a tea + my thoughts // no. 1

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Last year, I did a bunch of “Coffee Talk” posts where I talked about some random topics on my mind and I wanted to continue that this year but with a new twist. The truth is, I don’t even drink coffee, so why was I naming my posts that? This year, I’ll share a new tea with you each month along with my thoughts on whatever random things pass through my mind.

The tea for this month is a drink I love to make when I want to feel really cozy. It’s a maple chai latte made with almond milk. I’ve experimented with different methods for making chai lattes at home and I think this is the best one. I use my Keurig to fill a cup about halfway with hot water and then add a chai tea bag to steep for about three minutes (I like Celestial Seasonings’ Mountain Chai bags). Meanwhile, add about 1/4 cup of almond milk to a small pot and simmer. Remove from heat, add a little bit of maple syrup to taste (about a teaspoon or so), whisk it together. Pour the maple milk mixture into your mug with the steeped chai tea and enjoy!

While you sip your chai, here’s a couple of things on my mind:

exploring your own town //
My friend, who no longer lives in my state, was in town recently and took me to her favorite coffee shop that’s like 15 minutes from my house, yet I never knew it existed and it was so cute. This happened another time with a coffee shop 15 minutes from my house in the opposite direction. I’m always so shocked that I, of all people, have been missing out on such cute spots that are so close by because I’m always driving to Orlando/Winter Park for cute places. I definitely urge you all to spend more time exploring your own hometowns because it just goes to show that you don’t have to live in New York/L.A./Charleston/Other Big City to have access to really great, local places to hang out. I know I’m certainly going to make more of an effort.

you must remember this podcast //
I love Karina Longworth’s podcast about all things old Hollywood. Recently, I’ve been listening to her Blacklist series which is about how certain screenwriters, actors, and other entertainers were blocked from Hollywood productions because of suspected ties to Communism around the mid-20th century. This is very much centered around Hollywood (Katharine Hepburn, Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall, Howard Hughes, etc.) but it really explores the broader context of Cold War fear and how this era continues to impact us politically and culturally.

a series of unfortunate events //
Did you guys read these books when you were kids? I was obsessed with them and, to this day, credit them for my interest in books, reading, writing, and my vocabulary. I remember when they did a film adaptation of the first three movies in 2004 and I was kind of disappointed. But the Netflix TV series has been amazing and such a good homage to the books. I just finished watching the final season and it just made me so happy. It even reminds me of Wes Anderson a little bit.

social media hiatus? //
Lately, I’ve been kind of annoyed by social media, namely Instagram (because I don’t have any other social media accounts). I haven’t experienced this much in the past like I know so many others have, but am definitely feeling it now. I think I’m just tired of the inauthenticity that I see a lot as well as the self-centered nature of posting every little detail of one’s life. I love Instagram for keeping up with my friends, being visually inspired, and using it as a creative outlet for my photography, but I’m considering stepping back in some way or another for a little while because it’s just getting annoying. 😹

outlander //
Yes, another TV show but I’m legitimately obsessed. I did an Instagram poll to see if I should read the books or watch the show. A slim majority voted for watching the show and I’m grateful because I’d much rather watch four seasons of a show than commit to reading 12 long books in the same series, no matter how much I love reading. Plus, sorry, but I wanna look at Sam Heughan. I don’t often get super invested in TV characters but when I watch Outlander, I swear it’s like I get sucked into that world. If any of you watch, can we talk about how insane Jack Randall is? I mean, good God.