Fortunately for me, summer ended a few weeks ago. The heat in Atlanta was so stifling all season long and has only JUST started to give. When I arrived in D.C. 3 weeks ago, I instantly felt fall breezes and coziness as I left the airport.
I’m now in Hawaii where the weather is insanely perfect: 82 degrees, no humidity, golden sunshine and cobalt blue ocean water. The elements here give summer a whole new meaning! If only it were like this where I live!
So because I’m in a place that is ideal for all day outdoor enjoyment and beachside evening soirees, I thought it’d be a perfect time to go back and share with you all the fabulous things that made my summer so delicious and bearable, despite the steaminess & smuggy air.
For one reason or another, these awesome items, no matter how small they are, all brought me, my friends and even some clients, big smiles to our faces!
What makes my mornings so special? One year ago it was Cuban espresso. Well, I stopped drinking it like a maniac addict. Not by choice. I had to replace that fix with something just as good, right? Village Tea Company and I were introduced through an old friend. Since the first sip of Sassy Green tea, I was hooked! While I’ve mentioned VTC several times on here before, they get another mention because of their awesome customer service and updates on rolling out new product. Thanks to Twitter, I found out they’ve got a new line and I should be expecting a sample! YES!
If you’re a tea lover, you’ll appreciate the loose leaf varieties VTC offers. Great gifts for anyone, even coffee addicts; cuz I’m still one!
In my cup of tea, must go honey. Raw sugar just doesn’t cut it when coupled with milk. I’ve tried many a honeys and have narrowed down my choices to two. One I found in Trinidad from a beekeeper and any honey Dean & DeLuca puts out. I’m not showing bias since I write for them, but I do get to taste a lot of their yumminess, and this last honey I had was the perfect compliment to my hot cup of té. Sulla brand honey is a smooth sweetener with notes of hazelnut that’ll have you humming every time you sip.
The beekeeper hails from Italy (where I think everything is made better) and treats his craft with delicacy, moving his hives from countryside to countryside. It’s so potent, all you need is a little. I go through honey like most people go through salt, so this is a serious score.
It’s perfect for your morning granola mixes, dressings and of course your tea! Snatch it up for fall!
HAIKU TEA CUPS
I switch back and forth between Sassy Green tea and a really good jasmine I found at a local market, and enjoy either one of them in this uber cute, customized tea cup by Teaspoon & Petals. The designer behind these hand sized cups customizes her line of white cups with hand-written Haikus of famous jazz vocalists lines. When I found her on Etsy, I immediately scooped one up as they literally sang to me. And, for $20 a cup, I should have ordered all 4. I opted for the Ella haiku:
“sing dear lady blue
teapot whistles harmony
TRAVEL GRILLING SET
So, late this summer I went to Blogher in Manhattan and was invited to Unilever’s Penthouse suite. Yumminess and delicious spa treatments for 4 hours on the day before I left, made my trip up there totally worthwhile. Most of you know I’ve developed a relationship with I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter. They were part of the Penthouse party and did they ever throw down! Chef was up in the house, cooking up summer grilled foods, some of which I featured at my Summer Grilling “Eat & Tweet.” Their set up was enticing, especially with this green (which I have an affinity for) travel bag filled with grilling goodies from Crate & Barrel. Summer may have said bye-bye, but it’s football season and perfect time for tailgate parties and even some late night pool-side foot splashing. Food required.
The grilling set is a great way to get you started as a grill master or a fab accompaniment to your existing stash of utensils to make your burgers, veggies and dogs. It also comes with a spread spray and some recipe cards! Why wouldn’t you want this?!
STEAK KNIVES by LAGUOILE
I at a lot of steak this summer. Like here, here and here! A bit too much for my personal lifestyle, but when it’s good it’s just irresistable. And, we all know a good, juicy steak requires a great knife to cut into, no matter how tender it may be. And, if not, then just owning these will make you want to cut your steak into chunks. I found these at T.J. Maxx earlier in the season for my grilling column in Latina magazine and have totally fallen in love with them. The colors are gorgeous and the craftsmanship is just like the French standard. Nothing mediocre about them at all. Mulit-color steak knife set, Laguoile, $60, amazon.com
TALENTI GELATO E SORBETTO
Okay friends, this is serious stuff. This is what makes summer worth all the heat, traffic and rowdy out-of-school kids (no offense to you awesome mommies). If you’ve not found Talenti, find it now. I’ve been to Italy and had authentic, handmade gelato and sorbetto, but that was 10 years ago! Since then, I’ve not been able to find anything close to that utter goodness. Until I found Talenti! My God, (I’m thankful to Him for all things, especially good food!) this stuff is a cold orgasm in your mouth! There’s not much more I can say other than pick up every flavor they offer. It’s not too late. It’s summer somewhere!!
Among the 18 or so combined flavors they offer, Sicilian Pistachio, Mediterranean Mint and Toasted Almond are my favorites. So much, I ate all three in two days. Not good for the waistline, but who cares? The naturally made treat is the closest you’ll get to the gelaterias en Italia. Not to mention the high grade plastic jars they come in are completely reusable and fantastic for transporting small amounts of food or storing other stuff in your fridge.
Summer is over and Fall is here!
END OF SUMMER GIVEAWAY YOU DON’T WANT TO MISS!
But, before I officially say goodbye to the steamy weather, I’m giving away a full grill set from Crate & Barrel, courtesy of I Can’t Believe It’s not Butter (pictured above)! You’ll get the entire set, all for you to use and brag about winning!
What you have to do!?
- * Leave a comment here with your most favored summer treat.
- * Follow me on Twitter & tweet the contest with a link to this post. @Brenherrera must be in the tweet. This will earn you an extra entry.
- * Come back here and let me know you are following & tweeted it for a 3rd entry!
I’ll randomly choose a winner on Oct. 16th —extended through Wed. Oct. 20th. I will contact the winner for your address and I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter will send you the set directly! All you have to do is comment!
* Only U.S. residents qualify for this contest, though anyone may comment! Sorry my international readers.
Eat well, love unapologetically, pray with true intention, and take care of yourself.