Addicted to caffeine and kindness. Writer of same.

For those who imbibe responsibly but crack a lot of tasteless jokes.

A woman in a sequined dress lying on the counter holding a wine glass.
A woman in a sequined dress lying on the counter holding a wine glass.

I really like a good cocktail. Honestly, I kinda like a bad cocktail, too. I’m all about the experience. If a bad cocktail can be paired with a good laugh, I’ll still enjoy it and probably post a story about it.

For those who imbibe responsibly but crack a lot of tasteless jokes, I present the following collection of mixed drink recipes to pair perfectly with your first-world problems. Please add your own why-I-need-a-drink-today laughable in the comments because I am definitely not getting enough human interaction.


Is it the beginning of a bad day or just a bad five minutes that can become a bright memory?

My real-life coffeemaker  without a carafe, coffee spilled widely over the countertop.
My real-life coffeemaker  without a carafe, coffee spilled widely over the countertop.
My actual kitchen.

I woke up early this morning for no particular reason. The state of stay-home works pretty well for me and I love the quiet mornings without responsibilities. Maybe I’ll vacuum today, but I said that yesterday too. It’s not like we’re having company.

After twisting open the blinds to let some sunlight in, I rinsed the coffee carafe and filled the water canister on my Ninja coffeemaker. I dropped two scoops of dark roast and two scoops of light roast (because I have particular taste, what?) into the paper-lined basket and pressed the Classic Brew button. …


If you love the joy of giving, you’ve probably received a few gifts that missed the mark

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Photo by Tamanna Rumee on Unsplash

Didn’t get what you really wanted for Christmas and now Valentine’s Day is looming in the near future? It seems like, by the time we grow up, gift-giving and gift-receiving shouldn’t be that difficult, right? I mean, most of us have been doing this for many years. For some, though, the practice just isn’t helping and the obligation and expectation of holiday gifts is a lot of pressure.

On the recipient’s side, there’s a dark little space that exists somewhere between hope and gratitude. Even the best of us fall into that crack once in a while. It’s the place…


If you do it right, a good pity party can be totally worthwhile.

Splattered milkshake and broken glass on a brick pavement ground.
Splattered milkshake and broken glass on a brick pavement ground.
Image by Hans Braxmeier from Pixabay.

Last week, I got a message from a friend that said:

“I’m throwing myself a pity party this morning. V. lonely feeling. Any advice?”

Although my friend was probably asking for advice on how to stop feeling sorry for oneself or reminders on how to find gratitude, I was feeling very literal that day because, well, we’re all feeling some kind of way. I asked a few questions to be sure this was a “mood” and that he wasn’t in a really bad place. …


Many people who’ve lost everything in a wildfire this year will soon be allowed to return to their property. Here’s how to tackle the seemingly impossible first steps.

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A family searching for remains in the ashes of their burnt-down house in Santa Rosa in 2017. Photo: Barbara Munker/Picture Alliance via Getty Images

I grew up in the little mountain community of Berry Creek, California. It’s been devastated by the wildfires. The homes of nearly all 2,000 residents, most of whom lived there for decades, intentionally keeping a less modern way of life, were turned to piles of ash.

I’m struggling with this devastation, even though I’m far removed from the place and way of life from my childhood. I haven’t lived there in many years; I was glad to leave. However, much of my family and nearly everyone I grew up with either still live there or are deeply connected to those…


Have you asked yourself what you really want when you are able to go back to work?

Bright, clean office with plenty of space around the workstations
Bright, clean office with plenty of space around the workstations
Image by CecilKing from Pixabay

I pressed the call button at the tall glass doors and stepped into view of the video camera. A buzz notified me that my entrance was approved but there was no one at the reception desk. The nutraceutical manufacturing industry wasn’t a place I ever imagined my career going but I haven’t let that stop me before so I took a breath and stepped inside.

The huge emblem on the lobby wall greeted me. It was emblazoned with the company slogan proclaimed “selflessness” as one of the four core values. Honestly, it left me a little nervous wondering about what…


Hundreds of shopping carts lined up neatly.
Hundreds of shopping carts lined up neatly.
The taped lines on the floor to remind shoppers about six-feet of social distance is pretty much all the effort this store is putting into pandemic safety.

Nearly 3 million people are employed in grocery stores across the United States. I’m not usually one of them. After losing my job during the coronavirus pandemic, I applied to become “essential” at a grocery store. My dad often impressed upon me the importance of being part of the solution and this was my chance.

In hindsight, I have to admit that I had a lot of assumptions and expectations going into my first day. I’d spent several years as a retail store manager so I was expecting my first day or two to be predictably filled with boring safety…

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