Fall Style | Plaid

This post is sponsored by Shopko.

fall style plaid

fall style plaid

fall style plaid

fall style plaid

Plaid and October are synonyms when it comes to fall style. A plaid button down is a must have especially if you live in the midwest. I have been loving all the color combos that Shopko’s new brand A&I has to offer, but this deep teal is by far my favorite. Now all I can hope for is this amazing Wisconsin weather to last a bit longer.

I have to admit October has a lot to measure up to! My September was very eventful, packed with trips (Miami, Minneapolis, LA), a wedding, bachelorette party, catching up with friends and family, and even “losing” my car in Chicago. “Siri, where did I park?” is, hands down, the best iPhone feature.

I hope you all enjoy your October! I can’t wait to go back to Minneapolis next weekend for Rachel’s wedding!

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Happy National Coffee Day and my Cupping Experience at Cameron’s Coffee

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Cameron’s Coffee. All opinions are my own.
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National Coffee Day is one of my favorite days of all! This year I am especially excited to be celebrating it in partnership with Cameron’s Coffee. Cameron’s Coffee is a Wisconsin founded and now Twin Cities based company that focuses on delivering the best coffee to those of us who enjoy making coffee at home and getting it tasting just right.

When I was in Minneapolis earlier this month, I got a chance to visit Cameron’s Coffee offices and be a part of the cupping experience they arrange for all of their new employees to learn more about coffee. I can only compare this experience to wine tasting, but better. The real purpose of cupping is to taste the different coffees and make sure they are up to our standards, as well as look for any imperfections or irregularities in the batch.

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Below is a detailed description of my experience, and while it can get pretty technical, I would highly recommend this to anyone who loves coffee. I also learned that I have absolutely no talent when it comes to defining coffee flavors.

The best part of the experience was meeting Patrick, Cameron’s Roastmaster, who walked me through the cupping experience. We cupped 4 flavors total:

  • Mexico – light
  • Brazil – sugary
  • Colombian – solid, balanced, sweet
  • Sumatra – earthy, big bodied

And while I am letting you know what each blend is supposed to taste like, I went into this completely unknowing what was going to happen.

Cupping happens around a table which resembles a huge lazy susan, that way you can spin the table and don’t have to walk around. There were 12 ceramic cups (you can also use tempered glass), 3 for each coffee flavor. All cups must be identical in measurements and come from the same manufacturer. You will also need a cupping spoon, which is a special kind of spoon with a large bowl. It works best if the spoon is silver or silver plated.

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To get a little bit more into details all beans are roasted within 24hours of the cupping, and can rest for 6-8 hours. Samples are ground immediately before cupping and grinds are coarser than what is normally used for paper drip. And finally, a few important numbers you should know: the coffee to water ratio for a cupping is 8.25 gm to 150 ml.

The cupping process step by step:

  • First, you smell the ground sample
  • Then you add water to the coffee sample, the water should be freshly drawn and approximate 200 degrees F
  • Make sure to let the coffee steep for 4 min
  • Ensure the coffee is plenty cooled off before drinking, you don’t want to burn your tongue or mouth and ruin your palate for the day
  • Once the coffee is cooled off break the crust that forms on the surface by lightly pressing with the spoon (no more than 3 times), get your nose up to the cup so you can smell the aroma after the coffee is broken
  • Remove the rest of the stuff that doesn’t go to the bottom after breaking
  • Let cool for a few more minutes, usually 8 to 12.
  • Tasting the coffee, using a spoon with a large bowl. Fill the bowl of the spoon, slurp the coffee while aspirating the coffee to cover your entire palate.  Then either drink the coffee or spit it out. Rinse your spoon and repeat at next cup. This was my favorite part, because I got to slurp in an office environment J

Should you ever get an opportunity to participate in cupping, here are a few tips for you:

  • Before you cup, try your best not to eat anything or drink anything potent. You don’t want to already affect your senses before trying coffee.
  • It’s also best if you don’t wear any perfume!
  • Cameron’s Coffee CEO even suggested smelling your own skin in between smelling in each coffee so your “palate gets cleansed”

Make sure to follow Cameron’s Coffee on social media Instagram, FacebookTwitter and stay tuned for some upcoming holiday giveaways! Love my Cameron’s Coffee mug and Tee? These are going to be available on the website soon!happy-national-coffee-day

This post includes photos by Say Hello, Story

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New Fall Beauty Favorites

This post is sponsored by Shopko.

new-fall-beauty-favorites

new-fall-beauty-favorites

Fall isn’t a time to renew your wardrobe, but also pick up a few new beauty products. I was really excited to learn about some of the new brands that Shopko started to carry, including La Petit Marseiliais and Masque Bar. I knew I could use some new masks, so I picked up Luminizing Charcoal and Pore Refining masks to pamper myself a little this fall. The Luminizing Charcoal has definitely become one of my favorites, and I will be ordering more of it. You leave it on for 20-30 minutes, then peel it off. This mask peels off so easily, I was extremely surprised. However, it still pulls out a lot of the gunk from pores! The pore refining mask is a rinse off, which is a type of masks I usually use, and I love it. Both of these are made in Korea.

La Petit Marseiliais is a brand I used to shop when I lived in Europe, and it was one of my favorites. I picked up 2 body washes in Orange Blossom and White Peach and Nectarine.

new-fall-beauty-favorites

new-fall-beauty-favorites

new-fall-beauty-favorites

Make sure to check out all of my picks from Shopko on my Maven Board!

In other great news, Shopko is giving you a chance to win a $500 Shopping Spree – make sure to sign up for your chance to win. It runs from 9/10 to 10/14 and FIVE lucky people will win! You can also sign up to receive emails and get $10 off $30 purchase with email sign up.

This post is sponsored by Shopko. All opinions are my own.

Cameron’s Coffee Perfect Summer Cold Brew Recipe

Dsiclosure: This post is sponsored by Cameron’s Coffee. All opinions are my own.
Cold Brew Recipe Camerons CoffeeCold Brew Recipe Camerons Coffee

Cold Brew Recipe Camerons Coffee

Cold Brew Recipe Camerons Coffee

I love coffee in all shapes and forms, but in the summertime cold brew is my favorite. I remember first learning about it through a Facebook post that one of my artsy friends did. He made it sound like an incredibly complicated process like at home beer brewing. So, for a couple of years I simply ordered my cold brew at local coffee shops and carried on. Thanks to my collaboration with Cameron’s Coffee I learned that I can make my very own delicious cold brew at home. There is a very handy blog post on their website with detailed instructions that are simple and easy to follow.

You can make cold brew using a French press, any glass container, or a mason jar. I chose to go with a mason jar just because I have a lot of those in my kitchen and they do look cool in the photos. There is also a cold brew system that you can purchase like this one.

For my coldbrew I used 8 oz of Roastmaster’s Blend, 8 oz of water and 1 tsp of spices. Now spices are optional, but I wanted to play around with some flavors. This specific spice mix includes ginger, cinnamon, star anise and nutmeg. I combined all the above in a mason jar and left in my fridge overnight. It’s best to let your coffee to sit for at least 12 hours. Then I ran it through a coffee filter, added some ice and milk and stayed caffeinated for the rest of the day.

If you like your coffee strong, then you can go ahead and drink the cold brew as is, or mix it with water, 50/50 is usually a pretty good ration. Since I add ice and milk, I tend not to, but that’s again up to you.

I hope you enjoyed this post and it encourages you to try making your own cold brew at home! Please make sure to share with me if you do.

I highly recommend following Cameron’s Coffee on social media as well! They are always posting helpful tips and share their coffee knowledge.

Cameron’s coffe Instagram, Facebook, Twitter. Check them out and give them a like or a follow 🙂

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Milwaukee Bloggers Meet Up at Iron Horse Hotel

Milwaukee-BloggersMilwaukee-Bloggers

Milwaukee-Bloggers

Milwaukee-Bloggers

Milwaukee-Bloggers

Milwaukee-Bloggers

Milwaukee-Bloggers

Milwaukee-Bloggers

Last Tuesday was simply wonderful! I finally managed to leave work on time and make it to a Milwaukee Bloggers Meet Up at the Iron Horse hotel arranged by my friend Katherine of Bordeaux Blvd. 

I’ve been living in Milwaukee for over a year now and only met a few of the bloggers in person, so this was a perfect opportunity to put faces to Instagram handles and have some real life time with everyone!

I hope you enjoy photos from the event and check out everyone’s blogs!

Katherine of Bordeaux Blvd

Pamela of It’s Pamela Kieck

Riva of What Riva Wore

Rumela of Rumela The Shopaholic

Georgia of Gloss and Harbour

Carrie of Cateyes and Carrie-alls

A huge huge Thank you Russel of Heritage Studio for all the photos and the proof that I am in fact a child!

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Pinstripe Dress – Monday Mode Link Up

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Happy Monday! As I get ready to start my short 4 day week and prepare for my Miami and Minneapolis vacations – truly two of the most opposite places one could’ve picked – I wanted to share this easy outfit with you. I’ve been obsessing over Who What Wear collection at Target for quiet some time now. To the point where my manager knows that it’s the only line I shop at Target, and that the rest of my clothes primarily come from Zara and H&M.

This dress is definitely getting a place in my suitcase! Make sure to follow me on Instagram to see what else I am packing on my vacation and if you are in Miami or Minneapolis and want to meet up – let me know!

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All photos by Kaitlyn Luckow

August POPSUGAR Must Have Box

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I have to admit POPSUGAR Must Have Boxes are one of my favorite types of packages. The element of surprise and the assurance that whatever is inside is going to be good definitely keeps me wanting to collaborate 🙂

This August the box is all about celebrations, gratitude, loyalty and friendship. Just like life should be!

So what’s in my box this month?

1. Cheers Tray by Pastel ($28 fringestudio.com)! I have wanted a tray like this for a long time, just to use as home decor, but also to help celebrate special days with friends and family!

2. 5 in 1 Bouncy Mask by First Aid Beauty ($38 firstaidbeauty.com) I have to admit this quickly became one of my favorite masks, and I have a lot of those 🙂 After about 10 minutes my skin looks brighter and firmer. I have actually used it in the mornings before work, especially on days when I have to get up extra early!

3. Heart Bracelet ($34 dogeared.com) is so delicate and small it’s barely noticeable, and I appreciate the POPSUGAR team for sending it to me as a sign of their appreciation. It also reminds me to keep an open heart everywhere I go.

4. Gold Glitter Candles by Meri Meri ($7.50 merimeri.com) I can’t wait to bring these to the office! September is a big Birthday month on our team!

5. Free Spirit Journal ($16 fringestudio.com) About 2 weeks ago I started a 30 Days of Yoga Challenge. I am not following any specific program, I just find time during the day to do anywhere from 10-60 minutes of yoga, and attend yoga classes at the gym several times a week, but I am using this journal to write down any thoughts that are bothering me, or any reflections that I have during my practice! Want to learn more about my 30 day experience? I will have a post up soon!

6. Shoptiques.com giftcard (shoptiques.com) This is such a cool gift and a great idea! This website allows you to shop boutiques from all over the world! I can’t stop!

I have to confess there were also Goodie Girl Cookies, but Sam devoured those in less than 5 minutes!

Love this post? Use the code PARTY (expires 8/31) to get $10 off your FIRST Must Have Box!

Cameron’s Coffee Keto Brownies Recipe

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keto-brownies-recipe

keto-brownies-recipe

keto-brownies-recipe

July has been an amazing month full of celebrations and festivities. It started off with a 4 day weekend for the 4th of July, then my Birthday, and finally my friend’s bridal shower. If you know me, you know I have the biggest sweet tooth out there, so I wanted to share one of my favorite brownie recipes, which of course includes Cameron’s Coffee. Because who wouldn’t want a caffeine boost in addition to a sugar rush? I also wanted to share something that was healthy and was a part of my keto diet.

If you’ve never heard of Keto diet before, it’s a low carb diet where the body produces ketones in the liver to be used as energy. I’ve been on and off this diet for a couple months now, and have to say, it would’ve been a lot harder had it not allowed coffee J I will be using Highlander Grog Cameron’s Coffee, which has become my favorite blend.

But let’s move on to the brownie recipe:

You are going to need:

  • 5 cups of coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup ground coffee – Highlander Grog by Cameron’s Coffee
  • 1/2 cup stevia or erythritol
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup cocoa powder
  • 2/3 cup coconut flour
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a small sauce pan, melt coconut oil over medium heat. Add the ground coffee, stir in, and remove from heat.
  3. Add the stevia or other sweetener of your choice, vanilla, sea salt, and both the eggs and egg yolk, to the oil. Whisk thoroughly to combine. Add the cocoa powder and flour, then stir until just combined.
  4. Scrape the batter into the pan and smooth the top. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out with moist crumbs, but no wet batter. Leave for an extra 5 minutes if you are baking in the skillet. Let cool to room temperature on a rack, then slice and serve.

Summer Time Spins

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Coming back home after a long weekend of the 4th of July festivities, I thought that I really need to stop by my blog and drop a line. I’ve been checking my mild sunburn in the mirror for about 5 minutes now and writing this post gives me a reason to take a break.

I am however distracted by the Bublr bikes outside and the local life that revolves around them. That’s why the post is random, like my current life.

My body can’t seem to get hydrated, and no matter how much water I drink, the bloodies and mimosas will haunt me for a few days over here. Send electrolytes.

Back to work tomorrow, but it’s already Wednesday – > does a happy dance, but more like 15 happy burpees because Miami in September.

Other than constantly online shopping and spending time in Chicago I found time to enjoy a nature walk yesterday. I don’t have the guts to call it a hike, because you hike the mountains in Colorado, and when you are in Wisconsin, you leisurely stroll through the tall grasses on a bluff overlooking lake Michigan. I love it all the same.

New favorite songs so far this summer are:

 

 

Cameron’s Coffee Brand Collaboration Announcement

Dsiclosure: This post is sponsored by Cameron’s Coffee. All opinions are my own. camerons-coffee camerons-coffee camerons-coffee camerons-coffee
When I think about coffee, I remember the time when I became especially fascinated with it. It was 2007 and I was in Croatia. I traveled from Moscow to Zagreb and from there by train to Split, then by car to Zadar to find that Mediterranean peace and quiet that I’d never experienced before. Croatians loved their coffee and drank it hot even on a 100-degree summer day. To blend in with the locals I did the same.

Years have passed since that European vacation, but my love for coffee remains strong.  I am so excited to announce my new collaboration with Cameron’s Coffee. It’s a yearlong partnership and I can’t wait to share how I’m enjoying the Always Smooth, Never Bitter coffee, feature giveaways of my favorite blends, create new recipes, and provide beauty tips.

I know for a lot of people one year may seem like a lot, and some of you are maybe thinking you can’t live without your daily trip to that favorite coffee shop down the block. But allow me to explain why I love brewing at home.

I have always enjoyed making my own coffee, partially because the lingering smell of it fills my apartment kitchen every morning, partially because I have always loved being a home maker. As a lot of you know, I can’t start my day without it. So, when Cameron’s Coffee reached out and asked me if I would be interested in partnering, I was so excited.

Cameron’s Coffee started out in Wisconsin. The founder couldn’t find any good coffee to brew at home within a 100-mile radius, so he started his own company. They use the top 10% of Specialty Grade Arabica beans and have a lot of great products to choose from. I am especially loving the Breakfast Blend at home and the BetterBrew Eco Pods at work.

I am incredibly excited to take you on this coffee journey with me! Make sure to follow me and Cameron’s Coffee on social media to get the latest coffee news.

Cameron’s Coffee Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest.