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Category Archives: tea

Five Friday Favourites #7

Despite this week being a bit of a write-off, there were a few highlights:

BBC Dramas

Although I love Netflix and American TV series, I think we can sometimes forget just how flippin’ great our home grown dramas are! This week, Ian and I have watched ‘Moorside’ and ‘Apple Tree Yard’ both of which were gripping and contained brilliant casts. We have just started watched ‘The OA’ and although I am getting into it now, it is so stylised and quite slow-moving – give me a gritty British drama any day!

Hanjie

Quite a niche favourite but I love these Japanese picture puzzles. They do tap in to the whole mindfulness colouring book craze yet they actually make you think a bit too which is perfect for me.

Tea

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I don’t think I would have made it through this week without copious cups of the good stuff. For me, it has healing qualities.

The Versions of Us

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I finished reading this book earlier on in the week and really enjoyed it. It was actually my choice for my book club and was written in a really unique way. Funnily enough, it was the first book I’ve ever read on my Kindle that I wish I had in paperback as I had to keep flipping back to remind myself of certain details of the plot. I will do a proper book review soon.

The First Signs of Spring

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As I type this, I can see some little purple crocuses in the garden and I also have a bunch of bright yellow daffodils on the table. These little glimpses of spring make me really happy as I’ve just had enough of dark mornings, wet afternoons and grey skies!

 

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Latest Purchases #104 – Four New Cups

I have to admit that I did think twice about posting this one. To some people, mugs are something you don’t give a second thought to but if you are as much of a tea fiend as I am, then you will fully understand the importance of a good cup!

I choose different mugs depending on the mood I’m in, the drink I’m having from it and the time of day so I thought I would share four new ones that I have been enjoying recently.

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The first is a large white mug with an ‘H’ on the front. I love monogrammed items around my house and this mug is a generous size. I picked this up in Boston when I was craving a good cuppa!

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I made another Boston purchase in the form of this Harvard mug. We visited here in October and had a great morning there, learning a bit more about the American university culture. I love buying mugs on our travels and remembering little parts of our trip when I use them.

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Next, a present from my brother who actually bought me a set of two of these gorgeous ‘tin can’ mugs. They were from a little artisan pottery shop on Walcott Street in Bath and I think they are a really cool original design.

Finally, I bought this ‘tea glass’ from a café called Coffeeshop Company after enjoying afternoon tea in St. Petersburg this summer. I really like the fact that this is a bit different and it is so warm and comforting to wrap both hands around and drink from.

Sunday Summary #48 and #49

Life

I have been a bit MIA on the blog recently so what better time to start afresh than the start of the month and the start of the most magical month at that! Yes, it’s December today which means all Christmas activities are now entirely appropriate and I don’t have to hide the fact my Christmas tree has been up for almost a week now – I even had the bands on my braces replaced with red and green ones!

I was shocked to hear the news that Fidel Castro had died and it made me so happy that we had managed to get to Cuba and see Havana earlier this year before things really start to change.

For my book club, I started reading The Versions of Us. It has good reviews and I’m enjoying it so far.

I’m not usually a huge fan of reality TV but Ian and I are loving I’m a Celeb this year. I find Ant and Dec hilarious (and so camp!) and the contestants seem a really nice group this year.

It has started to feel like winter this week with ice on the ground and having to spend ages de-icing my car in the morning. I’m overcompensating with extra blankets, cosy knitwear and lots of candles! Talking of candles, I made a few purchases at Bath and Body Works when we were in Boston and am enjoying starting to burn them.

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The cold weather has meant I have been drinking tea non-stop and tea addicts will appreciate the importance of a good mug. I love using this glass cup I bought in St. Petersburg this summer – something about holding it in both hands makes it feel so warming and comforting.

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Food

I headed up to London last weekend to catch up with several friends. I had the most delicious brunch with my friends Cat and Lucie at Jam in a Jar. I could have ordered most of the menu but instead opted for a healthy-ish breakfast plate with eggs, sourdough, smoked salmon, avocado amongst the contents…heaven!

I also met up with my friends from uni for our annual Thanksgiving meal. The food was delicious, especially the slice of pumpkin pie.

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We had an amazing meal recently at a local pub, The Longs Arms. It is probably my favourite place to eat at the moment and I am yet to enjoy a meal there I haven’t raved about! This time, I had lamb scrumpets followed by brill and cockled and a lemon crème brûlée and they were all divine.

Fashion

I made a little ASOS order this week for a couple of items. Firstly, a pair of Christmas cacti socks!

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I also picked up this striped jumper with suede elbow patches. I love the split sides on it and plan on wearing it non-stop.

Beauty

Despite telling Ian not to bother this year, he bought me this L’Occitane en Provence beauty advent calendar. The illustrations are beautiful and I love the hand cream I received today.

I was a little bit blasé about all the Black Friday deal that kept appearing in my inbox but I did put an order in at Organic Surge which I will share soon. I bought a bundle of their bestsellers and cannot wait to start using them as they smell amazing, are all organic and the company has a really great ethos too.

Finally, I have been really enjoying rediscovering the Maybelline Color Tattoo cream eyeshadows. I used them years ago and recently bought Bad to the Bronze and forgot how pigmented and long lasting they are.

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Sunday Summary #46

Life

I have struggled with jet lag this week – going into work after two hours sleep was certainly interesting! I am back on UK time now although the darker mornings are making it harder to get up. We also had our first frost this week so the heating is officially allowed to be on!

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We started watching Going Clear, a fascinating documentary on Scientology. I am really interested in what makes someone dedicate themselves to cults and religions like this and this is a good insight given by ex-members.

We headed over to Bristol midweek to watch Ed Gamble’s stand-up show. He was really good live and, despite being knackered, we both really enjoyed it.

It was my school’s firework display on Friday and I roped my brother into coming and helping. It was freezing but such good fun and I love that smell of bonfire and fireworks.

This weekend, I was at a friend’s wedding. It was such a fun and special day and I spent most of it laughing with my colleagues.

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Food

After a very indulgent week of lobster, beer and doughnuts in Boston, we have tried to eat well with lots of greens. I have got quite into kale again too, making kale chips or lightly sautéing it with lots of salt and pepper.

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I bought this tea to try, having really enjoyed the Salted Caramel Green Tea that Twinings do. The Cherry Bakewell flavour isn’t quite as nice but it is still pleasant enough.

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We bought quite a bit of food in America (mainly sweets!) and have been working our way through it – the almond snickers are delicious.

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Fashion

I had a really disappointing delivery from Boohoo this week. I really want a camel-coloured coat and ordered a few to try on. I found the quality of them really poor and ended up sending all 5 back.

I remembered why I don’t wear heels this weekend after lasting less than an hour in them before changing into flats so I could dance properly at the wedding. I just think some girls aren’t made for heels and I’m definitely in that category.

Beauty

We didn’t really do anything for Halloween this year but I thought I would paint my nails black and orange to celebrate.

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I’ve been loving this hand lotion from Molton Brown. It smells lovely and I need something to help keep my hands soft as it gets colder.

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Finally, I have been using this shade (Bella Cappuccino) from Milani almost daily. It is a great base colour and I like the formula too.

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Recipe – Lady Grey Cupcakes

It’s been a little while since I posted a new recipe, much less a baking one but I decided to dust off the Kitchen Aid and have a play around with some new flavours. As you know I am a tea addict and one variety I love is Lady Grey. It still tastes like tea but has a refreshing orange citrus twist to it and I wanted to use these flavours in my cupcakes.

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Ingredients

200ml of milk

3 Lady Grey teabags

120g of butter, at room temperature

225g of caster sugar

2 eggs

250g of plain flour

A teaspoon of baking powder

Another 75g of butter, at room temperature

The zest and juice of a lemon

About 250g of icing sugar

Sugared orange and lemon jellies (optional)

How to make it

  • Begin by preheating the oven to 180°C, Gas Mark 4
  • In a small pan, heat the milk until it is steaming then remove from the heat and add the teabags. Allow them to brew for about 5minutes then remove the bags and leave the infused milk to cool down. You will need 150ml of this liquid
  • In a mixing bowl, beat together the butter and caster sugar until light and creamy
  • Add the eggs, one at a time
  • Bit by bit, add the flour and the infused milk until all have been added and mixed well (I did it about one third at a time)
  • Add the baking powder and mix

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  • Spoon the batter into cupcake cases – I made 15 with these amounts
  • Bake for around 20 minutes then leave to cool

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  • For the icing, beat together the butter and lemon juice and add the icing sugar until smooth and creamy. You may need a little more or less than the 250g I recommended depending on how juicy your lemon is!
  • Ice the cupcakes, add some decoration and enjoy your treat