tea

New Partnership & a New Line!

I have some news I’ve been meaning to share… I am now collaborating with House of Steep (soon to be a Tea House and Foot Sanctuary in the VA/DC area) to create part of their signature line of bath and beauty products! Currently, my foot and bath soaks and foot spray are available on House of Steep’s online store amongst a fabulous array of teas, candles and other goodies. I’ve made natural beauty products for years, but this is the first time I’ve done it professionally so I’m really excited to see this dream come true AND to launch my own beauty line as a result.

A couple of shots from creating the bath soaks…

(adding lavender to a batch of the Balanced & Carefree soak)

(some completed Grounded soaks)

The bath soaks are available in 3 varieties (notice each one has a type of tea included):

Balanced & Carefree – A stress-relieving combination of lavender and chamomile tea
Grounded – A stabilizing tonic of patchouli, cinnamon and ginger with oolong tea
Invigorating – A refreshing blend of peppermint and sweet orange with green tea

And the the Cleansing Calm Foot Spray is blend of black tea, peppermint, rosemary, eucalyptus and tea tree oils, which is ideal for reducing foot odor and refreshing tired feet.

 

I hope you might give one (or more) of these a try. If you do, I would love to hear what you think. Thank you in advance for the support!

Coffee or Tea?

I have always (since 16) predominantly been a tea drinker. Then around age 21, I started dabbling in the world of coffee…regular coffee, flavored coffees, lattes, cappuccinos, espresso shots… you know how it goes.  I had really never expected to come a regular drinker of coffee, but the again, it was always in my blood (mom and dad both love their coffee).

Recently, I decided that I wanted to try going back to drinking strictly tea – specifically black, green and oolong. I’ve been wondering if I was generally just better off with tea… maybe my skin wasn’t as dry for starters? Well, if you look around you can find plenty of information on why you should avoid coffee, and caffeine in general. Then again, you can also find tons of info/research on caffeine’s benefits.

I’m certainly not here to demonize coffee. I think everyone is different and moderation is always key. But I do think that coffee drinkers can benefit from going organic with their coffee since it is a highly pesticide-ridden crop. Other than that, I think most people do fine with coffee as long as they don’t over do it.

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For me, I wanted to see what it was like even attempting to avoid coffee completely. Could I do it? Well I’m now on day 24 of no coffee (or espresso) and I have to say that I surprisingly don’t really miss it. My goal was to see if I could do 30 days minimum. I actually think I might continue to stick with my daily tea time long term (with an occasional tasty coffee or latte thrown in here and there).  As with dieting, being rigid never works and I’m not trying to deprive myself.  I just think I feel better with tea. Plus, my skin isn’t as dry/dull and I no longer have any afternoon slumps. Those 2 benefits alone are enough for me to want to stick with my new coffee-free routine.

Plus, I’m also sticking with tea for another reason. I always enjoy a cup of tea, but when it comes to coffee I feel like it’s hit or miss, especially when you don’t make it at home. Too many times, the aroma alone has made me want a cup, but then the actual cup of coffee does not taste at all as delicious as it smelled. Do you know what I mean?

Well no matter what you choose, I hope you enjoy every cup and feel good after consuming your caffeinated beverage of choice!

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Factual Caffeination:

  • White, green, and black tea (in order from least to highest) all contain caffeine
  • The caffeine content of white, green, and black tea is lower than the caffeine content of coffee
  • The caffeine in tea is balanced by L-theanine, an amino acid that is naturally calming. It actually reduces mental and physical stress, and improves cognition and mood in a synergistic manner with caffeine {read more}

Do you drink tea, coffee, or both? Or neither?! (the answer to which I am always fascinated) Any specific favorites? Do you think you could benefit from decreasing or switching your source of caffeine?

Think you’re consuming too much caffeine? Then read this:How to Detox from Caffeine

Coziest Mugs/Bowls Ever!

Having a mug of tea is relaxing as it is, but the thought of drinking out of one of these buddha bowls just seriously upped the tranquility factor for me. Don’t these just look like the most cozy vessels you could possibly drink tea or coffee out of? I came across them while perusing one of my fav blogs – EXPRESS-O. Thanks Diana for another fun find! I definitely have a crush as well and can’t wait to have one of my own. Now I just have to decide which color…

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A few places to find them online:

VivaTerra

Flavor Design Studios

OCHELLY

uncommon goods

Natural Fact of the Day

All types of tea, whether white, green, black, or oolong, come from the very same plant (the Camellia sinensis). A tea’s “color” classification is determined by the processing of the leaves from field to cup. No matter the selection, tea is packed with antioxidants and a delicious beverage hot or cold. Personally, my favorites are iced green tea with a splash of lemonade, hot jasmine green tea or black tea with a teaspoon of honey and a splash of organic milk.  What’s your favorite? If you don’t know, broaden your tea horizons and try some new varieties today!


Where did the whole milk go?!

I’m really wondering who was the first person to think that it was a good idea to stop providing whole milk at institutions that specialize in coffee and tea. I have a bone to pick with whomever this might be and with every other copycat out there. Has anyone else noticed how a majority of places such as Panera Bread and Caribou Coffee and other providers of caffeinated products are currently only providing three complimentary dairy products: skim milk, 2% percent milk, and half & half. Where is the middle man?

 

To me, skim milk and 2% taste too watered down, while half & half is too rich. Whole milk is called such because it is closest to its original form. After all the human processing is said and done, whole milk is the least altered of the bunch. I like that. And I like how it tastes in my coffee and tea. I personally love organic whole milk, but I would happily settle for any old whole milk at this point. I continue to be disappointed as I see other chains following this unfortunate trend.

 

At some locations, like Barnes & Noble, I’m pleasantly surprised when there is at least some whole milk behind the counter if you ask for it. However, more and more, I’m finding that these coffee and tea retailers are not even having whole milk within the store at all! How can this be happening? I have expressed my disdain and the most common response I receive is that “no one really asks for whole milk.” Can I really be such a minority? Can I be the only drinker of coffee and tea that likes the most basic option, the most moderate (in my eyes at least)?

 

Some other employees have explained the lack of whole milk along the lines of “going healthy.” Going healthy? Is America really going to start blaming whole milk for an obesity epidemic? Whole milk, especially the organic variety, actually has health benefits! Also, who has ever heard of someone having a problem with putting the milk carton down? I think I can guarantee that it’s not the whole milk that is putting on the pounds for a lot of people, it’s the super-size fries, the candy bars, the lack of exercise, etc. The problem could also be living in a world of food extremes, where people are either completely depriving themselves of taste and enjoyment (to me, that would be equatable to the skim milk) or they’re being over indulgent (in this situation, that would be the half & half). 

 

All of these crazes of no fat, no carbs, no sugar, have they really gotten anyone anywhere good? And in terms of there not being whole milk available to patrons, wouldn’t that be like going to a restaurant and only being offered diet soda? Or only margarine instead of butter? Good or bad, we all deserve our choices when it comes to food and drink. 

 

Somebody else out there has to be missing the whole milk. If not, I’m going to be on a one woman mission to bring back the true blue cow juice to every server of coffee and tea out there (or at least in my neighborhood). If you agree, don’t hesitate to comment to places like Panera Bread, Caribou Coffee, etc. Even if you aren’t a whole milk user, wouldn’t it be nice for all options to be on the table?

Quick & Calming Facial Treatment

  • Make a cup of chamomile tea
  • Allow it to cool down so it’s very warm, but not boiling hot
  • Submerge a washcloth in the tea
  • Wring out the washcloth
  • Add a 1-2 drops of lavender essential oil to the washcloth (*optional step)
  • Press the washcloth on your face and hold it there until the washcloth becomes cool

This is a great calming treatment that only requires water and a chamomile tea bag (and lavender oil if you like it/have it around). Chamomile has azulene, which is anti-inflammatory so it calms skin.