Coffee by Numbers No More!!

Hello, Welcome. My name is Julie and I am a Coffee Addict.

There, I said it. It’s true. I have no idea how this addiction started but I have a feeling long shifts in hotels may have contributed a need, my OCD’s may have contributed to my obsession.

The coffee in my life filters through at certain levels, as a household we easily get through 200g/300g of instant coffee per month, it’s a quick fix for a Mum on the run and my husband takes a flask to work, this is the only coffee he drinks as when at home, he’s a tea man. When I’m out and have the chance to go to a coffee shop I have different favourites depending on the shop, in that green and white shop I have a Large Latte with an extra shot and ground nutmeg, in the red shop I usually stick to just a latte, I’ve always thought the red shop has better tasting coffee and they don’t provide nutmeg. Anywhere selling ground or filtered coffee I have it black (unless I’m very tired then milk is allowed but on no account insult me with your little tubs of UHT crap, I may choose to leave, go elsewhere and never return!)

At home, with the time to savour it or whilst writing I have a one cup cafetiere just for me (I have a 8 cup one too but cold coffee sucks!) I have rules on making it… The water in the kettle must be fresh, it gets left to cool for at least a minute before pouring it on the coffee, (burnt coffee beans suck too!) it then gets stirred and left to brew for a few minutes before I push the plunger down. Then I drink it black, no sugar, why ruin good coffee 😉

It sounds like a palava but it’s not, it’s worth it and as I learned to make coffee at a very very expensive hotel I’ve always considered this is the best way. I am a coffee addict and a self confessed coffee snob.

But then things get hazy, sadly I’ve always picked my coffee by numbers. It seems sad to confess this as I’d like to think I’m a bit more educated in my snobbery but I’m not, I can’t tell you where the coffee I like comes from or even how it tastes different to other regions, nope, it’s a 3 or above.

Recently the coffee company KOPI asked me to try their product and after the “Hell Yes!” *high fives the air, shirt over my head bum wriggle* I waited under the letterbox for 2 days until my parcel arrived. It woke me up as it hit me on the head, enough to put the kettle on.

The first thing that struck me as I opened the box was the size of the packet, 250g what lovely generous people they are.  The second was the amusing way the literature was written, are coffee drinkers a type? Are we all mildly sarcastic with witty undertones that can only be deciphered by like minded caffeine addicts? Whatever, this pleased me no end. The third thing was how fabulous the coffee was. It would have been the first I’m sure but you know, coffee takes time to make. The fourth thing was I now knew all about Guatamala Finca Santa Clara Genuine Antigua (which is a No. 3 btw) a classic day-long diva, because Kopi have educated me with their brilliant idea of sending you a different coffee per month with a leaflet which tells you how to make it and enjoy it and all about it! Bravo Kopi!

*Puts kettle on again*

In this day and age of trying to make sure the small people know that carrots don’t manifest themselves onto the supermarket shelf, it’s good for me to have a equal interest in where my preferred products come from, and this richly refreshing coffee is really very easy to drink and greatly preferable to the instant rubbish I normally resort to in times of rush rush, I have in the four days since I’ve been sampling it, found myself returning to the fridge to get ‘the real thing’ rather than the cupboard for the chemical muck.

As I browsed the Kopi website I wondered, as the only real coffee drinker in the house, if I could actually get through a whole 250g in a month, as my inclination now is to reach for the cafetiere in the morning that seems no longer to be an issue. The only real question I am left with is can I genuinely justify spending this money on something for me? Times are hard and I’m the one who cuts back first. Unusually, I find myself wavering… We mothers so rarely put own own enjoyment of products first, that I think, perhaps I might give Kopi a bash and see how I go, after all, I love coffee and I am being educated, can’t be bad eh!

Silent Sunday: Caffeine Fix

Silent Sunday

Back to school :-D – The Gallery

Rucksacked, lunchboxed and name tagged. My two smalls both toddled off with pleasure to nursery this morning.

After nearly 7 weeks of mayhem, noise and activity this is what back to school means to Mummy 😀

Mummy Role Model

Week 3 of the Kindness Club

Yea! I’m a model!

Imagine me with my 6ft graceful and painfully thin frame gliding down the catwalk in Jimmy Choos swishing my perfectly straight long hair and gazing seductively through my almond doe eyes *POP* whoops the bubble just burst!

Not that kind of model, I’m a role model, almost everything my toddlers have learned I have taught them to some degree, I taught them to wave, to clap, to coast the furniture, to walk, to talk and it’s also up to me and of course Daddy to make sure they learn how to behave in society.

A small part of that behaviour is politeness in requesting things with a please and then showing gratitude with “thank you”, a small part perhaps but it’s like a cog that keeps everything around them turning. I seem to be constantly reminding my daughter “magic words” or “ask me again, you missed something” or standing there with her desired object looking expectant until she remembers what I need from her.   At 3.5 she is actually pretty good at getting it right and I put this down to the fact that whenever we are out together interacting with other people I’m pretty good at it too!

Our little man just recently turned two, he is slower to talk than our daughter at the same age and sometimes slower to grasp what is expected of him which some how makes it all the more of an achievement when he screws his eyes up tips his head to one side and says “eeeeeeeese!” when he wants something and it warms my heart every time I get “an-koo Mummy”

At the ages they are now saying please and thank you are a constant lesson so trying to do it more often was difficult!

It did remind me of our trip to America a few years ago where I found that the differences in culture were never more pronounced then in asking for things in shops and cafes, queuing up for coffee one day I was surprised  to listen to the people in front of me asking “Can I get a coffee” “Can I get a do-nut” etc it was the same thing over & over, then they would pay and leave. I have noticed it on the TV in shows since too, it seems to be a normal way to ask for things over there (please correct me if I’m wrong).   I got to the front of the queue and said my usual “Please may I have 2 coffees” you should have seen the grin on the servers face (his name badge said he was from Australia – all staff at the resort had badges with there name home town and country) maybe he fancied me 😉 I’d like to think it was because I said Please.

So this week as  well as remembering to use my P’s & Q’s, reminding the smalls to use theirs, I have tried to listen to see if others do here in my small corner of Blighty – it’s disappointing isn’t it. *shakes head ruefully* it doesn’t take a lot to be polite….

IMAGES

From Flikr by Spider blue, End of coffee break

Things I would share with my Cousin…

My cousin is about to have her first baby at 41, it has got me thinking of my experience of being pregnant, having a baby and all that involves, so I thought I would share that experience with my blog, these are some random things I learned that were useful to me, they may not be applicable to anyone else, folk may disagree with me should they choose and they are certainly not scientific!
Take what is useful to you and leave the rest 🙂

Make the most of the bump, when it appears feel free to use it to make your life easier, let people hold doors open for you, give up seats for you, if they don’t ask them to!

You don’t HAVE to let people touch the bump, it’s your body the baby is in and if you don’t want people in your space make yourself clear, I had to back away from one person and ask them to stop, I had only met her once before, she was actually fine with my saying no.

You will be pregnant most of our summer, putting your wrists in cold water really helps with the heat.

Be aware of where the loos are…

People will forgive an obviously pregnant lady for parking in the mother and baby slots in the supermarket.

Those strange flutters might not be indigestion, for me the best experience of being pregnant was the little kicks inside me, little miss always started a dance routine as soon as I stopped moving, at bedtimes I used to get back up and stand and sway for a while, she also liked listening to music – Il Divo was a favourite – once she was born too, then she would lie on my shoulder with me swaying and drift off to sleep – so lovely!

Midwives are wonderful people, they are knowledgeable and supportive, if one of their tests comes back less than perfect they will send you to the consultant, this is not necessarily because things are wrong and you shouldn’t panic, I was sent to hospital twice with Alex due to small amounts of protein in my wee, when I was re-tested at hospital there was none present but if in doubt check it out, phone them for any niggle that is why they are there.

Do check out the hospital / midwife center prebirth, they normally do “tours” that way you can get a feel for the facilities and know what you need to provide yourself.

Do write a birth plan, both of mine were carefully thought out and then went out of the window straight away but it was a useful exercise. Little Miss was an emergency c’sec and we were delayed doing skin to skin until I came around (Daddy did his best bless him) but they knew I wanted to do it – it was in my birth plan!

Once you get the baby home you will be in demand socially, leave the coffee, tea and sugar next to the kettle somewhere easy to find in the kitchen, when people visit tell them to help themselves and make you one too, better still, get them to bring a casserole. We had an arrangement with some friends of ours that when visiting after a new baby was born they bought dinner with them, as we did to them when their daughter came along, it worked really well.

Give yourself at least a week before people who are not grandparents or siblings can visit, Daddy’s best friend turned up right in the middle of my baby blues (3 days after delivery) and a midwife visit, so not only was I blubbering I was showing another woman my breasts!
Get your partner to be your security guard, decide between you when you want to start seeing people and be firm about it – this is a magical time for you but not an easy one, turn people away or book them in later, our first Saturday with Little Miss was like Piccadilly circus people were arriving as others left, it resulted in exhaustion for me and a totally cranky baby!

If you can get newborn poo off with just cotton wool and water, you are a better woman than me, it’s like tar!

Baby girls often have a little “period” when they are working Mummies hormones out of their body, I was totally freaked out finding blood in her nappy and phoned the hospital straight away, apparently its quite usual, don’t panic.

One packet of wet wipes will not last a month or even a week, a friend of mine once commented that on preparing for her newborn she only bought one packet because it seemed so big it would last for ages, within the first week she sent her partner on an emergency buying spree for more…

Don’t buy a huge amount of newborn nappies, Little Man was only in new baby nappies for about a week, he was then too big and had to have size 1’s, he didn’t last long in those either.
Sudocreme is a great product for comfy bums but for real nappy rash that won’t budge I’d recommend Metanium – it the bees knees!
Anti bacterial hand gel is ideal for on the move nappy changing, Detol wipes are also good for the nappy bag if you are planning to use cafe highchairs – just sayin’
Pampers are excellent overnight protection. My two both had/have a routine for pooing in the morning once they are up and moving so I put on a cheaper nappy just to catch that early morning one, then back to pampers.

Yes, breast is defiantly best but if you are unable, don’t want to don’t let anyone tell you that you are wrong, you will do your best and love your baby, that’s all anyone can ever ask of you.

If you are breastfeeding, it is your right in my opinion to feed your baby when he/she is hungry, where ever you are, if someone doesn’t like it they can stick their head under a blanket. I personally don’t enjoy getting my boobs out in public unless I’m on a beach somewhere hot, however, you will soon get used to what items of clothing allow you to comfortably achieve feeding almost anywhere discretely, when I was feeding little man I could hold him in one arm feeding him whilst doing something else with my other arm – practice makes perfect.

Shopping center breastfeeding booths are terrible, The outlet village in Swindon was not too bad and John Lewis at the mall has an okish one otherwise they are small and dim with plastic chairs or a bench seat. The one at centre parc’s Longleat is sheer heaven, I could have stayed in there all day!

I’m fed, I’m warm and comfy, I have a clean bottom and I’m burped… Key issues 🙂

My midwife said to me “if mummy sleeps the baby sleeps” whilst this is true because Mummy won’t be able to sleep whilst baby is crying it is not that easy to leave them to cry and some say it’s harmful for the baby. Try different things, Little Miss liked to be fed to sleep or rocked to sleep (people will tell you this is not a good habit) but once asleep she would be put down and got used to waking up in her cot. She could also be put down in her cot to sleep but she needed a dim glowing light and music. The Little Man will not even try and sleep if something is going on, he needs blackout and quiet. They are all so different, my sister used to drive her boys around for hours to get them to sleep, She hated driving in the dark – keep trying anything that you can think of and find what is right for your baby. Sometimes you will try everything and nothing works, so start at the top of the list again and keep going, eventually something works.

If you choose to use a dummy, leave a few in the cot because if one falls out they might find another before they wake you up.

Don’t worry about the housework, it will still be there tomorrow, get some rest when you can,

Get the giveaways – Bounty bags are treasure troves, Boots Baby club nappy bags are fab, Lloyds pharmacy also does a gift bag, I’m sure there are more.

Books, they say babies don’t come with a manual but actually there are several useful books around, we thought Haynes baby manual was hilarious but it was also pretty informative, What to Expect the First Year, by Arlene Eisenberg, was really useful to me.

Well, I seem to have gone on forever so I’m going to stop here, as I said before, take what you need and leave the rest…. Good luck and most of all enjoy, it goes too fast!