a class for work with my manager and another manager I worked with. During lunch, I checked Facebook (I’m a Millennial, so this should come as no surprise). There was a post from this coffee company about a new kind of coffee they had developed that was clear! As a former barista who knows quite a bit about coffee, there is no way I should have believed it, but not only did I believe it, I told both my boss and the other manager about it.

To top it off, I didn’t find out it was a joke until days later when I mentioned it to someone who knew better. So… I then had to tell my boss that what I had told her was a joke I completely fell for!

This year, they posted a video a few days early about a new kind of coffee that stays warm for 8 hours. As amazing as that sounds, I knew it was a joke! I spent most of the day avoiding social media. Any real news I missed will still be news tomorrow.