Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Tuesday Tea and National Bubble Bath Day

I started my morning with the latest addition of Tea Time Magazine. I love this publication and am so excited and inspired with each issue. I love the Pink Teacups on the front and was inspired to pull my Aynsley one down off the shelf for this mornings me moment and tea.

 I was thrilled to see that Author Sarah Fox's new book Wine and Punishment was mentioned in the magazine! This is on my TBR pile right now! Click here to learn more. 

 Tuesdays in the tea shop for me is tea tin filling day and boy is it one of my most favorite things about working here. Filling the tea tins and the store with the most amazing aromas, this one is our Spa Blend and it tastes as beautiful as it looks. I even brought in my sewing scissors for our ribbons which I was pre cutting for our products today, I thought it was fun to tie some left over on the end of my scissors, just a touch of whimsy...
One of my favorite authors Lorna Barrett, shared that today is National Bubble Bath Day, now that is a day I can get behind for sure! I know what I am going to do later today, I will stop and pick some up on my way home from visiting my dad in hospital tonight.

I found this amazing site http://www.myhealthyhomemadelife.com/relaxing-flower-milk-bath-tea/ with a great recipe for a Flower and Milk bath, I have made these before and I love the idea of making this as part of Bubble Bath day, the Milk does foam so I am counting it as a win and I love the idea of adding tea or flowers to the bath.... Click here for the recipe from My Healthy Homemade Life. 

Thank you for joining me today for a quick cup of tea and a great way to celebrate and include tea in your everyday life. I would love to hear from you so please leave me a comment here or email me at karenmowen@gmail.com

Thursday, January 3, 2019

Rainy Day In The Tea Shop, Murchie's Afternoon...

Today is January 3rd and I am safe and warm in my tea shop, sipping Murchie's Afternoon Blend from my favorite cup and saucer in the shop (I bring my own from home, I maybe moving in one cup and saucer at a time). I am watching and listening to the rain fall as I eat my lunch in a very quiet shop.  Over the last few weeks the shop has been full and busy, but the rain today has slowed down our foot traffic and only a few die hard customers have made it through my doors. 
I have lots to do in the shop so I am not un busy, but I wanted to share a little story of my own from the tea shop about our Murchie's Afternoon Blend... 

Some of you may know that I live in Vancouver, B.C. Canada. Growing up we made trips to Victoria B.C. which is an Island off the West Coast Of Canada and about 2 hours away by Ferry. When I was a young girl I went with my grandmother to a very old and famous hotel called The Empress. This hotel is just steps from the inner harbor in Victoria and moments away from the equally impressive parliament buildings. On one very special occasion, one of a handful of times in my lifetime, we had tea at the  Empress Hotel. That was the first time I ever had Murchie's Best (then called Empress Afternoon Blend) Tea. For me it is one of the most iconic teas Murchie's makes. This blend of Ceylon, Keemun and Darjeeling teas has an effervescent quality and a clean rich taste.

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:The_Empress,_Victoria,_BC.jpg

Years later (about 19 actually) my grandmother was dying from bone cancer and she lived in Ontario which is about 3,000 miles away, from where I live. I went to Murchie's and purchased the tea now called Murchie's Afternoon for her and mailed it so that she could again enjoy that tea. My grandmother passed away 5 days after my first son was born, almost 18 years ago now. It is nice to have this tea memory and to know that the recipe has not changed even though the name and packaging has changed, the taste is still perfection. 

Thank you for joining me for a cup of tea and a tale from the tea shop. I would love to hear from you so please leave me a comment here or email me at karenmowen@gmail.com 

Monday, December 31, 2018

It's what you don't see...

As I write this my cat Squirrel is sitting beside me, a pot of vanilla tea to my left with my teacup shown above, and a blue and pink sky in my view over the top of my laptop. I started my day, this the last day of 2018 with a smile and a laugh, you see my alarm went off and Squirrel, sleeping beside me, moaned. The comfort and humor in that I shall carry with me the rest of the year, literally, it is the last day of 2018 and what a year it has been. Sounds perfect right?


A friend posted on social media on Christmas Eve, a week ago,  something that has stayed with me and reminds me of  how important it is to remember that everyone is fighting a battle and war that you may not see. Someone wrote my friend with the best of intentions and said, " Your life looks so perfect, you really have it all together, I wish I could be just like you". Her response of just how unperfect her life really was gave me pause for thought and time to reflect.


I once was told that I should feel shame in posting as often and as much as I do. That I promote an unattainable lifestyle and that in doing what I love, I hurt others.

In hindsight think that was more a reflection of the person commenting then the truth. My life is just like many of you...



The truth is this. for me, like many others, blogging, instagram and social media have been a life line to the outside world, an outlet and a creative gift. Reading as many books as I have been able too has allowed me the freedom to experience 500 lives and adventures when really I have had to stay put. Each cup of tea has been a repreve and an adventure, a comfort in a less than perfect world. It gave me a much needed escape from everyday life and it introduced me to a community of like minded, lovely people who share similar interests and experiences.


It is what you don't see, in what I don't share,  that I hope you will understand, the struggle for all of us is real. My table with the beautiful photos of my tea cup in the morning, often is not a true reflection of the bigger picture. You see what I want you to see. This is all I share because the rest of my table is cluttered, often with last nights dishes, the cats, and all the other stuff that collects on every surface of my tables.  The piles of laundry, dishes, and clutter, I usually keep to myself.

The doctors appointments, the hospital trips, the therapy sessions, the bills, the clutter and the mess, is what I don't often share. But it is very real. Work, life, balance, the struggle is real. We all try to keep this part of our lives to ourselves. I promise, my life is not perfect, and I am doing the best I can but with each photo, each cup of tea, I am surviving and grateful for those who kindly care enough to check in with me and who like, read or enjoy the moments of joy that I create in a life full of Chaos and normality.

May 2019 bring you clarity, comfort, joy, great cups of tea, wonderful reads and true friendships.
Thank you,
Karen

Saturday, December 29, 2018

Bones Behind The Wheel by E.J. Copperman

E.J. Copperman has a new book out in a series I love, this one is called Bones Behind the Wheel. I love this haunted guest house series, by far one of the best paranormal series out there and written in such an endearing way. The characters both living and not, are so relatable and feel so real. The mysteries surrounding this magical haunted guest house are enough to make me want to book a week there just to experience the goings on of the crew at Alison's guest house. Even if you don't believe in ghosts, this series will make you truly appreciate all that ghosts have to offer those of us in the living world. I love this series and I loved this book. This one is out January 8th and you can find it on Amazon by clicking here.  



Innkeeper Alison Kerby is determined to keep her mind, body, and soul focused on bringing high-spirited hospitality to her lodgers at the Haunted Guesthouse. She simply has no time for any more murder investigations, no matter what Paul Harrison, her resident ghost detective, says. But this time, the mystery comes looking for Alison. Workers unearth a 1977 Lincoln Continental buried in the sand behind Alison’s guesthouse—and they discover a skeleton still belted in behind the steering wheel. Paul, of course, is on the cold case—to the extent that a ghostly gumshoe can be—but Alison is still determined not to do the incorporeal investigator’s legwork. Not this time. But her new husband Josh is intrigued, and he offers to help Paul poke into the case of the cold Continental. Uh-oh…has Josh caught the investigation bug? It’s a harsh wake-up call for a harried businesswoman who’d thought she’d told the detective life to hit the road. What can go wrong? How about everything? As Alison dodges stray bullets, discovers a gun in the guesthouse, and reluctantly probes a decades-old murder that turns out to be shockingly relevant even today, her specter inspector tries to keep her spirits up. But as she searches for the key to unlock the case, is Alison headed for her final check-out? Make a reservation to find out in Bones Behind the Wheel, the tenth fun-filled Haunted Guesthouse mystery from national bestselling author E. J. Copperman.

Thank you for joining me for a cup of tea and a cozy mystery I would love to hear from you so please leave me a comment here or email me at karenmowen@gmail.com

Friday, December 28, 2018

Dark Corner By Vicki Vass...

One of the most extraordinary things about life is how chance encounters lead to unimaginable adventures. Not so many years back I was introduced to the most amazing of authors, Vicki Vass, through my friend Lisa Kelley. I devoured books that Vicki wrote like potato chips and came to have admire and be inspired by her writing. I reached out to her through social media and an amazing thing happened. Somehow, the books I had come to love, I ended up a character in. This is one of the coolest things that has ever happened to me.
Book two in the Witch Cat Mystery Series arrived early in December and was the most exciting paranormal reads of 2018. I love the premise of this series,  the story line, the setting and of course the characters! Lending my name and my familiar to the story, gave me an unbelievable sense of excitement in a book that gave me hours of joy and mystery. We lose ourselves in books but we find ourselves there also...
I hope to be as "badass" as my character is in Dark Corner, and I hope it is not my last time in this amazing series. If you love witches, if you love cats, if you love magic, adventure and hope. This is a series you need to pick up and read. Vicki Vass is truly talented and magical in every way!
Evil has awoken in Asheville, North Carolina, and Terra Rowan must prepare the Ladies of the Biltmore Society for battle. With her familiar, Pixel, a crooked leg fluffy orange cat, and her apprentice Abigail Oakhaven, a stubborn teenage girl with a bloodline dating back to the beginning of time, she begins their journey. The witch hunters have come to the Appalachian Mountains in search of the last witch of Salem. The magic of the mountains can no longer protect her and her coven. She must travel to the one place on earth that holds the secret to save mankind – Dark Corner.Combining elements from different cultures, Appalachian folklore, Celtic legends, Native American mysticism, Dark Corner continues its new witch mythology while staying true to the realm of cozy mystery. Terra Rowan is a witch trapped between worlds and lost in time.

Thank you for joining me for a cup of tea and a cozy mystery review. I would love to hear from you so please leave  me a comment here or email me at karenmowen@gmail.com

Thursday, December 27, 2018

Surviving the holidays, how about you?


What a difference a year makes, working full time in the tea shop over the holidays has been a delightful treat and so busy. I am just now getting the shop back in order, and sipping some lovely holiday teas, waiting for opening time and the hopes of some regulars dropping by.

I love my job and being in the shop has added to the Christmas magic. Last year I was at home, writing more, reading tons, and having lots of time to promote authors, crafts and tea. Now I with work I have less time for that but the desire to do return to reading and reviewing more than ever. I have also not had much time to read or write. But I did get in a quick tea with Santa before he retired...


I have finished two books that I will write reviews with and share shortly with you all, I have also taken a course, worked crazy retail hours and managed to stay joyful this holiday season, and I am exhausted.

I hope that the holiday has been good to you and that you too are surviving the holidays.
Happy Reading, Writing, Crafting, sipping and hopefully staying in your PJ's to all of you,
Karen

Monday, December 10, 2018

In Peppermint Peril by Joy Avon

I have to apologize for not posting in quite some time. In the vortex of Christmas, retail, working and illness, I did manage to read and enjoy In Peppermint Peril.
This new book and series by Joy Avon was a delightful distraction. I really enjoyed this new cozy, set at Christmas and about tea, family and perception, I felt at home in this first in series. I can not wait to see where the next story goes. I really enjoyed how honest the main character is and how she made the best of the mystery, situation and her life. I am going to look forward to reading this series for I hope a very long time. This tea and real mystery book is out now. You can find it on Amazon.com by clicking here ( I am not an affiliate) 

This Christmas, Callie Aspen returns to her childhood hideout Heart's Harbor, Maine where her great aunt runs Book Tea, a vintage tearoom where every sweet treat contains a bookish clue. Upon arrival in the fairy-tale snowy town, Callie is drawn into the preparations for a special tea party at Haywood Hall, the rambling house of Heart's Harbor's oldest resident, rich but lonely widow Dorothea Finster, who invited her estranged relatives, old friends and the elite of the town to make a mysterious announcement about her will. Believing they can touch a part of her fortune, everybody is determined to come, despite not liking each other or even their hostess. And Callie's old friend Sheila complicates things by using the tea party to announce her daughter's engagement, even though her daughter isn't sure she's in love with the young lawyer her mother thinks so perfect for her. Catering to people who each have their own agenda isn't easy for the Book Tea crew, especially once the valuable engagement ring goes missing and a dead body turns up in the conservatory. Can Callie and her great aunt use their love of clues to dig into the crimes and show their unhappy hostess and squabbling guests the true Christmas spirit?

Thank you for joining me for a cup of tea and a cozy mystery, I would love to hear from you so please leave me a comment here or email me at karenmowen@gmail.com