Friday, 30 August 2013

College Packing List: What to Bring to the Dorm

College Packing List

So you’re looking for an awesome college packing list huh? Well, we’ve got a checklist of 20 items you’ll want to bring to the dorm this school year! We have entertainment, organization, health-related, practical and even (gulp) cleaning items. Without further ado…Big Train presents the college packing list that will really help you rock your school year!

1) Internet-Powered Television

Paying for cable TV can get expensive and gathering money from roomies can be a hassle. Cut the cord and go for something like a Roku, Apple TV or Chromecast by Google. All you need is an Internet connection and subscriptions to a few streaming services and you’re good to go!

streaming tv for college packing list

2) Alarm

Almost every single mobile phone in the past decade includes an alarm clock (and there are even apps that require you to walk at least 30 paces before they shut off), but sometimes it’s good to have a good ol’ reliable alarm clock in the dorm to make sure you don’t miss those early-morning finals!

alarm clock for college packing list

3) Compact Cooking Appliance

Toasters and toaster ovens are alright but get yourself a 3-in-1 Breakfast Station and master the delicate art of breakfast. Your friends will stare in awe as you toast, griddle and serve up the dark roast – with ONE appliance.

compact cooking for college packing list

4) Blenders (blender and milk frother)

Roomies and neighbors may not appreciate the noise of a blender but they’ll sure love the awesome culinary concoctions you’ll delight them with (see #6). Milk frothers work great for mixing chai right in your mug.

blender milk frother for college packing list

5) Sleep Mask (Bonus: Scented)

Blocking any and all excess light is especially awesome for those mornings when you don’t have class until 10:00 am, but you also never know when you’re cobbled-together blinds (read: blanket held up by tacks) decide to come tumbling down just in time to let all that early morning sunshine come spewing in.

sleep mask for college packing list

6) Just-Add-Water Drink Mixes

There will be times when food/drinks will be hard to come by, but hopefully you’ll still have access to fresh water. If so, that’s all you need in order to make these delicious drinks:

  • 6.1) Chai: easy to make and delicious, chai soothes your soul during stressful exam time
  • 6.2) Blended Ice Coffees: make your dorm mates BFFs and give them a delicious Blended Ice Coffee. Just add Big train Blended Ice Coffee mix, ice and water into a blender. Great for those late night study sessions!
  • 6.3) Fit Frappe: In a rush on way to school? Need a healthier alternative to high-calorie expensive lattes? Try Fit Frappe, delicious easy-to-make protein latte mixes – the “Healthy Buzz”.

big train chai blended ice coffee for college packing list

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

4 Ways to Support Breast Cancer Awareness Month

By Guest Blogger: MaryAnne Wendt

About 1 in 8 U.S. women (just under 12%) will develop invasive breast cancer over the course of her lifetime. (

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month! Take care of yourself every year and get a mammogram!

4 Things you can do to support Breast Cancer Awareness Month:

1-Think Pink – Wear pink all month long!

2- Get a mammogram – Now is the perfect time to get a mammogram. That way you can’t forget to get one every year. You’ll be reminded every October that it’s time to take care of yourself.

3- Donate – There are several organizations out there that raise funds for breast cancer research. HerHighway proudly supports 10 groups, including Susan G. Komen, American Cancer Society and Avon. Click here and pick your favorite charity! Your donation is greatly appreciated.

4- Spread the word! Share as much information as you can with your family and friends. Make sure every woman you know is taking care of herself, too.

Sunday, 12 August 2012

Irvine Coffeehouse Paradise Perks Hosts Luau Fruit Smoothie Tasting Tweet-up

When Big Train recently launched all new blender-ready pour over real fruit smoothie mixes, we wanted to share our latest line of drink mix products with some local consumers. We reached out to Marcie Taylor aka @suburbanmama on twitter, a social media strategist based in Irvine. Marcie connected us with Beth, the owner at Irvine Coffeehouse Paradise Perks. What a great idea!

Irvine Coffeehouse Paradise Perks

Jim from Big Train & Beth at Paradise Perks

After meeting Beth at Paradise Perks in Irvine, we were excited to learn they had been serving Big Train products for years including Big Train Spiced Chai and Dragonly frappes, an Asian themed line of ice blended creme mixes like Taro, Green Tea, Thai tea etc. Paradise Perks was the perfect venue to showcase new real fruit smoothie mixes. And so we set our Luau plans in motion.

Real Fruit Smoothie Tasting Tweet Up

Beth promoted the event, had her staff dress in Hawaiian attire and offered up a great menu:

  • coconut shrimp
  • wings of fire
  • bacon wrapped pineapple
  • fruit platter
Hold your Luau at Paradise Perks

Have your next Luau at Paradise Perks

Local ten year old blogger @TinyTechie offered to provide her interpretation of tropical desserts: Pineapple Beach Cupcakes.

Coconut Beach Cupcakes

Coconut Beach Cupcakes

@tinytechie cupcakes


@kimikor and @maryannewendt

@kimikor and @maryannewendt


@hoda007 sporting an orange lei

Lady Lux Swimwear
also from Irvine offered special discounts for attendees.
Lady Lux Swimwear

Big Train brought a Vitamix Quiet One Blender, new Real Fruit Smoothie pour-over-ice smoothie mixes, a treasure box full of Big Train drink mix samples, and a huge box of leis.
While Hawaiian music played, our Luau guests enjoyed great food, samples all the new Real Fruit Smoothie Mixes(Strawberry, Mango, Superfruit, Strawberry Banana, Peach and Wildberry). Beth and her staff were very accommodating and were great to work with.

Paradise Perks Staff

Paradise Perks Staff is great!

OC Foodie Mavens

Foodie Mavens Suki and @MadHungryWoman

Luau Tweet Up

Christiny rockin' the blender

Sampling Smoothies

@TheBigDebowski & friends

Suki Angie Weeks Kathy Klingaman Cheryl Hawley

Suki, Angie Weeks, Kathy Klingaman, Cheryl Hawley

The event was a success! Many thanks to Marcie Taylor, Beth from Paradise Perks, Lady Lux Swimwear, @TinyTechie for the amazing cupcakes, and of course our friends and guests. Special thanks to Jenn and Christiny from Big Train’s marketing team that worked tirelessly to make it all happen.



Monday, 2 July 2012

HSN Big Train Frozen Frappe Drink Mixes on Home Shopping Network!

HSN Frappe drink mixes! For the first time ever, Big Train products were made available via national television on the Home Shopping Network on Monday, July 2nd.

It all started when HSN came looking for some delicious drink mixes to sell as part of HSN’s 35th Anniversary celebration. What better way to celebrate than to offer up amazing coffeehouse style drinks that can be enjoyed at home, right? Mixing up several Big Train frappe mix flavors on live television created a lot of excitement here at Big Train’s headquarters in Lake Forest California. We could practically taste the drinks from here.

Big Train Frappe Blended Drink Mixes on HSN













A lot of preparation and planning went into getting ready for the HSN airing. After presenting a variety of options, and lots of taste testing, and tremendous effort behind the scenes to prepare for the live show, Big Train and HSN worked together to offer 8 Big Train yummy drink flavors in two exclusive fun packages:

The first package they presented was the “Fun Flavors” Pack. Each pack contains:

HSN Fun Frappe Flavors

Fun Flavors Pack


  • 11.3 oz. Frozen Frappe Drink Mix – Bubble Gum
  • 11.3 oz. Frozen Frappe Drink Mix – Strawberry Banana
  • 11.3 oz. Frozen Frappe Drink Mix – Orange Creme
  • 11.3 oz. Frozen Frappe Drink Mix – Cotton Candy


The second package they decided to offer was the “Sophisticated Flavors” pack which includes:

Sophisticated Frappe flavors on HSN

Sophisticated Flavors Pack

  • 11.3 oz. Frozen Frappe Drink Mix – Cookies n’ Creme
  • 11.3 oz. Frozen Frappe Drink Mix – Southern Velvet
  • 11.3 oz. Frozen Frappe Drink Mix – Root Beer Float
  • 11.3 oz. Frozen Frappe Drink Mix – New York Cheesecake


Keri Maletto HSN Host for BigTrainBig Train and HSN selected Keri Maletto to be the lead on-air host. In addition to her experience as a fun and vivacious host for the Home Shopping Network, Keri has appeared in feature films like Dolphin Tale and television shows like Burn Notice and The Glades. Keri did a fantastic job presenting HSN’s exclusive Big Train drink mix products on HSN highlighting Big Train’s value to consumers that are looking for great tasting cafe style products that are easy to make. She even suggested some great ideas like adding strawberry liqueur to flavors like our New York Cheesecake frappe mix to create a yummy Strawberry Cheesecake Frappe cocktail for example. She also mixed up Cookies ‘n Cream, Bubble Gum and Orange Crème blended ice drink flavors. Great job Keri!


HSN created a Big Train brand page on their website where these exclusive products are available for sale in case you missed the program today. Hurry though, there is a limited supply and these products will likely sell out soon.

Did you miss the live show? No worries the show will run again at around 12:00 noon and again at 5:45 pm EDT.To view HSN’s Program Guide go here. Watch HSN live on your computer by clicking here:

For more information on these exclusive HSN Drink Products go here. For more information about Big Train go to Big

HSN Big Train Beverage Mixes

Friday, 25 May 2012

Big Train Stops at WLSFA “Meet and Greet” in Las Vegas

Billed as the “Mother of all Meet and Greets”, the Weight Loss Surgery Foundation of America hosted its best annual conference yet recently in Las Vegas. We were introduced to the WLSFA by several of our consumer customers who discovered our Fit Frappe® low sugar high protein drink mixes in 2011.

The WLSFA mission has three components:

  • Ending Obesity by empowering people to move from surviving to thriving through weight loss surgery, education and support.
  • Performing charitable services and supporting research to find solutions to enhance the quality of life of the morbidly obese community.
  • Raising awareness and funds for surgery.
Antonia Namnath WLSFA Big Train

Antonia Namnath, CEO WLSFA

Antonia Namnath, CEO of WLSFA encouraged Big Train to help sponsor their annual conference. We are so glad we did! Attending from Big Train were Jim Wendt and Christiny Bouback from Big Train’s marketing department. According to Wendt, “The response from the WLS community for Big Train has been great. We were blown away by the positive response at the recent show in Vegas.

At the conference Big Train sampled Fit Frappe gourmet Protein Drink mixes: Espresso, Vanilla Latte, and Vanilla (coffee-free) blended with water and ice, and Fit Frappe Mocha served hot (by mixing the powder mix with hot water). We also handed out several of our low carb products (including low carb chai, low carb cookies, low carb brownies) and no sugar added mocha and chai. Customers seem to like the diversity of both our Protein drink mixes as well as the other non protein options.

One attendee at the show had an amazing protein mix recipe: Fit Frappe Sorbet. They take the mix add more ice less water and store in the freezer then eat it like ice cream. So it’s like a high protein no sugar frozen treat that’s good for you!

One of the charters for the WLSFA organization is to raise funds for weight loss surgeries. Connie Bailey, their first grant recipient, attended the Las Vegas event and posted this video on You Tube after trying our protein drink mixes (one of our best testimonials ever). Thanks Connie!

We didn’t ask for this video and so it means a lot to us that Connie would take the time out of her day to produce and share this video with her You Tube followers. Thanks again Connie!  WLSFA profiled an inspiring documentary produced by our friends at BariatricTV about Connie and her sister that has received over 100,000 views check it out:

Some Fun before the Conference

Wendt and Bouback wanted to do something fun for WLSFA attendees prior to the show and invited some of the early bird attendees on a private tour of‘s corporate HQ that is close to the Las Vegas strip. The company was recently ranked #11 Best Company to Work for by Forbes Magazine in 2012. Zappos is legendary for its unique and sometimes wacky culture. The Book Delivering Happiness. A Path to Profits, Passion and Purpose, by the company’s CEO Tony Hsieh is a MUST read for anyone looking to overcome adversity and make great things happen by among other things building win-win relationships with people. Wendt figured the WLSFA community, a passionate and brand-loyal group, would appreciate the Zappos tour. In typical Zappos exceed-customer-expectation fashion, the Zappos Insights team made an exception for us (Natalie rules) and graciously hosted their first ever Friday tour (as that was the only day that worked for us). Here are a few pics:

Zappos Tour All Aboard with Big Train and WLSFA Attendees

Melting Mama photo bombing Wendt's Zappos Tour sign pic.

Las Vegas Limo Bus Big Train

Thx Celebrity Coaches for the Big Train ride!

Zappos Reception

Zappos Reception

Tony Hsieh Desk Big Train Tour

No managers get offices, not even the CEO.

no ties at Zappos

Beware vendors: Do not wear a tie at Zappos.


Zappos VIP Tour Big Train

Everyone is a VIP at Zappos.

Thanks everyone at the WLSFA “Meet and Greet”! And just how did folks respond to Big Train at the event. According to Namnath, “I knew your Fit Frappe was going rock it in Vegas it IS the talk of the show!!!!

It truly was a humbling experience meeting so many people that have made huge differences in their lives. So inspirational! Thanks for the great feedback on our products. Thanks Zappos for the amazing tour and service for our group. I don’t know what impressed us more the $16 Million record braking sales day poster or the size 40 boot you shared with us. For more information about WLSFA go to For more information about Zappos, go to And to find out more about Big Train go to To get more information about Fit Frappe gourmet protein mixes go here.

Monday, 14 May 2012

Support the Maddie James Seaside Learning Center and Win an Original Wyland Painting.

Big Train is pleased to help sponsor the Mile for Maddie event on May 19th in Dana Point, California. The Maddie James Foundation was founded by the parents of a five year-old California girl who passed away due to an inoperable brain tumor, but whose love of the ocean and its many creatures will live forever. The individual who raises the most money for this year’s walk will earn an original, signed Chinese brush art painting created by Wyland.  Wyland will personally award the prize at the Club Honu dinner.

The Foundation is committed to supporting the construction and ongoing operation of The Maddie James Seaside Learning Center (scheduled to break ground in 2012) at the Ocean Institute in Dana Point, California, one of Maddie’s favorite places.

The Foundation is also proud to partner with other ocean-minded charities and groups committed to bringing the ocean to children around the country, regardless of circumstance, to show them its many wonders and the importance of its preservation through dynamic educational programs.

Come join Big Train and a great group of amazing people and be a part of Maddie’s dream. If you are interested in volunteering at “a Mile for Maddie”, please contact the Foundation at


Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Empire Avenue Warms up to Big Train this Summer with their Branded Luxury Items!!

empire avenueToday Empire Avenue launched Branded Luxury Items and Achievements with XBOX leading the way, and Big Train on board as well! With these items, players on Empire Avenue will be able to show off just how much they enjoy certain products when they buy them, and earn subsequent achievements for doing so.

Empire Avenue's Fun Shiny Warm Day Items!

Empire Avenue's Fun Shiny Warm Day Items!

Buying these items is another cool way to diversify your portfolio on Empire Avenue. Rather than just stocks, now there are these luxury items bought with virtual money that will also count towards your total value in the game and will actually reward you with real life discounts, products and services (depending on the company!)

Check out Big Train’s #EAV portfolio here! We’re currently promoting our popular blended ice coffee products. On Empire Avenue go here to purchase a virtual Kona Mocha Blended Ice Coffee. Big Train eCommerce Marketing Manager, Jim Wendt, has this to say about Empire Avenue:

“Empire Avenue is one of the stickiest sites around. We’re excited about the potential to grow our brand awareness with influential social media leaders and early adopters of EAV.”

If you’re an individual who wants to take advantage of these achievements and rewards, or a business whose brand wants to become a part of this this latest social media phenomenon, visit and sign up today! (Careful, EAV is as addicting as Big Train’s Spiced Chai.)

Have any questions about Big Train? Visit our website or call us toll free at 800 BIG TRAIN (244-8724).


Thursday, 30 June 2011

Top 10 Social Media Articles from

top social media articles mashableIn honor of Social Media Day, Big Train has scoured the pages of, the top news source for all things social media, to find the 10 best stories from their website. Whether they’re interesting, shocking, silly or just plain funny,we’ve found recent articles from the past two weeks (except the first, but it’s still fun!) that are all about social media.  So, if you can pull yourself away from tweeting and updating your Facebook for a few minutes, we hope you enjoy the links :

1. Here are some fun ways to customize the new-ish facebook profiles: CLICK.

2.  Apparently grandparents want to play Farmville, too. YIKES.

3.  If you tried to rob a bank and ended up in a police standoff with a hostage, what would you do? Facebook about it, obviously!

4.  Take advantage of social media to help navigate through the current job market. You’re using it all day anyways!

5.  What caused the food truck phenomenon? Social media, lower overhead and lots of hungry people! YUM.

6. Sometimes people get a little too personal with social media. Then they lose their job.

7.  How to run your blog without getting sued: TIPS.

8.  Because even if these celebrity twitter accounts aren’t real, they’re still real funny.

9.  Does the seemingly invincible Facebook have some competition on the way? Could Facebook become the same virtual wasteland as Myspace?

(EXTRA: Video walk-through of Google+)

10. Speaking of, the rise of social media and fall of Myspace: CLICK.

For further up-to-date social media news, visit Mashable at their website. Have any questions about Big Train? Visit our website or call us toll free at 800 BIG TRAIN (244-8724).

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Corduroy American Apron: The Essential Flag Day Attire

corduroy american flag apron

Our Personalized Corduroy American Flag Apron!!!

Today is Flag Day, and here at Big Train® we were discussing how to properly honor the occasion. The general consensus was that the flag should go up, and beverages should be had. This led us to the topic of barista attire, and what better way to celebrate our nation’s flag than by fixing your favorite Big Train drinks for friends and family in a Corduroy American Flag Apron! The durable nature of the cloth is a great metaphor for our country, holding up and staying strong through even the toughest situations.

Thanks to the genius of the people at Zazzle,  you can customize your own Corduroy American Flag apron! For the color of the apron choose between white, yellow and khaki, and it’s even up to you which picture you use! Whatever you think would be best fitting to pay tribute to the high waving mascot of our country, go for it. From everyone here at Big Train, Happy Flag Day!

Have any questions about Big Train? Visit our website or call us toll free at 800 BIG TRAIN (244-8724).

Monday, 6 June 2011

Frozen Hot Chocolate Recipe: Go 20 Below with Big Train® and Never Look Back

big train frozen hot chocolate recipe


 When we think of hot chocolate we imagine fighting off the cold nights with a toasty fire and a warm brew in hand. Sadly, with summer just beginning, those days feel a long ways away. But what if you could have the best of both worlds? What if you could have that same rich, chocolate taste at the perfect temperature for those hot summer days? With Big Train’s 20 Below Frozen Hot Chocolate, you CAN have it all. 

AND it’s easy to make! In a blender, simply add the powdered mix with 5fl oz of chilled coffee, milk or water, and 12 oz  of ice. Blend until smooth and VOILA! You’ve just created a sinfully delicious treat (and you don’t have to share!). 

Big Train’s 20 Below line also plays well with others. Adding it to our Black Cherry Blended Creme mix makes for a fabulous chocolate black cherry frappe. Use your imagination and come up the drink you’ve always dreamed of. And of course, adding a little whipped cream never hurt anybody! 

To celebrate this delectable dessert, Big Train® is having a sample giveaway. Starting NOW, the first 20 people to follow all of these instructions will be mailed a free sample of our 20 Below Frozen Hot Chocolate or 20 Below White Chocolate drink mixes. Good Luck! 

  1. “Like” Big Train® on Facebook and/or “Follow” us on Twitter
  2. Post on your Twitter and/or Facebook wall: “I want my free sample of @BigTrain 20 Below Frozen Hot Chocolate!”
  3. Email us at with your preferred flavor and mailing address.
  4. Open up your package, mix and ENJOY! Oh, and please post pictures of you enjoying Big Train’s Frozen Hot Chocolate on our Facebook page.

What’s your favorite frozen hot chocolate recipe? 

Have any questions about Big Train®? Visit our website or call us toll free at 800 BIG TRAIN (244-8724). 

UPDATE: Our 20 Below Frozen Hot Chocolate sample giveaway is now over! Thanks to everyone who particpates and stay tuned for our next promotion.