Booksipper Bulletin – January Edition

Hello fellow Booksippers!

The first month of 2016 is coming to a close. 

The days seemed to turn almost as quickly as the pages in my favorite book of the month.  Keep reading to find out what that book was!

 I picked up a number of books this month that I just couldn't get into.  I had to remind myself that I am not in high school anymore, and I do not have to finish a book just because it has good reviews. 
I encourage you to put down whatever book you are forcing yourself to get through, because-

Noboringbooks2

~In Readable News~

January kick started my Annual Non-Fiction Booklist for 2016.  I am looking forward to reading all of these books and sharing my thoughts with you.
I have finished one of the titles and wrote about it here: http://bit.ly/realfoodwhattoeatandwhy

Now for my favorite fiction read of the month! 
Without a doubt it was – Into the Wilderness by Sara Donati.  This book is a sweeping romantic saga set in the wilds of upper New York in the 1700's.
Read more about it here: http://bit.ly/intothewildernessreview

 ~In Sippable News~

The month of January was National Hot Tea month.  I enjoyed having a reason to drink even more of my favorite beverage!  I purchased tea online for the first time with the Republic of Tea.  I wrote all about my experience here: http://bit.ly/1nu6eby

 January 2016 has been filled with good books and steaming cups of hot tea.
Thanks for reading and sipping along with me.

~Booksipper Candice

Book Review of Real Food What to Eat and Why

Real Food What to Eat and Why, kicked off my nonfiction reading for 2016. 
This title is from my annual reading list and was chosen because we are what we eat….or so they say.

Funny
I generally eat pretty healthy. But after indulging during the holidays I needed a little inspiration to get back on track. 
This book dives into the science and reasoning of why eating real food is so important.  For those who are not familiar with the thoughts of Weston Price, Joel Salatin and the teachings of Nourishing Traditions, this book may seem a tad "out there" and against the norm.

The author shares her story in the first chapter, of growing up on real food and how she deviated from this and into "health crazes" and then journeyed back to real food again.

The other chapters are broken into food categories- dairy, produce, meat, etc. Each chapter delves into how our food used to be grown or raised and how the more modern methods of production are lowering the nutritional benefits of our food.
There is a lot of information on these pages, so this title is not a binge read in one setting, more of a let it sit and digest, kind of thing. 

Realfoodbook

I particularly liked the tips in the Real Fruit and Vegetables chapter on how to get more vegetables into your body. One tip was to have a salad at every meal, (while I could not handle this at breakfast), this would help me get that vege count up throughout the day.  The other tip I thought feasible was to eat the salad at the start of the meal, before filling up on the carbs.

The only negative I had with the book is the constant reference to the earth and our species being millions of years old. I am from the thought that it is more in the thousands of years, but this difference in opinion did not change my thoughts on the healthy eating information.

Real Food: What to Eat and Why is a wonderful book for those looking to find a way back to eating real food or those in need of helpful reminders.

 

 

Sipping Chocolate in the Snow

It is SNOWING here on the east coast!  It will take us days to shovel our way out of this doozy of a snow storm.  Where I am from, when snow is even forecasted there is a mad rush to stockpile eggs, milk and bread. 
That is all well and good…I too have several loaves of bread sitting in the kitchen. 

But what is vitally important is reading material and hot chocolate!

Hotchocinsnow

Bagofbooks

Bag of books…check                                      Hot Chocolate…check

 

This snow day seemed like the perfect time to try out this canister of sipping chocolate that I picked up at Trader Joe's.

TJsipchoc
Here are my thoughts on Trader Joe's Sipping Chocolate.

I sipped and expected it to taste like the store brand hot chocolate of childhood snow days.  It did not….but the canister did say that this mix was not quite a hot cocoa. 
It has a bitter sweet, real chocolate taste.  This is an okay thing, if you are prepared for it.  I was not.  So now you know.

I made it through the first mug with mixed opinions.  My children do not want this bitter brown drink to be served ever again.

I have come to the realization that I like my tea to be on the unsweet and bitter side, not my hot cocoa.
So for the second mug I made some adjustments that pleased my sweet needing palette.

I used sweetened almond milk and loaded on the marshmallows!

Hotchocinsnow

Now I am happily sipping chocolate in the snow!

What is your favorite hot chocolate?

 

Vintage

Vintage – the ideal name for a clothing store of unique and classic pieces.
I need a Vintage store in my area.  I am in search of gloves for tea time.

Vintagebook

This novel by Susan Gloss, is about a girl who never really fit in back in her small town.  Violet moves to a bigger and more open minded city to open her own clothing shop called Vintage.
Violet specializes in seeing the treasure in old things and in people too.
As customers come in with items to sell, unlikely friendships and bonds are formed. Three fragile women will become strong and whole again.

The characters in this book are likable and relatable. Their stories weave together smoothly.
Vintage was a pleasure to read and is just the title for a stay at home in comfies selection.

A paraphrased line from the book, that may become my life motto is- 
"Better a little something exceptional than a lot of something mediocre."

 

 

 

Review of Into the Wilderness

The novel, Into the Wilderness by Sara Donati, was my first fiction read for the new year.
I choose this title from a so you liked Outlander, you may like…. kind of list. Anytime you line up a new book with an all time favorite, it is a risky thing. It is a lot of pressure to put on an unsuspecting book. 

But the wild book reading person that I am started reading…..and didn't want the book to end!

Intothewildernessbook
This book was amazing. 
The characters are well written and well developed.  One thing that I loved is that the main character, Elizabeth, does not fit the typical beautiful and all perfect heroine.

The story starts off with the judge going to pick up his spinster daughter, Elizabeth, who has come to the colonies to teach school. The current becomes electric when Elizabeth and Nathaniel meet.  Nathaniel is a white man who is part of a family of Indians who want to purchase a mountain of land, called Hidden Wolf.
But the judge plans to deed this mountain to Elizabeth when she marries… and he already has someone in mind, someone who knows of his debts and is willing to pay the debts in return for the land. 

Elizabeth is determined to remain unmarried and finds her heart torn between the man she comes to love and her independent spirit. 

What I loved most about this book was the gasp-out-loud moment that I had.  Something that I had never encountered before; a mention of characters from a different book interacting within the book I am reading. 

That sounded confusing….so to sum it up-
Outlander fans…three of our favorite characters are mentioned in this book!  Yep, a certain red-haired Scot and his wife and one other! ( I will let you read it to find out who)

Openwithtea

Long winter days and lengthy books go hand in hand.  So don't let the 800+ pages intimidate you.  The story progresses at a good speed and is captivating once you get going.

Pour yourself a hot cup of tea and enjoy the adventure.

 

 

 

 

 

My First Online Tea Order Experience

Ordering tea online is a new experience for me.  I had no idea how thrilling it could be to see a box of tea outside my door.

The giddy rush of seeing a box of books, that I am well acquainted with.

But a box with tea inside, well it's something I could get used to!

Thebox

My first online tea ordering experience was with The Republic of Tea
Reason being: the last season of Downton Abbey was set to premiere and I wanted something "Downton-ish" to indulge in. 

The Republic of Tea just so happens to have a whole line of Downton inspired tea and paraphernalia.

I picked out this sampler envelope for myself and a fellow Downton enthusiast.

Firstteaorder

This gift assortment contains six different teas, each with a Downton themed name!  This was an ideal purchase for me.  I had no idea if I would enjoy the new tea I picked out or if it would be forgotten in my tea stash never to be tasted again.
Now for the next six episodes, I have a new tea to try.  I can then order more of the one/ones that I loved.

* For premier night I tried out the Downton Christmas black tea and it was delicious! With just the right amount of spice and with its hint of fruit- I loved every sip! *

The ordering process with The Republic of Tea went smoothly. 
It is stated that it could take 1 to 2 business days to prepare for shipping. They really weren't kidding about the handling time.  So plan ahead!
The shipping was great. The package arrived a day ahead of schedule!  Thank you to either the Republic of Tea or the shipping heros!

The biggest thrill aside from having a package on my doorstep were the samples that I found inside!  I adore samples!

Samples

Truly every company needs to adopt this practice, ( hint hint local health food store ) I am sure I am not the only person who finds it difficult to order something, especially something edible, without knowledge that I will like it and that it won't end up in the trash.

The Republic of Tea tweeted that samples arrive in every order!!  🙂

 

I am very pleased with my order from The Republic of Tea and will happily order from them again in the future!

 

Weekend Reading for the Downton FANatic

I would never consider myself a Downton Abbey fanatic. 
I am most definitely a fan of normal proportions.  I have my favorite characters and I set aside Sunday nights when the season starts. 

But knowing that this is the final season I have been a bit more curious about all things Downton Abbey.

Enter my recent book findings perfect for the Downton fan or the FANatic.

Downtonbooks

 A Year in the Life of Downton Abbey:  This book is separated into months of the year. Each month focuses on a different area of life at this large estate. Under the chapter is also a spotlight on an aspect of the filming of Downton Abbey.  The book is filled with beautiful photographs and even a recipe or two. 

A Year of DA

 Behind the Scenes at Downton Abbey Just like it says on the cover, this is the backstage pass to the set of Downton Abbey! This book is loaded with photos of the actors, props, costumes and the set.  Along side these photos are the insider how to's with a smattering of the actors thoughts. A great read for those fans who want to know how Downton Abbey is produced.

BehindDA

 The World of Downton Abbey This book is like revisiting the show in book form. It has a storyline quality to it.  Again, great pictures of the actors and the set. It also included bits on how the designers came up with or how they produced the look and feel of the time period.  My favorite bit of this book was the quotes by the characters.  These really gave the book a Downton-ish quality that I enjoyed.

WorldofDA

 Last but not least is-  The Unofficial Downton Abbey Cookbook:   This book is filled with yummy sounding recipes. A mix of traditional English  and Downtonesque recipes featuring characters names.  I have not tried any of these recipes yet, but I am mulling over the idea of a Downton dinner for the last episode.  Hmmm, or would a tea be better?

Cookbook

It is pointed out that this book is an Unofficial cookbook.  I wonder if an official one will come out by Masterpiece or Carnival? Hint, Hint to the powers that be….oh and add pictures!!

These books have kept me entertained and will keep me entertained as I enjoy this last season of Downton Abbey.

Have I missed any good Downton books?

 

 

 

2016 Book List

The new year is here!  Which means that I have a new reading challenge for myself.   

As a book lover it is simple for me to find and reach for a novel at any moment.  I have a weakness for fiction.

I enjoy nonfiction books as well, but I am more apt to read these types of books if I know what I want to read about. 

Enter my annual book list.  A list chosen by me, in advance, to encourage reading in a different genre.

I choose twelve nonfiction books that look interesting or are about a topic/subject I wish to learn.  The goal is to read one a month.  Sometimes if a book list choice no longer looks readable, I will swap in a different title. 
My annual book list is not meant to heap on guilt or feel like a must-read-or-else ultimatum . It is simply a guide to ensure that I am always stretching my learning muscles while I am reading. 

Without further ado, here is my 2016 Book List!

 

What books will you be reading this year?

Downton Abbey Night

Tonight is the night -  Downton Abbey Season 6 airs in the States!

I have been a fan of the show since its first episode and now have mixed emotions on this last and final season.  The uppity world of the English aristocracy and all their goings on has been my winter escape for years.  So these final hours will be met with bittersweet emotions. 

I do hope the writers tie up all the loose ends and make it a happy ending! 
After carefully avoiding any hint of spoilers, I await the 9pm hour with anticipation and a little preparation.

I ordered a special tea time treat for myself from the Republic of Tea, to enjoy along side the Downton Abbey premier.  ( I will share my experience on that later )

Assortment

This envelope has six Downton themed teas inside.  I will be sampling a different one for the next six episodes.
 
A late night tea time and Downton Abbey episodes, my Sunday night is set!

But wait, what is tea without a side of shortbread?

Antiquelook