Some thoughts I posted over at my personal site……

Wonderfully Unusual

Two years ago I started a business, Believe bistro. The idea came in response to my older foster daughter wanting a job. Her intellectual limitations made typical teen employment – fast food or babysitting – impossible. During the five years I parented Sabrina*, I did my best to give her a normal life. So I launched a coffee & tea business – selling on-line and at local events/shows.

Sabrina loved counting out teabags and organizing the inventory. It was perfect for her. Then she grew up and left for a somewhat grown-up existence. Sabrina will always require the input and guidance of a responsible adult. My role as that came to an end last summer.

I’ve carried on with Believe bistro. My friend’s two teen foster children sometimes help out. They lack Sabrina’s attention to detail and exceptional work ethic.

As I stay up late sewing cup cozies…

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Recent Review

I’m relatively new to the blogging world. It really is an amazing expression of creativity. Being a writer myself, I love sharing about my business this way.

Recently, through advertising via blogs, I’ve gotten to know some wonderful bloggers. One such person I’d like to let you know about is Lena over at Tiny Painter. I sent her some tea to sample and here’s what she had to say…..(Lena’s Review)

Tea is Always a Good Idea

largeTea really is always a good idea. It’s a solitary and communal indulgence. It can pick you up (black tea) or calm you down (herbal teas). There are endless tastes and experiences when it comes to tea. It really is always a good idea.

Bearing that in mind, I’d like to invite you to join our new Tea of the Month. There’s still time to get in on May’s selections. Each month you’ll receive two pre-selected flavours. It gives you a chance to experience the vast selection of Believe teas.

As a mom, might I suggest this great opportunity for your mom or someone special.

There’s a rare beauty found in a cup of tea. For me, it’s a portal through time into quiet simplicity. The sound of the tea kettle calls me out of the everyday chaos. I invite you to put life on pause for a moment and join me for a cup of tea.

Mulled Wine & Foriegn Films

The rain is teeming outdoors. Winter’s chill has yet to fully vacate the land caramel flavored popcornwhere I live. It’s a night for popcorn, mulled wine, and foreign films.

I discovered mulled wine in my pursuit of Victorian literature. My post-secondary education consisted a self-regimented discovery of literature.

Tonight I’m using chai spices with a dash of orange peel. It’s a perfect companion for a French film.


marte_marie_forsberg_quote_01_2013My life is shrouded in a form of solitude. I am on my own raising two little girls – currently 4yrs & 6yrs. Since I’m a foster parent, additional children come and go. I make a point of organizing a play date at least once a week. Thankfully I have a few friends in the area who have children not yet of school age. I’m homeschooling my eldest daughter. We hang out with other stay at home moms to give us both a bit of a break from each other.

Our life is significantly structured. The best part about that is having kids in bed by 7pm. Most nights I am so exhausted I flop on the couch and watch British television via Netflix while checking emails, working on business items, maybe even knitting sweaters. Going out seems beyond my capacity.

But once my life looked very different……………..Oh those days! When I was young and free all I wanted was to be settled. I failed to fully appreciate the experiences afforded to me in that season.

Now I am old – 37 – and completely satisfied with my life. Still there’s a portion of my heart longing for some of the old excitement. I used to travel with my friend’s band. I lived in a big city going to concerts and plays at a moment’s notice. I threw grand parties. I would stay up all night tracing my friends’ histories and discovering the beauty of their hearts. I brewed tea morning, noon, and night. We drank deeply. I laughed without lines creasing my face.puzzle

It’s all different now. Jigsaw puzzles are my wildest pursuit. They’re completely useless. I pull them out around holidays. Completing one will in no way benefit myself or anyone else. Everything else in my life has become completely utilitarian – cooking, cleaning, working.

Please, will you sit with me? Over a cup of tea, tell me of all your adventures. I will smile and celebrate.

Peace & Beauty

Oh my – it’s been some time since I’ve shared in this space. My roast, featured in the previous post, turned out magnificently. The kids devoured it. This weekend I’m using the same marinade recipe for a pork roast.

The decision I was lamenting the last time we spoke, has been made. It wasn’t easy, but I think it’s for the best. Today I’m on to another life altering decision. My days are filled with them.

You see, I’m a single adoptive & foster mom. My two daughters came to me as foster children. I fought to keep them. Investing in their future is why I do this. Believe bistro will grow and one day sustain them. At 6yrs & 4yrs they’re daydreaming of the jobs they can have in our business.

Sometimes the days are long, hectic, and earth shattering. Still I’m here – carving out a bit of peace and beauty in a tumultuous world.

Won’t you join me for a cup of tea as we let the cares of this world pass away?



Tea is a divine herb.

~Xu Guangqi

Growing up, what I really wanted to be was grown up. There were vague ideas about what I would do and with whom. But mostly I was racing towards adulthood with the glimmering hope of being the one making all the decisions.

Now that I’m here, all these decisions are wearing me out. Today I need to make a big decision. Mulling things over, I decide to experiment with a favourite recipe. Cooking with tea is as soothing as drinking it.

I’ve adapted this recipe from The Soul of a New Cuisine by Marcus Soul-130x150Samuelsson. Years ago when I discovered this book, I spent weeks pouring over the recipes, pictures, and stories. Marcus Samuelsson was born in Ethiopia but grew up in Sweden with his adoptive family. This book contains recipes from a trip through Africa.

The recipe is Tea-Roasted Veal. However, Veal isn’t something I often consume. Usually I’m cooking for a crowd and that’s out of my price range. Sorry, if you were expecting a more ethical reason. I’ve tried this recipe with pork chops and expect it to go well with the roast beef I have available.

Here’s my adaptation:tea veal

¼ cup coarse sea salt

2 cups water

½ cup red wine vinegar

1 Tbsp dried rosemary

3inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and chopped

¼ cup honey

¼ cup honey bush tea

1 tsp Bourbon Street Vanilla rooibos tea

Combine salt, water, and vinegar in a saucepan. Bring to a boil. Add rosemary, honey, ginger, and tea leaves. Return to a boil. Reduce heat. Simmer for 5mins. Remove from heat. Let cool.

Place roast (veal, or pork) in a dish. Add tea mixture. Cover and refrigerate for at least 8hrs.

Roast meat slowly at 325 F for about 1 – ½ hrs (depending on cut of meat). Tent with foil and allow to rest for 20mins before serving.

I’m at the marinating stage with the meat and my decision. Expecting the roast to be delectable. Not so sure about my next leap in life. I’ll keep you posted.

for today’s featured teas and many more exceptional products visit: