Category Archives: Find

Find / Food & Drink

How to Make French Press Coffee

May 17, 2017

There is a lot of debate on how the perfect cup of coffee is made. But, in my opinion french press might be the most accessible “good” cup of coffee out there. A french press is one of the least expensive coffee makers out there and I’m not sure if I’ve ever had a bad cup of coffee poured from one. So, here’s my “how to make french press coffee” guide.

There are a lot of instructions out there of how to use a french press properly. A lot of those guides require a timer and a scale. My process is a lot less technical and and a little more approachable. Like with any cooking or baking I do, a little experimenting is always apart of the process.

I’ve put together a little guide of all the things that you might need to make a great cup of coffee with a french press. Now, you definitely don’t NEED all of these items, but a lot of them are very helpful. The only item on guide that you have to, have to have is a french press. We can find substitutes for al the other items.

  1. Start by grinding your coffee. I always start with whole beans. I feel like the flavor of coffee immediately starts to change once the beans are ground. You coffee will taste so much better if you grind your beans right before you brew them. A coffee grinder is one of the first appliances I bought. I think I was in college and they usually cost around or less then $20 for a great basic grinder.
  2. Measure your coffee. This really comes down to personal preference. But, 1 tbsp. of fresh ground coffee to each cup of water is a good starting place. I LOVE strong coffee so I tend to add a couple more tablespoons of coffee to my french press.
  3. Put water on to boil. You definitely don’t need a fancy electric kettle, but they do make the job a little more hands off. Water can be boiled in a simple pot. Experts say that the water should be a very specific temperature for brewing coffee. My simple trick to knowing when the water is ready is to watch the water and just before it hits a rolling boil, that’s when you use the water. If it does hit a rolling boil, just let it sit a few minutes before adding it to the coffee.
  4. Add the water. Pour about 1 cup of water over the ground coffee. Allow it to sit for about 30 seconds and then stir it. Then add the remaining water. The brew time can vary. But 4 mins. is perfect brewing time as far as I’m concerned. Then press the plunger down.
  5. Serve the coffee immediately. If you leave it in the french press, the coffee will continue to brew. So either pour it in cups right away or store it in an insulated thermos till you are ready for a second cup.
  6. And if you want to take it to the next level. Sweeten your cup with a little simple syrup and top with warm frothed milk.

  1. Coffee Grinder – Once you have a french press, a coffee grinder should be next on your list. You’ll never want to buy ground coffee again.
  2. Whole Coffee Beans – Counter Culture is one of my favorite roasters. They source beans from small scale farms around the world.
  3. Simple Syrup Bottle – I make all my own syrups and don’t worry and simple syrup 101 is coming soon as well.
  4. Bodum French Press – this is the best of the best. I still use a Bodum that was my mom’s and she used it back in the 80’s. The best part of Bodum is that all the pars are replaceable, even the glass.
  5. Coffee Scoop + Bag Clip – these are so handy for both keeping your beans fresh in their bag and also for measuring out the coffee.
  6. Electric Kettle – I actually haven’t owned an electric kettle in years. But, they really are so handy. Maybe I’ll add this cute mint one to my Christmas list.
  7. Insulated Coffee Mugs – if your cup of joe isn’t piping hot, what’s the point? I also love that you can see your coffee through this mug. So much of drinking coffee is a ritual and experience, the right mug can make all the difference.
  8. Milk Frother – this is for taking your coffee enjoyment to the next level. When we lived in both Papua New Guinea and Yemen, I had one of these hand frothers and it worked so well.

 

Find

Summer Swim + Sun Skin Savers

May 3, 2017

Summer Swim + Sun Skin SaversCactus Pool Float

Well, Summer is here in California. Yesterday we hit 95 F and today is supposed to be triple digits. So, shorts and sandals are definitely out and the thought of putting on a swim suit in public has been giving me hives. I was I’ve kind of been in an exercise rut. To change things up a bit, I’ve been swimming laps at our local community pool. The gym definitely wasn’t fun and running was really bothering my joints. I love swimming and kind of forgot that I did. Now, I look forward to my workouts. Imagine that!  Lonnie has even been getting up with me a few mornings a week and we’ve been swimming at 5:30 am together. I’m about 3 weeks in and I feel like I’m getting a great workout and my joints aren’t complaining at all.

The only downside is the sun and water draining all the moisture out of my hair and skin. So, I’ve had to up my skin and hair routine. I’ve found a few things that are really helping, so I thought I’d share some of my favorites for Summer Swim + Sun Skin Savers.  I’m definitely not a beauty blogger, just a real person with fair, sensitive, and kind of old-ladyish skin. And in true O+P style, these products are all very easy on the budget and almost all of them can be found at Target (because you know that’s the only place I go).

Summer Swim and Sun Skin Savers

  1. Conditioning Hair Mask – Not only is the packaging pretty, this hair mask smells so good. I use it at least once a week to help with the pool hair situation.
  2. Body Scrub – If you want to feel as soft as a baby’s bottom, definitely use this all over your body.
  3. Facial Oil – Summer of the Girls with Glasses introduced me to this. I don’t ever use lotion now. I LOVE this oil so much.
  4. Foot Mask – My sister in law gave me one of these for Christmas and oh my do they work well. I live in my Birkenstocks and flip-flops – so dry heals happen. You won’t believe how great your feet look and feel after using this mask.
  5. SPF Lip Balm – Definitely a winner and so many great flavors.
  6. Body Brush – Exfoliate exfoliate exfoliate!!!! It’s the name of the game when you are dealing with dry skin. I use a soft brush like this in the shower almost daily to help get rid of dead skin.
  7. Body Oil – I just started using this last week and I love it! I have very dry skin and I spray this all over my body when I get out of the shower. It smells sweet and soft and doesn’t compete with my perfume. And it moisturizes so much better then just lotion.
  8. Oil Free Sunscreen – This is my go-to! As a redhead, I’ve tried all the suncreens, believe me. Hawaiian Tropics is oil free and doesn’t feel plastered on and sticky. I even wear this on my face and my very sensitive skin loves it. It also smells the way Summer should smell – a hint of coconut.

Do you have any go-to skin and hair products that I should be trying? I love a good “real person” recommendation.

This post contains affiliate links, but these really are all great products that I 100% use and recommend. 

 

Design / Find

39 Must-Have Decorative Trays

March 31, 2017

A couple weeks ago I shared some fun bathroom art and some tips for keeping your bathroom stylish and organized. I shared an image of a bunch of my favorite trays. Ya, I love a good tray and I might have a slight addiction. So, I decided you might like some tray sources. I’ve done a little online shopping for you and I’ve found more then just a few cool trays – I’ve rounded up 39! You there is a tray for everyone!

I use trays in almost every room in my house. They are the perfect landing spot for a group of small objects. Trays also can add a little pattern, color or sheen to space. Candles, plants, toiletries, kitchen objects, nick nacks, jewelry, and art supplies all find homes on a cute tray.

  1. Elephants
  2. Sage Green
  3. Black Speckle
  4. Round Copper
  5. Oatmeal Octagon
  6. Woven Basket
  7. Hammered Brass
  8. Green Plaid
  9. Black and White Typography
  10. Grey Triangle
  11. Brass Long Oval
  12. Straight Sides Brass
  13. Black Flowers
  14. Black Sketch
  15. Light Wood
  16. Round Gold
  17. Rectangular Hammered Brass
  18. Peach Octagon
  19. Colorful Triangles
  20. Narrow Wooden
  21. White and Copper
  22. Small Pink Rectangle
  23. Shiny Gold
  24. Diamond Pattern
  25. Evergreen Geometric
  26. Geometric Pattern
  27. Round Acacia
  28. Grey Dots
  29. Matte Black
  30. Small Brass Rectangle
  31. Gilded
  32. Bright Yellow
  33. Half Moon Pattern
  34. Black Dip
  35. White Oval
  36. Light Purple
  37. Black Lines
  38. Brass With Stone Detail
  39. Camel Platter

So, have I convinced you that you need a tray or two in your life? Which ones caught your eye? I think I need number 8.  Have a great weekend friends!

Find

14 of the Best 2017 Calendars

December 8, 2016

I hate to say it, but the year is almost over. And, to be honest, I’m ready to start planning for a new year. A fresh start sounds really good. I think the first place to start is with a new calendar. I’ve done a little online hunting and I’ve rounded up 14 calendars that I think I pretty darn great.

calendars-2017

  1. Black with Flowers
  2. Paint Palette
  3. Good Words
  4. Terrarium Tea Towel
  5. Pink Marble
  6. Mustard and Pink
  7. Brass Stand
  8. Large Scale Pink
  9. Lemons
  10. Charley Harper
  11. Marble and Stand
  12. Book Shelf
  13. National Parks
  14. Giant Black and White

Also there’s a couple more I need to mention. This coloring book version by the fabulous Rad & Happy and this free printable one The Crafted Life created with Sarah Hearts should both definitely be considered. I’m using the Rad & Happy one for my “big ideas” calendar, it’s perfect for drawing all over and adding all your important dates. The Crafted Life’s printable one is going over my desk for a daily positivity reminder and for a quick glance at the whole year.

Design / Find

Stylish Outdoor Dishes

May 18, 2016

I’ve been sharing a lot of outdoor dining ideas and recipes lately. So, I thought it might be helpful to round up a bunch of stylish outdoor dishes. These are all acrylic, melamine and metal, so you can serve outdoors with ease. Or maybe if you just have kids, and don’t want to deal with broken dishes, these are great options for all year long.

If you know me and Oleander + Palm, you know I love natural tones and colors and tend to lean towards neutrals quite a bit. But, if you are more of a color-lover, all of the these plates and cups could easily be brightened up with a fun napkins or a tablecloth. I feel like investing in neutrals for more expensive pieces is always a good idea.  Flowers, linens and even the food can add color and pattern to a table top, then you not locked into only one color palette.

stylish outdoor dishes

Plates – 1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6 // 7 // 8 // 9

Cups – 10 // 11 // 12 // 13 // 14 // 15 // 16 // 17 // 18

Beverage Dispensers – 19 // 20 // 21 // 22 // 23 // 24

Cutlery – 25 // 26 // 27 // 28 // 29 // 30

Is there a combination of plate-cup-silverware that you love?

etc. / Find

Thrifting Thursday – Sea Painting

May 9, 2014

Last week, on a random Thursday morning, I stumbled upon a garage/estate sale in my neighborhood.  I picked up a couple little treasures there, but this was my best find.  I got this gorgeous painting of waves crashing on rocks for just $5.  Seriously, I would have paid a lot more for this.

I inquired about it’s history and I was told that the owner had a few paintings by the same artist and the others were all dated in the 1920’s.  It’s fun to know a little about the piece, but even if it’s worth nothing at all, I LOVE it!  The colors are beautiful, it has lovely movement, and it takes me away from my hectic life every time I look it.

I have it leaning on my new/old dresser in my bedroom.  This is the dresser that used to be in my entryway, but got replaced by my amazing thrift store credenza.

Oh, and yes, I do know it’s Friday.  I’m just running a little behind this week.  Thanks goodness it’s Friday!!!!  How about you, have you found anything great this week while thrifting?  I often get asked how I find all of these great things.  The honest truth is, I thrift OFTEN.  It doesn’t take me long to whip around a store and decide whether there’s anything worth looking at or not.  But, the more often you go, the more likely you’ll happen upon something amazing.

Design / DIY / Find

Mid Century Chair Recovered

January 9, 2014

Remember my orange chair in need of some love?  Well, I finally look some time this week to recover the cushions.  
I had wanted to find some fabric with a little funk (like metallic gold polka dots), but no such luck.  So, I decided to go neutral and classic with grey linen.  
And it was a very inexpensive job.  I bought this fabric for $5 a yard at a wholesale fabric place.  I decided to reuse the old zippers and even the foam inserts.  I simply took apart the old cushion covers and then cut my pattern from them.  I did wrap the foam in some new batting to soften the edges.  So, in total, this little makeover cost me $10.  I’m feeling pretty good about that.  I can add funk (pattern and color) with pillows and maybe a throw.  

I’m liking this little corner in my bedroom even more now.  

Find

Thrifting Thursday: Bay Blanket Pillows

August 16, 2013

My Dad is to thank for this fantastic thrifting find.  He picked up these 2 Bay Blanket Pillow cases at a garage sale for $5 for the pair. They are in perfect condition and actually still have the tags on them. I’m pretty excited about these, you know I love a Bay Blanket.

What have you found lately on your thrifting adventures? Can you top this one?

Design / Find

Vintage Black Botanical Poster

August 14, 2013

Our new, more modern, living room is coming along. I’m so excited about the latest addition to the room, this huge botanical print of a walnut tree! Walnuts and I go way back. When I brought this home, my husband asked me if I was ok with having a walnut in our living room, considering our history. When Dylan was just 3 months old and Denali was almost 2, I broke my foot on a walnut.  Yes, I had a cast up to my knee for 6 weeks because of a walnut. We had a tree and walnuts actually have a green skin around the hard shell we see. So, I stepped on one in the back yard and it is kind of like stepping on a banana peel. It was interesting getting around the house with a baby and me on crutches. I ended up putting Dyl in a stroller to move him around the house in order to feed him and change his diapers. But, back to the poster. Isn’t it fabulous?

There is one thing in particular that I am always on the look out for at flea markets. I love vintage maps and Science charts. I’m married to a geek (Lonnie is a High School Biology teacher). We even borrowed a cool frog chart to decorate with for Dylan’s science themed party from his classroom. I’ve wanted to find a cool oversized chart for our home, but they are almost always out of my budget. There is a vender at the Rose Bowl Flea that sells amazing vintage Science charts and maps from France.  I always stop and look through her stuff, but most of the pieces start at about $200. She even has a newsletter that she emails out with her new stuff, and I drool over it every month.

I got to go to the Rose Bowl Flea Market this last Sunday. It really is one of my most favorite things to do. I took my sister in law, who had never been, and my mother in law. I love taking someone for the first time. It’s so exciting to see their reaction and help them find a fabulous treasure at a steal. My sister in law walked away with the jack pot. We found a set of 4 paint by numbers that someone had done beautifully and each one was of a different Season. I really wanted them, but I wanted her to leave with something really great and have a good experience. So, she took them home. It was a really fun day and I only bought a cute jadite turkey dish for Thanksgiving and a vintage California felt pendant for Riley. I spent less then $20 and I had a blast!

And again, I keep heading off on tangents, back to the posters.  Here’s a couple botanicals in homes that I think look really great.

source
source

I especially love the charts with the black backgrounds. They are bold and graphic and just the statement I want for my space.

Here’s a few more that I’ve found online. The two reproductions of the Male Fern and the Mushroom are both of from the same shop Nicole of Making it Lovely got her Dog Rose print. They are priced at $198 with the dowels on either end for hanging.

And this one of a hazelnut has beautiful colors and is the real thing, and is priced accordingly at $245.10. 

This pineapple reproduction makes my pretty happy and it’s priced reasonably at only $50.

And now I’ve saved the best for last.  Guess where I got my chart? And you’re not going to believe how reasonable it was. It’s not an original, but I’m ok with that. I got my walnut print at IKEA for $19.99!!!!!! How fantastic is that? I think this is a pretty fabulous fake, and I’m sure we’ll love it for many years to come. I love all the green in it, and when you see the whole room together, I think you’ll agree. And don’t you love the nice contrast of the black print on the white walls.  Can you tell I’m pleased with my purchase?

Design / etc. / Find

Window Shopping: Pineapple Pretties

August 8, 2013

I warned you yesterday that I’m on a pineapple kick this week. I’m not ready for summer to be over, so I’m keeping it alive with this tropical fruit theme. I did a little online window shopping and picked out some fun Pineapple Pretties.
Since colonial times, the pineapple has represented hospitality. I love what this fruit symbolizes. I always want guest to feel welcome in my home and being hospitable was something my parents definitely modeled for me as a child. 
If you like these and want to see more,  I’ve found some other great pineapple perfect pieces and pinned them to my Island Life Board.