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.

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.

(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.

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.

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.