All posts in Guest Post

A First Home

You can look forward to a few guest posts this week while my work week gets hectic. I’m excited to introduce you to Tori! Today she’s sharing about her family’s experience moving out of their first home. Tori is a wife, mother and graphic designer based out of Idaho. She loves collecting wooden plates, watching Nora Ephron films, and spending time with her husband and 11-month old daughter.

As my husband and I prepare to move from the first place we’ve ever known as home together, feelings of excitement and sadness battle for first place in my queue of emotions.
While I recognize that a house is simply made of walls and a roof, I have grown to love our little home and the family that we have become while living here. It was where my husband and I truly became one, where we recently welcomed our first child. It is small and creaky, with battered baseboards and paint chipped walls, but right now, this old house is our home. And it is a place I will always want to remember.
Here are three pieces of art that will help you to remember the first place you called home:
1. Map of the town: During most moves, it’s not just your address that you’ll miss–it’s the local bakery down the street, the park across town, or just a street corner transformed by warm memories. These illustrated maps by Lena Corwin capture the little things that make a place special and will keep fresh in your mind all that you came to love about your old home.
2. Illustrated house portrait: When I look through pictures of the places I lived as a child, it’s rare that I come across an image of the outside of the home in its entirety. But whenever I do, I’m overcome with memories–long talks on the front stoop, sleepovers on the front lawn, learning to drive on that very street… The sweet details and small imperfections of these quirky prints by Rebekka Seale do such a wonderful job of capturing the story of your home created by those sweet moments.
3. Family photo shoot at home: My favorite family photos aren’t the ones where we are all wearing matching denim tops and forced smiles, whilst standing in an abandoned field at sunset. They are the ones taken during my daughter’s bath time, or while we’re unwinding in the living room after work. They are the images that capture our daily routine and the beauty of those small, everyday moments. These images of Naomi and Eleanor Davis from Rockstar Diaries, captured by Carissa Gallo, do just that.
This will be our first big move and I’m thinking of doing one of these (or maybe all three…) in each home we live in. How fun would it be to have a little gallery wall full of pieces like this, or even to just display them all on the mantle? Did you or do you plan to do anything to remember previous homes or towns? I’d love to know!
Tori

This Is Who I Am

Hi everyone! I’m Sonya. I live in Providence, RI with my fiancé, my two awesome daughters, two orange cats and two little birds. We’re going for a Noah’s Ark theme over here. I wanted to start things off on a more personal note but stay tuned for my monthly feature, Disposable Diaries starting at the end of the month. I am SO excited Allie asked me on to become a guest blogger at Show and Tell and am just thrilled to be here!

The other day, I was sick of waiting for the extra money to come around in our budget so I could get a haircut (priorities, people!) I’ve been staring at pictures of haircuts with short bangs for months – waiting for a time that bravery and extra money would intersect – but it just never seemed to happen. So I did it. My patience got the best of me and I grabbed my daughter’s craft scissors (I probably wouldn’t recommend that part) and went to town. Afterwards, I just stared at myself in shock. It was not what I was expecting and was way shorter than I had intended to go. Big whoops. But instead of crying, I laughed. Every time I passed a mirror, I laughed again. It was just so silly and impulsive of me and my bangs were just…gone. On Facebook an older friend wrote, “I see headbands in your future,” but I thought to myself, no way. I’m owning this. I AM the girl that lops off her hair on impulse. This is who I am.

“The funny thing is, most of the choices I’ve decided to do on a whim are actually some of my favorite things about myself.”

And that rings true for a lot of different parts of my personality. I’m a worrier by nature so I often find myself agonizing over every decision. Sometimes it gets to the point that it wakes me several times a night. This is not healthy and I decided that something about my attitude towards myself and my decisions needs to change. The funny thing is, most of the choices I’ve decided to do on a whim are actually some of my favorite things about myself. They are the things that when I tell people, I surprise them. Like, did you know I was in the Navy for four years? Silly, right? I’m so not Navy material. I didn’t have to think that hard about my tattoos either. I wanted them; I got them. The same with being a young mom. I had my girls at 20 and 22, and now that 27 is looking at me from around the corner – I still wouldn’t change a thing.

The thing about being a worrier is that you always feel the need to apologize on behalf of yourself. Or that someone is privately (or vocally, yikes!) judging the decisions you’ve made or the person you are. But I’m tired of feeling like I need to make excuses for myself and I’ve made the decision to stop. There are only a few in this world that I should be considering when I make big choices, and those are my daughters and my fiancé. And those little decisions – well they won’t change their opinion of me because of my bangs. My girls didn’t even notice! Everyone else, can just deal.

This is who I am, I like who I am and I’m owning it.

I hope that you do too.

A Guide to Coffee Brewing

Today’s post was written and inspired by Ben Blake (of Mount Vernon, Ohio). He loves coffee, blogs over at Draw Coffee, is an amazing illustrator, and I’m excited for him to share his knowledge of coffee here on my blog. I mean…I love coffee and honestly a lot of the methods he explains below really changed my coffee-life. Enjoy!

Three weeks ago, I retired my automatic drip-brew coffee maker for good. Abandoning the “convenience” of tossing some coffee in a plastic pot and pressing a button, I’ve spent the last two years trying out different brewing methods and the results have been fantastic. I’m convinced that if you’re willing to put just a little bit more time into the process of making coffee, you’ll be surprised at how much more enjoyable it can be.

Here are just a few methods you can try:

1. The Pourover: I use a Hario V60. The pourover is a simple cone that you can set right on top of your mug. Once you heat your water to the right temperature, the idea is simple. Pour hot water over freshly ground coffee and into your cup. The pourover gives you control over the temperature of your water, the speed at which you pour, and ensures you’re saturating all the grounds evenly. The pourover makes great coffee and is simple to use.

2. The French Press: The french press has always been a great “next step” for those who are getting serious about their coffee. It’s really easy – place coffee grounds into the pot, steep them in hot water, and press the filter down. The benefit of a french press is the “full immersion” that the grounds go through. Steeping the grounds in hot water for such a long time (about 4 minutes), rather than just pouring water over and through them, allows many of the natural oils and features of the bean to shine. Plus, the mesh filter doesn’t absorb the oils, allowing for a much more full-tasting, flavorful cup. Beware the grit at the bottom of your cup – the french press filter misses some of the more fine grinds!

3. The AeroPress: First off, let’s get this out of the way. The AeroPress looks like a cheap play toy — but don’t let that fool you. Made by the creator of the Aerobie Flying Disc, the AeroPress employs a full-immersion brewing technique much like the french press, and is my personal favorite way to make coffee. The combination of full-immersion brewing and the air pressure used to press the coffee makes for a flavor-packed cup of coffee that limits acidity and produces a much more clean cup of coffee than the french press. In short, you get the mind blowing flavor-benefits of the french press (perhaps more) with none of the grit. Whenever I’m trying a new coffee, it goes through my AeroPress first.

4. The Chemex: The Chemex is a beautiful piece of glass designed by a German scientist in the early 1940′s. The actual brewing technique basically mimics that of a pourover – the difference lies within the Chemex filters. These filters are specially bonded to remove “unwanted oils and fats” that make coffee taste bitter. I love everything about the chemex, and proudly display it on my shelf. It’s that beautiful. Expect a rich, smooth, clean cup of coffee with the Chemex.

5. Siphon Brewer: One of the oldest styles of making coffee, the siphon combines full immersion brewing with a filter, and produces a clean, extremely bright cup of coffee. Water is heated over a heat source in the lower chamber, and rises to the top. Coffee grounds are added, allowed to steep, and the pot is removed from heat, causing the coffee to drop back down through the siphon, straight through the filter.  I had my first siphon at Intelligentsia Millenium Park, and I couldn’t stop thinking about it all day. It’s a bit tricky to master at home, but it’s a very intimate, involved way to brew coffee – I’ve had some of my favorite cups of coffee made in a siphon.

Brewing coffee is more than just pressing a button. For some, it’s an art form, and for others, like me, it’s a hobby.

Each method I’ve tried accentuates different features of the coffee, and has truly increased my appreciation for the entire process. I encourage you to dive into your coffee a bit more – find some locally roasted coffee, buy a grinder, pick up a new brewing method. It doesn’t take much effort, and the end result is a great cup of coffee, full of flavor and made with care.

The methods outlined here are basic summaries, and only scratch the surface. More in depth instructions can be found all over the internet. Some of my favorite places to look for brewing methods and techniques are brewmethods.comdearcoffeeiloveyou.com, and intelligentsia.com.

2011 Holiday Wine Guide

Thanks to Janine Aquino, proprietor of Camelot Cellars, I’m able to share this amazing holiday wine guide! Here are some other tips and wine advice from Janine:

  • If you like a Cabernet Sauvignon, try an Italian Amarone instead. Lots of flavor with a slight sweetness, almost raisin like. If you like the oaky buttery, vanilla quality of a Chardonnay, try an unoaked Chardonnay instead. It’s much lighter and refreshing.
  • Her #1 suggestion for this season is to go to wine tastings that are informational rather than ones where they simply pour wines and you taste. When you see a wine tasting you might be interested in, call them and ask what style the tasting is going to be.
  • When you are in a grocery store buying wine, look for bottles laying on their side. This is telling you the cork is wet and won’t dry out causing wine to turn into vinegar. Also look for wines by geographic region. Typically if you like a lighter bodied, easy drinking wine, you’ll want to try a French, Chilean or Washington state wine. If you prefer medium to heavier bodied wines, try ones from California, Italy or Australia.
  • Drink what you like. There is no right or wrong answer. Don’t force yourself to drink something because it’s “in.” At the end of the day, wine is simply a beverage.

Looking for Collaborators

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If you’re interested in collaborating on a blog post here on Show + Tell, I’d love to have you! My three current series are: One Day (wedding series), City Guides (share what you love about your city/town) and MEET (interviews with creatives). I’m also always up for promoting small shops and artists through features, giveaways and wish list boards.

Leave a comment below if you’re interested or contact me through my contact form above!