Peppermint Latte Recipe – Make it for Santa!

Yummy Peppermint Lattes

Peppermint Latte

Peppermint Latte

Peppermint is a great flavor during winter. We often see candy canes, peppermint bark, and other holiday treats flavored with peppermint.

I love how peppermint is such a refreshing scent and it is so cooling, like a burst of fresh air. I’m sure there are seasonal home fragrances based on this smell.

What’s not to love about peppermint, and why not try mixing it in with more sweet treats this time of year? Continue reading

Texas Book Festival Recap: What panels inspired you most?

Texas Book Festival at the State Capital

TX StarThis weekend, October 25-26th, the Texas Book Festival was held on the capital grounds in Austin. The pink granite steps of this historic building led eager festival-goers to panels where authors discussed their works. There were also tents set up on the capital grounds for additional panels, book sales, book signings, food/cooking demonstrations, children’s entertainment/story time, food and live music.

Panels and Book Signing

Texas Book Festival 2014There were panels running all day Saturday and Sunday. Often, there would be one panel in a category back to back with another panel in the same category. Often when a panel ends, the authors go straight to a signing four blocks from the panel.

Would you stay for the second related panel or rush over to the book signing for the panel you just heard? Planning is absolutely important if you want to make the most of the festival. Continue reading

Pumpkin Spice Latte – Delicious or What?

Pumpkin Spice Latte, What?

Pumpkin Latte at Heroes Galaxy

Pumpkin Latte at Heroes Galaxy

It’s officially October and fall items are everywhere. One thing that you will probably see or hear people talking about is pumpkin spice lattes. So, what are pumpkin spice lattes?

Depending on where you get yours, the pumpkin spice latte is a flavor of the season usually involving pumpkin and vanilla flavoring and all the wonderful spices found in a pumpkin pie. It’s a rich drink that people enjoy to get in the mood of the season. Continue reading

LANDLINE by Rainbow Rowell: Remember landline phones?

Landline is a Book Connecting us to the Past

 

Landline by Rainbow Rowell

Landline by Rainbow Rowell

Rainbow Rowell is the Author of the book Landline. In her blog, she describes the book as a story about a marriage in trouble and how a landline phone might just heal the relationship.

The main character, Georgie, wants to reconnect with her husband, Neal. Rowell describes Georgie’s attempt to resolve her marital problems, “Georgie discovers a way to communicate with Neal in the past. It’s not time travel, not exactly, but she feels like she’s been given an opportunity to fix her marriage”. Continue reading

Cute Coffee: Espresso and Latte Art

A Whole Latte Art

Cat Latte by Yamamoto

Cat Latte by Yamamoto

If you love coffee, I bet that you’ve come across some of the amazing coffee art that’s been circulating the internet. This story on NPR by Maria Godoy is about a Japanese latte artist and his too cute designs.

Hello Espresso

Check out this espresso with a 3-D cat design by Kazuki Yamamoto. This latte artist is known for his espresso and foam art. Can you believe how real the cat looks? Continue reading

Coffee prices at Starbucks are going up. Can you afford it?

Everyone is Paying a High Price for Coffee

According to Julie Jargon of the Wall Street Journal, Starbucks raised prices on some of their beverages and coffee this week.

Starbucks

Coffee Prices Increase at Starbucks

Starbucks drinks will increase up to 20 cents, and packaged Starbucks coffee sold in grocery stores is set to increase by about $1 per bag by late July. If you are a K-cup coffee drinker, you shouldn’t see a price increase now. Continue reading

BEAUTIFUL RUINS: Is Hollywood just giving us what we want?

A Book Exposing Hollywood Culture

Beautiful Ruins

Beautiful Ruins

On NPR’s All Things Considered, Kevin Roose recommends the book Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter. In his review of this book, he admits that it made him imagine a life in Los Angeles just so he could see the mess that is Hollywood up close.

The story line in this book spans an entire decade. Claire, a Hollywood assistant, works for an aging movie producer who was once a big deal. Claire has the disdainful job of listening to awful reality show pitches. Continue reading

French Press Coffee: Is there a better method?

Finding the Perfect French Press Technique

French Press Technique

French Press Technique

According to Melanie Pinola in the article she wrote for LifeHacker  called How To Perfect Your French Press Coffee Technique, she explains the best technique for French press coffee.

French press coffee is thought to taste better that the coffee you typically brew in through a filter, but with this method you might end up with grinds in your coffee if you aren’t careful. Continue reading

GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY: Do you love it or hate it?

 Comic Book Based Movie has Character

Guardians of the Galaxy

Guardians of the Galaxy

Marvel brought us the Guardians of the Galaxy comics, and the movie release date is August 1, 2014.

Whether you have read all the comics or your first introduction to Guardians of the Galaxy will be on the big screen, you will enjoy a fantastic combination of characters.

The main character left Earth as a kid, but with the help of a unique team, he will fight to save his home. The fun in this story is all about the unusual team. Continue reading

Coffee-Cured Pulled Pork: Would you try it?

 Add Coffee to a Pork Recipe for Flavor

Coffee-Cured Pulled Pork

Coffee-Cured Pulled Pork

Linton Hopkins of Food & Wine contributed a recipe for Coffee-Cured Pulled Pork. He remarked “I want to create a TV show called The 36-Hour Meal. The best things take a little bit of time.” This might be the key to getting the most flavor into a marinated meat.

Hopkins provides a delicious recipe that uses 1/4 cup of ground coffee. You know Heroes Galaxy loves that! I wonder what type of coffee he used. I can imagine using a deep, rich coffee with chocolate flavors. Continue reading

For The Writers: Is your story’s villain sympathetic?

Writing Excuses

Writing Excuses

This week on the podcast Writing Excuses, writers Mary Robinette Kowal, Brandon Sanderson, Howard Tayler, and Dan Wells talk about writing a sympathetic character, an unsympathetic character, and everything in between.

They discuss why you would want a character to be less sympathetic. Obviously, the villain will be predominantly unsympathetic. Also, the main character might need to be somewhat sympathetic to avoid seeming too perfect. This also leaves room for growth. Continue reading

AMERICAN ELSEWHERE: How do multiple points of view keep a story interesting?

American Elsewhere

American Elsewhere

Stefan Raets with book publisher TOR explains in his review Deliciously Weird: American Elsewhere by Robert Jackson Bennett how pacing, vivid scenery, and storytelling from multiple characters’ perspectives keep this novel interesting.

To summarize, this book is about a cop named Mona Bright who was married and expecting a baby. Then, when her life suddenly changed for the worse, she drifted around until she learned that her mother has given her a house. The house she inherited is in a small New Mexico town. Continue reading