Gotcha Matcha!

If you’re not familiar with matcha, it may sound like a reductive form of tea, a powder? It’s not the instant coffee version of tea. It’s quite the opposite actually. Matcha is one of the highest forms of tea enjoyed for centuries in Japan. The powder is actually ground tea leaves. A full bodied experience, that offers so many benefits you’d hardly believe it.

6 times more antioxidants than GOJI BERRY. 10 times more antioxidants than GREEN TEA. 17 times more antioxidants than BLUEBERRIES. 80 times more antioxidants than SPINACH.

The antioxidants aren’t the only benefits matcha tea provides. It offers sustained energy levels throughout the day, providing a caffeine arch rather than a spike (which coffee does). This is great for the business person, student, anyone on the go. Not only that, but it also has a positive affect on clarity and calmness (monks have used it to achieve higher levels of meditation for centuries). Matcha also acts as a metabolism stimulant. It’s green tea after all, and you’re ingesting full leaves, in powdered form. There have also been studies linking matcha to greater memory recall! (Source:

While all this is great and dandy, it’s also extremely versatile. You don’t have to just drink it.

First, you can use it for a face mask. This is the easiest to delve into first, because you literally mix some of the powder with water, coconut oil (for moisturizing) and that’s it. Nothing to it. The consistency will slightly remind you of goose droppings. That’s how you know you’ve done it right. I’m sorry, that’s the best visual I could give, but it’s what I’ve got.

I personally have done this many times, and can tell you it is extremely refreshing. However, watch the hair line, because you will struggle to get that out, and you might be questioned about what you’re doing outside of work. That or mistaken for Shrek. But the rest of your face will be GLOWING!

My matcha face mask selfie. Be kind LOL.

When making the mask, you can either make it in a small dish, or your hand. Depends on how quick you want to be or how much of each ingredient you need. Only make how much you’re going to use, as this won’t keep in a container outside of the powdered form.

One way to help liquefy the coconut oil while you’re washing your face to prep for this glorious mask, is to place the dish you concocted the mask in a shallow bowl of warm water. This will warm the mask (liquefying the coconut oil) to help with mixing and will open pores when rubbed on.

I typically let it set and dry on my face for about half an hour and rinsing with warm water, moisturizing immediately after.

Now, to other things you can do with matcha that don’t involve goose poop references, selfies, or ogres.

Green Tea Lattes are one of my favorite orders at cafes. It’s matcha powder mixed with vanilla almond milk (or soy!) and that’s it. Delicious. Filling. And not terrible for you, plus the antioxidants make up for it, don’t they?

Green tea baking. Any recipe can be enhanced with matcha powder, and you’ll have green tea cookies, green tea ice cream, green tea frappes, green tea bread, you name it.


Now, to enjoy matcha the traditional way, you’ll need a few things.


Firstly, your matcha tea. Second, some measuring spoon, a ceramic mixing bowl, and a bamboo whisk. This is how matcha has been prepared for centuries, and you might as well not fix what’s not broke.

Start by boiling your water. Once that’s boiling, poor the boiling water into the EMPTY mixing bowl. Swirl it around a bit. Empty the bowl back out, this is to warm the bowl, and dry it with a clean towel.

Add your matcha powder to the warm, dry bowl, followed by a gentle pouring of the hot water. Grab the bamboo whisk, and whip it til frothy. Now, enjoy slowly and reap the benefits of this tea.

Have you ever had matcha tea before? Or green tea baked goods? Let us know in the comments below! 😀





Mother’s Day 2016 Gift Guide

Mother’s Day is May 8th this year, and that will be here before you know it. So we compiled a pretty comprehensive list, for many budgets and styles. Whether it’s for new or seasoned moms, we’ve got you covered. Your mother is one of the most important people in your life, and has done so much for you. Let’s reciprocate the love. Husbands, this is another great opportunity to treat the mother of your children!

LAFCO Duchess Peony Candle
LAFCO Duchess Peony Candle
  • LAFCO Duchess Peony – Sweet, clean, Duchess Peony! (Powder Room) by LAFCO. She’s sweet and graceful like a duchess would be. I just wouldn’t want to make her mad. Honestly, anything from our astounding LAFCO collection will do for mom. However, if you want to treat her like the nobility she is, Duchess Peony is the route to take! With 100 hours of clean burn time and opulent home fragrance she’ll also have a reusable (and drinkable!) hand blown glass container, this is the gift that just keeps on giving. Margaritas anyone? Hopefully she’ll invite you over for some! Also available in bar soap.

  • Flowers – Endless options, and any budget. Plus, there’s science behind fresh flowers. (The Mental Health Benefits of Flowers) They elevate the mood instantly and have a prolonged impact!
  • Gourmet Coffee – Little Coyote Coffee is one of those things we just happened upon. And we’re so thankful we did. I cannot get enough of this Caramel Creme! Roasted in small batches and to order, these bags of fresh roasted coffee are insanely smooth. I don’t even need creamer, which is saying something.
  • Plants – Similar to how flowers have a positive impact on mood and mental health, so do plants! Now is the time to plant! Get those gardens, pots, and patios summer ready!
  • Spring Silks – Sprigs, swags, wreaths, and more! Select one of our in-house designed arrangements or place an order! Custom orders, and quality silks, she’ll have a one of a kind piece that’ll last for years.
  • Fashion Accessories – Necklaces, bracelets, earrings, scarves, purses, etc. If she’s a fashionista, we’ve got something she’ll love to add to her collection.
  • Thymes Mandarin Coriander Spring Cleaning Set – Better yet, clean for her with her new spring cleaning set! She’ll feel spoiled and adored, just like a mother should be. I mean, she was changing your diapers and taking you to your piano lessons (she may have made you take them, but it comes from a good place!) so this is the least you could do in return. Available in: 3-Wick Candle with Bird Lid, Hand Wash, Hand Cream, Dishwashing Liquid, All-Purpose Cleaner, Home Fragrance Mist.
Large selection of teas, accessories, and mugs!
Large selection of teas, accessories, and mugs!
  • Gourmet Tea – You need to be drinking tea. I don’t care what kind. Green tea, herbal tea, black tea, blended tea, whatever you prefer! It’s so incredibly good for you, and they keep finding more and more benefits to enjoy a cup of tea. We’ve got some of the best tea that has ever passed my lips, and I cannot get enough. Plus, we’ve got the right accessories to help you make the perfect cup!
  • Decadent Truffles – Handmade and richer than a Kardashian, these truffles are D-LISH. Raspberry is always a popular choice, with a raspberry purree center, dipped in white chocolate, then milk chocolate, and drizzled with black chocolate. You can’t go wrong. Available in current selections of Raspberry, Gimme S’more, Sweetie Pie, Over the Top, Macadamia, and Funfetti.
  • Mosaic Frame – Where else is she going to put that picture of you from prom way back when?

Roasted Espresso Candles and Melt

  • Swan Creek Roasted Espresso Candle – This is perfect for the mom who doesn’t drink coffee but loves the scent of it. As far as I have seen, everyone loves the scent of coffee. And Swan Creek has captured it perfectly. With 100% American soy wax, you’re going to get a clean burning candle that also supports American farmers. What’s not to love? Available in 24 oz Jar, 12 oz Jar, and melts. Many other fragrances available.

Goldleaf Gardenia

  • Thyme’s Goldleaf Gardenia – “This smells pretty” a husband told his wife after he washed his hands with Goldleaf Gardenia hand wash. I was cracking up. Because it was a few words, but really…it smells pretty. That’s the easiest and best way to describe it. Available in: Hand Wash, Hand Lotion, Hand Cream, Petite Eau de Parfum, Bar Soap, and Poured Candle.

Apothecary Vials

  • Apothecary Vials – For the Fixer Upper fan, just don’t tell her the second season is on Netflix now, or she’ll never leave the house. Available in an assortment of colors, shapes, and sizes. Pink shown.
  • Home Decor – We like to go for the timeless look around here, with a flair for the drama. Don’t get me wrong, we love trends. However, we have many different pieces that can accent, compliment, or completely change the look you’re going for. With over 25 years of home decor experience, it’s all fun and games until…no wait, it’s still all fun and games. Our passion!

We hope this was helpful in your search for the right thing for mom. Stop in or call, and we’re always here to help! Plus, every time she sees or uses the gift, she’ll think of you! Brownie points.

As always, we offer complimentary gift bagging and wrapping. 😉

How to Freshen Up Your Home! The Right Way.

This should really be titled “How to Freshen up your Home without harsh chemicals

Introducing from our Thymes Collection 

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Thyme’s perfectly captures the fragrance as:

“Fresh. Clean. Green.”

“Lively mandarin oil. Robust coriander. Vibrant grapefruit. Calming lemon balm. Warm sweet marjoram. Fragrant rosemary leaf. Cozy Irish moss. Sacred Atlas cedar wood. Verdant green ivy.”

This fragrance has the cleanliness we all long for in the spring, with notes that still invite you to the space you’re creating. Which product should I feature first? I suppose the one that surprised me the most. Being as we’ve carried Thymes for some time now, I was amazed to know that a dishwashing liquid is available.

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So long, dishpan hands! Swish dishes clean with biodegradable, naturally derived cleaning agents brightened with delectably distinctive scent. Fortified with comfrey extract to soothe and lemon balm extract to help tone.

Sometimes I struggle washing dishes by hand, due to eczema, however this was gentle enough that I didn’t have to worry about it. And I don’t even want to admit how many dishes had piled up when I ended up using my Mandarin Coriander Dishwashing Liquid for the first time. Let’s just say that I washed enough dishes to feed a big 10 school…okay, maybe not that many. But you get the point.

I was pleasantly surprised by the aroma that filled the air while I was doing the dishes I must admit. It’s not my favorite chore (hello vacuuming!) but this made it much easier, because it transported me to a warm sunny day with a light breeze on a patio with a book and a cup of tea. Funny what a fragrance can do, isn’t it?!

Now, onto the next featured product in this line.

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Puts a fragrant finishing touch of clean on counter tops and other non-glass surfaces. Biodegradable cleansing agents and essential oils of orange and lemon gently clean while a light lingering halo freshens the air.

The All-Purpose Cleaner. Having used this before with the Frasier Fir collection (I’m ordering for Christmas already-I know. It’s nuts!) I had some high expectations. Because when I first used the All-Purpose Cleaner in Frasier Fir, I was flabbergasted at how great my office smelled. And that was when I was first moving into it and didn’t even have a candle in there yet. So I know it was all the cleaner. Obviously, this cleaner lived up to my expectations, and I don’t know if it’s just cause I’m excited for sunshine and blue skies, but this exceeded them.

Welcome sunny and warmer days with a fresh atmosphere and fragrance without harsh chemicals! So I have to ask…

What about spring/summer do you look most forward to? Let us know in the comments section below! One of you will be selected 2 days after this post as a winner for a fresh flower arrangement! 😉

Special thank you to Village Home Stores for allowing us to utilize one of their many beautiful kitchen set-ups for photos!

  • Thymes Mandarin Coriander
    • Dishwashing Liquid – $9
    • All-Purpose Cleaner – $9
    • Hand Wash – $14
    • Hand Cream – $17
    • Home Fragrance Mist – $18
    • 3-Wick Poured Candle with Bird Lid – $34


The Return of The Gallery Wall

If you haven’t noticed this trend creeping up on us for the past few years, you might not be following the blogs, social media accounts, and taste makers I have been. And that’s fine. To each their own. Also, I’ll admit I live and breath this stuff, so it’s pretty much what I do for work, and leisure time. Breakfast just wouldn’t be the same without that twitter feed full of inspiration. Anyway, as if the title of this didn’t already let you know what I’m talking about, the gallery wall is back and with a vengeance. Seriously, it’s snatching weaves, wiping eyebrows off, and taking names. But it’s not the gallery wall you remember it being.

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This new modern take on the gallery wall is inspired by meme culture and social media. It’s not your family’s glamour shots in the stair way, hello 80’s?! AquaNet called…they want their hair back. Actually, I’m also going to give some credit to the Harry Potter movies. Those walls took the term gallery wall to a completely different level, that I swear is almost overwhelming. Almost.

Gallery walls require a really intrinsic sense of self. You have to know who you are and what you like to execute these, and that in and of itself is a work of art. Gather images that speak to you, or that make you smile. It doesn’t have to be serious! Seriously, memes are perfectly acceptable in this kind of style. Superheros, llama weddings, SpongeBob SquarePants characters, who cares! It’s up to you! These are meant to be personal, fun, and beautiful all at once. Play with spacing, and arranging. But first, PLAN. IT. OUT!

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Start on the floor. Plan it out. Visually. Don’t go hammer crazy until you’re sold on your gallery wall. While you can always change it, this helps ensure your decision as well as allow for more arranging of different ideas. Are you going to try and communicate a shape with all of the pictures? Or are you going for a more free-flowing gallery wall? Home decor should be fun, so this is when the playing around really takes off!

These are great for children’s rooms, and give you a great creative outlet!

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Have you noticed more gallery walls in your friends or relatives homes? Or do you have one yourself? We’d love to know what you think about gallery walls in the comments below! 😀 In fact, I’ll be giving a flower arrangement away to a random winner on Friday! To enter, just comment below! ❤

All photos in this post are used with permission from Instagram user @idresstoimpress


RE:claimed by Nature

There is something so inspiring about the resilience that can be found in nature. In something so simple as green, living, organic things coming to life in a dark, cold, metal fire pit. It’s as if nature is taking it back. You can find this in abandoned parking lots, driveways, rail roads. Even ghost towns. I’ve always loved seeing it, and I could never really place my finger on why. Until now.

Nature is defying our common misconceptions of what and where something should grow. These plants are growing, because that’s what they do. They’re not comparing themselves to the other plants, or trying to be something it’s not. It’s just doing what it does, with what it has. It may not have all the resources the other plants in the fertilized pots have, but they’re growing anyways. Just like we may not have resources others have, we should grow and do anyways.