Nontraditional Valentine’s Day Date Idea #1: For the coffee lovers

Bored with dinner and a movie? I promise you, this idea for a Valentine’s date will bring something exciting and new to the holiday. (And if you’re celebrating Galentine’s Day instead… This would still be super fun to do with your gal pals!)

Several weeks ago, hubby & I were hanging out with some of our good friends who are coffee lovers (duh!) just like us. Hubs had gotten an Aeropress for Christmas & our friends had gotten a pour-over set, so we had to try out the new coffee gadgets! Somehow (probably because we are all competitive people), we decided to make a game of it. What game, you ask? We decided to blindfold each other, taste test the coffees made by the different gadgets, and see if we could identify which cup of coffee was made by which gadget. Whew. Somehow (definitely because we’re all coffee geniuses), all four of us guessed correctly!!

So naturally the following week we had to up the ante. {Hint: Here’s where the Valentine’s date comes in 🙂 }

  • First, we went to The Fresh Market and bought 6 small bags of whole beans. We got a huge variety: from a Kona with brown sugar notes to a French Roast with a smokey flavor to a Colombian roast with hints of maple. On each bag we wrote that bean’s FULL description. {This is the key.}
  • Then, with our beans in tote we headed back to the house and the boys started to grind the beans while the girls made labels of each adjective describing the coffees. We cut these descriptions along with the coffee’s name onto strips of paper so that we could match them up later. We numbered all of the coffees, and then asked the boys to jumble them all up. We were very serious about this being a blind test. Haha.
  • Then… the coffee making began. One cup of each roast was brewed, and the house smelled absolutely delicious. Once all of the cups were filled with the various blends of coffee, we began the test. Each of us would test the coffee, try to describe it using the labels, and then come to an agreement as a group on which coffee it was.

Coffee Tasting

We thought we nailed it. We got 2 coffees right out of 6 and only a handful of the descriptions matched the right cup… So we’re not coffee geniuses. But it was SO. MUCH. FUN. And then end result was everyone choosing their favorite cup and sitting down to a great night of laughs and good conversation over delicious cups o’ joe. I think our at-home coffee tastings may become regular events… at least until we master the art of identifying and describing coffee well enough to go to a real coffee tasting.

So clearly this would be a great group event (like we did it) or an excellent at-home Valentine’s Day date with your honey! As long as there is good company and great coffee, I’d call it a swell date!

DIY: Mailbox turned coffee bar!

Will & I got this great corkboard mailbox when we moved into our T-ville house. It was perfect for holding our mail (aka. becoming a junk drawer), pinning up coupons, and hanging our keys. But within 6 months we were bored with it and desperately wanting a coffee bar… Time for a DIY 🙂

This one was super easy because it was all about making something old into something new again. A renovation. A revival!

So all you need:

  • Paint & a paint marker… That’s it!

Coffee Bar

I chose a pretty purply-blue color (hence why it looks purple in one photo and blue in the other haha). Then it was just a matter of handlettering a cutesy “get-outta-my-face-until-I-get coffee” quote with a paint pen, mounting it near our Keurig (it holds all of our K-cups), and then hanging our favorite gold-handled mugs from it.

DIY Coffee Car

Ta-da! Repurposing is fun! What are your up-cycling stories?

FriYAY Faves! (Gifts for Mr. Wonderful)

Alright, ladies and gents. It’s really really almost Christmas. If you’re like me (which in this case I hope you’re not) you’re just starting your Christmas shopping… Yikes! Rather than enjoying lovely presents wrapped under the tree, I’m currently trying to figure out what to buy so that I can frantically wrap and get them there by Christmas week!

But never fear. If you’re looking for something just as wonderful as your guy to give him this Christmas, I’ve got you covered! (And that’s only because Will screenshot these things onto my desktop to give me a little *hint hint*.)

FriYAY Faves for Him!

My (really Will’s) FriYAY Faves that any man will be happy to find wrapped (even if done so frantically) under the tree:

1. Martin Dingman Classic I.D. Card Case ($75) – Will’s been eyeing a sleek, thin, yet functional wallet for ages now. This one has all of those features. Plus, Martin Dingman only chooses high quality leathers, so it would be a wallet that he could have for years to come!

2. L.L. Bean 6″ Duck Boots ($99) – Will has the best shoes. However, with a mostly leather and suede collection, any time it rains he has to sacrifice a pair to the stench. Bean boots would be the perfect solution… Another great pair of shoes that can be worn even on the rainiest of days and still look totally put together!

3. Aeropress ($30) – My man loves coffee. And while our French Press and Keurig are both great, sometimes you just need a 20-second cup of coffee. Yep. You really do. And the Aeropress makes a quick, low-acidity cup o’ joe that will be just the right way to start your day!

4. Form Function Form’s Button-stud Watchband ($48) – Will loves his Weekender watch and how he can customize his bands. But recently, his leather band has been getting kinda flimsy. Maybe because he’s had it a while, but still… time for an upgrade. This company makes all kinds of accessories and goods (including iPhone cases) from quality leathers!

5. Hulu Plus subscription (varies) – We don’t have cable. (Whaaaaat?!?!) But we do love some tv shows. Nothing beats a good laugh with Cam, Gloria, and Phil after a long day of work/ studying. And who knew that you could buy Hulu for people as a gift?? Really, who knew? Not me until very recently and now I’m secretly hoping that we get a few months as gifts so that we can see what Jess & Schmidt are up to…

Quality leather products, Big Bang Theory marathons, and coffee. That’s my man 🙂 Merry merry!

Product Review: Gevalia

As many of you know, I’m not ashamed to spam my social media with an #ad or two for products that I enjoy/ get for free/ are getting paid to advertise for. But I especially love it when I get to review something I really love… like coffee!

Gevalia (makers of all-things-coffee goodness) sent me a sample of their Signature Blend coffee grounds to show of their NEW packaging and branding! And boy is it cute! Below you can see it on the packaging for Keurig cups, but coming soon it will be all over the shelves of your local grocery stores for ALL of their branding!

Screen Shot 2014-11-03 at 8.49.23 PM

Gevalia is known for their smooth, delectable coffees, and sometimes change (even of the packaging) can be scary. But you can be assured that although the package is different, nothing has changed in their Signature taste!!!

Newer, cuter, trendier, & more relatable on the exterior. Consistent, classic, & smooth taste on the interior.

Check it out the next time you buy some coffee at the stores. In my opinion, it rivals Starbucks or Dunkin grounds but for a cheaper price!! And I’m all about the budget these days…