Monday, November 28, 2011

Tea-infused hot chocolate

Tea-infused hot chocolate is a very tasty winter treat. It's a bit different, and almost counter-intuitive (seems strange putting chocolate mix in your tea) but I think it's lovely stuff.
I was in a cafe a winter or two ago and they had mint tea hot chocolate on the menu. Being a fan of mint tea and hot chocolate, I was quite impressed with this idea of tossing a tea bag into a mug of hot chocolate. Genius. 
Tonight I made my own but since Stuart doesn't like mint, I figured I'd try a different kind of tea for his. Here's the set up:

Loose leaf tea, mint tea, hot chocolate mix, favourite mugs, good books. The makings of a simple pleasure.

Make tea as per usual. When it's steeped, pour in about 3-4 scoops of hot chocolate mix, add some milk, grab a good book, light some nice smelling candles, find the soft spot on the couch and decompress with the delicious drink.

The kind of tea I used for Stuart's was one of my favourite loose leaf teas on the planet. It's called "Toasted Walnut" from David's Tea (which is a Montreal / Toronto based tea chain and is filled with the most unbelievably incredible teas). It has coconut in it. Coconut! My obsession with coconut is immense, so I am a huge fan of this blend. Mixing this tea with hot chocolate gave the drink a really nice nutty, warm undertone. I look forward to a winter full of testing out new tea-hot chocolate concoctions.  

Saturday, November 26, 2011

50% off Thriftin'

Goodwill had a 50% off sale, and here's what I hauled in.
Wine glasses in two of my favourite colours and two vintage glasses

"Veterans Club 1973" tumbler

I love the gold

Bowling glass. There is faint writing on the other side that says "OK Koffee Klub at Northgate Bowl"

And of course I went overboard on buying cheap vintage books

The Tragedy of Doctor Faustus, Christopher Marlowe, 1964. I love this story about a scholar who sells his soul to the devil in exchange for infinite knowledge. 

This book has some amazing illustrations inside

illustration in Doctor Faustus

Another neat illustration in Doctor Faustus

Dracula's Guest, Bram Stoker, 1974. This is a book of "nine tales of horror and suspense - fashioned from the macabre imagination that created 'Dracula'". I actually didn't know that Stoker wrote short stories so I look forward to getting into this one. This will go nicely with the rest of my vampire collection. 
Pond Life: A Guide to Common Plants and Animals of North American Ponds and Lakes, George K. Reid, Ph.D., 1967

Each page is full of the greatest illustrations

Seriously, every page is a work of art. Gorgeous!

Experiments in Laboratory Chemistry, 1959

Front page of Experiments in Laboratory Cemistry

Ok, so admittedly, I have no idea what this book is talking about, but it as some very excellent diagrams. Although I don't understand them, I love vintage science books. 

Creative Dramatics: An Art for Children, Geraldine Brain Siks, 1958. Ah, drama, something more in my field of knowledge. I love, love, love the cover of this. Very 50s.
The Hot-Blooded Dinosaurs, Adrian J. Desmond, 1976. Great font on the word "Dinosaurs".

I really enjoy how the illustrations and the type are all a dark brown instead of the traditional black.

Stories from Hans Christian Andersen. Annoyingly, there's no date on this, but on the front page there is a child's inscription dated 1971. Since going to Copenhagen in the spring, I've grown more appreciative of the works of Hans Christian Andersen, so thought I'd pick this one up. His stories are actually pretty macabre.

Illustration from "The Little Mermaid"

This is the best; Andersen telling his tales to the wee ones!

Tacky Souvenirs

Whenever I go on a trip, I have a mission to get the tackiest souvenir that I can find which best represents the city. 
Here is my collection thus far.

"Flower Pots" from Bay of Fundy, New Brunswick
"Coliseum" from Rome, Italy
"Little Mermaid" from Copenhagen, Denmark
"Light House" from Peggy's Cove, Nova Scotia
"Olympic Stadium Snow Globe" from Montreal, Quebec

"Sand Map" from Isle of Wight, England (Isle of Wight has naturally colourful sand, and I got to pour the sand into this myself)

"Statue of Liberty", New York City, New York
"Big Ben / Eye of London", London, England
"Windmill", Amsterdam, Holland
"Eiffel Tower", Paris, France
"Skyline" Chicago, Illinois
"Fishing Boat", Halifax, Nova Scotia
"Beer Stein", Berlin, Germany

"CN Tower", Toronto, Ontario (see first picture for full shot of it)
"Sheep Snowglobe", Wales, United Kingdom
"Leprechaun", Dublin, Ireland
"Landscape", Quebec City, Quebec

Interestingly, I've been to Niagara Falls quite a few times, and each time I go I pick up a tacky souvenir, but I've lost every one of them! I also lost the castanets I got from Spain when I was about 13, which really was the start of this collection. Bit of a shame, but it gives me a good excuse to go back one day!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Good music videos

Here are some music videos that I dig, which all have a common theme of essentially just featuring the lead singer in isolation (The Strokes one does cut to some of the others, but it’s mostly of Julian Casablancas’ (dreamy) face).
These are all really simple ideas but I find them effective because each music video is very focused and so much is said through slight facial expressions. Having a camera just on one person for 3 – 5 minutes can say a lot about who he/she is.


This song is called Cornerstone and it is by Arctic Monkeys

This song is called Reptilia and it is by The Strokes

This song is called No Surprises and it is by Radiohead

This song is called Make A Mess and it is by Zoe Boekbinder

This song is called Yellow and it is by Coldplay