Tea with a twist: Summer drink recipes

Cold Brew Iced Tea Recipes

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My Iced Tea Jar is perfect for hot or cold brewing loose leaf tea! The jar comes with a convenient stainless steel infuser basket that fits perfectly into the lid of a 32oz. mason jar.

How to make cold brew iced tea with fruit

Fill the stainless steel infuser basket with 2 heaping tablespoons of your favorite Tealightful white tea, green tea, herbal or fruit tisane. Note: Black tea is best steeped with boiling water yet black tea blends that are not 100% black tea can be cold brewed.

  • Add Water: Fill the mason jar 3/4 of the way with cold filtered water.
  • Add any fruit that appeals to you! We added strawberries, mango and oranges to our jar of cold brew Chamomile Mango (Organic Green Tea blend). Note: Fruit lends a natural sweetness to the tea so you don’t have to add sugar.
  • Steep in the refrigerator! Put the iced tea jar in the refrigerator for 12-24 hours.
  • Remove the infuser basket, add the lid back to the jar and enjoy!

Recipe Variations:

Try using any kind of sparkling water, flavored water or soda in place of plain water!

Tealightful Tea & Fruit Recipe Variations:
Strawberry Basil – Tealightful Strawberry Papaya (Organic Green Tea blend) with sliced strawberries, chopped fresh basil and mint.
Raspberry Ginger Peach Tealightful Ginger Peach Darjeeling (Organic Darjeeling and Organic Rooibos blend) with chopped fresh peaches and fresh ginger. Cold brew in Raspberry Sparkling water!
Sunshine Passion Thyme Sunshine (Organic Rooibos blend) with fresh thyme, orange slices and fresh ginger. Cold brew in Sparkling Passion fruit water!



Sun Fruit Sangria Punch

Make this for your next picnic, grad party or family reunion! It is so delicious and refreshing.
sunsangria

Ingredients:

  • 32 ounces of hot water
  • 3 tablespoons of Tealightful’s Sun Fruit Sangria white tea
  • 2 oranges
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 1/2 lime
  • 1 – 8.4 oz. can of pineapple banana juice
  • 16 oz. ginger ale
  • sparkling raspberry water (use to taste)

Directions:

Steep tea in water for 4-5 minutes. Cool slightly. Add tea to a large pitcher with the juice of one orange, pineapple banana juice and ginger ale. Add sliced oranges, sliced lemon and sliced lime. Add ice and top with sparkling raspberry water to taste.

 

 

Strawberry Lemonade Spritzer

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  • 32 ounces of hot water
  • 3 tablespoons of Tealightful’s Strawberry Lemonade white tea
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 1 c frozen strawberries (optional)
  • 1.5  17 ounce bottles of Sparkling Ice – Strawberry Lemonade flavor

Directions:

Steep tea in water for 4-5 minutes. Cool slightly. Add tea to a large pitcher with the Sparkling Ice. Add sliced sliced lemon and frozen berries. Add ice.

 

 

 

Blueberry Lemon Drop Chiller

Who can resist the refreshing flavor of fresh squeezed lemonade? It’s the sunniest summertime tradition and full of nostalgia. Our recipe infuses Tealightful’s Luscious Lemon Drop with fresh blueberries, lemon juice and a dash of coconut sugar. Serve this drink with our Lemon Blueberry Scones!
Note: Substitute any zero calorie sweetener in place of coconut sugar to reduce calories and carbohydrates.

Ingredients

Servings 12
  • 1/2 cup raw organic coconut sugar or any zero calorie sweetener
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 heaping tablespoons Lemon Drop and 1 extra large paper tea filter for steeping.
  • 1 pint fresh blueberries (washed and dried)
  • 1 cup fresh lemon juice (about 9 large lemons)
  • Water and ice

Directions

Put tea into the extra large tea filter.
Heat water to a boil.
As soon as the water is boiling turn off the heat and cool for 4-5 minutes.
Use cooled water to steep the tea for 4 minutes.
Add coconut sugar to tea, stir until the sugar is dissolved.
In a blender or food processor, puree the blueberries.
Add pureed blueberries to a pitcher.
Add the lemon juice and cooled tea and sugar mixture to the pitcher.
Strain 1/3 cup of the lemonade mixture into an 8oz. glass, add water and ice to taste.
Makes 12 – 8oz. servings
Recipe variations:
Make sparkling lemonade by adding sparkling water or Italian Lemon Soda to 1/3 cup of lemonade mixture.
Use mango, strawberries, kiwi or pineapple in place of the blueberries to make other fruit infused lemon drop tea lemonade!

Blissful Blueberry Half & Half

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The Health Benefits of Rooibos

What’s in your cup today?

As I type this, I am enjoying a refreshing Colada Crush over ice. Look at how beautiful this tea is! This blend is a Rooibos — and that is what we’re going to be talking about today on our blog.

 
tealightful colada crush

What is Rooibos?

A Red Bush tea, Rooibos is grown exclusively in the Cederberg Mountain region of South Africa. The tea belongs to the Aspalathus genus, which is genus of flowering plants in the Fabaceae legume family.

In the summer and early autumn months, the branches are harvested by hand, broken up into smaller pieces, and are then soaked in water. Once they are moistened, they are bruised and put into heaps to be oxidized for up to 24 hours. Once the herb has oxidized, it is then placed in the sun to dry.

Fun fact: Botanically speaking, Rooibos is technically a legume, as it does not come from the Camellia genus like other teas.

A Unique Flavor Profile

Woody, spicy, caramel, and honey notes are often used to describe the sweet aroma of  this beautiful tea. Nina Muller of South Africa’s Stellenbosch University conducted a study on its unique flavor profile and says, “There’s an herbal floral note which is particular to rooibos.”

The flavor is often described and mild or mellow. This is quite accurate, as it is much lower in tannins than other teas. In fact, the amount of tannins found in this red bush tea is about half the tannins found in black tea. For those unfamiliar, tannins give tea its slight bitterness.

Health & Wellness Benefits of Rooibos

  • Loaded with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Rooibos contains a powerful bioflavonoid called Quercetin.  This bioflavonoid may offer protection against heart disease and cancer, as well as other age-related health conditions. There is substantial ongoing scientific research about the possible tumor-inhibiting power of Quercetin, such as this promising study published in the Journal of Cellular Biochemistry. Another study showed that showed that drinking Rooibos can inhibit the angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE). This enzyme raises blood pressure.

 

  • May act as a bronchodilator, helping those with asthma and high blood pressure. In fact, a study published in the European Journal of Nutrition looked at a flavonoid found in the tea called Chrysoeriol and researched its impact on the possible medicinal uses of this red bush tea. The conclusion of the study states: “This study provides a sound mechanistic basis for the wide medicinal use of Rooibos tea, with the therapeutic potential to be developed for congestive respiratory ailments.”

 

  • You may sleep better after drinking this tea, according Ernest DuToit of the SA Rooibos Council. “There are two critical compounds found in rooibos which interfere with the production of the stress hormone, cortisol. These are aspalathin and nothofagin – both potent antioxidants.” He goes on to say that because of the “lower the levels of cortisol in the body, the higher the likelihood of uninterrupted sleep.” Did I mention it is caffeine-free? 

 

  • You may notice an improvement in your skin. Pamper your skin from the inside out by drinking a cup (or more) a day of your favorite red tea. Have you ever heard of the skincare powerhouse ingredient called superoxide dismutase? It is a well-researched potent antioxidant that is being used in high-end skincare. The same ingredient is present in Rooibos, as are Vitamin D, Alpha Hydroxy Acids, and Zinc. All benefit the skin and help keep it radiant and smooth.

We offer several delicious flavors of Rooibos here at Tealightful. Visit our website to find your new favorite!

Mother’s Day Recipe Idea: Flash Chilled Sun Fruit Sangria

Mother’s Day is Sunday, May 13th and we are sharing a video with one of our favorite warm weather recipes! Check it out and serve it alongside your brunch.

Other Mother’s Day Ideas from Tealightful

Mother’s Day is about gratitude.

Mother’s Day is not about big ticket gifts or an elaborate arrangement sent from the florist. The greatest gift you can give a person is your gratitude. Making someone feel loved and appreciated is not something that can be ordered online and shipped through Amazon Prime. Don’t wait for “later” or a “more convenient time” to show your gratitude for the people you love.

What can you do? I have some ideas I would like to share today.

1. Give the gift of time.

You are busy. I am busy. Life is full of hustle and bustle and sometimes that takes away from what is really important in life: the people in our life. It’s experiences — not things — that truly matter. Do you live in an area with festivals? In Rochester, New York there is a wonderful annual event held at Highland Park called the Lilac Festival. Bring Mom a vase full of fragrant cut lilacs and spend the day with her strolling the festival grounds looking at arts and crafts. Does your mother enjoy art? Spend some time with her at the local art museum. Does she like to read? How about taking her to your favorite book store so you can leaf through books and then go for dessert. Spending time with those you love will be much more meaningful than material objects.

2. Give her a jar of gratitude.

Get a Mason jar and some pretty paper. Cut the paper into strips and write a favorite childhood memory on each one. Fold the papers and fill the jar with memories. Similarly, you can write qualities you admire about your mom or something you would like to thank her for on each slip. Once you have filled the jar, adorn it with a beautiful bow and gift tag.

3. Do a bit of gardening.

gardening tips and gifts from seed natural face and body care

Perhaps it is getting harder for your mom to get to the garden center and plant her flowers. I know that my own mom doesn’t garden these days because of a recent hip replacement, but she does enjoy hanging baskets and potted flowers.

Something you could do would be to purchase her favorite flowers and then plant them for her in her garden while she is out and about. When she gets back home, she will be greeted by beautiful new flowers. Do you have teenagers? Have them mow the lawn for her, too.

No matter how you spend your day, make sure it is spent well and with those you love.

Green Tea’s many benefits may make it your perfect iced drink!

Did you know that green tea may just be the IDEAL summertime drink?

Green Tea isn’t just for a healthy cup of tea to warm you up. Did you know that chilled green tea makes for a delicious spring and summer beverage? Another reason to make the switch from lemonade and other chilled drinks is because green tea contains many health benefits.

 

cherry berry tart

Cherry Berry Tart is just one of many Tealightful green tea blends.

Health Benefits of Green Tea

1. Green Tea contains an abundance of antioxidants.

Think of the term “antioxidant” as a shield against harmful flying objects. In reality, these “flying objects” are free radicals. Free radicals are molecules that cause tissue damage and aging. These could be things such as cigarette smoke, radiation, UV rays, pesticides, various drugs, smog, and other forms of environmental pollution.

Picture these harmful microscopic contaminants swirling around you. Antioxidants will help shield you from harm, essentially. Think of them as superheroes! They are special molecules that can help stop those free radicals — they are able to neutralize their effects.

2. Green Tea can help you feel relaxed.

 

Green tea contains an amino acid called L-theanine, which was discovered in green tea back in the late 1940’s. L-theanine is believed to help enhance brain chemistry and may help reduce the symptoms of anxiety. In fact, there have been many scientific studies on this amino acid, which has been shown to possibly help reduce stress, help with sleep disturbances, and promote a sense of rejuvenation and calm.

3. Green Tea may boost your metabolism.

Multiple scientific studies suggest that green tea may increase fat burning as a metabolism booster. This is because of a catechin called EGCG that is present in green tea. EGCG may help increase the calorie burn rate in the body, although studies are not yet 100% proven.

4. Green Tea may help you concentrate a bit better.

The caffeine in green tea is believed to have a positive cognitive effect. Multiple studies show that everything from mood to memory and reaction time can be improved by caffeine. We mentioned L-theanine earlier. That also has an impact on the brain. L-theanine is believed to work in synergy with caffeine to increase alpha waves and dopamine in the brain. Study subjects have reported improved concentration and productivity after consuming green tea.

Go ahead – make yourself a cup (or a pitcher) of chilled green tea. We have so many new varieties from which to choose and enjoy! Let us know how you feel after adding more green tea to your day!

NEW: My Easy Matcha™️

What is My Easy Matcha?

We are so excited to launch something brand new, created by our CEO with passion, love & her expertise in this industry!

It’s groundbreaking. It’s unique. Of course, it is healthy and tastes great. Introducing Tealightful My Easy Matcha™️.

charlene phillips ceo of tealightful

For our CEO, Charlene Phillips, this product creation was something personal: “In an attempt to replace my son’s unsafe and unhealthy energy drink, I started experimenting to create a new line of Matcha blends that would accomplish 5 goals:

1. My Easy Matcha™️ would be organic, high grown, and superior quality.

2. It would be water soluble and easy to use.

3. My Easy Matcha™️ would taste good to a new Matcha drinker and/or the most discerning Matcha fan.

4. There would be a Matcha flavor created for breakfast, lunch & afternoon.

5. Our blends would contain ingredients that would make them taste great and add in even more vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.”

Mission accomplished! We know you are going to LOVE this new creation and cannot wait for you to learn more about what sets this product apart.

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Why is everyone in the tea industry buzzing about this new product? Read more:

How is My Easy Matcha different?

Not all Matcha is created equal. The quality of our Matcha sets Tealightful apart.

  • Tealightful My Easy Matcha™️ is pure organic Matcha. Many flavored Matchas are a blend of different green teas. Not ours.
  • Speaking of our Matcha, we source our Superior Organic Tencha leaves from Nishio, a city in the Aichi prefecture of Japan.
  • Plus, our original recipes have been lovingly and expertly created by our Founder and CEO, Charlene Phillips.
  • Did we mention that NO whisk is required? It’s true. This game changer easily mixes into hot OR cold water!

Gain Natural Energy

tealightful blueberry banana matcha.jpg

Wake up with Matcha!

Are you tired in the morning? Put down that unhealthy energy drink and feel energized and ready to tackle the day with our newest creation, My Easy Matcha™️. It’s FAST –  all you need to do is tap it into water – and it is HEALTHY. Get energized first thing each morning without the crash and burn you often feel after bottled energy drinks or strong cups of coffee. Our Blueberry Banana is a perfect option to start your day off on the right foot.

Find a Sense of Zen Balance

Tealightful My Easy Matcha™️ is also helpful after lunch. 

Lunch time tends to be a busy time of day. So many people run through the drive-thru for fast food on their lunch breaks. Others pack their lunches but have to hurry in order to get back to the grind.

This can leave you feeling rushed, irritable, uncomfortable, and in need of that feeling of BALANCE.

Our Peppermint Stick or Ginger Lime options may help to aid digestion after your mid-day meal. Just tap our Ginger Lime or Peppermint into hot or cold water. You’ll recapture that moment of zen and be ready to focus on your afternoon.

Achieve a State of Mindful Wellness

Tealightful Vanilla Cheesecake Matcha

 

The afternoon slump: we’ve all been there. Dinner is still a couple hours away, lunch has worn off, and that candy jar on your desk looks SO tempting – as does the vending machine, which is full of packaged sweets.

Our new Vanilla Cheesecake My Easy Matcha™️ will quickly become your afternoon pick me up. Tap it into cold or hot water for an afternoon pick me up. Just open, tap & stir for a guilt free treat.

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One last thing: The truth about the price

“But Matcha is too expensive.” 

Not so fast. Let’s talk about price for a moment. If you break it down to the cost of our brand new My Easy Matcha™️, it is only $0.40 per serving. 40 cents! Each serving is 1/2 gram, or about 15 taps into your mug. 40 cents for each cup of energy, focus & mindful wellness? Yes, please! Compare prices. At my yoga studio, a regular sized mug of Matcha is $3.50 and I do not get to control its strength to make is bolder or weaker.

 

The Benefits of Matcha

Matcha has become mainstream in terms of popularity lately and has quickly won over the hearts of health enthusiasts. It has become such an “it” drink that even die hard coffee drinkers are making the switch.

Tealightful But First Matcha

Why? Matcha is incredibly beneficial. Truly. The benefits of matcha are not just hype — they are backed by sound research. Quite literally, it means “powdered tea.” It is so much more, though.

What is matcha?

Matcha is a powdered green tea. Green tea is so healthy. Science has shown us that. It is rich in protective antioxidants. Think of how you prepare your regular cup of loose leaf green tea. You steep the leaves and then you discard them. You are not actually consuming the leaves. With matcha, the leaves have been finely powdered.

Did you know? Interesting to note is that matcha is prepared a bit differently while grown. The plants are shaded in order to grow leaves with improved flavor and texture before they are dried and ground.

The connection between matcha and improved mental clarity

Matcha was introduced to Japan in 1191 by Eisai, a Buddhist monk. Eisai is believed to have planted the first green tea seeds in Japan. He is even more well known for having developed the philosophy known as Zen. Since that time, matcha and Zen meditation have been intertwined through the tea ceremony. It is believed that Buddhist monks drank matcha to help them feel grounded and calm with a sense of clarity while meditating for long periods of time. The tradition has continued centuries later.

Matcha is not your typical green tea — it may take ten cups of green tea to give you the benefits of just one cup of matcha. What is unique about this drink, as opposed to a cup of coffee, is that it is believed to increase your mental clarity while making you feel at peace. Next time you head to the yoga studio, try sipping matcha — it will allow you to be in the moment while being better able to concentrate on each pose.

 

matcha benefitsMatcha is an antioxidant powerhouse.

Antioxidants help to fight damage from free radicals. There is likely no better drink than matcha to provide your body with antioxidant protection. In fact, in a study published in the Journal of Chromatography, researchers found that matcha provides 137 times more EGCG than traditional green tea leaves. EGCG stands for epigallocatechin gallate, which is the health boosting compound found in green tea.

Matcha may help you burn more calories.

Research shows that EGCGs help boost the process of fat metabolism. This helps you burn more calories more quickly. In fact, you may be able to burn 25% more calories because of the EGCGs in your cup of matcha.

Matcha may help you feel more energetic.

We all could use a bit more energy from time to time, but it is important to choose wisely when fueling our bodies with energy sources. For example, some of the energy drinks on the market can make your heart race and have been linked to serious health conditions. Matcha, like coffee or energy drinks, does contain caffeine. What is unique, though, is that matcha contains something called L-Theanine, which is an amino acid that is believed to work in harmony with the caffeine in matcha.

This is important because you won’t get that dreaded “crash” feeling. Have you ever had espresso or cup after cup of strong coffee in an effort to stay awake longer? At first, you feel energetic and then, WHAM, you feel groggy and exhausted. You are no longer energized. That is because the caffeine comes all at once.

Matcha, though, provides you with a gradual release of energy so the feeling is sustained without that “crash.”

 

The Benefits of Positive Thinking

Are you a Negative Nellie? Do you look at a glass as being half empty instead of half full? Do you choose to dwell on things you cannot control rather than focusing on the good? Whether you realize it or not, YOUR frame of mind impacts others. People who tend to be “glass half full” types of people tend to draw like-minded people. That positive attitude radiates and attracts others. On the other hand, people tend to avoid toxic personalities — the types of people who are energy drainers. In all honesty, those who dwell on negativity really aren’t that fun to be around.

Being an optimist or a pessimist affects more than just your social relationships.

According to the Mayo Clinic, researchers have been able to determine that optimists may enjoy several different health benefits. Here are just a few:

  • Less likely to experience depression
  • Lower rates of cardiovascular disease
  • Longer life span
  • Increased resistance to viruses such as the common cold
  • More likely to be in better physical and mental health
  • Better able to cope with the times when life “gives you lemons”

Why is this? Is it just a fluke or is there science behind this?

There was a wonderful article in The Atlantic concerning this very topic. There are over three thousand published papers citing groundbreaking research from 1985 done by psychologists Michael F. Scheier and Charles S. Carver. What did their research tell them?

“We also know why optimists do better than pessimists. The answer lies in the differences between the coping strategies they use. Optimists are not simply being Pollyannas; they’re problem solvers who try to improve the situation. And if it can’t be altered, they’re also more likely than pessimists to accept that reality and move on. Physically, they’re more likely to engage in behaviors that help protect against disease and promote recovery from illness. They’re less likely to smoke, drink, and have poor diets, and more likely to exercise, sleep well, and adhere to rehab programs. Pessimists, on the other hand, tend to deny, avoid, and distort the problems they confront, and dwell on their negative feelings. It’s easy to see now why pessimists don’t do so well compared to optimists.”

In the Netherlands, there was a cardiovascular health study conducted over nine years revealing that negative people die sooner than their optimistic counterparts — not just of heart issues, but in general. Being a pessimist may also increase the chances of suffering from dementia later in life.

So what can you do if you are a pessimist?

1. Start with gratitude. If you sit down and think about all of the amazing things in your life that you feel grateful for, it may help put things into perspective. Perhaps that will help you get into the frame of mind that you are a LUCKY person.

2. Establish healthy rituals. Good habits — whether it’s meditation, daily yoga, or going for a morning run — are stress relievers linked directly to better coping skills and reduced anxiety. Taking a mini tea break can be one ritual that you can enjoy as part of a healthy ritual.

3. Eliminate negative self-talk. Don’t self sabotage! Think about your inner dialogue. Are you respecting yourself or putting yourself down? No one is perfect, so do not be so hard on yourself. There is an expression “You can’t have a positive life with a negative mind” and I firmly believe this to be true. Be more conscious of the way you speak to yourself.

Can aromatherapy help you be a glass half full type of person?

There has been some very promising scientific research on the relationship between essential oils and mood. Perhaps the most cited study is one published in the International Journal of Neuroscience back in 1998 which showed how certain essential oils promote mental alertness and relaxation.

According to the National Cancer Institute, there are mood-boosting benefits of aromatherapy. According to the NCI, studies “show sedative and stimulant effects of specific essential oils as well as positive effects on behavior and the immune system… Functional imaging studies in humans support the influence of odors on the limbic system and its emotional pathways.”

You may find that certain teas can be uplifting, too.

  • There was a recent study published in the American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry which showed that curcumin, a compound found in turmeric, may help improve mood. Try: Tealightful Turmeric Tulsi
  • Peppermint tea also may have mood-improving benefits, according to published research out of Northumbria Univeristy. Try: Tealightful Peppermint
  • In Ayurvedic medicine, ginger is often referred to as the “universal” medicine, while Lemon is believed to be a spirit booster, with its bright aroma. Try: Tealightful Lemon Ginger Green

Find the good each day.

Consider a gratitude journal or a page in your bullet journal to jot down what you are grateful for. It is something all of us can do.

We leave you with a favorite quote: “Every positive thought propels you in the right direction.”

 

 

Sources:

Diego, M., Jones, N.A., Field, T., Hernandez-Reif, M., Schanberg, S., Kuhn, C., McAdam, V., Galamaga, R. & Galamaga, M.(1998). Aromatherapy positively affects mood, EEG patterns of alertness and math computations. International Journal of Neuroscience, 96, 217-224.

Buckle, J. (2007). Literature review: should nursing take aromatherapy more seriously? British Journal of Nursing, 16(2), 116-120.

Edris, A. (2007). Pharmaceutical and therapeutic potentials of essential oils and their individual volatile constituents: A review. Phytotherapy Research, 21, 308-323.

We’re not your ordinary tea brand

There are hundreds — or, more realistically, thousands — of tea brands from which to choose. Something we are often asked is what makes us different so we wanted to share a bit more about our tea.

Tealightful is truly different than other loose tea companies.

Tealightful small batch blended tea

At Tealightful, everything is small batch blended, right down to our baking mixes. Let’s think about something. At big tea companies, you will find a large warehouse (or warehouses) with row after row of shelves full of products. These products sit for months — or longer.  Everything that you will receive from us has been manufactured fresh within days (or weeks, in some instances) of shipping to you.

Tealightful is different and natural

At Tealightful, we thoughtfully source all of our own organic base teas and herbs for our original Tealightful blends. Have you ever looked at the ingredients labels of what you eat and drink? There are so many artificial, chemical-laden ingredients and that goes against our process. We use only the best natural organic compliant flavors in our original blends. In layman’s terms, this means that these flavors are free of preservatives or chemicals. We also choose flavors that are not extracted with chemical methods. This is important, as some “natural” flavors used by other brands actually are extracted via chemical methods.

Tealightful offers the best quality natural ingredients

We all have heard the expression “you get what you pay for” and this is very true.  Cheap teas are just that — cheap in terms of quality. At Tealightful, we carefully source the highest quality, certified organic teas and herbs. We never opt for less expensive quality tea that is simply masked by flavor. Yes, our ingredients do cost more, but it is important to note that our ingredients are fresh and of superior quality. Charlene, our CEO, shared a really great story about one of our herbs:

An example is our certified organic Peppermint. This Peppermint was just harvested in August. A lot of care goes into organic herb farming in the USA unlike herb farming in other countries where herbs are treated like crops that are mass produced and stored in warehouses for sometimes years.”

Be an informed consumer. You and your family deserve the best and we are so happy to share it with you.

Starting a Bullet Journal

Hello and Happy Friday. Today, while enjoying a hot cup of Tealightful Turmeric Tulsi, we’re going to be talking about a trend that seems to be creating lots of buzz: the bullet journal. 

What is a bullet journal — or BuJo as they are often called on social media? To be frank, it is a game-changer.

journalbook

Do you wish you could be a bit more organized to make life just a tad easier? I know I do!

Do you TRY to be more productive, but when you read about simplifying, the articles make it look like a chore and it feels completely overwhelming?

Sometimes it seems like everything we read might as well be called “Simplify your life in 101 easy steps!” – I think things are made to be too complex. I mean, if you are trying to get more organized so life can be simpler, should it really be that hard? I used to think that a planner would solve everything. It didn’t. Here is why: I have a wall calendar with appointments and birthdays on it. I have the calendar from the school PTSA with all of the school activities on it. I have a gratitude journal. I have the standard spiral notebook type of planner. I have post-it notes sticking to my planner and calendars.

That is so overwhelming to me to have multiple “planners” and organizers to keep me organized. The reality is that it makes things unnecessarily complicated. And guess what? I am still not organized.

I had seen Pinterest pins about bullet journals and never gave them another glance. It wasn’t until our very own Charlene here at Tealightful mentioned them that I decided to give it a look. We can do this together, friends. If you decide to start one of your own, I would love for you to stop back and share photos of what you have done.

What is a bullet journal?

Can I make a confession? When I read that a bullet journal is an “analog system for the digital age,” I almost ran the other way because it sounded intimidating to me — I almost thought it was just another complex way to “simplify” my life like everything else.

I first watched the You Tube video on the bullet journal and, again, I felt intimidated. It all seemed like such a daunting task until I re-watched the video and read more on the Bullet Journal website.

Ryder Carroll, the man behind this creation, says on his website that “all you need is a notebook and a pen.” He is right. I just needed to see that little reminder and read on to the part where he says that the bullet journal is “an evolving, adaptable practice meant to be self curated as you determine what works best for you.”

I tailored my bujo so that it will work for me. That is the beauty of a bullet journal. You need to do it in a way that works best for YOU, but when you do, it will be a game-changer in your routine!

  • The bullet journal is a simple and effective way to stay on track today and in the future.
  • The bullet journal is going to be your go-to book. It is like a day planner, personal diary, to-do list, sketchpad, and place to jot down ideas and inspiration all in one place.
  • The bullet journal focuses on being brief. Instead of long sentences, the idea is to use bullets and be a brief as you can to save you time.
  • The bullet journal is great for people who love stationery, pens, and who are visual. Because of its “systematic” nature, it also works for those who are more logical and who like repetition.

What are the parts of a bullet journal?

  1. Index – This is a really important part of your journal, but it makes things easy. Do not fill this out until you set up the rest. You will want to know which page numbers (if your journal is not numbered, just do it yourself) go with which section. Again, this WILL make things go more smoothly.
  2. Future Log – Have a designated space in the journal for each month. In the video, it has the next six months broken into three equal parts. It is a great way to keep your future events in one place. In my future log, for example, I have birthdays, concerts at school, and an August wedding written down. I like to mark down things I know are not for quite a while (like the half marathon my son will do again in September), but that need to be logged for my own sanity.
  3. Monthly log – After you have carved out a couple pages for your Future Log, it is time for the monthly log. Write one month on the left page. You are going to write down the dates in the month (If you start with January, you would be doing 1-31 going down the page). On the opposite page, you can add tasks that you have to go with that month.
  4. Daily Log –  I like to do two days per page, but that is up to you! Write down the things that you need/want to do each day.
  5. Collections — This would be things you want to keep track of such as grocery shopping lists, wishlists, projects, etc.
  6. You can also track habits — exercise, meals eaten, how well you slept, water consumption, savings/spending, your mood, etc. in this journal.

The key to your journal?

The key. What? Yes, you will need a key in your journal too. Again, there is a suggested key on the Bullet Journal website, but you need to make your system work for you. I have seen hundreds of key ideas on the internet. Mine is pretty simple and I also added color coding just because the colors really help me stay organized.

Here is a look at my key page:

bulletjournalkey

 

To be continued…

I just started bullet journaling this month. I am already seeing the benefits. I am saving QUITE A BIT of time by having my day to day life pretty much in this one book. What I would like to do is share with you how the process goes and stop back here and share any more tips I learn as I go.

I also do not want to overwhelm you. This should not be overwhelming — it should help minimize that feeling for you.

Next week, I am going to be back with more photos after I tweak mine a bit so it feels even more comfortable to me. Let’s make this something that we can do together and share!

Have you tried starting a bullet journal? How has it helped you? Any tips?

5 New Year’s Resolutions to Keep in 2018

“I want to lose 25 pounds.”

“I am going to become vegan.”

“I am going to the gym 5 days a week.”

It seems like so many of us set very lofty goals – or resolutions – when we turn the page to January on the new calendar. All you need to do is watch the morning news shows or catch the gym ads on television to know that NOW is when so many people plan to start fresh for the new year.

So many of the goals focus on health. That is not a bad thing. I often wonder — and science seems to validate– that we are setting ourselves up for failure. Once we hit February and March, the resolutions we set January 1 are often broken, leaving us with feelings of guilt and self doubt.

What if — just what if — we resolved to be KIND to ourselves in 2018? How would we feel when the end of the year rolls around?

Let’s talk about some self-care resolutions that we all should make (and keep!) in the New Year. Who would like to join me?

1. Resolve to speak to yourself the way you speak to others.

Think about it. I want you to step back and think of the words you are speaking to yourself about yourself in your head. “Ugh. I ate like a pig over the holidays. My clothes look horrible. I look horrible.” Would you ever think to speak those words to a loved one? No. So why is it, then, that we can think such unkind thoughts and tell ourselves such unkind words? What would happen if we changed that dialog? Replace “I could never”, “I am not”, “If I were smarter/thinner/prettier/stronger” with words that build you up rather than tear your down. If you would not speak unkindly to your loved ones, why on earth would you speak poorly to yourself?

2. Resolve to be true to yourself.

Have you seen the graphic floating around on social media which reads, “Be fearlessly authentic”? When I say be TRUE to yourself, that pretty much sums up what I mean. Do you kind of just go with the flow for fear of rocking the boat, even if it means you are unhappy? I have a friend who used to be in a couple’s sporting league. She hated those three hours per weekend, yet she continued acting like she enjoyed it because she did not want to disappoint her friends. Finally, she confessed the she absolutely dreaded playing the sport and decided not commit to another season.

By disguising her true feelings, she was pretending to enjoy something she didn’t enjoy. She started to feel resentful, stressed out, and mad at herself for not saying anything. By remaining true to her heart, she decided to say no to activity she did not enjoy and said yes to herself. She still sees her friends, but has freed up time to enjoy painting classes instead, which is something she enjoys and nourishes her soul. Just be YOU. Your friends will still love you for who you are and will likely appreciate the fact that you love yourself enough to live more fully.

3. Resolve to spend less time on your devices.

We are constantly plugged into technology.

It is almost as if we panic at the thought of missing out on something important if we put the phone down. What would happen if you stayed away from social media for an evening?

Would it be the end of the world? Absolutely not.

By spending a few hours unplugged, you will find that you have more time to engage in conversation, play with your children, get lost in the pages of a good book or maybe even head to bed early.

If the thought of cutting that cord seems scary, take baby steps. Schedule hours of being unplugged to focus on your self care. For example, start with just one evening a week. Commit to this small block of time and see what happens.

4. Resolve to try Matcha for improved mental clarity.

Matcha — an antioxidant-rich green tea powder — was introduced to Japan in 1191 by Eisai, a Buddhist monk. Eisai is believed to have planted the first green tea seeds in Japan. He is even more well known for having developed the philosophy known as Zen. Since that time, Matcha and Zen meditation have been intertwined through the tea ceremony. It is believed that Buddhist monks drank Matcha to help them feel grounded and calm with a sense of clarity while meditating for long periods of time. The tradition has continued centuries later.

Matcha is not your typical green tea — it may take ten cups of green tea to give you the benefits of just one cup of Matcha. What is unique about this drink, as opposed to a cup of coffee, is that it is believed to increase your mental clarity while making you feel at peace. Next time you head to the yoga studio, try sipping Matcha — it will allow you to be in the moment while being better able to concentrate on each pose. You can also try Matcha before a big test, presentation at work, or any other time you feel the need for a bit more focus.

5. Resolve to show your gratitude more often.

The greatest gift you can give a person is your gratitude. Making someone feel loved and appreciated is a true gift. Don’t wait for “later” or a “more convenient time” to show your gratitude for the people you love.

Whether it’s your significant other, parents, friends, your child’s teacher or a neighbor, wouldn’t it be really amazing if you took a moment to show someone your gratitude each day?

There are scientifically-proven benefits to expressing your gratitude. According to a 2012 study published in Personality and Individual Differences, people who express their gratitude tend to be healthier. In addition to getting more exercise, they tend to keep up with their regular doctor’s wellness visits, according to the study.

Additionally, Robert A. Emmons, Ph.D. says that people who are grateful are less resentful and do not hold on to toxic emotions. His research in the field of gratitude concludes that people who express and feel genuine gratitude are happier overall.