Saturday, October 3, 2015

31 Days of Coffee: Why I Did Not Buy a Keurig (and a review of the Kitchenaid Personal Coffee Maker)

This summer, I gave some serious thought to adding a Keurig coffee maker to my coffee bar. It seemed like a good solution for a number of reasons. One, I'm the only coffee drinker in my house, so a personal coffee maker seemed ideal. Two, when family comes to stay, it's a lot easier for them to make their own coffee whenever they want one. 

I started looking at the new Keurig makers and began to read the reviews online. Woah. Not so flattering reviews of this product. For starters, Keurig introduced their lid reader technology, which means that it will only brew coffee that is certified by Keurig. That means I could not purchase the K Cups from Trader Joes or Aldi or any other knock off brand. (Yes, I've heard of folks taping K Cup labels to the readers, but how silly is that?) Second, I could not use a permanent filter and brew a cup without using a K cup.

I began to price out the cost of K Cups. Wow. Those little cups of plastic sure are pricey! And let's not even begin to think of how many of those bits of plastic are going into the landfill every year.

(I once had a love affair with the Senseo coffee makers. They were so easy to use, and they made a perfect espresso with a crema layer every time! Sadly, they stopped making the pods readily available when Keurig came on the scene. After that, I decided that I would never again purchase a coffee maker that would only make coffee using their pods. Too risky! Senseo, you broke my heart. I'm still in mourning. sniff! sniff!)

I did a little research on personal coffee makers and found this sweet gem! My new Kitchenaid personal coffee maker!

It is so easy to use! Take the water reservoir from the top and fill to the desired portion.

Swing out the basket and fill with desired amount of coffee. The permanent basket is such a nice feature!

Place the water reservoir back on top, swing the basket closed, and press the button.

In minutes, you will have a full thermos of piping hot (and I do mean hot!) coffee!

My new favorite flavor this month? Dunkin' Donuts Pumpkin Spice!

The Thermos makes a great To Go cup! I recently took it on the road, and it kept the coffee warm for hours!

But it also makes a great pitcher to simply pour the coffee into your favorite mug. And when you fill it to the maximum capacity, you can easily make two for you and a friend! So much cheaper than K Cups, and I can use it with any coffee brand I choose.

I really REALLY love this great little coffee maker! I purchased mine from Macy's (with a great coupon) and had it shipped. It comes in other colors as well.

Tell me, coffee lovers. What brand of maker do you use?

Friday, October 2, 2015

31 Days of Coffee: Inspired by Starbucks!

Welcome to 31 Days of Coffee!

In honor of this 31 day challenge, I had a toast with my usual. Cinnamon Dolce Latte...nonfat, with whip.

And they served it in this beautiful new To Go cup! How lovely!

I knew I'd have to come home and try to recreate this autumnal beauty.

I checked out my stamp sets, and none of them quite fit the look I was going for. No problem! I used the Leaves dies from Papertrey Ink, traced them with a Sharpie, and filled in with some of my own doodles. Here it is!

{Today's Brew: Lovely Leaves dies (PTI), card stock (PTI), Sharpie marker, Kuretake Gansai Tambi watercolors, wood leaf (lawn fawn), baker's twine}

Next stop on this caffeinated journey...Michigan! I'll be filling my To Go cup and heading home to spend some time with family. Tomorrow, I will pop in to my favorite local cafe for a cup of hometown coffee.

Blessings on your Friday, cafe friends!

Thursday, October 1, 2015

31 Days of Coffee!

Good morning, cafe friends! Happy October!

Today is the first day of the 31 Day opportunity to write on one topic for thirty-one days. This fun challenge was started by fellow blogger The Nester several years ago. You may recall that I did the 31 Day challenge back in 2013, when I blogged about 31 Days of Relocating Home. And here I am, two years later, relocating home once again. Ha ha. But seriously, if I had to write about that topic again, I would cry for thirty one days straight...which is just a few more days than I cry about it now.

I tossed around the idea of featuring 31 Days of do-overs, day do-overs, room and house and garden do-overs. But I just wasn't feeling the joy.

What brings me joy? The Lord...and coffee.

You are, after all, visiting Mary Rose's Cafe. It just seemed obvious.

So for thirty-one days in October, I will be writing about coffee. You will find a few coffee themes here, including:

Home Brewed

Projects featuring our Fixer Upper house. October is shaping up to be an exciting month here! New windows will arrive next week, the exterior of the house will get painted, and we've begun our re-landscaping project as well. And fingers crossed, we will start to work on transforming our kitchen this month. BEFORE and AFTER PHOTOS, PEOPLE!  And that's a lot more exciting than an episode of Property Brothers. Really. I promise. Pinky swear.

The Coffee Bar

Yes, I have a coffee bar in my home. I had a coffee bar ten years ago, too...way way back before Pinterest made them so adorable. Here, I'll be testing and sampling and showcasing my favorite coffees, with a recipe or two thrown in for fun.

Cafe Creations

As you may have guessed, I've curated quite a collection of coffee themed stamps and crafts over the years. I'm so excited to have an entire month devoted to these lovelies!

To Go Cup

Traveling...with coffee!

Cafe Love

I love to discover new cafes, and here in the Fox River Valley I have found a lot of them! Joy! My happy place, the local library, even has a sweet cafe. I've visited a few, but there are more to explore. Let's be coffee explorers together!

31 Days of Coffee. Just think of how much our caffeinated selves will accomplish!

It's been a long time since I've thrown around some blog candy. I think this will be the perfect month for that, too.

October. 31 Days. Can we do it? Of course we can! As Anne of Green Gables said "I'm so happy to live in a world where there are Octobers."

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Walk Worthy

I've been working through a study of First and Second Thessalonians for several weeks. This study by Beth Moore, called Children of the Day, was one that I'd attempted last fall but only made it halfway through. I thought I'd give this study a try again, and I am reminding myself that time spent with the Lord and in His word is never wasted.

Last week, Beth's video presentation mentioned this verse, and it stuck with me for days afterward.

The NIV translates this passage a little differently. It says " live lives worthy of God." But in this instance, I think I preferred the ESV passage that says "walk in a manner worthy of God."

Walk worthy.

Those two words jumped off the page and into my heart. I know that the only way I can be worthy of God's grace is through the redemption He offered in Christ. And still, we are called to walk worthy because, as the verse continues, He "Calls you into his own kingdom and glory."

Sanctified. Set apart.

And yet, as Beth so aptly put it, some of us have a tendency to "grace ourselves right out of obedience."

So how can I walk worthy? For me, I have to listen when the Holy Spirit whispers.

Right now, the prime time channels are airing previews for the new fall season shows, and honestly, just viewing the trailers makes me feel filthy. Maybe, just maybe, that's the Spirit whispering "Turn off the television and go read a good book instead."

Spending too much time on the internet...time to go scrub a bathroom for my family.

When I become frustrated inside the house, Spirit beckons me outdoors.

When I am out in public, it takes nothing to be kind and cheerful.

When thoughts turn dark and negative, I can remember the joy that Beth calls "happiness without the moodiness".

When prompted, I can make that phone call or send that card or jot down that email.

And maybe God is literally calling me to walk with lace up my tennis shoes and walk and talk with Him in prayer.

I roughly sketched this page with pencil, went back with my fine point Sharpie, and then filled in with watercolors. Honestly, when I use my Kuretake Gansai Tambi watercolors, I feel like an artist. A few good paint brushes, 24 pans of color, and anything is possible.

I'm struggling with this "walk", as I am in such a different place in life than I was just one year ago when I last did this study. But I have to look forward and keep walking, every day. The ground that I am walking on has changed, but the God I walk with hasn't.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

CL Fair: The Art of Presentation

Country Living Fair has some really wonderful and unique vendors, and some of them just have a gift for visual merchandising. I thought I'd share some of the booths that had me grabbing my iphone for a quick photo!

This t-shirt says it all.

A goat named Olive in a tutu? Totally camera worthy!

Modern June always has the sweetest booth. Those colors and campers make me happy!

Carol at Caromal Colors gave some great presentations on using her lovely line of paints. Every day, she gave a new "episode" of "All My Painted Children", and each day was hysterical!

I think I found the paint I will use to transform my kitchen cabinets!

I wish I had remembered to snap a photo of this year's Country Living Fair t-shirt. It had an old pickup truck on the front, and on the back it said "I got junk in my trunk at the CL Fair!"

Yeah. I got a little junk in my trunk from the fair, too. But's it's not hoarding if your stuff is really cool! :)


Monday, September 28, 2015

PTI M.I.M. 225: Shaped Die Cut Boxes

Today's Make it Monday challenge on the PTI blog was to make a shaped die cut box. Even though I'm typically not a fan of paper-crafted gift boxes (Look at what I made you! A matchbox holder that cost me $65 and holds four Hershey nuggets! No no, don't thank me. I know it's what you've always wanted! LOL!), I decided to make one anyway. Here it is:

{Today's Brew: Latte mug die (PTI), Friendship Jar Fall Fillers and dies (PTI), Background Basics: Tin Types (PTI), PTI card stock, markers, polka ribbon}

I decided to use my Friendship Jar Fall Fillers stamps because I had ordered the new dies to match last month and didn't have a chance to use them yet.

My box is not very big...just big enough to hold a Starbucks gift card, or maybe a few packs of the new Starbucks Pumpkin Spice coffee singles!

Thanks for visiting the cafe today! Blessings on your week, cafe friends!

Friday, September 25, 2015

PTI September Blog Hop: Chalkboard Love

When Nichole posted the inspiration photo last week for this month's Papertrey Ink blog hop, I felt like someone had called my number! Eek! That's me! BINGO! This photo was attributed to Country Living. And guess where I was heading? The Country Living Fair in Columbus, Ohio! Perfect timing!

We saw a LOT of chalkboard art this weekend. We loved the idea of taking an old silverplated tray and turning it into a chalky masterpiece. My sister, Tina, bought a lovely chalked tray for a great price. Now I'm on the hunt for an old cheap tray (Goodwill, anyone?) so that I can try this myself. (This is usually the part where I'm kicking myself for not just buying one at the fair and calling it a day!)

In the meantime, I'll just have to settle for some chalkboard paper crafting instead!

{Today's Brew: Twig Wreath stamp set and dies (PTI), Mat Stack die (PTI), cardstock and inks (PTI), embossing folder}

I had so much fun putting this fall wreath together. I'm so glad I purchased this stamp was definitely an impulse buy, but it had my style and I knew it belonged in my collection.

And it is, indeed, okay to be happy with a simple life!

Thanks for visiting the cafe today!