“I’m 3” – Blogiversary celebrations with a giveaway

secret to a happy life tea in one hand books in another

Three years ago today I started my blog, I’ve shared my love of reading, crafting, food and tea.  Along the way I’ve tried to celebrate the joys of shopping with independent businesses and reading books by indie authors.

Since 22nd May 2016 to 22nd May 2017 I have read 116 books.  I always struggle choosing which are my favourite books but I have narrowed it down to five that I particularly enjoyed during this 12 month period:

  • Valley of the Dolls by Jacqueline Susann – This classic novel celebrated it’s 50th anniversary last summer and it was my first introduction to this read.  “Just as the young stars were drawn to drink and drugs I felt myself as a reader ‘drugged’ by the words on the pages. I couldn’t get enough. I was eager to know what happened next. On the one hand Valley of the Dolls was shocking, tragic and heart breaking BUT on the other it was also glamorous, sexy and very indulgent!”
  • Valentina by S.E. Lynes – “The story takes lots of twists and turns that keep you gripped and guessing to the end.  To read a book in a genre I don’t normally read and to be gripped by the complexities of the characters and storyline is the sign of a great author.  A very promising start for a debut author’s read.  I’m so pleased I stepped out of my comfort zone.”
  • The Wedding Girls by Kate Thompson – “A fabulous story that had me gripped.  I loved how the author, Kate Thompson, incorporated in her story a pivotal moment in East End history.  Fictional books really do bring history to life.  This was a story full of solidarity.  A story that doesn’t hide the ugliness of life.  A story bringing much hope.  A story to warm your heart.  Just brilliant.”
  • The Shogun’s Queen by Lesley Downer – “This was such an epic story that sent my emotions soaring high and dramatically cascading low.  I was enchanted by the author Lesley Downer’s beautiful words describing a colourful world.  I felt instantly transported to a land far, far away to a time were legends and rituals were significant and paramount.  To a time when the unknown were feared.  A time when sacrifices had to be made  for the sake of the country’s survival.”
  • Devastation Road by Jason Hewitt – “This was a very poignant, engaging read that throws no punches and shows the raw side of people trying to survive a war that has shaken the world to it’s core.  Jason Hewitt manages to open your eyes and feel the hidden sights and sounds in a landscape torn apart.  Such a horrific time for all but humanity remained and the tender, heartrending moments felt more intense.  This is a story I won’t forget in a long time.”
  • A Warriner to Protect Her by Virginia Heath – “A gorgeous regency romance with swoon worthy male characters, all four brothers would set your heart a flutter.  A daring, dramatic, historical romance that is deliciously moreish.”

What is interesting about my five picks above is that they are by authors I haven’t read before or I have recently discovered, so go on try a new author today!

To celebrate my blogiversary I’ve purchased a few items from some independent businesses I’ve met along the way (a book buddy from Melvis Makes, a book mark from Bookbandz and some Yorkshire and Peak District inspired loose leaf tea from Birdhouse Tea Company).  To enter my giveaway please comment below and let me know which book has stood out for you this year.  (Please leave your twitter name in brackets after your comment so I can identify and contact you more easily).  I will pick a winner via randomizer Friday evening.  Unfortunately, the giveaway is UK only.

giveaway 3rd blogiversary

Lastly, I’d like to thank the blogging and book community for all the support you continue to give voluntarily, keeping the love of reading alive 🙂

 

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Chai Kai Tea Company review

Chai-Kai-Logo

I was first introduced to Chai Kai Tea Company via the TeaTourist subscription box back in March and loved their sample of Turmeric Root Chai and it got me intrigued to find out more about the company.

Chai Kai first started out as a Tea House in Cambridgeshire by two brothers, the pairing up of looseleaf tea and Indian inspired street food was a perfect partnership.  The Chai Kai tea family expanded with a Mrs Chai Kai and a little Chai Kai.  The Tea House closed down and after a year long break the company has been relaunch with gusto.  The company now sell their quality loose leaf teas online.  Below is a quote from their website regarding their Chai Kai Tea Loose Leaf collection.

We are immensely proud of our premium quality loose leaf tea collection. I would say what makes our tea so popular with our customers is the care and inspiration behind our flavours.  Each blend has been carefully crafted, inspired by the colours and culture of South Asia that delivers delicate teas full of taste and quality.

All the loose leaf teas are hand picked from the finest tea gardens around the world, from the lush valleys of the Himalayas to the tea farms of South Africa.  The teas and ingredients are also ethically sourced and then hand blended right here in the UK.

Chai Kai currently has 16 blends of black, green and herbal teas available to purchase on their website.  They also offer a subscription service with two options; a Monthly Loose Leaf Tea Subscription which includes 4 x 20g of tea delivered to your door as a one off offer or as a regular subscription; the other option available (which is very tempting) is a Tea and Nankhatai Subscription which includes one pack of tea and handmade indian shortbread delivered to your door as a buy it now or regular subscription.  Both sound ideal tea lover gift ideas.

To purchase online teas, subscriptions and teaware please visit Chai Kai here:

https://www.chaikaitea.com/

Following two orders from the company I am now a fan of their tea.  I’ve had the pleasure to taste four of their blends.

Apple and Cinnamon Green Teaapple and cinammon tea

Purchase link:  https://www.chaikaitea.com/product/apple-and-cinnamon/

This is a wonderfully aromatic green tea that’s been blended with cinnamon, apple pieces and natural flavouring.  It’s a very comforting cuppa that takes you back to days of homemade apple pies and crumbles.  It’s a delicious, warming cuppa that has just the right amount of sweetness, a calorie-free cuppa.

chai kai darjeelingBombay Breakfast black tea

Purchase link:  https://www.chaikaitea.com/product/bombay-breakfast/

The aroma of the dried leaves is quite intoxicating, there’s a slight musky floral aroma. Once steeped the colour is a rich, dark amber. The taste is like an Earl Grey blended with a Darjeeling with an added oomph! Full flavoured and delicious and not just for breakfast!

darjeeling chai kai1st Flush Darjeeling

Purchase link:  https://www.chaikaitea.com/product/first-flush-darjeeling/

I’m loving Darjeeling tea more and more, it’s a lovely blend to drink in the afternoons with it’s gentle taste.  This blend by Chai Kai is full flavoured but still compliments the wonderful mellow tones of this tea.

chai kai earl greyEarl Grey

Purchase link:  https://www.chaikaitea.com/product/earl-grey/

This was quite an unusual Earl Grey but it still had a wonderful aroma from the bergamot but upon tasting there was something more, I can’t quite figure out what but the brew was quite warming and comforting and once drunk I proceeded to make another cupful! A gorgeous warming Earl Grey with Jasmine blossom and Safflower petals.

enamelware

The company also offer a range of teaware and I’m particularly loving their enamelware.

Purchase links:  https://www.chaikaitea.com/product/hand-painted-mug/

https://www.chaikaitea.com/product/tea-caddy-small/

Giving Back – MakeLunch

Chai Kai Tea are one of the official partners in 2017 for the MakeLunch charity.  MakeLunch is a charity that tackles child poverty in the UK building a network of churches and community groups who work together to fill the holiday hunger gap.  For every tea sold in 2017 Chai Kai will make a donation towards the MakeLunch charity.  To find out more about MakeLunch please visit www.makelunch.org.uk

To connect with Chai Kai Tea Co online please visit the following links:

Website:  http://www.chaikaitea.com/

Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/chaikaitea/

Twitter:  http://www.twitter.com/chaikaiteaco

Instagram:  http://www.instagram.com/chaikaitea/