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As we embark on a new year, a new decade, in fact, I like to reflect on the things, spaces and activities that make me happy (and sane!) as we traverse this crazy road called life. I am a single mom of a 10-year-old and an 8-year-old. It took me a long time to be okay with being a little bit selfish. I lived for my babies for a long time and still do, really.
But after going through my divorce when my children were young, I came to the realization that I have to embrace my own happiness. I need to have a me separate from everyone else. Doing so makes me a better mom, a better friend, a better everything. In the “10 Things That Make Me Happy” series, I will reveal each thing in a new post – maybe you might find something new that will make you happy too!
#1 of “10 Things that Make Me Happy” is: My Coffee Space
THE BACK STORY.
When we moved into our first sweet little home after the divorce, I was excited about so many things. On the top of that list was creating a little space designated as my coffee station in the kitchen. I had been scouring Pinterest for ideas on how to make the best use of small spaces. I kept coming back to these little coffee areas. Fortunately, I already had the black table from Hobby Lobby. It fits perfectly into the space without making it feel crowded. I hung black wall shelves above the table to create height and allow for small decorative items. Most of my decorative items come from Hobby Lobby (I have a tiny obsession with shopping there…). Though an equal amount comes from Amazon. I have also found super cute pieces at Target, IKEA and local stores.
I love the area because I can store all of my cookbooks, miscellaneous papers (redwells on the top right shelf for me, my daughter, my son and misc.) and a basket for random items. The drawer on the left houses k-cups. The drawer on the right is for scissors, tape, lighter, etc. – your basic “junk” drawer. The tabletop itself is reserved for my coffee machine, wine opener, and my beautiful coffee cup tree. I’m a coffee fiend, so an area dedicated to it makes me happy. See below for the list of where you can find the items pictured!
What Fills the Space on the Table?
- Black Table – I got the one pictured from Hobby Lobby, but Amazon has lots of options as well.
- Cuisinart Coffee Machine – I have tried a Keurig machine and went through four of them before giving up. Knock on wood, this Cuisinart has been going strong for four years. I love it! They also have a smaller version if you like to refresh your water a bit more often. However, I drink at least four cups a day of coffee and green tea, so I plow through that reservoir.
- Wine Opener – It took me a while to jump on the electric wine opener train, but boy I’m glad I did! This one works flawlessly, has a lovely blue light and even has a little cutter to take off the foil. This is also a great gift idea!
- Coffee Tree – I love this coffee tree! It frees up a lot of space in my cabinet. It also looks so pretty on the table, where I display my favorite mugs.
What’s Above the Table?
- Wall shelves – I love adding some height to the coffee station by adding shelves that can hold my decorative pieces. You do need to be careful attaching the shelves to the wall. It is also important to pay attention to weight limits. You don’t want to go overboard with your knick-knacks and have them all come tumbling down.
- Decorative pieces – I use pieces like these in my coffee station and also in my bathrooms. I find a lot of them at Hobby Lobby as well. I’ll do a round-up of my favorite Amazon farmhouse finds soon!
- Wall art – Pieces like this are fun to put on shelves or hang on the wall. Amazon has great variety and Hobby Lobby does too.
- Sugar bowl – My sugar bowl is plain white ceramic. I’m loving this one and might have to add it to my wish list!
- Flower Pot from IKEA and from Amazon – I picked white for my pots because they are a nice contrast against the black of the shelves and my gray wall paint. In smaller spaces (as my whole house is), it’s best to lighten up with accessories so your space feels larger.
- Plants/flowers from IKEA and from Amazon – I stuck with greenery for both my coffee station and my bathrooms. The succulents in my bathroom have a pink edge for a pop of color.
What’s in the Shelf Space?
- Storage Baskets – If you are short on drawer space, you will likely need a few baskets. They help break up the space. They also provide a catch-all for miscellaneous items.
- Redwells – You can use these to hold papers for each family member, mail, kitchen manuals, recipes, etc. I learned about redwells back in my paralegal days as they held materials for each client. As an organizational freak, I bonded closely with them. When I became a teacher, I used them all the time to store notes, handouts, books, etc. for each unit I planned. It was the perfect way to keep everything together. Then I would label the front for quick reference along with any notes to myself about what’s inside. They are also great for organization at home!
- Cookbooks – I LOVE to cook. Most of my finds come from Pinterest or recipes I find scrolling through Facebook and Instagram. When I find a particularly good recipe, I always head to the creator’s website to look around. In doing so, I have fallen in love with the recipes and style of many chefs. Those are the cookbooks I buy! My cookbook repertoire is not huge, as I tend to go back to the tried and true recipes. That being said, I have recently tried to commit to one new recipe a week. I find I’m usually pulling from these three favorites chefs.
- I am a big fan of Gina Homolka of Skinny Taste. Her recipes are healthy, easy and delicious. She also makes incredible videos that make me salivate as I’m scrolling through Facebook. I just got her cookbook, Skinny Taste One and Done: 140 Recipes for Your Instapot, Slow Cooker, Air Fryer, Sheet Pan, Skillet, Dutch Oven & More for Christmas. It’s next on my “to read” list!
- I also love Chungah Rhee of Damn Delicious. She is very personable, has a great writing style and her recipes are killer. Her cookbook, Damn Delicious: 100 Super Easy, Super Fast Recipes is amazing and definitely worthy of a spot on your shelf! I am also eyeing her Damn Delicious Meal Prep: 115 Easy Recipes for Low-Calorie, High-Energy Living to help get my butt back into gear.
- Lastly, I adore Serena Wolf of Domesticate Me. She is hilarious, incredibly candid, eclectic in her writing and creative with her healthy creations. I love her cookbook, The Dude Diet: Clean(ish) Food for People Who Like to Eat Dirty. She just released a new cookbook, The Dude Diet Dinnertime: 125 Clean(ish) Recipes Weeknight Winners and Fancypants Dinners, which is being strongly hinted at for a Valentine’s Day gift. 😉
There you have it, friends! The contents of my beloved Coffee Station, #1 on the list of the things that make me happy. If coffee is your thing, I hope you found a new way to utilize your space or some fresh ideas for making your existing space perfect!
Next up in the “10 Things That Make Me Happy” series – Baking! Stay tuned!