Why Single-Serve Coffee Makers are Large Family Friendly

Are Single-Serve Coffee Makers worth it for the large family?  I would have said no way...until my in-laws bought us one.  Here's why I've changed my tune and would go so far as to say they are actually PERFECT for the large family! | RaisingArrows.netI need to start this post by telling you that for several years my personal opinion of single-serve coffee makers has been that they are frivolous, non-essential kitchen gadgets. I would see a giveaway for one online and think, “what a waste…especially for a large family.”

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So, when my in-laws bought us one (a Keurig, as you can see from the photo) for Christmas, I was thankful, but really not sure I wanted to give up counter space for a “toy.”

Now, don’t get me wrong, I like coffee…a lot.  In fact, my coffee and creamer is one of the few things I haven’t been willing to give up for Trim Healthy Mama.  But one cup at a time?  Just make a whole pot!  My philosophy has been whoever gets to the coffee maker first, has the right to choose the coffee that gets brewed.  Deal with it.  But, I have to admit when Ty gets there first and makes that nasty chicory stuff, I’m sorry I’ve held to such a philosophy.

But, is that really a good reason to own a single-serve?

Are Single-Serve Coffee Makers worth it for the large family?  I would have said no way...until my in-laws bought us one.  Here's why I've changed my tune and would go so far as to say they are actually PERFECT for the large family! | RaisingArrows.net

And what about the price of those single serve cups (K cups as Keurig calls them)?  My husband really likes his Caribou Coffee – something we can’t get where we currently live – but is it worth it to buy the K cups?  No, not really…but it sure is fun!  However, that said, we’ve found a way around this by using reusable cups…more on that in a moment!

My 10 year old daughter prefers tea over coffee.  She likes fruity blends like Grandma’s Garden.  Several others in the family have started drinking tea as well – some loose leaf, some tea bags.  Oh, and don’t forget the hot cocoa drinkers.

After mulling this all over, I decided to embrace this whole single-serve thing.  It didn’t take my husband nearly that long to decide it was pretty awesome.  Guys like gadgets. ;)

Now that we’ve had the Keurig for several weeks, I must say my poor coffee pot NEVER gets used.  Having a single-serve coffee maker has made it where everyone can have exactly what they want, and switch it up as often as they’d like.  I also don’t have to worry about a scalding hot tea pot on the stove or a wasted pot of coffee because it took too long to brew or we just plum forgot about it.

Let me give you an idea of how we’ve made it work…

For the tea bags and hot cocoa, the children simply push the button and run hot water through the machine.  This is also how we brew our iced tea.  Drop the bags (or powder) into the hot water and steep.

We do have some K cups, but we also purchased a reusable one (I want to get another one and keep our tea and coffee separate which is why I’m recommending this 2 pack).  Having a reusable cup means you can use ANY coffee or loose leaf tea.  We can often get 2 brewings out of each round as well, saving even more.

One quick note for you tea lovers…the Keurig doesn’t boil the water, so it doesn’t hurt the tea.  We brew the tea and then let the cup sit for a bit to “steep”.  It’s not a “perfect” cup of tea, but it’s pretty good.

We do have a K cup holder, but I wouldn’t recommend the one we have.  The two shown below would be much better than what we have because they hold more, are more compact, and the cups are less apt to fall out all over the place.

Other Resources: (some just for fun!)

*How to Clean Your Keurig
*The History of Coffee from International Coffee Organization
*Coffee Unit Study
*How to Make Your Own Loose Leaf Tea

How Blogging is Changing (and why I think that’s a good thing for you and me!)

It took me about 10 minutes to create this graphic:

The concept of blogging is changing.  Here are my thoughts on what that changes are and how they will affect readers and bloggers. | RaisingArrows.net

I did that so you could easily pin it on Pinterest.  It’s not what is considered the “perfect” dimensions for Pinterest, but I don’t have time to do any better than this.

When this post comes out, I’ll tweet it on Twitter and post it on Facebook…I hope.  If I was really doing things “right”, I’d post to Google+ and figure out some cute way to Instagram it. (Instead, I think I’ll just post cute pics of my kids and our homeschool day.)

It would be great if I could work into the post a way to ask you to subscribe to the blog or buy my ebook, but the baby is crying, so that will have to wait for another day.

Oh, and I really ought to work at making sure this post has great SEO (that means search engines like Google like it), and I really should try to meet the needs of every single person in cyberspace, whether they loyally read my blog or not.


There’s a reason I wrote a post last year saying I was done knocking myself out with this blogging thing!  I had just moved and just found out I was pregnant with baby #9, and I was at a crossroads with my blogging.  In fact, I wasn’t even sure I was going to continue to blog at all.  I felt I had run out of words and steam.  After several years of professionally blogging, all of its rules had worn me down.

Ty and I prayed over the blog and decided to change how I was doing things, even if it meant less pageviews, less income opportunities, and less growth for Raising Arrows.  We decided it was time to go back to my blogging roots and just write.

And I wasn’t the only one…

I began to notice a change in the blogging world.  Crystal of Money Saving Mom announced she was going back to a more personal feel on her blog as she shared her real life with her readers.  Jeni at The Blog Maven started focusing on how to blog AND have a life by blogging smarter.  Bloggers who had been around a long time were coming full circle and letting go of many of the expectations of professional blogging in favor of reaching out with real life and real content.  They started telling stories, being real and candid, and giving you the kind of content you need without overwhelming their schedule and your inbox.

For me, this means blogging has become more enjoyable because it has stopped being about doing everything “right” and has gone back to sharing, mentoring, and fellowshipping.

In fact, this is so near and dear to my heart that this October, I’ll be speaking at the 2:1 Conference in Kitty Hawk on the topic of how you can build a blog without losing yourself.  I’ll be sharing a lot of my own journey as I encourage bloggers to do what works for them.

2:1 Conference 2015

I want readers to come to Raising Arrows because what they find here is useful.  I want them to stay because they’ve found a friend.  I hope as more bloggers recognize a need to slow down and offer better content, the internet will become less noisy.  But, even more than that, I pray that bloggers and readers will have more time to live their offline lives in a manner that is pleasing to the Lord!

Some questions for you as readers…
1)  How many posts per week do you like to see on a blog?
2)  Do you like posts coming to your inbox or are you more apt to read randomly?
3)  On which social media platform are you most likely to interact with a blogger?
4)  What are some of your favorite blogs and why?

Thank you to those of you who take the time to answer these questions!  Your answers will help with my session at 2:1!  If you are interested in attending the 2:1 Conference this fall, click HERE to learn more!

Get Healthy in 2015 {2 Day Flash Sale!}

Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle Encore SaleLast week, I mentioned that Ultimate Bundles would be offering their Healthy Living Bundle {affiliate link} during a 2 day flash sale this week.  This bundle is full of high quality ebooks and ecourses worth over $1000, plus $140 in bonuses to get you new year started on a healthy track.  I can’t wait to get my hands on this great deal for only $29.97!

The Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle Encore Sale
Monday, December 29-Tuesday, December 30

 When they first offered this bundle, I wasn’t in the mood to think about anything but getting past the morning sickness.  I didn’t even look at the books offered!  Now that I’ve had time to peruse the books and courses available, I am so glad they are offering an encore sale!  Take a look at the graphics below to see all the ebooks and ecourses included!  (You can click on them to learn more.)  I think you’ll agree these are some awesome titles and will be a fabulous start to your year!

Here’s to a great 2015!

Grocery University Half Off Sale!

If one of your goals for 2015 is to save money, here is a great place to start!

Grocery University 50% Off Sale!
affiliate link

I was introduced to this program several years ago, and while I’m still not a big coupon clipper, I learned things that I’ve carried with me and made my own.  In fact, I have my daughters listen to this series (originally created by a 2nd generation homeschool mom!) because it is that good.  My oldest daughter does clip coupons and I want her to know the best way to use them – Grocery University is a product that can do this.

Grocery University is half off,
making the entire audio series only $4.97!


Can You Have a Peaceful Christmas When Your Life is Messy?

Is it possible to enjoy the holidays when your life is in upheaval?  | RaisingArrows.netWhen I contacted Sheri Graham about writing the 12 week series for the Holiday Planner, entitled Preparing for a Peaceful Christmas, I knew Christmas was going to be a bit crazy since I was due with baby #9 on December 22; however, what I didn’t know was that I would also be moving right before Thanksgiving!

Life got messy.

Here we are 3 weeks from Christmas, and I still have boxes to unpack, and the items I’ve managed to unpack already don’t all have homes.  My kitchen is only semi-operational.  My bedroom is a mess.  We just got all of the clothes out of suitcases, and I keep finding boxes marked “Books” with no place to put them!

Oh, and having a baby…yeah, that’s still on the To Do List as well!  (I really hope I find all the baby stuff in the next couple of weeks!)

It’s almost as if my Preparing for a Peaceful Christmas series is mocking me.

But, the truth of the matter is, this year, perhaps more than any other year, I NEED to try to have a peaceful Christmas.  Actually, let me rephrase that…

I need to be AT PEACE this Christmas.

That’s what the 12 Week Holiday Planner has always been for me – the anchor that keeps me from stressing.  In fact, even now when life is almost completely upside-down, and we aren’t even sure when we’ll be celebrating Christmas, I still have a sense of peace because I’ve done what I can.

A few weeks ago, I wrote a Christmas letter in the middle of the night when I couldn’t sleep.  I made my lists for each child, and utilized WishBin (the giveaway is almost over, so be sure to enter to win HERE!).  We decorated the tree for Christmas and had our party, but not on the grand scale we usually do.  We are taking things slow and trying not to rush despite the fact that everything feels like it is rushing around us.

Having a Peaceful Christmas When Your Life is Messy | RaisingArrows.net

Is it perfect?  No.

But, it doesn’t change the fact that what we are celebrating is perfect.

Do you think Mary had planned things the way they turned out?

Do you think it all seemed perfect from the outside looking in?

Did any of it make sense at the time?

Yet, there was peace.

It was the peace that passes all understanding.  It was the peace that comes from knowing that despite the chaos around you, you have the assurance that all is just the way it is supposed to be.  It is the peace that we have today, knowing that it isn’t about the presents or the crafts or the perfection, but rather about a tiny baby born to save the world from itself.

My life is messy.

Perfectly messy.