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.

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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!

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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.


A foodie goes to New York City –  there are several delicious things to eat. Too many, in fact. Do you know how they say ‘The sky’s the limit’? I guess it was born here.

Places that look like well-kept secrets, with hidden entry-ways and dark atmospheres, are always intriguing.  We met up with a local and went to Decibel. Finding the entrance is tricky, but look for a little ceramic flask drawing (what is known as a tokkuri) and climb down a couple of steps. Once inside, if you can get a crammed table in some dark corner, you’ll barely be able to see the menu, or each other. It gets quite loud at dinner time, but go with it. Just go. Go for the long list of sake and the tasty food. In fact you might feel quite comfortable with a glass of overflowing sake inside you. You might not be able to tell what’s in your dishes, but you’ll care less and less once you’re there. IMG_20150820_023447 IMG_20150820_023741I couldn’t quite get shots of the food, but here are a couple just so you can get a rough idea of the atmosphere. We had a seaweed salad, wasabi pork dumplings, some Japanese pancake of sorts (we couldn’t understand the flavours, but it was delicious), sausage, dried fish, warm tofu, and tuna sashimi accompanied by sake of course.