#matchachallenge Review

I’ve now completed two weeks of the the #matchachallenge! I’m currently skiing so this post is coming from my mobile, so it won’t be pretty. I’m going to carry on using matcha like the challenge for the whole month, but wanted to share the two week challenge update with you first.

I have rally enjoyed that #matchachallenge these last two weeks and have definitely noticed an energy boost in the hours after I have had my shot or drink. I’m still noticing while I’m skiing as suffering with not not sleeping well at the moment. To me it is less of a buzz like you would get with coffee and more of a prolonged boost of concentration and motivation. This is what I needed and wanted so am really pleased. This was what I was aimed my for in the two weeks. I will have a look at the weight loss benefits over a longer period of time too

I tried the matcha in a number of forms. The shot is by far the quickest, but I found it can also be the least appetising. I tried it with milk, water, and apple juice, and the juice was the best. I would like to try with almond milk when I return from holiday, as teapigs recommended that as an option. I also made it up as a long drink in the form of standard tea and a tea latte and enjoyed both a lot and will continue to drink these when I have that little extra time to sit and enjoy over the shot.

I am continuing to use my tin as it lasts the month and will stock up on more while teapigs are offering a discount throughout January! I am then going to make it a regular part of my daily routine.

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Birthday Week Round Up

Tomorrow I turn 30 and head off skiing, but I wanted to share what I treated myself to for the last week of my twenties! I didn’t end up buying a thing a day, but I indulged myself in other ways and that works for me.

Saturday – I decided to treat myself to my favourite fruit, Cherries, which are also really expensive (and definitely not seasonal) this time of year, but they were worth it.

Sunday  – On sunday I took some time out to go to a local coffee shop and sit in there with the atmosphere and look at the year just past and the one ahead. It was lovely and something I have not done in a while.

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Monday – On Monday I had a Partylite party for the girls at running club and other friends as a way of celebrating my 30th. SO I treated myself to drinking wine and having a nice time.

Tuesday – One of the girls bought me some flowers so I decided to go and buy a new vase as the last one I had didn’t survive a trip in the dishwasher (oops)! I also went to see The Theory of Everything at the cinema.

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Wednesday – I took another trip to a coffee shop and indulged in the sale and bought a lovely Christmas themed large mug to add to my collection. I also went and re-watched The Hobbit in 3D (my unlimited updated to include it for free this year) and loved it the second time.

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Thursday – I spent today with my mum and we went shopping. I bought myself some new ski socks and also had lunch out with my numa and then met up with my dad in the evening for a meal at the local thai.

Friday – Today I spent packing, but I also took some time out to catch up with my friend Ingrid and go to the cinema to see Into the Woods. I then finished packing and having to tell Merry she cannot come in my suitcase even though I am stealing her bed from underneath my bed!

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Time to go skiing!

Adventures in Tea… Bluebird Tea Co Christmas Tea Box

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When we head into winter I like to have a good selection of tea to hand to keep me going through the cold, dark days and nights. So this year I ordered the Bluebird Tea Co’s Christmas box with five different teas. I have now had chance to have a good sample of all five and want to share my thoughts.

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First up is the Gingerbread Chai. I really like this tea. It’s rooibos, which makes it great for evening drinking as it has no caffeine. The chai and gingerbread are warming and I have enjoyed this tea with and without milk. I really like this is the evening after dinner as it naturally sweet too. A definite winner in my books.

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Next up is Candy Cane. I was dubious about this one. A black tea with mint was not something I have seen or tried before. I liked it, but it would have been better with peppermint, rather than spearmint (I don’t like spearmint). It was an interesting drink with milk and I think as it is mint, it suits no milk drinking better. Not may favourite in the box purely due to the spearmint.

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Thirdly is Mulled Wine. I really liked this fruity tea. If I had brandy I think it would be really good to add a shot for a really warming beverage. This is purely a fruit tea and not something I tend to drink very often, but this really worked over christmas as I felt I was getting he festive feeling, without having to have the alcohol I didn’t want as I wasn’t very well. I have a bit left so if I get any red wine left over in the near future I will add this to it try as proper mulled wine.

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This was my favourite in the box – Christmas Cake! It was fruit and spicy and natural sweet thanks to the sugar snowflakes. I liked this with milk and found a great pick me up afternoon cup of tea. This tea felt like indulging, without the calories. I will definitely be ordering this again next year!

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Lastly was Snowball. I wanted to love this as much as Christmas Cake, but unfortunately another flavour I am not a fan of is coconut. However I did like this one as I think the chocolate chips made up for the coconut so it tasted more like a nutty black tea than a coconut flavoured tea. The mini marshmallows again added sweetness to this tea. It was an interesting cup of tea and one I am glad I gave a chance, but not my favourite.

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Overall this was a great box to get in order to try a number of different teas. I enjoyed them all in their own way and now know which one I will be ordering for next year!

Adventures in Tea… teapigs Matcha Latte

I’ve had thing for matcha tea since I first tried it a good number of years ago. It’s always been on the expensive side, so I have never consistently had it to hand to make things with myself. However since teapigs offered bloggers the chance to take part in their #matchachallenge and sent me over the matcha kit I have had the chance to try it a number of ways.

The matcha latte was something I tried in Vancouver the last time I was their and loved it. I tried to recreate it last year at home with a sample of matcha, but I didn’t get it quite right.

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Whereas this year I have made two and they have both been really nice.

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My method is to heat the milk in the microwave. I then boil the kettle and mix the matcha with honey in a nice amount of hot water and my milk frother. I then add the matcha mix to the milk and do an extra froth to get the foam on the top. This works for me, but there are several ways featured when you do a google search. I found a mix of about half water and half milk worked best. I like enough honey to sweeten the matcha to take the bitter edge it can have off. I think that is properly why I like the shot with apple juice as there is a natural sweetness there.

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Both my cats have been intrigued by the green thing I’m drinking. Not enough to steal a try, but enough to take a good look at it.

This is a nice alternative and long way to get matcha into my life. It is also quite relaxing to make and feels a bit more like a ritual than the shot does. I would love to get the traditional matcha kit to make it even more of a ritual. I really want to visit Japan and go to a proper tea ceremony. I might look at seeing what people do in their own homes and see if I can replicate it in a way that fits with me.

Adventures in Books… The Cuckoo’s Calling

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“When a troubled model falls to her death from a snow-covered Mayfair balcony, it is assumed that she has committed suicide. However, her brother has his doubts, and calls in private investigator Cormoran Strike to look into the case. 

A war veteran, wounded both physically and psychologically, Strike’s life is in disarray. The case gives him a financial lifeline, but it comes at a personal cost: the more he delves into the young model’s complex world, the darker things get – and the closer he gets to terrible danger . . . ‘

I am really glad my friend Ingrid recommended this book to me. I wasn’t planning on reading it as I didn’t want to spoil my impression of J K Rowling as a writer. I’ve done that once before with a favourite author and regretted reading a book where I wasn’t a fan of the subject matter. But this is a good old fashioned crime novel and I really enjoyed it.

I really like the style of writing. It flowed really well and kept me engaged throughout the whole book. As the first book of 2015 I couldn’t put it down, which is great as I have been struggling to keep reading consistently recently. I also really liked the characters of Strike and Robin. I was intrigued where the relationship was going right from the start. I think somewhere deep down I have had the same dream as Robin in wanting to become a private detective or something similar. If only she would dump her fiancé as he didn’t sound very nice, even tough we never actually properly meet him as a character.

The story itself was good. I did not guess the ending at all! I had suspicions throughout, but they turned out to be incorrect. I suppose that is the gift of the writer though. They can let you see only the information they wish you to and keep the title details that would give it away to themselves. I was fully sucked in by the time we find out who and what the crime was. I didn’t like that Strike knew before the audience, but that is just me being picky as I like it when you find out with the characters. However it worked and drew the ending out well and was full of suspense. I won’t give anything away, but it was a twist i was not expecting!

I am really looking forward to the next book and if I like that as well I hope this turns into a series of crime books. it will be nice to be there from a start of a series (that you don’t know how many there will be) and look forward to each new publishing date.

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