What’s Making Me Happy: December 2018 and January 2019

Winter in Massachusetts means that, as a resident, you often get some… interesting weather. Two Sundays ago, we had a storm that started as snow, then changed to rain and later to sleet / freezing rain. Then our high temperatures for the next two days were in the single digits Fahrenheit, with wind chills below 0. (Plus, all the snow and rain that had fallen? It froze.) By that Thursday, it was precipitating like crazy again – except it was pouring rain, because the temps had warmed up to over 50 deg F (10 deg C). 😮

And then, on other days, it’s still cold but at least nice enough for moments like the banner image. 🙂 So where was I when I took this photo? And what joys from the past 2 months did I decide to share today? Let’s get right to it! Continue reading

What’s Making Me Happy in December 2016 (Plus, I’m on a Holiday Blogging Hiatus)

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Today’s post is a special one. I’m linking up with writing friend and fellow DIY MFA staff writer Leanne Sowul for her monthly “What Makes Me Happy” series. (Click here to go directly to her December post.) Plus, as you might have noticed from the post’s title, this will be my last blog post for 2016. And with Christmas and the New Year around the corner, it’s a good time to celebrate the little things that make you happy, right? 🙂

Since it’s still the holiday season, I’ll start with…

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Tea Time at Reverie: Plum Deluxe’s Reading Nook Black Tea Blend

Here’s my second-to-last Tea Time for A Bibliophile’s Reverie. (This is starting to get a little sad, thinking about the end.) And this first sample from Plum Deluxe out of Oregon (United States) caught my eye the moment that the vendor contacted me about reviewing some of his teas – and it wasn’t just the name. Read on to find out why I enjoyed Reading Nook Black Tea Blend so much. 🙂

A Bibliophile's Reverie

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Our next two Tea Time samples come from Plum Deluxe. Since 2008, this Oregon-based tea vendor has been exploring all aspects of the phrase “Making Moments Matter.” From handcrafted organic tea blends and a Tea of the Month Club, to recipes and meditations and other gifts, Plum Deluxe is committed to reminding its customers to be well, mindful, and positive. I can’t say I’ve met another tea company with such an inspiring mission – not to mention the teas in their online shop look delectable!

And what better way to introduce you to Plum Deluxe than with a bookish tea? 😉 Reading Nook blends a cream-flavored black tea with floral accents to create a soothing, stimulating, and truly unique brew. One look at the picture and description, and I knew I needed to review this beauty!

The Basics

Photo courtesy of Plum Deluxe Photo courtesy of Plum Deluxe

Plux Deluxe’s Description:One needs a…

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Tea Time at Reverie: Tea Maineia’s Peach Apricot Black Tea

Just in time for the warmer weather, here’s a deliciously fruity black tea that’s wonderful either hot or iced. Check out my review of Tea Maineia’s Peach Apricot Black Tea (and the book pairings I recommend for it) at A Bibliophile’s Reverie!

A Bibliophile's Reverie

Tea Maineia logo

Sometimes the best advice for choosing tea is, “Follow your nose.” In other words, if you like the way a tea smells, you’ll most likely enjoy its taste, too. That principle was a big reason – no, THE big reason – why I bought a packet of Peach Apricot Black Tea from Tea Maineia during my visit last fall. I’ve had several cups of this fruit-packed black tea since then, and I’m thrilled to say… well, you’ll have to read on to find that out.

The Basics

Tea Maineia Peach Apricot Photo courtesy of Tea Maineia

Tea Maineia’s Description:A tasty combination of mellow peaches and deep full flavored apricots are blended into this classic Ceylon tea.”

Ingredients: Ceylon black tea, papaya pieces, peach pieces, apricot pieces, blackberry leaves, sunflower petals, calendula petals, and natural flavors

Steeping Instructions: Use 1½ teaspoons of tea for every 8 oz of water. Heat water to nearly…

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Tea Time at Reverie: Marianne’s Wild Abandon from Bingley’s Teas

Completely forgot that I could actually reblog my tea reviews from A Bibliophile’s Reverie! So, going forward, I’ll share future Tea Time At Reverie articles here for your convenience. This one was posted about a week ago, and features a delectable black-green tea blend inspired by one of Jane Austen’s characters from “Sense and Sensibility.” Here’s Marianne’s Wild Abandon from Bingley’s Teas!

A Bibliophile's Reverie

We’ve been fortunate to receive samples from a number of teasellers since Tea Time At Reverie debuted in June. While we offer equal amounts of gratitude and enthusiasm to each vendor, we’re super-excited that some of our future reviews will cover select teas from Bingley’s Tea’s Jane Austen Tea Series! What better way to connect Tea Time to A Bibliophile’s Reverie’s main purpose as a book review and literary discussion blog than to talk about teas inspired by Jane Austen’s novels?

Bingleys logo

Our first Bingley’s Tea review is based on one of Austen’s most memorable leading ladies. Marianne Dashwood, the middle sister of the Dashwood family, embodies the “sensibility” of Sense and Sensibility. She’s spirited, spontaneous, and hopelessly romantic. A tea named after Marianne would have to reflect her dramatic character. Enter Marianne’s Wild Abandon, a black-and-green tea blend that captures the personality and – of course! – sensibility of…

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Freelance Article Round-Up: July / August 2014

Happy last day of August, everyone!

As recently promised, today is Launch Day for the Freelance Article Round-Up series. These articles will post at the end of every month (or every other month, depending on my freelancing schedule) to keep you abreast of the articles I’ve written outside of this blog. I’ll also offer a glimpse into the coming month’s assignments. So, let’s get started!

Tea Time at Reverie (Tea Reviews)

After debuting the Tea Time column at A Bibliophile’s Reverie in June, three more articles have been posted over the past two months. I’ve covered teas of different types and flavors in each article to ensure variety. That way, readers don’t get to read about the same kinds of teas over and over again. 😉

Here are links to those tea reviews:

What’s Coming in September

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What’s this? More tea?? Yes, please!

We’ve got thrilling news for Tea Time at Reverie: Instead of reviewing tea from my personal stash, I’m going to try samples from generous teasellers! Yezi Tea’s package arrived last week, and more are coming from a couple other vendors. This is an amazing opportunity for the Tea Time column and for ABR in general. It also means I’m going to run out of room on my tea shelf at home – but that’s OK with me! *lol*

I’m also finishing my next piece for Grub Street’s blog. It talks about how writers can use music to enhance their writing, from creating the right headspace or emotion for a particular scene, to developing characters and settings. I listen to music whenever I write for these and other reasons, so I thought this would be a neat topic. Do any of you immerse yourself in music when you write?

That’s it for now. I hope you’ll come back on Tuesday, September 30th for the next Freelance Article Round-Up! In the meantime, check back here in the coming days and weeks for a new installment of Chronicling The Craft (novel-writing progress series), Recent Reads (book reviews), Music Mondays, and the launch of the Author Interviews series!