Vietri Warehouse Sale

Have you guys ever heard of Vietri?

It is the name of a company started by two sisters that after a trip to Italy in 1983 decided they wanted to import the Italian dinnerware that crossed their path and become wholesalers, selling to stores across the US. You can read more about their story here. Here are some of their awesome collections:

My Morning Coffee- Vietri-Campagna-Pesce (Fish)

Campagna- Pesce (Fish)

My Morning Coffee- Vietri- Bellezza White

Bellezza White

My Morning Coffee- Vietri - Incanto Aqua

Incanto Aqua

My Morning Coffee- Vietri- Blu Mare

Blue Mare

They have so many other beautiful dinnerware collections, along with glassware, flatware, lighting, table linens, home decor, the list goes on…

You can purchase their items on their website, in various stores across the country, or at their outlet store (which happens to be only an hour away in Hillsborough, North Carolina).

If you clicked on any of the links above you might have noticed that their pieces are a little pricey. Definitely worth the price because of the quality and craftsmanship but also definitely out of my price range currently. This is why I attend their biannual warehouse sale where you can find discontinued, slightly flawed and unique sample products for up to 80% off retail. This weekend just happens to be one of those sales…

My Morning Coffee- Vietri Warehouse Sale

The warehouse sale is a two day sale. They save pieces for Sunday, so don’t worry if that is the only day you can attend. If you want to be one of the first people in the door you can get a numbered ticket. Tickets are available on their website starting at 7am the Friday before, first come, first serve. I believe the numbered tickets are so that they don’t have people lined up over night to be the first ones in the door, that is how great the deals are. The tickets are great because you can arrive 15 minutes before 8am and get in line based on your number. Tickets are not required, you just won’t be able to enter until after the ticket holders enter.

They have thought of everything regarding convenience. They have shopping carts, packing material, boxes, outdoor checkout to keep down on the crowding, they have it all.

The first sale I went to was a little overwhelming. There are some determined ladies there! My strategy is to just pick up anything that you might consider buying and put it in your cart. Before you check out you can decide which items you need to put back on the shelf. Always man your cart, like I said, some ladies are determined. One day I hope I am one of the ladies that  I see wheeling out carts full of dishes, like whole sets. It would be so satisfying to have a whole set of their beautiful dishes at your house that you paid less than half of the retail price for. Deals get me so excited! Check out the Vietri Blog for more tips and strategies.

Here are some of the items I’ve bought in the past…. (Side note, I’ve bought some beautiful pots, but they are currently getting ready for spring and not picture ready.)

My glass pitcher… (BTW.. those are my new marble fruit I bought at Slate last weekend.)

My Morning Coffee- Vietri Pitcher

Some swirl glasses… sadly, a few have been lost of the years…

My Morning Coffee- Vietri Glasses 2

So.. last year I bought a full set of honeycomb type glasses (8 big and 8 small for just $32)

My Morning Coffee- Vietri Glasses 1

Fruit bowl..

My Morning Coffee- Vietri Fruit Bowl

Serving dish for dips and such..

My Morning Coffee- Vietri Dish

One of my favorite multipurpose bowls..

My Morning Coffee- Vietri Bowl

Glass decorative bottle..

My Morning Coffee- Vietri Bottle

and my absolutely favorite salt and pepper shakers!

My Morning Coffee- Vietri Salt and Pepper

If you’ve never gone to the warehouse sale before, I would highly recommend it. If you can’t make it this weekend, the outlet store is open year around, so if you ever travel through Hillsborough, NC you should stop by.

Anyone planning on going this weekend? Anyone have any Vietri pieces that you love?

Parlor Set?

Does anyone else watch Hart of Dixie?

My Morning Coffee- Hart of Dixie

It isn’t the most realistic show, small town living is not really like this. Nevertheless, I’m still hooked, I want to see where all the plots lines lead. Last night I watched the most recent episode and they kept talking about a “parlor set.” Am I the only one that doesn’t know what a parlor set actually entails? I had to Google it. The web definition is: Term used to describe a settee with matching pair. Essentially it is antique furniture, Victorian typically, that is used in your parlor or sitting area. Just in case you are in the same boat with me here are some local Raleigh versions via craigslist…

My Morning Coffee- Three Piece Parlor Set on Craigslist

Victorian Three Piece Parlor Set with Rockers – $2000 (Goldsboro, NC)

My Morning Coffee- Two Antique Parlor Chairs

Set of 2 Antique Parlor Chairs – $100 (Clayton)

My Morning Coffee- Antique Love Parlor Seat and Chair on Craigslist

Antique love Parlor Seat and Chair – $375 (Greensboro)

You’ll notice that set says it is in Greensboro. Recently I’ve seen an influx of out of town adds on the “Raleigh” craigslist. I’m not sure how I feel about this. On one hand, I’m sure people see certain things and love them so much they are willing to drive two hours. Thus, it is a great marketing technique for motivated people to sell their pieces. But on the other hand, if I was searching for something that I was willing to drive a few hours to pick up, i.e. Greensboro, I’d look on the Greensboro Craigslist. That is why they have the column on the right hand side called “nearby cl.” Anyway.. moving on…

My Morning Coffee- Victorian Parlor Chairs on Craigslist

Pair of Refinished Victorian Parlor Chairs -$299 Each (Circa Furniture- Clayton)

That is all she wrote on local parlor furniture. I wouldn’t mind having a set for myself, if only I had a parlor. I’ll add it to my list for my next home!

I hope everyone has a Happy Thursday!

Falling Behind

I’m falling behind when it comes to blogging. I’m having a hard time focusing and making the most of my time. Like tonight, I had the whole night open and I had planned on finishing the microwave install post but I didn’t. I sat down and I realized I had a million TV shows sitting in my queue on hulu and roughly 300 unread blog posts…

My mind lately has been monopolized with project planning and furniture managing for Brian’s house. I really enjoy these things which is why it was easy to let it get to the monopolizing point. However, it means I’m falling behind in other areas in my life. I’m bad at getting too focused on things, its a tunnel-vision problem.

Another reason the microwave install post isn’t what you’re reading now is because the completion of the microwave install post has kind of become a mountain. I’m so excited to write and post about projects right after I’ve completed them but if I wait too long that motivation dwindles. I’ve definitely allowed this to happen here, lesson learned.

I know, once again I’ve dropped the ball in the time management department. Let’s look on the bright side, I added one paragraph tonight to the microwave post. Small victories!

Tonight, instead of finishing my blog post I decided to watch all the shows in my queue whilst reading blogs.

In my reading I came across Carey Mulligan starring in The Great Gatsby in Vogue… I’m so EXCITED ABOUT THIS MOVIE!

My Morning Coffee- Carey Mulligan and The Great Gatsby in Vogue

You can check out the article and slideshow here.

Goal Progress

I shared with you my New Year’s Goals back in January. In the past 3 days I’ve knocked two items off of my list.

First off, I signed up yesterday for the PE Review course at NCSU that lasts 22 weeks. I’m not looking forward to it, but I know it is necessary. The first class is April 24th. The big test day is October 25th. I’m trying not to get anxious, I have plenty of time. For those of you that don’t know what the PE exam is… In simplest terms, it is an 8 hour licensing exam that engineers have to take in order to sign and seal drawings. You can’t sit for this exam until you have 4 years of experience under an already licensed PE. (PE stands for Professional Engineer.)

Secondly, I completed The Couch-to-5K program. Some friends and I participated in a Color Mania 5K this past Saturday. Whenever I wasn’t tasting the chalky powder, it was a blast. I’m very proud of us, we all ran the entire time!

Before…

My Morning Coffee- Pre Color Mania 5K

After….

My Morning Coffee- After Color Mania 5K

Celebrating…

My Morning Coffee- Color Celebration at the end of the Color Mania 5K

Where I currently stand with my goals…

  1. find voice on blog
  2. better posture
  3. try 50% of cheese selection at Whole Foods
  4. save more money
  5. try to be more of a morning person
  6. being content in my own skin
  7. purchase fabric elastic hair ties
  8. be a better listener
  9. wear more of the clothes in my closet
  10. start studying for my PE Exam
  11. complete couch to 5K program

Many of these goals are things that can’t be accomplished in one year and I realize that. I probably won’t get the satisfaction of crossing everything off of my list, but I’ll be satisfied with progress on all fronts.

How are you all doing on your goals? Any recent achievements?

Bower Power Inspired Project

Life has been a little crazy recently and thus I’ve been slightly MIA. There are a lot of changes coming in my near future on the job front, the home front, and the friends front. I’ve been preparing for all of them which hasn’t left much time for writing and sharing.

Lets start with the home front…

Since I’m a renter and don’t want to invest more money and time into something I can’t enjoy long term, my plans and projects have drifted to Brian’s house. Thus, the projects I share with you from now on will mostly take place at Brian’s house. His house is kind of a blank slate, tons of opportunity. That also means that sometimes you get lost in all the possibilities and Pinterest does not help at all, so many great ideas. We have been putting together a plan. We still haven’t nailed everything down or have a set timeline yet but we have started on some of those small no-brainer projects. Those small projects that need to get done that we both agree on. So, we’ve been taking care of those and I just haven’t taken the time to sit down and share with you guys. Case in point, I still haven’t finished sharing the microwave install. I’m finishing the final touches, the post will go up next week.

One of the small projects we recently accomplished was inspired by Katie over on Bower Power, her Front Lights Makeover.

Background story…

One of the perks of being a contractor is that you occasionally are able to bring home “leftovers.” Things they ordered too many of, things that were ordered by mistake, things that were messed up while shipping, etc. Brian brought home a set of black decorative outdoor lights one day. They ended up being the perfect size to hang on either side of the garage. In our haste to hang these bad boys I didn’t get a great before picture. This was all I could find…

My Morning Coffee Blog- Brian's Old Exterior Lights

All you can really see is that the old ones were small and brass.

Brian installed the new ones…

My Morning Coffee- New Exterior Lights

They look great! From my research we saved roughly $80 by not having to purchase them. Dolla dolla bills yo!

If you notice in the really old picture, the lights by the front door were a matching brass along with the numbers on the house (seriously, I know you can’t see the numbers, but believe me, they were brass.)

Here is where the inspiration came in…

Katie over on Bower Power shared how she painted her outdoor lights and they looked great. Instead of purchasing new lights for the front door, why not paint them? Worse case scenario, we spend $5 on paint, we hate it, and then we buy new lights. Only $5 wasted with the potential to save roughly $60. So Brian and I got to work.

Katie didn’t remove her outdoor lights for painting because she has stone behind her lights and she didn’t want to risk taking them down and creating instabilities with remounting. Due to the fact that our lights are smaller and on siding we decided to take ours down to paint them. Make sure to turn the power off to your lights before removing them.

My Morning Coffee- Pre-painting Outdoor Lights

Yea, these were looking pretty bad, needed some TLC.

Using painters tape I taped over all the glass. The curved edges were a little tricky. In order to get crisp edges I used an X-acto knife in some locations.

My Morning Coffee- Painter's Tape on My Lights for Easy Painting

When we unscrewed and removed the top of the fixture our lights set up perfectly when turned upside down. This meant that I didn’t have to tape the inside of the glass for the first phase of painting.

Here is Brian in action for phase I..

My Morning Coffee Blow- Exterior Lights Makeover

You might notice that we took the brass numbers off the house and gave them a little makeover too!

You can also see how I taped completely over the back of the light where the wires are, I didn’t want to risk paint messing anything up. When doing this make sure that you notice where your screw holes are. They all need to be covered so paint doesn’t get through the front or back side of the wire casing. Also, don’t forget to paint the heads of your screws/caps as well because they will be showing when you re-install your light. There are two choices on this front: 1. paint the screws when you paint the light, apply lightly being careful not to get too much paint on the head and hardly any on the threads because that will make your re-install a little more difficult if not impossible; 2. you can always touch them up after you remount the lights with some spray paint on finger or paper towel action. Our screws were more like caps with internal threads, so we set them out on the cloth next to our lights and sprayed them at the same time. We ended up using option number 2 at the end to do some touch up.

We went with plain black Rust-Oleum or “canyon black” to match our “leftover” lights by the garage.

My Morning Coffee Blow- Exterior Lights Makeover

After the first coat was done drying we flipped over the lights and using more painter’s tape we covered the hole on the top. I don’t have any shots of this particular step, sorry. I essentially created a sheet of tape slightly larger than the hole. I stuck the sheet through the hole with the sticky side up and then with some  finagling got it to stick around the rim of the hole. Very scientific. Phase II of painting was just painting the top of the main fixture section that was touching the ground in phase I.

Once that paint was dry we were ready to re-install. In the end it took one coat of paint just in two phases to make sure everything was covered (2 coats on the numbers). I promise next time to take more progress photos, my head wasn’t on strait that day.

Here they are re-installed…

My Morning Coffee Blow- Exterior Lights Makeover

Mounting the lights was just as simple as reconnecting the wires, screwing the base into the wall, and then screwing the top of the fixture back on. Nothing difficult.

There is a whole panel that is brass instead of glass on the inside. You can see it in the picture above on the house side of the fixture. We didn’t paint the brass on the inside because we felt like the gold inside wouldn’t be that noticeable. With the house being cream it just blends in to us. If that panel were black it might look a little odd. You agree?

How it all came together…

My Morning Coffee Blow- Exterior Lights Makeover

My Morning Coffee Blow- Exterior Lights Makeover

Yes, it was snowing when I took these pictures, so, pardon the little white flecks.

When we removed the house numbers we realized that the painters didn’t paint behind them. This meant we had to re-install them in the same locations even though that meant that the garage light overlapped them a bit. A problem for another day…

My Morning Coffee Blow- Exterior Lights Makeover

Here are some shots at night.. (Beware, I haven’t mastered our camera’s settings for night time yet.)

My Morning Coffee Blog- Exterior Lights Makeover

My Morning Coffee Blog- Exterior Lights Makeover

My Morning Coffee Blog- Exterior Lights Makeover

My Morning Coffee Blog- Exterior Lights Makeover

All and all, I count this project as a success. Thanks Katie for the inspiration and money saved.

Next time I’ll do better with before shots. That way I can have an amazing before and after shot showdown because this just doesn’t do it for me….

Before…

My Morning Coffee Blog- Exterior Lights Makeover

After…

My Morning Coffee Blog- Exterior Lights Makeover

#beforeandafterfailure #15yeargap

Stella and Dot from Mix and Match Fashion

I’ve been following Tara over on Mix and Match Fashion for a while now. I find great inspiration for work outfits.

About a month ago I was lucky enough to win a pair of Stella & Dot earrings from Tara.

I had heard people talk about Stella & Dot jewelry before, but I was a little skeptical because I had never had a hands on experience. I wanted to see it in person, hold it in my hand, make my own judgement as to whether or not it was good quality.  So, winning this giveaway was perfect for me. I was able to try the jewelry without worrying about spending money on something I’d never wear.

The results… I love my new earrings. The quality is amazing in look and feel. You are definitely getting your money’s worth.

I won the Serenity Stone Drops in Green.

My Morning Coffee Blog- Stella & Dot Earrings Won from Tara on Mix and Match Fashion

(Those who follow me on Instagram have already seen this gem.)

I love them so much I’m already planning my first purchase.

I’m thinking the Camilla Ring

My Morning Coffee- Camilla Ring from Stella & Dot

Or the Arrow Bangle

My Morning Coffee- Arrow Bangle from Stella & Dot

What do you think? There are so many choices!

Thanks Tara for the introduction to Stella & Dot, and for the gorgeous earrings!

R.I.P Google Reader

I’ve been using Google Reader for about 3 years now. The best part is that it is associated with all your other Google identities, like e-mail and such. So access is easy.

I’m sure everyone has heard about Google Reader being discontinued on July 1st. I personally thought this meant that everything would remain the same until that date and then it just wouldn’t work anymore. I was wrong.

As of Wednesay, Reader was removed from the “More” drop-down when you’re in your Gmail… So, no more easy access…

My Morning Coffee- No More Reader in Drop Down

I actually had to Google, “Google Reader,” to figure out how to access my blog feed (www.google.com/reader, you’re welcome). So, my assumption of ‘no change’ was inaccurate. Apparently there is some sort of phasing that Google has planned. It is probably called ‘Make it Harder and Harder to Access Until No One Uses It,’ just my guess.

This isn’t the end of the world. I knew change was coming. I just thought it would be 4 months from now. This new development just lit a fire under me to figure out what platform I’m going to start using next.

There are a lot of options out there. I did a lot of research and trials.  This included free platforms and not so free platforms. In the end my top two were two of the free options. They were the most similar to reader and thus, familiar feeling to me.

Feedly (Looks to be the obvious front runner for most.)

  • Feedly takes the form of a browser add-on for Firefox, Chrome, and Safari, and also an iOS and Android app.
  • Feedly actually uses Google Reader as its backend. This means you can log into Feedly today and it will automatically have all of your Google Reader feeds set up and ready to go. They announced that they are partnering with Google to develop a program that will transition your reading experience from backed by Google Reader to something else once Reader is not available. They say that as long as you try their services prior to July 1st, everything should transfer seamlessly.
  • If you’re like me and have a collection of unread blogs, Feedly makes the transition a little easier. Since it is linked with your Reader the unread blogs come in as unread. As you read them they are marked as read in your Reader as well. So you can actually make the transition as fast or slow as you want, both platforms will update simultaneously.
  • You can manipulate the interface to be similar to Google Reader. You can have the same type of list and view full articles which is nice.
  • There is an iPhone app.
  • If you were a ‘Starred Items’ person in Google Reader so you could remember the location of posts you liked, these transfer directly into Feedly. They are called ‘Saved For Later’ in Feedly.

Screen shot using Chrome..

My Morning Coffee- Feedly Screen Shot

Bloglovin’

  • You can connect through Facebook or create a log in on their website.
  • Transferring your Google Reader blogs is very simple. Once imported the last weeks worth of blog posts will show up as unread.
  • There is a nice alert feature (via Google Chrome browser extension, one-click install) to let you know when you have unread blog posts on your reading list.
  • You can group blogs of similar content.
  • You can’t just scroll through full articles within Bloglovin’. You actually have to click on the article and view it via the blog website with a nifty Bloglovin’ toolbar at the top. The toolbar allows you to jump from blog to blog or post to post easily. It also allows for easy sharing. At first I thought this was a draw back, I loved seeing full posts in Google Reader but I realize that traveling to the actual site is definitely a good thing… 1. You can experience everything by seeing the layout and 2. The blog gets more views.
  • Your “Starred” items in Google Reader do not transfer in as “Liked” posts in Bloglovin’.
  • I downloaded the iPhone app and it is very user friendly.

Screen shot using Chrome…

My Morning Coffee- Bloglovin' Screen Shot

Screen shot of toolbar once you start reading blogs…

My Morning Coffee- Bloglovin' Toolbar

At the end of the day I don’t think any option can really be categorized as a replacement right now. My hopes is that once Google Reader isn’t available these companies will step up and start making improvements. So, picking the platform that has the options you enjoyed most about Google Reader and keeping your hopes high for improvements is my best suggestion for you.

I’m currently using both. I started out leaning more towards Bloglovin’ but now I’m really liking Feedly. It might just be because it is very similar to Google Reader which makes it feel familiar. I plan to continue trying both so that I can discover all of the different features. I don’t want to miss out on something great just because I stick to something familiar. I’ll keep you posted on my thoughts. I’ll also let you know if I stumble upon another option out there.

If you decide to start using Bloglovin’ you can easy follow ‘my morning coffee’ by clicking here or using the “+” icon on the top right of my home screen.

Importing your blogs/subscriptions/feeds into Feedly and Bloglovin’

Importing your Google Reader blogs to Feedly is as simple as juts signing in.

Simple instructions for importing your Google Reader blogs into Bloglovin’…

1. Log into your Bloglovin’ account.

2. Click on ‘Account’ on the top right of your screen and a drop down will appear. Click on ‘Settings.’

My Morning Coffee- Bloglovin' Settings

3. Scroll to the bottom and under the ‘Other’ heading click on the ‘Import blogs’ button.

My Morning Coffee- Bloglovin' 'Import Blogs' Button

4. On the next screen you’ll have the option to import blogs from Google Reader. Click on this button.

My Morning Coffee- Bloglovin' Import from Google Reader

5. The next screen seems a little redundant, maybe because I was already logged into my Google Reader. But, once again click on the button to ‘Import from Google Reader.’

My Morning Coffee- Import Blogs from Google Reader to Bloglovin'

6. Bloglovin will then import all of your blogs seamlessly. All of the posts from the last week will show up as unread for each blog.

My Morning Coffee- Bloglovin' Import of Google Reader Blogs

Just  That  Easy

I’ll miss you Google Reader.

What are your thoughts? What have you tried? What did you like and dislike?

PS… I updated the list of blogs I follow. Viewing them in list form, there are way too many!