The Easiest Way To French Press Coffee

When Savannah + I were at a blogger retreat in December, the Airbnb only had a Keurig and a French press. I quickly learned that I was the only person who knew how to make coffee with a French press. I vowed to make a video that day to show those ladies + anyone else how to make coffee the best way you can-using a French press.

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- A Refreshing Coconut Iced Coffee
- The Most Delicious Pumpkin Spice Golden Milk
- Color Changing Magic Lemonade! 
I think the process seems intimidating and using a regular coffee maker or Keurig is definitely easier. BUT the taste of the coffee from a French press is far better. Trust me. Also, there is something cathartic about the ritual of making coffee in this way every morning.

In this video, I show you how I make French press coffee. An important note is that if you were to search the web for how to make coffee with a French press, you will find a more tedious process than how I make it. Here is a post if you want to know the proper way to use a French press. In my opinion, the coffee comes out tasting the same regardless, so I stick the easier way. I also prefer making coffee via French press over pour over coffee, because I find coffee made that way is weaker in flavor. Regular drip coffee makers burn coffee which disrupts the flavor.
These are the items that I use to make my french press coffee:
1. Counter Culture Coffee - subscription
8. Measuring Glass

If you are interesetd in the more complicated way to make french press coffee, here is a super precise way to make French press coffee.

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The Most Affordable Photo Equipment You Need To Start A Blog

We get questions about our photography almost daily on Instagram and we are here to tell you that you can take great photos yourself! There are a lot of decisions you have to make when starting your blog, but one thing stands true- you have to have good photography. The good news is that you don't have to spend thousands of dollars to make that happen. Today we are going to talk about all the equipment that we use for our photos and video that won't break the bank. We are definitely interested in upgrading our camera to this one in the future, but you can create some amazing photos with what we have now.

1. For Quick Lifestyle Photos & IG Stories- iPhone 8+
We always use our phones for our IG stories because, of course, it's the quickest way to video. Every now and then we will take IG photos on Casey's iPhone 8+. When we started, this was the only way we took photos for Instagram. It can be done! The new cameras are high quality so if it's all that you have- use it!
2. Most Affordable Starter Camera with/Video- Canon Rebel T5i
The reason we chose this camera was because we wanted something that could record video and take high quality photos. This camera is on the low end for DSLR pricing, but isn't one to write off. Although the kit lens isn't the greatest, that can be fixed with some skills and/or new lenses. But the kit lens is a great place to start. We used ours for a while before we bought a new lens, but I definitely wish we had bought it sooner. Fun story- we took this camera on a hike to a waterfall and I fell in the water with the camera in my backpack on my back. Luckily we got it out in time and no harm was done. You have to be careful when you are hiking waterfalls with cameras!

3. Memory Card for Recording Video
We learned the hard way that not all memory cards are created equally. Some just aren't cut out for videoing. We have a couple memory cards that will not record video for more than 9 seconds. This is because they are not high speed memory cards. The ones we use right now are 80 MB/s, but I will buy a faster one soon. However the 80MB/s works fine!
4. For DIY & Recipe Photography- 50 mm Lens
This is the lens that you should buy immediately with your Canon Rebel T5i. If you already have a camera, this lens will step up your photography for only $125. The kicker is that it is a fixed lens so you have to move your body if you want to zoom in or out. I get frustrated about how zoomed in it is sometimes, but the quality outweighs the cons. Especially when the equivalent lens with a zoom would cost you upwards of $1000. This coffee photo above is a good example of what this lens can do. The detail is amazing and it provides that lovely background blur that everyone loves. We also use this lens for video right now! It really does the job well.
6. For Landscape & Interior Photography- Ultra Wide Zoom Lens
We would've saved a lot of heartache if we had bought this lens back when we started taking photos of our house. It's hard to get a whole room in a photo with the kit lens or your iPhone. A wide angle lens is also great for landscape and travel photos. Anytime you are trying to get a lot of things in a photo and you have to be close up- this is your guy. I can take 1 photo that captures floor and ceiling in our 50 sq. ft. bathroom. It's amazing. This one is also great for low lighting conditions provided you are using a tripod. This one can get a little weird when you are taking photos up close which is why the 50 mm really comes in handy.

Canon actually sells these two lenses in a package now, which is great for folks who are just starting! If you decide to buy both lenses at the same time you can save about $50 by purchasing them together.

5. For Travel, Fashion, & Lifestyle Photography- 24 mm Pancake Lens
This is not a lens we have yet, but it is our next purchase. We have a need for something right in the middle of the two we already have. We need something that is a little further away and more universal, but still high quality. The good thing about this lens is that it is flat and light so it is perfect for travel. It is also a fixed lens, so keep that in mind.
7. Tripod
A tripod is your best friend for high quality photos. Even when our house is well lit, I will bring out the tripod if possible. It will always be more stable than a handheld camera. We really like crisp photos and this is part of how we make that happen. We also use a tripod if we are both going to be in a photo. We take all of our own photos (for the most part) so a tripod is our third photographer. This one that I got from Amazon weighs less than a pound, but because of that it is a little flimsy. When we use it outdoors it has to be weighed down so the camera doesn't blow over. We will be upgrading very soon, but the one we have now works as a starter tripod.

8. Remote
A remote was a game changer for us. It only costs around $20 and makes it possible for you to be the photographer and the subject.

One of the first things we purchased after we started our YouTube channel was lighting. We got this set of 3 lamps on Amazon. We recorded a lot of videos in the dark and needed help looking more professional. We still have those same lights today! We will throw them up for videos if we need more light in a small part of a photo. I definitely recommend using these in addition to natural sunlight, and not in place of, for best results. If you want something more compact you could spend a bit more and get something like the diva ring.

10. Photoshop/Lightroom Subscription
This is the subscription we have and we pay monthly. The great thing about the Creative Cloud membership is that you have access to all updates of Photoshop and Lightroom. We use Lightroom to edit all of our photos and recommend that you use it as well! iPhone filters can't touch what you can do in Lightroom. Don't get me wrong, you can make the phone filters work, but Lightroom is next level. And photoshop is equally important for us. We use it to put writing over photos, edit skin and weird things out of photos, and to put multiple photos together for blog posts.

If you have all of these things you will be set to create some amazing content for you blog and Instagram! I hope this was helpful for those of you who are just starting out or are hoping to upgrade from your phone. If you aren't following us on Instagram already, you can find us here. And don't forget to pin the image below to share the love!

Find more photos taken with our camera in these posts:
- 48 Hours in Nashville
- Camping in Florida in October
- 5 Tips For Your Weekend in Gatlinburg
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The Easiest DIY Desk Tutorial

This year we decided it was time to rearrange our studio in order to better suit our needs. Since we aren't making clothing anymore, we needed less cutting space and more desk and planning space. Now if you have ever spent any time looking for desks, you know that there aren't too many modern ones out there that don't cost a fortune. So we just decided to make our own. Especially since we needed 2 of them!

Thank goodness The Hairpin Leg Co. exists! They have a great selection of hairpin legs in different colors and heights. We used the 28" copper ones for our desks.

  SEE ALSO: How To Create Your Own Stock Tank Pool!  
We made two L shaped desks (one for each of us). This tutorial works best if you need 2 L desks because you will utilize the materials better. Or you could just buy one of those 2' x 4' pieces of Plywood at Home Depot and not have to make any cuts. Either way, you will need:
- 1 sheet of good Plywood (we used 4' x 8' pine)
- Hairpin Legs (We needed 10 but if you don't do an L shape you'll just need 4)
- Table Saw or Circular Saw (Obviously you won't need this if you aren't making cuts)
- Drill
- Tape Measure

Step 1. You will need to trace out two "L" shapes on your plywood. Our L shapes are 5' long on one side and 4' (AKA the width of the plywood) on the other. The desks are 2' in depth. You could adjust the 5' side up to 6' or down to 4'. You'll have to do this part carefully. Measure twice, cut once! Anyway, we used a piece of wood we already had from our giant table in the studio.
Step 2. Cut out your L shapes with either a circular saw or table saw. I used both.
Step 3. Attach your legs. They come with screws to attach. So you literally just need to measure exactly where you want them and attach them with screws.
I only put the legs in the 5 corners and didn't put one on the inside nook. We wanted to be able to move around from side to side without a leg in the way.
I couldn't actually find a photo of this side wall before because we never really used it for anything. But this is our massive table that we used for cutting fabric.

And here are our desks completed! We ended up attaching our desks to each other so they don't move around. This tutorial took us forever to start and not long at all to execute. If you decide to make one of these desks with the 2' x 4' plywood, it's really only a matter of gathering the supplies and assembling them. If you liked this post and want to see more like it, please Pin the image below or share with your friends and family!

xo, Savannah
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