Wednesday, November 27, 2013

The Republic of Tea's Blackberry Sage Black Tea Review

An enchanting blend of black tea, fruit and herbs. Finest quality Indian leaves mingle with sweet, fragrant blackberries and cool, soothing white sage. The mild, head-clearing character of the white sage herb contributes to a wise tea mind.

Price: $10 per 3.5 oz/$2.86 per oz
Preparations: 3-5 min
  • Again, I am not particularly fond of black teas. They usually have a very strong, almost bitter flavor as compared to the lighter white and green teas or sweet herbal teas. But I actually enjoyed this one, to an extent - it was appreciated as a pick-me-up replacement for coffee in the morning.
  • The sage was what really did it for me. The blackberry pieces were very few, but it wasn't particularly refreshing, so I didn't feel like I missed much. The sage, however, adds sort of a kick of flavor, especially if you like the herb. I happen to love sage very much, so that was awesome.
  • The color is nice, typical of most black teas with its reddish hue. The fragrance was also not bad, but it didn't exactly leave me wafting over the canister the entire time either.
  • This tea is ten times better brewed with honey/sugar and allowed to cool down. I had accidentally let it cool down too much once, during winter, and then took a sip, and it was amazing! After that incident, I started drinking it as an iced tea instead, because it was really nothing special as a warm cup of tea.
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Victoria's Secret Pink Nation School Spirit Rally @ UT Austin

 Me at the mystery box... DUN DUN DUN.

Yesss!! Such a win :) I got the Pink UT jacket from the Collegiate Collection, which is always so expensive... It was funny, because that very morning I had been freezing my ass off and telling myself, "It'd be nice if I had brought a jacket..." Well, didn't see that one coming.

M also got a really nice prize (sweater and leggings collection), but B got the shiny eyeless stuffed dog. I think I was pretty lucky! Thank you, Victoria's Secret, for such giveaway events! It was awesome.

Speaking of awesome, my ochem TA gave me back four points on my last exam because apparently whoever had graded it (not him) accidentally took off four points for no reason. I just went up to him after class to ask why my answer was wrong, and he was super nice about it, explaining patiently and then effectively changing my grade right after. I love seeing that sort of efficiency in the education system; prompt and ready feedback. I wish that occurred more often. Makes me remember why I had such a huge crush on him last year (just kidding! - but not really).

Yesterday, I also made a new study buddy, which I could always use no matter how late in the year it is. Apparently, we were both in the same Genetics and Ochem class this entire semester (two best subjects for studying with friends), and he just sort of plopped down next to me and started a conversation with me about our Genetics class - right before Ochem began. LOL I had no idea, but I guess he'd seen my face from around the FB groups or something, and we ended up checking our Genetics homework super last-minute in the one hour break between Ochem and Genetics.

And then J and I have made an agreement to start preparing for the finals at least two entire weeks beforehand... I'm having a good feeling about this arrangement. Hopefully, I'll get through this semester with mostly A's (could tolerate a B+ here and there though).

Today was another victory. J (a different one) and I played doubles against R's team, AND WE WON! The earsplitting roar that came out of us was just amazing. No words can explain it... Bahaha this is our first decisive victory, we really needed that ego-booster.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Sunday Nails

So I finally tried out SpaRitual's Emerald City! (I had gotten this nail polish as a free giveaway from some Toyota vendor during Pecan Street Festival, but had never used it until now.) Honestly, I didn't think I would like it because it's not my typical choice of nail color (I prefer neutral and pastel colors), but after the third coat of jelly-ness, I was really beginning to feel it. It's got a very fun-loving vibe to it, and the creamy smooth texture is amazing.

Matches with my scarf... Erin approves!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

"The Poisonwood Bible" by Barbara Kingsolver (1998)

Poisonwood Bible.jpg 
The Poisonwood Bible is a story told by the wife and four daughters of Nathan Price, a fierce, evangelical Baptist who takes his family and mission to the Belgian Congo in 1959. They carry with them everything they believe they will need from home, but soon find that all of it—from garden seeds to Scripture—is calamitously transformed on African soil. What follows is a suspenseful epic of one family's tragic undoing and remarkable reconstruction over the course of three decades in postcolonial Africa.

  • Remarkably deep, thought-provoking, and emotion-stirring... Really broadens your views on the world. Most of the story is centered in the 1960's, in the midst of the Cold War years where tension is running highest, deep in the heart of Central Africa. There's a lot of history in there that has to do with imperialism, religion, communism v. the ideal "free world," etc, and it might shatter your naive notions about how things should be conducted in a government and answer your questions as to why Africa has never been economically prosperous.
  • The story itself is also intriguing. I read this over the course of the month and fell in love with the characters pretty quickly. It's very easy to get attached and yet so frustrated at each one. There's Leah, who's begging to be loved by her negligent father; Adah, smart but emo with an overwhelming amount of self-pity; Rachel, who is spoiled and shallow and hilarious (in my point of view, anyway - her abundance of malapropisms and inability to spell very well always makes me chuckle), and many other characters with their endearing quirks or unfortunate situations, allowing you to hold sympathy for them.
  • Of course, the prick of the family drives me nuts. (Hint: it'll be the father.) He's very obstinate and arrogant and just... UGH. What happened to him at the end was an absolutely brilliant twist of fate though, and very ironic.
  • A lot of the themes center around the guilt of the women in their family and moving forward. I absolutely loved it, how they are strong enough in their own ways to pick themselves back up even after a tragedy occurs, and it struck me as a book with some sort of feminist... vibe. Nothing explicit, of course, or too overboard (it's not like they're portraying all guys as pathetic or anything), but I loved how they made the female characters strong in different ways.
  • Beautiful ending. Really ties everything together again. I hadn't read such a satisfying book in such a long time, so I was really thrilled and eager to write a review for this one. Would highly recommend to anyone!

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars!