Fabulous Tea!

30 04 2009

I am a tea drinker.  I love my coffee, but often I find it has too much caffiene for me and I also like the smoother flavors of tea.  I have rarely met a tea I didn’t like.

Today I would like to introduce you, my dear friends, to my favorite online tea shop.  Zhi Tea.  They actually do have a store front here in Austin, I ran into them at a Green Living conference here in town, but they do most of their business online.  All of their teas are organic and they get Fair Trade certified teas whenever possible.

About a week ago I got a package in the mail from Zhi.  It included a sample of a new blend, which by the way, is fabulous!!!  It’s called Tropical Green – light, fruity, smooth finish, the perfect summer tea!  Since I love their products, this is my way of thanking them for making a fabulous, conscientious tea!  Go check out their website, peruse the tea, if you see something you like give them a try.

Here’s some of my favorite teas:

If you find something you like they have several sizes to choose from.  The tins are actractive and could be displayed on a counter if you were so inclined.  They have a refil size so you only have to buy the tin once and can refill it.  They also have a 1lb bag.  My favortie is the sample size.  I like to keep a variety of tea on hand and the sample sizes are a great way to do that and also a great way to try the tea before comitting to the tin or a larger size.

I hope you enjoy, and thanks again to the guys at Zhi for making a great line of teas!!

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Book Review: Undead and Unwed

29 04 2009

Undead and Unwed by Mary Janice Davidson

undead-and-unwedSynopsis from the back cover : It’s been a helluva week for Betsy Taylor.  First, she looses her job.  Then, to top things off, she’s killed in a car accident.  But what really bites (besides waking up in the morgue dressed in a pink suit and cheap shoes courtsey of her stepmother) is that she can’t seem to stay dead.  Every night she rises, with a horrible craving for blood.  She’s not taking too well to a liquid diet.

Worst of all, her new firends have the ridiculous idea that Betsy is the prophesied vampire queen, and they want her help in overthrowing the most obnoxious, power-hungry ampire in five centuries – a badly dressed Bela Lugosi wannabe, natch.  Frankly, Betsy couldn’t care less about vamp politics, but they have a powerful weapon of presuasion: designer shoes.  How can any self-respecting girl say no?  But a collecion of Ferragamos isn’t the only temptation for Betsy.  It’s just a lot safer than the scrumptious Sinclair – a seductive blood sucker whose sexy gaze seems as dangerous as a stake through the heart…

The book was cute, funny and sexy, Betsy is a huge airhead with the attention span of a gnat.  Sinclair aka Sink Lair is appropiatley attractive, seductive, and creepy all in the same package; just what we want from a vampire who’s one of the “good guys”.

The plot floundered in the middle, Davidson took a little too long to get to the action and once we got to the big fight at the end the action was waaaaay too short, less than a chapter.  If you like the Sookie Stackhouse books this will be a bit disapointing.  Betsy is no Sookie, I find her much weaker and less likeable.  She finds her gumption at the end but she spent so long being apathetic I didn’t believe it.  She decides to help because they give her shoes?  It’s cute and I like it(I’ve shown my weakness for shoes), I just don’t buy it.  The rightous indignation at how bad the bad guy is comes as an afterthought.  Instead of Betsy growing as a character, from being selfish to being concerned about others and saving them (which she does), I find she’s too much of a victim to be a heroine I can like.  Hopefully this will improve as the series continues.

All that being said, the book was fun and entertaining.  Betsy, despite her blonde personality traits, is quite funny and  witty; her dialogue is very well written.  I would probably have been disapointed if I would have bought it but lucky for me I got it from the library.  I do plan on checking out the next book, it’s on hold at the library for me.

Summary

I give it 3 *’s.  Borrow it or check it out from the library.





New Story: The Storm

28 04 2009

There’s a new short story posted in the Writing section.  It’s the next and final story in the Nathaniel and Esme stories.  Go check it out!





Newspapers

27 04 2009

There’s beenn a lot of stuff going around about how print media, newspapers specifically, are dying.  It’s a slow, painful, noisy death too.  I read a lot of webcomics so that’s mostly how I hear about it.  If newspapers go under the authors of the comics in said newspapers loose that income stream.  There’s been a lot of animosity and bad blood between the webcomic and print comic groups, but that discussion is beyond the scope here… I could ramble on but that wouldn’t be entertaining for anyone 🙂  Where was I… right, newspapers.  I got a call last night from the local newspaper, the Austin American Statesman.  They are notorious for harassing their current customers to get them to increase their subscription from weekends only to 7 days a week.  At one point several years ago I was getting a call once a week.  I got so infuriated with them I cancelled my subscription and bought the Houston paper from the machine outside the grocery store every Sunday (I only get the paper for the coupons and Houstons are usually the same as ours).

Anywhoo, back to the phone call, here’s aproximatley how it went:

Him : Hi, this is [name deleted] with the Austin American Statesman, may I speak to Lauren?

Me: Speaking.

Him: You have the paper for Sunday only delivery, correct?

Me: Yes, that’s correct.

Him: Today I’m going to sign you up for 7 days a week for no additional charge for 1 year or when you stop getting the Sunday paper, which ever comes first (at which point I would presumably be charged some exorbitant price for the 7 days a week).  I have your name as Lauren [incorrect pronunciation of my last name]

Me: [correct pronunciation of my last name], but I really won’t read it, I only get the Sunday paper for the coupons.

Him: Don’t you have someone you could give it to?  It would really help us out.

Me: No, I’m sorry.  I hate to take a paper every day and just throw it away.

Him: Ok, thanks for your time.

It’s actually the least pushy call I’ve ever gotten from any salesman from the Statesman.  He actually sounded desperate.  I felt really bad for him.  They’re clearly trying to get subscription #’s up to generate ad sales.  I understand that and I’d really like to support them.  There’s probably a lot of jobs tied up in that paper.  I just can’t in good conscience take a newspaper knowing it would never even come out of the plastic 6 days out of 7.  I can’t make myself do it.

Print media has been around for a long time, and was the primary source of information for most of that time.  People just don’t want 24 hour old news.  By the time a paper is delivered, the news is old.  There’s just no way around it.  This is Darwinian natural selection at it’s finest.  Print media is no longer providing a service that people want.  Evolve or die.  It’s cold, it’s brutal, but it’s the truth.





More Writing

23 04 2009

I’ve written a few more stories with the Characters from the Barnacle Butt story.  You can see them under the  Writing Tab at the top of the site.  The 4th and final story in this world will be posted on Tuesday.  I’ve really enjoyed writing these stories.  I’m struggling with a few things but I know the only way to get better is to write more! 

In addition to my regular blog posts on Thursdays I’m going to start posting some kind of creative writing on Tuesdays.  Everything will be under the Writing tab so you can read everything in one place, I’ll also make a brief post to the blog to let you know if you read in a feed reader that I’ve updated something.  Please feel free to leave comments on the stories or send me an email (pvillegirlblog [at] gmail [dot] com).





Something Competly Random About Me

23 04 2009

I hope you didn’t come here today expecting something deep or thought provoking or informative or creative… because that’s not what you’re getting today.  Sure I manage to be some of those things some of the time… but today you get: Something Competly Random About Me.

Ok, a little set up.  Everyone colletcts something.  You might not want to admit it, but you know you collect something.  Today I’m talking specifically about collections at work.  Some people collect office supplies.  Pens are popular, espcially free ones with some random vendor’s logo on them.  Post-It’s are also popular because you never know wether you’re going to want the big ones or the normal ones or the tiny ones and what color, yellow, blue, pink, even monogrammed.  Then there’s the really wierd, desperatly single lady who collects Troll Dolls or Beanie Babies or plushies.  Her hair is usually a horribly un-natural shade and she wears clothing so bright you need to wear sunglasses.

I know what your’re thinking… “What does Lauren collect?  There’s bound to be a point to this discussion.  Well, I’ll tell you.  Napkins.  That’s right, I said Napkins.  No I don’t keep them or frame them or anything like that.  I keep a rather large stash for the rather common occasion that I spill or splash or splatter something on my person, desk, or floor.  (wow, run on sentence much?) 

Generally speaking my napkins come from the deli near my office.  If I didn’t care about money or calories I’d eat their breakfast tacos every day, yum!  Anywhoo, they’re small and not terribly absorbant so I figured out early on that a small stash was not going to cut it.  When I figured that out I quit throwing them away.  My stash has steadly grown and now I can’t stand throw away a clean napkin because I’ll probably need it someday.

Photographic evidence:

napkins

What do you collect, at work or at home?





Creative Writing

17 04 2009

Inspired by the ladies over at the Saucy Wenches podcast, I’ve decided to try a little creative writing.  I did a little in high school and really enjoyed it back then.  Each month they give a writing prompt, both provide a word and then write a short story or scene using the prompt for inspiration.  I’ve written a short story for the propmt they provided for April (Barnacles and Pineapples) and posted it here on the site.  It’s about a pirate who’s been on land so long he’s aquired the nick name Barnacle Butt.  I’ve also got another in the same world that’s waiting for a little polish before I post it.

That’s about all I’ve got for this week, all my writing mojo went into the story… guess I don’t have much mojo 🙂