Surprise Tea-Time with Kusmi

This time we are introducing exclusive and high quality blends from Kusmi tea. They are made in France and they have many kinds of blends — hard to choose just few. Finally, I choose this two blends for special tea-time gatherings.

Green St Petersburg: is green china tea with scents of citrus fruits, red fruits, vanilla and caramel.

Spicy Chocolate: is black china tea with natural scents of chocolate and spices. Oh this is my favorite as a chocolate lover it’s addictive!

Tea is great for health and warms you up in a cold winter day without costing you much in calories. Tea is much better to drink than sugar loaded sodas. Your body will thank you for drinking real an quality tea.
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They both have a very fine unique taste, delicate and clear, which is just right. Kusmi tea comes in many sizes (they have tea bags also which makes it perfect to try them) for gift’s or just to give yourself a little luxury to enjoy.

Thai Massage Guide

20130130-135400.jpgAmong top 5 things we will miss from Thailand is the massages we had almost daily. We tried various types and places. Given how cheap it is compared to USA/Europe, it would be a shame to come here and not indulge fully. We have not encountered male massage therapist in this area, they are all female. Here is our take on what we have tried…

Beach Massage:
500 baht for 1hour massage for two people. This is the cheapest option, done by locals on roofed platforms. Outdoors by the beach; nice to hear the soothing ocean, but passerby traffic could be distracting. Also products they use are not the best, but still great technique and you leave refreshed and feeling better.

Silk Spa:
600 baht per person for 1hour body and half an hour head massage. Indoors, slightly upper scale than a complete dive. I had a near medical experience during my coconut head and body massage; think she almost cured my back problems. G’s shoulder and neck felt better than ever. J was regretful that she did not try Silk Spa. We just need to go again!

Sukko Spa:
4,800 baht for an hour and fifty minute package of body wrap, aromatherapy massage, and a facial. We think it is a great deal. Tried Aloe, Spirulina, and Coconut variety; all great. They had a buy 1 get 1 free — needless to say we have been great customers. J had an after sun package today; it was so good, she is still in trans — we like her even more like that. A Spa though pricier than the other options will guarantee higher quality and cleanliness, quiet contemplative atmosphere.

We feel lucky to have tried them all and can now testify to the medical and psychological benefits of Thai massage techniques. Our thighs also agree… Only problem is that our vacation is nearing the end and we are not sure how we will cope with not doing this almost every day.

Herbal Steam:
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Body scrubs: 20130130-164403.jpg

First Thai Massage

20130121-125453.jpgWe waited for our trip to Thailand to have an authentic Thai massage. The wait was well worth it… now we have a great baseline to judge any other Thai massage we get anywhere else in the world.

Day after our arrival we booked our Thai outdoor massages. Unlike other types of massages, Thai massage can be done with loose clothes on and they don’t use any oil or cremes. It is done with the fingers and palms of hand.

The outdoor shaded and tranquil massage platforms put you in immediate relaxation mode. Here is our individual takes on the first time experience:

By B:
The medium pressure I requested was what I get normally when I ask for full pressure. Loved it and my limbs needed all the stretching. I am also sensitive to the energy of the practitioner, she was not transferring any of her energy to me! Amazing… this in turn led to my energy to be the one to get balanced, distributed. This is a remarkable thing to happen and you will know it only when it happens to you. I was thankful! and a few inches taller when I got off the bed (always a good thing).

By G:
It is a must have, I highly recommend it. Certain massage points had a positive effect on my internal organs and felt more regulated. The medium pressure was too hard for me, but got used to it. When done, I was transported; got in full vacation mode!

Shrimp a la Vicky style

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So I just had the last Christmas party of 2012. Yes, this year my dance group decided to have our annual party after the holidays.

We do a cozy potluck style party every year. This year I had a hard time deciding what to cook; but my dance teacher Vicky came to rescue. She is a Greek firecracker, dance teacher, life guru, animal lover, loyal friend, great cook, composer, … and I love her. She gave me this recipe and everyone loved it tonight. Epharisto Vickymu!!

Here is the recipe:

  • 2 pounds of deveined organic shrimp
  • 2 large onions
  • 4 roma tomatoes
  • handful of sundried tomatoes (this is my improv, you don’t have to use it if you don’t like sundried stuff)
  • organic feta (crumble it by hand)
  • salt, oregano, black pepper (in quantities you like)
  • olive oil (I use a lot, use as little as you like)
  • Coarsely chop the onions and tomatoes. In a pan pour olive oil and lightly sauté the onion, then add the sundried tomatoes – stir for a minute, then add the fresh tomatoes. Sauté for 2-3 minutes. In the meantime heat the oven to 375 degrees.

    Wash the shrimp in cold water and let it drain. Prepare a large oven dish/pan – I used a rectangular pyrex dish. Pour the sautéed mix at the bottom, then add the shrimp and seasoning.
    20130106-231452.jpgMix it all and add half a cup of water. Drizzle with some olive oil. Put the dish in the oven and bake for 5 minutes (watch carefully, don’t overcook the shrimp).
    20130106-232619.jpgTake the shrimp out of the oven and cover the top with crumbled feta. Use as much as you like, I prefer a light coverage. Turn on the broiler on high, put the dish back in the oven till you see feta melt and pieces are golden.
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    This dish is a great appetizer as well as a hefty side dish. If you are a seafood lover you will enjoy this super easy to make healthy dish. Bon Appetit !!

    Look 10 years younger: no miracles just Tanaka!

    Worried about looking one year older every passing year… sounds familiar to me. Don’t expect to look younger by worrying about your lines. I recently discovered something so neat and healthy that I wanted to share it with you too. It is called Tanaka face massage (this link goes to the video showing how it is done). It’s very healthy way to keep your skin younger without any surgery and It’s free and just 3 min. a day. It is working for me – amazed since so many of these types of things are gimmicks – so I recommended it to my sisters and now to you. Hope you try it and enjoy looking younger every day.

    Tip: If you have an arched nose already you can skip the massage for nose and please make sure that you use enough pressure and your hands at the right directions otherwise it won’t work.

    As it is with everything – IF you take care of your skin and health, it will give back to you. This law of attention and energy applies to many things in our lives. Remember that.

    Holiday Surprises – make some real memories!

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    This holiday season make some real time with people you really care about. That is the best gift you can give yourself. I baked the above dessert with my dear friend Melanie – and even took this picture together. We surprised ourselves at what a good time we had. Truly being in each other’s presence, baking and laughing, sharing stories from 2012. So stop running around from store to store to buy more stuff that probably you or others don’t need. Spend that time to connect with people in your life – and I don’t mean messaging them on facebook. I chose to bake since its an activity we both love – choose your own activity, whatever that is. What we all really need is to make real memories that nourish our inner being.

    So go ahead give yourself a gift of time and a real memory this holiday!

    (Recipe coming soon – Graham Cracker Almond Coconut Delight)

    Feed your Brain & Soul

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    Surprise yourself by doing something you have never done – your brain and soul will thank you for it. Recently I did that when I took up pottery. This is by no means my best work but certainly has made me smile when I look at it. I had never done pottery before – my mind and imagination immediately grabbed onto it. Not a Deepak Chopra follower but I would like to think this is part of building a ‘super brain’ he keeps yammering about.

    Btw… made Christmas gifts for friends with pottery. Next best thing to giving people your true self and time. So go ahead — try something you have never done!