July 23, 2014


    Noticing fine details is one of  my skills and it came in handy early June. While my family and I were looking through the Japanese Tea House at the Montreal Botanical Garden, this little guy caught my eye. It was just outside the sliding glass across from the tatami tea room. While its small and has no sign attached, it has a specific purpose.

   This rock tied with string is called Sekimoriishi, or " barrier- keeper stone". When a stone is placed on a stepping stone in a tea garden, do not go along the path it blocks. The host of the tea gathering places it along the path to help guests get to the desired destination.

 Really neat right? It's very simple but it keeps everything simple.  If you forget everything, just treat the stone like yellow police tape. That way you are good to go for your next Tea Ceremony Class or gathering.
 
    By the way, I love knowing things like this are done right. So I tried to open the door, and it would not budge. What a great way to indirectly (maybe) teach visitors the meaning behind the stone.


    Noticing fine details is one of  my skills and it came in handy early June. While my family and I were looking through the Japanese Tea House at the Montreal Botanical Garden, this little guy caught my eye. It was just outside the sliding glass across from the tatami tea room. While its small and has no sign attached, it has a specific purpose.

   This rock tied with string is called Sekimoriishi, or " barrier- keeper stone". When a stone is placed on a stepping stone in a tea garden, do not go along the path it blocks. The host of the tea gathering places it along the path to help guests get to the desired destination.

 Really neat right? It's very simple but it keeps everything simple.  If you forget everything, just treat the stone like yellow police tape. That way you are good to go for your next Tea Ceremony Class or gathering.
 
    By the way, I love knowing things like this are done right. So I tried to open the door, and it would not budge. What a great way to indirectly (maybe) teach visitors the meaning behind the stone.

July 21, 2014


     Ever since watching Disney's Pocahontas I have believed that we are all connected. Race, age, likes, dislikes, religion etc. All of these things just make us unique, while beneath it all we are the same. Acceptance of others (and of ourselves) will lead to acceptance and greater understanding. This weeks quote is from Patti Smith, Artist and musician, and I feel it explains it all.




     Ever since watching Disney's Pocahontas I have believed that we are all connected. Race, age, likes, dislikes, religion etc. All of these things just make us unique, while beneath it all we are the same. Acceptance of others (and of ourselves) will lead to acceptance and greater understanding. This weeks quote is from Patti Smith, Artist and musician, and I feel it explains it all.



July 18, 2014









July 16, 2014


Waking up any morning can be a struggle, add work into the equation and it can be interesting (life or death). This morning was one of those days. I thought about how I need to change my routine (and make sure there is milk for my breakfast shake).
   For those who are like me ( in their 20s or not :p) our bodies are still trying to decide what is the best time to get up. Late nights, that are actually late mornings. We got picked on by our parents for our "unhealthy" schedule but found freedom once we moved out. Although realistically we came back to square one
 
Here are some key tips to help get you moving and (the important thing) wake up!

1. Eat something 

    Anything is better than nothing. Find a few foods that you enjoy in the morning and keep them around. It is always a good thing to have foods with some kind of protein content. Today was a Blueberry Greek yogurt and Organic Peanut butter on toast day. Both will give me that extra little bit of energy to keep me going.

2. Have something energizing

   If your diet allows, it always helps to have a caffeinated drink. My fall backs are Matcha, Oolong , and coffee. Each offer something different. Matcha will slowly wake you up and is also easy on your body. Oolong is a calming morning tea, it not only wakes you up but keeps you grounded. Now I can already hear my tea friends comments about coffee. Here is the low down on this drink. It contains magnesium and other vitamins that (for what ever reason) make me feel healthier than taking vitamins. I am unsure why this is but it works for me (for now :p Matcha shakes to come!).
  If you want to try something a little different try out this matcha recipe.

3. Exercise (light or not)

     Working in some of your regular work out ,stretches or Yoga is a perfect way to get your body to wake up. Moving the body warms it up and gets it ready for your day.  I take my yoga classes in the evening so if I am in need of a teacher I quickly go to YouTube. I suggest this following video for light stretches to wake up, Adriene is encouraging and fun.


Waking up any morning can be a struggle, add work into the equation and it can be interesting (life or death). This morning was one of those days. I thought about how I need to change my routine (and make sure there is milk for my breakfast shake).
   For those who are like me ( in their 20s or not :p) our bodies are still trying to decide what is the best time to get up. Late nights, that are actually late mornings. We got picked on by our parents for our "unhealthy" schedule but found freedom once we moved out. Although realistically we came back to square one
 
Here are some key tips to help get you moving and (the important thing) wake up!

1. Eat something 

    Anything is better than nothing. Find a few foods that you enjoy in the morning and keep them around. It is always a good thing to have foods with some kind of protein content. Today was a Blueberry Greek yogurt and Organic Peanut butter on toast day. Both will give me that extra little bit of energy to keep me going.

2. Have something energizing

   If your diet allows, it always helps to have a caffeinated drink. My fall backs are Matcha, Oolong , and coffee. Each offer something different. Matcha will slowly wake you up and is also easy on your body. Oolong is a calming morning tea, it not only wakes you up but keeps you grounded. Now I can already hear my tea friends comments about coffee. Here is the low down on this drink. It contains magnesium and other vitamins that (for what ever reason) make me feel healthier than taking vitamins. I am unsure why this is but it works for me (for now :p Matcha shakes to come!).
  If you want to try something a little different try out this matcha recipe.

3. Exercise (light or not)

     Working in some of your regular work out ,stretches or Yoga is a perfect way to get your body to wake up. Moving the body warms it up and gets it ready for your day.  I take my yoga classes in the evening so if I am in need of a teacher I quickly go to YouTube. I suggest this following video for light stretches to wake up, Adriene is encouraging and fun.

July 14, 2014


   Every now and then we need a little inspiration for our day. This series will pop up every now and then with a free printable. Feel free to download and have a copy where ever you may need it. I personally have a collection posted in my Studio (bedroom :P ) and they help me get through those tough moments.
  This series was inspired by all of you, as you keep me inspired to keep going. Thank you for your comments, e-mails , 1+ , etc. I feel blessed to have such a great community here with all of you. Big thank you to Ginny , King Koh, and Nicole. I love you all. 
xxoo Katherine






   Every now and then we need a little inspiration for our day. This series will pop up every now and then with a free printable. Feel free to download and have a copy where ever you may need it. I personally have a collection posted in my Studio (bedroom :P ) and they help me get through those tough moments.
  This series was inspired by all of you, as you keep me inspired to keep going. Thank you for your comments, e-mails , 1+ , etc. I feel blessed to have such a great community here with all of you. Big thank you to Ginny , King Koh, and Nicole. I love you all. 
xxoo Katherine





July 11, 2014


    Bonsai trees are a mini living representation of Zen and Dao. They grow and stay small (with some help), but they also become something so simple. A living tree . I know this is crazy to point out but they are defined as decorative plants to some people or hobbies to others. To me and others who adore them, they are an art form that represents life. Over 10 years ago they were cool and now its a struggle to find a good starter tree.
   To solve this problem and get myself back into my secret old woman-like-art-form, I am going to grow my own tree. Recently we added a small juniper tree to our garden, so I took a small cutting to get started. By soaking the freshly cut end in water with wet paper towel to ensure constant water source. In a few weeks, I am hoping it will take root so that it can be soon planted into a small pot.
 Updates to come, I will post images on twitter, Instagram and other posts. Keep your life green.


    Bonsai trees are a mini living representation of Zen and Dao. They grow and stay small (with some help), but they also become something so simple. A living tree . I know this is crazy to point out but they are defined as decorative plants to some people or hobbies to others. To me and others who adore them, they are an art form that represents life. Over 10 years ago they were cool and now its a struggle to find a good starter tree.
   To solve this problem and get myself back into my secret old woman-like-art-form, I am going to grow my own tree. Recently we added a small juniper tree to our garden, so I took a small cutting to get started. By soaking the freshly cut end in water with wet paper towel to ensure constant water source. In a few weeks, I am hoping it will take root so that it can be soon planted into a small pot.
 Updates to come, I will post images on twitter, Instagram and other posts. Keep your life green.

July 9, 2014


 Summer is just not the same with this staple drink, Mugicha. It is roasted barley that has been steeped to create a concoction or tea. It has the roasted taste of Hojicha but is 100% caffeine free. Through university it kept me cool once the seasons got hot.
   It was once created from scratch at home but now you can purchase packets (of up to 56 ) in China town (Korea Town or your Asian Grocer ). it is even available online at Jlist and Amazon.
After a little searching, I found a recipe if you want to try making it at home, for cheep healthy summer drink. Recipe can be originally found over at La Fuji Mama, a blog dedicated to exploring the tastes of the world with her family.

Homemade Mugicha (Japanese Roasted barley Tea) 


Makes 8 cups
1/3 uncooked pearl Barley
8 cups water

1.  Put the barley in a large dry skillet and toast over medium heat for about 10 minutes, stirring the grains. Shake the skillet occasionally so that they toast evenly, until the grains have turned a dark rich brown colour. Remove from heat and pour out into a bowl or a paper towel to cool


2.   Bring the 8 cups of water to a boil in  a pot, add the cooled toasted barley, and simmer over low heat for 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and let the barley continue to steep as the mugicha cools, for about 5 minutes.

3.   Strain out the barley, pour the mugicha into a pitcher and chill.


 Summer is just not the same with this staple drink, Mugicha. It is roasted barley that has been steeped to create a concoction or tea. It has the roasted taste of Hojicha but is 100% caffeine free. Through university it kept me cool once the seasons got hot.
   It was once created from scratch at home but now you can purchase packets (of up to 56 ) in China town (Korea Town or your Asian Grocer ). it is even available online at Jlist and Amazon.
After a little searching, I found a recipe if you want to try making it at home, for cheep healthy summer drink. Recipe can be originally found over at La Fuji Mama, a blog dedicated to exploring the tastes of the world with her family.

Homemade Mugicha (Japanese Roasted barley Tea) 


Makes 8 cups
1/3 uncooked pearl Barley
8 cups water

1.  Put the barley in a large dry skillet and toast over medium heat for about 10 minutes, stirring the grains. Shake the skillet occasionally so that they toast evenly, until the grains have turned a dark rich brown colour. Remove from heat and pour out into a bowl or a paper towel to cool


2.   Bring the 8 cups of water to a boil in  a pot, add the cooled toasted barley, and simmer over low heat for 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and let the barley continue to steep as the mugicha cools, for about 5 minutes.

3.   Strain out the barley, pour the mugicha into a pitcher and chill.

July 7, 2014


 


 

July 4, 2014


A few weeks ago I spent a good amount of time with my favorite family member, My brother. Our parents were away and I proposed that we go for tea for brunch.  Our favorite place to go is Lauriam Tea House in town. It has been open since 2007 and sparked a whole chain reaction for me that resulted in this blog (and a number of other things).
   When we first came here in its first year, I remember Matt looking upset when he got a cup that was a little flowery. Around the same time he was correcting me on which shirts were his from High School, by pointing out what side the buttons were on. It was important to him to have things right.

 
 This time around about 7 years latter, look at the cup he got! He acted all cool when he got it, but I pointed out how secretly happy He was. We then compared Lauriam to the old tea house that used to be in town over 15 years ago (which closed down). While we had memories with our Grandmother who passed there, we both agreed Lauriam was our top pick.

    What teas did we have? Matt had a Strawberry Fruit blend while I had Formosa Oolong. After a little teasing about his pick and finishing up our lunch we left happy with our memories of the past and of the day.

Lauriam Tea House is located in Bowmanville, Ontario. 


A few weeks ago I spent a good amount of time with my favorite family member, My brother. Our parents were away and I proposed that we go for tea for brunch.  Our favorite place to go is Lauriam Tea House in town. It has been open since 2007 and sparked a whole chain reaction for me that resulted in this blog (and a number of other things).
   When we first came here in its first year, I remember Matt looking upset when he got a cup that was a little flowery. Around the same time he was correcting me on which shirts were his from High School, by pointing out what side the buttons were on. It was important to him to have things right.

 
 This time around about 7 years latter, look at the cup he got! He acted all cool when he got it, but I pointed out how secretly happy He was. We then compared Lauriam to the old tea house that used to be in town over 15 years ago (which closed down). While we had memories with our Grandmother who passed there, we both agreed Lauriam was our top pick.

    What teas did we have? Matt had a Strawberry Fruit blend while I had Formosa Oolong. After a little teasing about his pick and finishing up our lunch we left happy with our memories of the past and of the day.

Lauriam Tea House is located in Bowmanville, Ontario. 

July 2, 2014


   Having tea outside is the most magical thing you can do (aside from opening an order of new teas). It allows you to let it reconnect with nature, and it in turn will connect you to it as well. With this great benefit we can receive, why is there such a small amount of tea people not taking their tea outside? The answer is simple, it can be hard deciding what tea ware to bring with you ( I had the same problem). 
   The trick is to use a tea bowl. It is a single vessel that needs no cups or decanters. To make tea you just need a thermos of water and tea. Add some tea and water. Wait, then enjoy. 
   The beauty of this is that it makes you focus on the tea more and it makes your bag not as heavy. Packing is just as simple, below are simple steps to take your tea moment outside.



Steps to packing for Outdoor Tea

1.  Wrap up your tea bowl in a cloth  (or carry it in a camera bag like I did) and put it in your bag. 
2    Boil some water and fill up your thermos. Pack it
3    Pick a tea and pack it.
4.   Find something to sit on and pack it. (I am using an old yoga mat but an old towel will do)
5.   Pack anything else you think you may need, but keep it simple (This is optional). Here I am using a tea mat and bamboo scoop I received from Global Tea hut. 

The key thing is to keep it as simple as possible. I found with this set up I really did not need the bamboo scoop. So now I know for next time to leave it at home.
   
Do you have a simple set up for outdoor tea? I would love to hear (and see, share pictures too!) about your packing choices. Comment below or e-mail me, tweet, instagram etc.   


   Having tea outside is the most magical thing you can do (aside from opening an order of new teas). It allows you to let it reconnect with nature, and it in turn will connect you to it as well. With this great benefit we can receive, why is there such a small amount of tea people not taking their tea outside? The answer is simple, it can be hard deciding what tea ware to bring with you ( I had the same problem). 
   The trick is to use a tea bowl. It is a single vessel that needs no cups or decanters. To make tea you just need a thermos of water and tea. Add some tea and water. Wait, then enjoy. 
   The beauty of this is that it makes you focus on the tea more and it makes your bag not as heavy. Packing is just as simple, below are simple steps to take your tea moment outside.



Steps to packing for Outdoor Tea

1.  Wrap up your tea bowl in a cloth  (or carry it in a camera bag like I did) and put it in your bag. 
2    Boil some water and fill up your thermos. Pack it
3    Pick a tea and pack it.
4.   Find something to sit on and pack it. (I am using an old yoga mat but an old towel will do)
5.   Pack anything else you think you may need, but keep it simple (This is optional). Here I am using a tea mat and bamboo scoop I received from Global Tea hut. 

The key thing is to keep it as simple as possible. I found with this set up I really did not need the bamboo scoop. So now I know for next time to leave it at home.
   
Do you have a simple set up for outdoor tea? I would love to hear (and see, share pictures too!) about your packing choices. Comment below or e-mail me, tweet, instagram etc.   

June 30, 2014






June 27, 2014


For a few months now I have been wanting to put this piece in ink. It came out of love for my Grandfather who passed a few years ago. He was an honest and simple man who had lived through the World Wars. With that it was second nature to reuse something as much as possible.
   For him it was very evident with his tea. I remember visiting him and seeing the spent tea bags drying out so they may be used again latter on. He continued this practice with a single teabag for an unknown amount of times.
   Tea for my family was a normal way to greet guests or end a meal. I feel so blessed to have had such a man as my Grandfather and I miss him dearly.
  It was very satisfying to see this work start (finally). Once everything is inked out the real task will be to portray how reusing tea so many times will effect the colour and taste.

"Grandpa's Tea" WIP
 Ink on paper
8 x 10 Inches





For a few months now I have been wanting to put this piece in ink. It came out of love for my Grandfather who passed a few years ago. He was an honest and simple man who had lived through the World Wars. With that it was second nature to reuse something as much as possible.
   For him it was very evident with his tea. I remember visiting him and seeing the spent tea bags drying out so they may be used again latter on. He continued this practice with a single teabag for an unknown amount of times.
   Tea for my family was a normal way to greet guests or end a meal. I feel so blessed to have had such a man as my Grandfather and I miss him dearly.
  It was very satisfying to see this work start (finally). Once everything is inked out the real task will be to portray how reusing tea so many times will effect the colour and taste.

"Grandpa's Tea" WIP
 Ink on paper
8 x 10 Inches