Clean & Current Nightstand Styling

Do you ever look around your bedroom and think it is too cluttered, yet you truly need all the things that are taking up crucial surface area spaces? This clean and current DIY will save space on your nightstand for sure! Keep reading…..

That’s totally me and our whole apartment but especially my bedside table. I have items that are sentimental to me gathered from all over the world-sea glass from Riomaggiore, Italy; a ginkgo leaf dish from Weimar, Germany; a heart trinket from Geoff’s road trip through Canada on his way to our new apartment together in Minneapolis. I obviously can’t part with that stuff because I love it. Then I have the “essentials!” : candles, lotions, perfumes, chapstick and earplugs (sense the sarcasm?)

I use it all on a regular basis so I don’t want to store it out of sight because then I’ll be too lazy to get it out every time I need it, but my nightstand is just so crowded!

I was brainstorming how I could keep all that stuff out but give myself more room. My thought? Add height!!!

I needed to find something that had a skinny enough footprint to not take up more room while the “platform/top” be narrow enough to not disturb the base of my lamp. Wouldn’t you know I couldn’t find anything that wasn’t a normal size cake stand. And that would definitely not work! So I went out in search of my own DIY version.

Off to Homegoods I went and a-wandering the aisles did I go!

Behold the candle stick holder and the neglected cheese plate/trivet!

I found this marble trivet with missing feet in the clearance section and the clear glass candle stick for around $10 total! I brought it home and set it up and it worked perfectly! I arranged my perfume bottles on top and it freed up some space nicely! You could super glue the pieces together, but I was too lazy and might use that candle stick someday for an actual candle! (What an idea!! Lol) Also, because the surface area at the top of the candlestick is so wide, the trivet on top is actually very stable and isn’t tippy at all!

I highly suggest adding height wherever you need some extra surface area. It not only solves your space issue, but it adds a lot of visual interest as well!

love & cupcakes,

Katie

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Cold Brew Coffee @ Home

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Cold brew coffee is a thing of beauty. We were introduced to it by a couple we know who housed Geoff when he worked for Opera North. He fell in love with it, learned to make it, and insisted that when he got home from the program we had to buy the system to make it ourselves. It was that good. I told him he could make it, but I was hesitant, because I had my beloved Keurig machine and thought that it made perfectly fine coffee.

Long story short, I am a cold brew coffee convert, and I’m never looking back! As one of our friends likes to say, we have been spreading the gospel of cold brew coffee!!

A man named Todd Simpson developed the Toddy Cold Brew System. Basically, the cold brew process just takes time, since you’re not brewing it with hot water and therefore gives you less acidic coffee — 67% to be exact! Cold water brewing takes the flavor compounds from the coffee beans but leaves behind the bitter oils and fatty acids (they’re only soluble at a high temperature). The cold brew process gives you a wonderful smooth cup of coffee which you can serve hot or cold.

You can buy the Toddy Cold Brew System here! It’s really not too expensive, and it’s worth it to have the “kit” to make it at home, instead of DIYing your own system.

Some people are really hoity toity when it comes to making their coffee, cold brew included, but we’re not. I’m gonna give you the process we do when we make our cold brew!

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Here’s what you need:

  • Toddy Cold Brew System (purchase here)
  • 12 oz. whole bean coffee (ground it on the coarse setting)
  • waterrrrrrr

*Just a little tip, I find that I get the best results when I use a coffee that is at least a medium or dark roast. I love that rich flavor.

Steps:

  1. Grind your coffee beans – we like to do this at the store since it’s easy and you don’t have to worry about cleaning up your mess in your own kitchen! Make sure you have the grind setting on COARSE. Anything else will risk clogging your filter.
  2. Soak the filter (that circular disk) in water until it stops bubbling and is completely saturated.
  3. Take the cork and put it in the bottom of the plastic Toddy container.
  4. Put the plastic container in a large saucepan. I like doing this in case the cork accidentally pops out and drains all over the place. It has NEVER happened, but never say never!
  5. Put the soaked filter in the bottom of the Toddy system – you’ll see the indent where it goes.
  6. Pour your 12 oz of coarse ground coffee in the Toddy plastic container.
  7. Fill it gently with cold water until you reach the top. When it’s filled about 3/4 of the way up I take a knife and “cut” through the grounds and make sure everything is wet with water. (You would be surprised how the middle of the coffee grounds can be bone dry while the rest of it is wet).
  8. Set the whole Toddy system somewhere where you won’t knock it over etc.
  9. Let it sit overnight. The longer the better! (usually when I make ours it sits for around 17 hours).
  10. In the morning, carefully lift up your plastic Toddy container and line it up over the glass carafe.
  11. Pull out the cork in the bottom, and gently set the plastic container on top of the glass carafe. You’ll see how each container cradles the other so it’s safely seated together.
  12. Let it drain fully (this could take a while…I’m talking like 30 mins or more, depending on how steady the stream is).
  13. Enjoy your cold brew!
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This is what it’ll look like before adding water.
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This is filled with water.
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Slowly draining into the carafe.
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Final product!

It’s important to note that the cold brew is like a super concentrated version of regular hot coffee. So you probably don’t want to down a whole entire mug of cold brew unless you want major jitters, like, all day long.

We like to fill our coffee mug about 1/3 of the way with the cold brew coffee, and then fill the rest of it with water. I pop it in the microwave (since I love hot coffee, even in the summer), and top it off with my favorite creamer!

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Call me crazy, but I swear, when you have cold brew coffee, there is almost a chocolatey depth to the coffee flavor.

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Is this not beautiful?

Do you think you’ll try cold brew coffee at home?

love & cupcakes,

Katie

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How To: Fix a leaky shower head

I think of myself as the handy one in our house. No offense to Geoff, but if there’s something that needs doing that typically “the man” would do, I usually end up doing it myself (and sometimes with a little help from “the man”)  😉  If there’s anyone out there that thinks a guy is sexy when he’s under the kitchen sink, they have never been serenaded on a daily basis by the sweet sounds of a classical pianist. That’s right, ladies….I’ve got a hunk who knows how to use his hands in other ways.

Anywhooo, I credit my basic knowledge and ability to get my hands a little dirty from my dad. THANKS DAD! I watched him around the house growing up – he was always fixing something, improving something, or maintaining one of our cars. It was great because I know it saved my parents a lot of money not having to have a handyman come over for every little thing. It was also great because I learned a lot just by watching, and being curious as to what he was doing meant that I was always asking my dad questions too.

Looking back on it is actually a really sweet memory. I’m so thankful I have a dad like mine whom I could learn so much from. I’m always sure to tell my dad whenever I fix something or bust out some tools around the house – because I want him to know I was able to do whatever it was because of him. 

That brings me to our leaky shower head…..oooo exciting I know! BUT it’s a good skill to have, as I’ve done this with our past 3 showers. I can’t be the only one who doesn’t want to have a pool of water trickling down the outside of their tub.

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You only need two things for this fix: Thread Seal Tape and some kind of wrench or pliers. Oh, and I will mention one thing. The tape is gonna set you back a whopping 97 cents. I’m not kidding.

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First you need to unscrew the shower head from the pipe going into the wall. Get it started with your wrench, and then you can probably unscrew it the rest of the way by hand.

Remember, Righty tighty, lefty loosey.

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Once you do that you will take your Thread Seal Tape and wrap it around the threaded part of the pipe. You will wrap it about 4 times around, CLOCKWISE, leaving a small bit exposed (the bit closest to where you will reattach the shower head). It helps if you keep the tape taught as you wrap. When you are done wrapping, rip the tape, and smooth then end onto the pipe. It sticks to itself.

Reattach the shower head, turn on the water, and check that the water isn’t leaking from where you attached the shower head. If it is, you either didn’t use enough thread seal tape, or you simply didn’t tighten the shower head enough with your wrench/pliers. Use your muscles!

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I decided since I had the supplies out I also added Thread Seal Tape where the hose attaches from the hand held shower head. That bad boy is never gonna leak!

If you have a leaky shower and have been intimidated by fixing it, DON’T be! It’s SO easy peasy!

love & cupcakes,

Katie

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