I live in a town with a Stargetbucks! 0

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This changes everything.

On Tuesday, it came to my attention that the remodel of the Target in Small Town would in fact include the addition of a Stargetbucks as I predicted a few weeks ago.

Insert cartwheel here.

Also insert sprained ankle here.

My joyous cartwheel turned cankle injury is sort of a metaphor for this entire situation, don’t you think? It’s good news, yet its tainted.

Tainted because I’ve been cheating on the little green mermaid with a certain male caribou.

I find myself caught in a caffeinated love triangle that simply cannot sustain itself.

Do I choose Starbucks or Caribou?

I suppose I could always go on Jerry Springer and just let the audience decide for me…?

No, you’re right. Definitely not a classy choice.

One the one hand, I have a deep-rooted brand loyalty to Starbucks.

I’m from Seattle.

I taught aerobics at their corporate headquarters.

I’ve been drinking their lattes for the last twelve years.

Okay, technically I was drinking Caramel Frappuccinos for four of those years. Before my adult coffee palette developed, and all.

I’m also feeling sentimental as my beloved Starbucks tumbler was finally returned to me yesterday evening.

Reunited with my Starbucks cup

Reunited and it feels so good.

Stargetbucks makes a pretty convincing case.

On the other hand, Starbucks definitely doesn’t have fat-free whipped cream.

And I worked so hard to win Mary the barista over — it just seems wrong to abandon all of that blood, sweat and sugar-free syrup for a Skinny Caramel Macchiato.

I decided to let Google maps aid me in this life-altering decision and see which coffee shop was the closest to our new condo. A lot of help that was. They are precisely the same distance away…down to the tenth of a mile.

Although the Caribou Coffee closest to our new place is the one frequented by the mom gang who wants to shank me in the parking lot, so I’d say Starbucks wins that point.

I suppose a decision with such gravity can’t really be made until I actually experience this new Stargetbucks.

Sure, It could be amazing.

But it could also be populated by a dad gang who wants to run over me with their Ford F-150s after I make fun of their Carhart overalls.

(I’m just trying to prepare myself for the worst-case scenario. It’s called being realistic.)

And let’s face it — someone who finds themselves entangled in a latte-fueled love triangle is nothing if not realistic.

That argument sounded better in my head.

Anyway, going to check out the new Stargetbucks before choosing my coffee life-partner opens up a whole new can of worms. You see, in my original post about moving to a town with no Starbucks, I made a vow.

A vow that when Seattle’s green mermaid finally arrived in Small Town, I would be her very first customer.

This is where things get complicated.

As soon as I heard the good news, I called Target of Small Town to inquire when Stargetbucks would be opening. I assumed it would probably happen sometime after we moved…perhaps the beginning of April.

It opens March 5th.

As in a week from this Monday.

I called again two days later, just to make sure the impending grand opening was actually on the fifth.

Not only did the same woman answer my question, I’m pretty sure she recognized my voice. And the desperate inflection in my voice that made me sound as if I was calling to ask about something really important.

Like, “When does the pharmacy close because I’m having a severe allergic reaction and might die in less than an hour” important.

To this former Seattleite, Stargetbucks is that important.

Much to my dismay, Stargetbucks will indeed be opening a week from this Monday. We’ll still be at my father-in-law’s, which means I am faced with an incredibly difficult choice.

A choice to leave his place at 6:00 on a Monday morning so that I might arrive at the Small Town Target by 7:30am, ready when they open for business at 8:00.

Or a choice to save three hours of driving and thirty dollars of gas, allowing some undeserving citizen of Small Town to steal my title of “First Stargetbucks customer in Smalltown County”.

I also don’t know if our recently dented vehicle will be back from the auto shop by then.

So, in addition to hijacking a car from my in-laws, I’ll also need to think of some excuse that justifies a trip to Small Town on a random Monday. You know, so Scott doesn’t go balls to the walls crazy when he finds out why I’m really driving up there.

Although…now that I think about it, I suppose I could tell him I need to submit paperwork for my side job at the local gym during my lunch break…

Yes, it’s a little dishonest…but not going to Small Town would mean forgoing my chance to be apart of Stargetbucks history.

It would also mean sheepishly showing up at Caribou Coffee with my Starbucks cup in hand so that I might use their WiFi while I work all day.

That’s right, Stargetbucks has no WiFi. I know because I called and asked. Twice.

I’m at a loss for what to do.

Which is why I’m leaving this in your hands.

What I’m trying to say is this: I trust you guys way more than the delusional audience at a Jerry Springer show taping.

You should take that as a compliment.

If you feel so inspired, please vote in the poll below. Come March 5th, I’ll do whatever your votes tell me to.

The added bonus? If Scott finds out about my Caramel Macchiato hijinks, I can blame the road trip on someone else.

 

It’s up to you, my friends. Choose wisely.

What twist of fate will the above poll hand me?

Sign up for email notifications to read the stunning conclusion.

SPEAKING OF DRUGS COFFEE: Have you signed up for my free coffee giveaway of excitement and glamour? Hurry! You only have four days left!

 

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Lent. Enough said. 4

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I’m kind of a bad Lutheran.

And I was doing so well for a while there.

Sure, I can make a mean tuna fish casserole.

And not only do I know at least three jello salad recipes by heart, I only serve them in the appropriate liturgical color for whichever church season we’re in.

I’d even say I’m quite skilled at singing hymns in Norwegian. I also recognize that the green hymnal is far superior to the red one.

And, perhaps most importantly, I make sure drink to drink at least three cups of joe whenever I attend coffee hour, no matter how painfully watered down it may be.

Add to this the fact that I’ve logged upwards of 500 hours in church basements for various potlucks, wedding receptions and annual meetings, and you have yourself a Super Lutheran.

But yesterday, I messed up.

I knew it was the first day of Lent, but try as I might, I just couldn’t figure out what I wanted to give up this year. As a result, I spent Ash Wednesday indulging in my usual habits and activities.

Then, this morning, it hit me like a ton of hymnals.

I felt compelled to give up texting my husband.

I don’t know why I didn’t think of this sooner. It’s our main form of communication during the day, so it will be something that truly is a sacrifie…yet I think some good will actually come of abandoning our text messaging for the next 39 days.

For example, I won’t be able to lose my temper and send angry, all-caps messages.

Starbucks cup text message

He keeps filling my venti tumbler with his devil smoothie and then sneakily trotting off to work with it in tow. How in the world am I supposed to hydrate? Does he seriously expect me to drink non-Starbucks water out of a regular cup or something?

I’m prepared to take him to court and sue for full custody.

Fortunately, it’s one of those customizable cups with a liner you can draw or write on. As soon as it’s back in my possession I’m scrawling “I love Britney Spears!” across it in permanent sharpie to ensure he doesn’t take it out in public again.

The texting hiatus will also prevent me from bothering him with annoying questions throughout the day.

Dented can of artichoke hearts

I was just trying to exercise caution. I think we can all agree that Botulism is never sexy.

Now, I’ll be the very first to admit that sometimes, my texts may cross the line from asking a simple question to…um…nagging.

And sometimes they might even venture into the territory commonly known as “beating a dead horse.”

Nagging text message

Surprise, surprise…the doctor’s appointment was never scheduled. On the bright side, I’m definitely milking our unlimited messaging plan for all it’s worth.

This Lenten resolution will save Scott some headaches while also improving my self-esteem. Not that I’ve got an issue with that or anything, but it will be kind of nice to not be rejected after putting myself out there.

Creepy love text

So much for being romantic.

Also good for my ego? Not being reminded of my nocturnal flatulence during the middle of the day.

Fart text

Don’t judge me. It happens to the best of us.

Sure, most people don’t choose to blog about it, but I’m confident that every single person reading this has had a similar problem at least once in their life. Plus, lactose intolerance is the hottest condition since gluten insensitivity. Really, I’m just setting a trend here, people.

I think the benefits outweigh the cost of not texting Scott during Lent. I mean, it’s not like I’m stretching the realm of what’s possible or anything. People used to go without texting all the time. It was called “the nineties”, remember?

Before embarking on complete and total MMS celibacy, one final text to the husband was in order. You know, to inform him of my Lutheran duty.

Text message about Lent

Clearly, Scott was raised Methodist.

And, because I buckled and actually listened to him, I am once again a bad Lutheran. Shame on me and my purple Lenten jello salad.

Looks like the only thing I’ll be giving up this year is my Starbucks cup.

Will I be struck down by an angry bolt of Lenten lightning before being reunited with my Starbucks tumbler?

Odds aren’t looking good. Sign up for email notifications and I’ll keep you posted. 

BUT PERHAPS MORE IMPORTANTLY: Have you signed up for my free coffee giveaway of excitement and glamour? Hurry! You only have five days left!

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Free coffee. Seriously.

Free coffee. Seriously. 15

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Prepare for the most awesome giveaway in the history of blog giveaways.

Okay…perhaps I’m exaggerating just a tiny bit. But, this freebie is still pretty awesome, if I do say so myself.

Lately, I’ve been blogging a lot about the new man in my life.

Denali Caribou Running

Isn't he handsome?

At least I’m assuming this guy is a male. I Googled it, just to make sure and was delighted to find step-by-step instructions for how to distinguish a female caribou from a male caribou on ehow.com. There were more steps than I anticipated, but the difficulty was ranked as easy, so I decided to dive right in.

Here’s what they gave me:

1. Look at the size of the antlers to distinguish a female caribou from a male caribou. Both sexes have antlers, but the male’s are larger. His can grow up to three feet long. A female’s antlers only grow to be about 20 inches long.

Hmmm….kind of hard to tell from the picture, but it looks like my caribou could just be a REALLY butch female?

2. Compare the sizes of the caribou you see. As with other species, male caribou are larger in size than the females. A male can grow to weigh nearly 700 pounds, and stand 5 feet tall at his shoulders. A female caribou only grows to be 200 to 300 pounds.

Again…nearly impossible to tell from a photograph. And my mother always told me it was rude to guess someones weight. The LAST thing I want to do is offend a caribou who is capable of impaling me with their non-gender-specific antlers.

3. Check the sex organs of the caribou to tell the difference between the sexes.

Ummmm….not gonna happen.

P.S. I deleted three sentences of this step for censorship purposes. This is a family blog, after all.

Okay…maybe not a family blog. But it’s definitely not a blog for people who want to read about caribou lady bits.

4. See two caribou fighting in the fall, and you can be sure they’re males. During mating season, males fight over female caribou.

It’s not fall for another seven months, which means the only way we’ll be seeing this caribou fight is if I agitate it by inaccurately guessing it’s weight, or invading its personal space to determine what body parts are under its tail. Again, not going to happen. 

5. See a caribou with a calf, and you can be sure the former is a female.

Wait a second. Caribou’s like to hang out with baby cows?

So, yeah. Thanks for nothingehow.com.

Although, the gender of this caribou doesn’t really matter at all. I’m not in love with an actual Caribou. No, that would be positively disgusting.

Although wasn’t the guy from Harry Potter in a play about that or something?

Equus Daniel Radcliffe Harry Potter

In love with a horse, in love with a caribou. Same thing, just with antlers.

So no. I’m not in love with an actual caribou. Just their coffee.

Caribou Coffee Logo

Okay...this one is WAY easier to distinguish. Clearly it's an ambiguously gay, male caribou.

I was terrified to move to a town with no Starbucks, but Caribou has eased my fears and quite possibly won my allegiance.

Plus, an ambiguously gay caribou would totally win in a fight against a green mermaid — even if she is wearing that sharp, pointy crown.

I spent this morning working from my favorite Caribou Coffee in Small Town so Scott and I could sign the lease on our new place after work. And yes, we have finally found a place! I’ll update you on that tomorrow.

But back to the coffee shop. It may have been my most successful visit to date, and I think it’s finally safe to say that I’ve wormed my way into the heart of Mary the Barista.

How do I love this little midwestern coffee shop? Let me count the ways.

1. They have fat-free whipped cream. 

Did you read that? FAT-FREE WHIPPED CREAM. Can we all just take a moment to reflect on what a beautiful thing this is? There were more days than I’d like to admit to where it was all I could do not to order a venti cup of whipped cream on my morning Starbucks run. Now, I can order one and it will be fat-free!

Also, I suspect the people of Minnesota will be way less judgemental when I order a large cup of whipped cream than all the healthy Seattle folk who prefer their lattes with organic soy milk.

2. They have trivia.

Trivia! That’s almost better than fat-free whipped cream. And, if you answer the question correctly, you get ten cents off your order. Plus, because Mary the barista is awesome, I’m allowed to cheat and use my iPhone. Today I didn’t even need to cheat. I simply had to spend about two minutes using my fingers to count how many dots are on a pair of dice. But Mary waited. Because she’s awesome and patient.

3. That’s about it.

But everyone knows you need to have at least three items to constitute a list. So, I suppose I can mention that if you bring your own mug, you get an additional fifty cents off your beverage order. I think Starbucks also does this–it was actually my reasoning for buying this mug back in Seattle.

Starbucks Mug

Do you think if I brought this in, Caribou would still give me the discount?

I’d better not press my luck. Wouldn’t want to push Mary to the point of joining the Caribou mom gang for my shanking in the parking lot.

So, it looks like it’s time for me to buy a new mug from Caribou. I’m leaning towards this set.

Caribou stackable his and hers mugs

Stackable his and hers mugs. Scott would get the red lips so I could have the far superior mustache mug. Obviously.

My latte will just taste so much better when sipped out of a mustache cup, don’t you think?

Although this little guy looks mighty tempting as well.

Caribou Coffee shot glass

Yes, it’s a shot glass.

Although their website has dubbed it a “Cold Beverage Sampling Glass”.

But I still say it’s a shot glass.

Wouldn’t it be hilarious if I strutted up to the register, slapped this puppy down on the counter and demanded a single shot of sugar-free vanilla syrup?

Naturally, I would throw it back in a single gulp before proclaiming “Ooooh. That buuurrrns.”

Naturally.

Yeah, you’re right. I’m totally asking for that parking lot mom shanking.

But never mind my coffee cup indecisiveness. You clicked on this link for free coffee, and I’m here to buy it for you.

Why the random act of kindness?

Because I’m a generous person who genuinely cares about her readers.

And possibly because I want to prove to my Seattle friends that Caribou Coffee really is legit.

But mostly because I’m trying to grow this little blog of mine.

Here’s how things are going to work.

1. Find your favorite blog post (any post but this one) and share it on Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest.

2. Leave a comment on this post telling me which post you chose and where you posted it.

3. The contest runs until Tuesday, February 28, 8:00PM EST, at which point I’ll use a random comment selector to pick the winner.

Bam. That’s three things. Officially a list.

The winner will receive a pound of Caribou Coffee beans shipped directly to their home courtesy of yours truly.

Caribou Coffee whole beans

You can request to be sent tea instead. If you're lame.

You’ll also rise to fame and glory by being featured on this blog. Unless you don’t want to, you know, be associated with someone who accidentally goes naked in public or develops a nasty case of fungus on her face.

But really, I don’t know why anyone wouldn’t want to be affiliated with that.

Make sure you don’t miss this next contest where I give away…Jolie!

Just kidding! Seriously, though — sign up for email notifications and get a heads up on all future giveaways.  Pssttt! This subscription link works now. Pinky promise.

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How to kill an iPhone.

How to kill an iPhone. 3

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This all started out with a perfectly innocent trip to Costco.

And then ‘ish hit the fan.

Or, more accurately, the blender. Let me introduce you to the newest member of the Taylor family.

Blendtec

The Blendtec.

According to their website, the Blendtec is “An all-in-one appliance to help you every day. It replaces up to 9 other appliances with one fast easy-to-use machine, at a fraction of the cost.”

According to me, it’s a $400 blender.

Yes, you read me right. Four hundred dollars. For a blender.

Don’t get me wrong, I love a good blender. I drink Shakeology daily as weight loss and energy supplement and need a nice tool to blend up a creamy shake post-workout.

But do I need a blender that turns iPhone’s into dust? Probably not.

And yes, the Blendtec will literally obliterate an iPhone. This video proves it.

I do think it’s a little strange that they chose to “dedicate” the video to Steve Jobs. Personally, I wouldn’t take someone blending my life’s masterpiece as a sign of respect, but that’s just me.

This video is one of many you can view at WillItBlend.com, a site dedicated to highlighting all of the random things the Blendtec can destroy. Which may or may not include a human skeleton and Justin Bieber.

This alone pretty much makes it the best site ever.

But one thing the Blendtec can’t blend?

A smoothie created by my husband, of course.

Scott with berries

If extreme smoothie making was an Olympic event, Scott would definitely bring home the gold for Team U.S.A. I’d estimate one of his smoothies, which includes almond milk, soy milk, orange juice, pomegranate juice, Shakeology, kale, spinach, frozen wild blueberries, raw carrots, frozen strawberries, a banana, raw sweet potatoes, chia seeds, frozen mango, whole kiwis and the juice of one lemon, contains at least $40 worth of ingredients.

Whew.

He also feels compelled to pack the 80 ounce pitcher to the brim, despite the fact that he’s the only one having a smoothie.

Really, his creation is less of a “smoothie” and more of a “chunky”. I’d imagine if you blended the Jolly Green Giant with the Chiquita Banana lady, added a cup or so of mud and six ounces of Larry the Cable Guy’s sweat, it would taste pretty similar.

The early morning smoothie-making process usually goes a little something like this:

7:15 am: Scott emerges from the bathroom and heads straight for the kitchen to gather ingredients. He may or may not be wearing pants.

7:20 am: I hear someone screaming “Get IN there!” and immediately rush to the kitchen to see what the commotion is about. You’d think I’d have learned by now that Scott is yelling at the two extra cups of spinach he’s trying to force down the mouth of the Blendtec.

7:22 am: I return to the kitchen with Scott’s pants in tow. “The Naked Chef” is a cookbook, not a fashion statement.

7:30 am: After what feels like an eternity of prep work, Scott begins to blend. Horrible noises and strange smelling fumes emerge from the Blendtec. Whoever happens to be nearest states something obvious like “Scott’s breaking the Blendtec again,” or “He knows that thing was $400, right?”

7:31 am: I politely remind Scott that he’s abusing a four-hundred dollar appliance. He rolls his eyes. I then not-so-politely point out the fact that he’s claimed the lives of 3 magic bullets, a regular blender, and a food processor. He’s essentially the grim reaper of kitchen mixers.

7:32 am: More sketchy sounding blending. More fumes. Jolie scurries under the bed out of sheer terror.

7:35 am: Still not blended. Gritty goop spatters from the bowels of the Blendtec and onto the freshly washed jeans I made Scott put on. He’s okay with it as the pants were protecting a pair of designer underwear–his only indulgence. Other than smoothies, of course.

7:36 am: I ask Scott why I’m not allowed to buy fancy, expensive underwear. He ignores me and continues to blend.

7:40 am: After 25 minutes of labor, Scott finally enjoys his fleshy mixture of health and longevity. He takes the preliminary swig and forces a not-so-convincing smile as he proclaims “Mmm! This is…great!”

7:45 am: Scott announces he’s full and requests that I finish the remaining 62 ounces of smoothie. I explain that I’m too busy buying myself some fancy, expensive underwear online. Also? I don’t believe in drinking beverages that contain raw sweet potatoes.

7:50 am: Scott heads out the door to run errands while I’m left with at least 30 minutes of kitchen clean up, despite the fact that I have a blog post to write. I quickly add two additional pairs of revenge panties to my shopping cart before grabbing a wash cloth and some dish soap.

This happens nearly every morning. Minus the underwear part. That was a one time thing.

Okay, okay twice. That’s it. Promise.

I don’t care for the smoothies, but Scott loves them. I believe he’s simply invested so much time and money in them that he’s become deeply entangled in the lie.

The lie that they’re the most delicious thing since frozen caramel cashew custard.

Mark my words, one day his $40 smoothie will turn into a $440 smoothie when he adds the Blendtec to his graveyard of maimed kitchen appliances.

Which leads me to my ultimate point. I find it extremely hard to believe that the all-powerful Blendtec can pulverize an iPhone in under a minute when it barely packs enough heat to handle one of Scott’s power smoothies.

And yet I wonder…

No. No. That would be a terrible idea.

Although technically it could be considered Scott’s fault since he did forget his iPhone at home.

And really, I’d just be helping him out as he does have what most would consider to be an unhealthy relationship obsession with his iPhone.

iPhone addiction

He made this photo collage for their third anniversary.

And It would be so incredibly easy to dispose of the evidence and play dumb.

He would never know.

This was my inner struggle as I attempted to write a blog post on Sunday.

The office predicament

Like taking candy from a baby...

The solution to Scott’s iPhone addiction was literally just a few steps away.

To avoid doing the unthinkable, I continued to distract myself by purchasing even more new underwear. Things may have gotten slightly out of hand.

After all is said and done, it probably would have been cheaper to just destroy the stupid iPhone and break the blender.

Which is exactly why I will immediately blend the tags and receipts for all 47 pairs of underwear the instant they arrive, destroying any possible evidence.

I suppose what I’m trying to say is, this Blendtec thing is starting to grow on me.

Is it possible to go bankrupt from underwear?

Sign up for email notifications and find out.  Pssttt! This subscription link works now. Pinky promise.

 

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