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Countertop Review

This time last year I was packing up our house to prepare for our down-to-the-studs renovation in our kitchen, family room, and master bath as well as the addition of a screened porch. The family room wasn't originally part of the plan, but that's a post for another time. The kitchen was where I really had to plan and scheme, and, yes even fret, to stay in our footprint and budget and to get the function and look I wanted. I love a challenge like this, though, so despite some occasional frustration with my client (aka me! ), I enjoyed the process. A key "want" of mine was honed marble countertops. There are dozens--maybe hundreds--of blog posts, articles, and showroom sites that compare various types of countertop materials and their pros and cons. I read most of them and took notes from a lot of them in the months leading up to our start date. One of the most helpful things was visiting a sweet friend's kitchen, where I was able to ask questions about cleaning, a

How $20 changed my life, well, my morning

Not too long ago I was visiting at the Mister’s sister’s house in Florida.  Knowing how much I like a good cup of coffee, she kindly brought me one. The coffee was rich and bright, and it was surprisingly topped with a foamy cap. orange tod's walletNow the Mister’s sister is a thrifty gal, and I knew she hadn’t added a fancy cappuccino machine to her appliance line up, so I had to ask how she created this coffee masterpiece. She returned to the kitchen and reappeared with what she called a handheld milk frother. She found it at T.J. Maxx. Really, you just never know.

We returned to Greenville, and the search was on—TJ’s, Marshall’s, two specialty kitchen stores. Nothing. So, I began googling hand-powered milk frother. Nothing. Until I skimmed an article about using a French press coffee maker for this purpose. Ah. Success. So on my next trip to the Target, which was, of course, later that afternoon, I picked up the Bodum Travel French Press for less than 20 dollars. IMG_4684And, now each morning, the Mister grinds the beans and feeds the machine, while I warm a scant amount of half-and-half in the glass portion of the press. A few seconds later, I froth the milk, and it literally triples in volume. IMG_4683At first, this was our Saturday treat, but when I realized I was already thinking about it on Wednesday, I decided it would become a new and gracious morning tradition. We sit and sip while we read our devotions and then, some mornings, the newspaper, too. (Happily, because the frother creates such volume, we are actually consuming less half-and-half, too!)IMG_4682 And, as a bonus, it offers an easy way to impress guests with an after-dinner coffee!
Do you have a beloved morning ritual?
Or, what’s your best $20 purchase of late?


  1. It really is the little things isn't it???

  2. I love a french press and you are right its a great treat for not only your guests but for yourself! Humm...think my best 20.00 pick up lately was my 19.99 orchid in full bloom from Home Depot!

  3. Replies
    1. After warming the milk in the base of the French press/frother, then you just pump the top of the press a few times until it creates the volume you want, then voila, pour it on top of your coffee. Soooo good!

  4. AWWW> Now I need my french press back from my mother.


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