1
Small Kitchen Inspiration on a Budget
2
Brooklyn Farm Baby, Being Picked Summer 2017
3
Must Have Gifts for the Cat Lady In Your Life
4
2016 Christmas Tree & New Ornaments
5
Vintage Kitchen Bowls Holiday Giveaway
6
Just Breathe Meditation Playlist
7
Happy Birthday Sway!
8
Cleveland Wins the NBA Championship! AHHHHHHHHHH!
9
A Trip to Ireland: Cliffs of Moher and the Burren
10
What I Love: CeraVe Skin Products
11
What I Love: Dana’s Bakery Macarons + Drake
12
A Visit to the White House Garden – Full Tour of Veggies, Bees and More!
13
How to Throw a Tea Party – Donuts, Decorations, Tableware and More!
14
Quick Visit to the Land – Setting up Cameras, Getting Ready for the Fence!
15
Cooking In The Kitchen at Bon Appétit With Hunt’s Tomatoes and Epicurious!
16
P+M Upstate Adventure: Planting Our Christmas Tree!
17
Our Holiday Cards, Cat Pillow, Snowman Shower Curtain and More.. How to Make Customize Gifts!
18
What I LOVE: My Carhartt Full Swing , A Work Jacket Actually Made For Women!
19
Time To Decorate For The Holidays… And Dance!
20
Winter Is Coming…. I Need My Tea Hot! + Travel Mug Giveaway!

Small Kitchen Inspiration on a Budget

Tracking PixelEasy ways to refresh your small apartment kitchen on a budget!  This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Lowe’s.

Based on the many recipes I post here on the blog, and the endless baked goods on Instagram, I spend a fair amount of time in the kitchen. Actually, at a recent therapist visit the Doctor asked me what I do to relax.  I responded “Yoga…and I hang out in the kitchen”.   I love spending time in the kitchen baking afternoon sweets, making dinner, recipe creation and getting my full garden harvest preserving on once Summer rolls around.  During garden season it’s not rare that I have to put one day aside a week to preserve our vegetables, so I consider myself kitchen devoted.

Easy ways to refresh your small apartment kitchen on a budget!

Unfortunately my kitchen is not a dream.   When I moved into my apartment, close to 12 years ago, it was a nightmare.  There was hardly any space to not only cook, but at the bare minimum cabinet space.  I think when we first moved in there was 3 cabinets, a (ugly) sink, a (ugly) stove and a (ugly) refrigerator.  My kitchen loving heart ached.    Thankfully the kitchen and I have grown together and it’s turned into something more pleasing and usable.  Now I have lots more cabinets! I have a island! I have shelves! I have storage! I have a beautiful refrigerator and too many kitchen gadgets and appliances to the point whenever I get a new one my husband asks “Another one?”.  Yes, another one!   So although my kitchen still isn’t the dream, I feel like we’re finally in a ok place with each other. 

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Brooklyn Farm Baby, Being Picked Summer 2017

A seed was planted, the plant is getting bigger, and in July we’ll be able to harvest.  What type of plant are we growing?  A baby!  Instead of our garden, it’s growing in my belly!  Brooklyn Farm Baby is coming in July!

I’ve already shared a few revealing videos and pictures on social media but I’ve kept it completely hush hush on the blog until now.  Being half way through, now at 20 weeks, I wanted to make a post to let you know that we’ll be adding a human baby girl to our family in the Summer.   Are we excited? Yes! Are we terrified? Yes! Are we dreaming of what we’ll be able to teach her and show her? Yes!  Are we in disbelief that a hospital is actually going to let us leave with a baby in our car to take care of for the rest of our lives?  Yes!

Matthew and I have been talking seriously about adding to our family for the past 5 years.  It was always about waiting for the perfect time, but the more I sat with this and grew older the more I came to realization that no time will ever be perfect.  I’m always going to be worried.  I was worried before.  I’m worried during.  I’m going to be worried after.    So last year we started the plan into action with preparation doctor appointments and other things that you do when this is a definite planned pregnancy.    Then the fun part started, you know the part that everyone tells you is going to be romantic and great because you’re going to physically do the sexy dance that leads to a baby.  Then months pass and it’s no longer that fun.  It’s now a schedule.  It’s me texting Matthew with directions like “Ovulation is max peak, be home by 7:30 tonight because I want to go to bed early”.    Oh the romance of having a baby!

18 Weeks Pregnant Ultrasound

She’s gorgeous already!

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Must Have Gifts for the Cat Lady In Your Life

Must Have Gift Ideas under $20 for the Cat Lady In Your Life! Bonus – all the gifts are available on Amazon Prime!

We all know the lady, that one who loves cats.  She’s the one who shows you cat photos on her phone.  She’s the one who tells you the cutest cat stories.  She’s the one who wears beautiful dresses with cat prints on them.  She’s the one who bakes cookies that cat faces on it.  She’s the one who can be found in a empty bedroom on the ground during a party trying to lure a cat out from under the bed.   Ok, that cat lady is me.  Is it you too?

(me and my best buddy Goblin, making some cat garland)
Must Have Gift Ideas under $20 for the Cat Lady In Your Life! Bonus - all the gifts are available on Amazon Prime!

Because the countdown is on until Christmas I wanted to share with you some of my favorite gift ideas for the cat-loving hostess in your life.

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2016 Christmas Tree & New Ornaments

Well, Christmas is almost here.  Are the cookies baked?  Is the tree decorated? Are the gifts wrapped?  I have at least 1 of those done… the tree is decorated!

2016 Christmas Tree & New Ornaments

Sticking with our tradition we started last year, we bought a live Norway Spruce tree that we will be planting on the land in January to live next to his Brother. The tree is about 3 feet tall, but one day it might grow up to 100 feet! Can you imagine?  Eventually I want the land to be a forest of trees with year plaques on them that we can walk through and tell stories of each holiday.   
2016 Christmas Tree & New Ornaments

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Vintage Kitchen Bowls Holiday Giveaway

Tracking PixelThis is a sponsored giveaway post written by me on behalf of Vintage Charm™ Inspired by Pyrex®. 

Well call me charmed because I’m in love with these vintage inspired kitchen bowls! And it’s your lucky day because a BFG reader is going to win some to celebrate the holidays with!

I love kitchenware that is colorful and has funky designs.   I have a cabinet filled with darling tea mugs because I can’t help myself when I see a new one.  Matthew asks does 1 person need 30 tea mugs?  Of course I do!   Same goes for plates and bowls in the house. Not only do I love a selection of kitchenware because I have to try to take pretty food pictures for the blog but I love them for everyday serving.  Food becomes more fun and loved when you can serve dinner on bunnies eating carrots plates,  drink out of glass etched pumpkin face mugs and eat cookies out of vintage inspired polka dot bowls.

Vintage Kitchen Bowls Holiday Giveaway

When I learned that Vintage Charm™ Inspired by Pyrex® was releasing a fun series for the holidays I basically decided I needed to buy everyone who I know loves cooking or entertaining a set.  I also decided I needed to buy myself every design because I’m obsessed with them.  Vintage Charm was inspired by the classic Pyrex opal glass bowls from the 50s and 60s so they released Vintage Charm which puts a modern twist on popular patterns that evoke feelings of nostalgia.    As soon as I saw these polka dot bowls I had to fill them with cookies because it reminded me exactly of being a little girl making holiday cookies in the kitchen with Mom.    

Vintage Kitchen Bowls Holiday Giveaway

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Just Breathe Meditation Playlist

Feeling stressed?  Unwind with this meditation playlist! It has everything from sessions that are 5 minutes to guided exercises. 

This Summer I’ve had the pleasure of spending weekends surrounded by green grass, vegetables and silence Upstate in our garden.   Working in a fast paced stressful industry, living in NYC where you are never alone, making sure my 6 babies are taken care of (Husband + Cats) and wondering if my student loan debt will ever disappear leaves me stressed and feeling anxious during the week.    Sure, these stress issues are all things I chose for my life, but that still doesn’t mean I don’t contemplate or worry about them from time to time (I never complain about the cats though).

Last year I started meditating, first by myself, then trying some classes, and then settling by myself again, to see if learning correct breathing exercises and focused relaxation could help me.  Turns out, meditation works great and I saw immediate results in calmness after just trying a few times.  Meditation is a life long process, it’s not as easy as it looks.  Focusing your mind on peace and tranquility is hard work, and something I still struggle with when meditating, but practice makes one stronger.

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Happy Birthday Sway!

This is a sponsored post written on behalf of Sway Group. I really love Sway so I want to celebrate!   All opinions are my own.

This week is all about happiness so far! First, the Cavs win the NBA finals (I’m still celebrating!) and now I’m wishing the wonderful ladies at Sway a happy 5th birthday!

I know you’re asking who is Sway?  If you’re a blogger you might know these great ladies already, but if you aren’t a blogger, let me introduce you because they are a important factor in how I keep Brooklyn Farm Girl running and sharing information.  

Sway group, powered by SITS Girls, is a network that connects brands with influencers.  To put it into simpler words,  they pair bloggers with companies that are looking to promote their products.   I work with a few different networks and I can honestly say they are one of the best to work with due to their prompts always feeling organic and like a perfect match.   When they ask me to team up with a project, it seems like a match made in blogging heaven. They know the content of my blog, they know what I like to share,  they know the clients goals, and somehow it always works out to be a fun painless blog post.   Because of the collaborations we’ve worked on together, they’ve offered me opportunities to share great products with you (I only ever promote products that I actually use and love) while helping keep Brooklyn Farm Girl up and running (it costs money!).  Unlike some advertising posts where I feel like I don’t get to be me and am reading a script like a robot (note: I finally made a note to stop doing those! Heart is most important!) Sway lets me just be me, organically adding the product into a post I would have done even if we weren’t working together.   I can be silly, I can post endless photos of my cats in the post (and I do), I can tell bad jokes (and I do), etc, it’s all ok with them.   Their goal is to empower me as a influencer and a woman.   Also,  they are super kind, supportive of the blogging Community and sometimes they send me candy in the mail (I’m serious).  So from all the wonderful ladies who are making content to share with their readers I want to give Sway a giant big hug and wish them a happy 5th birthday! <3

To celebrate, I want to share you with my top favorite posts I’ve created with Sway Group.  If you get the time, I hope you go back and read some of these posts to know that I enjoyed writing and creating each one!

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Cleveland Wins the NBA Championship! AHHHHHHHHHH!

If you follow me on Twitter then you probably already know I’m a big basketball fan by my stress filled, anxiety written tweets during close games.  You might also know that I’m a Cavs fan and today is a beautiful, beautiful, beautiful day.

Last night the Cavs won the NBA Finals, after trailing 3-1 in the series.  Cleveland took it to 7 games and it was a nail biter of a game.  No team has ever come back from 3-1 and won the championship.  But last night…. THE CAVS DID IT! THEY WON!   After a exciting game of many lead changes that led to me pacing around the apartment, cleaning dishes that didn’t need to be cleaned, doing jumping jacks and standing up and sitting down a million times, the game was finally won!  Because of our “cat camera” we were also caught celebrating with tears of happiness.   This moment was too thrilling not to share it.
CAVS WIN CHAMPIONSHIP

We were so pumped when the series was 3-2 that we drove 8 hours to Cleveland last week to go to Game 6. Matthew is from Cleveland, so we got to see our family too!  The game was electrifying, the fans were so pumped they stood the entire game.  I’ve never been to a event that had that much energy. I also never yelled, cheered, and did awkward dance moves that often in public before.   The Cavs won, tying the series 3-3, making the game go to Game 7.   Both of our voices were gone after the game.  The streets in Cleveland were celebrating!   Here’s some photos/video of Game 6: 20160616_194558       Read More

A Trip to Ireland: Cliffs of Moher and the Burren

Join me as I take a trip to the beautiful Cliffs of Moher and the Burren!

In early April Matthew and I spoke at the Offset Festival in Dublin. It was lots of fun and we got to meet new friends while being inspired by other creatives.
R+R at Offset Dublin

(It was a big crowd in the beautiful Bord Gáis Energy Theatre.)
20160408_131704

Since we’ve never been to Ireland we wanted to take a day to go outside the city and see the beautiful green countryscapes that you see in postcards.  We took a day bus trip and drove across the country (Ireland is small, it only takes 3 hours to do this) to the Cliffs of Moher and the Buren.

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What I Love: CeraVe Skin Products

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #CeraVeSkincare #CollectiveBias

It’s not often that you love a entire line of products, but that’s how I feel about CeraVe.  Usually with beauty products I’ll fall in love with one product from a brand, and then move on to another brand for the rest of my needs, but CeraVe in one sweep wins for my favorite cleanser, moisturizer, night time cream and SPF.

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What I Love: Dana’s Bakery Macarons + Drake

Birthday Cake, Fruity Cereal, Cookie Dough, Molten Chocolate, S’mores and more – these are my favorite macarons!

Cookie Dough Macarons

When I first tasted Dana’s Bakery Macarons it was love at first… well, taste.  My first one was Fruity Cereal and it tasted and smelled just like Fruity Pebbles, but in tasty macaron form.  Because taste testing is very important I had to try a second, it was Cookie Dough. I remember muttering “Oh My God” a few times afterwards because it was perfect.  From there, I was hooked.

Fruity Cereal Macarons, just like Fruity Pebbles!

Look at how gorgeous the Birthday Cake macaron is with that beautiful dust of glitter. It’s like a Birthday party in space!
Birthday Cake Macarons

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A Visit to the White House Garden – Full Tour of Veggies, Bees and More!

When you get a email invite to a private event that Michelle Obama and the White House are hosting for Let’s Move, you accept it.  Well your heart skips a beat, you accept it and then you try to figure out what shoes you’re going to wear.  It goes in order like that.  That’s what happened last week.  

White House Trip (25)

White House Trip (7)

Last week, I made the trip to Washington DC to attend a event to have a conversation on the health of our nation’s children.   Let’s Move (started by Michelle Obama in 2010) is a group initiative to encourage healthier food in schools, better food labeling and more physical activity for children.  Gardening goes hand in hand with this initiative as it’s important to grow your own.  Growing your own vegetables promotes healthy eating, but it also informs you where your food comes from and the process of plant life.  If more families were to start their own gardens, they would eat fresh vegetables more often, along with creating family activities to build/maintain and to learn about gardening.    I’d say I was one of the few non parents at the event, but I don’t think you need to be a parent to understand why eating healthy matters and to encourage it.  Since we started the garden on the roof years ago my own eating habits have greatly improved.  I love vegetables now.  Sometimes for dinner I just have vegetables, years ago that would have never happened.  With the experience of growing the garden I learned so much about nature and the planting process.  If you haven’t planted a little itty bitty seed and watched it grow into a full on broccoli plant, you haven’t lived.   Even at 32 years old, I’m still excited and amazed when I see a few ounces worth of seeds can turn into hundreds of pounds of vegetables.  Before having the garden I didn’t even know where so many vegetables came from.  I know it was a plant, but I didn’t know what the plant looked like, how long it took to grew, growing conditions and more.  Growing your own makes you respect vegetables a whole lot more.  Can I get some respect for vegetables? Amen.    And lastly, because of these vegetables I learned how to cook.  I almost think it should be a required class in schools now to learn how to cook.   If we all cooked at home, think of the impact it would have on obesity, overall health and factory farming.   If you follow this blog then you probably already know the joy and satisfaction one gets when presenting a meal to their family that is home cooked.  I wish everyone could experience this!

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How to Throw a Tea Party – Donuts, Decorations, Tableware and More!

How to Throw a Tea Party on a budget! We’ll cover food, decorations, tableware, music and more to make it the perfect party! 

Do you love tea parties? Me too.  They just feel special.  You’re with your friends, you get to eat yummy pastries and vegetable dishes, you use floral China plates and cups and if you’re feeling bold you wear a fancy hat.   It just feels magical.

In this post I’m going to show you how to throw a tea brunch party!  We’ll cover food, decorations, tableware, music and more to make it the perfect party!

How to Throw a Tea Party on a budget! We'll cover food, decorations, tableware, music and more to make it the perfect party!

Tableware:   When your friends arrive you want to wow them!  Tableware is one of the keys to making a beautiful display.  You’ll need plates, cups, kettles, napkins, spoon and serving plates for larger dishes.  You’ll also need a dessert rack which when placed in the center of the table makes everyone smile! For my tea party, I went the traditional route of floral mix matched patterns.  And even though it might look like a expensive setup, it’s not!  Can you believe my plates that look like fancy China are actually paper plates? Amazing, I know!

How to Throw a Tea Party on a budget! We'll cover food, decorations, tableware, music and more to make it the perfect party!

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Quick Visit to the Land – Setting up Cameras, Getting Ready for the Fence!

Hope you had a great weekend!  What did you do?
We spent Saturday in the studio working but on Sunday we decided to make a quick day trip to the land to check in on things as it’s been a month since our  last visit.     We wanted to drop some things off to get ready for building!

First, a quick update on Mister Christmas Tree!  We planted him a month ago and I’ve been worried sick about him.  So far he looks good! I don’t think we’ll know until Spring if he’s in the clear, but for now he looks great.  We gave him a great big hug.
On The Land Feb 7 2016_18

I got a bunch of cameras to set up on the land so I can check out the wildlife when I’m not there.   For some reason the deer and bunnies don’t stop and visit me when I’m there.  It really breaks my heart.   The cameras are Trace and Wingscapes  (which are built on Moultrie technology).   I have 2 cameras that are motion activated (wildlife and security) and one camera that will be doing a time lapse on the land.  I can’t wait to use the time lapse camera for the garden once it’s up and running.   I’ll be checking the cameras every time I visit so hope for some exciting animal photos!  Expect full posts on the cameras once I have some photos!
On The Land Feb 7 2016

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Cooking In The Kitchen at Bon Appétit With Hunt’s Tomatoes and Epicurious!

Late last year I had the pleasure of cooking in the Bon Appétit Kitchen at 1 World Trade Center for Hunt’s Tomatoes!  There I made Ricotta, Basil, and Tomato Tea Sandwiches and Cheesy Taco Casserole while admiring their beautiful kitchen and dreaming it was my own.  During the day I created 2 how to recipe videos, while working with a great team who wheeled in carts full of props that I got to ogle at.

First, let me show you the videos! I hope you like them both!

Cheesy Taco Casserole

Ricotta, Basil, and Tomato Tea Sandwiches

Here are some photos I took during the day.  Everyone was so nice on set and I loved watching the food stylist work her magic.  

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P+M Upstate Adventure: Planting Our Christmas Tree!

Click here to follow along with our entire Upstate Adventure!

This year when it was Christmas tree time we decided that we were going to start a new tradition.  We would find a live tree, keep it for Christmas and then plant it on our land.  Our hope is that we repeat, repeat, repeat, repeat (…) for a long time so that we eventually have a family of trees on the land that are both beautiful and hold special memories.  

After I called multiple farms and struck out, I found a nursery in Long Island that sold live Colorado Blue Spruce trees with the ball still attached.  So we drove out there, picked a favorite and loaded him into the car!  Our little car by the way has carried alot in it’s short life so far. 
Good guys. We got a pretty little Blue Spruce Christmas tree with the root ball still attached so we can plant it on our land afterwards. Imagine in the years to come how many of our own holiday trees we can have there! ?:christmas_tree
(You can see the container we bought off to the right too. This will be used every year to keep the tree in.)

There he stayed for a few weeks while we dressed him up and cats slept nearby.
Christmas 2015_16

A few days after Christmas we started to plan to take him (it’s a boy) to the land but the temperature difference between inside and outside Upstate NY would be a big shock so we had to harden him off (just like seedlings).  We wrapped him up and took him to the stairwell of the roof to start getting used to the chill.  He stayed there for 5 days before moving him to his final destination.

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Our Holiday Cards, Cat Pillow, Snowman Shower Curtain and More.. How to Make Customize Gifts!

We try to make as many things as we can.  Matthew is a handy man so that means our dinner table, bed, living room tables and more were all made by him.  On our walls are photos we’ve made or illustrations we’ve commissioned artists to do.   Even my favorite sweatshirt has sweet Goblin’s face on it.

Goblin Sweatshirt

When it comes to the holidays for gifts and decor I’m all about customizing as much as I can.  I hand stamp the wrapping paper.  I made the gift tags. For our greeting cards, we always like to personalize them as much as we can to make them stand out and cause the recipient a smile.

For this year’s cards I decided to try to dress Goblin and Xanadu up… and you can see it went great.  So instead of scrapping the idea, why not use the failed photos for a laugh?
Custom Printed Christmas Gifts_1
Custom Printed Christmas Gifts_4

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What I LOVE: My Carhartt Full Swing , A Work Jacket Actually Made For Women!

Can I tell you how annoying it’s been trying to work find clothes for working on the land that actually fits me?  We went to a outfitter store a few weeks ago to buy work clothes and the store should have been called “Made for Men”  Matthew had no problem finding overalls, jacket, boots and everything else. Their women’s section had dresses, scarves, exercise pants and cashmere sweaters.  Ok, that’s real fair. 

They had no women’s overalls.
They had 2 jackets.
They had 3 pairs of women’s boots while Matthew had 2 walls filled.
I had to try on men’s jackets and overalls which weighed 10 pounds.  How was I going to swing my ax with this extra weight?  Ok maybe I’m getting ahead of myself.  Maybe there will be no ax swinging in the near future, but how was I suppose to move with this extra 20 pounds on me?  

So I became frustrated and didn’t buy anything.  

I threw Matthew’s overalls on at home, sauntering around like weighed down zombie, mumbling how nice he had it in life.     

I have no shame in saying this. Not only do I want work clothes that fit me, I want them to be pretty too. Yeah, take that.  Give me purple.  Give me blue. Give me pink.  Let me match my nails to my overalls.   It’s like they’re saying that if you want to work hard then you need to dress like a man.  Whatever.  I have an ax.  

When I was seeing darkness finally there was light! There she was, my Carhartt Full Swing Sandstone Winn Jacket! It was nice looking.  It was light.  It actually fit my body correctly.  It wasn’t going to make me sink to the bottom if I fell into a pond.  I was in love.

carhartt coat review

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Time To Decorate For The Holidays… And Dance!

Yesterday I begged Matthew to climb up the ladder and get all the Christmas containers down from the loft.  I’m not good on a ladder so I leave the dangerous chores to him. After passing each one down to me I dragged them to the other side of the room.  Then I coughed because goodness, it’s crazy how dusty this place can get in one year! Cleaning up For The Holidays

The lids came off the containers, the snowmen were released from their plastic homes and then Mariah Carey came on Spotify.  And then I danced.  And then the cats stared at me as they usually do when Mom is one of her dance moods.  Check out that flip dance move on Bofinkles.  Also apologies to my neighbors but this song is on replay for the next 24 days. 

 

A video posted by Pamela Reed (@pamelaz) on

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Winter Is Coming…. I Need My Tea Hot! + Travel Mug Giveaway!

Tracking Pixel
This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Contigo®.  It’s how I stay warm!

This weekend we were Upstate (have you heard about our new adventure?) working hard.  On Sunday morning we were on the land bright and early and it was 27 degrees.  I saw ice on the land.  I shivered and shook as I dove into my work clothes.   Then I immediately grabbed my cup of tea that I made 30 minutes before at the motel.   I knew this would warm me up over the next few hours.

No matter if it’s cold or hot outside I always start my morning off with tea.  During the Winter it’s a hot cup of Oolong.  During the Summer it’s a cold cup of Green Jasmine.   When I walk to work in the Winter I carry my tea in my hands just in case I need a quick drink to warm me up while waiting for the Walk sign.  It helps a lot!

Contigo_1

So with a Pumpkin bagel in one hand and Contigo®’s Travel Mug in another, I was ready to get dirty and work all day long.
Contigo_6

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