A candy drawer and a Keurig

I have a candy drawer.

Ok, well, not ‘me’ personally.

There is a candy drawer at my job. Here it is:

Let’s take a peek . . .

Mmm, look at this little guy. What a tempter.

This candy drawer is kept fully stocked by my boss. The kind of candy that lies therein varies, but my downfall are the Snickers and Reese’s–and recently, the Almond Joys. This drawer has held me in its thrall on and off throughout my employment. Right now, I’m happy so say the thrall is off. Off, off, off! Perhaps because for the past couple months I’ve been bringing homemade cookies with me that satisfy my morning sweet tooth?

Cookies such as these . . .

or these . . .

And even this delightful quickbread (recipe coming tomorrow), which kept me going all of last week:

I only experience the sweet tooth in the mornings–really. Just look at my recipe collection for evidence: it is dominated by savory fare. So if I can make it past about 11am without giving into temptation, I’m usually home free.

I’m glad I’m in a non-candy drawer phase in my life, because almost a year ago I realized this drawer might have been involved in some . . . weight gain. The weight gain that caused me to no longer fit into various and sundry skirts, jeans, and pants. The moment I realized that my most favorite and basic black business pants had gone from a comfy classy fit to a skin-tight version in a matter of months, I chose to start saying: NO! to that drawer. I wanted my pants to fit in the old way. “I’m sorry, honey,” I said to my husband, “I know you don’t mind my new butt, however I like my old butt. I like looser jeans! I want to have a tiny tush again!” So I plugged my ears to the siren call of those crackling little packages of sweetness and I joined the gym, where I worked out on the elliptical 3 times a week for 2 months. Every other week, with hope in my heart, I broke out my black suit pants. And interestingly enough, over 2 months time, the fit of those pants didn’t change one bit.

Let’s pause and take a moment to reflect on the tiny tush that was.


The small derriere to which I will probably never return.


Now why the elliptical didn’t burn off some of the jigglies, well, it’s still a mystery the likes of which I may never decipher. Never mind though–even if I didn’t lose weight, I had the chance to discipline my mind. Right? And isn’t my mind more important than my tush anyway? Right? Yes? Right? Okay.

So in order to keep my current wardrobe viable, I stay away from the candy drawer. Except for every now and then, when I have a piece of chocolate with my morning coffee. It’s all about balance anyway.

The guys in the plant (yes, there’s a factory attached to my office) go through the candy pretty fast, and since there’s no knowing what may take the place of my favorite treats, I have a second candy drawer at my desk.

Hidden behind the tub of tacks is my ‘in case of an emergency’ stash.

Those candy bars have been in there for a good 6 months, folks. But it comforts me to know they’re waiting, just in case. Just in case what? I can’t quite say. In fact, my secret candy stash is starting to sound eerily familiar. Like I’m in the middle of some kind of deja vu. Like maybe this isn’t the first time I’ve hoarded candy. Huh–weird.

But enough about candy and bottoms. Let’s make a journey to the kitchen area of my little office, where a new treat awaits.

It’s this Keurig coffee maker.

My boss was tired of disgusting office coffee and comissioned me to order something fancy. Thus, the Keurig.

I used it at the Pioneer Woman’s Lodge thinking I would never enjoy its delights again, and now, lo and behold, I have access to it every day. Its flashy blue lights make me feel so . . . sophisticated. Classy. Like maybe I’m wearing fancy pointed snake-skin heels and going to the spa, instead of shuffling around the office in my socks.

Yes, I do that. How else am I going to feel the comforting effects of the foot heater I keep under my desk??

We’re in the process of trying out all the different flavors of coffee, and identifying our favorites. The coffee comes in these cute little pods:

Then there’s figuring out ideal temperature settings, and the perfect brew-size-to-creamer ratio. So much to be analysed.

When I turn it on in the morning, it takes a good 5 minutes to tell me ‘ready to brew’ on the display screen.

I’ve been using those precious 5 minutes to do pushups against the wall, squats, and lunges. Give me a few more months with the Keurig and I’ll be the friggin’ buffest coffee drinker in the office!

Okay, I’m usually the only one in the office. So I guess I’m buffest by default.

Wow! I’ve never been ‘buffest’ before, and I’ve got to say–it feels good!

The exercises continue as I access my stash of creamer:

15 seconds in the microwave is good for at least 5 deep squats.

Why hello little lady! I think I’ll call you ‘The Jenninator.’ Or do you prefer ‘The Jenninatrex’?

Goodbye old and gross coffee pot that we always neglected to wash.

Mr. Coffee will never again have me cringing as I drink my A.M. java.

What are your morning coffee routines and temptations? And how does that relate to the fit of your favorite pair of classy black business pants? I’m all ears.

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33 Responses to A candy drawer and a Keurig

  1. This morning, I made a glass of OJ and ate two Hershey’s Bliss chocolates while reading your blog. I chose only two because I thought that would tide my morning sweet tooth over as well, but realized half way through your blog, it didn’t. I reached back to my nightstand for more, and realized I had already ate the second one. Thought about going back downstairs for a few more, but decided against it. THAT’S WILLPOWER….my pants have become too snug too. And I’m tired of wearing my sweats that say PINK on the butt because the butt has grown too and PINK looks weird in that large of font when worn…Currently doing the Jillian Michaels Shred It dvd..ok, so I’ve used it 3 times in a week and a half…but I needed 4 days to recover after the first workout. Skipped this weekend…and ate too many chocolates. So I’ll go back to huffin and puffin tonight and achin in the morning.

    • Jenna says:

      Bahar, you crack me up!! Maybe I’ll have to get some Jillian in my life, too. I don’t know if my yoga is really making a difference in the volume of the thing. I’m sure it’s toning me, up and stretching feels oh-so-good, but the volume . . . oh the volume. =)

  2. Patti says:

    Ha! this is funny. We have all of our office candy sitting in a bowl 3 desks in front of me, it’s very dangerous, and yet I never seem to pop over there, which is strange because I love sweets.

    Normally I live for tea in the morning, but I’ve given it up for Lent, so now I’m back on my super sweet, super fattening capuccinos. Oh well.

  3. Corinne says:

    We love love love our Keurig :) It makes me so happy!
    Also… I used to have a snack drawer in my office, and it was well known through the company, so I started using it for bargaining power… tricky tricky! :)

  4. I guess the good news (Bad news?) about staying home with my kiddos all day, is that I don’t notice a wardrobe change until I get to a Sunday and actually put on “real” clothes, for church. All the other days, I am home in nice stretchy leggings!
    Dale likes my new butt too. What IS it with these guys?!

  5. Mmmm, Keurig! Your personal candy stash reminds me of my grandfather–at his house, they had a candy drawer (Hershey bars, etc) but he kept his own box of See’s chocolates hidden!

  6. Wendi says:

    Jenna, have you started making custom hot beverages? We have a Tassimo at work and my favorite combination is hot chocolate and espresso.

    • Jenna says:

      Ooooh, custom beverages?? I wonder how I would do that with the Keurig–just by combining 1 pod of coffee and 1 pod of hot chocolate? That’s already sounding like the best idea ever.

      • Wendi says:

        That’s exactly what you do. But you have to make sure you can get a cup or mug large enough to hold a double sized beverage onto the machine. Or I guess you could brew into one mug and then pour into a larger one.

  7. Rowenna says:

    That candy drawer looks evil…fortunately we have nothing similar in my office. Or I’d be a Stay-Puft marshmallow person. And I’m jealous of the Keurig–we just got a fancy coffee/espresso maker that’s nice but jams all the time…I wish for simplicity and spa-esque classiness :)

  8. Sarah says:

    mmm i want a keurig!

  9. NanaBread says:

    I’d love to have a Keurig, but instead I have the EXACT Mr. Coffee shown in your photos. My morning routine is two cups of my favorite “Hawaiian Grog” blend with a smidge of sugar and a few spoons of plain old Coffeemate Lite. If I don’t have my morning coffee, I feel like I forgot something important. Like showering or putting on clothes before walking out of the house. And nobody wants to see that. Trust me. PS – Is that Burt’s Bees lip balm on your desk?!? Love that stuff. Addicted, actually.

    • Jenna says:

      Actually, my husband and I have that exact same Mr. Coffee at home, and it doesn’t do a bad job for us. Maybe because we buy better coffee than what is provided at work? Who knows. Also because I have my supply of Baileys and Kahlua and Amarula at home–granted I save that for the weekends, but it takes the coffee from OK to delicious!
      And yes, I am 100% addicted to Burt’s Bees. It’s so good. =)

  10. Anna says:

    I’ve never been much of a tea fan, and as there isn’t an office worth sitting in for long here no candy drawer.. I did have a bag of gummy bears in the fridge out in the kennel though, I probably shouldn’t do that again. Now I am taking snacks out the the kennel so my boss eats them up, good way to not let them go to waste when I buy costco sized bags. I am not a coffee person, Tea is another story though. I have a whole box full of different teas and most every work morning I have a cup, though I rarely finish it before 7AM rolls around and I have to go to work.

    I have gotten into baking in a more regular fashion and this has led to jeans not fitting.. I try to use that as motivation to do something about it, but I never get far, and the husband doesn’t complain… but it bugs me.. Hmmm maybe I will take the pup and the bike out this afternoon.

    How did you start Yoga? Do you have any DVDs to recommend?

    • Jenna says:

      Hi Anna! I used to drink loads of mint tea in the morning instead of coffee . . . I can’t quite remember why that changed, but I think it was rooted in the discovery of hazelnut creamer. I have trouble drinking American coffee without creamer in it.
      I’m thinking my baking habits might require me to amp up my exercise as well. I started yoga because there’s a class offered by the City of Chicago Parks District right down the street from our apartment, and since the idea had always appealed to me, as soon as we moved here I signed myself up. I haven’t done yoga with a DVD, but I do this Pilates DVD. I wish I could remember the name of it! I think it’s from “The Method” and it’s called “Pilates: All in one workout” or something like that.

  11. skippymom says:

    Please tell your boss that he/she is made of AWESOME. Candy and a Kuerig? Nice perks. And how much creamer do you people go through. Wow! lol

  12. surlykitchen says:

    i don’t know how i’d make it thru the morning without my coffee. i use a toddy, which is a cold brew system that makes a low acid coffee concentrate. it’s divine. i’ve heard good things about this keurig, too. i hear it can brew hot tea as well.

    btw, congrats on being the featured member on tasty kitchen! :)

  13. Wendy says:

    As someone a bit, ahem, older, I can tell you that if you wait long enough, the clothing manufacturers will adjust their sizes so you don’t have to worry about larger rears and thighs. The trick is to always buy new clothing and you will think you are always the same size! Problem solved. Go eat chocolate.

    • Jenna says:

      Hahaha! Oh Wendy, I will take your advice to heart. =) Plus, an excuse to buy new clothing is always welcome.
      I think I’ll just obey you and go eat some chocolate.

  14. Twinky says:

    The Keurig machine at the PW’s was OK, but I am still all about our delightful espresso machine (the “MiniMoka” by De Moka”) which so far is running all right on its transformer. It is a morning routine to plug it in, turn it on, and crank on the full coffee “basket”… then press the 2-cup button and watch the brew fall into the cup!! Lately, thanks to Big Jake, I have been using evaporated milk as part of the milk for my “café con leche”, and it is REALLY nice! …doesn’t “water down” the coffee as much as regular milk and I don’t have to consume the calories in half-n-half or real cream. Coffee definitely is a part of morning, but after that, I usually drink tea… and at night a hot milk with honey. Your Dad tried a hot milk with malt and a touch of Baileys…. YUM! It avoids the caffeine problem of an evening consumption, but gives that warmed up feeling that is so cozy and appropriate before bedtime!

    • Jenna says:

      At some point I need an espresso machine . . . that one you gave me for my wedding shower broke back in Delaware and we’ve been doing American coffee ever since. =( Maybe once we have more counter space . . .
      Hot milk with malt and Baileys sounds like the stuff dreams are made of. I need to purchase some malt powder and give that a try! AND I also have evaporated milk from Big Jake that I need to use, so thanks for the idea of using it in coffee! Brilliant. You’re pretty much the smartest mom I have.

  15. Veronica says:

    You crackle me up! Luckily the only candy in my “office” (it’s actually more of a large flat building with one huge workroom floor) is behind glass and you have to pay for it. That makes it much easier to resist! Since you’re a cookie novice, I’ll refer you to the easiest cookie recipe ever (and it’s sooooo yummy!) http://reciperhapsody.wordpress.com/2010/01/04/easy-lemon-cookies/

    • Veronica says:

      What the…! I so left the wrong ending to my coment!! I meant to say that part about the cookies on the other tab I have opened to your cookie blog…so I’ll go leave that there now.

  16. Very funny post :) There is no candy drawer at my work place but there is a fridge full of soda or any form of sweet drinks and it’s always well-stocked! To my utter annoyance because I can’t keep my hands off!

  17. Kimby says:

    My morning routine includes coffee and lots of it, followed by more coffee. No Keurig at the office, though, and no candy drawer… but that’s okay. Discovered my black pants were less than comfty, too, after a mostly sedentary winter! Time to get out and walk. And just MAYBE I’ll reward myself for walking — with some candy…

  18. leashieloo says:

    Um…I just want to DIVE into your candy drawer. And yay for the Keurig! I almost got one for Christmas, but ended up with a Tassimo. I’m happy with it, but I’m jealous how you Keurig owners have a ton of selection!

  19. giselle says:

    Here’s my concern with the Keurig. Is the coffee essentially ‘instant’ coffee?? Does it taste like it is? I’m Dominican, so there’s nothing like a freshly brewed delicious espresso (in the DR on a typical day you’ll have one for breakfast, one mid morning, one after lunch, one mid afternoon, one after dinner, and perhaps one mid evening). I’m not even kidding.


    • Jenna says:

      Here’s my honest answer/opinion: the best coffee is espresso, freshly brewed. However, the Keurig is a step up from the American coffee we were brewing in our office thus far. Not nearly as good as espresso, of course, but until my boss decides to get us an espresso machine for the office, I’m quite content with the status quo. =) Plus, especially for an office, it eliminates cleaning up other people’s coffee messes, getting grounds all over the counter, and having a dirty coffee pot hanging around.

  20. LaRee says:

    My husband brought home a Keurig last month… He thinks its easier to make coffee in it than making me make coffee every morning lol. I have been buying a few brnads of the pods. Yes some have instant coffe in them, some have coffee beans and a filter. I usually gather up the pods and listen to the happy shaking of the used beans on the way to the waste basket… but with the new brand… no shaking so I peeled it open, low and behold nothings there, no filter nuthin!

    Its Grove Square ‘microground’…. the pod is completely empty at the en,the flavor is ok though.

  21. LaRee says:

    /sigh.. you’d think I can’t spell either… sorry, my 9 year old daughter was coming in and likes to over analize everything I comment on and tell everyone we meet about it ><

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