The Sol Compass

by Caitlin Hummer


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The Sol Compass turns 3!!

Hello everyone, welcome back!  I can’t believe that today is the third birthday of The Sol Compass!  Well, technically Monday was, but I didn’t post because of the holiday.  I had no idea what this blog would turn out to be when I started it back in 2014.  All I knew was that I wanted a place to document and share the things that I was inspired by.  I thought I would do a lot of food posts, what I was cooking and how I eat seasonally to stretch my dollars.  Or maybe share some places that inspired me in my travels.  Never in my wildest dreams did I ever believe I would have the artistic freedoms of creating content to inspire people or that I would some day get paid to get dressed in the morning.  This endeavor has been an absolute dream come true and I cannot thank you all enough for following along and fueling my passions.  You all create sunshine for me and I will never be able to thank you enough.

In celebration of The Sol Compass’ third birthday, I have three giveaways planned for you this month!  Without a big blogger budget they’re nothing huge but just something small to say thanks for coming along on this journey with me and for allowing me to do this thing that I love so much.

Today’s giveaway is all about the great love of my life… Coffee!  This journal and a $20 Starbucks gift card could be yours in just three easy steps!  The giveaway will run until Sunday, and next Monday (9/11) I’ll announce the winner and the next giveaway!!

To enter the giveaway you just need to follow these three steps!
1) Like The Sol Compass on Facebook!
2) Follow The Sol Compass on Instagram!
3) Leave a comment on this blog post when you’re done!

The winner will be announced in Monday’s post, and also contacted by email!  Good luck, and thank you for following along with The Sol Compass!

xo, C


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At Home Cold Brew

Hello everyone, welcome back!  Today I’m sharing something I have a lot of experience with: making coffee.  I was a shift manager at Starbucks for four years through college, and finding new coffee shops and coffee beans to try is one of my favorite ways to explore new cities.  I always get asked to make coffee at holidays and parties, which has gotten somewhat comical at this point, but it’s true that I can whip out a latte (or 75) in my sleep.  Today, I’m putting that experience to good use and sharing how you can make Cold Brewed Coffee at home, which is great whether you want to elevate your coffee game or save some money on your daily coffee!

The main difference between a cold brew and a traditional iced coffee is the way that it’s made.  A traditional iced coffee is brewed hot and then refrigerated or poured over ice.  Cold brew, however, is brewed in cold water and steeped for several hours, resulting in a sweeter and smoother taste.  You have to make it the day before, which makes the morning much easier since the heavy lifting has already been done by past you (well done).

Today I’m going to share two ways to make cold brew, using these pitcher packs and using a french press!

For the first batch, I used my copper french press and Starbucks’ Kenya roast, which tastes amazing over ice!

  1. Make sure the coffee is ground for a french press.  If you don’t have a grinder at home, Starbucks will always grind it for you at the store!
  2. My preferred ratio of grounds to water is 1:5, so for my 34oz French Press, I made about 32oz of cold brew, and used six 1 ounce scoops of coffee (which came with the french press, but equates to just less than one cup of grounds).
  3. Add coffee grounds to the french press, and pour in the water making sure all of the grounds are wet, stirring them with a wooden spoon.
  4. Cover the french press without plunging and store in the fridge.  Ideally it should steep for 16-20 hours, but 12 will do just fine in a pinch.
  5. When it’s ready, plunge, pour, and enjoy!  If you make extra, I recommend keeping it in a separate refrigerated container.  I use a mason jar, but Starbucks also has a Cold Brew Growler

Starbucks KenyaBodum French Press (also available at Starbucks in silver!)

This next method is actually (somehow) even easier!  I picked up two of these boxes of prepared Cold Brew at the Starbucks store, but they’re also available online.  My pitcher is an old Tazo tea pitcher (which really shows how long ago I was working with Starbucks), but they have a really similar one here!

  1. Take one bag out of the box (two pitcher packs) and put it in four cups of water.
  2. Let sit in the fridge for 16-20 hours.
  3. Remove pitcher packs.
  4. Add four more cups of water.
  5. Serve over ice and enjoy!  Store any leftovers in the fridge.

Narino 70 Cold Brew Coffee | Acrylic Pitcher | Cold Brew Glass | Cold Brew Growler

I happen to love super cold iced coffee during the summer, so a frequent problem I face is the watering down that inevitably happens if I don’t drink my iced coffee quickly enough.  My next investment for my coffee corner will be these soft silicone ice trays, so I can make coffee iced cubes that don’t dilute the flavor at all!

 

I hope you all enjoyed today’s post!  Let me know what you think in the comments!

Have a great week!

xo, C


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Gift Guide: The Foodie

Foodies can certainly be stressful to shop for.  It’s tempting to buy them a monthly club membership, but then they can miss out on the fun of opening something tangible.  So I’ve rounded up my favorite items to add to their favorite hobby!

foodie

one // two // three // four // five // six // seven // eight // nine

For the coffee lover, I adore this color-blocked espresso set (I also love this black and white set) and this cute elephant creamer to add some spice to the morning cup.  For the homemade pizza enthusiast, this whimsical bike pizza cutter and state cutting board bring some more excitement to the cooking process.  For some after dinner fun, The Chillsner keeps beers cold without a coozy, and this electric wine bottle opener makes for a great conversation starter as the party gets going.  I love this Moscow Mule mug and Mint Julep cup for those who like to go all out with their cocktails.  For the chef of any caliber, this stylish tablet stand makes following an internet recipe or video hands-free a breeze (bonus that they can use it outside of the kitchen, too!)

Follow my Pinterest board for gift ideas for everyone all season long!  Happy Holidays!

xo, Caitlin


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Rain Storm in Fall Form

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An autumnal storm like last night’s is the perfect excuse to stay inside for an evening with a few of my favorite comforting items.  “Heart of the City” is one of my all-time favorite re-reads.  Ariel Sabar uses an intriguing summary of environmental psychology as an introduction for his collection of true short stories, documenting nine couple’s first encounters in New York City.  Its juxtaposition with science and romance make it easy for me to come back to time and time again, especially on simple, rainy nights in.IMG_2330

Leftover from my last trip to New York City is this marvelous African tea from Ambessa.  Given as a gift after a delightful meal at Red Rooster by the remarkable Marcus Samuelsson, this Safari breakfast blend stays true to the passion and quality Marcus so highly values in all of his endeavors.  To boot, every Ambessa purchase gives back to a charity that brings clean water to a community in need.

The siren mug from Starbucks embodies one of my favorite Starbucks traditions of the romantic sea and makes me long for summer, but balances with cool tones of fall and is the perfect container for a hot cup of tea.
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If you are anything like me, seasonal candles are one of your top-purchased decor items every time the weather turns.  I love how this Vanilla Chai candle from Bath and Body Works embodies the fall atmosphere with the vanilla, chai, and subtle cinnamon notes in a welcoming and warm aroma. It’s a great way to enhance the natural scents of apples and pumpkins while maintaining the seasonal appeal.  The adorable mason jar can only add to the appeal!

IMG_2335PS: the coaster, vase, and flower are all super affordable and from Ikea!

XO, Caitlin