Fridays and the London Fog!

Digital  black and white mood board inspiration created on www.sampleboard.com

Happy Friday! It’s a beautiful day in my neighborhood. Kind of windy but then this is Oklahoma. But for now it’s gorgeous outside.

I took all of my indoor plants outside to enjoy some sunshine and potted some mums around the bird bath. Laundry is done, bed is made, I made tea. I was going to have a glass of wine until OU Boy told me it’s only Friday and I have standards. Only day drinking on Saturday. Cause, football and all. So that went out the window.

Okay so my Cubbies let someone else go ahead this year. It’s okay. Everyone deserves a turn.  Except the Red Sox. They get nothing.

I’m a bit bored today. I don’t know why. I have like a gazillion books to read and that’s YUGE! And yet, here I sit in the quiet of my house, with all the windows open, and it’s even quite outside.

For those of you who liked the look of the London Fog Latte….

IMG_1508514046408  Here she is. Stopped into Starbucks yesterday evening and my lovely Barista talked in a Peppa Pig type voice as he made it. Dude, seriously, you sound atrocious. I know he says. Well then go ahead and Peppa Pig away! And it was delicious, thank you very much. And they are just as easy to make yourself. If you don’t have a frother in your espresso machine, then buy just a battery operated frother. I got a great one at Target. No sense paying $5 bucks for one unless you are lazy. My excuse? It was next to the phone store.

Have a peaceful day. Be nice. Be the bigger person. And as Corbin says, “Don’t hit anyone if people are looking”.

xx Patricia

The Tea Fairy Stops By for a Cuppa!

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I received the Fall catalog from Harney & Sons on Monday and immediately got down to making decisions. I knew I wanted the Hot Cinnamon Spice as well as the Pumpkin Spice along with some white teas.

I love when a tea company tosses in some samples with your order. This time I received a sample of Paris Tea ( love it ),Organic Green Tea with Citrus and Ginkgo, Organic English Breakfast and Japanese Sencha Green Tea.

Since I was feeling a bit foggy today, due to the fact I stayed up way past my bedtime to finish a book and I had that ‘still in the book’ fogginess. So I started with the Hot Cinnamon Spice. On opening the tin of sachets the aroma of cinnamon was strong and pleasant. Honestly I could have just stood there and inhaled the aroma for a long time. But in went the sachet, steeped for 5 minutes and then the smell was permeating the entire office. I found myself smiling for no reason. I’d say the tea had a medium body to it. Not too light and not too heavy. It definitely was invigorating and my mouth was doing the happy dance as all that cinnamon hit every taste bud. A big winner for me! I can see using this in all types of holiday goodies. And just like the red-hot candies I love, I wanted more!

Have you picked up any holiday or special seasonal teas yet?

 

Grab a cup and enjoy some tea this afternoon! Offer a friend a cup! And have a peaceful day!

xx Patricia

Didn’t We Have Fun?! Tuesday Adventures in Pirate Land!

This is the last week of Fall Break for the seven-year old. Yesterday was such a gorgeous day outside. Still shorts weather. Since Tuesdays and Wednesdays are my days off, we decided to have one more summery day.

Armed with extra quantities of Green Ginger Tea, we set out. First to the trusty Redbox to grab a few movies, then to the library to drop off some books. The lunch vote was about to go on forever so Freddy’s Frozen Custard it was. I have no idea if these places are all over the country but it was our first time at this new location.

Freddy’s is all about Retro. I can easily picture Rizzo and all the kids from Grease hanging out here. And since they were decorated for Halloween with that lovely spider webbing strung over each booth the five-year old thought surely they wouldn’t mind if he did a few Spidey moves with it. It is a lively enough place that the kids were entertained by everything.

I had no idea what custard was. My mother said it is when you cook the starter for your ice cream and then churn it until it is as smooth as can be. So I ordered the small pumpkin pie concrete. That’s what they called it. Because you aren’t sucking anything out of there unless you have some super-duper sucking skills. I do not. We all shared it and it was amazing. They actually put a slice of pumpkin pie in with frozen custard and topped it with whipped cream and grated nutmeg.

Even OU Boy who never tries anything new took a bite. His eyes glazed over and he said,” What is custard?” And that’s the last we heard from him as he was guarding his own like a lion with a hyena lunch.

After lunch we decided a trip to the park was needed. Things got interesting at the swings. There was a lovely little girl (8) who was playing with us while her Aunt was on the swing checking her phone. I told her,” Wow you have the shiniest hair I’ve ever seen.” Her: “I know, I just dyed it.”  Now all kinds of thoughts are running in my head. Is she a kidnap victim? Sure didn’t act like it as she could have walked off at any time. Is she in witness protection? If so, she talks way too much. And since I’m trying not to be judgy this week, OU Boy is making me snap a band on  my wrist every time I am, so we left.

After a wash up we popped Spiderman Homecoming in because the five-year old declared I would love it. (Meh). Then Hocus Pocus. By this time the five year old was asleep and the seven-year old was pondering out loud why we are all so tall and skinny in our family. How do you explain genetics to someone that age? OH, and she also does not know who Reese  Witherspoon is and has never seen Legally Blonde. But she has seen IT. We have some catch up to do on her film education.

We had soccer practice where the five-year old had to pee. Right Now. Dude, we are on a soccer field. So to avoid having him labelled a sex offender we didn’t let him pee in the bushes. OU Boy gave him a cup and told him to squat on the truck seat and go. Let’s just say he got distracted and I had to put a towel over my seat on the way home.

That was our day. And it was a good day. Sometimes things can seem so overwhelming and I seriously needed a day of play. And snuggling on the sofa with a little boy all tuckered out from fun, all is right with the world.

xx Patricia

 

 

 

MEET COZY AUTHOR B.B. HAYWOOD!

Town in a Wild Moose Chase: A Candy Holliday Murder Mystery by [Haywood, B. B.] Town in a Maple Madness (Candy Holliday Murder Mystery) by [Haywood, B. B.] Town in a Strawberry Swirl (A Candy Holliday Mystery, #5)

About The Author:

B. B. Haywood is a pseudonym of writing team Beth Feeman and Robert Feeman. They conceived the idea for the Candy Holliday mysteries while driving around the Maine countryside, stopping at different small towns throughout the state.

About The Books:

In the quaint seaside village of Cape Willington, Maine, Candy Holliday has a mostly idyllic life, tending to the Blueberry Acres farm she runs with her father and occasionally stepping in to solve a murder or two… 

This is another new to me author. I chose to start with Town in a Maple Madness. The latest in the series. I’ll let you know how it goes. If you have read this author, please let us know your thoughts on this one!

This morning it was 44 degrees when I got up. It’s barely made it into the 60’s so far. I was not really feeling that industrious. But a few cups of tea solved that. So far today I have Cajun Bean Soup in the freezer. Chicken Pot Pie Soup simmering on the stove and an apple pie in the oven.

It’s that time of year when we fill the freezer with warming and healthy soups and stews, hearty breads and pies. I would rather take a couple of days and do big batch cooking than have to do the “What do you want for dinner” dance until we all eat cereal. This way I can just pop it in the slow cooker and its nice and warm for dinner.

I do this with oatmeal too. Make big batches and then pour them into a 13×9 pan and then cut them up to snack on.

What is your favorite go to meal for a quick dinner?

Enjoy a cup today and remember to stay safe and informed. Ireland? We’re with you in spirit. To the 4 soldiers that were killed, thank you for what you did and rest in peace. To the folks impacted by the wildfires, and to all of the people still trying to recover from hurricanes, we haven’t forgotten you. I wish we could do more for you.

xx Patricia

Compassion. It’s so often the solution!

It’s easy to judge. It’s way more difficult to understand. Understanding requires compassion, patience, and a willingness to believe that good hearts sometimes choose poor methods. Through judging we separate, through understanding, we grow.

We were driving around the other evening and I told OU Boy that I’m trying really hard to be less judgy. He said, ” I have noticed that.” Me: I have a band on my wrist and when I feel the need to speak on someone’s green hair or bootie shorts, I snap the band.” Him: “You’re gonna need more of those bands.”

Yesterday I had all to myself to watch my football team play. I thought it was the perfect time to try my new bottle of Prosecco. Which the guy in the liquor store had never heard of and I had to find myself. I made myself a nice little fruit plate and poured myself a glass.  Honestly? I wanted to drink the whole bottle. It was so good. But I stuck to the one glass and felt much better about life for a few hours. So thanks for that hook up Jo!

I watched football until bedtime. It was a good day.

Y’all enjoy your Sunday!   tealovers4

 

Meet Cozy Mystery Author Victoria Hamilton!

 

Muffin to Fear (A Merry Muffin Mystery Book 5) by [Hamilton, Victoria] Much Ado About Muffin (A Merry Muffin Mystery Book 4) by [Hamilton, Victoria]Death of an English Muffin (Merry Muffin Mystery Book 3) by [Hamilton, Victoria]

White Colander Crime (A Vintage Kitchen Mystery Book 5) by [Hamilton, Victoria] Leave It to Cleaver (A Vintage Kitchen Mystery Book 6) by [Hamilton, Victoria] Bowled Over (A Vintage Kitchen Mystery Book 2) by [Hamilton, Victoria]

Victoria is a new to me author. Someone gave me the White Colander Crime book and it’s next on my pile to read. Muffins and Vintage Kitchen themed mysteries do sound like things I would read about. Muffins being closely related to my friend, the cupcake.

I’ll be sure and let you know how it goes. If you have read any of her books, please let us know what you thought! All this month I’ve been doing a series of Meet the Cozy Authors on Books,BooksandMoreBooks  so if you are looking for a good cozy mystery that you can identify with hop on over and check some out. Since this one has muffins I felt it appropriate to post it here. Now for a good cuppa and a muffin!

Victoria Hamilton

Victoria Hamilton is the pseudonym of nationally bestselling romance author Donna Lea Simpson. Victoria is the national bestselling author of two mystery series, the Vintage Kitchen Mysteries and Merry Muffin Mysteries, as well as the Teapot Collector Mysteries as Amanda Cooper. She is also the bestselling author of Regency and historical romance as Donna Lea Simpson.

Victoria loves to cook and collects vintage kitchen paraphernalia, teacups and teapots, and almost anything that catches her fancy! She loves to read, especially mystery novels, and enjoys good tea and cheap wine, the company of friends, and has a newfound appreciation for opera. She enjoys crocheting and beading, but a good book can tempt her away from almost anything… except writing!

She now happily writes about vintage kitchen collecting, muffin baking and dead bodies for publisher Beyond the Page for the Vintage Kitchen Mysteries (the first five books of the series were published by Berkley Prime Crime) and Merry Muffin Mystery series, published by Berkley. Besides writing about murder and mayhem, and blogging at Killer Characters, Victoria collects vintage kitchen wares and old cookbooks, as well as teapots and teacups.

Visit Victoria at: http://www.victoriahamiltonmysteries.com for availability of her books, some of which have also been published in Large Print and Audio formats!

You can find out more about her and all of her series at her website, as well as on Facebook and Pinterest.

IF TEA CAN’T HANDLE IT, IT MUST BE BAD!

I found purple tea. I’ve had some that were lavender but now I  have found purple! I saw quite a few sellers of this tea once I started looking. I received the Kenyan loose leaf and as you can see by the dry leaves they have a dusky purple hue. In the cup they become a lovely shade of purple and the taste is very nice.

Yesterday was Thursday and was busy from start to finish. It’s always soccer practice for the seven-year old and this time we met up with Jodi and Corbin at the ‘rocket park’. I call it that because I have no idea what the name of it is. But it has a very tall rocket in the middle of it that you climb a ladder round and round until you get to the top where there is a deck. I made it to the second highest which is the slide and slid on out of there.

Today is full of sunshine and all is well. Jodi and I discussed the dust situation and she agreed it was a good move as a Halloween decoration, along with the dead plants outside. So that’s settled. Corbin says he is going as Georgie from IT and Charli Ava wants to do the corpse bride. Copycat!

Last night I was alone, just strolling through the reader checking out who is doing what and I come upon this post the title of which was ” Why women should stop doing the Cucumber Cleanse for their vagina.” Well hell yeah, I had to click on that! It is a thing and it included directions. Peel the cucumber, swish it around in your vagina for 20 minutes. Then I had questions. Is it a cucumber like Cynthia grows? Or a skinny english cucumber? Does it have to be peeled? Does it have to be cold? And why 20 minutes? I mean heck, I’ve got other stuff to do. And what are these people using their vaginas for that they need a cleanse?  Since I was home alone I had to tell Cynthia about it. Because I’m a good friend.

So yeah, it’s Friday the 13th. And that was my weirdness for the day. Not really, I’ll be weird all day. It’s kind of my thing.

xx Patricia     Enjoy your day, Smile and have a good cup of tea.

 

Making A Choice…and Tea!

Tea board

Good Thursday Morning to Y’all. I’m feeling Zen today. So I’m going with the Tazo Zen tea today. With the temperatures dropping it may get moved to the back shelf until warmer weather so the winter teas have some room.

This has been a week hasn’t it? Although I have to say that the leak under the slab was relatively painless. I discovered it on Monday when my closet floor felt really hot. OU Boy pulled out his digital infrared thermometer and it was 105.5.  We knew we had a hot water line break. The plumber was here early the next morning. And by early I mean he was here at 9 a.m. on the dot.  People, I am not company ready at that time of day. This meant a change in my schedule and my anxiety was looking for a way out.

OU Boy bundled me and all of my things up and dropped me at the library and sent me text updates about the jack hammering and the dust collecting. And people watching at the library is always a fun activity. Everything was repaired and new concrete poured by early afternoon. Now everything in the living room is covered with a fine layer of dust that I’m thinking of just leaving there for a Halloween decoration.

I’ve talked some about CBT and how it has help my anxiety and I had an email asking what that was. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is identifying the event and controlling how you react to said event. I’m not a professional here. I’m a visual learner. I learn best by reading or seeing something rather than you telling me orally about it. I have worksheets, or I did for a while. Now it’s just second nature. The worksheets are divided into 3 parts A- The Activating Event (Something happened) B-Belief/Stuck Point (I tell myself something) C- Consequence (I feel something). Then I ask myself, “Are my thoughts above in “B” realistic? In my mind I’m playing out the scenario and any way it can negatively affect me. It’s a way to help me control situations. And for me it works.

I was all set to be really Zen today and OU Boy just shot me a text that the entire Thunder team and families are up at the Club celebrating the Thunders tenth anniversary. Even Melo and Lala! I am not feeling very zen towards him at the moment. I knew he cut out of here awful early this morning. Seriously, how could you forget to tell me that???

Have a calm and peaceful day. Make a choice to be kind. Make someone’s day a little bit better today. A smile, a kind word, a cup of tea, or you can just try not to start shit! Whatever level you are at!

xx Patricia

The London Fog: A Tea Latte’

Earl Grey - Lavender Earl Grey - Jasmine Earl Grey

Our tea today is from Twining’s. Did you know they had so many varieties? And the reason we are focusing on them is that I learned how to make a London Fog.

And it was delicious! Here’s how:

Have you ever wondered how to make a London Fog? It's the ultimate tea latte recipe with a hint of sweetness and boost of caffeine. Perfect for cold winter mornings or afternoon pick-me-ups! This recipe came from Pinterest and is the exact one I use.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 Earl Grey tea bag
  • 1/2 cup hot water
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk (or other milk of choice)
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1-2 tsp raw honey, maple syrup or sweetener of choice
  1. Steep your tea bag in the hot water for 3-5 mins (depending on strength preference)
  2. Mix together almond milk and vanilla extract and steam or froth depending on what tools you have.*
  3. Stir sweetener in with steeped tea and top with frothed milk.
  4. Enjoy hot!

It’s Time To Talk #worldmentalhealthday

Today is World Mental Health Day.

When you stop making life about taking care of everyone else and take care of you first.

We don’t talk enough about Mental Illness in this country. There is a stigma attached to those words that people don’t want to stick on themselves. All my life I was told I was just “high-strung”, which may be a southern thing. But I had my first major panic attack when I was a child and a hurricane had deposited a tree down the center of the twin beds in our room. All I remember is being in the closet holding a Barbie and rocking back and forth. A Valium from my mother took care of that.

I got so good at pretending I wasn’t anxious that not many people noticed. I went to school and on to college. Worked in finance for years as the person in charge. It was better for me to be in charge because I had fewer people to deal with.

Of course I didn’t realize that until I had a traumatic experience and the anxiety and stress literally made me sick. After that I quit working in the public eye and concentrated on my therapy and learning to cope with the fact that I don’t like being around people.

It seems appropriate that today of all days I am working from the library. Full of questionable people! Why would I do such a thing to myself? Because I have a hot water line that broke in my bathroom and there are men jack hammering my floor up and that was worse than pretending to be invisible at the library.

The fact that my schedule has been interrupted is just one more thing for me to be thrown by.  I recently graduated from therapy. My anxiety is controlled by CBT and a Xanax at bedtime. If we met you would never know I suffer with this. I’m really good at pretending everything is fine. I’m lucky I have someone in my life who recognizes situations that are bound to trigger a wringing of hands or biting of my lip and gets me out of there as soon as possible.

Let’s try to educate the people we care about and be honest with them. I am the worst at bowing out of things at the last-minute. I usually use the I’m busy excuse, but lately I’ve been telling people that I’m just not comfortable with a bunch of people and hope they understand.

Through this blog I’ve discovered I’m not alone. I’m not weird. I’m not crazy. Sharing stories and the ups and downs of our lives has been the best thing in the world for me. So thanks to all of you for being there!

xx Patricia