Sunday, September 06, 2009

I LOVE: Teavana Teas

A great friend introduced me to Teavana Teas last Christmas when she gave me the 16 ounce Perfect Tea Maker and a bag of Rooibos Sweet Amore tea as a gift. I have been a tea drinker for as long as a I can remember - raised on hot tea with a little bit of sugar or a dash of milk, maybe the occasional cup of Market Spice Tea (made at Pike Place Market in Seattle), or a tall glass of iced tea on a hot day. I have never been a fan of traditional herbal teas, though. Until now... Teavana has opened my eyes!

A trip to a Teavana retail store is an adventure for the senses. Loose leaf teas are arranged by category in colorful tins lining a large bookshelf - white teas, green teas, oolong teas, black, pu-erh, herbal, rooibos, mate, decaf, organic, and blooming teas - each with dozens of individual flavors to choose from. (Check out and click on "virtual tea wall" to see what I mean!) The employees are standing by to help you pick the perfect tea and will spend as much time as you need pulling down these large tins and allowing you to enjoy the different aromas. They are extremely knowledgeable about the health benefits and caffeine content of each of their teas, and can make excellent suggestions about ways to combine them to create your own custom blends to maximize both flavor and health benefits (I'm currently a fan of a custom blend to help with digestion and weight loss made with monkey-picked oolong, strawberry slender pu-erh, mate lemon blast, and imperial acai blueberry.)

If seeing and smelling aren't good enough, there are always free samples of both hot and cold custom blends to tantalize your taste buds. It's a great way to try something new without having to spend a penny. If you find something you like, you can order a drink to go from their beverage bar. Or purchase a bag of loose leaf to take home.

Loose leaf teas are sold by the ounce, so you can buy as little or as much as you like. They package them in foil-lined bags to preserve the flavors - or you can purchase metal tins to extend the shelf life (and they look great lined up in your cupboards at home). They even sell a variety of pretty tins to match your every mood.

On a rainy day in Seattle, there is nothing better than a hot cup of tea and a good book. Which is exactly what I'm planning to do now.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Woman to Cycle Across America in Support of Military Spouses

This is from an organization I have worked with to help bring military spouses into the medical transcription industry. A very dedicated group of individuals with a noble cause.

Operation Life Transformed
For Immediate Release

Riding Across America for our military
HeadQuarters - WoodBridge, Virgina- June 19, 2009
Jeannie Benton, a 51 year old female from Bedford, NH, has chosen to seek pledges for Operation Life Transformed by pursuing her first cross country bike ride endeavor exceeding 3600 miles.

A dream that has sat at idle over 12 years to ride across America is becoming unveiled over the next 6 ½ weeks. Jeannie Benton, a 32 year resident of Bedford, NH, believed she would ride the distance one day, but she wanted to do it with purpose. It was at the health club about 12 years ago when she started getting involved in spinning and strength training classes that she realized her ability for endurance on the bike. Jeannie began doing one-day cycling events for fun and for charities and it was then that she started to dream about the idea of riding across America! She is a special education, Para Professional and mom of four grown children. Her ride will start June 21st from Astoria Oregon and will end on August 10th in Portsmouth, NH totaling 3625 miles across the Northern United States.

Operation Life Transformed, established in February of 2007, provides access to flexible accredited online certification programs that lead directly to virtual or portable career placement. These services are offered to military spouses and caregivers of the war wounded. We can also extend our assistance to the military sponsor including; active duty, reserve, National Guard and Veteran service members who have unmet needs due to injury, physical/mental disorders or deployment as a result of service in Iraq or Afghanistan. OLT is expecting to see over 200 students graduate with full job placement by August of 2009. In 2008, over 86% of all monies donated went directly to OLT’s program.
Please join us as we she embarks on her journey across America in support of our military spouses and caregivers of the war wounded around the world!

Learn more:

Follow Jeannie’s Ride:

Contacts: Operation Life Transformed
Jay Brethen, Grant Development and Fundraising 619-884-0518
Kristina Saul, National Outreach Program Manager 770-445-5286

Sunday, January 11, 2009

BOOK REVIEW: Newfound Medical Thriller Author

I just finished the first of what I expect to be many great medical thrillers by Vancouver, BC, ER physician Daniel Kalla.  I found him while searching Barnes and Noble for medical thriller writers that I had not previously read.  I wanted to send some to my step-mom for Christmas.  By using the "Fans of this book also ordered..." feature, I found my way to Daniel Kalla and quickly scooped up 3 titles.  I shipped 2 to my step-mom and kept Rage Therapy for myself.  What caught my interest almost immediately about Daniel Kalla's books are that some are centered around Seattle, WA.  Who can resist a good thriller placed right in your own back yard?  

Rage Therapy is the story of a widowed psychiatrist (Joel Ashman) who consults with the Seattle Police Department doing criminal profiles.  When his ex-business partner, the esteemed psychiatrist Stanley Kolberg, is found brutally murdered in his office, Joel is called in to help solve the crime.  He soon learns that his ex-mentor was involved in a seedy world of S&M and surrounded himself with a host of shady characters.  When Kolberg's partner, Dr. Nichols, is also found murdered, Joel knows he is likely to be next.

Rage Therapy was a real page-turner.  The characters were engaging, the plot moved quickly, and there were enough twists and turns to keep my interest.  If you're looking for a quick read with a great story line - I recommend you run out and get this one!

For more information on Daniel Kalla, check out