A World of Teas

Recently I was given a collection of five teas; A World of Teas by Tea forté. 

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As I was about to try them out, I started thinking, which books would best suit the teas? After all nothing goes together better than a good book and a delicious tea.

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You guys ready?

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Tea #1: Bombay Chai from Bombay, India

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This tea was spicy with layers of taste. The first thing that popped in my head was the scene from Sense & Sensibility (1995) when Colonel Brandon says the air is full of spices. This made me think that this book was the perfect pairing.

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Its range of spices and many layers make it just like Colonel Brandon.

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At first glance an average soldier, but as you read you see there are many parts to him. Plus it seemed as if it would be something he would drink after his time abroad.

For more on Sense and Sensibility, go to The Dashwood Sisters Tell All: A Modern Day Novel of Jane Austen

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Tea #2 Moroccan Mint from Morocco

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This tea was refreshing and cool, but also predictable. This was a familiar taste with no real surprises, however that didn’t make it any less enjoyable. For that reason, I choose Death on Demand by Carolyn G. Hart.

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Death on Demand is the beginning of the series and follows amateur private detective and mystery bookstore owner, Annie Laurence, as she tries to figure out which of the many possible suspects killed an annoying, blackmailing, author. She is racing against the clock as if she cannot find the real killer, she will end up being thrown in jail!

While at times it may be predictable the character and stories always leave me coming back for more.

For more on Death on Demand, go to It’s Fantastico!
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Tea #3 African Solstice from South Africa

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So this one started off good, lots of flavor and taste; but then I had the rooibos. I don’t like rooibos, as for me it has a weird aftertaste that I just don’t agree with. Once those came in, this tea was lost on me. The book I thought would be the best pairing is Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe

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Things Fall Apart is the story of Nigerian Okonkwo, an Ibo leader. The book chronicles his life, family culture, and ambitions. An accident causes things to derail for Okonkwo, and he is sent away. While he regroups and plans how to re-achieve his prior success, the British arrive with their influence and missionaries changing the structure of the villages. Will Okonkwo be able to adapt? Or will he fall under the British wheel of “progress”?

Like this African tea, I really enjoyed about two-thirds of the novel. The rooiboss of the the novel, for me, was the ending. I thought it built up perfectly, but ended way to soon, with enough falling action. It is like when you bake a cake and open the oven too soon, causing the cake to fall. That’s how the ending of this book and tea were to me, too soon.

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Tea #4: Sencha from Japan

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This tea at first seems simple and plain, but as you drink it you realize there is a whole lot more going on, and it has an incredible flavor. I finished this tea off first of all the others in the collection.

This actually made me think of two books. The first being Mansfield Park:

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At first glance Mansfield Park seems simple and a lot say it is boring. Fanny is a placid girl, often being the tool of others instead of going after what she wants. However, as you continue reading you see that Fanny has a lot more to her character than meets the eye. She is often passive as she is grateful for being pulled out of a bad situation; but when one tries to force her to do something she really does not want to (marriage to Mr. Crawford, a first class rake) she becomes a will of iron and will not be bent. She completely encompasses the old Japanese proverb of being bamboo, willing to bend with the wind but not break.

The second being Book of a Thousand Days by Shannon Hale

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Now I don’t want to spend too much time on this book as I am planning on reviewing it in the winter as part of my 30 Day challenge.

However, Hale is a master crafter as she takes the simple fairy tale of Maid Maleen and turns it into this incredible adventure full of bravery, romance, and supernatural elements.

For more on Mansfield Park, go to Clear Eyes. Full Hearts. Can’t Lose: Superbowl 50

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Tea #5 Estate Darjeeling from Darjeeling, India.

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I’ve had other Darjeeling but didn’t like them, I thought they were too sweet and didn’t care for them. However, this one was fantastic! It was an amazing surprise.

Originally I thought I would pair this with Emma, but instead I think two other books would be better:

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When I first had read the Jane Austen novels, I had heard of all of them (and seen film adaptions) except these two. Not only had I never heard of Northanger Abbey and Persuasion, it appears most fans of Jane Austen also don’t really know much about them. Why is that?

Anyways, when I first read them I was so surprised with how amazingly great they are that they knocked my list of favorites all about. Perfect match with a surprisingly fantastic tea.

For more on Northanger Abbey, go to The Cambridge Companion to Jane Austen
For more on Persuasion, go to Captain Wentworth’s Diary

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After all:

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For more on tea, go to My Trip to Teavana

For more book-filled posts, go to Post Approved

Shook Me All Night Long

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You Shook Me All Night Long from Back in Black by AC/DC

So this song is about sex.

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I mean some is innuendo, but a majority of the song just puts it out there.

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So why do I like this song? I mean Im not really into that sort of thing?

Not from Awkward but the emotion fits.

I know it surprises me too. I just love this song. It’s like when you don’t like certain ingredients at all, and then this one dish that combines them you will eat. Or when you like a person and they are nothing at all like your usual type. You don’t know why it works in this case, but it does.

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In this case, I know why. It is the music, particularly the guitar.

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When I hear that guitar it is like a chemical reaction, I am just so pumped. I like it even better than the lyrics. Not to mention the epic solo:

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What can I say, AC/DC knows how to rock my musical world.

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For more on  AC/DC, go to Back in Black

For more ’80s music, go to Back to the ’80s

For more of my favorite songs, go to Summertime

Meet Cute: Darcy & Elizabeth Style

So I was reading this book, The Butterfly and the Violin.

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The story is told in two parts, connecting at the end of the novel. One half of the book is set in the 1940s and is about Adele Von Bron, concert violinist and Austria’s sweetheart, who is sent to Auschwitz when she is caught trying to help smuggle a Jewish family out of Austria. There she becomes a part of the Women’s Orchestra. She goes through all kinds of troubles, all the while doing the best she can to stay alive.

Aw, man.

Aw…

The other half is the story of Sera James, owner of an art gallery. She was left at the altar two years ago, and since then has been focusing all her energy into finding this painting of Adele, painted while she was serving her time. Sera has just hit a dead end, when she receives word from a California millionaire businessman, Will Hanover, who needs her assistance. Apparently his grandfather left the family business and estate to the owner of the painting, and so he needs to find the owner (he’s planning to contest the will). Sera and he have a rough first impression, but then start falling for each other. But is Will’s interest in Sera real or is he just romancing her to get what he wants?

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So the book wasn’t that good. The author suffered from trying to do too much with the two story lines that it caused her to fall into overdone clichés and have a lack of character development. The book was rushed too fast to reach a conclusion, and to quote Wayne’s World they made it a “super happy ending”.

I didn’t care for it and thought it would be better if it had been focused on either storyline of Adele or the search of the painting instead of stretching the author with these two pairings. Adele’s journey is told in half points with a quick summary of what happened next, and Sera’s search barely anything as the painting felt like it was instantly discovered after the two “joined” forces.

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Doesn’t work. I don’t like it.

So why am I talking about this?

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When I was reading the scene in which the two characters Sera and Will meet, it seemed oddly familiar…

Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet (1940)

Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet (1940)

Yes Will (and don’t think I didn’t notice that connection either) is rude to Sera, insinuating that she is after his money. Just like Elizabeth in Pride & Prejudice, Sera becomes extremely angry with Will and storms out.

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And of course, Will tries to make it up to her, it just takes him a few tries.

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So of course the rest of the book has nothing to do with Pride & Prejudice, but it still just amazes me how Jane Austen continues to influence and inspire, even if it is something as small as a meet cute.

Here's to another 200 years!

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I talked about it a little back in my post Happy Birthday Pride & Prejudice, when I celebrated its 200th birthday, but I just find it amazing. I mean what a testament to your skill, imagination, intelligence, and work that people use your characters and relationships within their own work.

And I truly mean it

And I truly mean it

I mean this is just one example but there are thousands of books and films that owe it all to Jane.

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Jane you are just so incredible that we just can’t think of anything better than what you have written. Looks like you will be sticking around for a looong time.ReadJaneAusten

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For more on Pride & Prejudice, go to Baby Jane Austen

For more Pride & Prejudice variations, go to Death Comes to Pemberley

For more books based on Jane Austen, go to Captain Wentworth’s Diary 

Post Approved

So I was reading through my Emily Post’s Etiquette, the 14th Edition on gift giving.

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I was going to a baby dedication and wanted to see of we are supposed to bring a gift or not. I mean I didn’t want to be rude.

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So I read it, and yes I was supposed to. But then I continued reading the rest of the gift giving as it talked about weddings, anniversaries, baby showers, birthday parties, etc. As I read I noticed that Post kept mentioning one item as a suitable gift. And what was that gift?

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A BOOK!

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Yes, she says that a book is an acceptable gift for any occasion.

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So there everyone! I have been Post approved. My idea of a book as a perfect gift is spot on.

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So that is what everyone will be getting for their gifts. After all:

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For more on how books make the best gifts, go to Crazy Book Lady

For more book-filled posts, go to What Are Your Priorities?

Not a Hipster, But an O.F.

I hate hipsters.

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Guys you suck!

Every hipster I have ever met have been these horrible elitist who think they are better than everyone.

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Ugh. They drive me crazy. They take all the stuff I have loved for years and jack up the prices. Oh, and don’t get me started on their fake glasses wearing. Wearing glasses can be a hard life and the people who do face all kinds of challenges and it bugs me to no end to see these people wear them for “fashion.” It’s like people walking around with hearing-aids for “fashion”. It’s so rude.

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I just can’t stand them, and to make things even worse everyone thinks I’m one.

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You see I have always loved older things. I love classic literature (and actually have read them, not just pretended).

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I love records, especially the art of the album cover!

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I only like music from the past as that is what I grew up listening and I just cannot connect to modern music.

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I love classic cinema as that is what my mom used to show us when we were growing up. I remember being the only kid who liked “black and white” films.

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Or the only one who knew Alfred Hitchcock, William Powell, Errol Flynn, Laurence Oliver, Gregory Peck, Cary Grant, Jimmy Stewart, etc were.

I can only pick 5?

I also only shopped at thrift stores as it was cheap and my family stressed the idea of using something until it was broken and unfixable. For instance I carried a CD player around with me into high school. Yes about 6 years ago when everyone had an iPod or something, I was still carrying my CD player to school and CDs to change them out.

So people think I’m a hipster, but I was doing far before the “hipster” movement came out.

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Like Ginger said, I was raised old fashioned. And that’s how I like it.

It is the truth.

It is the truth.

That’s how I was raised. Vintage, old, historic, traditional; these were a way of life for us, and especially me.

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That’s right. I don’t follow the current trends, even if they are “new-old” ones. I do what I like and enjoy the things I love. Sometimes the books, clothing, film, or even dating styles I like aren’t popular:

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But I don’t care if it goes against the crowd or isn’t what “everyone else is doing”. I enjoy the things I enjoy and I’m going to keep living my life the way it is.

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For more on being old-fashioned, go to It’s Not Old…It’s Vintage

For more on hipsters, go to We’re in the Future: Good-bye 2015

For more in Italo Calvino, go to Baby Jane Austen

For more Ginger Rogers, go to Food, Food, Food!

What Are Your Priorities

Books are the most important things out there.

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I mean seriously, they rank high on my priority list.

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I mean they are some of the most important things out there:

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After all:

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For more of my love of books, go to Not a Priority

For more book-filled posts, go to I Must Stay Strong

Tired With a Capital T

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Yes, GISHWHES is over and I’m back to blogging.

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This year had some fun and crazy items to do. I did seven days of happiness, making a different person happy with a kind act every day. That was a lot of fun.

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Went prospecting in a public fountain. And my friend and I played badminton in the mall food court for 30 mins without anyone even noticing. Everyone was too busy on their phones.

Phew!

Then we had to wear white and get red wine poured on us from a two story building.

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I taped coupons to five items in the store to help someone out, a coupon fairy.

I made postcards for William Shatner wishing he has joined us in GISHWHES.

Screamer: He's in Florida your majesty, he sent this postcard. Dracula: Hmmmm... [reading] 'Dear Drac, am having wonderful time in retirement, glad you're not here, Wolfy.' Bah! How dare he retire just before the Monster Road Rally? Doesn't he know all the monsters of my realm have to be in the race?"

Made a mural all about the wonderful Honeybees and what they do for us.

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Did five chores for a mom who is overworked (in honor of Mr. Rogers). Serenaded a store employee who is overworked with a musical instrument I made myself.

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Dressed up a a Jedi and went to get a root beer float at a ’50s diner.

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I turned 15 people into robots! (their facebook pics).

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I put a compilation of our team pics together, representing where we were from. I even used The Brady Bunch font for our names. (I hope they notice and give extra points!) For the people who didn’t give a photo I had to replace them with Misha Collins.

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And I “buried” a person in popcorn in box (for the coffin, I couldn’t get a real one) in a mausoleum.

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And I did this all between my regular three jobs and donating my Saturday to a children’s free backpack fair. There was a lot more I wanted to do, but just ran out of time.

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And that being said I am now tired. Tired with a capital T, which rhymes with P, which stands for pooped out.

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But it was worth it. It was nice taking a week out and having this big adventure, doing all kinds of things you wouldn’t normally do.

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But now back to regular things like laundry, bills, repairs, cleaning, etc. You know all those things I ignored last week. That is…after a long nap…or reading.

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For more on GISHWHES, go to GISHWHES Girl

For more Misha Collins, go to You Can’t Have Just One!

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For more on joining GISHWHES click on this link.

After These Messages, We’ll Be Right Back

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So I am taking part of GISHWHES (The Greatest International Scavanger Hunt the World Has Ever Seen).

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It is a fun event full of crazy tasks thought up by Misha Collins and fans.

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As I am going to be busy with work, scavenging, and such I am taking a week off from posting. See you next Sunday and wish me luck!

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I’m a VulCAN

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For more on GISHWHES, go to GISHWHES Girl

For more on Spock, go to A Fashion Statement

For more on Star Trek, go to The Wearing of the Green: 17 More Irish Heroes