Category Archives: Coffee Talk

The Month of the Moves

It’s been a time.

Days and days of lifting, carrying, pushing, pulling, boxing, unboxing, huffing, sweating and crying.

And it’s not even over yet. Three people moving in the same weekend in February is extremely ill advised. Coffee, I believe, is the only thing keeping me from the sharp edge of oblivion at this point.

Nothing makes you never want to buy an item of furniture again, or even look at one for that matter, like having to up and relocate oneself, one’s sister and one’s brother in law. The joy of this particular event though, was a severe lack of assistance and direction. Christopher is decidedly absent in the process, as well as said brother in law, and the rest of my immediate family has high tailed it to the Caribbean for the week as well.

It can all be summed up with one emphatic word: Exhaustion.

Wish me luck in the remainder of the process, and with hope I may crawl away alive, with a lovely new place for Smudge and I to live. I can’t wait to show it off!

Smudge and Ma

-Hailey Jane


New Youtube Video!

Everybody watch!!

Oh man, I’m such a tool….Oh well, such is life.

xx

-Miss Hailey Jane


Christmas in London

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London at Christmas is, by far, the most magical place on the planet. Since visiting I have developed a deep and unwavering love of how the English flawlessly pull off this widespread holiday. I’m nearly convinced there is no actual North Pole, but instead Santa holds up in a little shop on a side street of London. Between the lights along Regent Street, The Eye, the Museums lit up at night and every single square inch of Harrods there is really no comparison to anything I’ve ever seen before; Or smelled for that matter. On Westminster Bridge there is always someone selling roast chestnuts and the moment I laid nostrils on them I would have sworn I’d never smelled anything so scrumptious.

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In North America, Christmas seems to be ALL about the commercialism, the shopping, the spending, the economy boosting power of women with credit cards and men with no time so will essentially buy anything. We just survived Black Friday and here in Canada, and although it’s not the crowd control nightmare that it is in America, I still don’t like going within a mile of any major shopping centre. I won’t dwell on the details of this strange and unnecessary tradition because frankly, it’s stressing me out. Bottom line is the ‘Holidays’  here are not so much about giving people time off to spend with their family and loved ones. They’re about long hours, out-doing both yourself and others around you, and stress in general.

While in London and its’ surrounding boroughs during the weeks leading up to Christmas, I felt a certain magical charm that came from somewhere in this city. Whether it was the meat pies in shop windows, Christmas puddings on display, a light and magical snowfall, subtle twinkling lights on everything or just the general cheeriness of everyone about, it was so lovely I swear my heart grew three sizes and I genuinely felt the true meaning of Christmas.

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So now, every year I scramble around, desperately trying to find that feeling again. I walk the streets at night, I peer into all the shop windows, I brew all the mulled wine, cider and hot chocolate I can get my hands on, but something about it all is missing. There is a London factor that’s been absent from my Christmas’s for the past few years, and no matter how hard I try to infuse it into this culture, I am simply unable to recreate it.

 

It may just be magic after all.

– Hailey Jane


Should Really Give This a Name…

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Hello Friends and welcome back to Coffee and Turtlenecks!

I have the pleasure of reporting that this week is the anniversary of this mildly entertaining blog! That’s right, believe it or not, I’ve been posting occasionally here at this imaginary place on the internet for FOUR years now! WOW, I can hardly believe it. There’s a grand total of something like 109 posts, which is a terrible average of one every two months, but let’s not look into the numbers too much. Point is, I’m still here, typing away, and dancing to strange Greek music that you’re probably glad you can’t hear. Let’s pretend that I’m just doing my best to seriously research my content….A horribly overused cliché would say something like ‘The Mona Lisa took four years to complete!’, but that would allude to an absent quality of work on these pages, as well as hint at something of an ego in the author, which we all know if extremely far from the truthiest of truths.

Thanks to all my readers of the years, and the lovely comments I get from you! It’s been fun, which is why I still do it. Life motto: If you don’t like something, don’t do it. Key to happiness right there folks.

My aspirations for this blog are grand, but in reality I’m sure you can expect more random posts about the hilarious ways I embarrass myself in my day to day life. My sister and I took a trip to Chicago in September, so maybe one day when the meed strikes me I’ll share some of that experience.

Help me keep Coffee and Turtlenecks alive! Comment, Like, Follow, Twitter…Hell, you can email me if you want! I’m always up for a chat..

Which reminds me, I’ve successfully acquired a penpal from the UK thanks to this blog, and I’m happy to say that it’s going well, the recipient of my letters is not in jail and has been enjoying them very much, as I enjoy the responses!

I’m happy to chat so don’t be a stranger!

Lots of Love!

-Hailey Jane

xx

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Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCHcFYKNPVDgbeHgkGEz9ZCg/videos

Email: coffeeandturtlenecks@gmail.com

Twitter: @therealhaileyj

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/HaileyJW88/

 


Goo Hoarders Anonymous

“What is it with women? By far the strangest thing about them, of all the things, is their propensity to hoard ‘Goo’.”

– Boyfriend being terribly honest

Only just now I noticed the extent of my habit, as I went to shower and reached for no less than the following products:

Sephora Cleansing Milk

Clagon Lavender Honey bath salts

Balea Ginsing Face Mask

Skintimate Aloe Vitamin E Shave Cream

iSo Toning Violet Shampoo

Joico K-Pak Reconstructing Conditioner

Olay Cucumber Body Wash

Clinique Dry Combination Skin Toner

No7 Protect and Perfect Day Cream

And I haven’t even thought about doing my makeup yet! (Which is another shitshow of powdery, gooey ridiculousness)

And look at what I did at Sephora by accident a while ago!?! Completely powerless!

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I have no idea why it’s so difficult to simplify the bathing and beauty process. My Boyfriend has one product for literally everything, and if he could get away with not using it, he would.

I have developed the inability to pass up purchasing fancy bottles of wet, empty, promises; compacts of pressed uncertainty, and tubes of pearlescent regret. Not to mention the landslide of white creamy jars of mystery goo that every company is toting as the next big miracle.

Even Queen Jenna Marbles admits to being a ‘Goo hoarder’, and I would easily believe a scary amount of the female and male populous is in the same, rather tippy, boat.

Why do I need these things? Why do I keep wanting more and more of basically the same brownish powders, thinking the next thing will be the last I’ll ever want? Who knows… (I ponder as I happily browse the MAC website for quads and brushes…) Is there a support group for this I wonder? Probably Youtube….but tutorial videos only make my habit worse.

There are upsides to this condition, which I’ve ardently rationalized to myself, of course.  I don’t have to worry about how big my arms or thighs may look in a particular lipstick, make-up fits everyone! It’s also a fun and exciting purchase that really doesn’t take up a lot of space. Some people may not see this as an upside, but as a human being who just moved every single item she owns into storage or a small bedroom, tiny yet nice things suddenly have a certain pleasant appeal.

The long as short of it is, it’s a thing the world wants us to do, and the majority of us are more than happy to play along. It’s no more useless than the parts for broken cars my Boyfriend buys, or the plants my mother puts in the garden every year that will inevitably die in the fall. If it makes us happy and doesn’t hurt, or even really bother anyone else, then that is reason enough to continue our business in the gooey bubble that is our lives.

Goo hoarders rejoice, and embrace our slippery, sparkly way of life!

-Hailey Jane

No Judging!

xx

 


How To Enjoy The Perfect Latte’: Part II

Alternate Title: How To Actually Make a Latte’

Knowing your way around an espresso machine, take the double shot espresso handle out, empty it with a few bangs if it’s full, scrape any excess grinds out and then fill with extra fine ground espresso grinds.

Fresh Espresso

Tamp and twist firmly with a tamper until it’s packed perfectly then attach it to the espresso machine with a quarter turn to the right. Place the desired coffee holding vessel underneath and begin to pour the shot.

Gorgeous Crema

While the shot is pouring, steam your milk, whole milk for a flat white, 2% if for a regular latte and skim for those strange people who like them skinny. Soy or Almond Milk steams slightly differently, we’ll just pretend no one asked for that today. Fill the steaming cup with a bit more very cold milk than you will need, add a thermometer, then put the steam nozzle all the way to the bottom and turn on the steam by turning the nob to the left.

A barista steams milk for the 'Barista Throwdown' competition.

Open it nearly all the way and slowly raise the nozzle to the surface of the milk, and tilt the cup to get a swirling motion going in the milk, as the volume increases hold your position until the temperature of the milk reaches 140 degrees F, be particularly careful not to exceed 160, it’ll burn the milk. Remove nozzle once the correct temperature is reached and there is evidence of the microfoam you’re looking for, the soft tiny bubbles that leave the top looking like thick wet paint. Skim milk will naturally look less creamy, and if you’re doing a cappuccino feel free to steam with harder foam, bigger bubbles by lifting the nozzle slightly out of the milk while steaming for quick bursts.

The owner of the cafe foams milk for waiting customers.

Once the shot is done pouring, grab your milk and a spoon if desired and pour the milk over the shot. Use a spoon to separate the milk from the foam as you pour, or just pour more quickly and wait as it separates in the cup. There will be a bit more foam this way.

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To achieve the latte art design, tilt the mug and pour onto the side of the mug then in strategic motions, breaking through the espresso crema (or film ontop), wavering and wobbling the milk rhythmically then cutting across the top of the circles made will produce the iconic heart or rosette shape in your latte. Garnish with cinnamon or cocoa if desired, now sit back and enjoy your home made perfect latte!

Now repeat 100 times a day and curse the uselessness of your joint major Honours Science Degree in Psychology and Anthropology.

Latte’ Art Tutorial: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NItrlTwbvAU

.NOM
-Hailey Jane


How To Enjoy The Perfect Latte’: Part I

Nothing quite hits the spot on a rainy afternoon like a cup of hot, dark, rich and creamy espresso. A comfortable push of motivation in the onwards and upwards direction. They are the most wonderful thing to enjoy, but first, you’ve got to acquire one.

You have two basic options. The first includes going out into the world to find the perfect little cafe on a drizzly main street.

City rain

In a semi-lit room with brick and terracotta coloured walls, the atmosphere envelops you and a thick warm smell of coffee drifts into your nose as you walk inside to shake off your umbrella and coat from the cool autumn rain. Looking up, seeing all of the other wayward souls that stop momentarily here for fleeting moments in their lives, passing them without too much thought a face greets you over a counter with a nonchalant acknowledgement through thick dark glasses.

Coffee shop

You hear the faint melancholy chords of a Neil Young or Leonard Cohen song and the subtle clinking of coffee mugs as a worker clears away the perfect table by the window. Once given the go ahead, you ask for your latte and make the decision for a fresh scone as well, Or was it the biscotti? You hear the steamer whistle as your milk is made ready, and glance around at the local art that hangs on the walls.

Cappuccino

Before you know it, your beverage is being handed to you in exchange for a handful of coins that until just now had lived in the bottom of your jeans pocket. On top of the delicious coffee in your bright ceramic mug there is a gorgeous layer of the tiniest microbubbles that make up a soft, smooth and heavenly foam. Much to your pleasant surprise there is an arrangement of swooping and bending dark coloured espresso lines tracing their way through the foam, leaving behind a gorgeous heart shaped pattern. You almost feel guilty, being about to eat it and all, but not guilty enough to stop you.

Ever so gently walking over to that perfect table by the rain spotted window, sitting down and letting all the tension flow out your feet. Relaxed, you pick up your mug, close your eyes and sip strongly and deeply. A small, light patch of foam sticks to your top lip but it is no matter, you have successfully enjoyed a perfect latte.

-Hailey Jane