Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Texas Tea (well, sort of)

In honor of National Hot Tea Month, I had planned for this week's blog to be about all of my favorite tea things.  As I typed - and typed - and found pictures, I realized that each tea has it's own memory and I decided to share each individually.  Hopefully you won't nod off in the middle of the blog that way.  So here is the first in a short series.  I will call this one . . .

Texas Tea

Dessert at The Gaylord Texan BeautiControl luncheon
A few years ago, I attended my first Celebration.  Celebration is an annual conference held by BeautiControl for their consultants to receive training and discover what is new for the coming year.  It's a lot of fun just being at Celebration, but being able to enjoy the Gaylord Texan while you are there, well, that just makes it one of the best weekends ever.  Besides incredible service and ambiance (the place is gorgeous), there are some great restaurants with delicious food.  Most were sit down restaurants in or around the atrium, but one was a little cafe with coffees, teas, sandwiches and pastries.  It was a perfect little stop on the way to a training meeting.  It was also the halfway point in my walk from my hotel room to the convention center.  I needed a pick me up.  The place is huge.  :)

The first year I stayed at the Gaylord Texan, I tried a "new to me" tea at the cafe.  It was called Tuscan Garden.  It was wonderful.  So wonderful that I found myself craving more Tuscan Garden all year until the next Celebration meeting the following year.  My problem was that I had forgotten the name of the tea so I couldn't even look it up.  I may have gone to Celebration the following year more for the tea than the BeautiControl goodies.  Ok -- they were tied.  This time, however, I was smart.  I found that they still carried that tea so, without hesitation, I purchased this wonderful tea and kept the tag.  Yep.  I hung onto that tag until I could look up the company and I order that tea.  Tuscan Garden by White Lion Tea Company is still a favorite of mine and I have 2 containers of it in a box to enjoy during warmer weather.  Yes, my tea has a season.  Some of them anyway.

Mad Hatter Festivites at Gaylord Texan meant a decked out atrium
As I was looking for pictures, I remembered the photos I took from the Alice in Wonderland theme at the Gaylord Texan a few years ago.  

Giant Chess Game.  Wouldn't this be fun?

They were hosting Mad Hatter Tea Parties while I was there. 
Each year, Gaylord has some type of event going on.  This time it was Alice in Wonderland complete with the hosting of Mad Hatter Teas. 
These displays were in the windows.

I loved them so much, I felt it necessary to take pictures.

 If I wasn't booked solid that weekend, I would have so enjoyed having tea with the Mad Hatter.  I was able to peek at one of the teas but I neglected to get a photo of it or the Mad Hatter himself.

I may need to try this myself sometime.
Thanks for walking down memory lane with me.  I hope the photos inspire some creativity in you as they do me.  I had completely forgotten about them until I started typing this blog.  I think now the sipping of Tuscan Garden tea will bring memories of not just the Gaylord Texan, but also the Mad Hatter and all of his beautiful displays.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Dance Walking and . . . Hot Tea?

You might be wondering how "Dance Walking" and Hot Tea have anything in common.  There is one important way.  I'll share it at the end so keep reading.

Let me begin by sharing what I originally planned to share.

January is Hot Tea Month!  Due to the fact that I am a huge tea person, I thought it would be only fitting to use my blog to promote the special occasion.  I also thought that since we all like bargains, I would share some tea specials that various tea companies are offering during this special month.

National Hot Tea Month Offers (or just offers)

Harney & Sons Fine Teas is having a giveaway on their Facebook page.  All you have to do is leave a comment on their post telling them why you love their tea.  Personally, I haven't had the chance to try their teas yet, but I plan to.  Wouldn't it be nice to try it for free?

Stash Tea is giving away a years worth of tea to some lucky winner.  In addition to that, they are having a winter sale with big savings and offering 15% off all of their teas to celebrate National Hot Tea Month.  I like Stash Tea.  The fact that you can usually find it in your local grocery store is a nice convenience.

Bigelow Tea is also giving away tea for a year.  Have you tried their Constant Comment blend.  It's been a favorite of mine for a long time.

I was just recently introduced to Teavana.  They are all loose teas and some beautiful accessories as well.  They are having a really good sale on teas and accessories while supplies last.

Davidson's Organics is having a BOGO Offer on their Green or White Tea for the month of January.

Just for fun, here is a list of 31 ways to celebrate National Hot Tea Month.

Next week I'll share my favorite teas and a favorite tea magazine with you.

Dance Walking

As I was working on my blog today, I saw a video that was posted to Facebook that made me smile.  That video led to another that made me smile even more.  I enjoyed a cup of Constant Comment Tea by Bigelow while I watched these videos.  I knew they weren't about tea but I wanted to share them with you.  I hope they make you smile as much as they did me.  Enjoy a cup of tea or a beverage that makes you smile as you watch this man make a lot of people smile.

So what do these videos and tea have in common?  It's very simple.  They ALL make me smile.

Have a great week - and let me know if you give dance walking a try.  I'll be curious to know what you think.  I'm also curious to know if you skipped the body of the blog to read what tea and dance walking have in common.  It's okay.  You can comment and tell me the truth.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

2013 Embracing a New Year

Happy New Year!  If you are like me, you are wondering how we got here already.  Time certainly does fly, doesn't it?  

I'm normally not much of a New Year's Resolution maker, but I decided to try something new this year.  One reason I struggle with resolutions is because they often too general and hard to measure.  We say we will eat healthier or exercise more but it's hard to measure success without having a certain goal to meet.  I've learned more about goal setting from several BeautiControl conventions.  I'm still not good at them, but I've decided that it's time to try again.  So - instead of "resolutions", I am referring to my list for 2013 as goals.  

Here is what I hope to accomplish in the New Year:

1.  Declutter my House and Get Better Organized.  Now -- this is a tough one because the goal isn't very "measurable" so I've found help on this topic.  Laura, blog owner of "I'm an Organizing Junkie" has created a 52 Week Organizing Challenge.  She has a free printable to jot down 52 things to tackle.  The idea is one thing per week.  Because I can take parts of my home and make it into "bite size" jobs, I hope it will give me more confidence to get things done.  Plus, it always makes me feel like I accomplished something when I can cross it off a list.  Her blog has a lot of helpful tips and ideas on how to get organized.  

2.  Blog Better.  I've been really inconsistent.  Part of it is because I can never make up my mind about what to blog or when.  On January 1, I decided to blog on Sundays since it is usually the quietest day of the week for me.  I also created a list of blog topics to cover in the future and a schedule of what topics I will blog for the next several weeks.  This way, I can work ahead when I am able and hopefully have some blogs ready to go and submit when life is too crazy to get a blog together.

3.  Try New Teas.  Who says goals for the new year can't be fun?  I took advantage of a sale at Teavana about a week ago and have several more to try now.  I'll tell you about my tea adventures in future blogs.

4.  Begin a New Adventure.  About a year ago, I began to feel that I was to host events with women at my cabin.  After reading two books, talking with a few ladies, journaling, hearing several sermons, talking with my pastor, and talking with more ladies, I really feel that God is wanting me to step out and take action on this thought.  My first meeting is scheduled for January 27.  Pray for me as I try to follow God's lead on this one.

I think those are enough new goals for 2013.  It is important for me to not add so much that I get stressed over things.  One thing I've noticed with my goals is that all of them should actually help to reduce the stress in my life.  I believe that having a plan for my blogs and reducing clutter in my house will definitely reduce stress.  Tea is always relaxing and it's been proven that it is healthy for women to gather together for fellowship with each other.  I have an article about it . . . . somewhere.  When I conquer Goal #1, I'll find it again. :)

I pray that all of you have a healthy and blessed 2013.  I look forward to sharing with you as we all continue this journey we call "life".  

NOW -- What are YOUR goals/resolutions for 2013?  Let me know by commenting below.  I would love to read about them.

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