Monthly Archives: February 2013

Carpe-ing the java DC style

So, now that things have slowed down a bit, I really need to tell you about my amazing trip to Washington, DC as the guest of Eight O’Clock Coffee.


Back in the summer when David was doing the project in Amarillo, I got a direct message on twitter from the Eight asking for my email address. I gave it to them and then wondered what they could want. I speculated while talking to David but really had absolutely no idea.

I’ve been drinking Eight O’Clock Coffee since I was 15. I remember going to the A&P grocery store when I was little and they had a bright red package and a grinding machine. I have loved the smell of fresh ground coffee my whole life as far as I can remember. 🙂 I was eagerly waiting to hear what Eight O’Clock Coffee wanted to talk to me about that took more than 140 characters.

Then came the email. They had selected me as a Super Fan and wanted to find out what date would work for me to come to DC for a visit to see their coffee operation.

OMG! I was beyond excited!

“I wonder if we’ll get to cup coffee?”, I asked David.

Several years ago, I was marketing director at a sensory lab and that was where I learned about cupping coffee. We analyzed all types of foods, beverages and personal care products but not coffee because that’s a whole different ball game.

So I gave Jaime my information and waited to find out when I was going and what we would do. When I got my itinerary, there it was, “Plant Tour/Cupping Session”. I was SO excited!


When I arrived in DC, they picked me up at the airport in a limo.


They drove me to the Embassy Row Hotel where I was given a goodie bag full of fun stuff and my room. We all met in the lobby for dinner.


I met my sister super fans, Holly and her husband Bill, Donna and her husband, Rudy, and Ronda. Also, I met Jaime and Lori from the S3 Agency who made sure we were where we were supposed to be.

Eight O'Clock Coffee Superfans

The first night, we went to dinner at Ruth’s Chris Steak House. YUMMMMY! The only bad thing is that Ruth’s Chris doesn’t serve Eight O’Clock Coffee and I think the waiter was a little intimidated by us coffee achievers when we ordered coffee after dinner.

I was lucky to be seated across the table from Glenn for dinner. Not that everyone wasn’t fabulous. They were. But Glenn had been in the coffee business since he was 18 years old, working himself into his current position where he buys the beans, cups the coffee and makes incredible new flavors like the Chocolate Mint they rolled out around Christmas time and we were treated to the following day.

I transformed, groupie-style, into a Glenn monopolizer and I don’t think anyone else got a chance to talk to him at dinner.

The following morning we had breakfast at the hotel with Alisa, Director of Marketing. She basically held a focus group with us on things that could be done differently or better. I heard a lot of good ideas around that table!


We got fabulous red fleece jackets!

IMG_0867Then it was off to Maryland and the coffee roasting facility.


We were welcomed at the door. And again at lunch time.


We were then taken on a tour of the roasting facility. We had to remove all of our jewelry except for our wedding rings so that nothing would fall into the coffee.


Then we got another gorgeous outfit: white coats, goggles and a hairnet! 🙂


We got to see all phases of the coffee operation including the flavoring which smelled AMAZING. It was Hazelnut!

Then, finally, the moment I had been waiting for. We went to the cupping room and they taught us how to cup coffee. In the end, it really wasn’t too different than sensory testing of foods/beverages that I had already experienced. I was pretty good with a spit cup, having had previous experience. 😉


After that we went back to DC and dinner at the Old Ebbitt Grill which was delicious! I can highly recommend the Peanut Butter Pie. 😉


Then back to our hotel to sleep and get ready for an early trip back to the airport.


And there you have it. My awesome Eight O’Clock Coffee trip to DC. It was so amazing, I can hardly believe it really happened. What I learned on my trip was that the people who make Eight O’Clock Coffee are as awesome as the coffee that they produce. As excited as we all were to be there, they were equally excited to have us there. It was so cool.

I tweet about Eight O’Clock Coffee and I’m so excited when I see my friends trying it and enjoying it like I do. Not because of a trip to DC but because the coffee is truly wonderful and it makes me happy to be the bearer of such great coffee information.


Thank you again, Eight O’Clock Coffee. I had the most incredible time and I will never forget your hospitality!

PS – At Christmas time, I got a box from the UPS man. What could it be?


Coffee!!! I thought, “Oh they love me! It’s my favorite French Roast!” 🙂


And then I wrote a book

I was so excited when I woke up yesterday because I knew that the UPS man would be delivering my  books. And I waited.

Doesn’t UPS deliver early here?

We have only gotten something from UPS once in the month we’ve been here so I wasn’t sure but I seem to remember it being early. And I waited.

Around 5:00 it wasn’t early anymore. I checked the email to see if my package was still on the truck and I found this:


What? When? I was here ALL day!

I called UPS while also getting connected with them on the chat. Both people arranged that I’d be able to pick my package up and I would receive a phone call within the hour letting me know it was okay. That didn’t happen. But I went down to UPS anyway. It’s 2 blocks away. 🙂

I got my package!


It’s SO pretty! 🙂


I got kind of choked up over the whole thing. David said, “Are you okay over there?” Oh, yes. Just trying to get a grip. I’ve never written a book before. 😉

I started writing this book back in the summer when we lived in Amarillo. I was nearly finished when my computer melted down. The great guys at Westgate Computers were able to save all of my data, thank goodness!

But then I was kind of stuck. I didn’t have any motivation to finish the book even though my annoying loving friends kept bothering asking me about it.

After we moved here last month, I decided I really should finish the book. One of my big goals as an adult has been to finish what I started and this was kinda of big.

I made up my mind to do it and gave myself a deadline of two weeks out. I knew I was close to being finished. When I finally put my mind to it, it was sort of embarrassing how quickly I finished it. Try two days not two weeks!

Then it was such a nerve wracking experience getting the ISBN number and placing the order for the book itself. Both websites are loaded with DANGER DANGER Warnings.

If you make a mistake this will cost you a whole lot more of your hard earned dollars!


Ha ha. Not really. But that’s how it looked to me. 🙂

I finally got that business all taken care of and I waited. Until yesterday when it was finally there at the UPS counter for me to pick up.

So…I love it. Did I mention how pretty it is? 🙂

I have lots of people to thank. My beautiful and wonderful friends Chickee and Suzy. If not for you two, I might not have finished. Thank you for your loving support and encouragement. Suzy, thank you SO much for the amazing foreword you wrote. My first thought upon reading it was “I’m not worthy,  I’m not worthy”.


Many thanks to Lyndzee and Sherri for the cover photo. I told them what I wanted and just liked they grabbed the image out of my head and put it on the paper, there it was! I love it so much. 🙂

Thanks to Bryan from b|creative tulsa for my fabu headshot. It’s on the outside AND the inside of the book. 🙂

Without Scott Townsend teaching me how to tweet, I sincerely doubt this book would have ever been written. Twitter has opened so many doors to me it’s really hard to believe. Thank you, Scott!

And of course, last but not least, David. He’s really a good guy, you know? I’m sort of a handful and I know I’m noisy but he always believes in me and I appreciate his love and encouragement so much.

The website for the book is and I’m super excited to begin adding photos of savvy pageant gals to it. Stop by if you’d like a book. It’s really pretty. 😉


How not to sell something

I always say that I’m not a sales person but, let’s face it, everyone is selling something. More often than not, it’s myself that I’m selling. While I don’t consider myself a sales person, I think I can spot a good one pretty easily.


My dad was in sales my whole life. When I decided to start a business in the late 90s selling Pampered Chef, I asked him for advice. He told me selling is all about helping people. You listen to them, find out what they need and then see how you can, in your realm,help them solve their problem.

Great advice from dear old dad!

David has been working on a business plan for a couple of months now. He’s now to the point where he is working on the financials. Last night, he sent out an email for a quote on some part of his plan. It’s a quote for a LARGE amount of materials.

The phone has been ringing off the hook all morning with people responding to his email and asking for clarification and more information.


The last two calls went something like this.

A guy calls from a company in Michigan. He cannot believe that David needs a quote for this large amount of materials. David explains why he needs what he’s asking for and the guy laughs. Yes, he laughs! And says, “What are you building? A city?” David repeats again what he needs and what he needs it for and the guy laughs again. The conversation goes on in this vein and David repeats himself several more times while the incredulous “sales person” on the other end of the line continues to laugh in disbelief.

Then the phone rang and a lady was on the other end. I didn’t catch where she was from but she had a nice, southern accent. She asked for clarification, she listened  asked more questions and told David how if she did things in this certain way, she’d be able to get him better pricing. She was friendly, and helpful and concerned with him getting the best purchase opportunity possible.

After he hung up the phone. I told him, “You are doing business with her and not that last guy. She truly wants to help you.”

In listening to the two calls, I was able to pick out the better salesperson. The one who listened, found out exactly what David needs, and tried to help him. Just like dad said.



Since the first time we visited the 18 Wheeler Diner, I’ve been fiending a piece of their pie.

Pie case 18 Wheeler Diner

Look at that BIG pie!

We hadn’t moved to Sallisaw when we first saw this pie case. And when we found a place to move, it turned out to be less than a mile away from the pie case.

I told David that we could walk to the diner, have pie, and walk home and it would sort of negate the effect of eating the pie. But we decided that we would only eat pie if someone came to visit us.

So I told everyone. On twitter, on facebook, in real life. Come visit and we’ll eat pie!

And we hadn’t had any pie at the 18 Wheeler Diner until yesterday.

I got a surprise message on facebook from my friend Laura. “We’re coming through Sallisaw, can I buy you a slice of pie?”

Woo hoo! We were finally going to have pie!

So, like we said we’d do, we walked over to the diner to meet Laura and her husband, Scott.

Then it was a BIG decision, because well, it’s BIG pie!

I ended up with Strawberry Cream.

Strawberry Cream Pie

David got Chocolate.

Chocolate Pie

Laura got Peanut Butter Chocolate.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie

And Scott got Fried Cherry Pie, something I wasn’t even aware they had since I couldn’t get away from the visual of the pie case. 🙂

Fried Cherry Pie

The pie was delicious! The company was fabu!

So who’s next? Who’s coming for pie?

Many thanks to Laura and Scott for treating us to pie. xoxoxo


Blended yumminess

A couple of months ago when we were really super busy, I realized we weren’t eating enough veggies. I remembered having heard about a blended salad back a few years ago. I thought it seemed like a good idea because it would be faster to ingest than eating it off a fork.

Blended Salad

But we were so busy, there wasn’t time to find out!

Now that we’re not so busy, I’ve started making them and I have to say I LOVE the blended salad! I have a little trouble with salad dressing and I don’t eat a lot of it. While it tastes good, it doesn’t make me feel good.

The benefit I wasn’t expecting was being able to eat a salad, without dressing and really love it.

So, the first time I made it, I started with tomatoes. The mixture with the tomatoes just didn’t hold together or something. It was weird. Since that first time, I’ve been starting with tomato juice which makes the end result better.

Tomato juice and cukesThen I add cucumber and blend.

P1050402Add a head of romaine and some celery.


And some apple cider vinegar. I even add an avocado but don’t tell David. Blend it all together and it is delish!

For some reason, it’s easier for me to eat than a huge salad with the same amount of veggies in it. Try it and see if you don’t like it! 🙂

National Girl Scout Cookie Day!

Today is National Girl Scout Cookie Day! I love Girl Scout Cookies and I know you do, too.

I was a Girl Scout back in the day. But I wasn’t a real Girl Scout. I was a troop hopper and was known for having the shortest Girl Scout uniform in school. But today’s Girl Scouts are quite an impressive group.

Back in 2009 when I was kicking off (now defunct) for KJRH, I covered the end of year awards program for the Bartlesville Girl Scouts. I was SO impressed with how Girl Scouting had changed since I was young.

Girl Scouts today are taught about financial responsibility and managing money. That is what the cookie sales are really all about even though I’m fairly sure the Samoa was made just for me. 😉

This year, the Girl Scouts have made it easy for you to find their cookies if they don’t find you.  They have a cookie finder app for iPhone!

This app is worth it just for the cute video at the beginning. It got me all choked up. And please tell me that the skills these girls are talking about are not important to the girls of today. Even the girls of yesterday.

So download the app, locate yourself some cookies and celebrate National Girl Scout Cookie Day with me.

These will go into the freezer.

Have you ever eaten them frozen? 🙂