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Saturday, September 6, 2014

Pumpkin Spice Latte

September comes and everything turns pumpkin.  This recipe makes one serving.

  1. Almond milk (unsweetened vanilla) - 0.5 cup.
  2. Pumpkin spice - 1/4 tsp + more for garnish.
  3. Cake spice -- 1/4 tsp.
  4. Freshly brewed cup of coffee.

  1. Warm up the almond milk with the added spices; mix well; do not boil, just bring to a simmer.
  2. Brew coffee.
  3. Make a latte foam in a milk frother (I used my Aeroccino).
  4. Pour the milk into the coffee cup; spoon the froth on top.
  5. Garnish with a bit more pumpkin spice.
  6. Enjoy

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Practicing Self-Discipline … and the Vitamix

I was listening the other day to a YouTube video by Jennifer from The Daily Connoisseur about self-discipline.  Obviously, most of us can use more of it in our lives.  Interestingly, Jennifer chose an example of her college blender to show how she's been exercising her self-discipline by refusing to retire it until it goes to a blender pasture before she allows herself to purchase a Vitamix blender.

As someone who has purchased three Vitamix blenders in the last two years (and gifted one away to a family member), I really wanted Jennifer to just buy one.  They are life-changing and there are so many other areas where one can exercise her self-discipline.

Here is the account of my Vitamix-induced lack of self-discipline.   I bought the first Vitamix, broke the blade in it (never leave a spoon in the carafe and turn the machine on!), and, apparently unable to wait a couple of weeks for the machine to be fixed (the motor gave out, trying to crunch through that poor spoon), just had to buy another one the very next morning.  I bought my third machine because it was a newer and better model and the carafe in the second one began leaking and I've used it every single day since March.  Complete lack of self-discipline all around.  In my defense, the green smoothies tasted awful made in a regular blender and I feel that it is my parental duty to liquify bunches of spinach and kale and feed it to my children, preferably twice a day, and call it "pretty-pretty princess potion."  The Vitamix also makes amazing soups.  You can blend up the butternut squash with a bit of chicken broth and it will taste like the richest cream of butternut squash you've ever tasted, no cream required.  Hands down, this machine makes the silkiest concoctions out of the most fibrous things.

Joking aside, and closer to the subject, I think we all make our choices where to save and where to splurge.  Some buy designer clothes, but brown bag their lunch to the office most days.  Some go on expensive vacations, but mow their own lawn.  Some shop for clothes at thrift shops only, but buy antique furniture.  Self-discipline is important, of course, and if any of these splurges lead to carry-over balances, interest charges, or fees, then Dave Ramsey is the guy.  And I can also get behind the concept that waiting for something and denying yourself can be its own kind of pleasure, but I do think you need to pick your battles, so to speak.  I remember reading several years ago that graduate school is the utmost form of delayed gratification -- you study for years and eat ramen noodles, all in the hopes of it paying off big (whatever that "big" means for you).   Since I managed to get through law school (mostly fueled by dreams of an office with a window and a door and an excuse to wear cute outfits to work), I know a thing or two about delayed gratification.  And while my purchasing discipline is not all that great, I think I'll begin applying my delayed-gratification skills to snacking, which is also one of the areas Jennifer's Lessons from Madame Chic book teaches you to be elegant about.  I'll even start tomorrow, right after I finish my non-elegant after-dinner's Pirate's Booty.   And since I refuse to exercise my self-discipline too much, I already preordered Jennifer's next book, At Home with Madame Chic.  And now I'll need to apply a lot of discipline waiting until October 7, when the new book is released.   I will try very hard not to buy another Vitamix in the meantime.

What does self-discipline mean for you?   Leave a comment!