October 31, 2011

Cappuccino Love & Art

     If you've met me, you should already know that I LOVE coffee, a good old fashioned cappuccino to be exact. I'm sure even in a brief meeting, the conversation of coffee would come up. So for all you out there who know me and have heard me talk about it before, here it is again!
        A traditional cappuccino is 1/3 espresso, 1/3 steamed milk and 1/3 milk foam, typically served in a 6 oz. cup. So here's my rant: most coffee shops will ask you what size you want. (Don't get me started on the fact that a "tall" is actually the smallest size at Starbucks). When you order anything in a larger size cup, I always ask what the ratio of espresso to milk to foam is because most places will tell you if you order a larger size, they just fill up the remainder with milk. So now your cappuccino ratio has now become like 1/4 espresso, 1/2 milk and 1/4 foam. So the yummy richness of the espresso is now watered down with milk. If they are going to serve it in a larger cup, it should keep the same ratio-- just double everything. So yes, I'm one of those annoying people who ask that question, but it NEEDS to be asked because there is NOTHING WORSE than getting a watered down cappuccino. So depressing. I can stand a too strong one, and you can always add milk to it, but an already watered down one is just sad. You are looking for that intense concentrated flavor, and instead you just get milk. Boo.
        For me drinking a cappuccino is a complete sensory experience. The smell-- yes, if you know me, you probably also know that I have a freakish sense of smell. So that rich velvety smell of a perfectly pulled cappuccino is heaven for me. Better yet, just the smell of some good beans gets my mouth watering. The best part is the color: it is a saturated carmel color... when you add milk, it doesn't instantly turn pale taupe, it stays a full bright warm carmel. That's the sign of a good cappuccino to me. I love how that color peeks around the rim of the coffee cup, and you can't really tell if it's a good one until you take a sip and the foam moves enough to see the color. Taste: do I have to go there? The best word I can come up with is RICH. I like to hold it on my tongue and let it linger so I can savor each sip. After all, I only make 2 a day, and they are small cups, so I must savor the moment. There's nothing better than wrapping your hands around a warm cappuccino cup in the winter to keep your hand warm, a frothy foam mustache to top it off.
Oh the color. And notice how it sticks to the sides of the cup. Mmmmm.
And for your reference:
Hope you all are having a good fall morning with your bevie of choice.

October 28, 2011

Think Zinc: an alternative

I think the granite hype is finally dying down. I can't say I ever really was a huge fan. The patterns were too busy, and they almost looked like fake stone, although it was real stone. Give me marble any day, but granite... I'm not sold. So with granite being out, I'm always looking for alternatives. One of the best ones I've found is Zinc. Zinc will patina over time, and I think that's what's so cool about it-- it's ever changing. Now if you are looking for something streamlined and perfect, this is probably not a choice for you. And while I do like things neat and tidy, I think I could let go enough for maybe an island, or part of my kitchen. Zinc will leave marks, but they say you can buff them out. But I kind of like the idea of having a worn in look. I have to admit, I like that our dining room table is etched with my son's name from when was learning to spell and pressed down so hard on the paper that it's now engraved there forever. We also have marks where the baby carrier was placed repeatedly on the dining room table... I think it gives it character! So if you want 'character' for your kitchen counter tops, this would be a good choice.
Wish I could see what this kitchen looks like all finished!
Zinc is a soft metal, so it can be pressed to have decorative edges.
Rustic and simple as a bathroom vanity top.
Counter tops with a little bit of character. 

And how fabulous are these Zinc top tables!? Love them: 
(As a side note, while I'm saying I would easily choose zinc over granite... it does not come cheap. And just so you know, this dreaming is coming from someone who has Formica counters. I'm not even exactly sure what the material is but it's pale green and has a linen-like finish to it. So anyone out there with granite, you counters are probably much prettier than mine!)

October 24, 2011

Introducing Arabesque: A New Phone Case Pattern

There's a new Phone Case pattern at here at Happy Habitat, and I'm loving it. Its an Islamic inspired geometric pattern that I'm calling Arabesque.

Order it for your new iPhone 4S, BlackBerry or for your iPod Touch. You customize it by picking your colors and if you want an initial on it. The combinations are endless to design it just for you and make it uniquely your own.

Personalized iPhone Case with Initial in Geometric Pattern
Geometric Pattern iPhone Case with InitialCustom Design Personalized iPhone Case in Geometric Pattern
 Stop by the Happy Habitat Shop to see all the personalized phone case options.

October 21, 2011

Freedom Kantha Quilts: Saribari

A reader told me about these Kantha Quilts from Saribari and I can't stop thinking about them. They are special because not only are they hand stitched from 5 layers of recycled saris, but they are also made by Indian women who have come to Saribari as a refuge from the sex trade industry. And I have to say, I've posted on Kantha Quilts before and I'm always on the look out for great ones, and these are gorgeous, and well priced. On top that, the sari quilt that you pick out comes with a story about the woman whose freedom you helped support. These are one of kind in many ways!

Oh look... it's Karrie's Color of the Year!

Hello Kelly Green!
Check out their website. They have so much to see-- scarves, pillows, table runners, bags! I'm dying for a scarf for a little style on the go. Great products supporting a great cause.

October 18, 2011

Fab.com Moroccan Poufs

I wasn't sure how I first felt about the pouf. I thought it was going to be a passing fad, but I think the pouf has proved its sticking around. Here's a few reasons why I love the pouf:
They are:
   * portable- move them from room to room as needed
   * great for small spaces
   * indestructible
   * great for kids
   * easy to clean
   * Moroccan


AND if you haven't already subscribed to Fab.com, you should because they are offering Moroccan Prestige poufs at great prices. Fab.com is a new 'flash sales' site, much like One Kings Lane, or Gilt, but Fab focuses on emerging designers, and pieces that are crafted with design in mind. You have to be "invited", so here's your invitation: http://fab.com/ncmcgt. Sign up now--- because you never know what's going to show up and things go quick!

October 15, 2011

Fabric Faves: Galbraith & Paul

This is another one of those things that I almost don't want to spread the word about. I want to keep it to myself and keep it my secret. But I suppose the word is already very much out considering they have installations all over the world. In terms of textile greatness, these guys really are on top of their game in my mind. I hope to start doing textiles in the near future and if I could strive to be half as good as these guys, I'd be off to a good start. So what's so great about Galbraith & Paul? They are hand block printed, meaning each order is custom made by hand, and when you look closely at them, you can really see that. And since they are made to order, that means they can be easily customized, so you can custom design your colors and patterns. And speaking of patterns, they are killer. Liz Galbraith personally adds an artists touch to these bold, modern, yet classic designs.

Although they also do wallpaper, and rugs, this  is actually upholstered linen that is put on the walls. Beautiful, right!? 

October 11, 2011

Color Lover: Feeling Blue

Opposites attract and I've always had a thing for blue and orange together. Wipe the thought of the Broncos right out of your head-- and skew the colors just a bit.  These lyrics have stayed with me over the years: "Midnight Blue, burning gold. A yellow moon is growing cold." I know, cheesy of me to quote Pink Floyd, but if I could only share that image that is created in my head, I think you'd like it. Here's my attempt to do just that:

Coral ceiling, turquoise sofa, medium blue walls. Add a touch of yellow? Why not.
Turquoise, persimmon with indigo walls. Perfection.
photos from Adore Magazine-- have you checked it out yet!? I'm hooked!
Steven Volpe's
Living Room with his own sofa in a linen velvet fabric. Linen and velvet? What a great combination. And with a touch of rust for contrast. Does this look like a Bronco's inspired space? I think not.

October 07, 2011

4S iPhone Cases in the House!

YES indeed the 4S has arrived...or at least pre-ordering has! It was rumored to be called the iPhone 5, but looks like they went with the 4S, and YES, Happy Habitat has 4S cases to fit your brand new iPhone. Stop by the shop and pick a pattern and have a case ready for its arrival. Here's a few great combinations that recently went out to some Happy Customers.
Moroccan Fretwork iPhone 4 Case CoverDiamond Pattern Customized iPhone 4S Case Cover with Initial
Trellis Custom iPhone Case Cover With MonogramChevron Zigzag Custom Personalized iPhone 4S Phone Case With Initial

Oh, and in less exciting news, we also have BlackBerry Bold 9900/9300 Cases available.  Not that there's anything wrong with a BlackBerry, but the iPhone 4S news trumps the BlackBerry today.