Best Coffee Flavor? Creamy Chestnuts.

It occurred to me that I have yet to write about one of my favorite websites on my blogroll: Coffee Fool. If you love coffee and you’ve never heard of this website, I urge you to go there immediately and browse their insanely good selection of coffee. Then buy some.

It’s not just the flavors, though they are my favorite out of the kinds they have. It’s the joy and caring they put into their roasts, as well as a very detailed explanation of how they get their coffee a certain way. They also help you understand that most store-bought coffee is not freshly roasted and therefore is stale. If you’ve ever smelled ‘fresh’ coffee grounds and thought it smelled kinda ashy, like cigarettes, then yeah, they’re bad.

Big K and I like to get the beans because when we grind them ourselves, the powerful smell of truly fresh coffee hits you over the head. It’s akin to wine. You can inhale the scent up to your eyeballs and before you even brew the stuff, you feel more awake. I wish I were exaggerating but it’s really true.

To that end, we discovered that our favorite part of Coffee Fool’s website is the Friday Flavors. There, they “experiment” with different flavors and usually keep the roast at on the lighter, American side of things. (Don’t get me wrong – their Italian and French Roasts are like dark silk. Try one if you have any semblance of loving a rich roast.) Anyway, in Friday Flavors (which have now been incorporated into their regular line), they have many delicious concoctions but my favorite “potion” – and I’m talking all-time here – is Creamy Chestnuts. There is just something about this nutty flavor that keeps me buying pound after pound. I could probably get on their auto-delivery program for it because it’s that good. Every single person who has ever had it at my home thought it smelled amazing and tasted just as good. You don’t get that all the time with coffee – just sayin’.

I don’t know if they still do this but if you buy enough coffee from them, you earn a permanent discount with them. Needless to say, I get a slightly discounted bag of coffee each and every time I order. They also have wonderful staff and customer service. I really hope their whole business plan stays exactly the same.

So, to Coffee Fool: I salute you! Keep up the outstanding work and thanks for brightening my life with your creativity in a product as necessary as coffee. The variety and quality boggle the mind! At least mine.

Here are a few of the other flavors I’ve tried and my two cents on them:

Boolicious: they keep this one a ‘secret’ but Kevin and I have definitely discerned that it’s a mixture of blueberry and other flavors. This would be great for most people, since there are an odd number of folks out there who enjoy blueberry flavored coffee, but I do not. So while I do not recommend it, Kevin would.
Chocolate Pumpkin Pie: I like this version better than their regular Pumpkin Pie flavor. I found the latter to have too much pumpkin spice.
Cremera: Don’t bother. It literally tastes like a weird, subdued, creamy coffee. Wouldn’t buy twice.
Egg Nog Royale: I don’t like egg nog flavored things but my dude loved this one.
Santa’s Cookie Coffee: I bought two bags of this and liked it initially. Then when I tried it again, I didn’t like it enough to buy it again. It’s VERY popular, though.
Turtle Gone Nuts: This is pretty good. I love me some chocolate and caramel.
Vanillamykahlua: Give this a whirl if you like mild vanilla. (I can also highly recommend their French Vanilla, since it’s French roasted coffee with vanilla. YUM.)
Bacon: You’d think this one would have blown us away. The ‘bacon’ flavor was so mild that it didn’t blow our hair back. We’ll just stick with regular coffee and frying up some bacon.
Chocolate Espresso: Self-explanatory. And delicious.
Chocolate Raspberry: This stuff is amazing. Conversely, I tried the Raspberry Squared and wanted to throw up. I couldn’t drink the stuff. Too berry-y.
Creme Brulee: I can’t attest to this one but K-Dawg loves it.
English Toffee: very tasty! I’d buy this one again.
Maple Walnut: a new flavor that is really good. I think out of the “nut” coffees, it goes Creamy Chestnuts, Pecan Supreme, then Maple Walnut. This is a really nice flavor and can be mixed with others if it’s too mapley for you.
Melted Marshmallow: I wasn’t a big fan. It was just kinda ehhh for me. But I’m picky about marshmallow stuff.
Pecan Supreme: REALLY good. Not as good as Creamy Chestnuts but up there!
Pacific Espresso: I really adore dark roasts but I do not like this one. The best reason I can come up with is that it’s too bitter. Their Italian and French roasts are great for me, though.
Smooth Sailing: this is a reduced-acid coffee and has a wonderful flavor. It’s what “regular” coffee should taste like. And I can have multiple cups without having a Tums. Bonus!
Snoodle Doodle: One of my favorites. I have ordered this multiple times and would get this more regularly if it weren’t for Chestnuts eeking out the competition.
Highlander Grog: Also one of my favorite repeat orders. I like it because it’s not super hazelnut. It’s got a good blend of butterscotch and the hazelnutflavors.

Flatpicker Fuel, Fool’s House French, Fools’ House Italian Dark, Lock & Load and Velvet Hammer are all of the dark roasts I’ve tried. They’re really good about keeping the descriptions accurate so just double check what they say about each before picking. It’s almost hard to pick one you won’t like! (My God. I just went over to the Light/Medium roasts and realized I’ve tried a bunch of those, too. I really am a fan!)

R.I.P. to Two of My Faves

Some things are absolute in this world; this is both good and bad.

The good part is that when you find something that is the best, you can rely on it and you get satisfaction from it, whatever “it” is, every time.

The bad part is that if it disappears, you’re screwed. Such is the case with two of my beloved favorite things going extinct.*Sniffle*

Some of you may remember the brand Mentadent. They had that weird toothpaste where when you pushed down the top of the plastic dispenser, the baking soda combo would come out one side and the fluoride and other goop would come out the other. They’d mix together on your brush to create their magical form of teeth cleaning excellence. Right.

Well, one thing they got right were their toothbrushes. Specifically, their Pro Care line with the flexible handles and array of beautiful colors, not to mention full and soft bristle heads. Can you tell I’ve used these for years? They’re seriously fantastic and I have yet – YET! – to find a toothbrush as good in all aspects. Allow me to show you so you can oooh and aaah, as well.

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They first started being hard to find back in 2005. I just couldn’t find them at the drugstore anymore. I had a roommate that found them for me in NYC at a Rainbow store. I’m pretty sure Rainbow is a New York thing but it was a mixture of hardware and household goods. And they had my toothbrushes! I would buy four or five at a time.

Later, I found them at Drugstore.com. I was so happy! I conservatively purchased two of them upon my last order.

Then: disaster struck. They are now completely gone from Drugstore.com. Frantic, I searched Amazon but found them only in bundle packs for over $50. Someone clearly knew they were a popular item. As much as I adore them, I cannot bring myself to pay that much for toothbrushes.

Inside, I am mourning. I have to say goodbye to a true hero of dental hygiene. I don’t know why other companies can’t replicate this ergonomically sound, pretty, effective tooth tool. But they do not. Instead, I will have to resort to finding something that will have to serve as second best (if that).

As if that weren’t bad enough, my favorite shampoo and conditioner brand is no longer found in drugstores. For years, I was using Sunsilk’s yellow bottles of Anti-Flat shampoo and conditioner. It had a punchy (but not overwhelming) citrus smell and the conditioner has yet to be beaten by another. It’s lightweight, gives the hair a boost, reasonably priced, and flat out smells terrific. This is the perfect combo for people like me who need volume but don’t want to leave residue on the roots. Here’s a photo:

Photo has been removed multiple times due to whatever glitch that prevents it from showing up. Maybe Sunsilk doesn’t like former product photos being out on the interwebs. It was a bright yellow bottle with retro font wording. I miss it.

Even the conditioner bottle is designed so that it’s upside down, giving you maximum usage. I have one bottle in my bathroom that is dwindling away. I’ve found packs of these online, too, but they are overpriced. I heard a rumor that Sunsilk was completely redoing the formulas to “improve” their line but I can’t even find the new line in grocery stores or drugstores. Have they gone out of business? I have no clue. I only know that another one bites the dust. I’ve been experimenting with Pantene and Clairol’s Herbal Essence line (another one that was overhauled and the original smell was taken away).

My question to these companies is, if you have a bestseller, why are you striving to improve it? Leave it the hell alone! I can see redoing the packaging and that there is probably some marketing research done that shows that sales are kept up with new packaging but really? Redoing the formula? If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it – because you’re not fixing it, you’re ruining it!

I need to get a hold of myself.

Some might say, “Who cares? It’s only shampoo.” Some would be right. Except that finding that perfect shampoo/conditioner combo is really important to women. And some men. Having good hair is a part of our daily lives. Having good-smelling hair is important to people like me. I’m a Super Smeller. That’s a whole other post for another time.

I wish these companies would check with me first before they try to reinvent the wheel and then inevitably go bankrupt. And what about the leftovers? I would have taken all the remaining toothbrushes and shampoo/conditioner off their hands!

Goodbye, Best Toothbrush Evar and Best Conditioner (and shampoo) Evar. You meant a lot to me. You will always be in my memory. Hell, I’ve dedicated internet space to you. You were simply the best.

Love,

Your Most Faithful Fan Zoe

Original ending to ‘Pretty in Pink’ uncovered. WHAT!

Original ending to ‘Pretty in Pink’ uncovered along with other John Hughes scripts | ’80s music, John Hughes movies, big hair: Stuck in the ’80s | tampabay.com & St. Petersburg Times.

I love Pretty in Pink. Like, LURVE it. I have probably seen this movie no less than 67 times. Every nuance, every facial expression, every line…I’ve devoured them all. (The montage where Andie makes her prom dress? Swoon!)

So when I went to Amazon to see if it had been converted into a high-def DVD yet, I was shocked – SHOCKED! – to see that the original ending was supposed to be Duckie and Andie ending up together.

Why didn’t I know this? I feel betrayed by Hollywood! John Hughes probably did, too.

It makes a lot of sense, if you think about it. I mean, when I first started watching this movie back when I was a kid, the part where Andie says to Duckie, “Should we dance?” and he replies, “It wouldn’t be unheard of,” and then they cut to the close-up of their hands linking together….it leads you to believe they really have gone beyond the Friend Zone and a deep, tender kiss is just moments away!

Then Blane shows up and ruins everything with his awkward speech, crossed eyes, and “I love you.” And poor Duckie has to suck it up and take it and shake the dude’s hand. And THEN we have to watch Andie end the movie by going, “Blane?” and they make out in the parking lot. FIN.

WTF?

I am sitting here stunned right now. I feel like shouting that I want my childhood back. Of course Andie and Duckie should have ended up together! Duckie cleaned up very well by that prom, just sayin’.

Ugh. Heartache.

What do you think? Original ending or Hollywood ending? (If you haven’t seen this film, I couldn’t recommend anything more highly. See it. Do it. Now.)

Edit! I finally purchased this movie on DVD with all the extra goodies in it and Molly Ringwald said that she and Jon Cryer didn’t have more than a brother/sister chemistry on set. When they went to shoot the original ending, it just didn’t work. Furthermore, when they did a test screening, the viewers HATED it! So six months after they had finished shooting, they had to call the actors back to do the reshoot and make Andie and Blane end up together. This also explains why Blane’s hair looks like crap in the prom scene, because it’s actually a wig. He had shaved his head for another production and the wig was the best they could do. All of the actors were making fun of it. I feel better about the ending now, especially because John Hughes was the one who came up with the ending and understood why it was happening the way it was. I can sleep at night now.

First Photography Post! “The Junk Shoes”

This morning, I asked Kevin if he would mind very much if I threw out his beat up pair of New Balance shoes since he’d gotten some new ones for Christmas.

“I need a pair of junk shoes,” he replied, “so don’t throw those out. But I’d be happy to throw out the even older pair of shoes than those.”

My mouth went agape. He had shoes older and crappier than the ones in my hand?

He did. He really, really did.

Behold, Kevin’s super incredibly old junk shoes that loveliness forgot long ago:

They were so decrepit and time worn that I immediately pulled out my camera and started snapping photos.

Slightly confused at what I was doing, he asked, “Why are you taking pictures of my nasty shoes?”

“Because I’m going to blog about them, of course,” I answered breezily.

Now it was his turn to look aghast.

“You’re…going to blog about this?” he asked me uneasily.

“Yep!” He was out of options. The photos were quickly accumulating on my camera.

Since he couldn’t do anything about it, he got into the spirit and finally started showing off all the “features” of the shoes that told me they should have been in a landfill a couple of years ago. Here’s the hole he highlighted for me:

And another:

There’s nothing else to say except thank God he has me around.

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Author’s note: This is my very first “real” photography post. I know that the post that had the picture of the gas light being lit technically holds that title but I felt I had more depth and artistic creation with this pair of shoes, so I have dubbed this post with said worthy title. Thanks for sharing with me in my creative journey! Feel free to leave any feedback, whether it’s about the craptastic shoes that Kevin was still willing to wear while doing “junk work,” or how I shot them.