Category Archives: tea

Slices of Life #6

Good morning! It’s the start of a new week which calls for another Slice of Life, so let’s get on with the linking and listing, shall we?

Slices of Life


The Life

Slices of Life The Life

I finished my second week at my real job and finally finished all the training at my part time job. I’m definitely loving that my schedule will be a little more balanced this week almost as much as I’m loving the fact that I got my first “big girl” paycheck! I may have spent most of it on student loans but still... I got one!! I’m also finally starting to step out a bit and hopefully meet some new people. I went to an (awesome!) free meditation at a local yoga studio yesterday and I found a trivia team on MeetUp to join up with later in the week. Branching out on my own has never really been my thing and neither has having lots of plans with large groups of people… but I figure I should find something to do besides work!

great post I’d love to forward to some of my classmates who are already complaining about the interest rates on our student loans now that we have to pay the money back.

Why you shouldn’t take Facebook posts seriously  or maybe even think about leaving it for good.

Signs that you’re working at a job you love , my current jobs check quite a few of these even if the training schedule was a little crazy.

The Eats

Slices of Life The Eats

I’m still loving on my CSA. Share #2 included greens, zucchini, broccoli, garlic scapes, and a ton of basil. That didn’t stop me from swinging by the farmers market on my way to work one day and picking up a few green peppers and a bunch of tomatoes… at least I remembered the honey I went there for in the first place? BF and I also decided to sign up for a membership at Sam’s Club. I may not need it now while I’m swimming in produce but I can definitely see myself loving it once farm season is through. The recipes and foodie reads this week include:

The start to what looks like an exciting series of posts on eating clean. The BF may find it annoying everytime I point out the some of his “healthier” choices are low fat/low sugar/ low calorie due to additives that are best left out. Maybe if I throw the science at him from someone else it’ll stick 😉

Asiago Cheddar Zucchini Gratin (coincidence that I got zucchini in my CSA this week? I think not!)

A Farmers Omelette that the BF asked for ASAP

The perfect Mojito recipe which BF and I sampled on Saturday (good thing my mint plant is growing like … well like mint!) 

The Exercise

Slices of Life The Exercise

I’ve been taking it easy on my hip this week to make sure that when I start running again I’m able to do so without further incident. There’s been lots of hip strengthening exercises and general full  body workouts and a lot of yoga. There’s just enough room for my mat on the deck at our new place and I’ve been loving heading outside on weekend mornings (so I don’t wake the BF 🙂 ) All these gentle strengthening and stretching based exercises haven’t done much in terms of getting my sweat on, but they definitely make my body feel great.

Heart Opening Yoga, Dancing Warrior sequence, and Plank-a-thon have been by Youtube workouts of choice.

The whole workout looks a little much right now, but I love the stretches and the plyometric set!

What’s the best thing you read/ate/did this week? 

Spill it Sunday: The Breakfast edition

I know, I know I’ve been MIA these last few Sunday’s (heck I was MIA all last week!) What can I say the last few weeks of school are getting me down simply because they keep dragging on. Give me 2 weeks and I’ll be a graduate with a month long vacation before starting my real job… until then I can’t promise to stop being sporadic in my posting, but I can promise to try.

But I didn’t come here today to talk about me…

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okay maybe a little bit, it is Selfie Spill it Sunday after all. But I really came here to talk about breakfast. 1st Breakfast, 2nd Breakfast, Brinner, Brunch I could eat breakfast foods all day everyday and be a  happy happy girl. Since Arman was featuring my favorite meal today I had to make sure I stopped by for the party.

1. What is your classic go to breakfast of choice? On a daily basis I like smoothies, well buttered toast, or granola depending on how early I wake up and/or how cold it is outside (I’m always cold so smoothies in the winter aren’t my thing). The one constant at my breakfast every day is a mug of tea... that’s actually a constant in my life but I always make my first cup at breakfast.

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2. Favourite sweet style breakfast? I love waffles, pancakes, piles of fruit (mmm or waffles/pancakes topped with piles of fruit). I’ve been making waffles like crazy since I bought my waffle maker a few weeks ago, I’ll get to photos so I can share the recipe soon 🙂

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3. Favourite savoury style breakfast? Omelettes!! I practically lived off the DIY omelette bar for college breakfasts and the love is still going strong. Eggs stuffed with veggies and cheese are also one of the things BF and I agree on for breakfast, and one of the few things he knows how to make for breakfast and I never turn down a chance to have someone else cook for me.

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4. Strangest breakfast you’ve ever eaten? Post Easter last weekend I woke up and had a breakfast of ham, green beans, and a baked potato. I’ve had ham as part of a breakfast, I love potatoes as part of a breakfast. But eating them without doctoring, with a side of green beans and shallots was a new experience for me, and I surprised myself with how much I liked it.

5. Do you have a typical breakfast routine? Wake up, turn the kettle on, get ready for work. Once the kettle boils how much time I have left before running out the door will depend on if I throw things in a blender for a quick breakfast (~2min) throw toast in the toaster for a carb-o-licious breakfast (~4 min) or pour myself a bowl of granola and/or a cereal mess and actually sit and eat my breakfast (~10 min).

Now if you’ll excuse me I’m off to enjoy another mug of tea and some granola 🙂

Strawberry Spinach Smoothie

One of the (many) things I’m not loving about my medical placement is how much it has killed my appetite. My supervisor is fantastic and I’m enjoying working with some of the patients (even when they call me names). But if feeding people who are no longer able to do so themselves wasn’t enough to kill my appetite the smell in the place surely is…

I was already used to a “grab and go” lunch schedule from when I worked in the schools, but since starting here I’ve dropped from grab and go to go go go with no time or desire to stop for lunch. Which means a BIG breakfast is key for keeping me on my feet all day.


The BF got me a blender with this awesome single serve attachment for our anniversary this year, and now that it’s finally stopped snowing around here I’ve been drinking my breakfast like nobody’s business.

I like a smoothie that packs a punch in terms of flavor, and has enough in it to actually count as a meal (or in my case two). A combination of fruits and greens does just that, with some chia seeds for an added boost.


And of course it wouldn’t count as breakfast in my book if I didn’t add some tea in (though no worries there’s a mug on the side as well) 😉

Strawberry Spinach Smoothie

Serves: 1

Time: 2 minutes


1 small, ripe, banana

1 cup spinach leaves

5-6 strawberries (add more if your berries are small)

1 TBSP Chia Seeds (1 TBSP flax seeds OR 1/4 oatmeal would add a good boost too)

1 cup Ginger tea (or 1 TBSP fresh ginger and 1 cup water)

Combine all ingredients in a blender and pulse until smooth. Can be made the night before if stored in an airtight container.

What’s your favorite thing to make in a blender?

What’s something that totally kills your appetite? 

WIR #42: The Listography edition

Can I just say I’m not a huge fan of this “spring forward” thing? True the extra daylight is nice, as is the reminder that spring might actually be on its way, but losing an hour in my already short weekend? Let’s just say I had to get creative to pack it all in this week.

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My to-do list, blog post/workout schedule, and stress frog (what you don’t have one?)


My weekend food prep. Granola (of course), rice with spinach and caramelized onions for a few lunches, and freshly bottled kombucha.

But since I recap the same sorts of things week after week (the joys of being a full time student who works weekends) I thought I would start this week off with a different sort of list.


I got this book ages ago (sometime in High School judging by some of the content) but basically each page is a prompt to start a different sort of list. Guilty pleasures, people you wouldn’t mind sleeping with, past hangouts, bad habits… 

Basically it’s a list lovers dream in terms of memory collecting, and since lists are the thing of the day for Monday’s I decided to share a page with you 🙂

My one major accomplishment last week was my first interview for a real job, coupled with filling out even more applications over the weekend (school’s are finally starting to post openings for next year). Since I’ve got job hunting on the brain I decided to share the “past jobs” page out of my Listography book.

  1. Babysitter 6th grade-current (yes I still babysit on occasion)
  2. Waitress at Steak’n’Shake, 2006-20011
  3. Campus Rec Customer Service Agent, 2009-2012
  4. Language Acquisition Lab Assistant, 2010-2012
  5. Red Lobster (aka Dead Lobster), summer 2012
  6. My current job as an aide in a local clinic, 2012-current
  7. Studypoint Inc. Test Prep Tutor, 2012-2013
  8. Applied Behavior Analysis intervention provider (my current weekend gig), 2013-current

Not bad for 8 years out in the job market 😉

I’m thinking of sharing more lists from here as weeks go by, just as a way to spice up the recaps, any of the above mentioned topics pique your interests?


Be sure to go visit Meghan and see what everyone else listed up!

What was the best thing you did this weekend? What’s the last job you’ve held? What was your first ever job?

WIAW #36: Recipe Roundup and Chocolate Cherry Baked Oatmeal

Good morning! I’ve decided another perk of having only a four day week this week is that two days in I’m already halfway done and when the week has more meetings and classes than therapy time with my kiddos I’m definitely okay with that.

This has been one of those weeks where I didn’t get into the kitchen much. Between work, snow, BF time, and job apps it just hasn’t been a huge priority. As such there have been some of the usual quick eats…


There was (obviously) tea, #publicbanana’s, and some arrowroot cookies

And then there were the recipes that belong to other people. You gotta love being able to pull out some quick favorites when there’s no inspiration and  no groceries in the house. Eats have included a few of my mom’s favorites from around the web and a quick revamp of one of mine.


Chocolate Cherry Baked Oatmeal3 Bean Chili, and Baked Polenta Pie

I took a pretty standard (and tasty) baked oatmeal recipe and dressed it up a bit to enjoy on my morning commute this week.


Because breakfast is always better with chocolate 😉

Chocolate Cherry Baked Oatmeal

Makes 12, 30 minutes


2 ripe bananas

1 egg

3/4 cup water

1 tsp almond extract

2 cups GF oats

2 tsp cinnamon

1 TBSP Honey

1/2 cup unsweetened dried cherries*

1/4 semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350*. Combine egg, water, and mashed banana in a medium sized mixing bowl. Add in oats, almond extract, cinnamon, and honey and mix to combine (the batter will look very wet). Gently stir in cherries and chocolate chips. Line a muffin tin with liners (or spray with cooking spray) and evenly divide batter among 12 cups. Bake at 350* for 20-25 minutes until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.

* I used unsweetened/unsulfered dark cherries from Trader Joes, if you use sweetened ones you may not need the honey*

Resist the urge to stuff your face as soon as they come out of the oven totally burn the roof of your mouth with chocolate oatmeal goodness.


[adapted from Sprint to the Table]

I’m still a little short on the veggies so far this week, but at least I’m doing better getting in some food… Grab and Go bites have been a lifesaver in that regard! As always I’m linking up with the party at Jenn’s so be sure to swing by and see what everyone else has been eating this week.

WIR #40: Brewing in the Bedroom

Gotta love a 3 day weekend! For me that means an extra day of pay from my ABA job, and some actual quality time with the BF. If you had to go to work today I’m sorry for rubbing it in but I am loving this bonus day off 😉

It gave me lots of time to check things off my to-do list this weekend, including finally getting my kombucha out of the bathroom! (apparently that’s a bad place for it?)


Yep I’m officially the weird girl your parents warned you about, then one with kombucha brewing in her nightstand. At least the whole setup looks pretty?

And speaking of pretty things, during my little room clean out I also finally took the time to organize all of my blog props. Now they’re in a bin in my closet instead of a bin under my bed!


I also prepped like a champ for the week ahead. We have a crazy schedule of meetings at my school site this week so I wanted to make sure I had as much “grab and go” food as possible.


Cherry Almond Chocolate baked oatmeal (recipe this week!)
Freshly bottled Kombucha
Cheesy Scallion biscuits (which go great with a quick egg!)

Then there was the fun stuff. Since we both work odd hours (or too many hours in my case) I didn’t get to celebrate Valentines Day with the BF on Friday. We took advantage of his schedule and my bonus day off to celebrate Sunday night instead. And being the wonderful girlfriend I am I got him…


Okay that’s not actually his present. But he did ask for some books to borrow because he gets a lot of downtime at work on the weekends. Asking me to bring along just one book is never a good idea though, so I brought an assortment of favorites instead. I also used passing out favorites as an excuse to stock up on a bunch of new books at the library, I’ve got a big pile for this week so hopefully some of them are good.

As for the rest of the celebrating…


We’ll just leave it at that 😉

Linking up with the Queen of Mad Monkey Love  herself for the Week in Review Party. Be sure to swing by and see what everyone else has been getting up to recently.


How did you celebrate Valentines Day?

Spill it Sunday: Musical Chat Roulette

Good morning everyone! Looks a little different around here, huh? You’ll have to be patient with me as I settle into my new home here at WordPress, but I’m hoping to have all the bugs worked out by the end of the week 🙂

This week Arman has us basically playing Chat Roulette   with our musical devices… so things could get interesting. Be sure to swing by The Big Man’s World to see what everyone else is listening to.


I always keep my phone loaded with music because the commute get’s pretty boring pretty fast without it. I actually just stocked up on a bunch of new CD’s at the library yesterday so I’ll be adding even more variety in the next few weeks.

If you only knew: Shinedown, The Sound of Madness

Shinedown has been in my collection since High School, it started when I heard a song I liked (What a Shame) in the background of a Harry Potter fan video… yeah yeah nerd alert…  and I’ve since had the chance to enjoy all of their albums since.

All I wanted: Paramore, Brand New Eyes

One of my childhood friends has been in love with Paramore for as long as I’ve known her (and for a while she had the bright red hair to match). We don’t talk much anymore, but she’ll occasionally send me links to their songs on Facebook.

Renegade: DAUGHTRY, Renegade 

We’re moving into guilty pleasure territory with this one. I remember watching Chris Daughtry on American Idol with my dad, and little high school me just loved him! I’ve since moved on from the man but I’m still a sucker for his music.

U +UR Hand: P!nk, I’m Not Dead

The title on this one is self-explanatory, no? P!nk is my go to when I need angry girl music, music for a girl’s night, or a good cry. Seriously her albums cover everything (and her athleticism is to die for).

I’ve been: Original Broadway Cast, Next to Normal

Seriously it’s my Iphone, you knew a musical was bound to come up 😉 This is one of the best songs from one of my favorite modern shows. Go check it out, I promise it’s a goodie!

And I suppose since it’s Sunday I should throw in a selfie for good measure, right? It’s a comfy morning before work with my glasses on and my mug of tea. I’m also wearing the BF’s shirt…


shh don’t tell him I stole it

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The perfect cup of tea

It’s no secret that I have a bit of a thing for tea.  I’ve grown to love it in its tangy kombucha form, but a cozy mug of green or ginger tea is still my favorite way to indulge. Not that tea is an indulgence by any means (all you have to do is boil water) but if made right a cup of tea really can make you feel that way. 
You have to start with water of course. A boiling kettle is one of my favorite sounds and it can pull me running from anywhere in the house (I’ve been known to start the kettle and then walk away to do something else…). But a mug heated in the microwave or even really hot tap water will work in a pinch. Sun tea is great too but it’s too cold for that in Chicago in February. 
Then of course there’s the tea. Loose leaf is fancy, it requires a bit more work to steep and strain the leaves, but you’re worth the extra effort. And if you don’t have the time thats why teabags were invented 😉 I get tea for Birthdays/Christmas at about the same rate I get candles (which is a lot!) but that doesn’t stop me from picking up a new box almost every time I go to the store. Variety is the spice of life after all. 
1. Green and white blend (low caffeine) 2. Raspberry Mint (herbal)
3. Ginger (herbal and addictive) 4. Mango Ceylon (black tea)
5. Peppermint (herbal) 6. Super green tea (with a little kick)

After that all that’s left to do is relax and enjoy. I take my tea to go in the mornings, and chug it like it’s my job at school, but afternoon tea will always be my favorite. I put on a full kettle as soon as I get home each afternoon. By the time I’ve had a quick workout the water has boiled. I can then take my mug to the couch as I sit and catch up on blogs (which is like catching up with dear friends) or I can sip on it as my dad and I cook dinner and I catch him up on my life.

This weekend I used my time to catch up on cookbooks
I challenge you to take some time for yourself with a cup of tea this afternoon. Take the 15-20 minutes to relax, chat, or reflect. Trust me you won’t regret it. 

WIAW #34: The SLP intern edition

Hey guys, Happy Wednesday! Remember back in January when I was all gung-ho about getting to use my lunchbox again. I was so excited to be able to pack a healthy meal to eat during the day at my school placement, to show off my new lunch skins I’d gotten for Christmas, and just generally get back into eating a regular lunch… well let me tell you that is not how things work in the school system.

My lunch went from 15 minutes between meetings the first week to it’s current state of whatever I can stuff in my mouth between students. I knew working in the schools was go go go all the time. I just didn’t realize all the time was literally all the time!

So this week I’m sharing a typical day of eats as I go through my day as a SLP intern (student clinician, graduate clinician, SLP student whatever title you want to give me). These are Monday’s eats from beginning to end.

This week is lacking the peas, but my kids and I have been playing with crayons!
Breakfast has been a smoothie (made in my new Ninja single serve cup!) and a mug of tea. I can drink both on the road while waiting for trains driving to school and finish whatever I don’t while pulling materials for the day. 

I usually have something to copy for the day, and while I’m picking up my papers I swing by the coffee pot to refill my mug with hot water for mug of tea number 2! I have one mug of black tea first thing in  the morning and then switch to green or herbal (yes I totally have a tea schedule… don’t act surprised).  

If there wasn’t one in my smoothie (depends on the day) I usually take a #publicbanana break after my first few students. More often than not it takes an hour to get through the nana as I eat it 1-2 bites at a time (I get maybe a minute walking down the hall searching out kiddos to eat). 
Lunch is the rest of my banana and a couple of energy bites. I load these things up for a reason I seriously need the energy to get through the afternoon! If I have extra time I might munch on a cutie or some carrots but usually those are saved for the afternoon commute. 

Needless to say by the time I get home, have a workout, and help make dinner I am more than ready to eat! 

Trends for the day… lots of tea! Also lots of really small bites (which I already knew) and a lot of my food at the end of the night which I’m not super crazy about, but whatcha gonna do? 

Cranberry Almond Biscotti

I have a slight problem obsession passion when it comes to tea. Hot, iced, or fermented, I like tea of all sorts and can easily drink 3-5 mugs in a day. And once in a while a good cup of tea needs a cookie made for dunking.

Biscotti aren’t a cookie I had much exposure to growing up, but I know they’re made for dipping. When I saw Arman’s post a few weeks back I was excited to try it out… except I like my cookies with fruit (makes them healthier, right?). Keeping the inspiration of his nutty cookies, I got to experimenting in the kitchen myself. 
The result is a hearty, crispy, cookie bursting with nutty almond flavor and chewy cranberries. These have a high ratio of fruit to cookie, so feel free to cut back on the fruit or (for shame) leave it out entirely to suit your tastes. 

Cranberry Almond Biscotti 
Makes 15 

Hands on time: 10 minutes
Baking time: 45-50 minutes

1 cup GF flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 tsp salt
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 Tbsp butter, softened
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp almond extract
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1/2 cup dried cranberries
Preheat oven to 350*. In a food processor (or stand mixer or a large bowl) cream butter and sugar together. Add in egg, vanilla, and almond extract and mix to combine. Stir in flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt in thirds making sure to incorporate each third before adding more. Fold in almonds and dried cranberries. 
Remove dough from bowl and form into a single log on a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake for 35 minutes and then remove from oven. Allow cookies to cool enough to handle and slice into individual pieces. Return cookies to the oven for 5 minutes, then flip and cook the other side for 5 minutes as well until cookies are lightly browned on all sides. 
Serve warm or cooled. You can store extras in an airtight container for about 1 week. 

Although I think these are perfect with a cup of tea on a snowy day (like we’re supposed to get here again!) they’re are soft enough that you can enjoy them on their own without breaking a tooth. And if you decide to go and dip them in coffee… well it can be our little secret 😉