Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Microwave & printer carts turned coffee station

I recently inherited a microwave cart. If you're too young to remember, microwaves used to be enormous and a special cart for one was really the most practical way to contain the beast and still have counter space left. The one I inherited was made by my grandpa out of juniper wood and even has wheels!

My microwave is pretty small and looked pretty silly sitting on it so I decided to free up space in my pantry by moving all my coffee and tea goodies onto the cart instead.

I also had a random printer table (back when printers used to be huge - do you see the trend? My current printer is tiny) that I've just never gotten rid of. It is doing me a favor by hiding some of my appliances in the lower shelves but the top was free space.

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Side by side in my kitchen entry they help visibly break up the space instead of making my kitchen and living room look like one big area. Some linen burlap as runners and a hide-the-mess curtain unify them since clearly these two things don't match at all (except that they are victims of the modernization of appliances).

The top is a mix of thrift and bargain store finds holding cocoa mix, coffee beans, an assortment of favorite teas and all the various additions you could wish for (honey sticks? coconut sugar? cane sugar? cinnamon?)

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These great vintage inspired jars have a nice tight seal for keeping food items fresh (I found mine at Hi-School Pharmacy). My coffee beans are kept air tight as well (I like locally roasted, ethically sourced Garage Coffee)

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Below I have a pair of locker baskets that have been around so long I don't even know where they came from. They used to be under my bed doing a really inefficient job of holding old receipts and a really efficient job of gathering cobwebs.

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I keep some of my favorite items readily accessible in one and my French press and fancy kettle for pour over coffee in the other (because you need a special kettle. Because of course you do).

On the lowest shelf I put a pair of collapsible baskets? Bins? I found at Ross for $3.99 for the pair. All my boxes of teas are in one and then random tea ware is in the other (all the strainers, steepers, pots, you name it)

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My other flat surface is where I decided to put my new obsession: pour over coffee apparatus. I attended a coffee class hosted by the Garage Coffee guys and now I'm just completely obsessed. I hardly ever drink coffee but when I do I want a good cup of joe.

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My burr grinder and Hario V60 coffee stuff I ordered from amazon. I found the gorgeous cutting board I'm using as a platform for them at Ross. A dollar store napkin holder is keeping my filters in place. And a thrift store jar is holding some cranberry pistachio biscotti I found at Grocery Outlet.

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And of course chocolate syrup because I like my coffee when it's mostly chocolate.

A tension rod, little curtain clips and a piece of linen burlap (which I found in the yarn/rug making section of Joann) is keeping everything looking tidy and slightly rustic.

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And this wall was way too boring even with all this for me to leave it alone so I hung some artwork I got from my friend Megan (and which came from Hairbrained Schemes on Etsy)

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And a thrift store frame filled with downloadable and printable art (from Joyful Art Designs on Etsy)

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I'm in love. It's like living in a coffee shop (sortof) and really isn't that what we all want? Now to make my bathroom look like a luxury hotel...

I, of course, found a ton of inspiration on pinterest. Here are some of my favorites:

Coffee & Tea station
Chalkboard coffee station
Coffee station on a cupboard

You can also follow my coffee obsession on my pinterest board Magic Beans.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Style bargains: Autumn edition

I love summer time. I love being warm and not needing a jacket and long sunshiny days and ice cream. I also love Autumn, but it is bittersweet as the days get shorter and the rain waterlogs us.

I spent a week in the woods, camping in a surround of beautiful autumnal color...

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and when I came back I felt a little more prepared for the transition.

and we know I've finally accepted the fact that the season has changed when I make changes to my look. And thanks to some super thrifty tendencies I didn't spend a lot to accomplish it.

 A visit to Goodwill and I was able to score a cashmere blend sweater that just happens to match the new accent colors at work.

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Tags still on it.

My cost? $3.99.

Half price color of the week!

I've been on the hunt for a corduroy jacket for about 2 years and I keep hemming and hawing on the ones I've seen; until this one.

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I really like all the detailing on the pockets and the back.

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My cost? $3.99

Again, the half price color of the week!

I also discovered quite the selection of Essie nail polish at my favorite random store: Grocery Outlet. I picked up 4 colors for $2.99 each.

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Normally $8.00 each.

These few cozy additions to my wardrobe at such great prices and now I'm really feeling good about Autumn.

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Tuesday, September 23, 2014

The last rose of summer

Have you ever suddenly noticed that you've been surrounding yourself with a collection of something? I tend to do this most often with colors (I've been obsessed with aqua for several years now) but sometimes flavors or scents as well (I absolutely love anything citrus scented).

 Recently I noticed I've surrounded myself with a rose garden.

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My favorite moisturizer has rosewater in it - it's a lightweight moisturizer that really absorbs quickly leaving no greasy feeling. I thought I was getting some kind of joke when I opened the huge box and out came this relatively tiny bottle but I've been using it daily since I bought it in April and I still have quite a bit left. I bought it directly from their website.

 I also love the Boots Botanics Rosewater toner (Target) and the Mario Badescu facial spray with aloe, herbs and rosewater (Ulta).

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My divinely scented Passionfruit Rose lip balm is like a treat to wear. I found it on Etsy.

I even drink roses now that my set from Tea Chai Te has arrived.

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The Vanilla Rose Chai is definitely my favorite - so fragrant and delicious!

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Visit their website here.

I can't be the only one with these sudden onset obsessions. Tell me about your latest...although maybe you shouldn't - it might give me ideas...ha. :)

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Book lovers unite

I somehow missed a post for July. I will blame it on the camping I did which you can see photos of here and here.

I've found out that today just has my name all over it. First of all we have National Book Lovers Day and then tonight is the August supermoon. If there are two things I love they are books and moon gazing.

So in honor of National Book Lovers Day I thought I would do some book chat.

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I snapped that photo while camping last month. I don't normally take my kindle camping but in this case it was the best option because I couldn't decide what I wanted to read. I ended up reading was The Valley of Fear (aka Sherlock Holmes #7) by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.
Some of the Sherlock Holmes stories I've slogged through but this one was quite good!

The past few years I've been in a terrible book funk and I can barely make it through most of the books I pick up to read. Once in a while I'll get one that really grabs me but for the most part I find them to be quite silly. I still can't decide if that is just the books I'm choosing or if I'm just being a book Grinch or what. Anyone else having trouble finding books they can't put down?

So for this year I did the "Goodreads challenge" for.....20 books in a year. For reference three years ago I read 54 books in a year.

This year I'm only 10 books into my challenge but there are a few that kept me reading into the night/morning.

Veronica Mars: The Thousand Dollar Tan Line - Rob Thomas & Jennifer Graham

I caught a cold in February and my coworkers told me I looked horrible and to go home. They were doing some kind of construction in the apartment above mine so I couldn't sleep and so I thought I'd watch something instead. That something ended up being Veronica Mars which I then proceeded to binge watch until I'd finished the entire series (don't worry this took at least a few weeks).
I may have gotten a little obsessed.

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Get this mug here.

The movie was already out on video at this point so I watched it next and then I was able to get my hands on this book. Fresh on the heels of the show and movie like that was a great way to read this book. I felt like I hadn't missed a beat and I read through this one quickly. The story was interesting and I can't wait for the next one coming out this Autumn....I think?

Lost Lake - Sarah Addison Allen

I don't know what to say about Sarah Addison Allen's books except that they are like the coziest, softest blanket that you can wrap yourself in. When I try to explain what her books are like I lose the words to describe how homey and magical they are and how they make me think that anything will be fine and hope abounds. This one was no exception. I'm an admittedly slow reader but I devoured this story like I was starving and felt quite satisfied when I was finished.

Austenland & Midnight in Austenland - Shannon Hale

Okay. These books were silly. The first was silly and the second was more silly than the first ever thought of being. But I still had a hard time putting them down. I remember reading in bed one night and literally smacking my forehead at what the characters were doing yet....reading in bed until way past bedtime? Yep. I can't explain it. I really don't feel like I want to recommend these due to their immense silliness. Or that I can recommend these. And yet I did get a modicum of enjoyment so there you go.
I only read them because I was loaned the movie (which I watched five times before I returned it) and I thought after that that I just had to read the story that spawned that. The movie is hilariously funny (the more you watch it) and silly but also, in some ways, fantastic.

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I am definitely up for some book recommendations! Have you read something that knocked your socks off or made you laugh or otherwise wowed you? I'd love to hear about it. Obviously I'm not doing very well choosing reading material for myself.

If you'd like to keep up with my reading and are on Goodreads feel free to friend me here.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Easy decor projects

Over the weekend I got the inspiration I needed (pinterest, of course!) to do a few projects around the place.

Most of my kitchen is visible from the door and I wanted something pretty for people walking in to see. I've had the idea to do a "coffee station" for quite a while but have been slowly gathering components to it together.

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As I find more pieces (thrifting makes decorating go the long way home) and it really comes together I can let this space evolve. For now I'm loving it! I have an assortment of sugars, cinnamon, cocoa (for the poor man's mocha) and my matcha and melon syrup for my green tea frap. The little chalkboard I bought on jane.com and featured in some photos on my instagram. The chalkboard bunting is a free printable found here that I spent forever cut out and affixed over a jute string. Tiny, clear Command hooks hold it in place.

Also in the kitchen area I already hung my canvas art and had this idea about a clipboard for my grocery list. I buy a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables so my list is constant. I took a cheap clipboard and painted it with Plaid Crafts FolkArt Chalkboard Paint.

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This was a brush on paint and the brushes I bought for this project were absolutely horrific. The paint is thick and needed something much smoother hence why I only painted part of this clipboard so far. My intention was to paint it in a pattern or design but with the brushes inability to keep within the lines....that didn't happen. But it still works great!

The canvas art I made by designing the words in picmonkey, printed it with my little home printer and Mod Podged it to a small canvas. This made it easy to hang and I didn't need to frame it.

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The quote is from my favorite scene in Arrested Development. I looked high and low for a clip of this scene and couldn't find anything worth showing which is really sad because it was hilarious.

I also finally figured out how to hang this Eastside Distilling calendar that didn't have any holes in it. The idea of poking a hole in the lovely photography made me sad and then the other day I had an epiphany...

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I've also taken to growing lavender indoors.

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I read somewhere that lavender (and other aromatic herbs) purify the air and I'm obsessed with lavender so any old excuse will do.

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See? Lavender obsessed.
Herbes de Provence goes into many of my dishes (it contains lavender) and I had a lavender lemonade the other day and all I can think about is going back to that cafe and getting another one and maybe a lemon lavender cookie to go with it.

And speaking of obsessed, a fruit salad with the combination of watermelon, strawberries and blueberries is what I eat at least twice a day.

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I hope your life is as delicious as mine has been lately. And remember, if you miss me you can visit me on flickr or instagram where I post more regularly.