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The Coffee Bar

Last week I shared my love for coffee along with my favorite coffee and espresso makers.  This week, I’m sharing the coffee bar and new updates I recently made to the dining room accent wall.

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BEFORE

So far, I am the only coffee drinker in the house.  I can’t express how nice it is to have a coffee bar dedicated solely for the purpose of brewing delicious cups of coffee!!

I originally had my Keurig in the kitchen, which worked perfectly until I received the Nespresso for Christmas.  There just simply wasn’t enough counter space for two coffee makers.  My husband suggested I make a dedicated space in the dining room for all my coffee and coffee accessories (That guy!  He’s really smart!).

coffee and espresso maker

This sideboard is from Pier 1 Imports.  It was on sale as well as the very last one they had in stock AND it also happened to be the floor model so, I ended up talking the manager into giving me an additional 20% off discount, due to a few very minor scuffs on one of the back legs.

The rich wood tones contrast nicely with our light grey walls (paint color is Benjamin Moore Indian River).  I also love the additional storage for seasonal napkins, plates, silverware, etc.

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Most, if not all, of my staging decor came from Hobby Lobby!  When I came across this adorable wooden wall sign with hooks I knew it would be so cute just above the sideboard to hang my extra coffee mugs.

(lemons)

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The decorative espresso wood shelves came from Lowes.  Somehow the two shelves I purchased originally did not match.  They were both espresso, but two noticeably different shades of espresso.

The “I love coffee” sign is probably 4-5 years old from Marshall’s and the wooden tobacco basket is from Hobby Lobby.

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This cute silver tiered metal mesh tray holds my k-cups and espresso pods just perfectly and it’s so easy to access when I’m preparing a fresh cup!

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This glass jar with lid and chalkboard is great for storing my extra espresso pods.

 

 

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I’m in love with this coffee sign and the vintage floral wooden wall art!

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My mother-in-law gave me this tiny succulent which actually used to be a place card holder from, I believe she said, Target.

coffee bar

….. and here is the finished look!  I am so pleased with the end result!

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in home coffee bar

I love my new coffee bar and have already put it to such great use!  C’mon over.  I’d be more than happy to brew you up a latte or fresh cup of coffee!

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Coffee Convenience

It’s no secret that I love my coffee and lattes, so it should come as no surprise that I love my coffee and espresso makers!  I’ve shared numerous cups of joe with my followers on instagram and facebook to which I get a lot of the same questions about the machine I have or how I make my latte’s and coffee at home.

I have had a Keurig coffee maker about 8 years now.  My first Keurig machine stopped working and we recently bought the 2.0 model.  It works great for making a traditional cup of coffee.  Most mornings I like to drink 2 “regular” cups of coffee with just a splash of french vanilla coffee creamer.

keurig 2.0

Then, in the afternoon, when I need a caffeine boost, I like to make myself a latte. This expresso machine has been life-changing!  I’d had my eye on it for quite some time and my husband, bless his heart, surprised me with it on Christmas morning!  I originally had just wanted to purchase this expresso maker with a separate milk frother, but once I fond this one, I knew there was so changing my mind!

nespresso delonghi espresso machine

I love how you can make a variety of drinks with the nespresso delonghi and that it has a self-cleaning function so it’s really convenient to use. It’s programable so you can set your desired strength for the espresso and desired amount of milk for each type of drink.  I use it mostly for lattes, and it took no time to get the milk to espresso ratio just right to make the perfect latte.  I like to add one pump of vanilla syrup in my latte, as well.  It can also make iced lattes, macchiatos, or just about anything that involves espresso and frothed milk.  It is also convenient in that it has a self-cleaning option to clean out the milk inside the reusable milk container so it doesn’t go bad.  All you have to do is turn the knob to “clean” once your drink has been made.  It filters water through the pump and then when it’s done, you turn the knob back to your desired amount of “froth” and put the unused milk container back in the refrigerator until you’re ready to make another drink!

Other than loving it for the convenience of being able to make my own drinks and saving a ton of money on expensive lattes from Starbucks, it’s nice to have something to offer to our guests who may want more than just a traditional cup of coffee!

coffee sign

I purchase the espresso pods from Amazon (duh! like everything else I buy)! This option has a variety of strengths and it was the best price option as far as price-per-pod I could find!

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Emerson Fields Wedding and Event Venue- The picturesque medley of comfort, charm, and elegance

Imagine…

Summer’s fiery, golden sun drifts slowly in the horizon; it’s soft, warm light reflects off of the nearby lake.  The guests are seated, and the cozy venue buzzes with excitement as they anxiously wait for the ceremony to begin.  Soft instrumental music flows throughout the room.  The vaulted ceilings, large windows, oversized chandeliers, string lights, and dainty linens create a relaxing, romantic ambiance.   The picturesque wedding of your dreams has finally begun….

Nestled among mature trees and a nearby lake, directly off of Highway 63 just South of Macon, Missouri, sits a brand new, serene, two-story, custom built event center.  The gorgeous country farm setting offers green pastures in the Spring, freshly-cut hay fields in the Summer, and an amber glow in the Fall.  Though it is new, and the owners vision is not yet a reality (in the final stages of construction, however), their plans to include exposed brick, antique decor, and vintage-industrial character will certainly give it a lived-in charm that is vastly appealing.  Upon arrival, you’ll quickly realize that Emerson Fields Event and Wedding Venue has everything you’d need to create your special occasion and that it’s a far cry from any ordinary banquet center.

 

Scheduled to officially open in April, 2018, Emerson Fields offers an older barn charm but is being built to provide guests with all modern amenities.  Owners, Amelia and Steve Holder, say it is their dream to create a premier event venue with “industrial-elegant” style complete with both rustic and modern furnishings.  They aspire to provide a wide, airy space perfect for events, parties, and celebrations.  The venue is strategically constructed on 34 beautiful acres of historic farm land and offers 9,200 square feet of vintage elegant space designed specifcally from a seasoned photographers point of view.  Every detail from the lighting, colors, and fixtures, to the positioning of the windows and the location of the venue itself, has been designed with respect to wedding photography.  “As a photographer, I live by natural light, ” says Amelia.  “We have taken lighting into account for every room and at every angle in designing Emerson Fields.”

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  Plans for the venue include customizable indoor and outdoor spaces for both wedding ceremonies and/or receptions accomplished by a large indoor reception area with stunning vaulted ceilings, polished concrete floors, large picture windows, and 3 ornate chandeliers.  The sizable event area will be able to accommodate up to 350 seated guests, complete with a modern kitchen, bar area, raised stage, a beautiful, dedicated, bridal suite and groom’s hideout.  Guests will also enjoy close parking, spacious, handicap accessible restrooms, as well as a large, outdoor patio complete with a fire pit and view of the nearby lake.

Steve and Amelia certainly know what they are doing when it comes to construction and photography and I know they have poured their heart and soul into this venue to help you capture the very essence of your dream event, so you can cherish the moment, the day, and the memories.  I trust that, when finished, Emerson Fields will truly be a sight to behold, just waiting for you to come make some sweet memories that will last a lifetime.

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Now booking events for 2018 and beyond, Emerson Fields Wedding and Event Venue is the perfect location for your next wedding, reception, banquet, Christmas party, or family reunion.  Call 660.775.2291 to schedule a consultation and tour and be sure to visit the Emerson Field’s website and Pinterest page for all the details on the venue, information on rental packages​, access to their blog, progress photos, and style inspiration!

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A letter to 20’s something self on my 30th Birthday

To my younger self:

You may not recognize me with these glasses on and a few extra wrinkles around my eyes.  And, yeah my boobs have totally gone south after nursing two children…I know I’m working on it!  But there’s nothing to be ashamed of here; these lines are from years of laughter and the little extra skin on my belly is a badge of motherhood I wear proudly… ok so I’m not exactly proud of it but this body went through an incredible transformation and created life…twice… so yeah, I really don’t mind!!

You are blessed.

Slow down and look around to realize how lucky and fortunate you are to have your health, a nice home, a wonderful husband, and two adorable children… yes you have TWO kids- a boy and a girl!  You are rich enough…don’t get caught up in wanting more.

Mom was/is right.

That’s right!  I just said it.  Turns out she really did know what she was talking about the whole time.  You won’t realize it until you have a daughter of your own, but having her there for you throughout those rough first days/weeks/months will help you realize just how wonderful she truly is and how much you really do LOVE her.  You’ll feel guilty and pray for her forgiveness for being such a turd as a teenager.

Wanting to have it all figured out and actually having it all figured out are not the same things.

Some lessons just have to be learned.  You will learn from your mistakes.  It’s okay to fail.  It’s okay to mess up.  Keep your chin up and keep pushing forward.  You will learn something new every. single. day.  Life goes on and you will too.

Stop caring about other people’s opinions.

Seriously!  Just stop!  You don’t have to hide or make excuses just because you’re afraid of how people will react.  Their opinion doesn’t matter in the long run and conforming to their expectations will only make you unhappy.  Do it for yourself.  Wear makeup for yourself.  Shave your legs for yourself…. or don’t shave… the choice is yours!

Spend as much time with your family as possible.

You are so, so lucky to still have all four of your Grandparents with you.  Go see them as often as you can.  Their health will deteriorate quicker than you think.  Just because you know you love and care for someone, does not mean they know.  Actions speak louder than words, so if its’ been a while, just give them a call and let them know.  They may not be here tomorrow.

Mom and Dad really have your best interest at heart.

All those times you got grounded and the strict curfews were done out of love.  Boundaries and rules are a sign of good parenting… you’ll learn that also when you become a parent.

You’ll get over it.

Yes, you’ll get your heart broken.  Unfortunately, you’ll lose a lot of self-esteem and self-confidence and feel used and cheated and confused.  You’ll cry… a lot.  But then you’ll look back and laugh for letting yourself ever feel that way.  You’ll survive and life will be better because of it!  You will meet a tall dark and handsome man who loves you and takes replaces all that pain with LOVE! So. Much. Love!

The mirror is not your enemy.

You are beautiful just the way you are.  Your appearance makes you who you are.  Yes, there will always be something you wish you could change, but you can’t and you have to accept it and realize it is what makes you, YOU.  But beauty isn’t just skin deep!  It’s what’s inside that matters most.  Inner beauty outlives physical beauty every time.  Grandma Ervie was right when she said, “Pretty is, as pretty does!”

It’s ok to say, “No”.

There’s a difference between being nice and letting people take advantage of you.  I know you always try to see the best in people and do the most to help them out, but sometimes, this will only hurt your more than it will make you feel good.  It’s ok to help people, but think twice before you say, “yes” when the situation is beyond what you are capable of.

Learn to let things go.

Stop holding on to anger and other negative emotions- they do more harm than good and it will eat you up.  Let go of grudges- it’s not productive and it will only make you feel terrible.  Forgive and forget.

God is GOOD!

God wants you to do His will in His way in His timing.  His timing may not be on your terms but He is there, with you, every step of the way.  You don’t know the outcome of your life’s journey, but God knows.  Put your faith in Him.

You are exactly where you are supposed to be!

Love,

Me

 

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Write That Down!

I don’t know about you but there’s something so satisfying about crossing items off a to-do list.  Even if it is something as simple as replying to emails or paying off a bill, I get instant gratification from physically drawing a line through a written out agenda.

I’m a goal driven person with a type A personality, so it suits me well to have organization and structure in my daily life.  I find that I do best when I organize and manage my tasks whether on paper or digitally.  I can definitely say that on the days I’m most productive, I’m following a to-do list.

Many people, in fact, benefit from having a daily, weekly, monthly, and even yearly to-do list and calendar (short term or long term).  It’s a simple strategy that helps to create order, prioritizes tasks, holds you accountable, and helps organize and manage your time wisely.

 

The main benefits to keeping a to-do list and calendar for me are:

  •  Stress Relief
  • Sense of accomplishment
  • Self Control

I don’t just schedule the “work” stuff.  I like to include birthday reminders, get togethers, and other “fun” related events as well to have something exciting to look forward to!
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