Thanksgiving is coming which if I was honest is a day I generally just associate with parades, turkeys, and that slightly uncomfortable feeling of being over stuffed. This week I participated in a collaboration with several other lovely mamas on Instagram that really made me stop and think about thankfulness. What does it mean to be thankful? What does it look like to teach a two year old thankfulness? I don't have the answers but I have a small thought.Read More
As the season changes and the leaves die and fall in the most beautiful way there is a small part of me that wants to hang on to it... to cling to these dying leaves and force the season to stay... I think that probably if I was honest this is a reflection of how quickly Jessamyn is growing and how much I want to hold every single moment and season of her childhood. As we read through the pumpkin patch yelling about this and that and basically having the best time you can have with a two year old who thinks each pumpkin is probably just a really big ball that needs to be picked up and thrown.... I realized we can't keep the seasons, we can't stop the change... but we can hold the memories and continue to be present in the moments creating our own magic and for maybe a split second holding time.Read More
There is something powerful about ritual and mornings. For me that ritual looks like a cup of tea... Every morning without fail, one cup of loose leaf tea and a little bit of honey. I've come to realize that people tend to have a lot of opinions about tea and coffee... which is better, how to brew, etc. I am not here to answer that question but I would like to share with you a bit more about my tea ritual and how to brew a great cup of tea.
Two of my favorite morning teas of choice are Earl Grey Lavender and Lemon Ginger Black. Both are black teas which means the tea leaves are rolled which creates bruising and allows for oxidation to occur this process is what gives black tea its reddish color allows for the flavor of the tea to really develop.
Altitude plays a huge roll in how black teas develop and depending on where the teas was grown you will have a different tasting experience. For example teas grown at a higher altitude tend to be more fruity and floral where as teas grown at a lower altitude will be more full bodied and malty.
Earl Grey Lavender is one of my very favorite tea choices. There is a very gentle floral taste to it from the lavender but combined with the strong citrus and bergamot flavor of the Earl Grey it creates a wonderful morning wake up. Best brewed at boiling point (212 degrees fahrenheit) I generally mix one table spoon to every eight ounces of water. The beautiful thing about good quality tea is that often you can steep it several times and still get a wonderful cup of tea, I generally steep four minutes for the first cup and five minutes (or sometimes longer) for the second. One thing I have personally noted is that you can over steep and end up with a very strong and almost bitter flavor so definitely keep an eye on your cup!
Lemon Ginger Black tea is actually a new tea I only recently started to incorporate into my morning and absolutely love! There is such a bold ginger flavor that mixes really well with lemon, turmeric and mango flavors of the black tea blend. Not to sound dorky but I savor every sip and love including this blend in my morning routine. Similar to the Lavender Earl Grey Lemon Ginger Black tea is best brewed at boiling point (212 degrees fahrenheit) with a one table spoon to eight ounces of water ratio. Steep time is generally 3-4 minutes but honestly that completely depends on the flavors you like in your tea and if it is your first or second cup.
One awesome note about Lemon Ginger Black is that because it is a tea from Nepal Rishi Tea has a project going on actually called "Project Nepal FWEAN" that creates micro loans for women entrepreneurs and actually for every kilogram that Rishi purchases 2 dollars is contributed to this micro finance fund.
In a lot of ways loose leaf tea is such a wonderful experience but also understandably daunting if you are new to the tea world. A couple things to remember about loose leaf tea are....
- Loose leaf teas don't necessarily go bad but can loose their freshness or absorb flavors of things around them so storing your tea in a dark, cool space and in an airtight container will help prolong the life of your tea.
- The length of time you brew the tea matters! Brewing for longer lengths of time will not give you more health benefits but will actually just make the flavors themselves stronger and potentially overly bitter.
- Similarly the temperature of the water matter as well! Having water that is too hot can negatively affect the steeping of the tea and bring out a bitter flavor where as water that is too cold can under steep the tea and you will miss out on some of the lovely flavors and tasting notes.
- Feel free to experiment! I generally add a little bit of honey and lemon essential oil to my tea but there are so many things you could do, honey sugar, milk, lemon, etc. The list goes on and on.
If you have any questions about tea don't hesitate to ask! Similar to coffee there are a lot of ways to drink tea, a lot of good and bad options and the more you know the better your experience will be! I personally might be a bit tea obsessed and couldn't imagine my morning without it! Also if your looking for some inspiration, education, or just different tea options feel free to browse Rishi Tea's website... I think they even have a recipe for Vegan Lavender Earl Grey cupcakes up there somewhere!
Ps. I am always looking for tea related ideas, brands, suggestions. Please feel free to comment below OR if you have any questions ask those too and I will try to answer them for you!
As we down size, sell our house, and prepare to move into the bus I have been thinking a lot about the meaning of "home". It is actually kind of funny because we moved into our current house to have more space for Jessamyn and as a family to grow. We were... okay I was adamant that the house had to have space for two kids, two dogs, and all our stuff. Now as we prepare to downsize to a bus that is at best 200 square feet it has really been shaking the foundation of what "home" means to me.Read More
I would definitely not classify us as advanced hikers... more gentle wanderers. Hiking for us generally involves setting out on a trail and going as far as we can and then heading back home. I remember the first time we took Jessamyn hiking... it was actually on her first camping trip. We had a really rough, cold night... She was about six months old and basically just screamed the whole night long. That morning we got up and headed out on the trail. It was the first time the whole trip she didn't scream her head off... she actually giggled and enjoyed her self.
Since then we try to go out at least once a week, obviously this doesn't always happen but when it does it is always magical. Jessamyn always has the best time, meeting all the dogs, taking in all the scenery. Ben and I always seem to have the deepest and best conversations and inevitably we stumble across something beautiful.Read More
Because sometimes you have to take a step back.
remember, let go.
Hold space for the beauty in routine,
the simplicity of these moments.
Flipping pancakes, baby giggles, boiling water.
Finding depth in the ordinary,
comfort in the moment,
because love.. breakfast with you is everything
and my heart will always return here,
to this space,
our mornings.Read More
Now though, mornings mean cuddles and tea. Mornings mean tiny baby whispers and slowly growing rituals. Morning has become that sacred space where there are no expectation, no judgment. In these early morning hours we find "us"Read More