Friday, February 5, 2016

Unconventional Apps + Friday Five

You might remember that I used to be a blackberry addict. Jake converted to an iPhone a long time ago and he would hand me his phone, while he was driving, to respond to a text and I wanted to throw it out the window. I was like I DON'T KNOW HOW TO USE THIS THING! I was terrified of giving up my keyboard. Little did I know that after finally converting in Fall 2012, I would totally fall in love with it. I am seriously obsessed with my phone and it's constantly at my side. 

One of the things I didn't like about my blackberry was there there weren't a lot of apps available and as a result, I couldn't use Instagram or my online banking app, or the Starbucks app. You get the point. Anyway, for Friday Five, I wanted to share 5 of my favorite unconventional apps. So, here goes... 


Run Pee 

I have used this app for about a year now. It tells you when you go to the bathroom (i.e. which scenes it's ok to miss) during a movie. 

Hotel Tonight 

You can book a hotel for the night. It's great for last minute deals and you can actually book up to a week in advance. We used this app and booked a hotel in Asheville for the weekend for less than $100/night.

Open Table 

I love eating out at restaurants. I hate calling to make reservations. Enter this app, which lets you make a reservation at many restaurants. I've earned a $50 dining certification and am on my way to my 2nd one... Woop! 

AnyList

The best way to share your grocery list with anyone. It's real time, so the hubby can see that I crossed something off the list and he can add stuff to the list while I'm at the store. Feels like magic!

Spotify 

Have you heard of Spotify yet? It's $10/mo to get this app on your phone but it's 1,000% worth it. I use this to interface with my car and home stereo. I have not bought an album in probably more than 5 years (except for that darn Taylor Swift 1989 album).  I also have unlimited data grandfathered from AT&T so that helps. 


Do you have any life saving, fun unconventional apps? If so, please share! 


Happy Weekending,

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Bath Bomb Collab with Hodgespodges

Today I am super excited to share a collaboration I did with my friend and neighbor, Joey from Hodgespodges. We met last Fall and pretty soon after we started hanging out regularly, she mentioned making DIY bath bombs together.  I fell in love with the idea and before we knew it, we were buying citric acid and a kitchen scale. So -- we are basically bonded for life now. Read Joey's bath bomb post here


Over the years, I've purchased my share of Lush Bath Bombs but for as long as I can remember, I've always wanted to try making my own. Ever since I was a little girl, I have always loved taking baths. I probably prefer them more than I prefer taking a shower if I don't have to wash my hair.  I am also very big on self care and taking a bath is one of the things I do when I am taking time out of my busy day to take care of me. So -- without further ado, below is the recipe that we used (adapted from here).   

DIY Bath Bombs 

What You'll Need (each portion below makes 2 bath bombs):

  • 4 oz. baking soda
  • 2 oz. cornstarch
  • 2 oz. citric acid
  • 2 oz. epsom salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp water
  • 1 tsp essential oil (we used peppermint, lavender and lemongrass).
  • 1 1/4 tsp coconut oil
  • 1-2 drops food coloring 
  • Molds (we used plastic christmas ornaments) 
  • kitchen scale to measure oz. 



Steps:

1. Combine dry ingredients (baking soda, cornstarch, citric acid, and epsom salt) in a large mixing bowl.

2. In a separate bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients. Be sure to melt the coconut oil beforehand in the microwave for 10 second intervals. This is what is going to hold your bath bombs together. 




3. Slowly pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture and whisk as you go. 



4. Fill up your molds. Press two molds together and remove one mold. Let dry for 10 minutes before removing the other side of the mold. I think this is where we messed up with ours as the two sides did not stick together the following day after we let them set for 24 hours.


Tip: We used purple food coloring for the lavender, green for peppermint and yellow for lemongrass. 


The finished product: 


I had so much fun making these with Joey! Now, it's not a quick process but it's actually very therapeutic and calming -- it was my first time using essential oils -- but it will definitely not be my last. 

Have you tried to (or do you want to) make bath bombs at home? Please share your thoughts in the comments! 

xoxo,

Friday, January 29, 2016

Friday Five | Vol. 13

Happy Friday, everyone! Sorry I missed last week -- we were snowed in! Well, not really but you know how Charlotte does #snOMG.  I am really excited for this weekend because it kind of felt like we didn't really have one last weekend, since we were stuck in the house working and watching a whole lot of Master of None -- which is really funny, BTW.  Can you believe we were "snowed in" for 3 whole days and I didn't drink any wine the entire time? Me neither. 


Has anyone started doing their taxes yet? ((crickets)) Just me? 

This week, I tried the $10 all-you-can-eat Sushi from Pieces and let's just say it was totally worth it. I have really been on a sushi kick this year and I kinda like it! 

I have been stalking this lamp from west elm for months. It went on sale yesterday and is will be finally mine in 4-6 business days. 

In other news, I am starting the 21-day fix on Monday. #heregoesnothin

What will my "last meal" be before I embark on said journey? I am thinking it might involve a donut (or two). 

Have a great weekend. 



Monday, January 25, 2016

Starbucks Roastery & Tasting Room

Until I moved to Seattle after college, I had never been a huge coffee person. In fact, there were days that I didn't have a sip of the stuff. Other days, I would have 3-4 cups, but mostly I drank it sporadically. I certainly didn't rely on it daily.  But living in Seattle does something to the occasional coffee drinker.  Whether it's the coffee stands in parking lots (yes, it's a Seattle thing) or what feels like the Starbucks-on-every-corner-effect, Seattle makes you want to love coffee. So, basically Seattle turned me into a coffee lover. 

Fun fact: Seattle has 23 coffee shops for every 100,000 residents which is the most per-capita in the U.S. But there is only one Starbucks Roastery & Tasting Room in the world... While we were in Seattle for Christmas break visiting Jake's family, we snuck away for an afternoon and visited the Starbucks Reserve Roastery & Tasting Room. I had been wanting to visit this place ever since it opened in late 2014. My co-worker visited in mid-2015 and after hearing about her experience, it made me even more excited to try this place! I heard that this location has seasonal specialty food and drinks that are not served at any other Starbucks location.  So fun!

I was most curious about the location. As you probably know, there is not a lot of prime real estate available in Capitol Hill to build a gigantic place like this. So, before we visited Jake and I were trying to figure out where this was located. For some reason, I thought it was in South Seattle near the  Company HQ --  but once we started googling, it all made sense. In 2013, my old Volvo dealership closed and it had been announced that the space would be redeveloped. Lo and behold -- a year and half later, the Roastery and Tasting Room was born. I do have a lot of memories taking my first Volvo (we are now on our second and third) to the dealership for repairs, oil changes, etc. So now I can make new memories, drinking one of a kind coffee and tasting delectable new pastries. I'm in! 





This board is my favorite -- it kept clicking and clacking for when they were roasting a new flavor.


The beans came down those tubes and kept refilling the containers when they got too low.



I tried the Cranberry Almond Danish pictured below. It was to die for. I am only hoping that my local Starbucks will start carrying it. or maybe I don't hope that since I would want one every time I set foot in there. 


What did we drink, you ask? Jake tried the Cameroon Mt. Oka reserve coffee (he drinks black coffee now -- yes I am married to an old man). I tried the Matcha Basil-Mint Latte.  We were both very impressed. 


One of the coolest parts was this big machine that roasts all of the reserve coffee beans that Starbucks sells worldwide. If you see a package of Starbucks reserve coffee beans, it came through this facility. How cool is that?!?! It was fun to watch the process for a bit. 



 Have you been to the Starbucks Roastery & Tasting Room in Seattle? What did you think?

xoxo,

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