Thursday, September 29, 2016

Coffee. Is It Better with a Burr?

Before I talk about what grinder we use, allow me to share what lengths I may go to for a freshly ground cup of coffee...

The sun has yet to rise and though I'd rather still be sleeping, I accept my early fate and start plan B: make the coffee. With eyes half closed,  I shuffle out into the kitchen, remove our burr coffee grinder from its rightful place and creep into the garage. From there I maneuver around bikes and other garage-y items to the work bench. This is our only attainable outlet. It's being utilized, so I stretch, reach and battle with chords and surrounding items until I pull it free. Finally, I'm able to plug in the grinder and press the button. Sleepily, I rest my head on some box while that noisy contraption grinds my coffee. Soon there will be coffee. 

Why not just grind it inside? Well, that would mean waking children and therefore, no peaceful sipping. It's worth it. I just wonder if I'm alone in my craziness...for the love of coffee in the morning.

So while we're on the topic of coffee, I thought I'd share about our semi-recent purchase of the burr grinder I mentioned above.

We were introduced to the idea of a burr grinder at a gathering with friends. Isn't that where the trouble always starts?? I couldn't help but notice the smooth coffee taste. While we are not strangers to good coffee, I've often wondered why the coffee vendors always seem to brew their coffee better. Before too long, I was investigating at Costco; peppering the coffee representative with questions. What was their secret? His reply was the consistency of the grounds. I looked at his ground coffee and went home to our grinder. After several unsuccessful attempts at mimicking his grounds, I gave up.  

Now it seemed as if our friends had figured out the grinding trick. The coffee tasted great, however I wasn't convinced that I needed another small appliance sitting on my counter. We already had a small grinder.

A few months passed by and I stumble onto an article about how regular coffee grinders burn the coffee beans. In addition, a burr grinder will grind the perfect amount of coffee grinds constituently. This could mean a possible savings, since we grind more than necessary.

I polled my Facebook friends for grinder suggestions without mentioning "burr" grinders. Friends responded with links to burr grinders on Amazon. 

So I started reading reviews and chose the Cuisinart burr grinder. It is not even close to the most expensive--wow! people love coffee,-- but, after sifting through all the "I love its" and "I hate its", we decided to take a chance. This model stores up to a pound of coffee beans and features the ability to choose the amount of coffee you would like grind, as well as a course to fine ground bean selector.

The cons for this particular grinder were one, the amount of coffee dust left in the container post-grinding and two, the noise level. However, when I read reviews for comparable grinders, I found that this was common.

All in all, I'd say that this was a worthwhile investment that I'd purchase again (with my reward points). We are already spoiled by the close to perfectly ground portions and sweet tasting freshness in every pot!

And in case your wondering what type of coffee we use on a regular basis, I'm happy to share this brand that we've used for a couple of years now. 

Both Costco and Sam's carry this brand, but only Sam's has the Guatemalan beans. Costco sells a mixed blend, called Don Pablo's. Personally, I like the smooth taste of the medium-dark Guatemalan bean. It's one of the few things I purchase at Sam's. 

Also, if you're in the market for decaf that is water processed, this company makes a great Colombian decaf. My husband has a disdain for decaf, but admits that he likes the taste of this particular coffee. Great Tasting Decaf

So what do you think? 


Linking up with Not Dressed As Lamb.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Fringe Vest & Instagram/Snapchat Stories

Necklace by Premier Designs

Believe it or not my reader friends, it is still in the upper 80s and low 90's here in Georgia. One wants to pull out her fall clothing, but one does not want to roast! Today was a day of errand running and I knew there was potential to be walking outside from time to time, so I chose my items carefully.

*Newly added skinny jeans by Judy Blue, a black Old Navy tank, the LOFT vest that I'm wearing out lately and some brown accessories made this an easy, put together outfit.*

Now, please allow me to share just a couple pics from my crazy Snapchat and IG stories that show how I entertained myself on said errands.  Honestly, I have a little too much fun with these apps here lately but if you're easily entertained, as am I, feel free to join me at granolangrace.

My first stop was to drop off our van for an oil change. I anticipated some wait time, but when they told me 2 hours I knew I wasn't going to hang in their shop all morning. (Hence the IG & Snapchat stories!)

What's a girl to do...Just a short walk across the street brought me to our local mall...

Next up is to get rid of the heavy boots I was lugging around for my husband.

Then I sauntered over to the Threading Lounge for a little eyebrow clean up. I'm a regular, who sees the same attendant each time. I love her and her fabulous attention to detail.  Some people feel like threading is more painful, but I think it's worth it. It's not as rough as waxing on the delicate skin around your eyes. In addition, I think they are able to get a cleaner look than a quick rip with the wax. 

With that done, my makeup free and slightly red face was in need of some help. I looked tired. Armed with time and a coupon I headed over to Bare Minerals for a look at their new foundation, known as barePRO Performance Wear.

I had a blast chatting it up with make up artist, Rochelle, and learning a few extra tips for applying eye makeup. However the lighting in their store is no bueno, so I snapped a quick pic with Rochelle because she was just too sweet, and then found a better spot to show you what the makeup looked like...

Threaded Brows and Fresh Makeup

This makeup is priced at $30.00,  had a great assortment of shades, a smooth texture and it definitely lasted all day. However, for now I will stick with their Complexion Resuce foundation and wait until they get a smaller trial size or gift set before I switch up. Unfortunately, I need more than one day when testing out a new foundation.

Well, the two hours was quickly coming to an end, but still no word from the shop. What to do next...

I took full advantage of this gift card by splurging on a Pumpkin Spice Frappuccino and a protein boxed lunch. Btw, I asked for 1 pump only on the coffee treat. I don't like it too sweet. And this lunch was enjoyed outside, listening to the fountain run. All in all, it was a fabulous morning. I almost didn't want to leave to pick up the van, but real life awaited me across the street and home.

That's all for day folks!  Do you get your brows threaded? And what line of makeup do you use?

If you haven't tried threading, I hope you're inspired to do so! Or maybe it's time to refresh your makeup!



Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Layering Pieces, Fav Booties & Rehearsal Dinner Insights

I had fun layering with this outfit, though the picture doesn't do it much justice.   The sandstone booties were picked to tie in the lace vest. Honestly, I have to make a concentrated effort not to reach for these booties from Clarks all the time.

They are incredibly comfortable and match with nearly everything! 

I wore this ensemble to a rehearsal dinner with my husband and ended up feeling slightly underdressed upon arrival! You never know these days, but I could have swapped out the booties for a pair of heels for a dressier effect! Like I said, I can't seem to stop wearing them! 

Here's a few tips I received tip from a friend on how to dress for rehearsal dinners and other bigger events...

  • Pay attention to the invitation over what is being served.  (I saw Mexican cuisine and thought casual. Wrong.)
  • You could also look the venue up on the internet to gain extra insight. 
  • All else fails you could go straight to the bride. 

Well, my concerns quickly dissipated once food, that I had no part in preparing, was served. Not to mention the fact that the hubby and I were given an evening free of kiddos.

Extra bonus,  I woke up a few mornings later to find this photo in my IG newsfeed from the Pureple app I use!

They featured my outfit! Now that makes a girl feel better. Thank you Pureple!

How do you determine your outfits for bigger events? 

Outfit Breakdown:

Dress: LulaRoe
Lace Vest: Altar'd State
Booties: Clarks (still in stores)


Saturday, September 24, 2016

Outfits Picked by My Virtual Sylist...

Today's post is a followup to the previous review on the Pureple styling app...

Last week I put my latest styling app to the test by allowing the Pureple virtual stylist give me two outfit suggestions for the day.  I'd pick my favorite and run with it. Each day I had a blast documenting the outfits on Snapchat and IG stories. Here's the 5 Day results! 

Day 1 Pick:

I think the challenge is off to a good start with a combination I've yet to wear from my closet. This was super comfortable, but I still felt put together. Well done Pureple. 

Day 2 Options & Pic:

I liked both of these options, but option 1 is not something I would usually put together so I picked it. I received quite a few compliments, so I was glad I did. Maybe I should step it up a notch more often!


Monday, September 12, 2016

An App? Is it Worth All That?!

Hey, hey! I'm still on the topic of closet organization this week and what better timing with a change of the seasons coming in.  (Why am I thinking of Mary Poppins and that weather vane?) As I shared in the previous post, I cleaned through my closet several times last year. The object was to only have items that flatter, fit, and are well loved.  From there I began thinking about which direction my closet needed to go. 
  1. Did I need more professional clothing? 
  2. How am I doing on comfy, casuals? 
  3. What shape are my shoes in? 
  4. Am I heavy on one particular color?
  5. Are my clothes current or currently workable? 
  6. How is my jewelry collection faring? 
Once I began this line of questioning I noticed that I had shoes that left pieces of themselves as I walked around. Gross. I didn't own a pair of comfortable neutral colored shoes, sunglasses or even a casual watch. 

Time to make a list. In addition to a list, I looked at my fellow bloggers and pinterest for trends that may suit my style.

And right as these items began to fill the gaps in my closet I stumbled upon this fun organizational app for your clothes!  There are quite a few closet organizer apps out there but from what I've seen "Pureple" and "Stylebook" are the top rated for Apple devices. (Check out this link to find Style Apps for androidFor now, I'm going with Pureple. They both have the same concepts. Add your wardrobe via web images or snap pictures of each individual item in your closet. Don't groan. It's so worth it. ;)

Once your app of choice is downloaded, just begin adding those fab pieces. Personally, it was easier for me to grab my clothes and snap pics than search for them on the web. It took me 3 sittings to add just about everything, but I was so glad I did.

To do this, I used either our large square coffee table or I hung the larger items on the door.  White works best for a background. I added a category to each item as I went along. If there wasn't a category that I wanted, it was easy to create my own.

Now I know what some of you may be thinking.

I don't have time to take pictures of all my clothes, shoes, and accessories!

Alright, let me ask you a couple of questions.

  • Is it time to pair down what's in your closet? 
  • Are you truly wearing most of what you own?
  • How much time do you spend on figuring out what to wear? Remember, it took me 3 sittings to finish so you don't have to tackle it all in one day. Now I add articles as they come in. Bonus: more items went to the goodwill pile. 
Just in case you're interested, I'll share my experience thus far.


Friday, September 9, 2016

WIW Roundup & Grace Like Rain

Hello! I interrupt my my two-part series on organization for a "what I wore round up".  And, If you're in the mood for extra ramblings, you've come to the right place. I have Chrissy thoughts waiting for you at the bottom of this post. Enjoy! ;)

Outfit 1: Fringe Vest

In this get up I'm sporting two of my new fall items and about mid-day I regretted the fringe vest and black jean combo! As soon as I got home I changed into a pair of burgundy shorts and felt like a new woman. Fall is not quite here.

Outfit Breakdown:
Top: LOFT (old)
Fringe Vest: Marisa Jill's Boutique
Jeans: WHBM
Shoes: Fall Addition! - Clarks
Handbag: Gift
Jewelry: Premier Designs

2. Lace Dress

This soft, feminine dress is wonderfully comfortable and has a length that makes it appropriate for just about anything.  Adding the ankle boots to my closet inspired me to give this dress another go.

Outfit breakdown:
Dress: Altar'd State clearance find
Denim Jacket: Old Navy (old)
Backpack Purse: Clarks - clearance find
Ankle Boots: Fall Addition! - Clarks

3. "Grace Like Rain"

As soon as my sister handed me the completed screen-printed tee, I knew how I would style it and I knew the first wear would be singing back up for the HS worship band (my vocal comfy place). *Truth: I sing far more like I'm in a Broadway musical than a "cool" rocker but I like to pretend... 

Outfit Breakdown:
Jacket: OLD
Tee: Old Navy Clearance for $2, Sweat and tears from my sister - FREE
Black Skinnies: WHBM, last season
Ankle Boots: Target, 3 seasons ago!
Bracelets & Necklace: Premier Designs

***Extra Thoughts on Grace***

I love the necessary reminder (for me anyway) printed on this tee. "Grace Like Rain." I'm here and who I am because of His grace. Unmerited favor. Last week was full of life lessons of what it meant to receive undeserved favor from the Creator of all people and all things. In this particular season, His grace came in the form of an envelope from an anonymous friend with a gift and note to "just accept". Grace was revealed in the prompting of just the right song at just the right time. Like sweet refreshment grace arrived packaged in timely words of encouragement from a friend. And because of my "busyness" over the summer and almost neglect of spending personal time with Him, I couldn't feel more undeserving.  As if, I would be more deserving if I spent hours with Him daily! 
I know it doesn't work that way. I understand that I cannot earn His love or forgiveness.  It is a gift. BUT, the unexpected blessings were bittersweet because the timing of these gifts reminded me of how much I fall short and I don't fully grasp the concept of grace. 

Grace like rain. Showers of grace. Do I want to continue in this life of distraction and busyness because I think God will dole out showers of grace no matter what?? NO! That is why I wept at His generous outpouring. I don't want to try to work for His favor but I do want to please Him. Could this be a response of love towards my heavenly Father instead of doing "works" because that is what I know I should be doing? Praying this is one more step of growth. 
What are your thoughts on God and the grace He shares about in the Bible?

"Out of his fullness we have all received grace in place of grace already given." John 1:16

"But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me." 2 Corinthians 12:9

Until next post my friends,


Monday, September 5, 2016

Fall Wardrobe Additions

In a new realm of the uttermost parts of the universe, I've managed to organize an area in life. My closet. Don't judge, one must start someone. Exaggeration aside, this is the first area that I've had fun organizing and in the next couple of posts I'm going to talk about the ways that I've set to accomplish that. 

It started with a few reads on the "Parisian way" of styling, along with all the capsule wardrobe posts. The idea of drastically reducing what's in the closet appealed to me, especially considering the size of our home. 

I went through my closet several times last year to get rid of anything that I didn't love, items that fit wrong and near duplicates.  This made recognizing what I actually needed or wanted a lot easier. Then I set about making a list of those items. 

Next up was to stick with the list and smart shop. The list is fairly specific. For example, what shade of denim or what color shoes, etc.  

Along the way, I also acquired a few surprises from family and friends! And I can feel fall on the way!! Time to put all these goodies to use. I'll start by sharing them virtually with you. ;)

My list for fall:
  • Green Jeans
  • Ankle boots, beige or cognac
  • Utility Vest, army green 
  • BackPack Purse, black or brown
Little Surprises:
  • Bootcut jeans from my MIL
  • Cute tops for my birthday from friends and family

Add caption
Maroon Top:  Altar'd State This top is so soft! (Exact with other color options)
Striped Fringe Top: Marisa Jill's Boutique
Good Days Top: Gift
Gray Tee: Marisa Jill's

*Maroon is one of the trending colors for fall and all four of these tops will be great for layering.*

Gift Certificate used at LuLaRoe by Megan Cook!
This cute "Randy" tee was a great use of a gift card I had burning a hole in my pocket. You can check out Megan's page for more. :)

Green Jeans: Marisa Jill's
Bootcut Jeans: Altar'd State (Exact Pair)
Stone Ankle Boots: Clark's (Exact Pair)
Cognac Ankle Boots: Marisa Jill's

I've already styled the comfy, ripped up green jeans twice (one outfit is featured in the previous post). As for the ankle boots, the clarks are wonderfully comfortable. However, the pair on the right are not near as comfy and live up to the "get what you pay for" motto.  Anyways, I went to take back the shoes at the boutique and they don't accept returns on shoes (clearly stated on receipt - I missed that). Though they kindly allowed me an exchange, I still struck out on cute and comfortable. This is why I have two pairs of new ankle boots. Lesson learned. Don't rush the try on process!

Kimono: Gift
Leather Backpack Purse: Clarks Clearance find for $39.00
Sweatshirt: Costco, My sister added the screening

And finally, the fringe vest, which is going to be my stand-in for the utility vest. It's different looking, but I say stand in because it won't work in the summer whereas a utility vest would. We shall see.

Also found at Marisa Jill's (My mother in law!)

This is the first year that I was intentional about what I purchased for my closet. I must admit I like this change. Even when you are looking for specifics, you can watch out for great sales in order to gain the wonderful satisfaction one acquires when saving money and truly loving what you buy. Bonus??!! I only purchased about 5 of the above items with a combination of birthday money and budget money.  What a sweet blessing. I think I'll finally purchase a pair of "grown up" sunglasses; something protective and stylish.

So, what's on your fashion list? I'm serious. I honestly want to know. Comments make my day! ;)

(Also, if you love the items from Marisa Jill's you can check them out on Facebook. They also have a website. )


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