MY COFFEE PLACE = MY HAPPY PLACE

*This is a paid partnership with Keurig®; all opinions remain 100% our own

I'm sure you're thinking that we are the type of mothers who wake up early, cook a homemade breakfast, and wear real clothes to take our kids to school. So I'm sure this will be shocking news that we are both the type of moms that are startled awake each morning by our children, long before an alarm clock ever stands a chance. And a homemade breakfast consists of a bowl of cereal and a glass of water - we run an organizing company not a restaurant. 

If this scenario sounds familiar, welcome to the #LowBarLifestyle. It's a pleasure to have you join us! Here's the good news: We have a few life hacks to help us make it through the day, and the most important one starts first thing in the morning.  

Setting-up a morning ritual doesn't just make the day better, it makes the day possible. And setting up a station around this ritual makes it ALL THE MORE FUN. Whether you call it a fueling station or a beverage bar - it all equals the same thing: My coffee place, is my happy place. And the Keurig® K-Elite™ coffee maker makes it so simple that you can literally make your first cup while your eyes are still half-closed. Which they alwaaaaaaays are, let's be honest. So if you can manage picking up a K-Cup® pod, dropping it into the brewer, and reaching for a cup - you are halfway to happiness. 

Here are THREE of our favorite ways to set-up a coffee station: The counter, the drawer, and the cabinet. 

[ THE ] COUNTER 

If you have counter space, use it...but use it wisely. If you try to shove too many things within a space, it will defeat it's purpose. 

Utilize a tray to display the K-Cup® pods you grab most often (our go-to is Green Mountain Coffee Roasters® Costa Rica Paraiso™ Coffee), along with a few coffee mugs, next to your Keurig® K-Elite™ coffee maker. If you want to keep the pods categorized, a divided turntable or shallow storage drawers will provide the same easy access. Other items like sweetener packets and stir sticks can be stored in separate canisters. If the sweetener isn't in packets, make sure to include a small spoon that can fit inside. 

For coffee grounds, use large labeled canisters to hold the coffee and filters. If you use creamer or almond milk, it helps to set up your station as close to the fridge as possible. 

[ THE ] DRAWER 

If you don't have room to store items next to your brewer, the closest drawer will work. For a drawer, acrylic dividers provide the best use of space. K-Cup® pods, sugar packets, stir sticks, tea bags, honey, etc. can fit nicely in separate categories. 

If the drawer is wide enough, lay a few mugs on their side and store them next to the divider. For loose coffee grounds or sweeteners, use small clear jars and include a spoon for each. 

Make sure to measure the height, length, and width of the drawer before buying any storage items. Every single centimeter counts for a drawer, so try to take exact dimensions. 

[ THE ] CABINET

Cabinet storage is all about the grab-and-go. Rule of thumb: You should be able to reach for any item without having to remove another one. The less effort, the better...especially when your eyes are closed like pistachio shells due to lack of sleep. 

Place the K-Cup® pods in an transparent jar, right next to the (rainbow!) mugs. This way you'll be able to grab them both at the same time. All the other items like sweeteners, tea packets, stir sticks, coffee grounds, etc. can be stored in labeled canisters

PRO TIP: Don't forget to refill your Keurig K-Elite brewer with water before going to bed! Because every second that delays caffeine consumption should be avoided at ALL COSTS.  

Show us pics of your coffee station by tagging them with #mycoffeeplace!  

Xo Clea + Joanna

 

[ THE ] GIFT GUIDE: MOTHER'S DAY EDITION

Mark your calendars, y'all. Mother's Day is this Sunday (the 13th) and if you're like us, you have probably forgotten about it until now. Not that we don't love our mothers (shoutout to Roberta and Sari), it's just that we are also mothers. From sunrise to sunset, life can be total chaos so for that...we thank the internet for expedited shipping. 

FOR YOUR MOTHER 

Just in case you're wondering, yes. These are all Roberta approved. 

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1. Garden Caddy Set | Hearth & Hand (Target)

2. You Are Loved Mini Trinket Tray | Draper James

3. Orange Blossom Candle | Jo Malone

4. Floral Cotton Pajama Set | Nordstrom

5. Embroidered Silk Pillowcase | Slip

6. Eres Pie Dish | Anthropologie

7. Cashmere Slippers | White & Warren

8. Hand Painted Straw Beach Bag | Mark & Graham

9. Wine Tote With 2 Glasses | Picnic At Ascot

10. Mother's Day Dish Towel | Anthropologie

FOR YOURSELF 

If you're a mom, you need a break. If you're not, you still do. TREAT YOURSELF, call it necessary self-care, and put a Do Not Disturb sign on the door handle. Bye. 

Also, we have been told that each of these products are top-rated. We need to say that because...we are STILL NOT beauty bloggers. Just compulsive shoppers. 

[ THE ] CITY GUIDE: NASHVILLE

We travel as much as we organize, which is why we want to introduce a new theme to [ THE ] blog... [ THE ] CITY GUIDES! 

Every month, we'll be highlighting our favorite places to eat, shop, stay, and hang in the cities we love. 

To kick it off, let's start where it all began: Nashville. Even though Joanna and I aren't originally from here, we are more than happy to call this Southern gem our new home.

[ THE ] PLACES TO HANG-

#1 Pinewood Social: 

33 Peabody St, Downtown 

This past year, we held our holiday party at Pinewood Social. It has everything you could ever want: Bowling, bocce ball, swimming pools, cocktails, CHAMPAGNE, coffee, small plates, and WiFi that never lets you down. Honestly, I'd set up our corporate office there if they let us. 

#2 Kuchina and Keller: 

1300 3rd Ave N, Germantown 

An Eastern European-inspired Nashville favorite. The menu is inspired by Chef Aaron Clemins German and Polish roots. If you want cold beer, a great selection of meat and cheese, and the best hot fudge sundae of your life, this is your spot. 

#3 Patterson House: 

1711 Division St

Think prohibition-era speakeasy, but without the paranoia of getting busted by the cops. Patterson House is intimate (only seats 80 people) and sophisticated with mixologists who really know what they're doing. Trust me, you need to experience it. 

I should also mention they have HOUSE RULES. Nothing crazy. Just things like "you must be seated to order a drink." I'm the daughter of my mother, so I feel right at home #Roberta. 

#4 Ryman Auditorium

16 5th Ave N

Historic Nashville at it's best! Ryman Auditorium is where the Grand Ole Opry began, where Johnny Cash met June Carter, and where you'll experience the best live music and comedy acts around. 

#5 Station Inn

402 12th Ave S

Station Inn has a reputation for being one of the best bluegrass venues in the country. The inside looks like what you'd expect...and that's the best part. 

[ THE ] PLACES TO EAT-

#1 Cafe Roze

1115 Porter Rd

This is where you'll find the most Instagram-worthy avocado toast. To give you an idea of how ABSOLUTELY AMAZING this place is, the owner also a consulting chef at NYC's Jack's Wife Freda. Go there for a weekend brunch! 

#2 Henrietta Red

1200 4th Ave N

If you love oysters, book a reservation here. However you like them, they have it: Fried, raw, wood-roasted, in a stew, in a sandwich, you get the point. 

Dishes like braised pork and farro risotto are also popular on the menu. 

#3 City House

1222 4th Ave N

At City House, you'll find classic Southern dishes like fried chicken and brisket. Or if you're into Italian food, their wood-burning oven serves up some SERIOUSLY delicious pizza. If you've ever referred to yourself as a "foodie," add this spot to your list. 

#4 Rolf & Daughters

700 Taylor St,

We love this place. It's communal table seating is perfect if you're dining with a large group. Every dish is made completely from scratch and the pasta is worth the carb intake and/or pilates class the next day. 

#5 Caviar and Bananas

2031 Broadway

Think of Caviar and Bananas as Nashville's "Joan's On Third" (an LA favorite!) Here, you'll find small plates, salads, sandwiches, charcuterie, pastries, coffee, and items you can grab-and-go. Also, craft beer and wine! 

#6 The Mockingbird

121A 12th Ave N

If you're looking for a unique place to eat/drink, Mockingbird is the place. The menu offers a blend of Korean, Mexican, and French food with fun names like "Japancake" (topped with shredded savory cabbage, aioli and jalapeno) and "Bird Is The Word" (fried chicken with chorizo white gravy, salsa verde and mashed potato). Oh, and they have boozy milkshakes...because who doesn't need one of those? 

[ THE ] PLACES TO SHOP-

#1 Wilder

1212 4th Ave N

Honestly, I'd buy the entire store.The selection of woven ROYGBIV baskets is absurd. GO THERE. 

#2 Hero

2306 12th Ave South

Hero is owned by Claudia Robertson Fowler, the stylist to Miranda Lambert, Trisha Yearwood, and Martina McBride. (And inadvertently, Clea Shearer and Joanna Teplin.) 

#3 H. Audrey

027 Hillsboro Pike

Believe it or not, we own more than just "THE" merch and black leggings that we try to pass off like dress pants. And most likely, we bought the rest of our wardrobe at H. Audrey. Here you'll find designer brands like Rag & Bone and Loeffler Randall. 

#4 Lemon Laine

1900 Eastland Ave #102

The place in Nashville to pick up the latest in clean, non-toxic beauty. Lemon Laine even offers an oil bar where you can mix your own skincare, depending on your needs. Yeah, it's safe to say we found a new place to "shame spiral" in. 

#5 Apple & Oak

717 Porter Rd

The eclectic vintage shop that makes dreams come true...like my dream of owning a one-of-a-kind Turkish boho rug for my entryway. 

#6 White's Mercantile

2908 12th Ave South

If it's any consolation, I purchased my "HOWDY" doormat here. From that point on, I see White's Mercantile less as a store, and more like a treasure trove where dreams come true. 

#7 Draper James  

2608 12th Ave S,

When Reese Witherspoon does ANYTHING, we're all in. Her Draper James storefront is the perfect spot to find all your Southern-inspired clothing and entertaining accessories. 

[ THE ] PLACES TO STAY-

 

#1 The Thompson

401 11th Ave S

This luxury hotel overlooks The Gulch and Downtown Nashville, and it’s HAND’S DOWN our favorite place in the city. Sometimes Joanna and I stay there on a week night just to escape our families. When we check-in, the front desk says, “where are you traveling in from?” - and we say, “from 15 minutes away and not sorry about it.”

#2 Urban Cowboy B&B

1603 Woodland St

From the outside, this unique bed & breakfast looks like an old Victorian home. But on the inside, it's a Western rustic paradise. Urban Cowboy houses 8 suites with the same cozy feel. 

#3 The Hutton

1808 West End Ave

This hotel is located right in the heart of Music Row. Plus, we've heard that Gwyneth Paltrow stayed here and loved it. NEED WE SAY MORE?

[ THE ] PLACES FOR KIDS-

#1 Cheekwood Botanical Garden

1200 Forrest Park Dr

It's not just pretty scenery, y'all. The botanical garden offers activities for kids year round, from special exhibits to art classes. 

#2 Adventure Science Center

800 Fort Negley Blvd

I promise if you take your kids here, you'll win "Best Mom Award" (for at least the day.) The entire building is devoted to child-size activities like a three-story soft jungle gym, a spaceship that simulates zero gravity, firetrucks, and what we're actually here for: LEARNING.

#3 Sevier Park

12th Ave S Kirkwood Ave

For those moments when you need a break and your kids need a playground. 

#4 Nashville Farmers' Market

900 Rosa L. Parks Blvd.

Every third Friday of the month, Nashville Farmer's Market hosts a Night Market featuring guest artisans, live music, and family friendly activities. Plus, all proceeds a local non-profit or organization in the Nashville community! 

Are we missing any Nashville favorites? Let us know! 

Xo Clea + Joanna 

[ THE ] TRAVELS: HOW TO PACK YOUR SUITCASE

If packing a suitcase was an Olympic sport, Joanna and I would be fierce competition. Just picture a duo of Tonya Hardings but without the crowbar-to-the-knee situation, and that's us. 

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And since we've been traveling and packing non-stop, our skills have reached GOLD MEDAL EXCELLENCE. Also, a well-packed suitcase calms us, particularly pre-flight.Honestly, I'm beginning to think that packing squares are a form of Xanax. 

ANYWAY. For our most recent work trip to LA, I went full-blown ROYGBIV with Oh Joy!'s new line with Calpak. I'm thinking I'll just live in this suitcase for the rest of my life...

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The trip was EIGHT DAYS but I still managed to pack what I needed with some space to spare. Here's my strategy...

[ THE ] SUITCASE + [ THE ] CARRY-ON 

Let's start with the basics. A suitcase should be big enough to hold your things and light enough to avoid back pain if you're forced to pick it up by someone like my mother, Roberta

And to make life easier at baggage claim, choose an easy to spot suitcase like these: 

1. Confetti Suitcase Set

2. Sunset Suitcase Set

For your carry-on, a smaller suitcase can fit more items and it's easier to keep organized. 

1. Confetti Carry-On

2. Sunset Carry-On

[ THE ] PACKING SQUARES

The key to packing success is to maximize space and use packing squares to keep everything contained and organized. 

Speaking of keeping things organized, as if the ROYGBIV prints weren't enough, JOY ADDED A SPOT FOR PERSONALIZED LABELS. Yes, she's the true hero in our society. 

The packing square kits come with 5 pieces including 2 small, 1 medium, 1 large, and 1 envelope pouch in Stripes, Confetti, and Floral

I used the large packing squares to fit 8 DAYS worth of shirts and pants. To maximize space, I prefer to roll my clothes rather than fold them. The strategy worked so well that I was able to fit my laundry bag and toiletries comfortably to the side. (THIS IS WHERE I'M HANDED A MEDAL. THANKS.)

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The packing squares also fit my pajamas, underwear, and bras, which I categorized and labeled separately.

The heavier items like bulky sweatshirts were rolled on top at the end. For shoes, you can either store in a separate packing square or a side pocket within the suitcase. 

Just in case, each square comes with a zipper compartment on the back and can hold any excess. 

[ THE ] TOILETRIES

For your toiletries and cosmetics, it helps to have compartments. And if it can hang, that's a plus. 

1. Pro-Traveler Hanging Toiletry Bag

2. Herschel Supply Co. Travel Kit

3. Nylon Hanging Cosmetic Bag

4. Hanging Travel Bag

5. Jumbo Framed Travel Kit

If you choose to keep your toiletries in your carry-on, use a set (including a bag) that's guaranteed TSA-friendly. P.S. it helps if you label all of the bottles and jars! 

1. TSA Travel Bottle & Jar Set

2. To-Go Bottles & Jars

3. Clear Travel Kit

[ THE ] CARRY-ON ESSENTIALS

Since we aren’t private jet material, my carry-on bag is a survival kit, including items to comfort and distract myself. 

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If I'm traveling for work, I pack my laptop, camera, and a collection of chargers. And since I have no patience to speak to Apple Care customer service, I keep my tech devices in cases to avoid damage. If I'm not packing an actual carry-on suitcase, a leather tote bag works. 

To keep my chargers from tangling, I found these genius cord keepers from Paper Source.

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All Tied Up + That's A Wrap

I keep the tied up cords in a canvas pouch (specifically, a rainbow one from Meri Meri) so I know where to find them AT ALL TIMES. 

And just in case, a wireless backup charger in is always necessary. It saves you from having to fight off your fellow travelers for power outlets. 

1. Ban.Do Back Me Up Charger

2. Mophie Power Case

3. "I Am Busy" Backup Charger

4. Power Bank Mirror

5. Mophie Power Bank

Everything included below gives off the impression of "I'm not here to talk to strangers." 

1. Noise Cancelling Headphones

2. Hoodie Neck Pillow

3. "Everything Is Gonna Be Okay" Thermal Mug (Holds tea, coffee, or your favorite champagne that you poured in from the airport bar.)

4. Travel Blanket

5. Contour Travel Eye Mask

Safe travels!

Xo Clea + Joanna