Lavazza Coffee Machine Review*

The easiest way to Italy

Every morning deserves an excellent authentic Italian coffee. Actually so does every lunchbreak, evening, weekend. But getting that authentic Italian coffee experience at home has been difficult. Thanks to the Lavazza 'A Modo Mio' system by Electrolux - that is no longer an obstacle.

Design & Installation
The Lavazza A Modo Mio Premium Mio capsule coffee machine is slick and beautiful. It’s small enough to be neatly tucked away but also beautiful enough to be the centerpiece in the kitchen. There is little set up required – essentially just removing the packaging, filling the water jug and plugging the machine is enough to get you started. The instructions are included but are not needed.

The best products are those which you can use simply and effortlessly. The Lavazza A Modo Mio capsule coffee machine is one of those products. By turning the machine on, two LED lights illuminate where the cup should sit with the machine button lights flashing. Once the button lights have stopped flashing, it’s simply a matter of putting the capsule in the machine and pressing the cup button on the top left hand side of the machine. You can choose to have the coffee served as ristretto (short) or long.

The Lavazza capsules are true to their flavour, with the tasting notes identifiable as per their trademark taste. There is a large selection of pods to try with different flavours and strength. The machine comes with a sample box – from the strongest (a high percentage of Arabica) to the decaf blend. The pods are reasonably priced around $12 – $13 mark per pack of 16 capsules. If you’re in the market to have a real strong coffee with fantastic consistency, this machine is for you.

The Lavazza A Modo Mio Premium Mio capsule coffee machine I was provided with retails at $199.99. This model came with a separate milk frother. If black coffee is your drink of choice, you can save yourself a few dollars by buying the model without the frother (retailing at $99.90). 

My top three flavour recommendations

A Modo Mio Favola is compact in size and comes in a variety of colours. All models are equipped with a steam/hot water spout to be able to prepare a cappuccino or latte macchiato.

There is a wide range of capsules for every taste. A Modo Mio comes in eight carefully selected coffee blends, from the delicately Dolcemente to the intensive and full-bodied Divinamente. A Modo Mio  machines and capsules are available in select stores and from the Lavazza A Modo Mio homepage.

First Impressions - Yankee Candle 'Snowflake Cookie'

If you know me, you'll know I'm a big fan of scented candles. I don't think there is anything better than the scent of a pretty candle wafting through the air, and this time of year is perfect for stocking up on all your favourites. I love nothing more than curling up with a cup of hot chocolate and a good book on these chilly winter nights, lighting a scented candle and feeling all my worries float away.

So, when I spotted this gorgeous 'Christmas themed' Yankee Candle from my local newsagent, you can imagine my delight. I chose the one scent I have always lusted after, Snowflake Cookie. Yankee is the king of Christmas candles so it felt only right to give this one a try.

Yankee Candle Snowflake Cookie is a scented candle that features notes of holiday cookies and sugary pink icing. The candle provides a long-lasting fragrance from beginning to end and burns completely. It has been formulated with fine ingredients that include pure and natural fragrance extracts, and features a custom blended wax formulation to ensure the optimum melting point and ability to hold fragrance oil.

RRP: $49.95 / $39.95 / $22.50 / $4.95 / $17.50 / $4.50
Pack size: Large Jar (623g) / Medium Jar (411g) / Small Jar (104g) / Sampler (49g) / Tealights (12 pack) / Tart Wax

Are you a fan of Yankee Candles? Let me know which scents I need to try! 

Money-Saving Makeup Tips

Certain beauty products are extremely expensive and can end up burning a huge hole in your product. The truth is, you can still make yourself look and feel a million dollars without punishing your bank balance. Read on to find out a few tips that could assist you in getting more bang for your buck.

Tip #1 - To prevent compacts from breaking in your bag, put a cotton ball or round inside.

Tip #2 - Pumping the wand traps air inside and makes the mascara dry out faster. Instead, spin the brush to get rid of clumps.

Tip #3 - Fix broken or smashed lipstick by heating it quickly with a match or hairdryer.

Tip #4 - Save money on liquid foundation by applying with a brush instead of a sponge.

Tip #5 - Keep an eye out for blog sales from beauty bloggers.

What are your tips for saving money on makeup and other beauty products?

How To: Blog Graphics

So, as you might have guessed, I’m a little OCD when it comes to my post graphics. However, you don’t have to be super OCD like me to create a style guide and keep your graphics consistent. Here are a few considerations:

Set your standards

Consider setting standards for the type of images, and possibly even the number, you choose to feature, and how you credit them, or how you edit your photos if you use original photography. Consider how you will credit your images. Remember, Pinterest and Tumblr are not sources. 

Will you list credits as numbers at the bottom of your post? Or spell out the source directly underneath the photo? I personally prefer to spell out the source to encourage people to go to the original. If you use original photos, consider editing them the same way for consistency.

Keep it consistent

Making your images one consistent width (preferably the width of your content) is the quickest, easiest way to make a statement with your graphics. You don’t even need fancy software. Simply drag your photo into iPiccy and resize.

If you choose to do nothing else with your graphics, try this. Scroll down any blog with consistent width photos, and you will see just how much of an impact it makes. It can take a blog from scrapbook to editorial. In fact, if you have really great original photography or a fantastic eye for images, you can probably stop here and call it a day.

A little goes a long way 

Post graphics are a great place to mix in another font or two beyond what’s in the rest of your blog design, but don’t go crazy. I think a good starting point is something for titles, something for subtitles or less important text, and a fun accent. 

You don’t have to use every font in your overall blog design, but pick at least one of them for consistency, and make sure anything you add has a similar look and feel. Also consider using different weights and styles of your blog design fonts.

Keep it real

Photos and graphics can be a great way to experiment and evolve your brand with little impact or commitment, so bend the rules if you need to. What are some ways you’ve established a style guide for your graphics?