The Alcove & State Street Coffee

So I found this after my original spot was way too crowded and people apparently had never parked in a parking lot there this morning. I went on Yelp, found one that was close by, and found this one. At first, I thought it was labeled wrong since it looked like some fancy bar you take hipsters to or your first date you want to impress. But I saw people coming out with to go coffees so I decided to take a chance and see if it was actually labeled correctly on Yelp.

And to my surprise, it’s actually both! it’s a fancy wine/beer bar AND a coffee shop. I never understood how people could work in bars efficiently until I came here. The coffee portion is off to the side once you walk in and they’s limited seating. But the chairs are comfy, the wifi is good, and their coffee is strong. What more could you want?

I mean, if your project goes to shit and you feel like it’s respectable to pull a Hemingway, you’re welcome to. I can only comment on their lattes, WHICH ARE SO GOOD. I need to switch up my milk though as per my nutritionist but still. So good. Can’t wait to come back here for date night and see how they do later on in the evenings.

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But I think my favourite part of this place is that the baristas are kind, funny, and knowledgeable. I hate going to a place where the people making your drinks are just mean or seem really standoffish. I get it, some days people have off days. But could you at least pretend like you know I’m not trying to make my drink order difficult?

This also seems like this would be the place to get there early as I can imagine with the adult beverages on tap, it could get a little distracting. But their clientele at 10AM on a Saturday morning seem decent enough.

Plus, I’m getting work done! Which is always a great sign of a coffee shop in my opinion. Check it out if you’re ever in Uptown Dallas!

4.5/5 

Pique Tea Crystals

Ok first of all, who can believe it’s 2017 already? Where did time go? And how can we make it stop? I’ve got so many feelings, goals, and the like going on right now. But that just might be the PMS talking, who knows.

Anyway, first blog post of the new year, yay!  Recently, Pique Tea Crystals sent me some samples of their tea. And I was pleasantly surprised, to say the least. I received Sencha Green Tea, Jasmine Tea, and their Earl Gray — the latter of which came highly recommended by a friend of a friend.

This morning, I tried the Sencha Green Tea as part of my morning mug that I take to work. And though the taste was there, I think i might have used too much water. They recommended 8oz and my mug is about 12, I believe. But the little satchels the crystals come in are adorable. You simply tear open the satchels, pour the crystals into your mug of choice, and then fill the mug with hot water. Or cold, if you want it iced or something.

The  great thing about Pique is that all their crystals are organic, easy to use, and can be found in a multitude of locations, including Amazon. Plus, they have no added sugars and have a ton of antioxidants right now. It’s instant tea without the grittyness or the weird after taste. And their packaging is absolutely adorable & ingenious. But the greatest part? It’s incredibly affordable.

The next one I think I’m going to try is the Earl Gray. After all, it is my favourite kind of tea. Kindof a giveaway but whatever. I love trying new kinds of tea and exploring differnt brands as well. After trying the other flavours, I definitely think I’ll be purchasing some more from them

If you want to check their stuff out, click here to browse their catalog as well as learn more about all the great things they have to offer.

all opinions are my own 

The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware….and seriously 2016 part 2

So shortly after Christmas Day, after we already lost George Michael, we lost both Carrie Fisher (Princess Leia) and her mother, Debbie Reynolds (Dancing in The Rain). I think that at this point, this year has been horrendous in terms of beloved celebrities with profound impacts on thousands of lives. And to put it simply, 2016, you’re drunk. Go home. We don’t have time for you anymore. And let’s protect our other beloved icons like Betty White, Helen Mirren, Meryl Streep, etc. For the love of God, our artistic national treasures need to stick around for the remaining 3 days! Am I right or am I right? RIP and let’s pour one out later tonight for them

Anyway, in other news, I just finished The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware. And let me tell you, it’s a thriller. I could not put it down and had to read it with the lights on while listening to happy music. It’s intense.

It follows the protagonist, Lo Blacklock, after a horrible home invasion & assault, as she boards a cruise on its maiden voyage in the Nordic region of Europe. First or second night aboard and after a late night, she swears up and down she sees a woman being pushed overboard and there’s blood smeared on the divider between their shared cabin balconies. But the kicker, come to find out, is that nobody was actually staying in that cabin. WTF?

Throughout the novel, it successfully blends future & present, where there are more accidents, too coincidental occurances, and more death aboard. It’s not a brain teaser once you get closer to the end the book of who killed whom, why the Lords should not be allowed access to Viagra, etc. And it’s not necessarily the scariest book I’ve ever read but it is the one that’s kept me up the most.

The kicker for me is that since it is on a cruise ship and somebody does get pushed overboard, that very easily could happen in real life. And I’m fairly certain it has. Ruth Ware does a great job of ending things on a happy note but at the same time, making The Woman in Cabin 10 utterly gut wrenching, mind boggling, and realistically thrilling at the same time. Which is fairly hard to do, if we’re being honest with ourselves here.

Pick this book up and read it with the lights on & your doors locked. It’ll keep you up in the most thrilling way

4/5

George Michael — Seriously, 2016?

As I’m sure you all have heard, George Michael passed away yesterday — on Christmas Day none the less! — in Oxfordshire, England. We still don’t know causes or why the hell 2016 has decided to take so many great artists far too soon. I am not a fan of this year. Anyway.

I’ve done these sorts of posts in the past when a great artist whom influenced me growing up and I’ll continue to do the same with George Michael. Growing up, WHAM! and George Michael were great ways to get excited and stoked and have social commentary on the current world with a great beat in the background.

And who can forget that great scene in Zoolander where they’re drinking orange mocha frappachinos and get into a freak gasoline fight accident? WHAM! and George Michael have been both at the forefront of our dance club and movie soundtracks for quite literally, decades. And when George Michael broke off to go off on his own, we have songs like Faith, Freedom! 90, and Father Figure. 

The thing I always remember about George Michael’s music is the way it just made you feel. You got enwrapped in his music, like nothing else was happening around you, and you really felt every emotion as well as every part of the music. And nobody can deny just dancing around in their bedroom to WHAM! You’re lying to yourself if you deny it.

Rest in Peace, George Michael. What the hell, 2016. And can we also say 3 posts in a week?!

Christmas Day wishes!

In honour of Christmas Day and one of my favourite mornings all year, I’m putting together what I’d rather be doing in PJ’s, comfy leggings, and a sweater when all the crazy of today is over. And I’d rather be binging on holiday movies, peppermint hot cocoa, and over size blankets.

 

 

  1. ‘Elf’- You didn’t think I’d start out with anything else but this great Christmas classic, did you? I can quote this movie about 80% of the way through and I’ve already watched it twice this season. I LOVE IT.
  2. Anything on the hallmark channel or Lifetime that’s a Christmas movie- Be warned, these movies will be terrible and will never be nominated for an Oscar or an Emmy anytime soon. But they will remind you what the season is about and they will give you a straight shot to the feels and the heart strings
  3. A cabin in the woods, preferably covered in just the right amount of snow – I don’t want snowmaggedon here, I just want a white Christmas in a cabin with loved ones. Is that too much to ask for? I want it Pinterest worthy too
  4. And naturally, I want a giant mug of tea while in a rocking chair watching my loved ones battle over the remote, asking why Santa forgot the most important gift, and who gets the turkey bone.

 

While today will inevitably be crazy, and I’ll question somebody’s sanity, I really do love this time of year.

Christmas Eve Cheer

Guys. Guys. IT’S CHRISTMAS EVE. And I am literally writing this while en route to Southern California to visit family & friends. I’m way too excited right now. And way too stressed out about whether or not people will enjoy their gifts or not. But as they say, it’s in Santa’s hands right now and not mine. Plus, I like to think I’m a great gift giver but I’m sure some would disagree. Whatever.

So thought I’d share how I love starting Christmas morning. I’ve never really had a traditional one where you wake up, dash to the tree, and open gifts with the speed of a tazmanian devil on a serious dose of uppers. I’ve always been traveling to family or something. But in recent years, my immediate family and I have been taking it easy and opening one or two gifts prior to the crazy of an extended celebration that afternoon.

But personally? I’m all about a hot cup of caffeine, some Christmas music, and people watching. I love sitting out on the deck, overlooking balboa island, and reminiscing about the year has brought.  I love the holidays. They may cause me serious anxiety on whether I packed the right things or if I forgot a gift at home, but I love the coming together, the inevitable kitchen disasters that’ll make for a story down the road, and the cheer. I love taking a moment Christmas morning just for me so I can reflect, be thankful, and meditate. And I enjoy peppermint on everything. I will eat you under the table in Christmas food and I don’t care in the slightest. After all, my diet starts tomorrow, right?

Anyway, I hope your holidays are filled with love, hoiliday cheer, and everything you wanted on your Christmas list. I hope youre surrounded by family and loved ones. And if you’re working this Christmas season, more power to you.

HAPPY CHRISTMAS EVERYBODY!

Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult

Jodi Picoult is one of my favourite authors. I’m 95% certain i’ve read every one of her books and when my mom texted me saying she had picked up a SIGNED copy of her new book Small Great Things, I freaked out a little bit. FIrst off, I knew I had to take extra good care of this book as it was hardcover but it had her signature in it! And so I finished the book i was reading at the time and got to reading.

Not knowing what this book was about, it came as a surprise that it was taking on institutionalized racism head on, by a white woman no less. Racism in the US is a serious issue and I’m only just starting to learn just how deep it goes as well as all the nuances of it. But i won’t get into that now.

Small Great Things follows Ruth Walker, a 20 year veteran of the nursing industry-most notably in the Labour and Delivery ward of a well to do hospital in New Haven, Connecticut. Walker also happens to be black. And after helping deliver the child of two white supremacists, she’s abruptly told via post-it note that she’s no longer able to touch or care for the child since she’s African-American.

Then the baby has a seizure and later dies, while Ruth was in the room alone. The couple charges the hospital and Ruth with murder. And a truckton of page turning intrigue ensues. The great thing about Jodi Picoult’s writing is that she provides back stories for every character involved and you resonate with people you never thought possible.

You learn caveats about Ruth’s upbringing as well as why the white supremacists decided to break off from the KKK and start their own chapter of hatred and violence. You learn how little things suddently turn major when the local pastor takes up your case and exploits it to the media. All these little things you never think about until they’re staying in your own backyard.

THe ending isn’t what I expected in the slightest but it made me address my own internal biases and what I can do to change them. It plays into a theme i’ve been trying to live by in  my real life, that it’s time i got comfortable with the uncomfotable. I need to surround myself with stories and narratives that make me a little uncomfy or make me question my own beliefs in order to become a more informed, better person. And this book does just that.

Small Great Things is a must read. It’s wonderfully written, hard to read at times, and deals with a lot of complicated issues. If there’s one book that’ll start conversations at the holiday dinner table this year, this is it.

Favourite Quote: there is nothing more selfish than trying to change someone’s mind brcause they don’t think like you. Just because something is different does not mean it should not be respected. 

5/5