Sunday, October 8, 2017

a long absence.

tea & studies.

Hello, my friends. The time came to renew my domains, and I thought to navigate to this old blog that has collected dust for many months. Sitting in my posts was a draft with this photo at the very top, and I decided to finally post it and perhaps explain my long absence from my little corner of the internet.

School has been absolutely incredible. I am all at once thrilled, terrified, frustrated, and deeply satisfied with the experience. Bryn Mawr has pulled me out of my comfort zone, forced me into situations that I would have altogether avoided, and I have felt myself evolve during my time there. The downside to that experience was struggling to find free time for little side projects like my blog, felting, and embroidering. My attention had to shift elsewhere, and small things like that fell by the wayside.

Now that I am more accustomed to the expectations placed upon me at school, I turn once again to the small things that filled my free time. My tea time has not been nearly what it once was -- in the mornings I make a mug of Earl Grey tea with a spot of milk and honey, and then I set off on my day. I still have a variety of tea in my cupboard, but gone are the days where I would snatch up seasonal releases of small batch teas and jot down notes in earnest. The specialty teas only come out for company, rarely for myself, and I find it a bit saddening at times. Last year I was at school 5 days a week, and had a long commute to deal with too. This year I have actual weekdays off, which is a blessing, and I am trying to find ways to incorporate my old routines into these periods of free time.

I want to return to this blog, but I think that it will not be so wholly tea-centric as it once was. There will always be an element of my favorite brew about, but perhaps now I will write more about what I'm doing academically and professionally. At the forefront of my mind is art history, and history in general. It might be fun to share a cup of tea and discuss the nuances of style in Mannerist art, examine material culture in the Baroque period, question the meaning of bizarre drolleries in manuscripts, or invite you to sit with your own cup of tea in hand and reflect on the sensations and impressions contained within Monet's paintings.

I apologize for disappearing for a time, but I do hope that you will join me again soon for my adventures as a fledgling art historian with a cup of Earl Grey always in hand.

With love,
Danielle

Monday, August 15, 2016

two weeks.

quiet afternoon.

Such a strange feeling -- in two weeks time I'll be starting classes at my dream school. I had applied and constantly told myself to not get my hopes up, and then in May I found out I was accepted. I was in quite a state of shock, and ended up bursting into tears when I found out at work!

I've been largely absent online over the summer because of that. You know how, when a major life change is happening, you kinda want to just focus on finding your center? That's what I've been doing. For the past few years my main focus was building up my academic resume to make up for my poor performance in high school (10 years ago!) and now my focus is shifting towards my long term career goals.

I read lots and lots of books this summer. Not new ones, but old favorites. I focused on creating a space that was perfectly peaceful and shifted my room around a lot. I talked with my adviser about my interests, and I started to get excited. Excited and terrified. The school is a very rigorous women's liberal arts college. They expect a lot from their students, and soon I'll be spending much of my free time working on assignments after class in a library carrel.

I never really thought I'd be excited about this sort of thing. I was never one to care much about school identity. I never had much "school spirit" ... until now. During my tour of the campus I realized it resonated with me in a way that no other school had. I can't wait to take part in the school traditions. I can't wait to make this school my second home.

I hope all has been well with you, friends! I can't wait to share this adventure with you!

little shadow.

Sunday, July 3, 2016

keemun imperial black tea from teavivre.

keemun imperial black tea.

Hello friends, long time no see! Apologies for getting burnt out on tea blogging a little bit. I took some time away from sharing everything I was sipping and focused on enjoying things in the moment, and finally I feel the drive to write and share my tea adventures again! Despite being inactive here I've been consistently active on my instagram account. Check me out there!

I was sent a parcel from Teavivre of their Spring 2016 teas, and was thrilled to find the Keemun Imperial black tea tucked inside! A properly done Keemun always makes me think of chilly October afternoons, woodsmoke in the air, and honey-sweet treats -- this particular tea did just that!

This variety of Keemun seemed heavy on the chocolate note. The leaves brewed a lovely clear amber cup. The steam smelled like cocoa and wildflower honey with a slight bit of woodiness. The first sip is smooth and sweet with a slightly smoky tang on the back of the tongue. The malty note keeps this tea feeling earthy and not overly sweet. The malt creates a heartiness that makes this Keemun perfect for sipping in the cooler months (don't let that stop you from brewing in the summer!) and results in a very enjoyable cup. It resteeped nicely and the quality of the brew remained strong after 3 infusions.

Things that came to mind while I sipped: cocoa, dark honey, toast, smoke, pumpkins, autumn air.

The Keemun Imperial black tea was smooth, rich, and very comforting. I recommend picking this one up if you enjoy black teas with cocoa notes, or if you like daydreaming about autumn weather!

amber brew.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

snowed in.

reading

Yesterday winter storm Jonas dropped about 30" of snow all throughout our region. I watched as my car was slowly buried under a constant snowfall. By 8:00pm last night the only thing that remained visible were my side view mirrors! Today the skies were clear and the sun did its best to melt away what it could, but my car is still mostly buried. It looks like I'll be stuck inside tomorrow as well.

Classes are off to a great start (despite the snowstorm making Monday attendance impossible) and I'm especially excited about my history and literature courses. The only thing that stinks is that my 365 photo project has already been derailed. On Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays I leave for class at 6:45 in the morning and get home from work around 8:45 at night... there's just no time for photos.

dreamy snowy day

While snowed in I've been reading William Blake's poetry for class and Outlander by Diana Gabaldon for fun. I'm a bit torn with Outlander. It's a clearly entertaining book but I'm slightly unhappy with events that took place a few hundred pages in. Many people sing praises for the series so I'm working past it, but there was a section that skeeved me out a bit and I'm not quick to forget it.

While I couldn't maintain the 365 photo project I can at least try to commit to my reading challenge this year! I've set the bar somewhat low at 30 books but I'll up the goal if I'm able to keep up a steady pace between work and school. Are any of you doing a reading challenge this year?

This chilly evening calls for more reading, chicken soup, and another cup of tea! Stay warm, friends!