Tuesday, February 26, 2008


Do you have a daughter between the ages of 16 and 19, or do you know some one who does? If so, they might be interested to hear about the HERO Youth Ambassador Program, a school-based organization that provides support to orphans and children living in HIV/AIDS-affected African communities. Reading about some of these teens, who give up their vacations to travel to Africa, makes me have more faith in the state of our youth today. (It makes me even rethink my vow not to let my girls leave the house until they're thirty.)

And now HERO is looking for 20 teens to travel to Africa in 2008. (Juniors and Seniors in High School and College Freshmen are eligible.) What an amazing opportunity for young people who want to heed the call to serve others. Applications can be found here, but hurry - the deadline is March 1.

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Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Senseo Single Serve Coffee Pod System: Now, I'm Caffeinated 24/7

I have a saying, "You can never have enough coffee makers." We're a family of four with only two coffee drinkers (the other two, my kids 9 and 11, are the reason we need to drink coffee) but have in our possession five devices for brewing caffeinated beverages. There's the 10-cup grind n' brew, the Starbucks Barista espresso machine, an ancient French press and two stovetop espresso pots. I'd like to try an experiment one day where I have all five contraptions brewing at the same time, drink all the coffee and then see if I can stay up for nine days straight.

And then, there were six! I was recently asked to test out a Senseo Single Serve Coffee Pod System which I quickly agreed to – how could I turn down a chance to have the latest in coffee brewing accessories in my kitchen? It would be like Paris Hilton passing on the latest Chanel Bag. I'm a slave to coffee fashion - when they come out with that espresso machine that can be installed into the glove compartment of my van, I'll be the first in line.

The Senseo Single Serve Coffee Pod System is exactly as it sounds; a way to brew a single serving of coffee using pre-packaged coffee pods. But unlike soup-for-one or those small, sad one-glass bottles of wine, a single serving coffee doesn't scream loser. A single serving of coffee says, "I'm hip! I can have coffee whenever I want! And I'll be up all night!"

This machine couldn't be easier to use. Fill the reservoir up with water, pop a coffee pod into the holder, select your cup size and brew yourself a single cup of fresh hot coffee. And in spite of it's single serve title, the Senseo actually can brew two cups at the same time - simply put two pods into the larger holder that's included, and choose the two-cup option. The best part? No grounds to spill, no pot to wash, no coffee grinder to clean.

The other great benefit of the Senseo is satisfying that one person who always shows up at gatherings asking for decaf coffee. Personally I don't understand these people and usually ask them to leave the premises immediately, but whatever. Now, I can keep a package of Senseo Decaf coffee pods on hand to brew them a single cup of unleaded brew before I give them a lecture on the health benefits of caffeine and send them on their way.

The Senseo coffee pods are widely available (I've seen them at Ralphs and Target) and come in a variety of brews– everything from Sumatra to Espresso blends, and flavors like Vanilla and Hazelnut. Like the decaf people, I don't get the flavored-coffee-people either, but I'll make sure and have a few flavored pods on hand for them, just to be nice.

Now, for the best part:

Want to try out the Senseo Single Serve Coffee maker yourself? Click on the link below and fill out the (short) survey for your chance to receive everything you see below:

Click here for your chance to get caffeinated.

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