September 19, 2014

Global Tea Hut meditative mind Human element of tea tips for improving tea

  At the end of July we were discussing an article in Global Tea Hut. In the post we discussed how tea and water is sensitive to humans. Our very thoughts and feelings can get absorbed in and be reflected back at us or even our guests.

   To demonstrate this for yourself gather up a friend or two and take turns brewing tea. The key to this little task is to use the same type of tea leaves and water. This way the only difference is the brewer themselves.  Have everyone take notes on the taste (and feeling) differences between each brew and share  them once everyone has had a turn.

   Was there one that stood out? Perhaps the one that did was brewed by someone who was having a great day or is typically a positive person. The next step to is pin point the one that was the "least liked" or gave you a weird feeling. How was their day? Perhaps they had a bad day at work and they took it unintentionally into the tea room, or perhaps they are super gossipy (nothing bad with that, we all do it).

   From these little experiments you will have noticed the difference of ones mind and feeling can effect your brew. Here are a few points you may try to improve your tea. Keep your tea practice present in your mind and it will help guide you to what you truly want with your tea.

1. Meditate or take a minute or two to center yourself before brewing
2. Try different waters before hand.  Remember Lu Yu said that Spring Water is desired, but there are ways to improve tap water via types of filters. Try a few out and find out what works for you and your tea.
3. Create a set up that invokes a meditative mind. Add some flower buds in a tea cup or use a flat stone under your pot. Incorporate things that work for you, play around till it feels right.

Keep a meditative mind that is in the present and you will see improvement in your tea. Happy Brewing!

Did you try this experiment? What did you find? Share your experiences below!

Global Tea Hut meditative mind Human element of tea tips for improving tea

  At the end of July we were discussing an article in Global Tea Hut. In the post we discussed how tea and water is sensitive to humans. Our very thoughts and feelings can get absorbed in and be reflected back at us or even our guests.

   To demonstrate this for yourself gather up a friend or two and take turns brewing tea. The key to this little task is to use the same type of tea leaves and water. This way the only difference is the brewer themselves.  Have everyone take notes on the taste (and feeling) differences between each brew and share  them once everyone has had a turn.

   Was there one that stood out? Perhaps the one that did was brewed by someone who was having a great day or is typically a positive person. The next step to is pin point the one that was the "least liked" or gave you a weird feeling. How was their day? Perhaps they had a bad day at work and they took it unintentionally into the tea room, or perhaps they are super gossipy (nothing bad with that, we all do it).

   From these little experiments you will have noticed the difference of ones mind and feeling can effect your brew. Here are a few points you may try to improve your tea. Keep your tea practice present in your mind and it will help guide you to what you truly want with your tea.

1. Meditate or take a minute or two to center yourself before brewing
2. Try different waters before hand.  Remember Lu Yu said that Spring Water is desired, but there are ways to improve tap water via types of filters. Try a few out and find out what works for you and your tea.
3. Create a set up that invokes a meditative mind. Add some flower buds in a tea cup or use a flat stone under your pot. Incorporate things that work for you, play around till it feels right.

Keep a meditative mind that is in the present and you will see improvement in your tea. Happy Brewing!

Did you try this experiment? What did you find? Share your experiences below!

September 17, 2014


  Every now and then we need a little pick-me-up mid week. This weeks quote came to me in a Julep Maven box, it was a nice little addition to the box itself. Madonna is a great inspiration to all and more so women.  This quote only makes her a stronger inspiration
   Self-esteem something that we all gain and struggle with as we get older. When I was a child I hated my red hair, pale skin and even my eyes. Over time I learned how unique I am which boosted my own self-esteem. 

madonna quotable i am my own work of art self-esteem motivation inspiration tea journey katherine bellman
   
      This self-love is what I try to inspire in others. Faith in ones own truth , love of ones body and trust in ones own judgement. They are all important to our very being. When we begin to go against them it hurts us inside and out , on many levels. 
   Take a moment today and look at yourself in the mirror, tell yourself you are beautiful. Stay there for a full 1-3 minutes. Do this every day. See the changes that happen. If any negative talk pops up in your head use this line to combat it : " I choose love over this" from the wonderful Gabrielle Bernstein.
     Another little activity you can do, is create a list of all the things you have done over your life. Small to big, it does not matter. I even encourage you to list out achievements such as first apartment, going to a new place, creating a blog etc. There is bound to be a long list, but if you are having trouble talk to friends and family. They will tell you things that ,perhaps, you did not think of.  

   Remember you are beautiful and your own work of art. Keep working on it because your masterpiece is not yet near completion. 


  Every now and then we need a little pick-me-up mid week. This weeks quote came to me in a Julep Maven box, it was a nice little addition to the box itself. Madonna is a great inspiration to all and more so women.  This quote only makes her a stronger inspiration
   Self-esteem something that we all gain and struggle with as we get older. When I was a child I hated my red hair, pale skin and even my eyes. Over time I learned how unique I am which boosted my own self-esteem. 

madonna quotable i am my own work of art self-esteem motivation inspiration tea journey katherine bellman
   
      This self-love is what I try to inspire in others. Faith in ones own truth , love of ones body and trust in ones own judgement. They are all important to our very being. When we begin to go against them it hurts us inside and out , on many levels. 
   Take a moment today and look at yourself in the mirror, tell yourself you are beautiful. Stay there for a full 1-3 minutes. Do this every day. See the changes that happen. If any negative talk pops up in your head use this line to combat it : " I choose love over this" from the wonderful Gabrielle Bernstein.
     Another little activity you can do, is create a list of all the things you have done over your life. Small to big, it does not matter. I even encourage you to list out achievements such as first apartment, going to a new place, creating a blog etc. There is bound to be a long list, but if you are having trouble talk to friends and family. They will tell you things that ,perhaps, you did not think of.  

   Remember you are beautiful and your own work of art. Keep working on it because your masterpiece is not yet near completion. 

September 15, 2014

blogpodium 2014 para paints nexus 5 tea journey tea zen blogger conference Minted

  Saturday blew me away, and I am not just talking about the weather. Getting up to catch the bus and train to make it in for Blogpodium was a great time to take a quick nap. Once I arrived at Union it was game time. From the moment I found Blogpodium online a quote from my High School days " When the student is ready the Teacher appears".  Trust me, Blogpodium is one teacher that you should definitely sign up for.
    As a first year attendee I felt like I learned so much in the few hours of the event. TIme flew by and I wish I had lasted just a bit longer. Thankfully blogging is an ever growing medium , with new things to learn everyday.

   5 Things I took away from Blogpodium


Make new friends offline ( and online)

  There was so many people at the conference it was hard to decide where to sit. Luckily for me @nicoleabouttown and @glitterdiaries were friendly enough to let me sit with them. Quickly we were all connecting online (mostly through Twitter and Instagram) and attended the same talks together. We were even joined by @RakheeSapra and @averyswartz
    It is one big happy family of bloggers! The connections did not stop after the event finished. Twitter and Instagram were great tools to find like minded bloggers from all over Canada (represent!). 

Learn from experts in their field

   Information overload! Thank the heavens that we all write for our own blogs. The workshops ranged from content creation such as photography ( with @giuliadoyle),  motivation from Donna Williams  ( @FunkyJunkDonna) , words of wisdom from the keynote panel ( Scott McGillivray , Monika Hibbs and Jennifer Flores), how to start working with brands ( @ akadesigndotca ) and what numbers to show to brands ( @cam_gordon ).  Even now two days after the event processing the information is ongoing but every moment is worth it.

You are not alone (aka. YANA)

Wise words from the Face of Boe (Doctor Who reference), follow them. There are many other bloggers out there in the same place that you are right now or are wise gurus that would love to help you out.  Realizing that this was possible my to-do-list-mid-dump filled the page with in moments last night. 

Continue to grow by trial and error

 May this year I truly took this to heart, I paid for "Blog Life" e-course from A Beautiful Mess. This course helped me branch out and redefine Tea Journey. But then Blogpodium came in and took it to a new level. Last week I won three gallons of Para Paint product, I have never had control over painting projects. Till now of course, I get to try my hand at designing my room as a zen sanctuary! It will be time to ,as said by the wise Mrs. Frizzle from the Magic School Bus, "get messy and make mistakes!".

Think of your blog as a business

 This years main focus was "There are Many Roads to Success" with most talks pointing at seeing yourself as an Entrepreneur. Everything went back to this main topic so that everyone went home with a new mindset for their blog.  A blog can take you to new places and you will be trying new things. Do not be afraid to test any new ideas out. Write that e-book, pitch that segment idea, start writing out that course material and certainly be open to new ideas as they present themselves.

blogpodium 2014 para paints nexus 5 tea journey tea zen blogger conference Minted

  Saturday blew me away, and I am not just talking about the weather. Getting up to catch the bus and train to make it in for Blogpodium was a great time to take a quick nap. Once I arrived at Union it was game time. From the moment I found Blogpodium online a quote from my High School days " When the student is ready the Teacher appears".  Trust me, Blogpodium is one teacher that you should definitely sign up for.
    As a first year attendee I felt like I learned so much in the few hours of the event. TIme flew by and I wish I had lasted just a bit longer. Thankfully blogging is an ever growing medium , with new things to learn everyday.

   5 Things I took away from Blogpodium


Make new friends offline ( and online)

  There was so many people at the conference it was hard to decide where to sit. Luckily for me @nicoleabouttown and @glitterdiaries were friendly enough to let me sit with them. Quickly we were all connecting online (mostly through Twitter and Instagram) and attended the same talks together. We were even joined by @RakheeSapra and @averyswartz
    It is one big happy family of bloggers! The connections did not stop after the event finished. Twitter and Instagram were great tools to find like minded bloggers from all over Canada (represent!). 

Learn from experts in their field

   Information overload! Thank the heavens that we all write for our own blogs. The workshops ranged from content creation such as photography ( with @giuliadoyle),  motivation from Donna Williams  ( @FunkyJunkDonna) , words of wisdom from the keynote panel ( Scott McGillivray , Monika Hibbs and Jennifer Flores), how to start working with brands ( @ akadesigndotca ) and what numbers to show to brands ( @cam_gordon ).  Even now two days after the event processing the information is ongoing but every moment is worth it.

You are not alone (aka. YANA)

Wise words from the Face of Boe (Doctor Who reference), follow them. There are many other bloggers out there in the same place that you are right now or are wise gurus that would love to help you out.  Realizing that this was possible my to-do-list-mid-dump filled the page with in moments last night. 

Continue to grow by trial and error

 May this year I truly took this to heart, I paid for "Blog Life" e-course from A Beautiful Mess. This course helped me branch out and redefine Tea Journey. But then Blogpodium came in and took it to a new level. Last week I won three gallons of Para Paint product, I have never had control over painting projects. Till now of course, I get to try my hand at designing my room as a zen sanctuary! It will be time to ,as said by the wise Mrs. Frizzle from the Magic School Bus, "get messy and make mistakes!".

Think of your blog as a business

 This years main focus was "There are Many Roads to Success" with most talks pointing at seeing yourself as an Entrepreneur. Everything went back to this main topic so that everyone went home with a new mindset for their blog.  A blog can take you to new places and you will be trying new things. Do not be afraid to test any new ideas out. Write that e-book, pitch that segment idea, start writing out that course material and certainly be open to new ideas as they present themselves.

September 12, 2014

  What a day! Preparing for Blogpodium has been my top priority this week with the final thing on my list being touch ups to my "cards". With those done its just packing and trying to stay calm before going to sleep. Speaking of packing I thought Id share what I am packing for my first Blog Conference.


      Shown:Jo Totes Georgina Nautical Camera Bag // Nexus 5 Cell Phone 32Gig // Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 10.1 // Kate Spade Card Holder // J Crew Umbrella // Kate Spade Little Gold Notebook // Portable Charger (similar) // Arbonne Lemon Fit Chews
 Not Shown : Wall Chargers // Playstation Vita Earbuds // Business Cards // Pen // Spare Hair Ties

 What do you have in your bag?

  What a day! Preparing for Blogpodium has been my top priority this week with the final thing on my list being touch ups to my "cards". With those done its just packing and trying to stay calm before going to sleep. Speaking of packing I thought Id share what I am packing for my first Blog Conference.


      Shown:Jo Totes Georgina Nautical Camera Bag // Nexus 5 Cell Phone 32Gig // Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 10.1 // Kate Spade Card Holder // J Crew Umbrella // Kate Spade Little Gold Notebook // Portable Charger (similar) // Arbonne Lemon Fit Chews
 Not Shown : Wall Chargers // Playstation Vita Earbuds // Business Cards // Pen // Spare Hair Ties

 What do you have in your bag?

September 10, 2014

  Next month will be the four year mark of Shuuhei and I being together. This little fur ball helped me through a lot when we first met. Not long after he came home with me I found out that he liked tea. 
  Now I know tea may be on the list of things cat's are not supposed to have, but he snuck some and loved it.
Shuuhei cat tea tea journey katherine bellman

  Shuuhei and I met in Toronto in October 2010, at that time he was "nicknamed" Berney by the shelter. Originally in my mind I was going to take home Isis, a one year old black short hair female, but after she tried to escape when I was allowed to holder her. I became unsure.
   Shortly after I was introduced to Shuuhei and his sister (who I partly wish I had got her as well). His sister walked to the far end of the cage and little Shuuhei came right to me. After quickly asking permission to pick him up he was nuzzling my face in my arms.
    The poor little boy went through a lot there after. There was an electrical fire on the other side of the building (no where near Shuuhei but there was a lot of smoke), he was bumped from one shelter to the next till I was able to find him and bring him home. He had a long visit with my family cat Kiki till I was able to find us both a new home.
  At our new home a few months in (April) there was some flooding in my room and my little champion let me know. By jumping on the water then on to my bed where I was sleeping. We sure got that dealt with quickly.
   Shuuhei now is currently here with me at my parents home. He is a little shy, so he stays mostly under the dining room table or in the front window. He is being very patient with me as I get things together to move out sometime in the new year.  So for now he is enjoying the smell of tea and the freedom to go outside on the porch (when it is quiet).

   Now that you have met Shuuhei, I would love to meet your little loved one! Share links to images and share how you met!

  Next month will be the four year mark of Shuuhei and I being together. This little fur ball helped me through a lot when we first met. Not long after he came home with me I found out that he liked tea. 
  Now I know tea may be on the list of things cat's are not supposed to have, but he snuck some and loved it.
Shuuhei cat tea tea journey katherine bellman

  Shuuhei and I met in Toronto in October 2010, at that time he was "nicknamed" Berney by the shelter. Originally in my mind I was going to take home Isis, a one year old black short hair female, but after she tried to escape when I was allowed to holder her. I became unsure.
   Shortly after I was introduced to Shuuhei and his sister (who I partly wish I had got her as well). His sister walked to the far end of the cage and little Shuuhei came right to me. After quickly asking permission to pick him up he was nuzzling my face in my arms.
    The poor little boy went through a lot there after. There was an electrical fire on the other side of the building (no where near Shuuhei but there was a lot of smoke), he was bumped from one shelter to the next till I was able to find him and bring him home. He had a long visit with my family cat Kiki till I was able to find us both a new home.
  At our new home a few months in (April) there was some flooding in my room and my little champion let me know. By jumping on the water then on to my bed where I was sleeping. We sure got that dealt with quickly.
   Shuuhei now is currently here with me at my parents home. He is a little shy, so he stays mostly under the dining room table or in the front window. He is being very patient with me as I get things together to move out sometime in the new year.  So for now he is enjoying the smell of tea and the freedom to go outside on the porch (when it is quiet).

   Now that you have met Shuuhei, I would love to meet your little loved one! Share links to images and share how you met!

September 8, 2014

      Since High School I have been on a spiritual journey. Most of the time I did not identify it as such but it was there. We are all going through one and they are just as unique as us. They start out magically and grow inside us and foster in reality.  They can be started through simple meditation, yoga class or even attending a Tea Ceremony with a zen teacher.  How ever it starts it will continue to grow and connections will form.  It is a given that at some point you will connect with , what I will call, Pillars of Zen.

zen corner connection tea meditation yoga health wabi sabi universe


  From experience as a child we unknowingly start practicing yoga. There is a large amount of play that happens and we test out our body's ability to balance and bend. Slowly we become
focused on the task and get very involved in discovering new "poses".  It is the focus that is also part of meditation.
   But for meditation it can manifest in another way depending on your lifestyle. I was brought up Roman Catholic and would intently focus on my prayer during mass. Through this experience I believe that any sort of prayer from any religion is a form of meditation. While they each have a differnt form they are all under the umbrella of meditation.
   Where does tea come into this? While I understand that not everyone has the ability to find a tea teacher who also has learned zen, there are other ways to learn from the beverage itself. It does not need to be real tea it can also be an herbal blend. From this we learn to focus on making it. every step has to be attended to. Even if we are just putting on the kettle and pouring the boiled water over a tea bag, it is still a process that is very meditative. If you did not take out the tea bag from its package, fill the kettle and put it on, place the teabag in your cup and pour the boiled water over top. There would be no tea.
       
    If you do not currently see one or more aspects in your life, then perhaps it is time to try them out or take another look. Yoga may not be called by name but you may be doing a series of stretches that are truly yoga poses. The same goes for meditation. Do you try to look inward and tame those pesky voices of the ego on your subway trip home? Then this is also meditation. As for tea, perhaps it is not tea that you drink. It could be juicing in the morning for your green juice, putting together a mix of lemon juice and ginger or even going through the process of making your cup of coffee.
   They key thing is that you are still going through a series of movements to obtain a result. A lovely beverage that calms you and makes you feel good.

Do you see this connection between these pillars?

      Since High School I have been on a spiritual journey. Most of the time I did not identify it as such but it was there. We are all going through one and they are just as unique as us. They start out magically and grow inside us and foster in reality.  They can be started through simple meditation, yoga class or even attending a Tea Ceremony with a zen teacher.  How ever it starts it will continue to grow and connections will form.  It is a given that at some point you will connect with , what I will call, Pillars of Zen.

zen corner connection tea meditation yoga health wabi sabi universe


  From experience as a child we unknowingly start practicing yoga. There is a large amount of play that happens and we test out our body's ability to balance and bend. Slowly we become
focused on the task and get very involved in discovering new "poses".  It is the focus that is also part of meditation.
   But for meditation it can manifest in another way depending on your lifestyle. I was brought up Roman Catholic and would intently focus on my prayer during mass. Through this experience I believe that any sort of prayer from any religion is a form of meditation. While they each have a differnt form they are all under the umbrella of meditation.
   Where does tea come into this? While I understand that not everyone has the ability to find a tea teacher who also has learned zen, there are other ways to learn from the beverage itself. It does not need to be real tea it can also be an herbal blend. From this we learn to focus on making it. every step has to be attended to. Even if we are just putting on the kettle and pouring the boiled water over a tea bag, it is still a process that is very meditative. If you did not take out the tea bag from its package, fill the kettle and put it on, place the teabag in your cup and pour the boiled water over top. There would be no tea.
       
    If you do not currently see one or more aspects in your life, then perhaps it is time to try them out or take another look. Yoga may not be called by name but you may be doing a series of stretches that are truly yoga poses. The same goes for meditation. Do you try to look inward and tame those pesky voices of the ego on your subway trip home? Then this is also meditation. As for tea, perhaps it is not tea that you drink. It could be juicing in the morning for your green juice, putting together a mix of lemon juice and ginger or even going through the process of making your cup of coffee.
   They key thing is that you are still going through a series of movements to obtain a result. A lovely beverage that calms you and makes you feel good.

Do you see this connection between these pillars?

September 5, 2014

After a long fun day with a friend who was getting things in order and reaching his goals, its time to set my own.  School is back in session and it is time to take charge by taking advantage of the moment by getting ahead now. 
 Setting goals should always be simple, for this season I chose three main focus areas and then three items for each. It is important to make sure that they are SMART goals for yourself through out you life.  This way you are always achieving something new and continuing to grow.  So let's jump in!


Blog

1. Apply what I learn at Blog Podium  
      There are many little classes to learn from while in Toronto next week. Out of all of them the two I am looking forward to are on working with brands And photography.

2. Start writing an E-book
     While this may be a long term project that will continue on into next year, its starting it that matters most. I promise you tea is involved ii this project.

3. Write a Plan for the future
   Tea Journey has grown a lot over four years and I am determined to make it grow more before its next aniversary. 

Life and Health

1. Drink 8 cups of water a day
      This is a toughie as I never keep track of how much I am drinking in the first place. Thankfully I purchased  Jawbone Up Band (A Must Have!) and am tracking everything through a partner app, Fitness Pal.

2. Walk Over 10,000 Steps a day
    As it cools down I tend to want to curl up under a warm blanket. So for Fall 2014, I'm saving that luxury for my me Time and getting my legs moving. I got my Jawbone Up Bracelet August 26 and I have averaged this amount, the trouble is keeping it that way.

3. Morning Yoga/Meditation
       Who Does long to Stay in bed just a bit longer? I sure do. My goal is to get in to a morning routine of morning yoga (light and easy) and a session of meditation to set the tone for the day (plus I can follow  "May Cause Miracles" by Gabrielle Bernstein ).


Save for..

1. Laptop or desk top computer
  Currently I am using my brothers laptop (he has not touched it since 2012) that I borrowed. The biggest problem right now is deciding if I really need it to be portable or not. Right now I occasionally take the laptop with me around the house, But I want to think long term ( Will I bring it around an apartment? House?). So right now I am saving, thinking, researching options and deciding. 

2. Friends with Benifits Taylor Rose Gold Head Phones
   Have You Seen These Yet? (See them here) When I Saw them I knew I wanted them, Bonus for me Is that I can talk on the phone with the built in microphone. While this is not a need, I hope to save up and teat myself.

3. Emergency Saving
   When I found myself back In my hometown under my parents roof, I vowed to not make the same mistake twice. Currently I am creating two different versions of this, one with my parents (that will be paid back when i move out) and one in my personal savings account. With both of these I am certain that I will be in a better position should I run into a similar problem in the future.


What goals do you have for this fall? Share in the comments below or send out a tweet.

After a long fun day with a friend who was getting things in order and reaching his goals, its time to set my own.  School is back in session and it is time to take charge by taking advantage of the moment by getting ahead now. 
 Setting goals should always be simple, for this season I chose three main focus areas and then three items for each. It is important to make sure that they are SMART goals for yourself through out you life.  This way you are always achieving something new and continuing to grow.  So let's jump in!


Blog

1. Apply what I learn at Blog Podium  
      There are many little classes to learn from while in Toronto next week. Out of all of them the two I am looking forward to are on working with brands And photography.

2. Start writing an E-book
     While this may be a long term project that will continue on into next year, its starting it that matters most. I promise you tea is involved ii this project.

3. Write a Plan for the future
   Tea Journey has grown a lot over four years and I am determined to make it grow more before its next aniversary. 

Life and Health

1. Drink 8 cups of water a day
      This is a toughie as I never keep track of how much I am drinking in the first place. Thankfully I purchased  Jawbone Up Band (A Must Have!) and am tracking everything through a partner app, Fitness Pal.

2. Walk Over 10,000 Steps a day
    As it cools down I tend to want to curl up under a warm blanket. So for Fall 2014, I'm saving that luxury for my me Time and getting my legs moving. I got my Jawbone Up Bracelet August 26 and I have averaged this amount, the trouble is keeping it that way.

3. Morning Yoga/Meditation
       Who Does long to Stay in bed just a bit longer? I sure do. My goal is to get in to a morning routine of morning yoga (light and easy) and a session of meditation to set the tone for the day (plus I can follow  "May Cause Miracles" by Gabrielle Bernstein ).


Save for..

1. Laptop or desk top computer
  Currently I am using my brothers laptop (he has not touched it since 2012) that I borrowed. The biggest problem right now is deciding if I really need it to be portable or not. Right now I occasionally take the laptop with me around the house, But I want to think long term ( Will I bring it around an apartment? House?). So right now I am saving, thinking, researching options and deciding. 

2. Friends with Benifits Taylor Rose Gold Head Phones
   Have You Seen These Yet? (See them here) When I Saw them I knew I wanted them, Bonus for me Is that I can talk on the phone with the built in microphone. While this is not a need, I hope to save up and teat myself.

3. Emergency Saving
   When I found myself back In my hometown under my parents roof, I vowed to not make the same mistake twice. Currently I am creating two different versions of this, one with my parents (that will be paid back when i move out) and one in my personal savings account. With both of these I am certain that I will be in a better position should I run into a similar problem in the future.


What goals do you have for this fall? Share in the comments below or send out a tweet.

September 3, 2014

 Ah Summer, where have you gone? I hope you enjoyed your summer just as much as I did . To celebrate summer just a little longer so lets hope it stays warm past Thanksgiving (Canadian one of course).  Instagram is great  way to relive those fun moments you want to treasure forever. 
  I have picked out my top picks from my feed in dedication to a great summer. So here is to a fun summer of healthy eating, travel and long walks with friends. 















 Ah Summer, where have you gone? I hope you enjoyed your summer just as much as I did . To celebrate summer just a little longer so lets hope it stays warm past Thanksgiving (Canadian one of course).  Instagram is great  way to relive those fun moments you want to treasure forever. 
  I have picked out my top picks from my feed in dedication to a great summer. So here is to a fun summer of healthy eating, travel and long walks with friends. 















September 1, 2014

 Every now and then we need a quote that inspires us to just be a better version of ourselves. It can give us new perspectives and perhaps even stimulate a larger change with in you.
   As today is Labor Day, a day where we gain appreciation for the work we do in the world, I picked a quote that felt right. Day after day working with our co-workers or family (if you work from home) certain emotions can pop up. They pop up when we are not living in the present.
lao tzu quote positivity spirit junkie

      In that split moment that we let ourselves fall into thoughts that hurt us, whether we know it or not. You are not alone, I do this as well. It is learning and reteaching yourself to stay in the moment. when I let myself think of things from the past (regrets, pain, betrayal etc) it holds me there. The same goes for the other way, the future can be scary but it is not determined yet.

   
    Forgive yourself , its hard I know. Even I am working on forgiving my past and allowing the future to become the present by living in the moment. By living in the moment or present, you can begin the healing from a new direction. When you are at work next focus on the task at hand, not what you have to do when you get home. Enjoy working with customers or clients. Laugh often and be free.
    You will be thankful for this advice as you can enjoy the small things in life and not let small things like drama get in the way of your happiness.
   Happy Labor Day everyone!

 Every now and then we need a quote that inspires us to just be a better version of ourselves. It can give us new perspectives and perhaps even stimulate a larger change with in you.
   As today is Labor Day, a day where we gain appreciation for the work we do in the world, I picked a quote that felt right. Day after day working with our co-workers or family (if you work from home) certain emotions can pop up. They pop up when we are not living in the present.
lao tzu quote positivity spirit junkie

      In that split moment that we let ourselves fall into thoughts that hurt us, whether we know it or not. You are not alone, I do this as well. It is learning and reteaching yourself to stay in the moment. when I let myself think of things from the past (regrets, pain, betrayal etc) it holds me there. The same goes for the other way, the future can be scary but it is not determined yet.

   
    Forgive yourself , its hard I know. Even I am working on forgiving my past and allowing the future to become the present by living in the moment. By living in the moment or present, you can begin the healing from a new direction. When you are at work next focus on the task at hand, not what you have to do when you get home. Enjoy working with customers or clients. Laugh often and be free.
    You will be thankful for this advice as you can enjoy the small things in life and not let small things like drama get in the way of your happiness.
   Happy Labor Day everyone!

August 29, 2014

  Making time to see friends has been at the top of my list (right where it should be).  Wednesday Last week I treated my dear friend James to afternoon tea at the Bowmanville Museum. It was just what we needed from our busy lives of getting ourselves back on track (and taking care of ourselves). Simple, quiet and very elegantly put together.  With its wrapping front veranda  we sat together and drank our tea.


   We recalled the last time we had tea together in such a fashion was quite some time ago. While waiting for a friend to finish volunteering , we sipped some tea happily. Although we looked further back into our childhood. When we were both children we visited the museum. James with his class and participated in tours. 
   Then I came by with class and with my mom. She was part of the Bowmanville Drama Club and from what I could recall we went there to talk to a few people. We often went over and I would explore with Matt around the house.
     When Matt and I were in our early teens we went to the (back then) newly established Afternoon tea. Back then it was one option tea and scones, very simple and elegant. It was nice this time around going with James as we had the standard option and a more elaborate "light lunch" option. It suited us very nicely. 
    


Bowmanville Museum                                                  
37 Silver Street, Bowmanville, Ontario



  Making time to see friends has been at the top of my list (right where it should be).  Wednesday Last week I treated my dear friend James to afternoon tea at the Bowmanville Museum. It was just what we needed from our busy lives of getting ourselves back on track (and taking care of ourselves). Simple, quiet and very elegantly put together.  With its wrapping front veranda  we sat together and drank our tea.


   We recalled the last time we had tea together in such a fashion was quite some time ago. While waiting for a friend to finish volunteering , we sipped some tea happily. Although we looked further back into our childhood. When we were both children we visited the museum. James with his class and participated in tours. 
   Then I came by with class and with my mom. She was part of the Bowmanville Drama Club and from what I could recall we went there to talk to a few people. We often went over and I would explore with Matt around the house.
     When Matt and I were in our early teens we went to the (back then) newly established Afternoon tea. Back then it was one option tea and scones, very simple and elegant. It was nice this time around going with James as we had the standard option and a more elaborate "light lunch" option. It suited us very nicely. 
    


Bowmanville Museum                                                  
37 Silver Street, Bowmanville, Ontario



August 27, 2014

  Welcome to the Digital Table where you are part of a global conversation with tea. Global Tea Hut is a Non-Profit Organization that sends out a sampling of tea, a gift and a special magazine. Everything is brought together by the community to spread thelove of tea, Dao and Zen. Join us the last Wednesday of every month to discuss the current packet from Global Tea Hut.
   This series was created because the message from Global Tea Hut touched me. It is of my own creation and I receive nothing from them ,but good karma of spreading their message and cause . All past posts can be found under "Digital Table" here.

digital table gblobal tea hut august 2014 Kingfisher Jade Tsui Yu Oolong Taiwan Three daughters of taiwan tea

  Summer has been flying by! Thankfully with this months tea I kept cool. It was such a treat to receive this oolong as I found it cooled me off (How about you?). This months tea is the Spring 2014 Kingfisher Jade(Tsui Yu) Ooolong from Ming Jian, Taiwan. This tea is very special! It is one of the three daughters are the most famous varietals that were created around the 1970's for Taiwan. Who would have known this if it were not for Global Tea Hut! The tree teas are unique to taiwan, no where else can you get these three.
      Which teas are the "Three Daughters"? They are Golden Lilly (Jing Shuan), Kingsfisher Jade (Tsui Yu) and Four Seasons Spring (Si Ji Chun). As King fisher Jade had the same cooling effect as Four Seasons, I am going to guess that Golden Lilly is similar ( I can't wait for them to send it out).  
     Going back to this months tea, King Fisher Jade, it had a lovely cooling effect on the body. With its smooth taste and floral hints it was just right for unwinding at the end of the day. The flavours of the tea came out very clear when I used the gift that was sent with it. Chinese "Medicine Stones", they are put in your water container/kettle to soften, purify and remineralize the Water. Truly the perfect addition For any tea lover. 

digital table global tea hut august 2014 kingfisher Jade tsui yu taiwan medicine stones china

 My favourite article is part of the "Eight Bowls" series :The Eight Bowls: Study, Contemplation and Prayer by Shane Marrs. It was just what I needed at that moment. A little reminder of what I have learned through Japanese Tea Ceremony.
    Its little lessons that get taught that are really lessons of life and zen. Through tea we should practice humility, gratitude, forgiveness, and  loving-kindness. Mastery of tea is the mastery of the self, strangely very similar to yoga (okay its self- acceptance but it is close to me). The brewer's heart is the most important part of tea as it becomes infused into our brew.
      During Japanese Tea Ceremony these key points are the foundations of which you learn. We express humility when we enter the tea room through a low bow. gratitude when we lift or tea bowl in thanks. Every action is a respectful loving action for not only guests but ourselves. Forgiveness when the host forgets the next step or head guest forgets their line (or we forget to slurp at the end). 
   These points mirror in life as well. Especially as we grow up, I turned 27 this year and have found these in many situations. Such as: 

Humility- Admitting to the type of person I was in the past and apologizing to those I hurt
Forgiveness- While I hope others will forgive my past, I am also ready to forgive Theirs.
Gratitude- When a friend pays for dinner or a snack. They always get a thank you and a huge hug! (and I re-pay them latter)
Loving-Kindness - Being there for a friend when they need someone to talk to

    While we hope we all are doing each of these every day though, there are times where we forget. The important thing to do is try our best and hope that we receive it in return.  Practice them in daily life and they will come through in your tea.


Global Tea Hut is a digital community where tea drinkers enjoy the same tea(s) every month across the world. It is subscription based where all the proceeds go towards a non-profit tea center (Tea Sage Hut) in Taiwan that is open to all. For more information on Global Tea Hut and the center please visit them at:

**All opinions are my own and subscription is paid by me, as a donation to the tea center

  Welcome to the Digital Table where you are part of a global conversation with tea. Global Tea Hut is a Non-Profit Organization that sends out a sampling of tea, a gift and a special magazine. Everything is brought together by the community to spread thelove of tea, Dao and Zen. Join us the last Wednesday of every month to discuss the current packet from Global Tea Hut.
   This series was created because the message from Global Tea Hut touched me. It is of my own creation and I receive nothing from them ,but good karma of spreading their message and cause . All past posts can be found under "Digital Table" here.

digital table gblobal tea hut august 2014 Kingfisher Jade Tsui Yu Oolong Taiwan Three daughters of taiwan tea

  Summer has been flying by! Thankfully with this months tea I kept cool. It was such a treat to receive this oolong as I found it cooled me off (How about you?). This months tea is the Spring 2014 Kingfisher Jade(Tsui Yu) Ooolong from Ming Jian, Taiwan. This tea is very special! It is one of the three daughters are the most famous varietals that were created around the 1970's for Taiwan. Who would have known this if it were not for Global Tea Hut! The tree teas are unique to taiwan, no where else can you get these three.
      Which teas are the "Three Daughters"? They are Golden Lilly (Jing Shuan), Kingsfisher Jade (Tsui Yu) and Four Seasons Spring (Si Ji Chun). As King fisher Jade had the same cooling effect as Four Seasons, I am going to guess that Golden Lilly is similar ( I can't wait for them to send it out).  
     Going back to this months tea, King Fisher Jade, it had a lovely cooling effect on the body. With its smooth taste and floral hints it was just right for unwinding at the end of the day. The flavours of the tea came out very clear when I used the gift that was sent with it. Chinese "Medicine Stones", they are put in your water container/kettle to soften, purify and remineralize the Water. Truly the perfect addition For any tea lover. 

digital table global tea hut august 2014 kingfisher Jade tsui yu taiwan medicine stones china

 My favourite article is part of the "Eight Bowls" series :The Eight Bowls: Study, Contemplation and Prayer by Shane Marrs. It was just what I needed at that moment. A little reminder of what I have learned through Japanese Tea Ceremony.
    Its little lessons that get taught that are really lessons of life and zen. Through tea we should practice humility, gratitude, forgiveness, and  loving-kindness. Mastery of tea is the mastery of the self, strangely very similar to yoga (okay its self- acceptance but it is close to me). The brewer's heart is the most important part of tea as it becomes infused into our brew.
      During Japanese Tea Ceremony these key points are the foundations of which you learn. We express humility when we enter the tea room through a low bow. gratitude when we lift or tea bowl in thanks. Every action is a respectful loving action for not only guests but ourselves. Forgiveness when the host forgets the next step or head guest forgets their line (or we forget to slurp at the end). 
   These points mirror in life as well. Especially as we grow up, I turned 27 this year and have found these in many situations. Such as: 

Humility- Admitting to the type of person I was in the past and apologizing to those I hurt
Forgiveness- While I hope others will forgive my past, I am also ready to forgive Theirs.
Gratitude- When a friend pays for dinner or a snack. They always get a thank you and a huge hug! (and I re-pay them latter)
Loving-Kindness - Being there for a friend when they need someone to talk to

    While we hope we all are doing each of these every day though, there are times where we forget. The important thing to do is try our best and hope that we receive it in return.  Practice them in daily life and they will come through in your tea.


Global Tea Hut is a digital community where tea drinkers enjoy the same tea(s) every month across the world. It is subscription based where all the proceeds go towards a non-profit tea center (Tea Sage Hut) in Taiwan that is open to all. For more information on Global Tea Hut and the center please visit them at:

**All opinions are my own and subscription is paid by me, as a donation to the tea center

August 25, 2014

 Sometimes we grow apart from someone. We try to resist it and find out that (perhaps) we were at fault for the falling out.. Admitting that we were wrong is the best thing you can do. So todays post is to someone I hurt in the past. They remained quiet about it when I should have been there to talk it over. 
  Listening is key. With an open mind and owning your past faults. This letter is to them, they will know who. While I felt good writing this letter I could not help but put it out there for them to see.  I hope they reach out in return only time will telll.  

kate spade letter writing friends admitting owning faults I miss my friend

Dear Friend who I miss,
     How are you? Those few words I have not said to you in sometime now. It is shocking how little those are said.
Even in Elementary School I did not ask. I will admit that I spoke mostly of myself ( quite rude of me when I think back). It has taken a few falls to make this realization, and I am glad I have.
    How many times should I have asked when there was a dispute with those other two (and then there was that brother, such drama) during that time. Or High School where life began to really start.
    I regularly distanced myself from you because I never asked such a simple question. I just assumed I knew, or the news I was being told from various mouths was true, but I should have asked you. Things get lost when it is not from the actual person it is about. Asking you would have been the kind and friend thing to do.
    It is surprising how much we change and learn as we grow up. Leaving things in the past and laughing at it when we own our faults. I was not as kind of a person as I thought back then. It frustrates me that I did not ask such a simple question.
   We were close friends, sisters, growing closer through the songs we sung in choir and carrying tall candles down a long aisle. We grew closer and closer. But then it stopped. Where did things go wrong? How is it that we have not talked in almost 9 months?  It is such a foreign thing to me.
      So I am going to make a start towards the right direction. I am going to ask you now. I hope that you will let me listen to you and hug you at the end. Let me know how you feel and what you think. There is nothing wrong with that. I am going to be the new me :someone who listens and give support.
     Give me a chance. So, tell me...
  How are you?,

   Your friend who misses you
(and has the kettle on if you are up to talking)


Have you ever realized you hurt or grown apart from someone you consider a close friend? What key things would you say in a letter to them?

 Sometimes we grow apart from someone. We try to resist it and find out that (perhaps) we were at fault for the falling out.. Admitting that we were wrong is the best thing you can do. So todays post is to someone I hurt in the past. They remained quiet about it when I should have been there to talk it over. 
  Listening is key. With an open mind and owning your past faults. This letter is to them, they will know who. While I felt good writing this letter I could not help but put it out there for them to see.  I hope they reach out in return only time will telll.  

kate spade letter writing friends admitting owning faults I miss my friend

Dear Friend who I miss,
     How are you? Those few words I have not said to you in sometime now. It is shocking how little those are said.
Even in Elementary School I did not ask. I will admit that I spoke mostly of myself ( quite rude of me when I think back). It has taken a few falls to make this realization, and I am glad I have.
    How many times should I have asked when there was a dispute with those other two (and then there was that brother, such drama) during that time. Or High School where life began to really start.
    I regularly distanced myself from you because I never asked such a simple question. I just assumed I knew, or the news I was being told from various mouths was true, but I should have asked you. Things get lost when it is not from the actual person it is about. Asking you would have been the kind and friend thing to do.
    It is surprising how much we change and learn as we grow up. Leaving things in the past and laughing at it when we own our faults. I was not as kind of a person as I thought back then. It frustrates me that I did not ask such a simple question.
   We were close friends, sisters, growing closer through the songs we sung in choir and carrying tall candles down a long aisle. We grew closer and closer. But then it stopped. Where did things go wrong? How is it that we have not talked in almost 9 months?  It is such a foreign thing to me.
      So I am going to make a start towards the right direction. I am going to ask you now. I hope that you will let me listen to you and hug you at the end. Let me know how you feel and what you think. There is nothing wrong with that. I am going to be the new me :someone who listens and give support.
     Give me a chance. So, tell me...
  How are you?,

   Your friend who misses you
(and has the kettle on if you are up to talking)


Have you ever realized you hurt or grown apart from someone you consider a close friend? What key things would you say in a letter to them?