There are choices and pathways to take. You discover that following a storm a couple of years ago, the easiest paths may be closed, but you might only find out when you’ve walked through them for a couple of minutes. You’re excited for the adventure, wary, not sure how much you can handle or if you were completely awake when you made the decision to come here. But here you are.

The start is hard. Harder than you feel it should be. You may wonder if this was a bad idea, if you bit more than you could chew, if you had better give up now before embarrassing yourself.

Some parts are dangerous – this is not just a perception – you are risking a lot in this challenge. Have you strayed off your path? Check for signs and you will find them. When walking on such paths, you must keep your eyes on your feet, checking only the immediate next step. Looking forward or at the view is distracting and dangerous, it may cause a loss of footing. Looking back may be equally disorienting.

Stairs and steps may be uneven, narrow, slippery. Sometimes you may need to lean on someone or grab a helping hand. Accept help.

Accept the need for occasional rest. Rest is not ‘giving up’. To enjoy the view, ensure safety and stop completely. Rest is brief, it is only long enough to catch your breath. Don’t worry if you need to stop for a minute until someone gets by you.

Still the mind, listen to your own rhythm.

You won’t believe how far you’ve come, even if the road felt long and challenging. You won’t believe the view. Even if your body aches, you will look at the journey and feel proud.

There’s something about the end of September that brings about a certain nostalgia. Perhaps it’s that feeling that lingers from our younger days, where going back to school would signify excitement for some, and dread for others. And even if those days are long gone, the start of a new season, anticipating the cold, certainly brings a need for added comfort.


Enter tea. The British notoriously use tea for most situations, and I’m starting to appreciate their point. Tea makes you pause for a moment, and let’s face it – most of us do with a little pause several times a day. Take a minute, sip, decide on your next move without rushing. Yes, I’m starting to catch on to that frame of mind.

The name is striking – Celestial Seasonings – and the packaging artistic and attractive. In fact, with a history behind each iconic painting used for the packaging, you just feel that you’re on the right track trusting these tea producers. The boxes are printed on 100% recycled paperboard with 35% post-consumer content. The botanicals are purchased ethically, supporting the people and places in the world that produce their ingredients. These issues are increasingly important nowadays.

The good news doesn’t stop there – there are so many different teas to choose from. Today I’ll focus on two that have made me happy. I’m looking forward to discovering more and adding to my collection!


Dirty Chai Tea

For those times when you could do with a refresher and a gentle boost, whilst still enjoying a comforting taste… meet the tea with added coffee. Yes, that’s right – this special blend contains 40% black tea, a mixture of spices and 10% espresso. That means that you can get 46mg of caffeine in each brew, with a delicious flavour that you can enjoy while it perks you up. Incidentally, this tea bag will give you two cups of tea (or a pot) and infuses very quickly. Now what did they mean when they said that you can’t have your cake and eat it?

Sleepytime Vanilla and Sleepytime Blackberry Pomegranate

My beef with teas that are meant to promote sleep has always been the taste. If I cannot drink it, then it’s not going to get to work. The clever people at Celestial Seasonings in Boulder Colorado have managed to infuse this tea with a vanilla (and blackberry pomegranate) flavour that lulls you into a gentle sleep without any hangover sleepy feeling. I would recommend this if you have trouble sleeping, or even if you feel that you need help winding down after being on the go all day. A restful sleep will set you up to be able to better face the day ahead.

Last night I was invited to Costa Coffee to sample their Christmas menu for this year. We were greeted with 5 different desserts and 3 hot drinks to taste. Now if you’ve been following my posts, you will know that I’ve been following a low sugar diet (for health more than aesthetic reasons!) so I was a bit nervous and equally excited to taste these sugary treats. The staff was patient enough to let me cut tiny pieces and have just sips of the drinks. Rest assured, ladies and gents, that this took a lot of will power, because my taste buds went wild with the delicious things presented to me.

Since I was there to give my opinion I will tell you about my favourites: it was a hard choice between the Mini Mince Pies and the Orange & Cranberry Muffins, both tasting just like they had been made at home in a warm kitchen.

The Caramel Fudge Hot Chocolate was the hardest to put down I’d say (ok, maybe I had 3 sips of this one) because not only did it look really pretty with that thin layer of chocolate weave that started to melt as I drank, but it tasted of the best chocolate-y goodness. Did you know that Costa source chocolate from rainforest alliance certified farms? Which means from farms that are more sustainable and where farmers are paid fairly.

Having said that about the hot chocolate, if I was writing in there right now and wanted a treat, I would opt for the Gingerbread & Cream Latte – served with tiny golden chocolate stars. I think that this was my absolute favourite. But I may need to try it again… with a Mini Mince Pie… just to be sure… 😉

Incidentally, Costa Coffee is giving Istrina 25c from every pack of Mini Mince Pies purchased. So you’ll be doing your bit too.

But of course, don’t forget to walk that sugar off!