But Wait, Coffee First — Create At-Home Coffee Station

I like big cups and I cannot lie. All you other lovers can’t deny. When a venti walks in with a…..OK I’m done. I’ve been drinking coffee since Kimmy Gibbler started bursting in the Tanner house uninvited. So me and coffee, we go way back.

My first taste was when I was 8 years old and asked my uncle T for a sip of his coffee. I was hooked even though my mom told him not to give me coffee because “it would stunt my growth.” I didn’t care, I mean I was already one of the shortest kids in the school. It just tasted so good.

He made his with lots of sugar and milk and actually to this day, so do I.

I’m not one of those coffee drinkers that has to have a venti half-caf vanilla latte, blah, blah from Starbucks or someone who only drinks coffee from the locally owned, organic, fair trade place around the corner. I pretty much like it all. I’m not knocking the Starbucks drinking, fair trade havin’ individual I’m just saying I don’t discriminate.

My boss once told me I wasn’t a real coffee drinker if I didn’t drink it black. Hello where is that rule and who made it because we need to have a talk. On the rare occasion my mother drinks coffee, she drinks it black. Eh, to each his own.

Ok now that I’ve totally rambled on about my coffee story. I really want to share with you how I created my at-home coffee station. I’d gotten to the point where I was constantly having to stand on a chair to reach my favorite cup and dig around in my pantry for my coffee and supplies. So something had to be done.

Here are just some of the items you'll need for an easy at-home coffee station. https://thehousethatwalkerbuilt.wordpress.com/

Here are just some of the items you’ll need for an easy at-home coffee station.
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I mostly used items I already had on hand, but you can purchase a few inexpensive items. You really can make it your own. I do recommend using a tray or basket to chorale items together. It just looks neater, but you can use a wooden cutting board, a marble slab or a simple plastic or acrylic tray. Whatever suits you. I went simple with a single small silver tray.

Gather all of your favorite coffee or tea items. https://thehousethatwalkerbuilt.wordpress.com/

Gather all of your favorite coffee or tea items.
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The biggest thing is make it personal by adding your favorite coffee or teas, syrups, sugars, and creamers. The sky is really the limit. You can fancy it up by adding a towel rack and shower hooks to hang your cups or you can leave a clean cup out the night before, like I do.

I place a few of my at-the-moment favorite tea and coffee. I have some flavored syrup that adds a splash to any coffee or tea. Right now I’m loving hazelnut. I like my coffee with cream so I threw in a few Mini Moo’s creamer, but you can use the powdered non-dairy variety or keep some in the fridge or use the Coffee Mate to go squirt bottle. It doesn’t require refrigeration and comes in several flavors.

In our house we still use the same Mr. Coffee Jr. I had when I was in college, but we also use the Keurig we received for a wedding present. We like both. If I need to make a big batch then it’s the traditional coffee maker, but if we are going single cups then Keurig all the way.

My quick at-home coffee station is so simple, but you can fancy it up by adding different trays and canisters for your coffee. https://thehousethatwalkerbuilt.wordpress.com/

My quick at-home coffee station is so simple, but you can fancy it up by adding different trays and canisters for your coffee.
https://thehousethatwalkerbuilt.wordpress.com/

Here are some inexpensive items you can use to create your own coffee station. I love IKEA so most of the items are from there, but really nowadays Target is a great spot for home decor and so is Kirkland’s, Big Lots or even Walmart. If you are looking for a high end coffee station then I recommend Wayfair or Z Gallerie.

Just a few items to set up your own coffee station at home. https://thehousethatwalkerbuilt.wordpress.com/

Just a few items to set up your own coffee station at home.
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If you use any of these ideas share them below or if you have your own coffee station please share with me via instagram or twitter I’d love to see them.

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S’mores — No Campfire, No Problem

Who doesn’t love the ooey gooey manna from heaven that is when you combine chocolate, marshmallow and graham crackers? I love S’mores. I mean I really love S’mores. It’s great camp food or in my case a quick, delicious at home snack. You don’t have to have an open flame to make great S’mores. You don’t even have to stick to the three traditional ingredients. Mix it up by trying marshmallow fluff, Nutella or add peanut butter for a nice twist.

So in honor of National S’mores Day (Wednesday) here’s my no campfire S’mores. You can not only make these in the oven, but also in the microwave or in a toaster oven. Hope you enjoy.

S'mores in the oven are so easy. https://thehousethatwalkerbuilt.wordpress.com/

Enjoy S’mores in the oven as an at-home snack.
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These turned out so fabulous. I would’ve included a picture of me eating them, but it’s a bit embarrassing. Let’s just say I needed to a wet paper towel to wipe my face of the melted marshmallow and chocolate that coated my chin.

Press another graham cracker on top of the melted chocolate and marshmallow. https://thehousethatwalkerbuilt.wordpress.com/

Press another graham cracker on top of the melted chocolate and marshmallow.
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If you try this let me know in the comments below how they turn out. I’d love to see a picture of your delicious S’mores via twitter or instagram. Tag #NationalSmoresDay and #houseofwalkersmores if you try them.

Mommy Review: Triple Lanolin Lotion

When I was pregnant I bathed in lotion and oils. I usually went to bed a complete oily mess. But I had a reason for slathering oils all over my body — I was trying to prevent stretch marks. I know I’m not the only pregnant woman who dreaded those stripes. I say more power to those women who consider them a badge of honor, but I already had some from weight gain during puberty and my freshman year in college. I didn’t want anymore.

First of all, stretch marks are caused when the middle layer of skin stretches and tears, leaving behind stretch marks. Stretch marks usually happen during a rapid period of growth — puberty, pregnancy or quick weight gain of any kind.

There is just not enough research to say with 100 percent certainty that creams, balms, lotions, lasers and gels actually work to get rid of stretch marks or prevent them. But creams and oils do help reduce itching and dryness.

Studies show that creams containing rosehip oil and vitamin E improved the appearance of stretch marks. Cocoa butter didn’t do it for me. I have read studies that have said cocoa butter is beneficial and others that say it does nothing.

Knowing all of this I nonetheless coated my belly, boobs and upper thighs in two products — Palmer’s Skin Therapy Oil with Rosehip oil, vitamin E oil, and cocoa butter also Triple Lanolin Lotion.

I’m about to sing the praises of Triple Lanolin Lotion. If you haven’t heard of it let me bless you so you can put it in your life.

Triple Lanolin Lotion is so moisturizing that when I was pregnant I slathered it all over my belly. https://thehousethatwalkerbuilt.wordpress.com/

Triple Lanolin Lotion is so moisturizing that when I was pregnant I slathered it all over my belly.
https://thehousethatwalkerbuilt.wordpress.com/

I simply Googled moisturizing lotion and somehow I stumbled upon Triple Lanolin, which is used in a lot of nail salons. It’s not too greasy, which why would you want a greasy lotion? Right. It’s created for extra dry skin. It’s quickly absorbed into the skin.

It can be used as a makeup base, cleansing cream (remove makeup, dirt and excess oil) or aftershave soother.

I bought mine from Sally’s Beauty Supply in the 20 oz size, which I still have. But you can buy it here.

Comment below if you tried this lotion or plan to try it or if you’ve tried a lotion that works better. Don’t forget to follow me on instagram and  twitter.

Tip Tuesday: coconut oil, sugar, lemon brightening scrub

First of all, this scrub feels and smells amazing. It contains natural ingredients that are easy to find in your local grocery store or health food market. This scrub is a  great way to brighten and exfoliate your knees and elbows.

I’ve only been using this scrub for a short while so I’m eager to see how well it continues to work.

Just three ingredients for a brightening scrub made from lemon juice, coconut oil and sugar. https://thehousethatwalkerbuilt.wordpress.com/

Just three ingredients for a brightening scrub made from lemon juice, coconut oil and sugar.
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Coconut oil

This natural oil can be eaten or used on the skin, but I use it solely for the skin. It can be used as a skin softener, lip balm, makeup remover, or treat eczema. Coconut oil will “harden” into a solid form if the temperature in the room is cool and will soften or melt when warmed. Actually it will melt if rub between your palms.

Sugar

Sugar, being a natural humectant, draws moisture into the skin. Sugar is an alpha hydroxy acid that will soften the skin and help remove dead skin cells.

Lemon

Lemon, a natural exfoliant helps diminishes age spots and reduces scars. It can brighten the skin. Not recommended to use every day, but occasional use during the week is fine. You can use fresh lemon juice or a few drops of lemon essential oil.

Gently rub scrub onto knees or elbows.  https://thehousethatwalkerbuilt.wordpress.com/

Gently rub scrub onto knees or elbows.
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Comment below if you try this or have suggestions for other exfoliating or brightening scrub or share your thoughts on instagram or twitter.