July 2017 God dished out 3 BIG life changes to me:
In a matter of five days, everything that my identity had been resting in, shook up. The snow globe of life was fluttering around a lot of new snowflakes for me to deal with – a new body, vocation, and family life. These are major! Just one area felt overwhelming to deal with, but three all at once? Lord, I cried so much thinking about how I was going to survive.
The next month…
I doubted my decision to leave Greek IV. Not only was that ministry something that gave me so much fulfillment and joy, it was a major source of income for us. How was I going to afford having a baby with such a financial cutback?
I doubted by decision to train as a fitness instructor with Barre3. How on earth could I handle the physical challenge of growing a human inside my body, while caring for other people’s bodies? First trimester nausea was terrifying. Every day I taught a class, I feared that I would puke mid-class. I experienced anxiety about my appearance while teaching in front of a bunch of beautiful Scottsdale women. The hurt and the thought war was real!
I doubted God’s timing of Everett’s conception. I felt knocked down by the physical ramifications that followed those two pink lines. My skin broke out like crazy! Acne all over my neck and face. Depleted energy levels that left only 1/4 of my day to get things done. So even when I felt up to getting out of the house, I was ashamed about how I looked. (LOL – I even grew a unicorn bump at the top of my forehead that kept people asking if I had fallen down.) I was discouraged by the mental impact of the pregnancy hormones. As someone who already takes medication for my mental health, the extra chemical changes in my mind left me confused.
I’m at 7 months and while the past 32 weeks have given me to time to process these challenges, the snow globe is still flurrying around me.
January 2018 resurfaced some of the desires I forgot and inspired a few new ones. Some I’m not sure about, others I know are from God:
- Drinking green tea and exploring all its benefits
- Praying intentionally for others
- Researching how to open a women’s collaborative space in Tempe
- Learning photography
- Listening to daily podcasts
- Connecting with a Christian psychiatrist
Here’s my attempt at follow-through: Making a Green Tea Face Mask to calm down this pregnancy skin – Inspired by Pretty Plain Janes.
Stay tuned for before/during/after photos!
Time to celebrate Hot Tea Month. You may be thinking: Why January?
Well during the beginning of the year, you probably see plenty of people going crazy with gym memberships, diet pills, and making other weight-loss or heath-related resolutions.
Little do people know the potential benefits of adding tea to their daily diet. Or how simple and cheap it is.
Several studies show that drinking green tea every day helps speed up your metabolism and provide energy for people to complete and recover from their workouts. Why spend hundreds of dollars on supplements? Purchase loose-leaf tea that will last you a few months and save money.
I highly recommend checking out teavana.com or republicoftea.com as places to order yourself a good amount of loose-leaf tea. My preferences are something with a fruity or minty blend. The flavor can then be heightened when you add a bit of sugar-free sweetener. Yummy!
Fight the flu-bug.
Research has shown that tea drinkers have more ability to fight off viral infections like the cold or flu than non-tea drinkers can. I recommend black tea or oolong tea help strengthen your immune system because they are loaded with antioxidants.
I was thrilled to see that the Sip of Success contest was extended through Nov. 29, in order for the Tea Council of the USA to recieve a larger quantity of quality video entries. There were a total of 21 entries submitted and the winner will be announced in January (crossing my fingers)!
I had a ton of fun filming mine – Enjoy! Help me win, by “liking” the video on youtube (10% of the contest is based on popularity).
Video Inspiration: Top Ten Benefits of Green Tea
Thanks to the awkwardness of the Progressive lady, the factoid signs in the truth campaign, and the humor of “I’m just here for the wifi” commercials, I was able to create a narrative story about a nerdy college guy (Greer Palmer) and a gorgeous college girl (Allison Devane), who start their days out getting ready for a date. Little do they know that the Green Tea Lady will be showing them how to change their lifestyle for the better with a little sip of success – green tea.
Top 10 Benefits:
1. Green tea helps keeps your gums and teeth healthy
2. Green tea can help you lose weight.
3. Green tea helps you stay alert and awake.
4. Green tea keeps your skin clear
5. Green tea helps your endurance and post-workout recovery.
6. Green tea can prevent cancer.
7. Green tea helps improve your memory.
8. Green tea can help prevent cardiovascular disease.
9. Green tea saves you money.
10. Green tea helps improve your eyesight.
Browse through the video gallery here.
Not sure if it was by divine intervention, but all thanks to Twitter I discovered @TeaCouncil today and discovered that the organization is running an internship contest called: “Sip of Success.” The contest combines the best of two worlds that I am the most passionate about: public relations and tea!
Contestants are asked to create a 2-minute video showing their creativity and passion for tea, along with their knowledge of its health benefits.
The prize: Once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to prepare for a career in the worldwide tea industry! The winning video submitted by a college student or recent college grad, will go on a tour through India, Sri Lanka, Kenya and the U.S. to experience a training and internship program with The Tea Council of the USA, Inc.’s partners. The winner will also get to participate in the U.S. portion of the Dream Job internship at SalonTea, owned by nationally renowned entrepreneur Tracy Stern.
Entries are judged on the following criteria:
- Health-related message (50%)
- Creativity (20%)
- Individuality (20%)
- Popularity (10%)
Due by 11:59 p.m. on November 19…so that means I better get started!
I recently took a week-long trip to New York City, on a whim with one of my friends. With the combination of cheap airplane tickets and hotel rates – we thought…why not? Probably one of the best decisions of my life.
Of course on our list of places to visit was Chinatown. While there’s plenty of meat to get at the market and black market designer handbag sales going on at the corners, I had to go straight for the tea shops. No brainer.
Stepping through those doors gave me the same feeling in my stomach as a child who had one too many cookies – overwhelmed. What kind of green tea to buy? Not only were there different flavors. There was different packaging – bags, tins, candied…There was bagged, loose-leaf…oh what to do?
Well after running around in circles between the ancient tea room in the back and the shelves in the front of the China Tea Shop, I decided to invest my dollars in a bag of green tea candy (yum!) and canned loose leaf. So yummy!
Oops! We’ve got a tea spill on our hands…
So yesterday I was trying to enjoy a hot mug of green tea, like always, and well, as you can tell the process wasn’t as simple as I thought it would be. Reaching over to move my mouse and open an Excel report, I flipped over my tea and spilled not only on my keyboard, but also my computer modem and a bunch of wires that probably could’ve exploded into a fire had I not cleaned up the mess right away. After sprinting to the break room to grab paper towels and fixing my mess, I made myself another mug of green tea.
Yet again, my morning tea experience had to be delayed because this time I reached over to grab my notepad with my to-do list, and I knocked over my green tea. At this point, I would even call myself a clutz. Goodness. This time I not only had to clean up the mess I made on my computer. I also had to clean up the mess I had made on my jeans. What I learned from the experience is to place my green tea far away from my elbows, as well as how to remove tea stains. Thought I’d share these tea stain removal tips with you!
- Dip a sponge in white vinegar and apply to the stain.
- Wash the garment per care label instructions.
- Don’t throw the garment into the dryer or the heat will set the stain!
- Soak the garment in a solution of 3 cups of white vinegar to one cup of water.
- Place in a large glass bowl and soak.
- Rub the garment to remove any lingering residue and rinse in cold water.
- Rinse and launder as usual.
There you have it – how to remove a tea stain, all thanks to my spill mistake! By the way, I’ve kept my clothing tea-free all day at work so far 🙂
For those of you who love tweeting in the atmosphere, here are some Twitter users that I highly recommend following in order to get your daily dose of green tea updates and/or tea related information (other than me of course: @gtea
Top 10 Green Tea Tweeters: