Blue Bottle’s New Coffee Prep Guides

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Artisan coffee shop chain and roastery Blue Bottle has just redesigned their website.   It’s GORGEOUS.   It includes some really beautiful guides for the different methods to prepare coffee.   My favorite method is drip using a pour-over.   If you were looking for help improving your morning coffee, I’d check it out.

Fascinating Video Interview with Evan Williams

Evan Williams is someone who’s made an incredible mark on the Internet.  He founded Blogger, co-founded Twitter, and is working on his third startup Medium.   Below is a video interview that he did with Google Ventures Partner Kevin Rose for his interview series Foundation.   It’s about an hour long but totally worth the watch.

eMeals Makes Meal Planning & Grocery Shopping Easy!

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Being pretty busy, Lauren and I found it exceedingly hard to plan healthy meals for the week.  We were going to the grocery store and just getting whatever sounded good, which wasn’t always the healthiest (or the cheapest for that matter.)

Lauren discovered a site, which has quick become one of my favorites, called eMeals.  You select the type of meal plan that you want (i.e. clean eating, low fat, paleo, etc.), you select your family size, and every week you can get a PDF which a grocery list and recipes for the week.  Just recently they launched an iPhone app, that delivers the same weekly meal plan and interactive grocery list.   This is all about $5/month.

We’ve been using the site for about a year and a half now and absolutely love it.   Around January 1, we switched to the paleo meal plan which we’ve particularly enjoyed and found to be good for us as we continue our journey towards more healthy diets.

eMeals just makes things so easy.   When we go to the grocery store, we have a plan.  We know exactly what to get and exactly what to cook.    AND it’s all DELICIOUS.  We’re both consistently wowed by what we end up cooking.

If you’re looking for a way to make meal planning easy, I highly recommend eMeals.

Downside of being an early adopter

One of the big downsides of being an early adopter is that you start using or depending on technology that gets shutdown from lack or success or acquisition, like SnapJoy under Dropbox.   I didn’t use Snapjoy but there have been others.    I was a big proponent of Oink.  I also used LivingSocial to track beers, apps, books and movies back before they dived into the world of daily deals and local marketing.

Exploring cold brewed iced coffee

If you’re reading this, you know me and you know that I love a good cup of coffee. I’m always looking for new & interesting methods for making my favorite drink.

Recently used a gift card from my birthday to buy some beans from Blue Bottle Coffee. This last time, I got a little crazy. I got a bag of the New Orleans blend that they use to make their famous New Orleans-Style Iced Coffee.

Instead of the traditional brewing method, you do a cold brew. You coarsely grind the beans, put it into a stock pot, add 2.5 quarts of water, the 1.5 oz of chicory that comes with beans, and just let it sit for 12 hours at room temperature. It makes about 1.5 quarts of coffee concentrate.

When you’re ready to serve, fill a glass with ice, half concentrate, half milk and sugar. It’s delicious. It was easy.

Living in Las Vegas, more often then not, iced coffee feels like the way to go because it’s so flippin’ hot outside. This is definitely a good method to have in my coffee making portfolio.

Buy the Early Release of Steve Wendel’s book “Designing for Behavior Change”

book-coverMy good friend, former colleague, and Principal Scientist at HelloWallet Steve Wendel is writing a book for O’Reilly Media on “Designing for Behavior Change.”    Well, they’ve started selling an early release copy of the book on the O’Reilly’s website.   Wanted to give Steve & the book a quick plug.

In the book, Steve really dives into how the human brain works when it comes to developing human behaviors & habits and how that can make you more or less successful with your product.

The concepts Steve writes about are super important.  As early adopters of technology products, every day I’m trying something new.  I’ll get really excited about it for a week or two and then never touch the app again.   That’s because there’s some underlying behavior or habit that this new app has failed to change.

As we design products, it’s crucial to have that high level of empathy for the people that we’re trying to serve if we’re going to be successful in what we’re trying to accomplish.  Steve lays out a roadmap for how to do that.

And… if you buy the early release copy of his book, you can send him feedback and comments that’ll make it into the final copy.

Also… you can read his thoughts on his blog Action Design and if you’re in DC, attend the meetup group Action Design DC where they discuss these ideas face to face.

Just finished reading “Foodist” by Darya Rose

Foodist-cover-flatJust finished reading the book “Foodist” by Darya Rose, author of the blog Summer Tomato.  It was awesome.   It’s the first time I’ve read a food/health/diet book that didn’t make me feel like it wanted me to subscribe to a new religion.  For example, Tim Ferriss’s Four Hour Chef and Four Hour Body was just WAY too intense for me.  It stressed me out.  I think Tim Ferriss is just way too intense for me.

Foodist is very logical and practical.  Throughout the book, I was saying “yeah… yeah.”    I felt like it was giving me the proper mindset and understanding for why I am why I am but then giving me tools for making the right decisions and changing my habits.

My only critique is that I wish there was some kind of companion app for the book so that I could better take the tips with me and use them when & where they’re relevant.

Sorry that my analysis isn’t more indepth.  I need to take better notes when I read books.

If you roll your eyes at the thought of yet another food/health/diet book then I’d highly recommend picking this up.