Two lively (isn't that the word that parents use for a bit wild?), little boys and a job that keeps him busy for an extraordinary amount of hours a week means that moments with my husband tend to be stolen rather than frequent. There's really no time for grand gestures or romantic dinners and the last time that we had a night away just the two of us was over five years ago. But, you know, I'm mostly okay with that. Our time will come again and until then, we make the most of the small pockets of time that we do get together, although he steadfastly refuses to watch X Factor with me, the big spoilsport.
During the few minutes here and there, when the boys are entertained by new stickers or Horrid Henry on the television, we try to sneak in to the kitchen for a quiet coffee and put the world to rights. I'd like to say that the conversations are always scintillating but yesterday's was about pensions so even though the coffee is great, you might not want an invite to join us. However, from the buzz of the coffee machine to the tinkling of the spoon against the cup, from the very first sniff to the very first sip, it's time happily spent.
If you read my styling the seasons post back in May, you'll know that I've been toying with the idea of a home coffee bar for quite some time. I even have a Pinterest board dedicated to the idea. Maybe when my littlest starts school in September, we'll have more time to check out the local coffee shops but until then, a home version it is!
I've written a few posts with HomeSense this year and even taken over their Instagram account to share my favourite autumn finds. However, I've never really paid much attention to their food and drink section other than picking up the odd box of Prestat hot chocolate (you have to try it ... it's one of the best). But, as a little Christmas surprise for Paul, I decided to pop along and pick up some coffee-themed gifts and makeover our sideboard to surprise him.
I picked up two seriously cute espresso coffee makers (a three cup- and an nine cup-). We love our coffee machine but the smell from an espresso maker is so hard to beat. It's that coffee/vanilla smell that you breathe in and feel instantly more relaxed for it. And I found Pantone cups in an almost matching colour. They're pretty perfect.
I then I stumbled across these amazing syrups: hazelnut, almond, and my absolute favourite, salted caramel. I need never go to a Starbucks ever again! You only need to drizzle a small amount in your drink and it comepletely changes the taste. They work really well in milkshakes, too and were just £3.99 per bottle. If you spot them on your next trip to HomeSense, snap them up!
And then the fudge. And the panettone. And the biscuits. Oh my goodness, you need to try them. Especially the fudge. The fudge is D.I.V.I.N.E. I've been back to the store since and they have it in more flavours so you should definitely be able to find some even though HomeSense changes its stock quite regularly.
On my way out of the door, I spotted some candy canes and couldn't resist them. Paul loves mint so I thought they'd make great coffee stirrers. I added them to these homemade baubles with little Nespresso capsules inside. You could maybe do something similar for the coffee lovers in your life. They'd be perfect secret santa gifts too but maybe you'd want to change 'love' for 'like' (or even 'tolerate') on the gift tag.
So that's my updated home coffee bar. What do you think? Fancy a cuppa? Milk and sugar?
This post was written in collaboration with HomeSense.