Sunday, August 2, 2015

Tea Review: Ceremonial Emerald Matcha by Midori Spring

What is Matcha? Matcha is a powdered form of green tea. It's the highest concentration of green tea you will ever drink. Because of this, the amount of antioxidants in Matcha are astronomical in comparison to normal green tea. (Nope. Not all antioxidants are created equal.) There are antioxidants called catechins, and they are more potent than any other antioxidant. Matcha has over 100x the amount of catechins than regular green tea.

And that's just the beginning. Matcha also has these amazing health benefits:

  • Due to the amino acid L-Theanine found in the leaves, which contributes to relaxation (minus the drowsiness), Matcha leaves you feeling extremely relaxed.
  • You're going to burn calories, since Matcha increases your metabolism.
  • Matcha will also increase your energy levels, thanks to the natural caffeine found in green tea.
  • It lowers your bad cholesterol and elevates your good cholesterol.
  • Once Matcha detoxifies your body, your immune system will thank you. Matcha removes toxins, as well as heavy metals. And as far as your immune system goes, Matcha contains high amounts of Vitamins A and C, Iron, Calcium, and Potassium.

The product came in two parts: one separate, sealed bag, and one tin. Since this product is USDA Certified Organic, I store it in the refrigerator to keep it as fresh as possible.

One of the great things about this specific Matcha is that I can bake with it, which means instead of drinking it, I could be eating it. In pancakes. In muffins. Heck, I could mix it in with some homemade ice cream, if I wanted!

Another great thing about this Matcha? It's also gluten-free, Kosher Certified, and Vegan Certified, with absolutely no GMO's.

For more information about Midori Spring, their products, and the process they go through to create Matcha, please click this link.

If you're interested in purchasing this product, please click this link.

I received this product in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

French Press Review: French Press Coffee Maker with Glass Carafe and Sturdy Metal Frame by FP Coffee Makers/Lake House Products

I've always wanted to try a French press, so I was excited for this opportunity.

Let's start with the design. This French press has a glass carafe and a metal frame. Even though the box indicates it's dishwasher safe, I decided to wash this by hand. I just didn't want to risk breaking the glass (it's not that the glass is thin, it's just a better-be-safe-than-sorry move). There are "feet" on the bottom, so there's no wobbling, and the handle is solid. Inside, there's a fine mesh filter, so no coffee grounds escape. When you're ready to clean up, you can just wash off the filter, or disassemble the actual "press" portion and stick it in your dishwasher, making clean-up a breeze. This particular French press holds up to 32 ounces of coffee. If counting each cup as 4 ounces, you'll get 8 cups out of each brew.

But what about the actual coffee? How does it taste? I've had coffee brewed in both a traditional coffee maker and a percolator, and in comparison, this French press makes a very smooth brew. No grounds were present, either. I enjoyed making my cup of Joe this way, and I foresee making my coffee this way in the future.

Thank you, Lake House Products, for allowing me to review this French press. I received this product in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.

If you would like to purchase this product, please click the link below:

*This post contains an affiliate link*

Monday, July 20, 2015

Tea Review: Mrs. Patmore's Pudding Tea (Downton Abbey) by Republic of Tea

As soon as I saw that The Republic of Tea had a Downton Abbey themed line of tea, I knew I had to buy at least one to try. I chose Mrs. Patmore's Pudding Tea. It's labeled as a "decadent dessert tea," something you'd have after dinner in place of that favorite slice of cake, cookie, or brownie (or maybe even coupled with one of these). Honestly, dessert tea is not something I'd had before. I'm used to sweet tea (living in the South), green tea, and some herbal teas. So, this was my very first experience, and I have to say, I'll be drinking it again.

Let's start with the packaging. It's pretty straightforward: there's a gold-colored lid that pops off. Inside are 36 tea bags. The great thing about The Republic of Tea is they package their teas in airtight tins. When you're finished with said tea, instead of throwing away the tin, you can purchase refills at a lower price than what it'd cost to buy a new tin. Plus, who doesn't want a cute tea tin in their house, especially one inspired by Downton Abbey?

The tea bags themselves are unbleached sacks, free of any envelopes, tags, strings, or staples. The Republic of Tea prides themselves on being certified gluten-free, and the majority of their teas are carb-free, sugar-free, and non-GMO. Their tea leaves are of the highest quality, and are grown on tea plantations around the world. 

The actual drinking experience was enjoyable. A sweet aroma left my cup before I ever took a sip. Mrs. Patmore's Pudding Tea is supposed to taste like vanilla sponge cake drizzled in a rich caramel sauce. I had read that a splash of milk in this tea is amazing, but honestly, I haven't tried it yet. Definitely next time, though!

Ingredients: black tea, sweet blackberry leaves, carob bits, natural caramel and vanilla flavors.

Check out The Republic of Tea's website at, or you can purchase their products on Amazon. If you're on Instagram or Twitter, check out their hashtag #sipbysip.

*This is not a sponsored post. I purchased this product with my own money.*
*This post contains an affiliate link.*

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Travel Blog/Vlog + Future Travel Plans

Traveling the world is something I've wanted to do for a while. It's not just a major goal--it's a major dream. To be honest, though, I haven't had the money to travel, but I do plan on increasing my workload and marketing strategies for my books. I'm crossing my fingers these will pay off, so I can pull a Bilbo Baggins and go on an adventure.

Okay, I want more than one adventure. I want to roam different continents, experience other cultures and traditions, eat flavorful foods and drink amazing beverages. I want to meet people who I may never see again, learn foreign words (maybe even several new languages), and most of all, I want to be able to come back home, knowing pieces of my heart are forever scattered across the world, trapped in the beautiful places I've visited.

As far as travel plans go, I want to do something different. The majority of people feel like they need to buy a plane ticket and travel to some distant corner of the world to experience adventure, but I disagree. I think we have plenty to see and do in our own backyards (no matter where you are in the world). That's why I plan on buying an RV and traveling across the U.S. for many years prior to ever setting foot in Canada, the U.K., Europe, Africa, the Middle East, Asia, Australia, or New Zealand. I'll definitely visit those places someday, but I want to explore my own country first. The United States has a lot to offer as far as topography goes, and honestly, I can't wait to see it all!

Now, does this affect my writing in any way, shape, or form? No. I will continue writing until I physically can't anymore, or I die, whichever comes first. The same goes for reading. This blog isn't going anywhere. Once I start traveling, however, I'll have two blogs to manage instead of just one.

This won't happen right away, but it's a major life goal that I wanted to share with you guys, so I'm hoping to change my life's course within the next year.

If you would like to follow my journey, my travel blog is, or you can find me on these social media sites:

Pack your bags and come with me? :)

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Coffee and Tea-Related Posts Forthcoming

This isn't something I've done in the past, as I've always stuck to book reviews and writing tips, but this year, I wanted to try something new with my blog: I wanted to review coffee and tea-related items.

Coffee and tea go hand in hand with books. We sit at caf├ęs and sip our favorite hot beverages, while browsing the internet on our laptops, or curling up with our latest read. So, it only makes sense to feature products that coincide with writing and books.

Every day, I wake up and brew coffee, like millions of other people around the world. A lot of people wake up and heat water in a kettle on their stove, preparing to pour it over their favorite tea blend. Whichever way you prefer, they're pretty much a necessity to get the day started.

I hope you all share my love for coffee and tea as much as you share my love for books.

If you aren't already following me on social media sites, here are some quick links:

I'll be posting pictures on these sites of all my latest coffee and tea reviews.

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