Christmas for a Coffee Snob

Well I only promised a Ratio Coffee Maker review like months ago(here) but in this crazy COVID world things get lost in back order.

And yet I think it makes more sense to do this post now, during the holidays and combine it with a few of my top gift ideas for the coffee snob in your life.

If you will read the post linked above you’ll learn that my boss was on the hunt for that craft, handcrafted coffee experience without all the work and time of a pour over device. Well I think she finally found it in the Ratio Coffee Maker(here)

It’s much pricier than the maker she had tried earlier (without any success) but this maker is made of sterner stuff than plastic. So no super-heated, disgusting plastic taste in your coffee.

It blooms your coffee perfectly and makes the coffee somewhat hot. Yep I said somewhat. There is no heating pad underneath the pot(to prevent you from accidentally burning your coffee, because the kid spilt grape juice all over the kitchen floor) which is why I recommend springing for the thermal package. It comes with a very nice(and frankly my fav part) thermal decanter. (Not pictured here) If you don’t want to cough up the money for this extra package just remember to drink your coffee when it is done brewing. And/or slap it in your Yeti quickly before the coffee cools.

As far as tastes go I was very pleased. Again I will be honest; I can tell the coffee came from a maker and instead of a pour over, but I honestly think this is because I just need to find the right coffee beans/water balance. Another selling point for this kind of coffee maker is you can really tweak the measurements until you find the perfect balance.

All in all I would give the Ratio Coffee Maker from price to performance a 7 out of 10. Maybe an 8 if I can find the perfect measurements.

Now on to just a few of my favorite coffee related gifts for the snob in your life!

  • Coffee Scrub- You can find this at literally any beauty store. Or go that extra mile and find a recipe for homemade coffee scrub on Pinterest. But coffee themed gifts are always appreciated by us snobs.
  • Coffee Cup/Tray Set- I personally love this set from Amazon. Or others like it. So chic and cute.
  • Coffee To-Go Kit- I cannot tell you how many times I have used my kit!(here is the link to the post where I list everything you’ll need to make your own to-go kit) Vacations, trips home, the entire summer living at the lake house. Best decision ever!
  • Colectivo Coffee Gift Box- Colectivo is a coffee roaster based here in Milwaukee that has amazing coffee and super cute holiday gift boxes. Here and here and here. This makes shopping for that coffee snob just a wee bit easier.
  • Coffee Subscription to Black Refile- Another great route to go is giving your coffee lover a monthly subscription to a great roasted like Colectivo or Black Refile.
  • Coffee Gummies/Espresso- Lastly any food, candy or little do-dads that say the word coffee are always accepted. Just keep your eyes open.

Well I hope you guys enjoyed this post and I will see ya later!

Lots of love,

Tally

New Topic

Vague title I know, but I couldn’t quite think of one that covered my thoughts without sounding weird in my head. “Self-defense in a Crazy World” “Situational Awareness 101” “Young Women vs. The World”

Okay so now you’re probably even more confused. I’m supposed to be Marry Poppins without the singing not ninja, warrior woman(which I am not by the way… like at all) Well stick with me guys. My Dad has worked in security his entire life. He was a bodyguard downtown Chicago for years and has worked as a supervisor and trainer in hospital security for over two decades. Needless to say growing up we had a lot of conversations about personal security and self defense. To me it was normal to have a long discussion over dinner on how to handle yourself if someone attacked you from behind. That is why when I moved to Milwaukee three years ago and had similar conversations with my girl friends I was shocked to learn they either had no clue or what to do or had an unrealistic view of self defense. Or thought you couldn’t possibly defend yourself unless you were a super, ninja woman.

My Papa and me.

It dawned on me then and has still been stirring within me that this is a topic rarely discussed from a young woman’s perspective and therefore grounded in reality.

So what’s the deal?

What I would like to do is that once a month I would like to do one post on the self defense topic. (Obviously I don’t want to sacrifice our main focus of nannyhood) I want to give you guys common sense tips about avoiding difficult or dangerous situations; and what to do if you do get into them. I also want to suggest tools everyone should have in their arsenal and techniques that you can learn(maybe some with short little tutorial videos) on your own. And I think it is also super important to cover what the Bible says about personal defense. I think we’ll cover this discussion first sense ultimately whatever God says in His Word is how I want to live my life.

Anyway a lot of ideas and possibilities tumbling around in my head for this topic. Let me know if this would be something you guys are interested in down below.

Lots of love,

Tally

A Discussion on Coffee

Warning: A long post on my love for coffee to follow

You will all remember my coffee revolution last Christmas(and if you don’t here ya go-enjoy) when my sister introduced me to the wider world of craft coffee and I officially became one of those coffee snobs. #unashemed

My love for coffee has also led to an obsession of coffee mugs… I mean why not?

Since then I may or may not have taken my love for good coffee(not to be confused with love for pre-ground, big brand, k-cups and coffee maker coffee) to extremes. But once one has tasted perfection, one cannot in any way shape or form go back to what most people gulp down every morning, because they simply don’t know any better.

Now you’re probably thinking I’m exaggerating. There can’t be that big of a difference between a k-cup and a kelta wave pour over. Except that one takes a few seconds to spit out a lukewarm stale coffee-ish liquid and the other takes four to five minutes to make the best dang cup of coffee you’ve literally ever had!! Don’t just take me word for it. Everyone I have corrupted by making a proper cup of coffee have told me it’s amazing.

My Dad(the original coffee guru in my life) has told me how long the coffee stays hot and how full it tastes in his mouth. I mean seriously it’s so different from the same old fare you’re used to that you’ll wonder what you have been drinking all your life. I like my coffee better now than even coffee shop specialty coffee, which is saving me boat loads.

Real Peruvian coffee… these babies got me hooked on the natural roasting process. Where they leave the cherry on the bean for all or half of the drying process. Yum!

With this new knowledge of coffee and what makes good coffee I have come to realize what kinds of beans I like most. My perfect coffee bean is from South America or the Pacific Islands. Natural roasting is preferred but not required. A medium roast with a bright acidity and natural undertones(woody or dark chocolate) with some fruity hints. But I love experimenting with different beans and roasters.

Yes roasters impact how your coffee is going to taste. Since there’s no real rules regarding what a dark roast, medium and light roast should look like, every roaster has their own standard. One of my favorite roasters are based here in Milwaukee. Colectivo is a locally owned and run roasting company that takes care to get their coffee from small or family owned farms that are run with very high standards. But their roasting style tends to be more on the burnt side. I personally like the back taste of the roasted coffee, but others don’t.

Another company I highly recommend and that’s just a recent thing by the way, since I got my first bag of coffee from The Black Refile Coffee Company last week. Is the above mentioned veteran owned company and they give a portion of their income to support veterans, first responders and law enforcement. Their style is very smooth and even though I received their blackest roast it doesn’t have that burnt taste Colectivo does. If that’s something you’re wanting to avoid.

It’s fun to try new coffee and roasts. One thing I like to do is buy coffee when I travel(like the Peruvian coffee, though that was a gift from a fellow traveler) It’s like tasting the world one cup at a time. (Speaking fo travel here’s my post on my coffee traveling kit)

Anyway I’ll stop now(lol) though I could go on and on about this subject. Maybe I’ll do a post on my step by step process of how I make a perfect cup of coffee.

Lots of love,

Tally

What’s Up with the Blog 2020?

I debated with doing this post. Will they actually care about my plans for the blog 2020? In the end I decided since I am such a goal oriented person and love making lists and then checking things off my list that this post would be fun to make if nothing else. (Sorry my loyal readers but please let me indulge in my mania just this once- Who am I kidding?! I always indulge)

So what’s up with the blog?
  • Travel- Oh how I LOVE to travel. With at least two awesome trips planned for this year; New Orleans in March and Maine In October. Expect some awesome tips, tours and packing posts. Arguably one of my favorite posts to write I can’t wait to be on the go again!
  • Nannyhood- Continuing the original theme of my blog I will be passing on some of my advice to aspiring nannies, tips for my fellow nannies and my honest opinions for those of you who are just curious about nannies.
  • Monthly Media Favs- I love doing this monthly media rap up posts, so you can expect these to continue.
  • Nanny specific product reviews- We’re talking diapers, food products, clothes, toys, etc. All of my fav products for your perusal.
  • Diary spews- I can’t help myself when it comes to the random spewing of words. Sometimes we just need to set out our thoughts in order and in words, no? Hope you enjoy these, thankfully sporadic, views into my inner workings.
  • Exploring Milwaukee- I have lived here for two years now and yet still feel like there is so much about Milwaukee I don’t know. As I continue to explore my adopted home town(city) I will pass it on to you. *smiles*
  • Photo Dumps- I enjoy taking photos. I enjoy taking more photos than I actually need. Not only will I be continuing the tradition I started last year of a yearly round up of my favorite photos, I will also be doing photo style diary posts and so on.
  • Facebook Vlogs- I am the worst when it comes to vlogs. I promised you guys a vlog for my trip to North Carolina back in November and I still haven’t posted it. (I am a despicable human being) But I do want to add this kind of content to my repertoire. So I am going to take my Facebook page(link at the top of the page) and use it primarily for video content- Yay! So be sure to like the page so you can get notified when I post a video. (Also my long awaited video will be going up this week… I am going to say Friday)
No more fashion posts..

Now don’t freak out and think I am never ever going to make a fashion post again, because I probably will but only if it ties into another theme. For example, “what I am packing for a trip”. And if I keep using stitch fix I will do an unboxing post. However just stand alone fashion posts are a thing of the past. While I had fun doing them they’re not the direction I want to take my blog in. And plus they are a pain to create; all the links and most all of my clothes are outdated so they don’t sell them anymore, so then finding something similar- A pain! What I am thinking of doing is putting some fashion favs/collections on Instagram. So if you love my fashion related content it will still be out there just not getting an entire article about it.

Also I will be updating my sister’s signature look transformation(first started here) because yes it is still going on.

I just want to wrap this up by saying 2020 is going to be a great year for this site(I think so anyway) but I really want to know what you guys think. Are you excited about the content I have planned so far? Anything I should add? Lose? Please- please– let me know in the comments below. Don’t forget to sign up for email notifications and follow my Instagram account, plus like us on Facebook since a lot of new content will be coming through there as well.

Wishing you so much love this year,

Tally

Exploring Milwaukee: Art Musuem

The weather is once again getting nice enough for me to go exploring! (Yippee!) Coming from East Central Illinois there wasn’t many adventures going on. (I loved growing up in a small town but I’m pretty sure I was always meant to end up in the city scene. I think we’ve talked about this before)

Anyway I finally got to visit the Milwaukee Art Museum . My initial thoughts? It’s huge, the staff is super friendly and it’s overall collection is pretty impressive. I could have spent all day wandering the halls, however I have a cold… again (yay!) and just the 2 1/2 hours I spent walking around was enough to drain me of all energy and enthusiasm.
But I wanted to go before May 12th, 2019 to see the Bouguereau&America  exhibit. Guys if you get a chance to go you have to check it out. Bouguereau was heavily influenced by the Renaissance artists, his own religion and what was in demand by the mostly American purchasers. Not only seeing these influences spill out of his art, but to see the rise and fall of his fame with the changing mood of the populace, was super fascinating. If you do get a chance to check out this limited time exhibit; my favorite pieces were The Broken Pitcher, all of his portraits especially the Two Sisters( a new dream of mine is to have my portrait painted. How cool would that be?), and The Prayer. (You can almost feel that one) 

And if you guys do go ask the security guards on duty what their favorites are. Maybe because my Dad has worked in security most of his life, but I make it a point to smile and talk to the security guards. Show ‘em some love people! 
Also remember that the 1st Thursday of the every month is free entry. In case you need added incentive to plan a visit. 
One last thought and then I’ll shut up; but sometimes (most times) the people are more interesting than the art work. Watching different people react to different kinds of art is simply fascinating. It would make an interesting social study. (if anyone studied me while looking at the Modern Art they’d see confusion… I still don’t get it)

Oh, bonus thought! But on the 3rd floor  in the back, is a room that’s got two huge windows that open out onto the lake. It has several sculptures in it, but everyone makes a beeline for the windows. It just struck me that, yes certain people have been blessed with the amazing ability to create these awesome works of art, but nothing can compare with God’s art work.


Okay I’ll stop talking know. Do you guys have any suggestion of where I should go exploring next? I am always up for another adventure! (At least I will be when I get over this cold)
Lots of loves,
Tally
Facebook: A Nanny’s Notebook
Instagram: @nannysnotebook
Twitter: @RagsdaleTally
Pinterest: A Nanny’s Notebook