Crafts Make

DIY Sweater Mug Warmer

Make the cold winter days cozy and quaint with a DIY Sweater Mug Warmer. They’re inexpensive and you’ll never believe how simple they are to put together.

DIY Sweater Mug Warmer

I’ve been an avid coffee lover and drinker since I was a wee little nipper. As a matter of fact, those of you who know me know that “coffee is like air to me.” There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t relish in at least one mug full of the deep, dark, delicious brew and during the cold winter months I find myself wrapping my hands around a mug more often than not. This year after using refurbished sweaters and scarves for setting the scene for a winter party I was inspired to dress up my mugs with these darling sweater mug warmers!

DIY Sweater Mug Warmer

They were unbelievably simple to make! Cut the sleeve of a sweater (across width of the arm) so that it covers the mug but leaves a few inches of the top of the mug exposed. You’ll need lip room for sipping. Next, cut along the edge (height-wise) to make room for the handle. Then cut pieces of a foam double sided tape and place the tape on either side of the handle at the top and bottom of the mug. You may want another piece of or two placed along the top edge of the sweater (depending on how snuggly the wrap fits) so it doesn’t slip. Once tape is affixed, place the already cut sweater wrap around the mug. Make sure to press the sweater against the tape to secure it. I left the cut edges untouched and they haven’t frayed but you can use a non-fraying liquid along the edge if you so choose.

DIY Sweater Mug Warmer

I certainly don’t need any excuse to sip on a mug of my beloved coffee, but I must say that it’s even more fun with a mug dressed up in an adorable sweater warmer! If you’re not a coffee lover, here’s a yummy homemade hot chocolate  recipe for you to enjoy.

Supplies you’ll need to make a DIY sweater mug warmer::

  • ceramic mug
  • sleeves of a sweater (I used sweaters from a thrift store and a children’s size works better)
  • foam doubled sided tape (regular double sided tape would work as well)
  • scissors

Warm wishes!


Desserts Drinks Eat Inspire Sponsored Post

Tiramisu Affogato and the Syntia Focus Espresso Machine

In case you didn’t know this…Coffee is like air to me.

Coffee and I have had a longtime love affair. So you can only imagine my ecstatic state of mind when I received this gorgeous Syntia Focus Espresso Machine  made by Philips Saeco to play with and review a few weeks ago. I mean isn’t she a beauty!?

I’m embarrassed to admit that I…lover-of-coffee…have never even owned an espresso machine. I have always brewed my own coffee the in a basic coffee pot and then relied on my favorite coffee house for my *real deal* cup of coffee later in the day. Well I am here to tell you that my coffee drinking life has changed forever! I have hopelessly fallen in love my espresso machine! I was a tad bit intimidated to try it out at first but after reading the manual *ahem* (and by that I mean My Yanni reading the manual and then describing in every little intricate detail what to do and not to do ), I put on my barista hat and I was ready to go. Once you understand the different sequences, and remember to pay attention to the illuminated  prompts, making the perfect cup of espresso or coffee is just a simple button push away!

My Yanni and I have been enjoying all sorts of fantastic coffee drinks lately. My kitchen smells of divine robust coffee and I’m finding that I don’t need to make daily trips to my favorite coffee house any longer. We  have even swapped out our beloved coffee maker for the gorgeous espresso machine! Something that I never thought would ever happen! Its sleek rich design and ability to whip up a fantastic cup of coffee 0r espresso in minutes makes keeping it out for all to enjoy a no-brainer.  This past weekend we took our coffee loving experience a step further and made a decadent dessert to accompany our after dinner espresso, we made Tiramisu Affogato.

Such a stunning and delicious specimen.

And it was a total cinch to make.

This is a perfect dessert to dazzle guests with at any dinner party!

We just made a double shot of espresso,

placed a few lady finger cookies in the bottom of a bowl.

Plopped a big dollop of vanilla bean ice cream on top,

shaved some dark chocolate,

then poured the hot espresso all over the top.

Creamy, dreamy, rich and coffee-chocolatey…

It was a match made in heaven!

Here are my thoughts about the Philips Saeco Focus Espresso Machine…

Pros –

* We get to enjoy coffee house quality coffee drinks in the comfort of our own home.

* The machine takes minutes to prepare each drink.

* The sleek beautiful design of the Syntia Focus looks stunning on my kitchen counter.

* We can enjoy espresso as well as a long coffee (espresso with more water) that both taste incredible!

* We are saving money buy indulging our coffee habit at home rather than driving to our favorite coffee house.

* We can use any coffee/bean that we like and are not restricted to those packets/pods of coffee.


Cons –

* The machine can be loud while it prepares to make a drink.

* You must remember to push the buttons in proper sequence or the machine will dump the coffee before it has been used.

* The small opening and flip lid over the coffee hopper makes it tricky to get the coffee grounds dumped in without spilling some.

I must state for the record, that My Yanni and I give the Syntia Focus a two thumbs up! We really love the fact that we can easily replicate and enjoy delicious upscale coffee drinks in the comfort of our own home!

Here’s the yummy recipe!

Tiramisu Affogato

(serves 1)

What you’ll need:

3 lady finger cookies
1 scoop vanilla bean ice cream
1 Tablespoon shaved dark chocolate
2 shots hot espresso

What you’ll do:

Place lady fingers in the bottom of a bowl, plop a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream on top, sprinkle shaved chocolate and pour hot espresso all over the top.

Sit back and enjoy!

Happy Caffeinating!


Drinks Eat

Happy Day Frappé

I love coffee.

Some of you may already know that about me. Coffee has been a vital part of my existence since I was eight years old. Yes, I said eight years old. I had always adored the smell of coffee. And from the time I was a younger nipper I delighted in sneaking sips from my grandmother’s forgotten cold cups of coffee left on her side table. But at the ripe age of eight, at the recommendation of my pediatrician, I was given permission to drink a tiny cup of coffee to calm down my otherwise bright-eyed-and-bushy-tailed nature.

It was then that my love affair with coffee began.

Fast forward to my honeymoon in Greece with My Yanni.  This. This is where I fell in love with a frappé. You see I’m a hot coffee girl. I drink hot coffee on a 102 degree day. It’s just what I do. My Yanni on the other hand drinks cold coffee on a 32 below zero day. It’s just what he does. However, when in Greece do as the Greeks, right? So I tried a delicious frothy, perfectly chilly frappé on a 102 degree day and fell head-over-heels in love. We drank those glorious drinks every day all summer long whilst sitting underneath his grandmother’s gorgeous grapevines eating apricot jam.

From time to time I like to go back to Greece by sipping on a frappé with my eyes closed and my mind wide open on a chilly winter’s day. Turns a ho-hum day into a happy one in minutes.

You can too! This is all it takes.

Some instant coffee.

My Yanni & I love to use Nescafé ® instant coffee for our frappés. For one thing…Nescafé rhymes with frappé, *just kidding* in truth, we used it in Greece for our frappés 19 years ago so it holds a fond place in our frappé loving hearts. (This is not a paid post for Nescafé by the way.)

You’ll want to use a large glass to allow for proper froth-to-coffee-ratio. You’ll see what I mean later.

First, pour a heaping tablespoon of instant coffee into your large glass.

Next, add a teaspoon of sugar (or more if you like it really sweet).

Then pour in some milk to taste. We like to use a very large splash of milk or to be more precise, about 1/8 cup.

Next, add some ice cold water until the glass is a little over half full.

Now, at this point, the next step is to mix the concoction until it has a fabulous froth that almost fills the rest of the glass. I found a neat little battery operated hand held milk frother that we like to use. But in Greece we used a shaker with a lid and it worked like a dream. If using a shaker just add the ice cubes before you shake the daylights out of it for about 30 seconds and you should get the same fabulous frothy effect.

So, if using a  neat little battery operated hand held mixer, mix the frappé until you see that everything is evenly incorporated…

and long enough that you’ve got a fabulous froth that equals the amount of coffee in your glass but leaves some room at the top for a handful of ice cubes.

Remember that proper froth-to-coffee-ratio I mentioned earlier?

Cold is key for a fantastic frappé. I’m always amazed at how many ice cubes My Yanni can fit into his glass.

Then insert a straw through the frothy foam…

and sip away until you find yourself smack dab in Greece underneath the grapevines on Yaya’s front porch.

Oh, happy day. 



Here’s the easy recipe:

Happy Day Frappé

1 heaping Tablespoon instant coffee
1 teaspoon sugar
1/8 cup milk
1 cup cold water
handful of ice cubes

In a large glass, pour in a heaping spoonful of instant coffee, add a teaspoon of sugar, 1/8 cup of milk and 1 cold cup of water.

Place a battery operated hand held mixer into cup and mix until incorporated and frothy. Add handful of ice cubes.

If using a shaker with a lid, add ice cubes before shaking vigorously for at least 30 seconds.