Boost Your Beverage Experience!

April 24, 2013 15:18 by rob

Chances are (about one in sixty-two hundred if my sub-par math skills are at all accurate) you haven’t heard of, let alone tasted, the delicious citrus cola, Boost! It's loved and well known in a particular, small area of South Jersey. The same small area that loves panzarottis and part of that slightly larger area that loved Tastycakes long before Hostess got caught with their hand in the Twinkie jar.

 

Chances are (1 in 1, these calculations are definitely correct) that you are missing out! Take it from a born and raised, moved away and returned, South Jersey native: the Pepsi challenge is like quite a few big face-offs; only two options are offered and neither are all that great or all that different.



Enter Boost! A drink with a 100 year legacy, originally crafted by a pharmacist from Riverside, NJ. This citrus cola, yes made from citrus with a cola taste, has a taste reminiscent of flat cola but in the tastiest of ways, and has all the caffeine you could want in an icy pick-up!


 

I’ve been drinking Boost! since I upgraded from a bottle to a sippy-cup (caffeine free of course, my parents aren’t crazy), when it was only available in giant glass jugs of concentrated syrup (something that me, my siblings, and our cousins definitely didn’t dare each other to take straight shots of) and now you can get it as a slushie!

Around here, I can pop into just about any deli or convenience store and pick one up whenever I want. Now you can have one too, no matter how far you are from Riverside! Make your own slushie or just a glass of iced Boost! cola, whenever you want with a 64oz jug that comes with a pump top for easy dispensing!

 

What are you waiting for? Take a Boost!

 

Sorry, we don’t ship panzarottis.

 

… There really aren’t any to spare *chomp* anyway.



How to Make Chai Like MacGyver

March 11, 2013 11:39 by rob

If only I was an expert craftsman in woodworking. I've got a solid mustache, if I do say so myself, and an even more handsome beard to go along with it, and I definitely do say so myself. I've even got a cynical eye for wasteful bureaucracy, a strong sense of personal independence, and would probably marry Lucy Lawless in a heartbeat.

What I'm trying to say, is I'm almost but not completely imbued with a Ron Swanson-esque vibe, and I'd really like the whole kit & kaboodle to really give this the sturdy DIY toughness I want… but I don't have a quick enough montage to become a carpenter, so close will have to be good enough for horseshoes, hand grenades, and homemade chai blogs.

 

Having worked at a company, quite serious about its chai, for a year and a half without trying more than a glimpsing taste, it's odd that it was an audiobook called Shantaram that incited my personal chai investigation.

I mentioned my favorite [at the time] recipe in my last entry, but things have progressed quite a bit since then. Of all Shantaram's descriptions and portrayals of Chai that pushed me to reexamine the spiced sweet tea, the biggest impact was from the focus on how it was made from scratch, by hand for each cup.

 

Stirred steadily in a copper pot over a low flame so that savory aroma seasons every inhale, made by your own hand and served into an earthen mug straight from the steaming pot.

 

It calls to mind the feeling of cooking your own dinner over a campfire; it's that rustic, hearty, and independent sense of making something amazing for yourself.

If ol' Duke Silver drank Chai, that's how he'd make it.

 

If you love Chai but have never made it for yourself from scratch, I encourage you to try it once and see if it isn't extra satisfying.

 

I've been making mine with Coconut Milk lately, mostly for the health benefits. Coconut oil was long vilified for its high content of saturated fats but, as we've come to understand this tropical drupe a bit more, we're learning that virgin coconut oil (like what is in coconut milk) has a high lauric acid content which contributes to an overall better cholesterol profile and has medium-chain triglycerides which may not carry the same risks as other saturated fats.

           

           Pour coconut milk into a pot (same amount as you would use for water in preparing the same amount of tea)

           Heat over medium flame until lightly simmering

           Lower flame a bit and pour in loose Chai Tea (like these whole leaf options! In a re-sealable pouch or the Novus Tea Sachets which become loose leaf tea with a simple pair of scissors)

           Stir slowly for 1-2 minutes, reduce flame to low and stir another 2-3 minutes.

           Add sweetener (I often use a Vanilla Coconut Milk so I add only the tiniest bit of raw honey. No matter what, keep in mind Coconut Milk's natural sweetness when adding sugar/honey/agave)

           Turn off flame (additional stirring if your sweetener hasn't mixed yet)

 

I don't have any of the professional… or even any of the adeptly prepared amateur… tea drinker's tools, so getting the loose tea and spices out of my cup of awesome called forth a bit of my inner MacGyver. If you also find yourself with a pot of awesome mixed with tea flotsam and no fancy tea making equipment… or even a basic strainer… then try this simple trick:

 

            Works best with a big mug, I actually use a beer stein (teacups and coffee mugs are too small)

           Place a piece of tin foil over cup and crimp down around the lip to form a slight bowl shape inside the cup

           Poke about a dozen or so small holes in the lowest part of the tin foil bowl

           Pour contents of pot slowly through your homemade strainer

           Remove tin foil

 

Don't forget to take a moment to admire the result of your efforts; a handcrafted cup of sweet spiced tea. Also take a moment because it is probably super super hot!

 

If you prefer the dairy route, the process is relatively the same. I prefer whole milk, 2 parts milk 1 part water, heat on medium flame till simmering (stir frequently) and proceed as listed above.

 

Can you mix whole milk and vanilla coconut milk to have all the creamy consistency of whole milk with the sweet flavor and health benefits of the coconut for the cup of Chai of destiny?

I don't know. I only thought of that idea while I was writing this, but I'm going to try it!

Has anyone else tried this, any thoughts on how it might turn out, do you want to know the results? Reach us by comment, email, smoke signal*, or carrier pigeon**.

 

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*Smoke signal reception depends on wind speed and direction, weather, and if our lookout brought his binoculars.

 

**Carrier Pigeons should be able to out-maneuver this seriously stoic fella


The New Tavern Puzzles are Here!

March 5, 2013 11:33 by kelly

I travelled with my family on many a cross-country road trip as child, often stopping at a [certain unnamed chain] restaurant that happened to be conveniently placed right off the various interstates around the USA. Now, while I don't particularly recall the food, what I DO remember were the PUZZLES! At every stop, we'd all scramble for the twisted metal at every table well before reaching for the menus. Who could free the ring from the horseshoes first?! Really, who needs food when you have a puzzle?

 

Fast forward to 2002 and the inception of SeriousPuzzles.com. (Okay, that's not really a fast-forward, being that it's currently 2013, but... you get what I mean) The very first puzzles we carried when we started our shop, deep in the woods of Maine all those years ago, were precisely those iron disentanglement puzzles I remembered fondly as a child - Tavern Puzzles!

 

Now, eleven years later, Tavern Puzzles still remain a staple of our puzzle shop. And, each year brings renewed excitement as a fresh puzzle design is unveiled. This year, however, imagine our elation when Tavern Puzzles revealed not one -- but TWO sparkling new metal disentanglement puzzles! 

 

So now, without further ado, our puzzle compadres, we present them to YOU!


Genuine Article - a Group 8 Tavern Puzzle (that means the super-most-extreme-difficulty!)

The object of this puzzle is to remove the shuttle hanging from the middle bar. Without, of course, using excessive might (no sledgehammers or hacksaws!). Tavern Puzzles, as with all disentanglement puzzles, are solved with finesse, not force!

 

Captive Heart - a Group 1 Tavern Puzzle (that means the easiest to solve - perfect for beginners!)

The object of this puzzle is to remove the heart from between the two horseshoes. Even with beginner tavern puzzles, they always look easier than they are!

 

So, are you a fan of Tavern Puzzles? Do you remember metal disentanglement puzzles from your childhood?

 


Big Train Chai Coupon - $5 Off at SeriousChai.com

February 25, 2013 12:20 by kelly

Monday is the best day of the week!!! (bear with me here)

 

"But WHY?!?" you ask with incredulity.

 

The answer is simple. On this fair Monday, we'd like to offer you... A COUPON!

 

Take $5 off your order of $35 or more at SeriousChai.com today through the end of February.  Take it off anything you'd like - chai, tea, coffee, cider, cocoa, even candy

 

Simply enter FEBFIVE at checkout, and you'll understand why Monday is the best day of all! 


20 Clever Brain Teasers and Witty Riddles for Kids and Adults

February 14, 2013 17:40 by kelly

Are you ready to give your brain a hearty workout? These clever brain teasers & witty riddles will require mental acuity, lateral thinking, and… a generous sense of humor! ;)

We've compiled twenty brainy puzzles of varying levels of difficulty - some are mathematical in nature, some will test your verbal cunning, and some are just plain silly. If you can't get one, don't fret, just move on to the next!

Now, there ARE answers at the bottom of the page, but... no peeking! You want to keep building those brain muscles - that IS why you're here, right? When you're finished, please leave us a comment & let us know how you did!

Good luck and have fun getting smarter!

The Questions:

1) Q: What 5-letter word becomes shorter when you add two letters to it?

 

2) Q: Find a number less than 100 that is increased by one-fifth of its value when its digits are reversed.

 

3) Q: A farmer is trying to cross a river with a bag of corn, a hen, and a fox. The farmer's boat is only big enough to take himself and one other item per trip. The hen cannot be left alone with the corn or she will eat it. Likewise the fox cannot be left with the hen, or the hen will be eaten. How does the farmer get all three items across the river?

 

4) Q: A bat and a ball cost $1.10. The bat costs one dollar more than the ball. How much does the ball cost?

 

5) Q: What letter comes next in the following sequence? D R M F S L T_

 

6) Q: Johnny's Mother had three children. The first child was named April. The second child was named May. What was the third child’s name?

 

7) Q: A clerk at a butcher shop stands five feet ten inches tall and wears size 13 sneakers. What does he weigh?

 

8) Q: If you were running a race and you passed the person in 2nd place, what place would you be in now?

 

9) Q: How many times can you subtract the number two from the number fifty?

 

10) Q: It's a stormy night and a plane takes off from JFK airport in New York. The storm worsens, and the plane crashes - half lands in the United States, the other half lands in Canada. In which country do you bury the survivors?

 

11) Q: In British Columbia you cannot take a picture of a man with a wooden leg. Why not?

 

12) Q: What word in the English language is always spelled incorrectly?

 

13) Q: Given these equations, what does 4500 equal?

8898=7

4566=2

1203=1

2313=0

4566=2

5464=1

7774=0

1003=2

9856=4

9955=2

1886=5

1231=0

8764=3

4500=

 

14) Q: What's full of holes but can still hold water?

 

15) Q: Can you think of a common word that contains double C, double S and double L? Can you think of a second one?

 

16) Q: What number comes next in the following sequence? 2 4 8 10 20 _

 

17) Q: Without it, I'm dead. If I'm not, then then I'm behind. What am I?

 

18) Q: If you wrote all of the numbers from 300 to 400 on a piece of paper, how many times would you have written the number 3?

 

19) Q: You are in a place called Jack's World and there is only one law. There is a mirror, but no reflection. There is pizza with cheese, but not sausage. There is pepper, but no salt. There is a door, yet no entrance or exit. What is the law?

 

20) Q: I come in different shapes and sizes. Parts of me are curved, other parts are straight. You can put me anywhere you like, but there is only one right place for me. What am I?

Ready for the answers?

The Answers:

1) A: Short

2) A: 45 (1/5 of 45 = 9, 9 + 45 = 54)

3) A: The farmer takes the hen across first, and leaves her on the other bank. Next, he comes back, loads the fox onto his boat, and takes him back across the river. He drops off the fox on the opposite bank, picks up the hen, and brings her back to the original bank. He swaps the hen for the corn, and returns to the far bank with the corn - leaving it with the fox. Then, he returns once more to the original bank to get the hen. Once he brings her across, all four are happy to be on the other side!

4) A: The ball costs 5 cents. One dollar more than 5c is $1.05. The sum of which is $1.10.

5) A: D - each letter represents one note in the diatonic musical scale: Do, Re, Mi, Fa, Sol, La, Ti, Do

6) A: Johnny

7) A: Meat

8) A: 2nd Place

9) A: Once. After that, you'd be subtracting from 48.

10) A: You don't bury survivors!

11) A: You can't take a picture with a wooden leg; you need a camera.

12) A: Incorrectly

13) A: 2 - Each answer given equals the number of circles present in the numbers. So, 5699 would equal 3 and 4444 = 0

14) A: A sponge

15) A: Successfully. Unsuccessfully.

16) A: 22 (the sequence alternates +2, x2)

17) A: Ahead.

18) A: 120 (100 threes in the hundreds place + 10 threes in the tens place + 10 threes in the ones place)

19) A: Everything (each word) in Jack's World must contain double letters.

20) A: A jigsaw puzzle piece (how appropriate!)

 

A special thank you to Vernice, one of our Serious Customer Advocates and to Rob, our Serious Content Manager for contributing some ideas for this post!



So... how did you do? Leave us a comment & let us know your score!


Long Winter or Early Spring I Need Only Know One Thing

February 11, 2013 23:55 by rob

Until only months ago, I [thought I] did not like chai.

 

Which seems quite ridiculous as my current cuppa chai sits not 6 inches from me; steam curling and twisting as my tea cools from liquid magma to a more drinkable temperature, and the smell of cinnamon, spices and a hint of vanilla drifts around my cubicle.


 

My current favorite 'recipe' is as follows;

2 Novus Spiced Chai teabags steeped, in a big mug, until almost dark as coffee

Stir with an Amber Sugar Cane stick until dissolved

Top off with Vanilla soymilk.

 

It's not just the drink's heat that is so welcome on a snow-frosted (but, of course, not enough for us all to be snowed in our cozy houses) Monday morning, but the flavor itself that warms you up from the belly out. The spice, the sweet, the rich bold flavor of the full leaf black tea… Really all that's missing is another 34" of snow.

 


Punky Phil says Spring's coming soon

Though, with an accuracy percent of 39

I trust him like I trust snow in June.

So to a long winter, we must all resign.

 

But my chai isn't all that's warm and sweet,

Winter also means a day called Valentine,

And I've got one request, don't make me repeat,

How 'bout it Chai, will you be mine?

 


…Just don't tell the Cocomels; the creamiest of artisan, small batch vegan caramels made with the smooth and healthful wonders of Coconut Milk. I may or may not already have a Valentine.

Honestly who could resist? Whether it's the perfectly executed contrast of salty and sweet with just a sprinkle of Fleur de Sel Sea Salt, or the dark and rich flavor of organic espresso beans carried perfectly on the subtly sweet undercurrent of creamy caramel and coconut milk, there is also Vanilla and the classic Original and nothing artificial or saccharine about 'em.

 

On second thought, maybe I'll be my own Valentine.

And I'll give my Valentine – the handsome, rakish, rogue that he is – enough Chai Tea to make it till Spring, whenever it arrives, and a whole barrel of Cocomels.

 

My, my, how thoughtful my Valentine is; that's exactly what I wanted.


Serious Brain Heath Part 3: Developing Brains, Active Minds

February 8, 2013 10:37 by rob

Early childhood is a pretty important time for a person [first understatement of 2013]. It's a time when much more than strengthening or sharpening skills is needed, children are currently in the process of developing all those skills! The more stimulation and interaction provided for these skills, the stronger their potential becomes.

 

SeriousPuzzles.com carries a wide selection of puzzles, games, and activities designed to engage the mind and strengthen these developing skills. Created by some of the most innovative and experienced minds in the market; they're full of fun from beginning to end, the fun just happens to be good for developing brains. The puzzles feature bright colors and visually exciting images to keep their attention, while larger and thicker pieces meet their motor skills on their level.

 

Assembling puzzles and playing with these interactive games helps to foster abilities like spatial recognition, attention and focus, as wells as encouraging positive feelings of achievement. It's entertainment with a benefit, both to growing minds and budding self-esteem!

 

Farm Sounds – Start puzzling early with this block puzzle filled with farm fun! The two pieces are cube pieces covered in half pictures of cheerful farm animals. When they are placed correctly in the included tray, the two pictures match up to show a Cow, a Pig, a Sheep, and more, but you'll also be rewarded with the sound that animal makes! (2 blocks, recommended for ages 2+)



 

Transport Trio – Chunky wooden pieces painted in bold colors interlock on top of each other within a sturdy wooden frame to form a playful and layered image of a jumbo jet, a car, and a sailboat. Not only does this help with spatial recognition as the child learns how the shapes fit, it also introduces sequencing. (8 pieces, recommended for ages 3+)



 

Spanish Alphabet (Alfabeto Español) – With bright colors and interactive sound, little puzzlers can learn the 27 letters of the Spanish Alphabet as well as a bit of simple vocabulary; engaging all the usual motor and visual recognition skills, this puzzle can play an effective role in early language development. (27 pieces, recommended for ages 3+)



 

Happy School Bus, Make 'Em Move – Just like in the song, the wheels on the bus go round and round! The fun here is just beginning when the puzzle is completed; you can turn the bus wheel like it's really rolling along, spin the soccer ball, and even make the skateboarder flip! (24 pieces, recommended for ages 4+)



 

I Learn: To Add & Subtract – This puzzle set includes several basic jigsaws that incorporate the flash card method for teaching basic arithmetic. Their clever design also shows concrete examples for the math with visual representations that are laid out as the puzzles are pieced together.

 

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Read Rob's other Brain Health Blogs:

 

Serious Brain Health Part 1: Is a Healthier Brain Just a Checkmate Away?

Serious Brain Health Part 2: Puzzling Makes Brain Health Not So Puzzling


Today is National Puzzle Day!

January 29, 2013 11:24 by kelly

 

We're psyched here at SeriousPuzzles.com - this is a big day! What day IS it? January 29th - National Puzzle Day!!! A  day to celebrate all things puzzle: brain teasers, jigsaw puzzles, cryptograms, tavern puzzles, Rubik's cubes, crossword puzzles, acrostics, sudoku, anagrams ...

 

Of course, every day here is puzzle day. Today's just extra special.

 

For us, we'll be working on puzzles all day (and eating candy). And for you...  

 

Take 20% Off Your Order at SeriousPuzzles.com TODAY! No minumum order amount - just enjoy!

 

 

Could be the perfect time to pick out a jigsaw puzzle and get your whole family involved in solving - it's a great way to bring everyone together for a shared activity.

 

Chocolate Sensation - 400pc Family Style Jigsaw Puzzle (multi-size pieces so everyone can work together!)

 

Do you have any plans for National Puzzle Day? Let us know - we'd love to hear! 

 

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Coupon PUZZLEDAY expires 1-31-2013 at 3am EST.

 

 


A New Year Brings New Puzzles

January 22, 2013 10:54 by kelly

New year, new resolutions, new experiences, new puzzles!

We've added hundreds of beautiful designs for 2013 from new manufacturers like...

Dowdle Folk Art


Yankees Stadium - 500pc Jigsaw Puzzle by Dowdle

Perre

Kindertraume


Paris, France Panorama - 1000pc Panoramic Jigsaw Puzzle by Kindertraume

Pomegranate


Jackson Pollock: Convergence - 1000pc Jigsaw Puzzle by Pomegranate

Purrfect

Spiel Spass

Tomax


Seaside - 300pc Jigsaw Puzzle by Tomax

and more

 

We're so excited to keep adding to our collection as the year progresses and can't wait for Toy Fair 2013 which will bring even MORE new items!! If you'd like to be notified of our newest puzzles, why not join our email list or Like us on Facebook - you'll never miss a sale, coupon, or new puzzle announcement!

 

Happy New Year! 


These Gifts Aren't Late, Just on a Different Schedule

January 4, 2013 11:16 by rob

 

Sometimes we don’t get our Holiday gifts to people before the Holidays have passed. But where the Calendar is strict, the spirit of gift giving is not! And in The Uglyverse and Squishtownworld, they know that! There, the holidays are all celebrated on flexibly expanding schedule...


Uglyverse. Decrepitember, 29th, 2012.

 

Trunko – GAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!

                       

Dave D. – Why are you screaming?

 

Trunko – I FORGOT 2 PRESENTS!... I never gave Groody his

Uglysaurus rawhide bone, and a homemade blue apron for Wage is

still sitting on the floor of my treehouse.

                       

Dave D. – Trunky, ol’ pal, you’re the most forgetful creature ever.

If you forgot two Winter Wonder Holiday presents, then Winter Wonder Holidays aren’t over yet! Go get those gifts! Celebrate! Go… Oh… he’s gone.

 

[Rising Dust Cloud]

 

 

That’s just one example from the Uglyverse, but it’s very commonplace! The Holidays end when everyone is done celebrating them. Why set deadlines on widespread fun, Why tell a day when it has to stop being awesome, they ask? And I can’t help but agree with them. 

 

In Squishabletownworld, the tradition is the same but they just refer to the Calendar as being ‘Squishy’. You can never be very sure about a date or when it is ending, or sometimes even when it’s starting, when everything is so Squishy. So they figure, why be strict? Celebrate all around it so that you never miss!

 

So if you’re stressed because you might not have time to get all your presents to their recipients, relax. Think about it this way, maybe the Holidays can be celebrated a little longer this year, maybe they’re over when we’re done celebrating them, maybe there is never a bad time to give a funny, cuddly, and ugly in the most adorable of ways plush toy to someone.

A new fuzzy friend like Yeti The Abominable Squishable Snowball, who’s got a fluffy white and blue, Wintertime special hug for anyone, anytime and he’s not scared of Blizzards, Ice, or even Days When The Sky Is Super Gray And It’s Cold.

Or a Purple Pirate Eyed Pal like Handsome Panther! When you’re as charming as this vibrantly furred, valiantly fanged, veritable fellow you celebrate when you arrive, and who isn’t going to celebrate with you! Think of all the shoes that will be cobbled and the hugs that will be had!

And if all else fails, there is always Cthulhu. Elder Gods of Chaos and Doom do not heed the small boxy calendars of man! Dost thou not seeist Mighty Cthulhu, in his furry green and squishy plush beastliness? Yea, and dost not the holidays merely begin when he arrives? Cthulhu is never late, so says Cthulhu.

In the end, the holidays are about a whole lot more than presents and dates. And one day is never enough to spend all the time with all of our loved ones. So don’t worry about any of the deadlines, celebrate with friends and family whenever you can! And seriously, who can get mad if you're 'late' when faced with one of these cuddlemonsters?