September 1, 2015

Urban Oasis: Lole White at Fort York Toronto 2015

Urban Oasis is a collection of images of spaces in cities where we can take a few moments to connect with nature, find balance and peace. Past posts from the series can be found here.
Lole White event. If you have never been to this event before, it is a yoga event which is dedicated to peace. Thousands of yogis (depending on venue size of course) get together for a yoga session together with that single thought in mind. With Grace Dubery at Toronto's Fort York for 2015 Lole White Tour.

The second last Saturday of August was Toronto's chance to have the Lole White event. If you have never been to this event before, it is a yoga event which is dedicated to peace. Thousands of yogis (depending on venue size of course) get together for a yoga session together with that single thought in mind. Trust me it is well worth it to go at least once my first experience brought me close to tears, as the energy from everyone with this single thought was so powerful.

Lole White event. If you have never been to this event before, it is a yoga event which is dedicated to peace. Thousands of yogis (depending on venue size of course) get together for a yoga session together with that single thought in mind. With Grace Dubery at Toronto's Fort York for 2015 Lole White Tour.

Unlike last year which was held inside the ROM (and in the evening rather than the morning), we got packed up in the wee hours of the morning to get to Toronto by 8am or so. The view while we waited in line for the gates to open was breath taking.  It felt like I was called to this space as it was so close to the Exhibition grounds which was gearing up for Warrior's day (which always falls on the first Saturday during its run). It was very nostalgic as when my Grandfather was alive we would go on that exact same day every year with him. So for me it felt a little more emotional than it usually would.

Lole White event. If you have never been to this event before, it is a yoga event which is dedicated to peace. Thousands of yogis (depending on venue size of course) get together for a yoga session together with that single thought in mind. With Grace Dubery at Toronto's Fort York for 2015 Lole White Tour.

Once settled in (and picked our spot on the field) we relaxed a bit. Ahem.. I mean went shopping at the pop up shop. I really wish they had sunglasses there as I left mine at home (aka was too sleepy to remember them). A lovely volunteer offered to take our picture to remember the event. By the way if you look at last years photo, we are pose quite similar to then (how does that happen?).

Lole White event. If you have never been to this event before, it is a yoga event which is dedicated to peace. Thousands of yogis (depending on venue size of course) get together for a yoga session together with that single thought in mind. With Grace Dubery at Toronto's Fort York for 2015 Lole White Tour.

The wait till the event started was well worth it. In front of my Mom and I was a lovely lady who used to come into Teaopia when I worked there. It was so touching that she remembered me. When the event ended I ensured to say goodbye to her before we left the grounds. I hope to run into her again in the future (ah Teaopia).



   Overall the event was very uplifting and set the right tone for the rest of the day. I almost forgot how unique it is to practice yoga and meditation in the morning rather than latter in the day.
   I hope you check out this event (or one near you, by the way there is a free one in New York City at Central Park tomorrow ).  If you want to find out more about the event check out their webpage at the link below. Till next time everyone.

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August 27, 2015

"Oasis" Room Project: Room Tour

Oasis Room Project was a project to create a space that inspired and allowed myself somewhere to rest (meditate). lucky cat tablet audrey hepburn shoe tiffany blue

   What a week so far! Saturday's Outdoor Yoga Event really kicked me down for a while (aka Sunburnt), but I am back with a room tour! Putting this together for  you guys really made me feel a little nervous but I am glad to get this out there for you to see. 
    There are a few things that still need to be done (like the switch plates and finding frames), but they are so minor that I just had to share this with you now.

Oasis Room Project was a project to create a space that inspired and allowed myself somewhere to rest (meditate). Altar space table oracle cards Inari meditation spirituality
 
I am so proud that all of these areas have come together as they have. It was such an adventure from start to finish (check out some progress images over on Instagram). My meditation corner is so comfy now that I have used it a few times to read (or finish up a post). The table fits perfectly into the space and allowed me to really sink into my meditations.

Oasis Room Project was a project to create a space that inspired and allowed myself somewhere to rest (meditate). Bed wall art mandala nature

    From last week you might have noticed the medallion art piece, here is the one that I got last year. It was a local find and I adore how it brings nature into the room. On the opposite wall is a canvas piece I created last year for motivation. The same line is on a print over at Every Girl but I wanted the colors to fit into the space and pop off the wall. 

Oasis Room Project was a project to create a space that inspired and allowed myself somewhere to rest (meditate). yoga mats Bmat gold meditation side table candles

  Right next to my bed is a wire plant stand that I found at Winners. The color did not suit my room so it got a little face lift. The surprising part about it was that it fit my storage basket with my yoga supplies in it.  To top it off I got this adorable lamp at Walmart for about 10$ (My Mom get's the credit though as I was unsure how it would look). Right beside it are a few things to help me relax just before bed (a sandalwood candle and lavender pillow mist). 

Oasis Room Project was a project to create a space that inspired and allowed myself somewhere to rest (meditate). planner desk tea studio calico happie scrappie bamboo china japnese

This is a rare sight to see on my desk (so clean!) but even with it covered in planner supplies (or tea) it still inspires me each time I sit at it. For my books, rather than using a bookend, I am useing a statue I have in my collection (ahem, my brothers collection). I am debating switching Ganish to Lu Yu as he would be a friendly sight while I am at my desk. 

Oasis Room Project was a project to create a space that inspired and allowed myself somewhere to rest (meditate). inspiration board kikki.k

         While putting together this room I was not going to keep this board in my room but I opted last minute to create an "inspiration board". Most of the cards are from Kikki.K's inspiration board kit but there is also a quote that came with a Julep Maven box. To the left of the yellow card is a mini bud vase that I got as a gift from my mom a few years ago. Nothing in it right now but I will soon.

Oasis Room Project was a project to create a space that inspired and allowed myself somewhere to rest (meditate). books tea japan japanese amp create crafting

       This project gave me the time to finally go through the books I have out while living at home. Now all the ones I have on hand are ones that not only I reference regularly, but make me happy to see. Throughout my room is many different volumes on tea and also learning Japanese. 
      For when I make tea I have my kensui available to make clean up a breeze.

Oasis Room Project was a project to create a space that inspired and allowed myself somewhere to rest (meditate). Gallery wall project life watercolor watercolour manifest prints tea kate spade tiffanys

   As I said I have to get more frames but in the mean time I still have the pieces up to inspire me. All of the tea art is from Global Tea Hut and I can not see myself ever letting them go.

Oasis Room Project was a project to create a space that inspired and allowed myself somewhere to rest (meditate). Gallery wall project life watercolor watercolour manifest prints tea

I hope you enjoyed this little room tour and perhaps it inspired you to create a space that brings you joy.  Till next time, cheers!
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August 19, 2015

Staying Organized with Teavana's Tea Passion Journal


Moleskine Perfectea Journal Teavana stay organized with your tastings, notes and your stash. Mala and meditation.
     
Like all other tea lovers I have been trying to keep my stash in order. Originally I had a composition book to document my tastings which eventually graduated to this blog. But I still wanted somewhere to document tastings and experiments with wares. It was not till a trip to the local Teavana (Wanted a book but ended up looking around) where I found this notebook.
     Before Christmas I shared Moleskine's Tea Passion Journal, this one is exactly the same inside (with exception to some Teavana related material).  It is very well laid out with its sections : tastings, teatime, places, web and my collection.

Moleskine Perfectea Journal Teavana stay organized with your tastings, notes and your stash. Mala and meditation.

In the last section there is space for five sections you can dedicate to anything you would like. Currently I have four of them dedicated to things such as samples, events, tools and contacts. It is nice to finally have a home for everything (especially business cards).
   What is even better is the information that came with it, such as the history of tea timeline and tea tasting vocabulary. I love having these types of references close at hand for when I need it. The last thing that came with it were stickers that related to Teavana's tea classification system. I am not sure if I will use them yet but they are an adorable addition to the journal either way.

Moleskine Perfectea Journal Teavana stay organized with your tastings, notes and your stash. Mala and meditation.

How do you manage your tea stash (and tastings)? Share your method in the comments below and don't be afraid to share a picture. Till next time everyone, cheers!
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August 17, 2015

Oasis (Tea and Meditation) Room Project: Design and update

Oasis room project tea meditation space bedroom workroom blogger desk space planner studio calico kikki.k happie scrappie books #girlboss

 Around this time last year , while gearing up for Blog Podium 2014, I made a decision to make some  big changes to my room. At the moment I live with my parents and have been making changes to how I see the world (and myself). It felt like I was trapped back in High School and still in my old relationship as my room had not changed while I have. When I won my paint from Para Paints, I  took that as a sign to get started on this project. The "Oasis" room. 

Update (and reflection)

     I took small steps from August last year till July this year. After Shuuhei passed and I took time to grieve, I decided to make the big change.  What held me back before was not knowing how to do it and fear of "making a mistake".  I faced it as I had nothing to loose but the past that was associated with previous colour of my walls, the memories and all the marks that were there. 
     It took 3 and a half days to finish everything, I started small and then went big (I painted the walls in one go). Its funny how learning something as you go can be fun and the change (around me and inside) was very uplifting. As the past was "repaired" as I used compound and then sanded down, it was like forgiving my past self. What made this feeling true was waking up the next morning feeling energetic. The power that came from the colours (and all my hard work) paid off.  

Design 

    When I initially started with this project I wanted a place that felt like a "getaway" and was a place for me to blog. I incorporated things I already owned and tried to be a little thrifty with other things.  To help me pull together this room I kept a photoshop collage of what things I wanted ( or things that were close to what I already had).  The biggest purchase I made during this journey was my meditation table which was $16 and I put some work into it. 
   The reason I kept with things I already owned was because I knew they made me happy and inspired me. Such as my Guwan Yin Statue, which I got on my last day at Teavana, every piece has a story to it. These pieces will come with me when I move, along with the knowledge I gained through this project. 

Oasis room project tea meditation space bedroom workroom blogger desk space gold wood guwanyin lucky cat para paints kate spade quotes ganish

   Next week I am going to show more pictures of my space and the elements that are part of it. I hope I have inspired you and your own space, if I have please share your comments below. I would love to hear from you! Cheers!
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August 14, 2015

Magical Inspiration: Miracles Now Deck

Gabrielle Bernstein's Miracles Now Oracle Card Deck  quick inspiration (or answers) Mala collective gemstones. Add it to your tea or spiritual practice, meditate I don't need to find my purpose will find me
   
There are days where I have a burning question about a person, situation, thought or even how the day will go. For as long as I can remember I these kinds of things bothered me so much that I worried myself sick. During a bit of my teen years I turned to Tarot cards but I was just looking for quick advice. Flash Forward to this year and the solution was found : Oracle Cards!

   While this is my second deck, I love how simple it is. Every verse is taken from Gabrielle Bernstein's book "Miracles Now".  If you see her book at the library or a book store check it out, as it can be used as a oracle deck too. I love how innovative this deck is, to take a book and create something for little "miracle moments".

Gabrielle Bernstein's Miracles Now Oracle Card Deck  quick inspiration (or answers) Mala collective. Add it to your tea or spiritual practice, meditate I don't need to find my purpose will find me

You may be asking how do you use them. Gabrielle suggests to put your hand over the deck and say " Thank you, divine guidance. I need a Miracle Now. Show me what you've got!".  While I love the line I prefer something quiet (and less embarrassing if someone walks by my room).

   Simply concentrate on what you need guidance for while you shuffle the cards (or mix them around on the floor/bed). Then let your hand  hover over them and wait for a warmth to come to your hand over a card. Take the one that gives off the warmth. This has worked for me each and every time. Try it out and see if this method resonates with you.

 When I was putting together this post I pulled a card ( I was feeling a little nervous about writing another post, it happens a lot). The one I pulled was: "Happiness is a choice I make". It really picked me up (the colours helped too) and I got to work.  I use this deck as part of my spiritual and tea practice. A little motivation goes a long way when you need a touch of guidance. Try it out and meditate on it if you are adding it to your practice.

   Have you used Oracle cards before (this deck or another)? How do you incorporate it into your practice? Share your experience in the comments below!
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August 10, 2015

Urban Oasis: East Beach Bowmanville

Urban Oasis is a collection of images of spaces in cities where we can take a few moments to connect with nature, find balance and peace. Past posts from the series can be found here.
Urban Oasis Port Darlington Waterfront Park Bowmanville Clarington Ontario Lake Ontario East Beach Road

   A few weeks ago a friend and I were exploring the local beach and got some great shots. This little piece of land comes out from the beach and gave quite the view of Lake Ontario. The area is really called " Port Darlington Waterfront Park" but the street name is East Beach Road. As there are two beaches in the area I feel that the latter is in wider use among us locals. 

Urban Oasis Port Darlington Waterfront Park Bowmanville Clarington Ontario Lake Ontario East Beach Road
 Urban Oasis Port Darlington Waterfront Park Bowmanville Clarington Ontario Lake Ontario East Beach Road

Urban Oasis Port Darlington Waterfront Park Bowmanville Clarington Ontario Lake Ontario East Beach Road

I hope this inspired you to explore a beach near you, but if you are in the area here is a map to find this beach. Feel free to send me an e-mail if you do visit, I would love to meet you.


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August 8, 2015

Planner Kits: Studio Calico and Happie Scrappie

Planner Kits: Studio Calico and Happie Scrappie |   Along my Tea Journey I found that intentional planning, planning to reach your highest potential, keeps you focused on your goals. So this weekend I thought I would share my favorite planner kit subscriptions.Packed with washi, inserts, stickers, project life cards and even dashboards. What more could a planner want?

      Along my Tea Journey I found that intentional planning, planning to reach your highest potential, keeps you focused on your goals. So this weekend I thought I would share my favorite planner kit subscriptions. These are great kits that can make planning even more fun by adding a little cuteness  to the planner that you use, no matter what format you have.
     
Planner Kits: Studio Calico and Happie Scrappie |   Along my Tea Journey I found that intentional planning, planning to reach your highest potential, keeps you focused on your goals. So this weekend I thought I would share my favorite planner kit subscriptions.Packed with washi, inserts, stickers, project life cards and even dashboards. What more could a planner want?

       This first planner kit is by Happie Scrappie , Sam, who works with a team to create adorable dashboards and inserts. The kit I have here is the June kit which had a summer Treats theme. Who can say no to this adorable set of goodies? Sam has three different kits to choose from: A5 Size (shown), Personal sized and Fauxdori.
     What is in this A5 kit? A Happie Scrappie dashboard, 8 Happie Scrappie project life cards, Happie Scrappie note pad, Happie Scrappie planner inserts, fine tipped pen, assorted stickers (including some Happie Scrappie Exclusives), Page flag set, charm, washi tape roll and washi tape sticker sheets.
      If you are looking for cuteness for your planner then I highly suggest to check out the Happie Scrappie Store to check out the subscriptions and other goodies.

Planner Kits: Studio Calico and Happie Scrappie |   Along my Tea Journey I found that intentional planning, planning to reach your highest potential, keeps you focused on your goals. So this weekend I thought I would share my favorite planner kit subscriptions.Packed with washi, inserts, stickers, project life cards and even dashboards. What more could a planner want?
 
  Since the end of July I have been looking at Studio Calico, after a pre-order of a personal sized planner...I got on their waiting list for their planner kit. This is July's Planner kit "Fairground". I adore the use of of scrapbooking papers and their own systems for creating the "Work Hard- Play Hard" dashboard (I fell in love with the gold foil, can you blame me?).  This kit only comes with personal sized dashboards but you can easily adapt it for other types of planners.
    This kit was packaged in this plastic case when it was mailed out. It is great as I can organize my supplies with it. Included in this kit were: two dashboards (one opaque gold foil paper and one velum), two different sticker sheets, kit exclusive post-its, two washi tapes, a gold binder clip and a kit exclusive stamp set. Each months kit has an overall theme (such as August is Pop Art) and has various goodies to help you stay organized and a little crafty with your planner.
    Studio Calico has various other kits, such as Scrapbooking and Project Life, check out the subscription page for more information.


** All opinions are my own. Both subscriptions are paid by me.


 Do you use your planner to reach your goals? Share in the comments below! 
P.S. Feel free to link to images of your planner to share how you keep yourself motivated with your planning. Peace everyone!
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August 5, 2015

Lolë White Tour 2015 Toronto, Fort York August 22nd

   It's summer and that means it was time to snatch up some tickets for this years Lole White Tour. Last year the event was held inside the Royal Ontario Museum, was an experience I will remember for years to come. Having a live mini orchestra to acompany the event with others who are like minded made me (and many others) cry at how loving a community we live in.
     The event is held in many locations around the world throughout the summer, sometimes even extending a bit into the fall. Some of the locations include Paris, New York City, and Montreal.
  This year they are hosting it outside at Fort York at (gasp) 8 am. Morning yoga has a special place in my heart as it sets the right tone for the rest of the day. It let's you clear your mind before processing everything else that is on your to-do list.
    My favorite thing about this year is the commemorative top that was designed especially for the event by Lole Women. It brings about a calmness and also reminds me of my dedication to mindfulness along my tea journey.
    Check out their page for the event for a location near you, here. If there is not one near you try setting up a day at your local Yoga Studio and add some moving meditation to your tea practice.

Do you practice yoga or meditation (or both) as part of your tea practice? Share your experience and how it effects your tea journey in the comments below. Satnam.
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August 3, 2015

Quotable Life Lessons: Find fun in every task

    Inspiring quotes can provoke you to set intentions and become closer to your truth. Quotable is a series where thought provoking lines from various sources are brought together and lessons can be learned from each one. 
   Tune in to either set your intention for the week and learn more about yourself to get closer to living in your highest truth. All past posts can be found over on the Quotable series page


   If you have been following me on instagram the last few days you will have seen the progress I have made on my "Room Oasis" project. I am kicking myself for leaving this on the back burner for over a year. Who would have known that it was this much fun to put a room together which you spend most of your time in.
    That leads me to today's Quotable. Mary Poppins said it best, there is always a way to make a job be fun. While painting my room I started small with the window sill and worked outward from there. I learned very quickly about the paint and materials I was using.
   The fun part for me was seeing the room come together and approaching painting like I would usually (child like and free). Once all the walls were dried I put up some art in frames (or washi taped the prints up for now). It feels so much more livable than before.
    Next task for this project is to use the "KonMari" method to tidy my room (blog post on this soon, till then check out this video by Lanvenaire). Removing things that no longer brings me joy will be hard but I am looking forward to living with what does.

What ways do you make your projects/tasks become fun for you to accomplish? Share in the comments below.
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July 20, 2015

Quotable Life Lessons: Let emotions flow to see the sun

    Inspiring quotes can provoke you to set intentions and become closer to your truth. Quotable is a series where thought provoking lines from various sources are brought together and lessons can be learned from each one. 
   Tune in to either set your intention for the week and learn more about yourself to get closer to living in your highest truth. All past posts can be found over on the Quotable series page.

Inspiring quotes can provoke you to set intentions and become closer to your truth. Quotable is a series where thought provoking lines from various sources are brought together and lessons can be learned from each one.  You cry a little, and then you wait for the sun to come out. It always does- Maria in The Sound of Music     Tune in to either set your intention for the week and learn more about yourself to get closer to living in your highest truth. let emotions flow to see the sun
 
   After two weeks I am finally back with a quotable to get back into the grove here at Tea Journey. Loosing Shuuhei still is tough at times but the necklace I put together with my Mom has helped. This weeks quote I found within my Google Keep account and thought it suited the occasion.
    This quote was from The Sound of Music, Maria was asked what do you do if someone does not love you and replied with it. The situation is different but it sill applies for grief over any kind of loss. Love, family, job loss, stress, and even losing someone.
    When any of those things happen we always feel like its the end of life itself. Asking ourselves how can we go on and what should I do. We can not truly start to see the sun till we let ourselves cry a little. Bottling emotions is bad for the body and causes you more harm than the initial trigger.
     This weeks post is to everyone out there (past present and future) who are going though a tough time in their lives. My heart goes out to you all in hopes that you too see the sun when it comes out. And remember, it always does.

If you are going through something right now (or have in the past), please feel free to share it. We are here for eachother, the internet lets us help eachother out in tough times. Let's share the love and support for each other. Many blessings friends.
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July 13, 2015

Urban Oasis:Toronto Ripley's Aquarium of Canada Lion Fish

Urban Oasis is a collection of images of spaces in cities where we can take a few moments to connect with nature, find balance and peace. Past posts from the series can be found here.

Ripley's Aquarium of Canada in Toronto Lion Fish coral reef Tea Journey

Ripley's Aquarium of Canada in Toronto Lion Fish coral reef Tea Journey

Ripley's Aquarium of Canada in Toronto Lion Fish coral reef Tea Journey

 If you have not got the chance to visit the Toronto Aquarium or are visiting sometime soon, here it is on a map. Other local attractions include The CN Tower and Rogers Center.

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July 11, 2015

Saying goodbye: Coping with loss of My Cat Shuuhei

 
Saying goodbye to a pet is hard. This is how I am coping with the loss of my cat Shuuhei. The original tea cat with a pandora necklace
   
    This has to be the hardest post I have written to date. Please bear with me as it has taken me all of friday to get my thoughts and feelings straight. Initially I had not written this week due to doubting my self and what I wanted to share. I was not sure what you would want to read.

    When Wednesday morning came I was woken up by my brother. My cat (I call him my little boy) was not eating and crying. Throughout the day we were distraught on what to do, the signs told me that he might not be with me much longer. I doubted the signs and told myself that he was strong and we just needed to help him eat.

    Once it got to early evening, I finally allowed myself to begin to accept what was happening. I was not going to have "My little boy" around for when I get married or even have kids. I wanted that so badly. It was a little dream I had for the two of us. To finally have something stable and not have to move so much. A little over a month after we came home the first time , there was an electrical fire at my apartment. Thankfully for both of us it was on the other side of the building. But when I was let in to get my things, I could not think of anything but finding him. He was missing.

     The next day I was prepared to make fliers. My Aunt, who was down to visit, heard he was at the shelter where I got him. When we got there he had been moved to another shelter. When I was finally in the room to "identify" him, he let me know where he was with a big hiss.

   From there he lived with my parents till I got a new place and we stayed there until December 2013. From there we lived together with my family while I faced big life decisions. Here he got to experience the outdoors, rather than hearing the sounds from the busy street near us before (he disliked loud noises). We would throw sticks most recently and he wound chase after them. It made the whole family laugh.

   Its the memories that keep me going right now. Late Wednesday evening, after we told him how much we loved him as we pet him, he passed. Till then I had never had a pet pass like that right before me or be there for everything after. I insisted on holding him while my brother let my parents know, we kept them informed while they were away.
 
  Besides him I have not cried that much except for my Grandmother, who helped raise me. The feeling was the same. I was so close to Shuuhei that I still have moments where I think I hear him and expect him to be in any of his favorite spots.
 
   The only thing that is helping me through is the necklace I put together Thursday with my Mom. I felt like I wanted to keep something from him close to my heart. That is why I have his Toronto liscence from when we lived there on the chain. With it is a charm of the moon and a star, I thought it represented us well as we stayed up late many nights together.

  While I walk now, it makes a noise that sounds like when it was on his collar. It is strangely soothing to hear it cling together as if he is with me still. That does not mean that I don't have moments where I cry. Instead of keeping the pain of loosing my "child" (yes I am that kind of cat person, and proud of it) inside, I am letting it out.

    Once my parents are back again we are going to make a little marker for where he is along with his friend Kiki, our family cat. Loss is hard but it is best to let yourself process how ever you need to. Mine was spending time with my family, remembering the good, seeing my best friend , letting emotions flow and (disappointingly) smoke. The latter I am vowing to quit but that is another story for another day.

In Memory of Shuuhei 

Saying goodbye to a pet is hard. This is how I am coping with the loss of my cat Shuuhei. The original tea cat.

2010-2015

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