If I’m ever put in one of those awkward share-something-about-yourself scenarios, my default answer is to say: I love coffee. Because it’s just so true. I love coffee which ever way it’s prepared, and I feel like I’d tried them all… until I did a little research. It turns out there are a LOT of weird ways to make your coffee in the morning, from putting it in a sock to adding butter. Let me know in the comments if you’ve braved any of these weird ways to make coffee!
1. Cook it in an egg
You heard me. Known as Scandinavian Egg coffee, this method not only produces a bold cup, but also supposedly clarifies the coffee, removing all the bitterness. Essentially, coffee grounds are mixed with an entire egg (shell and all, folks), along with boiling water. The cooked egg pulls the coffee grounds to it, and with the addition of ice water, the whole mess sinks to the bottom of your carafe. I just don’t know if I would be able to get over the visual of what is essentially compost in my coffee. Google at your own discretion.
2. Brew it in a sock
It’s not the kind of old sweaty gym sock you’re thinking of. Known in Malaysia as “Kopi,” the sock is a filter used to steep coffee in (kind of like a tea bag). After the coffee grounds have brewed in hot water for five minutes, the coffee is poured through the sock again into a cup, and then mixed with sweetened condensed milk. Yum!
3. Throw some butter in it
You wouldn’t think coffee and butter would go well together, but the result is some kind of magic. Known as Bulletproof coffee, this sensational method of preparation stems from the Tibetan tradition of adding yak butter to black tea. The CLA and linoleic acid in yak butter is tauted being able to reduce hunger, help shed body fat, and eliminate usual post-coffee crashes. Bulletproof coffee mixes unsalted cow butter (or grass-fed ghee) with MCT oil. Prepare this high-energy beverage in a blender if you’re a texture person, and enjoy hours of heightened awareness.
4. Add reindeer cheese
Kaffeost, or “coffee cheese” in Swedish, is akin in texture to the cheese curds we enjoy here in the Midwest. When this reindeer cheese is added to coffee, the results are oddly enjoyable. I’ll just take the Swedish at their word on this one.
5. Brew it in a vacuum pot
If you live in the Pacific Northwest, you are among the few who have access to the new Starbucks Reserve locations, home to the vacuum pot. To be completely honest, I’m not even sure how it works. Part chemistry lab, this process originated way back in the 1830s and has remained unchanged since.
6. Pump it full of nitrogen
This method would be hard to replicate at home, but Nitro coffee is rapidly popping up in coffee shops around the country. Nitro coffee starts with cold-brew, which is then injected with nitrogen gas, similar to the way soda is injected with carbon dioxide to make it carbonated. What you get is a smooth, bubbly drink that pairs perfectly with a hot, summer day.
7. Put it in a popcorn maker
When you buy your coffee from the store, you either get ground coffee or whole roasted beans. If you want to really hand-craft your coffee, you can start with green beans which haven’t been roasted yet! DIY your morning cup by putting the green beans in your popcorn maker to roast, then grind and brew.
8. Add chicory root
Chicory root has been used in coffee in the south for quite some time now, and is added to take the bitterness out of regular coffee. Not only that, but chicory root may also disrupt excess hormone production in your body, so it’s great to drink when you’re having a particularly crabby day.
9. Skip the water, use milk instead
Known as Milky Macy, this pour over method of brewing coffee completely skips the H2O. Instead, hot milk is poured slowly through coffee grounds and a filter, creating a milky, comfy beverage.
Would you try any of these weird ways to make coffee? What’s the strangest brew you’ve ever tasted? Leave me a comment letting me know!
You’ve decked the halls, hung the stockings with care, wrapped and unwrapped the presents, and it’s no wonder if you’re all tired out. Hopefully now that Christmas is over you finally have a bit of time to relax. Maybe you already know exactly how you want to spend the week between Christmas and New Year’s, but here are 10 ideas for how to unwind in case you’ve forgotten how.
1. Take a long, hot bath. This is the perfect time to try out these Christmas tree bath salts, made from evergreen clippings that you can salvage from your tree, wreath, or garland.
2. Have a home spa day. Pamper yourself with those deep conditioners and face masks that have been sitting in the back of your bathroom cabinet. It’s a good way to clear them out so you can start fresh for the new year, with new products and a decluttered bathroom. If your cabinets are already clear, you could always try out some of the homemade beauty product ideas from this post.
3. Catch up on your (for fun) reading. If you’re already caught up, scour the best-of-the-year lists, and make up your reading list for next year.
4. Find a beautiful new calendar for 2019. There are lots of free printable ones, many of which you can find links to here.
5. Declutter and organize a space. I know that this might not sound fun or relaxing to many of us, but you’ll be glad to start the new year with one cabinet, closet, or whole room all tidied up. Find lots of closet organization ideas here, and plenty more general organization ideas here.
6. Make something with your hands. Whether it’s sewing, knitting, painting, woodworking, or sculpting with clay, tackle that DIY project you’ve been meaning to try.
7. Get some exercise. Move your body in whatever way that works for you. Walking, skiing, swimming, yoga, or even sledding with the kids all count.
8. Connect with someone you’ve missed. If your best friend has been too busy to hang out during the holidays, catch up over a cup of tea. Or if you didn’t get to see your out-of-town relatives or friends this year, pick up the phone and give them a call.
9. Write thank-you notes for holiday gifts. This may not sound fun and relaxing, but the sooner you get this done, the less you’ll have to carry around the guilt about not having done it. Plus, if you really take the time to reflect about why you’re writing each note, you can turn it into a mindful exercise in gratitude.
10. Shop the post-Christmas sales. If you think that I must be crazy to suggest you go to the mall right now to relax (I agree), online shopping exists for a reason. But if you want to stock up on cheap holiday decor, or snap up deals on that beautiful sweater someone is returning because Aunt Zelda doesn’t know their size, or they got three Instapots, now is the time to do it.
The concept of home always holds a special resonance for Native communities, whether they are firmly planted on the land their ancestors have cultivated and protected for centuries, or within personal spaces where that connection is maintained and strengthened through ceremony, textiles, food, and more. There is no shortage of ways that the Native community celebrates itself among its hundreds of tribes, including powwows and gatherings that honor and exalt their rituals and traditions.
Much of these relationships are sacred, and a deeply private way of staying in conversation with ancestors. Other parts of these bonds are visual and tangible displays of pride and love that elevate the work of artisans, serve as ties to generations past, and carry a sense of heritage into the future. And rally cries, including those for the Dakota Access Pipeline protest where people from all over the country stood in solidarity with the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and the LANDBACK movement that calls for Native lands to be returned to their original stewards, are helping the broader American public better understand how Native communities celebrate their heritage and identity in a way that is joyful and meaningful, instead of appropriative.
This connection is uniquely layered for Afro-Indigenous peoples, whose cultures combine the rich histories of being both Black and Native. This is a heritage shared by many all over the world, with a centuries-long lineage in this country punctuated by joy, pain, ritual, and discord. My own family has roots in the Blackfeet Nation that manifested in stories about things people would say to my great-grandfather about his Native heritage, as well as the real history of that November “holiday.” But most of my upbringing was firmly grounded in Blackness, so now I’m exploring what it means to feel connected to this country in another way. It’s a journey with so much to learn at every turn, that is made even more fulfilling by tapping into the powerful online network of Afro-Indigenous women who are defining their heritage on their own terms and showing how their culture shows up in every inch of their lives.
Here, three Afro-Indigenous creatives share what home means to them, how they connect to their heritage in their personal spaces, and what they’re looking forward to.
“I grew up in the Southwest, where we really believe in elevating and celebrating our heritage. My mom is a big collector, so that’s part of what we do. We adorn our house with so much beautiful art and textiles from our Navajo culture, but also much of what is intrinsic to the Southwest. We also incorporate our African side, so it’s a mixture of both and they complement each other so well.
Our house is beautiful and it has tons of beautiful pieces that are displayed. The support for our artists is important to us, especially honoring those who are longer with us. This is really sacred for us because it’s our art history. It’s like having the Native version of a Van Gogh in your home. So we have tons of pottery and baskets and we’re really big on textiles. Each one of our rugs has its own story, even though someone outside of our culture may look at them and think they have the same design. Each weaver is different and special and we can tell.
We live in the very same homeland where my ancestors lived, so there is a lot of history here in Besh-be-toh, Arizona. It goes back many generations, so it’s pretty cool. It’s amazing to know that I could just walk outside and know that they were there and that they’ll always be there. My closest neighbors are my family members: My grandma is, like, a mile away. We’re spread out, but not far away from one another, which is a big plus and different from living in the city.
Part of our homestead is our livestock. We have horses, cows, sheep, pigs, you name it, and all of that plays a big factor in our cultural life. We have a garden as well. So when I say ‘home’ and talk about Indigenous luxury, that’s what I mean. It’s not always about having a big mansion and material things. It’s really about the simple things, the culture, and the history that I get to carry forward. When I walk outside, I have views for days that I can gaze upon and that’s priceless.”
Model and Writer Chappaquidick Wampanoag
“I have a lot of different woven baskets that I’ve received from family members and powwows, which, if people aren’t familiar, are essentially large ceremonies and they’re a big part of Native American tradition. One of the largest powwows for our tribe is the Mashpee powwow — they’re our sister-cousin tribe; they’re Mashpee Wampanoag and we’re Chappaquiddick Wampanoag. Vendors will be at events and ceremonies like that, [and] it’s almost like a fair in a sense, in that you can see from the larger community and family what creations people have. I love picking up art at events like those and incorporating them into my home. One of my favorite baskets is this light beige and brown woven piece that’s probably a little larger than a dinner plate. I love incorporating Native art and heritage into my personal space.
The Wampanoag tribe is mostly known for leathers but also wampum, which are the shell of a quahog. Inside, it’s a beautiful white and purple shade combination. That’s the shell and the tool that we use to make a lot of our jewelry and belts in woven pieces. And it was also something that was used to communicate and storytell a long time ago by our ancestors, but wampum is still used today. I am actually thinking about getting into wampum-making personally, but a lot of the artisans are experts with carving, cutting, and incorporating wampum in those pieces into art.
In the digital age, that includes the advent of social media. Being online and connecting to people’s websites, Etsy accounts, and Instagram feeds are ways I keep up with Native art and artisans. I’ve been very big on TikTok as well, and I’ve met a lot of designers and artists there. I really appreciate that because it can be nice to support Native art that isn’t just from your tribe. It feels like supporting cousins in a way.
The other home ceremony and practice I rely on is smudging. I think people are coming around to learning about the traditions and practices that they shouldn’t appropriate, which I appreciate. Smudging is ceremony, essentially, and it’s an Indigenous practice. We use white sage, but there’s also prairie sage that a lot of Southwestern and Plains people use. It starts by burning up plants and herbs in a bowl that’s clay or in shells. My mother has a beautiful shell at her home with a white sage bundle.
I’ve just moved places so I’m waiting until I can go myself and pick out a shell on the beach when I go to Martha’s Vineyard because I like having those [personal] touches. Sage eliminates negative energies and is known to promote health, wellbeing, and clarity from our ancestors. You can also burn cedar, sweetgrass, and tobacco as well (it’s not just for smoking). It can be seen as a bridge between the human and spirit world. We also practice returning the ashes back to the soil outside just to show respect. I feel like a lot of people don’t know that, but it’s part of the full practice.
I speak a lot about the lack of inclusivity in the Indigenous community; just in general in society, it can be difficult navigating as a mixed person. Representation and treatment are not where they should be, but I see them getting a bit better and I’m really hopeful for that. Even being asked to speak about my perspective and practices as a half-Indigenous woman makes me feel very grateful. I feel that a lot of people are making an effort to learn about cultural practices and to not appropriate. I’m looking forward to having more conversations [and] better dialogue with people that are Native and allies, showing my creativity more, and being involved in creating opportunities for myself if I don’t get them externally.”
Activist, Cultural Critic, and Organizer Mvskoke
“My office is the place where I do all my work around Black liberation and Indigenous sovereignty, so I wanted to make sure that space was filled with artwork that represented the people I come from: Both Black and Native. It was and is important that this space be filled with reminders of who I’m doing this for, my people. I center my Indigenous identity in my Mvskoke identity and heritage because that is the community I am most connected to. So all of my Native print work in my office is by Mvskoke artists. I also have a sculpture of a little Native girl sleeping on a drum which my late father gave to me when I was young.
I always wear beading or Native jewelry to celebrate being Indigenous. I learned how to bead during quarantine in hopes of saving money on beading, but I still buy beaded bling because Native beaders are simply geniuses with their craft. The beauty and time that goes into each piece is a celebration of our cultures, our beauty, and our resistance to assimilation. How could I not buy more? My most important piece is a pendant by Mvskoke/Seminole jeweler Kenneth Johnson. It is a turtle with a Mvskoke symbol on its back. It’s a constant reminder of who my people are and the responsibility I have to reconnecting with and honoring them.
My homestead is not the home I live in currently, but instead my grandma’s home in Oklahoma. I think of her home as the family homestead because that’s what my grandmother has always called it. It’s the land that my third-great-grandma was allotted during the Dawes Act after my people were dispossessed of our homelands in Georgia and Alabama, forced to walk the Trail of Tears, and removed to Indian Territory in Oklahoma. So the family homestead holds a really special place in my heart and I see it as a place of great importance. It’s a reminder of how our people survived and endured under this ongoing project of settler colonialism. How we’ve managed to hang onto my grandmother Katie’s property is pretty amazing to me. When I go there, I feel such pride and such honor. I hope to protect it and keep it in the family.”
We can’t help but dream about the holiday season ahead…
and each year, as the air begins to chill, we gather ideas for decking the halls before the business of the holidays kicks in. This year, we’re looking to our surroundings to find inspiration.
As we redefine our traditions and spaces, we’re focusing on bringing seasonal elements into our homes that feel both celebratory and natural.
Here’s how we’re incorporating warm winter elements to bring festive feelings into our spaces:
No. 1: Establishing a seasonal color palette
When working on our projects, one of the first things we consider is the color palette. Although decorating for the holidays is different from selecting finishes or furniture, identifying tones you want to incorporate in your seasonal decor always makes for a more cohesive end result. This year, we’re inspired by muted traditional holiday tones that feel wintery, warm, and neutral enough to blend in with our spaces.
and while we love to celebrate this time of year, it can be hard to find décor inspiration that feels celebratory of the season yet subtle enough to blend into our homes without overpowering them.
Over the years, we’ve experimented with a few different Halloween looks, and we thought it was time to share a few tips for decorating for the spookiest time of the year.
We’ve rounded up our favorite Halloween moments from The McGee Home, the best spooky styling tricks, and the cutest Halloween decor we could find on the internet.
Here are a few ways to re-create the looks in your own space:
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No. 1: Create impactful moments
When it comes to holiday and seasonal decor, we’ve found that it’s much easier to make a statement when you focus on one or two areas of the home to create impactful moments rather than scattering small items all around your space.
Whether you want to focus on a room or a particular moment, like an entryway table or built-in shelving, emphasizing specific areas can feel less visually overwhelming.