Tag: Matcha


Friday Favorites: Wrapping Up the Birthday Week

I love being 27 already! My birthday was absolutely wonderful. I love any excuse to eat good food and hang out with amazing people, and birthdays give me the perfect excuse! Thank you to EVERYONE who sent me messages, called, stopped by, and made me feel so incredibly loved. Here are some of my favorite things from this past week:

Jane Austen Tea Party

My first ever tea party was even better than I imagined! My birthday dawned sunny and bright, and I spent the afternoon prepping tiny sandwiches and eating ALL the crusts (what else are you going to do with them?). The spread was absolutely gorgeous, and I’m kicking myself that I didn’t get pictures–we just started eating right away! I made 12 tomato-fresh basil-balsamic cream cheese sandwiches, 12 avocado egg salad sandwiches, and 12 cucumber-cream cheese sandwiches. All were marvelous, but my favorites were the tomato basil. I adore fresh basil leaves. To me, they taste like summer, cool and refreshing.

We also had pineapple, watermelon, fresh organic veggies, homemade cranberry-orange biscotti, and four types of delicious tea. The favorite of the night was the mocha hazelnut yerba matte–it was like drinking dessert! For actual dessert, I made green tea honey ice cream. So. Freaking. Good. And SO easy! Here’s my super simple recipe for a sublime summer treat:

Julia’s Green Tea Ice Cream

image from choosingraw.com

1 can coconut milk (full fat will be creamier, but lite works as well)

2 tsp. Matcha

1/3 cup honey

Mix everything together and pour into your ice cream maker. Voil√†! You are an ice cream genius and everyone will be impressed. You’ll be the talk of the town.

Marrying Mr. Darcy

As we ate our ice cream and nibbled biscotti, we played Marrying Mr. Darcy. This game has it all for Jane Austen fans. You get to become a female character from an Austen novel (I got to be Elizabeth Bennet!), the goal of the game being to get your suitor to propose. The suitors, however, each require different things from their would-be loves (Darcy required his future bride to have a wit of 5 or higher).

Throughout the game, you try to acquire beauty, wit, friendliness, and reputation points by interacting with the cards. However, getting a scandal card makes you lose attributes and make sure you watch out for Mr. Wickham or you’ll be eloped and ruined in before you’re first ball!

The cards are very tongue-and-cheek, and the best part was reading them in our best (or worst?) aristocratic English accents. This game is definitely going on my need to own list! ūüôā


Second Printing!

Website Cover Art

As an added birthday bonus, the final proof for the second edition of Seven Stones was officially approved and sent off to the printers!!!! HUZZAH!!! I can’t believe we’re actually running a second printing! Thank you, thank you, thank you to everyone who has supported me and spread the word about Seven Stones! Keep telling friends, liking my Facebook page, reading this blog, and just being your amazing selves!


Word Count

Here’s to another year of adventures–literary and otherwise. My word count for this week? Unfortunately, I’m giving myself a NEGATIVE word count. I actually finished writing an entire chapter…and it just didn’t fit. I tried reworking it several times, but in the end decided to scrap it. This kind of process is necessary for a good end result; sometimes working through all the “bad” words leads you to the good ones. Let’s hope so, anyway!


Happy, happy Friday!

I’m lucky enough to celebrate with another birthday bash on Saturday. We’ll be enjoying the beautiful weather with a bonfire, roasting sausages over the flames, and playing lots of games!



Friday Favorites!


This whole week has been spent in a blissful egg salad food coma, I’m happy to say. I made not one, but TWO gigantic batches and happily munched my avocado egg salad sandwiches every day. Seriously, if you haven’t tried to recipe yet, you need to! But after reading this post, of course, because it’s FRIDAY FAVORITES everybody! Woohoo! ūüôā

I’m feeling pretty great about life these days. In the past five days, I’ve managed to check off quite a few things from my chore list, worked on promotional stuff for the book tour, did yoga every day, read for pleasure, and¬†got my¬†homework done/started (because in grad school when one project ends, another begins). Best of all: I got into a fantastic writing groove! The words have been pouring onto the page almost faster than I can keep up with my pen. For whatever reason, spring always ¬†seems to be my most productive time of year. Maybe it’s the¬†return of warm weather, the promise of gardening and playing outside, and the fact that the school semester will be wrapping up in just about a month. I finished both of my previous manuscripts in April or May; though I don’t think I’m writing quite that quickly, I hope to get the biggest parts written before my birthday on May 27th. Wish me luck!

Now, onto the Favorites! The things that inspired me, picked me up, and kept me going all week:



For the tea lovers of the world, there aren’t many treats that compare to Matcha. It has long been one of my favorite beverages, but I also love putting Matcha in cookies, ice cream, and smoothies. Matcha is a powder made of finely ground premium green tea leaves, and has been the focal point of the Japanese tea ceremony for centuries. It has a delicate, creamy, slightly sweet flavor and nutritional value that is off the charts!

I love sipping Matcha any time of day, though if you are sensitive to caffeine don’t drink right before bed (a cup of green tea¬†has about 1/4 of the caffeine of a cup of coffee). For a morning treat, I’ve been mixing two teaspoons of Matcha powder and a dash of vanilla¬†into 8 oz. of heated coconut milk. Trust me, Starbucks green tea lattes have nothing on the homemade version. ūüôā


I did it!

I did it!

As I may have mentioned before, I am addicted to arm balances and twisty yoga poses. Since I started practicing yoga over three years ago, there has been one pose I’ve been trying to master: Scorpion Pose. It requires strength, balance, flexibility, and a fair amount of fearlessness. Why? Because you have to kick up into forearm stand and then curl your legs over and try to touch your head. It’s the kind of pose that made me want to start practicing yoga: because of the¬†challenge. Wednesday night¬†marked¬†the very first time I was able to go into Scorpion without using the wall for support. It just happened. I thought, “I’m going to try this,” kicked up into forearm stand, didn’t fall on my head, and arched my back, still without falling on my head! Accomplishing poses like this one make me feel like I can rise to any challenge!

Book of the Week: First Frost by Sarah Addison Allen

I’ve been waiting for this book to be released for MONTHS and it finally came to the library this week. Sarah Addison Allen is one of my all-time favorite authors. I’ve read every book she’s written, and am so¬†excited to read her newest adventure. All of her novels are beautifully written, lyrical stories¬†about¬†identity¬†with love and magic woven into each tale. First Frost returns to the world of her first novel, Garden Spells, and continues the story of the magical Waverly family in the small town of Bascom, North Carolina. Ten years later, the Waverly sisters’ world is rocked when faced with a secret that could change the meaning of their lives forever. I’m half-way through already, and here is my favorite quote so far:


“It had taken her a long time to realize that a prison sometimes isn’t a prison at all. Sometimes, it’s simply a door you assume is locked because you’ve never tried to open it.”

Grab a green tea latte and enjoy! That’s my plan for the weekend. What are you reading?

Happy Friday!