Exciting News!!

Hello all,

I have to say - The Little Coffee Shoppe has been quite the journey. I've really enjoyed writing here and sharing my thoughts on so many different things, but sometimes it's time for a new adventure, and today is that day! I will no longer be writing here, and will now be contributing over at a brand new site called Nerdeeo! Nerdeeo is brand spanking new, and our inaugural post is now live, so give it a read if you fancy. It's a series I actually started here on this blog, that I felt just needed to continue. I hope you'll come visit us and follow the new site! Thank you for reading my posts over the past few years! DFTBA!



Sunday Seven - April 22, 2018.

It feels like the weather has finally taken a turn - spring is here! It's an incredible feeling...moods have lifted and I'm inspired to get out and accomplish things in the yard, run errands and take on various tasks that keep getting pushed back onto the to-do list. Winter is definitely a struggle for me. I get a bit stir-crazy and feel more sluggish and bummed out. I'm so happy to see the sun now and to feel like I can actually start my seeds because yes, we will have a seasonal change and a warm-up! Huzzah!

1. Today is Earth Day and I thought of doing a post focused specifically on that, but I also know there are PLENTY of them out there today and this weekend in general. Trying to take on more sustainable practices is an important value to me and something I think we all should be doing. It's not always easy though and I think we need to focus on progress rather than perfection - it can be easy to feel like we're not doing enough, or can't possibly do enough, because we're not doing it all. This article which is a rather long one, touches on the historic drought in Cape Town, South Africa. It's a wonderful article on a fascinating story - I think it provides so much food for thought!

2. I suppose sticking with the Cape Town theme, I HAVE to mention the new album from Jeremy Loops. I ordered Critical as Water ye old fashioned way via a CD that came from across the pond in the UK. It took awhile to get here but it was well worth the wait. I feel like I'm the only one left who still listens to proper CD's but honestly I prefer them. I know that no matter what happens to my tech, I've still got the actual disc. I've lost whole hordes of music before because hard drives went kaput. Anyways, back to the CD - it's seriously so incredible. I can't get enough of Freak and really, the whole album is incredible. I've been listening to it on a loop (ha), rather than skipping past particular songs which I often do with albums. It's hard to find an album where you fully enjoy every. single. song. The sound is incredible, the production is incredible...the whole damn thing is incredible. <3

3. Let's talk TV for a minute. I feel like I haven't talked about TV in a minute here. It's not for a lack of opinions, I've just sort of being absorbing programs and not sharing my thoughts for no particular reason. Trust me, I still have plenty of them!! But I've got to mention this new show Splitting up Together because it's just a damn great sitcom. It's based on a Danish show called, Bedre skilt end aldrig, and follows a couple who have decided to divorce but co-parent together in the same house (essentially), for the sake of their children. It's funny and sweet and at some points sad, but it's all lovely. Jenna Fisher is great and I have no complaints re: Oliver Hudson who looked incredibly familiar to me, but I don't know why. Splitting Up Together is on ABC and follows Blashish, Tuesdays at 9:30pm.

4. I've been working on some serious spring cleaning and organization the past couple of weeks and this week I went and picked up this metal cart from Target and I honestly love it way more than I thought I would. I was drawn to it because of it's functionality for the particular project I have in mind, but I've found that I actually really like the look of it as well. Right now it's not totally full up yet, but I've got the top shelf (for now) filled with some of my house plants and I just love it! The cart is a dupe for the Ikea one, but I don't have an Ikea anywhere near me so this works!

5. BLUEBIRDS. The end of this week brought about a turn in the weather - finally. I was looking out our front picture window the other day and watching the birds and I noticed there was a little bird on one of our two bird houses. I put them up years ago specifically to try and attract Eastern Bluebirds. When the bird turned, I noticed it was a Bluebird!! I went out yesterday and got some fresh meal worms and filled up their special feeder. I haven't seen them eat yet, but they're incredibly interested in our one bird house and I'm so excited to be seeing Bluebirds. I'm really hoping they stick around - this has been years in the making!

6. This Will Be My Undoing: Living at the Intersection of Black, Female, and Feminist in (White) America by Morgan Jerkins. I finally finished this book this week. I feel like I read it rather slowly, but that may be because I've been trying to not pressure myself to achieve a certain speed in my reading (especially pleasure reading). It was a really good book. I feel like it was so many books in one. There were memoir style aspects that of course, appealed to me because that's one of my favorite genres to read, and then there was commentary on society. So really, it was many of my interests rolled into one and I just really enjoyed reading it. I think Jerkins writes really well - she has a talent for sure. She taught me things, made me think and entertained me all at the same time. I hope that she comes out with more books because I'd absolutely read them.

7. I've really been enjoying some of the essential oil blends I've been working on. I've been playing with essential oils in different ways for a few years but recently I've been utilizing them more as remedies for various issues, like pain. The blend I'm currently using is the best I've created thus far and I find myself using it for headaches, neck pain, back pain, and so much more. I'm definitely an essential oil fan. But more on that in another post! ;)

Hope everyone has a great week ahead!


The Perfect Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

I've spent years trying to find the perfect chocolate chip cookie recipe. More specifically, I've been trying to replicate the cookies my grandmother made when I was young. I remember her filling old coffee tins with these pale, lumpy chocolate chip cookies that were the perfect dipping cookies back when I could drink milk. I realize that to some this might not sound like the ideal cookie - and perhaps nostalgia is romanticizing them a bit. Regardless, when I think back to her cookies, I really wish I had learned how she made them (and really, most of her cooking in general). I find many cookie recipes to be incredibly sweet and I don't like cookies that are so sweet that they send electric waves through my teeth (hello, sensitive teeth). I tend to also like my cookies a bit on the drier side. The cookie recipe I'm sharing today definitely hits those marks.


Sunday Seven: April 8th 2018

The semester is over and I feel like I can finally breathe a sigh of relief. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy school, but this semester has just felt particularly exhausting. I've always sort of struggled during the "spring" semesters - this time of year in general sort of gets me down, so perhaps that's part of it. I'm sure I'm not alone? This week has been a lot of tackling things I've had on the back burner due to school - like cleaning and pleasure reading, so I feel like the Sunday Seven this week is extra nerdy (not a bad thing, just a thing).

1. This article about Africa splitting into two fascinates me. I read it when I couldn't sleep one night and despite it being 3 in the morning, I was actually able to comprehend a decent amount of what it discusses. Points for my insomniac brain!

2. Reading this Reddit post about how Instinct is potentially plagiarizing Bones. I'm not sure what to make of the details of the whole thing, but I will say that the video that I watched comparing last week's episode of Instinct and an episode of Bones (a show I'm not familiar with) really makes it hard to argue that at very least, they're recycling work the writer previously did. Hopefully the video is still up by the time this post goes live - it keeps getting taken down by CBS. Go figure - it certainly doesn't help them with the show they've been promoting like crazy (while they leave other shows in the dust.... Oh, Elementary, I miss you!!). You can likely find a re-uploaded version through the Reddit thread though if this interests you at all.

3. I learned that I sort of dislike read-a-thons. Over the weekend there was a #25in5 read-a-thon which had the goal of reading for 25 hours over the course of five days. Given that the semester had come to an end, I figure this would be the perfect way to get back into the swing of things with reading that wasn't school related. I like the idea of these reading challenges (which typically start on Instagram), because they feel like they foster a sense of community by bringing people together with a collective goal. However, I've learned an important reminder through trying to participate in this challenge. I don't like competitive reading. I'm easy to fall for it, but I don't like it at all. It stresses me out - taking the fun and enjoyment out of reading. I worry that I don't read quickly enough and that I won't get through as much reading as others. I worry that others will judge my reading speed/efficiency and my book choices. I love reading and this challenge was a reminder that I just don't enjoy the way competitive reading makes me feel. I like certain aspects of the bookstagram community, but others make me too hard on myself. Reading is a self-care action for me and that means it needs to happen naturally. Wanting to read a lot is different than trying to rush through things to fit in with others, so I'm going to try to be better about reading the way I want to, not the way everyone else is.

4. Mocha Cold Brew from Chameleon Coffee. OMG you guys, this stuff is dangerously yummy. For the past few months, I've been drinking cold brew coffee nearly exclusively and it's always been Chameleon (I tried the Trader Joe's cold brew concentrate but it was no bueno IMO). I used to have a lot of GI issues from coffee but thanks to Cold Brew, that is all in the past. I love how easy it is to make a delicious cup of coffee every morning and while you can make it hot, I much prefer it iced. It was on sale this week at Target so I finally picked up the Mocha, and now think I've tried all of their flavors (except for the caramel, which now that I looked it up and realized its dairy free, I'll have to try it next time). I typically stick to the regular black but damn, this mocha is really really delicious!!! It honestly gives me vague Tim Hortons Ice Cap vibes when I mix it with my Silk Soy creamer!! I don't do dairy anymore so I haven't had Timmy Ho's in months and that might be the thing I miss the most!! The mocha has enough of a chocolaty hint without tasting like straight up chocolate milk - it's really well balanced. So much so that I broke my rule of one cup of coffee a day to have a second because its just that good!

5. It's Judy's Life - due to school, watching YouTube had mostly be placed on the back burner for me. This week I've been slowly making my way through my queue of subscriptions and I've really been enjoying Benji and Judy's Tokyo vlogs. I more or less enjoy all of their vlogs because they feel more down to earth than some on the platform. But these vlogs in particular I enjoy because I feel like when they travel, they often immerse themselves into where they are and the culture, more so than some. It's been interesting to watch them and their experience in Toyko. In one of the vlogs, Benji was talking about one of the reasons people might wear face masks in Japan and he said it was part due to the mass planting of non-indigenous trees and it honestly felt half believable and half far-fetched so I looked it up and it's actually a pretty fascinating story. You learn something new every day!

6. While winter just doesn't seem to want to leave, I'm still feeling inspired by the prospect of spring. For some reason, spring often makes me feel the desire to change things up. I love cleaning this time of year - I'm talking going through EVERYTHING and getting rid of things that don't serve you. I find it so therapeutic. I've been thinking of ways to revamp by bedroom as well and I'm really loving the inspiration one can find through Pinterest. This particular bedroom just speaks to me - it's in need of more books and some plants though!!

7. Speaking of spring, I've been trying to figure out what the hell I'm going to plant this year in the veggie garden. I feel torn between wanting to keep it simple, and wanting to switch it up a bit and plant some new and perhaps unusual things. If you have a veggie garden, what do you grow? I live in WNY so our growing season is pretty damn short, but that doesn't mean all hope is lost! I'm so excited for the weather to finally get to a point where I can actually get outside and play in the gardens. I picked up a bunch of gladiolus bulbs yesterday because I just couldn't resist. I've picked up some seeds too but I'm not sure that's all I want to plant. Decisions....decisions...

I hope everyone had a great week! x


One Day At A Time: Picked Up For A Third Season.

It was announced today that Netflix has picked up One Day At A Time for a third season. The popular sitcom is a remake of the original 1970s Norman Lear production which chronicled the life of a single mother and her children. In the remake, the sitcom follows the life of a Cuban American family headed by a single mother, through all their ups and downs.