Browsing Tag


Food & Recipes

What’s On My Coffee Table

September 29, 2015

We are smack dab in the middle of my favorite season and I’m soaking up every minute of the crisp-yet-warm weather we’re enjoying in the Midwest. Our new house is slowly coming together, and although we won’t be officially done with our renovation until early next year, I’m trying to make our in-progress house feel as put together and cozy as possible in the meantime. That means chili on the stovetop, coffee brewing around the clock, fall-scented candles burning and lots and lots of football playing on TV.

Now that I’m working from home most days, having a creative, beautiful and inspiring place to work is important. Maybe it’s just me, but creating an environment that fosters creativity and inspiration is big for me. Every morning after I drop Ainsley off at her childcare provider’s house, I brew a pot of my beloved Lavazza coffee (anything dark roast is my friend!), light a fall-scented candle and get to work on my laptop or the kitchen, whatever the day happens to have in store.

I’m not an expert in decorating by any means, but I do like a fun and functional coffee table spread. My mom actually picked up this little wooden drink holder (?) from Homegoods a while back, and I decided it would make a great addition to our coffee table. I filled the glass jars with Lavazza coffee grounds and artificial succulents, as well as a couple candles. Then, I set the holder inside a larger wooden tray along with a stack of magazines and another candle. The extra holders in the centerpiece? Well, they make a great place to contain your remotes!

Thanks, Lavazza, for fueling this year’s coffee-themed posts! There truly is no better coffee, in my opinion. Read all the other Lavazza posts from this year here: My Morning Routine, Coffee + Cream Pops, Almond Flour + Coconut Flour Coffee Cake.

This post was sponsored by Lavazza as part of their Lavazza Passionista program. I received product and compensation for this post. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own. #sponsored





Food & Recipes

Almond Flour + Coconut Flour Coffee Cake

July 27, 2015

This post is brought to you in partnership with Lavazza. All thoughts and opinions are, as always, my own.


Happy Monday, friends! It’s been a while since I’ve posted a recipe around these parts. Truth be told, having a baby has hit my cooking game hard and I’ve been ever so slowly working my way back into the kitchen. Mornings have been all about quick, nutrient-packed smoothies and all the coffee, because Miss Ainsley still doesn’t have that whole sleeping through the night thing down. When you have a baby, it seems like everyone wants to talk about your baby’s sleep. “How is she sleeping?” is by far the most common question that I’ve received over the past five months. And when your baby isn’t sleeping great? Well it can feel a bit discouraging. In all fairness, Ainsley isn’t a bad sleeper or a good sleeper, just a very average sleeper. Now that I’ve accepted that fact, it’s easier to not be bothered by the night wakings and sleep deprivation.

When you have a baby, everything sort of comes to a halt in your life. My world? Totally rocked. I’ve been slowly “re-claiming” my life by venturing back into running and working out, cooking, spending time away from Ainsley and doing things I’m passionate about. It’s a balancing act to find the time to still be “you” while taking on this huge responsibility of mommy! Anyway, I digress…

Continue Reading…

Food & Recipes

Coffee & Cream Pops

June 19, 2015

Coffe and Cream Pops (2)

Living in Minnesota, the summer months are treasured more than in most areas of the country. I mean, we only get a few truly beautiful months each year so not taking full advantage would be a tragedy. Sure, Minnesota can be awfully cold, but when it’s beautiful? It’s pretty much the best of the best. And perhaps my favorite part about summer is the food.

Frozen pops have always been a favorite sweet treat, and I love that people have been getting more creative with their flavor combinations in the last few years. They can swing anywhere from totally diet-conscious to downright sinful. These Coffee & Cream Pops I made? Well, they’re in the “sinful” category for sure. Hardly an every-day indulgence but worth every single cool, creamy, coffee-laden calorie when you’re looking to splurge on something truly tasty.  Continue Reading…


My Morning Routine + Giveaway!

March 9, 2015

Lavazza Post 2
One of my favorite blog series of all time is a series on Bon Appetit called “My Morning Routine” where celebrities and Bon Appetit editors talk about how they start each morning. I’m not sure why I find the column so fascinating, but it gets my attention time and time again. Does anyone else love hearing how people start their days?

I’m partnering this year with Lavazza, one of my favorite coffee companies, to promote some of their amazing coffee products. I’ve loved Lavazza since we traveled to Italy in 2013 and drank our fair share of their coffee and espresso. It was everywhere! I know some women are quick to give up coffee during their pregnancies, but I just couldn’t stand to give up my beloved morning cup of coffee and my afternoon cup of decaf. I took a little time before Ainsley arrived to write down what my morning routine looked like pre-baby and had planned on posting this before she arrived, but since our little lady arrived early, I never got it posted pre-baby. As you can imagine, my morning routine has changed quite a bit since Ainsley arrived; I’m not sure I even have a morning routine right now! But here’s a look at my pre-baby mornings.

I head straight for my coffee the minute I get out of bed. My method of coffee preparation takes different forms. We have a Keurig 2.0 that I’m partial to because of the convenience factor and the fact that I can make different coffee for myself and Joe. But on mornings when I want to make a really wonderful cup of coffee I gravitate to using my stovetop espresso pot or French press with some quality dark roast or espresso roast coffee grounds. Lately, I’ve been using the Lavazza Perfetto Espresso Roast coffee and it’s divine. My coffee has to be super dark and strong because I like to add a little whole milk or 1/2 and 1/2 without losing that good, strong coffee flavor. On the weekends when I have a bit more time I’ll use my Nespresso milk frother and make a cafe au lait.

I’ve never been someone who can wait very long after I wake up to eat breakfast. It’s probably the reason I’ve always hated brunch! I usually wake up first thing in the morning absolutely starving, so I waste no time preparing breakfast for myself and Joe. Joe’s pretty easy to please as far as breakfast goes and will eat whatever I make. If he had strong preferences, I would probably tell him he was on his own! (I’m only sort of kidding…)

Breakfast has to be something healthy and balanced or I find that my whole day is thrown off and I tend to make bad food choices the rest of the day, although I have to admit that pregnancy has thrown my appetite off a bit this entire 40 weeks. Oatmeal is usually my favorite and I typically make it with some chia seeds or a little ground flax thrown in for good measure. I used to be a fan of stevia in my oatmeal, but once I got pregnant I started to think more about what I was putting in my body and switched over to using plain old brown sugar with a bit of almond or peanut butter for protein. Sometimes I’ll mix things up and make eggs and whole wheat toast or my current favorite, a mixed berry smoothie made with a little orange juice, milk, ice and frozen berries.

Joe and I have always had a bit of a habit of waking up earlier than we really need to in order to give ourselves a little bit of time to wake up, watch the news, talk about our mornings and do our devotionals. It’s amazing what an impact an extra half an hour in the morning can have on the entire day! I feel like that extra time gives us the opportunity to talk and make sure we’re on the same page about what we have going on. Sometimes sleep takes priority and we opt to hit the snooze button a few times rather than wake up early, but that’s rare.

My extra half an hour in the morning also creates a little time for me to pack a lunch for Joe. Once again, he’s not picky (thank goodness!) so the standard is kept pretty low. We eat a lot of leftovers for lunch since it’s just the two of us eating dinner each night. Otherwise it’s a rotation of sandwiches with yogurt, fruit and some sort of raw veggie like carrots.

My work schedule lately has, admittedly, taken on a bit of a different routine. Instead of rushing off to work, I’ve been settling down to some time in front of my laptop, responding to e-mails and brainstorming new ideas for the blog and working on freelance projects that I have in the pipeline. Usually about halfway through the morning I’ll help myself to another cup of coffee, this time decaf. For me coffee is only partially about the caffeine and almost entirely about the taste!

Lavazza Post 4

Lavazza Post 3

Lavazza isn’t just supplying me with plenty of coffee to stay warm; they want to supply you with coffee as well! Below are a few ways to enter to win a $20 Lavazza gift card!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


My Favorite Way to Make Coffee

January 17, 2014

It’s no secret I love coffee. You know that, right? I love everything about coffee: the way it smells, the ritual surrounding it, drinking coffee with friends and ending the night with something sweet and a cup of decaf. I’ve been doing an okay job with cutting out caffeine, but truthfully I usually use coffee as a reward for doing something good. Drank a lot of water and ate plenty of veggies today? Okay, have a cup of decaf in the afternoon. You get the idea.

Joe and I like to joke that we have way too many ways to make coffee at our house. We own a Nespresso Pixie, a drip coffee maker, a Keurig Vue and a stovetop espresso pot. Out of all the methods available to me I find it funny that my favorite method happens to be the cheapest. We’ve owned a couple stovetop espresso pots and am always amazed at how great the coffee tastes versus other coffee-making methods. I’m not going to say it’s the best (since I know very little about using a Chemex or other pour-over methods) but I do think it’s pretty darn good coffee.

Like any method of making coffee, there are a couple different price points for stovetop espresso pots. In my opinion, the best of the best is the Bialetti model, which is relatively inexpensive considering it is the top of the line. Right now I have a cheaper version and plan to go back to the Bialetti next time.
Bialetti 6800 Moka Express 6-Cup Stovetop Espresso Maker

If you’re unfamiliar with this method, here’s how it works:

1. Fill the base of the pot with filtered water. Make sure it’s filtered when you make coffee if you care at all about your coffee tasting great.

2. Place the small metal filter on top of the water and into the pot.

3. Fill with strong freshly-ground coffee or espresso. Since I love my coffee strong, I don’t usually pay much attention to the ratio of coffee to water. I fill my pot up with water as full as it can go, then use as much coffee that the filter can hold.

4. Screw the top piece of the espresso pot on tightly. Place on your stovetop burner over medium heat. The water will eventually start to boil, pushing the hot water up through the coffee grounds and into the top section of the pot, resulting in hot, strong and deliciously-flavored coffee. You’ll know it’s ready when you hear a lot of steaming/bubbling/gurgling.

5. Pour your espresso into your favorite cup (I like mine with a little 2% milk or half and half) and enjoy!

PS: Have you checked out Nellie magazine yet? I’ve been contributing with a bunch of other amazing women and am blown away by the great content everyone is sharing. And as a bonus, right now you can win a Nelli Magazine mug! Just click here to enter. Since I’m a contributor, I received one free, but it’s my favorite new mug, and I’m pretty picky about coffee mugs.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...