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Archive for the ‘Friday favorites’ Category

I was a child in the 70’s and have many great memories of the freedom we enjoyed riding bicycles, exploring the woods and being gone all day exploring.  Our mothers rarely knew where we were but never worried, the safety in that freedom is cherished in my memories.  One of the secret pleasures I had was visiting our local one room post office about a mile away, where the postmaster Helen with her bee hive hairdo would great us with smiles and penny candy.

Candy is not only visually stimulating, with bright colors and whimsical packaging, but always gives me that special feeling of being a kid again.  I always pack candy as a special treat on road trips or purchase boxes for our family movie nights.  So even though sugar may not be good for you all the time, the small pleasure you get from the sweet taste and pleasant memories are one of life’s great pleasures.  Enjoy!!

1  Good Karmal ~ Some of my favorite candies are retro but the first one is my new adult favorite.  These buttery, sweet caramels come in beautifully wrapped zen messages.  Genius!

2 Candy Buttons ~ These endless rolls of paper with their rainbow colored dots were one of my favorites visually, the brightly colored sugar was hard to resist and fun to pop off the paper.

3 Razzles ~ A gum and a candy in one, the paper bag always smelled so sweet when you ripped it open.  The transformation to a soft sweet bubble gum was always satisfying.

4 Mike and Ikes ~  These are still my favorite, especially at the movies and now I can share in the delight with my own child.  I love the sparkle in his eye when he hears the fruit chews wriggling around inside the box and the smile on his face when he has the whole box to himself.  Priceless!

5 Necco wafers ~ The crackle of the wax paper wrapper as you rip it open, the dry powdery feel of each wafer on your tongue and the sweet crunch were magical.  The only bad thing about these were the black licorice ones that I always tried to trade.

6  Barley candy ~ This is another adult favorite but I have memories of traveling and seeing these crystal clear, brightly colored lollipops in various tourist locations.  Shaped as Lobsters in New England or plain circles in five and dimes, the options have become more sophisticated.  These are in the shape of baskets, but this company Escape Concepts, has some beautiful options.  Including small molded dishes, bowls and pedestal plates that would be a beautiful treat at a Tea party.

The list could be endless, Bazooka joe gums with the comic inside…Remember collecting the points on each comic to buy a silver locket or Chinese fortune gum…What are your favorites?

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I love to travel.  Going someplace new always inspires inventiveness and creativity.  On a recent family vacation to England, one of the many inspirations I took away from this trip was tea time.  Of course England and Tea time are synonymous, it seems very cliché to even mention it, but the English take their tea very seriously, more seriously than I imagined.  Tea was EVERYWHERE.

On one occasion we visited a garden center in search of a hostess gift.  The shop was very typical of an American shop, plants, flowers, pots, garden tools, etc. except that in the middle of the store was a tea shop.  No paper takeaway cups for this country.  A good, old fashioned, sit down tea complete with scones and jams.

I love tea and drank my fair share even before my visit to England.  But more important than the cup of tea is the ritual and pause that ‘tea time’ affords.  Taking time in mid afternoon to sit and relax with a cup of tea, muse about the day or the evening to come has become a new practice that I took away from my trip and reminds me of the beautiful country where tea is part of their culture.

Some of my favorites for Tea time:

1. Earl Grey Black Tea from Stash 30 ct ($3-5) at local Grocery stores, Walmart or online at Stashtea.com Stash makes the best Earl Grey with just the right amount of Bergamot.

2. Tea Infuser stick ($9.95) at Crate and Barrel.  It’s a decadent ritual to have a cup of tea made from loose tea. This Tea infuser stick makes it easy and portable.  The stainless portion of the stick makes scooping the loose tea easy and spill free, attach the diffuser end and set it into a cup of hot water.  Just stir and you have a luxurious cup of tea without the mess.

3. Organic White Honey ($17) from Volcano Island Honey in Hawaii, there aren’t words for how good this honey is, I could eat it right out of the jar with a spoon.   You can find it at their website but I’ve also seen it for sale at Whole foods.

4. Electric Tea Pot ($30) from Walmart.  I like this version, it heats up fast and the base is wired, not the pot which makes for easy service and cleanup.

5. Mate Chocolate, organic spiced yerba mate by Guayaki.  I love coffee and chocolate together but never enjoyed chocolate with tea until I found this brand.  It’s spicy and chocolaty without the overpowering licorice or clove flavor that other spiced chai teas have. YUM!

6. Stoneware Japanese mug, Pearl River ($6.50).  I have a handle-less stoneware mug that I found in a kitchen shop in Bar Harbor Maine, similar to this one.  I like having a special mug for tea, especially one without the handle so you can wrap your hands around it on cold days.

7. Tea Book, ($10) by EliteElishi on etsy.com.  America has lots of great coffee shops but not so many tea houses,  so I keep a few of my favorite tea bags in this padded envelope in my purse.  It’s especially great for travelling, the booklet keeps the tea packets from getting crushed or lost.

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