25+ Ways to Have a Spring Refresh

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #TeaProudly #CollectiveBias

Are you in a winter rut? Spring is a time to refresh and remove ruts in ALL areas of life! Try these 25+ tips to refresh your entire life! #TeaProudly #ad

Spring. Oh, when it’s really spring, it makes me absolutely sing.

I always compare it to getting your driver’s license at age 17, at least in NJ – where I grew up. Now, you probably got through well over 16 years without too much trouble, but that last month or so before your 17th birthday is agonizing! It’s like you rue every day that you wake up and you’re 16, and you can’t yet get yourself from Point A to Point B. It’s the longest wait of life!

What do they call it? The final stretch. And we’re in that right now because March still looks like this:

And speaking of stretching, it’s time for me (and maybe you?) to stretch, and stretch out of everything – our comfort zones, our winter ruts, and anything else we’re ready to kiss goodbye in honor of spring. Where I live, winter is so long that I get into a rut – it affects me socially, emotionally, financially, and all-around wellness-wise. However, I also get inspired by my ruts. Does that sound weird? Just as with the new year, spring is a time for me to do a full-out refresh, and get out of all potential ruts. You name it, and it’s probably happening. “The Refresh” – as I like to call it – is an Inside, Outside Spring Cleaning.

Here are 25+ ways to have your own Spring Refresh:

Are you in a winter rut? Spring is a time to refresh and remove ruts in ALL areas of life! Try these 25+ tips to refresh your entire life! #TeaProudly #ad

Time for a Beauty Refresh?

1 – Get a facial!

2 – Beauty is skin deep. Feed your body with plenty of water and leafy vegetables.

3 – You know what’s good for your skin? Sweat and sunscreen, but not always necessarily together!

4 – Try some bright lip color to brighten your face for a new season.

5 – Use a facial cleansing brush to “brush off” the drab of winter.

Time for a Fitness Refresh?

1 – Set a new goal for spring/summer. Maybe sign up for a race or challenge of some sort?

2 – Try a new thing! Take a new class, try out a new gym, or try out a new machine at the gym.

3 – Clean out your gym bag and start fresh.

4 – Get up earlier. There’s a lot of world to roam before the sun, the kids, and the heat rise!

5 – Know your numbers. Get your annual physical at the doctor, dentist, etc. and get physical assessments at your gym.

*Enlist a friend/ally/spouse to help!

(This is mine)

Time for a Home Refresh?

1 – Let light in! Nothing is better after a long winter, because we all know that more sunshine can improve our mood and all-around health. An important task of spring cleaning is to clean your windows inside and out! Or hire it out if it’s too hard.

2 – Start with a good surface cleaning – vacuuming, dusting, polishing, etc.

3 – Get rid of your winter gear! Banish it to the basement and attic! (my favorite part)

4 – Restock your fridge, pantry and fruit bowls with fresh spring produce.

5 – Add plants and succulents to your home.

*If you have a garden, start those early tasks. If you don’t, consider planting one of any size!

Time for a Wardrobe Refresh?

1 – Wear white or off-white! Mix and match your favorite separates for a wardrobe refresh for spring.

2 – Add new colors to your wardrobe. Also consider incorporating them into your lipstick, nail polish, jewelry, scarves, etc.

3 – Be creative and find new ways to wear old clothes. Tie your shirts for a more cropped and fitted look. Wear a skinny belt around a dress? Wear a winter sweater, but with a skirt instead of jeans. Add layers to a summer dress.

4 – Add a light scarf or bright accessories to any outfit!

5 – Mix patterns and prints to stand out in a crowd! (my 7-year-old does this exquisitely)

Time for a Wellness/Soul Refresh?

1 – Try a new vegetable each week! Plant a garden or join a CSA for a bonus.

2 – Go to sleep an hour earlier each night, and stretch right when you wake up each morning.

3 – Ease your stress-load and find time to lie in a hammock, read, or lie on the couch for a sun-bath through the window.

4 – Take a new class! What fancies you? Cooking? Knitting? Farming? Writing?

5 – Have a daily feel-good ritual, like a good afternoon tea.

And that’s where Bigelow Tea Benefits come in! I like them in Sleep Chamomile and Lavender Herbal Tea – a calming, full-bodied floral lavender flavor with a sweet chamomile finish. Also, I love Stay Well – Lemon and Echinacea Herbal Tea – Authentic Echinacea and crisp lemon flavor with a smooth, relaxing herbal finish. I also adore Balance – Cinnamon and Blackberry Herbal Tea – Sweet and spicy cinnamon top notes with a smooth balanced sweet and tart finish.

All of these, and more, can be purchased at many fine retailers. I get mine at Stop & Shop in the Coffee/Tea aisle:

I use Bigelow Tea Benefits to help keep a healthy, active, and balanced lifestyle. They are everyday teas that fuel our bodies with good-for-you ingredients that help us define the lives we want to live. They also taste fabulous to boot!

This new line of tea – designed to support everyday wellness – is here to taste fabulous and help support your well-being. These seven new teas combine premium quality, all-natural herbs traditionally thought to ease the everyday issues in uncommonly delicious ways. They complement Bigelow Tea’s 130+ specialty teas – that have been delighting tea lovers for over 70 years! They are imaginative and flavorful – blended and produced in the USA. Are you as excited as I am?

Which to try first?

Check out the Bigelow Tea Benefits line HERE, and tell me which variety you most want to try!

Are you in a winter rut? Spring is a time to refresh and remove ruts in ALL areas of life! Try these 25+ tips to refresh your entire life! #TeaProudly #ad

Sweet Tea Glazed Shortbread Cookies.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Snapple. The opinions and text are all mine. #TrueTeaTaste

Sweet (or Sorta Sweet or Unsweetened) Tea. Don’t those words just conjure up so many thirst-quenching summer visions?

When I discovered that Snapple® Straight Up Tea™ had new varieties – Sorta Sweet Honey Green Tea and Rooibos, I knew I couldn’t wait to kick off summer with them. With all-natural ingredients and no artificial anything, AND the three levels of sweetness of Straight Up: Snapple® Straight Up™ Tea, AND these two new varieties, I can’t find just one favorite.

Funny thing about me, is that I didn’t fall in love with tea until my 30’s, which is now! And what did I fall in love with? Snapple®. It conjures up visions of summers past and then dreams of summers still to come. I think about effortless entertaining, and we do a lot of entertaining around here, and how refreshed I feel with a bottle in my hand. There’s sleek new packaging on the original Snapple® Straight Up Tea™ varieties, and Snapple® Straight Up™ Tea Sorta Sweet Honey Green Tea and Rooibos are new and available now! This is the perfect time to kick off and celebrate summer in style.

I picked mine up at Stop & Shop in the beverage aisle:

With summer entertaining on my mind, I whipped up one of my favorite cookie recipes yesterday – for Sweet Tea Glazed Shortbread Cookies. Have you ever cooked or baked with cold tea? It can be a wonderful addition to cookie (or scones/muffins, etc.) recipes because of the complexity it adds to even a simple recipe. It’s subtle and versatile. If a recipe uses cream, milk, or water, I’ll see if it can benefit from using tea instead to ensure the sweet tea flavor is there.

You can serve the cookies with Snapple® Straight Up™ Tea:

Or even with a glass of cold milk!

The recipe I use for the shortbread cookies makes them soft-batch. I just love soft shortbread cookies. I also love them crumbly. I just love them. A subtle sweet tea glaze is the perfect addition to one of my favorite cookie recipes:

Sweet Tea Glazed Shortbread Cookies.

Prep Time: 50 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes

Yield: 24 cookies

Sweet Tea Glazed Shortbread Cookies.

This easy recipe combines an easy and deliciously soft-baked shortbread cookie with a cold sweet tea glaze. Delicious.

Ingredients

  • For the cookies:
  • Circle cookie cutters (optional but I used them)
  • Lemon zest for the glaze (optional)
  • 1 1/2 sticks of unsalted, softened butter
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp organic vanilla extract
  • 1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • For the glaze:
  • 1 1/2 tbsp Snapple® Straight Up™ Tea - flavor of choice
  • 1/2 - 1 cup confectioner's sugar

Instructions

  1. Beat together the softened butter and white sugar in a large bowl and then add in the vanilla.
  2. Add the flour, cornstarch and salt and beat on a low speed until it becomes dough.
  3. Knead the dough into a ball and wrap in plastic wrap. Cool in the fridge for 30-60 minutes.
  4. Preheat oven to 350.
  5. Roll out your dough until it's 1/2 inch thick or less. This is where you use your circle (or flower, or anything) cookie cutters.
  6. Bake on a baking sheet for 15-18 minutes. This needs watching!
  7. They are done when the edges start to lightly brown.
  8. Let them cool.
  9. In a small bowl, combine the tea with the powdered sugar until it thickens.
  10. Spoon over the cookies with the option to add lemon zest.
  11. Let them glaze dry, and then enjoy!
http://tamaracamerablog.com/sweet-tea-glazed-shortbread-cookies/

A few special notes about the recipe. I would not use margarine or a butter spread. I’d just use butter for that wonderful consistency and taste. If, when you’re making the dough, it seems dry or crumbly, you may have used too much flour, or your butter wasn’t soft enough. Add 1-2 tablespoons of more butter – SOFT butter, of course. Definitely pay attention to the thickness of the dough as you roll it out. Also pay attention to the baking. Personally I like to under-bake cookies a bit to make them softer. I pull them out just a minute or two early. You can also seal them not long after you pull them them out of the oven, after letting them cool. I’m a big fan of cookie recipe tips and tricks. It’s amazing how the little things matter.

Now you’re ready for your afternoon snack or your summer party!

Which variety of Snapple® Straight Up™ Tea are you most excited to try?