Welcome Presents Readers!

If you're dropping by after reading my post on iHeartPresents, thank you!  A big Thank You to everyone who drops by today or any other day.  I appreciate it.

I promised a list of some of my favorite teas.  It follows at the bottom and I'd love to hear yours.  Meanwhile, let me give the newcomers a ten cent tour of the place.

Writers and readers alike may enjoy my blog on Why Romance back in March.  I've also just finished a series of blogs on goal setting that writers may find helpful--although I tried to make it generic enough to appeal to anyone trying to squeeze more out of an already busy life.  There's a big shout out in there to Lucy Monroe for her online workshop on goal setting some five or six years ago.  She's one amazing lady.  When I consider how much networking she was doing at the time, offering this very intensive course and also finishing manuscripts for two different houses...well, she's an inspiration for anyone who wants to complete anything, especially me.

I'm still unpacking boxes and hanging curtains around the site, so there's not a lot to see.  However, I'll be soliciting questions in a couple of days for a bit of an advice column I'd like to start.  Any topic.  I also have a parenting blog tomorrow and will be interviewing an expert on PMS shortly.  Please send me any questions you'd like answered on that topic and I'll be sure to ask her.

In the meantime, please have a seat wherever you can find space and we’ll have ourselves a little tea party.  What do you like?  I start with an herbal tea first thing, before breakfast, then mainline coffee for an hour after I’ve eaten.  By afternoon, I switch back to herbal.  I rarely drink ‘real’ tea so you'll have to educate me on white, green and black leaves. 

My pet herbal teas are:

Stash and Celestial Seasonings are great brands.  Sleepytime is an old-faithful around here and I love Celestial Seasoning's Sugar Plum Spice.  It's usually only available at Christmas and my kids still tease me about the time I found the display at the grocery store, on sale in January, and stocked up with ten boxes. 

If you love Earl Grey for its bergamot, you might like San Francisco Herb and Natural Food Co.'s LOVE TEA.  It's great for Sunday afternoons when you've finished unpacking the groceries and want to thumb through the gossip magazine you just brought home.

Yogi is the brand that offers the Woman's Moon Cycle tea that I mentioned on the iHeartPresents site.  It seems to help with the puffies and I love its gingery taste.  I'd recommend reading the ingredients before purchase since it contains some strong herbs.  I can only get it in the U.S. along with their Kava Stress Relief.  Here in Canada, I can pick up their Egyptian Licorice, which I love and they have a straight ginger that's good for tummy upsets.  (Mint is also great for indigestion and other bloatie feelings, but I'm not a huge mint tea fan.)

Finally, my current super-favorite is a brand that appears to be only available in Canada.  Not Red Rose - which is an old joke here in Canada from advertisements where the British relatives would taste the tea and ask about it only to be told it wasn't available.  "Only in Canada?  Pity."

No, my favorite only in Canada herbal teas come from the Algonquin Tea Co.  My husband likes to roll his eyes at my hippie ways and ask, “Do you really think they hand pick the herbs by canoe in the Algonquin wilderness?” 

Yes darling, I do.  Algonquin has six varieties all labeled:  "100% handpicked organic and ethically wildcrafted in the Canadian Wilderness.  Contains no caffeine, additives or preservatives."  I rest my case.

I hesitate to tell anyone about them for fear the company will be overwhelmed with orders and will no longer be able to fill mine.  I drink their Sweetfern Tonic every morning and love their Homestead blend just about any time.  As much as I like Celestial Seasonings Sleepytime, more recently I've been tending toward the Algonquin's Peace Tea for my evening wind down.  It has an almost bitter taste, but I like that. 

My husband works shifts so he often has the Awakening tea instead of something with caffeine so he can sleep again if he needs to.  I drank the Sacred Blend non-stop while writing my Medieval Fantasy - it's mostly sage which can interfere with medications so look out for that, but it's really great for easing into a meditative, moody state. 

Finally, they offer something called Lucid Dream.  This is a blend I urge people to use with caution.  We've fed it to more than one houseguest with the warning that it does, indeed, produce lucid dreams.  However, they're often disturbing dreams which bring any worries or anxieties to the fore.  It's proof that while herbs are natural, they're also very powerful and should always be used with caution.

So there's a little peek into my tea pantry.  What's in yours?