coffee break || the cottage house

I spent some quality time with my first love this weekend. Coffee, that is. We’ve been together a long time, starting back in high school when my first journalism teacher plopped a giant coffee (with two shots of espresso mixed in for extra pizzazz) in front of me. I was a goner.

Since then, I’ve devoted many an hour to honing the craft of coffee making, drinking and spilling. The last being an unintentional byproduct of the first two. There are many schools of thought when it comes to the proper ways of coffee brewing. My general approach is coffee-me-now, which can admittedly lead to rather unsavory brewed beverages. I’ve seen some things.

So this Sunday, rather than taking the fastest possible route to Coffeeville, I moseyed my pre-caffeinated bones into the leisure zone (I don’t even know, professional intervention is needed) and set up a new tool in my brewing arsenal: the beautiful Chemex.

There are dozens of videos on YouTube concerning proper Chemex brewing. None of which I watched before diving into the process for the first time myself. Wild outlaw that I am. I folded the paper filter into a cone somewhat matching the three-sides-to-one description printed on the box (I don’t know how they expect someone who hasn’t had any coffee yet to solve word problems), ground up the beans and poured the not-quite-boiling water over the bunch.


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I have yet to work out the kinks — my first attempt was a smidge watery — but I successfully passed my high school chemistry class once upon a time. (And I only broke one sink in the process.) Thus I feel confident I can indeed prevail over the chemistry project of my life: achieving the perfect cup of joe.

What’s your favorite Sunday beverage? 

Love and coffee to you,



Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year

Dear friends,

Yesterday was Christmas, and we are but six days from 2013. I hope you are all having a wonderful holiday season, enjoying some time off, time with family and friends and your favorite coffee place. Priorities.

I’ll be heading to the east coast tomorrow evening, and will be gone through the New Year, so postings here may be sparse. In fact, there’s a good chance I’ll be in New York City on New Year’s Eve (not Times Square, because I value my sanity), so think of me fondly as I get swept up with 8 million of my closest friends. If you don’t hear from me by January 4th, send a search party.

Until then, be safe, be happy and well.

Here’s to you!



tour eiffel || Paris postcard 01

There is coffee drinking, and then there is coffee drinking. The sort that energizes the core so deeply that your ancestors get a pop of extra jive in their step.

In other words: jet lag. It’s got me, the foul-jawed creature that appears after rapidly traveling through time and space on a 767 jetliner.

We have been back in Denver for two days now. The Jet Lag hasn’t been wholly debilitating. It has been wholly coffee-inducing however. Java, sweet alertness doth you bestow upon me.

I feel I haven’t fully processed our trip yet. I haven’t arranged my photos, or made note of impressions and thoughts. This trip yearns for thoughtful consideration. However, such pondering has to be delayed for a bit longer, for tomorrow, we embark to San Francisco.

After an 11-month engagement, my mother will be getting married this Saturday. We have all been happily anticipating this occasion since she first told us of her engagement (a story she conveyed in a British pub here in Denver – how is that for full circle?). All us children types will be participating in the ceremony in some way. I will be in the bridal party and photographing the day. Luckily, we didn’t have to conduct a cloning experiment to make this possible. Dan will be manning the helm during the ceremony itself, and then we’ll co-shoot the rest of it.

So! Until we meet again, I leave you with this, one of my favorite photos thus far from our visit to La Tour Eiffel.

Tune in next time when we further dive into London and Paris revelry; discuss the details of my mother’s big day; and deconstruct just how much coffee it takes before my nervous system pops right out of my body and does a little tap number a la’ Singing in the Rain before the startled masses. I foresee a late night talk show tour circuit in our future. (Say that five times fast.) (The extra shot in my afternoon latte may have been overkill.)

Happy Thursday to you! -a.e.



leaving on a jet plane || London bound

“All my bags are packed I’m ready to go…”

OK, so this is in no way true. But I am ready to go! Mentally. Tomorrow, the brother unit, the father unit, and I embark to London. Yes, I intend to refer to them as such for the duration of the trip.

I just added something to my “to do” list that I had already accomplished earlier this morning. Just so I could feel the satisfaction of having more items crossed off that vindictive little list. That’s just where I’m at right now, folks. There is a lot to take care of between now and 24 hours from now when I will be procured by the father unit and whisked away to the airport. Then it will be a layover in Chicago and large, long hop over the ocean before we arrive in merry old England.

I have been slowly increasing my coffee intake this week to create a caffeine reservoir in preparation for the inevitable jet-lag crash that awaits us in London. It’s an essential time-release caffeine program. Because surely that can be a thing if one’s will is simply willing enough, right? No? Humor me, I beg you.

We will be gone from tomorrow until midway through next week. I will of course be bringing the trusty camera unit and shall take many a merry photo of merry old England. Our game plan is to be at the hotel only when absolutely necessary (read: comatose), so I’m not sure how frequently I will be mentally capable of updating the ol’ A/E blog. But I will do my best to send a few dispatches from abroad!

I will also not be using the fancy phone except for photo/video taking and in cases of emergency. Such as if the entire UK spontaneously runs out of coffee. I shouldn’t even joke about something like that…

Nonetheless, if you need anything in the next week, please send me an email at I will only be checking email about once a day or so, but if you have an urgent matter at hand I will do my best to get in touch with you promptly. Otherwise, I’ll plug back in next week!

“So kiss me and smile for me
Tell me that you’ll wait for me
Hold me like you’ll never let me go
Cause I’m leavin’ on a jet plane”

Be well and happy and adventurous this week, friends.

“Every place I go, I’ll think of you…”

Love and coffee to you,


(photo above by my right hand fella, Daniel Petty)
(lyrics from John Denver’s wonderful song: Leaving on a Jet Plane)


the recentlys || fancy phone selections

I’m starting a new series here. It may be every Friday. It may be every other Friday. It may appear on a Tuesday one week, just to see if you’re paying attention.

It’s called the recentlys.


Q: Do you know that “recentlys” doesn’t even vaguely resemble a proper word?

A: Yes I do! But sometimes you have to march against the current of the masses. And sometimes, you just have to start your own parade all together. I’ll let you decide which of those analogies is more suitable in this instance.

Q: What will be included in this series?

A: Fancy phone photos of all varieties — in-between, quiet moments and snagged frames while on assignment, incidentals that I think are humorous. And probably (definitely) coffee.

Q: What will you be shooting these photos with?

A: These will all be shot with the fancy phone formerly known as the iPhone 4. As far as I know, it’s still called the iPhone 4 to the tech savvy amongst us, but I ceased calling it that pretty much right away. See the parade comment above.

Q: When will this series launch?

A: Right now!

(All photos processed with the VSCO cam app.)

(And yes, the FAQs were staged.)

(I’m sorry you had to find out this way.)