Coffee

That's My Jam - Coffee Talk

Happy National Coffee Day.

It is no secret that I love coffee. In honor of National Coffee Day I thought I would post some coffee related thoughts.

Every morning I drink a cup (at least) of black coffee. In the words of Zooey Deschanel "Oh, me? I'm not 80% water. I am 80% coffee, and a little bit of sass. "

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While I like making coffee at home in my french press, I really enjoy going to get coffee at a coffee shop before work in the morning. It gives me something to look forward to when I get out of bed. I love the hustle & bustle of a coffee shop in the morning and the conversation. It calms me. In high school I used to go to a local shop between morning dance practice and school and the same people were always there. One day, a regular told me that he likes going there every morning because it ensures him that his day will start out right; it is a treat for himself. I feel the same way. 

When I go to put in my morning order, I am always tempted to instead just say "I need a coffee the size of my head." It is a line from an episode of Sex and the City where Carrie says that before going to a morning photo shoot after being up all night. The photo from the shoot on the episode (pictured below) depicts how I really feel each morning.  

Here are 6 useful coffee apps from Mashable ---- Coffee App List.   I personally like the Beanhunter app to find local, independent coffee shops when I am search for one in the morning or anytime.


While I love hanging out a coffee shop (and simulating one in my home using the coffitivity website), I do still make coffee at home.  I also love the free Instant Barista pro app from the Mashable list. It has lots of recipes and even has a portion called 'latte art' where it helps you learn how to etch designs into your latte. I always love when there is a foam heart in lattes and found this video that makes it look so easy to do.

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I enjoy hearing about the medical benefits of drinking coffee, it reinforces my addiction. I used to even clip out magazine articles that described recent research on the topic. Now infographics do a better job of summarizing those results. Here is one of my favorites.

So drink a cup of coffee, it is good for you.

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That's My Jam - My Collections

In the book The Happiness Project, author Gretchen Rubin challenges the reader to start a collection. I thought "Great Idea!" Then I realized I actually already have a few collections. I just had never thought of them as collections prior to reading the book, I just thought of them as things I enjoy. I like thinking of them as collections now and do find that they bring me happiness. They give me something to search for, represent memories of where I have traveled, and fill my home with things that inspire me. I thought I would share my collections and challenge you to start a collection of your own.

1. Starbucks City Mugs

The City Mugs have been a staple collector's item at Starbucks for years. There are extreme collectors of these mugs that blog and have websites for their collections. The extreme collectors will search for a particular City Mug on eBay and pay big bucks to complete a series. I am not one of those collectors which why I probably never considered this a collection. I just enjoy getting mugs from places I have traveled as a souvenir. However, when I visited the first Starbucks store at Pike Place earlier this year, the worker there said I spoke like a true collector (pictured below).  So I guess I do know a thing or two.

This collection started six years ago when I was in Boston visiting potential graduate programs. I got this Boston mug and loved it. The City Mugs have various series and below are the series that I have collected.

The mug that started it all. This mug is part of the Architecture series. It is very hard to find this series anymore so anytime I see one of these that I don't have I get it. I love that it has statistics about the city on it.

The mug that started it all. This mug is part of the Architecture series. It is very hard to find this series anymore so anytime I see one of these that I don't have I get it. I love that it has statistics about the city on it.

I am not sure if these mugs have a particular name but sometimes cities have special mugs for various events or areas. I got this one a few years ago at the Cherry Blossom parade in D.C.

I am not sure if these mugs have a particular name but sometimes cities have special mugs for various events or areas. I got this one a few years ago at the Cherry Blossom parade in D.C.

Global Icon Series - These are my absolute favorite. I love the size of the mug and the design with the skyline on the back. Word is that they are phasing these out and I am so upset! Who knows, maybe I will turn into an extreme collectors trying to get these off of eBay . . .

Global Icon Series - These are my absolute favorite. I love the size of the mug and the design with the skyline on the back. Word is that they are phasing these out and I am so upset! Who knows, maybe I will turn into an extreme collectors trying to get these off of eBay . . .

The relief series. I love the look of these! 

The relief series. I love the look of these! 

The newest series of mugs the - You Are Here Series. These mugs are small and many people do not like that they are supposedly replacing the Global Icon series. There is actually a huge petition out there for Starbucks to stop making these. Drama!

The newest series of mugs the - You Are Here Series. These mugs are small and many people do not like that they are supposedly replacing the Global Icon series. There is actually a huge petition out there for Starbucks to stop making these. Drama!

2. Unique Lightbulbs

I am studying creativity for my doctoral program and the lightbulb is a known symbol of creativity. A few years ago, I went into one of my favorite Omaha vintage/thrift stores a and walked out with a huge lightbulb because I thought it would inspire me to study. That shop would always get in different lightbulbs and lights that I would pick up every now and then because I was drawn to them. I then started picking up lightbulbs whenever I would find one that was different or interesting. Lightbulbs are difficult to photograph so I will have to dedicate another post to showing my lightbulb collection when I learn to photograph them in a way that does them justice.  Here is a snapshot of a few I have on display.


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3. Knobs

Yup, you read that correctly. I collect knobs for doors and cabinets. I love this collection because just like the mugs, I use the knobs everyday. This collection started about three years ago when I was at Anthropologie and saw the beautiful display of knobs. I got some on sale for a dresser and loved them, it was like artwork. I soon couldn't resist buying them when I saw beautiful knobs go on sale. I really didn't have a use for them then so I would just put them in a basket when I got a new one and soon started picking up ones I liked at other places. None of the knobs matched but I figured I would find a use for them some day. Then when we moved, I put them up in the kitchen and all over the house. Here are a few of my favorites.

#Eureka - My Coffee Bar

One of the first things I found on Pinterest was a photo of a coffee bar from the blog Vintage Wren. (View the original post here. ) I immediately knew that I wanted one in our new home. My parents purchased the same shelf  (Hobby Lobby item) from the blog post for me as a housewarming gift. The kitchen had a random extra cabinet separate from the other cabinets with an outlet near it - it was the perfect space to set up my coffee bar. The current state of this project is pictured below. 

In the industrial shelf, I have coffee filters, tea, sugars, and various supplies. I also hung some coffee mugs and stored the rest in the cabinet below.  I topped the shelf off with Bennett's catch phrase "Stay Posi" for daily inspiration. I purchased cardboard letters to make up the phrase and spray painted them silver. After our recent trip to Paris I was inspired to also add espresso cups with spoons and plates and a small stovetop espresso maker.

While I love the coffee bar now, I would love (per suggestion of Bennett's mother) to replace the cabinet below. It works for now, but I think it would be fun to have a cabinet that is an antique or art piece or is just a bright color.  I do have a full espresso machine to make lattes and cappuccinos that I currently store downstairs.  I would love to put on the bar if it had more counter space. This is a great project that I love having in our home!

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