Cameron’s Coffee 100% Compostable EcoPods

Cameron’s Coffee 100% Compostable Pods

Cameron’s Coffee 100% Compostable Pods

Cameron’s Coffee 100% Compostable Pods

I can’t believe October is coming to an end already! This year is flying by so quickly. However, one of the most exciting things that happened this month was Cameron’s Coffee came out with their 100% compostable EcoPods. As a lot of you know I am all about doing as much as I possibly can to help the environment, and if my favorite coffee brand comes out with compostable coffee pods, of course I am going to use them.

I am not new to composting coffee. When I still lived in Minnesota and had a house, I always used to put my used coffee grounds under the rose bushes by the side door, and I absolutely loved the result. Now that I don’t have a garden anymore I compost wherever I can and luckily, we have separate compost bins at work. There is something about companies that make it their mission to make less waste that really speaks to me.

Cameron’s EcoPods are made from renewable, plant-based materials. The entire thing is compostable: from paper lid, to ring to filter. Cameron’s Coffee completed all the necessary testing with authorized facilities to make their product 100% compostable in industrial facilities.

As there is no certification process for home composting, Cameron’s Coffee can’t label their EcoPods as such, but since all the materials are plant-based, they will break down into organic matter if composted properly. Give it a try–employees at Cameron’s have successfully composted these pods at home!

I hope this news makes you as excited as it makes me! I can’t wait to see what else Cameron’s Coffee comes up with!

I also wanted to let you know about their Warehouse Sale! It’s happening Wednesday, November 8 – Saturday, November 11 at 5555 12th Avenue East, Suite 170, Shakopee, MN. So if you live in the Twin Cities area make sure to check it out! They also have amazing t-shirts and free burlap!

Make sure to follow Cameron’s Coffee on social media Instagram, FacebookTwitter and stay tuned for some upcoming holiday giveaways!

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That day when…

that day when

 

You set the bar so high no one can achieve it…

Not even you.

You lay there awake at three, four, five am

Asking yourself – “Have I failed yet?”

You watch other people and wonder

What’s it like to be you?

Their life stories unravelling at the touch of your imagination.

The thoughts that you would never share,

The questions that haunt and don’t let go.

But then it wouldn’t be your life.

Someday you will find your heart

And the only biggest strongest gesture that matters right now is the hug you give yourself

 

that day when

Photography: Say Hello, Story

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.
happy-national-coffee-dayhappy-national-coffee-day

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.

happy-national-coffee-day

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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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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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.

 

Zeva Vibrating Flat Iron – a Must Have for all hair types + Monday Mode Link Up

 

Have you ever heard of vibrating flat irons? I sure hope so, because they are the newest and the biggest thing out there. The vibration separates the hair shafts from one another and allows them to flow smoothly through the plates of the iron. This reduces damage, frizz, hot spots, cramping and styling time by about 20%.

I got my hands on the Zeva Professional Vibrating Flat Iron about a week and a half ago (thank you Susan) and I can’t stop. Let me give you a little back story. A few weeks ago I vowed to stop using heat styling because my hair has become so damaged from all the bleaching here in Milwaukee. Alas all of the local hair stylists have failed me, so now I get my hair done in Chicago (more on that later!) but even with all the proper care, I was still concerned about heat tools.

Then Zeva came along. I agreed to try it, however I admit I was skeptical at first. How good were these vibrations going to be? Turns out they were amazing. I was able to quickly style my hair at 230 degrees!

Bonus – dual voltage, so when we travel to Europe next year, I know which styling tool I will be packing!

Have you ever tried a vibrating flat iron? What are your thoughts?

Make sure to link up with us today:

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What’s in my gym bag? – Beauty Brunch Link Up

whats-in-my-gym-bag

As promised #BeautyBrunch is now a weekly weekend Link Up! Today I wanted to talk about one of the biggest parts of my life and how it impacts my beauty routine – working out at the gym.

Since moving to Milwaukee and starting my job at Kohl’s I’ve been going to the gym at least 8 times a month. I go to the WAC which is a wonderful facility and has so many locations! I love it.  During the week I mostly do cardio like running on the treadmill, elliptical or stair master. On the weekends I take a strength class and do yoga. I have also recently started to use Kayla Itsine’s Bikiny Body Guides and these are the 28 minute workouts I do at home 2-3 days a week. I know this seems like a lot, but it’s much needed because I work in the office.

There are a few other things you should know about my workout routines. I always work out at night during the week, weekend workouts are the only morning ones due to class schedule. That will explain my product choices.

whats-in-my-gym-bag

Let’s start with hair care, because that’s the biggest part of my gym beauty routine. As you can see there are 2 sets of shampoo/conditioner. One is Clairol Shimmer Lights, aka the purple shampoo. I use it once a week to brighten up my balayage. I always think this product is going to stain my apartment shower, and use it only at the gym. If you have bleach blonde hair I highly recommend this set. I got it at Sally’s Beauty Supply a couple years ago, and since I only use it once a week, it’s lasted me a very long time. Do you have a favorite purple shampoo? Do tell, because I am always up for trying new things!

The other shampoo and conditioner set is OGX Biotin and Collagen series. It’s essentially the thickening series filled with high performance blend of powerful ProVitamin B7, collagen, and hydrolyzed wheat proteins. I love the smell of these products and how my hair feels after.

But a shampoo and conditioner duo are only as good as the leave-in treatments I use after. I have two as well. Once again my obsession with having two of almost everything is surfacing. Don’t worry, I also think it’s weird 😉

The first one that I use is Argan Oil of Morocco Creamy Hair Butter by OGX. The cool thing about this product is that it can be either left in or rinsed out. If you choose to rinse it out, then it acts like a mask. Otherwise you can use it as a leave in treatment, which I prefer to be completely honest. I feel like my hair has been extremely weakened by all the bleaching that’s why I like to use this as a leave in. This product contains argan oil, silk amino acids, soybean oil, coconut oil, and shea butter extract. Plus OGX is an extremely affordable brand.

When I choose to rinse out the OGX hair butter, I follow up with Nexxus Humectress Luxe Lightweight Conditioning Mist. I have written a very detailed blog post about this Nexxus series before, so if you are interested in reading it, you can check it out here. This product contains Vitamin E, Coconut Oil, and Honey Extract. Once again it aims to strengthen your hair and reduce breakage. I spray it on towel dry hair and comb through. Easy 🙂

Now that I am done walking you through my hair care, let’s talk about skin care. I use Exposed Skincare Microderm Scrub. I have to admit I use it as a face wash and feel like it gets the job done.

Next I apply Pevonia Power Repair Hydrating Toner. It’s a spray so no need to pack cotton rounds for the gym!

Lastly I use Brevena Restore and Hydrate Overnight Cream. This skincare line is made in Minnesota, and I have been using this moisturizer for a while now. Sometimes I use it as a day time cream. Breaking all the skincare rules over here, I know. This lotion contains Macro B Complex®, Hyaluronic Acid, Jojoba Oil and Vitamins C and E.

Well there you have it, the contents of my gym bag 😉 What skincare products do you use? Would you be interested in a more detailed post about my workouts?

Make sure to link up your latest beauty posts! I can’t wait to see what products you have been trying out:

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Neroli Salon in Milwaukee: My Lash and Nail Experience

neroli-salon-milwaukee

Disclosure: I received complimentary service in exchange for my review. All opinions are my own.

neroli-salon-milwaukee-lash-extensions

Let’s admit, we all need some pampering and time to ourselves, away from work, family, even our significant others. And what better place to go to in times like these than a beauty salon, especially an Aveda one?

It’s been two weeks since I received the services at the salon. Yes, a part of me procrastinated, but another part of me wanted to actually see how long the nails and lashes are going to last. And I have to tell you, I am more than impressed! I only lost a few lashes, and my nails are not chipped at all. Grown out, but no one is really looking that closely.

I will start with lashes! I had lash extensions once before (you can read about it here), so I knew what to expect. My esthetician Elise was the sweetest! She is the one who actually made this whole experience happen! Turns out she knows one of my blogger friends Kaitlyn and she sent her my way! Lesson 1: Make friends and stay in touch with people! 

I spent 2 hours relaxing and chatting with Elise while she was doing my lashes, and the 2 hours flew by in no time. I shared with her how stressed out I’ve been lately, and how much I was looking forward to the service. We both agreed that her job is not just about making someone’s lashes longer, but rather making that person happy.

Hands down my lashes make me feel prettier, happier, and more confident than ever. Additional bonus – when you cry – your mascara won’t run, because you don’t have to wear any. Lesson 2: It’s okay to be emotional (especially when Mercury is in retrograde! Anyone else feel my pain?)

Since having my lashes done 2 weeks ago, I’ve only started touching up with mascara in the outer corners of my eyes this week. I think one of the most popular questions I get asked about lash extensions is how long they last me. And it honestly depends on the person. I know this is a cop-out answer, but everyone’s lash cycle is different. It’s like hair. Lashes fall out. And if you don’t make a wish and blow them away, then you are not keeping track of them. Lesson 3: Dream often. But if you are seriously thinking about getting lash extensions, try to pay attention to how often you lose your natural lashes, that should be an indicator of how long the extensions will last you.

I love my extensions for a few reasons: I wake up looking ready. There is absolutely no mascara that can help me achieve the same (or even a similar) result. I can still sleep on my stomach and somehow get away with it!

If you are thinking about getting extensions, I highly recommend doing it at Neroli in Third Ward with Elise! From effortless casual conversation to fanning the fumes out of your eyes, she is your girl and she will make sure you leave looking and feeling like a million bucks!

neroli-salon-milwaukee-manicure

My manicure experience was as amazing as my lashes. And I think a big part of it was really hitting it off with my estheticians. Lisa did my nails, and that girl is a riot. We talked for 2 hours as she was doing my nails and even after, as she was walking me through some of her favorite Aveda skincare while making me samples. How thoughtful is that? There are a few products I definitely have to go back for, like the Tulasāra Wedding Overnight Masque.

Lisa was very helpful when it came to picking out the design. I wanted something simple that would go well with everything. So when she suggested a reverse french manicure that included a nude, I was all in!

I have never gotten this many compliments on my nails before.

And to make it all better for you my Milwaukee friends, Lisa has been working on some unique Milwaukee nail art that I can’t wait to get done! The amount of effort and drive this girl puts into her work combined with the creativity is so inspiring, it’s literally helping me write this post!

Thanks to Lisa, I am not only loving my nails, but have a few beauty products to write reviews on for you!

Thank you so much to Neroli Salon and Spa for providing me with these complimentary services! I will definitely be coming back. Please follow Elise and Lisa on Instagram, the preferred choice of social media these days.

Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me with any questions you may have! I will gladly answer those 🙂