Japan has many ways to celebrate the seasons and life. Hinamatsuri is held every March 3rd to wish for the well being of daughters.

      The seasons have changed and I have been building anticipation for spring by following along with Japanese celebrations. The one that passed most recently was Hinamatsuri. It loosely translates to Doll’s Festival. The festival is to wish for the happiness and healthy development of the girls in the household. In homes across the country, displays of dolls were put up for this occasion.

       It is a beautiful little celebration that happens the beginning of March, on the third, every year. A display of these dolls that mimic the old capital’s court, where there is even an Emperor and Empress. The display can be elaborate with entire court and treasures or, simply a little display with just the Emperor and Empress. Just by touching the dolls while setting up, it is believed that any illness and bad luck would then be transferred to the dolls instead.

      During this time it is traditional to give candy to the little girls, Hishimochi is most traditional. It is a three-layered mochi. From the top there is pink which is said to expel evil spirits, white represents purity and, green represents wishes for good health. Some say that the Hishimochi layers actually represent the changes to spring. Sakura flowers are represented by pink, snow by the white and green is grass. 


Japan has many ways to celebrate the seasons and life. Hinamatsuri is held every March 3rd to wish for the well being of daughters.
     

       How does this celebration effect the tea world? If you were looking through your suggested photos on Instagram perhaps you saw some from Japan during this time. It was common to see various sweets to celebrate. You can see sweets for tea mimicking the two main characters in the dolls. From dry sweets such as higashi and even moist sweets like nerikiri. They are both beautiful and delicious.

      One last point, these displays are only up till March third, that night it is taken down. It is thought that if the dolls are left out on March fourth that the girls would not marry, have misfortune in marriage prospects etc. This is because the number four is considered bad luck.

        Even though this celebration is over, now is a great time to look for a doll display for next year. I am still looking for one and can not wait to show you. I have been wanting to have displays for all of the seasonal festivities in Japan and took the leap this year. Stay tuned for Hanami.

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!

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?

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.  

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~