Monday, June 30, 2014

Thursday, June 12, 2014

BIY: Homemade Chai Latte (No Foam)

I'm not much of a coffee drinker, but I'm a huge fan of tea.  My favorites are Chai and the Greys (Lady Grey, Earl Grey, Rose Grey).  My absolute fav is mixing multiple teas together - White Chai + Maharaja or Roobios Chai is THE best blend.

Anyway, now that you know how much of a tea fanatic freak obsessed I am... here is my favorite recipe for homemade Chai lattes - using a Keurig!

Chai Latte (No Foam; Homemade)
Image Source
Keurig (coffee pot or tea kettle works too)
Travel mug with tight fitting lid OR Mug and tin foil
Black Chai (I'm in love with the Private Selection Black Chai at Kroger, plus it's only $2 for 16!)
1-3 Tbsp. Sugar (I prefer raw cane sugar or regular white sugar)
2-4 oz. Milk (I use 2% for the creamy taste)
1/2 tsp. Cake Spice or Pumpkin Spice or Cinnamon
Whipped Cream

1. Brew a small cup of hot water (6 oz).
2. Add one bag of the Chai, add in desired amount of sugar (I add 1 Tbsp) and 1/2 tsp of spice.
3. Steep tea for 5 minutes in mug with lid on tight or tin foil over the cup to help keep extra hot.
4. While steeping tea, put 2-4 oz. of milk in a microwave safe cup.
5. With two minutes left in steep time - Microwave milk on medium heat until small bubbles form on top/around edges. I usually go 45 seconds for 4 oz. 30 seconds for 2 oz.
6. Once 5 minutes is passed, add hot milk to tea. Stir well!
7. Allow to cool slightly, top with whipped cream and cinnamon, then enjoy!

I've never liked foam on my latte, but if you do you can create foam on the stove by whipping the milk while it heats with a whisk.  It won't quite be the same, but close! :)

Happy Chai Day!

Thursday, June 5, 2014

{Review Day, Giveaway & Blog Tour} The Road to Nyn

It's Review Day!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Title: The Road to Nyn
Author: Brian G. Michaud
My Rating: 5 Stars

Book Blurb:
In a land where magic is outlawed, a young boy is living a double life. Although Kay is training to be a knight, he has been secretly studying the forbidden ways of magic with Alamin, a powerful but eccentric wizard.

After passing of the Trial of the Rings and being raised to squirehood, Kay has decided to tell Alamin that he is going to leave his magical studies behind. And why not? Kay hasn’t ever cast a spell without something going seriously wrong–like the random appearance of frogs or hungry wolves–besides, Kay could be banished from the kingdom just for associating with Alamin.

Kay’s plans are quickly obliterated when a horde of goblins attacks his village and captures his family and friends. Now, with his home lying in ruins, everything has changed. Along with Alamin and Felix, a self-serving kleptomaniac sprite, Kay embarks on an adventure that takes him across the Kingdom of Gaspar and into the dark and treacherous caves of the Goblin Realm. What Kay doesn’t realize is that his journey is leading him on a collision course with the Lord of Nyn – a being so powerful that none dare face him...not even Alamin himself!

About the Author:
Brian G. Michaud lives in a small town in Massachusetts with his wife, Kim. When he is not reading or writing books, he can be found teaching music at a local elementary school or rocking out on guitar with the band, Too Loud.

My Review:
Young Kay has quite the decision to make - will he choose to stay a squire and live a life that his whole village is counting on, follow his heart and become a man of magic just like Alamin, OR will he be able to have both?
This is enchanting tale is a must read!  I absolutely loved every second of it.  As a child, my favorite books were those of King Arthur, Merlin, the Knights of the Round Table, and the Three Musketeers.  I still love these stories of adventure, magic and heroics.  This one is no different than all the greats.  The Road to Nyn captured my attention from the first page, and kept it until the very end.  The characters were flawless - each one filling their role perfectly, and developing at a great speed.  The story itself was simply astounding!!  It was funny, serious, witty, chocked full of adventures and magic, plus so much more.

The Road to Nyn instantly transports you to another era and world - one I would have loved to live in.  I thoroughly enjoyed feeling this story unfold - not just reading it, but truly feeling like I was there.  This is the first book since The Angel Chronicles by Amy Lignor that has made me this excited.  I need more!!

Please, pick up this amazing novel on Amazon.  Read it once, then read it again and again and maybe even a fourth time... You will NOT regret it!

Giveaway Time!!!!!

Enter below to win a $25 Amazon Gift Card! If you win, use the gift card to get this book for everyone you know!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

What are you still doing here?  GO GET THIS BOOK!  Happy Review Day!

Monday, June 2, 2014

DIY: Blackened Key Pendant

Yes. More DIY! You can thank Pinterest. heh.

So, this time I went through all of my jewelry.  I found every single earring, broken gem, tarnished pendants, etc. that I had and found what I wanted to refurbish - my very first key pendant.  I LOVE keys, especially as a necklace.  I have oodles of them, but want more!  This super simple project gave me a brand-new key to show off. yay!

I forgot to take before pictures, but this is roughly what it looked like.  It was quite tarnished from over-wearing a very inexpensive pendant.
Photo on Etsy
I took some fine sandpaper I had from my old pastillage work (sugar) and roughed up the key a bit more.  I tried to take off any remaining silver paint and make the surface ready for paint.  I then took some black acrylic paint (from my sugar work) and added two coats of the paint, letting it dry between coats and making sure I got in between all the swirlies.

I let it sit overnight just to ensure the paint was completely dry.  In the morning, I painted the key with my gel-finish top coat nail polish (from Forever 21, it was only $2!). And voila!  My "blackened" key is all done!

Looks so much better in person. This pic is miserable!
 I love the final product.  I was going to add some gems, and still might later, but I loved the final look as is.  Colored keys are so unique and look lovely!  This makes my second colored key - the other being a Kingdom Hearts key with a red top.  I definitely think more colored keys are in my future. Maybe I'll turn some modern keys into something more ornate... hmm...

Happy DIY week!