Saturday, December 31, 2011

Reflecting the Adventure Bug: Part Uno

I spent a good portion of this morning reading some of my blog posts from 2010. I love that about blogging! I can see where I was this time last year: my dreams, my passions and my accomplishments. I had almost forgotten about my Adventure Bug bucket lists I had made, and I thought I should revisit them to review everything I did in 2011.

2011 was an adventurous year for me. It is amazing all I was able to do, and I am so thankful for the opportunities I was given. I did not complete everything off my bucket list of course, but I crossed off a few.


Seattle: The Coffee Capitol of the World
My first adventure of the year was going to Seattle to represent my student organization at the National Assembly. It was a life-changing venture. It was my first solo flight, my first National event to attend and my first time on the West coast.

I met so many wonderful people in PRSSA, Public Relations Student Society of America. Because of that trip, I made lasting connections with people across the States and jumpstarted my passion for PRSSA. Now, I am vp of our university's Chapter, and I am loving every minute of it.

My favorite moments from Seattle were:

  1. Realizing we took pictures in the WRONG Starbucks thinking it was the original.
  2. Seeing the fun coffee sights with Robbie and Katie.
  3. Watching the new PRSSA committee get elected!

Pittsburgh: The City with a Front Door
My next adventure was driving across the country to Pittsburgh, Pa. with the beau to visit our lovely friends Jay and Amber. This was an awesome way to spend my Spring Break. It was my first true road trip, my first time in the New England area and my first real adventure with the beau.

We drove all 14 hours through the night and arrived early in the morning. It was great to see our friends and how they were living in a community. Everyone was so sweet and welcoming. The city itself was so fun and historic. I loved everything about it!

My favorite moments of Pittsburgh were:

  1. Driving through the "front door" of Pittsburgh. It took my breath away.
  2. Exploring an awesome used book store.
  3. Watching Jay and Travis build a giant snow man in March.

Quito: Te extraƱo mucho
My biggest adventure of the year was spending four weeks in Quito, Ecuador, studying Spanish. It truly was an adventure of a lifetime, and I miss it so much. It was my first time in South America, first time traveling abroad without my parents or longer than one week, and my first time traveling with my university.

Traveling to Ecuador was a different experience for me because every other trip abroad had been with my church, so it was definitely different traveling with college students. Occasionally, I got annoyed with being a "tourist" because I just wanted to emerge myself. However, I made friends that I would have never expected and made memories that will last a lifetime.

My favorite moments in Quito were:

  1. The weekend spent on the beach in Puerto Lopez. It was so unexpectedly wonderful.
  2. Sliding down the side of Cotopaxi, the largest active volcano in the world.
  3. Watching movies and eating pizza with my three roomies and host mom instead of going to the party because one of them twisted her ankle.
  4. Discovering a tiny coffee shop called El Ristretto.
  5. Visiting the art museum of Oswaldo Guayasamin called "La Capilla del Hombre."

There were so many other wonderful moments on all of these adventures, and I took other small ventures on the way to Kansas City and St. Louis. Even though I got to experience many new adventures, they only deepened my adventure bug, so I am excited to see where 2012 takes me!

Happy New Year,
Beth
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Saturday, December 24, 2011

All I Want for Christmas is You

All I want for Christmas is you...

I have a Christmas gift for all of you lovely people reading my blog. My friends and I made a fun music video to Mariah Carey's "All I Want for Christmas is You" song. We started at about 10 pm at night and edited it until about 4 in the morning. This is what we do for fun.

So enjoy our Christmas gift to everyone special in our lives, including you, because all we want for Christmas is to be surrounded by you.





Merry Christmas!

-Beth

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Friday, December 23, 2011

Hillson Photoshoot

I recently had the privelege of being photographed by one of my lovely friends from Cape Town, Stacey Hill. She has a very unique style of photography, and I have always loved her photos of my friend, Suzie. I told her I was looking to redesign my blog with some new fun pictures, and she got really excited. 

So here is a sneak peek, and some of the photos Stacey took of me:





She and her husband, Landon, just recently started a photography business. Be sure to go check out their Facebook page and website and see some of their artistic photos!

Thanks again, Stacey!

And be looking forward to some fun changes. :)

Merry Christmas!

-Beth
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Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Could I Ask You a Favor?

With Christmas only six days away, it is beginning to finally feel like Christmas. I have finished buying, making and wrapping my gifts; I have redesigned my blog and seen one children's pageant; and I am home.

In the spirit of Christmas, I have a favor to ask of you lovely readers. I have recently entered the beau and I in a little contest, where the winner receives a free photo shoot. I would be forever grateful if you took one minute of your time to go vote for us. The contest closes on Christmas Eve, and "The Cutest Couple" will be announced on Christmas!


You can vote once a day, so feel free to vote every day this week, and share with your friends via Twitter and Facebook. Here is the full link to share: http://loveandluxephoto.blogspot.com/2011/12/love-luxes-cutest-couple-contest-vote.html. If you need more convincing, here is a video documenting our five year relationship. Enjoy!




Thank you for all of your help and support!

Merry Christmas!

-Beth Pin It

Monday, December 12, 2011

Askinosie Chocolate Meringue Pie

Over Thanksgiving, I made one of my favorite desserts with a new twist.


I made chocolate meringue pie with an Askinosie single origin chocolate bar from Ecuador. 

It. Was. De-li-cious!

And super simple...


Pie Crust Recipe from Fanny Farmer Cookbook

Ingredients:
  • 2 1/2 cups of unbleached flour
  • 3/4 cup of butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon of Kosher salt
  • 6-7 Tablespoons of water


Directions:
  1. Mix all the dry ingredients.
  2. Cut in the fat. (A pastry cutter works lovely!)
  3. Add the water one Tablespoon at a time so that it just sticky as a ball.
  4. Roll the dough out into a thin circle.
  5. Place the dough in the pie pan and flute the edges.
  6. Bake in the oven for 17 minutes at 425 degrees Fahrenheit.



Recipe for the Chocolate Custard from Green & Black


Ingredients:

  • 4 large free-range egg yolks
  • 45 g of sugar
  • 20 g plain flour
  • 350 mL of milk
  • 70 g of Askinosie chocolate bar (save the left over for the top)
Directions:
  1. Whisk together the egg yolks & sugar.
  2. Sift in the flour & whisk that in.
  3. Heat milk to boiling point.
  4. Pour onto the egg mixture, whisking constantly.
  5. Return the mixture to the saucepan & bring to a boil over LOW heat. You want it to be thick and smooth.
  6. Remove from heat and add the chocolate until fully mixed.


Recipe for the Meringue TexasCooking.com

Ingredients:
  • 3 egg whites from large eggs
  • 6 Tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
Directions:
  1. Beat the egg whites at high speed with an electric mixer until soft peaks form.
  2. With mixer running, add the cream of tartar.
  3. Then gradually add the sugar, a Tablespoon at a time, and beat until stiff peaks form.
  4. Beat in the vanilla.
  5. Pie atop pie and seal the edges to the crust.
  6. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 12 to 15 minutes, or until lightly browned.



Let your pie cool before you put into the fridge to keep it from dewing. 

And enjoy!

-Beth
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Thursday, December 8, 2011

The PR Belle

So I have a new blog...

Coffee, Culture and Community is NOT going anywhere, though. I started The PR Belle for my public relations social media class earlier this semester, and for now, I am going to keep maintaining both of my blogs.

The PR Belle focuses solely on social media, public relations, marketing, the job hunt, etc. In other words, I will no longer be blogging about public relations or my career on this blog. Over the next couple of months, I may be changing some things up a bit, but I want this blog to focus on my passions: traveling, culture, coffee and non-profit organizations I care about with a little dash of personal stuff thrown in.

If you are following this blog for PR and social media tips, feel free to check out The PR Belle. Otherwise, thank you for stopping by and supporting me! We will continue our journey through the coffee world, traveling chums.

-Beth
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Monday, December 5, 2011

The Trevor Wedding


Looking back at some previous posts, I realized I never got around to sharing Lizzy's wedding with you, and I apologize greatly because it was a beautiful occasion. I was so honored to be a part of this lovely couple's special day.


I went up to St. Louis about once a month helping Lizzy with wedding details, so even though I did not spend a whole week with her, I was there a lot. Lizzy's friends became my friends. I realized how incredible weddings are because they bring so many different people together who all love the same couple.



Lizzy's wedding was vintage inspired. If anyone knows Lizzy, you know that she was born in the wrong time period. She does not have Facebook, she just broke down to get a cell phone, she does not have a TV, etc. 

She looked like an old photograph coming to life.
Gorgeous. Glamorous. Poised.



All of the bridesmaids wore navy dresses they picked out themselves with Lizzy's approval. She wanted them all to have a vintage, unique feel. I bought my simple, lace-backed dress in mall in Quito, and some amazing, vintage-laced heels in a local shop in St. Louis. My pearl cluster necklace was my bridesmaid's gift from Lizzy, which perfectly matched my pearl earrings from a tiny coastal shop in Puerto Lopez. I bought my gorgeous vintage clutch (not pictured here) at Vintage Vice in Springfield. 


My beau was such a huge help, and I loved having him there. 

Right before the ceremony, it began to rain.  It was emotional and heart-breaking, but everyone came together in a beautiful way to save all the decorations with tarps. When the rain passed about 15 minutes later, we reset like it never happened, and the ceremony was perfect.


I loved the little boys carrying the "Here Comes the Bride" sign, such a precious idea!


It was great to be a part of the wedding party. I had never been in a wedding of such a close friend up close in the action. I bawled like a little baby and had goosebumps all over because there was something about that moment that was

magical.


I wish them best the best! And I will treasure these memories forever.

-Beth

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Friday, December 2, 2011

Brighter than the Sun

So over Thanksgiving break, my friend, Suzie, and I made a music video to Colbie Caillat's "Brighter Than the Sun."

Why you ask?
Because that is what every 20 something girl does when she visits high school friends.

Well, maybe not,
but that's what my friends do.

I thought I would share my silly side with your all:



P.S. I am loving the new YouTube look! 

-Beth
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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Tableya: Hot Chocolate with a Cause

Two weeks ago, I visited Askinosie Chocolate Factory on Commercial Street for their free Tableya tasting event. After hearing the story behind the product, I am just so excited to share this story with everyone. It is such a neat process.


First of all, Askinosie Chocolate Factory is a factory in Springfield, Mo., that is trying to make a difference in the chocolate industry by making direct trade relationships with the farmers and giving them a portion of the profits. Every bar has a photo and autograph of the lead farmer of that specific cacao farm. I just heart their mission!

Their newest product, Tableya, is a traditional Filipino hot chocolate drink and means “tablet.” They source cacao beans in a town called Davao, and they started noticing a malnutrition problem at a nearby elementary school, so they brainstormed a way to help.


The PTA of the elementary school creates these tablets from the cacao beans and sells them to Shawn Askinosie for $1. Shawn sells in the US for $10. The $9 profit is ALL given to Convoy of Hope, a local non-profit that focuses on feeding initiatives and disaster relief all over the world—including the Philippines, which funds the food program at the elementary school.

So the parents have a “stake in the outcome” of their child’s health, and the program is dependent on the sales of product instead of donations. There are over 500 students at this elementary school, and they are measuring the students overall health to see the success of the program.


I am just so excited for this brilliant idea that is win, win for everyone! I am pretty sure that many people in my life are going to this in their stockings this year for Christmas! Who doesn’t love yummy hot chocolate that helps give Filipino children the nutrition they need to survive?!

-Beth
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Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Bloom: A New Coffee Brewing App

I have some exciting news in the world of coffee!

Recently, a new iPhone app was released called Bloom, which aids manual coffee brewing. It is essentially a glorified timer that is customizable. 

The opening screen looks like this:


It comes with basic specs for the most common manual coffee brewers: Beehouse, Chemex, Clever, French Press, Siphon and V60. So when you click on one of the brewers, it gives you how much coffee and water to use and how much time to let the water be with the coffee. 

It even dings when your coffee is done brewing!


What sets Bloom apart from other coffee brewing apps is that it is customizable. You can change the basic settings to whatever you like. You can also add extra settings. So maybe you like to use 24 grams of coffee with your favorite coffee from El Salvador, but for your Sumatra coffee you like 25 grams. 

It is all up to YOU! 


I love this new app because it satisfies the needs of a coffee explorer, who does not know what do yet with their new coffee toys, and the needs of a coffee scientist, who likes to experiment various ways to make coffee. AND you can store any notes you want to remind the you that is not fully awake because you have not had your coffee yet.

I also love this app because Jeremy Boles, a Coffee Ethic regular and spouse of a Coffee Ethic employee, designed it. Yeah, for awesome Springfield people making stuff happen!

If you want to download the app, check it out in the iTunes store, and if this sounds like a foreign language, feel free to shoot me any questions! :)

My at home coffee station

Happy coffee making!

-Beth

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Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Pumpkins, Birthdays & Flash Mobs


This past weekend was my birthday!
And two of my lovely friends from high school and my friend from SBU and her husband came to visit me for the weekend.

It was perfect!


We caught up, ate at my favorite restaurant, Nonna's, drank lots of coffee, carved pumpkins, watched a Thriller Flash Mob, went vintage shopping, toured Askinosie Chocolate Factory, took pictures in a creep book store and ate cupcakes.





Probably the highlight of the entire weekend was my friend Whitney joining the Thriller Flash Mob on C-Street. She knew the dance, and Travis and Suzie convinced her to join the encore.

Here is the video for your enjoyment:

Happy Belated Halloween from Daphne!


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Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Springfield's First Food Day Celebration


This Saturday, the Springfield community came together to celebrate National Food Day for the first time.  It was $2 to get in and all the proceeds went to Ozarks Food Harvest. It was the perfect match for fundraising and fun!


I volunteered with the beau's pre-professional society and happened to be paired with some PRSSA members too. We had fun selling Smart chicken sandwiches and Quinoa salad from Momma Jean's. 



The Wilhoit Plaza was a great place for an outdoor event downtown! And the weather was beautiful, even in the middle of October.


I absolutely adored chatting with those girls. That is why I love volunteering. You never know who you will meet. 

Every moment is a moment for networking!



And Ozarks Food Harvest is such a good cause! I interned their the summer before last, and I just keep coming back because they are such a great community organization!

Do you have a place you always volunteer at?

-Beth

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Thursday, October 20, 2011

My First Mug


Here is another story about a coffee mug in my cupboard. :)


I got this mug right before I left for college at Barnes and Noble. I remember realizing out of the blue that I did not have a coffee mug to drink my cup of joe every morning. I immediately went on a hunt to solve this problem.


It was my first mug, so a lot of thought went into the purchase. Today, it is still one of my favorite mugs in my cupboard. Who knew it would one day match the colors of The Coffee Ethic, where I work?


Do you remember the first mug you bought?

-Beth

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Monday, October 17, 2011

Kitty's First Road Trip

So this weekend was Fall Break for MSU, and I had the privilege of going home with my beau and my kitty. 
It is a four hour drive to the City of Roses, but we all made it in one piece. Thankfully!



She liked hanging out on my beau's shoulder, and on the way home it was so hot she was panting like a dog. Did not foresee that problem in the middle of October...

The whole weekend was great!
I got a lovely bday gift from my lovely friend
(personalized Jones soda):



I got to visit my younger sister at her university SIU for the first time. She is a very dedicated athlete, even willing to wear the Saluki mascot head.
(She is on the right.)


 I also got a new computer!
I am a Mac girl from here on out, which hopefully means more reliable posting! ;)

Have a lovely week!

-Beth
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