February 21, 2017

Why treating yourself is important self-care

Doing or giving something for yourself is a social taboo but it is a fundamental part of self care. When we do this it has a chain reaction which makes miracles happen around and within us. Check out other reasons why it is so important to everyday life.

     Life passes us by quickly early on in the year (or is it just me?), now is a perfect time to slow down and do something for yourself. It is not selfish, no matter what others say. Giving yourselves the chance to do or get something that just fills us with happiness should not feel bad. We beat ourselves up when we do things for ourselves because others see it as selfish when in reality it helps us through our days.

       It can be something small as sleeping in for a bit longer or even picking up a new book to read. No matter how big or small, it has meaning for our soul. We need to give ourselves something for just being us. A little self-love is something that is not taught, we need to learn how to do it ourselves. It is a simple step towards loving ourselves for who we are and respecting ourselves. Here are a few reasons why you need to remember to be more intentional about treating yourself.

Reminds yourself that you are valuable

There have been studies that say when we treat ourselves with respect, our health improves. Perhaps even you begin to make changes in your diet to fuel it with goodness (sadly chips and pop are not good for us). It makes you have more energy and others will notice that you have made a change.

Shows others you have self-worth

When you have self-worth others treat your better. It boils down to confidence, when we believe in ourselves others do too. But it does not stop there, their belief in you fuels you as well. It's a never ending cycle, we return it and it flows back to us.

Fill yourself with joy

Happiness radiates out from the heart. Start by treating your soul to something and joy radiates out of you like a light. When we treat our bodies right and are treated how we deserve by those around us: it fills us with so much joy we can not help but share it.

Bring positivity your way

A funny thing happens when we treat ourselves with respect, love, and care. Not only do others change how they treat us but the universe sends us little things as well. Your world can change by changing your mindset. Your future partner can walk into your life, or you will find your direction for your career, make a connection which leads you to your dream job or anything. It can even be as small as finding a lost earring or meeting up with an old friend out of the blue. It can be big or small. Keep an eye out, be open to receive.


          You deserve respect and love but it all starts with yourself. Start small or do something big just for you. My two big things this year are going to Montreal with some friends and moving this blog and/or new laptop (I am using my brothers from 2010 which is like a brick). Those are my big “treats” but I regularly treat myself to sleeping in or cookies with my tea. What works for me may not work for you. Dig deep and decide what you need most.

          Do you know a friend who may need this post? Or did it resonate with you? Share it with your tribe, big virtual hugs to all that read this blog and an extra for those that share (sharing if caring of course). Blessings!
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February 16, 2017

Digital Table: Tea Journey Manifesto for living the Tea Lifestyle

In this modern age we are in need of a Tea Journey Manifesto to guide our practice with tea and its lifestyle. Digital Table is about community and everyone coming together for a common cause through tea and the cultures, traditions and history that surrounds it.


     The tea world has been changing so much since I started this blog. Who could have guessed that Matcha and even Puerh would become popular in the health field? Consumers are only being told very few health possibilities, which leaves them extream expectations of the beverage. And even worse, not knowing how to prepare it or a bite of the historical/cultural significance. This change is worrying. Information is being diluted through the noise of online and shared to the extreme. For those of us, such as myself, who strive to honor the tradition, history, and culture of the beverage it causes anxiety.

     I work within the health and wellness field currently, and tea slowly has turned to its original roots as medicine. It gives a small glimmer of hope but still, there is more to learn. We each need to do our part to help turn the tides and direct those around us to the information they need, as a community. This is why I sought out to create a Manifesto. 

    No matter what stage you are at with tea this manifesto is for you. My intention and hopes are that it will guide you. Not only with tea but in life itself. Unlike other manifestos out there, this one was intentionally made imperfect. I am not a perfect person so why should this be any different.

In this modern age we are in need of a Tea Journey Manifesto to guide our practice with tea and its lifestyle. Digital Table is about community and everyone coming together for a common cause through tea and the cultures, traditions and history that surrounds it.

Even still it was created from the soul with a cup of tea in hand (Nomigoro Gyokuro from Maiko Tea to be exact). Tea is life which is a lifestyle in itself. We add it to our lives for health, curiosity, or even for spiritual reasons. And our lives change with the addition of it. That, in a nutshell, is your Tea Journey. It starts with picking up or tasting tea for the first time. And you continue to discover something not only new about tea but yourself and the world around you.
 
    I hope you will take this manifesto and hang it somewhere to remind yourself about your roots, or if you are just beginning to give yourself that reminder down the road. We all start at the beginning and continue on. We need to also return to that origin or beginning to progress further. That is what is taught in Japanese Tea Ceremony, and my hope is that you will apply it in your life right now (I also have a post on this topic coming out in March). 

Grab the Tea Journey Manifesto 

 Mine now hangs right next to my desk, very close to where I keep my tea set up while at my desk. Where will you keep yours?
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February 14, 2017

Happiness (Positivity) box DIY

Give the gift of love and happiness with this positivity box DIY. Gather up supplies for an easy gift you can even put together last minute (we won't tell).

      Everyone needs a little pick me up once in awhile. Having a kit of things to help put you in a better mood is a handy tool for everyone. Whether it is a down day, anxiety, depression or anything else, having somewhere to go to change your outlook is very easy to put together.

As a birthday gift I put one together for a close friend who is Bipolar type II, which means she leans on the depressive side. To help her when she has these moments of feeling down she now has a box filled with a mix of different things to combat it. The box can be created for anyone, especially students going to school this fall.
Putting one together is very simple and can be done very cheaply. Keep your giftee in mind and

1.Decide on a theme or color pallet

Keeping things all similar makes the box that much easier to put together. Keep in mind favorite colors and perhaps even the psychology behind it as well. Blue is seen as much more cheerful than yellow for long periods of time. The latter even causing depression with long exposure. 

2. Ask yourself: What activities or things make your giftee happy?

Some need a good book or a ball of yarn to knit, keep the activities that make them happy in mind as you pick things out. We are striving for a box of things they can do or turn to when they need it. In the case of my friend, it was Hello Kitty themed. The items I included were:
  • Hair clips and a hair brush
  • Cold pack
  • Stickers
  • Notebook
  • Cards for positive memories
  • Candy
  • Post-its
  • Duck tape
  • Portable speaker
  • Writing/drawing tools
  • Confetti
  • Ribbons
  • A few gem stones

3. Decide your budget and stick with it

The value for this project is in the thought behind it. Yours can be capped at 25$ or whatever you feel works for you. 

4. Pick up the contents

Decide on where you want to shop and pick up the items to fill a box, just make sure you save a little bit for the box itself.

Give the gift of love and happiness with this positivity box DIY. Gather up supplies for an easy gift you can even put together last minute (we won't tell).

5. Pick a box that will fit everything

My box was from the local dollar store chain. Any box will do, but if you want it to be a keepsake try to find a box that will stand up to the test of time. Materials such as wood or metal are ideal as they still can be customized with paint or stain. 

6. Take everything out of its packaging to see how it fits in the box

Have your phone camera ready, once you have figured out how they all fit snap a few photos. This will give you a guide to put them all back in latter.

7. Customize the box

While its not necessary, it does give the project that extra touch. Saving things from packaging (such as the Hello Kitty in the lid), are great little additions to personalize the interior (or exterior) of the box. Play around before using glue or any other adhesives, to get things the way you want.
8. Put everything back and gift

Package everything back up and get it ready to be gifted. Feel free to take a small card to explain what the box is and place it on top of the contents or, under a ribbon wrapped around the box.

    It is a very simple DIY that can be gifted for many occasions. Its simplicity is what gives it such an impact when it is gifted (it is from the heart after all).  Change everything to tea things for a fellow tea friend or to soulful things for spirit junkies. Try it out and share your creation in the comments or over Instagram/Twitter. I can not wait to see what you make.  
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February 10, 2017

Self-care gift guide for Valentines day for everyone

No matter what you call Feburary 14th, this is a gift guide for you. Love, Selfcare and things you can even just treat yourself to. Its all covered in this Valentines (GALentines, SIngle Awareness Day) Gift Guide.

    Valentines day.Galentines Day. Singles Day. No matter what you may call it it can be a good time for all if you have the right mindset from the start. The whole point is to show care for those we care about, but we also should show it to ourselves. As a single girl myself I love treating myself to something for this holiday, but when I was with a special someone I loved to give them something that I hoped they would buy for themselves for their own self-care (or they would get dinner made by me if money was tight). 

No matter what your status is this gift guide is for you. Cue up some romantic movies or series (Currently I am watching an assortment Korean Romance Dramas) and spend time reconnecting with yourself (and your loved ones).

No matter what you call Feburary 14th, this is a gift guide for you. Love, Selfcare and things you can even just treat yourself to. Its all covered in this Valentines (GALentines, SIngle Awareness Day) Gift Guide.

David’s Tea Matcha Maker Mint

Saje Aroma Gem 2.0

Lush Rose Bombshell Bath Bomb

Lush Love Spell Massage Bar

BYoga Everyday BMat - Ocean Green

The Universe Has Your Back by Gabrielle Bernstein

Starbucks Tiny Hearts Cold Cup 16oz

Tea Ave Happy Cup and Saucer -Ocean

Citizen Tea Matcha Lover Set

Mala Collective Meditate Mala Teal Rudraksha

Sloane Tea Chocolate Truffle TIn

      Now its back to you, what are your plans this comming tuesday (Valentine's Day, GALentines, Singles Awareness Day etc)? Shout it out in the comments below or share over Instagram/Twitter. Love you~
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February 8, 2017

Tea Bath Salts DIY

Create a gift or use up your tea stash with this Tea Bath Salts DIY. A quick and easy self-care gift for your loved ones on Valentines Day or anytime.

     Regularly I get asked about small gift ideas, but when I know they are tea drinkers it is hard for me to suggest new things. Lately, I have been looking at new ways to use up our stashes beyond drinking them. This lead me to this simple DIY that doubles as humble handmade gifts.

      In this tutorial, I used a blend of herbals but you can easily use any tea. Add in some floral if you want it to be aromatherapeutic. I looked up herbals that are not only relaxing but also good for the skin for this blend. It got directly gifted to my Mom right after it was made to brighten her day. But you can just as easily give it as a Birthday gift, Valentines or any kind of occasion.

What you need

Tea (or herbals) 30-60g
4-5 cups Epson salts
20-25 drops of essential oil
Bowl
Measuring cup
Mixing spoon
Container for storage
Piece of paper or funnel

Create a gift or use up your tea stash with this Tea Bath Salts DIY. A quick and easy self-care gift for your loved ones on Valentines Day or anytime.

What you need to do

1. Add epson salts into the bowl, you may need more depending on the ratio you are looking for. As this was a gift for my Mom to relax with I wanted a decent ratio with a decent scent.

2. Now is the time to make it fancy. Add in your tea. If it is a longer leafed tea you may need to grind it up a bit or use a drain catcher for the bits. Most of all we want it to look pretty, this is why in my mix I have lavender and osmanthus. The third herb is lemon grass which is said to be good for skin. Decide what your focus is and go for it.
Create a gift or use up your tea stash with this Tea Bath Salts DIY. A quick and easy self-care gift for your loved ones on Valentines Day or anytime.

3. Mix it all up thoroughly, now add in your essential oil drops. For this blend to be a bit grounding (let's be honest I wanted to use it while I read in the bath too) I added clary sage oil to the mix. Mix it once again.

4. Bring out your storage container and roll up your piece of paper for a funnel (or use the one you already have). Scoop your mix into the funnel to fill it up. If it’s a gift a simple ribbon around it will do.
Create a gift or use up your tea stash with this Tea Bath Salts DIY. A quick and easy self-care gift for your loved ones on Valentines Day or anytime.

Notes and Ideas

      Try out green tea, oolong or even black tea for this DIY, but if it's a blend look up all the ingredients to make sure it will not cause a reaction to your skin. For example, my mom is allergic to ragweed which shares the same family as chamomile. For this reason, I avoided adding it to the blend out of consideration for this allergy.

No matter what, have fun while making this DIY. There are many possibilities just by changing the ingredients. If you discover a mix, share it in the comments or over Instagram/twitter. Sharing is caring.
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February 6, 2017

Best post from the Year of the Monkey

Year of the Monkey had many ups and downs, but here is the best posts from that year. Best luck in the new Lunar New Year of the Rooster, in your life, tea, spiritual life and that you seek creativity everywhere.
       Happy Lunar New Year! (Gong Hey Fat Choi! ) We are no longer in the year of the mischievous monkey. The year of the rooster is said to bring about change away from the craziness of the monkey (want more info check out Astrostyle for a glimpse into this new year ). Last year sure had its ups and downs. I sure know that I felt the mischievous monkey adding craziness to my own life (I am born in the year of the Rabbit). Tea Journey felt it the most as I was still working through anxiety and depression for the earlier part of the year. But on the bright side it let me re frame how I went about creating posts and the content I wanted to create.

        I have said that I wanted to get right down to the soul of tea many times, and in various ways. It was not till that break that I was able to reframe and find that place where both this blog and I were happy. Over the course of this year there will be changes to Tea Journey but it will be all for the good. For those of you who have noticed the lack of tea on here, it is because of this reframing.
      I truly want to go into the tea lifestyle of sages and modernize it. Many of us tea fanatics just stop short of understanding what lies beyond our cup that we forget about what truly makes it so special for so many around the world. I dearly hope you will stick around and come with me for this journey.

How to become a better person with Sen no Rikyu's 4 principals of Japanese tea

Jump Start your own Tea Journey with these books on Tea

Releasing 2016 and greeting 2017 (Free new year planer printable)

Picking your word of the year (Free year ahead printable planner)

Three quick and easy ways to add a creative touch to a gift

Simple self care ideas for after a busy day

Create this for the Lunar New Year: Tea infused Liquor

Why you need to attend Networking Confrences Now

  What stood out last year (think beyond this blog) for you? No matter that it may be , share it in the comments or over instagram/twitter. Shout it out loud and be proud for the good that has come your way. Many wishes for you to have even more good come to you.
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February 2, 2017

How you can reach your goals with monthly check ins (Free Printable)

(Free Printable) Reflecting on your goals at regular intervals is important for reaching them. We will give you the questions to answer and why they are important.


     Hello February! New Month of the new year, it is time to reflect on those goals we made. Many of us set goals. Some write them down (pat on yourself on your back if you joined us and wrote them down). Very few check-in and reflect on them at regular intervals. These facts are truth of goal setting, but we are going to make sure you reach those goals. And we got a printable to help you do it. To guide you along here are some questions you need to answer and why their are important to this reflection process.  It is standard printing size, and super easy to resize for a planner or anywhere you want to keep these materials. This printable is available through this link, grab it and lets start checking in.

What goals were you going after last month?

      Right away identify which goals you were going after in the previous month. For example, I wanted to have posts planned out two months ahead, go to the Toronto Tea Festival and save money (new laptop and trip to Montreal). Write it down so you can get clear about what you planned to get done. Add in some smaller goals as well that are easy to complete. Mine was a new headshot and going to the Tea Festival. Easy to do but still should be on your goal sheet.

Where are you at with them?

      Let’s be honest here, setbacks happen. When it comes to goals it is best to be honest about where you are with them. There is no judgement. Look at it and try to identify what problems arose.
I personally noticed a problem with my first goal, it did not state to what extent it was planned out. I have ideas planned out for those two months and some posts written but not everything is done. If you had a similar problem keep that in mind and adjust your goal for the new month ahead.

Were there any unplanned achievements made?

    Look hard at what happened over the course of the past month, everyone has those amazing things that just come to us. Unplanned achievements need to be celebrated. They make us feel good because we completed something that was on our list but not necessarily planned for that month.
I had been putting off picking up iron pills for months now, but I made the decision one day to just do it. While it was a small victory, I am so glad that I have as I feel healthier for it. Lesson is celebrate those accomplishments no matter how small they may seem.

What goals are you going after now?

        Its time to prepare for the month ahead. Start by carrying over goals. They may be multiple month goals or just need a bit more for completion. Drop these in and then decide what new ones you want to add.
For example I am carrying over taking a new headshot but adding a few new ones. These include: taking a taxes prep class (from the New School of Finance, I see you Shannon keep it up), compete a manifesto, quit smoking before 30 (its my mission for 2017) and even some smaller marketing goals.

    A blanket goal I have for 2017 is reaching out more to you guys over social media, in person etc. I have been identified with social anxiety and really want to make the effort to break free (without giving myself an attack). Sundays Tea Festival was a bit much all at once, but I am proud of myself for identifying that I needed space to ground myself again.

    Take steps your yourself this month. I know you too can reach your goals this year (or any year). Be honest with yourself but face your fears where ever you can. I am rooting for each and everyone of you.

      Share your progress through the comments, twitter or instagram and tag me. I look forward to seeing the progress you have made and root for you as we go through 2017.
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January 27, 2017

Create this for the Lunar New Year : Tea Infused Liquor

Welcome the Lunar New Year with a custom liquor infused with your favorite tea. Great as a DIY gift or even a unique offering for a party.

With the Lunar New year around the corner, I thought a little fun with our tea was in order. Last year my boss and I experimented with infusing alcohol with different teas (yes and it was the best end of shift ever). We had a whole prohibition ladies night event and all. The favorite was Baileys and earl gray. But I wanted to experiment with something a little outside of the norm for my hometown (just for me, and if you make it you too).

Sencha infused Sake was what came out of my experiments. The two go so well together that it, that it is the perfect pairing with dumplings for the New Year. So either head over to pick up some sake or even try an experiment of your own. 

Welcome the Lunar New Year with a custom liquor infused with your favorite tea. Great as a DIY gift or even a unique offering for a party.


All you need is


Liquor
A Mason jar
Tea of your choice

All you need to do is

1. Measure 1 tsp per 1/2 cup of liquor into a clean mason jar

eg. 500ml (2 cups) needs 4 tsp

2. Seal up jar and label with date and mix

3. Store in the fridge. Leave traditional teas for no longer than 24 hours, herbal blends can be left to desired taste

4. Strain and serve

Welcome the Lunar New Year with a custom liquor infused with your favorite tea. Great as a DIY gift or even a unique offering for a party.

Tips


  • Drink within 2-4 days, for greener teas

  • More oxidized teas seem to last longer when infused into liquor

  • Give a bottle as a gift to other tea lovers

  • Bring to a party (why not)

  • Finally, experiment. Adjust to your taste just as you would with normal tea

This is a great way to use up old tea that has been sitting around or you want to branch out a bit with. A final idea for this is to use the blend in mixed drinks, I personally think that a touch of a fruit juice or fruity liquor would go well with the sencha/sake. Giving it a unique new dimension to its natural vegetal notes.


Leave a comment or tag me on Instagram or twitter if you try this out. Keep steeping everyone.
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January 16, 2017

4 principals of Japanese Tea (Sado) that will help you become a better version of yourself

There is a lot to learn from japnese Tea ceremony. The best place to start is Sen No Rikyuu's 4 Principals which you can easily use in your life now to become a better version of yourself.

Since the beginning of my tea journey Japanese tea has been a focus. I feel for Sen no Rikyu's vision of tea and how relations in the tea room should be. If you are new to tea or its your first time hearing about Rikyu then let me give you a bit of some points to start out.

  Rikyu lived during the Sengoku period which was very war stricken in Japan. Why is this point important? There was a very distinct divide between classes. Samurai, Aristocrats, Farmers etc were all in different classes with set expectations on how to interact between them. 

 But Rikyu was a rebel and began to teach that everyone is treated equally in the tea room (yup even the Aristocrat had to treat a farmer as an equal). It removed barriers and became even more ingrained into the Japanese Tea Ceremony. 

  To build further on his concept of equality, 4 principles were developed. These four are still taught to students of Tea Ceremony. For us we can use these four to change how we interact with each other and grow as a society together. Start with yourself by setting an example for those around you by taking these four in to your heart and making them part of your truth.

WA - Harmony

With his hope that tea guests respected each other no matter who they were, even the Shogun became an equal in the tea room. With that everyone played their part which contributed to the larger picture.
For modern times, working towards seeing everyone as equals and treating them as such. Also working along side with others by striving to have a harmonious relationship.  

  Apply this to your own life by letting status, dress, job/career etc not effect how you interact with those around you. After working a few years in Toronto's Financial district, everyone was an equal. But that does not mean that I had moments where I slipped. When it happened I told myself that those identifiers had no meaning to who that person was when they are taken away (yes I had to ignore that great Kate Spade bag in the moment). Closing my eyes, breath in and out and try again.

KEI - Respect

Can you already see how these all link up together? Respect is something that we all wish to have from those around us. But have you thought about applying it to the world around you?  Rikyuu fostered not only mutual respect amongst participants and host, but also of the tea space and tools. 

Respecting tools was very important (okay any item) as it was widely  believed that after 100 years of its life it could come alive, while it is superstitious. It became common practice to repair items many many times till it was no longer usable. Once that time was up it would be given a little something like a memorial, in thanks for its service. 
   
 Now I am not saying being superstitious about your belonging, I am saying take care of them and thank them for their help once you are done with them. The KonMari cleaning craze even promotes thanking items, which the author also cites the same reasoning as I just did. The item has done so much for you. It may seem odd to thank them but would you not thank a friend for helping you? Treat everything around us with respect, people and the things around us.

SEI - Purity

  I previously made a reference to KonMari, this is a great example for purity.  While you may have thought I was going to point towards meditation or tea, cleaning our space is just as important. One problem we have (I do too) is too much stuff. We have so much that it is nearly impossible to keep things tidy and clean. 

An idea from KonMari is to only keep what brings you joy. Yes you read that right joy. Not "I might need this" or "I am going to use this someday". All those excuses need to go. Keep just what brings you joy. Like makes you feel all bubbly inside and adoration. The rest needs to get gone (don't forget to thank them) or be donated. There after you will be able to keep things pure and tidy.

  In Japanese Tea Ceremony it is traditional to clean all the instruments infront of guests. Now they are clean before starting but it is to show the purity and respect towards the tools. Give yourself (and your mind) a "cleaning" buy tidying your space.

JAKU- Tranquility

 As you may have guessed this is where (finally) meditation comes in. But I am going to also say that it does not need to be traditional meditation. Tranquility is cultivating calmness, quiet and being serene. If traditional meditation is not your thing this is for you.  

  Last week we talked about self care, those are amazing ideas to use to cultivate tranquility. We really zone out as we dive into something to just pamper ourselves. Or if you are a creative (any type of creative practice), get lost for a while as you make something new. For me that has been creating things for my planner, creating printables (for you all), scrapbooking, painting... you get the idea. 
   In Rikyuu's terms this would have been traditional meditation but there is so much more out there that we can do to live up to the definition of the word.

There is so much to learn from Japanese Tea Ceremony and its masters. I hope that you enjoyed this post as much as I enjoyed writing it for you.
If you have any comments please share them either below or over twitter. I can not wait to hear from you. 
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January 11, 2017

Simple self care ideas for after a busy day

Keeping up with what is around us bogs us down so much over time. We get up, rush to eat (or not at all) and then commute to work, have all sorts of things happen throughout our day, come home and then. BAM. We find ourselves exhausted and unable to push to do this vs for ourselves. At least we believe it to be so, I know I do very often. 

Grab some great idea for your self care (or me time) no matter how busy your day is. Enjoy this list of simple self care ideas and treat yourself to some zen.

I work in the evenings, so my mornings range from getting a things done for Tea Journey to going out with my Mom (when else would I find the time?). Head to work to workout then help other clients and then clean and head home. Tired, hungry and I just want to lay down. Once bedtime rolls around I wonder where all that time went and wish I could have done more. But there is no real need. Do we need to binge watch a new show or play pokemon in bed (please tell me its not just me that does this)? We can use these moments while home to slow down and do a few things to make ourselves feel refreshed and more in tune with ourselves.

Self care, is not a bad thing. Yet it feels like we unconsciously feel we never have time for ourselves. Here are a few things you can do to get some self care in and be more able to handle the world around us.

Face mask

Sheet masks are everyone's friend (yes guys too). In the packet is a sheet with cut outs for your eyes, nose and mouth. All you have to do is place it on your face and let it work. With all the assortments out there you will find one for you. Plus if you want it to stay on while doing a task (dishes, laundry….) Then there is this great gizmo that will keep it on while you get things done. 

Another alternative is a cream face mask. I love my mask from lush (Mask of Magnaminty), winter is so harsh to our skin, this one moisturizes and cleanses. When you wash it off after about 10-15 minutes, your skin feels great and overall you will feel refreshed.

Yogic breathing

Practicing for just even a minute will help your mind feel clearer. It is my go to tool throughout the day (especially after 100+ crunches). It will help relax your muscles and can even be done in bed to help you get to sleep. To do this one breath in to fill your belly and then finally your lungs. Hold for a few seconds then, slowly breath out. Do this a few times to get used to it and it will be your secret tool throughout the day.

Moisturizing Creams

While I love the changing of seasons, dry skin sucks. Recently I picked up a lovely cream (Karma Kream) from lush that smells just divine. It's a light scent so no worries. Every night I put it on, not always everywhere but I do what I can. When able I massage my feet which really helps prime the body for sleep. There are so many acupuncture points on them that it makes sense why it just feels good.

Bath after a shower

While I am not able to do this often ( 4 people, one house and one bathroom) it is such a luxury to just soak in the tub. A few drops of essential oils and epson salt or a bath bomb , totally like a spa. To get the most out of this one turn off the light and light a candle or don't and read a juicy book with a cup of tea.

Glass of wine or a cup of tea

Nothing is better than either of these. I love taking the time to put together everything on a small tray (sometimes even a snack) and lounge on my bed with a book (or audio book). No work just something for me. Or at dinner (menu pending) I will even take the time to pair it with either tea or wine. It makes something I have to do into an experience which is less regimented.

There is always time for ourselves in our day, we just have to let it happen. Take time for yourself and give yourself some love that it deserves.
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December 31, 2016

Releasing 2016 and Welcoming 2017 (Free New Year Planner Printable)

There is something magical about releasing one year and welcoming another. We make plans and goals for the coming year to create a better life for ourselves. Continually through out our lives we determine what we want to leave behind and what to bring into our lives.
As promised I have created a quick and easy New Years Printable to let go of the current year and welcome in 2017. My favorite part is the gaiwan painted sketch I added and the list for the new year.  Let's look both pages over together, so grab the file and print it out (fit to page will give you the best result).
Got a few minutes before it hits midnight? Use these printable to let go of the previous year and welcome 2017 with a soulful plan to achieve your dreams.

Releasing 2016

  To let go of 2016 I picked statements that are simple but also reflective. The year was full of twists and turns but we got through it. Now is the time to look over the year with fresh eyes as it comes to a close.  My favorite memory was receiving my camera and spending time with close friends in Toronto late fall. Before both of those moments I had so much self-doubt in my abilities and was weighed down by it. It was through photography and my new job that I let it go. There is so much that each and everyone of us can do. We just have to let go of that voice that tells us otherwise. Doing so helps us realize something incredible about ourselves, that we can do anything. Looking over the previous year lets us see how much we grew and what we achieved. Only then can we go forward with an open heart.

Download the New Year Planner Printable

Welcoming 2017

  Now that we let 2016 close, we can begin to prepare for an amazing New Year in 2017. Dig deep, what do you want to accomplish, feel and release? When I started to fill out my own sheet I started with the list. I listed out things that I wanted, places or events I wanted to attend, creativity goals etc. My favorite thing on the list is creating my own stickers to use for my planner or give away. A creative focused goal always ends up on my list every year (sometimes more).  Every time I do this I look at it regularly for the first few months and then forget about it. Once October or November roll around I look it over. It is surprising the amount of things can be accomplished when we answer soulful statements. They dig into us and stay, then through out the year we somehow accomplish them. It is an amazing thing. But if we want to ensure everything (or most) things get done then lets make these goals and ideas into real plans.

Making Goals into Plans

Earlier this week I released a word of the year planner page. If you got it then then perfect, if not grab it and lets make this year count. On your welcoming 2017 page you listed out things you will do this year and other promises to your soul. With the year planner page jot down those promises, or break them down if needed. For example, one of my goals is to save up money for Blogpodium next year. For January I have put that I would print out the 52 or 26 week savings challenge stickers for my planner. Then from there I would just need to put reminders to check my progress for other months.
  Another goal is to go to continue to develop Tea Journey as a brand. I have put a "due date" in February, now this may change due to other life things that pop up but I have a blueprint. With this baby I can move things around and even prioritize what needs to get done each month.


Let me know if you would like a mini planner to track your progress with your goals and to celebrate unplanned achievements.

Happy New Year everyone! Here is to a great 2017!

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December 28, 2016

Picking your word of the year (Free Year Ahead Printable Planner)

Make your year planning simple by beginning with your word of the year with these tips. And a printable planner to draft out the year ahead for a spirited intentional Tea Journey year..
 Are we really this close to the new year? Yikes. It is totally normal to start worrying about goals and plans for the following year when we are this close (like under a week). You are not alone, I have been doing the same thing  for years. But over the last few years I have been gradually adjusting how I go about it. The solution I found was picking a word of the year to shape everything you do through out the new year. Here are a few thoughts that will help you fin your word to frame 2017 to be the best it can be.

   Choose a word with the right intention

  Last year my word was freedom, I felt stuck and restricted by the world around me. My solution was to give myself permission to let go of the pressure from media, past relationships and even negative self talk. It worked, I gradually as the year passed began to speak my truth and do some crazy things that were totally me.  For 2017 I picked the word " Forward", I wanted to progress more with freedom by letting go of the past and really being intentional with the now.
   

Choose an action word or an emotion

 Both my words for 2016 and 2017 were very contrasting. This closing year was an emotion that I desperately needed in my life, and 2017 is very action oriented. It kinda makes me want to dance as it has so much movement to it (why not right?).  There is no wrong or right answer for this, as it really depends on the word you choose.
  For example if you want to be more loving then choose "love" or turn it into an action by choosing "loving" or "caring".

Display your word throughout the year

   Like any goal or plan you need to see it to keep at it. A constant reminder is very important. I had picked up a flat stone at the beach and wrote my 2016 word on it. The stone still sits at my altar which I look at every morning when I wake up. Seeing the word reinforced my intention to let go and give myself permission to feel freedom.

Plan your year around your word

 Once you have your word you can make a rough plan for the year on paper. I created a printable which you can download to keep everything together. It's super simple to use. Write out your word of the year and main things you want to do every month of 2017.  Draft it out, you do not have to commit to it. Latter this week I will have two more to help you fine tune your plans for the coming year. 


Let's make 2017 even better than 2016, next time we will look over 2016 and let it go. At the same time we will make plans and goals around our word for 2017 for an intentional Tea Journey year. 
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