Teatulia Organic White Tea – Review

Teatulia’s Organic White Tea is my (and my husband’s) favorite Teatulia tea so far : ) It’s refreshing, and so healthy that if you drink 2 or more cups a day you can reduce your chance of heart attack by 50%.

Ingredients: 100% organic white tea. Packaging: recycled, recyclable, and biodegradable materials (paper, ink, tape).

As I mentioned in my posts on Teatulia’s Organic Oolong Tea and Organic Black Tea, Teatulia tea is delicious, honest and simple, and the company is committed to excellence and social responsibility. What you may not know is that Teatulia is run by a family that has had to overcome many obstacles not only to help the company survive but also to bring the entire community up with them. You HAVE to read this article in Newsweek about how, “the Teatulia tea plantation has transformed a once-barren land into a lush garden paradise” and has pulled the people of the Tetulia region (get it? Teatulia? teehee) out of abject poverty.

Teatulia-Tea-Single-Garden(Photo Credit: Newsweek)

You can use code “tea4me” on the Teatulia website to get 30% off! Click HERE to buy the tea, and click HERE to read more about the health benefits we mentioned.

Thank you so much for reading and watching! Take care : )


Dear _____, I Forgive You Because …

Christine's Project photo 6

You can’t help who you are.

I have a loving husband who wipes my tears away.

You’re not around anymore, and there’s no point in resenting a phantom presence.

You were just as scared as I was, and just as scarred.

You didn’t know any better.

I am so happy for you. I don’t want to shadow that feeling with sadness.

If you had known all of the details, you wouldn’t have said what you said.

You meant well. I know you did.

If you had a do-over, I’d like to believe you’d do things differently. So would I.

You are one of the most confusing but lovely people I have ever met.

I will never stop loving and believing in you.

Despite everything you are happy as sure as the sun shines, and I can learn from that.

I was hurt, but you were hurt so much more.

I probably could have kept some things to myself.

You have more than enough to deal with in your life, andย  I wish you luck.

Even though we don’t talk anymore, I keep imagining your happy ending.

What you said doesn’t have the slightest bearing on my life in reality.

I’m thankful for what we had.

Dear _____, I forgive you. Otherwise I’d only be hurting myself.

Christine's Project photo 3

Teatulia’s Organic Oolong Tea – Review

If I had to sum up Teatulia in a word it would be …ย  “simple.” In a good way. Their Organic Oolong Tea is magical only partly because it’s delicious. Wait till you hear about the health benefits… seriously mind-blowing.

Ingredients: 100% organic oolong tea. Packaging: recycled, recyclable, and biodegradable materials (paper, ink, tape).

Everything about the Teatulia experience feels lean, honest, and simple — except maybe their descriptions. I say that endearingly, because they are wonderfully entertaining though a bit over the top. Haha!

But in all seriousness, many thanks to Teatulia for sending this tea my way. I feel so lucky not only to have the chance to review these teas, but also to learn and share information about their health benefits. If you would like to buy this tea, use the code “tea4me” to get 30% off! You can buy it HERE. Also, to read the article where I learned about the health benefits of oolong tea, click HERE.

I read somewhere recently that the younger generations (something like 15-30) are increasingly getting into tea. It’s shaping up to be a tea renaissance! ๐Ÿ˜€

Thank you for watching and reading! Until next time, take care ๐Ÿ™‚

Teatulia’s Organic Black Tea – Review

Ahh, Teatulia. What a great company.

When the folks from Teatulia got in touch with me to review their teas, I was delighted to learn that have won multiple awards for not only their teas, but also their packaging. Add to that a commitment to social responsibility, and you’ve got a company with purpose. Teatulia has established, ” education, health and cattle-lending programs for the people working in the [single Teatulia] garden [in Bangladesh] and surrounding areas” (source).

Without further ado, here is a review of Teatulia’s delicious Organic Black Tea:

Definitely consider buying some, if you think you’ll like it based on our description! I don’t drink black tea much, but I really do think Teatulia’s Organic Black tea is great. If you want to read more about the health benefits of black tea, check out THIS article I found.

Thank you so much for watching and reading! Take care ๐Ÿ™‚

Thank you Teatulia, for sending this tea my way. I love trying new tea, and it’s great to support what you’re doing in Bangladesh.

What You NEED To Understand About The Cycle of Abuse (With Parents)

Having an abusive parent is like having a live-in bully who has infinitely more credibility than you with the rest of the world. A terrifying person you can’t help but love, because gosh, he’s your dad or she’s your mom. And, for too long, you are socially impaired in myriad ways, because you’ve learned to hide under layers and layers of sadness and downcast eyes.

There are two types of cycles when it comes to abuse.

One occurs day to day, or week to week.

Because no matter how many times you swear to yourself that you’ll never forget the pain, you always forgive. You always give your parent the benefit of the doubt, you hold out hope of change. Real change. And when that change doesn’t happen, regardless of tears and promises, there comes a day you realize it is up to you to break the cycle.

You try talking with them. Reasoning with them in their irrational moments. Eventually, for your own sanity, you begin to distance yourself little by little. Because there are only so many bitter, demeaning, and downright demoralizing comments you can take from the parent you love so much. And because, even when you’re in college and only go home twice a year, you always come back crying.

But your liberty to take some healthy distance only feeds the fire. And they get angry that you need space. They’re offended, hurt, and unforgiving. They spit fire, they lash out at you in the precious moments you want to spend with them despite everything, in an attempt to break youย  enough to rope you back in.

And often, every venomous statement that makes you upset is, “just the truth.”

By the time you’re old enough to know that it’s not right, and nothing’s going to change, it’s already late enough in the game that you’ve learned some of their bad habits, and others are lurking under your skin, waiting to crawl out of your pores when the opportunity strikes. When you least expect that you are anything like that abusive parent, some other layer of toxic waste finds its way to the surface – and of course you can’t stop it. At first at least, it’s like a sneeze. Which brings me to another type of cycle.

The other occurs over generations.

Abusive habits, like your great grandma’s antique mahogany coffee table, can be (and often are) passed from one generation to the next. You’d think that the child, knowing how utterly devastating it feels to be treated so horribly, would simply understand that it’s bad, and be super duper nice to everyone for the rest of his or her life.

It doesn’t work that way.

Most children of abusive parents are rebellious to some degree and damaged to some degree. Frighteningly primed to pass on the family legacy in some form.

It takes an incredible amount of effort, time, therapy, and the love of those around them to unravel the threads of a fabric years in the making. As habits and tendencies they didn’t know they have are brought to light, those who truly love them continue to love them through their time of confusion and change.

To those who know someone with an abusive parent:

Don’t think about them on the terms you’re accustomed to. They don’t live in the same head space as you, or your friends, or your parents. Don’t expect them to open up like a spring flower in your presence, even though you both know that you’re much nicer than their abusive parent. It’s not your fault. Yes, they’re quiet and awkward. It’s all a byproduct of the situation.

Under no circumstances should you reach your hand out to help them, then shame them or blame them for being in the position their in. You DON’T know the finer details of the situation. Don’t point out that they cry a lot. Don’t make them feel horrible by telling them that another family (who also helped him/her) is upset with him/her, and that the mother of that family cried because he/she hasn’t called them yet. (There’s a much nicer and simpler way of providing a happy solution to that situation.) Don’t sit them in the corner of your home office and tell them to stay silent while you call their parent on speakerphone. Don’t call them manipulative, because I can assure you you’ve been manipulated by their parent. And don’t mock their shocked face and numb tears when you say those things to them.

Just try to understand where they’re coming from without making the situation worse. If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all regarding the subject. They will be incredibly grateful for this someday. After they’re able to work through the years and layers of emotional mush that has caused them to suppress their own personalities and senses of self, they’ll remember your generosity of spirit. They’ll even remember the little things – that you gave them rides home, or made them laugh, or simply always looked at them with kind eyes and smiled.

To those with an abusive parent:

It will get better. If there is only one thing you actually believe, in your entire life, believe that. It will definitely get better.

Get yourself out of bad situations. Don’t let anyone own you, drive you, and use you like a handy gadget or emotional punching bag. The world outside of the one you’ve known is a wonderful but confusing place. Open yourself up to the possibilities and don’t be afraid of how different everything is from what you’ve been taught.

Don’t ignore your emotions, even though there is a whole heap of ’em. Focus on them, work through them, and talk about them. See a therapist as soon as you can, find one that works for you, and continue to see that therapist for a long time. Become aware of who you’re surrounding yourself with. If you find yourself in those familiar “cycles” with new people in your life, understand that you either need to look within yourself or it’s possible you’ve begun to surround yourself with people who make you feel the way your parent did. It doesn’t feel good, and it won’t change until you become aware of it yourself.

The love you’ve learned from your abusive parent is going to feel different from the love you learn from the outside world.

You may be used to feeling in extremes, in which everything’s either really amazing or unimaginably horrible. Those emotions will start to even out. Try not to expect bad stuff to happen when things are going really well. Sometimes when you intensely expect bad things to happen, you can accidentally cause them to happen. Once you get off the roller coaster you don’t have to sit on the edge of your seat anymore.

Someday life will be filled with the light you’ve always wanted it to. Be gentle with yourself as you work through it.

Don’t doubt yourself.
Don’t give up.
You can do it.



For your musical enjoyment: Dry The Rain, by The Beta Band ๐Ÿ™‚

Pekoe Sunny Green Tea – Review!

It’s that time again. Time to try another delicious tea. This time around, it’s Pekoe Sip House‘s Sunny Green Tea. Josh and I gave it a whirl as Storm Juno raged on outside our cozy home.

Gotta love that delicious green tea!

Pekoe Green Tea Image

If you’re interested in buying it, hop over to Pekoe’s online shop. You can order Sunny Green Tea in 2oz (for $8.98) or 4oz (for $17.96). And, until Feb 28, you can use coupon code “TEAJOY” to get 25% off EVERYTHING on their website. Go nuts!

Thanks so much for reading and watching. I don’t know if you noticed, but I finally fixed the audio! And am currently saving up to buy a lighting kit. (Hopefully the lighting in my nighttime videos won’t look so orange in a few months. Wee!) Also, we included a mini announcement of our marriage in the bloopers of the video. Sorry if it’s overkill for those of you who follow my blog or came here via Facebook. That message was mainly for my YouTube subscribers who don’t follow me elsewhere.

Many thanks to Pekoe Sip House for sending this tea my way. I love trying new tea, and it’s always a pleasure to try a new take on a drink like Green tea, which I usually have plain.

Do you have any favorite Green teas? Please let me know! I’d love to try them.



3 Ways to Stay Healthy & Happy This Winter

Well hello, Storm Juno! In Boston we were projected to get 8-12 inches of snow today, but the snow’s definitely already a more than a foot, and it’s supposed to keep coming down until 1am. The public transit is closed, work is canceled, and we’re all hunkered down in our homes waiting for the constant and misleadingly gentle snowfall to stop. Don’t get me wrong, I love looking out at snow and watching Willie (my doggie) twirl around in the fluffy winter wonder land. But if I’m being honest, the winter can also make me feel sluggish and cold, and if I’m not taking care of myself I can (and do) get sick.

Winter in Boston

Here are 3 tips I plan to follow this winter onward to give my body the best chance to stay healthy and happy in the frigid weather. I hope you find them helpful too!

1. Exercise regularly

Exercise in the Winter

With exercise, rationalizations come easy. It’s cold out. I’m in a cozy mood. I worked out yesterday. I deserve a break. I’m tired. Skipping one day isn’t gonna make that big of a difference… Or, the worst excuse of all: I’ll make up for it tomorrow! Bull, Aruna – you totally won’t.

The thing is, exercise boosts the immune system and gives the human body energy. We sweat toxins out, and produce those awesome endorphins that make us happier and more positive. So, yes, it’s easy to convince yourself not to go to the gym. But it’s much, much better for you if you do go. Lately, I’ve been trying to convince myself to go. I literally have a full-blown internal conversation about it. Even though it’s still a work in progress (because I don’t always successfully convince myself), it’s totally worth trying to make it to the gym 3-5 times a week.

2. Eat well

Eat Well in the Winter

Mmm, smoothie. I drink one of these bad boys 7 mornings a week. It’s packed with banana, apple, blueberries, strawberries, yogurt, flax meal, orange juice, and almond milk. With so many great ingredients, I feel like I’m giving my body the fuel it needs to function better.

If you want to try to funky and awesome looking smoothie recipes, definitely check out ALOHA’s Smoothie and Drink recipe page. They all look absolutely delicious. (Update: I just discovered that you can also try a free bar of their superfood chocolate. Yumm!) Many thanks to the Social Media folks at the company for letting me know about it!

On top of smoothies, I want to do more to boost my health, like eat ginger regularly (to support a strong immune system), drink tea more often (which contains many health benefits and keeps you warm), and consume more citrus fruit (probably in the form of lemon in my tea, because citrus has vitamin C which prevents colds).

Side note: If you feel you’re getting sick already, definitely invest in some high-quality honey (like Manuka honey), which is not only delicious but also has surprising medicinal properties that will help your body fight the sickness.

3. Dress Appropriately

Dress Warmly

It doesn’t have to match. It doesn’t have to make you look glamorous, chic, or model-like. Seriously, I instantly look like a dopey walking potato when I throw my winter gear on. What matters is that I’m comfortably warm. This sounds so obvious, but I see a lot of people under dressed, wandering the windy streets of Brighton, bracing themselves against the cold. Even if you live in California, my home state, where the weather is famously vacation worthy, invest in what’s appropriate for the local winter climate. Sometimes this involves saving up enough money to buy an expensive but highly effective article of clothing. What not to do? Wear a skirt, flats, and a small sweater in the hope of looking hot on the way to a party. That’s so not warm.

If you (and I) follow these three tips, we’re sure to be as happy as Willie pup, after his adventures in the snow.

Willie Plays in the Snow

Willie Gets Snow on his Face

Happy Willie

Wishing you a happy winter!