The Science of Joy and Happiness

Joy Seeker Badge, Step 1

What brings you joy? Katie and I have been reading and thinking about joy more deliberately over the past year. This has led me to pay attention when I feel joy and take note. In this post, we’ll share with you the science of joy and happiness including what brings most people joy, and then we’ll provide a couple lists of things that bring us joy in the hopes that you will be inspired to find more joy in your lives.

We are working on our Joy Seeker Badge. Over the next couple of weeks, we’ll share research on joy and happiness, take you along with us to a workshop on bringing more joy into our homes, and create a few DIY joy projects.

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Joy Seeker Badge

The last couple weeks have been hard. We’ve been glued to our phones, TVs, and computers taking in the news. We’ve been working from home. We’ve been staying away from our friends. We take comfort in the fact that humans are amazingly resilient. In the midst of struggle and chaos, we can find beauty and even happiness. In order to practice our own resilience and encourage you to engage in resilience, we’ve decided to dedicate our next badge to the feeling of joy and how to find it. We call it the Joy Seeker Badge. Since we are “at home” for the foreseeable future, we will pay special attention to finding joy at home.

Join us over the next two weeks as we learn about the science of happiness and joy, take a class on making our homes more joyful, and create a couple of “joy projects” to bring more joy into our daily lives.

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4 Ingredient Vegan Mocha Coffee Recipe

Barista Badge, Step 3

I love a chocolatey coffee drink. My special weekend treat is to add a bit of hot cocoa to my morning coffee. Today, we’re stepping it up a notch. Inspired by our trip to The Brew Cafe for a cupping, we decided to learn how to make a mocha at home. Even better, a vegan one! This recipe is quick, easy, and fun to make due to the shaking-in-mason-jars step.

We’ll show you how to make a mocha at home as part of Step 3 of the Barista Badge. Interested in learning more about coffee? Check out our posts on the history of coffee and coffee terminology. If you’d like to earn the Barista Badge, check out the information in the gray box below.

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Coffee Tasting Class: A Cupping

Barista Badge, Step 2

Did you know that coffee tasting can be an experience a lot like wine tasting? I had no idea, but was pleased to find out when we walked into The Brew on a snowy Thursday evening to find our class space laid out with colorful wheels of tasting notes.

We contacted a local coffee shop to ask if they offered barista classes of some sort. Jordan at The Brew Cafe kindly put together a cupping for us. What is a cupping? I had to google it to find out… it is an awesome experience that gets you nose deep in coffee in a variety of forms: roasted, ground, cooked, and steeped. We tried coffee in different forms: batch dripped, pour over, french press, and espresso. I love coffee. I drink it every day. But I had no idea how much I didn’t know about this magical bean. Read on and watch the video below to join us on our adventure into coffee with The Brew Cafe.

But first, if you are interested in learning more about coffee, it’s history, and the tools and terms we use for coffee, check out our posts on the history of coffee and terminology, tools, and coffee techniques.

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Coffee Brewing Techniques,Tools, and Terminology

Barista Badge, Step 1

Is a cafe-quality cup of coffee in the comfort of your own home possible? Brewing the perfect cup of coffee may seem like a daunting task. I often take the quick and easy way out and dump my Maxwell House ground coffee into my home coffee maker, pour in the water and wait for my cup of joe… but there is a better way.

You can make a much better cup of coffee at home! And it can be achieved without breaking the bank or spending hours doing it. Read on to find out how.

In this post we look into home coffee brewing techniques and the tools recommended to make a great cup of coffee. Additionally, we will explore common coffee terminology and have you talking like a barista in no time!

Interested in learning more about coffee? Our last post covered the history and types of coffee. In today’s post, we discuss home brewing tools and techniques, coffee terms, and throw in a few coffee fun facts!

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Barista Research: The History of Coffee

Barista Badge, Step 1

Coffee plays an integral part in many morning routines around the world. It wakes us up, gives us energy, and warms the soul. But coffee is more than just a morning beverage! It provides people with the opportunity to meet, discuss issues of the day, and to join together.

Coffee has a very long and interesting history. Coffee has been coveted, smuggled, and banned. It has inspired riots and helped create nations. Join us as we travel the world to find out how coffee landed in our kitchens, cafes, and drive-throughs!

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Barista Badge

Our next badge captures the aroma of a lazy weekend morning. We are excited to announce that our next badge is focused on coffee! A barista is a person who prepares and serves coffee drinks. In this badge, we focus on more than just making coffee drinks, but the history of coffee, the flavor profiles of coffee, and the tools and terminology associated with coffee. And of course, we will teach you to make some great coffee drinks. We also invite you to follow along with us as we go to a “cupping” or coffee tasting class.

If you are interested in earning the Barista Badge, follow along and complete the steps with us.

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Creating a Home Yoga Studio

Step 3: Yogi Badge

Doing yoga at home is a special kind of satisfying. There is nothing like contorting your body into new shapes in the privacy of your own home. Home yoga is even better when you have everything you need for a yoga session at your finger tips.

As Elizabeth and I were working on our Yogi Badge I realized I was missing something that could really up my yogi game. A dedicated space to practice yoga right in my own home! A quick search gave us lots of inspiration and we were ready to create yoga spaces in our own homes.

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DIY Yoga Mat Bag

Yogi Badge, Step 3

Katie and I learned to sew when we were little kids. Making something from scratch is such a satisfying and gratifying feeling. When my old yoga mat bag was too small for my new, thicker mat, my first thought was to make a new one, custom fit to my mat! We created a video to show you how to make one too. This is a very easy project with no zippers, complicated patterns, or difficult stitching involved. You could even sew one by hand if you want!

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30 Days of Yoga

Yogi Badge, Step 2

Because Elizabeth and I have taken many different yoga classes over the years, we decided to do an at-home 30 day yoga challenge for our Step 2 of the Yogi Badge. YouTuber Adriene Mishler offers a free 30 Day Yoga program every January to her viewers. Because we strategically planned this badge to coincide with the new year this was the perfect option for our Step 2 of the Yogi Badge.

In Step 1 of the Yogi Badge we researched the ancient history, types, and terminology of yoga. Read all about it here. We also dove into the benefits of yoga and basic poses. We were ready to move past the research and focus fully on the practice of yoga. As we entered 2020, you could say that we were ready for a challenge. One that would benefit our mind, body, and spirit.

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