April A to Z Blogging Challenge: Tea Leaf Reading Dictionary “H”

A To Z BloggingChallenge-A Is For...Tea Leaf ReadingSymbols (9)

Of course, you love tea in all of its glory – no matter if it is the traditional black tea, the healthy green tea, or the
versatile herbal tea. But do you know exactly how long you should steep your tea for optimal taste and effect?
Let me share some information about tea steeping times with you, right now!

1. Black Tea
Black tea should steep from 3 to 5 minutes. A tea steeped for 3 minutes is rather stimulating while a tea steeped for 5 minutes is calming. If you steep black tea any longer than 5 minutes, then the brew becomes bitter.

2. Green Tea
Green Tea should not steep longer than two minutes, to allow the more delicate tea to truly become delightful. After 3 minutes the tea becomes very bitter. In order to assure the highest flavor do not burn the tea leaves with boiling water, rather allow the water to rest a minute after boiling before adding the tea leaves. Too hot water will also make it bitter.

 

3. Herbal Tea
Herbal tea can be steeped a little longer – 5 to 8 minutes. 10 minutes is the standard for infusions, and teas drank for
health purposes only. If you are simply wanting to enjoy a cup of herbal tea 5 to 8 minutes are sufficient.

4. Fruit tea
After bringing the water to a full boil, allow the fruit tea to steep 6 to 8 minutes to reach its full effect. This is only
recommended for full fruit teas, not fruit/black or fruit/green tea blends. For blends use the steeping time recommended for
the tea type that the fruit is mixed with.

Now, it is time to return to our tea leaf reading symbol dictionary.

Letter H:

Hammer: those little tasks you do not like to take care of are piling up. Do not disregard them, otherwise they will overwhelm you. You tend to procrastinate the little stuff

Hand: a good sign. Potential connection with a new brotherhood or deeper friendship, that lasts for a long time.

Handcuffs: there is trouble on the horizon, without any movement toward getting better. Time to face the consequences of past action

Hat: hats are a good sign that speak of overall success, in rare cases a visitor might show up soon, who brings good news.

Hedge: be persistent in overcoming the obstacles on the way, they are worth the work at the end

Hens: domestic discomfort. This symbol is always centered around the home. Money worries and marriage quarrels are indicated

I hope you enjoyed this weeks Tea Leaf Reading Symbols. I will not  be posting tomorrow, as the A to Z Challenge takes Sunday’s off, but I am looking forward to connecting with you again on Monday with the next letter.

 

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4 Reasons Why You Should Eat More Raw Meals

4 Reasons Why You Should Eat More Raw MealsThis post contains affiliate links – as well as a vegan raw food recipe, so read all the way to the end!

I do not limit my diet to a particular lifestyle, may it be raw vegan, or otherwise, but rather optimize my food that fits my life, and health the best, as long as I eat 95 % clean. I do however add quite a few vegan raw food recipes into my diet, and that of my family with very diverse eating habits (my daughter is vegan, my son vegetarian, and my husband is on a diet to prevent blood pressure issues, while being neither). The raw food diet though, is a concept I have been familiar with since childhood, growing up in Germany. Rohkost or raw food meals were used to treat certain ailments, or just simply made as  a part of our meals. At least, is was in our family.

The cool thing is, that you do not need anything fancy to start incorporating raw meals into your diet, even though many recipes can call for spiralizers and special high-speed blenders. While these are all good to have, for those who want to start out, they are not something you need. Your normal everyday tools  appliances can get you started just as well.

So why should you try to get more raw food recipes and meals into your diet?

1. The nutrients and vitamins stay intact.The main benefit of eating raw is that the nutritional integrity of the food you are preparing stays intact. Cooking foods can  ( and usually does) destroy some of those vitamins, minerals and all of the good stuff you are trying to bring into your diet, by eating more veggies in the first place. None of that occurs when preparing your meals raw.

2. There is no long meal prep.  Most raw meals are rather quick and easy to prepare. So it is easily possible to prepare an entire meal for your family within ten minutes. How cool is that!

3. It is very portable. A bento box full of veggies, and prepared sauces or dressings is a very portable meal, that does not require a microwave or a stove to be enjoyed. Raw meals are perfect for the office, and can be just as balanced as a cooked meal if planned correctly.

4. Increased focus. Many people I have talked to, who added more raw meals to their diet have spoken about their increased ability to stay focused for a longer period of time. I agree with that experience, because when I make a point of incorporating more raw meals throughout the week into my life, my ability to stay longer on task increases noticeably. While I am not aware of a specific study validating that claim, it is my personal experience, and understandably so, considering that my nutrient intake has increased, which also affects brain function positively.

Wondering how to actually turn this into a practice, now that you know why you should?

You can start simple, by a large bowl of fruit for breakfast, or a variety of cut up veggies with your favorite homemade salsa
or hummus as a dip. But you can also make yourself a soup, if you have a blender, like this creamy tomato soup

Creamy RawTomato Soup

Creamy Raw Tomato Soup Recipe (Vegan) 

You will need
4 tomatoes
2 medium carrots – peeled
1 to 2 celery
1 tablespoon of your favorite almond butter
1 tablespoon coconut oil
2 -3 dried tomatoes (not in olive oil)
2 teaspoons of dried oregano
1 teaspoon of dried  basil
1 teaspoon of dried thyme
salt and pepper to taste
some water

Place all of the ingredients into a blender, adding water to it, while you blend it all up, until it reaches the desired consitency.
Place into your favorite bowl and granish with arucola, or parsely – whatever you have on hand.

 

 

If you are feeling more adventurous, check out this book by a wonderful Youtuber named Kristina Carrillo-Bucaram, also known as Raw Food Kristina. I absolutely adore her tips on raw foods, meal prep, her raw vegan recipes and now her book, which is a Bestseller on Amazon – for good reason. A great book to start your journey on eating more raw – get it today! Ranging from savory to sweet, there is something for everyone in her book!

The Fully Raw Diet available on Amazon now! 

 

Check out the following blog hops to connect with other bloggers, foodies and more!

Fun Friday Favorites 

Friday Home Link Up

Friday Finds And Favorites

No Rule Weekend Blog Party

Extra Veg April Linky

Be Inspired

A To Z April Blogging Challenge Theme Reveal

atoz-theme-reveal-2016

Today, is the great theme reveal for next month’s A to Z Blogging Challenge! If you are asking yourself what I am talking about, then it is time for me to direct you toward the wonderful organizers of this month-long blogging event, that happens every year for more information. But if you want the condensed form of what I am talking about, its if the following.

For the month of April – with the exception of Sunday’s – participants pledge to blog about something, corresponding with the day’s letter, starting at A, working ourselves through the entire alphabet. Participants sign up here, and either decide to blog about random things that come to mind, or choose a theme.

Which brings me to today. Those of us who are choosing a theme, post a little bit about our chosen subject today. So, I am going to get right to it:

A to Z ChallengeTheme Reveal-Tea-Leaf ReadingSymbols (1)

 

Yup, I will write for the  entire month about Tea-leaf reading symbols, tea rituals, and related information. No worries to my regular readers, who might not be  interested in the subject, I plan on continuing my usual posting, in addition to the A to Z blogging challenge – even if that means I have to do double work.

Here is the schedule for each day of the A to Z Challenge, and it’s corresponding letter:

A to Z schedule 2

So are you planning on joining us for this adventure? If you are, are you choosing a theme this year? For those of you who are participating, leave your blog link in the comment section, so I can come visit you throughout the challenge!

See you soon!

Claudia

 

7 Things I Learned While Writing A Book About Tea And Mindfulness

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Disclaimer: The following post includes affiliate links to our Sponsors – Amazon and Creative Life. 

When doing research for any project, it is very interesting to see what kind of crazy, wonderful and sometimes disturbing facts can be discovered. Thankfully, I have not run across anything disturbing, so I am happy to share with you a few little tidbits of information that you might find as interesting as I have, about the subject of tea. I will share some insights about mindfulness in an upcoming blog post.

Tea and your bones: 

Studies indicate that phytochemicals in tea, such as flavonoids, may protect against bone loss: Regular tea drinkers have higher bone density than non-tea drinkers.

Crazy for Kombucha

What it is: Sometimes called mushroom tea because of the microorganisms that float in it and form a mushroom like shape this fermented form of sweetened tea with a funky vinegar taste is made with live bacteria and yeast and often fortified with B vitamins.

Proponents say this ancient Chinese drink has medicinal benefits, namely that it boosts the immune system, prevents cancer, and aids digestion and liver function.

My Favorite: Hibiscus Tea:  

A recent study revealed that hibiscus teas contain a number of different antioxidants that may help to protect against cell-damaging free radicals. These teas also may help control high blood pressure. You can find hibiscus in such teas as sour tea, red zinger tea, or sorrel tea.

Do You Like Olives? 

People in Italy enjoy an olive leaf tea made with the leaves of the olive tree types Manzanillo and Mission. So now you can drink your olives too!

This tea should keep you warm: Butter Tea 

Butter tea is a Tibetan tradition, made with Yak Butter, black tea and salt. It has gained some following all over the world. Not my cup of tea.

“Happy Tea” will be available May 2016 on Amazon.

Questions:

What are your favorite teas? And what are the craziest facts you know about tea?

Have a wonderful Day!

The above post is a part of the following blog hops:

Thankful Thursdays

Thankful Thursdays Link Up # 40

No Rules # 167

Inspire Me Wednesday 

Share With Me 

Reading And Taking Action

Do You Implement What You Read?

Many of us have a to-read list for the months ahead. But you merely read or do you implement?

To me, reading lists and book implementation lists are two different things. A reading list is a book list of stories I read to entertain me. They do not necessarily have to be fiction to do so but are more likely to be. Those are the books that I approach with a different mindset than those on my implementation list.

Now, what is an implementation list, and what are these books?

Those books are volumes that I read with the intent not only to learn from them but with the direct intent to take at least one of the points presented and to actively try them out. I seek out these books because I want to learn something, but learning is not enough, it is doing that creates the results. And because I am living in a growth mindset (more on that another time), I am approaching these books with the up-most intend to take an active part from the lessons held within.

For a long time, I was like many people I know – I read, a lot (okay more than the average person), but I never truly followed through on the lessons presented before me. It was easy to say how interesting a particular chapter was but was it enough to change what I was doing, or add a new active perspective into my life? Not really. The truth is, that I meant to take these action, but never followed through.

“Always strive to be better than you were yesterday.” – Tom Bilyeu

But I made a promise to myself that this is no longer an option. If I read a book that has repeatable actions within them, and that I chose to learn something from – may it be because I read a review, found them on a list of a person whom I admire (like this list by Quest Founder Tom Bilyeu), or because its premise leads me to believe that there was value within the covers, I will take at least one of those actions and practice them. Now, I am not expecting to do that if I find myself in the middle of the book and it does not resonate with me at all, of course, but I will do this more often than not, and because I am already picky about what I add on my reading list, which is ever growing, that should not be a problem. Which brings me to my questions for you:

Which book have you read in the last year, and actually implemented something from it – may it be in your personal life, or in your business adventures? What made you take these actions, and why did you pick up this book in the first place?

As we are approaching the middle of January, I am in the middle of implementing some of the goals I have set for the year. I have been lucky to have been encouraged to create some more motivational designs over the last few weeks, and I am especially happy about my notebook collection that ranges from themes of courage to sharing your thoughts with those you love. So check out my truly unique custom notebook collection here. Absolutely, a reason to be grateful. 

It is my pleasure to serve you, so if you have any suggestions about notebooks and journals you want to see in the future, please let me know. I also accept custom orders – and can combine my art with specific messages for you. Simply drop me a line at claudiablanton@live.com or leave me a comment below.

 

 

Have a wonderful week!

Claudia

Far & Wide Collective Home Decor Collection

 

This post is a part of the following blog hops

Thankful Thursday at Pepis Smart Dog

Thankful Thursday Link Up 

No Rules Blog Party 

Reasons To Be Cheerful

Be Inspired

Anger And Gratitude

the anger behind
that sweet smile you always show
is reserved for me

Domestic abuse – a reality many women – and men – experience in their relationship. The fear of those who supposed to be caring for us, making our homes a nightmare, instead of a safe haven is real, and never the fault of the abused.

Why am I choosing to write about domestic violence in a blog post that usually features “Celebrate The Small Things” and “Thankful Thursday”? Because I am thankful to be one of those women who do not have to live in fear, but I am also aware that this puts me in the situation to choose to ignore the plight of others, or do something about it.

While donating to organisations that assist domestic violence victims might not seem a lot, it is something many of us who live a comfortable and safe life can do. Just because we do not experience this type of environment, does not mean we can let ourselves be numb to those who suffer.

Anger And Gratitude

But, I am going to add this for my most eager readers, you should NEVER get directly involved. Domestic violence perpetrators are violent and dangerous, making anyone in their way a target just as much as the actual target they desire. If you suspect anyone you know being abused, or know that they are in need of help, look for local resources they can contact, or call them yourself, and ask them what actions they suggest for the abused to take. Those professionals are trained to assist victims and keep them safe, something that you and I are not.

If you are looking for organisations that help battered spouses, check out the following links:

Women helping battered women
 National Coalition Against Domestic Violence
 Leaving Abuse

This blog post is a part of the following blog hops:

Thankful Thursdays

Celebrate The Small Things

Thankful Thursday (Pepi Smart Dog)

Reasons to be Cheerful

Reflect

 

The above art piece “Anger” is available on RedBubble, and I am donating 20 % of profits of this digital art piece to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence. Thank you for your support.

 

Masks

Masks by Claudia H. Blanton

Masks by Claudia H. Blanton

Hide

your colorful masks
empty of real expression
hide the pain inside

 

We all pretend. Sometimes in social media, this pretend leaves me with a feeling of disconnect. I don’t mean that we purposely pretend to be someone else we are not. I do not believe that. But because social media and blogging (as well as art and writing) can leave the creator vulnerable, we hide behind our masks of our own creation.

How much should we share? How will what we share affect those we love, and how does the parts that we do choose to show influence what others think of us?

Many bloggers choose to share quite a bit about their lives. Cautiously, they write about their depression, struggles, obstacles and dreams. This raw openness takes courage. Artists and writers do the same, through their creation and stories – even if it is not as recognizable at first glance as it is in the platform of a blog about someone’s life. The message and vulnerability is the same.

It is that what attracts me to those creatives, and the fact that the opposite is often the truth in social media channels and that pushes me away. Where is the real person behind the twitter feed, the emotion behind that snarky comment, or seemingly open attitude? We get snippets, not stories, little glimpses of masks, rather than the true person behind.

It is not to say that we should share more, indeed I think that sharing more on those open platforms can be too dangerous to consider it. Yet, I miss that more and more today. And within that lies my love/hate relationship with social media.

Question: What parts of yourself do you share openly on social media, and which ones do you choose to hide? Is that a concious decision you make, or is it an instinctive holding back?

“Masks” is available on RedBubble as a canvas print, poster or a framed art piece.

 

This blog post is a part of the following blog hops:

Elizabeth And Co Link Party

Together On Tuesdays

What Are You Doing? Blog Hop

Amaze Me Blog Hop

Share With Me