Adventures in Tea and Coffee… November 2015

This month I have worked through the big stash of Rave coffee beans I bought last month and it’s good that I bought extra as I have not been that way since. I will be making a special trip in the next week or so to pick up their Christmas blend.

The coffee I’ve just started is my first Christmas Blend from Taylors. It’s nice and dark and warming. It’s not a complex taste and surprising smooth for a pre-package coffee.

Tea wise I treated myself to teapigs winter spiced tea and am loving it. It’s so warm and spicy on a dark evening and smells divine.


This month has really been about trying out my new toy – the Bodum pour over! I really want a big chemex, but saw this when was out shopping and couldn’t resist for £15. I love the pour over method for brewing coffee as it just takes a bit more time and makes it a bit of a ritual.

Plus I love the way it looks while brewing!

I also found a new purple version of my french press. Mine has been splitting at the bottom for a while and I’ve been worried it will break. I’m going to keep it though as it will be useful tot make places where I won’t mind if it does get broken.

This is my favourite time of year for coffee  and tea.

Currently – November 2015 Edition

Current Book – A Court of Thorns and Roses

I’ve lost my reading mojo the last couple of weeks and started this book, but haven’t gotten very far. I think I am going to like it, I just need some time to get stuck into it properly.

Current Music – Hello by Adele

Like everyone else I love this song and turn it up full blast when it comes on in the car.

Current Non-Guilty Pleasure – Pumpkin Apple Cider candles

I love these candle and this scent from Partylite is a favourite of mine, but they have stopped doing it this year so I am making my big pumpkin last as long as possible. Luckily they had the mini jars on sale at my friends party last month so now I have another set to see me through the winter. There is just something calming and warming about the smell and on a  dark cold evening is perfect to snuggle under a blanket with a book.

Current Beauty Product –  Smashbox Hydrating Primer

This is amazing! I came across this through Love Life Lexi’s blog and I am so happy about it. My skin tends to get drier over winter, but I have noticed it getting dry in the day and I think that was from my last primer as I reduced the foundation I wear down to special occasion, rather than everyday. This is like putting on moisturiser and just feels so nice and not greasy at all. It smooths and reduces shine and just feels great. It is more liquid like than my last one, so I think it will last quite a long time too.

Current Drink – Caorunn Gin

My leaving present when I changed role a couple of weeks ago was new bottle of my favourite gin and it’s perfect for going into winter.

Current Food –  Tuna steaks pan fried with lemon. Usually with stir fry veggies and noodles. Simple.

Current Obsession –  Adding to my Lion King collection!

Current Craving –  All the sweet food!

I think it’s this time of year, when all the Christmas food is coming out in the stores. I just want all the sweet things!

Current Need –  Lots of sleep (like my cats)

 Current Bane of My Existence – filing my personal post, especially bank stuff. I just hate doing it. I never know what I need to kept versus what i can throw away, so end up just keeping it all and now it’s a huge pile in the corner of my spare room.

Current Indulgence –  roller ski course

In preparation for my cross country skiing holiday, but more about that another time.

Current Procrastination – cleaning my car

I hate this job so much! But I could easily take it someone for someone else to do it for me, but I would rather spend the money on something else. My car is going in for a service next week, so am hoping they will do it then – fingers crossed!

Currently making my life easier – Poopy Cat litter boxes

So easy to use and clean and have removed the odor from my house. Also fits perfectly in the space by my toilet. I have to put the box in the bottom of one my last litter trays to trap the dust as my two like to dig, but work it!

Current Confession –  I love the build up to Christmas, but not the actual day. So much expectation on one day!

Current Quote – this.

Current Excitement –  A week off next week!

I so need it. I haven’t had any proper time off in ages and am feeling it. I worked from home today and really struggled to keep focused. I can feel that my brain is not as on form as it usually is and from the combination of finishing one job and moving teams to new one I’m feeling a little run down. Not in a bad way, just in a it would be nice not to set my alarm for week kind of way.

Current Mood –  Determined

Adventures in Coffee and Tea – October 15 Edition

 I’ve decided to streamline my posts so am bring together my adventures in coffee and tea into a monthly update to share with you all.

There has been a nice selection of drinks I’ve been having the last month or so.

First up I got a free sample from Starbucks and I liked it a lot. I have a preference for Guatemalian coffee so this was a nice freebie to get. I tried it in both my espresso maker and as a pour over and both were very nice.

Next up I was lucky to win a Twitter competition by Hope and Glory to try their Honduras coffee. This was a nice change for me I found it lighter and more a six than what I would normally go for. I tried it a variety of ways and found the French press with milk suited this coffee for me. It left the oils in and could be made quite strong and then the milk added some balance.   

 Also in October I took a trip to Cardiff to visit a fried s and we went for late lunch at Barkers Tea House. I had the house blend breakfast tea and it was lovely. I also had a sandwich and came, both of which were excellent and we are planning to head back for a proper afternoon tea before Christmas.


I’ve been working my way through a stock of Bluebird tea I have and the first one is coffee pu’erh. I really like this. It’s a strong smoked tea and the adoration of whole coffee beans gives it a deep flavour that isn’t quite tea, but also not quite coffee. I refit sky recommend trying this one if you love both coffee and tea. It’s great on a weekend morning when I can’t make up my mind of what I want.


I also found the Hot Cross Bun tea I bought back in April! This one was okay.mots not my favourite, but was it was nice to try some ring different and I do like to have a rooibos tea for the cold evenings.


I found this one, but I’m sure this is a multiple from last year, but is definitely a favourite from Bluebird as it feels like a guilt free mocha drink.


This was the month of finds of the tea I got last winter and the. Didn’t finish before it got warmer. I think I meant to give this one as a present, but nevermind. This has felt nice on an evening while cosying up with a good book as its dark and rainy and turning to winter. I don’t normally like ginger based drinks, but as long a only lightly brew this works great for me.  

I also treated myself to new mug of my Halloween trip to the Harry Potter Studio. This is a great size mug!


Wandering around the Harry Potter Studio on Halloween

This Halloween will always be remembered as a very good one indeed as I went to the Harry Potter Studio Tour with my friend Ingrid!

It was set up with Dark Arts as the theme and being Halloween night it was spooky and fun.IMG_2838

The Great Hall was set up with the Halloween feast.


There were Death Eaters walking around the studio freaking people out by getting up close.

There was a wand maker taking the time to talk to the visitors.


So many wands! Do you see the pumpkin wand?


This is the third time I’ve been and this time was all about the details for me. We didn’t bother with the audio guide and instead read bits and pieces and really enjoyed just wandering around and taking the time to see things.


Like the Sorting hat and the Weasleys clock.


I want this cereal, or just as a card to put on my wall.


There were new additions too. The Malfoy Manor scene was set up and felt very creepy.

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Umbridge’s Office was in a different place and you got to see all the cat plates up close and personal.


I managed to get a close up of a Death Eater who started stalking towards me as I took the photo – so creepy!


The main new bit for us was getting to see the Hogwarts Express!


Harry’s hand print on the window.


Lavender’s heart for Ron.IMG_2959

The lunch cart! I would love if they sold the pumpkin juice bottles.


Then we got to go on a train journey. We both bought the official photo (last time we got the car and the broom ones) with the Hogsmede background.


We also got some fun photos and this was just amazing timing on Ingrid’s part!


The details of all the books is amazing! I wish the versions in the shop were not so costly, but I would so love to have a set of these.

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Butterbeer! My profile picture on every site is now me with my butterbeer and butterbeer ice cream!

The butterbeer is great and so different from other things. The ice cream was more caramel flavour, but it made a nice dinner.


Then we got outside, which was fantastic as it was dark and Halloween so just felt atmospheric to be there.

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We also had fun and kept swapping with other visitors to do these fun photos on Hagrid’s motorbike.


Diagon Alley was busy and fun to in.


The Hogwarts model is still amazing every time I see it.

I looked for the little details this time, including the telescope.


The dragons on the greenhouses.


The owlery.


The clock through the trees.


The boathouse.



The paths and bridges.


It was so much fun and a great time of year and night to go and visit the tour. I would definitely recommend it. I now want to see it all at Christmas, but I’ll leave that until next year I think.

Recent Reads – October

I’ve taken to the idea of doing one summary post to look at what I’ve been reading rather than take up lots of posts by doing individual ones, so that is what I’m going to do. I’ve got my reading mojo back and feel like I am devouring books over the last couple of weeks, well at least compared to what I had been like.

Speaking in Bones


This was an audiobook and I struggled to get into it, but once I started listening regularly I was fine. I love this series and it’s nice to see the character development and relationship development as I read through. I liked this story it was interesting and kept me hooked. I also didn’t guess the ending, which I like, as sometimes its too easy to do so with crime books. I didn’t like the narrator though, so think I’ll stick to reading the next one myself.

The Assassins Blade


I have really enjoyed Sarah Maas’s books so far and it made sense to read the prequel book to understand the main character better. I also have the 4th book ready on my bookshelf, but feel I want to re-read the others first. I enjoyed this book and it gave me insight into where the character came from and how she ended up where we first meet he in Throne of Glass. I wouldn’t necessarily start with this book as I don’t think it matters if you’ve read a few of the main series first. Overall though I enjoyed it and it was face based and kept me glued to the pages.

Close Encounters of the Furred Kind


I’ve been waiting for this book for a while and it did not disappoint. I love reading about The Bear and his family. It makes me look at my cats and their character traits and imagine what they are thinking. I also hold conversations with them on a daily basis and it is nice to know other people do to. I also like that this breaks the ‘crazy-cat lady’ stereotype as this is about a guy and his four cats. yes he does have a girlfriend, but really it’s about Tom. If you like cats or like well written descriptions of places these books are great.

I also have re-read the first three Harry Potter books this last month. I needed something familiar and comforting while I was interviewing and wait to hear on my new job. These were exactly what I needed and stimulated my recent reading frenzy. So that six books in the last month!

I’ve currently got three books on the go:

  • Currently reading – Mindy Kaling’s Is everybody hanging out with me?
  • Currently listening to as bed time –  Death Masks by Jim Butcher
  • Currently listening to at work – The Rosie Effect

I also have a to-read shelf containing:

  • Court of Thorns and Roses
  • Percy Jackson’s Guide to the Greek Myths
  • Queen of Shadows
  • The Girl on the Train (borrowed from my friend Stacey)
  • Career of Evil (borrowing from my friend Ingrid)
  • Books 4 to 7 of Harry Potter to re-read too!

I love reading and books at the moment. I can’t wait to get to each and every single one of these books. It’s so nice to delve into different worlds and become the characters on the pages. For me it is an escape, but also time spent learning and growing and experiencing things I won’t get from my own life.



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