Monday, July 25, 2011

Roses

These are some of the last roses blooming in our backyard. I wanted to capture them before they go and share a couple of pics. This year the roses were more plentiful than I've ever seen them. I hope that everyone has a great week! :-)



Thursday, July 21, 2011

The End of an Era

Today is a bittersweet day. The Space Shuttle Atlantis came home for the last time. Bravo to everyone at NASA.

Welcome Home Space Shuttle Atlantis!!!


Photo credit(above):Joe Raedle/Getty Images


Photo credit(above): Terry Renna/Associated Press

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Choi Time Tea Review

Through blogging, I’ve had the pleasure to try different things and then share my thoughts with you here. I was very pleased when the Choi Time tea company sent me some of their superior Chinese teas to try. These teas have been called “the Dom Perignon of the tea world” by the Sunday Times Style Magazine. They definitely are elegant teas and are unlike any that I’ve ever tasted before.




The Choi Time tea company is a family run business and they pride themselves on producing quality teas. Their tea is ethically sourced from the rich tea growing provinces of Hangzhou and Fujian in China. They have won several accolades at the Great Taste Awards from the Guild of Fine Food.

When the package arrived I was excited to try something totally new to me. I love tea...mostly regular herbal and green teas. And hey, I’m from the southern United States, so you know I love iced tea for sure ;-) But if I’m drinking hot teas, the herbals are my favorite. However, I’m always open to trying new things and especially new exotic tastes from other places in the world.



I was sent four varieties to try: Thousand Year Red, Damask Rose, Exotic Mixed Flowers, and Jasmine Pearls. The Thousand Year Red is hand-rolled and is said to aid digestion. Red is considered the luckiest color in China so I made sure that I drank every drop ;-) The Damask Rose is a loose herbal tea that comes in the form of miniature rose buds. It is very light and fragrant and it may help in the relief of anxiety according to their literature. The Exotic Mixed Flowers tea is made of white needle green tea that has been scented with jasmine blossoms and then woven with an exotic flower. And finally, the Jasmine Pearls tea is a very cleansing tea that has anti-oxidant properties. It is said to aid digestion and strengthen the immune system according to the Choi Time tea company. I can’t vouch for the health claims, but it’s interesting to have this background information. The Jasmine Pearls variety has won three gold stars at the Great Taste Awards in both 2007 and 2008.




As for my take on these teas, I’d say that they were all interesting to try. I do actually prefer the Damask Rose and the Thousand Year Red the most. Both of these varieties were light and very clean tasting without any bad aftertaste. The other two were fine, and didn’t have bad aftertastes either, but I guess that they just didn’t suit my palate. I didn't find them to be as light as the other two. But that’s the beauty of having several varieties...there’s usually something for everyone.

One cool thing about these teas is that they are hand-woven into little bulbs and then slowly unfurl and blossom right in your teacup. They put on quite the elegant show! One other great thing about these teas is that the bulbs are good for quite a few additional servings. So they last a while.






Choi Time teas can be purchased in a variety of ways, including: premium glass canisters, traditional Chinese tea caddies, packet bags, and single serve pouches.

Choi Time has graciously offered a 10% discount to all of you so that you can give the tea a try. All that you have to do is enter the code yellowhouse to use this offer. I hope you enjoy giving it a try! :-)

*Note: I received this tea free of charge and was given no financial reward for writing this review. The opinion given here is my own.

French Summer Fun


 



I’ve just found out about a fun, new service called Francophonik. It’s a place to discover new French music, download music, and win tickets for gigs and festivals. On their Facebook page you can share new French music discoveries with others.



Since I’ve been living here in England, I’ve been trying to learn a bit more about continental Europe, so discovering Francophonik has been a fun way to get my feet wet. This is a great place to learn about all of the fun, trendy, and quirky things going on in France. I love it!



  



Currently, they’re holding a competition in conjunction with travel company Eurolines, which offers the chance for tickets to the Rock en Seine Festival. The festival is held about 10 kilometers (approximately 6 miles) from Paris and runs from Friday, August 26th to Sunday, August 28th.  They’re going to be featuring some great acts at the festival, such as: the Foo Fighters, Arctic Monkeys, Tinie Tempah, and many, many more. This sounds like a fun line-up and I’d love to be there. I’m a fan of most music in general, so I’d like to experience as many groups as I can. Seeing the Foo Fighters would be fun though since I’ve been a fan of some of their music in the past.



 



If you’re in the UK, all you have to do to enter is visit the Francophonik  Facebook page, like it, and then apply for tickets by ticking a box there. It’s quick and easy! After ticking the box for the festival, click on the ‘enter selected competitions’ button to be in with a chance to win some tickets. I think that this is a great way to experience the festival and soak up a bit of French culture.



The Rock en Seine Festival started in 2003 and has grown in stature over the years. It has increasingly attracted many top acts and it is a well-loved part of the summer music festival scene.



 



I hope that you all will go by the Francophonik Facebook page and check everything out! 



 



 



 



 



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Monday, July 18, 2011

A Final to Remember

I just wanted to offer up a big congratulations to Japan for their win in the Women's World Cup yesterday! It was truly an amazing, nail-biting game and I just applaud everyone's athleticism on both the Japan and USA teams!

I watched the whole thing whilst checking Twitter every so often and it was so fun to feel that collective experience with everybody. I was cheering my loudest for the USA team of course :) I'll tell you one thing I loved though...seeing tweets from a wide variety of people across gender and everything else who were cheering for our team. It was great to see women being great at something and having the respect of so many. I've talked about that collective experience thing before and I think that every once in a while it is fun to be together like that...even if it's through technology ;-) I guess that it resonated with me a bit extra because I'm so far away from home and through Facebook and Twitter it's like I was at home in a way...watching with my niece. I'll just say...it was cool to experience and Brit Boy had fun too!

The USA team didn't win, but I wasn't sad at the end because both teams had accomplished something important together...raising the profile of women in sports. Also, both teams showed that they were all amazing athletes. In the end, gender had nothing to do with it and I love that!

And I also wasn't sad because of one other thing, and I saw this over and over in other peoples' tweets. I'm so glad for Japan because this win is something that they can hold onto after all of the tragedy that they have had recently. I applaud the team because they never gave up in their quest to win. So my hat is off to them. Congratulations to Japan! :)

I thank both teams for giving us all a thriller of a final!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Get to Know Senit


I love great music and a great new pop song can always give me a lift. I’m very fond of singing along to music, even though my own singing is not a pretty sound to hear. However, I’ve just found out about someone who can sing beautifully.



  



 



Her name is Senit and she is a great singer of Eritrean origin, who was born in Bologna, Italy. She performed in the Eurovision Song Contest this year, where she represented San Marino. Now this busy artist is moving on to her next project. Senit has just released her new single “Through the Rain”, which is from her fourth album which is due to be released by the end of this year.



 



 



“Through the Rain” is a fun, upbeat song which showcases the true talent of this beautiful lady. Here’s a sample of the song for your listening and viewing pleasure.



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j2GSY6i9mCA 



As you can see and hear, she is an exciting performer who knows how to give the crowd a great show. Her stage presence was surely honed through her impressive list of musical theatre credits. Senit has performed in shows such as The Lion King, Fame, Hair, and Rent. Her dynamic performing style is evident in her role nowadays as an international pop star.



Senit has made a seamless transition from singing in Italian to singing in English. She has recently collaborated with some American record producers who have worked with the likes of Pink, Beyonce, and Christina Aguilera in the past. Senit is definitely an artist to get to know as her audience grows around the world.



So why not give yourself a treat and check out Senit ! “Through the Rain” is available for download at iTunes. You can also find out more about her here:  http://www.believedigital.it/artists/104974,senit.html or at her official website. You can also follow her on Facebook. And hey, why not stop back by here and let me know how you liked “Through the Rain” if you do purchase it. All of us new Senit fans can have a chat! 



 



 



Senit

music

iTunes

Through the rain







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Friday, July 08, 2011

Hyde Park Walk

Here are a few photos that I wanted to share. I took these during our trip to London recently, as we walked through Hyde Park on a sunny Sunday afternoon. It was a gorgeous day!



Thursday, July 07, 2011

Honda Campaign Revs Up


Living in Wiltshire and being a Swindon Town fan, I was intrigued when an email concerning a new campaign by Honda dropped into my inbox. Honda is one of the major employers in Swindon where they have a giant car production plant, and a previous advertising campaign even drew on their links with the town. As a result of these links, a large proportion of the cars seen around the Swindon area are Hondas of one type or another.



 





This new campaign draws on Honda’s existing sponsorship of Channel 4 documentaries. Apparently, this sponsorship will not only continue throughout 2011 but will also be enhanced with an online hub and a series of mini-documentaries. These documentaries, and the associated idents for the Channel 4 shows, will feature actual Honda owners and will tell the stories of how they use their vehicles in unique ways. For example, the first of these four documentaries will feature an alpaca breeder from neighbouring Oxfordshire who uses her Honda ATV to help tend the animals.



 



 





 





 





 





 





 



Together with their mini-documentary, each owner will feature in a range of idents which will carry a unique URL leading viewers to extra content. The online hub at www.honda.co.uk/stories will feature each documentary in full, as well as other films, articles and interesting stories. There’s also a “Take Part” section where other Honda owners can upload their own photographs and stories of how they use their own vehicles in unusual ways. The favourite story that is uploaded will be chosen to be turned into its own documentary and series of idents for TV. Visit http://bit.ly/lsTX1A (designboom) to find out more about the competition.



<center><div class="ebuzzing_box"><script type="text/javascript" src="http://ebuzzing.co.uk/player_blog/player.php?parametre=410311"></script><a href="http://ebuzzing.co.uk" class="wikio-widget-ebmini" >Viral video by ebuzzing</a><script type="text/javascript" src="http://ebuzzing.co.uk/player_blog/js/mini_share.php" charset="utf-8"></script></div></center>



 



Honda

W+K

Channel 4

documentaries







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Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Wimbledon Pics

Here are some of the pictures that I took when we went to Wimbledon as I promised. It was hard to decide what to post, but I hope that these give you all an idea of what it's like inside the grounds. It's a beautiful place and I highly recommend it if you get the chance to go sometime. This is one of those cases where the truth definitely lives up to the hype :)

I wrote a long piece about it when we went three years ago, so I won't repeat myself in this post. I figure that I'll just write this short bit and then just let you enjoy the pictures without a lot of words getting in the way :)

I will say that Brit Boy and I had an awesome time and it was REALLY hot that day, but I loved it! We have to relish those warm days here when we can get them ;-) The tennis itself was top notch and I just admire the athleticism of all of the players. We saw Serena Williams vs Marion Bartoli in the first match. I really enjoyed watching these two ladies play. Both women are excellent players. I was especially pleased on a personal level to see Serena play even though she didn't win. I saw her sister Venus play three years ago, so now I feel complete that I've seen both of them play. I just think that it is beyond incredible that there are two champion players like that in their family, not just one. What an incredible and inspirational story! Serena has had quite a health scare this past year, so good on her for competing the way she did! She will always be a winner to me! And congrats to Bartoli on the win.

In the second match we saw this year's mens' winner Novak Djokovic play against Michael Llodra. I didn't get any pics of this match because that was when we took a break, so we were in and out. The third match was between Roger Federer and Mikhail Youzhny. Federer won and it was a great match too. All three matches were fun to watch and I'll say it again...everyone showed how much of an incredible athlete they were. Watching everyone play just reminded me what dedication to something can really do. I applaud them all!

Well, I guess I wrote more than I intended, but oh well ;-) I got to share how much I loved it! Anyway, enjoy the pics! They're presented in a kind of collage style and kinda random, but I hope you enjoy them. Just click them to see a bigger one. Thanks as always for stopping by! :-)

Monday, July 04, 2011

Happy 4th!!!

Hello all! I wanted to take time to send out Happy 4th of July greetings to all of my family and friends back home and to all my fellow Americans! Brit Boy and I had our BBQ celebration and fun yesterday, since he had to go to work today and it isn't a holiday here for obvious reasons :)

So today it's just Trevor and me around the Yellow House and Trevor wanted his picture taken so here he is showing his patriotic spirit ;-) For those of you who are new here and don't know who Trevor is, check out these previous posts here and here.



Also, I've been a bit under the weather lately so I haven't had a chance to do a post with my Wimbledon pictures, but it's coming in the next couple of days. In the meantime, check out Brit Boy's post about it on his sports blog, The Sports Ground!

Have a wonderful day!