Adventures in Coffee… The Missed Ones

I’ve been so rubbish at keeping up with my coffee reviews and even my own notes I keep for my own benefit. It was easier when I had a subscription, but I stopped that a while a go and have yet to find another one to take it’s place. So I thought I would round up the ones I missed into their own post. I think they are form the last 6 months, but mainly since the London Coffee Festival.

A third example of the Starbuck Reserve selection from the London Coffee Festival.

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The new roaster I found at the London Coffee Festival from Freehand Coffee.
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The fourth Reserve from the Starbucks collection from the London Coffee Festival.
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A single origin from Rave coffee, way back from January!
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I was also given some free Taylor’s beans, the Kilimanjaro blend, and enjoyed, but not as an espresso. I’ve also been picking up sale beans from my local Whittard’s outlet shop.

I’m missing going out and finding new coffees to try and want to make this part of my exploring and travelling again. I’m going to find some roasters and shops I can visit on weekends over the next few months and also get back to my coffee blogging again. I also want to look at brewing methods and equipment as I know I am being lazy and want to start making amazing mugs of coffee overtime. So I also need something I can take to work to do this as well. Lots to think about!

 

Candy Japan July 2015

In my desire to start travelling again I have decided to stop a few subscriptions to save money. I love getting things each month, but at the same time I actually want to visit places and not just dream of them from afar. As there is a lag between paying for this subscription and receiving the packages I have one more month to go with my Candy Japan boxes!

I have loved these and although I’m not a big fan of sweets (Chocolate yes, jelly sweets not so much). This month was two packages containing so interesting stuff. The first package contained Plum Seed ‘soft’ Candy (LOVED), Shige Kicks Evolution Soda Gummies (Also loved, but have no idea what flavour they were), and Lotte Yokai Bubblegum (okay and haven’t had bubblegum in ages!). I took most to the cinema with me as snacks.

The second parcel contained Meiji Caramel (not sure about these), Lotte Ume and Lemon (liked these simple dummies), and Ultrman Battle Gummies (like normal gummy sweets). I didn’t have anyone to battle with the last ones, but it looked as those it would be fun, but I was again at the cinema with these, so not the best location to battle it out.

I would really recommend this subscription as it is different and fun. I love that it comes in two parcels a month as it means I can spread out my sweet consumption and really enjoy the ones that I have each time. Even though I am sad to stop this subscription I will make up for it when I finally get to visit Japan myself in the next couple of years!

What’s Missing?

In my previous post I spoke about the reasons I had for not blogging. I didn’t feel I needed to justify anything, it was rather just for me to unblock myself and write something. I enjoy writing and although I do not think of myself as a writer I have found it to be a beneficial outlet for my thoughts; especially those thought I previously have had trouble articulating.

I’ve been taking a look at myself and my loves this last week. I want to understand what makes me tick and drives me forward. I think that understanding myself is the most important thing I can do in times where I feel out of kilter. It helps re-focus my priorities and really look at what makes me me. I have definitely felt like something has been missing from my life. This is surprising for at the same time as I am really good at the moment generally. I am enjoying work, loving my home, and doing most of the things I love. But that is just it – ‘most’ – not everything.

I have found that they haven’t changed in essence; I still love the same things, I just don’t prioritise them like I used to and that is what causing my unease with life I think. There are things I love and do daily, such as enjoy good coffee, read, and play with my cats. There are things I do often, but not daily such as, swimming, walking, blogging, socialising. Then there are the things I do less often, which is where things have slipped out of the top priorities and that really comes down to travel and creating new experiences.

I really miss travelling. I have realised it is the one thing I have had to fully sacrifice for to help myself by changing jobs a few years ago and the associated reduction in salary. Don’t get me wrong I have been away and have explored new places, but I haven’t travelled in a 5 years. Acknowledging I miss it is the first step in to bringing it back into my life. There are places I want to go and trips I want to be part of and in order to make sure this is important to me I have to prioritise it and create ways of working towards them.

So I’ve reviewed my list and have Japan and Mt Blanc at the top and plan to do both in the next two years. Saving for something important to me is easier as it is something to look forward to. I can research and plan and do all the things associated with going travelling and get excited. I’ve not had that for 5 years and that is throwing me off kilter so I am taking action.

While I am doing all my researching and planning I am going to focus on creating daily rituals for myself. I read a Marc and Angel post today about creating rituals, rather than focusing on overall goals and it hit me hard:

“Nothing will change unless you make a daily ritual that reinforces your goal.”

This is how I want to look after my self, both mentally and physically going forward. It is all the small things that add up to the whole, so rather than thinking I need to lose weight and putting a total figure on it, I’m going to focus on making each meal what I need. It’s also how I want to make sure I am prorating the things I love by making them a ritual to savour and appreciate.

Writer’s Block

“Writer’s block is a condition, primarily associated with writing, in which an author loses the ability to produce new work or experiences a creative slowdown. The condition ranges in difficulty from coming up with original ideas to being unable to produce a work for years.” Wiki 2015

I realised last week I hadn’t written a new blog post since the 11th July. I did even have any posts in draft, let alone ideas of what to write about. I just lost direction for a while. I tend to stick to the same type of posts as for me it has always been sharing the things I enjoy or am working on. I felt I had nothing to say. I was shutting myself away and knew that was a bad sign for me. I know I need my alone time, but I also know if I start not wanting to do anything with other people I am heading back into a low period and I try to cut those off where I can.

I may not be medication for depression anymore, but I still need the tools I learnt through CBT and therapy. I continue to use them in times when I feel myself pulling away. So that’s what I’ve been doing this last week and it’s working.

So that is what I thought I would share to get over this writer’s block I’ve come up against.

I want to continue to focus on life’s adventures and one of those for me is keeping my mental self strong and supported. It’s okay to feel off kilter for whatever reason, but remembering it is only temporary is important.

Side note: has anyone see Inside Out yet? I loved it! Such a fantastic idea to introduce mental health to the younger generation. It stuck to the known idea of core beliefs and memories that shape who we are. What I loved those was that we can change our core memories as we grow and go through life, and therefore if there are time that are less than stellar we can move through them and create more another time. It was the perfect film for me to go see this week.

I am going to reduce the amount I blog. I want to keep it going but take the pressure off. I want to have something important to say and have a reason for sharing it. Those are the blogs I love to read, and I want my blog to be like them.

Purrfect Box

My cats are so spoilt!

As you already know they get a monthly box from a different company, but Purrfect Box got in touch with me to offer me a free box to try and could not say no – Merry & Pippin need more toys obviously!

As you can see as soon as it arrived they claimed it as theirs as they do with every box that comes into the house.

Once we open the box I was pleased to see a lovely amount of toys and treats contained within.

First up (and put straight out of the way) were the treats. I don’t know how, but my two can tell the difference between their normal food and treats straight away. I think I might try to put their food in treat bags sometime to test out their cleverness. I’ve only given them the chicken filet bites so far and they love them. I think they life softer treats more as they are on dry food all the time.   

Next up is catnip spray, which my two love. This came in a handy size and they could tell right away what is was. I sprayed a bit on their favourite areas and they were super happy.

Pippin is a fan of this next toy as he likes batting things around with his paws. Merry is not interested unless it moves and she can chase it.  These are great to throw up the stairs and watch Pippin chase and catch and miss and run back down. 

Merry was a fan of this one though as it smelt and she could lie on top of it to keep it all to herself. She like chewing it, but it is standing up to her attention quite well.

I had only recently bought them a tunnel, so this was a duplicate of a recent toy, but much shorter in length and Merry love it. She lies in with her head out one end and her butt out the other and is quite happy. Pippin like the tunnel as he can launch a surprise attack.   

The box comes with a leaflet of cat advice and descriptions of the contents of the box.

Merry and Pippin gave the box a paws up and have been enjoying the contents for the last week since it arrived and also the box itself!  

They both wanted to fit in, but it did not work.

Pippin isn’t sure what to make of the smelly bow.   

Merry in the tunnel.

Merry wondering what the balls were, but quickly lost interest when she worked out she had to move them herself.   

Merry asleep in the box after a hard day being a cat. Merry is not usually the box cat, but I think she claimed this one for herself before Pippin could get there.

Overall a fab box and if I didn’t already pay for one I would consider signing up for this. However this is more expensive than what I currently pay and in order to pay the same I would have to pay for a whole year up front which isn’t feasible. I would suggest taking a look at all the different boxes out there now and decide which is the best for you and your moggies.

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