Archive from August, 2010
Aug 21, 2010 - File Icon Dinners With Friends, Drinks, Restaurant, Reviews, Tea   Comment Icon Comments Off on Chinese Garden and Tea House

Chinese Garden and Tea House

My new friend, Terri, decided to surprise me with an invite to head out with her and a friend to the Chinese Garden in Portland OR. I love surprise outings.

Because I’m a hermit and don’t do well with other people at times, I thought about not going. Then I also thought about my recent goals to meet more people and to try new things. So I went.

I have to say it was a glorious trip. Not only was the day beautiful, but the garden was really nice as well. It was quite a shocker to me that this little oasis existed in the middle of a bustling city, surrounded by tall office and apartment buildings. I took tons of pictures and got to know my new friends better over the beautiful landscape as well as a good few hours in the tea house.

I almost tried to convince them not to go in the tea house since I stopped drinking tea for the last few years due to caffeine inducing my killer migraines, but they wanted to go and I gave in.

I’m such a sucker for a pretty face.

I am really glad I went though. I thought I would be just sipping ice water until I found the selection of herbal teas. It’s almost like I forgot that herbal teas existed! How silly is that.

I went with hibiscus tea, Terri had tea flowers (as in the flowers that bloom on the tea plant) and her friend Kelly had black ginger peach tea. I didn’t try their teas but I was in heaven with the hibiscus. It was nice and strong, tangy and almost citrusy. Plus it was a beautiful red color. I love strong flavored teas.

We also ordered some snacks go to with them, some vegetable dumplings as well as a red bean cake.

Red bean cake? Really? To the uninformed, silly, sheltered American this sounded really odd and not too tasty.

I was proven wrong, yet again. If you’ve never had it, try it. It’s sweet, rich and almost has undertones of a fruity chocolate. It was baked in a really beautiful pastry crust and was really moist and delicious. It went beautifully with my dark red hibiscus tea.

The dumplings were pretty awesome also. I’m not really sure what was in them but they were pretty tasty.

We each got our own little teapots and little (and I mean LITTLE) cups for our teas, which I found just charming.

All in all it was a great day, meeting a new friend and growing closer to my other friend, plus the “reintroduction” to tea for me.

I highly suggest going there if you are in the area or plan to visit. It’s small but a wonderful experience. And don’t miss out on the tea house, it is quite lovely.

Aug 17, 2010 - File Icon Drinks, Tea   Comment Icon Comments Off on Tea

Tea

Sometimes through life to tend to give up things for a big reason (example, smoking will kill me) or for no reason at all. I gave up soda about 2 years ago. I really wanted to cut down on my caffeine intake as well as I knew that drinking all that Diet Coke with its artificial ingredients, carbonation, and fake sugar really wasn’t very good for me.

Plus for some strange reason it started giving me horrendous heart burn. I’m partly convinced that the heartburn thing is really my body’s way of saying “You want to stop? Ok, I make you stop!”

I have to say, that really sucked. But it was also good in a way since I started to associate soda with pain, therefore I really didn’t want it anymore. I still craved it, and the sound of opening a can of soda? Holy crap, I could smell soda across the room. I went from 2-4 cans of Diet Coke a day, to none.

I tempered the bad reaction of losing a main source of caffeine with drinking tea. I liked black tea, flavored or with some home made vanilla sugar and milk. And chai. I loved chai tea.

I say loved because after a while I just stopped drinking tea. No real reason why, it just happened. Then when I tried to start drinking it again it started to trigger migraines.

That made me very unhappy.

Recently my friends took me out for a day trip to the Chinese Garden in Portland, OR and we had a drink in the tea house. It was lovely. I forgot how much I love tea. Granted its herbal, but it’s just delicious!

So be prepared, there will be more talk of tea in our future.

Aug 3, 2010 - File Icon Rants/Ramblings   Comment Icon Comments Off on New Directions in Life

New Directions in Life

Lately life has been really scattered for me. I’ve been very annoyed with the job, myself, my body, my relationships… Just everything seems to be annoying to me.

It could also be the hormones.

For so long I’ve been taking the “easy” path of just doing a job that I happen to be good at and not something I actually want to get up and do on a daily basis. Or eating foods out of convenience (fast food, pre-packaged foods) rather than spending the time to take a minute or two for myself to throw something together.

I mean really, how long does it actually take to throw together a quick dinner of an easy sandwich or something similar? Not long. It probably takes longer to get to a fast food place to get the food than it does to make it yourself.

Plus it doesn’t taste nearly as good as homemade and it generally makes me feel like crap.

So I need a change in my life.

I’ve wanted to try and go through life “unpackaged” with using as few foods that are prepackaged or processed as possible. I’ve gotten pretty close to it lately with all of the wonderful fresh fruits and vegetables that are now in season and boy are they delicious!

I like the idea of knowing exactly what it is that I’m eating and what I’m putting in my body, especially with all my interesting reactions to food (some allergies).

I know I’m eventually going to change my job into something else, but I have to find out whether or not the field I’m thinking about is even something I want to do every day. I’m not a person who likes change but I really need to change something.

I’ll get there eventually. Who knows, maybe I’ll become a professional blogger. Ha.