Tea, glorious tea

Now that it’s getting cold, I’m in the mood to drink more hot beverages. They really do help when I’m feeling icy. Which seems like most of the time! I’ve totally been in the mood for tea, coffee and hot chocolate. I’ll comment on the other two at a later point but right now I want to talk about tea! After last night I just have tea on the brain! I’m actually making a pot right now.

I have a ridiculous amount of the stuff (not that it’s limited to tea, I have a ridiculous amount of stuff in general) and I keep getting the urge to buy more! I have two tea pots but it just doesn’t seem like enough! Here are some things that have caught my eye recently. Maybe they’d be good for the tea drinker in your life!

Mate Lemon Blast Herbal Tea: I haven’t actually tried any Mate tea so far, but I’ve been aiming to make my way through the different tea types to figure out what I like. Teavana describes it as “An energizing blend of Yerba Mate with lemongrass, rich in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.” I really like the smell of lemongrass so this has some definite potential.

Samurai Chai Mate: “A sip of this sweetly robust straight up Mate blend awakens the Samurai within. Inspired by the Way of the Warrior, this fresh green Mate is imbued with strong spices, invigorating herbs and revitalizing citrus. A wonderful cup of tea that will get you moving!” Citrus and spice can be pretty fabulous together and this sounds like a good morning tea.

Insulated Travel Tea Mug: This is a great idea for a messy person like me! Once in a while I’ll take my coffee or tea to work in a travel mug and somehow I always manage to spill it. On me or in the car somehow. A vacuum sealed cup would be incredibly helpful. As long as it worked anyway.

TriniTEA Electric Tea Maker: Have I mentioned that I also love appliances? I seriously don’t need any more. I don’t have room for any more. But man, I *want* this! Adagio says: “This wondrous appliance does it all – heats water, steeps leaves, and keeps tea warm so you may enjoy it all day long. Variable timer and temperature control lets you adjust the strength of an infusion, ensuring a perfect cup of tea each time. “

How handy would this be if you have multiple tea types that you like to drink? They all seem to come with different requirements for temperature and steep time. This could take the guess work out of it! (And, since it keeps it warm in the pot, it could also cut down on my icky unintentionally cold tea problem.)

Instant Read Digital Thermometer: For a slightly less expensive option, I could also use an instant read thermometer. It might not be as fancy, and it would take more work on my part, but it would definitely help me steep a perfect cup of tea. Ok, let’s not get overly ambitious here. It would get me going in the right direction, anyway.

And finally, teapots, some of which are so lovely to look at, they can almost double as decoration. If you happen to have a Teavana store near you, definitely go inside and see their selection of teapots. I’ve been to the store in Chicago and it was fabulous! I sampled teas, drooled over their wares, and got advice on tea to take home with me.

Your turn! What’s your favorite tea? Favorite place to buy it?

I have a problem

11/28/08 kitty cups
I have a confession to make.

It should come as no surprise that I am a bit of a hoarder. I collect things. Lots of things. Not like in a having collections sort of way like people are with knick knacks or stamps or vintage, well, everything these days. No. I mean I just keep acquiring stuff.

This would be fine, except… I’m scared to use it. I will buy stuff, then put it away and avoid taking it out and using it, just to keep it safe. How ridiculous is this?

Last summer we went to Chicago and I got the chance to walk around and do a little shopping in Chinatown. It was great. We went in a little tea shop and I found this fabulous kitty cup set. So cute! I had to have it! I had them wrap it up. I carefully wedged it in my bag. I carefully brought it home. I put it in the cupboard. In the cupboard where it has stayed for the last 5 months.
11/28/08 kitty cups
Until tonight.

I’d like you to know that right now, right this very moment, I am forcing myself to drink tea out of one of these adorable tea cups. And it’s hard! My instincts tell me no! What if something happens to it?! What if it has a nasty Muffin-induced accident like the adorable cow bowl?! What if it gets chipped when I wash it?! What if the tea stains it?! What if what if!!

But tonight, right now, right this very moment, I’m making that voice shut up! I’m doing it and… it’s nice!

I am a terrible tea drinker

Most of the time I can’t manage to get all the way through a mug of tea before it’s icy cold and icky. Often I’ll reheat my last bits of tea 2 or even 3 times. That’s sad. Drinking tea should not take such talent or even effort.

Last year I learned to appreciate mug warmers! My friend had one that was getting neglected and so I stole it and gave it a better home. They really do work! Eventually your drink will get less hot, the longer you leave it. But even I only had warm tea at worst. (Note: It’s *much* better than unintentionally cold tea.)

Now to dig it out and dust it off. It’s getting to be that season again!

Holiday Gift Guide!

Looking for gifts for the product whore in your life? I’ve put together a list of fabulous items for you!

1. Lush:

Christmas Party Bath Bomb – I love this bomb! It’s orangey and lovely and full of stars and confetti. I admit I put mine in a stocking before dropping it in the bath. But I’m lazy and don’t like to clean stuff out of my tub.

Ma Bar Bubble Bar

And for a relaxing time *after* the bath, try a Soft Coeur Massage Bar!

2. Mason Pearson – Everyone should have one of these hair brushes.

You can buy them on Amazon!
Mason Pearson Hairbrushes

This is the one I have: Mason Pearson Junior Bristle & Nylon Brush – I’ve had it for 14 years and I LOVE it. I also have the pocket version.

3. Bunny slippers! – I previously wrote about my awesome bunny slippers.

This is where you can buy the slippers I have: BarefootParties.com

For a similar but less pricey version:
try this

try this

4. For fans of Too Faced Cosmetics and Kipling bags:

Kipling Loves Too Faced cosmetic sets! Each comes with Too Faced cosmetics tucked in a Kipling bag!

From Kipling’s Site:

Primp & Party Set: Starry Eyed Liner, Lash Injection Pinpoint Mascara (which I sampled recently – look for an upcoming post about that!), Foiled Liner

Kiss & Run Set: Mood Swing Emotionally Activated Lip Gloss
Diamond Gloss

Envy Me Set: Lash Injection Mascara, Lip Injection Lip Plumper, Pink Leopard Bronzer, Refresh Blotter Papers

Charmed & Glamorous Set: Beauty Balm

From Too Faced:
Too Faced Loves Kipling Set: Lovey Dovey Duo Eye Shadow, Mini Ooh & Aah Starry Eyed Liner, Mini Black Lash Injection, and Mini Colorless Application Shadow Insurance

5. Hello Kitty!

Hello Kitty Toaster

Hello Kitty Necklace

Hello Kitty Waffle Maker

Hello Kitty Hair Dryer

Hello Kitty Computer Keyboard

6. Escada Moon Sparkle – This is one of the very few non Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab perfumes that I have ever liked. I *love* this. It’s sort of fruity, sort of floral. I am terrible at describing scents. But this one is lovely. I just keep sniffing myself and sniffing myself.

7. Flowering Tea with Teapot and Warmer – This is so pretty. I would love to have one of these. I have a lot of tea so I haven’t been able to justify buying it. One of these days!

Another fine tea place, Adagio Tea, has all sorts of great stuff. And you can get smaller sizes to sample or mix and match. Bonus!

So there you have it! What are you thinking about buying this year?