Welcome to the Tea for Teal blog!

Thanks for reading! Here you'll find a random assortment of sewing projects, food, make-up reviews, the occasional book and movie review, my travels, and anything else that pops into my head!
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Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Sock Bun Tutorial!

Sock Bun Tutorial

To celebrate my last days of long hair I thought I would post a hair tutorial for a hair style I wear frequently.

This tutorial uses a sock to get the perfect bun. It's a quick and easy up-do that looks great with almost no effort. 

This look is very versatile. You can wear this bun smooth for a chic night out, a little messy for a more casual look, or plain for a simple yet sophisticated work look. 

Hope you enjoyed my tutorial! Now, go and give this a try!

PS You can see a bigger video version of this either by clicking the full screen version or just going directly to the YouTube video here.

Monday, August 27, 2012

NYC - Day 4 Friday 8/17

Last Day!

On our last day, we said goodbye to our nice Harlem apartment, dropped our stuff off at the luggage-holding store near Penn Station, and set out to Soho.

 The Soho area is pretty cool. It had some really interesting stores that I have never seen anywhere else. One of which was called Evolution and had everything to do with animals, insects, and humans. So, it had fossils, every kind of beetle, moth, and butterfly imaginable, bones, globes, rocks, etc. It was such a cool place and won Ansell and I’s best store in New York award.

Soho also had a little shop called Mini Cupcakes. It is exactly how it sounds. I chose the Cookie Dough one although I think the Smores would have been fun as well. It’s $1 for one, $3 for 3 and I think $5 for 6. The next time I might just get all the flavors to try it out.

These cupcakes are so small that even 6 of them probably wouldn’t add up to a full cupcake. :)

We also visited this fantastic boutique hotel/restaurant called Isola. The restaurant part is like an indoor/outdoor space. The walls and ceiling are all glass and they incorporate a lot of greenery and open space so it feels like the outdoors but temperature controlled. Ansell and I really loved it and we spent some time enjoying a drink (beer for Ansell and tea for me) while doing some quiet reading. 

I really appreciate when places allow us just to hang out and sip drink quietly while reading. The wait staff didn’t bug us much and didn’t pressure us to buy more stuff.

This is what we get in Portland.
Yeah...it's hard to top.

For lunch, we passed a cabaret place doing a $10 lunch deal and took advantage. We actually got a lot of food and it was pretty good quality for $10. It was obviously a “get-them-in-the-door” tactic though so you could meet the girls inside. I wasn’t that impressed though. If I wanted to see bored attractive girls dancing to music I’d go to a club, at least there the girls would be having fun. Besides when you used to live in Portland, OR and got to see fire dancers and gymnastics just taking off your clothes isn’t very impressive, just boring. So we ate cheaply and left.

These are all paintbrushes stuck in clear gesso.
We rounded out the day by meeting up with another of Ansell’s friends, Mitch, who is in art school and visited the Museum of Modern Art, or MoMA. We timed it to coincide with their free entry period and it was packed. Despite that we had a nice time looking around. I’m not a big fan of modern art and I really appreciated Mitch filling in some of the back-story and interesting details about certain paintings, styles of art, and artists. I also appreciated how low-key he was. He never came across as those artists who are so into themselves and what they’re doing that they’re a chore to be around. Instead he was refreshingly honest and down-to-earth. You can check out his artwork at www.mitchpaster.com.

After that we went to a cool divey diner and I got way too many pancakes. I downed those pancakes like I hadn’t eaten pancakes in months, which is kinda true.

Full on pancakes & happy from our time in New York we caught the bus home to DC.

We had such a wonderful time, Ansell got to visit some old friends and I met new ones, we saw amazing things, ate lots of food, drank lots of tea and overall had a great vacation. I can’t wait to go back!

See you soon New York!

Friday, August 24, 2012

NYC - Day 3 Thursday 8/16

Lower Manhattan here we come!

Thursday morning was spent exploring the Financial district. It’s a lot more interesting than I thought it would be!

We visited the Federal Reserve (boring) and the Stock Exchange first. It weirded me out because the Stock Exchange had the Chinese flag flying. We soon learned that they were having a summit or something there. All the Chinese businessmen and women seemed really excited. Yay for cultural exchange!

We walked down to the waterfront and saw the Brooklyn Bridge before stumbling upon this hidden restaurant alley. On either side of the alley were restaurants and the alley itself had been taken over by tables and hungry financers. It was wonderful.

I am constantly amazed at how well NY creates community spaces. You don’t go 10 blocks without seeing some kind of park or community area, which I think is really important in such a big area.

After eating we headed to Battery Park and saw the distant figure of the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. Then we walked over to the 9/11 Memorial but the area was totally sealed off and that was really disappointing. I really think it should be open to everyone. One day it will be but for now I understand they have to control the crowds.

The plans for the whole area, and the building of the new tower and the other towers, are very interesting and I can’t wait to see it all completed. It’s amazing that when I eventually take my kids to see it you’d never know that in the not so distant past there were two towers there.

After the Financial District we went to the West Village and hung out. Plenty of cool restaurants and stores. 

We relaxed (and people-watched) at an Italian Café, Olio e Piu, and I enjoyed a nice cup of tea and some Italian cheesecake while Ansell had beer and salmon.

The cheesecake wasn’t what I expected, in a good way. It wasn’t very sweet and was very dense. It was served with melted dark chocolate that was almost like ganache. It was something I wouldn’t have normally ordered but really enjoyed.

We then discovered the Village’s “High Line” which used to be train tracks that the city repurposed into a green, community walkway. This was hands-down my favorite place in New York.

It was so lush and it was great to get off of the street and up higher, where things seem clearer. It was such an unexpected space and I was delighted that the city had invested the money to make such a wonderful community space. I feel that DC and a lot of big cities really lack areas like this.

I thought a lot about my Aunt Carol when I walked along. I think she would have enjoyed it just as much as I did. I would like to one day walk arm in arm along the path and admire the greenery together. It’s such a peaceful place within the heart of all the hustle and bustle.

I want to go back so bad!

That evening Ansell and I met his friends at their apartment in Brookyln. As soon as I walked in I thought I had interrupted a TV show about New York artists. It literally looked exactly like one would expect a struggling artist apartment to look like. Nice!

They had set out a fantastic spread for us and it was great to meet Ansell’s friends from Barcelona. They were awesome people and I can’t wait to visit them again!

We got drunk then dragged ourselves home to Harlem. What a great, long, day!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

NYC - Day 2 Wednesday 8/15

Another day, another chance to explore!

I started off the day practicing the fishtail braid. It’s the only braid that truly gives that shaft of wheat look.

We began our touristing (yes, I made that into a word) in Central Park and it is so much bigger than I thought!

It’s huge and so beautiful. It really has everything. From castles, to huts, to little brick houses, lakes, ponds, fountains, gardens, open grounds, big trees, little trees, playgrounds, EVERYTHING you could want in a park!

We started about 1/3rd the way down and it took us two hours to get to the bottom. It was a great way to start the day. I was a bit puffed out at the end of it though!

Unfortunately our next stop in Brooklyn wasn’t so great. We met up with a friend, Nick, and tried to find the Brooklyn Flea, a big flea market, which is supposed to be great. I went to their website to make sure it didn’t say Weekends Only. Whelp, the website didn’t say it was but there was no flea market to be found. Then it rained hard and that sucked.

We aborted the Brooklyn plan and headed into the East Village, which was awesome! Packed with cool restaurants from end to end it’s the perfect location to do a food tour. Wish we had the time!

Nick, Ansell, and I drank some beers at an Irish pub while the storm overhead passed then walked around the awesome that is East Village until we ducked into a Cuban restaurant. The boys had rum punch while I snacked on these amazing Latin inspired deviled eggs. SO GOOD!

Inadvertent picture of Nick when getting
the Cuban restaurant...he's making a weird face.

It was great to chill out and talk with our friend Nick. He recently got accepted into Columbia’s writing program so it’s only a matter of time before we have his published books on our bookshelf. It’s also a great excuse to keep coming back to NY!

East Village had so many great niche restaurants that it is my No. 1 place to go back to and explore. I will definitely have to stop in to here next time and get my tea on!

Ansell and I were planning on hitting some bars at night but the weather got so bad we beat a retreat to our apartment and had another bath instead!

Monday, August 20, 2012

NYC - Day 1 Tuesday 8/14

This will be helpful!

And we’re off! 
We left DC’s Union Station at 8:30am and arrived at Penn Station at 12:30pm. We started by exploring the Penn Station area, which included the Garment District. The Fashion Institute is there and so the whole area has turned itself into every conceivable fashion/costume type business from stores devoted to trim to beads, feathers, fabric, and everything in-between. 

It was pretty fabulous! I did a lot of window-shopping but didn’t go in. I don’t need to feed the addiction!

We had a delicious Panini of prosciutto, goat cheese, and sundried tomato at the Picnic Basket before heading to the nearby Uniqlo.

We love Uniqlo and don’t have one in DC. It was such a cool store and even beat the one in Japan! We stocked up on staples before finishing our exploration of Chelsea and Midtown West, which is more stores and restaurants.

Then it was off to Harlem to see our apartment we rented for 3 days from Airbnb. It was shockingly large and I couldn’t believe we got such a great deal! 

It also had a big bathtub and Ansell and I celebrated our first night with a bath. Lovely!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Meow-Summer Spirits, Rainforest, Spirit of Summer

Meow Cosmetics
Summer Spirits, Rainforest, Spirit of Summer

I arranged these by color rather than collection so you could see the differences between the colors better.

In bright sunlight

Summer Spirits - Mint Julep: Awesome minty/seafoam, shimmery, pastel green with hints of lime.

Summer Spirits - Teal Tini: Arika said I HAD to get this, and indeed I did. I wasn’t actually impressed with the color on the website but I love actually love it. It’s a really fresh bright teal.

Rainforest - Tropical: A bright lime color. SO summery! This is actually what I thought Starfruit from the Carribean collection was going to be and totally wasn’t.

In medium light

Rainforest - Bromeliad: Wow, this is pink. It’s a bright pink with some peachy undertone. I’m not sure if I can actually wear this but I will try!

Joys of Summer - Beach Bonfire: I liked how this color looked on Arika’s blog so I got a sample. It’s a deep burnt orange. I’m really interested in trying this out as a liner.

Summer Spirits - Jungle juice: Another very bright pink that almost verges into peach/orange but pulls back at the last second. It’s a fun color but I’m not sure how it will look on.

Rainforest - Torch: A delicious bright blend of orange and peach. It’s a less deep version of Beach Bonfire and much brighter.  

With Flash

Rainforest - Macaw: A standard bright, pure, yellow. Good staple to have.

Summer Spirits - Caribou Lou: Another standard pastel, soft yellow.

Free Samples
Pandora’s Box-Depravity: Really love this sample! It’s a deep rich, plum. Would make a fantastic dramatic smoky eye.

End of Days-Nibiru: Looove this color! A soft peachy that is so pretty and reminds me of peach macaroons. I can’t wait to use this. It also blends down soft and delicate.
I’m seriously considering getting a full size of this.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Alexandria Farmer's Market

I woke up early last Saturday and decided to hit the local Farmer’s Market before work.

The farmer’s market in Alexandria is, of course, super cute. It takes place at the back of the Alexandria City Hall where there is a community area and large fountain/pool.

The farmer’s market has produce, flowers, artists, and other food stalls. I got decked out in my summer gear complete with big hat, large sunglasses, light cardigan, and cotton dress.

It was already 90 degrees at 8:00 that morning and the sun was pretty harsh. So, I was happy to have a light cardigan and hat to protect my skin from the sun.

Here is my favorite produce stall and I got some giant tomatoes, a squash, a zucchini, giant peaches, apples, cherry tomatoes, and a big watermelon.

I also got local yogurt from a yogurt and cheese stall.

Until Ansell comes back (August 13th evening!) I will be going on a diet. No meat, one cooked meal a day, fresh fruits and veggies the rest of my meals, and only fruits, veggies, and some yogurt with limited grains.

I also got a heavy-duty antioxidant green tea that I’ll have daily and bolster the whole diet with V8 and LOTS of water.

So far, I’m really enjoying it! It’s kind of a relief to know that you can only have these certain types of food and all you have to do it slice it up and eat up. The produce itself is so delicious that it only takes a touch of seasoning. :)

One of the best things about going to a Farmer's Market is that you are supporting local business. It is more expensive but you don't have to do ALL your grocery shopping there. Get some of your favorite produce from a Farmer's Market and supplement it with Trader Joes. Either way you're supporting local produce!

Bon Appétit!