Pieces of Flare
If you haven’t seen Office Space, then you probably think that I am really so creative for coining a phrase such as, “Pieces of Flare,” which ultimately showcases some of my favorite items. You might even be a little jealous, question why you can’t ever conjure up anything entertaining or flavorful. Before you decide to trek to the Himalayas for some creative inspiration that would out do my talents, and before you get too jealous, I should disclaim that I was instead influenced by the hilarious comedy, Office Space, when I came up with the title. Rather than call this a few of my favorite things, which would instantaneously make anyone think of that song from The Sound of Music, or referring to it as “Oprah’s Favorite Things,” and risk some sort of law suit for misleading consumers and misappropriation of fact/ stealing identity—not to mention some people might wrongfully think I’m giving away these items at the end of the post— I wanted to digress from the obvious, cliché, and/or potentially legally problematic title. Thus, I thought Pieces of Flare would be a fitting title. Even though I do not have 15 or more pieces of Flare, I am still really excited about these things (watch Office Space to understand this reference).
Now that the source of my ingenuity is revealed, I will briefly explain what this post entails. I want to shed light on some things that I find inspirational. Although it may seem materialistic to pay homage to “things,” I feel that there is a difference between appreciating a piece of work as if it is a piece of art and creation, and merely having something just to have, use and never truly value its worth. I deem myself as spiritual person, but I also see a need to find tiny bits of solace in the concrete matters of life. Therefore, I would like to make this post an “ode” to joy in the simplicity of things.
1. French Press
French-Pressed Coffee. I can’t say enough. People who hate coffee will hate it, those that love coffee will be a little upset that they have been missing out, if they don’t know about it. A french press keeps the oils from the coffee grinds from being filtered. As a result, you get all the flavor you were meant to get, with an added shot of euro-chic culture. French-pressed coffee is served at many upscale restaurants; if you don’t want to go in for a meal, you can order a cup of the french-pressed coffee at the bar. Also, Starbucks serves it as well. However, sometimes the baristas make the water too hot, or wait too long to press it, and it results in bitter, burnt flavor.
If you don’t want to do that, you can simply purchase a french press. Prices range from 15.00-100.00 something. You also need to make sure the coffee grinds you get are for a french press (tell the barista when you get your coffee grinds). However, I have used regular-store packaged coffee grinds in my french press. The directions are easy to make french press coffee: put the grinds in the bottom of the french press, boil water (180 degrees, if you are technical), pour in the press, stir the grinds and water, put the top on, time for 4 minutes, and then press!
2. Coffee Cups with Character
Coffee Cups with character: there’s history, there’s a story, and a hint of nostalgia. Drinking from them makes me feel like I am in a diner from the ’50s or ’60s. I think these were given to J-rod by one of his teachers.
3. Chalk Boards
Chalkboards: I like to see things that bring in elements of places you feel inspired to be around. Having a chalkboard has an old-timey, and very European feel. It reminds me of cozy pastry places or unique, authentic coffee shops and restaurants. There is nothing pretentious about it, yet it stands out and has its own statement-worthy style.
4. Eucalyptus/ Aromatherapy
Eucalyptus: The smell is very fresh and extremely rejuvenating. I feel a sense of calmness when I have this candle burning. Burn the candle for about an hour, and you can smell it emanating throughout the house. It continues to persist even after you stop burning because the oil remains infused in the room. I recommend this because it elevates my mood and helps me feel balanced.
I also have the massage oil from Bath and Body Works. The aromatherapy line is a bit pricy. For instance, this candle runs about 20.00 a jar, but I got mine when there was a sale, to where it was only 10.00. I have looked for other brands with candles and oils that smell like this, but I cannot find any. Most of them smell fake to me. If anyone has suggestions, feel free to share.
5. French-style Macaroons
Macaroons: I like to call them the Chanel of pastries. The story of the macaroon is that you can’t just have one. It’s hard to explain macaroons. I was all-the-rage about them before I ever had one. All I wanted for my birthday was a lousy macaroon, when I didn’t even know what they tasted like. Unfortunately, they are so hard to find in Texas, and you have to find the right person at the right time way in advance. Anyway, when I finally had one, I was first disappointed in the size. It was super tiny. Then I bit into it, and my initial reaction was, I have never had anything like this. It wasn’t a “this is the best thing I’ve ever had” reaction. Literally, I had to take a moment to figure out what the heck I was eating (even though I had done a lot of research on them beforehand). I spent the remaining bite scrutinizing over the texture, taste and character. I closed my eyes (because you are supposed to have higher sensory when you close your eyes, and all) to discern over the ingredients. Truthfully, I didn’t know what to think. But then I realized that I had an immediate I-want-more reaction. So by the time I had the second one, I was head-over heels-singing-the-new-Katy-Perry-“E.T.”-love-song-(if I had known about it back then) infatuated with these little guys. And that is why you can’t have just one.
Basically, if I could coin a phrase, it would be, “Life is too short, eat a macaroon.” Because I truly sort of believe that if everyone had a darn macaroon in their mouth, there wouldn’t be all this crime and anger, heartache, resentment and stuff. I really believe the world would be a better place. Unfortunately, they are pretty expensive and super rare to find (especially in Texas! Pastry chefs need to get on it). Therefore, I am on a quest to make my own macaroons, but I am so freaking scared—it’s not even funny. When that day comes, I will post the recipe that works. Until then, I will work on it in secrecy and contact Samantha from Rush Patisserie whenever my body physically and violently will not function without one of her macaroons (although I can’t tell her that because she might realize how much power she has!).
So that’s a wrap for now. Enjoy these pieces of flare. Also, feel free to share your pieces of flare.