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Drinking tea to relieve stress

As an avid tea drinker, this is music to my ears. Not only with the Holiday season starting and the crazy time it brings to my day job, but also with getting my writing in for #NaNoWriMo!

Tealightful Tea Blog

Today is International Stress Awareness Day. Halloween is over and it’s time to start preparing for Thanksgiving. Before you know it, the holiday season will be in full swing and even the most optimistic, cheerful person may begin to feel stressed out.

We had the opportunity to get some really helpful tips from holistic physician and best-selling author, Dr. Bradley Nelson. You may be familiar with Dr. Nelson’s book, The Emotion Code.

We really found his tips to be helpful to us and wanted to share some of his expertise with you — afterall, who can’t relate to feelings of stress?

tea helps relieves stress

How to Manage Stress: 3 Tips from Dr. Nelson

1. Plan ahead and be flexible about your expectations. Think about your plans for the upcoming holidays. Everyone else has expectations and sometimes they won’t match with yours. Plan for spontaneity. If you allow the plans that others…

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Happy Birthday!

Growing up I do not really remember going to a lot of birthday parties.  What parties I do remember were mostly family events and vague memories of childhood friends family parties that we were invited to.  I am not sure if this was just the era we grew up in or if my small group of friends, like my family, did not do parties like I am experiencing with my kids.

Even before having kids of my own, I worked for a company who provided entertainment for kids birthday parties.  This was more than I was used to but most of the parties I worked or observed were in home parties and the 60 min of entertainment was a nice break for the parents.   Still not what I was used to growing up.

Now that my son is 5 and invited to more and more birthday parties, he is starting to ask and plan for his party in March! To date we have always done family parties and the last two years inviting some friends to meet us somewhere like Chuckie Cheese to play and have cake.  I am beginning to think he feels left out after attending parties at Bounce U, Sky Zone, My little Gym, Science Seeds  and one tomorrow at iPlay America that have 20+ children there.

With our life right now, this has not really been an option.  The cost of these parties are easily a weeks worth of pay if not more.  I was originally thinking a small gathering at our home for his next party.  He will be 6 so he gets to invite 6 friends, not including family.  If the weather is nice they can play outside if not its a small enough number that the basement can handle it!  I know enough tricks from preforming at parties to give it some entertainment and the cost down.  It worked great when he wanted a costume party.  Now he is begging for a Bounce U party where he can invite his entire class.

I am not sure if that is in the cards for us, but with several more months to plan we may be able to compromise.  I am hoping with some diligent planning and budgeting we can work out a deal with the location, All Heart Academy, where our son takes Ninja Warrior course training.  They have a birthday package that includes a free month for the birthday child, if we can apply that to the party it should be doable.  Not exactly what he wants but I think a good compromise of being able to invite his class mates and friends while keeping it simple.  I hope!

Right now I am thankful our daughter has not experienced the party invite craze yet and we can still get away with cake at home . . . not to plan a Let it go/Elsa and triceratops themed day for her third birthday in December!


Recently I hosted an open house .  Very informal but invitations were still sent via social media and text.  I had eight people say they were coming, one who was unsure and a LOT of no responses.  A few people shared their regrets, even last minute.  Hey, I understand, life happens.  For this type of invite  a  nice sorry cant make it maybe next time works!

I have always said I am a no pressure person, and I mean it.  Really believe the art of just spending time with friends is lost on my generation and younger and would love to bring that art back!  Technology has made it easier for people to keep in touch and see the experiences others are having but the more I observe, the more it seems these experiences are lacking friends, they are more insular.

Why do I bring this up?  Out of the EIGHT people who said yes, two cancelled last minute (one of those had a legit family emergency) and the other 6 where straight out no shows.  People I spoke with during the week about the event, even some that day, and not once did they say “Oh hope it is awesome unfortunately I cant make it. ”

According to the Spruce, “The term RSVP comes from the French expression “répondez s’il vous plaît”, meaning “please respond.” If RSVP is written on an invitation it means the invited guest must tell the host whether or not they plan to attend the party.

RSVP does not mean to respond only if you’re coming, and it does not mean respond only if you’re not coming (the expression “regrets only” is reserved for that instance). This means the host needs a definite head count for the planned event and needs it by the date specified on the invitation.”

In addition, “It is bad form to cancel an RSVP unless you have a very good reason, limited in general to illness or a death in your family. The host will already have made plans based on your attendance.”

Maybe I am old fashioned, but this is how I always felt about RSVPs.  I would not say I am coming unless I know I will be able to attend.  Even if the day of the event there is something else I would rather do, including letting my introvert side rule, I go because I said I would be there.  For me this is more a show of respect for the host and my friend who thought enough to invite me then it is about me.  They went through the time to organize, clean, prepare or buy food based on those coming.  How would you feel if you planned an event , had friends who said they would be there and they never showed? That is why I go.



The Reluctant Cheerleader

Once again I have let life stop me from doing something I love, writing!  More specifically getting the stories out that are in my head.  They may not be amazing, but when one takes hold it is difficult to stop from taking over my thoughts.  Unfortunately for me they usually arrive at the most inconvenient times.

Yesterday while cleaning a clients home a memory struck and led to a story idea.  I do not have a great hold on where this one is going yet but the premise has stuck.  First, the back story.

Unless you knew me in high school, you may not recognize me as the same person.  I was a bit reserved, except with my inner circle.  I was not loud by any means and the only class I really put myself forward in was gym.  Unlike many of my peers, I did not care about my clothes often wearing sweat pants or jeans and t shirts.  My hair was usually in a ponytail or braid (oh wait, that hasn’t changed!)  20170930_061658This is me on the last day of school either freshman or sophomore year, really cant remember as my sense of style did not change much!  I do remember we weren’t supposed to sit on the lab tables but for some reason our homeroom teacher never cared when I did it . .

When I was a freshman in high school, my adviser met with me to review my grades, teacher recommendations and my college goals to choose my classes for Sophomore year.   Do not remember speaking much about my classes and goals though she tried really hard to recruit me as a cheerleader!

I remember her speaking several times about how my smile was infectious and I had the build and athleticism to be really good.  All I kept thinking was do you even know me?  I hate being the center of attention.  I was in no way anything like any of the other girls on the squad.  Running spring track and managing the swim team was good for me, not a lot of people came to the events and I was able to stay active.  I didn’t really fit any mold or click.  I was average in grades with A’s and B’s.  I was not popular though I had a decent amount of friends and generally not shunned by others (never last to be picked for a team type thing). I took shop classes as my electives, more because I preferred them to the other options.  Cheering me?  Of course I sad no thank you and she asked me to think about it some more.

Now as an adult I wonder what if, I the misfit who didn’t fit a stereo type in  high school,  would be like if I said yes . . .

Eerily, the adviser was right, I would have been good.  I helped a friend of mine practice/train her freshman year for tryouts and she made the JV squad.  She swore she would not have without my help.

This could be a fun little story to write . . . I may need background to help though.  Would any of you who have experience in the cheer world want to sit down for a cuppa and share stories to make this work?

My day away

Recently I had the opportunity to take a two day one night solo trip for a sneak peek at the new products and catalog for Tealightful launching in September.  It was not something I ever did before and was intrigued by the possibility.  Not just the sneak peak, but meeting other people like myself who are trying to turn a passion into an income.  It defintely helped me confirm I made the correct choice in joining this company.

The others I met while at the retreat where all amazing.  As I never met anyone of them before, nor did I know anyone attending ( I do not have a TEAm) I was nervous I would get the cold shoulder.  The you do not belong to out group, your not welcome.  That was not the case.  In fact it was the opposite!

The ladies I met while in Rochester, NY greeted me like an old friend the minute we met at check in to the hotel.  As soon as they heard I was also there for the Tea Retreat they invited me to dinner.  When I mentioned I needed to see if they could accommodate my dietary needs ( I have Celiacs Disease) one of the group walked over to the restaurant and back again before I even finished checking in to confirm the restaurant was able to accommodate Celiac needs!

Thursday nights dinner.  Chips made with Truffle oil, bacon and Asiago cheese. Yum!

After a bigger meal than I expected of truffle chips, I went back to my hotel room to settle in and rest.  I made the drive to Rochester, NY immediately after cleaning a home in New Hope, PA.  What started as a scheduled 5,5 hour trip turned into an almost 6.5 hour trip do to traffic and rerouting.  Yet the hardest part of my day was ahead, spending my first night away from the kids; something I had not done since before my now almost 3 year old daughter was born.

As soon as I returned to the room I called home to say sweet dreams to the kids.  I missed them and was afraid C would be frustrated with putting both kids to bed.  Surprisingly everyone was in good spirits.  My 5 year old wanted to know if he would see me in the morning, which he wouldn’t, but told him I would be home in time for good night kisses.

The Tea Ladies at dinner Thursday night

After such a long day it was easy to fall asleep in a strange bed, and I still woke up at my regular time thanks to my internal alarm clock.  I do have to say the sound of my daughters morning siren wale for a diaper change and milk was not missed one bit!

Once I made my way to the breakfast area where I met another solo attendee we met up with the rest of the group from the night before, and we got to meet Tealightful’s founder and CEO Charlene Phillips.  She is even nicer in person!  She greeted us all by name and it was not rehearsed.  She truly was amazed that we were all there and was even a little flustered by it!

In the gift bag from Tealightful waiting for me at the hotel

After some pictures of the group we walked to the Mansion where the tasting was taking place .  Again, the details Charlene took were impressive, she personally spoke with the kitchen and main chef to assure all my food would be safe and had me and one other guest with a food sensitivity go first to get our food to make sure we were able to eat before the others could take or cross contaminate.

Ohhh the food!

Then there was the tea . . . oh the tea!  We were able to taste 4 of the new teas coming out this season.  The one I am most excited for is the Eggnog Butter Rum!  The Pumpkin Creme Torte was also vert tasty and will be featured at the Fall Open house I am hosting on October 7th.  There was also a Holiday Berry, which was very good.  It is not my personal taste with the licorice flavor from the star Anise, but I know others will love it! The forth tea we tried was Apricot Sunrise, which I plan on featuring at a vendor event in December, it is also very tasty white tea which means the leaves can be used up to 4 times making it a great value as well!

Ironically what I am most excited about this season are the accessories!  There is a beautiful stone gray tea pot I have my eye on with matching tea mugs.  There are “teaspoon” mugs that I not only want for myself but think will

“Teaspoon” Mug

make great teacher gifts with some tea and honey samples.  Definitely going to watch my spending this season with all these wonderful additions!

After the tea finished, we took a tour of the mansion that houses a wonderful collection of Women’s suffrage memorabilia.  Then it was time for goodbyes . . . or more appropriately until the next retreat!

Political cartoons of the Women’s suffrage movement 
“Swag” worn by the Women during movement









The drive home was a little easier and only took 5.5 hours.  Though there was a brief time when I got nervous when I GPS rerouted me avoid some traffic and took my through some mountain back roads and I was on empty.  Thankfully I was able to fill up just before getting back on the highway and made it home just in time to get the kids ready for bed.

It was an adventure for sure, and one I will make again.

The Ladies at the ROC Retreat
Saying good buy to our leader and CEO of Tealightful

Setting Intentions

My entire life I have been told, work hard, keep your head down and do what is expected.  I heard how we are the worker bees of the world and as long as I do my job well, no matter what it is I will get by.

I am tired of just getting by. It is not what I am built for in reality.

The number of books I have read, the people have talked to and my own gut all the say the same thing; we are what we believe we are.  By telling myself I am only meant for scrapping by and working hard, that is all I will ever achieve.  That time is over.

Since I last posted about my intention of becoming a full time Momma, part time writer and part time tea sales I have booked 4 more tea events with 2 more in the works!   I am writing this just a few days after my last post.  I feel more involved with my kids and have a much calmer clearer mind when it comes to their behaviors and needs.

Sure it helps that I started taking medication for my congestion and that always makes you feel good.

But really its my mind and body are working as one, they are not at war with each other as the intention of both are now aligned.   It’s not that I do not have worries and fears, it’s the focus of my intentions are shifting to what my heart and instinct have wanted but my brain and training has guided me away from.

We tell our kids the most important part is trying and giving it your best.  Thought the outcome may not be what you want, the fact you are trying with everything you have is the win.  More importantly, just because the outcome was not what you wanted, does not mean you give up, you get back up and find another way to make it happen.  If it is something you truly want, you will figure it out. Now to set the example, figure it out and make it happen.

Intentions are set, follow through and go for it!


Eyes of the beholder

When I look into a mirror all I see are the imperfections; the sagging skin, the 20 pounds that still needs loosing, the dark circles with tired eyes, and clogged pours.  I see everything that makes the beauty industry a multi billion dollar industry.  This has been further further exemplified when other share with me how tired I look and how I should take a break.

Here is the thing, my kids do not see me that way.  They see a Momma who comes home from being away at work all day who still plays with them, that is always up for a snuggle, and takes them on adventures when has a day off.  To them I am beautiful.

When I am with them I feel beautiful.

Maybe it is true what they say, beauty is in the eyes of the beholder.  Maybe it is because when I am with them I am not worried about what others think as long as they are happy.  Whatever the cause, it’s time for a change.

For a very long time I have not been happy with myself.  This goes beyond my skin and weight, though will be addressing that too.  It stems from not being true to myself.  For a long time, way before my kids or husband,  I have made compromises to who I am and what I want in order to “get by” or “what needs to be done for now”. Even writing this blog, sharing stories, getting in the habit of writing  isn’t kept up enough.  If you look at the length of time between posts, it is months!  This post has taken weeks to to write and it’s not even that long.

This thought process has turned into a life style.  A life style that is taking it’s toll.  If I am going to truly be happy with myself it’s time now to make it happen.

What does this mean?

To be specific, not 100% sure.  My first step is to start redirecting my focus.  Recently I was asked to share if I could do anything what would it be? My response: full time momma, part time writer, part time tea sales.  The priority is in that order.

Much of my “free time” is spent on things I do not want to do, but what should be done.  I take on extra clients because I currently feel that its more important to have immediate funds, this is changing. It is taking away from my family and who I am.  My patience with my kids is short because I am not being true to myself.  I read recently a quote that hit home.  “The only thing standing between you and your goal is the BS story you keep telling yourself as to why you can’t achieve it.”  I like telling stories, but the one I am telling myself that is keeping me from my dream is over.

I have already started putting more energy into my tea business, Simply Tealightful (  I am also thinking of starting a second direct sales business, which also focuses on something I am passionate about, health and wellness.  These are products I already use so would not be a stretch to take the next step, just want to be practical about it since I am currently our primary income and do not want to take away from my true passions, family and writing.

Another step is making time for me.  I started reading again before bed.  I picked up crocheting again and spend a little bit every day on my daughters blanket.  The same blanket I started almost 2 years ago!  I am also going to get into a better workout routine.  Instead of I cant go today,  I am working late, or the kids I am going to start introducing yoga at home.  Amazon Prime has some free videos I am checking out starting today.  The kids can join me if the want!  Weight lifting is back on the table too. Have let that slide the last few months as it was not convenient for the other half to join and train me.  That is over, we will start adding weights  back into the routine 2-3 times a week.

The final step, and the most daunting, is getting back into writing.  This one takes the most time and is easily set aside when the kids start calling or anything distracts me.  I am going to need to re-find my focus and drive to make this happen.  Bring it back to the forefront versus when I have time.  The time will not happen unless I make it a priority, retraining the brain after 6 years of teaching it to push to the back is not going to be easy.  In fact I wrote more today (almost 500 words) than I have wrote all year.

I am asking all of you to help.  Keep me on track, keep me accountable.  Any suggestions on tools to help with planning and scheduling until it becomes a part of me is much appreciated!  Time to find my beauty in myself.