Tea India Teas - Review

I absolutely ♥ ♥ ♥ tea!  It's the second thing I drink (after my mega glass of water) every morning, then it's tea all the way all day as I may have mentioned here!  Apart from the wonderful taste of tea, it is also full of healthy antioxidants and polyphenols, the Tea Council has some great info here.

I have to admit I have a lot of tea in my kitchen cupboards, everything from herbal teas like green tea, dandelion, fruit teas, blends of turmeric, ginger, chamomile and even nettle!  Mostly I favour Black teas, Earl Grey, etc and am always buying new teas from our local coffee bean/tea importer shop to try.

I was so pleased to receive a couple of beautifully packaged boxes of tea from Tea India to *sample, their Vanilla Chai and Black TeaIn their range also is Marsala Chai which I heard Lorraine Kelly effusing over on her show the other day and Cardamon Chai.

Inspired by the fusion of tradition with the vibrancy of modern India, Tea India have used 70 years of tea blending experience, picking only the two top leaves and the bud when the tea is at its freshest, to create a truly unique range of authentic Indian teas.

Tea India's blend of deliciously sweet, comforting spices and natural vanilla flavouring create their very special Vanilla Chai.  The combination of traditional spices of cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, black pepper and vanilla create the perfect blend of sweetness and spice.  The aroma of cinnamon comes through for me first then vanilla and other spices. 

I would usually drink a tea of this kind without milk, but couldn't resist popping a dash of milk in to taste too.  I was pleasantly surprised how good this tea tasted, lovely to try something new and enjoy.

Rich and robust,Tea India's Black Tea blend is refreshing and full of flavour.  It's a perfect all round tea for drinking all day, everyday!  The tea is from the Assam tea bush grown in North East India, the high rain fall during the monsoon period coupled with the scorching daytime temperatures create greenhouse-like conditions of extreme humidity and heat.  This tropical climate is the ideal condition for growing tea and contributes to Assam’s unique malty taste which I can definitely pick up on. 

The Tea India range is available at Tesco.
Thank you Tea India, I do ♥ your tea.

*I was sent 2 boxes of tea for the purpose of review but my views are totally my own.

The 2 year old child explored

"Having a 2 year old is like having a blender without a lid" - Jerry Seinfeld.  I did laugh at this, those of you who have 2 year olds or have had them will raise a sneaky chuckle at this.  At 2 years and 3 months old TC is a gem of a child, having already raised a child to adulthood I can almost, I say almost, sit back and relive the twists and turns of the toddler child and enjoy all their many facets.

Each day brings fresh learning, watching her absorb things so quickly and do things I haven't shown her reminds me how independent they get from this age.  You can get zero past this 27 month old, an elephant has nothing on TC's memory!

She is text book child and because I have the T-shirt I know "this too will pass" with regard to the mini diva stuff, the little meltdowns that come with lack of patience (hers not mine!), her huff's last for a minute, she's far too busy getting on with the next thing to let anything get her down.  I do get it, I feel that way myself at times and I'm an adult!  They say be careful what you wish for, I think if I had a wish list, TC would be it, she is spirited, cheeky and most definitely feisty.

I live in the pretend land of 2 year old make-believe - a wonderful place to be with mini-me.  We have tea parties, we immerse ourselves in story books where the characters are real to her and she believes all the stories I make up.  I know one day we'll have to leave when TC grows up but for now I'm enjoying being back there.

The "chatter" is fascinating, she has many words and links a few up now, although she manages to get her point across with one word - wow! again! more! mummy! poo!  I cannot tell you how much I am looking forward to the many funny's she will say, this time I will take the time to write as many of them down as I can.  I go back in the pathways of my mind and recall the boy's magic moments and I smile, the smile where people wonder what you are thinking about that made you smile like that.

Her mimicking skills are making me say "do I do that?", clearly I am pulling a face when putting on mascara, making a funny shaped mouth when applying lip balm or being animated when talking - these and many more do I find myself thinking how influencial we are to such a tiny, fast growing mind - nuture and nature combined!  More and more each day she is tackling things with little hands that want no help, she has a "I can do it myself" mindset and I have to let her be her.

We love music, Mr J was a drummer in many a band in his day, TC loves a good sing-song, the sillier the better.  Her favourite this week is singing "baby, baby, baby" and then a big loud OH Justin Bieber style, with all the dance action she can muster.  She makes me laugh.... a lot.
I have rediscovered the joy of running too, I literally have to run and chase TC every day in some form or another, she has me bouncing on beds, jumping around, she is as quick as a flash and always up for a game of chase me mummy.  If we could bottle a toddlers energy it would be a bestseller!

All this keeps me very fit and I haven't missed a night's sleep since she was 8 weeks old.  I do love my sleep and TC is no different, this girl can sleep for 13 hours plus a nap in the daytime too and I am thankful I am able to recharge my batteries each night ready for the next day.   Her constant bed time companion has been Violet, the environmental sounds used to whisk me off to sleep too when we shared a room. 

We've never had a struggle with bedtimes, a nightly play-time bath leads to a cuddle with her drinking her milk and the deep sigh that signifies another day is done, another day gone but never forgotten, these are the times I will remember with love and that smile on my face .....

Toddlerhood Memories

As a stay at home, work at home mum, I've spent all of the last 2¼ years with TC.  I work around her sleep times and spend the rest of the day playing, shopping, at the beach, in the park, at the swings, eating, swimming, playgrouping and the list goes on.   She is great fun to be with.  Looking around me I see the house is an untidy mess as the whirlwind toddler rearranges the place on a daily basis.  She is learning to tidy up her playroom before her bath each night though, a good sign for a future tidy bedroom, that is until she becomes a teenager of course!

During one of our mad play times where the giggles and squeals of laughter made us both breathless, I hugged her tight and whispered in her ear "I'm going to miss you when you grow up".  At that moment I remembered the boy at her age, the same blue eyed blond child that she is, the same laugh, where do the years go, maybe if I don't blink so much they will go by slower.

Toddlerhood is such a wonderful time of innocence, where her everything is filled with even more wonderment, laughter and joy.  She wakes up each morning with a "hiya mummy" and a good few giggling bounces on her bed.  She believes anything is possible and if not, why not?? 

This toddler lives in a place where time has no meaning, except when she lies peaceful in her bed slipping into silent slumber after a day well spent running mummy ragged  having fun.  An hour at the play park is never enough, she would stay till the last drop of energy was gone, a quick nap, batteries recharged and off we go again.  There are moments of quiet(er) pretend play, building her learning skills, I could sit and play at having tea all day with Miss TC being mum.

I want her first childhood memories to be filled with the happiest times possible.  The only sadness I have is that she won't remember anything of our life together so far as most of us have no memory before our 3rd birthday.  I have many reminders for her in video footage and photo's of course and will enjoy watching them with her when she is older and reliving those times most probably with free flowing happy tears streaming down my face!

I look at my own baby and toddler photos and find myself remembering snippets of time, some of the clothing I wore and especially remembering with deep fondness my toys.  Who knows what is a genuine memory or what my parents have told me about a photo or event that becomes a remembered moment in time though.

What are your very earliest memories ......  I remember vividly mum taking me age 3 to ballet class, all kitted out (I still have my first ballet shoes, I know you are not surprised to hear this) & eager to fling myself around the mirrored room ballerina-style.  Sadly I was no Darcy Bussell.  Life has come full circle again and TC will be joining a toddler ballet class after Christmas, she'll be 2½, I hope she remembers it....♥


Let's Go Round Again - Retro '80's Shoes

Shoes *sigh* don't you just love them, I know I do.  I love everything about a great pair of shoes, they are things of great beauty to me.  As a teen my first pair of shoes came from Sacha in the Kings Road, Chelsea, I worked my socks off for weeks in my Saturday job and saved up half for them and mum provided the rest.  I've been smitten ever since.

I helped clear out my sister-in-law's loft last year and found boxes and boxes of shoes from her youth, some were best aimed out but a few styles have made a comeback it seems.   
Gina Shoes are featuring genuine designs from the 1980's for the next couple of days on secretsales.com  These (and many more) shoes whisked me back to the 80's for a moment.  Gina Shoes were established in 1954 by shoemaker Mehmet Kurdash, inspired by his muse Gina Lollobrigida. Kurdash handmade glamorous shoes noted worldwide for their exquisite sculpturing.   You can read about their history here.

and here are some of the shoes from the mid 80's, not nearly as glamorous as Gina but well worn and well loved.

TC's favourite word next to dog is shoe, thats my girl!


And Breathe ....

Our family has been a long time lover of A.Vogel health products, they have been an essential part of our family's health and well-being for over 2 decades.   So when the folks at A.Vogel asked me to test out their *Sinuforce Nasal Spray I was more than keen.

Although I never get colds or flu, I have had a continual blocked nasal passage for way too long, most nights I sleep with one of those attractive nose strips stuck to the bridge of my nose.  The first time I forgot to take it off when getting TC up she looked a little puzzled but immediately tried to relieve me of the sticky plaster! 

The key function of the nose is to clean inhaled air.  My blocked nose probably has a few causes, pollen, dust (Mr J is always sanding something down), I also get an annoying nasal drip sometimes. I'm looking at getting some allergy tests done to see if there I'm allergic to any foodstuffs.

Sinuforce Nasal Spray reduces nasal congestion without affecting the natural protective function of the nasal mucosa or drying the lining of the nasal passages.

It is not contraindicated with any medication or for those with heart conditions, who often can't use decongestant medication.

Sinuforce is suitable for adults and children and can be used in the longer-term for up to 30 days.

I have been using it now for a couple of weeks once in the morning and before bed and although I still wear the nasal strips 2-3 nights a week, I've certainly noticed a difference as the Sinuforce Nasal Spray is really starting to clear my nasal passages.

Ingredients include menthol plus Peppermint oil, Eucalyptus to ease breathing and Chamomile oil which has a soothing effect on your nose and I'm pleased to say it has a very pleasant fresh aroma, not overpowering at all.

The unique bottle, which is a generous 20ml size, does not require preservatives and is well worth a try if you suffer with a blocked nose.  I will definitely keep on using as needed.

*This product was supplied by A. Vogel for the purposes of review - the opinions are all my very own.