I remember many shopping excursions to the United States with my mom—outlet stores filled with clothing and jewelry were thrilling, and buying unique back to school supplies made me feel like I was in a candy store. As I have aged, shopping is still a delight and yet my store preferences have evolved. As a new homeowner I would get excited about tools, and then after my kids were born I visited garden centres and kids’ gear shops more and more frequently. As a super busy Mom and business-owner, I now demand a ton from my shopping experiences. The stores must provide great value, include many items that I need, and allow me to research my purchases digitally. I have honed my passion for shopping and no longer trek south of the border to get my heart palpitating.
Affectionately known as Star Wars Day, May the Fourth has become the Christmas for inner geeks everywhere. My sons and I will be traveling to Disney World for the Social Media Moms Celebration and fellow travellers will witness us in a couple of stormtroopers and Rae costumes!
Looking through Canadian Tire’s new WOW Guide I wanted to jump out of bed and start beautifying my home and space. I had no idea Canadian Tire had stylish rainboots, colour co-ordinated garden tools or cushions that would make top stylists get palpitations. There are two full pages devoted to water guns alone – along with a multi balloon that has me craving a water fight. (evil laugh). The backyard slides, pools and fun toys made me want to grow better grass.
Asking a mom to write about coffee is like suggesting that Carrie Bradshaw evaluate a pair of Manolos. It’s a perfect fit. Close friends and my children know that Mommy is not to be asked any taxing questions before her second java in the morning. I sample baristas who design flowers and logos on the froth, and taste tests are common in my household. That said… I have learned that there are two crucial parts of coffee: the taste, and the ritual. My new must-have for spring is the Tassimo T47. And maybe a few pairs of heels. Damn you Carrie Bradshaw.
Last week I was in Liberia, West Africa learning about how Right To Play levels the field for kids. The educational games were exciting, but the 40-degree heat and emotional rollercoaster of seeing the poverty around me made for deep sleeps. And very groggy mornings. Breakfast was ever-important and I went to the restaurant with high hopes after a night of wicked cold air conditioning. I didn’t understand the whole coffee drill. But it was explained. You boil the water. Rip open (good luck) the tiny packet of instant coffee and drink out of a cup and saucer. After three rounds I was ready to meet more smiling children. Compared with the atmosphere outside and lack of basic services, I grew to find comfort in the morning coffee routine, even if I didn’t enjoy the taste of the coffee.
Flash forward a week and I am home. The cleanliness, smell and luxuries I had always taken for granted were heightened. And in a daze I received a courier at my office of one of the products at Canadian Tire. It was a Tassimo T47. It looked more advanced than the most sophisticated medical equipment in Liberia. And after the experiences I had just had, I was admittedly thinking that instant coffee rocked. Kind of. Well, not really. I had no idea how Vancouver had influenced my taste buds until I turned on the Tassimo. Wow.
The connoisseur in me was geeking out on the barcode technology and ability to brew a custom strength (STRONG would suffice but I guess they must cater to tastes other than my own). You can remove the drip tray as well as the water reservoir for washing, and set the height of the tray to different levels. Just in case you want to use your grandmother’s demitasse cups. (I have extras if you need some).
Now let’s talk pods. Not only am I able to get a fancy new pod storage system, but the pods make a perfect cup. And the coffee is incredible. But the routine? Priceless. We know that kids thrive on predictability, and I had recently learned that the morning routine can make even the most upsetting situations grounding.
With the Tassimo? My sons can make it. Yes. When they wake at 5 and poke me, I can send them to the kitchen to make my coffee. The water is already in the machine. They simply have to pop in a pod and push a button. On day 1 the boys begged to be the one to put in the pod. Hopefully in time they can work out their duties so I can remain in bed and not break up an argument! Mother’s Day breakfast should be amazing this year.. Their sense of accomplishment and pride was inspiring, and they now have a task to ‘own’ while they simultaneously make Mommy happy.
As I mentioned, I live in Vancouver, so not only is coffee a religion, but recycling and environmental mindfulness is always front of mind. In Liberia I threw away plastic individual instant coffee packets, and usually at home I toss coffee cans into the recycling. But what about the pods? Checking, I found that Tassimo has partnered with Terracycle for a pod recycling program. Excellent!
So I now have a system that engages my kids without spilling coffee grounds, wakes me up and impresses dinner guests. (I promise – it’s the coffee, not the demitasse cups). The benefits of that kind of routine are beyond measure.