How to Create a Simple Christmas Coffee Bar

Do you entertain guests during the holidays?  What better way to have guests be able to help themselves to a cup of coffee or hot chocolate than with a coffee bar?  This season I decided to create my own Christmas coffee bar for guests (and let’s be real, for ME to enjoy too!).  It has been so fun coming up with ideas and making sure it was cute and functional.  If you are French Press or only brewed coffee person, you may want to close your eyes!  This is for those that like a quick “Cup O’ Joe.”

Every coffee bar has to have some cups and since it is the holidays, why not get cute “Christmasy” ones?  I found these cute mugs at Pier 1 Imports.

However, you can also find cute, cheaper mugs if you keep your eyes out at the Dollar Store – – like these!

I found this three-tiered stand at Homegoods ($29) to put all the cups and supplies on.  I added some green pine sprigs for a holiday touch on each tier.  I found the plaid runner at Ross for about $8.  Check out my last blog on how to make the coffee bar sign.

Of course, the quickest and easiest way to get a hot cup of coffee is with a Keurig machine or some similar machine.  My friend bought me this Cuisinart coffee maker as a gift to replace my older Keurig that was black.  It holds 72 ounces of water so you are not always refilling the reservoir.

It is handy to have all the K-Cups available but out of sight so I picked up this storage drawer at Big Lots for $15.  The coffeemaker sits on top of it and stores all the supplies which are easily accessible by pulling out the drawer which holds 36 cups!  I have some ideas for making it lighter (instead of black) down the road but that will have to wait until after the holidays.

For those who don’t drink coffee or tea, I also included a hot cocoa stand with a couple flavors of cocoa packs in a little wooden box.  The sign is from Hobby Lobby.

On the top tier of the stand, I put sugars, spices and other fun toppings.

Next to the coffee machine, I needed to have a place to put the used K-Cups so I got this small, tin bucket at Hobby Lobby.

Here is my final coffee bar for the season. I am thinking of keeping it up even after the holidays and just using my regular cups and a non-holiday runner.

Are you ready to create your own coffee bar?


Continue Reading

Five Tips to a Tidy Home

You know the constant battle of keeping up with the housework.  You can cook dinner, clean up the dishes and then someone puts another dirty dish in the sink.  Does it ever end?  The answer is NO, it  doesn’t.  However, if you stay ahead of the huge messes it makes it so much easier to keep your house tidy.

Maybe it is the way I raised but I have always been a person that tries to keep my house clean.  Even while raising my two kids I never gave up on my house and let it go to the messy, out-of-control stage.  I guess I have always had pride in where I live and even if it was a tiny, crappy apartment at times I always did my best to make it look great.  I’ll probably give most of clean gene credit to my mother who instilled that in me.  To this day, I wouldn’t think twice about eating off the floor in her garage.

There is a time for getting the bathroom sparkling from ceiling to floor or scrubbing the kitchen floor on your hands and knees which I do as I feel it’s necessary.  However, for this blog I thought I would share some practical, easy tips that have learned through life that have helped to just keep my home ready for anyone that stops by unexpectedly.  I know not everyone has the same idea of what constitutes a clean house, but here are just a few tips that I use on a daily basis to keep ahead of a disaster.

1. Pick up the clutter every night before going to bed.  Yes, you may be tired, but just picking up that cup off the coffee table, making sure all pillows are straightened on the couch or picking up those shoes by the door and putting them away in the closet are super easy tasks right before bed.  It takes literally about one minute of time to just put things back in place.  When I wake up in the morning and see the house looking neat and tidy, it starts my day out right.  It’s the small, easy things that can really keep it from getting out of control later on.

2.  Make your Bed – It is the first thing you should do in the morning.  It is simple and takes maybe thirty seconds of time.  There is nothing so simple but it makes the biggest difference in how you feel about your the house the rest of the day.  It’s not that anyone stopping by is going to see it but accomplishing that one thing really does make a difference in how you feel immediately.

3. Kitchen/Dishes – Load up that dishwasher to “hide” the dirty dishes and wipe up messes off the counters in the kitchen continually throughout the day.  It only takes about ten seconds to wet a rag and do a quick wipedown of that spill and three seconds to put a dish in the dishwasher.  Bugs are attracted to crumbs or food of any kind so that should be motivating enough.   Wipe it off right away.  Not rocket science here.

4. Sweep/Swiffer – Notice furballs on the floor from a pet?  I have a cat and wood floors that seem to always be showing fur.  Get out a Swiffer if you have wood or tile floors and one minute later it will look a ton better and the dust bunnies are gone for another day.  Love my Swiffer for a quick floor clean up.  Sweep up the kitchen floor regularly in between mopping too.

5. Spot clean – Did you just notice some gunk by the waste basket?  A quick swipe with a wet paper towel will take care of that.  Remember that minor issues become major problems if you ignore them.  Paper towels are your friend for quick wipes of spots on the kitchen floor or that dirt that dragged in through the front door.  I would have to say that spot cleaning is how I clean most of the time.  If I notice something, most times I will try to take care of it right then and there.  Thirty seconds of time now beats dealing with a big problem later.

Bonus tip!  Do you have other people living with you?  Whether it’s your husband, kids, family or roomates living with you, team up!  Agree on a specific job that each person can help do.  It can be as easy as loading the dishwasher or folding the laundry and putting it away.  Of course, if you live alone you are responsible for your own mess.  No excuses.

Feel free to share your ideas and what you do to help keep your home tidy in the blog comments.

Continue Reading