Archive for July 2010

How rude! We've forgotten to introduce you!

To those of you who've been wondering, 'who's the cute new the girl behind the counter?', her name is Alex, and she's our new book store clerk and barista extraudinare.

Talk about right place, right time.

Jefferson and I were starting to discuss how busy the morning rush was becoming, and that Jefferson was struggling to give the best possible customer service he could on his own. In walks Alex. Buys a coffee, hangs out for a bit, and asks if we're hiring. Alex said she came to us specifically because she liked what she read about us on our Blog and thought, that sounds like a cool place to work. Complimenting the owners. Already on a good start.

She's fresh out of college, with a Literacy major, looking for some kind of work to keep her occupied until she finds, as she puts it, a 'real job'. She went to College in Montana, and moved back to Colorado recently. She loves water sports, and she brews her own beer (and she's damned good at it too... we know, she's given us a few bottles to sample).

What we love most about Alex (apart from the delicious home brews she brings in for us) is her cool, calm, and friendly personality. We love her genuine enthusiasm for her work, and for the success of our store.

For example - most of you would be shocked if you knew that Alex had no barista experience before she came to RW&B. I say shocked because of the quality of the drinks she now prepares. Well yes, Jefferson can take credit for training her in everything he knows, but she's gone over and above what Jefferson taught her. We happened to mention in conversation one day that eventually we'd like to start creating latte art with our coffee drinks. Alex jumped at the opportunity to learn something new, and after a few Googled online videos and practice sessions, look what she can do now!

Get a latte to stay next time you're in, and you too can have your own Read, Write & Brew art in your latte froth... as long as Alex is behind the counter.

Oh, and remember that article in the Denver Post a few weeks back? Alex's parents thought of the idea to mention us and get us that free feature article!

So, talk about setting the bar high hey: quick learner, personality, latte art, home brewed beers for the boss, free feature article in the Denver Post! Future RW&B employees, you've got you're work cut out for you to try and top that... and we're waiting eagerly to see what you come up with!

Oh, and Alex..
Please don't ever find a 'real job'.
We like you too much.

From Jeff, Jules and the kokopelli's.

Gimme My Decorating Magazines Back!

The NY Times today has an article on The Selby.  You probably heard of the site.  It's about real people in their homes--some famous, some not.  The article also went on to discuss how people can relate more to "real places" than professionally decked up places frequently featured in decor magazines, which contributes to their ever growing popularity. 

We love the Selby too but in a way, it's like watching Rachel Ray cooks vs a professional chef.  There is no competition!    Magazines offer beautifully shot, gorgeous decor that we can fantasize about. We don't want to look at houses that look just like ours, for god's sake.  For example, look at the image below from Homebodies, one of the blogs mentioned:

We want our decorating magazines back!  We miss them, terribly.

Real Cool Barstool

We totally dig this barstool from Arteriors. It has an unique shape to it, and we love the organic look/feel.

The barstool sells at $450/each  with free shipping.

You can find the specifications in our barstool section.

Modern Silk Flower Arrangements

Just want to share with you some beautiful modern floral arrangements we just got in...

These can be found in our silk flowers section. If you see them in person you wouldn't believe how real they look.

Modern and Glamorous-Chandelier from Barbara Cosgrove

We are loving this new chandelier from Barbara Cosgrove.  It's so chic, don't you think? 

The chandelier is priced at $925 including shipping.
The shades can also be replaced with parchment shades. The best thing is, it can be painted with any Benjamin Moore paint color. How clever!
You can find this chandelier in our Barbara Cosgrove Lamps section.

Home Decoration Advice

Home Decoration Advice

Are your bathroom wall tiles rather dated? Does your shower cubicle lack sparkle? Grubby grout lines in your kitchen? In these credit crunchy times you can still decorate with ease when you “do it yourself”.

Plastic wall tile panels offer a quick and easy solution to your tiling problems.

You don’t have to chip off your old ceramic wall tiles or call in a professional tiler.

Plastic tile panels can quickly cover whole wall areas. They can be cut with scissors or a craft knife to go around sink fittings or sockets giving a very professional finish.

Plastic tile panels offer a hard, glazed surface with fully glazed edges providing a neat finish to walls and window sills; they can even be bent around outside corners. The high gloss finish of some tiles come in a range of colours – plain, marble, metallic and stone effects which complement all of the current bathroom and kitchen trends. They are easy to clean – simply wipe them with a damp cloth or you can use warm water with soap / a detergent, then rinse and wipe dry. No scouring powders or any other abrasives should ever be used on plastic.

These tiles are usually made of polystyrene or vinyl plastic, sold under many brand names. Polystyrene plastic (such as Bakelite polystyrene, Catalin Luxtred, Plexon M, Styron) is not damaged by water, oil, alcohol, vinegar, or the usual household acids. Cleaning fluids, gasoline, nail polish and polish remover, and oil from lemon / orange peel will damage them. Vinyl plastic (such as Vinylite, Saran, Geon, Marvinol, Ultron, and Monsanto vinyl butryol) is tough. Ordinary household chemicals will not harm them and they resist damage from acid, alcohol, food, ink, and dirt; but be careful not to spatter them with moth preparations. Too much heat will softens most plastic so be careful in placing near a heater or oven.

Plastic wall tiles' insulating backing reduces both condensation and mould growth.

Plastic wall tiles were also used to cover over unsightly plastered or damaged walls.

The tile panels are fixed into place with adhesive and they can then be grouted with a flexible grout and sealer. The job requires no specialist equipment – just a ruler and scissors or craft knife. Are you ready to DIY?

Because the tiles are light weight and flexible they are ideal for boats and caravans where there may be some movement on the walls, and they mould over slightly uneven wall surfaces in the home too.

Small sink splash backs in cloakrooms, baby changing areas, utility rooms and en suites can all be tiled with the panels. Once on the wall they are durable and rigid just like ceramics

If you want a ceiling that lasts for a long time, you can use plastic ceiling tiles. Plastic ceiling tiles are great for added insulation. You may find that your energy consumption decreases considerably when you install them. Plastic is commonly used for insulating windows and doors. So, it can do wonders on ceilings as well.

When choosing tiles, it is important to remember that glazed ceramic wall tiles in kitchens and bathrooms can be particularly difficult to paint due to their very smooth, non-porous surface.

Considering materials, labour and finish, plastic wall tiles are are less expensive than other alternatives.

7 Home Decoration Secrets

7 Home Decoration Secrets You Would Want to Know

We always want our homes to be perfect. That is understandable since our home is our abode, our personal sanctuary, the place we look forward to go to after a whole day of stressful work. This is why, one of the most important things a homeowner has to do is to decorate his or her home in such a way that it will be a nice and relaxing escape. This article reveals top 10 home decoration secrets that you surely would want to know.

1. Visualizing is the key

Do not simply make an exact replica of the living room you found on the home interior magazine. Visualize on your own how you want your home to look like, how you want home decors like your wall plaques and paintings to be hung on the wall. Visualization of each room will make it easier for you to do your planning and decoration.

2. Start with a focal point

Any veteran interior designer knows how important it is to start with a focal point in any room so that other home décor items will flow easily around it. It is always a great idea to select an item that gives a big impact like the fireplace, a piano or a sofa.

3. Colors have psychological effect

Colors are important design elements not only because it determines the ambience and feel of the room, and gives the illusion of space but also because they have psychological effects on people.

For example, blue, which is the least appetizing color is not a good shade to paint in your dining area or kitchen. Meanwhile, light and pastel colors, which can relax the mind, are a good idea for the living room. Make sure that the colors you choose complement well with each other.

4. A theme makes it easier to achieve unity and harmony

A décor theme not only makes home decoration a lot easier but is also important because it reflects the homeowner’s personal taste and style. Your theme can be classic, modern, nautical, tropical, European, Asian or whatever you can think of.

Buy furniture and home accessories that match the theme that you have chosen. For example, if the theme of your home is contemporary, modern metal wall plaques would be a great addition while if you have a coastal theme, you might as well go for nautical wall art.

5. Clutter can ruin even the nicest home decoration

Get rid of everything that you do not need or hardly ever use and neatly store them in the storage room. Even if you have the most expensive or most gorgeous home decor, all these are useless if your room is filled with clutter.

6. Lighting is just as important as furniture

Lighting is important because of two things. First, it illuminates the room and allows people to do the things they need to do. Second, it creates an ambience and feel of the room. Because of this, you need to choose the proper kind of lighting, which will make you achieve both objectives. Lamp and fluorescent are great for general and task lighting while candles and smaller lamps are ideal for accent lighting.

7. Strive to achieve a balance between form and function

Form is just as important as function and because of that, it is necessary to achieve a balance between the two when buying furniture or decorating your home. To put it simply, you must be able to decorate your home in such a way that it will be both practical and beautiful.

We all know that home decoration is not as easy as we want it to be. However, it is also true that we do not need a doctorate degree on interior decoration to get the job done right. With a dash of creativity, resourcefulness and patience, we can have a home that looks like one of those featured in interior designing magazines.

Shades As Home Decoration

The Use Of Shades As Home Decoration

Vertical blinds can add style to any room. Depending on the look you’d like to create, you have a multitude of choices as far as style, color and texture. These blinds provide a simple, low maintenance, affordable way to add interest to windows and doors in your home. Each provides a different look and feel for a room. It’s important to know what kind of mood you’re looking to capture before you make a selection.

The advent of technology and choices has afforded buyers with more choices than ever before. Blinds are no longer offered in just one size, color and material. You can find them made of PVC, wood and metal. They’ve evolved in their operating mechanisms. Some are even automatic, which is convenient for the elderly or those unable to manage operating them manually.

Blinds are not just for offices anymore. They started to appear in the home as efficient covers for patio doors, but now their use has spread to anywhere you’d use regular shades. Bedrooms, bathrooms, living rooms and kitchens now sport vertical blinds as window coverings. Printed, fabric covered, colored or textured, blinds can help you bring a room together. And installation is simple. You can do it yourself, or call a professional.

Each room can have its own feel, due in part to the colors and styles of the blinds used. They can also be dressed up and layered with curtains and valances. They can be used as decoration by being covered in fabric that matches or accents other items in the room, or they can be subtle, and offset with a valance that matches the room décor.

They can be long or short. They can work to visually adjust the size and shape of the window through the size you purchase. You can make a window appear larger by mounting the blinds to hang wider and/or longer than the actual window.

They’re great for controlling the light that is coming into the room. They can be slightly opened to admit a limited amount of sunlight, or they can be drawn to the side to expose the entire window. They can also help somewhat in blocking drafts emitting from cracks around windows and doors. This can ultimately help with energy efficiency.

With all the options available, you don’t have to choose just one. Whichever blinds you select, you can be assured you made the right choice.

Luxury Decoration

The 50% Of Luxury Decoration Of Your Home

The remaining 50% decoration of your home includes the Kitchen and Dinning area, the lighting and the Blinds and shades, Rugs etc.

Kitchen and Dinning areas are very important too, we cannot live them out, it is important that we are also careful in what kind of furniture has to be used for these areas. They are also areas where hygiene has to be maintained.

Furniture to be used in Kitchen and dinning areas are Bakers racks, Chair cushions, Kitchen Carts, Napkins, Table cloths and table cloths. They are also available in different materials and different styles.

Once again you buy Kitchen and Dinning furniture that well suits the other bought furniture for your home.

The lighting plays a huge role in the decoration of your home, it is essential to know which lighting will suit best and will also give you warmth feeling in the comfort of your home.

Lightings have been listed into Bath lighting, ceiling lighting, and floor lamps, ceiling fans, Lampshades, Table lamps, Task Lighting and Wall lighting. Task Lighting and wall lighting are definitely optional.

While choosing lightings whether it be Bath lighting or any lighting you have to know that it should not be very bright and also not be very dull, you have to balance here, in some places of your home you would want bright lightings and in some places of your home who would prefer sober and soft lightings, so you have to judge on that…

Through the list given you can choose the types of lighting that would be a good décor to your home.

Blinds and shades and rugs are also very important; choose the right blinds and shades and also the rugs for your home as per the color of your walls. Choose even colors of Blinds and shades for all your rooms. Some of the distinguished Blinds and shades are Wood, Faux wood, Honeycomb, Sheer shadings, Pleated, woven wood, roman roller etc.

Buy rugs that match your Blinds and shades.

You can also decorate your home with beautiful paintings that can be put on your wall, showpieces, and family pictures. That gives a complete look to your beautiful home. Luxury decorating can be easy, all one has to do is put their ideas to action. The best thing to do to get started is to find a photo of a home or a picture in a magazine and emulate it. You don’t have to spend a fortune to have a luxury home today

Dining Room Decorating Ideas

Good food grants a good life and a good place to eat makes the experience of good food, even better. Dining rooms are the center of your home, which is why they become the place of congregation of family members at some point of time in a day. A clean and well decorated dining area lifts the mood and makes the dining pleasurable. Dining room decorating ideas will give you a wide range to choose from. If you have a separate dining area, then there are brilliant permutations and combinations of decorating ideas for dining room. Create the dining room that you always wanted to have, with the help of some ideas for decorating dining room. Make a dining room that suits your taste, style and needs.

Apartment Furnishing Ideas

Before you start furnishing your apartment, there are certain points that you should keep in mind.

Use Measuring Tape: This is the most important point in the furnishing an apartment list. Before you get any of the furnitures, take out your measuring tape and measure whether the furniture that you have in mind will fit or not. Measure the size of the doors, hallways and stairways to make sure that the furniture that you get, can pass through it. You don't want to fall in a situation like Ross in the series 'Friends' did when he had got a sofa that would not pass through his hallway and so he had to saw it through. So measure well and accurately before you go any further with buying your furniture. Imagine! Pushing and pulling a wardrobe up to the 5th floor only to realize that it does not fit through your door.

Keep it Few: Here's some important tips on furnishing a small apartment, always keep the number of furniture less. Do not cluster up your room. So before you buy your furniture, decide on what you need the most and also what will be space saving at the same time. So you might decide to buy the bed-cum-sofa set, so that during the evening you can sit their with your friends and watch TV and at night, just pull out the bed. You can also have the collapsible chairs which you can set up whenever you have guests. Don't buy things which you do not need. Keep it simple.

Reflect your Style: The way you are furnishing an apartment, should reflect your taste and your style. Do not go overboard with everything. So, now that you have a clear idea as to what kind of furniture or decor you want for your apartment, let's see from where you can get these furniture's.

Furnishing a Studio Apartment

A studio apartment or a studio flat is place to live in for the singles or bachelors. It has a living room, a bathroom and a kitchen in a single unit. To give a feel of home to the apartment, it has to be furnished. It is easy to decorate a large area, but it's a most difficult task to plan anything for a small space. Do you also have the same notion? Furnishing a studio apartment is a challenging job, but not impossible. So, here we are with a cart full of ideas for furnishing a studio apartment of yours and making an attempt to make it a comfortable and a beautiful place to live in.

Java Junkies of the month - Jack and Melissa

Jack was one of the very first customers to walk through the door at Read, Write & Brew, and has been coming in almost daily ever since. He lives in the condo complex across the street, and discovered us one morning while going for a walk through the neighbourhood. He came in daily for his usual, which was a cappuccino. Then he started coming in with Melissa, his caregiver. He got her hooked on us (she comes in sometimes without Jack now), and she got Jack hooked on our White Chocolate Mocha's. He wasn't interested in trying anyhting new, but after she talked Jack into taking a sip of her white mocha one day, just to taste it, it's been Jack's 'usual' ever since. For the summertime, Melissa has switched to the frappé version though. Jack still likes his hot.

Q: What book are you reading right now?
A: (Jack) Patton (no author given).
A: (Melissa) ..something by Dean Koontz, but I can't remember the name of it right now...

Q: What is your favorite author/book?
A: (Jack) No favorite author. I like Non-Fiction books best.
A: (Melissa) Stephen King.
Q: What do you do for work?
A: (Jack) I'm retired now, but I graduated from CU and worked in the army, and when I came back to Colorado I worked for the government.
A: (Melissa) Professional Caregiver. My husband and I also own our own hardwood flooring business.
Should we plug their business? Of course we should!
If you need new hardwood floors, or your old hardwood floors refinished to look like new, look no further than the 'Rocky Mountain Floor Company'. Website

Jack has travelled the world, and 17 years ago married his wife, Francie. He has a total of 5 kids, 16 grandkids and he even has great-grandkids!
Melissa is also married with two kids.

Q: What would you like people reading this blog to know about you?
A: (Jack) I've met the Queen of England.
Jefferson: Really, as in 'Queen Elizabeth', the current Queen of England?
A: (Jack) yes.
A: (Melissa) I've met Mr T!

Thanks Jack and Melissa for being great customers and loyal supporters of our 'lil 'ol coffee shop and used bookstore. Jack and Melissa received a $10 Read, Write & Brew gift certificate for being our July Java Junkies.

Interior Decorating Styles

You switch on the television and tune into your favorite show, Monster House. On a balmy winter afternoon, a family gives their house keys away to a complete stranger. 5 days and several hours of drilling, building, and more importantly shifting and painting, later, the family reenters the house. This time there are whoops of joy. The family has just been gifted their dream house in a style that reflects them. The show comes to an end. You switch off the TV and sigh in hope, that someday maybe you will have similar luck and someone will decorate your house. But why depend on unrecognized, unrequited dreams? All you need to do is, educate yourself on the various interior decorating styles at your disposal and design away.

Interior decorating involves anything that has to do with the interiors of a house and its furnishings. If you plan to revamp the decor of your house, you need to keep in mind several attributes that contributes to the design, like the layout, furnitures, color and the theme.

Home Decorating Ideas

Home is your sanctuary, your place to relax in, a place for you to chill. Though, most of us are out of our homes in the day time, and come back in the evening after a day's work, home is the place where we look forward to relax and rejuvenate. Everybody wants their home to look homely and beautiful too. Some people like to keep their home in a neater and less cluttered space, like the Zen Asian inspired look, while some enjoy throwing different color paints and objects in their house. Everybody wants their place to look nice and comfortable, so here are various home decorating ideas which you can use to make your place look beautiful. Here are some interesting ideas for home decoration.

We were the featured business in yesterdays 'Your Hub'!

For those of you who read The Denver Post, you may have noticed your 'lil old Read, Write & Brew featured in the Your Hub section of yesterdays' paper. If you didn't catch it, here's the write up they did on us.

(If you click on the image you will be able to see an enlarged version that you'll be able to read).

How awesome, right? We were so excited, first of all to get recommended, and second of all, to make it to print!

Java Junkie of the month - Nick Roman

Introducing Nick Roman - our June Java Junkie. Nick's in pretty much 5 days a week for his fave drink, 1/2 caf Americano with skim.

Nicks a licensed CPA, and has been married for 10 years, with two kids, 7 and 8 years old. Golden has been his home for the past 10 years, and we're glad he's made Read, Write & Brew his home for coffee. He's one of our most frequent regulars.

When he's not crunching numbers, sipping coffee, or spending time with the wife and kids, Nick loves to scuba and ski. He's been skiing in the Dolomites (Italy) and scuba diving in Palau. Pretty exotic, huh!

When randomly asked what his favorite dinosaur is, the answer is an Argentinosaurus, also known as the 'silver lizard'.

Something you may be surprised to know about him: in High School he played in both the state championship football and state championship soccer game in the same year.

His personal motto is, "Live life while you can, then die and be done with it."

Nervous About Alzheimer's? Coffee May Help

I found the following story on the NPR iPhone App:

Nervous About Alzheimer's? Coffee May Help
by Allison Aubrey

- June 28, 2010

It's an appealing notion that our daily pick-me-up may also confer a range of health benefits. And for coffee drinkers there's a lot of research percolating. Several studies suggest that a daily caffeine habit may help protect against Alzheimer's disease. But there's a catch. The cup or two a day that most Americans drink doesn't seem to be enough. Researchers say 500 mg of caffeine, or about five cups of regular coffee, is the dose that seems to protect the brain.

Five Cups A Day

This may sound like an excessive amount of caffeine. After five cups, lots of us would end up with the jitters and be making extra trips to the bathroom. But some coffee lovers are hard core:

"I drink five to six cups a day religiously," says Gary Arendash, a researcher at the Florida Alzheimer's Disease Research Center, part of Florida State University. Arendash says he's convinced that caffeine is protecting his brain.

Arendash and his colleagues at the Florida Alzheimer's Disease Research Center have been studying the effects of caffeine on the brains of mice with Alzheimer's disease. They've found that adding caffeinated water to rodents' diet results in big improvements. The mice perform better on short-term memory and thinking tests. But only if they get enough caffeine.

"The human equivalent of two to three cups of coffee does not have benefits in our Alzheimer's mice," says Arendash.

Arendash's team also documented that these super-caffeinated mice end up with about a 50-percent reduction in abnormal amyloid proteins, which are thought to play an important role in the development of Alzheimer's.

The typical American drinks about a cup and a half of coffee a day. "So you can see that many of us are below that threshold level that we believe confers protective benefits," says Arendash.

Evidence Not Conclusive

The Alzheimer's mice studies on caffeine are intriguing to researchers who are trying to translate the findings into advice for humans. But interpreting an animal study can be tricky.

"It's always a good starting point," says Joan Lindsay of the University of Ottawa. "But we never know how well it's going to hold up with humans." After all, people are a lot more complicated. And researchers have learned that mice can respond really differently than humans do to a drug, an environmental toxin or a change in nutrition.

Another challenge is to find a reliable test of the memory of mice. Arendash uses a mouse maze to assess the spatial memory of his Alzheimer's mice. He puts the mice in little swimming pools with lots of alleys and dead-ends to see how quickly they can find and remember hidden escape platforms. Similar computer-based maze tests are used in human studies.

"The first thing that is lost in Alzheimer's is short term memory -- the memory for what happened a few seconds or a minute ago," says Arendash. "That's what (the water maze) is focusing on."

Observations Of Coffee-Loving Middle-Aged Folks

There wouldn't be as much interest in Arendash's mice studies if scientists hadn't also begun to gather some evidence that a steady caffeine habit is beneficial to people, too.

One recent study comes from Finland where researchers followed about 1,400 coffee drinkers for more than two decades. Researchers found one group seemed to benefit the most: the people who'd been drinking three to five cups of coffee a day in their 40s and 50s.

"They had about a 65-to-70-percent reduced risk of developing Alzheimer's disease in their 70s," says Huntington Potter, a neurobiologist at the University of South Florida. Potters says effects held up even when researchers controlled for things such as cardiovascular disease, which can influence the risk of dementia.

A few other smaller studies in Europe have led to similar findings, but experts say the research only establishes a correlation between coffee drinking and brain protection.

"I'd hesitate to say that there's epidemiologic evidence that coffee prevents Alzheimer's disease," says Reisa Sperling, an Alzheimer's researcher at the Brigham and Women's Hospital at Harvard University.

It's possible that these regular coffee drinkers might have other habits in common that could explain the protective effect. "People who are very active in mid-life are more likely to be drinking coffee than couch potatoes," says Sperling. Maybe the coffee drinkers aren't benefiting from the coffee as much as they are from keeping their minds and bodies active. The studies make it difficult to suss out.

Coffee Drinking Can't Offset Genetic Risks

Sperling says Alzheimer's is an incredibly complicated disease. Exercise and good nutrition do seem to be protective, but a person's risk is largely determined by genes. No one behavior or diet change -- like coffee drinking -- can erase that risk.

If future research brings stronger evidence that caffeine may modify the risk by some small percentage that means coffee lovers will have one more reason to drink away.

Just make sure those five cups don't keep you up all night -- sleep is important to health, too. [Copyright 2010 National Public Radio]

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