coffee date

My routine has been to pour a cup of coffee every morning, cream and sugar of course, and with the morning mayhem and three kiddos running around, I maybe finish half of it, microwave it a couple times…and when my hubby comes home at 6 pm it’s still in the microwave, half-full. But I’ve switched from coffee to espresso…and I’m addicted. So addicted that I actually finish my cup of joe! I absolutely love it. It reminds me of Italy and it’s just so good. So, this morning, join me for a coffee date…and add these must-haves to your list for your next coffee date.

Custom Wooden Drink Stirrer, Tulle & Twig

The perfect, better-for-you-than-sugar, sweetener, Agave Nectar

Custom Coffee Spoons, Milk and Honey Luxuries

Make The Best Blueberry Coffee Cake You’ll Ever Have by A Cup of Joe to accompany your coffee.

State Heart Mugs, Grey Skies Blue
{such a cute going-away gift, wedding gift and moving away gift}

Create a little ambiance with coffee filter flowers like A Pumpkin and A Princess did. So cute!

{images via Tulle & Twig, Milk and Honey Luxuries, A Pumpkin and A Princess, MadHava, A Cup of Joe, Grey Skies Blue}

coffee for 2

I wanted to spruce up a wedding gift for an upcoming shower with a cute prop to go along with the gift. I bought the bride a complete set of “Coffee” Mugs from Crate and Barrel, but instead of just giving her a wrapped package, I made a DIY Chalkboard tray for the couple so they could have coffee for two together…hopefully forever! Here’s how you can do it too…for a gift, or for yourself!

First I made coffee filter flowers.

You’ll Need
30-35 coffee filters
A stapler
Scotch tape or painters tape

How To
Stack 5-6 coffee filters on top of one another.
Fold the coffee filters in quarters, and then open again {you will just have ‘seams’ from the fold}.
Use your fingers to pinch the bottom of all the coffee filters so you have four seams, and then staple it on the bottom.

Then pull each filter up one at a time, and bunch it together.

Continue to do that, until you have gathered each coffee filter around the center, and you have a flower. From the gathering process, you will have a ‘stem’ on the bottom, so wrap a piece of tape around the ‘stem.’

Then, I made the tray.

You’ll Need:
A cookie sheet
Chalkboard Paint
A Drill

First I primed the cookie sheet with a Primer, spray painted it with Chalkboard paint, glued handles on the sides and Voila, right? Nope, not the case for me.  An hour and a half before the party, the gold handles fell off {and I used Gorilla Glue}, along with some paint. So, when I saw rope on the garage floor, I got to work on Plan B {my dad came through like a super hero…despite his dislike for DIY projects}, and then I had to re-paint it. Honestly, it’s cuter than Plan A – it just stressed me out more than I intended…and made me late for the shower.

How To
Use an electric drill to drill 2 holes on each side of the cookie sheet. Thanks Dad!
If you have pieces of metal sticking out or the edges are rough, use a sand block or a hammer to smooth it out.
Cut pieces of rope for the handles.
Prime the cookie sheet with paint primer.
Spray paint the cookie sheet 2 times {allowing appropriate time in between each layer for it to dry}.

Wrap a piece of duct tape around one end of the rope so you can easily fit it into a hole. On the other end, tie a knot.
Insert the rope, duct tape end, from the bottom-up of one hole, insert it down in the other hole, tie a knot, and then remove the duct tape and cut the leftover rope.

Write “Coffee for 2” on the cookie sheet, or even a game of tic tac toe.

Fill each mug with coffee filter flowers {I used Scotch tape to keep the flowers in place in the mugs}.

Add the mugs, a package of coffee, an ‘I love you more than coffee’ tag {from Fleur de Lis} and you have yourself an adorable prop for your gift.

{images via Tutto Bella}

the little things…

It’s the little things in life that have the biggest impact sometimes. When I think of the little things that make me smile, it’s watching my kids discover something new for the first time, or the sound of tiny feet running into our bedroom in the morning, or a sweet note from a friend, a hug, a smile – whatever it may be, the little things are noticed and often, never forgotten.

All that was so ‘high level;’ in relation to what this post is really about. I’m not even sure why I got into that. This post is so not deep or philosophical. But, you know those little things that you’ve discovered, or special treats that can make a big impact in your day-to-day routine? That’s what we’re sharing with you today…some of our tricks of the trade that are small, but worth trying.

1. Frozen grapes in your wine glass.
Instead of ice, add frozen grapes to your glass of vino, and it will look pretty, and stay chilled without getting watery.  

2. Coconut Oil on the skin
Looking for a glow to your skin, without feeling oily? Coconut {organic and unrefined} is my go-to for a healthy, softening and brightening skin lotion. It adds a special glow, and doesn’t stain clothes or make me feel oily. You can find liquid Coconut Oil or solid Coconut Oil {when rubbed in between your hands, it will melt immediately and then you can apply to your skin} at your local health food store, and possibly grocery store. 

3. Cinnamon in coffee
Cinnamon consumption has been known to have positive health benefits, including lowering blood sugar and has also been noted to detoxify the system, help fight bladder infections and stimulate brain function. My brother-in-law, Will, said this coffee trick, changed his life. :) Just a dash of cinnamon added to the ground coffee in the filter {before you brew} will give your coffee a little {and delicious} kick, and healthy non-natural flavor. 

4. Chlorophyll in water
I know this sounds totally gross, but a couple drops of chlorophyll in a glass of water is so yummy! Even my hubby likes it, and the kids ask for green water daily. If you’re not a water drinker, but enjoy mint flavor, adding chlorophyll to your water will make boring water, tasty and refreshing. Chlorophyll fights toxins and boosts energy, so you’ll get some healthy benefits as well. Find liquid chlorophyll {mint is our favorite} at your local health store, and follow the directions for appropriate amounts of chlorophyll in your water. 

 Do you have any little things we MUST try. Please share! Send us an email at or comment on this post.

{image via Tutto Bella}

St. Patrick’s Day Lucky Charm Printable

Happy Friday. In honor of our Irish heritage {it’s small, but it’s there…and now its even greater since we married Irish men}, we have a Free Lucky Charms Printable for you today.

We used the printable, created by Fleur de Lis, a paperie, to create Fruity Cheerios necklaces for our kids and their friends.

BTW, this is a great activity to do with the kids. All you need is scissors, string {I used twine}, the labels and a box of Fruity Cheerios. Your kids can practice their fine motor skills and even color/pattern skills while creating sweet necklaces for their friends. Win, win if you ask me. 

These labels would work on a small box of Lucky Charms too!

We hope you follow our inspiration for St. Patty’s Day and more on Pinterest.

Click here to download the free Lucky Charms printable.

Side Note: Since we’re on the topic of breakfast…if you haven’t tried Agave Nectar in your coffee in the morning in place of sugar and the flavored, bad-for-you creams, you are MISSING OUT. I love the Hazelnut flavor – it’s my fave – however since I am celebrating all things Irish this month and I can’t have actual Bailey’s Irish Cream in my coffee every morning, this has been the perfect fix. Really, this line of Agave Nectar has transformed my mornings and cup of joe. Try it…and if you don’t like flavor in your coffee, but you like a little sweetness, try Organic Blue Agave. It’s sweet like sugar…but healthier than sugar. Cheers!

{images via Tutto Bella}

something special brewing

When I first saw these I love you more than coffee favors, I had to see more of the Etsy shop where they were created. And, the more I got to know Jennie-Mae, owner of Apropos Roasters, the more I wanted to drink her coffee and support her Etsy shop. I love her rustic, eco-friendly packaging, and of course what’s inside…coffee {or depending on your personal preference, tea or hot chocolate}.

I love a good cup of coffee, and I really love a good story…especially when people turn their passion into a successful business. And, that’s just what Jennie-Mae did.

In Jennie-Mae’s words: When I started Apropos, I didn’t have a lot of extra money, it all going into growing the business, so I started trading and gifting with coffee.  I traded coffee for hair cuts and produce at farmer’s markets. I gave the coffee as gifts during the holidays and when I traveled, I always left coffee at the house of whoever let me stay with them.
Anyway, some friends of mine were getting married and I wanted to do something for them so I came up with smaller coffee packs they could use as their favors, as a way of contributing to their wedding. Two years later and I’m in the wedding business selling more coffee favors than I can count. I never would have guessed!
Now I’m in the process of opening a “brick and mortar” shop in downtown Richmond because I need more space. That’s pretty exciting for me, as well. I’m also planning a trip for next year to a coffee farm so I can see first hand where some of my favorite beans are coming from.

We wish you continued success with your new shop, Jennie-Mae!

Here’s some of my other personal faves from her cute shop you need to check out.

Coffee Wedding Favors in Vintage Red and White

Airmail Wedding Favors

Coffee of the Month {or Week} Club
{great gift for coffee lovers…each month the recipient will receive 12 oz. of beans in his/her mailbox along with a “coffee card” to read information about the variety of the month}

Something is Brewing Baby Shower Favors

Good news for all you Tutto Bella readers because Jennie-Mae is offering you a 10% discount {good until November 1, 2012}.
Just enter TUTTOBELLA into the discount box at checkout.

Visit Apropos Roasters today to get something delicious brewing in your life…or coffee pot…today! If you don’t see exactly what you’re looking for, contact Jennie-Mae and she will help you create it!

{images via Apropos Roasters}