Tag Archives: tea

Journey Journal: Day 46

Day 46: Friday, February 15, 2013

Woke up this morning, and as I was getting dressed, I noticed my pants fit better; so, I naturally got on the scale. Down 2 more pounds this week! That makes nearly 10 lbs. lost since the beginning of the year! I forgot my breakfast this morning, but I fortunately have an emergency stash of almonds in my desk drawer at work. Took an early lunch and had some yellow rice, black beans, and some of the leftover guacamole from last night. My coworkers told me it smelled delicious and that I should open a restaurant. It was a delicious, nutritious combination that I will definitely do again! After work, I made it to the gym in time to get through most of my normal routine before closing time, and then came home to make an egg sandwich with sautéed onions and peppers with rosemary for dinner. Had a good size Granny Smith apple as a side. Really hit the spot. Now for some hot tea and a good book…one of my favorite ways to spend a Friday night…or any night, for that matter.

Design Project: Dining Room Converted To Reading Room

We are almost done with our Reading Room Project – first DIY project of 2012. So, if you’re wondering what I’ve been up to (because the blog’s been a little sparse on new content), here’s your answer. It has been well worth it for us!

Let me start by explaining our thinking behind doing this re-decorate project. First, we found we rarely used the dining room. We work opposite schedules and only really get to eat dinner each night and the occasional breakfast together, and when we do eat together, we often found ourselves eating in the living room and chatting while we ate. Second, we’re combining the contents of our two extra bedrooms upstairs into one space for TV/exercise and the occasional guest, while the other room will likely be occupied by a short term renter. So, we needed a place for Bryan’s office and we were ready to pull some of our books out of storage. Finally, we’ve been hosting a Bible study/community group for young adults in our home for the last six months or so and wanted a more comfortable space for conversations to break off as necessary.

Most of our furniture was either given to us or bought as necessities before we were married (i.e., things that fit our budget and were functional but not necessarily our style), and though grateful for these, we were ready for a change. We talked about the idea a couple of weeks ago and I posted our dining room set for sale on Facebook  the next morning, just to see what would happen. It sold by lunchtime! I was shocked, and excited for an opportunity to finally buy some furniture that fit our style. I texted Bryan, “Guess we have to remodel now. Just sold the set on FB! They’ll pick up on Sat/Sun. :)”

Here’s the Before picture:

I found this really cool website that lets you design your room layout, specifying dimensions of furniture, placement of outlets, and even add links to the items you want to purchase from various vendors! It’s called Urban Barn, and I highly recommend it. Here’s a snapshot of the design I had in mind:

And here’s the final result:

View of Reading Room from the Kitchen

View of Reading Room from the Foyer - the couch and upholstered chairs function as extra seating around the table, as needed (note: I used my teapot collection as bookends)

Sideboard with Feather Arrangements and Teacup Racks; Table Centerpiece is a Jar of Foodie Ornaments that I couldn't bear to put away after Christmas

The Office Space in the Reading Room

We’re thinking of hanging a clock or floating shelf next to the desk, to the left of the mirror, and we’re waiting on one final piece of art to be matted and hung above the computer.

11x14 original acrylic painting from Etsy - will have off-white matte and black frame to match the other artwork in the room

We’ve already used the room every day since we finished it! And I’m thankful to finally have a space that’s my own little personal retreat from life. I love curling up on the love seat with my Bible and a cup of coffee or tea, sitting and chatting with a friend at the small, round table, or cuddling with Bryan while we watch a movie on the computer. It’s a truly multi-functional room, and we love it!

Enjoying the Journey,


Sunday Mornings

Bryan & I had strawberries & cream scones with vanilla nut black tea before church this morning. Delightful!

Bee Balm and Lemon Balm (Mar. 23, 2010)

Last year I noticed that we had some very tall, beautiful looking flowers in our wildflower garden. The previous homeowners had planted them, so I had no idea what they were. So, I did a little research. I found out it’s called bee balm. Here’s a picture of the flower:

I found some more information about bee balm at http://www.altnature.com/gallery/beebalm.htm. It’s sometimes listed as Eastern Beebalm, Bergamot, Wild Oswego Tea, Horsemint, or Monarda.

There’s a similar plant, but in a different family, called Lemon Balm, or Mellissa Officinalis. I had this as a medicinal tea while I was in Europe on a mission trip one summer. When I introduced myself to one of the teens in Latvia, her first comment was, “Oh, like the tea.” At that point, I had to try it! It’s known for calming the stomach. And it works! I love it! And I’m having a hard time finding it in the grocery stores, even natural stores.

But Mellissa and Monarda are two different plants, so I’ll have to find seeds for Mellissa. They have similar calming affects on humans. Most commonly, they are used in teas. You can use the flower and the leaves, fresh or dried, to make your tea. I think I’ll be using my dehydrator when these flowers bloom again. Here’s a link on how to make lemon balm tea at herbalmedicine.suite101.com.

One more site that you might find interesting is http://www.organicgardening.com/. I signed up for their newsletter, and they included a “Wacky Garden Helpers” pdf. Check it out here: http://www.organicgardening.com/pdf/WackyGardenDL.PDF.