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: December 2017 & January 2018

I’m sort of glad now that I decreased my blogging schedule again. Because January was a blur, and not a fun kind of blur. I was buried with work at my day job for most of the month, which cramped my free time to a minimum and zapped my blogging time to… well, zero. :/ But some good things happened in January, too, and I can’t forget or discount any of that goodness.

That’s why I’m grateful for this series. What’s Making Me Happy reminds me of the highlights, fun events, and other recent joys – and after a month that drags you down in some ways, it’s a nourishing perspective to have. This month’s Happy post is twice as delightful, too: I’m covering both December and January, with three joys from each month. And with my slower blogging schedule, this bimonthly format might be the way to go from now on. What do you think?

Let’s start with…

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What’s Making Me Happy: March 2017 (Plus, I’m on Hiatus Until April 18th)

The best way to describe my March 2017 would be “a month of two parts.” (Did anyone catch the nod to the Kingkiller Chronicle prologues? *wink*) The first half was still stressful and discouraging like February had been, partly because I was still dealing with anxiety flare-ups. But after taking active steps to better manage my anxiety (including resuming my writing routine), and thanks to the knowledge that spring is here (YAY!), the second half of the month was more productive and meditative. Oh, and busy with final preparations for the Iceland Writers Retreat! I can’t believe it’s NEXT WEEK!! 😀

And now that I think about it, this month’s edition of What’s Making Me Happy reflects that mix of excitement, relaxation, and creativity. So let me share my March joys with you, and feel free to share yours in your comments.

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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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Time Flies!: August 2016

Time Flies Banner

Welcome to the latest edition of Time Flies! It’s my version of a monthly update, where I recap the past month’s accomplishments and articles, share news and random things from my offline life, and hint at what may be coming in the month ahead.

I’m starting this post with a confession: While I’ve managed to keep up with my own blog-writing, I’ve been so burnt out from the past month’s busyness that I’m struggling to keep up with reading other blogs or replying to comments. I’ve also been dealing with stress from (without going into too much detail) expected and unexpected sources. Some days were great, but others… Yeah.

Bilbo faints

I hope this is temporary, though, since I still have one big event around the corner: My friend’s wedding (the one where I’m a bridesmaid) is this coming Saturday. Maybe once things calm down and I have some time to rest and regroup, I’ll feel some semblance of my normal self. But I just wanted to let readers know what’s going on, since you guys deserve my honesty.

But I really can’t complain. August was an awesome month on its best days, and it ends with much that I’m grateful for. This will make more sense as this post goes along, so let’s start with…

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Tea Time at Reverie: Tea Maineia’s Cold Comfort Herbal Blend

Today’s Tea Time comes courtesy of the Maine-based tea shop Tea Maineia, as well as my first head cold of the winter. (No worries, I’m feeling much better now!) But really, it’s funny how your health or frame of mind dictates the kinds of tea you crave. In this case, I tried Tea Maineia’s Cold Comfort, a blend of green tea, fruit, and herbs known for their healing properties. Read more of my thoughts on it at A Bibliophile’s Reverie. 🙂

A Bibliophile's Reverie

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During a recent trip to Maine, I visited Tea Maineia in Winterport, about 25 minutes south of Bangor. What a charming place! Not only does Tea Maineia carry a wide variety of teas (black, oolong, green, white, and herbal / rooibos), but it also sells teapots, mugs, and locally made condiments and other foods that pair well with tea. It also has a bright, welcoming environment inside, and the owner is friendly and wonderfully knowledgeable. If you’re ever in the Bangor area, I highly recommend checking out Tea Maineia!

And of course I couldn’t leave without purchasing some tea. 😉 So, for today’s Tea Time, we’ll cover one of Tea Maineia’s several herbal tisanes. Cold Comfort blends green and rooibos teas with fruit and herbs often used for alleviating symptoms of the common cold. How does this unique infusion brew up? And did I find it comforting during a recent head cold?…

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Time Flies!: May 2015

Time Flies Banner

Welcome to the latest edition of Time Flies! It’s my version of a monthly update, where I recap the past month’s accomplishments and articles, share news and random things from my offline life, and hint at what may be coming in the month ahead.

Hope you all had a wonderful May! This past month proved to be just as busy – if not even busier – as others have been this year, even with a “stay-cation” halfway through. So let’s get right to the recap, starting with what happened at the blog:

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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?

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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!