Gift Ideas for the Coffee Lover/Connoisseur

Connoisseur:  a person who has a great deal of knowledge about the fine arts, cuisines, or an expert judge in matters of taste.  

Sometimes, people today associate that word with an air of pretension, but I, personally, would rather seek information from a connoisseur than just anyone.
I don't ask my eye doctor questions about my teeth, just like I don't ask a big box store questions about what kind of coffee machine to purchase.  When I really want a whole bunch of differing opinions, I go to Facebook.  I hear it all there (and more)!  I know you feel me. ;)
  I also research, research, research and read ALL the reviews.

Recently, I came home from a trip to NYC for a blogging event.  I had the most delicious coffee every day for five days.  Short backstory on that...  I live in the country.  Coffee shops aren't around the corner from me.  The honest truth?  I detest paying $5.00 for a cup of coffee.  I think of all the antique stores I can be spending that $5.00 or if I saved that money every day for a year, I would have $1,825.00.  That's enough for me to buy a decent machine and make cafe quality coffee at home.  So, I decided that first Monday home, with a crappy cup of coffee in my hand, that I was going to get the machine that dreams are made of.  When I think of making a big purchase, I consider it a 
"Year Gift:  
Christmas, Birthday, Anniversary, Valentines, Mother's Day"


Every Coffee Connoisseur needs a machine.  
Let me tell you, I am a non-expert (layman) at coffee.  

I got THIS MACHINE; it is a dream.
A dream to use, a dream to clean, a dreamy cup of coffee...
The main reason I chose this machine is because I don't know how to do "all the things."  It does it for me: grinds, tamps, froths, extracts, self-cleans, etc.
I get a perfect cup of coffee every time.  

Watch the demonstration videos here:  
Breville Oracle Touch 
(enjoy the beautiful Australian accent)

Breville vs. DeLonghi

I typically purchase all of my kitchen appliances HERE because their customer service is top notch.

Coffee Cups & Accessories
And of course, blue and white mugs make my coffee so much prettier!  


Pick THESE up while they are still on sale!
If Blue and White isn't your thing, I have had many readers suggest THESE clear, double walled mugs that keep your coffee hot.

I always keep a wet cloth handy for cleaning the steam wand and wiping up any drips.  THESE are inexpensive.  I just throw them in the washer.
I've just heard of THESE!  They are washable and disposable, so I don't have to worry about staining, and I can throw them away when they are worn out.
A small dish like THIS to rest your SPOONS is functional and pretty!

Coffee Beans
Did you know that coffee beans should be roasted within just a couple of days (weeks at most) before consuming?
I have discovered a local roaster that imports the most delicious beans.  Now, you can purchase these beans too!  
Eote Beans are Delish! If you are local to OKC, they offer tastings on Thursdays.  Non-Locals Buy HERE.

Storing
You need THIS coffee bean storage container. Why? Because it helps keep the beans as fresh as the day they were roasted.  Who knew we could have our cake and eat it too!  Am I dating myself there with that last comment?  

Flavorings
I've been drinking my coffee without sugar or sweetness these days, but when I need a little something in my coffee, I sweeten it with one of these:
Coconut Sugar (less sweet)
Brown Sugar (better than granulated, for me)
Caramel Syrup (because, duh)


Last but not least...
Organize a special spot as a gift to your coffee lover.  
Give a gift of time in setting up a special
"Coffee Station"


Surely, you can find a cabinet or counter space to set up a dedicated space for your coffee machine.
monogrammed tea towel HERE and HERE

I just found the most darling coffee cup labels to give to your coffee connoisseur!!!  Eeek!

purchase HERE


I've made it easy for you to "shop this post."  Just hover over the words and click on them to take you directly to a shopping link.  I do get a tiny commission when you shop through my links or through my ads.  It's what helps me bring you each post.  I appreciate my readers and your support. 

Click on the photos below to shop....




A very special thank you to Breville for sending me this beautiful machine to review and share my thoughts and opinions with you.



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XOX,

Emily


* links to products you may be interested in purchasing are included within this post.   I make a tiny commission off your purchase, but it does not increase the price for you.  I encourage you to purchase through your favorite blogger's links.  This is how we earn an income so that we can continue to provide you with beautiful, quality posts.  Thank you!




Styled and Set Summer Entertaining

Welcome to Eleven Gables!
I am thrilled to be a part of Designthusiasm's Styled & Set Entertaining Tour.
If you are hopping over from The Wood Grain Cottage, Hello!  I hope you will grab a glass of iced tea and meet me outside so I can show you around.

If you follow me on Instagram, you know I absolutely love hanging out on the porch or in the yard.  It is only fitting that I show you how to create a simple outdoor summer tablescape that can easily transition into an Independence Day tablescape.


Of course, it's blue and white... my favorites.



I sprayed my existing black, iron table and chairs with THIS spray paint to give them an updated, white, English cottage feel.


Next, I used a blue and white tablecloth (found HERE) to set the tone of my table.


Layering a natural placemat with dollar store white plates (that I painted with THESE) and a gorgeous monogrammed checked napkin shows that you can always mix high end with low end and no one will be the wiser.


For each guest, I have an individual vase full of freshly snipped mint.  This way they can add as little or as much to their beverage as they like.  Fresh mint also smells delicious and reminds me of my childhood.  My neighbor made the most delicious sugar and mint drink.  I've never been able to master her recipe.  If any of you have a recipe you would like to share, I'd love for you to leave it in the comments!









I adore sitting out here and watching "the girls" (my hens) eat all of the bugs they can find.  To see tips on decorating your outdoor space, go HERE.



Fresh cut hydrangea are in abundance during the summer.  Plant some perennials that you love in your flower beds.  The initial investment far outweighs the overall enjoyment for years to come.


Now are you ready to see how easy it is to transform this summer tablescape into a festive Independence Day celebration table?



Just add FLAGS!  You can achieve this for whatever country you live in!










I purchased my large flags HERE and my smaller flags HERE



Thank you so much for joining me on my Styled & Set Summer Entertaining tour!  Please go visit my friend, Lory, next!  You will find her at Designthusiasm.




* links to products you may be interested in purchasing are included within this post.   I make a tiny commission off your purchase, but it does not increase the price for you.  I encourage you to purchase through your favorite blogger's links.  This is how we earn an income so that we can continue to provide you with beautiful, quality posts.  Thank you!

5 Easy Tips for Summer Decorating the Outdoors

Are you ready for Summer? 
Today, I am joining 5 other beautiful blogs to bring you our 30 Easy Tips for Summer Decorating.  Since my family spends the majority of our time outdoors in summer, it is only fair to give you my secrets to creating a beautiful and relaxing outdoor setting.

1)  Outdoor lighting is such a beautiful and easy way to add ambiance to your yard.  
Whether you string them along the fence, across the patio roofline, or through the trees, lighting adds a certain twinkle to your outdoor setting.



We just purchased THESE and absolutely love them.  They made it through an Oklahoma wind (80mph) storm just fine!

2) Placing a beautiful outdoor area rug (HERE) not only ties your space together, it will hide any unsightly concrete or deck.   To see the entire patio tour, click HERE.  

I use one of THESE every day to keep my porch tidy.  It literally takes me 60 seconds a day.

3) Freshen up your patio set with paint!
I have had this wrought iron patio set for years... a good spray paint change from black to white (I used THIS) made it fresh and new for summer!  You can easily pick a set up on local garage sale sites, craigslist, or even HERE!!


4) A place to set your drink is a must
I love to bring my blue and white outside for the summer.  THESE GARDEN STOOLS provide the perfect place to place your refreshing drink on a summer evening.  

5) Last but not least... THIS SPRAY will keep those pesky mosquitos away for up to 12 weeks!!  We spray our entire patio down and the grass around our patio about every 3 weeks.  It really works and is safe for my pets.  I know that isn't a decorating tip, but it is a very important tip :)


THIS YUMMY COCKTAIL is perfect to serve on a summer day!


 or this yummy Cherry Limeade Margarita!
cherry limeade alcholic
Cherry-Limeade Margarita
by Emily of Eleven Gables
makes a blender full (about 8 cups)

1 can frozen Limeade (12 ounces)
8 ounces tequila (I use 100% agave made tequila- makes all the difference in the taste of a good margarita)
4 ounces triple-sec
splash of water (about 2 ounces) to cut sweetness
4 ounces frozen whole unsweetened cherries
Ice to fill blender

Place all ingredients in the blender.  Blend until smooth.  
Serve immediately or freeze until ready to serve.  From frozen, let stand 10-20 minutes, stir and serve.

Happy Summer from my backyard to yours!



Please continue the tour to find additional summer decorating ideas from these beautiful blogs:
Randi Garrett Design                         Decor Gold Designs                      French Country Cottage  

So Much Better With Age                            StoneGable                               Eleven Gables    



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XOX,

Emily

* links to products you may be interested in purchasing are included within this post.   I make a tiny commission off your purchase, but it does not increase the price for you.  I encourage you to purchase through your favorite blogger's links.  This is how we earn an income so that we can continue to provide you with beautiful, quality posts.  Thank you!
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Eleven Gables Spring Easter Table

I am so happy it is Spring!!!
Can I get an Amen?
I mean it's not like our winter was brutal here in Oklahoma, but I don't like being cold and we have had our share of cold days... like today.  It's cool and breezy.  I might be curled up in a blanket writing this post now. :)

I would like to thank Designthusiasm for organizing this Styled and Set Entertaining spring table blog hop.  Be sure to stop by and see all of the beautiful inspiration at the end of my post. If you love what you see, I would appreciate your pinning and sharing this post! Thank you!!

For my Easter table I really wanted to integrate my signature blue and white.  As much as I love color, I adore using all white and green florals mixed with blue and white.  It is just soothing and springy to me.  So... without further ado... here is my spring table!



A vintage floral tablecloth in blue and white sets the tone for the table.  Using different flowers in the same color gives interest, but provides uniformity to the table.


Velvet Strawberries from Hot Skwash nestled in a bowl of reindeer moss add the perfect touch of sophistication.  The bowl can easily be placed to the side when dinner is served.




For our family, Easter is a special time of reconciliation.  Christ reconciled us to God by sacrificing his life to save us.  We believe, as Christians, that we are to reconcile ourselves to others and to Christ.  You can read more about reconciliation HERE.  



We love to gather around the table and share how God has changed our lives over the last year.


We break bread and thank Him for new mercies every day.


Spring is a wonderful time to witness the "new mercies" as leaves burst forth from bare branches and flowers push up through the earth.  


The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases.  


His mercies never come to an end.


They are new every morning!
New every morning!


 Great is His faithfulness!

Thank you for joining me today as we prepare to celebrate Spring, New Mercies, Reconciliation, and Faithfulness!!

Go, be blessed, and be a blessing to others!


Next up on our tour is My Soulful Home. Kelly is always full of wonderful inspiration!!

As you prepare your heart for Easter, THIS VIDEO is poignant.  I encourage you to watch it. It will change your life. 

Follow Eleven Gables for Daily Updates and Inspiration:

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XOX,

Emily

*Under the photos are links to products you may be interested in purchasing.  I make a tiny commission off your purchase, but it does not increase the price for you.  I encourage you to purchase through your favorite blogger's links.  This is how we earn an income so that we can continue to provide you with beautiful, quality posts.  Thank you!




Holiday Entertaining Spring logo


Eleven Gables | Easter Tablescape


tote-snapdragons-My Soulful Home


Maison de Cinq


Finding-Home-Farms-Easter-Fern-Wreath 

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