RealiTEA: FDA recall on bottled water

If you use bottled water to brew tea - and for any other consumption - please note, Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a recall. The Arkansas Department of Health announced today (5/11/11) that samples taken from Mountain Pure water show the presence of biological contamination - mold.

Readers, if you purchased Mountain Pure purified drinking water in the 16.9 fl. oz. (506 ml) size, check the four digit time code etched on all bottles: 2200 to 0400 (military time). The affected lot also includes an expiration date code that says either Best By 2-27-2013 MPWA or Best By 2-28-2013 MPWA.

Return the affected bottles to the place of purchase or dispose of the water immediately.

For more information, check out the FDA's press release on the "brewing" situation.


It's Always About Popularity; 5000 Hits Contest

I am so proud of my blog - and for everyone who has been telling friends and family about it. :) Since my blog went "live" in March 2011 (just a couple months ago!) I have over 2800 hits!

I'm halfway to 5000 hits, and my goal was to reach that within nine months... I think I'll make it.

Help get the word out about my blog! Post a link or two below (or on the mirrored site: http://keenteathyme.teatra.de/) that illustrates your promoting my blog and be entered to win a tea sampler pack from a variety of tea companies.

I'll randomly select a winner and post the winning promotion, winner's name and/or blog, and what the winner won.

And don't forget, I love promoting your blogs too. If you post your tea blog below and it's not already a part of "Tea Fiends & Friends," I'll add it -  winner or not.

5000 hits here I come! :)

52teas: Tulsi Rama - Week of May 9th

Will wonders never cease? Not only are more 52teas blends available in the Rescued from Retirement initiative, here's the new tea available from 52teas. Remember, limited run only! So if you want it, grab it now!

used w/permission from 52teas

I had to google "tulsi rama" because it sounded more like an episode of "LOST" than a tisane/tea. According to http://www.organicindia.com/tulsi-facts.php, Tulsi Rama, aka "Holy Basil," is a stress-relieving herb that also works wonders with your immune system and even enhances stamina.

If I hadn't already blown my tea budget this week, I'd hop on this. If anyone is up for sharing this tea, I'd love to!

Basil on pizza is pretty good and I'm sure this cuppa is more healthy...

Matcha, Matcha, Matcha

I've been pretty sick lately - with migraines, then the back thing, and stomach problems.

Since the back surgery worked - thank goodness! - I can focus on my stomach issues. My new goal is to be healthy, which means be nicer to my stomach.

I can't go vegan or vegetarian; I have a total love affair with steak and chicken.

However, I'm going to try to integrate matcha into my beverages. Matcha fans, got any tips? I'm still researching the health benefits, but will be reporting back soon...

I'm also going to opt for fresh veggies and fruit in my diet. I love eating fresh fruit and veggies; in CA you could grow anything in your backyard so I'd just go outside for a snack. I got lazy. And now I'm paying.

It seems one of the only healthy things I do consume is tea. But I'm going to look into different tea recipes - not just adding matcha but perhaps other ways to use tea. Got any to share?

The point is now that I'm relatively pain-free, now I can focus on maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Walking more.  Taking better care of myself. In honor of my grandmother, Oma, who is in her mid-70's and can out-walk me any day.

Join me on this journey and we'll swap healthy lifestyle tips. Let's get started! But first, I'm going to brew myself a cup of tea...


Happy Mother's Day - Memories

One of my favorite memories is sharing a cup of tea with my mother and Oma, my mom's mom. Many times when my family visited my grandparents, my dad, brother and Papa would disappear into the family room (probably talk sports or politics), and the girls would enjoy a cup of tea after dinner.

I remember selecting a tea from one of the many tins which, to this day, still smell like Oma's house - like clean linens, fresh laundry and baked cookies.

I always felt so grownup sharing that cup of tea with Mom and Oma. They would talk about grown-up things or I'd talk about school or the latest "novel" I was writing. (I wrote my first "novel" when I was in elementary school...a diatribe about a lemonade stand.)

A few years ago my grandparents celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. My brother, now sister-in-law, Mom and I made a scrapbook of their lives together. We actually sat and drank tea while presenting them with presents. There is a peace that comes from drinking a cup of tea, surrounded by loved ones, enjoying a family moment together. I felt that peace then, and whenever I drink Constant Comment tea now I imagine that moment and feel that peace again.

My mom & Oma both have a love of tea, which they've past on to me. My mom loves her Red Rose tea - collecting the ceramic animals and making sun tea from the bags. Oma enjoys coffee-flavored teas - Hazelnut and French Vanilla. I've taken that love and expanded on it, plus crafted my own blends for them.

I'm reminded, now, of a tag sewn on the many clothes my mom made for me, as well as clothes and quilts and mittens and scarves my Oma made for me: Made with Love. Should I ever start a tea company, I think I would adopt that and called it "Brewed with Love" or "Steeped with Love."

I plan to name my future daughter after the grandmother, Oma, who inspired me to be a better person. From things I've done in my life I hardly think I'm close.

But I look forward to each visit with both my mom and my Oma, so we can share tea and memories once again.

Happy Mother's Day!

Happy Mother's Day!

I'm not a mom, not yet. But I have been fortunate enough to know three amazing women - my mother and my two grandmothers, Oma and the late Grann.

Grann & I shared a lot before she passed away. She was one of the few people to encourage me to write, and taught me how to really listen to people. She married her childhood sweetheart, as I have married my college sweetheart. She was passionate about many things, and taught me to be passionate too.

Oma, who is in her 70's, is my mom's mom, and her first name will be the middle name of my future daughter. Oma is a very good woman, well-liked and well-respected. She is loved by her family and friends. I have tried to be like her in many ways: patient, friendly, mild-mannered.

I get a lot of my personality from my mom: we're both driven, hard workers and loyal. We both have hot tempers, but share a love of the Young & the Restless. Like many mothers and daughters, we've had our share of tears, but laughter too.

You only get one mom, and you don't get pick her. My mother and I didn't get along very well while I was growing up. I yearned for a "cool" mom - someone like Lucille Ball, who was my childhood hero. Now that I'm 30 and looking to have kids of my own, I realized that my mom was pretty cool. She didn't spoil me, she taught me to earn my way, work hard and be responsible. But she also showed me it's OK to laugh - especially at yourself. My mom worked hard for us kids (me and my younger brother), and wasn't always appreciated for the sacrifices she made. (She worked odd shift hours at a printing company.) But she was the one who made sure we had dentist appts lined up, and food on the table. My dad is more of a dreamer, chasing his heart, not always considered about the bottom line. They are no longer married to each other, although both have remarried.

I floss every day because my mom encouraged me to. I was rarely sick as a kid, and even if I was, I worked through it as often as I could. Speaking of work, I get my drive from her. We're both hard-workers and passionate - even if we're passionate about different things. I didn't have the happiest childhood, but I never had to go hungry (unless I was being punished for backtalking!) and I always had shelter and clothes.

I consider myself blessed to have shared my life with three amazing women: Grann, Oma and my mom. They influenced me in ways we all probably don't realize. They helped make the person I am.

Happy Mother's Day, Mom & Oma! And to Grann: I miss you.