Category Archives: Would You Like A Hot Beverage?

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


And Now for Something Completely Different…

Huzzah! It is the hour to head towards the hectic holiday season, having hoards of happy hands held out behind hollering humans, hovering, haggling and heckling, hastily hurrying as if hounds hatched at their heels.

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I, a hapless yet hopeful henchmen of a hypothetical heroic homage, henceforth honour a healthy hiatus of this hungry highlife and in happenstance, hope to have heaps of hypnotic hugs that heat the hesitant heart to hindered hindgut.

Happy Holidays!

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From Coffee and Turtlenecks

xx – Hailey Jane

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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


Q&A With the Turtleneck Lady

Greetings from the cafe!

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I’m going to do things a bit differently today, it will be as if we’re having a chat, except that the conversation is going to be alarmingly one sided, because that’s how most of the internet works.

Oh, and I wanted to run a quick idea past you, if that’s alright?  I’ve gone out and sent away for a lovely and fantastic pastel pink, short, curly, synthetic lace front wig! Which I am aware is a lot of words to describe one thing. But anyway, I was wondering what everyone thinks about the two options for its use.

Option 1) Is to use it for Vlog posts, as a confidence boosting alter ego of sorts?

Option 2) I would bust it out when I embark on my next travelling adventure (this is assuming I get my funds and ethics in order) so I would be not only extremely recognizable out and about, but it would help with how nasty my hair gets when I travel. Let me explain.

I’m thinking a serious backpacking excursion across Europe, and even when I go to England for a few weeks at a time, I ALWAYS have a hard time finding somewhere reliable to wash/style my high maintenance hair while couch surfing. There isn’t enough dry shampoo in the world to sort out that mess on my head. Seriously…hear me out…This way I won’t have to deal with nasty, greasy, ratchet hair as often. Assuming this works, it will make me feel all that much better leading to a generally better experience. I clearly would still shower, but I would be less concerned with how my hair dries, or having to shower just to fix it…which, let’s be honest, is 100% why I shower every day or so when I’m at home. Not for cleanliness…but so my hair doesn’t look stupid. Cleanliness is a convenient by product. This is what my life is.

Let me know your thoughts…or any other ideas you have for the use of this marvellously colourful coiffure. Either way, I’m super excited, even if I only get to use it once, to channel Courtney Act at a friend’s Drag Queen Party. You know you love the idea. 😀

Question time!

Why Coffee and Turtlenecks?

“This is a very legitimate question, because it still doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. In truth, they are two things that I enjoy thoroughly that are also a great comfort to me. I wanted this place…this imaginary space on the wide web…to feel cozy, inviting and warm, which describes my chosen title just nicely. It’s also got a bit of a ring to it, which is a plus. I do feel like I don’t talk about turtlenecks enough, particularly because of the number of turtleneck related search terms sending people here. To be honest, there are only so many things you can say about a type of shirt before people stop listening and start worrying about your mental health, and I wouldn’t want to give too much away.”

Why haven’t you done any more Vlog posts?

“Also a legitimate question. It has a simple answer that can be narrowed down to the fact that my spontaneous two weeks of self confidence seems to have vanished, and I will get right back to making them as soon as it returns in the mail.”

Do you think Blogging is a self centered and narcissistic pastime and promotes those ideals in the current generation?

“I absolutely do, (betcha’ didn’t see that one coming!) and I am reminded of it every day when my boyfriend sees (catches) me Blogging. I push past that guilt with ferocity because I like to write, and I hope that what comes out is actually beneficial to the world or at least enjoyable. If you don’t think you’re good at what you do, then no one else is going to. And hey, even Van Gogh had a thing for selfies.”

Van Gogh

What advice do you have for someone who wants to start Blogging?

“I’m not exactly the person with the best collection of tips in this department. I would still call myself ‘starting out’ and I’ve been doing it on and off for nearly three years. Just update with thoughtful posts that you are proud of regularly, and see what happens. It’s luck mostly. My most popular posts are one’s that I’m not the most thrilled with, they just happen to have a thing people are searching for in them, like Spermaceti, Ian McEwan’s Atonement and PG Tips. Who knew the world wanted to know so much about whale oil, modern English Literature and tea.  Why do I know so much about whale oil, modern English Literature and tea? I guess I’m just awesome.”

Do you have Instagram?

“No, Apple products are dumb and I don’t believe in them, like unicorns. BBM me anytime though!  Also…on that note, social media sites kill SO much of my time and steal little tiny pieces of my soul daily. Lately the slow internet at home where I’m living has rendered tumblr useless, which is actually kinda refreshing. I imagine that’s what quitting smoking feels like. I am no longer a slave to the never ending roll of gifs and benign fandom updates. Now I just need to get off of Pinterest, Facebook and crack. Crack might be the easiest.”

What’s your favourite band?

“Right now, I’m in love with this English group from Norwich called Box of Light. I’ll link a video for you. It’s delightful and Melon is the bubbliest rockstar I’ve ever seen. I just want to snuggle her. They’ll be huge, I can feel it.”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jAV545oRJb8&feature=kp

Best book you’ve read this year?

“By far it has to be Nabokov’s Lolita. I didn’t just read this book,. I destroyed it. I wrote essays in the margins, I went back searching for passages to re-read. I watched several Ivy League lectures on the subject just to figure it out. I am now a Lolita expert! It’s so much more than what people think it is…Read it, you won’t regret it. If I get the time, and find the words to describe how magical it is justly, then I will do a post on it for you.”

Lolita

One last question for you dear, do you think you will ever stop writing?

“I hope not. I’ve loved keeping a journal, writing short stories, really bad poetry (which you’ll never see because it’s THAT bad) since I was in grade school, I don’t think my life would feel right without it. I’ve got a serious story or two inside me, and until I can find a way to get them out properly, there’s not really an end in sight.”

Well that’s good news!

Thanks so much for stopping by, as always it’s been a delight!

-Hailey Jane