#sbww14 part 1

A few years ago, actually, not that long after my surgery; I met this blogger named Jane. I'd been following her blog somehow. (I really can't tell you HOW I found out about her.) Fast forward to the weekend of the Super Bowl, and there was this blogger meet upScreen Shot 2014-02-10 at 9.09.14 PM I had just started working on taking Old Town Suds to market so it was a good time to test out some selling points. I met a few other bloggers and we have all stayed in touch in carrying degrees. But - what spawned from that informal meeting at Caffee Amouri surrounded by uber delicious coffee, was a small business group.

Over the next few months our meeting grew from every so often to monthly to "omg I need a relief from the show schedule let's get wine after the show".  We've become known for our coffee and wine habits. Which later turned into coffee, wine and detox on scrumptious juice habits.

This past summer, our meetings included our husbands. They started to wonder what we actually accomplished at our meetings. Was it just to hangout? (yes) Just to cheer each other on? (yes) Consume mass amounts of cheese? (hell, yes) But from weddings, births of first babies, unexpected loss (be prepared to ugly cry), and huge business wins - we've been there to support each other as we grow our businesses.

This past weekend, we gathered for our first overnight retreat. We'd always talked about doing something but understanding the handbag pockets only go so deep (and I'm rather picky about hotels), we ended up a Housman B&B, otherwise known as my dining room and guest rooms.

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Stay tuned for Part 2.

If 5 Year Olds Can Make Espresso...

If only there was a VCR DVD player company smart enough to produce a video like this to show how easy it is to get that blinking 12:00 to go away. Now, that would also mean my grandparents would need to not return the computer they bought; but, we'll take one step at a time (and get them an iPad).

I've not looked into the brand, but this makes me want to ask for a full-blown espresso maker for our upcoming two year anniversary. When great espresso machines have the reputation of being super complicated, it is a great marketing video. Espresso - the one thing I like more than peanut butter.

Coffee Joulies - The Coffee Addict's Test

As we all know, I love my coffee. A few days after my Upgrade Day, I discovered kickstarter and Coffee Joulies. Since that day, I have been eagerly awaiting their arrival in the mail.

Dave & Dave, the creators of Coffee Joulies, teased and tormented us with updates, product testing and pictures of our Joulies, all without sending us any - until I took my first business trip post upgrade; then, my five Coffee Joulies arrived.

I am not the only coffee drinker in my household. Knowing that my new favorite purchase was sitting at home unsupervised, I used the only tactics I had available to me while I was in the Midwest. I preceded to threaten my husband and warn him that the Coffee Joulies were mine. (He just isn't as into coffee as I am. Imagine if he had a Mac Pro delivered while he was on a trip. I wouldn't be allowed to touch that puppy.)

The Joulies

The Joulies are smaller than what I expected. Though, I wasn't 100% sure what to expect. If they were going to fit in my cup, they couldn't be too large. At the same time, they can't be so small that I accidentally swallow them. I do most of my drip-coffee consumption at the office so the following pictures are of my normal routine with our provided coffee and 12oz cups.



I washed the Joulies with soap and water even though they are dishwasher safe. Dried them. I noticed immediately that they started to warm up when I washed them. They were absorbing the heat from the hot water. Does this make them last longer? I don't know. They went straight into the cup I brewed my coffee into. (We have a single-serve machine in the office) I took a few pictures while I was waiting for my turn at the coffee maker.


The Coffee

I am testing the Joulies in the way that I will use them the most. Keeping my coffee warm in the office. I brewed 8oz of coffee which, as you can imagine, means I visit the coffee maker rather frequently. The coffee always comes out scorching hot. So hot, I always wait to drink it. The office temperature is set to Antarctica during the summer months so this cools the average cup of coffee rather quickly and works against the Joulies.

My cup cooled quicker than normal with the Joulies which is what they promised. They did bring the coffee to a drinkable temperature quicker. I've found in the past, coffee stays lukewarm for 10ish minutes in our office with the AC at warp speed. With the three Joulies in my cup, it stayed at a drinkable temperature for slightly longer - when I finished the cup.


Houston, We Have a Problem

My coffee is gone. I need a bigger cup if I am going to have the willpower to complete the test a full test. Many cups, and a few days later, I've had some mixed experiences. I think the Joulies help, but not as much as I would have liked. I was hoping they would be able to combat the super cold temperatures in the office; like other reviewers, I have found that isn't the case.

I love the concept of Coffee Joulies. I love the look and feel of the beans. I love the idea of helping Dave & Dave figure this concept out. I hope with a few revisions, the Joulies will live up to my expectations. Regardless, I will still continue to use them because, even if they only keep my coffee warm for a minute longer, it is a minute more than I had.

Kickstarter: Feeding My Coffee Addiction

Dear god do I love anything that helps me produce a better coffee in the morning, well who am I kidding, any time of day. Kickstarter, for those that haven't heard of it, is an online platform for those who have a concept/idea/product to find funding through backers. When you explore their site, you find all sorts of creative ideas, concepts and products.

One morning shortly after my surgery, Joel came rushing into the living room ecstatically telling me that I had to back this one product. The project is called The Cosmonaut: A Wide-Grip Stylus. Unlike other styluses out there, it feels more like a dry erase marker than a pen. There really isn't a similar product on the market to compare this to other than the sharpie cap styluses (love my sharpies!) and those scare me. I picture getting a stylus cap, giving it to a coworker to play with and, then, I have a permanently branded iPad. It's not the exact look I am going for for iPad decorations. Or let's face it, I would probably do that pre-coffee.

So, how does kickstarter feed my coffee addiction? Well, after backing my first project I found the mother ship. :: angelic sound::

Enter Coffee Joulies.

Coffee Joulies are these coffee shaped thing-a-ma-bobs that you put in your coffee to absorb some of the super hot temperature; later, the Joulies release that heat back into your coffee to keep it warmer longer.

In full disclosure, I backed these projects when I was still on my pain medications, but even after being off those for several weeks, I am happy I did. Actually, I can't wait for my Joulies to get here. When I backed both projects, I backed them to a level where you received the stylus and a set of Jouiles. Now, I just need them to get here.

The one part of the Coffee Joulies story that I love (besides making my coffee better) is that originally they were going to manufacture the Joulies in Mexico. It is well-known that it is usually chepaer to manufacture goods there. The Coffee Joulies kickstarter project did so well, they actually moved their manufacturing from Mexico to upstate New York! It makes me happy that more than enough people all over the world are willing to back a project to the extent that they are able to re-open a closed factory and give people jobs that wouldn't have otherwise had them.

Kickstarter is gaining lots of ground with me and turning into my little fun project finder. You can back projects at all different levels and it makes me feel like a extremely small time Angle Investor. I get something for investing and I am able to help someone's idea come to life. I like it.