Matcha, Matcha, Matcha

“Well all I hear all day long is how great Matcha is or how wonderful Matcha is, Matcha, Matcha, Matcha!

So Matcha tea is amazing, if you have been following me on Instagram, you know how much I love it.

For me I have always loved the Green Tea Frappucinos at Starbucks, but I didn’t know there was any Matcha in it.

Oh?

No, my obsession started with a book.

I know, don’t they all.

I picked this particular book up at the library, The Tea Ceremony by Seno Tanaka. It was a fascinating book that went over the history of the tea ceremony, along with discussing Matcha tea, it being the one used in the ceremony (no wonder it is so expensive).

Wow!

One part of the book really stuck in my mind, and that was when they described this one…I guess for lack of a better word, tea party, that had a ton of people and they had to keep getting new dishes and used over 200 of them. Wow, that’s a real tea party.

Wow!

Anyways, I know a lot of people like it because it is supposed to help you loose weight, help keep your brain & heart healthy, gives you healthy energy, stop bad breath, burn calories, build your immune system, help with memory, bring relaxation, help your skin, lower cholesterol, detox, etc. I just like it because it tastes good.

So I had been drinking Matcha for years with the green tea frappucino, but I didn’t start buying my own Matcha until three years ago. My niece used to come every year for the Summer, and on Mondays, my day off, we would go on trips around the world.

Let’s go!

Of course, we didn’t really go around the world. We would travel around the bi-county area recreating famous places/landmarks. She would pick a country, I would do the research on it, and then plan out the day. We would then travel and have the different places “stamp” her passport I printed off.

She wanted to go to Japan, so I planned out our trip. First we made Chocolate Oat Crackles; then we headed to the oldest building in our Gold Rush built town-a Japanese Market (no longer open though), saw the Buddhist Temple Gardens (lucky as they hardly are ever open), the local art gallery (supposed to be the Mori Art Museum), the pet store to pet cats and the cafe next door (supposed to be the Japanese Cat Cafes), Imperial Park, a Cat Bento Box, and ending with the tea ceremony.

Now I live in a small town, so it took some doing to try and hunt down some Matcha. I could have ordered it online, but she wanted to do it the next day, and she was visiting for the summer so I was going to make it happen! I finally tracked down a tiny, and I mean tiny, container for $15 at the health store. The things we do for the ones we love.

We did the ceremony, with what we had (I of course didn’t have the proper tools). But after that, we had Matcha left over, so she and I made our own Green Tea Frappucinos (I’ll post the recipe later) and lattes.

I know some people think Matcha is coarse or gross, but I love it. If you haven’t tried it, I recommend it.

So here is a recipe to make your own Matcha Latte hot or cold:

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tsp of Matcha Powder
  • 2 Tsps of Sugar
  • 3 Tbsps of Warm Water
  • 2 Cups of Milk (Hot or Cold)

Directions:

  1. Put the Matcha powder, sugar, and water in a cup or mug
  2. Whisk together to ensure no lumps (use a matcha whisk or electric stirrer. (My dad was given one and it just somehow ended up in my home.)
  3. If doing hot, warm the milk and pour into the mug. If doing cold, just pour in the mug.
  4. Use the whisk or electric stirrer to combine everything until it is a light green color.

For more Tea posts, go to I Won the Regency Marketplace Giveaway

For more recipes, go to Cheese Round

For more on Matcha tea, go to Tea Chocolate

 

Literary Tea Parties

So I few years ago I did a post on a tea party that we had at my church. Of course, you know how I love books…I just had to tie them in together!

To read the whole post, click here. So every year at my church we do a Christmas Tea Party, and the past three years my friend and I had a table that I’ve been in charge of decorating. And if you think I just had to feature a book each year, than you are right! I love books!

In 2016, the theme was “Our Journey”, and shoes were the center as it was about “the paths we take”. Of course shoes made me think of one thing:

As Dorothy and all her friends go on a journey, along with having a magical pair of shoes,  it was PERFECT! We did a:

  • Yellow Brick Road Runner: Canvas that we painted with three different shades of yellow
  • Poppy Magnets as our favors: I used this one from Hometalk and did button centers and glued magnets on the back.
  • Mason jar water glasses with gingham ribbons and red mugs for coffee or tea.
  • Wicked Witch of the East candy straws: I got the straws from Wal-Mart and made the shoes from Swedish Fish.
  • We painted our own Emerald City on glasses.
  • And I sewed a sock monkey king of the flying monkeys, out of black and white socks (just like the ones the Wicked Witch of the East wears). Yes, I sewed it-help from Madsen Creations and my mom.
  • We made our own Dorothy’s magic red shoes, but they weren’t ready when I took the picture, so I put my own red shoes in there.
  • And of course, a copy of the book.

The next year the theme was “Friendship”

So my friend and I choose to do:

Last Christmas the theme was Holy Ghost…hmmm ghosts. Which book? 🙂

  • We used a holly and cranberry patterned runner on the table.
  • Sheets of music as place mats, with red chargers over them.
  • The centerpiece was a Christmas Tree, as those became popular in the Victorian era with Prince Albert, that I strung with popcorn.
  • I also placed a basket with the Christmas gifts/favors as that was how Victorian tables were set up. Each package was a different copy of A Christmas Carol. I got them all by swapping on PaperBackSwap.com I wrapped them up in brown paper and red yarn.
  • We had chestnuts on the table and each place setting got on orange, as they were very popular gifts, but I didn’t put cloves in it as you can’t eat them when you do that.
  • We had Earl Grey Tea, Hot Chocolate, and candy canes.
  • Each person received a homemade Christmas Card (made by me), and each had a little token in it, my version of the Christmas pudding.

This year the theme is gifts and I have to admit, I’m a bit at a loss. Any ideas of a book that gifts plays a role?

Please help me!

For more on The Wizard of Oz, go to Bookish Thank You

For more on A Christmas Carol, go to Book Club Picks: A Christmas Carol

For more tea posts, go to I Ran Out of Milk So I Put Buttermilk in My Tea

For more book-filled posts, go to Stranded at the Bookstore

Time Flies When You’re Reading

When I was on vacation, I spotted this in a little bookstore.

I know my husband will be buying one of these for me in the future. I can’t help it:

When I start reading, it just is so hard to stop.

And chores?

What can I say? I just love to read.

For more book-filled posts, go to All You Need Is…

For more L. M. Montgomery quotes, go to It’s 5 O’ Clock Somewhere

Book Club Picks: The Zookeeper’s Wife

So as you all know I started a book club last year. I have fallen behind with my posts, but I’m catching up. Only two more after this and I’m back on track.

Every month we read a book and I do a little post on the book we read and discussed. What can I say, I just love books.

There is no theme, other than with each month, a different member gets to pick a book, whichever one they want. This time one member chose:

The Zookeeper’s Wife: A War Story by Diane Ackerman

The member had seen the movie and wanted to read the book afterwards. And we all know how that goes:

Now I haven’t seen the movie but I did enjoy the book.

It is a non-fiction story about Jan and Antonina Zabinski who owned and ran a zoo in Poland. They cared strongly for the animals, raising all kinds-sometimes even in their homes. Some animal babies grew up sleeping and eating alongside their son.

They had a beautiful complex and even some very rare animals that other zoos tried to get their hands on. But that all changed with World War II.

NO!

It is horrific to read the destruction that was unleashed on the people with the bombings, annd how the animals were in the cages and just decimated. Jan and Antonina tried to help as many as they could, and let them out but still many became casualties of war.

It really is sad

They lost many members of their animal family to that, some took off when the destruction started never to be known what happened to them, and the rest were all picked apart and sent to other Zoos. Those poor animals.

After the animals were gone, the Zabinskis used the zoo complex to help the Resistance against the Nazis. They stored guns and other ammunitions there, right in plain sight almost and were never caught. In fact the Nazis never thought the Polish were smart enough to do something that intelligent as they weren’t of Aryan blood. They sure showed those guys.

Then they started using it as a way station to help Jewish people, until they could move out of Poland. Now what was really interesting was that Jan’s father became so angry with the Christian church that he sent Jan to Jewish school instead. There Jan developed many friendships with all different Jewish people-bringing them food when they were receiving nothing and helping many in the ghettos. Because of those friendships he was asked and wanted to help the Jewish people, the two of them saving over 300 people.

Wow

It really is am amazing story and I think it is well worth a read if this is the type of story you are interested in.

For more book club picks, go to Book Club Picks: A Christmas Carol

For more non-fiction, go to Book Club Picks: The Girls of Atomic City: The Untold Story of the Women Who Helped Win World War II

Is This Really Just the Same?: Daring Chloe

Have you ever read something, watched a movie, or seen a TV show and it gives you an extreme case of deja vu?

Hasn't this been done before?

Hasn’t this been done before?

Maybe it isn’t exactly the same storyline, but there is just enough similarity that it just keeps pushing on the front of your mind.

stopthinkingofyou

And that’s what Daring Chloe is.

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Daring Chloe (Getaway Girls #1) by Laura Jensen Walker

So while this book isn’t exactly like it, the plot does bring to mind Emma.

emma

So first let’s talk about the book, and then the similarities.

walker_daringchloe

Chloe is about to marry her dream guy, Chris, when he breaks off the engagement right before the wedding as he realizes marriage isn’t “for him” as he has other things he wants to do first with his life.

How rude

Her friend Adam was the one who relayed the message, the one who told her all along that Chris wasn’t right for her.

You should listen to me

You should have listened to me

Meanwhile, a very saddened Chloe doesn’t know what to do until one of her friend’s makes a suggestion. You see Chloe loves book and belongs to a book club that meets once a month to choose and discuss books. But now, instead of just reading the book, they will go on adventures too, in a way, “live” the book.

Booksfullofthings

I know, awesome right!

Taking fandom to the EXTREME!

Taking fandom to the EXTREME!

But while Chloe is trying to move over her heartbreak, it seems as if Adam is entering every facet of her life and always trying to give advice and help her, but instead reminding her more and more about Chris.

Mr. Knightly

But Chloe has her faith in God, good friends, and a whole library to help her through the pain.

booksmakeyoubetter

So now, why did this book remind me so much of Emma? Well all because of two characters, Chloe and Adam.

AA_KnightleyDisapproved

Nothing else of the story is really anything like Emma, except for these two’s relationship. They are good friends, although Adam is harboring a secret crush on her, (obvious to everyone except Chloe).

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Also like in Emma, Adam tries to help Chloe by supporting her, but also being the one to advise or call her out on things. And Chloe, just like Emma, has a tendency to believe she is right, even when she is clearly wrong.

Emmafakesmile

And just like Emma and Mr. Knightley; they eventually come together in the end. Realizing that they are perfect matches for each other.

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I thought the book was okay until the end as that was predictable and a bit corny. However, the book club of reading and acting them out was inspiring. I might just do that in the future.

startrekletsgetstarted

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For more on Emma, go to Emma (1996) AKA the Kate Beckinsale Version

For more books based on Emma, go to Mr. Knightley’s Diary

For more books based on Jane Austen, go to The Dashwood Sisters Tell All: A Modern Day Novel of Jane Austen

For more Emma adaptions, go to 200 Years of Glorious Emma

Six Degrees of Separation

Reading books are really special, not only for their content:

Booksfullofthings

But the fact that something you read can become a part of you. The characters can become your friends, family, a part of who you are.

bookfriends

We love them so much that if asked, it would hard to pick just one.

ChoosingFavoritebookNeilGaiman

But have you ever thought about how a book you love is loved and touched by others? Especially a library book.

library

Have you ever thought about how every book you check out has been checked out by countless others. Even though each book affects people in a different way; it still is pretty amazing how many people can be reached through a book.

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So there used to be something that I would do in novels I borrowed from the library. I would leave little things in them for the next reader.

Bookmarks, stickers, quotes, pictures, etc. I thought that maybe these little gifts would enhance the reader’s life, maybe make them very happy. Brighten their day.

AVPSebastian_De_Rosasmilehappy

I stopped doing it after a while because I started to think that maybe I was causing more trouble for the library workers who have to check through the books.

clueless mybad oops

But after a while I started to do it again. I joined the site PaperBackSwap and as I sent out my books to trade; I sometimes include little things: bookmarks, cards, etc. To thank them and set a smile on their face too.

Double double yay

Is that a weird thing to do? Or something you do as well?

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For more Neil Gaiman, go to One of Many

For more Virgina Woolf, go to True Treasure

For more book-filled posts, go to The Strange Case of a Fangirl and Her Fandoms

You’re My Best Friend

FavoriteBookReading

Everyone has those books. They are something you read and felt so connected to it has become a part of your soul.

readingabkkid impression identity a part of us You've got mail meg ryan

After all:

BookSurviveAdolescenceloveforlifelibbaBray

Yep:

WithBooksNeverAlone

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For more bookish posts, go to Not a Priority

For more book best friends, go to When I’m Reading