(Quiz) OK Cupid Opening Lines

Diana and Cupid by Batoni

Diana and Cupid by Batoni

Hi friends!

No questions came in this week for Dear Ladybug, so instead I’m going to move on to the “story” that won from the last poll.  Based on the poll and the comment section, my assignment is to write a fictional account of my experiences so far with online dating.

The thing is, some of the reality of online dating is interesting, too.  I especially enjoy collecting odd or funny opening lines that come to my inbox.  The only place I have an account is OK Cupid, which, as you will see, appears to be primarily a hook up enabler.  I’m not looking to hook up, by the way, but no judgement.  Your mileage may vary there.

So, instead of giving you a full out story, I’ve decided to share a sampling of the most notable (good or bad) first messages I’ve seen in my inbox.  Can you guess which one is fiction?  Each of these, except for the fictional one, is exactly as it came – spelling/punctuation/grammar remains as per the original.

Which one of these did I make up?  The rest are real!  It will show you the right answer after you finish.  Enjoy!

Do YOU have any funny, odd or disturbing online dating stories you’d like to share?  Feel free to comment down below.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

♥ Mama Ladybug

 

 

A Letter to Aphrodite

Recently, I was feeling like I needed a special treat.  So, when I was at Pagano’s Hardware in Alameda, which is one of my favorite stores, I picked up some of this buttermilk rose soap by the Napa Soap Company.  It smelled sooooo good, friends.  It’s the kind of rose smell that makes you go, “Yes, that’s why people have been obsessing over roses forever.”

Napa Soap Company

Napa Soap Company – Buttermilk Rose Soap

When I saw the ingredients, my heart went pitter patter.  They are:  buttermilk, sunflower oil, vitamin E, powdered rose petals and rose clay.  Translation: moisturizing, gentle, relaxing and clarifying.  Wonderful!

Buttermilk Rose Soap ingredients

Buttermilk Rose Soap ingredients

When I opened up the packaging, I just swooned with rapture.  The scent was heavenly.  Just incredible.

first glance at the soap

first glance at the soap

Looking closer, I discovered that one side of the soap has a slightly rough surface.  Are these the crushed rose petals?  I’m not sure.  (Note: after I used this the first time, most of this surface was gone.)  I had to smell the soap over and over.  Have you ever encountered something that made you act this way?  It was a sensory delight, for sure.

the speckled, sort of rough side to the soap

the speckled, sort of rough side to the soap

After looking at the soap, I realized that the paper it came wrapped in was actually quite lovely, too.  It was pretty thick but flexible, rough on one side and waxy smooth on the other.  I love handmade paper, and took a moment to admire the handiwork.

the paper

the paper

In fact, the paper was so pretty and smelled so nice, that it occurred to me that I should share it with someone.  Rose scent and pretty, handmade paper lends itself to romance.  Beating down a rising wave of sadness that there is no romance in my life (well, precious little), I forced my thoughts to stay positive and not dwell on that.  Most everyone needs intimate connection, so I know there’s nothing wrong with feeling the lack of it, but, at the same time, I knew thinking in that direction would just make me feel down.  Then, I realized that the perfect letter recipient would be Aphrodite!  She’d love it.  So I began…

Dear Aphrodite...

Dear Aphrodite…

 

letter to Aphrodite

letter to Aphrodite

Here is what the letter says, in case anyone can’t read the picture above:

Dear Aphrodite,

Goddess of love and beauty, of peels of laughter, I am ready to live in the presence of your radiance, to allow you to teach me whatever you want me to know.  My body is your living temple.  Every joy is an offering to you, given in wonder and gratitude.

♥ Ladybug

After writing the letter, I tied it up with the same pink ribbon that came with the soap.

letter tied with the pink ribbon that came with the soap

letter tied with the pink ribbon that came with the soap

Then I put it before Aphrodite on her altar in my bedroom.  You can read more about the altar itself here if you’d like to.

the letter on Aphrodite's altar

the letter on Aphrodite’s altar

The soap itself is delightful in use.  It leaves my skin very soft and smelling like a gorgeous goddess.  If you want to buy some for yourself, you could, of course, go to Pagano’s, or you can buy it online here.

♥ Mama Ladybug

 

Dear Ladybug – 8/1/2014

Sleeping dog.  Image courtesy of Eugene0126jp.

Sleeping dog. Image courtesy of Eugene0126jp.

Sleepless, but not in Seattle

DEAR LADYBUG:  I’ve been having a hard time sleeping lately. I nod off pretty easily, but then I wake up halfway through the night and I can’t go back to sleep until nearly morning. I’m already taking Melatonin most nights, and I don’t want to take more pills, even if it’s natural. Can you recommend some magical or other tricks to either stay asleep all the way through the night or to quickly fall back asleep if I wake-up? — Sleepless in the Bay Area

DEAR SLEEPLESS:  There’s nothing like sleeplessness to really interfere with everything else you’ve got going on in life.  I feel for your situation; it’s a hard one.  Here are some ideas to get you back into your snooze.  Some of these you may already be aware of, but, hopefully, something will stand out as useful information that you can use right away.

Blue light (and white light) is your night time sleep enemy.  Image courtesy of Justin Bishop.  Please click on this image for more help and science around this topic.

Blue light (and white light) is your night time sleep enemy. Image courtesy of Justin Bishop. Please click on this image for more help and science around this topic.

Light, Light, Light.  I cannot stress enough the importance of your relationship to light when it comes to regulating your circadian rhythm.  I am actually a professional lighting consultant by day, so I’ve been learning about this topic for years.  Your brain absolutely depends on the light your eyes collect 24/7 in order to regulate how you should be feeling, and whether or not it’s time to wake or sleep.  We evolved for millions of years with no artificial light whatsoever, and its recent introduction to our lives has put us out of whack when it comes to our sleepy brain chemistry.  Here’s how to fix this…  In the morning, take yourself outside and give yourself access to bright sunlight.  15 minutes would be ideal, if you can swing it.  This light will signal to your brain that your day has begun, and it’s time to be alert and active.  After about 8 pm or so, stop looking at your screens, whether they be the TV, computer or even your phone.  The reason is that the bluish cast of this artificial light is very similar to morning light.  It confuses your brain, making it believe that night time has not actually happened and that it is now morning again.  In the evening, keep your lights down low, and use only red or amber-colored light as much as possible.  Your brain will interpret this warm light the way it would firelight, as a signal that it’s night time, and you should sleep soon.  Pretend you live in a cave 10,000 years ago, and that will give you the right idea as to the lighting we are going for here.  The worst thing to do is to wake up at night and look at something with blue or white colored light.  Your brain will think it’s time to wake up, even though you are still tired.  Even if you just saw the light briefly, your brain will put the kibosh on your sleep hormones for the rest of the night.  So, if you wake up at 2 am, DO NOT look at your phone, for example.  If your bedside clock has glowing blue digits, throw it out and replace it with one that has red digits.  Try to keep your bedroom as dark as possible.  Pitch black is ideal.  If you must have some light, make it a red light.  Red light will not disturb your sleep patterns.  If you wake up needing to pee, do not turn on your bathroom light.  Put a red night light in your bathroom and use only that.  If you’d like to know more about this topic, watch this video about how scientists use this information to help astronauts sleep regularly:

 

Exercise.  Are you getting a good 20 minutes or more of activity a day that gets you a bit out of breath, maybe a bit sweaty?  I don’t know the science behind it, but I’ve read many times that getting some cardio in on the regular will help your body regulate its wake and sleep cycles, too.

Hypnosis.  There are some really good self-hypnosis programs out there to help people with going to sleep and staying asleep.  I have tried and recommend this one:  Peaceful Sleep for All by Kerry Tuschoff.  I used her Hypnobabies program to learn hypnosis for childbirth, and it totally worked.  There are also tons of sleep suggestion videos on YouTube, as well, so you could look around there for some inspiration.  Just remember…  it’s very important that you are not fiddling around on the internet or looking at screens in the middle of the night.  It won’t matter how good the YouTube video is if you expose yourself to the light from your device during what ought to be your sleeping hours.

This is the lavender oil that I use - NOW brand.  Click on the picture to see it on Amazon.

This is the lavender oil that I use – NOW brand. Click on the picture to see it on Amazon.

Aromatherapy:  Have you tried putting drops of essential oils on your pillow?  Lavender is my favorite for this purpose, but other good ones include: chamomile, valerian and vetiver.  There are sleep blends available on the market, but I have not tried any, so am not sure which to recommend.

Does anyone have anything to add to these suggestions?  What has worked for you?  Please feel free to comment down below.

That’s it for today.  Have a great weekend, everyone!

♥ Mama Ladybug

♥♥♥

Do YOU have a question for Dear Ladybug?  It can be about your life, my life, or anything at all.  You remain anonymous, and answers go live mostly every Friday.  Here is the form to submit a question.

Dear Ladybug – 7/25/2014

Low maintenance fairy seating.  Image courtesy of  carielewyn on Etsy.  Please click on picture to see the listing.

Low maintenance fairy seating. Image courtesy of carielewyn on Etsy. Please click on picture to see the listing.

FAIRY HOME FOR AN APARTMENT DWELLER

DEAR LADYBUG:  How does one go about making a faerie door or house? I live in an apartment, so I don’t have a tree to work on. I was considering something in a large pot, but I am not sure if the Fae would find that insulting or welcoming. Also — better to make something from scratch or buy bits and pieces that are pre-made? I see all of these intimidating Faerie Gardens on Pinterest and entire kits on Amazon and my fear is mine will look like a six year old did it…but wouldn’t the Fae appreciate the effort? — Pagan Seeking Fae in San Francisco Bay Area

DEAR PAGAN SEEKING FAE:  Well, to my way of thinking, any fairy who would turn their nose up at your guest space, lovingly created just for them, isn’t worth befriending anyway.  You deserve better than snotty fairies!  That said, I’m confidant that you could create something that would bring both you and your visitors great joy.  Here is a Pinterest board I created just for you (and anyone else interested in this idea) to peruse for apartment-worthy fairy fun.  Below are some ideas for how you might approach this project:

Potted fairy garden.  Image courtesy of Homestead Greenhouse.

Potted fairy garden. Image courtesy of Homestead Greenhouse.

Pot Paradise: You asked if a large pot would offend or be welcoming.  Since fairies are often considered to be plant spirits, my only caution here is that you pick plants you are sure you can keep healthy.  Neither you nor your little guests would feel good about sickly plants in your apartment.  If you need help picking out the proper plants, soil or location for your setup, I’d suggest going to your local nursery and asking for detailed advice.  You could also consult Christine at Home and Garden Pixie, whom I can personally recommend, and she will give you great advice and/or help you make it at a very reasonable fee.  Creating a little house, doorway or sitting area in a planted pot would be perfect for wee visitors.  If you keep it simple and remain patient with yourself, it shouldn’t be too hard or look overly childish.  The plants will fill in and make it beautiful, for one.  Also, buying pre-made items is completely fine.  The important thing is that you enjoy it and it sparks your imagination.  If putting together a kit would tickle your fancy, then go for it.  Otherwise, you can always check out craft stores, miniature supply stores or just look around for odds and ends wherever you find yourself.

Fairy Door in Ann Arbor.  Image courtesy of Deb Nystrom.

Fairy Door in Ann Arbor. Image courtesy of Deb Nystrom.

Doorway to Another Dimension:  Aside from planted areas, you can also choose to install a little door anywhere you want.  It could be above your kitchen counter, above the molding in your dining room, or, really, any place that you’ll see from time to time and get a smile.  This wouldn’t take much know-how, and everyone, including your human guests, will get a thrill out of it.  You could, of course, do this in addition to a planted pot.

Dollhouse furniture.  Image courtesy of PB Studio Pro.

Dollhouse furniture. Image courtesy of PB Studio Pro.

Formal Seating:  Since you probably enjoy lounging around in your living room reading or watching TV, perhaps the wee folk would, too?  You could set up a little seating area for them, perhaps in a shadow box, a shelf or even in your potted plant.  You would just need some cozy doll house furniture, a rug, a table, and perhaps some tiny tea cups.  Bonus points for adding a working reading light for your fairies, so they can devour novels by your side.  I bet they’d enjoy a little bookshelf full of itty bitty books, too.

As you can see, the possibilities are endless.  As with any artistic project, my advice for dealing with a project that hasn’t turned out to your liking is… just try again!  If you keep at it, you will eventually truly appreciate your handiwork, even if the first few attempts didn’t come out well.  There’s no problem with asking for help from a friend, and there’s no reason to avoid pre-made items or kits if you like them.  Enjoy your new friends!

♥ Mama Ladybug

 

♥♥♥

That’s it for this week, friends!  Have YOU got a question for Dear Ladybug?  If so, here’s the form.  Have a great weekend, everyone!

 

Dear Ladybug – 7/11/2014

thumb pulling up Ace of Hearts from a stack of playing cards

The image above is by Alan Cleaver.

READY FOR MORE

DEAR LADYBUG: So, I’m happily married and was also in a happy secondary relationship until recently. I’m having trouble getting over being dumped. Any advice to move forward? I’ve done some personal ritual, I have super supportive friends, and gave myself an appearance upgrade to help my self-esteem. I accept that this person and I are not getting back together. What now? It’s only been a few weeks, but I feel like I need to *do* something to move forward… Should I try online dating? Take more time to heal and clean out my closets? Let people know I’m looking? Ask someone out (I have no one currently in mind)? Help! — Heartbroken but Hopeful in Alameda, CA

DEAR HEARTBROKEN BUT HOPEFUL: First, I’d like to give you and your spouse kudos for staying happy while working together to tackle the frontier of polyamory. From what I’ve seen, this is a lifestyle that can be difficult to navigate due to it’s lack of normative societal role models and conventions, so I’m very glad to hear that you two are in a good place together. Also, I’m relieved to hear that you have “super supportive friends.” Between your spouse and your friends, it sounds like you have plenty of emotional support, which is just wonderful. Since you have so much love and support in your life, and since it sounds like you are doing due diligence towards your personal self care, I say go ahead and look for a new romance if you feel you want one. If you were trying to fill a void in yourself or seeking external validation, I’d caution you to turn inwards to self healing instead, but you sound ready to me. Looking for romance is a very personal endeavor. We are all so different in our tastes, needs and inclinations. Therefore, the best advice I can give is to do whatever feels fun and exciting towards that end (while remaining safe and on good terms with your partner, of course). If online dating seems like an intriguing adventure, go for it! If talking about it with people feels refreshing or useful, then gab away. Go with your gut instincts. Within you, you hold the compass to your own best path here, and your emotions will tell you when to strike while the iron is hot. If and when you feel fear, ask yourself whether this is the voice of caution keeping you safe, or whether it’s really the anticipation of change and new discovery quickening your pulse. If it’s the latter, go ahead and stretch yourself a little, reaching into the newness. That’s how adventurers find new lands, by pressing forward into the mystery, even when it’s a little awkward or frightening. As you seek and find that person who adds this desired dimension of love to your life, remember to remain in a state of attunement with and gratitude for your spouse, who is being steadfast in devotion. While getting dumped is never fun for anyone, it’s important to remind yourself whenever needed that you do have ample evidence of just how extremely lovable you are.

♥ Mama Ladybug

 

♥♥♥

Do you have a question for me about your life, my life or something random? Perhaps you want to know something about modern Paganism? Please submit your question here. Answers go live every Friday unless I get distracted by shiny objects.

 

Poll Results: Storytime!

Hi friends,

Last Friday, I posted a poll asking you all what I should write about next.  Since the first option (“Tell us about your online dating experiences so far”) was the juiciest, I figured that one would win.  It would have, actually, except someone out there… and I’m dying to know who… took the opportunity to play with the poll (as I welcomed you all to do so if you liked) and voted 10 times for me to write a fictional story.  I’m pretty sure it was the same person, anyway, since all the votes happened within 4 minutes of each other.  Here’s what it looked like on my end:

extra responses

 

Sorry, friends.  I know I said I’d add any extra responses to the poll so that you all could see them and vote again if you wanted to.  My follow through is not all that it could be, and, despite the best of intentions, sometimes I… ooh, shiny object!  Anyway, despite my distracted nature, this person managed to win the poll anyway simply by putting in a response over and over.  Whoever you are… you made my day!  All the warm and fuzzy feelings… so nice…  Someone likes my writing!  Yay!

Here’s what the final tally looks like…

the votes

 

So, there you have it.  Now, I just have to decide what to write about.  Do you have an idea?  Feel free to comment down below…

♥ Mama Ladybug

 

 

What’s New, Mama? (Poll!)

 

Cat wearing a slice of bread around its face

Breaded Cat. Image courtesy of pinguino k.

Hi friends,

While I’m here paying attention to my blog after a month of absence, it seemed like a good time to do another poll.  So… for all of you who like to get updates… what would you like to know?  I’ll write about it this weekend.  This poll closes Sunday at noon.  You can vote as many times as you want to for as many answers as you want to.  Also, you can add an answer of your own choosing if you like.  As soon as I see it, I’ll make sure everyone else can see it too, so you might want to check back from time to time in case there are new options to pick.  :)

 

♥ Mama Ladybug

 

 

 

Dear Ladybug – 6/27/2014

Hi friends,

Sorry I haven’t been keeping up with the “every Friday” Dear Ladybug schedule.  I’m not always the most consistent of all people, but I do LOVE writing this column.  So, here are the questions that have been marinating in my inbox for a month (so sorry!)…

comic showing mom trying to juggle cooking, childcare and work.

It’s hard to juggle everything.

CAREER MAMAS PLANNIN’ DA BABIES

DEAR LADYBUG:  I am a mother and I have always been a career woman.  My wife wants to go to nursing school and work on having more children at the same time.  I think this is a terrible idea.  I think we should wait until she is done with school.  But she insists it will be fine.  I don’t think that is true.  I don’t want to feel like a single parent.  – Career Mama in California

DEAR CAREER MAMA:  Hmm…  there are a lot of variables to consider when deciding whether or not to try for a baby.  One of these, as you know, is having enough time in the day to be a mom, wife, career woman, student, whatever and still get enough R&R to remain somewhat sane.  Based on your question, I have to assume that you are looking at all of these variables in your life together and you can see that they wouldn’t add up to a happy life if you introduced a new baby.  I’d say trust your wisdom here.  Adding a baby to an already stressful life can lead to depression and divorce, especially in cases of maternal isolation or financial strain.  My only caveat to this is to mention that if, for whatever reason (age, compromise, etc), you want to think about this some more with your wife, ask yourself how many people might be available to help you out so that you don’t feel all alone.  If you have family, blood or chosen, or close friends at the ready to be a part of this potential baby’s life, it might not be so bad.  That said, it is so much easier to go to school when there is no squalling newborn keeping you up all night, making it impossible to sleep and learn, and when there’s no daycare to pay for in addition to tuition.  It seems sensible to me to finish school first then have fun making da babies in a more relaxed, enjoyable and sustainable context.  It’s sweet, though, that she’s so ready to do this with you.  It says a lot about her high opinion of you and your relationship together, so offer your rebuttal to her with infinite tenderness, please.

♥♥♥

smoked ribs

Yummmmmy…..

SMOKIN’ GOOD TIMES

DEAR LADYBUG:  First off, I want to apologize, for I am going to make you hungry again. I L<3VE Pork Ribs. I really do! I like to take a slab of pork ribs and rub them down with my own special blend of rub. Then I smoke the pork ribs with hickory wood chunks for 5 to 6 hours. At the end, I brush on my home BBQ sauce. I put a lot of TLC into the ribs. Unfortunately, my wife don’t like ribs of any kind. To smoke and BBQ ribs is a long process. You must tend to the wood, check temperatures, and keep the water in the pan from boiling away. Given the cost of the hickory and work I put into these ribs, it is not feasible to smoke only a half slab. Eating the whole rack of ribs in a single sitting or the next day is way too much meat for me. I also tend to smoke foods when I know no company comes over. So Mama Ladybug… What should I do? — Smoked Out of Ribs, Cast Iron Sidhe in Crockett, CA.

DEAR CAST IRON SIDHE:  Throw a party!  Invite friends or family over and make a day out of it.  You can, for example, have an “open house” all afternoon and evening and let people swing by as they are able.  Just make sure to explain about the process and what you are serving in the invitation.  Drooling friends will crawl out of the woodwork to taste those yummy ribs.  Hey, you know, the 4th of July is coming up.  What’s better than smoked ribs, sparklers and beer?  If that won’t work, you could always bring them to someone else’s party or to a potluck.  Most meat eaters will be amazed and grateful for the contribution, especially if you explain what you did to make the ribs so crazy good.  While you’re at it, though, make a little something special just for your lovely wife, something you know she will enjoy, just so that she knows you think the world of her and want her to be happy (not feeling left out) in the midst of all the rib chow down.

♥♥♥

Well, that’s it for today!  Do you have any comments on the advice given above?  Feel free to leave a comment below.  Also, if you have a question for Dear Ladybug, here’s the place to submit it.  You can ask about anything at all regarding your life, my life or just the world in general.  If I don’t know the answer, I’ll do some research or pull a tarot card for you.  Answers go live on Fridays, and you stay anonymous!

♥ Mama Ladybug

 

 

 

Dear Ladybug – 5/30/2014

toddler in a cauldron

Be sure to remove toddlers from the pot before firing it up.

Cooking up some love…

DEAR LADYBUG:  I want to buy a large size “cauldron” style legged cast iron cooking pot. The only current version of these pots are the South African kind that are called “Potjie”. They are great for cooking a one pot/oven large meal for large groups (2 gal) to a small village (20 gal). You can roast meats and veggies together or use it for a large pot of “wet” food such as beans, stews, gumbo, etc. My problem is that I need a large group of people to cook for. Without a large group of people I can’t buy the large cast iron pot. Too add to the problem I need a fire pit to actually use one. See the dilemma? Please help my dilemma. — The Cast Iron Sidhe in Crockett, CA

a potjie from sqpr.net

a potjie from sqpr.net

DEAR CAST IRON SIDHE:  You are a sidhe after my own heart!  I myself cook primarily on cast iron skillets.  Ah, the beauty and timeless wonder of cast iron…  Your vision of cooking for the masses in this cauldron style pot sounds delicious, fascinating and economical.  It’s easy to imagine the casual but heartfelt bonding that could happen over a weekend camping trip focused around the medleys in your cooking pot.  

lots of food made in a potjie pot

Yum!

Finding a group of people shouldn’t be too difficult, since it sounds like you’re offering to cook and feed them, yes?  Everyone needs to eat, and the “exotic” nature of the pot should draw people out of sheer curiosity.  If your current selection of friends and loved ones isn’t adequate to the party you have in mind, you still have options.  For instance, you could meet people in the Bay Area Creative Cooking Meetup group and attend their outdoor BBQ large-scale picnic, or suggest a day of cast iron cooking outdoors together.  You could even start a new Meetup group based around cast iron cooking.  Another option would be to use Craigslist to search for other CI aficionados or to organize events.  I suspect, however, that your current network of people could probably work, since it’s yummy food we’re talking about here.  

Have you ever heard of burgoo?  Basically, it’s a stew that’s made communally out of whatever is on hand within a small community – especially from local gardens and wildlife (wildlife is obviously optional for most urban people, but for poor rural communities, it would be another story).  Traditionally, it’s a way of feeding a lot of people while preserving the dignity of impoverished families.  Burgoos often are the centerpoint of a social or fundraising event.  You could host a burgoo and use the food to center a larger goal, like a day long event that’s near to your heart.  You could use it as a fundraiser for a charity you admire.  The possibilities are endless, really.  Even if you just had a group of friends donating ingredients to the pot for a day long get together somewhere relaxing, that would be incredibly fun.  

51DGAH6zIkL

The fire pit dilemma has three solutions that I can see.  One is to search for a public venue with a fire pit.  Here is a list of options of places in the SF Bay Area reviewed on Yelp.  You’ll have to research the procedures and restrictions for each place, but at least it looks like there are a lot of places from which to choose.  It appears that the closest option to you is Marina Park in Emeryville.  I’ve been there before and can vouch that it’s a nice place with lovely views.  Another solution is… make a fire pit!  Yeah!  If you have room where you live or if you know someone who does, making a pit would take your project to the next level.  There are oodles of DIY fire pit instructionals online.  If you’re on Pinterest, a quick and dirty search will show you countless tutorials available with step-by-step photos.  Here is a list of 33 DIY fire pit ideas to get the wheels in your mind turning…  Have fun!!!  The last solution is to get one of the portable fire pits like the ones shown above and use it somewhere legal.   

Also, feel free to invite me!  ;-)

Two witches standing over a cauldron... One says "I only use local children."

Just for a laugh…

 

That’s it for this week!  Do you have a question for me about your life or mine?  Topics are up to you, and you stay anonymous.  Answers go live every Friday!  Here’s the form to submit.  Have a great weekend, everyone!

♥ Mama Ladybug

That’s Just Dandy!

Pollination of a dandelion by a bee.  Image courtesy of Guérin Nicolas.

Pollination of a dandelion by a bee. Image courtesy of Guérin Nicolas.

Hi friends,

The other day I made an impulse buy at Alameda Natural Grocery.  Actually, there were a few, which led me to realize I’ve been living beyond my means lately (*sigh*).  However, this one in particular is a real game changer.  It’s a coffee substitute called Dandy Blend.

Dandy Blend Instant Herbal Beverage with Dandelion -- 25 Pouches

Dandy Blend Instant Herbal Beverage with Dandelion — 25 Pouches

Truth be told, I had no idea it’s marketed as a coffee substitute.  Back when I was living with Rabbit, I’d seen it briefly in her kitchen cabinet before she ran out, was intrigued, but never tried it.  She recommended it highly, though.  I have heard that dandelion is supposed to be good for the liver and who knows what else, so I grabbed it off the shelf at the store to finally give this product a whirl.

Ingredients: extracts of roasted barley, rye, chicory root, dandelion root and beetroot.

Ingredients: extracts of roasted barley, rye, chicory root, dandelion root and beetroot.

Wow, is it tasty!  As I was drinking it – plain, mind you – I thought to myself…  Gosh, this is just as good as coffee, maybe even BETTER.  It has that… certain something… not just flavor but texture that coffee has.  See, every time I try to quit coffee, I wind up drinking tons of decaf because nothing else in the world seems to have the right grit to it. Once I’m over the caffeine withdrawal, it’s the chewy thickness of coffee that I crave.  No tea ever seems to match it.  No coffee substitute (I’ve tried many) seems to meet it either.  Dandy Blend, on the other hand, really hits the spot!  I see a light at the end of my coffee addiction tunnel!  I can totally picture drinking this stuff instead of coffee because I might actually prefer it.  The caffeine is inconsequential to me, to be honest.  I drink tons of coffee on a daily basis, but once I’m off of it, I don’t miss the caffeine much… just the taste and texture of my comforting hot drink.

Nutrition Facts

Nutrition Facts

Dandy Blend comes in various sizes, from individual serving pouches to 2 lb bags.  It’s also gluten free! My impulse buy was the box of 25 individual packets.  When I finish it, I think I might just get a 2 lb bag, which I’ll split up to keep some at home and some at work.

Dandy Blend 2 lb. Bag

Dandy Blend 2 lb. Bag

If the reviews on Amazon tell us anything, it’s that this product has quite the loyal and fervent customer base.  Have any of you tried this stuff?  Do you like it?  Please tell me all about it in the comments below.  I’d also love to hear about anyone’s journey with caffeine addiction and what you did or are doing to crack down on it.

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And… one last thing… Does anyone have a question for Dear Ladybug?  If so, you can submit questions here.  Answers go live every Friday!

Happy sipping!
♥ Mama Ladybug

 

 

 

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