Filling My Soul: the ocean, family, & chai tea

While you are reading this I am most likely drinking chai on my father’s deck overlooking the Pacific Ocean. (Ok. Lets be totally honest, I could also be drinking one of my dad’s killer margaritas or a big glass of red.) My family and I are on a must needed R&R trip to visit my dad in Southern California. My soul needs it. Really.

I digress.

When my father returned from a sabbatical to India in late nineties, he was pretty keen on chai tea. During a winter visit with him I recall a few nights huddled around his fireplace with a hot cup of chai. After this visit, chai became relegated to occasions where I met up with girlfriends at coffee shops and dessert houses. That changed recently when I came across a recipe for Spiced Chai Tea Concentrate mix on the blog A Wooden Nest. It quickly became a soulful go-to. And this year became my homemade holiday gift for friends and family given in Ball canning jars alongside some homemade granola.

photograph: Elise’s Kitchen

So…filling my soul right now is hanging with my family near the ocean drinking warm chai. Mmmm.

How about you? What is filling your soul right now? What is filling your belly?



Last year, I retreated from connection. I yearned for it, but found it hard to open myself up more than what I needed to to get by. So when I received an email invitation this January from someone I had met only once to have a tea date with other ladies I did not know at all, I quickly answered “Yes”.

Yes please to meeting new people. Yes to stepping outside my circle (not a box). Yes to possibility. Yes to being open. Yes to almost bailing because you were comfy at home but forcing yourself into the shower so you wouldn’t have anymore excuses.

The host, Aimee, invited a handful of food making / photographing / loving women to her home last Sunday for tea and snacks. After a round of introductions, Aimee gave a genuine and warm welcome to everyone imparting that this tea was the result of wanting to break down those territorial walls bloggers & business women put up, in hopes of building friendships and community. And so we toasted to that, and then in true foodie form, spent 10 minutes photographing the food before we got down to some serious savouring.

Let’s just take a moment and salivate over the clotted cream, lemon curd, scones (and the not photographed) pear, plum & ginger jam. {Seriously. I get chills just remembering it.}

So I invite you to join me in saying Yes even when we are timid, Yes to feeding ourselves with new experiences, new connections and mouthwatering food, Yes to taking a leap and hoping in your car opening yourself up to possibility and adventure.

Say Yes to being open to YES.

Here is the beautiful, amazingness of Yes: if you genuinely show up and if it doesn’t feel right to you, you can turn around and say No. No. Thank You.