Homemade “Teamonade” Recipe

Okay, so I have a confession to make. I am an iced tea addict, have been for about 4 years now. My out of control obsession started in my freshman year at university, when milk tea was still the latest craze. I went through a NaiCha phase, then a Matcha Red Bean smoothie phase, a Strawberry Black Tea phase and let’s not forget my current one… the Lychee Green Tea phase. I can’t go a day without this stuff, but there aren’t any good tea shops in my area so I developed my own little recipe for when I need my fix.

I’ve come up with so many versions of this recipe over the past few months in an attempt to recreate the teamonade I had months and months ago at The Grounds of Alexandria. Although, at this point I’m pretty sure I won’t ever make a cuppa of this stuff that’s half as good as the one I had at The Grounds.

You’ll Need: (Note: these measurements were made for a quart size mazon jar)

3 tablespoons of white granulated sugar

4oz. of black tea

2oz. lime juice (if you’re not a fan of sour drinks, I suggest using 1oz instead)

Water, as needed

Ice

Mint (optional)

 

Directions:

First thing you’re going to want to do is prep a cup of black tea. I used an Earl Grey teabag from CBTL and let it steep in some just boiled water for 3-4 minutes.

Next, before squeezing your limes into your mason jar, peel off a bit of the rind and slice nice thin rounds (2 is ideal!) and add those in as well. Alternately, you can use lemons or even your favorite lemon juice brand but you would have to adjust the amount of sugar you add in if you do. (I sometimes use Fontana Lemonade, which comes in a 1L tetrapack and has a really strong taste. When I do I only add in 1 1/2 tablespoons of sugar because the juice has some sugar in it already.)

While your tea is still warm, add the sugar and mix well. Let the sugar crystals dissolve completely before combining it with the lime juice.

Top this mixture up with some plain water, or soda water if you’d like (Tipsy Tip: you can top it off with a combo of white wine and just a touch of soda water, it is the bomb!), add your ice cubes, drop in your mint leaves (if you want AND if you can find them, I couldn’t when I did my food shop last Sunday ~ welcome to the Philippines where your food/flavouring options are limited), and give this drink a good ‘ol shake. Then all that’s left to do is pop in a straw and give this refreshing drink a taste.

If you fancy giving this recipe a go please let me know how you get on! Oh, and if you have any tips and tricks that you’d like to share leave them in the comments below I’d love to hear from you guys! xx

 

 

 

 

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What I’m Reading Wednesdays: The Unbearable Lightness of Being

Hello blog! These past few months, the entirety of my time has been devoted to frantically trying to remember as much as I could about Literature in preparation for my comprehensive exams. So, basically any free time I had was spent binge watching my favourite tv shows in an attempt to calm myself, the f-, down. Excuses, excuses… I know! But I’m back now with a new book to read, so here it is.

The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera

The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera

I picked up my copy last Sunday at Fully Booked – Century City Mall for P299.00 (or about $9.02 AUD). I’ve missed these book prices, back in Sydney the exact same copy would probably be priced at at least $20 AUD. But anyway, I’m about a fourth of the way in now and I’m loving it so far. To me, Kundera’s novel feels like a well fleshed out lesson in philosophy and I mean that in best possible way. In fact, I’m currently on the hunt for a copy of Nietzsche’s The Gay Science or The Will to Power so I can read all about his concept of eternal return. (Third year university student, working on her liberal arts degree who hasn’t read Nietzsche?! Shock, horror!)

Well, that’s about it for now. I’m organizing my room at the moment and trying to soak up my month’s break before heading back to uni for a new term lol. But, I’m always interested to know what books other people are reading so if you’d like to, leave a comment down below or look me up on Goodreads. Catch you later! xx

I’m Alive! (And I have the Instagram photos to prove it!)

Apologies for my almost 4 month absence, I have had a lot to deal with since my last blog post and needed to take some time to settle back into my life in Manila. That’s right ladies and gents, I’ve officially moved back to the motherland and into my parent’s house (oh boy).

Things have been going well so far, I’m currently working on some DIY projects for my room and developing some recipes (both sweet and savory!) that I hope to share on the blog soon.

I’ve also been braving this insane summer heat whilst on roadtrips with the fambam. Dad has got us exploring a good bit of Luzon in search of churches to photograph. Why he looks for churches, I don’t know… but I’m always up for visiting historical places. 

That’s pretty much all I’ve been doing since I’ve got back. Any down time I have has and is being spent obsessing over tv series (Marvel’s Agent’s of S.H.I.E.L.D is my current fav), reading through my book pile and cooking up a storm. Here’s to hoping that I get back into the blogging rhythm! ‘Til Sunday! xx

Early 2000s Nostalgia Playlist

Hi guys! Things are going to be a bit hectic where I am for a couple of weeks as my brother’s fam is gearing up to fly back to the motherland on Tuesday. So, basically the next few days and the week leading up to my own trip will be a massive scramble to get things together and pack, pack, pack. In the meantime, I made a playlist to help keep me sane in the midst of all the crazy that’s going on right now. And what better way to calm the f— down than to listen to some tunes from my youngin’ years! So if you’re keen, click on that play button down below and listen to the stuff I was crazy about when I was a kiddo in the early 2000s. While you’re here I’d like to hear what you’ve been listening to lately as well! Link me to playlists and stuff in the comments below they would be much appreciated.

4 Planners/Diaries That Help Will Keep You Organised In 2015

Happy New Year errybody! Now I know we’re already 6 days into 2015 and it might be a bit late for this post BUT I’m going to publish it anyway for my fellow procrastinators who may have left planner picking to the last minute. I did a good deal of online searching and came up with a short-list of 4 planners that you might want to purchase for yourselves. Enjoy!

1. Frankie 2015 Daily Journal

Dimensions: 210x144mm

Price: $26.95 AUD

Where to get it: Online (ships internationally) and in some NewsAgencies (The Lucky Charm Newsagency -located at The Galleries Victoria (Sydney), literally the first stall you see when coming out of Town Hall Station-is one of the few that I’ve seen that have it)

I have been dreaming of getting a Frankie Journal since 2013, which was pretty much the  same year that I found out that this magazine existed, mostly because of the cute illustrations/designs that they always have. And this year’s edition is no different, of what I’ve see of the new planner I can say that Sara Hingle did an awesome job with the monthly illustrations. They’ve got a few little extras in it too, like gift tags, stickers and a back pocket for safe keeping loose sheets and what not.

This baby is 164 pages long and can be a bit heavy. For someone like me who constantly carries more than what she really needs in her bag, something thinner and lighter would be more ideal. Aside from the price point, its bulkiness was another reason why I chose not to purchase this pretty little thing. Because to be honest, I really didn’t want to lug another heavy weight around especially with the travelling and moving I’ve got planned for this year.

2. Kikki.K 2015 Monthly/Weekly Diary: Sweet

Dimensions: Available in A5 or A6

Price: $14.95 – $32.95 AUD

Where to get it: Online (ships internationally) and in store

Kikki.K do a lot of cute diaries (check the others out here) but this one stood out to me the most. This one comes with a PVC jacket, which makes it even more attractive to my accident prone – drink spilling self, and some cute stickers. But, what I love about this planner is that it isn’t too bulky and has just enough space to write tasks and notes on. Personally, after having owned a few hardbound planners I now tend to lean towards the more flexible soft-bound ones as I find that they tend to handle daily wear and tear a bit better and are much lighter in comparison.

3. Typo A3 Magnetic Planner

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Dimensions: A3, comes in three other styles

Price: $19.99 AUD

Where to get it: Online (ships internationally) and in store

Unlike the first two, this planner is meant to be used either at home or in the office. The one downside to this is that you have to constantly update it at the end/beginning of your week, as opposed to a regular yearly planner where you can just jot stuff down under a particular date. But, if you’re earth conscious and into the paperless movement then this would definitely be good for you.

Personally, I see this more as a supplement to your traditional date book as opposed to a planner on its own. I feel that this would be great for families to plan meals or kid’s games and people that need to see what their whole week is going to be like at a glance.

4. DubuDumo A6 Weekly Planner Notebook (Etsy)

Dimensions: 105 x 145mm, comes in three other styles

Price: $ 8.48 AUD

Where to get it: Online (ships internationally)

I found this little gem as I was scrolling through Esty, as you do, a couple of weeks ago. This planner comes with a PVC jacket which, as I had previously mentioned, is always good for clumsy folk (like moi) and that’s basically it. There aren’t any fancy gimmicks with this one and its pages are pretty simple too. If you’re into fully customising your planners then I would definitely recommend that you give this one a go.

Still patiently waiting on mine to arrive as I ordered it about 11 days ago. But I’ve been told that stuff coming from Korea to Australia takes a minimum of two weeks to arrive so I’m not too worried about it. Although I do recommend that if any of you order from this shop to add registered shipping to your order (I wish I did this tbh!). It costs another $3.16 AUD extra, but it’s well worth the peace of mind. Also, if you’re super into stationary then be forewarned you will be tempted to throw all of your money at this shop. I had to physically stop myself from scrolling just to prevent any “accidental” purchases.

Well, that’s pretty much it for now and I hope I was able to help my fellow last minute shoppers out. Any readers out there that have already purchased a 2015 planner? I am keen to see what you guys will be using this year so please feel free to share them in the comments.

’till the next blog! xx

Christmas Eve/Christmas Day Festivities

Hello interwebs, I’m back! My favorite holiday is now officially over (boo!) and my holiday eating-habits have been put on pause until we have to welcome 2015 in a few hours. But before I even attempt to say good riddance to 2014 and attempt to sort out my diet, let me just throwback to last week and remember all the good food and company I partook in.

Our first stop of the day was at Grandma’s Little Bakery down at Alexandria. I visited this restaurant once before for my nephew’s baptism brunch and basically fell in love with their entire breakfast buffet (which sadly wasn’t available that day). The first time I was there, I didn’t really get to see much of the main dining area of Grandma’s Little Bakery as their buffet is sort-of blended into the garage/parking/office area of the warehouse space this restaurant occupies. So it can be quite tight (space-wise) and very busy when the buffet is open. wpid-2014-12-24-04.19.16-1.jpg.jpeg

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(L-R) Myself, Rius (my sister-in-law’s older brother) and Julia (my niece)

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Fam and food 🙂

The main dining hall has a really homey feel to it, which I really love. I feel like this place would be perfect for a lazy Sunday brunch or a I-need-to-get-rid-of-this-hangover-if-I-can-be-bothered-to-get-out-of-bed meal. I would describe their decor as mostly shabby-chic and I say mostly because it does have a bit of an industrial vibe to it.

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Grandma’s Little Bakery is best known for their Shakshukas. My family ordered it in three variants and I believe the following photo is of their Beef Shakshuka. Personally, I’m not the biggest fan of this because I’m not really into anything that has a lot of egg in it (don’t ask me why, I don’t really know either). But it does taste very good and the portions are excellent.
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I went for the Grandma’s Haya Spinach and Feta borekas and a Lemonade (I’m attempting to live up to my blog name if you couldn’t already tell lol). I liked the flavour of the borekas, but I did find that the pastry was a bit dry. I suspect this is because they prepare them beforehand and heat them up again when someone orders it. Squeezing lemon does help it a bit, but I would have enjoyed this more if it were less dry. wpid-2014-12-24-10.40.03-1.jpg.jpeg wpid-2014-12-24-10.39.56-1.jpg.jpeg

Later in the day my brother started prepping for our yearly noche buena (If you don’t know what it is, it’s a traditional meal that we eat on Christmas eve particularly at midnight. I think it’s a celebratory/welcoming feast. I’m not a hundred percent sure of its origins but we Filipinos practice it and possibly some other cultures too.) We had some roasted lamb and a bit of salad, it was really simple but very delicious. wpid-2014-12-25-12.39.20-1.jpg.jpeg wpid-2014-12-25-12.39.15-1.jpg.jpeg wpid-2014-12-25-12.39.19-1.jpg.jpegWell, that’s pretty much it for now. I hope you enjoy whats left of the holidays and I wish everyone a hangover free January the 2nd. Let me know in the comments how you spent your holidays and what traditions you have. Till next year!

Errand day.

Earlier this week, I was meant to meet up with a friend from uni and just have a chat over brunch before her clinical rotation in the afternoon. She cancelled so I ended up exchanging an ill fitting playsuit I got over the weekend, for a dress at Dotti instead. So basically, I ran some a few errands that day rather than stuffing my face as planned. Here’s my ‘running-errands’ outfit of the day. It’s nothing special, but I was pretty proud of it all the same. I had on a light denim blouse over a black top and skirt, I know it kind of looks like a dress but I promise you they’re too separate pieces.

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Black and white #mirrorselfie, because why not?

Oh, and I had nice lemonade from Ragamuffin. This one was a bit on the sour side, but no complaints here. I’m a sucker for anything sour! (Lemonades are becoming a running theme in my posts, I think I’m finally living up to my username, don’t you?)

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And you know how you run into the shops for just one thing and you end up with something else? Well, that happened to me today. I walked by a Lush and just couldn’t resist getting my hands on one of their Soak and Float Solid Shampoo Bars. I’ve been battling a flaking scalp for a good while now and have tried nearly everything to get rid of it. This doesn’t smell like the most pleasing thing on earth, in fact the scent of it reminds me of the heavily medicated shampoo they make kids use to get rid of lice (shout out to the bit of my childhood that I’d rather not have happened at all) and really dank sawdust. But hey, if this helps clear up my scalp I legitimately wouldn’t mind smelling of lice meds and burnt wood! I’ll make sure to post about how I’m getting along with this one, just in case it helps any readers who are trying to fight off itchiness and flakes. wpid-2014-12-16-03.25.48-1.jpg.jpegWell, that purchase pretty much rounds up my ‘errand day’ blog post. Let me know in the comments if you have any other Lush products that you would recommend. This shampoo bar is pretty much my first ever Lush purchase and I would love to give their other stuff a go. xx